ello, my name is Joe Zwers, and here is a little bit about myself:
I was born in Detroit in 1956, the third of eight children and moved to California when I was four years old. I grew up in the city of Thousand Oaks, about 50 miles from Los Angeles. I was an honors student in math and English, and was active in public speaking, drama, politics and long distance running.
As a child I was very interested in helping people and creating a better world. Initially I was interested in seeking a political solution to the earth's problems. I worked on my first political campaign when I was eight and when I was eighteen I was a delegate to my party's state convention. By that time, however, I had become convinced that unless you make some fundamental improvements in the ways that the citizens and their leaders conducted their own lives, there could be no political solution.
I therefore thought that psychology must hold the answer. The course I took in that subject just taught me that, while they had come up with a lot of interesting names for the things that people did, they didn't really have any means of addressing those problems and correcting them. Around the time, I also saw my father given mood-altering drugs which made him forget his problems but also made it so he couldn't even remember my name. No, psychology wasn't what I was looking for.
So, I decided to go off looking on my own. I went hitchhiking around the country, worked a couple summers in Yellowstone Park and wintered in Hawaii. It was in Hawaii in 1977 that I first encountered Scientology. I went in with the idea that it had been a while since I had had a good religious argument, and I had never taken on a Scientologist, so I was ready to go and prove them wrong.
When I got there I was amazed at what I found. Things that I thought only I had observed about life, they also knew. For the first time I found something that I could really agree with.
A month later I joined staff at the Church of Scientology in Hawaii. At that time, I decided that if I could actually help 25 people in the next five years, they would have been years well spent. I forgot about that decision, but two years later I remembered it and could name far more than 25 people that I had already helped. I continued to work for the church on a full time basis till 1986, and have continued to be active in church matters since then.
In 1986 I started working in the video field (you have probably seen some things I've worked on television). One night I was editing some footage I had shot in Italy and needed someone to interpret what the people were saying. A woman names Regina Masia came to help me with the editing, and she has helped me with a lot of other things in the eleven years we have been together. (It's great having in-laws in Venice, you can visit them and explore one of the world's most beautiful cities at the same time.)
No longer in the video business, I work as the Marketing Manager for the nation's largest court reporting company. My wife, our three-year-old son and I live in an apartment on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the mountains. We choose not to have a TV in our home, but do have close to a thousand books of all types. On the weekends, we frequently go out to my mother's home where she has a big yard for our son to run around in and where we have an organic fruit and vegetable garden growing. Being Italian, my wife is of course the one who does most of the cooking.
I have done a lot of interesting things in my life, but the thing that has really made it worthwhile is what I have learned and done as a result of my involvement with Scientology. It is the knowledge that I have gained and the people that I have helped along the way that have really enriched my life and made it complete. No, I haven't single-handedly changed the course of history, but I have changed a number of lives for the better, and I will continue to do so. I am proud of what I have done and like belonging to a group of like-minded people who, one individual at a time, are working to make this world a better place.
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