The Way to Happiness is a 1980 booklet written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard listing 21 moral precepts, and distributed by The Way to Happiness Foundation International, a Scientology-related non-profit organization founded in 1984.


"The Way to Happiness Foundation International is a non-profit 501(c)(3),[1] incorporated in 1984.[2] Headquartered at 201 East Broadway, Glendale, California, the foundation coordinates the activities of the Way to Happiness international network, including continental and national officies, associates and local groups.[3] The Way to Happiness Foundation International is a division of the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), and is a "Scientology-related entity" under the 1993 IRS Closing Agreement.[4]


The Way to Happiness booklet contains a set of 21 precepts,[5][6] which were written by author, and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. It was first published in 1981 by Regent House, Los Angeles as a 48-page paper-covered booklet (ISBN 0-9605930-0-4). This book is frequently given out by Scientologists. A campaign in the early 1990s to distribute the book in United States schools was described in Church of Scientology publications as "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history" and "the bridge between broad society and Scientology."[7] A song titled "The Way to Happiness" appears on the music album The Road to Freedom, with music and lyrics by L. Ron Hubbard.[8]

The Way to Happiness forms the core of the Church of Scientology prison program Criminon.[9] It is also used in the Scientology-affiliated organization Narconon - all clients receive a pamphlet of The Way to Happiness when they begin the program.[10] Volunteer Ministers, a Scientology-affiliated organization which responds to disaster scenes, distributes The Way to Happiness pamphlets, and did so in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake,[11] and the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.[12] The Scientology organization Concerned Businessmen's Association of America (CBAA) has also distributed The Way to Happiness, though representatives of the group have denied connections to Scientology.[13] A 1993 article in Newsweek described cases where schools in Bellflower, California and Brooklyn, New York were influenced by CBAA to use The Way to Happiness in their schools, without knowing of the connections to Scientology.[13] A 1990 Los Angeles Times article described the situation of a school in Fresno, California, where CBAA representatives refused to sponsor a contest at the school if The Way to Happiness pamphlet was not distributed.[13]


Scientologist Nancy Cartwright, the voice actress for Bart Simpson, mailed 1 million copies of The Way to Happiness booklet to residents of San Fernando Valley, California in December 2007.[6] Cartwright told the Daily News of Los Angeles: "The mailing was from me to the San Fernando Valley community, the highest gang-infested area of Los Angeles. I thought it would make an impact, give someone a tool in order to make their lives happier at home."[6] Isaac Hayes has also distributed The Way to Happiness pamphlets at his jazz performances.[14]

Tom Cruise has distributed The Way to Happiness pamphlets, and passed out brochures embossed with his name at the elementary school where the 2005 movie War of the Worlds was filmed.[15] He also gave copies of the pamphlet to managers of United International Pictures, the company which distributed War of the Worlds overseas.[15] In a Church of Scientology-produced promotional video which appeared on YouTube in January 2008, Cruise cites "the way to happiness" as one of the benefits of Scientology: "When you're a Scientologist and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help," said Cruise.[16] "We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures."[16] Actor Miles Fisher parodies this quote by Cruise, in a scene in the 2008 film Superhero Movie.[17] Fisher's character in the film states that he can "eat planets" and that he is "the way to happiness".[17]


The Church of Scientology offers two courses based on based on The Way to Happiness: "The Way to Happiness Course", done at an org or mission and the "The Way to Happiness Extension Course", which can be done at home. There is also "The Way to Happiness Rundown" which is a Scientology procedure of a "Rundown" including auditing.[18]

Controversy Edit

Unsolicited distribution Edit

In 1992, teachers in Anchorage, Alaska found copies of The Way to Happiness in their school mailboxes accompanied by a letter inviting the teachers to order more copies and distribute them to their students.[19] Parents complained to the school district, and the school districts director of secondary education, Bill Mell, instructed school principals to tell teachers not to order The Way to Happiness.[19] Mell told the Anchorage Daily News : "I don't know that it went to every teacher ... It looks as if they got ahold of the teachers' mailing list."[19] A local businessman and Scientologist who was a member of the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America organization paid for the books to be distributed to the schools, and told the Anchorage Daily News that he believed both "The Way to Happiness" and the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America were not affiliated with the Church of Scientology.[19]

At a 2005 fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Clearwater, Florida, attendants found The Way to Happiness booklets in their goodie bags.[20] The booklets contained the insignia of Boys & Girls Clubs on the front cover, and instructions on the back cover stating that additional copies could be obtained at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast facilities.[20] Carl Lavender, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, said that this usage of the Boys & Girls Clubs was unauthorized: "...I'm not pleased. You can't produce materials with our logo on it unless I give permission. We are going to collect all of them back and have them discarded."[20] Joanie Sigal of the Scientology volunteer group Clearwater Community Volunteers, and a member of the Clearwater Boys & Girls Club's board of managers, had originally suggested adding the Club's insignia and distributing the booklets, and requested that the corporate board officially endorse the booklet.[20] Executive director Lavender denied the request, stating: "The booklet ends as of today ... There needs to be a lesson. This cannot happen."[20]

In 2007, "The Way to Happiness Foundation" produced and distributed pamphlets with sample endorsements from the mayors of Dallas, Texas and San Francisco, California. The mayor of Dallas did not appreciate this unauthorized usage of the mayor's logo and the official seal of the city of Dallas, stating: "Clearly we were not very comfortable and did not think it was appropriate to use the seal of the city of Dallas, the mayor's logo or my name on something we were not aware of."[21] According to a report in The Dallas Morning News, the city attorney's office of Dallas is looking into possible options in this matter.[21]

File:2007 Way to Happiness unauthorized SF city logo.jpg

Similarly, in San Francisco, California, the office of the mayor was also not pleased with this unauthorized usage of the mayor's image, logo, and the seal of the city. According to a report by the Associated Press, the city ordered the Scientology group to stop using an unauthorized picture of Mayor Gavin Newsom on its promotional pamphlets.[23] An official spokesman for the mayor of San Francisco released a statement, saying: "The mayor does not support the unauthorized use of his image or the city seal on this booklet."[22] The city attorney for San Francisco wrote a letter to "The Way to Happiness Foundation", citing California state law, which prohibits deceptive and misleading advertising that could create an appearance that the pamphlets are from a government agency. The city attorney also cited San Francisco law, writing that the Board of Supervisors must approve any commercial use of the city's official seal.[22]

In Winnipeg, Manitoba a box of pamphlets was delivered to the mayor's office with the official City of Winnipeg logo and the image of mayor Sam Katz. No legal action was taken: "This is obviously a sample sent to our office and it was not approved or paid for by our office... If material was being distributed on our behalf with a false endorsement, it would be a different story."[24][25]

In October 2007, uniformed police officers visiting Whyalla High School in Australia distributed a booklet called "Whyalla High School presents the way to happiness, a common-sense guide for better living", against the school's guidelines for religious education.[26] One parent told the Adelaide, Australia paper The Advertiser she had specifically told the school not to give religious instruction to her children, and other parents mistakenly thought that the booklets were distributed by the Education Department because Whyalla High School was displayed on the booklet's cover.[26]

In March 2008, The Way to Happiness Foundation agreed to stop sending copies of the booklet to certain cities in Florida, after hundreds of elected officials complained.[27] The organization had sent thousands of unsolicited copies of the booklet to Florida cities including Highland Beach and Boca Raton.[27] Each booklet had the name of the mayor on the front, and the town's address on the back, asking the reader to contact town hall with any questions.[27] A note on the back of the booklets mailed to Highland Beach, which purported to be from the mayor, stated: "I'm very pleased to offer this book".[28] The front of the booklet says that it is "presented by" the mayor."[28] The cover also contained an image of the Florida state flag.[27]

Commissioner Doris Trinley of Highland Beach said "I was dumbfounded ... I don't begrudge anyone their religion. However, I do take serious umbrage with saying on the back of the book to contact the town of Highland Beach."[27] Harold Hagelmann, mayor of Highland Beach, told The Palm Beach Post "No, no, no, no. I didn't sponsor anything ... They just sent it to me. I never asked for anything. I never sent them out."[28] Karin Pouw, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel "The foundation is definitely something that the church is supporting. We encourage their activities".[27]

Unauthorized claims of affiliationEdit

In a speech given at a New Year's event in 2007, David Miscavige claimed that the distribution of the booklet is aided by "corporate tie ins", mentioning 7/11, Coca-Cola, Philips Electronics, and Dell by name as companies who use this outreach to augment their "Third World image problems".[29] A video of the speech was released to YouTube in February 2008.[29] A spokesman for Dell told the Los Angeles Times: "We've got no affiliation with the Church of Scientology ... it's not our practice to disseminate religious materials of any kind",[29] and representatives from Philips Electronics and 7/11 also told the Los Angeles Times that their companies do not disseminate religious materials.[29]

Denying affiliation with ScientologyEdit

The Way to Happiness pamphlet caused controversy in Sderot, Israel in February 2008, when a group calling itself the "Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East" became active in the city.[30] The non-profit group sent e-mails to social workers in Sderot, offering to help people cope with Kassam rocket attacks the city has been enduring.[30] Dalia Yosef, head of an umbrella psychological organization in the region called Hosen Center, received complaints from multiple social workers about the e-mails, and stated: "We intend to investigate this association, as we do every group that offers social and psychological services in Sderot".[30] In an e-mail response to The Jerusalem Post, the Association for Prosperity stated: "We are unaware of any Scientology activity whatsoever being offered to Sderot residents. In general, regarding your question on Scientology activity in Sderot or elsewhere, you should contact the official representatives of the religion and receive their response".[30]

A representative of Scientology told The Jerusalem Post that the director-general of the Association for Prosperity was a Scientologist, as were most individuals in the organization, but that some were not, and said that the principles found in The Way to Happiness were "totally different" from Scientology.[30] The organization stated: "Claiming our organization is connected with Scientology just because our director-general studied Scientology is like saying that other nonprofits are hi-tech because volunteers work in hi- tech."[30] Director-general of the Israeli Center for Cult Victims Ayelet Kedem described the organization as a front group for Scientology: "Hiding behind a front organization is a common tactic ... The idea is to create a positive image by obscuring the connection with Scientology ... Later, people who undergo free workshops are convinced that they must correct flaws in their personality by taking Scientology courses. Those who are hooked end up giving all their possessions to the Church of Scientology".[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. IRS Form 990
  2. Californa Secretary of State business search
  3. ED TWTH International (2006-03-28). TWTH INT POLICY ISSUE # 209. The Way to Happiness Foundation International. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01.
  4. III. Service Determinations Regarding Scientology-Related Entities., CoS / IRS Closing Agreement, Operation Clambake.
  5. [1]The list of 21 precepts in the Way To Happiness booklet
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bartholomew, Dana (2008-02-17). "Voice of Bart Simpsons Community Overachiever", Daily News of Los Angeles. 
  7. Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (1990-06-27). "Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science", Los Angeles Times, p. A1:1. Retrieved on 2006-08-07.  Additional convenience link at [2].
  8. Goldstein, Patrick (1986-09-21). "Hubbard Hymns", Los Angeles Times, p. 40. 
  9. Bousquet, Steve (2005-05-26). "Ax looms on Scientology funds", St. Petersburg Times, p. 1B. 
  10. Doward, Jamie (2005-03-27). "The Observer: Scientologists will 'purify' drug addicts - for pounds 15,000: It boasts an 80 per cent success rate, the rock star Beck is a fan, and schools are inviting the Narconon centre into the classroom. So why are some people worried? Jamie Doward reports", The Observer, Financial Times Information Limited. 
  11. Goodman, Peter S., Washington Post Foreign Service (2005-01-28). "For Tsunami Survivors, A Touch of Scientology", The Washington Post, The Washington Post Company, p. C1. 
  12. Mattingly, David (2007-04-29). Massive Georgian Wildfire Could Burn for Another Month; Scientology on Virginia Tech Campus. CNN Sunday Morning. CNN. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Routliffe, Kathy (1996-06-13). "School cancels ceremony for Scientology contest", Skokie Review, Pioneer Press. 
  14. Partridge, Kenneth (2005-02-25). "A Distracted Isaac Hayes - Well-Meaning Lecture Detracts From Highlights", The Hartford Courant, The Hartford Courant Co., p. D7. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Abramowitz, Rachel; Chris Lee (2005-06-06). "Control switch: On - Tom Cruise was gushing with love. Now he seems to be back to calm and collected.", Los Angeles Times, p. E-1. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 United Press International News Service (2008-01-18). "Video shows Cruise discussing Scientology", UPI NewsTrack, United Press International, Inc.. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Perez, Jesse (2008-01-04). Movie trailer slams Tom Cruise with amazing impersonator. Macquarie National News. Macquarie Radio Network. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  18. The Way to Happiness Course, Courtesy of Churches of Scientology in England. Church of Scientology. Archived from the original on 2006-02-18.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Ruskin, Liz (1992-09-29). "Hubbard Book Sent to Schools Parents Work to Keep Texts Out of Classrooms", Anchorage Daily News, p. B1. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Farley, Robert (2008-09-09). "Scientology reaches out and touches a nerve", St. Petersburg Times, p. 1B. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Bush, Rudolph (2007-10-12). Bogus Scientology pamphlets irk Dallas mayor: Booklets with Scientology writings have false endorsement. The Dallas Morning News. The Dallas Morning News, Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Vega, Cecilia M. (2007-10-13). Group censured for using Newsom's image in pro-Scientology booklet. San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  23. Associated Press (2007-10-13). S.F. orders Scientology group to stop using Mayor Newsom pic. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  24. Kives, Bartley (2007-10-30). Katz finds religion... or vice versa. Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
  25. "Booklet sent to Winnipeg Mayor's office insinuates politician endorses Scientology", National Post (2007-10-31). 
  26. 26.0 26.1 Xanthe, Kleinig (2007-10-29). "Parent anger at religious `advice'", The Advertiser, Nationwide News Pty Limited, p. 23. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 Hatzipanagos, Rachel (2008-03-11). "Scientology group stops guidebook mailings: Officials received unsolicited copies", South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Kleinberg, Eliot (2008-03-08). "Mayor Find Happiness Booklet Irritating", The Palm Beach Post, p. 1C. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Staff (2008-02-11). Companies deny Scientology links. News Limited. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 Unger, Matthew (2008-02-01). "Sderot social workers concerned by offer of free workshops based on L. Ron Hubbard's teachings. Rabbi slams attempts to exploit residents' distress * Scientology denies any activity in Kassam-hit city", The Jerusalem Post, p. 8. 

External links Edit

Scientology bibliography
Dianetics: Dianetics, the Original Thesis | Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health | Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science | Notes on the Lectures | Science of Survival | Child Dianetics | Self Analysis | Advanced Procedure and Axioms | Dianetics 55!
Scientology: Handbook for Preclears | A History of Man | Scientology: 88 | Scientology: 8-80 | Scientology 8-8008 | The Creation of Human Ability | The Phoenix Lectures | Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought | Have You Lived Before This Life | A New Slant on Life | Introduction to Scientology Ethics | Mission Into Time | Scientology 0-8
E-meter: The Book Of E-Meter Drills | Introducing The E-Meter | E-Meter Essentials
Other: How to Live Though an Executive | The Problems of Work | Hymn of Asia | All About Radiation | The Way to Happiness | Clear Body, Clear Mind
Not by L. Ron Hubbard : Fundamentals of Scientology | Child Scientology | Dianetics Today | Brainwashing | Electropsychometry | The Hubbard Electrometer | This Is Life | Sanity for the Layman | Miracles for Breakfast | How to Choose Your People | Ups and Downs
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