Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scientologists In Haiti: Volunteers Doing More Harm Than Good?


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via The Full Feed from by The Huffington Post News Editors on 2/2/10

Gawker spoke to an aid worker who traveled to Haiti in the same plane as a group of Scientologists. He wrote to the website detailing the group's inadequate preparation and potentially harmful practices on the ground.

Among the offenses detailed: wearing inadequate footwear, bringing only money to attempt to buy supplies instead of bringing any food and water on the plane, bringing nobody who spoke Creole, feeding patients who were about to go into surgery.

By the time we arrived in Haiti, after a stopover in Miami, we had missed three landing slots at the airport. Aid agencies -- genuine aid agencies -- from other countries were being turned away, refused permission to land. But we still got a slot straight away. The guy who ran our charter seemed to think that the Scientologists had some real influence with the US Government, who were assigning the slots.

The doctors and EMTs in our party headed straight downtown to start working. The Scientologists had nowhere to go, and nowhere to put up the big yellow tent they'd brought for touch healing people in. They went to the UN, and managed to get on to their list of approved NGOs somehow. That meant they could set up in the UN grounds.

Read the full account on

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