Director of the Scientology tour in India, Marion Whitta, came to India in September 2005 with the intention of staying three-and-a-half months in the country.
Director of the Scientology tour in India, Marion Whitta, came to India in September 2005 with the intention of staying three-and-a-half months in the country. Marion loved being here so much that she stayed on for the last three-and-a-half years, traveling all over the country. “India is the most spiritual country on the planet,” she says after nearly four years of spreading the science of Scientology in this land. “The reach of Scientology here is like nothing I’ve ever done before.”
Whitta defines Scientology as a system of understanding how the brain is wired and then using that knowledge to produce better results in life — whether it’s in the field of academics, interpersonal communication and relationships or professionally. “It’s not psychological babble in the least,” Marion says of this existential science which was founded by L Ron Hubbard in 1954. Scientology volunteers like her travel to different areas of the world spreading the word and instructing people on methods to live their lives better.
“In the last four years we’ve trained thousands of civil defense personnel in Maharashtra, among the police in Bangalore, Delhi and Mysore as well as in the Border Security Force in Kolkata. This is besides the hundreds of personnel in the corporate world who’ve received Scientology training under the aegis of their company. In all we must have trained between 20,000-30,000 Indians so far,” says Marion, who’s expanded the Scientology set-up from a small band of dedicated followers to thousands of believers. Yet she says no religious conversion is required since it is a system of belief more than anything else.
Says Sheena Chohan, Delhi-based theatre actress and Scientology follower, “In the last two years of my Scientology training I’ve become a more confident person personally and professionally. My application of its principles has helped me achieve a more responsible role in my zone of influence.” Sheena who took to Buddhism first, says she was attracted subsequently to Scientology because “I found the truth in both common.”
Says Marion, “People in India are absolutely open to Scientology. We rely on word of mouth to get awareness of our organisation across. But once people in India realise that a product works well, they are absolutely intent on procuring it for themselves.”
The tour director’s only regret is that there are not yet enough master trainers to deal with India’s large population. “India is so huge, that we’re going to have to train a lot of people to reach out to the masses. That’s going to be our task for the future,” she concludes.