Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response, Born from the Ashes of 9/11

In the 12 years since 9/11, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response has grown to one of the world’s largest and most effective independent relief organizations.

The more than 800 Volunteer Ministers who served at Ground Zero New York after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, inspired a movement that now circles the globe with compassionate and indiscriminate help in times of disaster—the Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response. They are featured in the new brochure Scientology How We Help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers—Something Can be Done About It.

Within hours of the New York disaster, Volunteer Ministers were onsite, providing immediate support to emergency personnel and helping bring order to the chaos.

Volunteer Ministers provided food, water, clothing, gear and other necessities to the cleanup crews. For nine months they continued to serve until all that remained of the World Trade Center was a cavernous pit.

In creating the Volunteer Minister program in 1976, Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard provided simple, effective tools anyone can learn that help reverse the effects of trauma, loss and stress. And while Volunteer Ministers saw to the physical needs of those working at the site, the “spiritual first aid” they were trained to provide was even more valuable.

In December 2001, a New York police chief expressed his regard for the Volunteer Ministers: “As one who saw firsthand what was needed at the World Trade Center site in the days and weeks immediately after September 11, I want to thank you, the Church of Scientology, and the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology, many of whom came long distances to help us.

“The Volunteer Ministers worked with great energy and great compassion at Ground Zero, helping to ease the physical burdens and mental strains of the rescue workers. The organization, the caring, and the dedication of your Volunteer Ministers were exceptional, very much appreciated, and will long be remembered by those who received their help. I cannot thank the Volunteers enough.”

The volunteers serve as a model today to thousands of Volunteer Ministers who are on call to respond to natural and man-made disasters whenever and wherever they strike.

Since September 11, 2001, Volunteer Ministers have served at more than 200 disasters sites from the South Asia tsunami to the Haiti earthquake, from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the United States Gulf Coast to flood-devastated regions in Pakistan. They have assisted firefighters battling with brush fires along the California coast and bush fires in Australia and provided succor to those affected by terrorist attacks in Moscow, London and Mumbai.

Transcending all ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries, the Volunteer Minister program is there for anyone in need of help. Volunteer Minister 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.”