Pictured above is a recent Scientology press release…
Typical of scientology, they are trying to position themselves once again with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). This is a very important thing in the scientology world — “gaining acceptance” and “creating allies” who legitimize the organization. They hope these people will throw them some bones and recognize them in some way which they will then use when their abuses are exposed. “Look at all our good works, we could not possibly be abusing people. See, we are alongside FEMA and the Red Cross — if we were really abusing people would these organizations have anything to do with us?” is the implied message.
The videos of over 45 organizations, including the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR), the American Red Cross, Adventist Services, Team Rubicon, and the Salvation Army, are featured on the FEMA website.
Rev. Susan Taylor, National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response organization and chair of the Washington, DC VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), recently hosted the DC VOAD meeting, sharing the disaster work of their local organizations and emphasizing the FEMA Partnership Month’s video exhibit as well as the many virtual meetings being held during the month’s celebration.
Of course, there are NO specifics on what they have done. Just some photo ops. But the release goes on, again in typical scientology style, proclaiming how natural disasters are becoming more prevalent — to make it appear their efforts are legitimate and needed.
Natural disasters have increased over the last several years not only in number but length of seasons as well. Tornado season now extends into December as experienced by communities hit by December 2021’s ten devastating tornados in western Kentucky.
Supporting this fact, an article on Bankrake.com noted: “Data from U.S. government agencies has proven that natural disasters are becoming more prevalent and storm-related property damage costs are increasing. 2020 and 2021 were the worst years on record for the most natural disasters. In 2021, 20 weather-related disasters totaled more than $1 billion in damages each and $145 billion in total combined damages overall, making it the third costliest year in history for natural disasters. 2020 recorded a jaw-dropping 22 recorded billion-dollar weather events. Not only are natural disasters becoming more common, they are also becoming more widespread. For instance, in 2021, Texas and other parts of the South experienced a winter storm event that caused widespread power outages and multiple pile-up car accidents. Also, in late 2021, the first known derecho in December to occur in the U.S. caused extensive damage in the upper Midwest.”
And then, the final bit — how their “scripture” tells them to “help those in need no matter what the circumstances” (step outside the DC “National PR Office” or the DC “ideal org” and ask the people on the street what scientology has EVER done for them….
The Church of Scientology’s long-term commitment to help is written throughout its scriptures. The Scientology Handbook, based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion, defines the role of the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers. Mr. Hubbard wrote, “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.”
Scientologists assist people in hospitals recover from illness or injury, they help the underprivileged secure a valuable education by improving their ability to study, they heal troubled marriages, they salvage lives from drug abuse, they are active in criminal rehabilitation, in raising society’s moral standards and they are on the scene to bring relief to those victimized by disaster.
By being part of the VOAD, scientology is linking itself with FEMA, trying to make itself seem to be on the same level as the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
The truth is that scientology “disaster relief” ONLY happens when there is a photo op and opportunity to try to get some good PR. And these disasters are ALWAYS an opportunity for some more fundraising.
Todd Cray says
Also, it is interesting to note what they do in their “partnerships” with legitimate organizations. Typically, they focus on “delivery.” Delivery, that is, of goods that other organizations have paid for. In other words, let someone else run the race. Then bamboozle the real runner into letting you run the victory lap, complete with all the photos and coverage. And all the fundraising “required” to support volunteers who show up to do very little but still pay out of their own pockets.
Fortunately, all of this matters very little. Most regular folks, wogs, would be unable to tell who the VMs are. Let alone know that they are associated with this “church.” However, the cult’s reputation has taken a severe beating even with those who otherwise know very little about it; and it continues to. No amount of VM deployments and photo ops is likely to change that.
* “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.”
Ah, but the infernal blabberer said many things, quite a few of them much more revealing about the real intent of Scn and it’s brand of “help”. Would be a pity if someone compiled a whole list of quotes demonstrating his, and his organizations’ callous disregard for humanity combined with detailed facts about their style of “help” (touch assists, passing out water bottles another organization brought while getting pictures taken before they leave).
Sadly, I might say something about ulterior motivation, but I’ve seen far far too many religious groups do little better — angling for converts when they offer any ‘help’ with their “God sent me to help you” lines.
As a completely separate point, I find it vaguely amusing how very carefully they skirt away from any admission the increasing disasters and longer storm seasons are related to climate change.
To a Never In (Like me) Scientology appears to be a disaster.
Off topic. I’ve just pre-ordered your book on audible. I’m so glad you’ve written it and really looking forward to it!
It amazes me that they still have the people and energy to put on the pretense that they’re a large humanitarian organization, when they’re a very small and shrinking, cynically self-serving one. It’s also of course somewhat sickening, that they get away with it.
When I was still in, a friend called me asking for money to fund his way t some disaster to help out as a Volunteer Minister. I said doesn’t the church fly you there on their dime? He said no we have to raise our own money to get there. I thought with the millions the church and the IAS had that they could use some of that money to fly VM’s to disaster areas. Maybe even put them up somewhere and pay for that too. But no they didn’t. Also there was no accounting and transparency. No reports came back of, tis is how much it cost me to go and this is how much money I got from people, and there is a lot left over so instead of keeping it, I will give it to the church. I think this guy I knew wanted to get a lot of money and keep most of it.
And doesn’t anyone fundraising for the CofS, stand to make the 15% FSM commission? That’s the dirty secret that drives a lot of it, and maybe even keeps Scientology going to the extent that it still is, that there are people who profit off of it and even live off of it like that.
If commissions don’t apply to fundraising for VM activities, I’d like to see a clear delineation of just what they do and don’t apply to.
jim rowles says
What did scientology EVER do for me?
Well, they took my money and some of my time. But most importantly they took my REACTIVE MIND. I consider it a fair trade.
Beth G says
Be careful, don’t want to get caught on a SP’s blog. You don’t want to get sec checked, it’s expensive.
jim rowles says
Thanks for the concern Beth. In truth I did secchecking on 2 sea orgers as an auditor, but it was auditing as a review action so i was good with it. Never had secchecking done on me.
A real seccheck is not auditing so i would decline to pick up the cans and would tell them that I needed to get my tape recorder from my car before they begin. Plus, at this point I ain’t nobody to them.
So you can rest easy for me.
Fred G. Haseney says
Re: “Natural disasters have increased over the last several years not only in number but length of seasons as well.”
It’s all just a “dangerous environment” out there, isn’t it, scientology? Instilling fear is quite a control mechanism, isn’t it, David Miscavige?
Lies! All lies! After 37 years in your Godless “church,” you can’t fool me.
Is the world listening to your bullsh*t?
I think not!
Lili R says
The uncomfortableness of the do nothing activities act of the Scientology volunteer ministers, of which I was one briefly, drove me to volunteer with other organizations.
There was no training for us volunteers. There was little organization with us volunteers, but I’ll tell you what they did spend time on, dredging up money to fly someone’s teenage son to the Katrina area so that he could hand out water bottles that were donated by another parishioner.
Yup, they never missed an opportunity to ask for lots of money to help other people, who they were not helping.
The very last people you want helping you on your block after your natural disaster is the Scientology volunteer minister’s.
We didn’t know CPR, we didn’t have the phone numbers of the relief agency’. The person in charge had a camera around their neck instead of a database of people to reach out to help someone with a broken arm, or to call someone to tell them how to turn off a gas main.
One of our local parishioners had a gung Ho teenage daughter who really wanted to help. And this girl genuinely wanted to help. She came home with some sort of jungle disease and had to have lots of medical help to sort it out. It took a while. But there were lovely pictures of her hugging traumatized islanders.
It’s funny, I mentally accused myself of being a new – sympathy case app the case after that incident. Because I always said no to the donating, and no to the putting on the yellow shirts and being a volunteer minister. I think people actually quit calling me because I was probably the only upstat person in the area who just refused to do anything about the Scientology volunteer minister’s program. But I did give to other organizations without mentioning it to my Scientology friends. I did give to the Red Cross because tbecause they trained their people and they had a plan.
It sickens me to remember a big donation event I went to where they talked about how the Red Cross volunteers saw how efficient and productive the Scientology VMs were, and 1 or 2 of them came over to participate with the Scientologists because they felt they weren’t doing enough with the Red Cross. Looking back on that lie is just sickening.
FEMA, it’s not worth it.
Wow. You had actual experience with them. You should go on Mike and Leah’s podcast and talk about that. Or go on Aaron Smith Levins podcast also. This information you have should be out out there from you who has been there and done it. Thank you.
I agree with Rose Mary. You should go on a Podcast and tell about how they lied by saying they were so good that the Red Cross came to them to join forces. What a lie. Also many lied and said they were so helpful at the 9/11 Ground Zero at the New York bombing of the Twin Towers, that they were the only outside group let into the Ground Zero to help people. That is a bald face lie too. Someone should publicly call them out for this.
Lily R says
I agree it would be great to have a podcast peopled with ex-Scientologists who were roped into VMing. My experience was fairly minimal, but I know there were Scientologists who leaned in and really wanted to help. Their good intentions and volunteer time would have been better spent with real organizations.
Another heinous PR action the cherch crowed about at a big videoed event was the time that they got their 800 number on the screen I think during 9-11 for people to call for I think counseling. The Public Relation person who authored that shady bit of marketing magic no doubt got a commendation chit for their Bright Idea.
I bet you could go into a Scientology Org today and pretend to be a new person and get routed to the video kiosks showing Scientology’s “Impact” on the world and hear the flat-out lies from years ago. Even though ex-Scientologists have told the truth in various places on the internet about what really went on with the Volunteer Ministers Program, outing the cherch’s lies, chances are they are still slinging the same claims.
Hey Alex Gibney, how about an expose on the cherch and their “largest Volunteer Minister organization on earth” claims. Yeah, they said that over and over again when I was in.
The sad thing is, I knew it was BS and I just looked in another direction and carried on in my quest for superpowers.
We all did that (know some thing were BS and we just looked in another direction and carried on in our quest or super powers.)
Scientology apparently NEVER has enough funds.
I Yawnalot says
How long is a piece of string?
About that long.