Downtown District Office acts against Scientology show

Hamburg, Germany
January 10, 2002
Die Welt

The downtown district office was only partially successful in hindering Scientology's fireworks in the park on Tuesday evening. The downtown district office is currently taking a series of actions to ban Scientology's publicity measures associated with its "What is Scientology?" show, which the cult is currently staging in the Cafe Seeterrassen in Planten un Blomen.

For instance the district's planning office was able to stop a demonstration planned for Wednesday on Moenckeberg Street. The cult was going to have a band perform. Permission for that was denied. As were lit billboards on St. Petersburg Street meant to lure visitors into the exhibition. "They had a string of wires hazardously tied together. We put those in safekeeping," stated Sorina Weiland, spokesperson for the downtown district office.

The office was less successful in its attempt to ban the billboard completely: "The cafe operator's lease agreement permits him to advertise events in his building on that. We didn't have any legal alternative to prohibit him from doing that," said Weiland.

Felix Thiede, the lessee, had stated that space for the show was part of his regular rental practice. He said Scientology was not a banned organization. But he also commented that he wasn't planning on renting the cafe to the cult anymore.

The district office is currently working out, clarifying and implementing provisions that would place restrictions in the lease agreement. At this time all it says is that use of the buildings should be compatible with use of the park.

The district office was only partially successful in hindering Scientology's fireworks on Tuesday evening in the park. "They lit them off despite a burn ban," said Sorina Weiland. The show's organizers had also planned fireworks for Wednesday evening. The district office was working on putting a stop to that with a larger show of force. As of press time the results of those efforts are not known. mk

German Scientology Show in Hamburg