Op-Ed: John Travolta flies to Haiti with Aid, Doctors, Scientologists

Posted Jan 26, 2010 by Mark M Drewe
The earthquake has brought many celebrities and others alike to do what they can to help the Haitians deal with their crisis, but now the Scientologists have seen this as an opportunity to recruit more followers in a country that needs aid, not cults.
The Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology
The dire situation in Haiti has captured international exposure, and prompted an outpouring of support, aid, and desperation. While many have used the disaster as an opportunity to push their own agendas or beliefs, none may be more sinister than the move made by Scientology.
It was reported that John Travolta flew his own jet to Haiti to help with the aid - a noble gesture at first - but it was quickly revealed that he merely was dropping off the supplies and aid workers, along with a batch of Scientologist 'ministers.'
There's no question that the aid and food will go a long way to helping a destroyed nation pull itself from the disaster. But Scientologists have been appearing at many disasters, promoting their highly controversial beliefs, 'healing' the sick with a supposed one-fingered touch, and recruiting members through a technique founder L Ron Hubbard himself called "Causality Contact."
John Travolta
John Travolta at the Reno Air Show
Photo by Ack Ook
According to an official report, the ministers will "be on hand to dispense 'spiritual first aid' to Haitians." But, an article from The Guardian points out that the spiritual first aid and causality contact is simply a front for recruitment.
Hubbard declared of the ambulance-chasing Scientologist that, "He should represent himself . . . as a minister whose compassion was compelled by the newspaper story concerning the person [. . .] However, in handling the press he should simply say that it is a mission of the church to assist those who are in need of assistance. He should avoid any lengthy discussions of Scientology and should talk about the work of ministers and how all too few ministers these days get around to places where they are needed. It's straight recruiting!"
In a highly uneducated and unemployed country, Scientology's message will undoubtedly go further. Many of these ministers that are in Port-au-Prince are "Field Staff Members", who receive commissions for every recruited member they bring in to the church.
The last thing Haiti needs is a group of pseudo-religious ministers coming around indoctrinating them with false hope and flagrant lies. While Travolta's intentions of bringing aid and food are commendable, an earthquake is not a religious event, nor does it require any religion intervening on the ground. The Haitians don't need 'all the answers', they need to have real, physical help rebuilding their country, stabilizing their escalating crime, and building from the earthquake a better future. Religion, and Scientology will undoubtedly be around during this process. But those things don't build homes or provide food and medical aid. People do.