Notwithstanding this century’s array of technological wonders—in medicine, transportation, nuclear energy and electronic communications—we live in a seriously troubled society. Under the triple onslaught of drug abuse, criminality and declining morals much of this world has truly become a wasteland. By some estimates, marijuana, for example, has become the largest cash crop in America, while illegal drugs gross estimated annual revenues of some $500 billion. Added to these figures are another $700-plus billion spent on medical and psychiatric drugs—until, at last, we are faced with a crisis of truly planetary proportions wherein the people of Earth spend more money on drugs than most nations produce in terms of goods and services.
Yet ill-gotten revenue is only one measure of today’s drug abuse toll. The link with crime is another. According to United States Justice Department studies, half of all those arrested for violent crimes test positive for illegal drugs, which in turn translates into well over a million acts of violence a year…and the cost of that in terms of human misery is incalculable.
At the arguable bottom of both drug abuse and criminality lies what has been termed “a postmodern moral crisis.” Here, too, the facts are disturbing: More than 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce; another 40 percent of all American youth readily admit they lie for financial gain, and still another 64 percent admit to cheating on exams. The picture grows grimmer still in light of cyberspace iniquity. To wit: at least 10 percent of all websites qualify as pornographic while some 40 percent of all business software is pirated. It is not surprising, then, that as rates of burglary, embezzlement and all other varieties of larceny assume epidemic proportions, historians have come to view this era as an age of moral inequity unrivaled since the fall of Rome.
Sensing where this world was headed as early as 1950, L. Ron Hubbard began to search out a means by which, as he wrote:
“Man again can find his own feet, can find himself in a very confused, mechanistic society and can recover to himself some of the happiness, some of the sincerity and some of the love and kindness with which he was created.”