Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peter Dunn: All in the Name of Help

Australian Scientologist Peter Dunn has served as a Scientology Volunteer Minister in Haiti, Queensland, and Japan.

At 4 a.m. on March 11, 2011, the shock wave from the magnitude 9 earthquake that triggered a 30-foot tsunami off the northeast coast of Japan reached Australia—not as a physical blast but rather as a summons for Scientologist Peter Dunn to return to Japan and help in her time of need.

Dunn, a native of Adelaide who lives in Sydney, had spent the last few months volunteering in the December 2010 Queensland floods, helping residents of Grantham, the town hardest hit, clean up their homes and neighborhoods.

Having lived in Japan for several years when he served as a staff member at the Church of Scientology of Tokyo, Dunn’s strong affinity for the Japanese people and his sense of duty prompted his departure for Japan.

Described by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan as “the biggest crisis Japan has encountered in the 65 years since the end of World War II," the earthquake and tsunami left more than 20,000 dead or missing, causing an estimated 16.9 trillion yen ($220 billion) in damage and triggering the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Dunn, who also served for several months in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, described the scene he encountered in Japan as very different from what he experienced in Port-au-Prince. Although the destruction was worse and more widespread than in Haiti, Japan rebounded, able to quickly leverage far more resources in the relief effort.

As is the custom of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, on arriving in Japan they asked what was needed and wanted and set about providing what was asked. They distributed food and water, worked on the search and rescue operation, and manned shelters. They even arranged bicycle donations so junior high school students could travel over roads still closed to cars and trucks to deliver food and supplies to ill, injured, and elderly residents in and around the city of Kesennuma.

While he was prepared to take on any task needed, Dunn is a Scientology spiritual counselor or auditor—“one who listens,” from the Latin audire, “to hear or listen.” So his main function in Japan was to provide Scientology assists. These are techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that relieve stress and emotional trauma and can speed physical recovery by addressing the spiritual factors in illness and injuries.

“At one shelter, a lady who couldn’t walk when we started rose after a five-minute assist feeling like she wanted to run,” says Dunn. “Another elderly woman was deeply disturbed and told me she expected to die soon. A week later, after daily assists, she had regained her will to live and her enthusiasm and she was bringing life and optimism back to the entire room of 30 survivors in the shelter where she was staying.”

Dunn is proud that in each disaster where he has served, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have addressed the task at hand with industry, willingness and persistence.

“It has been my honor to help hospital-bound amputees in Haiti, polite and gentle Japanese pensioners in homeless shelters, and rough, tough Aussie farmers,” says Dunn. “And each of them know by our actions that we have simply come to help.”

Introduced to Scientology in 1974 when a friend gave him a copy of Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought by L. Ron Hubbard, Dunn, now 61, found answers he’d long sought about the meaning and purpose of life. What he appreciates most from what he has gained in four decades as a Scientologist is the ability and opportunity to help.

The Scientology Volunteer Minister program was initiated by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1976. There are now hundreds of thousands of people trained in the skills of a Volunteer Minister across 185 nations.

News about the Scientology Volunteer Minister at Blog.VolunteerMinisters.Org!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Work of the Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response in Ishinomaki, Japan, Continued

One volunteer speaks of her experience on the Ishinomaki Volunteer Ministers Team and the effect it has had on her life.

It has been six months since I came to the disaster area. I have been working in the Ishinomaki team ever since.

There are always some foreign volunteers working with us, which can cause some troubles due to the differences in language and culture, particularly because I couldn’t speak English. Thanks to this team, however, I have learned to understand enough English to get by. I call it my “Disaster Overseas Education,” or “studying abroad in disaster areas.”

Many VMs of various backgrounds came to the disaster area—it was a team of unique and dynamic people.


Ironically, one thing I gained through this disaster was a better relationship with my father.

I always wanted to improve my relationship with my family, and I wanted to balance family with doing much more for society and humanity.

When the disaster struck I accomplished the second goal—I completely immersed myself in the Volunteer Minister activities. But at a certain point I realized I hadn’t spoken with my parents in quite some time.

I live in Nagano Prefecture, 240 km from my parents in Kyoto, and it sometimes happens that I don’t contact them for quite a while. So when I returned temporarily to Nagano from the disaster zone, I called my parents, only to learn that my 70-year-old father had retired in April.

I have never been able to talk casually with my father, and we rarely speak much when I call. So after talking over the phone, I wrote my parents a letter.

It had always been difficult for me to express my love to them—I even had the idea that I had hated my father but I expressed my gratitude to them—especially to my father—for working to provide for us for such a long time.

I was so surprised when I received a post card from my father in reply. I have written many letters to him—this is the first time he ever replied.

The post card was tightly filled with characters apologizing to me for having acted out of selfishness.

I was so happy to read it, I cried.


The need for help in the disaster zone continues.

Please join us in our Volunteer Ministers activities. There is a free shuttle bus from Tokyo. You will see what a positive influence you can have on people and society.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers in action at the Scientology VM Blog

News about the Scientology Volunteer Minister at Blog.VolunteerMinisters.Org!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In answer to escalating crime and violence through the latter 1960s and early 1970s, L. Ron Hubbard founded the Volunteer Minister program. It was designed to provide practical tools for engendering understanding and compassion. Moreover, those tools were expressly conceived for use by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike. Thus was born a broad-based movement of individuals from all walks of life dedicated to providing on-site assistance to communities around the world.

Through the last 30 years, Scientology Volunteer Ministers have provided aid and emergency services at more than 128 worst-case disaster sites. Today, they are among the world’s most recognized independent relief organizations, and have trained tens of thousands of new volunteers on their methods of bringing help in the worst of times and conditions.

As L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "A Scientology Volunteer Minister is a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by helping restore purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others. A Scientology Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence."

Volunteer Ministers live by the motto that “Something can be done about it.”

News about the Scientology Volunteer Minister at Blog.VolunteerMinisters.Org!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Joplin Tornado Volunteers Share a Perspective —Help is the Bottom Line

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.

A Volunteer Minister who helped in the wake of the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May 2011 described how much people appreciated his willingness to do some hard work.

For several hours, he and some other volunteers helped a woman dig through the wreckage of her home. She was so grateful about the dishes and glasses they salvage—these were cherished possessions that had belonged to her mother.>>

News about the Scientology Volunteer Minister at Blog.VolunteerMinisters.Org!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Scientology Volunteer Ministers

I bet you take it for granted your house will be there when you get home from work tomorrow. What if it were gone? Just gone?

What if a 3/4-mile-wide twister picked it up like in The Wizard of Oz but unlike Judy Garland you didn't end up in a magical kingdom--you ended up on your own street minus house, car port and garden.

I'll bet you'd really appreciate some yellow-shirted Scientology Volunteer Ministers showing up to help.

News about the Scientology Volunteer Minister at Blog.VolunteerMinisters.Org!