STAND’s Annual Year-End Reception: A Meeting of Minds

In early December—nine months after the inception of STAND—STAND members had an end-of-the-year reception. Talk about a blast…

The group shot
Los Angeles STAND members pose for a celebratory group shot.

Once I began to study Scientology, one of the things that kept me coming back was the people I’ve been privileged to associate with and befriend. After forty plus years, I’ve yet to meet any group of folks with such a combination of drive, intelligence, creativity, insight, wit, intense curiosity and outright quirky, irreverent humor. The bloggers of STAND are among the cream.

Most are veteran Scientologists who’ve been through the growing pains of the Church and every attack and hatchet job from business interests and their paid media twits. They are tough, caring, dedicated, great people who now have a platform from which they can bring about a greater understanding of who Scientologists really are and what Scientology really is.

Had this been a charity fundraiser, I would have gladly shelled out $250 just to hang out with these guys for an hour or two.

At my reception table alone was the amazing, yet humble, Jim Meskimen, internationally known actor, comic impressionist and artist, wordsmith and screenwriter Jim Kalergis with his patrician looks and piercing human insight, writer/director Isa Totah and comedian and writer Evan Wecksell. To my left sat the witty Dean Glosup, entertaining all, and across from me, our lightning-minded editor-in-chief Bari Berger whose daily (and unenviable) task is to organize her entire collection of sixty-and-growing—often unruly—individuals.

STAND’s International Director addresses attendees
STAND’s International Director, Edward Parkin, shares 2017 achievements with Los Angeles STAND members.

The other bloggers, both present and scattered across the U.S. and the world, include musicians, teachers, actors, artists, engineers, programmers and systems experts, business owners and consultants and professional writers. Bright bulbs, all.

Scientology is about freeing minds. From pain and loss, from drugs, from childhood indoctrination, from lazy, bureaucratic-style schooling, from the dull-witted squawking of the everyday popular narrative, from the social constraints placed upon sincere human interaction and creativity, and from anything which leads to trapping the free attention of the individual.

Had this been a charity fundraiser, I would have gladly shelled out $250 just to hang out with these guys for an hour or two. Instead, as I sat back and viewed the entire group as a whole, I felt honored to be included as a part of this collection of amazing and accomplished people who all share one life-long quest: to do better tomorrow.

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