Volunteer Ministers Bring Help to Kumamoto, Japan

When two freak earthquakes within two days devastated Kumamoto prefecture on the southernmost island of Japan, Scientology Volunteer Ministers responded.

The Church of Scientology Tokyo mobilized a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers to help Kumamoto recover from two massive earthquakes that struck two days apart—a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on April 14 and a 7.0 on April 16.

Scientology Volunteer Minister gives a Scientology assist to man in shelter after the Kumamoto earthquake.
Scientology Volunteer Minister gives a Scientology assist to man in shelter after the Kumamoto earthquake. Developed by L. Ron Hubbard assists address the emotional and spiritual components in stress and trauma

At least 48 lost their lives in the earthquakes, which destroyed some 90 buildings and seriously damaged 1,000 more. An estimated 44,000 people were forced to leave their homes and move into temporary shelters.

Joining forces with the Tsunagari volunteer group, with whom they worked after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers organized and distributed thousands of boxes of donated food, water and clothing and are helping in shelters in the towns of Mifune and Mashiki in the hardest-hit area.

Once the most urgent needs were handled, and while continuing to distribute supplies, the Volunteer Ministers began to deliver their unique “spiritual first aid,” Scientology assists—techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard that address the emotional and spiritual components in stress and trauma. Assists help disaster victims come to terms with the loss and chaos they suffer, making it easier for them to solve the many problems that beset them.

“I had tremendous stress,” said a man in a Mashiki shelter. “It felt like my life stopped and I had no hope for the future. But during the assists these problems no longer seemed so important.”

An elderly woman came for help. What made the disaster even more distressing to her was the loss she suffered shortly before with the death of her husband. The loneliness was devastating. The assist gave her relief and kindled a desire for her to help other people.

Another woman, displaced by the earthquake, came to see the Volunteer Ministers because she couldn’t stop crying. The assist helped restore a sense of calm.

To date, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Kumamoto Disaster Response team members have provided relief or assists to some 10,000 people.


Created by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the mid 1970s, the Volunteer Minister program is a broad initiative bringing effective physical and spiritual assistance to anyone, anywhere. Expressly intended for use by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, anyone of any culture or creed may train as a Volunteer Minister and use these tools to help their families and communities. And all are welcome to do so.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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