The Birth of Renaissance Speakers

By Roberta Perry

Roberta Perry

Above and beyond the joy of learning, Renaissance Speakers is about friends, fun and L. Ron Hubbard!

Renaissance Speakers was birthed from my dream to marry Scientology and Toastmasters. The dream took shape one sunny Saturday afternoon at a Toastmasters District One conference.

As District One Governor, I was chairing the District Tall Tales Contest. Richard Stewart won first place…and he was fabulous!!!

Upon being handed his trophy, he thanked Dr. Smedley and L. Ron Hubbard. After the contest I backed him into the corner and quietly, but with enthusiasm, asked him if he was a Scientologist! With that “Yes,” the rest is history.

We chartered at Author Services, on our first meeting in September 1989 with over 30 members. I am so proud to be a Co-Founder of the best club on the planet!


Roberta Perry
Renaissance Speakers Co-Founder
Distinguished Toastmaster
Past Renaissance Speakers President
Past District One Governor
Toastmasters International Board of Directors

Founding the Renaissance Speakers

By Richard Stewart

Richard Stewart

I had been a Toastmaster for 10 years, and a Scientologist for 13 years, before co-founding the Renaissance Speakers in 1989 with Roberta Perry. I just couldn’t help to think what a great club we could have by combining the wonderful educational public speaking programs of Toastmasters International, with the Scientology Communication Courses, as well as the ‘Spirit of Play’ that is so pervasive throughout the world of Scientology.

In 1979, I joined Toastmasters in Houston, Texas. After winning the club-level Humorous Speech Contest, I was hooked! Later that year I won the District-Level Humorous Speech Contest and was invited to deliver the winning speech at the Houston Scientology Mission. As a result of this event, many new people were introduced to Scientology and several L. Ron Hubbard books were purchased.I realized, right then, the value of Toastmasters: If I could go from ground zero to actually entertaining a group of people – anybody could!

The following year I was elected Area Governor of my Toastmasters District and started five new clubs. (“Yes,” you could say I was a zealot.) Best of all, one of the clubs that I started was the Houston Scientology Mission club. We christened it “The Scientology Speakers.” It was a blast joining the two powerful groups of Toastmasters and Scientology together.

I wrote to L. Ron Hubbard in 1981 and told him the wins we were having with the Scientology Toastmasters club. He replied to acknowledge me and the Toastmasters group (Click here to view LRH Letter).

When I moved to LA in 1983, I got bored (and lonely) and then received some very good advice from Barbara Ayash, who, in a nutshell, told me what I needed to do was re-establish the successful actions I had going on in my life back in Houston. So I promptly joined a local Toastmaster club (Hollywood & Vine club) and lucky for me, I won the District Tall Tales Contest!

I was in sheer ecstasy when I discovered that the District Governor, Roberta Perry, was also a Scientologist. When she handed me the trophy for first place in the District Tall Tales Contest, I thanked her and the audience and said “I’d also like to thank L. Ron Hubbard for writing a book called Dianetics.”

Roberta walked up after the contest and introduced herself and promptly said, “Let’s start a Scientology Toastmasters club.” I, of course, promptly fell in love with her from that moment on (please don’t tell her).

I sincerely believe that if two or more people have similar intentions, especially if they are pro-survival intentions, they will wind up at the same time creating together.

The rest is wonderful history. And you will no longer hear the words “lonely” or “bored” from me, and I doubt from any Renaissance Speaker.

Please join in the fun!


Richard Stewart
Renaissance Speakers Co-Founder
Distinguished Toastmaster
Past President of the Renaissance Speakers
Three-Time Winner, District Humor Contests
Three-Time Winner, District Tall Tales Contests

About the Author

The Renaissance Speakers is an award-winning and prominent Toastmasters club hosted by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, California. Join us this weekend for a little "Saturday Night Live on Sunday Morning!" at Celebrity Centre, in the Theatre, at 5930 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA., 90028, from 9:00am to Noon, each and every Sunday. ALL ARE WELCOME!