Combatting Satan's Cult

Youth Protection

Cult Commissioner Ursula Caberta gets more responsibility

Hamburg, Germany
January 22, 2002
Hamburger Abendblatt
vom 22.1.02

She used to do combat only with Scientologists, but now Ursula Caberta is also responsible for witches, devils and shamans. The Senate broadened the responsibility of the Task Force on Scientology, which Caberta directs, to "educational protection of youth", which includes protecting youth from new religious movements and psycho-groups. Yesterday Caberta introduced the first product of her new field of operation: "Okkultismus und Satanismus," which is meant mainly for scholars, but anyone who wants a copy can obtain one. (Look on the net under

"First adults have to understand what is behind occult practices," said Caberta. The brochure's authors - Ingolf Christiansen, Hannover State Church commissioner for worldview issues, and Hertmut Zinser, religious scholar at Berlin Free University, cover on 110 pages the whole palette of superstitions, from astrology to black masses. The objectionable thing about occult practices, according to Zinser, is when people let them make their decisions for them, such as letting the pendulum decide if a new girl friend is the right one or not; "That's a matter of giving up responsibility to the spirits." If political interests were to be put at stake this way, it would be "dangerous to a high degree."

Christiansen estimates the number of "hard-core Satanists" in Germany at between 3,000 and 7,000, "with an increasing trend." These are the people who would approve of the practice of ritual murder. The married satanist couple on trial in Bochum for murdering an acquaintance, though, is the exception. Most satanists are not primarily interested in praying to the devil, but in themselves as a god. It can be problematic when parents don't worry about what their children's minds are consuming. "It can make you nervous, if not afraid, when you glance through the satanist pages on the Internet." If a young person seems suddenly depressed or aggressive, that could be an indiction of being involved in the occult scene.

Caberta had sharp words of criticism for the series on witches and shamans presented in the ethnology museum. She said she was "aghast" at how openly uncritical the presentations of occult practices there were. (kst)

German Scientology News