How the Scientologists Are 'Helping' Haiti

Scientology volunteers brought no food or supplies, just touch healing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2010 10:30 AM CST
Butre Samuel is tended by doctors of the University of Miami's Global Institute for Community Health and Development at the field hospital near the airport of Port-au-Prince, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

(Newser) – A tipster who traveled to Haiti on a Scientology plane gives Gawker a firsthand account of how the religion is ineptly attempting to help. The "completely unprepared" volunteers planned to buy food once they got there instead of bringing it along, "but there was no food and no water. That was the point," he writes. One girl brought no shoes other than "designer cowboy boots"; a guy who hadn't brought toiletries or food figured he'd pick them up at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Though aid agencies from other countries were not allowed to land, the plane got a slot right away—and though the Scientologists had nowhere to stay and nowhere to set up their touch healing tent, they got themselves on the UN list of approved NGOs and were allowed to set up on UN grounds. "But they had no one who spoke Creole, and they brought the weirdness of touch healing into a very superstitious society." They even allegedly caused medical hassles by feeding people who were scheduled for surgery.

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