May 3, 2007
More than two years ago the world was shocked by footage of the tsunamis and their devastating effect on Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Many thousands flew to the region to provide urgently needed relief, among them a French Scientologist named Marc Arrighi and his family.
Here is the story of the Arrighis, who came to the region out of compassion, and stayed on out of love for the people of Tamil Nadu, India.
The day after Christmas in 2004, Marc Arrighi, like so many millions who were riveted to the news that day, learned of the tsunami that devastated whole sections of India, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, including a region called Pondicherry in the state of Tamil Nadu in South Eastern India. Marc and his wife Prisca, who are Volunteer Ministers, seeing the urgent need of help, packed up their family and left immediately for this former French colony.
Nearly 30 years ago, L. Ron Hubbard launched the Volunteer Ministers program, saying "A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well." And nowhere was this kind of help more needed than in the 2004 tsunami disaster zones. With nearly 8,000 dead and hundreds of thousands injured or left homeless in Tamil Nadu alone, the stories in the media didn't come close to describing what they found when they arrived. But the people were indomitable and were so willing and eager to help one another, and the Arrighi family forged such friendships, that they decided to stay on in the region as Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
Over the past two and a half years they have continued their work, training a team of local Volunteer Ministers, and using technology of L. Ron Hubbard to help their many new friends.
The Volunteer Ministers team uses Dianetics technology to help the people of Tamil Nadu recover from the trauma they experienced.
The word Dianetics comes from the Greek dia, meaning "through" and nous, meaning "soul", and is defined as "what the soul is doing to the body."
Mr. Hubbard discovered that when a person experiences trauma, whether physical pain, loss, or the threat of loss, this is stored in the reactive mind, that part of the mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis, and which is not under the person's volitional (willing) control. The reactive mind exerts force and the power of command over one's awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions. The causes of a person's persistent or recurring feelings of grief or loss are buried in the reactive mind, able to influence and control the person.
Dianetics technology guides a person through his or her reactive mind to locate and permanently eradicate the actual source of these unwanted emotions and attitudes. Once this is done, the person is once more able to live a happy, healthy life.
Since arriving in the region, the Arrighis and their team of Volunteer Ministers have delivered nearly 4,000 Dianetics sessions to people of all ages.
In October 2006, Marc Arrighi was presented with the Freedom Medal Award of the International Association of Scientologists in acknowledgement of his humanitarian work in the region.
In accepting this award on behalf of his family and his team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers, Marc, said his “pay” is the thanks and the gratitude of the people he helps, and seeing people blossom through their application of the technology of L. Ron Hubbard, and he closed, saying, “To see the confusion cool down and the hope arise in the eyes of people, this is the value of my life."
Linda Wieland is a writer and editor and a long term staff member of the Church of Scientology International, where she writes for the Scientology Press Office