Scientology 'to stay' in Haiti

Scientologists flown to Haiti by John Travolta to help in the relief effort plan to set up a permanent base in the stricken country once the aid operation is complete.

Telegraph, UK/February 3, 2010

The Scientologists, who are carrying out an operation called The Volunteer Ministry Disaster Relief for Haiti, have already begun plans to build an orphanage in the country.

Members of the group have volunteered to work in the hospitals, using healing techniques that reportedly include touching certain parts of the body or telling patients to stare at the wall.

Now Scientologists plan to set up a permanent outpost in Haiti, allegedly claiming that their new orphanage has taken in its first child.

Pat Harney, a spokesperson for the organisation, told The Times: "I have no doubt that in some form or other there will be a church of Scientology here."

The first group of Scientologists arrived in Haiti two weeks ago, and were boosted last week by the arrival of actor John Travolta in his Boeing 707 with food, medical equipment, baby food and nappies, doctors and volunteer ministers.

As well as providing medical assistance the volunteers - wearing yellow T-shirts that read: "Something CAN be done about it" - have also helped distribute food and water and remove medical supplies from damaged buildings.

Some medical workers have praised the Scientologists for their efforts, but they are understood to have been less well received by certain other organisations.

An Oxfam spokeswoman was quoted as saying: "I didn't know touching could cure gangrene", while other people questioned how Travolta was able to gain landing permission while many other aid flights were turned away from the airport.

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