It begins with local Volunteer Ministers reaching out in their neighborhoods and communities to provide solutions for life’s inevitable disasters, both little and large. It reaches out further with Org and Continental Cavalcades pitching now-iconic tents to bring help to major metropolitan zones. It further extends its help in the outlying rural communities and the whole developing, world with VM Goodwill Tours and takes it off the map entirely to the most remote parts of the globe with the Extreme Pioneer Tours.
To expand VM help to every conceivable corner of this world, there is also an online Virtual Cavalcade providing all the technology of the Scientology Handbook in 17 languages.
But there is still one truly iconic image of VM action— Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response. Never is the statement “Something Can Be Done About it” more evident than in times of greatest need, be it a natural or unnatural disaster. In this issue, we cover the highlights of the heroic actions of VMs worldwide during the past year.
Several hundred wildfires were burning around Moscow in July and August 2010 during record high temperatures.
Smoke from the fires blanketed large urban regions. Combined with the heat wave, these conditions made for a major disaster where an estimated 56,000 people died from the effects of smoke and heat. In Nizhny Novgorod, 270 miles from Moscow, the mission held an IAS event during which they were briefed on the Haiti earthquake and the VM response. At the end of the event, ten of the attending Scientologists decided to do something about the fires smoldering outside their cities.
The next day they left Nizhny Novgorod Mission and headed southwest toward the fires to help). Upon arrival, they met with the firefighters and the emergency units on the ground. Though they had no fire fighting experience, the VMs quickly learned on the job and got to work dousing the flames and doing damage control. When the fires were put out and the immediate danger was handled, the deputy mayor of Vyksa personally congratulated and acknowledged the VMs for their help.1, 2
- Impact 127 (pp.88-89) (2011). PDF format. ↩
- Re: “Indiscriminate Help:” The SP doctrine requires that Scientologists, including Volunteer Ministers, discriminate. A fundamental aspect of Scientology’s outreach program is propagandizing on this doctrine. See Ups and Downs in Life Course; The Enemy Angle ↩