Looking out over the ruins in Sendai, a Scientology Volunteer Minister who traveled to Japan to serve in the wake of the April 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In creating the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program in 1976, Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote an essay titled “Religious Influence in Society,” the full text of which is online, in which he wrote:
“Briefly, a Volunteer Minister fulfills the definition of religion in this increasingly cynical and hopeless world.”
“In a few words, religion can be defined as belief in spiritual beings. More broadly, religion can be defined as a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life. The quality of being religious implies two things: first, a belief that evil, pain, bewilderment and injustice are fundamental facts of existence; second, a set of practices and related sanctified beliefs that express a conviction that Man can ultimately be saved from those facts.
“Thus, a Volunteer Minister is a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.
“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.”
Scientologists take temporary leave of their homes, families and jobs to help rescue the lives and livelihoods of victims of natural and man-made disasters, bringing the disaster relief techniques that have made the Volunteer Ministers’ bright yellow tents and T-shirts a symbol of effective help at more than 200 disaster sites worldwide.
News of the work of Scientology Volunteer Ministers is updated frequently on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers blog.