Commentary from Joe Cisar
on the 2001 US State Department report on Germany
Here are a few critical comments regarding a report published by the US State Department found at:
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices -2000 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor February 2001.
This commentary leads up to the point that the US government is now (as it has been for 7 years) forwarding Scientology's anti-German propaganda under the name of the U.S. State Department.
The report informs the reader, under the heading of "Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing" that:
There were no reports of political or other extrajudicial killings.
There was no killing, but that created a problem. The bureaucrats of democracy needed something to report on. So the bureaucrats gathered information, but they left something out. They took what, in literature, is called an "omniscient" view.
Instances of societal violence and harassment directed at foreign residents continued as well, some resulting in deaths. After a 13.7 percent decline in rightwing-motivated crime in 1999, preliminary figures for the year suggest a significant increase in the number of such crimes. Moreover, the number of proven or suspected violent rightwing crimes (most of which resulted in bodily harm to the victim) during the year rose by more than 12 percent, from 746 to 840, continuing a trend found in 1999. The Government is taking serious steps to address the problem of violence against women and children. Women continue to face some wage discrimination in the private sector, as do members of minorities and foreigners. Trafficking in women and girls is a serious problem, with Germany being both a destination and a transit country. The Government has taken the lead in coordinating federal and state efforts to combat trafficking and aid its victims.
The question is, how would the US State Department know that there was a "13.7 percent decline in rightwing-motivated crime"? Furthermore, how would the U.S. State Department know what a "rightwing-motivated crime" is? Does this have something to do with "trafficking in women and girls"?
There is only one way the US State Department could report anything of the sort. The report is citing a German source - an unnamed German source - but the report does not reveal who or what the unnamed German source is. The reader is left with the feeling that the US State Department has its sources, but is not willing to reveal what those sources might be when it comes to something as sensitive as "rightwing-motivated crime" and "trafficking in women and girls." Yet anyone who regularly reads German media knows where these figures come from. They are from the German office whose job it is to keep track of these things and which reports these figures every year, something the US does not. The name of the office responsible for this is the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC). But the writer of the State Department's report chose not to properly attribute its figures to, nor even mention, the name of the office from which it cited these figures. The name of the OPC does not get mentioned until there is a change of context.
Several pages later comes a section entitled "Freedom of Speech and Press." Whose freedom of speech does the US State Department worry about?
Freedom of speech does not extend to the possession or distribution of the propaganda of proscribed organizations or to statements endorsing Nazism or denying the Holocaust, all of which are illegal. The authorities seek to block what they consider dangerous material on the Internet. The 1997 Teleservices Law bans access to prohibited material (for example, child pornography and Nazi propaganda), and the Government has explored ways to expand cooperation in countering Internet crime.
Besides women and girl traffickers, the Bureau of Democracy is apparently concerned about Nazis and child pornographers. Still no mention of the OPC, where this information is coming from, until we get down to the section on "Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association." The reader finally learns that Germany bans organizations, and this is the context under which the OPC is introduced:
Such banned organizations include a number of groups that authorities generally classify as rightwing or leftwing, foreign extremist, or criminal in nature. In addition several hundred organizations were under observation by the Federal and state Offices for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC). The OPC's are charged with examining possible threats to the democratic system; they have no law enforcement powers, and OPC monitoring by law may not interfere with the organizations' continued activities. In observing an organization, OPC officials seek to collect information, mostly from written materials and first-hand accounts, to assess whether a threat exists. More intrusive methods would be subject to legal checks and require evidence of involvement in treason or terrorist activities.
Nobody unfamiliar with domestic surveillance in Germany could guess what that last sentence means. It means nobody is tapping the Scientologists telephones or intercepting their mail, because the Scientologists are not suspected of physically violent activity.
Let's investigate some more banned groups.
On September 14, the Federal Interior Minister banned the rightwing extremist skinhead organization "Blood and Honor" and its youth organization, "White Youth," citing the groups' rejection of the constitutional order as a justification.
Besides women and girl traffickers, Nazis and child pornographers, the Bureau of Democracy is also apparently concerned about skinheads. For some reason the OPC got not a single mention until the rights of the skinheads became the issue.
The very next section is entitled "Freedom of Religion," but it could also be called "Freedom of Scientology." Most of this section is devoted to Scientology. However, there are a few token mentions of religion to give the impression that religion is what this section is about. The Jehovah's witness trial got the first mention. Naturally the Moslem woman who wants to wear her headscarf while she teaches school got a mention, along with the "right of Muslims to ritually slaughter animals." After two pages of this sort of thing, there are three pages of reports from Scientology.
This time, not only is the Hamburg OPC mentioned, but the State Department finally gave the source of the material it was citing:
For example, the Hamburg OPC publishes "The Intelligence Service of the Scientology Organization," which claims that Scientology tries to infiltrate governments, offices, and companies, and that the church spies on its opponents, defames them, and "destroys" them.
Notice also there are finally quotation marks around the word "destroys." That signifies that the State Department is finally giving the OPC credit for something. Under the context, however, the OPC is not getting credit, but discredit. The "example" the State Department was making out of the OPC was in the context of harming the "reputations" of some "religious" groups:
Several states have published pamphlets, which are provided to the public free of charge, detailing the beliefs and practices of non-mainstream religions. Many of the pamphlets are factual, but the inclusion of some religious groups in publications covering known dangerous cults or movements may harm their reputations.
In the United States, the FBI is in charge of putting dangerous groups under surveillance. Could somebody quickly get me a list of what groups the FBI has under surveillance, the same way the OPC publishes a list on the internet? I hope you don't mind if I finish this commentary while we're waiting.
The Hamburg OPC's booklet on Scientology is an informative pamphlet. It is especially informative in that it cites sources and it tells you where its sources came from. Since it writes about Scientology, then it is only fair that its sources are from Scientology, and that it tell you what its sources are. An unofficial English translation is at http://cisar.org/trn1050.htm.
That was just the introduction, but then the Scientologists writing the State Department report got serious. Here's the first broadside:
The Church of Scientology, which operates 18 churches and missions, remained under scrutiny by both federal and state officials who contend that its ideology is opposed to democracy and that it is not a religion but an economic enterprise.
Pretend you are in Germany. Scientology is not a religion in Germany. It has to pay taxes, just like it does in other countries such as Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Israel, Mexico and the United Kingdom. That was the situation a couple of years ago, anyway. The reason Scientology has to pay taxes is that its livelihood consists of selling goods and services for money, even in countries where it does not pay taxes. There is no contention about Scientology being a religion except from Scientology.
The following section of the US report could have been written by Scientology chief David Miscavige:
The Federal Government uses its "Defense Clause" (commonly referred to as a "sect filter") for procurement involving some training and consulting contracts, specifically those that may provide opportunities for mental manipulation or behavior modification. The sect filter requires a bidder to declare that the firm rejects and will not employ the "technology of L. Ron Hubbard" within the framework of the contract, and that the firm does not require or permit employees to attend courses and seminars conducted via this "technology" as part of its business function. Some state and local agencies, businesses (including several major international corporations), and other organizations require job applicants and bidders on contracts to sign similar "sect filters."
The people who use the "technology declaration" do not call it a "sect filter." The people who wrote the "technology declaration" do not call it a "sect filter." The German media do not call the "technology declaration" a "sect filter." The only people who call the "technology statement" a "sect filter" are Scientologists and those who are fed information by Scientologists.
A "technology declaration" is a means whereby you can make sure you are not doing business with someone who operates according to the technology of L. Ron Hubbard. Here's an example of how it works. Suppose you are doing business with Chinese companies, which means signing contracts. You like getting clothes cheap, but you do not like the idea of people performing slave labor to produce your goods. So you have the Chinese company representative sign a declaration that the company you are signing the contract with does not operate according to slave technology. If you later find out the company has been in violation of that "technology declaration" you can end the contract. You could not have figured that out from reading the Scientologists' explanation of what a "sect filter" is. As you may have guessed, this "sect filter," which may be defined basically as any piece of paper a Scientologist does not want to sign, is discussed further:
... in April the Hamburg administrative court dismissed the suit of two Scientology members against the city-state for its use of "sect filters."
The above statement does not sound very significant, especially as it is only part of a sentence. Also it is in the midst of paragraphs of text maligning "sect filters."
First of all, the Hamburg Administrative Court did dismiss the suit of two Scientology members. That much is accurate. Scientology's report, however, does not mention that one of the parties suing was the Church of Scientology. In other words, there were three parties to the one side of the law suit: a woman who operated a "wrapping salon," the Church of Scientology Munich, and a woman who did not get a sales job several years earlier.
The party who was being sued was not specifically the City of Hamburg, not specifically the Office of the Interior, but one small department, the Task Force on Scientology. The Task Force on Scientology is renowned for many things having to do with Scientology. One of those things is that this department wrote the "technology declaration." It is the author of the above described "sect filter." It is the source of the document to which Scientology had the US State Department devote more space in its report than it did to Nazi freedom of speech in Germany. The Task Force is Scientology's Satan in Germany.
So it was not the city of Hamburg that was sued, but the Task Force on Scientology. There is another discrepancy in the State Department's lone clause on this case. It says the city of Hamburg was sued for its use of the "technology declaration." That is not true. The Task Force on Scientology was sued by a Scientologist because the private company with which she was doing business gave her a copy of the "technology declaration" to sign.
She argued that regardless of whether anyone thought Scientology was a religion or not, she was suffering monetary damage. What happened anyway?
A "wrapping salon" is an establishment whereby a customer pays money to the operator to do a whole body wrap. This is supposed to improve the customer's figure. The wrapping salon operator, the Scientologist woman, said that in order for this process to work, the customers needed to take vitamins. She got her vitamins from a certain company. One time a company representative sent her a "technology declaration" to sign. She did not sign it. Her contract was terminated.
Why? Why would a German company not want to do business with someone who operated according to the technology of L. Ron Hubbard? The technology of L. Ron Hubbard includes the following: 10-15 percent of the gross sale goes to the International Association for Scientologists (IAS). The IAS then sends the money to the USA, where full page advertisements are taken out in international newspapers depicting anti-German hate propaganda. The reason they do that is that is technology according to L. Ron Hubbard. So if you are a German who does not want a tenth of the total money you pay for a product to go to anti-German propaganda, you have the people you do business with sign a piece of paper that says they do not operate according to the technology of L. Ron Hubbard. That is legal, as has been demonstrated in German courts time and time again.
Again why? But this time why did the Scientologist woman sue the Task Force on Scientology and not the company which handed her the "technology declaration" to sign? As mentioned, the company did nothing illegal. The reason she gave in her suit was that the Scientology Task Force issued the form which the company representative handed to her. She said that violated her rights to do business.
She was wrong. The reason she lost the suit is because the form made up by the Task Force on Scientology had nothing to do with the German company's decision not to finance any anti-German hate campaign being carried out in accordance to the technology of L. Ron Hubbard. That much is not clear from the less than twenty-five words dedicated to that topic in the report.
In the same paragraph as the above is written:
In October the Munich labor court ruled that the state cannot require employees to complete the questionnaire in the absence of evidence that the employee is involved in anticonstitutional behavior.
It looks like what is still being talked about is the "technology declaration," which according to Scientology in the US State Department Report, is called a "sect filter." However, there is another discrepancy in that sentence, namely, neither "sect filter" nor "Defense Clause" nor "technology declaration" nor "security statement" nor anything of the sort is mentioned in the Munich labor court's decision. That is because the Munich labor court was not talking about a "sect filter" or a "Defense Clause" etc.
The city improperly gave an employee who had been working for the city for ten years a recruitment application to fill out. The employee, as could be expected, refused to fill it out. He was absolutely correct in doing so. Therefore the court decided in his favor.
Scientology also called this form a "sect filter," but it is a different form, and is meant for a different purpose. It was a recruitment application which asked whether the applicant had any connections with Scientology. Plainly the Free State of Bavaria is not worried about its employees handing over 10 to 15 percent of the salary to Scientology's intelligence service to carry out anti-German hate campaigns. Anyone in Germany who wants to do that is free to do so.
What the government is concerned about is infiltration. An example of infiltration might be if a government office were fed disinformation by Scientologists and then reported what they were given in a manner so as to conceal the true source of their information. The reason the German government is concerned about that sort of thing is that Scientology goals, strategy, plans, projects and instructions are devoted to infiltration. So the Bavarian government, silly as it seems, has applicants fill out this form. It is not a "technology declaration."
Apparently there has been no shortage of court cases concerning Scientology recently:
In 1999 the State Social Court of Appeals in Rhineland-Palatinate ruled that the Federal Labor Office had in 1994 incorrectly refused to renew a Scientologist's license to run her au pair agency based solely on her Scientology membership.
The above makes it sound as though the Federal Labor Office was incorrect in refusing to renew the Scientologist's license. It was a technical loophole which the Scientologists exploited for political purposes. Concerning the same thing:
The case was remanded to the state court to clarify whether the specific individual's membership in the Church of Scientology has any bearing on her reliability as an au pair agent.
Almost certainly the case will now go back to the state court. This time the state court will, we hope, correctly refuse the Scientologist's license. Although anything can happen, it is not likely the Scientologist will be able to prove her reliability because 1) the burden of proof is on her and 2) she has already contradicted herself in testimony repeatedly. For anyone who does not know and "Au Pair" agency is one which finds girls from foreign countries who work for room and board and possibly an allowance. The country from which the girls were delivered was Estonia.
The personality Scientology likes to paint critics with is that of someone who fears a conspiracy. Here is Scientology's rendition of what happened with some software distributed by Microsoft, as contained the US State Department report of 2001:
Late in 1999, allegations that Microsoft's Windows 2000 contained a "Trojan Horse" or "back door" that would permit the Church of Scientology to obtain information from an unsuspecting user's system surfaced in the technology trade press. These allegations arose after Hamburg's sect commissioner expressed public concern about the software because a firm whose chief executive officer is a Scientologist developed a disk defragmenting component for Windows 2000. Critics claimed--with no proof--that the defragmenter would secretly send personal data from individual computers to Scientology offices.
I may have missed it, but I do not recall ever reading about a critic who said that "Microsoft's Windows 2000 contained a 'Trojan Horse' or 'back door' that would permit the Church of Scientology to obtain information from an unsuspecting user's system." Again, when it comes to sources, the report seems not to mention which "Critics claimed -- with no proof -- that the defragmenter would secretly send personal data from individual computers to Scientology offices." There are quite a few articles on this subject available at http://cisar.org/sortdate.htm. None I have seen claimed there was a "Trojan Horse" and anything like that in the software.
Microsoft yielded to German pressure and allowed the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) to investigate the software. BSI conducted various tests but failed to find any evidence of or anything that in any way validated the concerns regarding the existence of a "Trojan Horse" or "back door."
Half of what the BSI found is missing in the above statement. It found there was no evidence that there should be a concern about the software. It also found there was no evidence that there should not be a concern. If there is a failure here, it is to report the full findings and not just the half of them.
If a company does not have prospective employees sign "technology declaration," they may be faced with unpleasant surprises. For instance, if the bank would have had the following woman sign the "technology declaration" and she later would have been found to using the treacherous technology, she could have been fired with no strings attached. As it turned out, the bank had to give her a settlement.
For example in March, a woman who had been summarily dismissed from her position in the bond department of a bank because of her association with Scientology received $27,300 (DM 60,000) under a settlement with her former employer.
She worked in a sensitive position. The bank fired her since a person under the influence of Hubbard's technology is a potential conduit for sensitive information to Scientology. Since the bank did not have a signed "technology declaration" they had to pay her a settlement. Notice this is an entirely different reason from the above for the "technology declaration" or for the recruitment application.
Since the 2001 Leipzig Award is coming up (see http://www.leipzig-award.org), the following is one of my favorites:
Major political parties continued to exclude Scientologists from membership, arguing that Scientology is not a religion but a for-profit organization whose goals and principles are antidemocratic and thus incompatible with those of the political parties. However, there has been only one known enforcement of this ban. A Bonn court upheld the practice in 1997, ruling that a political party had the right to exclude from its organization those persons who do not identify themselves with the party's basic goals.
Guess whose political party the Scientologists wanted to belong to? Naturally, it was the party of this year's award winner: Dr. Norbert Bluem. That shows he is a man that Scientologists look up to also.
Then the report moves into the Scientology complaint section. It gets a big section all to itself. Here is one:
A Scientology exhibit at the Leipzig book fair in March provoked complaints about what some visitors considered aggressive marketing tactics, and fair authorities were reviewing whether to allow the exhibitors to return next year.
So if you complain that the Scientologists are blocking the aisles and you happen to be a German, that's enough to get you a mention in Scientology's US State Department report on Scientology's rights in Germany.
As stated above, "There were no reports of political or other extrajudicial killings" in Germany, but that created a problem for the US State Department's Bureau of Democracy.
If Scientology is doing the Bureau of Demoracy's work for them, does that mean Scientology is supporting democracy?
German Scientology News