Taiwan Scientologists honored for disaster relief effort following Typhoon Morakot

| Kaohsiung 4 November 2009 |

Scientology Volunteer Ministers were commended in a ceremony October 17 for their part in helping Taiwan recover from the deadliest typhoon to hit the country in fifty years. Ms. Mei Tsu Lee, representing the Church of Scientology in Taiwan, accepted the award presented by the Youth Volunteer Association and the Kaohsiung City Council.  Many other groups and individuals were also acknowledged at the event.

Typhoon Morakot slammed into southern Taiwan last August, killing more than 600 and causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damage. More than nine feet of rain inundated the island causing record flooding and mudslides buried entire villages.

Despite more than 20 thousand troops pressed into service for disaster relief, without the volunteer community the country could not have coped with the needs of some 7,000 who lost their homes and the enormous cleanup operation needed to restore the island to any semblance of normality.

The bright yellow shirts of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers fast became a welcome sight in the days following the typhoon. The Scientologists helped distribute food, water and supplies and rolled up their sleeves to help villages clean up mountains of mud that were everywhere.

But it was Scientology assists—spiritual first aid—that were the most valuable contribution of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers. Assists are procedures developed by L. Ron Hubbard that provide relief by addressing the emotional and spiritual factors in stress, trauma, illness and injury.

“I could not close my eyes to sleep,” said one woman who lived through the storm. The assist brought her immediate relief. “The feeling of numbness is gone and now I can sleep.”

“Thank you for helping me put the smile back on my face,” said one person aided with an assist. “The pressure in gone.” She asked to be taught techniques herself so she could help her family and neighbors.

To the 64-year-old woman whose banana farm was literally washed away, it seemed the typhoon had destroyed everything. She was desperate with worry about how she and her daughter could carry on. But after her assist it all looked different: she was relaxed, even optimistic, as she started to plan for the future.

The Volunteer Ministers were not there only for the Morakot victims, they also gave assists to the military who were carrying out disaster response.  One soldier was so impressed by the change he experienced from his assist that he asked the Volunteer Ministers to teach him how to give them.  “I really felt lucky to have helped in this disaster,” he said. “I have never been involved in a more meaningful activity. Now I want to do more.”