Meet a Scientologist—Acknowledging a Quarter of a Century of Committed Service
Scientology Volunteer Minister, LPN and EMT Ayal Lindeman earned the 2011 Freedom Medal through his exemplary service to mankind.
At the 27th anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists in October 2011, Ayal Lindeman was awarded the IAS Freedom Medal for his humanitarian work as a Scientology Volunteer Minister.
He began serving the community as a teenager, training in Red Cross advanced first aid. Five years later, in 1976, when the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program launched, Lindeman was among the first to join the team—a responsibility he has embraced ever since.
In 1992, transforming this calling into a career, he trained as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and in 2009 as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). And despite the pressing demands of career and family, for the past 20 years Lindeman has been on call as a member of a local volunteer ambulance corps.
The events of September 11, 2001, were a wake-up call for Volunteer Ministers the world over.
“As Volunteer Ministers we have been given tools to help others and the only thing asked in return was to put them to use,” says Lindeman. “And that didn't end with the smoke or the debris. It continued.”
With the support and backing of his wife Devorah, over the past 10 years Lindeman has responded to 10 major disasters as part of the Scientology Volunteer Minister response team.
In 2004, in the wake of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, Lindeman was part of the Volunteer Ministers team that earned a special commendation from the 124th Infantry’s Bravo Company and a Points of Light “Hurricane Heroes” award from Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Everything the Volunteer Ministers learned that season was put to the test the following year when Hurricane Katrina blasted into Louisiana, followed by Hurricane Rita several weeks later. And just as that project was winding down, they were called back into action when Hurricane Wilma, the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, hit Florida.
But nothing Lindeman and the other Volunteer Ministers experienced prior to January 2010 prepared them for the Haiti earthquake. By the hour, the death toll mounted for want of resources to cope with the hundreds of thousands injured. Top priority was to bolster the medical infrastructure with trained professionals who could provide the needed care. Lindeman helped contact doctors, nurses and EMTs, many of them Creole-speaking Haitian-Americans, to fill the first two of five humanitarian flights chartered by the Church of Scientology. He then boarded one of the flights himself.
Arriving in Haiti he learned that patients were dying in General Hospital critical care wards simply because of personnel shortages. Lindeman organized a team of Volunteer Ministers to do whatever it took to reverse this situation.
“I’m pretty tough, but this place drove me to tears,” says Lindeman.
“Pulling 18- to 20-hour shifts for days on end, whatever it took, we were true to our pledge—no other patients died for lack of care.”
In March 2011, when a magnitude 9 earthquake triggered a 40-meter tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plants, Volunteer Ministers from countries around the world signed on to help. Lindeman, specialist trained to deal with nuclear catastrophes, was one of the first to arrive from abroad, joining local Scientology Volunteer Ministers in the Japan Disaster Response. They assisted in the search and rescue effort, helped organize and staff shelters, and provided Scientology assists, techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard that address the spiritual and emotional factors in stress and trauma.
In launching the Volunteer Minister program, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “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.”
Ayal Lindeman has carried out this mandate for 25 years in the service of his fellow man.
To learn about more about the Scientology Volunteer Ministers and view videos of Scientologists and the work they are doing to improve society, visit www.scientology.org.
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.