Kim Payne, Standing Up for Human Rights
Kim Payne volunteers at the annual St. Petersburg Human Rights Walkathon to raise awareness of human rights abuses. Her video is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at www.scientology.org.
For the fifth consecutive year, the 2011 Human Rights Walkathon in St. Petersburg, Florida, came off without a hitch, and part of the team responsible for its success was Kim Payne, Scientologist, mother of five and human rights activist.
“The purpose of the Walkathon is to raise awareness of human rights issues,” she says, “and encourage people to demand human rights education and the full implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document endorsed by United Nations member nations in 1948 to provide a common understanding of the rights every individual inherently possesses. Groups throughout the Tampa Bay area participate and it’s a great way to coordinate and build cooperation.”
Just minutes before the Walkathon began this year, Payne, 45, always on the solution side of any problem, was climbing trees, with characteristic energy and cheerfulness, to get the last of the signs in place before the crowds arrived.
“As the Walkathon site manager, I make sure it is all ready to go when people arrive to register at 9 am—whatever it takes,” she says.
Payne has been a Scientologist since 1987 when her husband introduced her to the subject. Having spent her teen years using and abusing a wide variety of drugs, she had some issues to handle.
Raised on a farm near a small town in Michigan, Payne got involved in drugs at age 12 and partied her way through high school. “Don’t ask me how I graduated,” she laughs. “I have no idea.” She married at 19 and had her first child within a year.
Two years later, her husband read Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. On finishing the book, he simply said, “This is it,” and packed the family into the car for the three-hour drive to the nearest Church of Scientology.
“I was really just going along with him because he was so enthusiastic about it, but I’m sure glad I did,” she says. “I received Dianetics counseling. There were things I had been upset about for a long time but I’d never been able to communicate. After the counseling they were gone and the relief was incredible.”
Payne, who completely overcame the effects of her teenage drug use, describes herself as “a real product of Scientology.”
“I learned how to study,” she says, “something I definitely did not learn to do in school. My IQ went up more than 50 points. Some of my behavior in the past was not exactly ‘good.’ Through Scientology, I have come way up the line as far as responsibility goes.”
In addition to the personal gains from Scientology, Payne says she is very grateful to have had Scientology technology when it came to raising five children.
“All our kids are doing great. They all have a lot of friends, they think for themselves and they are creative and smart,” she says. “I am very proud of them. But I am sure I would not have had the success I had as a parent without Scientology—it makes it so much easier to be a mom.”
The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at Scientology.org now total 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, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.