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The Church of Scientology today released a press release commemorating their Volunteer Ministers contribution to the 9/11 disaster response.

More than 800 Scientology Volunteer Ministers served at Ground Zero after the New York City terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Many people may be surprised to learn that the Church and its Volunteer Ministers contributed extensively to 9/11 disaster response efforts.

The press release states:

“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 release goes on to mention that more than 800 Volunteer Ministers served at Ground Zero New York after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 and states that “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.

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The Scientology Volunteer Ministers at Ground Zero New York inspired a global movement. Since September 11, 2001, Volunteer Ministers have served at more than 200 disaster sites.

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 Church’s press release concludes with a summation educating the reader that the 9/11 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.

The Volunteer Ministers page on the Scientology website states:

“There are over 200,000 Scientology Volunteer Ministers, making it one of the largest relief organizations in the world. And in the last ten years alone they have helped over ten million people.

They are trained to respond in times of major disaster and personal crisis. They are proficient in LRH Tech and have solutions for 19 areas, from marriage counseling and conflict resolution to alleviating emotional trauma. Whether providing immediate and effective assistance to the victims and the emergency workers in the aftermath of an earthquake or helping a failing student learn to read, the Volunteer Ministers’ only reward is knowing that they helped.

There are eighteen continental Volunteer Ministers traveling centers, (marquee yellow tents), that have toured through over 100 countries cover hundreds of thousands of miles, including a Volunteer Minister’s barge traveling up the Amazon River, to centers traveling throughout West and Central Africa, and a traveling center in the outback of Australia.

Our 135 regional Volunteer Ministers traveling centers, (yellow tents), managed by every central Church of Scientology in the world, have toured throughout their city or town helping hundreds of thousands yearly.

Volunteer Ministers have also trained and partnered with over 500 different groups, organizations and agencies around the world including the Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard, Army Cadets, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Rotary Clubs, civil defense and disaster management agencies, YMCAs, police and fire departments of dozens of cities and towns and hundreds more national and regional groups and organizations.”

View the full press release here.

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