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By Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 20) - We’ve seen it on television, we’ve read about it magazines and newspapers and now the Church of Scientology has arrived in Samoa.

Made famous by Hollywood 'A-listers' Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, among many others, the arrival of the church has been welcomed by at least a 100 Samoans who have shown interest.

Director of Scientology Volunteer Ministers, Mathew Andrews, and two other Scientology Volunteer Ministers, are in the country for a "goodwill tour."

They are here "passing on the technology of scientology that we have which can help improve the life standards of people."

The group has already visited the villages of Vaisigano and Leusoali’i where they talked to numerous people who indicated interest. The reaction from the local community has been great, Mr. Andrews said.

So great there is already a huge demand for seminars in the scientology religion, he said.

A grand opening will be held at Eleele-fou on Wednesday 3 October to promote the Church of Scientology and its beliefs. A media release yesterday incorrectly said the opening was today.

With 6,000 centers in 163 countries and its headquarters based in the United States, the church has reached the shores of Africa, South America, America, Europe, England, India and the Australian outback said Andrews.

What is scientology?

Mr. Andrews said scientology is "learning how to know."

The religion was founded by Mr. L Ron Hubbard a humanitarian and author who traveled all around the world about 250,000 miles on a ship studying 21 different primitive cultures."

The result of his study of man and life "to find out exactly what problems men were facing and how we could help" said Andrews resulted in the establishment of the Scientology Church.

And the principle of Scientology beliefs and practices centers around the concept that all people are immortal spiritual beings called thetans (is the creator of things).

Scientologists believe that thetans have a long history in this universe going back over numerous lifetimes and are presently in a degraded state.

Those who practice scientology study Hubbard’s philosophies and techniques applying them to themselves and others in the belief they can improve the standard of their lives. These philosophies are based on nineteen subjects said Andrews.

And it is his philosophies or tools as they are known by the church that scientologists use to apply to improve the standard of their lives so that they may reach the operating thetans stage.

This stage means that they fully have control over the knowing and willing cause of their lives.

The nineteen subjects or tools said Andrews range from "studying how to improve better communication, better relationship with your family, solutions to drug abuse, violence abuse, alcohol, disaster response, marriage how to resolve conflict what ever it is there is something that you can do about it."

Scientology said Andrews supplies "Practical solutions to everyday problems and it works. That’s the story of scientology. Scientology is a practical religion and an applied religious philosophy," said Andrews.

"We just give these tools so that the common man can better his life."

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