As a critic of the Church of Scientology I'd heard about the first publicised appearance of the Volunteer Ministers during the days after 9/11 in New York. Stories about them at disasters continued to appear, notably for the 2005 Tsunami, but when suicide bombers struck in my own nearest city of London it didn't initially occur to me that they would be involved. After decades of 'the troubles' when the IRA were setting off the occasional bomb and frequently phoning in bomb threats, London has a well rehearsed disaster plan.

But there they were. I was even prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, until one undercover reporter joined them going off to sell Scientology pamphlets "near where all the bombs went off" and two others recorded them boasting about "fighting the psychiatrists, keeping the psychs away".

This is a work in progress. The cult will not be deterred by bad publicity since they know it comes from their enemies, the international conspiracy of evil psychiatrists and drug companies that seek to control the world.

Before we proceed, one point needs to be made. At first sight the Church of Scientology looks like a scam. It has a high pressure sales culture that double glazing and timeshare companies would envy, especially as its staff are willing to work eighteen hour days, seven days a week for slave wages. However despite operating like a scam, its members are quite sincere.

It is my contention that as sincere scientologists Volunteer Ministers are so seperated from reality that they are more likely to be a hinderance than a help. Like other cults the Church of Scientology seeks out the vulnerable, the distressed and the lonely as reccomended by their guru, and where better to find them than at disasters.

To start us off, here's an Email circulated amongst cult members describing 'exactly and factually' what is supposed to happen inside those yellow tents. Being intended for 'members only' it's in 100% scienobabble, so there's a glossary at the end.

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003
Subject: VM Tent Seminar in NY, a success!!

-Ground 0 VM Ayal Lindeman delivered the VM Tent Seminar to an enthusiastic audience at the New York Org January 18 and 19. After a grand introduction by IAS Freedom Medal Winner (for her work at Ground 0) Bunny Dubin, Ayal proceeded to review and drill the various dissemination references he had drilled on the Freewinds when he attended the first ever VM Conference.

What impressed me the most about this seminar is that International Management has laid out step by step exactly what is needed to find someone's ruin and route them on to the exact service to handle it. Laser precise! In all my years in Scientology (which are quite a few [25]), I've not seen a dissemination line laid out with this simplicity and exactness. The key, however, is having people billed and drilled on the exact process. THOSE YELLOW TENTS CANNOT HAPPEN WITHOUT PEOPLE DOING THIS SEMINAR AND GETTING HATTED ON HOW IT ALL WORKS.

It takes about 20 people to run a tent event. Each one needs to know his or her hat. Each hat has to be drilled to certainty. Some folk route people into the tent; some take them through the panels and find a ruin; others then deliver a service right there (e.g., an assist), or FSM the person onto the right org course. The exact comm cycles need to be learned; the exact procedures drilled. The tent needs to be set up and taken down; the area needs to be safe pointed and legal ruds ensured. It all works together like a well oiled machine.

So, I encourage you to attend tent seminars if they are going on in your area, or get a Freewinds-hatted VM to do one if they are not! This cycle can open the floodgates and create a wonderful effect by getting people on to the Bridge! The Tents' unique ruin-finding process makes it simple and exact.

IAS = International Association of Scientologists
dissemination = evangelising
Freewinds = a cult owned Caribbean cruise ship used for courses
ruin = here, a problem
hat = a job or title
Bridge = the never ending sequence of courses that cult members pay for