On January 19, 2003, Rev. Thomas Gandow held a church service in Berlin to pray for cult victims, among other things. Not a minute too soon.

Reverend Thomas Gandow
Commissioner for issues of sects and weltanschauung of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg

PRESS RELEASE of 15 January 2003 (d)

Religious Freedom: human right or bluff by criminal organizations?

Religion abuse -- Scientology as a hazard to freedom of opinion

Focus church service on 19 January at 11:30 a.m. in the Luisenkirche in Berlin-Charlottenburg

He used to work directly with L. Ron Hubbard as a staff member in Scientology's public affairs and secret service: Gerry Armstrong.

Gerald Armstrong was a member of the Scientology organization for 12 years. Ever since he left the organization 21 years ago, Armstrong has been and is still being harassed from all points of the globe by Scientology.

Scientology's attacks against him range from libel to life-threatening physical attacks, as recorded in court documents.

Scientology endeavors to silence Gerald Armstrong with fines in the amount of $50,000 for each time he mentions Scientology in public. In Scientology's latest $10 million lawsuit against Armstrong, a court proceeding currently open in California, items specified include interviews with newspapers in Berlin, on "Tagesschau" and other broadcasting stations.

The intent is to use the American justice system to prohibit the mere mention of his personal experiences with Scientology to the German media.

Armstrong will tell about his personal experiences in the fight with the Scientology organization at the Focus church service.

Discussion will be held after the church service, at which journalists will have the opportunity to interview Armstrong. Please contact the Dialog Center Berlin. [contact info given]

With assistance from the Dialog Center Berlin, Armstrong has put up a detailed personal web site at http://www.gerryarmstrong.org

The Church, Evangelical weekly paper for Berlin and Brandenburg, Nr. 4, January 26, 2003, 3rd Sunday after the Ephiphany, page 2

Scientologists hound sect commissioner on the autobahn

On the road to the Focus church service at the Berlin Luisen Church on Sunday [1.19.03], the state church's sect commissioner, Rev. Thomas Gandow, was followed, cut off repeatedly and hounded. The clergyman used his cell phone to notify the German highway patrol, who followed the pursuing vehicle for a little while before pulling it over. The police then escorted the sect commissioner to the church service.

Gandow filed a harassment charge against Scientology member Mirko O. In addition to that, the police fined the Scientologist for using a cell phone while driving because, in contrast to Gandow, he had not compelling need. The church service was held, but only with police protection.

Afterwards Gandow revealed the shock he felt, "It's disgraceful that members of the American Scientology organization are trying to disrupt a church service which has religious freedom as its theme and that they put a clergyman at risk on the highway.

In the church service the Berlin Christians prayed for the Scientologists and for their victims.

Scientology admits to spying

Berlin's sect commissioner was followed and photographed, on account of which he gave his sermon under police protection

Der Tagesspiegel
January 25, 2003

The Scientology Church has admitted to having put Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Evangelical Church, under surveillance. One of its members was said to have been working for an attorney to investigate the American ex-Scientologist, Gerald Armstrong, who was wanted in court. There have been various orders issued on Armstrong in US courts, said Sabine Weber of Scientology Germany. A person would want to carry out these orders against Armstrong in Germany in accordance with international law. It was also intended to take legal action against him here in Germany to prohibit him from claiming that the Scientology was out to get him.

Last Sunday Gandow and Armstrong were tailed by at least two cars, said Gandow, to a church service in the Luisen Church in Charlottenburg. His vehicle was closely approached by one of them on the way from Brandenburg to Berlin. The driver swerved erratically while photographing Gandow and Armstrong.

The situation got tense enough to where he finally called the highway patrol at Brandenburg for assistance. The police gave him a cautionary fine for unregulated use of a cell phone from a vehicle. The police escorted Gandow's vehicle to the city limits, where he received protection from Berlin police.

They also guarded the Luisen Church during the church service while Armstrong talked about his experiences with Scientology. Gandow says he observed a second vehicle on the autobahn with at least three occupants who were following and photographing the same time the first was. The clergyman is certain that those men also had something to do with Scientology.

The Scientology Church Germany said the incident with its member was apparently exaggerated into a "James Bond fantasy." The man was said to have be "held accountable according the the church's internal disciplinary system." The church service in the Luisen church was simply visited by a Berlin member of Scientology, and the woman was in charge of "local public affairs work and legal interests." Gandow was reported to have said that the woman had something to do with the management of Scientology's OSA "intelligence service." The woman was said to have taken down every word at the church service.

The Scientologists accused Gandow and Armstrong of forcing their way into the local "Scientology Mission" in Yekaterinburg while they were visiting Russia last December and stealing papers. Gandow said that was not what had happened, and that they had been invited in by the local Scientology board members and had not taken any papers with them.


Comment: With regard to the Scientology accusation of gate-crashing in Yekaterinburg, visit http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/media/russia/ekaterinburg-anniversary-tour.html The picture to the left is of Gerry Armstrong being interviewed by a television crew outside the front of Yekaterinburg Scientology center.

FOCUS church service for religious freedom on January 19, 2003

Prayer for intercession

Let us ask the Lord in peace:
For the peace that comes from above and for the salvation of our souls,
For peace for the entire world and for the progress of Evangelism among the people,
For the continuation of his holy church and for the unity among the faithful;
For this His hallowed house and for all who enter it with faith and the fear of God,
For our Bishop Wolfgang Huber, for our clergy and that they rightly preach the Word of truth;
for the entire Christian community and for all who serve them in the task of direction and the work of love;
Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For our government, that God may guide it and that we may lead, under its protection calm and peaceful lives with piety and respectability;
For this district, the entire land and all the faithful who reside therein, for every state and every city;
For protection from harm of our people and their homeland
For God's blessing upon our work,
For pureness of air, bountifulness of the soil, just laws and peaceful times;
that God may have mercy upon our land and show His mercy to the unemployed;
that through God's mercy war may be averted with Iraq and that all who have power and responsibility may seek peace in patience and in earnest.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For those who are travelling and for everyone at risk to accidents,
for the poor, the aliens, the prisoners and homeless,
for the sick and dying and for their salvation;
for the widows and orphans, for the old and weak, for all the sick and suffering,
may God keep, save, heal and strengthen them;
for parents and teachers and for the children, that their angels may protect them.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For parents and families at the effect of sects, cults and psychocults,
that they not lose hope or courage, but are prepared render assistance;
for former members, that they gain solid ground beneath their feet and find their way back into freedom. Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For all who have been incarcerated for the sake of truth in state or private labor camps or prisons;
For all suffering persecution and duress, that they may endure their anguish as God's fatherly intention and that they are mercifully saved;
in particular we bring to mind the legal proceedings and succeeding developments surrounding attorney Ken Dandar in Florida and Scientology critics Keith Henson and Gerald Armstrong; that they find friends and supporters who will be faithful to them. Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For journalists and management in the media, that they may overcome apathy, intimidation and cowardice, and once again dare to report about Scientology, about its persecution of critics and former members, and about the threat from psychocults to our freedom;
that Amnesty International finds the courage to get involved with prisoners and victims of torture by private organizations;
for the few courageous politicians in Europe who are attacked by cults and extreme groups but nevertheless dare to speak out against the enemies of human rights,
especially for German politicians minister Beckstein, Dr. Bluem, and federal minister Schily, that they act out of love for victims and others afflicted, that they may not lose courage. Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

For our enemies and for all those who hate us;
for members, adherents and functionaries of the cult, in particular for Mirko O., who terrorized us on the autobahn on the way to this service, and for Ute E., who is responsible for the Black Propaganda against us, that they receive freedom and insight;
For every oppressed and troubled soul who needs divine help and pity,
for the downtrodden and desperate, for the confused and deluded, that God may console, strengthen, enlighten and convert them;
and that God may save us all from affliction, violence, danger and misery,
that when our time comes near, He may grant us a tranquil end.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Congregation: Lord have mercy.

Receive, take us and save us in your mercy. For Yours alone are the honor and the glory and power, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever without end.


Berlin, Germany