On 7 July 2005 in London three suicide terrorist bombs on subway trains and a fourth on a bus killed over 50 and injured many more. More bombing was attempted on 22 July. London was a target for IRA terrorist attacks for many years and has well rehearsed and effective disaster plans. The only glitch this time seems to have been in providing prompt information to distressed relatives of possible victims.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers rushed to the scene. Below are two leaked internal CoS memos. 'New Era Publications' is the Church of Scientology's publishing division.
Coincidentally the 'Daily Mirror' newspaper had a reporter pretending to be a new recruit to the CoS during the 11-15 July week who acted as a Volunteer Minister; an extract from the resulting article is included below.
July 7, 2005
Dear VMs and All Who Want to Help,
This morning during rush hour traffic, the city of London was attacked by terrorists.
Volunteer Ministers from all over the United Kingdom have been mobilized to help handle this disaster and are there delivering assists and hatting others to do the same.
USA VMs are not needed at this time, but be on call.
What is needed right now are donations for VM Booklets. The fastest way to get them to London is from New Era Publications in Copenhagen, Denmark.
All donations need to be on credit card or bank wire.
The person to contact is Barbara, her phone number is 011 453373 XXXX or XXXX, she is in sales in New Era.
She will handle all donations and know where to send the booklets.
The other thing needed is to get up every org VM tent in a high traffic area where we can reach as many people as possible and get them introduced to Scientology right now.
All VMs need to contact their org VM I/C and help get the tent up and out so we can accomplish the goal of introducing thousands to Scientology.
As you can see I have sent many info's on this E-Mail.
Please send out as many as you can across the US so that VMs know to get ready, and send as many donations as possible.
We need thousands of VM Booklets!!! If you have any questions contact me at 323-953-XXXX.
Volunteer Minister I/C WUS
LONDON - DAY 3 [July 9?]
Today we have 138 Volunteer Ministers and Sea Org members in London and we need more today, tonight and over the next week.
As for VM activities we are giving stress tests and are selling books. Others are handing out The Way to Happiness booklets and 'Something Can Be Done About It' booklets. We have another team gathering food and drinks from supermarket chains who are donating this for the emergency workers. Our VMs are also distributing the food and drinks. This is very much appreciated by the police and those working on the scene.
Another team has gone to the London Royal Hospital to assist there.
We have teams at each of the hit areas (Tavistock, Russel Square and King's Cross) and we have teams handing out TWTH booklets at these locations as well as in Euston Station.
Right now we urgently need the following:
VMs - right now we have family of those who are lost still waiting to find out what happened. They are around the sites and are totally keyed in.
We need to continue all the above actions and need to keep providing food and drinks to the police. They are working around the clock so we need a night shift of minimally 10 VMs to go out to London from 8 pm till 8 am.
We need at least 100 VMs in London every day.
We need funds:
This will help us to get and keep yellow vans on the road from where we can help people, provide food for VMs and Police, get the needed permits, get announcements on radio which will tell them our freephone number to get help.
Your money will help us to get VMs shuttled to and from London and with £3000 we will be able to get the big VM truck on the road.
Checks are payable to I HELP UK - Saint Hill Manor - Saint Hill Road - East Grinstead RH19 4JY.
Call 01342 XXX XXX with your credit or debit card details.
Your help is needed. If you will come to London to help us then call 01342 XXX XXX (I HELP office) or 07963 XXX XXX (Field Control Sec Saint Hill Foundation).
Please spread the word.
VM I/C Europe +45 XX XX XX XX
|The scientologists turn up to the site of the Russell Sq. Bombing to get their pictures taken with the coppers on guard there.
Photo by blackbeltjones, July 15.
The Herald July 8:
By lunchtime, volunteers from the Church of Scientology were arriving at the hospital. Vicenzo Defeo, a grief counsellor who has worked for the organisation for 21 years, is a veteran of such disasters.
"I was one of the original relief workers at Ground Zero (World Trade Centre) for two weeks," he said. Mr Defeo said he and his colleagues were trained in "disaster handling" and would offer their services to those suffering from shock.
"Sometimes somebody just wants to talk to someone," he said.
CNN July 8:
Even the Church of Scientology did its bit, volunteers in orange anoraks wandering around offering counseling, advice and directions (all without any attendant proselytizing on behalf of their organization, so far as I could make out).
The Observer July 10:
Up to 100 members of the Church of Scientology in garish yellow jackets joined the relief operation as sandwiches and bottles of water were rushed through the police cordons.
Scientologists responded to news of the attacks in London with an immediate call to action. Scientology Volunteer Ministers from all over the United Kingdom, trained in how to handle the after-effects of physical and spiritual trauma, were dispatched to London.
Daily Record July 12:
AFTER THE TERROR: RELIGION IS SLAMMED
MEMBERS of the controversial Scientology religion have been accused of taking advantage of desperate families.
A group of believers have handed out leaflets to relatives near bombed underground stations, asking them to pay £3 for booklets on handling a crisis. But passer-by Emilina Black complained: 'They are trying to speak to vulnerable people at a particularly devastating time'.
CoS Press Release July 21:
Scientology Volunteer Ministers Assist Emergency Services in London
Teams of Volunteer Ministers from the Churches of Scientology assisted police and emergency services personnel in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in London on Thursday.
The Volunteer Ministers (VMs) began arriving hours after the bombings, and by mid-afternoon 250 VMs were on the scene. Police officers initially asked them to help direct people so that the police could give their full attention to the rescue operations around Russell Square and Edgeware Road, Moregate, and Liverpool Street underground stations. The Volunteer Ministers also provided refreshments to the emergency workers, arranging with local stores to donate the supplies.
The Volunteer Ministers have been providing their unique form of help known as *assists to the injured or traumatized. After the bombings, many people, even if not among the injured themselves, were disoriented and confused. The volunteer Ministers helped by giving them a "locational," a type of spiritual assist that orients a person to his present-time environment.
One office worker who received an assist was so impressed with the results that he quickly learned how to do it and then returned to his office and gave one to everyone in his office.
The Scientology Volunteer Minister force, founded in 1976, was hundreds strong at Ground Zero following the 9/11 tragedy. Since then, it has continued to help wherever needed on an international scale ? from leading salvage and rescue efforts in response to Florida hurricanes, to being appointed an official "civil defense force" by the Italian federal government, and more recently VMs were called upon to help manage crowd-control teams in Rome during the Papal funeral.
After the Southeast Asian Tsunamis hit, 500 Volunteer Ministers from 11 nations were mobilized and close to a third of a million people in the regions affected were directly assisted as a result. National leaders in Indonesia, India and Thailand commended the VMs for their relief work. In all, Volunteer Ministers have been able to help more than 4.7 million people since 9/11, with more than 50,000 active members of the Volunteer Minister Corps internationally, on call.
*Assists operate on the principle that one tends to withdraw mentally or spiritually from an injured area. Only by restoring communication with this area can one bring the spiritual element into healing, thereby greatly speeding the healing process. Assists are used to alleviate stress and physical aches and pains, or to orient a confused or distraught individual to his present environment.
The Times July 22:
[failed bomb on #26 bus, Hackney]
At the police cordon were several members of the Church of Scientology, there to help anyone who was upset or suffering from trauma.
Daily Mirror July 22:
EXCLUSIVE: WEIRD SCIENCE
Undercover inside the disturbing world of Tom Cruise's church
the controversial Church of Scientology was criticised last week after claims it was preying on people caught up in the London bombings.
Packs of yellow-shirted believers arrived at the scenes of carnage, offering "spiritual healing" to distraught relatives - and £3 booklets titled How To Improve Conditions In Life.
[the reporter went undercover as a new recruit for a week]
We are told we are going to set up "near where all the bombs went off". We set up on the busy Islington Upper Street and soon attract interest. People walk by and mutter: "It's the aliens" and "Scientology rubbish".
We are encouraged to offer people assists. Once we get them listening, our aim is to take a name, address and phone number.
We are given booklets to offer for a "suggested donation" of £3. We are not to say they are for sale. We provide assists to about 10 people and hand out several hundred leaflets.
THE AUDITOR UK issue 326 Sept 2005
THE MONTHLY JOURNAL OF SCIENTOLOGY
SAINT HILL UNITED KINGDOM
SECTION: Saint Hill News
LONDON CHURCH IS HEADQUARTERS FOR REAL RELIEF
It was a morning London will never forget, according to the newspapers and reporters. But instead of giving in to the group bank agreement, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers held a different view: that the memories don't need to be restimulative - and that something CAN be done about it.
As it was in New York and Madrid, the Volunteer Ministers were the stable terminals for the relief crews and rescue workers, bringing sanity in the aftermath of disaster. A team of VMs, who happened to be doing a neighbourhood clean-up project less than a block away, arrived at the first site within seconds of the attack and immediately began to help.
Though even the firefighters were forced to evacuate the area when it was designated a crime scene, the Volunteer Ministers took up the task of directing people to where they needed to go. And with buses and tubes down and many people in shock and confusion, delivering locationals to orient them to the environment was a common prerequisite to helping them on their way.
Within hours, more than 250 VMs were on the scene throughout the city. With the Church of Scientology of London as the central headquarters for their relief efforts, by mid-afternoon teams of VMs had been despatched (sic) to Kings Cross, Royal London Hospital, Liverpool Street Station, Moorgate Station, BMA Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital, Aldgate Station, Russel Square, Trafalgar Square and Edgware Road Station.
While access to victims of the attacks was restricted, OT VIII and Volunteer Minister Gabi Gadiot wasn't going to let that stop her from bringing help to those who needed it most. She worked her way through every layer of the heavy security, including full body searches and trained dogs, and received permission to work with eight of the families. After delivering assists and getting miracle results, one of the top authorities referred to Gabi as an "angel".
At the same time, rescue efforts continued through night and day at the underground sites, with many rescue workers going 20 hour shifts on only a couple of hours of sleep. Again, the Volunteer Ministers were there, convincing nearby vendors, markets and restaurants to donate food and drink to the police and firefighters. Using the VM Emergency Relief Van, they distributed the food to multiple sites throughout the city, even servicing roaming officers who were otherwise forgotten in the confusion.
The Volunteer Ministers were the experts, and it was visible. Even the media started coming to the VMs for updates on the rescue efforts; after all, the VMs were one of the only groups allowed into the cordoned-off zones.
As night faded into day, and day into night, the Volunteer Ministers remained on duty, giving assists and locationals, and bringing the kind of help only a Scientologist can provide. Which isn't to say that others weren't joining them; when a Medical Secretary from one of the hospitals received an assist from a VM, she laughed in relief and immediately wanted to know how she could do the same. She then joined the team, donned the yellow jacket, and spent the rest of the day with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
And it's spreading out to every area of society. As the VMs continue to succour the people of London, they are reaching for more and more pieces of the tech. Some want to learn how to deliver assists, while others want the answers to education, while still others are starting on the mainline Bridge.
And all of it is founded on one firm belief - that something CAN be done about it.