Celebrating the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Movement on its 50th Anniversary

Scientology Volunteer Ministers gathered at Times Square to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movement.

Times Square was aglow as Scientology Volunteer Ministers in their bright yellow jackets took center stage in the heart of Manhattan. They gathered to accept a congressional proclamation in honor of L. Ron Hubbard for the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer Ministers movement and its legacy of help.

Congressional proclamation presented in honor of L. Ron Hubbard and the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer Ministers movement
 Congressional proclamation presented at Times Square New York in honor of L. Ron Hubbard and the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer Ministers movement he created

New York holds a pivotal role in the history of the Volunteer Ministers, the religious social service Mr. Hubbard developed. It was here in 1973 that he conducted a sociological study and discovered the dramatic deterioration of values in the city. He predicted where the culture was headed: rampant immorality, violence as sport, and ultimately, politics by terrorism. He took action by devising a movement that could halt the decline by instilling values back into society at the grassroots level. 

That was the birth of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program. Mr. Hubbard provided the Volunteer Ministers with the Scientology Handbook containing technology anyone could learn and use to restore values and empower people to help themselves, their families and their communities. These materials are now available through the 19 online Tools for Life courses provided free of charge in 18 languages through the Scientology website.

It was in New York, once again, nearly three decades later, in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, that the movement came into its own, with Volunteer Ministers from New York and across the nation providing urgently needed help to New York’s first responders.

Volunteer Ministers served around the clock from the day of the attack until the search and recovery action at Ground Zero concluded.
The 9/11 terror attack marked a turning point for the Volunteer Ministers movement.

As described in The New York Times“Amid faces gray with grief and grime, theirs are fresh, even smiling. Among blackened uniforms and sooty equipment, their yellow T-shirts are bright buoys.” 

“At any time, well over 100 volunteer ministers from the Church of Scientology mill around the remains of the World Trade Center. …When rescue workers stagger from the wreckage, the ministers, identified by their T-shirts, try to focus the workers’ minds and revive their bodies.”

For so many, 9/11 was a turning point. And so it was for the Volunteer Ministers. In the wake of the tragedy, Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige called on Scientologists to redouble their efforts to aid their fellow man. This inspired dramatic and exponential growth in the Volunteer Ministers movement and its impact.

Mr. Hubbard described the Volunteer Minister as “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “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.”

Their motto is, no matter the circumstances, “Something can be done about it.”

Learn more about the Volunteer Ministers’ response after 9/11 in an episode of Destination: Scientology on the Scientology Network.

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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