John Travolta Says He'll Airlift Scientologist "Volunteer Ministers" to Help Earthquake Victims in Haiti

John Travolta has announced that he will fly "volunteer ministers" from the Church of Scientology to Haiti, to help victims of the country’s devastating earthquake. "I hope that inspires others as well," Travolta told WYTV, an Ohio-based ABC affiliate. "It's needed."

Crisis Scientology like what Travolta’s doing is no new phenomenon. In the past, Scientologists have helped set up "detoxification" programs where firefighters work out, rest in saunas and take supplements that supposedly cleanse them of PCBs; And in the wake of 9/11, Scientologists were allowed to stay with workers from the Red Cross long after all other religious groups were told to leave. One former firefighter even told the New York Times, “It’s actually a pretty awesome program.”

Still, just how well these "healing" sessions work (if at all) is extremely unclear -- seemingly a question of "believing" or "not-believing." Witness a 2005 Washington Post story about Randy Meyers, a mechanic from Michigan and member of the Church of Scientology, who flew to India to help tsunami survivors (by touching them with a finger):

Auto mechanic as healer: Meyers does not need your affirmation. The team of 28 volunteer ministers in southern India is a crowded lot of confident self-actualizers. There is Iain Cochran, 31, who normally works as an accountant for a vitamin company in the United Kingdom, overseeing payroll and bill payment, now laboring to "restore communication with an ill or injured area of a being."

Rarely is straight-news copy lacquered in so much bitter sarcasm.

Gawker has the goods on the unorthodox concoction of healing methods utilized by volunteer ministers -- from “Locational Assists” (repeatedly directing someone’s attention at objects like chairs or buildings) to "Nerve Assists" (touching someone on the back to release what’s called a "standing wave" of trauma) to "Touch Assists" like those performed by Randy Meyers and friends in the Post story.


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