- Polizeiaufmarsch in der Luisenkirche - Tagesspiegel newspaper article describing Scientologists closing in on Gandow and Armstrong
- Letter of 1.23.03 to Tagesspiegel from leading German Scientologist, with enclosures
- enclosure 1 of 1.23.03 letter - alleged complaint of Yekaterinburg Scientology Mission to multiple Russian authorities
- response to enclosure 1 of 1.23.03 letter - Analysis of incident at Yekaterinburg by Joe Cisar
- enclosure 2 of 1.23.03 letter - "Zweifelhafte Geschichten in der Umgebung von Gandow?" - German Scientology's Black PR against Gerald Armstrong
- response to enclosure 2 of 1.23.03 letter - G. Armstrong's refutation of German Scientology's above Black PR
- enclosure 3 of 1.23.03 letter - Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper article of 25 April 2000
- response to enclosure 3 of 1.23.03 letter - Analysis of Scientology's relationship with press by Joe Cisar
- With regard to the 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 the Yekaterinburg Scientology center, with A. Dvorkin, on his right, translating.
- Der Tagesspiegel honored Scientology's request to some extent within two days.
On January 21, 2003, Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin published an article called "Polizeiaufmarsch in der Luisenkirche". It was about uniformed police protecting Thomas Gandow, who felt that he was being harassed by Scientology. The article was to the effect of the following:
Church service under police protection: Fear of disruption from the Scientology Church got to the point on Sunday to where uniformed police arrived at services in the Luisen Church. That is where Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, with ex-Scientologist Gerald Armstrong at his side, spoke about the controversial organization.
Gandow told the Tagesspiegel that he and his companion were being followed, photographed and crowded on the road from Brandenburg to the church on Sunday. Apparently sect members were taking measures to intimidate Armstrong and keep him from appearing. During the service, Armstrong spoke about his experiences in confronting the Scientologists. Armstrong said that he had been persecuted not matter where he went ever since he left the organization about twenty years ago.
The Scientologists started hounding Gandow as soon as he got on the public road in his home town. One pursuer closed in on Gandow's vehicle on the autobahn to take pictures, hindering passage as he did so. When the situation got to a critical enough point Gandow called up the highway patrol. The police pulled the pursuing vehicle over at the Michendorf rest stop for an ID check and to issue the driver a warning ticket for improperly using his cell phone from a moving vehicle. Gandow also said he filed complaints for duress and endangering traffic.
The Berlin police took over protection of Thomas Gandow and his companion at the city line. Gandow said he recognized a high-ranking Scientology member in the church. He said that the German boss of Scientology's OSA "intelligence agency" sat in church and took down every word. He said Scientologyists were "very interested" in Berlin as a capitol city.
In Berlin, the Tagesspiegel reported, Scientology is under surveillance by the Verfassungsschutz (LfV). German homeland security regards "the political and social objectives of the organization as a contradiction to basic principles of Basic Law." In other areas, Scientology's teachings are viewed as "anti-democratic and misanthropic."
In the spring of 1998, a Verfassungsschutz informant falsely denounced a high-ranking Berlin police officer as a leading member of Scientology. The police director was subsequently reinstated. Joerg Schoenbohm, Berlin Interior Senator of the time, admitted to the mistake of the LfV.
[The following is from the German]
Scientology Kirche Deutschland e.V. letter of 23 January 2003 to Mr. Schmidt of the Tagesspiegel newspaper
Concerning the article "Polizeiaufmarsch in der Luisenkirche" of 21 January 2003
Dear Mr. Schmidt,
As discussed with you today on the telephone, we are sending you documents clarifying the militant actions of Mr. Gandow and Mr. Armstrong. You can see from the attached complaint that Mr. Gandow and Mr. Armstrong forced their way with two other people into the Russian Scientology Mission in Yekaterinburg for the purpose of provoking a confrontation, during which time documents were forcibly removed [from the Mission] (attachment 1) without Mr. Gandow hindering his comrade or even showing the least bit of annoyance with him. If this had been Germany, he and his comrade would have been found guilty of disturbing the peace [in the Mission]. As to whether he could have been found accountable for complicity in this theft by forcible taking by his companion, that certainly also would have had to have been decided upon by a German judge.
From the information in "Zweifelhafte Geschichten in der Umgebung von Gandow?" you can see read about Mr. Armstrong's strange forays into world politics, not to mention the numerous outstanding court orders he has against him. For instance, according to a newspaper article, he founded his Organization of United Renouncers on November 11, 1992, two year before which he discovered his predilection for Saddam Hussein. For each of the items cited we can place papers and documents at your disposal as required (attachment 2).
Having a hustler like this show up at a church service speaks for itself. Demanding police protection is on Mr. Gandow's standard program of dramatization, and
is a blatant abuse of police power, who really have more important things to do. Gandow has repeatedly marketed Armstrong in public and overreacts whenever anyone even glances at him sideways. A member of the Scientology Church was to ascertain the residence of Mr. Armstrong for an attorney so that the lawyer could pursue legal steps for outstanding charges, nothing more, since he [Armstrong] did not seem to have any paperwork anywhere. Everything else is in the category of a James Bond fantasy from Mr. Gandow, including this member, who is being held responsible according to internal church disciplinary procedures.
As concerns Mr. Gandow's fabricated "intelligence agency fairy tales," we forward you an article from the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper of 25 April 2000, from which you can see that this is another story which has been debunked by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (attachment 3).
A "German boss" of Scientology, as they are always called, was not present at the church service, but the public gathering was attended by a Berlin member who is involved with legal and public concerns.
As discussed, I request that you take excerpts of this and publish them as letters from a reader. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have or provide more information. As agreed, we also ask that you continue to include our position on matters in the future. You can reach me or my colleague Mrs. Sabine Weber [contact information] which will also go to a cellular phone.
enclosed: 7 pages
[enclosure page 1]
[The following is word for word from English.]
To the Head of the Verh-Isetski Regional Department of Internal Affairs city Ekaterenburg [sic]
To the prosecutor of Ekaternburg [sic]
To the Governor of Sverdlobskaya [sic] region
To the Ombudsman of Sverdlovskaya region
To the Federal Service of Security of the RF in Sverdloskaya [sic] region
To the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the RF
To the Mayor of Ekaterenburg
From the Chairman of the Board of the Regional Public Organization "The Urals Center "Dianetics" Gorbunova K.V.
On 12 of December 2002 a group of persons pre-arranged a collusion to cause a disturbance in the premises of the Regional Public Organization "The Urals Center Dianetics". The citizens Father Vladimir Zaitsev and Father Nikita and foreign citizens, who did not want to tell their names, took part in this disturbance. Among foreign citizens, who caused the disturbance, was the citizen of the USA Dvorkin A.L., other foreign citizens D. [sic] Armstrong, T. Gandow, Broide P.P. called for actions against our public organization. The illegal activity of the above mentioned group was the following: they penetrated to the premises, which was rented by us, without our agreement.
On 12 of December 2002 approx. at 12 a.m., regardless of repeated prohibitions, these people, exercising physical strength, penetrated into the premises. They began to walk around it and publicly insulted the honor and dignity of staff members and members of our organization, (what comes within the article 130 of the Criminal Code of the RF) and cried: "Here is a totalitarian sect", violating the principle of equality of all the citizens before the law (art. 136 of the Criminal Code of the RF). Without any response to our demands to go away, they began to grab the things and documents, which were placed on the tables, roughly violating our peace, trying to create the conditions, which impede to a normal work of the public organization (which comes within the article 213 item 2 of the Criminal Code of the RF).
After this, V. Zaitsev and A. Dvorkin showed their interest in a pile of documents of informational nature, which was put on the tale, they tried to take them. After I wanted to take them,
[enclosure page 2]
V. Zaitsev roughly pulled the papers from my hands. As a result, 100 copies of copied papers were stolen, and this caused a damage in the amount of 29 rub. 16 kop. Thus, the theft was committed.
So, the sovereignity of our premises was roughly violated, the work of our organizations was disorganized, the docs, which belonged to us, were openly, with the exercise of strength, stolen.
Theses actions provoked [begin hand-written addition] were supposed to [end hand-written addition] violence from our side, A. Dvorkin bothered staff members of our org, overtly violated peace and cried: "I am beaten, the violence is applied".
The stated circumstances were shot to the video film, the record can be given to hold inspection. We ask to interrogate persons, who were present:
[Eight names listed. Initials (last, first, middle) are M.A.V., B.E.L., S.A.V., S.U.A., B.E.N., S.D.A., S.O.V., M.A.A.]
We shall provide, that they will appear to explain.
We ask you to take measures, which are provided for by the law in relation to the members of this group of people. And we inform you, that G. Armstrong was brought to justice for his illegal activity. Namely, the Supreme court of the state California, County of Marin, case #157680, sentenced G. Armstrong to be guilty and demanded him to pay the compensation in the amount of $300 000 to the plaintiff. The Supreme Court of state California county of Marin, case #152229, awarded the Order to immediately arrest G. Armstrong, who purposely violated the writ 13 times. Also, the Supreme Court of California county of Marin, case #157680, #152229 declared, that the defendant G. Armstrong is guilty in 13 acts of contempt of court. Also he is punished for the previous contempt of authorities by the fine $200 for each infringement (totally $2600) and confinement in the County Jail for a period 48 hours for each infringement (totally 26 days). G. Armstrong should appear before the Court of the county of Marin, obeying the law, or should be brought to suffer punishment till 10 of February 1998. In case G. Armstrong does not obey to the mandate of the court, the bench warrant will be issued to arrest him immediately and subject to confinement, till the punishments for the contempt of the court are fulfilled. [contact information given] Gorbunova K.V.
[enclosure page 3]
[The source of this article (German Scientology FREIHEIT magazine) is not identified in the enclosure.]
"Zweifelhafte Geschichten in der Umgebung von Gandow?" "Suspicious tales following Gandow?"
American Gerry Armstrong has settled down in Berlin and is trying to market stories [of himself] as an ex-Scientologist.
At a gathering on December 7, 2002, Berlin cult priest Thomas Gandow presented Armstrong as a special guest and as a sort of refugee. The fact is that Armstrong left his homeland years ago because he continued to deliberately flout court orders and was facing arrest. Armstrong is in fact extremely duplicitous, and outright hustler and lawbreaker. "I am a writer, artist and philosopher. Theologically speaking I am a prophet...", is what Armstrong stated in a written statement on January 26, 1997. And in fact he has more than once engaged himself as a prophet whose visions of the future, however, do not apply in his own country.
For instance he had his picture taken in November 1992 for the "Marin Independent Journal", an American newspaper, sitting in the lotus position and "dressed" with an earth globe. Back then he called himself founder of the "United Renouncers Organization." Armstrong's vision: a society that got along completely without money. For that he expected a following of "somewhere between 1 and 11 percent." He himself had already pronounced his "renunciation" he asserted, for which reason he said he gave up his earthly possessions. Actually, Gerald Armstrong had simply transferred a large part of his fortune to a "Gerald Armstrong Corporation." Possibly this was to become indigent for the purpose of escaping future financial obligations for breach of contract, as emerged in a July 23, 1993 legal complaint.
Message to Saddam Hussein
Armstrong revealed his philosophical and political vein on November 1, 1990. He rose to the occasion as statesman to present Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with a 10-point plan. Beside proposals about verified disarmament and involvement by the United Nations, "statesman" Armstrong officially apologized for all the "stupid things our leader has said about you." In the four-page text - accompanied with Armstrong's signature and a copyright notice by "The Gerald Armstrong Corporation - Armstrong introduced himself to the Iraqi despot as a "celebrity," even though Armstrong commented "He would be the most undistinguished philosopher in America," Armstrong offered himself to Hussein as a hostage. Several years prior he had made a similar offer to the hostage-takers in Lebanon, Armstrong wrote. Hussein was to be permitted to torture and execute Armstrong "if our side did not live up to its side of the agreement." "I have numerous attorneys to work out the details. ... This is a matter of some urgency for all of us," Armstrong lectured Dictator Hussein.
[enclosure page 4]
Since he didn't get any feedback from Hussein, the United Nations or anywhere else in the political world, on January 10, 1991 Armstrong appealed in writing "to the American people." "Let's give the Armstrong Proposal a chance," he informed the American folk. Then Armstrong complained that not even The Oakland Tribune, the Los Angeles Time or the San Francisco Examiner had cared to hear anything about his statesman abilities.
This is the gauge by which the credibility of Armstrong's presentation is to be assessed when he left the Scientology Church in 1981 - that means 20 years ago. Until 1981, Armstrong was employed as an archivist for the Scientology Church. When he, in violation of church directives, misappropriated about 10,000 private church documents, he was expelled from the Scientology Church in 1982. Armstrong let on that he had diverted the documents for his "defense." After that it turned out that Armstrong had provably been involved in criminal conspiracy. Armstrong ended up revealing his plan to produce counterfeit church directives and smuggle them in, where they would be "discovered" and confiscated by the tax authorities.
At a secret meeting, this information of Armstrong's was documented on a video made with police approval, and the transcript was submitted as evidence in court. A settlement was reached with Armstrong on December 6, 1986 to end all legal disputes to obtain the return of the stray documents. In that settlement, Armstrong bindingly agreed to not libel the Scientology Church. In case he breached the agreement, a penalty was set. Based on previous experience with Armstrong, the signing was recorded on video. In it Armstrong declared, in the presence of his attorney, that he was familiar with the papers [he was signing] and that he was signing the agreement of his own free will.
Naturally Armstrong did not keep his word for long, but constantly made up new, even wilder stories about the Scientology Church. Because of his violations of this agreement - there were 13 separate incidents between September 2 and November 1997 alone - various court orders were issued against Armstrong, which he ignored. Finally the Superior Court of the Marin district in California issued a warrant for Armstrong's arrest on May 15, 1998, with possible fine and incarceration for criminal disregard of the court. This resulted in Armstrong's moving out of the country to evade punishment and escape the law.
In 1997, while Armstrong was living in Canada, he tried to instigate legal proceedings against the Scientology Church in Nevada. The court that had jurisdiction in Nevada dismissed Armstrong's complaint September 3, 1998, because he had made an untrue statement about his place of residence. And finally, Judge Vernon F. Smith, Judge of the "Superior Court of the State California for the County of Marin" found in a comprehensive 5-point order on July 12, 2001, that Armstrong had repeatedly, voluntarily and deliberately violated court orders. The judge found Armstrong guilty of contempt of court.
Even before then Armstrong was cooperating with Gandow and Ursula Caberta, director of the "Task Force Scientology" in the Hamburg Interior Agency. Two years ago Gandow gathered money at a church collection for an American "Trust" and has just recently sent it - according to his own statements - to an American convicted in court. The state attorney's office investigated Caberta for almost two years for suspicion of corruption because she accepted from a Scientology opponent a "private loan" in the amount of 75,000 euro. The proceedings were suspended upon a court-ordered payment of 7,500 euro.
Whoever cooperates with this kind of con artist, who has been exposed in an American court as untrustworthy and a rights violator, disqualifies himself.
[enclosure page 5]
25 April 2000 Frankfurt Allgemeine newspaper heading
[enclosure page 6]
enclosure 3 of 1.23.03 letter "Mishaps and failure prevail" - After a series of embarrassing mistakes the Berlin state office for the protection of the Constitution will no longer exist as an indepent agency. page 6, Frankfurt, Germany, April 25, 2000, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - An article on the dissolution of the Berlin State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) by Konrad Schuller
[enclosure page 7]
continuation of above article
Analysis by Joe Cisar
January 30, 2003. From what I can gather from Gerry's post of 12.19.02, Gerry was at a cult conference in Russia, which was "gate-crashed" by a woman Scientologist, or maybe "stage-crashed" would be a better word. Gerry and she had a "debate", and she invited Gerry over to the "org" to continue the "debate". Naturally all the TV crews and reporters were invited, too.
When Gerry got to the Ekaterinburg Mission, which occupies about half the 7th or 8th floor of a building, his entry was blocked, but the TV crews and reporters were allowed in. Gerry never entered the Scientology Mission. (No debate after all.) Registered associations have to have a area which is accessible to the public. In Scientology's case this area is separate from the course rooms.
In the public area was a table upon which were Black PR / Dead Agent packs on Gerry. These were taken by the visitors. One of the people who took a pack apparently handed it to Gerry outside the Scientology spaces, but was not successful in handing a complete package to him, perhaps due to interference from a minder.
from Gerry's report, webbed at http://www.cisar.org/russia/021219.htm
Yekaterinburg report from Gerry Armstrong
December 12, 2002
From: Gerry Armstrong
Subject: From Russia with Aeroflot
Date: 2002-12-19 13:00:59 PST
We'd been invited to Ekaterinburg http://www.ur.ru/~sg/Ekaterinburg.html by Archbishop Vincent of the Ekatrinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church to participate in a three-day conference on dangerous cults ...
*** begin excerpt 1
After giving one part of my conference talk, a young woman, who was not part of the program, walked onto the stage, up to the podium and began to mouth some promo for Scientology. She was ushered away from the podium and out into the hallway, where I spoke to her and proposed that we have a debate, which she accepted.
The room in the Academy where we had earlier held the press conference was quickly commandeered and a video camera set up by the Novosibirsk conference contingent to record the debate. Just having a debate was a "big win" for me, because, despite my many requests over two decades, all organization Scientologists had previously refused to debate me, or even communicate sociably.
The young woman, who gave her first name as Maria, but whose family name I didn't get, said that she is an employee of the cult in Ekaterinburg, and has been a Scientologist for five years. As it turned out, she really didn't want to debate Scientology, but wanted only to give her commercial for the cult. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to tell her some of my experiences and ask her some questions to attempt to get her to discuss wogs' concerns about Scientology.
*** end excerpt1
*** begin excerpt2
On December 12, the twenty-first anniversary of my escape from the Scientology cult, I celebrated by accepting Maria's invitation and visiting the Ekaterinburg Scientology office, along with local priests Father Vladimir and Father Nikita, Professor Dvorkin, Pastor Thomas Gandow, and two television station crews. I didn't go inside the cult's office, because the large Scientologist blocking the entrance wouldn't specifically invite me in, but all the others entered and engaged the Scientologists in dueling videocams, and even some precious dialogue.
The Scientologists were apparently giving visitors to their center black PR documents on their designated enemies, including Professor Dvorkin and me, and it was reported that they sent to Ekaterinburg officials an accompanying letter similar to their 2001 black PR letter to Nizhny-Novgorod officials. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/osa-ltr-fsb-2001-04-20a.html Someone inside the cult office gave me some of their documents on me, but not a full set, part of which I have webbed at http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/index.html#russia2002
At one point, the large Scientologist grabbed Dvorkin in a sort of Russian bear hug, and someone else called the police. Two officers arrived and took a number of statements. During our hour or so visit, I engaged the Scientologist man-handler in a discussion about Hubbard's lies and Scientology's unworkability, had similar conversations with a number of people who arrived to do courses or something, and gave interviews to the two TV crews. That evening, our twenty-first anniversary visit to Scientology was top news on both channels.
*** end excerpt2
See photos at http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/media/russia/
An HCO personnel requiring an eviction of a person or persons from a premises or meeting or area need only point to the person or persons and say "HCO Order!" Any staff member or Scientologist present is instantly deputized as above and must act promptly to carry out the eviction or be liable under Justice Codes when failing to do so."
- L Ron Hubbard in HCOPL 17 March, 1965,
Rights of a Staff Member, Students and Preclears to Justice,
HCO (Divisions 1) Justice Staff Hat.
Joe Cisar's response to use of enclosure 3 of 1.23.03 letter - Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper article of 25 April 2000
One of the complaints pro-cultists have had for years has been the unprofessional treatment of cults by the media. I believe Dr. James Richardson and others, for instance, have suggested the apocalyptic catastrophe at Waco was due in part to the threat the FBI felt at the media sensationalism of cults. Their point was that poor judgment was caused through misrepresentation by the media.
Neither did L. Ron Hubbard have anything particularly good to say about the press, other than to present the media as an outlet for 1) Scientology advertising and 2) a forum for lurid stories to discredit his opponents. In the case of the false incrimination of a Berlin police director as described in this Frankfurt article, however, Scientology has embraced the press. This falls under category 2) above, but Scientology has not given the media their proper due. That is to say the wrongful incrimination case appears to be a case of freedom of the press helping to bring about justice for a police director. The case was not just a passing, isolated event, but was covered in detail over a period of years. The focus was not anything positive for Scientology, it was public criticism of Berlin Homeland Security (Verfassungsschutz).
With regard to the article in the Frankfurt Allgemeine by Konrad Schuller, I detect a note of relief in Mr. Schuller's text, probably at the fact that he is reporting not on bad news that happened in Frankfurt, but in Berlin. In his introduction, the tension mounts as the reader wonders what could be brewing in the lobby of the secret headquarters of the Berlin Verfassungsschutz. Coffee, of course, right next to the cream and sugar. This is unmistakably humor, something not unheard of in Germany. The solid information is then related in the body of the article, and at the end, Mr. Schuller again makes his transition with an element of suspense. A voice from behind a tree in a park near the secret police headquarters -- who could this be? One of the former Stasi agents who couldn't get recruited by the Americans? Who knows? It's not even as trustworthy as "a source who wished not to be identified," it's an allusion to a theoretical person who made a theoretical statement for Mr. Schuller, who is now more than merely relieved, he is going to have a little fun at the expense of the Berlin Verfassungsschutz. With mock surreptitiousness he brings up the idea of whether Scientology and its special operations department (OSA) might not have been nothing but elusive spectres to begin with. He's "rubbing it in."
German Scientology boss Georg Stoffel, the author of the letter of 1.23.03, took that tongue-in-cheek suggestion about Scientology in a literal sense, and brazenly misrepresented it as positive verification of his organization's harmlessness in Germany. The positive verification with regards to Scientology, however, is not one of harmlessness, but one of open misrepresentation.
Journalist Schuller's point had been that perhaps Scientology was not dangerous, or at least not as dangerous as a secret service that could not do its job in a professional manner. Scientologist Stoffel's interpretation of this as credible exoneration of any wrongdoing on Scientology's part shows that while Scientology may not be imminently dangerous, it is irresponsible and lacking in critical judgment when dealing with the media. If, as experts have claimed, the media were a danger to cults due to misrepresentation in the past, this episode demonstrates how a cult may now pose a threat to the relay of honest and accurate information in the media today.
January 31, 2003