Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers group is the cult’s best prop for their self aggrandizement.
Known for their bright yellow shirts, matching tents and dramatic photographs of their presence at disasters both natural and man made, their catch phrase is “Something CAN Be Done About It”.
There is nothing Scientology loves better than a good shore story, anything to show that bright, humanitarian face to the world.
Part of their argument for being a religion is their insistence on the truth of their dedication to helping all Mankind, especially during times of crisis and disaster. This charitable donation of time, talent and energy is always conveniently caught on camera then promoted across social media and on their websites.
Grim faced determined men and women wearing heavy gloves, rakes or shovels in hand are shown arriving at the aftermath of a devastating hurricane or tornado.
Gently smiling, benevolent young VMs providing touch assists and massages to exhausted relief workers.
This is the front Scientology uses to extol their impact upon all of the Planet.
Even in the face of a frightening, potentially deadly pandemic, the Volunteer Ministers are undeterred in their dedication to good works.
Currently the Volunteer Ministers’ Newsletter carries a story of their incredible efforts on the Colombian border aiding a Catholic church in Cúcuta in providing support to thousands of Venezuelan refugees.
The newsletter piece dramatically declares “A team of Colombian Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) has been providing relief to thousands of refugees who cross the border from Venezuela to Colombia each day. In a shelter established by a Catholic church in Cúcuta, VMs have helped prepare and distribute food to the refugees each day. On one day, five VMs served 13,000 meals while also caring for 2,000 children from nearby schools.”
13,000 meals a DAY.
This is a staggering figure for anyone to envision.
Five stalwart Scientologists never leaving their posts, hour after hour serving refugee after refugee. Not satisfied with just providing tens of thousands of meals to this displaced flood of humanity, they diligently care for 2,000 children.
Five people watching out for the well-being of 2,000 children.
All in just one day.
Interestingly, the article leaves out any details about the Catholic church’s actual part in all of this humanitarianism. It’s mentioned in passing, almost as an afterthought as the focus is placed upon Scientology’s incredible achievement in succoring the masses.
What Scientology dismissively refers to as a “shelter” is actually called Divine Providence House of Transit and since its opening June 5th, 2017 has, according to the Catholic Diocese of Cúcuta in Colombia provided one million meals to Venezuelan migrants affected by the humanitarian crisis in their country.
One million meals since 2017 raises some questions over Scientology’s elaborate claims of 13,000 meals served in one day. Serving such a number over a year’s time would be 4.745 million meals, far more than the Diocese states for the entirety of it’s existence so far.
Father José David Caña Pérez is the leader and coordinator of Divine Providence (aka “a shelter”) in the border city of Cúcuta referenced by the Volunteer Ministers.
In addition to the Divine Providence transit house, the diocese also has eight other soup kitchens in the area to help meet the demands of the multitude fleeing Venezuela due to societal and economic issues in their country. Even so, none of these charitable locations is actually dealing with the numbers quoted by Scientology.
According to Father Pérez approximately 3,800 to over 4,000 hungry exiles seeking food, shelter and basic necessities arrive at the transit house daily.
His statistics cast serious doubt on the assertions made by the Volunteer Ministry Newsletter piece. It would be impossible to feed 13,000 people a day if they don’t exist in those numbers.
Wanting to get to the bottom of these claims Scientology makes to impress their readers, we contacted Father Pérez directly through his Facebook page.
Sending him the pertinent statistics from the article we asked the the good Padre for confirmation.
In response he replied, “Hello, they were visiting the house of passage. They took a photo of the work. Nothing else. I don’t know if they helped in praying.”
Once again Scientology is caught in their lies.
Sure wish something could be done about it.
10 thoughts on “Volunteer Ministers: Just Passing Through For A Photo Op”
Scientology also makes the ridiculous claim that it was behind a 50% drop in Colombia’s national crime rate, simply because a large number of “Way to Happiness” booklets were distributed in the country. This is the actual quote from their website (link: https://www.scientology.org/how-we-help/way-to-happiness/community-actions/columbia.html):
“In all, Colombian police have delivered Way to Happiness seminars to 3 million citizens and booklets to 20 percent of the population. Crime rates have dropped by 50 percent and Colombian tourism has increased to a level beyond any other Latin American nation. According to senior Colombian police officials, much of the credit for this change goes to The Way to Happiness.”
Since Colombia has about 50 million people, they seem to be implying that 10 million people received these booklets.
They make it sound like these millions of citizens eagerly received these enlightened booklets into their hands, read and cherished every word, did NOT immediately toss them or use them for toilet paper, and instantly went out and exhorted their neighbors and leaders to stop fighting that nasty civil war or otherwise committing crimes against each other as a direct result. No mention of those who actually negotiated a truce to the civil war after years of hard work.
The level of deceit and deluded grandiosity is absolutely staggering.
Sometimes when those distributing these leaflets are finding it difficult to locate willing recipients, to keep up their distribution stats and to make life easier the booklets are deposited directly into the trash before people can toss them. Cuts down on littering also.
Several facts have always impressed me about the VMs:
1. There is ZERO independent corroboration of their plentiful deeds of charity and staggering accomplishments in relieving human misery. Even a 2-minute online search will readily reveal the likes of the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Catholic Charities. And yet, here we have “the largest independent relief force on the planet.” recently downgraded to “one of the largest…”. But good luck finding ANY news report mentioning them anywhere outside of self-congratulatory cult press releases.
2. Wherever they make their appearance they claim to be “partnering” with others. Without fail, these “partners” will deny those collaborations.
3. Even so, the VMs’ true skill set seems–by admission in their own press releases–to lie in the area of “distributing” things to the needy–goods that OTHERS have paid for. It’s like letting someone else run the race and then have your picture taken at the finish line.
4. They typically tout “grants” given by the IAS. These “grants” are NEVER quantified nor is their actual allocation explained. But scientologists are always exhorted to replenish those mystery grants. Yet, there is still plenty of evidence that those who actually put on the yellow shirt and venture to a disaster site do so at their own expense.
5. Many of these “charity” drives involve paying money to the “church” press to print up booklets, at full price. No one knows whether these booklets are actually printed, let alone distributed. But the “church” coffers are swelling nonetheless.
6. Many of these “relief” efforts appear to be entirely counterproductive. You have these fools flocking to disaster sites, mugging for pictures and consuming much needed resources if not outright getting into the way of true helpers.
7. They take incredible liberties with the term “first responders.” Lollygaggers is more like it!
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Notice too that there are extremely few details in these articles. Never anything easy to fact check. Names, dates, etc are carefully excluded. All of these points are spot on.
After I left scientology (1977-2014), I spent time in a faith-based homeless shelter a few blocks away from the cult’s west coast headquarters in L.A.
I didn’t work in the shelter, I resided there. After 37 years in scientology, the shelter, through church worships and Bible studies, helped knock that Scientology chip off my shoulder. During that time, I washed dishes, nightly, at a soup kitchen near Scientology’s PAC Base. We served about 300 people a day (breakfast and lunch). Each meal had its own chef as well as kitchen staff, servers and myself.
Scientology, in my time, never cared for the poor, the homeless or the needy. Such people are regarded as Degraded Beings wallowing in their own misery – according to scientology.
I used to think that way. In sharing my experience, I urge others to leave that cult and do some good in the world.
Before it’s too late, that is.
Fred G. Haseney
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