The Hanns Seidel Foundation presents the dangers of cults

Like Bees Suffocating in Honey

Zapfendorf, Germany
January 10, 2002
Fraenkischer Tag

Zapfendorf. Bavaria's Interior Minister described the Scientology organization as both a "unique danger for society and business" and as an "organization that operated on the fringes of organized crime." In view of the risks posed by cults the Hans Seidel Foundation in Zapfendorf hosted an evening of discussion.

In that discussion Ursula Hoeft, whose daughter fell into the clutches of the named organization more than 13 years ago, proved to be a competent speaker. Since then she has been mourning the loss of her child, not through death, but through "mental emigration." At first she looked at the various religious groups and cults and differentiated among them; she found, for instance, that non-denominational churches are not regarded as cults.

With the example of Scientology she described the philosophies and recruitment tricks of the cult. Although many young people believe that they could not be diverted into the Scientology scene, the cult continues to be able attract young people through extremely clever recruitment tricks.

One of these tricks includes telling people that they are using only ten percent of their mental potential. Because, of course, young, intelligent, ambitious people are especially interested in improving themselves, they can be rather susceptible to such theories. To get people to join, a 200 question intelligence test is given. Its evaluation includes telling the subject that he or she possesses praiseworthy abilities, but that the test has turned up significant deficiencies in certain areas. Relatively expensive courses are offered to rectify these weak areas.

Folded, spindled and mutilated [free translation of "Umgekrempelt"]

The more a person goes along with the offers from Scientology, the more the person is pushed to take additional courses that tend to disassociate people from their own personalities. Within a relatively short amount of time, the personality is "folded, spindled and mutilated" so that people are willing and ready to follow commands from their leaders.

Everything people had previously valued gradually loses its significance. Education, career and even family are eventually abandoned. "... I have decided to give up my connection to you," Ursula Hoeft's daughter wrote to her. Another method of getting to young people is challenging them to put on a new view of life, or asking them whether they are satisfied with the state of the world, which yields only war and injustice. A "Reich" without these obstacles is dangled before them. Newcomers are specially tended to and are dealt with carefully at first.

Ursula Hoeft compared them to bees that have fallen into honey: for the moment everything seems beautiful and sugary sweet. Then they discover they are stuck and give up in misery.

Based on her own experiences, the speaker described Scientology as a "cynical society in which people are converted to robots and automatons." Ursula Hoeft also gave other examples in use by the cult to trick people into joining (free vacation camps, free movies, etc.).

She made a special point of making people aware that no families were free from this risk: contrary to popular opinion, it happened quite frequently that very intelligent people ended up in trouble this way.


German Scientology News