How a South African Minister is Using Scientology to Help End Gender-Based Violence

When Bishop Daniel Matebesi discovered the Scientology Tools for Life, it gave him hope that he could help create social change in South Africa.

Each year, South Africa sets aside a month in honor of human rights and those who fought to end apartheid and empower South Africans with the rights enjoyed today. The theme of the country’s Human Rights Month for 2023 was “Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future.” 

One human rights issue of particular concern to Rev. Daniel Matebesi—Bishop of the Independent Congregational Church of Southern Africa and president of the South African Christian Ministers Council (SACMIC)—is gender-based violence (GBV). In a video on the Volunteer Ministers of South Africa YouTube channel, Rev. Matebesi describes this as “a pandemic in the country today.”

Bishop Matebesi is committed to resolving the issues that challenge the people of South Africa today including gender-based violence and drugs and alcohol among the youth.
Bishop Daniel Matebesi is committed to resolving the issues that challenge the people of South Africa today including gender-based violence and drug and alcohol addiction among the youth.

Among his many responsibilities, Matebesi has been appointed by the Department of Home Affairs as a marriage officer. “And I want to assist our communities to try to bring the percentage of gender-based violence down.” 

More than 10,000 rape cases were reported in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022, ranking South Africa among the highest incidence of this crime in the world.

Rev. Matebesi learned about the Scientology Tools for Life when he was invited to address a national SACMIC conference at the Church of Scientology African headquarters at Castle Kyalami in Midrand. He describes how the Scientology Tools for Life Courses have empowered him to deal with this issue and help him tackle another grave concern.

“I’m crying tears for our youth,” he says. “Some of our youth are a lost generation. Some of them are addicted to alcohol and drugs.” 

But the skills he has learned through the Tools for Life courses have given him hope and confidence in addressing these issues. 

“This is what I want for my people,” he says, “for the children of God to receive information and knowledge. Because knowledge is power.” 

He describes the Tools for Life as a vehicle and an instrument for change.

Those completing all 19 Scientology Tools for Life courses receive certificates and the bright yellow jackets and caps that identify them as Scientology Volunteer Ministers.

A councilor for the Molema District Municipality who attended the seminar is also very concerned about gender-based violence and substance abuse and their effect on individuals and the community. 

“These are issues that cannot be left just to the government to resolve,” she says. 

After seeing the results of the Skills Development Program at Castle Kyalami, she pledged her support for the program as she sees it provides the skills people need to conquer these urgent problems.

Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard developed the Tools for Life for the training of Scientology Volunteer Ministers, which is a religious social service sponsored by the Church of Scientology International.

Mr. Hubbard described the Volunteer Minister as “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”

Their motto is no matter the circumstances, “Something can be done about it.”

Castle Kyalami serves as a home for the community and a nexus for all who share the goal of bettering the lives of individuals and strengthening communities across the region, nation, and all of Africa. Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, dedicated Castle Kyalami on New Year’s Day 2019, reaffirming the vision of Mr. Hubbard that “from Southern Africa will spring the next great civilization on this planet.”

For more information on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers of South Africa, visit the Scientology website.    

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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