Saluting the Many Heroes Who Have Served in the Aftermath of 9/11

The world owes a debt of gratitude to emergency workers who risked their lives at the World Trade Center in 2001 and the many thousands more who continue to do so at disaster sites every day.

On the 19th anniversary of the collapse of the Twin Towers, in the year of the coronavirus, with forest fires burning throughout California, with Japan and South Korea recovering from the wrath of Super Typhoon Haishen, and a record hurricane season in full play, Volunteer Ministers of Scientology Churches around the world salute first responders, and emergency and health care personnel everywhere who put their lives on the line to protect the lives of others.

  Some 800 Volunteer Ministers served at Ground Zero.

9/11 served as a wakeup call to Volunteer Ministers everywhere. 

Within hours, New York Volunteer Ministers were on-site, providing support to emergency personnel and helping bring order to the chaos. 

“As any New Yorker would tell you, to see the Twin Towers erupt and then disintegrate was a living nightmare,” said one of the first Volunteer Ministers to arrive at the scene. “Over 25,000 people were gotten out of the towers because of the work of the responders, civilians who were fire wardens for their floor, strangers assisting others out to safety, police, firefighters, emergency medical services responders, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice that day in service to others. As one fire chief put it to me, ‘we all want to go home, we love our families—but there are people in there. That’s what we do’.”

Volunteer Ministers arrived from across the U.S. and abroad to help at Ground Zero. Some 800 contributed their efforts in support of the recovery workers. They cared for their physical needs with food, water, clothing and gear. They helped exhausted police and firefighters cope with fatigue and overcome shock using Scientology assists, techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that address the emotional and spiritual factors in stress and trauma. 

Scientology Volunteer Ministers served in Haiti in 2010 after a massive earthquake decimated Port-au-Prince.

“Not only did 9/11 inspire Scientologists to become active Volunteer Ministers, it was also a turning point for volunteerism overall,” says Joava Good, Deputy Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response. “Since then, the amount of collaboration among churches, nonprofits and government agencies has increased beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. If the intention of this outrage was to overwhelm us, to drive us into apathy, I believe it had the opposite effect—it brought people of goodwill everywhere together as a united team.”

This year, a novel coronavirus created an entirely different kind of disaster than any Volunteer Ministers had to confront before. As soon as the pandemic began, the most effective measures were researched for ensuring the safety of Scientology staff and parishioners, and these were implemented internationally as protocols under the direction of Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige

With the message “an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure,” the Church of Scientology created the How to Stay Well Prevention Resource Center on the Scientology website and published three booklets containing the basic principles of prevention that can be read online or downloaded: How to Keep Yourself & Others Well, How to Protect Yourself & Others with a Mask & Gloves and How to Prevent the Spread of Illness with Isolation. There are also more than a dozen videos showing the simple actions anyone can take to keep themselves and others well. 

Volunteer Ministers from Scientology Churches and Missions across the globe distributed 5 million copies of Stay Well booklets to help their communities get through these trying times safe and well.


The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the world’s largest international independent relief forces. A Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “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.”

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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