Dispute over Scientology speech in the US Consulate

Scotland Yard detective praises the Narconon program
Caberta calls it a cult sales talk

Hamburg, Germany
February 19, 2002
Die Welt

by Insa Gall

More than 100 representatives of Hamburg society assembled in the venerable halls of the American consulate on the "Aussenalster" to listen to the words of guest speaker Christopher Brightmore as they snacked and sipped champagne. But what the former Scotland Yard investigator had to say to the audience several days ago at the invitation of the German-American Business Club did more than raise a few eyebrows. The retired police officer unceasingly praised Scientology's Narconon program as the best drug withdrawal concept in the world. His speech was cause for an appearance by Ursula Caberta in the meantime. "This was purely a sales talk for Scientology," the feisty director of the Task Force on Scientology criticized the arrangement.

Brightmore did not suffer from a loss of words during his speech. The former narcotics agent reported to the assembled guests, police president Udo Nagel and Ferdinand Prince of Bismarck among them, that he had searched the entire world for the last ten years to find a drug rehabilitation program that actually worked, "And I am happy to communicate to you that I am certain I've found it," Brightmore continued. "It is conducted by an organization called Narconon, which belongs to the ABLE organization, the Association for Better Life and Education, a charitable firm founded by the Church of Scientology." The concept could be regarded "as the best drug rehabilitation program available," the retired agent proceeded to praise the method of operation and success of the program with the appropriate details and rapture. Excerpt: "I have visited this program at three different sites and spoke with the students. All were enthused with their experience."

As far as Ursula Caberta knows, the praise for this drug withdrawal program contradicts all findings. She not only regards the Narconon program as a menace to health, but also believe addicts are being exploited. "This is a case of one drug being replaced by another - Scientology." The basis of the Narconon program is said to be the technology of L. Ron Hubbard. The Hamburg "Buergerschaft" has added to that in a government publication, "Drug therapy based on the psycho-technology used by Scientology is objectionable." The Berlin narcotics authorities have been urgently warning people about Narconon since 1978. It contains, for instance, the "danger of assimilating the irrational, internal hierarchy" of the program. Christopher Brightmore is not unknown to Caberta. She said she has recently received a video in which the former police made a de facto commercial for Scientology.

The director of the government task force also expressed an interest in the role of Henry Randmark, who, as president of the German-American Business Club, sent out invitations for the gathering in the general consulate. The 65-year old American, who runs a cleaning company [probably an unintentional pun in German, could also be stated as purification company], has apparently used his connections to advertise for a dubious drug program, Caberta speculated.

Randmark told WELT that he was outraged that anyone suggested he had a connection with Scientology. He said he was not a member of the controversial cult. Neither did the businessman, who stood at the side of party founder Ronald Schill in the election campaign as political drug advisor, see "anything offensive" in Brightmore's speech when he said that the Scientology program was the most effective drug rehabilitation concept. He had no problem with that. "There's nothing wrong with telling sick people they should get treatment - no matter if it is from Jehova's Witnesses, the Mormons or the Scientologists," said Randmark.

German Scientology News