Scientology Volunteer Ministers Provided Disaster Relief Efforts at 23 Sites

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The Church of Scientology International emergency response and disaster relief team, administered personal aid to over 23 international disaster sites in 2008, including the Sichuan Province earthquake in China, the Myanmar cyclone and the Mumbai terrorist attacks in India.

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A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers, the Church of Scientology International emergency response and independent relief organization, were responsible for overseeing one-on-one help at 23 separate disaster sites in 2008.

In May, Scientology Volunteer Ministers worked in conjunction with the Red Cross to deliver aid after a devastating 7.9 earthquake killed over 60,000 men, women and children in the Sichuan Province of China. Volunteer Ministers also used spiritual healing techniques that helped thousands who had lost homes and families regain control of their lives.

That same month, a medical doctor who is also a trained Scientology Volunteer Minister (VM) traveled with a Thai medical assistance team to cities in Myanmar struck by the devastating cyclone that killed an estimated 130,000. He and another medical doctor, who is also a Scientology Volunteer Minister, trained other MDs to perform Scientology Assists, or techniques that help people overcome the emotional and spiritual side of the trauma. A monk at the disaster site was utterly exhausted and in severe pain. When a Scientology Volunteer Minister gave him an Assist the monk announced, "The pain is gone!" and asked the Scientology Volunteer Ministers to train him and 50 other monks to deliver this procedure.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers worked with emergency firefighters in India to combat two major fires. In Johannesburg, South African Volunteer Ministers worked with police to provide shelter for hundreds of foreigners displaced during an outbreak of racial violence. In the U.S., Volunteer Ministers helped battle California brush fires. In Colombia, they dealt with floods in three different locations.

In late November, a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers arrived in Mumbai to help in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. The VMs went to Mumbai's Sir JJ Government Hospital, where they provided relief efforts to those injured in the attacks. For weeks, they went from bed to bed throughout the wards, helping victims with Scientology Assists. To help as many people as possible, they trained the families of the injured to do the simple procedures on their own. Two other hospitals asked for the Scientology Volunteer Ministers help when they heard how fast victims at that hospital were recovering.

Over thirty years ago the founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard, initiated a program to train Scientology volunteers to become Volunteer Ministers, who would indiscriminately help people in much the same way that the "barefoot doctors" of China used to do by medically assisting to those who could not afford professional help. Today, this program is carried out by thousands of Scientology Volunteer Ministers around the world, who act on a strictly volunteer basis providing unique services to help in any kind of difficulty. Scientology Volunteer Ministers have gained the reputation of being there for the long haul, staying until the situation is fully resolved without regard to their own personal comforts. Scientology Volunteer Ministers work very closely with other disaster emergency response groups and agencies, such as the Red Cross and local fire and police departments.

Disaster relief, however, is not the only work the Scientology Volunteer Ministers do. They help people who are sick, injured and addicted to drugs, as well as those who need to improve communication skills, resolve conflicts, or are suppressed. They help those who have ethical problems, whose marriages are suffering, those who need help in the workplace and more.

These volunteers are carrying out a mission expressed by L. Ron Hubbard, when he founded the Volunteer Ministers' program: "A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well."

To learn more about becoming a Scientology Volunteer Ministers, visit the website at http://www.volunteerministers.org.

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