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Volunteer Ministers have provided assists to people in need around the world in the aftermath of earthquakes, floods, fires and explosions.

One successful team of Volunteer Ministers mobilized in January 1995, when Kobe, Japan, was hit by an earthquake – one of the most catastrophic of the twentieth century. Relief centers were set up throughout the city. Medical teams tended to the physical needs of the residents, followed by the Volunteer Ministers who gave more than four thousand assists. The assists were so popular that lectures were set up to teach others, including many Red Cross volunteers, how to administer them.

When a massive earthquake rocked Los Angeles in 1994, local Volunteer Ministers were among the first to provide assistance. Within twenty-four hours, they were distributing food, clothing, blankets and other supplies to those hit hardest by the disaster. Working together with Red Cross and volunteers from other churches, they set up relief shelters in the neighborhood which had been at the epicenter of the quake. Day and night, Volunteer Ministers delivered Scientology assists to those who had been injured or traumatized. In all, Scientologists contributed more than ten thousand hours of volunteer work, and were acknowledged by city, county and state leaders.

The effectiveness of Volunteer Ministers in disaster relief efforts has drawn the attention of government officials in many nations. When an earthquake struck Russia’s Sakhalin Island in June 1995, the Ministry of Emergency arranged to fly a team of Volunteer Ministers to the disaster site. The Deputy Commanding Officer of the military for the region found their contributions so essential to his brigade’s efforts that he later wrote that he considered it “absolutely necessary” to include trained Scientologists as part of any future disasters “to deliver help in emergency situations and also to increase the workability of the rescue teams.”


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