Pharyngula

Scientologists in Haiti

A witness has described the efforts of scientologists to “help” the people of Haiti. They would have done far more if they’d stayed home.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul Bates
    February 4, 2010

    Shockingly appalling. I feel the same sort of nausea when I read stories about the rush of godly folks into Haiti to evangelize.

  2. #2 Rorschach
    February 4, 2010

    I feel the same sort of nausea when I read stories about the rush of godly folks into Haiti to evangelize.

    Evangelize the mostly christian Haitians, nonetheless.

  3. #3 Truckle
    February 4, 2010

    The gullibility and ignorance of these people is astonishing…

    Thinking they could buy food at the airport

    And you can bet they went back with glowing tales of all the success they have had, failing to mention the chaos, pain and suffering they have caused.

    /boggle

  4. #4 badgersdaughter
    February 4, 2010

    Oh, they think can do anything they want, if they’re “Clear.” They’re “at cause” over “MEST” (in control of matter, energy, space, and time). Funny, then, that no matter how many Clears I asked to do something to show they were “at cause”, none of them were able to prove it.

  5. #5 Bill
    February 4, 2010

    I was going to comment, but I just don’t know what to say about that.

  6. #6 Glen Davidson
    February 4, 2010

    They really do raise brazen moneyed ignorance to new heights (or?). Is cluelessness a requirement for that religion?

    I wonder if scam artists pay extra for lists of Scientologists.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  7. #7 Andreas Johansson
    February 4, 2010

    Is cluelessness a requirement for that religion?

    No. They’ll happily take a clueful person and make them cluless if given the chance. Part of becoming Clear is being cleansed of any clues one may have picked up in earlier life.

  8. #8 Strangest brew
    February 4, 2010

    Retarded dimwits require EST to fucking wake up to their freaking insanity.

  9. #9 MadScientist
    February 4, 2010

    Wow – that’s a case of WTF that beats city boys out in the wild and Dick Cheney with his “hunting” with a sixpack and an SUV. “Disaster area” usually means you can bet no food, no electricity, no potable water, probably need to set up your own camp to stay in. Hell, on one mission my team sent out 20 scouts and spent almost 5 whole days with 80+ people and heavy machinery trying to establish a goddamned route. On another mission we were joking about it being so much nicer than the last because we had beautiful roads – and then the roads disappeared (there *used* to be some rather good roads there) and only the 6×6 vehicles could go any further – so we relieved the civilian contingent of as many goods as we could, pared down our team, and sent the civilians home escorted by the smaller vehicles. You’d think people might have half a clue about how horrible things are if they look at the news footage.

  10. #10 Legion
    February 4, 2010

    badgersdaughter:

    Oh, they think can do anything they want, if they’re “Clear.” They’re “at cause” over “MEST” (in control of matter, energy, space, and time). Funny, then, that no matter how many Clears I asked to do something to show they were “at cause”, none of them were able to prove it.

    Someone should have asked them why Tom Cruise didn’t just fly up into low earth orbit and circle the earth at light speed, reversing the earth’s rotation and turning back time to a point before the earthquake.

  11. #11 badgersdaughter
    February 4, 2010

    Legion, I was going to snark like that, but the mere existence of Scientology critics proves, in and of itself, that Clears are not able to influence “MEST”.

  12. #12 https://me.yahoo.com/a/mdrLZ.Vk1MTBhS8kcqmXnlyfDgTqbyY-#50456
    February 4, 2010

    Hmm, mest is the Dutch word for manure. Good to know they are in control of it.

  13. #13 locka99
    February 4, 2010

    Scientologists and fundamentalist christians are like the ambulance chasers of the religious world.

    There are plenty of reputable charities that have religious based origins – Oxfam, Trocaire etc. They’re easy to spot because they administer life saving aid and relief regardless of ethnicity or religion.

  14. #14 Moggie
    February 4, 2010

    I’ve tried several times to compose a comment on this, but deleted it each time because I was too angry. On reflection, I think I reserve most of my anger for the Scientologist hierarchy who cynically milk the gullible and brainwash them into this dangerous idiocy. Those fools on the ground in Haiti may genuinely believe they’re helping, and it makes me want to cry with frustration at the thought that basically decent but naive people can be brainwashed into harming people through their incompetence and obstruction. Maybe, just maybe, their experience in Haiti will cause some of them to see sense.

    On the other hand, if they’re there to recruit, throw the bastards in jail with the Baptist child abductors.

  15. #15 kittywhumpus
    February 4, 2010

    I wish I could say I found this account unbelievable.

    Still, I should not have read this first thing in the morning. It isn’t starting me off on the right foot.

    Thanks for your concern, Mr. Travolta.

  16. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    While I have little doubt this account is accurate, it would be nice if there was a better more reliable source reporting on their activities there.

    Granted I understand the pitfalls of a larger news source doing an accurate report on the Scientologists.

  17. #17 patrick.rubbs.regan
    February 4, 2010

    Don’t these people read the news? There is no airport. There is a trailer they use as an ATC center.

    I too wonder about the authenticity of this account, but I’m not too skeptical of it. I’ve heard several accounts similar to this in other disasters. Why these quacks are allowed to do this kind of stuff is just beyond me.

  18. #18 stoic.myopenid.com
    February 4, 2010

    (Damn your comment trolls. It takes me 15 minutes to circumnavigate the sign in on the site. Arrrgh!)

    I dunno. The Catholic Church already bitches about how the Haitians have mixed “voodoo” with Christianity. Imagine a Scientology/Voodoo hybrid? The Scientologists may not know what they’re getting themselves into.

  19. #19 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    Imagine a Scientology/Voodoo hybrid?

    Well they already have zombies in both.

  20. #20 Jimmy-boy
    February 4, 2010

    I’ve been having a debate with a Scientologist on this subject here (I’m Jim)

    http://harlemworldblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/scientology-flys-medical-team-to-haiti/

    If any one feels like wading in… The Scientologist author is – of course – seriously deluded.

  21. #21 creating trons
    February 4, 2010

    A few years ago I saw a show on John Travolta. The last segment was about his pilot training and that he had earned his 747 license. I was impressed that he did this without any military background. This is an exception to the rule, IMO.

    Well, I was impressed. Until I found out his ties to Sillytology.

  22. #22 Andreas Johansson
    February 4, 2010

    Imagine a Scientology/Voodoo hybrid.

    It’d probably be less bad than unadulterated scientology.

  23. #23 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    Damn Jim, give ‘em hell!

  24. #24 tsg
    February 4, 2010

    There are few things more harmful than an idiot with good intentions.

  25. #25 Holytape
    February 4, 2010

    Well, it’s understandable why the Scientologists are so ineffective. It was the wrong kind of natural disaster. Now, if it were a volcano blowing up and there were all kinds of Thetans floating around, they would have been much more effective. But an earthquake or poverty, these problems are out of their league. Maybe the Church can help Haitian sue the earthquake in England for libel.

    Pac-devil and the holy Ghost

  26. #26 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    Cheryl is a classic example of someone so ingrained in the cult that she is impervious to any criticism of it.

  27. #27 Sven DiMilo
    February 4, 2010
  28. #28 history punk
    February 4, 2010

    Someone shoud create a regulatory body for events like the Haitian earthquake so that there is an authority who can come out and say, “No, you’re worse than useless, so bugger off.” Otherwise, disruptions like this will occur and eventually cost lives.

  29. #29 Lynna, OM
    February 4, 2010

    Same level of cluelessness as the Baptists who didn’t have enough water to give the children they stole. At least the Scientologists didn’t steal any children.

    They should have been refused entry.

  30. #30 lurker42
    February 4, 2010

    This doesn’t anger me as much as the Baptist kidnappers/child trafficers.

    But the cluelessness was nigh pathological. I hope all of the Haitians learned to steer clear.

  31. #31 lurker42
    February 4, 2010

    damn. traffickers.

  32. #32 lordshipmayhem
    February 4, 2010

    OMG, they gave food to pre-op patients?

    If they’d tried that stunt on any patients I was caring for, I’d have rendered THEM into pre-op patients.

  33. #33 raven
    February 4, 2010

    I don’t quite see why all those wacko xians are rushing to Haiti to convert the Haitians.

    IIRC, Haiti is 96% xian and has been for more or less since the country started. It is around 80% Catholic though.

    Maybe they are just turf battling against the RCC priests.

  34. #34 IanM
    February 4, 2010

    Scientology goes way beyond ambulance chasing and the woo typical of religious organisations. They are heavily into blackmail and intimidation.

  35. #35 Celtic_Evolution
    February 4, 2010

    tangential….

    I was just talking about this with a devout christian co-worker down the hall. We were both talking about how terrible it was if the report is accurate, when he, in full stride, spits out the following comment:

    “It amazes me that people are sucked in to the whole scientology thing… it’s not even a real religion… I mean the whole thing is based on a stupid book some guy just made up and people fork over tons of hard-earned cash to this scam”.

    I stopped… stared at him for a second, then looked at a couple of empty boxes that were behind him. I pointed at one and said, “can I have one of those boxes? My irony box is about full and I’m gonna need lots more room after this conversation”.

    He looked at me funny for a second, then gave me a box.

    I wish I were making that up.

  36. #36 Lynna, OM
    February 4, 2010

    Re the link @20 to a discussion with scientologist robot, Cheryl: Jim is doing a great job of pointing out the nonsense, and Cheryl is glassy-eyed with pre-programmed responses about the glories of L. Ron Hubbard. She keeps bringing up the “thousands of people” she personally has seen helped. Bleh. Cheryl is hopeless. She doesn’t understand the difference between evidence and anecdote.

    She did make one good point, the Scientologists paid to get some real doctors and EMTs into the country. So why didn’t they just pay for the plane (and other transportation), and also pay for the supplies, and pay for the time of the doctors — and NOT insist on accompanying them like a ball and chain made of woo and religion?

    If it’s really not a PR stunt, why send the yellow ministers at all? The ministers were a drag on local resources, like food and water, as well.

  37. #37 MrFire
    February 4, 2010

    If any one feels like wading in… The Scientologist author is – of course – seriously deluded.

    Nice one, Jim! Even if I think, to paraphrase Barney Frank, that you are trying to reason with a dining-room table.

  38. #38 raven
    February 4, 2010

    Those Idaho Baptists were just clueless. Didn’t look like they had any idea of what the third world was like, what disasters were like, or what to do with homeless children.

    So they just walked in and starting rounding up kids at random. It turns out many of those kids had parents. Some of those parents had given them away to the rich Americans. Some of those kids appear to have been kidnapped.

    They do give away kids in the third world sometimes. In really poor countries, the families can be large, 4-10 kids. The mothers will give their kids away to First Worlders and hope they have a better life in the USA or Europe.

  39. #39 Lynna, OM
    February 4, 2010

    “can I have one of those boxes? My irony box is about full and I’m gonna need lots more room after this conversation”.

    lol — that’s great … and did you manage to keep a straight face?

  40. #40 daveau
    February 4, 2010

    My grandfather was fond of saying “If you can’t be a help, don’t be a hindrance.” Maybe Scientologists are doing some good passing out blankets and water, but they are clearly babes in the woods at this and are preventing people with better experience who can do a whole lot more good from accomplishing their work.

  41. #41 Jimmy-boy
    February 4, 2010

    Somehow, while Cheryl keeps replying, so will I!

    It’s hard not to laugh of course…she is a tad unhinged. Verbal confrontation has to be the way to go though. I would once have been a pretty strong defender of Catholicism, ironically, so I know that folks can be persuaded to open their eyes sometimes.

    I particularly love the way she is desparate to tell the world all about how much she has done for Haiti – and then claim I asked! Wonderful bit of self delusion.

  42. #42 Celtic_Evolution
    February 4, 2010

    lol — that’s great … and did you manage to keep a straight face?

    Oh, yeah… stone-faced… and I couldn’t tell if he was confused or irritated, but either way it was clear that the point sailed right over his head.

    But I took the box with a wink, a smile, and a “thanks”…

  43. #43 Celtic_Evolution
    February 4, 2010

    But I took the box with a wink, a smile, and a “thanks”…

    In fact, I’ve just decided to decorate it a bit, label it “Irony” on all sides, and begin printing out the stupid, ironic things that people say to me on a daily basis, then toss the papers in the box.

    That way I can have my own little hilarious inside joke with myself where I can say “ohhh… that’s a good one… that’s going in the box” after someone says something ironical and giggle uncontrollably. Whee! What fun!

  44. #44 Moggie
    February 4, 2010

    #36:

    She did make one good point, the Scientologists paid to get some real doctors and EMTs into the country. So why didn’t they just pay for the plane (and other transportation), and also pay for the supplies, and pay for the time of the doctors — and NOT insist on accompanying them like a ball and chain made of woo and religion

    The most charitable analogy I can think of is the way little kids love to “help” when mummy or daddy is doing something important and grown-up. I think the UN should buy a big stockpile of LEGO to distract them with when disaster strikes. “You want to help? Good for you! There’s this vital reconstruction project…”

  45. #45 tsg
    February 4, 2010

    The most charitable analogy I can think of is the way little kids love to “help” when mummy or daddy is doing something important and grown-up. I think the UN should buy a big stockpile of LEGO to distract them with when disaster strikes. “You want to help? Good for you! There’s this vital reconstruction project…”

    They need to get a good supply of little brooms.

  46. #46 whubbell
    February 4, 2010

    And, you know, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to Xenu. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, Xenu said, “OK, it’s a deal.”

  47. #47 a.human.ape
    February 4, 2010

    Of course everyone knows scientologists are wackos. Unfortunately there’s not much good to say about the people of Haiti. A lady I work with is from Haiti, and she’s ashamed to be from there for a good reason. She said her relatives told her the men of Haiti push women and children out of line so they can get the free food first. Then when women finally do get a food package, it is stolen from them so they have to stand in line again or else starve. In a civilized country the men would insist that the women and children be fed first. But Haiti is a nation of barbarians.

    It’s interesting that the people of Haiti are both extremely immoral and extremely religious.

  48. #48 Rick Miller
    February 4, 2010

    What’s with the cross design on the back of the Scientologists’ shirts? They’re not Christian.

  49. #49 David Marjanovi?
    February 4, 2010

    If any one feels like wading in…

    My comments are awaiting moderation. I’ll check back tomorrow? <yawn>

  50. #50 https://me.yahoo.com/a/SaqGVG0xvJEQVwURVamS3DTCdvov0BLhXK1jOsYPPJQ-#b4893
    February 4, 2010

    What’s worse, though: Scientologists in Hawaii, or Baptists trying to bring “orphans” to a better life?

    I’ve settled on Baptists, since those kids weren’t really orphans.

    One stupid and potentially harmful, while the other is stupid and actually harmful.

  51. #51 Celtic_Evolution
    February 4, 2010

    a.human.ape #47

    Seriously… what the fuck is wrong with you?

  52. #52 David Marjanovi?
    February 4, 2010

    <sigh>

    a.human.ape, do you know what an individual is?

    Has it ever occurred to you that morals aren’t somehow transmitted by citizenship?

  53. #53 Maslab
    February 4, 2010

    “Nice one, Jim! Even if I think, to paraphrase Barney Frank, that you are trying to reason with a dining-room table.”

    Considering one of the things that Scientologists train to do is to yell at inanimate objects with a straight face…

  54. #54 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    In fact, I’ve just decided to decorate it a bit, label it “Irony” on all sides, and begin printing out the stupid, ironic things that people say to me on a daily basis, then toss the papers in the box.

    That way I can have my own little hilarious inside joke with myself where I can say “ohhh… that’s a good one… that’s going in the box” after someone says something ironical and giggle uncontrollably. Whee! What fun!

    Heh. I like this though I can see the look on my wife’s face if I was to explain it to her.

    Mrs. BigDumbCHimp – Honey what’s this box here for?

    Me – Well…..

  55. #55 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    A lady I work with is from Haiti, and she’s ashamed to be from there for a good reason. She said her relatives told her the men of Haiti push women and children out of line so they can get the free food first. Then when women finally do get a food package, it is stolen from them so they have to stand in line again or else starve. In a civilized country the men would insist that the women and children be fed first. But Haiti is a nation of barbarians.

    Whew. Thank god. If you can take the second hand anecdote of a woman you work with to condone and entire country then I’m finally free to talk about the French because of something my Uncle’s barber once said.

    Oh the possibilities!

  56. #56 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    an… AN

  57. #57 tsg
    February 4, 2010

    ITYM “condemn” and not “condone”, as well.

  58. #58 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    Scientologists showed up when the bridge fell in my hometown of Minneapolis.

    See linked article:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3445882&page=1

    From the article:

    “In Minneapolis, the group said it’s working with the Red Cross. Yet members of the Red Cross working at the disaster zone questioned by ABC News weren’t aware of the Church’s assistance. ”

  59. #59 Celtic_Evolution
    February 4, 2010

    ITYM “condemn” and not “condone”, as well.

    I was going to point that out as well… but… ya know, it’s RBDC… ;^)

  60. #60 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    fuck

    condem not condone… shit

    multitasking fail

  61. #61 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    At least, if the RevBDC went to Haiti, he’d bring some bacon. The question is: Would he share it?

  62. #62 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 4, 2010

    I would share it. I just wouldn’t be able to write coherently about it, but I would share it.

  63. #63 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    Okay, I thought as much. I am sure you wouldn’t be a nuisance either!

  64. #64 MrFire
    February 4, 2010

    #47 is a demented drive-by troll who never, ever returns to justify their bullshit.

  65. #65 raven
    February 4, 2010

    “In Minneapolis, the group said it’s working with the Red Cross. Yet members of the Red Cross working at the disaster zone questioned by ABC News weren’t aware of the Church’s assistance. “

    Of course the Scientologists were helping. They were keeping the Thetan ghosts away from the collapsed bridge.

    And it worked well. No one saw lots of Thetan ghosts wandering around in the wreckage.

  66. #66 Andreas Johansson
    February 4, 2010

    And it worked well. No one saw lots of Thetan ghosts wandering around in the wreckage.

    I did.

    (Granted, I was high on homeopathic painkillers at the time, but still.)

  67. #67 tsg
    February 4, 2010

    I did.

    (Granted, I was high on homeopathic painkillers at the time, but still.)

    How many did you take, none? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? I’m surprised you didn’t see Jesus riding a triceratops…

  68. #68 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    Thetan ghosts!

    Are you sure the scientologists didn’t keep away the descendants of Norwegian trolls who were stowaways when my ancestors left the old country?

  69. #69 chuckgoecke
    February 4, 2010

    Another religious evangelicals helping third-world kids story:
    A former co-worker and friend told me about her parents from East Texas; evangelicals that had all but disowned her because she is gay. She said they would go on missions to Guatemala to help the kids. Apparently on one trip, they were to distribute used shoes to the native kids in some village. Amber said that she over heard her parents discussing that they only gave the shoes to kids that were of the “correct” religion, not whether they needed shoes. This was what started her from breaking away from her parents and their church. I thought she was ripe for atheization, but she didn’t respond to my overtures.

  70. #70 Kathy Orlinsky
    February 4, 2010

    The high point of the story is the sick and injured Haitians asking not to be treated by the people in the yellow shirts. Would that all communities could be that sensible.

  71. #71 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    This just in: The ten baptists from Idaho have been charged with kidnapping.

  72. #72 MaleficVTwin
    February 4, 2010

    Quasi-related to the topic, here’s a poll about the Baptists that needs Pharyngulating. It’s already going in the right direction, but not by a large enough margin, IMHO……

    http://msnbc.polls.newsvine.com/_question/2010/02/04/3855287-should-the-10-american-missionaries-stand-trial-in-haiti-for-trying-to-take-children-out-of-the-country

  73. #73 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 4, 2010

    The ten baptists from Idaho have been charged with kidnapping.

    Life in a Haitian jail before the earthquake would have been bad enough. It’s going to be “interesting” as to what happens to the Baptists now.

  74. #74 MadScientist
    February 4, 2010

    @creating trons #21: Anyone (with the money to afford the flight time to keep current on various certificates) can get the certificates required to fly a 747. The only thing unusual about Travolta’s situation is that he actually had the time and money to do this. Seeing as how all the promotional videos with Travolta flying a 747 (such as a Qantas plane) show a barely laden aircraft, I’d bet good money that he doesn’t have the set of certificates required to fly paying passengers on a commercial basis. In fact he might not have the certificates required to fly *any* passengers since the videos only show him doing a taxi to the terminal. (But I suspect he can fly passengers on the provision he makes no profit – so non-commercial flights only.)

  75. #75 Qwerty
    February 4, 2010

    Another story on Scientologists in Haiti:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ivwpraZNS56O4hgGIjZvs-35mC1g

    From the above story:

    “Some doctors at the hospital are skeptical. One US doctor, who asked not to be named, snorted: ‘I didn’t know touching could heal gangrene.'”

  76. #76 PeteJohn
    February 4, 2010

    This would be funny and goofy if it weren’t so terrifyingly sad. Like you said, PZ, they’d have been better off cutting checks. Scientologists seem much better at receiving them though, so maybe they don’t know how.

  77. #77 Eliot Rosewater
    February 4, 2010

    #47 – “Of course everyone knows scientologists are wackos.”

    Yeah, but to me they are no crazier than any other religion (Christianity, Mormonism, Islam, Heaven’s Gate Cult, etc.)

    They are all wackos. But that is why I like Scientology. When you look at Scientology by itself, most people (other than Scientologists) see it as utter nonsense. When you juxtapose Scientology next to Christianity, to me, it shows Christianity in a more accurate light – that is, utter nonsense.

  78. #78 Suck Poppet
    February 4, 2010

    MadScientist:

    I’d bet good money that he doesn’t have the set of certificates required to fly paying passengers on a commercial basis. In fact he might not have the certificates required to fly *any* passengers

    Don’t make that bet, you may find yourself out of pocket. AFAIK Johnny-boy has a commercial pilots licence with a command instrument rating, which means he can legally carry as many passangers as the aircraft is rated for, allowing for weight and balance conditions. What’s more, he could legally be financially compensated for the service, if he so desired.

    I am not sure who is entitled to compensation for his unabashed peddling of woo, however …

    btw, the plane is an ex-Qantas 707

  79. #79 atomjack
    February 4, 2010

    TSG @ #67 ftw. that’s fucking high-larious. by all rights of homeopathy, we all ought to be dead. On the scientology note, did anyone see the Harlan Ellison video where he discusses how a bunch of sci fi writers helped L Ron Hubbard formulate his religion, when he said, “There must be a better way to make a living!”,? This during a discussion of writing sci fi for a living. dayam.

  80. #80 dannystevens.myopenid.com
    February 5, 2010

    It is inspiring to see people rush to the aid of fellow humans when there is selfless, non-egotistical behaviour, even if they make mistakes. These people on the other hand are just low. Both the scientologists and the baptists are suffering from arrogance and making things worse.

  81. #81 Nick
    February 5, 2010

    There was a joke going round, during the Thatcher era (reign of terror?), that being injured by an IRA bomb wasn’t so bad, it was waking up in a hospital bed, only to find Maggie at your bedside, that was really painful.

  82. #82 spunmunkey
    February 5, 2010

    hmmm – the Co$ – For people who supposedly have control over MEST – they sure have poor record showing this mastery…

    Funny how they didn’t stay all that long – I guess once you are ‘touched’, you’ll never need medical help ever again *snork*

  83. #83 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 5, 2010

    This is CNN, so take that for what it is worth, but here is a Video about the Baptist kidnappers.

    Not sounding good for them. Real sketchy.

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