I have been in touch with Shelley Ashurst today in the aftermath of the recent events detailed here.
I want to let everyone who has sent their hard earned money and sincere messages of support that you are enormously appreciated.
Shelley, Jean and the rest of the family are quite overwhelmed with the outpouring.
I didn’t realize until today that Jean is in a hospital that is a 2 hour drive from where Shelley and the rest of the family live. They are burning the candle at both ends trying to organize his care, handle the money and logistics, negotiate the bureaucracy of the hospital and medical establishment and respond to emails and messages etc.
Shelley was very concerned that she was unable to keep up with responding to everyone to thank them. I told her not to think about this right now, that everyone wants her attention on helping her son and his family, and not to be worried about getting thank you notes back to everyone. There will be plenty of time for that. So, if you don’t hear back from her immediately, blame me. I told her in no uncertain terms that I guaranteed every single person who reached out to help would 100% agree with me.
Shelley told me:
I don’t want ANYONE to feel that they’re going unacknowledged or ignored after all the care, interest, and generosity they’ve shown me & my family.
Today at the hospital I showed Jean the list of everyone who had responded so far. He broke down and sobbed his heart out for a while, then said “how am I EVER going to adequately thank all these people”? I told him the time for thanks will come, but for right now everyone just wants the best possible outcome & a speedy recovery for him.
I don’t know what to say anymore that describes how deeply humbled I am.
But it’s nice to be crying from relief, gratefulness, hope and joy for a change!
From my perspective, it is enormously satisfying and tremendously appreciated how many people have stepped up to the plate to help. They are not out of the woods yet, and if you are just coming across this and want to help, be sure that it will be appreciated. But it’s a very different scenario today than it was yesterday.
To me the last 36 hours starkly highlights the reality of the world of fake humanitarianism in scientology, where the “help” would be limited to “giving touch assists” and finding a “PTS item.” It is pretty amazing that a loose-knit bunch of people on the internet, many of whom don’t know one another, are a more cohesive, constructive and helpful group than scientology will ever be.
It feels so good to help others.
Have a wonderful weekend.
I want Shelley to know that I DO NOT want to be reimbursed for my donation. I donated because I can only imagine what Jean, Shelley, & the rest of her family is going through.
I have such empathy for her. If it were my son, I’d do anything to try to help him, just as Shelley is doing.
We got your back, Shelley! Lots of hugs being send your way.
The Shoemaker Family says
Our family isn’t rich (except for love and compassion that we can dish out whenever possible). We survived the cult and it makes it even more important to do that.
Before my thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behavior would have been different.
Since leaving I’ve grown the compassion seed in my heart. I regret I never had it before really…that’s not something you are taught or shown in the cult. How would I know how to “do” it?
Now I know. Reading how much Jean and Shelley have actually made the world a better place is enough to try to help with what I can. It’s not much and we don’t expect any response or thanks. Helping people shouldn’t require a “receipt” in our family’s world.
PS: I got blocked/locked out of donating directly to Shelley so it went to you, Mike.
Lois Reisdorf (Lowie) says
Thank you SOOOOO much Mike for this and thank you to everyone else who is helping the family. I know them personally and am so thankful and grateful that so many awesome people exist in this world. I too am in touch with Shelley and she is VERY busy trying to organize everything for her son & hopefully he will be in a private hospital soon and will be fully healed. You have no idea how appreciative they are,
Free Minds, Free Hearts says
Mike, thank you so much for helping Shelley and Jean. Like so many others, I made a small donation and do not want thanks or a repaid loan. I hope that our contributions will help her.
Chris Shugart says
“It is pretty amazing that a loose-knit bunch of people on the internet, many of whom don’t know one another, are a more cohesive, constructive and helpful group than scientology will ever be.”
Such wise words, Mike.
Taking care of herself and her family is more important than a thank you note!
I will say this… when I sent my donation I told Shelly that it was being sent “from 1 broken hearted Mom to another.” This sweet woman sent me back an email to offer a kind word and an offer for communication, should I need it! My heart is broken for their situation, regardless of my own.
No matter how much or little one has to help, I truly encourage each of us to donate whatever is possible. PayPal is easiest to use.
COS would do nothing to help this family, let’s show them what true community is in this world! I will also continue to pray for healing and guidance of the Drs. Please join me.
Angry Gay Pope says
It is a sad statement that here in the USA many people have to humiliate themselves with GOFUNDME campaigns for their healthcare that is free to all in Canada. Now people in African countries do the same thing. I’m tired of the USA having the best healthcare and the worst system. We are literally like a third world country if you are not rich!
Barb and Family says
I too just donated to your son’s speedy recover via Mike’s PayPal. I’ve learned that by helping another unconditionally I also get returns to me 10x’s over and above. My life is so blessed with health and family and their is NOTHING more important. As a mother I have you in all my meditations and prayers. LOVE
I just sent Shelley the following email:
I want to tell you that Mike just made a post on his blog explaining that you are worried because you have been unable to write thank yous to everyone that has sent money to help you.
I want you to know I understand and you don’t have to worry about thanking me. For a long time now, we have been inundated with all of the horrors this cult inflicts on people. So it felt good to be able to help you as a kind of counter-punch to what the cult does. Sending you some money felt like I was throwing a punch directly at the cult and its leader.
You do not have to repay me anything. The money I sent you was a donation – not a loan.
I wish your family all the best and hope you all recover as soon as possible.
Best wishes, Skyler.
I totally agree. Please concentrate on getting Jean the help he needs. I also do not expect to be re-paid.
jim rowles says
As Imaberrated said!
The gifts of love and some money is freely given in the hopes Jean can fully recover and at some future time be the giver.