Scientology Volunteer Ministers rally to help victims of flooding in Queensland

February 13, 2011 at 4:26 am (Scientology, Scientology Religion, Volunteer Ministers) (, , , )

Scientology Volunteer Ministers literally digging in to help Queensland flood victims.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) from Australia and the United States are coming together in Brisbane to aid the victims of flooding in the north eastern part of the country.

In late December 2010 and early January 2011, three quarters of the state of Queensland was inundated by rainfall so heavy it occurs only once in every 100 years. The resultant floods have caused an estimated 1 billion Australian dollars in damage.

Not all areas of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, were affected by the flooding but in the low-lying areas the water reached to the rooftops of homes and cleanup is expected to take some time.

The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Cambell Newman, said that the Brisbane Municipal Council, “…has been humbled by the response we have received from people wanting to help. My message to everyone however is this clean-up is a marathon, not a race.”

The Volunteer Ministers who surveyed the flood’s aftermath are prepared to help as long as necessary as they begin handling the piles of debris and water-soaked belongings that dot the landscape. In addition to conducting cleanup operations, the VMs are providing succor in the form of food, drink and counselling to both victims and relief-effort volunteers.

For more than three decades, Scientology Volunteer Ministers, have responded to calls for assistance. Whether at the scene of major disasters or simply in helping family members get back into communication with each other, Volunteer Ministers operate by the motto given the organization by Founder L. Ron Hubbard: “Something Can Be Done About It.”


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Scientology Volunteer Ministers in 2010

February 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm (Church of Scientology, Scientology, Volunteer Ministers)

These guys are great!!!

2010: Scientology Volunteer Ministers Provide Aid World Over in the Wake Of Disaster

Over the course of the past twelve months, hundreds of thousands trained in the skills of the Scientology Volunteer Minister reached out and helped others in times of disaster. Their actions embodied the words of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard: “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.”

In the tradition of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, who worked tirelessly at Ground Zero in the months following 9/11, Scientologists took temporary leave of their homes, families and jobs in 2010 to help rescue the lives and livelihoods of victims of natural and manmade disasters.Bringing the disaster relief techniques that have made the Volunteer Ministers’ bright yellow tents and T-shirts a symbol of effective help at more than 200 disaster sites worldwide, in 2010 they provided physical and spiritual aid to victims and rescue workers at more than a dozen major disaster sites.

  • January 2010 – Haiti

The defining moment of 2010 Volunteer Minister service began just before 5 p.m. on January 12 when a 7.0 earthquake sent shockwaves through the nation of Haiti. In reply, on January 16, the Church of Scientology sponsored a chartered transport from JFK, carrying hundreds of doctors, nurses and EMTs—as well as Volunteer Ministers, to provide support services for medical teams. In the weeks following, the Church sponsored four additional chartered flights for volunteer medical teams. Owing to logistical bottlenecks to the island, the Church further sponsored the chartering of a former Coast Guard vessel to transport hundreds of tons of medical supplies, equipment, food, water and clothing. Additional Scientology Volunteer Ministers accompanied each charter, to provide support in makeshift hospitals, camps for the homeless and orphanages. Volunteer Ministers also provided care to the injured and displaced, delivering assists” to relieve spiritual and emotional trauma.

In total, working in liaison with international relief organizations, Volunteer Ministers from 22 nations stepped forward to answer the call for help in Haiti. As Vincent Gennaro, Assistant Chief of Surgery for Project Medishare’s Haiti Relief Effort put it, “No matter what we asked Volunteer Ministers to do—it didn’t make any difference. They didn’t ask any questions. They just did it.”

  • February 2010 – Chile

On February 27, an 8.8 earthquake devastated Chile, triggering three successive tsunami waves that struck coastal cities. Within hours, Chilean Volunteer Ministers were on the ground distributing supplies to the affected, in tandem with the Red Cross. Later joined by Volunteer Ministers from Mexico and the United States, they established their base outside Conception, the city hardest hit by the disaster. Their operation focused on providing logistical aid to disaster sites, from Donihue to Coltauco. Volunteer Ministers additionally teamed with naval personnel from the base in Vina del Mar. In providing emotional succor, more than 4,800 Chileans received help from Scientology Volunteer Ministers.

  • March 2010 – Uganda

In March, torrential rains in eastern Uganda touched off a series of mudslides, devastating villages. In response, Volunteer Ministers travelled from across the border in Kenya, assisting with search and rescue operations for unaccounted villagers. The Volunteer Ministers further assisted the displaced and injured living in “tent camps” housing nearly 30 thousand in the aftermath.

  • May 2010 – Nashville

On May 1, in the wake of Tennessee thunderstorms, the Cumberland River crested at 52 feet in Nashville—a level not seen since 1937. Volunteer Ministers mobilized from Nashville’s Church of Scientology, joining forces with local Red Cross. Volunteer Ministers also teamed with Hands-On Nashville, a local volunteer disaster unit, to provide on-the-ground coordination for relief efforts. Volunteer Ministers further established and operated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) food banks and vaccine stations in community centers across the city, in addition to assisting the National Guard with emergency ration distribution.

  • May 2010 – Guatemala

The Pacaya volcano erupted in Guatemala on May 28, with rising plumes 6 miles into the air. Guatemalan Volunteer Ministers immediately provided assistance in the shelters at Amatitlan. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha’s floods and landslides, Volunteer Ministers attended evacuees in shelters at Villa Canales and San Miguel Escobar. For their efforts, Volunteer Ministers earned the respect and recognition from CONRED (National Coordination for the Reduction of Disasters) and were placed on their rolls of disaster relief forces.

  • July 2010 – Pakistan

When floods struck the Indus River Basin, it stood as Pakistan’s worst natural disaster in memory. Volunteer Minister teams from Karachi escorted and cared for displaced children, provided much-needed rations and supplies, and airlifted emergency medical teams to bring antibiotics and fresh water to those afflicted.

  • September 2010 – New Zealand

When New Zealand was hit with a 7.1 earthquake, Volunteer Ministers from Auckland ran relief logistics in partnership with the local Red Cross.

  • September 2010 – Northern California

In San Bruno, California, San Francisco-based Volunteer Ministers were among the first responders to a gasline explosion. They worked shoulder-to-shoulder with civil defense personnel to help clean up debris and man emergency ration lines.


Through the course of providing disaster relief in the past 10 years, Scientology Volunteer Ministers have trained and partnered with more than 800 organizations, including the Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard, Salvation Army, Mexico’s International Rescue Brigade, Boy Scouts and hundreds of local, regional and national groups and organizations, giving freely of their skills, their care and compassion.

New 2010 Volunteer Minister Website

The Volunteer Ministers not only serve at worst-case disasters, but stand ready to provide help with everyday “disasters.” To expand this help, 2010 saw the launch of a new website: The site content has been translated in 17 languages and includes online training in assist technology, as well as practical skills to help individuals in need—including the resolution of marital strife, rearing children, overcoming drug addiction and much more.


The Scientology Volunteer Minister program was initiated by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1976. There are now hundreds of thousands of people trained in the skills of a Volunteer Minister across 185 nations.

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Meet a Scientologist, New Yorker and Subway Engineer: Under the Streets of Manhattan

February 7, 2011 at 1:44 am (Church of Scientology, Religion, Scientology) (, , , , )

Scientology helped Phil Hargrow, New Yorker and New York City subway engineer, come to terms with his grief and help others. His profile is one of over 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at

If you are one of 5 million people who daily ride the New York City subway system, Scientologist Phil Hargrow may be more important to you than you know.

A subway engineer for the past 26 years, Hargrow drives the Q train from Coney Island to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, under the Empire State Building and Times Square in Manhattan and on to Astoria, Queens.

Hargrow, 53, says every day presents unique challenges, from slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting a schoolboy who fell on the tracks as he pulled into the station, to helping a blind man get into the train after several hundred strangers stampeded past him to catch their connection, not to mention being the one on the receiving end of frustrated and angry passenger complaints.

“Irate passengers tend to vent their upsets on the man in the uniform,” says Hargrow.  “My Scientology communication skills make it easier not to take it personally. I understand where they’re coming from, let them know I got what they’re saying and that’s usually enough to chill them out.”

But it’s not just when they’re angry that people search Hargrow out.

“For some reason, I’m the type of person people come to—not only for questions on how to get around the subway, but they want to talk.  And each and every one of them has a different situation in their life.”

Hargrow credits Scientology with his faster reaction time and helping him stay alert, vital when you’re responsible for the safety of as many as a thousand people at a time.

A personal tragedy prompted Hargrow to look into Scientology.  Nine years ago, the death of a close friend in a car accident shattered him.

“There have been a lot of deaths in my family but this topped everything. For two years, I felt like I was weighted down,” he says.

Never much of a reader before, Hargrow knew he had to heal himself and for two years he read every religious and self-help book he could find.

“One day, I told a friend what I was going through and he pulled out the Dianetics book,” he says.  “I started reading it and got the Dianetics DVD.  A couple of days later I found an ad for a Dianetics Seminar in a paper someone left on my train and decided to check it out.  After just a few hours of Dianetics auditing (spiritual counseling—from the Latin audire, meaning ‘to hear or listen’) that unbearable weight was gone.”

“Dianetics brought me so much relief so fast, I thought about the people in the neighborhood who have lost loved ones, the mothers and fathers who have lost children, how much they need this technology now.”

Hargrow, who now serves as a staff member of the Church of Scientology of Harlem when he’s not driving trains says, “There’s no greater feeling in the universe than to help another person.”

View the Phil Hargrow video at

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The popular Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at now total over 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.

A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.


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