Thursday, January 13, 2005

This from the Cambridge Chronicle online (they send their stories to archive pretty fast so I'm printing the whole story) online you can find it at

Mack travels for tsunami relief effort

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ksenia Mack of Cambridge is joining her Scientologist church volunteer ministry in Sumatra to offer relief services to the country devastated by the worst tsunami in recorded history.

Mack, a performer and guitar instructor, has lived in Cambridge for more than five years. Her performances include local venues such as Club Passim and the Lizard Lounge, but have also transcended the larger audiences, such as her opening gigs with such acts as the Indigo Girls and Willie Nelson. Known in her local North Cambridge community as the guitar teacher who teaches from her home alcove overlooking the street with its big picture window, she has now put everything on hold to travel halfway across the world.

"I feel that I can do something effective and want to help with the grief and turmoil," said Mack. "I want to help those victims increase their ability to return to their villages and rebuild their lives."

Mack has been a volunteer minister with the Church of Scientology for the past five years. The program, known as the VM program, is a year-round voluntary activity developed by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, to bring spiritual relief to anyone coping with the struggles of life. In disaster situations, the main tools of the volunteer minister are Scientology Assists and organizational skills. Assists are applied after basic first aid and help a person recover spiritually from shock, trauma and exhaustion.

"Assists ease the emotional suffering and help bring an individual out of the trauma of the past and into the present, where they can begin to help themselves," said Mack. "I know something can be done about the situation, so I felt it was my duty to do what I could."

Mack will leave for Sumatra Jan. 15, where she will join more than 300 volunteer ministers from around the world. For those wishing to donate funds to assist Mack and other volunteer ministers working on the relief effort, call 617-266-3841.