Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Travolta Helps Haiti with One Hand, while Molesting It With The Other

When I read that John Travolta was flying planeloads of food and supplies to Haiti, I some of my hate slide away. I mean, that was an awesome thing to do.

But then, well, another part of that story started to come out. You see, in addition to the food, Travolta is also flying Scientologists into the area. I wish I was making that up.

Quoting a recent piece from The Guardian, "The Church of Scientology has dispatched several hundred "volunteer ministers" in yellow T-shirts to other disasters, including September 11. They use a process called "assist" in which the power of touch purportedly reconnects nervous systems shaken by trauma. Since last week several hundred have fanned across Port-au-Prince."

Even if Scientologists weren't involved, the idea that there is an army of men and women running around a disaster area laying hands on people is sort of creepy. The fact that the Volunteer Ministry of the church is really a sinister way of preventing people from receiving professional psychological help after a tragedy (there is a paper trail to prove that too) and another way promoting the church to people who are in a state that makes them more susceptible to that kind of influence.

The fact that these people are using a humanitarian disaster in one of the poorest countries on earth to advance their money making scheme is truly despicable. Basically, their presence undercuts a lot of the good that Travolta is doing in Haiti.

So again, Travolta should be lauded for bring literally tons of food to that ailing nation, but the entourage he is bringing with him is really taking the edge off his generosity. Haiti needs food and supplies, but it certainly doesn't need the kind of "spiritual help".


John said...

Reminds me of this Onion article:


Message to Haitians: avoid people wearing yellow shirts.

Jenna Culbertson said...

I don't think the people of Haiti really care how the supplies get there just as long as they get help. Besides they can use the Dianetics books for fire wood to cook on.

That's about all the book is good for...

D. Prince said...

I felt very much the same way when I heard about this story. Then I had Conan O'Brien's voice in my head telling me not to be cynical and then I thought, Fuck it, we totally know what Travolta's up to!

I just hope he doesn't clog up the airport even more than it already is.

lazyhoboguy said...

Well, Christian missionaries often do similar things. I noticed that a lot of the reports getting to News channels when the earthquake hit were from missionaries. But yea, Scientology is even worse than conventional religions, since unlike the others it doesn't really even hide the fact its just trying to make money haha.

AG said...

*headdesk* After the guy spends his son's entire life denying his disability as per his cult's beliefs, with all that entailed. I seriously thought that the sad events of last year might help Travolta to move on from the CoS crackpots, but I see we've no such luck.

Nice on the supplies, though; guess it beats what Pat Robertson's followers are apt to deliver. *sigh*

Semaj said...

And, the Space Church is promoting the hell out of the fact they're sending help down there.

There is something that seems really staged about this video.

BTW, I hadn't heard about them blocking psychological treatment. But now I know. All I can say is wow.

SamuraiFrog said...

There are literally hundreds of aid flights that are having trouble getting clearance to land. I have a hard time praising Travolta for bringing food when there are other planes with supplies WITHOUT scientologist missionaries onboard that could've been landing instead. All I can see is another celebrity inserting himself into a tragic disaster to advance his own cause.

MC said...

John: Yes, that hits it on the head.

Jenna: I am just thinking Travolta could have brought more doctors, engineers or even more supplies rather than bringing the rubbing brigade.

D. Prince: There is a difference between cynicism and righteous anger though ;)

LHG: There were a lot of missionaries in Haiti even before the earthquake.

AG: Yes, it is certainly a better move than Pat Robertson's response.

Semaj: Yeah, it is some crappy, crappy stuff.

SF: So the net effect of his efforts is that LESS not more food and supplies are making it into Haiti. That puts an even worse spin on this mission of mercy than it already had.