Section 4. Scientology Organization (SO)
The SO received much coverage in the media in the first half of 2007. The SO is currently endeavoring to gain a stronger footing in Europe. The focus of its expansion endeavors in doing this includes the creation of so-called Ideal Orgs worldwide. This effort had been announced by supreme SO authority David Miscavige, chairman of the Religious Technology Center (RTC) in his New Year's speech in Los Angeles. The Ideal Orgs, to be located in the vicinity of national governments, are supposed to exert political influence and bring about the global removal of a psychiatric nuisance. SO expansion efforts have been observed even in Germany.
4.1 Scientology Kirche Deutschland e.V. (SKD)
The SKD sees the campaign to create so-called Ideal Orgs according to RTC's specifications as an important step in creating a new civilization of its own making and in exerting and increasing influence on politics. The opening of the first German Ideal Org in Berlin-Charlottenburg on January 13 is a case in point. About 1,500 people, including celebrity artists, visited the opening ceremony. Additional participants included delegations from almost all the European states, as well as the USA, Turkey and Israel, where the SO is represented with Orgs. SKD vice president Sabine Weber welcomed the guests and called upon them not to give up the fight against the Suppressive States.
It obviously was important to the SO to put the new foundation of the Org in the vicinity of the Bundestag and of the federal government, thereby creating a visible sign of expansion. In the plan to get closer to politics, SO members have already made attempts to speak to members of the Bundestag. Other German Orgs, such as in Munich, Stuttgart and Hannover, are also supposed to expand according to this concept, exerting a Scientology influence upon society and government. So far the SO has installed Ideal Orgs in European capitals of Brussels, London and Madrid.
4.2 Scientology Kirche Bayern e.V. (SKB, Munich Org)
On May 19 in Erding the 57th anniversary of Dianetics took place, with about 350 attending. An SO international management movie about SO world expansion was shown there. People and organizations who the SO deemed particularly worthy throughout the entire world were presented. Members and staff of Munich Org received special mention. New staff were recruited and donations collected to create "Ideal Org Munich." Munich Org was looking for a new, bigger building in Munich to satisfy the specifications of an Ideal Org, because the current establishment on Beichstrasse Munich was not going to be big enough.
4.3. Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte Deutschland e.V.> (KVPM)
A demonstration of the Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte Deutschland e.V.> took place June 4 in Wuerzburg, in which 120 people from all over Germany, including many children, participated. The occasion for the event was the psychiatry congress that was being held in Wuerzburg at the time.
The focus of Scientology activities intended for the public was the more than 200 public events in Bavaria, mainly in Munich and vicinity, most of which were organized as information stands. The organizers of the overwhelming majority of these events were Scientology Kirche Deutschland e.V. (SKD) and Scientology Kirche Bayern e.V. (SKB).
As they did last year, the SKD and SKB advertised with the theme of "For Peace on Earth - Dianetics leads to Peace" and "For Peace on Earth - Scientology Volunteer Minister say one can always do something". Regularly distributed at the events were SO brochures on the themes of "The Truth about the Joint", "What are Human Rights", "The Way to Happiness" as well as other SO recruitment articles that denounce nuisances in society and thereby attract people and recruit new members.
In addition information campaigns were pursued nationwide for the SO's so-called Volunteer Minister program.
Despite all the efforts of the organizers, public resonance at all these events was slight.
4.5 International Activities of the SO
In connection with a decision of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) of 5 April in the case of SO Moscow against Russia, the SO met with public officials and politicians and asserted that with its decision the ECHR had granted the SO the binding effect of the status of a religious community. Actually the ECHR decision had only the character of a so-called informational judgment with the result that Russia would have to decide about the SO's application to register as a religious community. The background of the court hearings was that the SO had been regarded as a religious association in Russia in 1994. When the religion law was changed in 1997, all religious communities were required to reregister by the end of 2000 if they wanted to keep their status. The SO submitted several applications that were either not decided upon or rejected with apparently weak arguments. With its decision the ECHR found that the method of procedure used by Russian authorities was not legal.
Since the beginning of the year the SO publishing house, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen, has been sending recruitment brochures and An Introduction to Scientology DVD to public libraries. Accompanying this material is an offer to receive more free publications about the SO if an attached questionnaire is filled out and returned to New Era. The purpose of this action is apparently to create a presence in school libraries and in the community. The Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture has notified schools correspondingly.
The SO continues to be an object of surveillance. Particular attention should be paid to the extent to which the SO approaches children and/or draws them into their activities.