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In Haiti

John Travolta and Scientology are going to Haiti.

Scientologists have mobilized to seize on the promotional and recruitment opportunities presented by the horror going on in Haiti, and John Travolta has personally arranged to fly "volunteer ministers" to Haiti to inflict his junk science on victims there.

Anywhere people are suffering, Scientology's yellow-shirted "volunteer ministers" can be found lurking near news cameras and claiming to help people with their bullshit technology. They performed "purification rundowns" on recovery workers sifting through the ruins of the World Trade Center after 9/11, administered "touch assists" to victims of the tsunami, distributed literature after the Virginia Tech shooting, and are on the ground in Haiti right now warning the starving, dehydrated populace about the dangers of psychiatry.

John Travolta is using his air miles to help the Haiti relief effort by planning a mercy mission to the earthquake ravaged nation.

The movie star and celebrity member of the Church of Scientology has become the latest big name to dig deep to help the victims of Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude tremor.

He says, "I have arranged for a plane to take down some volunteer ministers and some supplies and some medics.

"I hope that inspires others as well. It's needed."

So precisely what does this desperately needed help consist of? To be fair, Scientology claims to have airlifted some actual medical professionals to Porte-au-Prince, a move that is hard to argue with even if the doctors are cultists and are accompanied by a retinue of recruiters and glorified masseuses who are there not to help but to carry on their "crusade to build a better world," as the web site for the cult's volunteer ministers program puts it, through the application of L. Ron Hubbard's paranoid and power-mad fantasies.

Isn’t that just inspiring you to start your own religion to prey on those in disaster zones?

I’m sure every other religion is doing the same, albeit without the massage.




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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)

oh, wait, that might not be a grade.
Jan. 20th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
Other religions at least tend to provide a higher percentage of actual help in the mix, whereas the scientologists 'charitable' contributions do tend to be almost 100% bullshit.

I do think that the Church of Scientology is a far more predatory and cynical organisation than the average religion.
Jan. 20th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
in my more cynical moments, i just think that the scientology people are less subtle, because they're new.
Jan. 20th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
And that is what gets cynicism a bad name. If you look at the difference between the scientologists flying bullshit brigdade and, just as example, the Salvos sending cargo plane full of food and water, a lot of medical personnel, and a water filtration system, and all you can see is a subtler PR/proselytisation strategy, then I think you might have crossed to the point where cynicism is clouding your judgement. That isn't to say the Salvos aren't sometimes inconsistent and hypocritical, and don't have their own somewhat absurd trappings, and won't proselytise to the unfortunate if the opportunity comes up, and so on - but they do spend a far larger percentage of their efforts on actually doing useful stuff.
Jan. 20th, 2010 08:00 am (UTC)
But isn't what we're talking about here motivation?

Sure, the Salvos do nice, helpful stuff and sure, so do many other religious organisations (it's worth noting though, that two of the most effective charity organisations in terms of saving people's lives are the Red Cross and Mediciens sans Frontiers, both secular and both in Haiti of course), but religious motives for helping people are, let's face it, pretty dodgy.

The Scientologists aren't as good at concealing their dodgy motives as other organisations because they haven't been around as long.

I don't think drawing attention to that is necessarily cynical. Suspicious, maybe? Or "motive-seeking" perhaps? Yes, motive-seeking. Nothing wrong with a bit of that.
Jan. 20th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
No, again, I think this is where cynicism becomes unhelpful. I don't think it matters much whether the person on the ground providing humanitarian relief is doing so because they think it will get them a better afterlife, because it makes people think better of them, because they are getting paid, for national pride, or they think it will impress their girlfriend - as long as they actually do it. Human motivation is complicated enough that people often do bad things for good reasons and good things for bad reasons. In some ways I'd prefer that there is some motivation besides altruism to do the right thing - a degree of self-interest is more sustainable than altruism alone.

The problem with the scientologists isn't that they do what they do because they are a crazy religion - the problem is that the 'aid' they provide is cynical bullshit. The Salvos do what they do in part because they are a crazy religion, sure - but the aid they provide is real.
Jan. 21st, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
well, i wouldn't really make a comparison between the salvos and the scientology people. the salvos, for all their unfortunate things, are at least a charity organisation, and i like to think they work to help people more than not. if i was going to make a comparison, i'd maybe go with church missionaries in third world countries...

but, in fairness, it was originally a throw away comment.
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, there was some Billy Graham thing heading over there to save souls.

Of course, Haiti has one operational airport and it can only hold 4 planes at a time and they are giving precedence to people coming to give actual help and food and water and trained emergency workers, so owning your own planes may not actually make a difference at this point.
Jan. 21st, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
i heard today they had a second earthquake :(
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
Shit. ::checks news::
Jan. 21st, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
was an aftershock--six something. no one hurt, but still.
Jan. 21st, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
That's big enough. The Scientologists will say 'well, this wouldna happened if we'd be there'. Cos they can stop aftershocks you know. With their lasers.
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