Friday, August 25, 2006

The latest edition of Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology International, includes the story of Steve Carlson, a 34-year-old Scientologist and entrepreneur who was a key organizer of relief and rebuilding efforts in Banda Aceh and other battered areas of Sumatra following the tsunami that hit that island in December 2004.
The story starts with describing how Steve decided to make this commitment: “A 34-year-old businessman who normally divides his time between offices in Florida and California, Carlson was moved by the enormity of the tsunami tragedy and resolved to do something to help the survivors he saw on the news.”

Freedom tells how, “From a command post in the North Sumatran capital of Medan,” he and the other members of the International Scientology Disaster Relief Team “organized transport, housing and care for victims flooding into the city from outlying disaster sites. ‘We set up our headquarters in a Medan hotel to bring vitally needed organization and relief to the hospitals, which had thousands of people pouring in. The need was so great that we ended up helping to set up several new refugee centers and hospitals in Medan and in Banda Aceh.’”
Freedom goes on to describe the assistance Carlson and his team provided on the island of Nias. After the earthquake on this predominantly Christian island, lying off the west coast of Sumatra — parts of which had been utterly destroyed — the Muslim-oriented North Sumatran government asked Steve and his team of volunteers to “go to the island to assay the damage and make a determination on the extent of aid needed for the survivors.”

The article then covers Carlson’s work in coordinating the teams traveling to decimated Banda Aceh, the way the team “quickly set up aid stations in each location to ensure the needy got vital supplies and immediate attention,“ and includes that the work of the International Scientology Disaster Relief Team was spotlighted in the December 2005 issue of National Geographic.

To read the full details of the work of this extraordinary man, see


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