How to Stay Well | Prevention Resource Center

Scientology Volunteers Help in the Cleanup After a Massive Oil Spill—One of the Worst Ecological Disasters in Israel’s History

Volunteers from the Scientology Center of Tel Aviv join in the effort to remove tar from Israel’s Mediterranean beaches.

With 14 kilometers of Mediterranean coast drawing surfers, swimmers, locals and tourists, Tel Aviv has been ranked by National Geographic as one of the top 10 beach cities in the world. But the beaches are in the news for a different reason this week. A serious oil spill has washed up an estimated 1,000 tons of tar onto the country’s shoreline. The Ministries of Health, Interior and Environmental Protection have asked the public “not to go [to the beaches] to swim, or do sports or leisure activities until further notice,” noting “exposure to tar could harm public health.”

Responding to a call from the Tel Aviv Municipality in Jaffa, volunteers from the Scientology Center of Tel Aviv took off to clean up a stretch of beach 20 miles to the north. Rough terrain makes the beach inaccessible to cars so they traveled by 4X4 SUVs. This beach will take them several more visits to complete and they plan to carry on there and in other sections of the more than 100 miles of the country’s Mediterranean coastline devastated by this environmental catastrophe.

Wearing their signature bright yellow T-shirts and protective masks and gloves, these volunteers have been active in the effort to help the city get through the COVID-19 pandemic, carrying out hundreds of hours of volunteer work each week to help the community. 

One of the activities these volunteers are known for is their response in times of disaster. They are trained in the technology of the Volunteer Ministers program, a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

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 Center of Israel was dedicated in 2012 by Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.

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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