Two days ago, we reported on the Church of Scientology's junk science relief efforts in Japan, through its Volunteer Ministry program. Now we have materials the church uses to recruit members for the ministry, which is "an effective way of getting Scientology applied on a broad, grass-roots level through the society."

The Church of Scientology is mailing these shiny, colorful pamphlets to recruit members for the Volunteer Ministry. It's a little like going on a missionary trip, emphasizing spiritual salvation for those in disaster-stricken regions.

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In this case, the region in question is tsunami-ravaged Japan.

To sign up, you need to fill out the equivalent of a magazine subscription form. The fine print contains a series of declarations, among them: "I do not belong to or work for any hostile organization or group or any group undisclosed to the Association that is dedicated to the harming of Mankind."

The recruitment materials do not specify when you receive your bright yellow CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY anorak with the nifty crosses. I like to imagine that John Travolta has these in every color of the rainbow, plus snowpants and galoshes for inclement weather. Everyone knows you can judge the veracity of a religion by the quality of its accessories. That's why the Pope has so many hats.

The Volunteer Ministry mailer also contains a standard International Association of Scientologists donation form. It contains the same caveat about not working for a "hostile organization." Non-Scientologists: Keep your heretical skeptic dollars to yourself, please.


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