Meet a Scientologist—Thoughts of Ground Zero 10 Years Later

On the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Ground Zero cleanup operation, Scientologist Caralyn Percy remembers 9/11/01.

Scientologist Caralyn Percy’s rendition of “Everyday Heroes” by Geoff Levin and Harriet Schock is a tribute to rescue and recovery workers of Ground Zero, New York. If it resonates with a compassion born of experience, it’s because Percy was there.

Living in Boston with her husband and three daughters at the time, Percy, a native New Yorker, joined the Scientology Volunteer Minister team providing relief to recovery workers.

“Singing this song is my gift to those who help their fellow man for no other reason than that it is the right thing to do when help is needed,” she says.

A Scientologist for the past 40 years, Percy was introduced to Scientology by her husband of 38 years, Bernard. The couple met in Brooklyn in 1972, where they were both teachers at the same elementary school. Just out of school herself, with no previous teaching experience, Percy, pondered why the 5th graders right across the hall in Bernard’s classroom were so well-behaved and focused while hers, great kids though they were, drove her ragged—and crazy. She was demoralized.

“That was my first year teaching,” says Percy. “I started off expecting to be the best teacher in the world, but after a year of struggling, I was introverted and depressed. I couldn’t stop worrying.”

She finally asked him how he did it, and Bernard said he had something that might help her. He invited her to the Church of Scientology New York where a communication course and Scientology spiritual counseling revived her purpose and belief in herself and gave her the tools to succeed.

“I became more confident, extroverted—happy,” she says.

And it is this sometimes elusive state of mind—happiness—that inspired Percy in 2011 to become president of The Way to Happiness Foundation in Glendale, California.

The Way to Happiness is a common sense nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard.

“People do things all the time that affect your survival,” says Percy. “You are driving down the street and somebody cuts you off; somebody at work does things they have no business doing; an artist starts to use drugs or consume alcohol to excess. You notice these things. What can you do about it? If you just give the person a copy of The Way to Happiness and say ‘I think you should check this out’ the booklet gently helps lead them back in the right direction.”

Percy describes The Way to Happiness as “a one person at a time kind of thing,” but one that can reach many people rapidly.

“I had gotten so tired of the bad news, ‘solutions’ that harm people of good will the world over and incessant wars,” says Percy.  “I realized that the way to calm everything down so we can all survive and thrive would be to get to the heart of each person with The Way to Happiness.  It was written for people of all races, cultures and creeds and is purely common sense. It truly cuts through the noise and gets to the peace and harmony, power and ability and intelligence and strong will that each of us possess.   And it's published in 107 languages so far.  That's a lot of happiness to go around.”

To learn more about Scientology and view videos of more than 200 Scientologists, visit the Scientology website.

The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at 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 7 million times.