The Rudolfhof announcement is overshadowed by a new discovery: one applicant was shown to be indirectly connected to Scientology, and now only two candidates are in the race. Investigations by the Greens have shown that one of the three applicants of the Rudolfshof announcement was aligned with Scientology. Andreas Parrer, Club chief of the Greens, said, "In the official introduction, a manager was presented to us who very often used New Age phrases. Then I became suspicious." After some research, the truth came to light: the manager is an adherent of the "Avatar" movement, which split off from Scientology in the 1970s. "But there has never been a clear separation between the Avatar movement and Scientology," Parrer says. Because of that, the Greens were concerned that Rudolfshof would be used as a seminar center for Scientology. "The future operator would have to invest a lot, we are afraid that these means would play a part in Scientology seminars," said Parrer. But the rest of the political parties who participated in the hearing were skeptical about the applicant. Vice Mayor Franz Geiger said, "She made a very peculiar impression on all of us. Primarily because so much sect terminology was used by the applicant." Now there are only two applicants for Rudolfshof and no agreement about a candidate will take place soon in the community session. Geiger: "We will probably let it sit, and not decide on it until summer is over."
Viennese Association solicits for donations with shocking details of of an abuse victim. Child Abuse centers are cautioned.
August 23, 1999
Happy Kids: Help or is abuse being misused?
These days the letter soliciting for donations has found its way into thousands of Austrians' homes and is not just meant to appeal to women's sympathies. No, "you as a man should also learn about Magdalena's shocking secret." The secret, contained in an enclosed, sealed envelope, is a letter in which Magdalena, today 24, describes a martyrdom which lasted for years: abused by her own father.
"That is an original letter," said Petra Doppermann, publicity lady of the "Happy Kids" association in Vienna, which states that it supports victims of abuse and solicits for donations for these activities. Doppermann quickly justified making the details of the fate of Magdalena public even though they border on the pornographic, "That gets to people." This sort of shocking description had previously been avoided in advertising for donations for "Happy Kids." The result: hardly any money came in. Because of that they changed their line of approach. "That is to say that we do not receive any subsidies," according to Doppermann.
Otherwise little information is given out about the association. It is said that it cooperates with therapists throughout Austria who recommend victims to them, "but we do not release the names of those experts." And in response to queries made to public establishments of undisputed professionalism about the name "Happy Kids", to which there are said to be connections to Scientology, one receives a start. Not just that. The Child Abuse Center in Vienna has cautioned the public in an open letter. "The use of case histories in the attached form is, for us, actually an abuse of abuse," was stated in response to Magdalena's Secret. And: "For us, collection of money through donations motivated in this way is highly problematic." There is no denying that there is no proof that "Happy Kids" is lacking in professionalism, but somewhat more transparency would not hurt it, either.