Meet a Scientologist—Niki Lanik: Racing to Promote Human Rights

Recently returned home from Geneva where he addressed United Nations representatives, dignitaries, human rights activists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and youth delegates from 30 countries, Scientologist Niki Lanik takes human rights seriously.

Niki Lanik is a speed freak—not the kind who gets his kicks from pills—the kind who revels in racing cars.

“The adrenalin that you get is huge,” he says.

Lanik began his career 10 years ago, racing old, beat-up cars around a muddy field on his family’s farm near East Grinstead, Sussex, a few miles from the UK headquarters of the Scientology religion.

After an intensive training course at the famous UK Silverstone racetrack, he began his first full racing season in 2005 and has steadily moved up the racing hierarchy.

The following year, Lanik met the director of the UNITED Music DVD and saw the public service announcements for Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), a nonprofit organization that promotes human rights, peace and tolerance by educating youth on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“My purpose is to inspire people to become active in bettering the conditions of others,” says Lanik, “and I realized I could potentially use my career as a vehicle to forward important messages.”

He attacked that project with the same intensity that won him the 2006 and 2007 national UK championships, the 2009 European Porsche Manufacturers Cup as the top Porsche driver in the 12-race championship, and keeps him competing in the Le Mans Series and the Grand Touring (GT) championships.

Lanik’s racecar bears the logo of Youth for Human Rights. He distributes “Know Your Human Rights” booklets and has Youth for Human Rights public service announcements shown at races. Over the past five years he has promoted human rights to hundreds of thousands of people in Panama, Colombia, Barbados, Taiwan and 11 European countries.

“By enlightening other young people about basic human rights, their responsibility increases and they spread this message throughout their own spheres of influence,” he says.

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 YouTube Video Channel. The Official Scientology YouTube Channel has now been viewed by millions of visitors.