Scientology Russia Goodwill Tour completes 19 thousand-mile, four-year Trans-Siberian journey
giving lectures, seminars and courses to some 8,000 individuals on communication skills, Study Technology, conflict resolution, salvaging marriages, raising happy children and fourteen other subjects contained in The Scientology Handbook. In each location they trained Volunteer Ministers and established groups to continue to help their communities.
On August 1, 2006, a twenty-member Scientology Volunteer Minister team boarded the Trans-Siberian Railroad at the first station on the line—the Yaroslavskiy station in Moscow—and began a trek across 19 thousand miles and ten time zones to the Pacific Ocean seaport of Vladivostok. In the summer months they set up their signature yellow tent—a 3,400-square-foot pavilion with lecture rooms, classrooms, and a display describing the Volunteer Minister program. In winter months, when temperatures never rose above zero for months on end, they provided their services in rented halls.
Trans-Siberian Goodwill Tour leader Sergey Nikitin said, “We are here to provide effective help—that is our purpose. Our motto is ‘Something Can Be Done About It,’ and that means not only in times of major disasters and emergencies, but in everyday life.”
The Volunteer Ministers delivered lectures and seminars and provided classes and one-on-one help in Perm, Ekaterinburg, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Zheleznogorsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, Ussuriysk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok, in hospitals, orphanages, government offices, fire stations, invalid centers, veteran associations, businesses, clubs and women’s groups.
To ensure the courses and assistance would continue to be available with neighbor helping neighbor, in each city the Volunteer Ministers trained local residents as Volunteer Ministers and helped them establish groups to sustain the assistance after the tour moved on.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard created the Volunteer Minister program in answer to escalating crime and violence in the early 1970s, to provide practical tools for engendering understanding and compassion. The program has expanded to over 200 thousand Volunteer Ministers worldwide who have served at 185 disaster sites, including Ground Zero after 9/11, the Southeast Asia tsunami, hurricane Katrina and Haiti.