Hurricane season 2017

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Internet, Aug 25, 2017.


    Scientology steps into hurricane relief vacuum to help Clearwater storm victims

    By Mark DouglasPublished: September 13, 2017, 5:55 pm Updated: September 13, 2017, 6:16 pm

    CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Hundreds of Hurricane Irma victims in Clearwater who haven’t had power since Saturday enjoyed hot food, cold ice and free water Wednesday, courtesy of what some might consider an unlikely source, the Church of Scientology.

    “We’re just doing whatever we can to relieve the burden and the disaster,” said Scientology Spokeswoman Pat Harney.

    Some Scientology critics will likely write off the relief effort as a publicity stunt by an organization that’s badly in need of bolstering its public image due to recent land use conflicts with the City of Clearwater and scathing documentaries by TV star and former Scientologist Leah Remini.

    But that would be a hard sell in the economically depressed Greenwood neighborhood.

    Residents insist there has been no outreach effort by the Red Cross, Salvation Army or other private relief organizations, but Scientology volunteers have spent days cleaning up storm debris from streets and yards.

    All day Wednesday, they served up a hot BBQ feast to hundreds of storm victims who haven’t had a warm meal since Saturday.

    “It means a lot that they care. They care about all the community, they care about me and what’s going on,” said Jennifer Lee.

    Scientologists also went door to door, handing out 300 bags of ice Tuesday and brought 2500 more bags Wednesday, along with hundreds of jugs of water.

    Other work crews continued picking up brush and storm debris and even covered the roof of the Drew Ridge Apartments, where hurricane winds tore off the tar paper and sent it crashing into cars below.

    “I was flabbergasted,” said resident Dick Bieritz. ”We’re very fortunate, because otherwise we’d still be sitting open.”

    Disabled veteran David Pooser was emotionally overcome by the help he received.

    “They raked my yard. They raked the whole street and packed it up and gave me three bags of ice,” Pooser said. “I can’t believe it.”

    The Red Cross is helping victims of Hurricane Irma at the Ross Norton Recreational Center, located at 1426 South MLK Jr. Avenue in Clearwater.

    The Red Cross said the organization is planning for mobile or fixed feeding locations as soon as the services can be mobilized.

  2. The Internet Member

    Sounds like the Scientologists actually did something nice for non-Scientologists without forcing tech on them. So I give them a few points. But not many because usually they help their supporters almost exclusively.
    • Like Like x 1

  3. The Internet Member

    Good thing we still have plenty of alphabet letters left.

    Hey wait a sec... what happened to "k"?
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Change the thread name again.
  5. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  6. Puerto Rico is fucked. ALL power is out and it may take 4-6 months to get it back up.
  7. 2 feet of rain by Friday
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's the latest cult press release. Quote:

    Mexico Update: Young Girl is Rescued From Her Collapsed School

    The Los Topos search and rescue team have rescued 26 from the Mexico earthquake. "We need more time to finish this work," they say.

    In the early hours of the morning September 21, after working 36 hours nonstop to save her life, Los Topos rescued the tiny Paulina Gomez from the Enrique Rebsamen School where she was buried alive on Tuesday when the 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City.

    Los Topos worked inch by inch, removing one stone at a time, to free Paulina from the school that pancaked from the impact of the quake. The very act of digging her out was liable to cause it to collapse further.

    On top, rescue workers waited for hours to help. From time to time throughout the day and night and into the following day, someone would raise his fist, calling for silence. This was the recognized signal for all talking to cease, making it possible for the Topos to listen for movement inside the collapsed building to locate survivors.

    Then, at last, rescuers received the message to start pulling on the cable to bring the little girl up. To the cadence "Dos, tres (two, three).… dos, tres..."— the top of a child-sized white hard hat appeared. "Dos, tres.…" and the child was free. A roar erupted as she emerged from the bowels of the building, her little hands holding onto the cable used to haul her up and out.

    Paulina is one of the 26 victims Los Topos has pulled alive from the earthquake, one of three at the Enrique Rebsamen School, where they also rescued her schoolmates, Isaac Ayala and Lucia Samora.

    Los Topos has put out a plea to the government to allow them and other trained rescue workers to continue searching for victims. The government announced that as of 5 p.m. local time the search for survivors would end and heavy equipment would be deployed to excavate for the dead. The Topos warn that this kind of equipment causes landslides, greatly reducing the chances of saving any other lives.

    The death toll is now at 274 and Los Topos claims there are 45 locations around the city where people are trapped and could still be rescued. They hold that far from being over, the search and rescue phase must carry on. Los Topos rescued one woman eight days after the building she was trapped under collapsed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. And they pulled someone out of the rubble alive in Japan nine days after that country's 2011 earthquake.

    Ironically, it was exactly 32 years earlier, on Sept. 19, 1985, that an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City killing some 6,000. That was the day Los Topos Azteca was born. Founder Héctor Méndez raced to the center of the disaster to search for his brother. It turned out his brother was fine, but in searching for him, Méndez dug four survivors out of the rubble that day. Since then, he and his Topos, manned by men and women who work strictly as volunteers, have served in disasters the world over.

    Los Topos partners with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers who provide them logistical support at disaster sites. When the earthquake struck on Tuesday, Los Topos designated the Church of Scientology Mexico as their headquarters for this relief operation.

    To see a video of the rescue of Paulina Gomez, visit the Scientology newsroom.

    For more information, contact the Church of Scientology Public Affairs Office at or call (323) 960-3500.

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Miami State Sen. Daphne Campbell Used Florida Power & Light Connections to Get Her Power Back

    By Jerry Iannelli, Miami New Times


    Update: FPL spokesperson Mark Bubriski told the Miami Herald that Campbell did not get help because of her position. “She did not get special treatment,” Bubriski said. “It’s just absurd.”

    North Miami state Sen. Daphne Campbell has been ensnared in a remarkable series of corruption scandals throughout her career. But even for Campbell, her response to Hurricane Irma was nothing short of jaw-dropping. This past Saturday night, Campbell hosted a post-Irma "relaxation" party, complete with pizza, massages, and Scientologists, because of course she did.


    Things began weirdly — the so-called massages were actually Scientology techniques called "assists" that the group's followers use to "heal spiritual wounds" or try to bring recently deceased people back to life — and only grew weirder. At the party, Campbell openly bragged about using her connections to a Florida Power & Light lobbyist to try to get power restored at her house and her sister's home before the rest of Miami's residents. She made this admission on-camera to a reporter with Miami's Rise News. She then let that reporter take photos of the text messages she sent FPL lobbyist John Holley while she was holding her phone in her hand.

    This fact is important, because Campbell is now absurdly trying to claim a reporter stole her phone to take screencaps of the text messages.

    "My phone mysteriously disappeared," Campbell claimed in a statement posted online yesterday. She added that she "gave no consent to anyone to use my phone" and that her phone just "suddenly reappeared" where she last saw it.

    But you can see her hand holding the phone in the photos posted online. The reporter, Rise News' Rich Robinson, told New Times via phone yesterday that he repeatedly told Campbell he was a reporter — and wore a huge blue press badge around his neck the entire time he interviewed Campbell and filmed her admitting everything.

    "She's lying, number one," says Robinson, a former New Times intern who later founded Rise. "I would like her to be held accountable. It's really dangerous to think she can come after a new company in town and say something that's accusing me of doing something basically illegal. It's horrific, chilling, and an assault on the First Amendment."

    Despite the fact that trying to use her ties to FPL to help her relatives is a clear case of public corruption, Campbell seemed proud of what she did until the public got wind of the messages and became angry. As of 7 a.m. Monday, more than 56,000 Miamians still did not have power, and some of those residents questioned why Campbell deserved to get her power back simply because she knew an FPL bigwig.

    "John good afternoon," Campbell texted the lobbyist, according to Rise's screencaps. "Can someone helps me with the power. I do have a sick person in my house and she's using oxygen." [sic]

    "Let me see what we can do," Holley texted back. "It's ugly out there. How are you doing?"

    She then immediately texted a second address. "This one is my sister," she added.

    Rise News was unable to confirm with Holley or FPL whether the texts resulted in her family's power being restored. But Campbell repeatedly bragged that her lights popped back on remarkably fast, in what appears to be a clear favor for a state politician at the expense of her own constituents.

    But now that Rise's story is online and everyone is mad at her, she's now trying to claim she was somehow hoodwinked into all of this. But her story doesn't hold up under even the most basic levels of scrutiny.

    Continued here:

    Facebook post:
    Our Volunteer Ministers & @senatordaphnecampbell received a recognition yesterday for the unconditional help and support they provided to the community of S. Florida during Hurricane Irma.

    Search:"Daphne Campbell" Scientology
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology got plenty of photo ops out of hurricanes in Texas and Florida. But did it help?

    By Rod Keller, September 24, 2017


    The Scientology Volunteer Minister program claims to be “one of the largest independent relief organizations in the world.” They are not that. They are poorly organized and depend on donations to get through each day of a relief mission. They depend on untrained volunteers to re-invent relief procedures for each emergency. The purpose is to show that Scientology is a real religion, but the help that reaches people in emergency conditions is fairly minimal.

    When you donate to the American Red Cross or a similar organization for hurricane or earthquake relief, your money will probably be spent for the next emergency and not the current one. Large relief organizations pre-position supplies. The Red Cross has manufactured large supplies of blankets and clothing ahead of an emergency, and donations serve mainly to replenish their reserves. This is good planning and prevents spending to sort out, transport and store donated items. They don’t want you to bring them a case of bottled water. They want you to donate money and they can buy water in a more efficient way. The Volunteer Ministers, or VMs work differently. They spent the first few days of the Hurricane Harvey crisis in Houston, Texas assembling cleaning products into kits for distribution.


    The Austin Scientology org became a warehouse of donated items, and an assembly line to produce sanitary kits. At one point early in the effort they reported 800 kits were complete. No doubt somebody in the hurricane area who had fled their home, or whose home was damaged or destroyed would appreciate a nice sanitary package. But buying soap at Walmart and Amazon is not how a world class relief organization operates.


    Scientology “whale” Grant Cardone provided the most wasteful way to deliver supplies to Houston – by private jet. Thousands of dollars were spent on fuel to deliver supplies that cost a fraction of that. These are useful items in the aftermath of a hurricane, but the money could have been better spent.


    By September 2nd the VMs were ready to move in to help clean the affected area. Vans were sent to LaGrange and Rockport, Texas with about 10 volunteers each. They were asked to bring their own equipment.


    But by then the VMs were literally out of gas. Scientology VMs respond in the first few days of an emergency, but soon lose interest as the crisis is handled by local officials and large relief organizations. Their focus was about to shift to another hurricane in Florida.


    Hurricane Irma hit the Tampa, Florida area on September 10 and 11. As the Tampa Bay Times reported, VMs boarded up downtown businesses, returned to remove the boards, and repaired several storefronts that were damaged. It seems certain that the Sea Org members of Flag Land Base were issued yellow shirts and “became” volunteer ministers. They spent hours clearing debris, distributed ice, water and food.

    As quickly as they came, the VMs vanished from Clearwater. Sea Org members have other responsibilities, and the focus was about to change to Mexico City. Los Topos, or “The Moles” had come to the Clearwater to help out. They are Volunteer Ministers and self-funded rescue workers that specialize in collapsed buildings in the wake of an earthquake. As trained medical personnel their skills were valuable in Florida, but it was the worst possible time for Los Topos to be abroad. On September 19 Mexico was hit with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

    Scientology operates three orgs in Mexico City, the Ideal Org, Polanco (also known as OCD), and Organizacion de Desarollo y Dianetica (known as ODD). All three are operating VM tents and the volunteers appear to all be publics in these orgs. They are doing what everybody in the city is doing – organizing supplies that are on hand and distributing them to those in need. Of the three relief efforts this month it is the most authentic and provides the most help to people affected.

    Having responded in Houston, Clearwater and Mexico City, Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers are spent. They don’t maintain a reserve of money or supplies. With the exception of Los Topos they rely on untrained volunteers. If they come from outside the area, they arrive and leave fairly quickly. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 19th, taking out all electricity and leaving many dead and injured before heading to the islands of Turks and Caicos. There is no enthusiasm for a large contingent of VMs to be sent to Puerto Rico, or Turks and Caicos although a few may arrive. A fundraiser for one VM to go to Puerto Rico has raised but $145 out of the $1,000 goal. It’s difficult to raise money for a fourth disaster when public Scientologists have been asked repeatedly in August and September to donate money and supplies. Only organizations that plan in advance, with reserves of money and supplies can cope with so many humanitarian crises in a row, and that does not describe the VMs.

    And just before we went to press, there was also this: These VMs are heading to the badly damaged island of St. Maartens, without bulk supplies to deliver or significant tools or work gear.

    More at
  11. This is a puzzler. Is the pizza to be consumed while lying unclad? Somehow the idea of greasy pizza hands giving a massage is ick.
  12. Trump
    Trump's FCC chairman Pai tries to shame Apple into unlocking FM chip in iPhones

    "I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria,” Pai said in a statement. “That’s why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones. It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.”
    However it's not physically possible
    "Apple Explains Why It Can’t Do What the FCC Wants In Hurricane Hit Areas"
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology celebrates its disaster response in Florida, but struggles in Puerto Rico and Mexico

    By Rod Keller, October 1, 2017


    Scientology’s hurricane and earthquake response continued this week, but in Clearwater, Florida it’s all over but the congratulations. A banquet was held at the Fort Harrison Hotel to thank the Volunteer Ministers (VMs) who helped the downtown district prepare for Hurricane Irma, as well as for clearing fallen trees and brush following the storm. It appears that not all VMs in Clearwater were Sea Org members, many were public Scientologists.


    Puerto Rico was hit by the same hurricane as Clearwater, but the situation there is much different, after the island was hit with a second major storm, Hurricane Maria. A few VMs have come to the island in a true humanitarian crisis, in urgent need of food and water, but they have brought only chainsaws.


    Hundreds of VMs have not arrived yet, and fuel for the chainsaws is scarce. The VMs’ plea for supplies is difficult to answer, as poor administration at the ports and airports is preventing food and water from reaching the population.


    In Texas, Scientology VMs arranged for eight truckloads of donated building supplies to be brought to Rockport, Texas, which was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Listeners of the Bonneville Radio Network in Salt Lake City, Utah donated money to purchase the supplies, and radio personality Kerri Kasem was part of the team that transported them to Texas. TV station KIII in Texas reported that the convoy delivered the materials to Aransas Airport where they will be distributed to residents to repair their damaged homes and businesses.

    In Mexico City enthusiasm is fading for the earthquake relief effort. There are fewer volunteers this week and the donated supplies have all been distributed. The VMs have been transporting the few remaining supplies to the Xochimilco district, known for its system of canals and artificial islands known as chinampas. Much of the area is reachable only by small boats.


    There has been no public update on the VM team that was heading to the island of St. Maarten. Communication on the island has not been restored following the hurricane.

    More at
  14. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    On 30 September 2017, a Facebook user going by Jim Bates posted a message accusing CNN of lying about the relief effort in Puerto Rico:
    Is this a Russian troll using Volunteer Ministers pix from Texas and says it's from Puerto Rico
    "proving" aid is getting to PR?

    "This continued when Bates posted photographs purportedly showing volunteer workers in Puerto Rico to a chorus of claims that he was actually using images from hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida:"
    Or is it a Scientologist
    "Bates may have had early access to photographs of the Church of Scientology’s volunteers in Puerto Rico because, according to his LinkedIn profile, he is the executive secretary at Scientology’s mission in Puerto Rico:"
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

  16. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Nate will turn into a hurricane on Sunday as it heads to New Orleans
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Floods: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  18. The Wrong Guy Member

  19. That looks like tins of cat food and sugar bars... Very nutritional I'm sure.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Empire Files: Decentralized Disaster Relief Fills Void | TeleSUR English

    After uncovering total failure by the U.S. government to meet the needs of communities suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Abby Martin meets the people who filled the void.

    Speaking with volunteers who mobilized from out-of-state, to community leaders who organized relief efforts, this final installment of the Empire Files' investigation shows how people came together to replace the failures of the system.

    Featuring interviews with anarchist Scott Crow of the Common Ground Collective, the Black Women's Defense League, Altruist Relief Kitchen and other autonomous decentralized relief groups.
  21. 200 tons of Marcabians ?

  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    This isn't the right thread for this, but it's as close as there is.

    Disaster relief? Scientology’s own documents spell out the real mission of ‘Volunteer Ministers’

    By Jeffrey Augustine, The Underground Bunker, November 19, 2018


    With the incredibly destructive, lethal, and unprecedented wildfires in California, Scientology’s ambulance chasing Volunteer Ministers have been out in front of the cameras getting their photo ops. For years, we’ve been documenting here at the Bunker how the VMs descend on disaster scenes pretending to be helpful when all they really want to do is get in the way and take their pictures and videos.

    We were reminded of that when we saw a post that showed up in the comments here about Chico, California, where people are dealing with the apocalyptic Camp Fire.



    Scientology leader David Miscavige for many years claimed that the Volunteer Ministers were the “world’s largest independent all volunteer relief force.”

    After so much exposure of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers by critics, however, Scientology has had to backpedal on that claim and downgrade it to stating that the “Volunteer Ministers have emerged as one of the largest independent relief forces on Earth.” However, even this downgraded statement is not true as the Volunteer Ministers are not independent in any way whatsoever. Rather, the VMs are a part of the Church of Scientology International and the VM program is wholly managed by CSI officials. The domain for the Volunteer Ministers is registered to the Church of Scientology.

    Given the inherent evasiveness of the Church of Scientology we must ask what the Volunteer Ministers are from a legal perspective. For example, in my previous articles I have covered how the Sea Org does not actually exist in any legal sense. Do the Volunteer Ministers actually exist?

    Continued at
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