Meet a Scientologist—Barry Coziahr’s Dream of Peace
Scientology inspired Barry Coziahr to reach out to others to create a better world.
Scientologist Barry Coziahr believes we can combat the violence that blights our cities, one person at a time, with The Way to Happiness, an entirely nonreligious, common-sense moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard.
His belief is based on personal observation.
Several years ago, he organized the printing and distribution of 13,000 copies of The Way to Happiness in St. Louis’ heavily crime-ridden 3rd Ward. The next time the city’s statistics were published, crime in that neighborhood had declined.
But despite his efforts, a 2011 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported murders of youth ages 10-19 in St. Louis are three times higher than the national average. To do something about this, Coziahr decided to bring his ideas to the city’s religious community. He presented the The Way to Happiness to a coalition of St. Louis ministers of diverse faiths, who are working together in an initiative called “Stop the Killing.” They decided to incorporate the booklet in their campaign.
“I have introduced the religious leaders of many different faiths to this booklet,” says Coziahr. “The message of The Way to Happiness is universal and when they read it they consider it their message too and want more copies to pass it along.”
Coziahr, owner of a graphic design and marketing company, created a customized The Way to Happiness booklet for Stop the Killing using the group’s artwork and raised funds to publish 50,000 copies—the first step in a plan to distribute a quarter of a million copies throughout the city.
“I receive requests for copies of this booklet from such a broad range of organizations and people—from homeless shelters to hair salons, security guards to educators—and I encourage them to give copies to their friends.”
Coziahr learned about Scientology while attending college 25 years ago when he found a copy of Self Analysis by L. Ron Hubbard in a bookstore in Peoria, Illinois.
“I had barely gotten through high school and I was flunking out of college for the second time,” he says. “In the front of the book was a brief description of one of the basic principles of L. Ron Hubbard’s Study Technology. I could see immediately how I could apply this. It was simple and it worked. I decided to find out more.”
Coziahr enrolled on courses and received spiritual counseling at the Church of Scientology Mission of Peoria.
“They told me if I was smoking pot or drinking too much it would cut across my spiritual progress. I was getting so much more from my counseling than from drugs, it was easy for me to quit, and I never turned back,” he says.
In addition to his work to reduce crime in St. Louis, Cozaihr holds an executive position at the Church of Scientology St. Louis. Wife Claire is in charge of the St. Louis Chapter of The Way to Happiness Foundation and they run the family business together.
Prior to Scientology, what Cozaihr really wanted was to understand people. Scientology helped him achieve that, and his goal became to help them.
“I believe people should be treated with kindness and decency,” he says. “My father always treated people well, and I always strived to be like him. Through Scientology I have been able to make the most of my best qualities and live up to my potential.”
To learn more about what Scientologists are doing to create a better world, watch “Meet a Scientologist” videos at www.scientology.org.
The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at Scientology.org now total more than 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.
A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, with videos now viewed more than 6 million times.