August 20—27, 2011, has been designated International Volunteer Minister Week in honor of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers whose work has become synonymous with unconditional help.

Over the past 10 years, since 9/11/01, the bright yellow t-shirts and tents of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have become established symbols of hope in times of need. 

While no one could have predicted the violence with which the events of 9/11 would rip our culture from its social veneer, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, saw clearly that it was time for Scientologists to redouble their efforts to aid Mankind in reversing society’s dwindling spiral that the cataclysm so suddenly and dramatically brought into focus.

A now legendary, internationally-issued Wake-Up Call inspired unprecedented response. On September 11, 2001 there were 6,000 Volunteer Ministers internationally. Today there are more than 350,000 trained in the technology and skills of Scientology Volunteer Ministers

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program was born in 1976 when Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, noting a tremendous downturn in the level of ethics and morality in society, and a consequent increase in drugs and crime, wrote, “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a VOLUNTEER MINISTER and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”

Throughout the last 35 years, Scientology Volunteer Ministers have provided service in their communities and worldwide, volunteered in cavalcades and Goodwill Tours on five continents, and responded to 187 natural and manmade disasters including:

•    Earthquakes in the United States, Japan, Greece, Peru, Chile, Russia, Italy, China, Turkey, El Salvador and Indonesia from 1995 to 2011, with major participation in the South Asian earthquake and tsunami of December 2004, the L’Aquila earthquake of 2009, the Haiti earthquake of 2010 and the Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011. 

•    Yearly and seasonal hurricane, cyclone and typhoon relief throughout North and Central America and the Caribbean, Indonesia and Thailand. Some 900 volunteers aided victims of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Volunteer Ministers also routinely rescue people and property from floods throughout the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Pakistan and India.

•    Crisis zones, including displaced persons camps in Chechnya 1997, the 1999 Moscow theater siege, Zimbabwe during civil unrest in 2000, Ground Zero in New York and the Pentagon after 9/11, London after the bombing of 2005, Mumbai in the wake of terrorist attacks in 2006.

•    In Australian bush fires, Southern California brushfires and at the site of the massive 2009 fire on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

This year Volunteer Minister across 185 nations will honor this year's celebration with events, seminars and tours. Regular updates will be posted on