Ferguson Way to Happiness

Do You Think a Moral Code Can Restore Peace in Ferguson, MO?

Ferguson Way to Happiness

In areas of instability, unrest, crime and violence, one element underlies the visible problems: the decline or absence of morality. Distribution of The Way to Happiness provides a common moral code even warring factions can agree on.

For the second night in a row, it seems as if a calm is starting to settle in Ferguson, Missouri, where the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown has polarized the entire community. The Los Angeles Times is reporting just seven arrests were made Thursday night, compared to the 70+ arrests made Monday and Tuesday night this week. The National Guard has also started retreating from the area.

The issues behind the violence are complex. But the bottom line is simple, says Barry Coziahr, owner of a graphic design and marketing company and member of the Church of Scientology of St. Louis. Coziahr is part of a coalition of local churches and non-profit organizations working together to restore calm. They are passing out copies of The Way to Happiness, a booklet Coziahr describes as a nonreligious moral code based entirely on common sense.

The Way to Happiness was already the center of a “stop the violence” campaign involving some two dozen community groups including the Put Down the Pistol initiative of the Better Family Life organization, the St. Louis Stop the Killing Initiative and the St. Louis chapter of The Way to Happiness Foundation.

This Vine video, taken by St. Louis Post-Dispatch staff photographer, David Carson, shows a protestor holding a Way to Happiness booklet.

Now published in 112 languages The Way to Happiness has brought calm to communities torn by violence, peace to areas ravaged by civil strife and self-respect to millions of individuals—in schools, prisons, churches, youth and community centers.

In Los Angeles communities long beset by violence, using The Way to Happiness, rival gangs have come together under the United in Peace banner. In Juarez, Mexico, the city was rocked by 10 killings a day in 2010. Less than two years later, after every household had received a copy of The Way to Happiness, the city saw the murder rate drop some 20 percent. From India and Thailand to Venezuela and Guatemala, the calming impact of broad distribution of this booklet has been observed time and again.

The Way To Happiness – Voice For Humanity

“The situation in Ferguson is creating an even greater chasm between the white and black communities.  And frankly, it is being portrayed by the media as worse than it actually is,” says Coziahr. “We’ve been going into the area with copies of this booklet and a lot of people want to jump in and be part of the solution.

We have already used The Way to Happiness to reduce crime in St. Louis. And we are determined to restore calm in Ferguson. As Dr. King so wisely stated, ‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence. Toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.’”


Follow the Conversation on Twitter

1 comment

  • Robert Adams
    4:55 pm

    Clearly the answer is more religious leaders and values when it comes to dealing with civil unrest. That quote from Dr. King is so true “‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence. Toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.’”

    I’ve seen this work in Los Angeles after the 1993 Rodney King Riots when a Clergy Council was formed and worked with the Law Enforcement to bring peace to the streets.

Leave a comment