Frequently Asked Questions
A sampling of Frequently Asked Questions about the Volunteer Ministers.
How did Scientology Volunteer Ministers begin?
In 1973, L. Ron Hubbard went to New York to conduct a sociological study. He found a city and a society dramatically changed from the one he remembered from years before-one which had drastically worsened.
At that time, he predicted exactly where our materially-oriented society was headed: rampant immorality, violence as sport, and ultimately, politics by terrorism. But he did more than merely predict a dire future-he developed the solution to reverse this descent into a technological barbarism-THE SCIENTOLOGY VOLUNTEER MINISTER PROGRAM.
Nearly three decades later, what he foresaw has come to pass. A society, materially advanced but spiritually bereft, is crumbling while the people, lacking answers, can only watch and fear.
But real tools, answers to the problems of living, can easily be put into people's hands so they can causatively build their lives and the future. That promise is expressed in these enduring words from his essay, "Religious Influence in Society."
Who can become a Scientology Volunteer Minister?
Anyone who wants to help people can become a Scientology Volunteer Minister. Someone who does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence and who knows that the world needs a hand is the kind of person who becomes a Scientology Volunteer Minister.
How does one become a Scientology Volunteer Minister?
The heart of the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program are fundamental Scientology techniques contained in The Scientology Handbook.
One simply reads the book and then applies it to improve any aspect of life. Each of the book's 19 chapters covers a different topic of human activity, from the family to the workplace, from the fundamentals of interpersonal relations to resolving education and drug problems. Each one gives tools that, when exactly applied, change conditions invariably and for the better.
To train as a Scientology Volunteer Minister you merely read the book, beginning with the chapter immediately related to the situation you wish to help someone handle and then begin helping.
What training does a Scientology Volunteer Minister need?
The Scientology Volunteer Minister Program is something to DO, not something merely to believe. The tools in The Scientology Handbook are the primary training received.
One may simply obtain the book, read it, pass a short examination in a Scientology Church or Mission to become certified.
The Volunteer Minister Course delivered in Scientology organizations around the world takes a person through The Scientology Handbook, training him or her in every tool. The course takes about one week to complete. Shorter courses also exist for each of the 19 chapters of the handbook. These train one to apply a specific piece of the handbook in only a few hours.
That's all it takes.
How broad is the Volunteer Minister Program?
For more than 25 years, in more than 150 nations, and on a strictly volunteer basis Scientology Volunteer Ministers have brought effective solutions to bear on the problems, large and small, of the world.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers have provided assistance to refugee camps in Kosovo, to earthquake victims in Kobe, Japan and to survivors of the bombing in Oklahoma City.
They have trained Red Cross personnel in technologies to further their relief efforts in Western China, to aid those displaced by an earthquake on Russia's Sakhalin Island and to assist victims of Hurricane Andrew which devastated parts of Florida. Since 1995 alone, Volunteer Ministers have been instrumental in helping people recover from no less than 28 natural and man-made disasters across the world.
Nowhere, however, has their caring, their compassion, their resolve or their indispensability been more apparent than at the tragedy of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Are Scientology Volunteer Ministers only involved in disaster relief?
Hardly. The fact is this: disasters of every kind and description are occurring right now across the planet-and their toll on society is greater than even the most frightening terrorist attacks.
Gang members, rejects of our failed educational system, create their own brand of terror in our cities and fill our prisons to overflowing.
Substance abusers are the source of the majority of crime, driven to desperate acts to feed their habits.
Domestic violence and child abuse are skyrocketing, as moral standards continue to crumble.
Political strife and conflict keeps large sections of the planet in foment while the suffering of the people sinks to depths that are truly terrible to behold.
In this light, the World Trade Center tragedy lives as a metaphor for the tragedies affecting so many across the planet.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers can see this and they use what they know to do something about it. They are successful wherever they operate because they have an effective technology with workable solutions. Their efforts do result in real changes. Conditions that were hopeless are turned around completely.
And that's precisely what the world needs. Scientology Volunteer Ministers can and are doing something to pull this planet out of its slide-but millions are needed to salvage the billions. It begins by helping one person at a time as a Volunteer Minister.
What is the relationship between the Volunteer Minister Program and Scientology?
Scientology is a 21st century religion, a religion of this new millennium. It comprises a vast body of knowledge extending from certain fundamental truths, and prime among those truths: Man is a spiritual being endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally envisages.
He is not only able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also to achieve new states of awareness.
In one form or another, all great religions have held the hope of spiritual freedom-a condition free of material limitations and misery. The question has always been, however, how does one reach such a state, particularly while still living amidst a frantic and often overwhelming society?
Although modern life seems to pose an infinitely complex array of problems, Scientology maintains that the solutions to those problems are basically simple and within every man's reach. Difficulties with communication and interpersonal relationships, nagging insecurities, self-doubt and despair-each man innately possesses the potential to be free of these and many other concerns.
Scientology offers a pathway to greater freedom.
Pan-denominational in nature, Scientology is open to all religions. This is no esoteric religion. It is a practical operating church which offers its help to anyone who wants and can use it.
The Scientology Volunteer Minister Program uses Scientology and makes its workable technology available to all who desire a better world.
Find out more about Scientology
Do Scientology Volunteer Ministers work with ministers of other faiths?
Absolutely. By virtue of the work Scientology Volunteer Ministers do in their communities, they come in contact with others working along similar lines, including other ministers. They work with clergy of any faith to promote certain ideals which strengthen the spiritual life of the community:
A. That religion is an indispensable part of community life.
B. That Volunteer Ministers support all churches in the community.
C. That people should be encouraged to "come to church," any church.
These messages are themselves assistance to anyone you give them to, because spiritual values lead to greater happiness and an increased level of survival. Public opinion polls even show that amongst the general population those who have a strong faith are happier than others.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers offer to give talks at other churches as a guest minister. This is quite common and fosters the interfaith movement.
What are the goals of the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program?
The goal of the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program is to restore spiritual values to society and bring about a world based on trusting relationships, honest dealings and kind actions.
The forces that threaten to tear the fabric of civilization to shreds can be subdued, not by meeting force with force or violence with violence, but by compassionate use of the exact technologies of Scientology as contained in The Scientology Handbook to help the individual man or woman solve the problems which face him or her. Where this technology is well applied, positive change invariably occurs. With the same degree of predictability that "an apple falls when dropped," the tools used in the Volunteer Minister Program bring about definite and lasting improvement.
One need not believe in the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program. One need not change any beliefs. One need only apply the technology and observe that it works.
A special knowledge in the handling of life is what the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program offers, and it is for anyone to use. With that, we can truly begin a crusade to build a better world.
Your own life and reason for being can be better. Your family and those close to you can be happier. Your groups can be more productive and successful. Your community can be made a better place for people to live. Volunteer Ministers doing likewise in their communities can give us a better, more compassionate nation. And Volunteer Ministers at work in other countries can one day give us harmony among all nations. Then we'll see an end to conflict on Earth and the flourishing of a civilization without war, criminality or insanity, where people are free to create their lives and the future.
This is a crusade worth joining. You can participate wherever you are, on a part-time basis. What you need to know is easy to learn and easy to apply. In truth, you cannot lose by becoming a Volunteer Minister. You'll be contributing to a grass roots movement where everyone, in the end, will win. And you'll have had a hand in making this a far, far better world.