How and Why I Became a Scientologist

In 1968 I was leading the life I imagined. I was really doing “well” in life. I had a job I greatly enjoyed and was very successful at: being an elementary school teacher, helping my students become more able and happier. I was dating a beautiful actress, driving the car I wanted, living in the ideal neighborhood for me, Brooklyn Heights. I was NOT searching for the answers to life and did not have anything that was ruining my life. I was winning.

A building reception
Inside the Church of Scientology New York, the city where Bernard was first introduced to Scientology in 1968.

Then I met Julio on a street in Brooklyn. He was the best friend of the brother of one of my best friends. After a quick hello I asked Julio how he was doing and he mentioned he was studying Scientology. I had not heard of it and I asked him what it was. He responded, “The science of knowing how to know.” Julio asked if I would like to know more about it. I really liked and respected Julio and thought if he was involved with studying Scientology there would be some value in my learning more about it, so I accepted his invitation to meet him at the organization’s location in New York City.

When I arrived I almost turned and left without entering because I saw a sign over the entrance that read “Church of Scientology”—I hadn’t realized it was a church. I was raised Jewish and becoming part a church was not something I had any intention of doing. But I did go in and met Julio, who introduced me to Scientology. It sounded interesting, but I was not convinced. I went home and found some articles on Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard and had a lot of questions and doubts and expressed these to Julio.

“…to help people. That’s apparently a fundamental reason for existence.”

He then made a suggestion that resulted in my being a Scientologist for over 50 years. He told me to draw a line down the middle of an imaginary piece of paper and create two columns. One column was my concerns about Scientology, especially that it was a church, the other column would focus on the philosophy and technology of Scientology. He told me to keep these two issues separate, “don’t mix the two up,” he said and, in time, he assured me I would find answers to my concerns as I learned more about Scientology itself.

One of my great desires was (and still is) to help others, which is why I became a teacher: to help students, especially inner-city students, create a better life. Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard commented, “Fellow says, ‘What is the reason for life?’ Oddly enough, the apparent answer to the thing... if he wants a very finite, basic reason, is to help people. That’s apparently a fundamental reason for existence.” 

I was always looking for ways to better help my students, as well as family and friends.

I did a couple of preliminary courses to learn more about Scientology, and then I did a course called the Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course, and everything changed. For me this course was not so much about how I could improve myself—it was about how I could help others using the principles, philosophy and technologies of Scientology.

I began successfully applying what I learned to my life and especially to my job as a teacher, and I got truly miraculous results by applying the principles and technology I learned about how to study and how to prevent or overcome difficulties in learning.

I have traveled over two million miles to over 35 countries helping people improve the quality of their life and relationships by applying the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.

Charlie was a 4th-grade student, reading at about a 1st-grade level. One of his problems was that he could never write the alphabet correctly, always getting confused after the letter Q. For years, teachers could never help Charlie solve this. Charlie, consequently, knew he was “stupid.” Understanding the true cause and solution for his problem and applying what I had learned, it took me about 20 minutes to help Charlie get past his difficulty. And after that, Charlie knew he was not dumb and stupid, he had just hit a barrier to learning no one before knew how to handle. 

A man surrounded by playful children
Bernard Percy with his class at a “Bernie” moment

In that Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course, I also learned how to have good control so that I was able to get the true cooperation and agreement of my students. Because I understood the principles of good control, my classes had more freedoms than any other class at school. What encapsulates my relationship with my classes is that they knew when I was “Bernie” and when I was “Mr. Percy.” The photo to the right was a “Bernie” moment. The next minute they were quietly in their seats doing their reading lesson.

As a direct result of my involvement with Scientology, I have traveled over two million miles to over 35 countries helping people improve the quality of their lives and relationships by applying the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. I have had nine books published, lectured and consulted thousands of people across the globe, all because what I added to the column about the technology and philosophy of Scientology was that I would gain the confidence and certainty of knowing I could truly help others and make a positive difference in their lives.

Had I not met Julio on the street in Brooklyn, my life would never have been as expansive, interesting, fulfilling, and successful as it has been and will continue to be, thanks to Scientology.

Bernard Percy
Author, educator, international lecturer, proud dad of three adult daughters, husband (for 45 years), and a Scientologist (since 1968). He has had eight books published on education and family relationships; he was a New York City elementary school teacher for 12 years and he has a master's degree in childhood education from Columbia University.