Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology celebrates its disaster response in Florida, but struggles in Puerto Rico and Mexico

Rod Keller keeps an eye on how Scientology’s “Volunteer Ministers” capers are turning out during this remarkably bad spate of natural disasters…

Scientology’s hurricane and earthquake response continued this week, but in Clearwater, Florida it’s all over but the congratulations. A banquet was held at the Fort Harrison Hotel to thank the Volunteer Ministers (VMs) who helped the downtown district prepare for Hurricane Irma, as well as for clearing fallen trees and brush following the storm. It appears that not all VMs in Clearwater were Sea Org members, many were public Scientologists.



Store owners were similarly grateful for the VMs, and organized a thank you stroll along Cleveland St., the main shopping street in the city. Many owners are Scientologists, but this event is being supported by non-Scientologists as well.

Puerto Rico was hit by the same hurricane as Clearwater, but the situation there is much different, after the island was hit with a second major storm, Hurricane Maria. A few VMs have come to the island in a true humanitarian crisis, in urgent need of food and water, but they have brought only chainsaws.


The People of Puerto Rico NEED VMs! Most people know the dire situation on the island:
– no power except emergency generators
– little to no phone or internet service
– no drinkable water
– roads blocked
– thousands in over 500 shelters
– gas shortages
and more…

Funding has been secured for hundreds of VMs to be sent to help. The first team has just left to help pave the way for more. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED N-O-W!!! Please spread the word.

Contact the LA VM office 1-800-xxx-xxxx
or John Franzack in New York 646-xxx-xxxx


Hundreds of VMs have not arrived yet, and fuel for the chainsaws is scarce. The VMs’ plea for supplies is difficult to answer, as poor administration at the ports and airports is preventing food and water from reaching the population.

We arrived yesterday night and stayed in one of the harder hit areas, Dorato. We are now in the Puerto Rico org and setting up the logistics necessary to allow 100 Volunteer Ministers to come down and help.

Sometimes the tankers come and sometimes they do not. Each person is not allowed more than $20 in gas. This is probably the largest issue we are working on as VMs. In order to use chain saws, transport VMs, transport supplies, run generators to charge phones to be able to communicate, etc, you need gas. Food is not currently a major issue and there are sporadic restaurants open on generators. Water is also fairly available in the cities but cannot be bought in large quantities. Further out, I’m sure it’s an issue due to lack of gas.

The current Puerto Rico Church of Scientology was not damaged. It has no power and no running water and currently the VMs are sleeping in an enclosed Terrace area on the top floor. The staff are all safe and well. We know of no injuries in the Scientology field. The new building is also not damaged.

We have not been able to take showers, you have to use baby wipes to clean off. We are using ocean water to flush toilets and can only drink bottled water. The ocean water is contaminated with sewage. Puerto Rico is incredibly hot and humid and there is no air conditioning anywhere. You have to think long and hard about how important something is before you use any cars in order to preserve as much gas as possible. We have about 5-6 local VMs and 6 external VMs working here. We need supplies first and foremost.

In Texas, Scientology VMs arranged for eight truckloads of donated building supplies to be brought to Rockport, Texas, which was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Listeners of the Bonneville Radio Network in Salt Lake City, Utah donated money to purchase the supplies, and radio personality Kerri Kasem was part of the team that transported them to Texas. TV station KIII in Texas reported that the convoy delivered the materials to Aransas Airport where they will be distributed to residents to repair their damaged homes and businesses.


[Volunteer Minister Kerri Kasem]

In Mexico City enthusiasm is fading for the earthquake relief effort. There are fewer volunteers this week and the donated supplies have all been distributed. The VMs have been transporting the few remaining supplies to the Xochimilco district, known for its system of canals and artificial islands known as chinampas. Much of the area is reachable only by small boats.


[VMs in the canals of Xochimilco]

We are already left with nothing in the collection center! We have received and delivered more than 40 tons of food, water, food, hygiene, medicine and tools but requests for help come from everywhere. I ask you for your help. We need:

– Water Individual bottled and water bottles
– Ready to eat food – for brigades and shelters
– Food for eating – Tuna cans, instant soups, grains, seeds, sugar, oil, salt, milk, eggs, pasta soups, cereals, cookies, sweets
– Baby food – Milk formula, nipples, clothes, toys and diapers
– Cosmetics for children: Sweets, clothes, toys
– Medicines: Alcohol, bandages, gauze, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, etc.
– Hygiene supplies: Toilet paper, feminine towels, alcohol gel, shampoo, soaps
– Tools and equipment: Shovels, spikes, helmets, safety vests, protective glasses, gloves
– Cardboard boxes

Bring everything you can to help more people !!!
Scientology México
Located at Balderas 27 esq Juárez
Col. Centro
Ciudad de México

There has been no public update on the VM team that was heading to the island of St. Maarten. Communication on the island has not been restored following the hurricane.

— Rod Keller


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,890 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 36 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,099 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,873 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,647 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,993 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,487 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,527 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,239 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 765 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,854 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,994 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,314 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,289 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 645 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,947 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,053 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,456 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,329 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 910 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,415 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,659 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,768 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 1, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email