Scientology advertising campaign

Scientologists carrying out wide-scale advertising, with an exhibition in the Spirgarten Hotel and with concerts in the Nelson Pub

Zurich, Switzerland
February 9, 2002

by Hugo Stamm

On the facade of the Spirgarten Hotel in Altstetten, a large billboard sign proclaims, "Would you like your children to live in a drug-free world?" This is the social theme the Zurich Scientology organization is using to advertise its exhibition in the hotel auditorium. In order to draw passersby into the recruitment show, several Scientologists hand out roses on Lindenplatz, then accompany people to the exhibition spaces, where they are handed over to other cult adherents who take them through the the exhibition.

The Zurich Scientologists are getting support in their two-week mission offensive from the Jiveaces Scientology swing band, who have played in the Spirgarten Hotel, in Kinderheimen, on Pestalozziwiese and for four evenings in Nelson Pub on Beatengasse, as confirmed by Scientology spokesman Juerg Stettler. The professional band is currently playing throughout Switzerland and appears for advertisement purposes on the cult's web pages. The musicians are members of the Scientology elite unit, the Sea Org.

It is misleading for the passersby on Lindenplatz to be invited in to visit an exhibition about drug problems when the topic of the exhibition is the teachings and practices of Scientology. For instance, visitors receive a demonstration of Scientology's "e-meter." The Scientologists claim they can "see thoughts" with the controversial device. In truth, however, it is more of a simple electrical skin resistance meter, which makes it sort of a lie detector.

Providing bodily assists

In another room Scientologists perform their "assists" on visitors. It is a sort of laying on of hands by which the visitor "can experience help with their own body." Although the exhibition is public, with flyers being distributed, Scientologists refuse entry to critical journalists.

Spot-checking the visitors revealed that the street recruiters did not introduce themselves as Scientologists. "I asked the young man who was giving the exhibition, but he didn't give me an answer," said one woman.

Not worried about disturbance

Director Demarmels of the Spirgarten Hotel had no qualms about renting his hall to the Scientologists. "I didn't think to much about nor am I adverse to the association," he said. Neither is the business manager of the Nelson Pub worried about contact with the Scientologists. "We only care about the music." He said the band contacted him and asked about appearing. He is seeing to it, however, that the Scientologists and their musicians are not advertising for their organization.

German Scientology News