Calm and Caring Influence in Virgin Lands

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Amazon River Goodwill Tour marks seven years of service. Group has provided one-on-one help to more than 200,000.

Flooding is so commonplace along the Amazon River that in some places, entire villages are built on stilts. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour, marking its seventh year of service this year, quickly learned that the adventure of traveling through this region includes helping communities survive torrential rains, flash floods, mudslides, earthquakes and other disasters.

In fact, no sooner had the team arrived in the Peruvian rainforest from Mexico City in 2007 to prepare for the launch of the tour than disaster struck—an 8.0 magnitude earthquake decimated the country’s central coast, collapsing 34,000 homes, destroying major highways and toppling power lines.

They rushed to the coastal city of Pisco to join the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team working alongside the National Civil Defense System, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and the military. They helped with search and rescue, set up and manned shelters, provided food, water and other emergency supplies and helped survivors overcome the shock and trauma of the incident.

The Volunteer Ministers became known for their “spiritual first aid”—Scientology assists, unique techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that speed recovery by addressing the spiritual and emotional components of stress and trauma.

If that was their introduction to the region, there followed a succession of floods and other natural disasters for which the Goodwill Tour has remained on call.

But the primary focus of the tour is to help indigenous communities along the Amazon gain the knowledge and skill they need to survive the many factors encroaching on their traditions and livelihoods.

All told, they have trained some 50,000 in the various life improvement skills contained in the Scientology Handbook—army and police officers, civil defense workers, firefighters, officials, educators and religious leaders, and the community at large, and they have provided one-on-one help to more than 200,000 people.

The Volunteer Ministers program was 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.

Equipped with effective technology to resolve virtually any difficulty, Volunteer Ministers live by the motto: “No matter the problem, something can be done about it.”

Transcending all ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries, the Volunteer Ministers program is there for anyone in need of help. Volunteer Ministers training is available free of charge through the Scientology Volunteer Ministers website to anyone who wishes to help others.

The Church of Scientology has published a new brochure, Scientology How We Help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers—Something Can be Done About It, to meet requests for more information about the program. To learn more or read a copy of the brochure, visit the Scientology website.

In creating the Volunteer Ministers program, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a Volunteer Minister and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”