I usually don’t post things like this here, because if I did every time someone asked me, it would be all this blog would contain. But for people I know personally, who have gone out of their way to help me, there can be no hesitation. I know if I asked for help in return it would be given unconditionally. I ask you to read this in its entirety, and if you can help, do so. There won’t be certificates or commendations, and you won’t be given a bowling trophy or lauded in a magazine as a “humanitarian,” but you will have done something to help someone and a family in dire need of assistance due to tragic, unpredictable events.
Shelley and Andrew and their their family are wonderful, good people. She has done an enormous amount to expose the abuses of scientology. If you can help (and note, she is asking for a loan not necessarily a donation and explains why) please do so.
Here is the full story.
I am approaching you on bended knee in the fervent hope that you would consider my plea for help.
Last week on Wednesday 5th May, my son Jean-Michel Viljoen (also an ex-Scio and declared around the same time as me) – was involved in a horrific vehicle accident.
He was working as a casual tour-bus driver/guide to and from South Africa & Mozambique as a temporary measure – previous to this he and his wife had been running a lodge in Mozambique and doing quite well for themselves, but then Covid hit and this pretty much wiped them out financially with both of them losing their jobs, medical cover and insurance etc – they’ve been living hand-to-mouth since as a result of the devastation of Covid on the tourism industry.
On the night question, he had picked up his first passenger and was heading towards his next stop on the motorway heading north when a drunk driver got onto the same side of the freeway heading south into oncoming traffic. He hit Jean’s vehicle at such high speed that the tour-bus folded up on impact – right onto Jean’s lower legs & feet – crushing & and mangling the hell of them.
Jean saw the car approaching at the last minute and stood on his brake so hard that it caused a compound fracture to his right femur, mangled his knee, broke his fibia and crushed the ankle and foot. His left leg suffered similar injuries except no femur break.
Very sadly, Jean’s passenger (sitting directly behind him) suffered an unrevivable injury (we suspect a possible internal decapitation but won’t know for sure until the autopsy is done) – and all Jean could do was drag himself – mangled legs and all – over to her and hold her hand as she passed away.
Because Jean had no medical insurance, his only option was to be taken to a Government Hospital. The hospital he was taken to is, in a nutshell, a horrific 3rd world cockroach-infested, rundown, decrepit, filthy, sprawling building. It is well-known and accepted in South Africa that if you land up in a Govt hospital, you’re pretty much screwed. Trying to describe to you what this place is like is so difficult.
He endured a 6-hour surgery on Thursday (awake and only with the aid of a spinal block – no anesthesia) to fix the left leg. Because of the severe swelling in his right leg (compartment syndrome) they had to perform a fasciotomy – a procedure which involves cutting down either side the entire length of the lower leg (literally to the bone) and leaving the wound open so the fluid can drain. And there he has lay from Thursday (6th May) – in agonizing pain with open leg wounds, multiple unstable, grinding fractures – and completely and utterly unable to move.
Patients are given a slice of toast and tea for breakfast, same for lunch and then a meagre inedible evening meal. Family are pretty much expected to provide everything – including decent blankets, pillows, proper food, fluids etc. The hospital will not allow ANYONE to see Jean except from 2pm-4pm each day – and then only 1 person at a time (this rule applies to all patients in the hospital).
I launched a crowd-funding platform for him and his family (Back-A-Buddy) – we do not have access to GoFundMe here in South Africa so I had to opt for a platform that is not exactly ideal, but we have managed to collect SOME money so far – all of which I am eternally grateful for.
The donations will assist the family with their relocation to and living expenses in South Africa and help provide necessary rehab, physio and specialized after-care that Jean during the long road of recovery ahead. The problem with the platform is they only pay over the money on the 10th of each following month (i.e. any donations in May only get paid out on the 10th June) – and they take a pretty hefty fee (12%).
Another problem is that people who are paying in foreign currency are experiencing difficulties with the website (some are managing though) – and this has curtailed our success somewhat. Other folks have sent money through my PayPal account and others (local friends) have done the odd donation directly into my bank account.
Link of the crowd-funder is here.
We’re plodding on with the donations as fast as we can, but it’s not enough for our immediate and urgent need.
On Wednesday (12th May) morning, Jean was supposed to go into surgery again to stabilize his right leg.
Again, a spinal block, no anesthetic – – but this time they did give him a sedative, so he dozed off for a while. When he woke up, he discovered to his horror that all the doctor had done was close the fasciotomy (one side of which required a skin graft taken from his thigh) – and they had not touched the smashed bones.
The surgeon who did the closing of the wounds told Jean that he was not happy to go in “blind” on a serious and complex operation & that he needed adequate scans, x-rays and cat-scans to be able to do the procedure (Jean has been back and forth to radiology a number of times so we cannot fathom why they wouldn’t have done these procedures already).
Jean was then told that he probably won’t be operated on again until next week – and even then, it could end up being a number of surgeries (instead of just the one to fix everything at the same time as would happen in a private hospital environment) – he could be facing up to 3 more surgeries and could be in that hospital for a long time. Our worry is that the longer these wounds and fractures remain untreated, the greater risk to Jean – thrombosis, infection and God forbid, losing his leg.
The surgeon (who Jean likes and trusts) also said he couldn’t personally guarantee that he would be working on Jean as they hand out the surgery duties on a roster system, and it’s just pot-luck who you get on the day. This means Jean could have a sub-par foreign Cuban, Ghanaian or Congolese doctor work on him next – who knows?
Jean lost it at this point. He phoned me, absolutely broke down and said “mom I can’t do this anymore”, I cannot carry on – it’s just too much now”. He was besides himself.
Since being admitted, Jean’s suffered from crippling panic attacks and flashbacks. On top of the pain, he is wracked with grief and guilt over the burden of the passenger who died “under his watch”. Jean is a person who saves lives (he’s a highly qualified rescue diver) – this is absolutely killing him emotionally. His wife is understandably an emotional wreck too. We’re managing to keep their son Caleb out of the fray (he stayed with me for a couple of days and is now with a friend for a few days). When Caleb saw first his dad in hospital, he fainted. When he next saw him, he again nearly fainted, but we managed to abort a full-blown blackout.
Jean is in agony and a constant worsening state of physical & emotional suffering – and it’s tearing my heart out.
Jean is a very highly qualified Rescue, Instructor & Recreational PADI Diver and qualified Yacht/Boat Skipper. His legs are basically his life, his source of income and the only way he is be able to provide for his family into the future (they have a young son, Caleb – my grandson – 10 years old). My son is 38 and has his whole life ahead of him.
Jean is an amazing, giving person. If anyone is in trouble, Jean is the first to drop everything and run to their aid – friend or not. He joined a police dive team in 2004 to recover bodies tragically lost in a flood in Johannesburg. After the 2004 Tsunami, he flew to India 3 for weeks (all expenses paid by himself) to assist with the devastating aftermath. In 2007 he paid for and arranged donations of equipment and resources & then set off on a 24 hour road trip to northern Mozamabique where he worked together with other charities (including UNICEF) aiding displaced and starving victims affected by the devastating floods experienced that year. During Hurricane Dineo in 2017, he and his wife Kirsty afforded shelter, food and warmth to people during the storm and then Jean went out in the middle of the floods & carnage to find friends, rebuild people’s homes and assist where he could. They arranged truckloads of donations of food, staple products, fresh water and necessities for the hundreds of stranded and homeless victims after the hurricane to be sent across the border from South Africa.
Jean gives his help wherever needed, and he is now in need of support himself.
Our hope & prayer is to get Jean out of that hospital and into private care so that he can have the best chance of a full recovery. The problem is that in our country, no private hospital or doctor will touch you without cash on the table upfront first (unless you have medical insurance which Jean does not). It is estimated the surgeries and hospital care needed would probably be in the region of R400,000.00 (approx. $30,000.00 – or £20,000 – or €25,000 in foreign currencies ).
Andrew and I are already in the process of applying for a re-advance on our home loan as we were preparing to do some repairs & touch-ups prior to putting our house on the market. We have enough equity in our property to MORE than cover the money Jean needs for private care. But this all takes time – which is not on our side right now.
It was then that I had an idea. If I approached some folks who would be willing to up-front a personal LOAN (NOT a donation) – we could get Jean into a private hospital under the care of a specialist orthopedic surgeon, giving Jean the best chance of a full recovery. Andrew and I will stand personal surety on the loan/s and as soon as our re-advance is approved or property is sold, we will honour and pay back the loans raised.
In any event, Jean stands to receive a large payout from the Road Accident Fund – but this is a VERY lengthy process (I am talking years here) which has to be handled by attorneys. We are currently working on this. A close personal friend of mine (an advocate and also ex-SCN) has told me Jean’s Road Accident Fund case is an open and shut case – and he will get a substantial payout – estimated in excess of R2 Million when all is said and done. But this can take between 2-4 years to occur.
Right now I have an URGENT need and the only solution I have is to approach those who can afford it & agree to loan us the money on the understanding that Andrew and I are good for it and they WILL be paid back. The only thing we ask is that any loan is given interest-free.
My advocate friend has gone out of her way for me by personally referring us to a highly recommended Orthopedic Surgeon with whom she has been dealing on a legal matter. He has agreed to consider taking on Jean’s case & I am awaiting quotes and estimates of his fee plus what the hospital and ancillary services would cost.
Although this money is a HUGE sum by South African standards, in reality if I could garner enough overseas support it would take 30 UK/Euro or USA friends to agree to upfront approx. $1200 (or the equivalent in €/£) with personal guarantees from me to pay this money back. If we manage to pull this off, we would be done and dusted and able to move Jean out of the hellhole he’s in.
I understand this is a HUGE ask – and I would absolutely understand if you cannot participate or opt not to be involved. But right now, I am reaching out to anyone and everyone who might be able to help – and so here I am.
If you are willing to help this cause, I will truly be indebted to you and grateful beyond words.
The best way to get the funds over here from outside of South Africa is probably via PayPal – my account is linked to this address: email@example.com – I am in touch with my bank to see if there are cheaper ways to get forex on an urgent basis.
Alternatively, I will provide my bank details if you email me. My contact details should you wish to get in touch directly are as follows:
Cell Number: +27836042718
If you’re not able to assist with the upfront loan option, then may I rather appeal to you to do a small donation using one of the platforms (either Back-A-Buddy or preferably PayPal). Even if it’s $50 – every single cent counts right now – and the more we can get this message out there, the better. If you’d be willing to share this plea and message on your own network of friends, that would also be amazing.
I am continuing to come up with inventive ways of ongoing straight donations via various fundraising platforms as this is crucial to keeping Jean & Kirsty going with their living expenses while he recovers and is finally able to get back on his feet. Many folks have already kindly donated to this cause – and I am deeply thankful to everyone who has contributed thus far.
I am including a couple of pics of the accident scene and the hospital – just to give an idea of what we’re up against.
I’ve also attached a couple of the family in happier times.
I thank you for taking the time to read this, and look forward to hearing from you should be willing or able to help.
With heartfelt gratitude & deep appreciation,
I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. I’ve sent a donation through PayPal- I’m sorry I wrote Mike but meant Jean. Wishing him a speedy recovery. I will share with friends. All the best, Becka
Davina Ireland says
I so hope everything goes well for everyone in your family and your son gets the treatment he needs so desperately! I’ve sent what I could it’s not much though. I’m from Scotland so posts are reaching the other side of the world!
Paul Cocovinis says
Least I can do. Please keep us updated as and when you can Mike.
Mike – Donation for Shelly’s family just sent to your PayPal.
If you’d kindly pass it on I’d be appreciative.
V Vendetta says
I saw a link to this in Comments on the Underground Bunker and I’m in tears at this tragic accident – I contributed what I could via PayPal. Though a never-in, I’ve read & commented on both of these blogs for over four years, as well as seen Aftermath, read many of the ex-sci books & even had a little “up close and personal” with OSA thuggees.
Please keep us updated on how Jean-Michel and his family are doing. I’ve seen our community come together to help “our own” many times…this is a human need for help at the highest & deepest level and I’m trusting our Heroes of the Heart to rise to even greater heights in service to this family.
I fear this post may result in a duplicate post. If it does, pls ignore the other one.
Hello V Vendetta. I posted a note to Tony Ortega’s site about Shelley. Thank you and Bless you for responding to that note. Two other people also responded. I thought it felt good to donate to Shelley. But it feels WONDERFUL to know my note on another site resulted in more people donating. I wonder how many other sites there may be where we could post more about Shelley? Even if it results in only one person donating to Shelley, wouldn’t it be worth it? My first thought is about Reddit.
I’ve never used Reddit but I have to ask if anyone here is familiar with Reddit and could volunteer to post a note there. I think a huge number of people read Reddit so a note there could have a nice result for Shelley.
The note I posted on Tony’s site would not be appropriate for Reddit because it references South Africa as you will see. Maybe someone here could change it to be appropriate for Reddit? Here is the note I posted:
You mentioned South Africa and I’m very sorry to get Off Topic. But there is something going on in South Africa that may be of interest to anyone here who wants to help someone who has left the cult and is now in need of some help trying to cope with life after the cult.
I refer you to yesterday’s edition of Mike Rinder’s blog and I hope that Tony will not feel this post is in poor taste for me to make.
A former member of the cult has posted a story that will break your heart. Please be warned this story contains images that may be sensitive for younger readers.
Mike? Can you please help? Is it possible you could post to Reddit? Or maybe you know someone who could? Maybe you could withhold publishing this post until you decide what to do (if anything) about Reddit?
Pls excuse me if I am being inappropriate for suggesting people should post to another board?
Prayers for this family. I am keenly aware of my blessings….and am glad you posted this, giving me an opportunity to share what I could with someone so deserving of help.
Manecki Neckbeard says
Ok! I sent what I could via PayPal, with a note letting the recipient know it was from me via this site. Please let me know if there are any issues receiving the funds!
FWIW, I was never a member of the Co$, so I’m sure I’ll be unfamiliar. Thus my concern about ensuring the funds make it through.
Manecki Neckbeard says
As a parent whose child was critically injured in an auto crash, my heart goes out to this man and his family in a way that I honestly can’t even find words to properly express.
Suffice it to say that whilst I don’t have piles of liquid income laying around, I will absolutely & unhesitatingly donate whatever I can. My only request is that I not be paid back; as a Jew, the concept of unconditional Tzedakah (which is most often roughly translated as “charity,” although it literally means simply “justice”) is one of my highest spiritual and moral imperatives. To paraphrase one of my favorite talmudic sayings: “To save one single life is equivalent in the Divine Sight to saving every life on earth.”
I’m not really the praying type, but please know that I am absolutely sending the most powerful and intense thoughts & hopes possible, for both healing and respite, that I can conjure to both him and his family. My heart is truly breaking just reading this, but also bursting with pride and joy at the pure generosity of my fellow humans. May he and his family find as much comfort as possible in knowing that this world is full of strangers who DO care and ARE willing to help.
Ok. I’ll get right on seeing what I can manage with PayPal. Best wishes to the patient, his family and also— thank you, Mr. Rinder, for boosting such a vital (not to mention GENUINE) humanitarian message! As you said, there won’t be any shiny trophies for this…but that’s only because the actual reward is so vastly, incalculably more valuable!
Andrea Garner says
$20 donated for Shelley and Jean via Mike’s Paypal. Sorry Mike, I couldn’t find a way to notify you that it was from me. Thank you for helping Shelley – she must be at her wits end with worry. I can’t begin to imagine what the family is going through.
Love to you all.
(No refund or return required.)
Sent my donation this morning. Such a sad situation. I simply cannot imagine if anyone I loved (especially my son) were subjected to such a disgusting and ill-equipped “hospital”. The conditions are beyond inhumane. Makes me sick to my stomach.
SHELLEY, I sincerely hope you receive the funds you need to relocate your son to a private hospital so he can have a very good chance at recovering from all this.
My heart breaks for you. I was never a $cientologist but am more than willing to help people in genuine need. Sending a few hugs your way… from one mom to another.
**[P.S. — MIKE, I donated through your PayPal, noting that it was for Shelley Ashurst]**
Mike Rinder says
Thanks so much to you and anyone else who has donated to this cause. It is greatly appreciated.
Amanda Gillispie says
I sent a little money via paypal hope it goes thru. No repayment needed or wanted. Hope all works out well for as soon as possible.
The Tree Man says
I have been reading here for a few years now, but this is my 1 post I was stuck by the this, and have made a donation via the Donate button at the top of here.
Please can you kindly forward it for me.
God bless Shelley, and stay strong
David Griffiths says
To be allowed to help in a stranger’s time of need is a wonderful gift. There are so many awesome people in the world if one just turns off the news. Thank you Mike for posting this. Sending what I can now. Lets get that young man (he is significantly younger than me) out of that “hospital” and on his way to proper healing. I pray that this is enough and that he comes through this in flying colors. I also pray that all involved can heal emotionally. The PTSD must be awful. Strength and courage for all in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
I sent a small donation to Mike and he has advised me that he has sent it to you.
I wish you and your family all the best.
Mike, please ignore the emails I sent you searching for the best way to send Shelley a donation. I finally figured out that I could just use the Donate option on your site.
So I sent you the money in US dollars which will save you the bother of trying to convert my country’s money into yours.
I wish Shelley’s family the very best with this problem.
I read where you are considering posting your history with this cult somewhere and I’d like to suggest one good place for you to do that.
There is a message board called, “The Ex-Scientologist Message Board” and they have a special section where people post their histories with this cult. If you are interested, you can read my history in post #13 at https://forum.exscn.net/threads/hello-from-ali-shibaz.49451
I used the alias “AliShibaz” on that board.
Upon re-reading my above statement where I wished your family the best of luck with this “problem”, I felt embarrassed at calling the catatstrophe you are now facing a problem. I stayed up all night thinking what I would do and how I would handle such a catastrophe and I just have no idea.
I certainly hope people come forward with more donations and suggestions to help you.
The only other comment I have for you is that you couldn’t have picked a better person than Mike Rinder to ask for help.
From one ex-Scnist to another, I donated what I could. I hope things improve quickly.
I paid via PayPal, to firstname.lastname@example.org. No problem.
The Shoemaker Family says
Shelley – I don’t know you but your story is so tragic and I want to help make it better for all of you.
Our family is donating. I wish it could be more and I’m hoping those with more can spare more.
Little bits will add up!
Scott H says
I’m happy to help a true cause. The pictures alone sent a shiver down my spine. Stay strong, a lot of people care deeply about you and your family.
Shelley Ashurst says
Thank you so very much! I have already received notification of your kind donation.
With deepest gratitude & fond regards,
Wife and I don’t have health insurance so have to negotiate a “fair price” for all medical needs. We have used http://www.mdsave and http://www.healthcarebluebook to learn what prices are fair and then negotiated for deep discounts. We have saved tens of thousands a year doing so. It is a little known practice but we find that doctors are quite willing to accept the fair prices and I believe this is because there is then no insurance company involved. On a recent trip to the ER the doctor bill was $1650. When told we had no insurance they willingly reduced it to $600. Just because we asked.
Anyway, I recommend you try this too. It has truly helped us as we have so little income we cannot even buy health insurance.
Hope this helps,
I tried to send $$$ through PayPal to the shelleyashurst, etc address, but PP said it did “not recognize.” So, question – if I send it to the 22juno(etc) address, will you receive it, Shelley? I hope to be able to help!
Mike Rinder says
Briget — I had no trouble.
If this is proving a problem, you can make the donation on my PayPal for the blog here and note that it is for Shelley and I will relay to her.
Thanks – I will do that!
Mike, its Aqua. I’ll also be making a modest donation to Shelley via your blog this Sunday. No need for her to pay anything back. Glad to help such as I can. Thanks in advance for being willing to forward it to her.
Karen de la Carriere says
Shelley Ashurst had an amazing blog which helped a lot of people.
Fabulous to see Mike Rinder post this.
Donation gladly sent and I might do another next week.
This is one girl that deserves our support in this time of need.
Here’s her blog
This is really sad. Made me think of how I would feel if it were my son. Gonna donate when I get home from work.
Hello Katherine. I know how you feel. I don’t have any children but I was up all night thinking about what I would do if this catastrophe ever happened to me and it is certainly possible that it could happen to me.
It could happen to any of us.
I’ve been re-watching Scientology and the Aftermath series for the fifth or sixth time (as I’m under the weather) and have been praying for a way to be of some direct help to a former Scientologist. Grateful I am in a position to help, thank you, Mike, for sharing this need.
Thanks for sharing this story Mike. I sent a small donation and many blessings for a good outcome of all the surgeries. <3
Shelley Ashurst says
Dearest Mike and all those reading/commenting here.
Firstly, I cannot thank Mike enough for agreeing to post this. I knew it was a long shot and almost didn’t send it as I felt it unfair to even ask him – but when I got his response, I couldn’t quite grasp his unhesitatingly swift, gracious and kind response to put my plea on his blog. Tears of relief, thankfulness and joy have flowed copiously today.
To try explain my gratitude, respect and appreciation for the help that people like Mike & others have given me & my family so unselfishly is beyond me right now. The words “thank you” just seem so woefully inadequate at a time like this. I found a lovely quote that may help to express my thoughts:
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others” – (Cicero).
With all my love & appreciation,
Jere Lull says
Good luck, Shelley and Jean. There’s nothing I can say to ease your burden and pain. Wish there were, of course. Drunk drivers…. Wish there was SOMEthing more that could be done to eliminate them, but I suspect they’re getting the word world-wide that it’s NOT good to drink & drive. Now, I know that doesn’t do anything for those who have been harmed in the past, but I hope it prompts normal, average people to help stop their friends and acquaintances NOT to drive drunk. Once, A waitress helped get the keys away from my blotto friend. She was cute about it. That night, I walked home. It was only a couple of miles and I was in good shape, but it did get through to him … a little, for a short time. A very few years later, he died from diabetic complications he also didn’t take seriously enough.
jim rowles says
I heard about it only indirectly through your entry here. Thanks for sharing this Mike.
PayPal is free when sending to friends and family only in the US.
Since Shelly is in SA the fee is 2.9% +.30
That’s much less then 12%.
And she’ll get it today 🙂
The address you need for PayPal is shellyashurst@gmail (same as above)
Then select the Friends and Family tab after entering the address and amount.
Thanks Mike for letting us help.
From one heartbroken Mom to another, please accept my small donation.
Shelley Ashurst says
I am so sorry to hear that you’re a heartbroken Mom (although I don’t know the circumstances). If ever you need an ear or a (virtual) shoulder to cry on, please contact me with pleasure. There is nothing quite like similar experiences to bring souls together in mutual empathy. Thanks so very much for your donation.
With love & thanks,
Human beings always show up when people are in need, thanks for being one Mike Rinder.
Shelley Ashurst says
I couldn’t have said it any better. Mike has been a bastion of strength for me in my journey out of the cult – he was one of the first people I reached out to when my feet were being held to the fire. He has always treated me with patience, kindness, respect and love. I know he does the same for many others too. A true man among men.
Ammo Alamo says
I’d love to de-populate my entire retirement fund and send as much as she and her son need, but that is impossible since we are living so close to the edge. I know there are people who read this that have at least a modest amount of wealth, and implore them to donate to their personal limit.
Many in the US have recently received $2,000 in government ‘free money’. It was $600 in the first payout, and recently another $1400. For those out of work or otherwise without income or in need, this money has been little enough, but a godsend nevertheless. For some of us, who are getting by in modest comfort and have a large enough retirement fund, that money is simply an unexpected windfall.
I urge everyone who possibly can to use at least some of their recent US government windfall to gift to this cause. The outcome of the patient is plain to see if he can’t get out of that hospital and into proper care.
I do not know this family, but if Lois Reisdorf and Mike Rinder vouch for her, that’s good enough for me.
Shelley Ashurst says
Dear Ammo Alamo,
Thank you so very much for your support and encouragement. People like you are a shining light in times of turmoil. Thank you also much for sending me that personal message via email – and for your very generous donation. When this is all over and I have time to breathe a little, I would be very happy to get in touch personally and tell you a bit about my SCN history which dates back 3 generations to the 1950s when my mother worked personally with Hubbard many years ago (thank God she got out with me just before she passed away in 2014).
All the very best with heartfelt thanks and love,
Hello Shelley. In case you may not know, there is a message board called “Ex Scientologist Message Board” and they have a special section where people can post the stories of their involvement in this cult.
If you are interested, you can read my history in post #13 at https://forum.exscn.net/threads/hello-from-ali-shibaz.49451
I used the alias “AliShibaz” on that board.
I sent a donation to Mike Rinder and he told me that he sent it to you. I know you said that you would repay all the money that people send you. But I want you to know that I sent you this money as a donation and there is no need for you to repay it. All I want is for Jean to emerge from this catastrophe satisfactorily.
Lois Reisdorf (Lowie) says
MY VOUCH FOR SHELLEY:
Many of you will remember that I was on Season 1 of The Aftermath series and I have also written a series of stories on Mike’s Blog a few years back about my time working with L. Ron Hubbard as a young teenager.
I am also a South African (now in the US) and have a very good friend, Shelley Ashurst who is a fellow ex-Scientologist, who lives in South Africa. She is in dire need of financial help for her son, as described in her story. Knowing Shelley & her family and what South Africa is like, I wanted to vouch for her description of the medical situation there. For her son to be in a government hospital is the worst thing you can imagine, there is nothing in the US which can even get close to what this situation is. I am urging anyone who can help, to please do what you can do.
It has been very hard for her to ask for help, but obviously a Mom will do anything for her child, who is in real desperate need.
Shelley has been very helpful to our cause as she had so much information about the scientology situation in South Africa.
Shelley Ashurst says
I phoned you last night and could hardly talk through the tears and anguish, you were the calm in the storm and voice of reason for me. Had it not been for you & Mike, this would not have happened! I will forever be in your debt for the love & kindness you showed me last night. My deepest gratitude & thanks to you, Gary and family.
All my love,
Joe Pendleton says
Thank you for posting, Mike. The right thing to do.
Shelley Ashurst says
Thanks Joe. Love Shelley