Under the Streets of Manhattan: Phil Hargrow, New York Subway Engineer

Scientology helped Phil Hargrow, New York City subway engineer, come to terms with his grief and help others. His profile is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at

Scientologist Phil Hargrow, New York Subway Engineer

If you are one of 5 million people who daily ride the New York City subway system, Scientologist Phil Hargrow may be more important to you than you know.

A subway engineer for the past 26 years, Hargrow drives the Q train from Coney Island to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, under the Empire State Building and Times Square in Manhattan and on to Astoria, Queens.

Hargrow, 53, says every day presents unique challenges, from having to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a schoolboy who fell on the tracks as he pulled into the station, to helping a blind man get into the train after several hundred strangers stampeded past him to catch their connection, not to mention being the one on the receiving end of frustrated and angry passenger complaints.

“Irate passengers tend to vent their upsets on the man in the uniform,” says Hargrow. “My Scientology communication skills make it easier not to take it personally. I understand where they’re coming from, let them know I got what they’re saying and that’s usually enough to chill them out.”

But it’s not just when they’re angry that people search Hargrow out.

“For some reason, I’m the type of person people come to—not only for questions on how to get around the subway, but they want to talk. And each and every one of them has a different situation in their life.”

Hargrow credits Scientology with his faster reaction time and helping him stay alert, vital when you’re responsible for the safety of as many as a thousand people at a time.

A personal tragedy prompted Hargrow to look into Scientology. Nine years ago, the death of a close friend in a car accident shattered him.

“There have been a lot of deaths in my family but this topped everything. For two years, I felt like I was weighted down,” he says.

Never much of a reader before, Hargrow knew he had to heal himself and for two years he read every religious and self-help book he could find.

“One day, I told a friend what I was going through and he pulled out the Dianetics book,” he says. “I started reading it and got the Dianetics DVD. A couple of days later I found an ad for a Dianetics Seminar in a paper someone left on my train and decided to check it out. After just a few hours of Dianetics auditing (spiritual counseling—from the Latin audire, meaning ‘to hear or listen’) that unbearable weight was gone.”

“Dianetics brought me so much relief so fast, I thought about the people in the neighborhood who have lost loved ones, the mothers and fathers who have lost children, how much they need this technology now.”

Hargrow, who now serves as a staff member of the Church of Scientology of Harlem when he’s not driving trains, says, “There’s no greater feeling in the universe than to help another person.”

View the Phil Hargrow video at

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