Author Topic: Volunteer Ministers in India  (Read 2279 times)

FYIANON

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Volunteer Ministers in India
« on: May 05, 2009, 20:27 »
Scathing opinion Piece on the Volunteer minister and the issues they are causing in India.

Link: http://glosslip.com/2009/05/01/scientology-volunteer-ministries-helping-with-a-hook-part-deux/

05/01/2009 (5:01 pm)   
  Scientology Volunteer Ministries Helping With A Hook Part Deux   
   
Scientology "Free" School india Scientology Ministries, known to its critics as the “Vulture Ministries” has “crashed” many US disaster sites. The VM’s have wormed their way into “helping” (I use the term help lightly), in many disasters world wide, and let’s not forget their presence at 9/11!

One could safely assert, no disaster is safe from the Scientology Volunteer Ministries. They show up uninvited, empty handed with the exception of L. Ron Hubbard’s Way To Happiness pamphlets.  Pretty smooth eh?
Recently, the Scientology “Vultures” were in L’Aquila Italy, in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Central Italy. Disturbingly, there are 62 Scientology Orgs in Italy, and sadly Scientology has quite a strong hold in Italy. The VM’s have been in Japan, Taiwan, Australia and not too long ago, had their “Good Will” recruitment tours in Košice located in the Slovak Republic, Romania and Poland.

That’s just to name a few, if sources for recruits are drying up in the US, than one needs to take it globally.
Also noteworthy in the Scientology global spread, is a CASTLE the church purchased in Africa. That’s right a freakin’ castle! Perhaps with all the new pending lawsuits filed, and more to follow, church leader David Miscavige will be setting up his new cult refuge there? Hiding out in 3rd world countries is all the rage for cults, just ask Jim Jones. Oh wait, scratch that.

Oh! We’d be remiss to mention that yesterday, April 30th was DM’s birthday, enjoy your freedom while you still can.

Scientology spokesperson Karin Pouw says: “Scientology Volunteer Ministers, whose help in nearly every major disaster over the past decade has earned them a reputation for their indiscriminate acts of kindness and compassion, have joined the rescue workers. They have been manning field kitchens to provide hot meals, setting up tents for the homeless and working with local emergency services to locate survivors. They also bring personal help to the survivors using technology developed by Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard. No matter how hopeless the situation may seem, their motto is “something CAN be done about it.” What Ms. Pouw neglects to mention, which Glosslip talked about in Part One , is that the meals and tents ect. are always provided by someone else’s donations. NO donations come from the Scientology Volunteer Ministries Organization. If they hand out water… someone else bought it, food handed out…someone else donated it. Even the booklets they hand out which are PRINTED by Scientology Sea Org members, were purchased by a Scientology member. I guess in Scientology’s eyes, passing out other people’s donations and hawking L. Ron Hubbard Tech and applying their pseudo-sciencey “touch assists” on disaster victims is considered “indiscriminate acts of kindness and compassion,” and the only thing these victims need.
In the aftermath of the 2005 tsunami, areas were flooded by relief organization and opportunistic religious groups seeking to take advantage of confused and traumatized for a variety of purposes. This is a perfect breeding ground for a group like Scientology. As quoted from the Guardian Uk: One of the religious groups in Aceh is the Church of Scientology. Gregory Churilov, who is working for the Scientologists there, explained his faith offers the Acehnese “a methodology to handle loss and trauma”. But, as England observed, “in an unusual twist on the notion of bringing aid to the destitute, Churilov says his group arrived in Aceh with nothing and were given tents by the army and food by friendly locals. Unfazed that the aid flow was meant to go the other way, he used this as an example of how well accepted the Scientologists were by local people, rather than as an example of traditional manners.” The Volunteer Ministers logo is “Something Can be Done About It“.
 That “something” is pushing recruitment and fueling the Scientology PR machine. Scientology is ALL about PR.
A comment by an ex-Scientologist on a forum, explains what the VM Ministers actually do when they arrive at a disaster: “VM’s go to disaster scenes as part of their recruitment campaign, and to gather points for their PR stat: “Scn doing good works promoted.”

When the VM team arrives they set up an OrgBoard (organizational chart) and the first two appointed jobs are the I/C (in charge) and the PR Rep. The PR rep has the job of getting lots of photo’s showing Scn doing a great job as well as to “ally” as many officials as possible. This is standard VM tech. They usually don’t bring the water, food, supplies. Instead, they just help pass it out. Of course, that’s in between them giving people “touch assists” and other scn hocus pocus, and letting them know that Scn can help them with their spiritual problems.” So there you have it.

The words of an ex-Scientologist who knows first hand what Scientology’s true agenda is, and the importance of their disaster visits are to TAKE PICTURES of the VM’s passing out other people’s donations, so they can ally as many officials as possible

What about some concern for the disaster victims?
From the Volunteer Ministers website: “Scientology Volunteer Ministers have provided assistance to refugee camps in Kosovo, to earthquake victims in Kobe, Japan and to survivors of the bombing in Oklahoma City. They have trained Red Cross personnel in technologies to further their relief efforts in Western China, to aid those displaced by an earthquake on Russia’s Sakhalin Island and to assist victims of Hurricane Andrew which devastated parts of Florida.

“The first to take advantage of the Volunteer Ministers disaster relief training program was the local Red Cross, whose staff and volunteers attended seminars on communication and ethics. The Red Cross personnel also learned to deliver Scientology assists—simple techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard that handle the spiritual component in trauma.” The Red Cross? Really? That’s Interesting. The Red Cross has denied that they “team up” with Scientology in any capacity.

Here’s an interesting email from the Red Cross in response to someone’s inquiry on the legitimacy of Scientology’s claims of a “formalized national relationship”: “The American Red Cross does not have a formalized national relationship with the Church of Scientology. Additionally, I contacted Doug Wallace, Director, Disaster Services, St Louis, who stated the Church of Scientology did assist St. Louis in the 1995 floods, but they were not Red Cross volunteers. It is often difficult to request that organizations eliminate Red Cross references on their web sites. Their statement regarding Red Cross relationship is relatively generic; although the photo alludes to a more specific Red Cross relationship. I suspect the photo opportunity presented itself when someone was simply standing in front of the Red Cross sign. I have forwarded your email to information services and to our General Counsel for their perusal. We will continue to monitor the web site for other Red Cross references.Thank you for your email and your concern regarding American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.” Well that’s pretty cut and dry. Even the Red Cross realizes some shady groups will take advantage of tragedies to align themselves with legitimate charitable organizations to improve their own public image, and there is precious little the Red Cross or any other group genuinely helping people can do about it.

Scientology Ministries recently has been putting their focus on third world countries. You may ask why would Scientology branch out to impoverished third world countries who haven’t the income to climb the many levels of their “Bridge To Total Freedom?” *ahem*

The answer? FRESH MEAT. A term which Scientology uses for new recruits. People who can’t afford to take the exorbitantly priced “spiritual courses, can always join their Sea Organization — an all volunteer paramilitary group. And what are the “perks” for joining the Sea Org, besides labor law violations and many documented many human rights abuses? You can take the Scientology courses and auditing for “free”. Well, it’s free unless you leave, at which point you are promptly presented a bill for all those “free courses” not to mention disconnection from love ones still in the cult.

Now is that a deal or what?
These foreign recruits may work in their own country, or they are enticed by Scientology’s promise of a better life in the US. Of course upon arrival the new recruit’s passports are confiscated and held by Scientology, and most are greatly disappointed once they find out what being in the Sea Org  is all about. But how does Scientology transport newbies LEGALLY into the US to and from other countries? Well of course the Religious Worker Visa! Ta-Dah!
Scientology is crafty, we’ll give ‘em that!

Ex-Scientologist, known as Twin A, said this about how Scientology gets around the rules: “I went to other countries numerous times to do video shooting for Scientology propaganda videos. England, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Venezuela, all the Caribbean Islands, Mexico. I was told to say I was on “vacation”,when I wasn’t. I was working. It was ingrained in my head, at an early age, by other Church of Scientology staff, that it was completely OK to do things that were illegal and to lie to officials about it, because it was for the “greater good.”  That’s how Scientology gets away with paying their Sea Org members WAY below minimum wage, often for double the number of hours most people work. And not only is it ok to lie to officials, but it’s encouraged by higher ups in the organization. Who’s going to argue with the “most ethical people on the planet?”
So, who can apply for a religious worker visa? “Religious worker visas are available to people coming to work for a religious organization in the United States as a minister, in a religious professional capacity, or in a religious vocation or occupation. “Ministers” are individuals authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties normally performed by the clergy. “Professional capacity” means that the position the individual will be working in requires at least a bachelor’s degree. A “religious occupation” is any activity which relates to a traditional religious function. Persons in a religious occupation include liturgical workers, religious instructors, missionaries, religious counselors, workers in religious hospitals or health facilities, cantors, catechists, or religious broadcasters, but not janitors, clerks, or persons involved solely in the solicitation of donations. A “religious vocation” is a calling to religious life evidenced by the demonstration of a commitment practiced in the religious denomination, such as the taking of vows.” Visas and passports however, run out and expire…
So what to do? From exscientology.com : “Scientology has been known to change members names and “move” them elsewhere. So although passport and visa fraud are federal felonies, with penalties of 10 years (for a first offense if not tied to terrorism or drug trafficking), 15 years for fraud with other criminal links, 20 years for fraud related to drug trafficking and so on, so far,Scientology has remained under the radar.” The Volunteer Ministries has also reached the far corners of India. One man, who is called “Father Hope” by the orphans in the slums of Kolkota (formally called Calcutta) is Mohammad Khalil Ullah.
Mohammad is a Scientologist.
Back in 2006, Mohammad attended the Scientology Volunteer Ministers World Tour, where he learned the technique of Scientology’s “Touch Assist” and was intrigued by the Hubbard tech and now heads Scientology Ministers. Mohammad is currently working on a project to build an orphanage outside Kolkata.  He has also opened up four “Scientology Free” schools for the orphans in the slums of Kolkata. These quickly assembled ”make shift” schools, are are no more than woven bamboo walls without doors or windows, dirt floors, and a tarp on the roof that displays a big “Scientology Free School” sign.
Mohammad supposedly also supplies meals, some health care, and medicine to the children supposedly, but OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET, not from the vast and rich coffers Scientology has amassed over the years.
Mohammad Carrying Winner of Way To Happiness Contest In Part 3 in the series, we will delve more into how Scientology is taking advantage of these poor and uninformed children of India through Mohammad’s Educating Children International program. You will also meet Erin and Nick Banks. Two Scientology ministers who flew to India from the US to help Mohammad build an orphanage and who were behind the Slums to Schools website/blog.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 20:29 by FYIANON »

Offline ethercat

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Re: Volunteer Ministers in India
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 20:00 »
Gregory Churilov, who is working for the Scientologists there, explained his faith offers the Acehnese “a methodology to handle loss and trauma”. But, as England observed, “in an unusual twist on the notion of bringing aid to the destitute, Churilov says his group arrived in Aceh with nothing and were given tents by the army and food by friendly locals. Unfazed that the aid flow was meant to go the other way, he used this as an example of how well accepted the Scientologists were by local people, rather than as an example of traditional manners.” The Volunteer Ministers logo is “Something Can be Done About It“.
 That “something” is pushing recruitment and fueling the Scientology PR machine. Scientology is ALL about PR.

I think a lot of the individual scientologists who go with the VMs to far-away places really believe they are doing better for the victims than any other people rendering aid.  It's part and parcel of their belief that they have the best solution, which of course, is drilled into them.  One of the things I find the most sad about scientology is that they take people who honestly do want to do something to help people, and convince them that that is exactly what they are doing.  They become blinded to the self-serving nature of their actions, and are used in a game for the benefit of David Miscavige and the other top executives.  The whole thing is set up to make them feel both important and lucky at the same time, and when their eyes open and their illusions are broken, it must be a very traumatic thing. 

Quote
A comment by an ex-Scientologist on a forum, explains what the VM Ministers actually do when they arrive at a disaster: “VM’s go to disaster scenes as part of their recruitment campaign, and to gather points for their PR stat: “Scn doing good works promoted.”

Indeed.  But they can't see the wrong in that; they are absolutely convinced that scientology is right, no matter what.  I just hope that most of them have a little voice deep inside, saying, "hey, something's not right here."

Quote
“The first to take advantage of the Volunteer Ministers disaster relief training program was the local Red Cross, whose staff and volunteers attended seminars on communication and ethics. The Red Cross personnel also learned to deliver Scientology assists—simple techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard that handle the spiritual component in trauma.” The Red Cross? Really? That’s Interesting. The Red Cross has denied that they “team up” with Scientology in any capacity.

Here’s an interesting email from the Red Cross in response to someone’s inquiry on the legitimacy of Scientology’s claims of a “formalized national relationship”: “The American Red Cross does not have a formalized national relationship with the Church of Scientology. Additionally, I contacted Doug Wallace, Director, Disaster Services, St Louis, who stated the Church of Scientology did assist St. Louis in the 1995 floods, but they were not Red Cross volunteers. It is often difficult to request that organizations eliminate Red Cross references on their web sites. Their statement regarding Red Cross relationship is relatively generic; although the photo alludes to a more specific Red Cross relationship. I suspect the photo opportunity presented itself when someone was simply standing in front of the Red Cross sign. I have forwarded your email to information services and to our General Counsel for their perusal. We will continue to monitor the web site for other Red Cross references.Thank you for your email and your concern regarding American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.” Well that’s pretty cut and dry. Even the Red Cross realizes some shady groups will take advantage of tragedies to align themselves with legitimate charitable organizations to improve their own public image, and there is precious little the Red Cross or any other group genuinely helping people can do about it.

The groups who actually do real good, and not just what is good in their own eyes, but in the world's eyes, are so busy tending to their goals, they aren't searching around the web like paranoid megalomaniacs for instances of their images being misused.

Quote
Scientology Ministries recently has been putting their focus on third world countries. You may ask why would Scientology branch out to impoverished third world countries who haven’t the income to climb the many levels of their “Bridge To Total Freedom?” *ahem*

The answer? FRESH MEAT. A term which Scientology uses for new recruits. People who can’t afford to take the exorbitantly priced “spiritual courses, can always join their Sea Organization — an all volunteer paramilitary group. And what are the “perks” for joining the Sea Org, besides labor law violations and many documented many human rights abuses? You can take the Scientology courses and auditing for “free”. Well, it’s free unless you leave, at which point you are promptly presented a bill for all those “free courses” not to mention disconnection from love ones still in the cult.

And from what I've heard, Sea Org members often aren't very high level.  One of the requirements for receiving auditing (except for sec checks) is that you must be "sessionable," that is, be rested and have had enough sleep, be well nourished, and not in any kind of physical distress (illness, injury, etc.).  Since the Sea Org members are made to work so much, and often go without enough sleep, they are seldom in condition to be audited, although they are considered in a condition to be overworked.

Quote
Now is that a deal or what?
These foreign recruits may work in their own country, or they are enticed by Scientology’s promise of a better life in the US. Of course upon arrival the new recruit’s passports are confiscated and held by Scientology, and most are greatly disappointed once they find out what being in the Sea Org  is all about. But how does Scientology transport newbies LEGALLY into the US to and from other countries? Well of course the Religious Worker Visa! Ta-Dah!
Scientology is crafty, we’ll give ‘em that!

This technique was attempted by scientology to allow Artur Solomonyan to remain in the US when his student visa was no longer valid, but he did not get it.  He worked briefly for scientology for $50/week, but moved on to be an illegal immigrant taxi driver in New York, and then fell through the cracks until he was later arrested for attempting to sell military grade weapons to a paid confidential FBI informant. 

There are several articles about this here: http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/scientology-weapons-smuggler.htm

In 2007 Solomonyan and six of his co-defendants were found guilty of weapons sales.

There is currently a bill in the House of Representitives to extend the Nonminister Religious Worker program, set to expire in September 2009, for another 5 years.  It has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and to the Committees on Education and Labor, and Ways and Means: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2679:
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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Volunteer Ministers in India
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 21:38 »
Scientology is keen to associate itself with Red Cross (Red Crescent in Muslim countries), and to insinuate itself into politically powerful / useful groups, boards, and associations.

I'll just leave this here:

Quote
In 2008, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce held its 15th annual “Women of Distinction” Awards. Four women received awards. One of them was Scilon Hilary Royce.

Hilary Royce graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Hilary has been the Director of Community Affairs for the Church of Scientology International for about ten years. As the Director of Community Affairs, Hilary’s top priority has been to build partnerships. She has worked side-by-side with the Hollywood Division of the LAPD and Fire Department to achieve this goal.

Hilary serves on the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Entertainment District, a Business Improvement District that stretches along the world-famous Walk of Fame down 18 blocks of historic Hollywood Boulevard, from the La Brea/Gateway to the corner of Hollywood & Vine.

She also serves on the Board of the Police Activities League, a community-based crime prevention program that provides young people(ages 6-17) with positive alternatives to gangs and drugs.

Royce is a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the East Hollywood Neighborhood Watch and the Red Cross. She has a great deal of experience as a community organizer. She is one of the founding board members of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, which she has proudly served since 2003.

The Vulture Ministers blithely contribute nothing but recruitment brochures and useless "touch assists" while using tents for shelter, water and food, and so on MEANT FOR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY A DISASTER, getting in the way of legitimately helpful groups, and then crowing about how they passed out food / water (that someone else provided) and brought "solace" to the afflicted people.

Even if they were not using disasters to cynically take advantage of the vulnerable, theri favourite modus operandi and technique, they should be banned from future disaster sites for using resources they did not help provide, thereby denying the truly needy and becoming an additional burden for legitimate relief organizations.

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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Volunteer Ministers in India
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 21:29 »
Wanted to add that due to recent changes in Worker's Rights-related laws, the confiscation of passports and payment of less than minimum wage is not going to be ignored much longer, whether for "religious" workers, or not.
"Once the foundation of a revolution has been laid down, it is almost always
in the next generation that the revolution is accomplished." -- Jean d'Alembert

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