Is human free will only an illusion?
People do not do what they want; instead they want what they do.
November 15, 2001
Brain researchers have put a basic category of human self-perception into question: freedom of will. For several years they have made it clear how decisive neuron processes are to behavior; in doing so some of our traditional picture of people has been altered. "Free will is only a useful illusion," said neurobiologist Gerhard Roth (Universit of Bremen). He has recently published the fundamental work, "Fuehlen, Denken, Handeln."
Much attention has been paid to the experiments of American neurophysicist Benjamin Libet. They lead some observers to the conclusion that people do not do what they want, instead, they want what they do.
Libet asked test persons to spontaneously make a decision to move one finger or the entire hand, and to record the exact moment of the decision on a clock. That was the first moment of time recorded, the second was the time at which a so-called "readiness potential" was formed in the brain as a preparation for movement, and third was the exact moment of the actual movement. The results were surprisingly consistent: the conscious decision to move occurred 0.2 seconds before the beginning of the movement, but not until more than 0.3 seconds after the beginning of the readiness potential.
The Will is not an Initiator, but a Censor
Could it therefore be that the will is not at all the cause of neuron activity? Gerhard Roth does not see the will actually in motion until after the brain has already decided which movement it is going to execute. Libet sees his results as meaning the power of will is limited. He sees the will not as an initiator, but as a censor.
The question has also been posed in this discussion as to whether decisions are instantaneous acts. As opposed to processes whose results become known after they have already been concluded. For instance, some researchers believe that the part of the decision recorded by Libet was only the last step in a decision process that began earlier.
"... because we do indeed perceive ourselves as actually free"
Neurophysicist Wolf Singer (of the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main) spoke in an interview with the (Heidelberg) "Spektrum der Wissenschaft" newspaper about two different areas of learning distinct from each other, both of which portray the realities of the world: the area in which the researcher scientifically regards the brain (the third-person perspective), and the socio-cultural area, in which value systems and social realities are discussed. That area is experienced and presented in the first-person perspective.
"It must be assumed by a neurobiologist that the contents of one area stem from the processes of the other," Singer continued. "To that extent, seen from the third-person perspective, that which is seen as free will from the first-person perspective, must be defined as illusion," the researcher has determined. "However, 'illusion' is, I believe, not the proper term, because we do indeed perceive ourselves as actually free." Practically all people in our cultural group share this perception.
Such a consensus is generally regarded as sufficient to evaluate the facts of the matter as valid. But just as valid is the consensus reached by neurobiologists that all processes are determined in the brain (excluding freedom of will), and that the cause for any movement is a direct result of the combined state of the brain.
Experiences of Will an adequate criteria?
Philosophy professor Hans Goller (Universit of Innsbruck) mentioned in "Fictive Freiheit?", an article carried in the the Catholic "Herder-Korresondenz" (Freiburg) newspaper, the work of Brazilian researcher Gilberto Gomes. He believes the contradiction between the free will experienced from the first-person perspective and the natural cause resolve if we assume that we are brain systems that operate as free people who possess the ability to select, to decide and to operate.
Goller finds that brain research is far from having identified the neuron basis of the experience of freedom of will. "There are interesting preliminary signs. These prove the fact that certain areas and functions of the brain are necessary conditions for experiencing will. Are they also adequate criteria? Interdisciplinary discussion of freedom of will shows that our knowledge about the brain and its function is imperfect in a fundamental sense."
Rudolf Grimm, dpa
The "Religion Privilege" is to drop without being replaced
September 17, 2001
Hannover/Berlin. After the terrorist attacks in the USA, Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD) now also wants to erase the so-called "religion privilege" - however he made his plans before the attacks.
As of now, according to paragraph 1 section 1 of Association Law, associations that abuse freedom of association as guaranteed by Article 9 of Basic Law can be banned. The federal or state interior ministers can issue the order if an association violates criminal law, the constitutional order or the terms of international understanding.
But in §. 2 sect. 2, sentence 3 of the Association law it adds the limitation that "religious communities are not associations in the sense of this law." This is the "religion privilege" that is proposed to be dropped. Back in 1998, the "Sects and Psycho-groups" Enquete Commission had already recommended to Parliament that the removal of "religion privilege" would assure "that the effects of religious communities would not be directed against Basic Law." At that time, though, the issue was not one of Islamic centers, but mainly of the controversial, USA-based Scientology Church and psycho-groups hostile to human rights which operated similarly to Scientology under the protection of religious freedom.
Schily had made his first proposal to drop "religion privilege" back in May of 2001. And before that the minister, in meeting with the major churches, had mentioned not only Scientology, but also the association of the Cologne "Calif" Metin Kaplan, along with prayer leaders of other Islamic centers in the German Federal Republic which had called for a fight of extermination against "Jewish terrorists" and "American dogs."
The church had "great understanding" for Schily's plan to remove the "special proscription," stated Thomas Krueger to the WR yesterday, who is the spokesman for the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). He said the "religion privilege" clause was "no longer up to date" and also the state had to "be able to combat the abuse that went on under the guise of association law." Initial fears from primarily the Catholic Church have been quelled, said Krueger: "The freedom of religion guaranteed by the Basic Law is untouched."
Legislative changes planned for effective combat of terrorism
September 17, 2001
On Saturday, Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (SPD) announced on ZDF that, next Wednesday (9/19/01), his cabinet would decide on measures to remove association law religious privileges for and combat international extremist organizations. Schroeder said, "The religious privileges have to go" so that extremist religious groups can be banned in the future. In addition to that, he wants to make a new § 129b in the criminal code (§ 129a is the formation of terrorist associations) which allows foreign as well as domestic terrorists to be fought. Besides that, he said, improvements have to be made in cutting off the flow of money to international extremist groups.
On ARD, Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD) expressed support for a proposal from his Bavarian colleague, Guenther Beckstein (CSU), by which immigrants would have to fill out a standard form for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In the same broadcast, Green Party chief Claudia Roth opposed Beckstein's proposal. But she welcomed the plan to limit the special protection for religious groups in order to take more effective action against extremist Islamic associations. Schily also backed a general limitation of the data security law. He thought the state should not have to avoid retaining certain data because of the danger that it would come into the hands of terrorists.
discussion about German participation in recompensation
- A Totalitarian Commercial Enterprise
- Protecting the Constitution with Information
- Turning the Tides in Germany - a Scientology point-of-view
A Totalitarian Commercial Enterprise
This is an unofficial, personal interpretation of a publicly available government document, downloaded September 1, 2001 from: http://www.verfassungsschutz-brandenburg.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=59
The "Scientology Organization" (SO) was founded in 1954 in the USA by Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986), the science fiction writer. Since then it operates worldwide.
Scientology portrays itself as a teaching which promises a higher level of knowledge, and even presents itself as a "salvation religion."
But the religious trappings only serve as a smoke screen for the fact that the SO is a totalitarian structured commercial enterprise. Its only maxim of operation is ruthless profit-taking. From its members the SO demands total obedience.
Craving Money and Power
The Federal Labor Court has evaluated the practices of the SO as "cynical" and "hazardous to health." Yet the craving for money and power does not only endanger the individuals who end up in the clutches of the SO, it can also have an effect on the state's internal security. That is because the SO's claim to total power ends up including constitutionally guaranteed basic, human rights, indeed, even removal of the constitutional system of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Because of these politically motivated activities, the SO has been under surveillance by Constitutional Security since 1997.
Note from translator: "Constitutional Security" means Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which performs domestic intelligence work. In the USA, that job is done by the FBI.
Protecting the Constitution with Information
This is an unofficial, personal interpretation of a publicly available government document, downloaded September 1, 2001 from: http://www.verfassungsschutz-brandenburg.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=192
- What is Constitutional Security really doing?
- "Scientology" - Ideology instead of belief
- How the SO sees people - attack on human dignity
- RTC, OSA, WISE, ABLE ... - Structures with totalitarian Claims
- Clear Deutschland ... Clear Planet - Thetans in key positions
- There is a good reason - Surveillance by Constitutional Security
- How should the SO be dealt with?
- Code words
- Brandenburg Constitutional Security hot line
- For those who want more information - Literature
At the Interior Ministers and State Senators Conference of 5/6 June 1997, it was found that the Scientology Organization (SO) in fact manifested key indicators of endeavors against the German liberal democratic system, thereby fulfilling the legal provisions for the surveillance of the organization by Constitutional Security.
Since then the Brandenburg Constitutional Security Agency has been engaged in the observation of the Scientology Organization in accordance with the provisions of the Brandenburg Constitutional Security Law. With this as a background, this brochure is meant to provide the curious reader with current information on the subject of the SO, thereby making a contribution of a preventive character in the sense of "Protecting the Constitution with Information." Only informed citizens are in the position to recognize the true intentions of extremist efforts, to critically evaluate them and, finally, to not be overtaken by them.
The observation of the SO by Constitutional Security does not at all mean that any political dealing with this organization is dispensable. Public information work will be of special significance in that regard.
What is Constitutional Security really doing?
Constitutional Security serves to protect the German liberal democratic system and the stability and the security of the nation and the states. Its existence is based on fundamental legal regulation. As an intelligence agency, it performs the mission of gathering and evaluating information on, among other things, political endeavors which are directed at influencing or even doing away with our Constitution's highest value-principles.
These methods of operation - simple expression of opinion is not included - are described in their totality as extremism. Classic extremist characteristics are those which are usually exhibited by rightwing or leftwing extremists. However, it is absolutely conceivable that new forms of extremism are developing that do not fit into the traditional categories.
Radicalism is defined separately from extremism. People who carry on radical endeavors utilize the political operating field set forth by Basic Law to its outermost bounds, but they do that without making an issue out of the Constitution itself or of its basic elements. While an extremist will direct operations against the basic constitutional paragraphs, such as respect of basic/human rights, the sovereignty of the people, the division of power, the independence of the court system or the multi-party principle, a person representing a radical position exhaustively exploits these paragraphs without the explicit intention of doing away with them.
The information won by Constitutional Security is an important foundation for the political discussion with constitutional enemies of all types. This occurs in ways such as the publication of informational brochures such as this one. It must be noted, however, that forwarding personal data must be prohibited on the basis of Data Security.
Information from Constitutional Security can also serve as the basis for executive measures, such as banning associations or the initiation of criminal investigations. That sort of decision, however, is not made by Constitutional Security; this agency has no executive force in the fulfillment of its mission (translator's note: this is different from the American FBI. The FBI not only spies on people, it also makes the decision, based on its own information, of whether it will burst through the front door with guns drawn.) In particular, Constitutional Security does not have any police powers at its disposal; it may not arrest people, nor search through residences nor confiscate documents. There is a strict law of separation which sees to it that Constitutional Security may not seek help from the police in measures which it does not legally have at its disposal.
"Scientology" - Ideology instead of belief
The SO, which was founded in 1954 in the USA by science fiction writer Lafayette Ronald HUBBARD (1911 - 1986), asserts itself to be a religious denomination. In a case of failure to recognize historical and philosophical fact, it even refers to itself as a "salvation religion" in the tradition of Buddhism.
In the SO we see ourselves confronted with a well functioning enterprise which has declared its chief operating maxim to be the ruthless struggle for profit and then proceeds along those lines. In any case, any religious trapping or pseudo-spirituality serves to mask its machinations. As determined by the Federal Labor Court in 1995, the appearances put on by the SO as a "church" serve solely as a pretext to pursue its economic interests. The practices in use by the SO were assessed by the Federal Labor Court as "cynical" and "hazardous to the health" of those it affects (decision of 22 March 1995 - 5 AZB 21/95).
In addition, the written policies of the SO and its founder HUBBARD also reveal a socio-political dimension to his teachings. The policies present in detail a socio-political system in accordance with the SO teachings. In conclusion, the SO hides behind the mask of portrayed religiosity nothing more than an ideology, i.e., philosophical intellectual concepts with political and economic objectives.
How the SO sees people - attack on human dignity
What role does the person, the individual, play in the SO system? The answer to this question is all the more important, as not only the elitist anti-democratic self-perception of the organization, but also its blatant disregard for basic human rights, become apparent. The SO is striving to obtain the "perfect person." That is a person who, from the point of the teachings, is "clear." A person such as this is supposed to be free of "all physical pain and painful emotions." His "spiritual soul," called a "Thetan" in the jargon of the Scientologists, attains the state of "total spiritual freedom" and turns into an "Operating Thetan."
What this means in plain language is this: a being without rights who is subject only to the will of the SO - democratic rules of play and concurrent rights for the individual person are not taken into consideration; indeed, they are even held in contempt by the SO. This is because the SO is concerned with neither spiritual consolation nor altruistic help in the resolution of personal problems. It aims simply to get people's allegiance to its abstruse teachings, then to rigidly prohibit any deviation therefrom. In the confusing SO jargon, that deviation is called "aberration." "Aberrated" people are nothing short of fair game for the SO.
The SO does not exactly treat critics or its former members with kid gloves. There are rules of engagement within the SO such as "Handling the Suppressive Person," which advocates taking action against these people using any means. Critics and, in particular, former members are subject to methods of treatment which include constant psychic intimidation. Psycho-terrorism is deliberately employed by means of threatening calls, public denunciation and comparable measures. The SO's cynical list of measures does not stop at physical threats, either, as words to the following effect can be found in one of Hubbard's works, "Scientology Ethics," in how to deal with critics: "It may be more money for the power, or more ease, or a snarling defense of the power to a critic, or even the dull thud of one of his enemies in the dark, or the glorious blaze of the whole enemy camp as a birthday surprise." The simple yet effective rhetoric, as well as the stage tricks used upon critics by the SO, is also worthy of comment. Critics are constantly portrayed with menacing mien in poor photographs, while Scientologists are consistently displayed with happy faces, smiling and in color.
The SO never confronts factual criticism with factual statements on the topic itself, but with a series of rhetorical styles which include its favorite analogies; this serves to intentionally cloud the central issue and to divert attention to the emotional stage of a collateral war of its own making.
The apex of these methods and an example of particular reprehensibility is the analogy repeated recently about the Scientologists who allege they are persecuted in Germany in modern times as the victims of the Holocaust were in the "Third Reich." This is a deliberate, tasteless mockery to the victims of Nazi barbarism and a shameless insult to the Federal Republic of Germany.
RTC, OSA, WISE, ABLE ... - Structures with totalitarian Claims
The SO has at its disposal a strongly hierarchical, heavily compartmented structure in a large number of countries. It is characterized by total obedience from the bottom to the top. Its highest management is the Religious Technology Center (RTC) in Los Angeles, which is currently led by HUBBARD successor David MISCAVIGE. Its European headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Within the structure can be found an entire series of elements for monitoring. Besides them, the SO apparently uses the Office for Special Affairs (OSA) as a private intelligence service. The SO system, according to credible testimony from former members, is also host to private labor and penal camps.
The SO also makes use of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), which specializes in the infiltration of business. WISE is supposed to install the Hubbardian "Management Technology," accompanied by its control mechanisms, in businesses. SO structures equally support the organization's megalomania and clearly reflect the thoroughly totalitarian character of the SO.
The basis of the Athens State Court's decision to dissolve the Greek branch of the SO in 1997 included the statement that the SO was regarded as a "cynical organization with totalitarian tendencies and structures," which respected neither public order and safety nor the human rights of its own members.
The Association for better Living and Education (ABLE) coordinates Scientology's efforts "to resolve problems of modern society, such as drug abuse, criminality and educational failures, using the technology of L. Ron Hubbard." With the aid of this organization, the SO attempts to penetrate the social fields of the community. Within ABLE are a number of individual organizations that do not include the word "Scientology" in their names, but which pursue Scientology's objectives. Some of these, for example, are NARCONON, a registered association which is engaged in the area of drug rehabilitation, and the Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights (KVPM, "Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte").
Clear Deutschland ... Clear Planet - Thetans in key positions
The SO pursues more than just its stated goal of "cleared" individuals. In addition to that, its conduct aims to establish a leadership in society to "clear" it as a whole. To this end the SO is apparently engaged in attempts to infiltrate state and business.
This happens by means of "cleared" Scientologists who strive to obtain the appropriate key positions. In addition to that, the SO is also involved, as mentioned above, in spreading the "administrative Lafayette Ron Hubbard technology" in business management.
By this means, entire countries are to be "cleared" in accordance with the intention of the SO, which, in the end, means to exercise control over the governing administration. The delusion of the SO goes so far as to fantasize about a world that collapses unless it it is completely "clear."
What's noteworthy about this is the seriousness with which the SO dedicates itself in attaining these devious goals. In doing this it attains an entirely different quality, comparable to other, practically irrelevant groups that sometimes develop similarly deluded concepts.
There is a good reason - Surveillance by Constitutional Security
At the end of 1996, the Interior Ministers' Conference authorized a task force, consisting of representatives from several Constitutional Security agencies, to determine whether or not surveillance of the SO by Constitutional Security was permissible by law. After six months of intensively evaluating a wide variety of material, it came to the conclusion that the SO was glaringly worthy of surveillance.
It had been able to determine that the SO manifested an entire series indicators that it was striving against Germany's basic liberal democratic system. In the collective conduct of the organization, taken on the whole, could be recognized a political objective directed at the undermining or removal of our constitutional system. The first signs of that can already be seen in Hubbard's basic SO work, "Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health," as well as in the reports of many former SO members.
In the current situation, there are specific indicators of endeavors against the following elements of Germany's basic liberal democratic system:
- The human rights specified in the Basic Law:
In its teachings, the SO ascribes certain (diluted) rights only to "clears, honest or productive" people. All other members of society, primarily critics, lose their rights. This presents a glaring violation of Art. 3 para. 1 of Basic Law ("All people are equal before the law.").
- In addition, there are clear indications in SO instructions on the "handling" of apostates that in a society, such as that envisioned by the SO, neither the basic right to free expression of opinion (Art. 5 para. 1 of Basic Law), nor the right to life and physical integrity (Art. 2 of Basic Law) are regarded as valid. This also affects the elementary right of the protection of human dignity (Art. 1 para. 1 of Basic Law).
- Exclusion of any tyranny or despotism:
Elements of tyranny and despotism can be recognized in the structure of the SO, such as in the form of labor or penitential camps and in a cynical system of punishment. In the case of a "coup," this system looms as an instrument of suppression on society.
- Sovereignty of the People:
The SO propagates the right "to vote on intelligent measures" (by the government) only for "non-aberrated" people. This is not a matter of a general election by secret ballot; essential components of the people are excluded from the process of forming the public will and from sharing state power.
The SO understanding of democracy is, therefore, undemocratic, and is not compatible with Basic Law.
- The right to form and exercise parliamentary opposition: The SO claims that it possesses the sole representation of its teachings and it does not tolerate any sort of opposition. "Counter-intentions" by critics are confronted with merciless suppression.
- Division of Power: The SO is established and structured along the lines of totalism. There is no division of power, nor is a division envisioned in a country that has been "cleared" in accordance with Scientology teachings.
How should the SO be dealt with?
In recent years it has become clear that the SO is not in any case a group which can be regarded as a cult or a "new religious" movement in the usual sense, nor as a passing phenomenon. The SO has formed into a "Moloch*" which is led not by religiosity or spiritual care, but by an insatiable lust for money and power.
Along the channels of Scientology's scrupulousness are people who have come to grief, who have been and are being delivered into victimhood by Scientology's tricks and perfidious methods. For the state, for the society which carries it and thus for the inner security of our common good lurk latent dangers from Scientology's abstruse claims of total power.
It is also valid to dedicate increased vigilance to this organization in the future.
The state has the responsibility to do anything legally permissible to protect the population from the dubious machinations of the SO. At the same time all social groups are called to take part in the offensive, but in a calm and pragmatic manner. What counts most is solidarity and active attainment of help for victims of Scientology.
Experts in the matter can be found in self-help groups of former members and in the state and church sect appointees (commissioners). In addition, awareness of the SO's evasion and escape tactics is appropriate. Continued, consistent description of Scientology's activities and its methods of operation is a suitable measure of prevention.
*Moloch, a deity, mentioned in the Bible, whose worship was marked by the burning of children offered as a propitiatory sacrifice by their own parents. II Kings 23:10; Jer. 32.35.
The SO uses language both as a weapon and as camouflage, as is the case with organizations which exhibit totalitarian tendencies. On the one hand there are a series of newly coined words, and on the other there are numerous redefinitions of existing words. In this way compartmentation/alienation is accomplished and the elitist-hierarchical and anti-pluralistic character is emphasized within the organization.
It is not an easy task to make one's way through the confusing jargon of the Scientologists. For a clearer understanding of the language, a few of the most frequently used terms are laid out as follows:
According to the SO understanding, a "deviation from intelligent thought or conduct ... aberration is opposed to mental health, which would be its opposite." That includes any thought or action which deviates from the teachings of the SO. According to this, all non-Scientologists are aberrated, and thereby (mentally) ill.
The SO uses a technique of interrogation, which the organization itself describes as "spiritual counseling." The interrogating SO member is defined as "clergy." According to credible statements from critics and former members, this method is used to systematically probe the intimate circles of the people concerned and open possibilities for manipulation. In auditing a so-called e-meter is used, a primitive sort of lie detector which measures the resistance of the body to a weak current of electricity. By this means the situation and need for further questioning of a "preclear" is supposed to be possible.
In the sense of the SO this is a type of ideal state which is allegedly reached through auditing - "someone who has ... neither active nor potential psychosomatic illness or aberration." Someone who has not yet reached this ideal state is called a "preclear."
This is a self-help method developed by SO founder HUBBARD which alleged frees up "unused mental potential and true capabilities" (Greek: dia = through, nous = mind).
The SO understanding of the word "ethics" does not in any way correspond to the usual sense of the word. Scientology "ethics" is "intelligence and consideration in regard to optimal survival." This is meant to achieve the goal of "removing counter-intentions from the environment. After that is achieved, it has the purpose to remove other-intentions from the environment." This means nothing else but to steadfastly combat any opinion or action which runs counter to that of the SO.
Potential Trouble Source
A person who, according to Scientology, has some connection to a "suppressive person" and is "negatively" influenced by him or her.
This is the HUBBARDian "study of knowledge" which, as opposed to Dianetics, makes claims of religious association (Latin: scire = to know, Greek: logos = study.) Dianetics is contained in this "study."
Besides body and mind, according to the Scientology teachings, the Thetan is supposed to be a basic component of the human, the spiritual soul which gives the Ego supernatural powers. The state of complete spiritual freedom is called "Operating Thetan" (OT); it is attainable subsequent to reaching the grade of "clear."
Designation for critics of the SO. Also called "anti-social person."
Brandenburg Constitutional Security hot line
German Constitutional Security offers confidential hot lines for those in need.
For those who want more information - Literature
[There is no point in listing German literature, so here are some English translations available of German literature on Scientology.]
Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF)
by Dr. Stephen Kent
Scientology's Intelligence Service
- Principles, Missions, Structures, Methods and Goals -
Hamburg Regional Office of the German Constitutional Security Agency
Report of the Federal/State Work Group on Scientology of the Constitutional Security Agency in accordance with the decision of the Interior Ministers Conference of the States on 5-6 June, 1997
SCIENTOLOGY in Switzerland - Unofficial Translation of the
Report by the State Security Advisory Commission - July 1998
The Jaschke Report, December 1995
Tom Voltz' Scientology With(out) an End
Ingo Heinemann's Scientology and its Cover Companies
Dr. Klaus Karbe's Rehabilitation of former Members of Youth Sects: American Experiences - 1981
Dr. Jürgen Keltsch -
Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior - Munich, August 4, 1999
What is Scientology? The Making of the Human Machine in the Cybernetic Learning Laboratory
Also check for some English files here: http://www.hamburg.de/fhh/behoerden/behoerde_fuer_inneres/arbeitsgruppe_scientology/veroeffentlichungen.htm
Finally, you may have been wondering who we have to thank for all this free information. If you can believe a perfect stranger of unknown affiliation, it was the Scientologists.From: travissargent at aol.com (TravisSargent) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Date: 02 Sep 2001 03:05:13 GMT Subject: Turning the Tides In Germany Message-ID: email@example.com
Many people may not realize it, but the Church of Scientology was instrumental in helping to create Freedom of Information law in the U.S. Thus, we have become known as the experts on Freedom of Information.
We have, as a result, played a pioneering role in bringing Freedom of Information law to other countries. It has finally reached Germany, where 3 out of Germany's 16 states have now passed these laws -- and we have formed an organization to work with legislators to create them THROUGHOUT the entire country of Germany.
Cut to the present:
Of course, as soon as the laws were enacted, we filed applications to inspect the files on Scientology. And guess what -- sure enough, when our requests landed on the desks of German officials, something certainly got stirred up, to say the least.
The way Germany's leading magazine, "Der Spiegel," described it, our letters provoked, and this is a quote, "shock," "horror," "panic," and "hasty activities amongst some politicians."
In fact, we found out later that our document requests so rattled the Berlin government, that they held THREE high level conferences to work out ways to avoid answering them!"
However, they were forced to comply, and we uncovered, not surprisingly, some serious transgressions and withheld information. Such things as attempts to find "evidence" to justify their abuses, etc. They found nothing, of course. And as it turned out, they were, of course, guilty of the very crimes they were accusing us of!
There is, and will be, much more. We are starting an era of open government in Germany and other countries. You and your loved ones will either directly or indirectly benefit from our work sooner or later.
You are (sincerely) very welcome.
Happiness avoids considerations of usefulness
Spokesman of the member association for sects and psycho-market consultation (AGPF*) on consumer protection for the psycho-market
July 9, 2001
taz: Why do you promote more consumer protection in dealings with psycho-groups and designer religions?
Ingo Heinemann: Exotic religions are cultural apparitions. Most of them are offered in return for payment or for pre-determined donations. They belong to the psycho-market. The psycho-market promises health, happiness, perfection and sometimes immortality. Often scientific proof is offered as advertisement, even some of the more exotic religions and sects do that. Science means verifiability.
And consumer protection seeks verification?
In the ideal situation it does exactly that. Once culture is being sold, then it involves money, liability, risk, and consumer protection along with that.
Don't failures in dealing with sects have more to do with the emotional and spiritual level than they do with information and verification, which are the traditional realm of consumer protection?
Many people today seek out gurus according to rational criteria. Some even check with consumer protection agencies before they make inquiries. They don't want to be cheated. There are objective criteria for danger, risks and side-effects. In spite of this, many groups deceive those who make inquiries. The interested applicants receive offers of saving the world, of becoming perfect and of becoming happy.
And how do objective criteria fit into such cases?
In these cases, methods are often applied that were described by Professor Kroeber-Riel in his 1980 book "Konsumentenverhalten" as "emotional conditioning." Kroeber-Riel was not involved with sects, but with advertisement and the behavior of the consumer. He described advertisement which addresses the "innate disposition" of people as a "dangerous weapon" in the hands of the advertiser. According to Kroeber-Riel, this can only be prevented by consumer protection, which neutralizes the conditioning. Therefore steps against this sort of advertisement must be taken in accordance with the law against unfair competition. However that law has not yet been applied to the psycho-market.
In your opinion, how should consumer protection appear in dealing with sects and psycho-groups?
The present law is not adequate. Therefore the German Parliament's Enquete Commission on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" in 1998 urgently recommended the passing of a psycho-contract law and a life management law. The law is not supposed to regulate life management, it is supposed to set the minimum contents of the contract. Often the customers don't even know who they should transfer their money to. The first question therefore almost always is: what kind of group is this? What are they offering and what kind of teachings do they use? What are the risks?
So what are they?
The customers are at risk not only in regards to their health, but also in regards to freedom, rights and money. Psychotherapy is considered the equivalent of medicinal means, in accordance with the medical advertisement law, "in so far as the advertisement relates to the recognition, removal or alleviation of sickness, suffering, bodily injuries or medical complaints of humans or animals," as it says in paragraph 1 of the medical advertisement law. Most of the time that is exactly the case.
Will the sect law recently passed in France be helpful in the sense of consumer protection?
The French sect law is a criminal law. It is supposed to protect customers of the psycho-market from notorious criminals. In Germany an attempt is being made to activate the contract law. That is a mild variant. If that does not succeed, there undoubtedly will also be an increased demand in Germany to strengthen the criminal law.
Offers from the psychomarket are manifold and intercultural. The customer is promised happiness. Can it be proved that the customer is not happy?
The are no objective criteria for the usefulness of the offerings. Consumer protection can only warn people about the risks and side-effects. Every time you get training that can be considered an offer from the psycho-market.
Interview: Sven Hansen
* AGPF - Aktion für Geistige und Psychische Freiheit e. V., Bonn,
More and more restaurants in the hands of the Scientologists
Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns that the organization gaining financial influence
June 8, 2001
by Hans H. Nibbrig
Extremists, radicals and spies - it is to them that the Berlin constitutional security dedicates its special report. The annually appearing yearly report of the agency gives detailed information about the activities of these groups in the capitol city. The current constitutional security report, introduced by Interior Senator Eckart Werthebach (CDU) this past week in the House of Representatives Interior Committee, also mentions yet another group: the Berliner Dependance of the worldwide Scientology Organization (SO). Their operating field lies primarily in the City West.
From their base on Sponholz Street in Friedenau the USA organization which calls itself a "religion" and which exists in Berlin as a registered association directs several thousand adherents in the capitol city as well as in the German states. According to constitutional security statements, these adherents are, for the most part, lured in with wonderful promises of personal happiness, riches and success, thereby landing them in the clutches of a totalitarian association which "mercilessly fights" any deviation from the official Scientology ideology. "Brainwashing" is the term which constitutional security uses frequently in that connection.
Scientology managed to get under surveillance by the state security organ because its political objectives stand in opposition to the principles of Basic Law. Scientology's method of operation, complete assimilation of its members and fanatically fighting its former members and alleged opposition, is described as anti-democratic and misanthropic.
Its opponents, against whom the local SO boss on Sponholz Street regularly calls for "unrelenting battle," include the state institutions of the Federal Republic along with the major churches. Because the organization is under observation by constitutional security and it is denied recognition as a religion, the Scientologists compare the Federal Republic with the Nazi regime. Defamation is also continuing against representatives of the churches. Psycho-terrorism and slander campaigns, as it says in the constitutional security report, are the methods most frequently applied by the Scientologists.
The organization's "favorite enemy," according to constitutional security's presentation, is the sect commissioner of the Evangelical church of Berlin-Brandenburg, Thomas Gandow. In Fall of last year he found himself the target of a regular "terrorism campaign" by the association. The high point was the disruption of a service in a church in Charlottenburg in which the minister was castigated with invectives by Scientology adherents.
State security agents classify the organization as dangerous mainly because of its steadily rising financial power, the result of a clever combination of ideology and business. According to agency statements, several real estate businesses around the Kurfuerstendamm, in addition to numerous culinary operations in Charlottenburg, Schoeneberg and Tiergarten, are in the possession of Scientology adherents.
In the future constitutional security does not expect anything good from the Scientologists. Their determination to gain more power and influence in society continues unabated, said the report. And more, the SO may also continue to carry out the disparagement of people they dislike.
March 25 - Unlucky Winner: on the evening prior to the Oscar Awards the move "Battlefield Earth," based on a book by the same name by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, received seven "golden raspberries": worst move, worst actor (John Travolta), worst mail supporting role, worst female supporting role (Kelly Preston), worst producer, worst script and worst film couple (Travolta and *anyone* who acts with him). In receiving this many awards Battlefield Earth rates exactly as bad as the 1995 movie "Showgirls."
http://www.razzies.com (see also 27.12.2000)
March 27 - Lucky Winner: the author of net.update took the time to view the trial in the proceedings which Robert Minton instituted in Germany against Scientology. Scientology libeled Minton horribly in various issues of its "Freiheit" propaganda publication after he had received, in Leipzig, a human rights award from the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA (see June 3, 2000). Minton had received the award for his support of Scientology victims, including the family of Lisa McPherson, killed by Scientology (see also Feb. 2, 2001). In response to the desire of Scientology attorney Wilhelm Bluemel to be granted additional time in order to conduct "further research," Minton's attorney, Johannes Eisenberg, said it didn't work to print the statements first and then do the research. Several hours after the trial came the report, surprisingly, that Minton had won on all specifications. The basis of the decision was to follow in six weeks.
This just in
Committee publishes award decision: Menschenrechtspreis / Human Rights Award of the European-American Committee (initiated in the year 2000 as the "Alternate Charlemagne Award") will be bestowed in 2001 to a German politician. 2001 Award winner: Norbert Bluem. The second human rights award from the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" in Leipzig, the city of the east German civil rights movement, will go to Dr. Norbert Bluem. Dr. Norbert Bluem is receiving the award because he has encouraged discussion with the totalitarian organization and because of his involvement with human rights and religious freedom. This year's award, again crafted by Leipzig artists Ruediger Bartels, will be granted to Dr. Norbert Bluem in the early summer of 2001 during a ceremony in Leipzig.
The internationally composed "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" (http://www.leipzig-award.org) which selected the award winner is concerned, from a trans-Atlantic perspective, about the Scientology Organization's (SO) violations of human rights and religious freedom. The SO headquarters is located in the USA. In the past several years the totalitarian SO has been able to carry out its activities there presumably with official government support (including tax-exemption and diplomatic activities).
In the tradition of the "Alternate Charlemagne Award." In the year 2000 U.S. citizen Robert S. Minton, the founder of the Lisa McPherson Trust received the human rights award in Leipzig (at that time called the "2000 Alternate Charlemagne Award".) Millionaire and philanthropist Minton was distinguished by the Committee for his merits in the battle for human rights and religious freedom in the USA, in particular for his legal financial help for those harmed by Scientology. In the discussion with new totalitarian organizations the Committee is led by the same spirit by which 17 million Americans signed a pledge for the Berlin Liberty Bell: "I believe in the irresproachability and in the dignity of every individual person. I believe that each person was given by God the same right to freedom. I pledge to afford resistance to tyranny and to every attack on freedom, wherever on earth they may appear."
(added March 30, 2001 by the editors)
The Lisa McPherson Trust at http://www.lisatrust.net gives shocking insight into the characteristics of the "Church of Scientology." Lisa McPherson's case made international news in 1996: in 1995 she debilitated and died after having been held against her will for 17 days in the sect's Fort Harrison Hotel. The Trust, practically a direct neighbor of the Scientology center in Clearwater, Florida, has accumulated tons of documentation (audio and video, too) including pictures of all the surveillance cameras guarding the Scientology headquarters. This documentation is meant to "expose the fraudulent and exploitative practices of the Church of Scientology and to help those who have become its victims," as it says in its mission statement.
Better Business Bureau in the religious area
New sect commissioner for issues of sects and weltanschauung in archdiocese
December 5, 2000
Berlin - The M stands for Maria. Justinus M. reich smiles a little embarrassed as he explains that. It is customary for the Dominicans to augment the first and last names by "Maria." And Justinus M. reich is a Dominican. The cloister is located in the middle of Kiez in the Moabit district of Berlin. Father Justinus' office is also located there. The 34-year-old is the new commissioner for issues of sects and weltanschauung for Berlin archdiocese. The post had been vacant since Father Klaus Funke passed away in July 1999.
Anyone in the Catholic Church involved with sects has spoken with Father Klaus sometime. Not just because the priest sat behind the wooden counter he built himself and smoked cigars, but because he was the one who, years ago, laid out the ground level of the department for issues of sects and weltanschauung for which he assembled an imposing archive.
Father Justinus now wants to step out of his predecessor's shadow. He did not wait for the press conference in his new office with dramatic figures about an increasing number of sects and sect members. He takes pains to avoid numbers. Neither does he like the concept of enemy. He is more reserved than his Evangelical brother in spirit, Thomas Gandow, who has recently become involved in trench warfare with the Scientology sect. "I would not like to get tied up with any particular group," said Father Justinus. Nevertheless he will not bring himself to say anything to Scientology: naturally he will not be conducting discussions with them "on the public level."
The priest defines the mission of his department as sort of a "better business bureau in the religious area." He has three staff. Father Justinus says there are about 2,000 counseling sessions a year. It's mainly parents who see changes they cannot explain in their children. The people who are involved with sects don't want counseling. When young people "get carried away with occultic affairs" you can talk to them until you're blue in the face and it won't do any good, so the priest has learned, who besides theology has also studied philosophy, comparative religious studies and Islamic studies. He says, however, that with most young people occultism is only a "transient phase."
He says there is a major danger in the psychology business areas. The market in esoteric-business flavored life management and psycho-religious therapeutic businesses have grown considerably. They focus primarily on middle and upper income levels and attract people with promises such as gaining success through meditation. People who pay thousands of marks for a course risk being exploited financially, the priest warned.
A priest advises consumers in questions of belief
Archdiocese enlists new sect commissioner
December 5, 2000
Dominican priest Justinus Maria Reich, as he says, has a career classic to his religious order behind him - last as director of the Dominican training team in Dusseldorf. Now the 34-year-old theologian has a new title: Commissioner for Issues of Sects and Weltanschauung in Berlin Archdiocese. The member of the Berlin Dominican cloister succeeds Klaus Funke, who died last year. In the 1980s, Funke, as an answer to the Hare Krishna movement and other religiously flavored youth currents, founded the sect counselling center, which has since become well-known well outside Berlin's city limits, on Moabiter Oldenburger Strasse, right next to the St. Paulus Dominican rectory.
Father Justinus holds the term "sect commissioner" as "too polemic, too alienating," and therefore as "very problematic." If nothing else, not all philosophical groups can be described in advance as criminal. The man, ordained as a priest in 1999, therefore prefers to call the sect counselling center with its three staff a "consumer center in the religious area." For him it is not a matter of fighting groups of every shade, but of "unexciting and factual" information. That would include discussion directly with the organizations. The Dominican priest has his limits, though, and the Scientologists are not part of the group of potential meeting partners.
Before he entered the Dominican order, the Baden-Wuerttemberg born Catholic studied philosophy and theology in Freiburg as well as at Saint Patrick College in Maynooth, Ireland. The priest gained appropriate knowledge about other religions in graduates classes in the subjects of "comparative religious studies" and "Islamic studies."
The sect counselling center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 to noon, and Tuesdays and Thursday 3-6 p.m.
Further information available on the internet in the German language at: www.kath.de/bistum/berlin
Danger from Scientology not being played down
November 22, 2000
Heute im Bundestag (Press agency of the German Bundestag)
Berlin: (hib/MAR) The federal government denied what in its opinion was an "imputation" contained in a Minor Inquiry from the CDU/CSU (14/4358), that the Families Ministry played down the risks caused by the Scientology organization. On the contrary, as the federal government went on to say in its answer (14/4541), their assessment of the Scientology organization (SO) had been presented in detail in the booklet, "Die Scientology Organisation - Gefahren, Ziele und Praktiken" ["The Scientology Organization - Risks, Goals and Practices"]. Specifically the objectionable and conflict-prone practices of a group disguised as a religious denomination had been worked out.
The Union had found that the Ministry treated the SO like a "harmless meditation group" while the Enquete Commissioner on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" had described it as an organization with a high potential for risk and that criminal acts were typical of the organization. To the question of a French-German initiative at the EU level with the goal of bringing about a coordinated, common treatment by the European member states against the dangers arising from Scientology, the government stated that it would welcome an EU-wide process and was prepared to cooperate with all EU member states in this connection.
The government stated that it was also taking determined action on the SO at the international level. For instance, it has repeatedly expressed the German position at all levels of the US administration and the Congress, including on the so-called security clause, in order to convince the American side that this was not a matter of discrimination against American firms. Nevertheless the federal government would not, in its own words, exclude a permanence of the political economic dispute with the continued use of the existing security clause. Therefore it puts great value on conformity with the WTO.
The establishment of a "Scientology Commissioner" as requested by the Union for the coordination of research and containment of the SO system would be superfluous according to the government, because that function is already being fulfilled by the Interministerial Work Group on Scientology.
Against Psychic Dependency
For Spiritual Freedom
Eltern- und Betroffenen- Initiative (EBI)
Address: Heimat 27, D-14165 Berlin
Donations account: Sparkasse der Stadt Berlin
BLZ 100 500 00 * account 0720 00 40 20
"Leaving is chic"
EBI elects new chairman
People who leave a sect do not need therapy. What they need is information and discussion. A space in which free consideration is permitted at last. That was the perspective given at the convention in Berlin from 9-12 November which was attended by the EBI and others.
In attending, the EBI showed its lack of support for attempts to pathologize the problems of cults and for attempts to bring consultation to the psycho-market. By doing that, relatives and former members of cults are showing their disapproved for the Families Ministry's so-called "model project."
The EBI, which was originally founded by concerned parents and relatives of sect members, has in past years developed from the various groups which belonged to it into a network for people leaving cults. Wind-sailing hobbyist Helmut Schmidt, 38, the newly elected chairman of the EBI, commented on that development, "Getting out of totalist groups is possible. Leaving is in!"
In its membership meeting celebrating its 20 year existence, the EBI elected Helmut Schmidt from Berlin as the new chairman. He is taking the position from Reverend Thomas Gandow, who is one of the EBI's founding generation.
The EBI is an inter-denominational starting point for people leaving or concerned by psycho-cults, sects or "youth religions." Helmut Schmidt has built up the former members group of the EBI over several years. Today the EBI has over 120 members and cooperates with other initiatives all over Germany and particularly in eastern Europe, including Poland, Hungary, Russia, the Czech Republic and White Russia.
/signed/ Helmut Schmidt, Chairman
Unofficial translation of a German Minor Inquiry about Scientology
The original German in html format can be found at http://www.ingo-heinemann.de/14-4541.htm
the Federal Ministry for
Family, Seniors, Women and Youth
The Parliamentary State Secretary
the President of the German Bundestag
Minor Inquiry from Representatives Dr. Hans-Peter Uhl, Arlbert Wolf et al. and the CDU/CSU faction
"Psychogroups with high risk potential - Activities, Effects, Counter-measures"
- BT-Drs.: 14/4358 -
I respond to the Minor Inquiry in the name of the federal administration with:
The federal administration denies the imputation in the preliminary comments of the Minor Inquiry that the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth is not effective in dealing with the potential risks associated with the Scientology organization. The brochure published on commission of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, "Die Scientology-Organization - Gefahren, Ziele und Praktiken" of November 1998, extensively presents the character and the risks associated with the organization.
Why does the topic area of the SO fall within the jurisdiction of the BMFSFJ in the federal administration and not within the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)?
Since 1994 (after the merger of the Ministry of Women and Youth and of Family and Seniors), the Scientology organization has fallen under the jurisdiction of the general area of "so-called sects and psychogroup" at the Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.
Does the federal government share the position of the French Executive Agency to Combat Sects in its current report to the French Prime Minister (see articles of the Sueddeutschen Zeitung of 8 and 9 February 2000), according to which the SO (cited from the French report)
- threatens human rights and social balance,
- is an organization with a totalitarian structure,
- disregards human dignity and presents a detriment to public order,
- can be counted as a group that attempts gradually and with a certain degree of success to infiltrate democratic institutions and official, international and private organizations,
- and in doing so consistently disregards the law of the land in which it is active, including lying to and coercing SO customers?
The brochure, "Die Scientology-Organization - Gefahren, Ziele und Praktiken" of November 1998, presents the federal administration's assessment of the Scientology organization in detail. Special attention was paid to the objectionable and conflict-bearing practices under guise of religion. There are no new findings which require another evaluation.
Is the federal government ready, based on the French government's evaluation of the SO, to take up a joint French-German initiative at the EU level with the goal of bringing about a coordinated, standard treatment by its European member states of risks arising from the SO?
The federal administration would welcome an EU procedure and, in this connection, is prepared to work together with all EU member states.
What conclusion does the federal government draw from the acknowledgment of the SO as a "confessional denomination" in Sweden as the equivalent to a church?
The federal administration sees no reason to alter its assessment of the Scientology organization because of a decision by a Swedish state organ.
Is it true that the findings of the federal government include, after secret intelligence operations against individual members of the American Internal Revenue Service (IRS), that recognition of tax-exemption for the SO finally came about abruptly on October 8, 1993, after the IRS had previously found for over 25 years (including successes in court) that the SO was not a religious denomination, but a commercial corporation which should not be entitled to tax-exemption (see the New York Times of March 3, 1997) and what conclusions does the federal government draw from that in regards to the tax treatment of the SO in Germany?
The federal administration is aware of the agreement between the IRS and Scientology and the associated article from the New York Times which is available over the internet. An estimation of the facts of the matter could not be obtained from official agencies in the USA.
Is it true that the U.S. government, without having tried to make use of the usual diplomatic routes, exerted influence in Germany to the good of the SO (see Hamburg Morgenpost of 12 February 2000), and how does the federal government react to that?
The federal administration has no findings of its own about the facts of the matter described in the Hamburg Morgenpost newspaper. The conclusions contained therein appear irrelevant.
The missions accredited in Germany are familiar with the applicable procedures of diplomatic communication. It is up to the state agencies to report any deviations from the normal route by the diplomatic missions to the Foreign Office.
What conclusion does the federal government draw from the circumstance that the USA criticizes measures for the protection of our country's democratic Constitution (including so-called security clauses) under the viewpoint of non-tariff trade restrictions ("discriminatory policy") (The Trade Representative's Annual Report 1999, issued from the Executive Office of the President, Title VII Report, in accordance to President's Executive Order 13116, signed on 31. 3. 1999, to identify "in [foreign] government procurement, a significant pattern or practice of discrimination against U.S. products or services which results in identifiable harm to U.S. businesses")?
The federal administration is aware of the inclusion of the key clause in the so-called Title VII Report and the problems associated with it. The key clause has been the theme of bilateral consultation with the USA on multiple occasion and its background was mentioned. This will also happen in the future with the goal of convincing the American side that this does not have to do with discrimination against American companies.
What special measures has the federal government undertaken to make the government of the United States of America aware of Germany's evaluation of the risk arising from the SO to the liberal-democratic basic system of the Federal Republic of Germany and gain understanding for the the conduct which results from its position?
The federal administration has, at all levels, repeatedly expressed the German position on the Scientology organization to the American government and to the American Congress. The assertions by the Scientology organization to the American administration, to the Congress and to the American public about alleged persecution against religious minorities in Germany have been refuted or contradicted by facts accordingly. The federal administration is also taking a determined position on the Scientology organization at the international level.
Is the federal government ready to initiate research into totalitarian methods in the field of commercial life-management assistance and into totalitarian training, management and organizational techniques in regard to the risks which those present to an open, democratic society in the long term?
There is no intention to initiate new plans for research.
Does the federal government believe it is sensible to establish a central position ("Scientology Commissioner") to coordinate the research of and stem the flow of the entire Scientology system, its management structures, organizational branches and the operations it spawns on German soil?
The Interministerial Work Group on Scientology is already fulfilling the functions of the issue so the establishment of a new post would be superfluous.
From the position of the federal government, is it true that that the SO has created illicit, competitive advantages over professional providers in the sector of therapy, continuing education, franchise/organizational technology and management training (see Federal Labor Court decision of 22 March 1995) and what legal business, trade and association alternatives is the federal government looking at to prevent use of the label of "church" by and for the SO?
The federal administration has no information about the Scientology organization having illicit commercial, competitive advantages. Moreover the federal administration has no legal options available to stop the Scientology organization from using the designation of "church."
Does the federal government share the estimate that the SO, based on its structure and goals, systematically violates labor laws, child protection laws (including required schooling), laws to combat tax evasion (evading rendering of business accounts), fraud (against customers and staff) and medical practice laws, and it is ready to document criminally relevant conduct in reference to a possible association ban in all areas of the country? What steps does it think should be undertaken to prevent our constitutional system from being undermined?
According to current findings, the full-time staff in Scientology establishments work, as a rule, between 60 and 70 hours a week over six days at minimum wage. So far the use of children for Scientology's purposes in unheard of in Germany. Neither does the Scientology organization maintain any recognized schools in Germany under its own name. It is known, however, that the Scientology organization operates a school in Denmark whose children include those of German Scientologists.
Determining violations of the law and the investigation of criminal acts with the associated documentation falls under the jurisdiction of the states who, in case they deem it necessary, could agree on establishing a documentation center in a state. So far the federal government has obtained no information about criminally relevant behavior by the Scientology organization.
What conclusions does the federal government draw from legal violations of the laws including medical practice, social security (e.g., no social security paid for overtime performed by full-time workers who have to report the performance of overtime as "voluntary activity" at the SO's direction) and of the ban on coercion (reports on instigation by the SO of its adherents to terroristic activity against former members and critics of the SO)?
The medical practice law is enforced by the states. Concrete information about violations of that law are not available to the federal government. The states have no requirements to apply to the federal government in this connection.
The German Social Security Administration has reviewed the operations of the Scientology organization as they have all employers and found that business activities were not being reported in accordance with regulations. After Social Security required the Scientology organization to report their business activities, Scientology filed a law suit in the welfare courts. The outcome of the process is pending.
According to German law currently in effect, only natural persons may be punished. To that degree, general criminal laws also apply to members of the Scientology organization.
Does the federal government share the assessment that in view of the SO's organizationally typical crimes that a deficit exists in performance by state agencies, and what conclusions does it draw from that?
The federal government operates on the assumption that all competent agencies will completely meet their obligations within the scope of their responsibility and on the basis of of the foundation laid down by law so that no deficit in performance exists.
Is it true that the findings of the federal government include that members of the OSA ("Office of Special Affairs"; SO intelligence service) and of the Sea Org (paramilitary cadre organization for special missions) have been trained in methods of chicanery, destruction and psychological torture ("fair game policy" / "harassment techniques"), and what conclusions does it draw from that for the treatment of the SO in Germany?
The Scientology organization presents its German institution of the "Office of Special Affairs" (OSA), headquartered in Munich, to the public as "Office of Public Affairs" or as the "Press and Legal Office." The people employed and their objectives are known to the Constitutional Security agencies. There are indications that OSA's partial organization in Germany essential fulfills three functions:
- Missions and operations of a classic intelligence agency,
- Monitoring and directing parts of the Scientology organizations social areas,
- public information work, currently operating under the designation of "DAS" or "Press and Legal Office."
Training documents for OSA members have surfaced. They, in essence, are descriptions of the ways and means of carrying out overt and covert investigations, and the so-called "Black Propaganda" methods of damaging the credibility of critics and opponents of the Scientology Organization. Documents which describe methods of "disintegration and psycho-torture" have been made know to the federal government. The training of OSA members occurs - as with all high-ranking management personnel - not in Germany, but in the organization's European headquarters in Copenhagen, in Great Britain or the USA.
There are no Sea Org establishments in Germany. Nevertheless, it is known that various units of uniformed Sea Org staff exist which come in from overseas - from the USA or Denmark - to temporarily take over the business of the German establishments which have demonstrated a strong downtrend in profits.
Does the federal government see enough of an initial suspicion of criminal conduct by SO members to introduce a legal investigation process on the association level against the SO to review a prohibition of this organization, especially when the latest criminal decisions against the SO from France and Canada or taken considered?
One of the constant practices of the federal government to refrain from publicly asking that sort of question.
Does the federal government share the view that an investigative process on the association level against the SO would result in significantly improved investigative possibilities regarding the SO?
The possibilities which an association investigative proceedings would open can be found in § 4 of Association Law. As to the rest, refer to the answer to question 16.
Does the federal government think it should follow the recommendation of the Enquete Commission and include religious communities in the area of jurisdiction covered by association law, which would thereby open improved alternatives in law to prohibit sects, psychogroups and "religious" communities from systematically violating laws?
There is no current intention of modifying § 2 para. 2 nbr. 3 of Association Law.
How would the federal government like to prevent the award of public contracts to companies directly controlled by "Scientology" and those companies which use operational techniques developed by "Scientology and/or totalitarian personal training methods marketed by Scientology trainers?
In the future, the federal government intends to prevent the award of public contracts for consultation or training services which contain an internal connection to the Scientology teachings to these sort of corporations (WISE corporations), by requiring the corporation bidding for consultation or training service sign a statement that the people fulfilling the contract will not use, teach or otherwise disseminate the "technology of L. Ron Hubbard" (security clause). Should the signing of the security clause/statement in connection with the offer be refused, the bidder can be excluded from the contract in accordance with § 25 nbr. 1 para 2 letter a) VOL/A of the application.
Would the federal government consider a strengthening of the so-called security clause against the SO in award of contracts?
In view of the problems associated with the laws regarding awarding of contracts and foreign economic politics of the current security law, the federal government will not be strengthening the security clause.
Does the federal government, in continuing to use the existing security clause, fear reprisals from the side of American legal or natural persons in regard to the SO claiming the security clause serves as a so-called "sect filter" instead of protecting its own members and customers from totalitarian and cynical organizational and conditioning techniques?
The federal government does not rule out permanence of the political economic dispute in the existing security clause. Therefore the federal government puts a great value on the conformity of the security clause with the WTO.
How long before the federal government introduces a uniform, nationwide security clause?
Whether the federal government manages to introduce the desired internationally uniform security clause depends on the readiness of the states which work in the "Interministerial Work Group on the Scientology Organization" under the guidance of the BMWi to apply security clauses in their states which conform to the WTO. The federal government therefore first intends to wait for the decision of the States Commerce Ministries Conference in Spring 2001 about the re-worded security clause.
For data security reasons and to avert damage to the German economy, how does the federal government plan to regulate the security aspects on the German market of software products which might include covert, illegal data collection from customers (so-called "Trojan horses")?
According to § 202a of StGB, covert collection of data is punishable by law. That includes, in particular, the covert collection of data from routines hidden in programs (so-called "Trojan Horses"). In addition, punishment may occur under the standardized provisions of §17 (2) Nr. 1a of the UWG. As concerns the operation or the traffic as such, the federal government participates in the deliberations in the European Council for the agreement on a convention to fight data network crime. By this convention, the production, operation and ownership of malicious software, which includes Trojan Horses, is punishable in the member states.
Besides that the federal government recommends taking certain security measures to protect sensitive data (e.g., encryption mechanisms) and also testing and verification of security components. In addition, IT (Information Technology) security products can be obtained from the Federal Office of Security in Information Technology which have been checked and certified as to suitability and trustworthiness according to set security criteria.
Would the federal government consider using, in the long term, only open-source programs for the state?
In programs whose source code is open an independent review of this code may result, that includes in regard to their security. The federal government sees advantages in the use of such programs. The agency responsible for the coordination of IT implementation in the federal government is the Federal Coordinating and Advising Center of Information Technology (KBSt) in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which has provided information in a KBSt letter "Open Source Software in der Bundesverwaltung." They will publish further recommendations. Insofar as whether only such programs could or would be used in the long term, first the results of further development could be evaluated.
In view of the Diskeeper defragmentation program from a high-ranking Scientologist, does the federal government have the view that this software program should only be permitted if the Federal Office of Security in Information Technology (BSI) has looked at the source code and has obtained the option of reviewing the subsequent versions of the program first (see computer trade magazine c't Nbr. 25 / 1999, p. 58)?
The Federal Office of Security in Information Technology (BSI) was requested to establish contact with Diskeeper's distribution company to research the possibility of Diskeeper containing malicious routines and clear up any suspicions of manipulation.
The federal government operates on the assumption that security risks associated with Diskeeper are rather improbably, but could not be ruled out altogether. Investigations by computer experts (including in the BSI) have so far yielded no indices of risk (e.g., unpredictable data transmission).
How many commercial corporations are controlled by the SO and its sub-organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany directly through capital partnership and contracts or indirectly through management personnel who belong to the SO or its sub-organizations?
The Scientology organization operates in Germany with its own publishing company, "Theta Books GmbH" and "New Era Publications Deutschland GmbH." Undue influence by the Scientology organization in the economy has not been found.
Is it true that the numbers cited for the companies in Germany controlled by the SO, especially the number from the Information Service of Bavarian Commerce (ibw-report of 18 May 2000), of 300 is the right number, and, if so, which corporations are they?
The "World Institute of Scientology Enterprises" (WISE) states that its mission includes the sale of courses and publications on business management to generally bring "LRH management technology into every branch, organization and government on the planet." Not including the companies mentioned in the answer to question 26, the only companies known are those managed by Scientologists or according to Scientology processes. Those especially include companies from the areas of real estate, business consultation, finance/money consultation, management training and EDP [electronic data processing]. In 1999 there was an English-language WISE INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY put together. In its chapter GEOGRAPHICAL LISTING - WISE MEMBERS, there were 166 entries for German members.
What legal alternatives does the federal government see to prevent infiltration of the German economy by SO members, especially in the forming of inter-area cartels?
The German cartel agencies, based on the law against restrictions on competition, have the legal instruments to intervene against competition violations when necessary. That applies not only to cartels, but also to other counter-competitive methods of operation, e.g. for geographically restrictive or discriminating practices. If a violation of cartel law is detected, the the cartel agencies can impose sanctions (interdiction orders, tariffs); besides that civil law suits can be filed for damages and for cease-and-desist. The implementation of these legal instruments is not dependent upon which motive the violation of cartel law is based on.
Does the federal government plan to increase allotment of personnel in the sect departments of the federal government offices?
The personnel assigned are sufficient for the present mission. When things get to the point of mission expansion outlined by the Enquete Commissioner, the personnel complement will be adjusted accordingly.
Dr. Edith Niehuis
It can happen to any company
WIRTSCHAFT - The IHK magazine for Munich and Upper Bavaria 11/2000
by Margit Auer
Scientology. Heinrich Stiefel had long considered whether he should go public. His problem: the Hungarian branch of his publishing group had been infiltrated by Scientology. The company proprietor from Ingolstadt just barely had time to stop the psychological terrorism which had neutralized his staff and would presumably have meant ruin for his establishment.
"Another year and my company in Budapest would have been gone," Heinrich Stiefel is convinced today. After long discussions the 51-year-old man had decided, yes, he would go to the public. The businessman from Lenting near Ingolstadt wanted to warn other companies. Warn them about Scientology - an association which officially calls itself a "church" but actually is nothing other than a business which makes its members psychologically dependent with the help of totalitarian methods, and financially exploits them. "It can happen to anyone," Stiefel emphasized. "Not only mid-size companies with contacts out of the country, but also small trade operations right in town."
At first everything was running great in Budapest. The Hungarian business manager rapidly brought the operation from the red into the black. "He was fluent in six languages and had the publishing company set up very, very soundly," summarized Heinrich Stiefel. But then the Hungarian fell into the clutches of Scientology. He took seminars for communication training in which course participants stared at each other for hours and had to smile and scream at each other. His boss in Ingolstadt knew nothing about this. "As far as I'm concerned, taking such courses is inconceivable," said the Ingolstadt businessman, who has since then gotten very well informed about Scientology. "All it's about is learning to manipulate." In real terms that means: one is supposed to learn to play a part for a course partner to influence him. Part of the fabric of Scientology is to at first offer these courses for free, then gradually make them more expensive. The expenses are born by the participants who then attempt to deduct the fees as company business expenses. Stiefel Inc. also suffered loss that way. They were presented with deductions of astronomical amounts. A single course costs up to 12,800 marks per person. The amount was deducted from different accounts and the balance was hidden in various ledger posts. So it took some time before Heinrich Stiefel caught on to what was happening. [Note not in article: The scientology linked company's name is "Profit Maker", the chief scientologist is one Peter Durda.] Although he was visiting his branch in Budapest three or four times a year, he had not noticed anything unusual. When a company is running well, then you don't think to look into it." He says Scientology is like AIDS or cancer in that "You don't really get informed about it until you're affected yourself." It cost about 80,000 marks to save the operation in Budapest and get it back up and stable. On top of that was the enormous wear and tear on nerves. The businessman was all ears when the director of the Hungarian branch showed up in May 1999 and said he wanted to be the export manager for all branches. In the course of the discussion the Hungarian business manager, brimming with enthusiasm, showed his boss an advertising film. That was a mistake. In the credits of the film could be read, "Copyright by L. Ron Hubbard." That cleared up everything. Heinrich Stiefel knew that Hubbard was the founder of Scientology. "At that point I saw the light." The businessman didn't let on that he knew anything, feigned interest and asked his Hungarian business manager to send him additional informational material. Stiefel used the time thereafter to find out about Scientology. He got in touch with the well-known exit counselor and Scientology expert Jeannette Schweitzer. He also talked the problem over with his home bank. They put it to him short and sweet, "If your company is infiltrated by Scientology, you'll not receive any more public contracts. You could close down within a short time."
At that point the Ingolstadt businessman reacted very quickly. The next appointment with his employee was on June 14; this time Jeannette Schweitzer sat in. It quickly came out in the expert's presence that the man had officially been a member of Scientology for three months. When Stiefel explained to him that the working relationship would be ended in the event he did not give up Scientology, the business manager came around. He said yes, he would give Scientology notice and leave them. Shortly after that meeting Jeannette Schweitzer sent the prepared separation letter to Budapest. About 9 p.m. Heinrich Stiefel called up his man in Hungary. He again made it clear, "If the separation is not official by 10 p.m., we will not continue working together." Nothing happened; the fax sit idle. Stiefel reacted immediately. Together with his Ingolstadt business manager he climbed into his car. The two drove the whole night through to Budapest. Nobody there had counted on such a prompt visit. "We were there at 8 in the morning, immediately secured the evidence and locked up the business manager's office." During this time the personnel were questioned. What came to light shocked the businessman from Ingolstadt. "It really hurt me, what happened there." Normally he reserves his feelings, but in talking with the Hungarian employees tears came to his eyes. "It was like being slapped in the face."
Over the course of time the Hungarian business manager had reorganized the entire operation. He introduced a strongly militaristic system of operation developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. A miserable operating climate prevailed in the 20-person operation. The people were not allowed to speak with each other, everything was in writing," said Heinrich Stiefel. Every desk was cleared off and three baskets labelled "In," "In Process" and "Out" replaced personal conversation. Anyone caught "gossiping" had to pay a fine. The employees went along with it out of fear of losing their jobs. Behind every desk hung statistics which were supposed to document each worker's performance. "The one by the secretary, for example, told how many checks she wrote." As soon as the statistics went down, they were offered training. But the worst was the so-called "ethics folders" which were being kept on every worker. Personal data was listed and private details were documented. Stiefel has put the ethics folders at the disposal of Constitutional Security.
"Spying on your acquaintances is prohibited in all nations on earth," says Heinrich Stiefel. "That is psychological terrorism." In securing the ethics folders, evidence has been obtained that Scientology operates using criminal methods. The evidence also includes state maps which were produced by the Budapest operation. Next to the company logo of the Stiefel publishing group was printed "Hubbard College of Administration." An attorney's office which specializes in Scientology has gotten involved. The attorney's are trying to stop the Stiefel company logo from appearing in any form in connection with Scientology. The Ingolstadt businessman's quick handling of the situation paid off. His operation in Hungary is once again running normally. Heinrich Stiefel took on a new business manager who highly motivates his staff. He had all other branches investigated to see whether there were connections to Scientology.
An lo and behold, the business manager of the Slovak establishment had been animated by his Hungarian colleague to take courses from Scientology training companies. Heinrich Stiefel pulled him out of the trap. Since then he has had all his staff sign statements that they have nothing to do with Scientology [The actual statement does not actually mention "Scientology," but the "operating procedures written by L. Ron Hubbard." - trans.] . Every new applicant also has to sign the declaration - a measure which the 51-year-old man now recommends for other businesses. "The dangerous thing about Scientology is that everybody thinks it could never happen to them." There are clear signs, however, which could mean that infiltration is occurring. "The first indices are the empty desks and the statistics on the walls." There are numerous brochures on the theme which describe other risks. People should start paying attention when supervisors turn into "Executive Directors" in charge of their own numbered "Divisions." Caution is also advised when staff return euphoric from seminars and all too openly attempt to recruit colleagues for the same seminar. Heinrich's going outside his company was the right decision in his eyes. "We have an unbroken chain of evidence." That made matters easier. "There is proof that the entire system is criminal." He did not know before how Scientologists harm business. The reactions he's gotten since have validated his method of procedure. There has been public outcry from other company owners in the press and on television describing similar problems. But the most important thing, he says, is to sensitize other businesses to the problem. "What I mainly had in mind was that something had to be done to warn other companies."
Berlin (epd). Sect experts in Berlin have indicated there are serious human rights violations occurring in Scientology's penitential camps in Denmark, Great Britain and the USA. The occasion was the presentation of a booklet on the subject of brainwashing in Scientology's "Rehabilitation Project Force" which was distributed by the Interior Agency of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. These camps are the darkest, most terrible side of the organization, said Hamburg Scientology expert Ursula Caberta.
According to statements by Canadian sociologist Stephen Kent, who authored the 70-page volume, children and even pregnant women were incarcerated in the camps for up to a year. For his scientific study, he questioned more than 30 former inmates of the camps and he gave evidence that brainwashing was being conducted there.
Kent said inmates were not permitted to leave the camps, were both physically and mentally abused and sometimes had to perform heavy labor with inadequate nourishment.
Stacey Brooks, who presented herself as a former Scientologist, stated that there are currently several hundred people being kept in such camps in the USA and in Europe.
Today in the Bundestag
German Parliament Press Service
Facing Scientology's risk
(Minor Inquiry) Berlin: (hib/VOM-fa)
October 26, 2000
The CDU/CSU faction have made Psycho-groups with a high risk potential into a Minor Inquiry (14/4358). Mentioned in particular was the Scientology Organization. The government should say, based on the evaluation of the Scientology Organization by the French administration, whether it is ready to agree to a joint French-German initiative with the goal of achieving a coordinated joint method by the EU member states in dealing with the risks arising from Scientology.
It is also asked whether the U.S. government has tried to exert influence to Scientology's favor in Germany.
The faction further intends to know what the administration has undertaken to present the USA with their opinion of the risks resulting from Scientology to the liberal democratic basic system of Germany and to gain agreement for the resulting plan of action.
In addition to that, it is of interest to the representatives how many commercial enterprises Scientology and its sub-organizations control directly through capital ownership and contracts and indirectly through management personnel.
Finally, the faction inquired as to the legal alternatives to thwart infiltration of the German economy by Scientology members.
October 10, 2000
German ParliamentDeutscher Bundestag Drucksache 14/4358 14. Wahlperiode 10.10.2000
of Representativies Dr. Hans-Peter Uhl, Aribert Wolf, Klaus Holetschek, Maria Eichhorn, Hartmut Koschyk, Erwin Marschewski (Recklinghausen), Meinrad Belle, Wolfgang Zeitlmann, Günter Baumann, Dr. Joseph-Theodor Blank, Sylvia Bonitz, Hartmut Büttner (Schönebeck), Wolfgang Dehnel, Renate Diemers, Thomas Dörflinger, Anke Eymer (Lübeck), Ilse Falk, Ingrid Fischbach, Norbert Geis, Martin Hohmann, Walter Link (Diepholz), Beatrix Philipp, Hans-Peter Repnik, Dr. Klaus Rose, Dietmar Schlee, Thomas Strobl (Heilbronn), Gerald Weiß (Groß-Gerau), Hans-Otto Wilhelm (Mainz) und der Fraktion der CDU/CSU
Psycho-groups with high risk potential -
Operations, Effects, Counter-Measures
Among the psychogroups with high risk potential, the "Church of Scientology, Inc." (Scientology Organization, abbrev. SO) is mentioned in particular.
According to the Federal Labor Court decision of 22 March 1995, the SO has intention of gaining commercial profit. The Scientology Organization, which is under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as an extremist organization, also strives for "world domination" in the opinion of the federal government (BMFSFJ Booklet on SO, 6th edition, November 1998: 17)
It was described in the final report of the "So-called sects and Psychogroups" Enquete Commission an an organization with high risk potential which commits typical organizational crimes. The Interior Ministers Conference of May 6, 1994 described the SO as an organization "which, under cover of a religious denomination, combines elements of white-collar crime and psycho-terrorism against its members with commercial operations in a cult setting."
Nevertheless, the SO is being treated by the Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth ["Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend" (BMFSFJ)] as a harmless meditation group. But it stands behind the slogan of the SO founder to obtain key positions by any means, ... as the personnel chief of the company, as the director's secretary, as shop steward - any key position ...
We ask the federal government:
1. Why does the topic area of the SO fall within the jurisdiction of the BMFSFJ in the federal administration and not within the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)?
2. Does the federal government share the position of the French Executive Agency to Combat Sects in its current report to the French Prime Minister (see articles of the Sueddeutschen Zeitung of 8 and 9 February 2000), according to which the SO (cited from the French report):
- threatens human rights and social balance,
- is an organization with a totalitarian structure,
- disregards human dignity and presents a detriment to public order,
- can be counted as a group that attempts gradually and with a certain degree of success to infiltrate democratic institutions and official, international and private organizations,
- and in doing so consistently disregards the law of the land in which it is active, including lying to and coercing SO customers?
3. Is the federal government ready, based on the French government's evaluation of the SO, to take up a joint French-German initiative at the EU level with the goal of bringing about a coordinated, standard treatment by its European member states of risks arising from the SO?
4. What conclusion does the federal government draw from the acknowledgment of the SO as a "confessional denomination" in Sweden as the equivalent to a church?
5. Is it true that the findings of the federal government include, after secret intelligence operations against individual members of the American Internal Revenue Service (IRS), that recognition of tax-exemption for the SO finally came about abruptly on October 8, 1993, after the IRS had previously found for over 25 years (including successes in court) that the SO was not a religious denomination, but a commercial corporation which should not be entitled to tax-exemption (see the New York Times of March 3, 1997) and what conclusions does the federal government draw from that in regards to the tax treatment of the SO in Germany?
6. Is it true that the U.S. government, without having tried to make use of the usual diplomatic routes, exerted influence in Germany to the good of the SO (see Hamburg Morgenpost of 12 February 2000), and how does the federal government react to that?
7. What conclusion does the federal government draw from the circumstance that the USA criticizes measures for the protection of our country's democratic Constitution (including so-called security clauses) under the viewpoint of non-tariff trade restrictions ("discriminatory policy") (The Trade Representative's Annual Report 1999, issued from the Executive Office of the President, Title VII Report, in accordance to President's Executive Order 13116, signed on 31. 3. 1999, to identify "in [foreign] government procurement, a significant pattern or practice of discrimination against U. S. products or services which results in identifiable harm to U.S. businesses")?
8. What special measures has the federal government undertaken to make the government of the United States of America aware of Germany's evaluation of the risk arising from the SO to the liberal-democratic basic system of the Federal Republic of Germany and gain understanding for the the conduct which results from its position?
9. Is the federal government ready to initiate research into totalitarian methods in the field of commercial life-management assistance and into totalitarian training, management and organizational techniques in regard to the risks which those present to an open, democratic society in the long term?
10. Does the federal government believe it is sensible to establish a central position ("Scientology Commissioner") to coordinate the research of and stem the flow of the entire Scientology system, its management structures, organizational branches and the operations it spawns on German soil?
11. From the position of the federal government, it is true that that the SO has created illicit, competitive advantages over professional providers in the sector of therapy, continuing education, franchise/organizational technology and management training (see Federal Labor Court decision of 22 March 1995) and what legal business, trade and association alternatives is the federal government looking at to prevent use of the label of "church" by and for the SO?
12. Does the federal government share the estimate that the SO, based on its structure and goals, systematically violates labor laws, child protection laws (including required schooling), laws to combat tax evasion (evading rendering of business accounts), fraud (against customers and staff) and medical practice laws, and it is ready to document criminally relevant conduct in reference to a possible association ban in all areas of the country? What steps does it think should be undertaken to prevent our constitutional system from being undermined?
13. What conclusions does the federal government draw from legal violations of the laws including medical practice, social security (e.g., no social security paid for overtime performed by full-time workers who have to report the performance of overtime as "voluntary activity" at the SO's direction) and of the ban on coercion (reports on instigation by the SO of its adherents to terroristic activity against former members and critics of the SO)?
14. Does the federal government share the estimate that in view of the SO's organizationally typical crimes that a deficit exists in performance by state agencies, and what conclusions does it draw from that?
15. Is it true that the findings of the federal government include that members of the OSA ("Office of Special Affairs"; SO intelligence service) and of the Sea Org (paramilitary cadre organization for special missions) have been trained in methods of chicanery, destruction and psychological torture ("fair game policy" / "harassment techniques"), and what conclusions does it draw from that for the treatment of the SO in Germany?
16. Does the federal government see enough of an initial suspicion of criminal conduct by SO members to introduce a legal investigation process on the association level against the SO to review a prohibition of this organization, especially when the latest criminal decisions against the SO from France and Canada or taken considered?
17. Does the federal government share the view that an investigative process on the association level against the SO would result in significantly improved investigative possibilities regarding the SO?
18. Does the federal government think it should follow the recommendation of the Enquete Commission and include religious communities in the area of jurisdiction covered by association law, which would thereby open improved alternatives in law to prohibit sects, psychogroups and "religious" communities from systematically violating laws?
19. How would the federal government like to prevent the award of public contracts to companies directly controlled by "Scientology" and those companies which use operational techniques developed by "Scientology and/or totalitarian personal training methods marketed by Scientology trainers?
20. Would the federal government consider a strengthening of the so-called security clause against the SO in award of contracts?
21. Does the federal government, in continuing to use the existing security clause, fear reprisals from the side of American legal or natural persons in regard to the SO claiming the security clause serves as a so-called "sect filter" instead of protecting its own members and customers from totalitarian and cynical organizational and conditioning techniques?
22. How long before the federal government introduces a uniform, nationwide security clause?
23. For data security reasons and to avert damage from the German economy, how does the federal government plan to regulate the security aspects on the German market of software products which might include covert, illegal data collection from customers (so-called "Trojan horses")?
24. Would the federal government consider using, in the long term, only open-source programs for the state?
25. In view of the Diskeeper defragmentation program from a high-ranking Scientologist, does the federal government have the view that this software program should only be permitted if the Federal Office of Security in Information Technology (BSI) has looked at the source code and has obtained the option of reviewing the subsequent versions of the program first (see computer trade magazine c't Nbr. 25 / 1999, p. 58)?
26. How many commercial corporations are controlled by the SO and its sub-organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany directly through capital partnership and contracts or indirectly through management personnel who belong to the SO or its sub-organizations?
27. Is it true that the numbers cited for the companies in Germany controlled by the SO, especially the number from the Information Service of Bavarian Commerce (ibw-report of 18 May 2000), of 300 is the right number, and, if so, which corporations are they?
28. What legal alternatives does the federal government see to prevent infiltration of the German economy by SO members, especially in the forming of inter-area cartels?
29. Does the federal government plan to increase allotment of personnel in the sect departments of the federal government offices?
Berlin, 10 October 2000Dr. Hans-Peter Uhl Aribert Wolf Klaus Holetschek Maria Eichhorn Hartmut Koschyk Erwin Marschewski (Recklinghausen) Meinrad Belle Wolfgang Zeitlmann Günter Baumann Dr. Joseph-Theodor Blank Sylvia Bonitz Hartmut Büttner (Schönebeck) Wolfgang Dehnel Renate Diemers Thomas Dörflinger Anke Eymer (Lübeck) Ilse Falk Ingrid Fischbach Norbert Geis Martin Hohmann Walter Link (Diepholz) Beatrix Philipp Hans-Peter Repnik Dr. Klaus Rose Dietmar Schlee Thomas Strobl (Heilbronn) Gerald Weiß (Groß-Gerau) Hans-Otto Wilhelm (Mainz) Friedrich Merz, Michael Glos und Fraktion
"Scientology is accusing me of doing my job"
Psycho-sect attacks sect commissioner Gandow in glossy brochure
October 2, 2000
local advertising newspaper - regional information for Steglitz, Zehlendorf, Potsdam and the Potsdam-Mittelmark area (southwest)
by Frank Thadeusz
Zehlendorf/Steglitz - Thomas Gandow shakes his head again and again while paging through the document. The sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg has already paged through a Scientology sect paper entitled "How one handles Black Propaganda" a hundred times [translator's note: these are not literal quotes; they have been translated from English to German back to English.] The whole thing is a sort of a PR guideline from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for the members of the psycho-sect. It explains how a Scientologist can "break through hostile propaganda lines."
For instance there is the example of the fictitious company "Worm Biscuits". It managed to discredit the competition, "Chomp Biscuits", by staging an alleged outbreak of rabies there. "Chomp Biscuits" denies it, thereby engaging in "the enemy's" game. The message of the lesson, "Never conduct the enemy's campaign on your own lines! Come up with a better campaign." Never deny; instead counter-attack immediately. "Double-curve" is what the Scientologists call this procedure, explained Gandow.
These days the clergyman has found himself more than ever a target of the "Black Propaganda" of Scientology, an organization he has been telling people about for a good twenty years. The sect has recently mass-mailed copies of its "Freiheit" print organ to numerous households in Zehlendorf and Steglitz.
On the cover page is Thomas Gandow's portrait; the sub-text describes him as "Chief Inquisitor."
The Evangelical preacher came into the sights of the Scientologists as a cofounder of the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA." With the other twelve founding members of the committee, Gandow initiated an "Alternative Charlemagne Award" to protest the "liberal attitude" of U.S. President Bill Clinton towards Scientology. Clinton received the Charlemagne Award in June in Aachen.
Gandow and his cosponsors awarded the alternative distinction to American businessman Robert S. Minton, who has financially supported opponents of Scientology in his own country. That was excuse enough for the sect to describe the organization and Gandow in "Freiheit" as a "cover organization directed by the state church to fight minority religions."
"They are accusing me of doing my job," said the minister. He said the words "cover organization" were also false, of course, "because everything about us is in the open." Nevertheless, the sect's assertions weigh heavily upon Gandow. "Naturally we don't want to behave like the Scientologists, so we will deny what they say. After all we have nothing to hide."
How much of an impression the Hubbard adherents' recent campaign has left upon people in Zehlendorf and Steglitz is difficult to judge, said Thomas Gandow. But he still has bits of encouragement. In his office there is a large bouquet of flowers given to him from a woman to express her appreciation for his involvement in Scientology. And recently a Zehlendorf mail carrier apologized to him for distributing the Scientology paper.
Ask, find out, get involved
An interview about dealing with religious groups
August 28, 2000
Berliner Morgenpost 2000
Reverend Thomas Gandow is the sect commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Evangelical Church. He maintains the web site www.ekibb.com/seels/sekten/index.htm with much information on the theme of sects.
Berliner Morgenpost: What exactly is a sect?
Reverend Thomas Gandow: There are different ideas about that. Really, a sect is a splinter-group of a certain church or religion. The reasons for that consist mostly of different interpretations of the teachings. The opinion is growing among the Mormons that this is a "new religion," and not just another form of Christianity.
How does one recognize a sect?
Gandow: When someone talks to you, you should ask about exact names, addresses and background. The answer "we come from the church" is not good enough. Basically, one should not approach a group on the spur of the moment, but should find out about it first.
What is the risk of a sect? And for whom?
Gandow: Sects, youth religions and psycho-cults can produce different problems. Christians should be aware that they are at risk of losing their freedom of belief. Frequently they are promised everything possible - for example, that they could keep their religion, friendships and social contacts. Most of those promises are not kept.
Some say that brainwashing takes place with some sects and psycho-cults. What is meant by that?
Gandow: That is a plastic term which attempts to describe how radically people's thought and behavior can change when they are subjected to the consciousness-altering techniques and methods of re-education of certain groups. For the most part, it does not deal with "conversion," but with emotional or social pressure and with manipulative methods, for example, with sleep deprivation.
How do I know when someone is in contact with a sect?
Gandow: When friends disappear all of a sudden, stop speaking or no longer have any time, then one should be concerned - regardless of whether it was a sect or another problem that caused this.
What if a student tries to "proselytize" to others?
Gandow: Anybody who feels annoyed should say so right away. Things get unpleasant when one at first pretends to have interest.
What can I do when someone in a sect refuses to talk to me?
Gandow: There is no sense to pointed confrontation. If people have to justify themselves and defend the group, then that could lead to them identifying with the group for the first time. One should try to maintain normal contact, using as a guideline, "Let us talk about you, not about the group." It is important to speak over what is to be done with friends and relatives.
How does one help someone get out of a sect?
Gandow: That could be difficult when you are talking about a socially accepted sect or denomination. From the age of 14 one can decide if he wants to belong to a religious community or not. The Youth Office or Youth Services can help if bodily violence has been used. And it helps to speak with others who have the same problem.
Sect Commissioner issues warning about Scientology
CDU information event in the Steglitz assembly building
July 6, 2000
by Frank Thadeusz
Steglitz - Thomas Gandow, Evangelical Church sect commissioner, has issued a warning at a public CDU discussion event that the Scientology association is a "new form of political extremism."
To the approximately fifty people present, including Cerstin Richter-Kotowski for the Steglitz CDU in the Berlin House of Representatives, director of planning and training Norbert Kopp and the city's planning representative starting in 2001, Ralf Koerner (both CDU), Gandow said in the old Steglitz assembly building on Tuesday that not all German states understood what danger emanates from Scientology.
The minister pointed out, for instance, that one should not write off the organization, which can be traced back to L. Ron Hubbard, who was born in the USA in 1911, as a "sect." "These are not people who sing on the street to collect money for the homeless," said Gandow. He said that Scientology was to be regarded more as a "totalitarian organization" which operated in "the area of trade politics and in the psycho-political area" and which had as a goal the regency over as many areas of life as possible.
The clergyman explained the increased efforts by the Scientologists to gain attention by mass mailings in areas including Zehlendorf and Steglitz - in May of this year, the organization recruited at an exhibition on Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the city's center at 30 Dueppel Street - as "sheerly return on investment." Making money was the supreme goal of the "Scientology corporation," , Gandow said, and recalled Ron Hubbard's Creed of "Make money, make more money, get other people to make more money."
In this connection, Gandow praised the call for a boycott of the "Mission Impossible" movie by the Youth Union in 1997, in which professed Scientologist Tom Cruise played the main role. Today the first sequel of the film is starting in the movie theaters. "A large part of the proceeds of such movies goes to Scientology's coffers," the sect commissioner affirmed.
The church representative also expressed self criticism, "The Church has be accused, not unjustly, of often speaking up too late," said Gandow. He said that society would have to be alerted to Scientology in a timely manner. "Therefore I advise everyone here not to say that things can't be that bad," the sect commissioner appealed.
Gandow described the accusation by the U.S. government that Germany was violating freedom of religion as "absurd." "Religious freedom does not just mean that you can get into a religion, you also have to be able to get out of it again." He said that was not always the case with the Scientologists.
"Scientologists want key positions"
Steglitz CDU Representative and attorney Bettina Wehrisch in involved with "Scientology and Labor law." Frank Thadeusz spoke with her about the risks are for companies who are exposed to the psycho-sect.
Mrs. Wehrisch, you have warned people of the attempts by Scientologists to infiltrate businesses. How could something like that happen?
Bettina Wehrisch: There are two possibilities. For one, the Scientologists try to recruit new members in meetings which are disguised as continuing education courses. The other way is that Scientologists get into companies to sound things out as employees. There they shoot for the key positions, such as the personnel department, where contact to as many staff as possible is guaranteed.
How can companies protect themselves?
Company management can require course providers to sign a statement to verify that they do not use L. Ron Hubbard's techniques. In addition, the award of contracts for this alleged training can be contested at any time. Also, in political, public and religious work arrangements, employers can also ask individual workers about membership in Scientology in their recruitment and placement meetings. What is interesting is that Scientologists are allowed to deny their membership in response to the question "Are you a Scientologist?" Nevertheless one can ask them whether they use the techniques of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, and, according to the standards of their own teaching, they may not lie to that.
By doing that, is one discriminating against members of Scientology?
No, because they do not belong to a religious or weltanschauung community. That was decided by the Federal Labor Court (BAG). Scientology's goal is to obtain money and power.
SPD for a "slimmer" Constitutional Security
May 16, 2000
The SPD faction in the House of Representatives is demanding a decrease in personnel for the Berlin Constitutional Security from its previous approximate number of 240 by a "good 60 people." It was said that the savings could be spent elsewhere or be re-layered for the modernization of the technical equipping of the agency. That was communicated by political constitutional faction spokesman Klaus Uwe Benneter and the interior political spokesman Hans-Georg Lorenz yesterday to journalists.
The transformation announced by Interior Senator Eckart Werthebach (CDU) of the former State Office for Constitutional Security into a department of the Interior Administration is being followed critically by the SPD. Besides the decrease in personnel, they are also demanding, in the main, the following contextual new regulations:
Change of Constitutional Security according to the motto: "away from secret intelligence service - onwards toward information agency."
Very narrow provisions needed for implementation of intelligence means.
Establishment of an internal control as a replacement for the departing technical oversight, reporting to the Committee for Constitutional Protection.
The new description of the posts should follow the principles of administrative reform. Management positions would be given out only conditionally.
Benneter and Lorenz spoke out in favor of intelligence methods only being used to gain information in exceptional cases. That way, observation of parts of the PDS could cease. It would be periodically reviewed whether intelligence observation of the Scientology organization was still sensible. In contrast, Lorenz regarded the continued use of undercover people in rightwing extremist groups and in the autonomous environs as necessary.
Benneter could conceive of greater use of Constitutional Security in schools, whereby the students would be informed about extremism. mei
The Big Sweep
Interior Senator Eckart Werthebach (CDU) wants to transfer more than half of his Constitutional Security agents. The intelligence service is supposed to do political consultation. Opposing feedback from the SPD and the opposition.
by Dorothee Winden
Scandal ridden Constitutional Security is to be thoroughly cleaned up. Interior Senator Eckart Werthebach (CDU) plans to let more than half of the 242 Constitutional Security agents go and to replace them mostly with academics. The personnel turnover will also effect management, a spokeswoman of the Senate's interior administration stated yesterday.
In the future, the evaluation of information on anti-Constitutional endeavors will be done by political scientists and sociologists. That is what Interior State Secretary Mathilde Koller, who is responsible for Constitutional Security, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. Constitutional Security is to become a "political instrument of analysis" which could advise the democratic parties.
The radical solution for the secret agency is being done in anticipation of the break-up of the state office as an independent agency in order to be integrated into the Interior Administration. Werthebach had announced that the end of March after the latest scandal over a former Stasi informant in the employ of the office.
The new arrangements for the intelligence agency met with rejection from the Greens and parts of the SPD. "One has to select a different institution for political consultation," said SPD Interior expert Hans-Georg Lorenz. He said that if Constitutional Security were to concentrate on the few areas in which intelligence collection methods, like eavesdropping measures or undercover people, needed to be used, then it could do without half its personnel. Those areas would include foreign extremists and rightwing extremists who used acts of violence.
Klaus-Uwe Benneter, SPD political spokesman for Constitutional Security, gave an essentially positive commentary on Werthebach's plans. But he also said that the personnel turnover should not just result in people who were not in good favor being transferred to be replaced by a compliant force.
The plan to use Constitutional Security as an instrument of political consultation, in the opinion of Greens faction chief Renate Kuenast, was not covered by law. "This office may not produce general political analyses because it utilizes secret data collection methods," she said. Political advice which came into being by these methods could not be accepted in politics.
Koller's announcement that individual targets of surveillance would be dropped after the reorganization raised "critical questions about the current activity of the office" for Kuenast. She said there was already no accounting for surveillance of parts of the PDS and of Scientology, and that this surveillance had already been questioned within Constitutional Security for a long time. Benneter and Lorenz also spoke out in favor of suspending the observation of parts of the PDS.
Misunderstandings, but no crisis
Federal President Rau on trans-Atlantic relations
May 4, 2000
From our correspondent, Robert von Rimscha, Washington
"Dissonances, misunderstandings and differences of opinion" are seen by Federal President Johannes Rau in German-American relations, but "no crisis." Rau gave this assessment at the start of his three day visit to the USA before the press in Washington. In light of the fact that the "statics before 1989" have fallen by the wayside, one need not be surprised at occasional differences, he said. As an example, Rau named the "annoying implications in wangling over the post of IMF general director.
"We need a trans-Atlantic partnership with equal rights whereby Europe, not Germany, is the USA's partner," said Rau. In that connection, he said, it was regrettable that "Europe was not yet of one mind with regards to foreign politics and security politics."
Rau counted the understandings of religious congregations among the "acceptable and explicit differences" between Germany and the USA. In the case of Scientology he said that "no religious substance was present." The Federal President said, "The fact that someone calls themselves a church does not make them a church."
Rau did not want to state an opinion on two delicate themes. He could not say whether the newly founded U.S. foundation for the recompensation of Nazi forced laborers would be "any competition" to the German 10 Billion Mark Foundation. "Anybody who knows how the forced laborers lived knows that all of this can never make up for it," said the Federal President.
He will not address the theme of "National Missile Defense", the planned air shield to protect from missile attacks by rogue states, in his political encounters, according to Rau. Yesterday, Rau took part in the annual dinner of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) where he talked about "Germany - a new generation." Swedish Minister President Goran Persson and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also appeared at the AJC, which Rau characterized as "a committee inclined to Germany." Rau awarded AJC President Bruce Ramer, AJC business manager David Harris and Lawrence Ramer, the founder of the "Ramer Center for German-Jewish Relations" the German Federal Service Cross.
Rau exhibited his sense of humor on speaking about a benefit concert to support the reconstruction of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig by saying, "I grew up listening to Bach. Please don't misunderstand that. I am somewhat younger than he is."
Approximately 500 sects are active in Germany, about 20 of which are counted as the hard core. These organizations make their living by more successfully fighting for the hearts and brains (and wallets) of potential adherents than does the competition. Scientology is one of the leaders of the psycho-market. According to its own figures, the Hubbard sect - which does not see itself as a sect - has eight million members worldwide; in Germany, where Scientology is under surveillance by Constitutional Security, there is an estimated 5,000 members. The German branches of the sect can survive only through massive financial support from the USA. Scientology is recognized as a church there and has prominent adherents, such as in the actors' circles in Hollywood. The secret intelligence service of the organization is also resident to the USA. Its Office of Special Affairs spies on and harasses its opponents worldwide. Scientology's operations are directed towards maximizing profit. Not only are members relieved of their collected fortunes in subtle ways, but Scientology itself has turned into a commercial organization which does everything it can to keep that aspect of its existence unrecognized.
Berlin, Mecca for Sects
April 17, 2000
Psycho-markets and esoterica scenes are booming. Business for "hoax hawkers" is thriving. Hundreds of spiritual groups, psycho-cults and sects operate worldwide, including Germany. They propagate abstruse ideas, practice abstruse methods as well as techniques - with which they earn much money.
What makes sects dangerous are destructive cults like Scientology and the Moon movement. Marked by doomsday visions and highly deluded fantasies of omnipotence, they want to create a "new human." "Non-believers," on the other hand, are threatened with world destruction. Their leaders are venerated as all-powerful, clear-sighted saints, authorities no longer to be criticized.
These "elite" communities block themselves off from the outside world. Within them exists an extreme hierarchy which includes superiors whose words have the force of orders, unconditional obedience and a gradiated information system. Members are materially exploited and utilized as a cheap labor force. They must break off all contact to their families and friends and subject themselves to "brainwashing"-like processes. Jola
Berlin turning into a Mecca for Sects
Experts sound the Alarm
by Hendrik Werner
Berlin - More and more internationally operating sects have been taking the capitol city into their sights. From the perspective of the sect commissioner of the Berlin Senate, Anne Ruehle, and her professional colleague from the Evangelical State Church of Berlin/Brandenburg, Thomas Gandow, an increasing number of suspect religious communities have been transferring their European headquarters to the capitol city of Berlin. According to Gandow, there are presently about 500 such groups, including "20 who can be classified as very problematic."
Mrs. Ruehle assumes that the development of the city into a "Mecca for sects" is irreversible. The majority of these "conflict-bearing groups on the religion market," she said, are in it "only for financial reasons."
At the same time, according to the way experts see it, attempts by pseudo-churches to recruit new, mostly younger and effectively psychically unstable members have risen greatly. Not only do "soul trappers" advertise in city magazines and in pedestrian zones, but they operate as practiced hustlers in universities. "The ones most susceptible are those in their first semester who are new to Berlin and hardly have any social contact," said Hartmut Zinser, Professor of the Theological Institute of the Free University. According to his studies, the number of religious formations in Berlin is somewhere near 600, "if the sects, esoteric and psycho-groups which are not organized are counted." Sect commissioner Gandow, who estimates that at least 10,000 residents of Berlin support non-church religious congregations, believes Zinser's count "may possibly be too low."
"Scandalous" was how the theologian described the offensive most recently mounted to increase membership in Berlin by the Scientology religion business, which is under surveillance by Constitutional Security. In a mass mailing by the worldwide organization, which Scientology speaker Ute Koch said went to a half million households, the Berlin branch in Friedenau invited residents to participate in a self-presentation in the Hotel Steglitz International.
Even the district office received an invitation. "Scientology is always getting more audacious," raged BVV Representative Cerstin Richter-Kotowski (CDU). The presentation site is not only in her constituents' area, but also in that of Education Senator Klaus Boeger (SPD), whose department currently performs the function of state sect commissioner.
Spaces in Steglitz International have once been rented to Scientology before - it was for an international congress. "They were a well-mannered crowd," said hotel business manager Klaus-Volker Stolle, who says "purely commercial grounds" were good enough to host the sect which operates on purely commercial grounds for three days.
"Nobody has yet been able to make me understand what Scientology is supposed to be accused of," said Stolle, in whose hotel, which he describes as "open to the world," 400 Jehovahs Witnesses are to meet on Wednesday - equal time for the competition. The event for Scientology, perhaps, is a question of survival. "The corporation's need of much money translates into need of many new members," said sect commissioner Gandow, according to whom "things are presently going so poorly with the German [Scientology] organization that they must receive massive support from the USA."
Berlin - "Mecca for Sects"
Sounding the Alarm
by Hans-J. Schmahl
Prussia was a country of immigrants. Friedrich the Great needed new people for his sparsely settled land to fulfill his vision of becoming a European power. He put them into his armies and into his universities (without a Green Card), into factories and into the business community. That is how Prussia and its capitol turned into a melting pot of nations and religions, peacefully united in all their differences through the king's supreme commandment of tolerance.
Perhaps that is also what makes the new capitol city of reunited Germany and the old capitol city of Prussia so attractive to an increasing number of sects and pseudo-churches. That could be without any problem whatsoever, if the Old Fritz' commandment of tolerance were still in effect. Actually, though, Berlin sect observers have noticed a growing aggressiveness in Berlin's non-church religion groups. In their advertisements, they target primarily younger and people who are, in effect, psychically unstable - even including first semester students in the universities who are new to the city.
That is a warning signal. In other words, it is the youth in this city who are animated by the desire for orientation towards values which are quite apparently no longer being imparted to them at home, school and church to the degree they want. Perhaps the older generation too readily ridiculed the classic values of the Christian Occident, too arrogantly pushed aside belief, sense of family and nearness to neighbors to be technically cool.
When the values apparently available to youth yearn have been neglected by their elders, they need not turn to false preachers. There is still plenty of room in the Christian churches for the internal missionary work which has long been neglected in favor of political indoctrination.
Much contested in USA-EU relations
Conflicts of interest overshadow partnership
March 10, 2000
by Nikolaus Blome and Andreas Middel
Brussels - The dispute about the chief posts of the International Monetary Fund is not the only thing that is putting relations between Europe and America to the test. For years, the EU and the USA have continued to carry on a multitude of conflicts of interest between each other. Not always with entirely fair means: it has to do with markets and billions of dollars. Nevertheless, at least some experts believe that the always resonant fundamental dispute about proper world economic politics could seriously shake up the trans-Atlantic marriage. Unlike security politics, the newest European-American rivalry.
What is being called "double neurosis" in Brussels amounts to a danger, to be taken seriously, of a long-term split of the alliance. On the one side the Europeans are obviously more self-determined in matters of defense politics - which the USA has always promoted. But the EU is leaving the distrustful Americans by far in the dark about important, practical details. What is completely unclear is whether additional financing will be pulled from the meager European defense in NATO to be utilized for a future "European Army." The USA would seek to hinder that using all its might.
On the other side the Americans are equipped with a National Missile Defense. This shield against missiles from unpredictable nations like Iraq, Iran or North Korea will not extend to Europe, therefore Britain, France and Germany unanimously fear a "second-class NATO": the fundamental principle of the Alliance would be transgressed, whereby all members must be equally secure or equally vulnerable. Besides that, the U.S. administration appears to be prepared to even retract the ABM treaty with Russia in case of emergency in the construction of a missile defense system. It would restrict the missile defense system of the nuclear powers with the deterrent logic of the Cold War. In Germany, both opposition and the federal administration fear that, with the end of the ABM treaty, the entire system of disarmament treaties of the 1960s and '70s could go by the wayside. But so far the Americans have entered no objections.
Washington is reacting just as little to the objections of the Europeans with regard to the self-willed sanctions politics of the USA. The U.S. administration is threatening massive punishment for businesses worldwide that want to invest in Cuba, Iran or Libya with its Helms-Burton Law and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. Although procedures are not officially being taken at this time, the USA is also gathering data about EU enterprises which are active in these countries. A latent threat for trans-Atlantic relations, as it is called in Brussels.
There has been new fodder for mistrust against the USA in the widespread Echelon espionage system, which is said to serve the NSA U.S. intelligence service. Targets, said the sparsely worded report, were telephone calls to the USA, faxes, and even e-mails were evaluated - commercial espionage in grand style. Some parliamentarians could even give numbers to the damages which have been done in Europe by its "Big Brother" in the USA: 40 billion marks. At least that is what CDU man Christian von Boetticher believes, although the facts of the Echelon situation are somewhat meager.
Independent of such reports, trade politics offer the greatest field of attack, by far, for trans-Atlantic conflict and discussion. And that even though the EU and the USA are closely connected with each other commercially. Almost 60 percent of all foreign investments in the USA come from the EU, in contrast to about 45 percent of U.S. foreign investments in the EU countries.
Nevertheless the two great economic regions are at odds with each other in almost a dozen trade political cases. Complaints and counter-complaints before the World Trade Organization (WTO) are the daily routine. And some of the sanctions are not exactly rigid. For instance, the USA has raised a tariff of more than 600 million marks on EU products because of the dispute about the EU banana market system and hormone-treated U.S. beef. As soon as economic interests are taken into consideration, the otherwise hard-earned trans-Atlantic partnership quickly takes second place.
Five points of contention
Hormone beef: the EU is maintaining a ban on import of beef from the USA treated with hormones, although the WTO directed a suspension until May 1999 [sic]. The EU says there is possible health risks in consuming hormone treated beef, however further studies are inconclusive. The USA has raise tariff of more than 230 million marks on EU products.
Banana Market System: In WTO's opinion, the EU banana market system violates free world trade. Latin American providers are said to be discriminated against in favor of EU providers and those of the AKP [?] countries. Because the banana market system has not been changed yet, the USA, with approval from the WTO, may raise tariffs of almost 400 million marks on EU products.
Export subsidies: The WTO has recently declared the U.S. export subsidy system on the Foreign Sales Corporation does not conform to the WTO. U.S. business receive tax breaks of up to seven billion marks for exports. The U.S. law must be changed by fall, otherwise the U.S. is threatened with millions in sanctions from the side of the EU.
Scientology: In several civil assignments in the EU, such as in training or seminars, offers are not taken from providers who belong to Scientology. The USA criticizes that as religious discrimination.
Hushkits: the EU requires mufflers for jet engines and threatens to not let aircraft without mufflers take off or land. The USA sees discrimination against the U.S. aircraft industry in that.
Never before has the predatory sect received more support than from the current U.S. President
Clinton as Scientology Lobbyist
February 12, 2000
Hamburger Morgenpost Online
Berlin - Scientology's dubious business is apparently supported by U.S. President Bill Clinton and the State Department in Washington.
That was asserted on Friday in Berlin by renowned Scientology expert, Professor Steven Kent, in a meeting with sect experts at the invitation of the SPD faction. In doing so the Canadian received support from Ursula Caberta, the Hamburg Scientology Commissioner.
Kent indicated that the so-called "church" also ran into strong resistance in the USA at first. Things changed suddenly in 1993 under Clinton. Since that time, the Scientology lobby has received full support for its worldwide activities from the White House.
At the same time actor John Travolta and jazz pianist Chick Corea appeared as most prominent lobbyists. At a get-together Clinton publicly promised Travolta his support in the spread of sect founder L. Ron Hubbard's teachings, even in Germany. Caberta is well aware of the results of that promise.
After the Hamburg administration took the usual precautions with respect to availability of parking places and use of the building which the Scientologists have recently bought on Dom Street for 20 million marks, a representative from the U.S. Consul General paid the Interior Agency a call and complained about the restrictions.
To the question of on whose behalf the consulate was acting, the name of the Hamburg Scientology chief was mentioned - a German woman for whom the U.S. representative is not at all responsible.
Scientology expert Kent now hopes that Al Gore will become the next U.S. President. Gore's wife is a psychologist - nothing is more feared by the Scientologists.
Influence from Scientology growing
February 12, 2000
rtr Berlin - Sect experts have warned of increased activity by the Scientology organization in Germany. The group has also been gaining footholds in the new federal states, said Ursula Caberta y Diaz, Director of the Work Group on Scientology at the Hamburg Interior agency. Primarily in Sachsen, there is strong activities by the U.S. organization, which is trying to make contacts in companies and government agencies. Zwickau is regarded as one of its strongholds in Germany. There are also indications of Scientology activity from Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In the old German states, the organization is chiefly active in Hamburg, Bavaria and Nordrhein- Westphalia.
Caberta referred to Scientology's growing influence on the U.S. government. Since President Bill Clinton took office, the organization has frequently been supported by American agencies. In Hamburg, she said, there were open connections between the Scientology foreign office and the General Consulate. At the end of 1998 in Berlin, the U.S. Embassy financed a concert for jazz pianist Chick Corea, who is a professed Scientologist. The support for Scientology by U.S. agencies has taken on frightening proportions.
Canadian Scientology expert Steven Kent also stated that the U.S. government was backing Scientology because the organization is acknowledged in the USA as a church, and it can therefore invoke religious freedom. The U.S. government is also connecting commercial interests with support for Scientology in foreign countries. For instance, the USA protested a boycott against the film "Mission Impossible" with U.S. film actor Tom Cruise, who also professes to be a Scientologist.
The sect commissioner for the SPD federal assembly faction, Renate Rennebach, said that the activities of Scientology are a good example of why consumer rights must be protected on the so-called psycho-market. Besides Scientology, similarly dubious groups are often behind many seminars given to strengthen personality. She said that consumers must have the right to withdraw from psycho-seminars. Rennebach announced that a piece of legislation proposed by the State of Hamburg in the past legislative period will be revamped.
Sect experts concerned about Scientology's influence
February 11, 2000
Sect experts have expressed concern about the international political influence of the Scientology Organization. They have strong reservations about the current U.S. American government, Canadian Scientology expert Stephen Kent told journalists in Berlin. High officials in the State Department, as well as President Bill Clinton himself, are supporting the organization in its campaigns and programs.
On top of that is the extremely effective lobby work by celebrities like actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise, as well as musicians Chick Corea and Isaac Hayes, who profess to the teachings of sect founder Ron L. Hubbard. Kent gave the primary reason for the U.S. government's involvement in the Scientology Organization as the commercial interests of the entertainment industry.
Ursula Caberta, Scientology Commissioner of the Hamburg Interior Senate, also called Scientology's influence on the U.S. government "alarming." For instance, the U.S. American Consul General intervened when the Scientologists in Hamburg were required to answer up to the German authorities about their new center [in Hamburg].
PDS demands better assistance for sect victims
Jelpke: Against Surveillance of Scientology
January 31, 2000
Berlin (AP). Better assistance for victims of so-called sects and psychogroups was demanded by the PDS. What they are mainly concerned with is that the financial betterment and legal support of the victims, their relatives and friends mentioned in the Enquete Commissions report on "Sects and Psychogroups" should finally be implemented, stated PDS Parliamentary Representative Ulla Jelpke on Monday in Berlin. She confirmed that the PDS would continue to disapprove of the surveillance of Scientology by Constitutional Security.
As the interior political spokesperson for the PDS Parliamentary faction, Jelpke stated, addressing the problem of sects in Germany, "Even if many of these groups show anti-democratic, racist, anti-Semitic tendencies, further construction of a surveillance state is not the right answer." Such tendencies would have to be counter-effected through constant information campaigns, he said.
Jelpke expressed regret about the planned model project of the federal government to qualify expert personnel in the subject area of so-called sects and psychogroups in that these proposals would only benefit "established counselling institutions." That means, primarily, the major churches. "I do not regard that as a good start," the PDS woman politician criticized. After calling in Constitutional Security and doing nothing for the victims, it is not right to neglect the private institutions which are not subordinate to the two major churches, or to force them to the fringes." She stated that no more state control should be used in this question. She also stated that this was more for the advancement of civil rights and initiatives.
Politicians for law to protect people from sects and psychogroups
January 29, 2000
Berlin (dpa) - The parties in the federal Parliament have unanimously spoken out in favor of legal regulation to protect citizens from sects and psychogroups. With the background of a strongly growing psychomarket, there finally has to be a law for so-called "commercial life administrative assistance institutions," demanded Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD) in a debate on Friday in Berlin. Like recommendations were made by an Enquete Commission which had been involved with sects and pscyhogroups in past legislative periods.
Besides regulating the booming psychomarkets, the state will also have to give greater financial support to information and counselling centers, said Klaus Holetschek (CSU). From the view of the CDU/CSU faction, a federal foundation should also be established which should promote self-help groups for victims of psychosects.
Greens Representative Angelika Koester-Lossack warned, however, of discriminating against new religious communities with legislative initiatives by which the major churches would not be affected. "Members of the smaller religious denominations should have the same rights," she stressed in plenum.
The Liberals had the view that the weltschauung and religious groups presented "no fundamental danger to state or society in Germany." According to them, religious freedom in the Constitution should be neither augmented nor modified, said FDP Representative Birgit Homburger. Nevertheless the FDP demanded a "law about contracts in the area of commercial life assistance which should not regulate, but which should make the stipulations on the market transparent in the sense of consumer protection."
In a previous legislative period, the federal Parliament had implemented an independent Enquete Commission. The Commission presented its final report after two years of work in 1998, in which the new religious and weltanschauung movements in Germany were evaluated as was the psycho- and esoterica markets.
About 200,000 children and young people live in sects
Federal administration to clarify the matter
January 28, 2000
Berlin - About 200,000 children and young people, according to a statement by the CDU/CSU opposition in Parliament, presently live in Germany in sects and psychogroups. The young people have no choice in the matter, CSU Representative Klaus Holtschek complained in Friday in Parliament during the debate on the Enquete's Commissioner report on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups." They supposedly have to be protected from such a fate as quickly as possible.
The Union, along with the opposition of the FDP and the PDS, accused the Red-Green federal administration of doing nothing on the issue of sects. Extensive clarification about the work and presence of these organizations was said to be urgently required to warn and protect citizens. It was said that the federal government should implement the Commission's recommendations for action.
The report's recommendations included new legislation, establishment of a federal foundation and promotion of private counselling and informational centers. Furthermore, the tax law, medical practice law and legal regulations for guardianship and usuary would have to be expanded. The CDU/CSU demanded that the federal administration present its first report on the implementation of the recommended actions no later than June 30, especially concerning the surveillance of the Scientology Organization by Constitutional Security.
FDP Representative Birgit Homburger and PDS Representative Ulla Jelpke also spoke out in favor of surveillance of Scientology. SPD Representative Hans-Peter Bartels asked the question in the debate of how the concept of sect could really be defined. No group today calls itself a "sect." They describe themselves more as a movement, church, center or something similar. The themes range from therapeutic fields all the way to politically motivated organizations like Scientology, Bartels stated. Risk, from his view, was not associated with all sects. In the Federal Republic of Germany there are about 50 groups which states warn people about.
Greens Representative Angelika Koester-Lossack advanced a "rational and sober debate" on the sect problem. SPD colleague Renate Rennebach called for joint cooperation by parties to warn citizens about sects and psychogroups' hold on them. The offers these groups made to people would have to become more transparent.
Criticism of Coalition Application
The CDU/CSU criticized the resolution application of the factions of the SPD and Buendnis 90/The Greens. It was said to be intellectually demanding, after two years of consultation by the commission with extensive reform proposals, now to present the Parliament with such an application, CDU Representative Roland Pofalla was outraged. According to the first point, Parliament wanted to resolve "the 13th German Parliament had resolved to implement the Enquete Commission 'So-called Sects and Psychogroups' on May 9, 1996. The concluding report was presented to the 242nd session of the German Parliament on June 19, 1998."
Opposition politicians presented this formulation of the coalition as nonsensical. The Union would send the application to the organizations concerned so that they would see how the governing coalition would deal with the theme.
Presentation series, "Dialogue of Religions" opens in Berlin
Sect commissioner criticizes Evangelical Church participation
February 4, 2000
A controversial series of presentations opened on Thursday in Berlin under the title "Dialogue of Religions for a new Ethics Europe-wide." The participants are supposed to be able to learn tolerance and peaceableness for an appropriate monetary contribution. Representatives of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and of Islam were supposed to meet for discussion. The project, however, is being strongly criticized.
The main representative of the association founded in 1991, "International Peace College," the so-called promotion company to found a Peace University, has been criticized in the past of sponsoring a commercial esoteric project with speakers, some of whom supported the Moon sect. Furthermore, popular speakers were used to advertise who had not even promised to participate.
Reverend Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Evangelical State Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, spoke about it in an interview on broadcast "Freies Berlin": "Evangelical freedom also includes people being able to demonstrate their cluelessness or even stupidity. I believe it is quite objectionable that, in spite of the warnings of, for example, an EKD broadcast commission or the study director of an Evangelical academy in Sachsen-Anhalt, the program stands on ceremony.
The Catholic Academy has made its spaces available for the series of events. The series is financed by sources including the EU.
Today in the *Bundestag
*The Bundestag is the German Parliament
December 20, 1999
German Bundestag Press Release
1st Committee of Inquiry
Presiding Chairman Hans-Peter Friedrich
Berlin: (hib/VOM-bn) In the current session of the Bundestag, Hans-Peter Friedrich (CDU/CSU) was selected as the presiding chairman of the 1st Committee of Inquiry last Thursday. In our press release on the current session (hib 253/99), Andreas Schmidt (Muelheim, CDU/CSU) was erroneously named as representative of chairman Volker Neumann (SPD). We apologize for the oversight.
The 1st Committee of Inquiry should clarify the extent to which donations, commissions and other financial dealings or advantages affected, directly or indirectly, members and officials of the former administration, which was carried by the CDU/CSU and F.D.P., as well as their parties and factions, and to other persons or institutions.
IMPLEMENTING THE SUGGESTIONS OF THE ENQUETE COMMISSION ON "SECTS" (Proposal)
Berlin: (hib/VOM-in) The federal administration should carry the recommendations for action made by the Enquete Commissions "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" over from the past election period. This was stated by the CDU/CSU faction in a proposal (14/2361). The report of the Commission (13/10950) was said to be a valuable working foundation for the decision on legislative changes in this area. Among other things, it was recommended that a foundation should be established, that private counselling and information centers should be promoted, and that commercial assistance in life management should be regulated. The faction further spoke in favor of introducing legal responsibility for legal persons [legal entities], making pyramid schemes illegal, including structured sales in the legislation for revenue agency investigators and insurance investigators, and expanding the existing law, primarily the tax law, the medical practice law and the legal regulation of child and usury laws.
The administration should present their first report by the middle of the year 2000 at the latest, especially in regard to the activity of the Federal Administration Office, the surveillance of the Scientology Organization by Constitutional Security, international cooperation in the uniform treatment of new religious and ideological communities and psychogroups in the European Union, the fight against occultism and Satanism, the training, extended training and promotion of research as well as state support of registry organizations and consumer protection centers.
"Berlin turning into starting point for extremists"
December 19, 1999
Constitutional Security Chief Peter Frisch on the Republicans moving into the capitol city, the PDS and the Scientology Church
by Hans Krump
Berlin - Constitutional Security President Peter Frische believes further surveillance of Scientology is necessary. There are efforts "against fundamental principles of our Constitution." Frisch expects that Berlin "will turn into a central starting point for extremist operations of all kinds." He also criticizes the non-uniform treatment of the PDS by the states' Constitutional Security Offices.
Mr. Frisch, the Gauck agency has found new data on 15,000 agents of the foreign spy service. Do you expect further revelations?
Presumably not so many as some have thought. It does not have to do with agents, but with recorded events. This includes mainly DDR [East German] citizens who worked as operatives, including target persons. A smaller fraction concerns agents in the federal area with whom we are already familiar from the Rosenholz files passed in the USA. What might be new is that we could find out cover names of DDR agents who were active in foreign countries from the card files. We have not yet received them from the files stored in America. The materials in the USA ended at the end of 1988, while the new material goes to the end of 1989. Several cases which had not yet been able to cleared up will now be cleared up.
Naturally, with the new materials, we could also verify that the Americans really have given us back all Stasi [East German secret police] files.
What effect will the change of the capitol city have upon the work of the Federal Office for Constitutional Security?
The headquarters will stay in Cologne, but our foreign office will expand from 160 to 220 staff. The office management has been in Berlin for two days now to maintain contact with the administration. We expect that the seat of government will become a central starting point for extremist operations of all kinds. Violent acts by the autonomists have risen in Berlin. In spite of its role of capitol city, Berlin has not become more attractive to rightwing extremists. That also has to do with there being significantly fewer right- than leftwing extremist here. But acts of violence by rightwing extremism have increased in eastern Germany. We reckon that these groups will come to regard Berlin more and more as a field of operation. Foreign extremism - keyword "Kurds" - also needs to be watched. Berlin, as the home of embassies, will naturally also experience a rise in espionage activity.
The Federal Intelligence Service (BND), unlike the Federal Office for Constitutional Security, will be arriving in Berlin with its entire evaluation department, over 1,000 people.
Frisch: The difference is not all that much. One-sixth of the BND is coming here, one-tenth of our people are coming here. The BND is organized differently because the evaluation department is independent can be more simply reorganized. With us the evaluators are integrated with the subject departments. We could separate them from each other only with difficulty.
How is the cooperation going between the Federal Office and the State Office for Constitutional Security in Berlin?
Frisch: We have a well functioning work relationship. We try to obtain information on endeavors which are directed against federal interests or are inter-regional. Counter-espionage is also part of our mission.
One hears of arrogance by the staff of the Federal Office for Constitutional Security for their colleagues of the state offices.
Frisch: If that is how it is perceived, then I am sorry. I would change that immediately if that were actually the case.
The PDS is treated by Constitutional Security agents in more than a half dozen variants. How do you rate this confusion?
Frisch: It's ugly. It is also a result of the PDS being a party of various currents. Naturally, the whole thing also has to do with the confederated nature of Constitutional Security.
Joerg Schoenbohm as Berlin Interior Senator had the PDS put under intelligence surveillance, but now as Interior Minister in Brandenburg under Manfred Stolpe does not want to have anything to do with that. Doesn't that smack of opportunism?
Frisch: That is a political question which I would prefer not to discuss.
Why does your agency not have the PDS under intelligence surveillance?
Frisch: We have the impression that our findings on the PDS are adequate from their public statements and materials in order to come to a correct judgment about left extremists endeavors in the PDS. What the party says is so relevant that closer investigation is not absolutely necessary.
Is that different with the Republicans?
Frisch: With the Republicans, on the one side, from the surroundings of federal chairman Schlierer there is a verbal distancing from rightwing extremists, on the other side, this behavior is criticized by the party. Therefore we have to know what is going on behind closed doors. What kind of influence these endeavors are having must be precisely observed. What interests us is what connections the Republicans have to rightwing extremist parties, such as those overseas. The PDS, for example, makes no secret of their connections to orthodox communist parties in foreign countries.
What effects do the decision of the Federal Administrative Court about the Republicans have on the work of the Constitutional Security agents?
Frisch: We have determined to our satisfaction that the Federal Administrative Court has verified that the Republicans need to be observed. It just referred to the principle of relative proportionality in the intelligence observation - it had to do with the Lower Sachsen state association - therefore the case was referred back to the Superior Administrative Court of Lueneburg. I have no doubt that the State of Lower Sachsen will manage to present the need for intelligence observation.
That did not happen in Berlin.
Frisch: Administrative courts occasionally decided differently than in the above instance.
Berlin's Interior Senator Werthebach thinks that the capitol city will turn into a center of the rightwing extremist movement in Germany. Do you agree?
Frisch: At the present time Berlin is not yet so attractive for rightwing extremism. The potential here is currently not so large that it could be the center of rightwing extremism. Nevertheless more rightwing activities have shifted to the Spree River. The Republicans have moved their headquarters here, the NPD wants to do that too, the DVU probably not.
Should Constitutional Security observe organized crime like in Bavaria?
Frisch: Constitutional Security could be of good help to the police in the area of criminal dealings. The police often have problems because they are bound by the legality principle and they do not have the experience with intelligence procedures which the Constitutional Security agency does.
Should surveillance be continued on the Scientology Church? Duesseldorf Constitutional Security ex-chief Baumann had disapproved of that and said that Scientology was not a politically extremist organization.
Frisch: At his time the Constitutional Security agencies are disagreeing with that. I believe the observation of the Scientologists continues to be necessary. Among other things, there are statements against the basic principles of our Constitution in the sense of Founder Hubbard, from whom there has never been a separation.
Manipulative sales methods are often prematurely associated with the sect
October 26, 1999
Scientology in the real estate business?
In Berlin, there are, in the Senate's estimate, far fewer "Scientology-aligned" real estate companies than had been publicly presumed. Repressive business methods and manipulative sales methods are frequently associated with the Scientology organization too quickly, without there being "extensive indices" for that, Youth Senator Ingrid Stahmer (SPD) responded to a minor inquiry. As she further stated, the Senate does not have any oversight over the real estate companies which work for Scientology. There are said to be commercial enterprises by individual Scientologists and people who feel they are associated with the organization.
"Cartel of Soul-Snatchers" organizing on international plane
Sect lobbyists cleverly disguise themselves - wolves in sheep's clothing
July 24, 1999
by our editorial staff member, Dietmar Wittmann
The sect commissioners in Germany warn of a "cartel of soul-snatchers." Several of the sects operating at the international level continue to work more closely together and have even created an international joint association. In the second part of the Nuernberg Zeitung report, it is described how far the "fraternization" among the sects has already progressed.
Thomas Gandow, Evangelical sect commissioner for Berlin and Brandenburg, can "only confirm" cooperation among the sects, "There are pacts, mainly with the Scientology management, and there are joint operations." His colleague in Bavaria, Wolfgang Behnk, does not see any economic fusion among the sects, though he says that "interest lobbies" already exist - alleged "instigation campaigns" against church, state and media. Behnk stated to the Nuernberger Zeitung, "Sects are closing ranks against what they believe to be unfair treatment."
The sect commissioner of the Catholic church in Nuernberg, Ludwig Lanzhammer, knows of sect meetings in the form of an "inter-religious dialogue" in Frankfurt am Main and in London, "Steps are being taken to form solidarity because of feelings of being a persecuted minority." The Evangelical "Commissioner for religious and spiritual currents" in Nuernberg, Reverend Bernhard Wolf, has also been seeing signs of cooperation among sects for a long time. This has been manifested in public contact between Scientology and the "Universal Life" sect, for example.
Not many days ago Gandow receive a copy of the new sect report from the French government. In it is a warning of a new form of infiltration. There are said to be institutions which outwardly appear to scientifically research the sect scene. In reality these alleged "sect researchers" are, provably, wolves in sheep's clothing. Gandow stated, "The sects are utilizing their own lobbyists."
For instance, a rightward-leaning Latin American group by the name of CESNUR has appeared, whose director travels about as an expert in religious issues. Actually the alleged religious professor is a copyright attorney and a member of "Allianza Catholica," an extremely controversial sect outside of the Catholic church, according to Gandow.
According to what the Berlin sect commissioner has found, sects also cooperate with dubious groups. Gandow has determined that Scientology led a "Freedom march" in Frankfurt with Moslem organizations and a suspect "Joint law-abiding Jewish communities."
Among these connections are visible, through the sect commissioners, which nobody else would have thought of. For instance Gandow asserts that the complainant in the proceedings which ended with the Bavarian "crucifix judgment" had belonged to an "Alliance against Conformity," an "originally Marxist, psychoanalytic association in Freiburg, which is said to have the "best connections with the Scientologists." Gandow said, "there is proof of that."
Sometimes the sects explicitly pursue the same process, said Munich sect commissioner Behnk. He is aware of an exchange of correspondence between the Scientologists and the "Universal Life" sect. In it Scientology urged that they proceed "together in a joint effort." It is also suspicious that both groups, as verified by the Foreign Office, almost simultaneously filed petitions alleging "state persecution" at the human rights center in Geneva - both of which were refused.
If one can believe the minutes presented by the "Weser-Ems Sect Info," the "International Alliance of Religious and Philosophical Minorities" includes functionaries of Scientology, the Moon sect of San Myung Mun, the South Korean billionaire and self-proclaimed "messiah," as well as representatives from "Transcendental Meditation" and the Sri Chinmoy sect, which is known in Germany through its "peace runs" and "peace concerts."
Call to "open war"
The close circle is also said to include Jehovah's Witnesses and "The Family." Their predecessor, the notorious "Children of God," had called for "open warfare" and "thanked God for Scientology and the Christian groups outside of our community which are beginning to wake up." The French Scientology chief, Daniele Gounord, appears as President of the joint association. The treasurer is France's Moon sect director, Bernard Mitjaville.
The sects' gathering mainly is reason for concern because almost all have built up influential financial empires. For instance, Gandow estimates the income of the Moon sect worldwide at ten billion marks.
The large sects are still in competition with each other. However, if they should jointly concentrate on specific goals or long-term strategies, such as the infiltration of entire areas of industry, then the alarm would not sound, warn sect experts, until it was too late.
End of Report
Sects grasp for power in Eastern Europe
Where Scientology tests world domination
by our editorial staff member Dietmar Wittmann
July 23, 1999
Berlin/Munich (NZ). - Yugoslavia's commander-in-chief Marshall Tito, growing frail in the the last years of his life, called a "teacher" of the "Transcendental Meditation" sect to his sick bed so that she could "reverse" his aging process "like she had promised in her program." This ultimately failed just as badly as the "Transcendental's" attempt to exercise influence on Rumania's former leader, Ceaucescu and his cabinet. Many of the dictator's staff had to leave.
"That could repeat itself in Eastern Europe at any time," fears Thomas Gandow, Sect Commissioner for Berlin and Brandenburg. He has information that Scientology members and members of the Moon sect are trying to exercise influence step by step on the commercial life and on religion and association legislation - with some success from what one hears.
The Moon sect has already sought contact with Gorbachev as to whether the commercially bankrupt Russia would be financially supported. Response: Unknown. And in the new German states, Nuernberg Catholic Sect Commissioner Ludwig Lanzhammer knows that Scientology is trying to infiltrate "economy, government agencies and schools."
Deal with the Devil
Worse yet, an increasingly intense international cooperation by sects is looming over Eastern Europe. "The large sect coalition," warns the Commissioner for Sects and Weltanschauung Issues of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria, Wolfgang Behnk, "can harm democracy."
While "all of Europe is defending itself against sects from Spain to Germany" (Gandow), in the estimation of Berlin Sect Commissioner, a "highly tragic situation" has developed in Eastern Europe and, in particular, in the Balkans. The "Transcendental Meditation" sect made the promise to the government in Belgrade during the Kosovo War that "Invincibility for the Nation" would be achieved through "TM." And the Scientologists, said Gandow, had wanted to develop a "model country" according to their own concepts. Today sects are said to have even closer contact to the Albanian government. In the refugee camps in Albania various sects have been recruiting for members. Gandow stated, "Sects want political power."
Example: Bulgaria. Scientology is already "very successful" there, believe the Berlin sect experts. They apparently already have influence in the leading intellectual circles. Of all places, the Bulgarian Academy of Science in Sofia, criticized Gandow, has already published two books by sect founder Hubbard. Gandow rates the situation as less dramatic in Poland and the Czech Republic, two countries which are already oriented towards the West.
For external appearances sects, as a rule, avoid appearing together as that would kindle fear of a "sect cartel." However there have been provable instances of common proceedings in Germany and in western Europe as well as in the eastern part of the continent.
An "especially crass case," according to Gandow, occurred in Russia. Scientology supporters in Moscow had sued the local sect commissioner because he had dragged the "sect mission" over the coals in a brochure entitled "Ten Questions for persistent strangers - how to protect oneself from them." In this proceeding not only Scientology adherents, but also representatives of the Moon sect and the sect of "Hare Krishna" appeared. Gandow also indicated that there had been an exchange of correspondence between Scientology Moscow and the "commander of the Moon sect."
Courses as Bait
The two sects exercise their influence in Russia overwhelmingly separately. The Scientologists have their sphere of influence mainly in the large cities where they go hunting for members using English courses. The Moon movement has gone into the schools and universities, where it lures offspring with essay competitions and travel to foreign countries.
A temporary relief has come over Germany because the cadres have gone to eastern Europe. For instance the Krishna sect only has somewhat over 200 members in Germany any more, while there are said to be 50,000 in Russia. Bauer stated, "We have passed the problem on to other countries."
(to be continued) - Nuernberger Zeitung
East states want to coordinate in fighting extremism
From: "Yahoo! Schlagzeilen, Kurznachrichten "
Friday, January 29, 1999, 16:07 o'clock
Berlin - The interior ministers of Berlin and of the new German States met on Friday to agree upon a process in the fight against right extremism. Further dealings with the Scientology sect were also discussed, said a spokesperson for the Berlin administration. The sect is said to have threatened the German states with a lawsuit because of its surveillance by the Constitutional Security offices.
According to the spokesperson's statement, no conclusions were arrived at during the course of the meeting. Mecklernburg-Vorpommern Interior Minister Gottfried Timm (SPD) demanded that the battle against certain extremist crimes, as also sales and presentation of indexed media, be better coordinated nationwide. In order to make access to dangerous weapons more difficult for extremists, he also pressed for a tightening up on the weapons and explosives law, stated Timm.
For anybody, as a renter, who has the suspicion of being treated with chicanery by a building owner who belongs to Scientology, social Senator Ingrid Stahmer has named three agencies to contact in a minor inquiry in the house of representatives.
The school senator has a position of "so-called sects/psycho-providers." The Berlin Renters Association and the "Renters Initiative against Scientology" are again active. There is already a common information pool among these three. What's most important is that renters know all their rights. tr
© Berliner Morgenpost 1999
Renters succeed in lowering prices
From: "TAZ Nr. 5705" Berlin
December 8, 1998
TAZ report by Uwe Rada
Bonn officials have bought residences in Moabit which were put on the market by TCGC, a real estate firm connected with Scientology. Before the purchase, the Bonn officials supported the renters' protest against Scientology. Since their own purchases have been concluded, they insist upon charitable conduct
by Uwe Rada
Although it is only a stone's throw from Bellevue Castle, the seat of the federal presidency, and from the Moabit prison, the area around Carl von Ossietzky Park in the Moabit district of Berlin is remarkably peaceful. It is not just the resident renters who value this contemplativeness. Several Bonn ministerial officials have also discovered the advantages of the district and its proximity to the governing area - as buyers of condominiums which had been put on the market by TCGC, a real estate company connected with Scientology.
The building at 251 Spener St., at the corner of Melanchton St., is one of the typical Berlin rental complexes only at first glance. Then the numerous banners against the business sect of Scientology and against apartment speculators become visible. The dwellings are also extraordinary. With their high, decorated ceilings, their spaciousness and balconies, TCGC staff member Krebs thought a year and a half ago that the condos would sell like hotcakes, especially to Bonn officials.
Today Marion Caspar, renter, must admit that the sect business' calculations have paid off: the Scientology connected company has been able to sell numerous dwellings to Bonn officials at a profit. What the lawyer does not want to see happen is the renters being put at a disadvantage to the new owners.
One of the buyers is Ulrich Steding, a man with a Swabian accent and a doctorate, who works as a high ministerial official in Joschka Fisher's Foreign Affairs Office. "Meanwhile," Marion Caspar has found out, "Steding already has bought two dwellings, one of which he leases out." However, Steding operates primarily as clean-up man. "He tore down the information leaflets in the stairwell and threatened us because of the banners." Although the renters want to warn off potential buyers from making a deal with TCGC, this presents, Steding told the press, a "misuse of communal property."
One year ago the renters had thought that the buyers from the national capitol would support their protest against the machinations of the TCGC. Spener St. was not an isolated case by any means. Scientology connected companies also speculated in Kreuzberg and Neukoelln in converting about 40 buildings from apartments to condominiums, and tried to unfairly drive out the renters. This resulted in the federal administration leading a publicity campaign against the business sect.
"In the beginning they had only made mention about us hanging out the banners," recalled Marion Caspar, renter. However when Patricia Bauermeister, who is also a Bonn staff worker in the Foreign Affairs office, sold her apartment on Klaus Hermann Ringwald, she quickly caught on that there was no conviction behind this support.
"They only wanted to bring the prices down," she now knows, "our protests were meant to put pressure on the TCGC." "With our help," agrees Patricia Bauermeister's husband, Thomas, "they made a little extra." In fact, with a sales price of 2,000 marks per square meter the price is far under the going rate in the capitol city. Marion Caspar reported that one buyer, in his rush to buy, had even told an elderly renter that her heating had come into his possession with his purchase of the apartment.
In the meantime, almost all residences on Spener St. have been sold, not only to Bonn officials, but also to a staff worker of the Goethe Institute, as well as completely normal residence buyers. So that the buyers of the remaining residences do not behave themselves as does Ulrich Steding, the building's renters association has begun to take action. They are writing letters to Bonn asking that the "Berlin rooms" of the ministries, as well as informing staff workers about life in the capitol city, also report on the machinations of Scientology-connected real estate companies. Because the problem is caused less by Scientologists and more by the Bonn residents themselves, their odds are not unconditionally guaranteed.
In any case the renters in the contemplative Carl-von-Ossietzky Park district have found at least one sympathetic ear among the Bonn politicians. "Ministerial officials of all people," puzzles Renate Rennebach, the sect politics speaker of the SPD federal assembly party, "hold a special area of responsibility. This is a matter of credibility for the federal administration in regards of sect issues."
© Contrapress media GmbH
First Semester Preferred
From: "Der Tagesspiegel Berlin"
November 19, 1998
Sects and psycho[logical]-groups hunt for new members especially at school start:
Often disguised as study assistance
by KATJA WINCKLER
They advertise in the mini-classifieds of the city magazines and in newsletters. Psycho-group contact slips are tacked to the university bulletin boards. They contact students while they are waiting in line and even in the university cafes. They prefer first semester, since the students have not yet been able to build up contacts in the city and are still disoriented. "They" means the so-called sects and psycho-groups. "It is often not clear at first glance that a religious group is involved, for example, if the group appears as 'study help'," said Hartmut Ziner, Professor of the Theology Institute at the Free University (FU) and a [psycho] "scene" observer. "Sometimes they don't let on that they are anything different from what they say until after quite a few contacts."
On the whole, the recruiters do not have much success at the universities. "It only works on every tenth person," said Zinser. And the turn-around rate is very high in many groups, since most people take off after several individual meetings. Nevertheless the situation can get critical if the ties to such a group solidify. Zinser estimates that 600 of about 40,000 FU students are members of "such groups." According to his estimates there are a total of about 60 steady groups in Berlin. Experts describe the developments towards membership as follows: "Mostly it begins with the destruction of social contacts. Often members have to give money to the group. In the worst case people can turn into candidates for psychiatric treatment because of massive duress and undue influence."
Those are the kind of individual cases which Markus Wende has often dealt with. Wende, a student of theology, has been involved with sects for the past ten years. He volunteers as a counselor for sect victims and their relatives at FU. As an example of how quickly one can be taken in by a group, he tells the following: A biology student lived in a building in which members of the "Community of Jesus Christ Berlin" also lived. She was often invited to coffee, after a few weeks she was baptized, then she was supposed to give up her studies to go to Rumania as a missionary. When she was told to marry a man who was relatively unknown to her, her discomfort became so great that her sister succeeded in getting her to see Markus Wende for some counseling. "The only chance of getting somebody out of a group is when the person himself has a doubt as to the group," said Wende. Therefore he advises people in the groups, "As soon as doubts in the group come up, you should make an appointment with the counseling center immediately to find out what could be behind it."
Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church, believes that caution when it comes to sects and psycho-groups is advised. He describes groups such as Scientology as ruthless businesses: "They have two goals. To get money and maintain their work force through recruitment, such as an Army does." As bait they offer management seminars which are really something else entirely.
Whoever wants to leave a group does not have to fear acts of revenge by group members. In any case this is the view taken by the Sect Commissioner of the Senate, Anne-Kathrein Rühle. "The groups are just afraid of people going public." Leaving is difficult more out of psychological grounds. The main problems people have who leave mainly consist of "going from a closed world out to an open world," she said.
In her estimation, not every group has "conflict potential." Under this term she groups criteria such as consciousness control, relationship control, information control and workday control. "When these criteria to excess and are distorted to the extreme, then that is an indication of "conflict potential" for us and must be observed." She prefers not to name names of groups because, "that would be too little information. Besides, there is no point to naming five groups when danger can come from any group. It depends on each individual himself, how much he lets the group influence him."
The Theology Institute of FU, in cooperation with the school of continuing education, is holding a series of discussions under the theme of "Forum Religion and Society." These will deal with current evaluations of sects, psycho-groups and esoteric groups. The next event will take place December 9 with Bernd Steinmetz speaking on "Legal problems with new religious communities." [...]
© 1998 Verlag DER TAGESSPIEGEL
Tagesspiegel Online-Dienste GmbH
Cult Coalition Hoax
Remember the cult coalition Scientology said they established after their big freedom march in Germany last month? The story is at g80811ce.htm.
One of our faithful German readers, Tom Gandow, wondered who these people were that were making a coalition with Scientology. He wrote to the Central Council of Moslems in Germany to find out about the Moslems, and to the Central Council of Jews in Germany to find out who the "Central Community of Orthodox Jews" was. He published the answers he got back:
In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Compassionate
ZMD "Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland e.V."
Central Council of Moslems in Germany
Cologne, the 2nd September, 1998
"Interreligious Coalition for Religious Freedom"
Re: Your letter of August 26, 1998
Dear Mr. Gandow,
I thank you for the above mentioned inquiry and have the following to share with you:
The participation of Mr. Mohammed Herzog in the demonstration in Frankfurt, his signature of the open letter and the establishment of a "Interreligious Coalition for Religious Freedom" with Scientology occurred with neither the knowledge nor the consent of the ZMD.
Such connections with Scientology do not have the support of the ZMD and are in outright opposition to its principles and fundamentals.
We are of the opinion that contact with this organization, which is under observation for constitutionally hostile activities and the application of humanly despicable methods in the acquisition of and holding onto its members, adulterates the face of Islam, strengthens the prejudice against its own teachings and puts the ZMD into proximity with categories which are hostile to the state and to the constitution.
That does not serve the interest of Islam or of the Moslems in Germany, and is contrary to the preamble of our charter.
Neither the connection with Scientology nor the membership in a interreligious coalition with it is compatible with membership in the ZMD.
The ZMD therefore has asked its member organization, the "Islamic Community of German-speaking Moslems & Friends of Islam Berlin" for a public explanation for and withdrawal from this "Interreligious Coalition for Religious Freedom."
Continuing membership of the "Islamic Community" in the ZMD is contingent upon the outcome of these steps.
Dr. Nadeem Elyas
Here is the second letter to Thomas Gandow / Dialog Zentrum Berlin DZB/DCI:
SO = Scientology Organization
Here is a little bit of news about the cult coalition called together by the SO in Frankfurt. The representative of the "Central Community of Orthodox Jews" is apparently a one man business. The SO deals with such controversial figures out of convenience.
In a communication from the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany dated September 14, 1998, the following was stated about the SO coalition signatory, Eli Gampel, Central Community of Orthodox Jews:
There is no such community, in any case it consists of Mr. Eli Gampel, who temporarily - by an improper election - was "elected" as the chairman of the Jewish Community Hall. Since then, Mr. Gampel has been replaced, and has been charged with various counts of fraud by the Jewish Community as well as by private complainants.
Mr. Gampel has already given sworn testimony [that he has no money*] several times.
I do not need to emphasize that the Central Council of Jews in Germany does not want anything to do with Scientology and does not view it as a religion at all.
*German equivalent of declared bankruptcy.
Parents and Relatives Initiative
Against Psychological Dependence -
For Spiritual Freedom
September 13, 1998
Resolution of the members meeting
Parents Initiative warns of guru parties in the federal election
For critical observation of the election law
Law urged for the regulation of "life assistance" markets
Two weeks before the elections, the "Parents and Relatives Initiative against Psychological Dependency - for Spiritual Freedom Berlin" appealed to the public to make critical use of the election law and to carefully inspect the party lines.
Destructive cults and guru-movements have discovered the field of politics.
-- The "Natural Law Party" et al. are making an appearance at the federal elections. Their program is the Transcendental Meditation (TM) of the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Criminality, unemployment and sickness are supposed to disappear if only one percent of the population meditate in the manner of the Maharishi, or if 7,000 citizens utilize the special hop meditation of the guru.
-- Under the Name "Bü So" ["Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität", "Civil Rights Movement Solidarity"], the former EAP participate in the federal elections. They are an extremist psycho-political cult which is propagated through the confusing conspiracy theories and "patent recipes" of the American, Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche.
-- A rightist movement which originates from South America is appearing as the "Humanistic Party" at the election. It is a secret organization which is also active as "Green Future" in various European states.
Are the Greens blocking the "Life Assistance" law?
The Initiative calls upon the electorate to ask every party whether they will join us in the long overdue legislative regulation of the "psychological assistance" and "life assistance" markets. This is to protect citizens from untrustworthy providers of esoteric goods and services. Or would some politicians rather protect the untrustworthy commercial providers of psychological and esoteric services from defrauded customers who have claims of damage which can be justified? All parties should be questioned as to whether they protect the victims [of such services]. This appeal is especially directed at "Bundnis 90/The Greens" to give up their blockade in the federal assembly of such regulation for victim protection against questionable psychological techniques.
As of this time, the Greens are the only party represented in Parliament who are fundamentally opposed to a law which would regulate the commercial "life assistance" market, as well as being on record as being against the surveillance by state security of the Scientology organization, which, in the opinion of the Parents Initiative, is "totalitarian."
Anybody who specifically wants to prevent detection, control and legal apprehension of the persons causing the damage in the market for psycho(logical)-groups and commercial "life assistance" is benefiting the perpetrators and cannot expect to be elected by the victims. Our actual experiences give us the right and the obligation to demand legal protection from exploitation and manipulation.
Nationwide the number of ex-members and their relatives of cults and sects and receivers of services from questionable psycho[logical]-providers is estimated to be more that one million voters.
This resolution was passed by the member meeting with two opposing votes. Thereupon, one of the several members of the Green Party announced her resignation from the initiative. [phone numbers]
Rev. Thomas Gandow [contact info]
Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany
Post Box 1529
August 26, 1998
Ladies and Gentlemen,
According to a press release of August 14, 1998 by the APA Austria Press Agency, an "Interreligious Coalition for Religious Freedom" was formed in Frankfurt, Germany. Members of this coalition, which included Scientologists, Moslems, Jews, Sikhs and the Unification Church have published an open letter (enclosed). The letter is from Dr. Mohammed Herzog, Islamic Community of German-speaking Moslems, with signatories.
I would like to ask you if this letter is representative of the position of other Moslem groups in Germany, and either a reason for this position or an opinion as to the position shown here, since we have received inquiries.
Thomas Gandow, Minister
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998
Press Release by Renate Rennebach:
The Enquete Commission's "So-Called Sects and Psycho-groups" has successfully performed its work - Federal State establishment recommended.
In conclusion to the final report of the Enquete Commission's "So-Called Sects and Psycho-Groups", Renate Rennebach, speaker for the SPD Work Group for this Commission, stated:
The conclusion of the final report, last night, of the Enquete Commission's "So-called Sects and Psycho-groups" is evidence of successful work which has had far-reaching effect on politics, science, and society.
After only a two year consultation period, the Commission has successfully put together a funded report in the area assigned to them by Parliament. The subject area, the conflicts and problems in connection with "new religious and philosophical communities and psycho-groups" were extensively analyzed in their unique, essential aspects, in particular with the help of numerous hearings and discussions with experts as well as scientific research projects. With this as a foundation, the Commission has come to make substantiated recommendations for Parliament.
- the creation of a Federal-State establishment,
- the introduction of legal regulation of the state's promotion of private counselling and information centers,
- the culmination of a law introduced by the Federal Assembly for commercial life assistance [i.e. selling assistance for life],
- the introduction of a legal responsibility for juridicial persons and associations as well as
- the continuation of surveillance of the Scientology organization by the Office of Constitutional Protection.
In view of existing legal uncertainties, the SPD faction has recommended, in addition to the above, a special vote in the upcoming election to scrutinize the article 140 statute, "whether an explicit acceptance of the criteria of good-will and the loyalty to a democratically constitutional state is suitable as a provision for the acknowledgment of a religious association as a corporate body with public rights."
May 20, 1998
by Dorothee Winden
Inner Senator Schonbohm looks over the 1997 Office of Constitutional Protection report. Increase in right extremist criminal offenses, slight decrease in left extremist criminal offenses. DVU hardly active.
After having looked over the 1997 report from the Office of Constitutional Protection, Inner Senator Jorg Schonbohm (CDU) expressed concern yesterday for the increase of right extremist activity. Incidents of bodily violence related to hostility towards non-residents have risen from 27 (1996) to 45 (1997). This is to be "taken very seriously." Even though the threat by right extremism has taken precedence in the media, it should not be forgotten that leftist extremism has taken double that toll in deeds of violence, says Schonbohm.
During the past year, 552 right extremist offenses were committed, 1,149 left extremist offenses (1996: 515 and 1,256). The number of left extremist offense have decreased slightly. Disturbances of the public peace have declined. Arson has risen from 23 to 34, said Schonbohm.
Of the 7,000 "militant left extremists", 1,450 of them are in Berlin. Their number has remained constant, though fluctuation has been considerable. The Inner Senator believes that the "delineation of the autonomist and terroristic structures are in flux." Constitutional Protection chief Eduard Vermander gave an example of arson committed upon a supermarket in Prenzlauer Berg on October 3, 1997. Schonbohm stated that former RAF members, since the dissolution of the Red Army Faction, is merging with the anti-imperialistic resistance. The possibility that the Anti-Imperialistic Resistance could follow in the footsteps of the RAF, and develop their own use of violence, can not be discounted.
The right extremist DVU barely made an appearance, stated Vermander. Most of their 540 Berlin members are older, paying members. Since 1995 the part has not appeared publicly in Berlin.
For the first time the Constitutional Protection report dedicated a whole chapter to Scientology. The organization, which has about 300 members in Berlin, has been under surveillance since last summer. Previously attained realization confirmed the necessity of the surveillance, according to the report. Constitutional Protection chief Vermander believes that the Inner Ministry Conference to be held in November of 1998 will decide in favor of the continuation of the surveillance.
"We are happy for German vigilance"
Gerry Armstrong's interview with TAZ staff Bernhard Poetter and Bernd Pickert
November 7, 1997
Former Scientology member Gerry Armstrong has had a series of press interviews in Berlin and Hamburg. We will document the text of an interview which he gave to staff editors of the TAZ daily newspaper," Bernhard Poetter and Bernd Pickert. We thank the editorial staff at the daily newspaper, as well as Mr. Bernhard Poetter and Mr. Bernd Pickert for permission to reprint their article, which first appeared in the "tageszeitung" of November 7, 1997. - the editors
Mr. Armstrong, did Scientology leave you alone after you left the organization?
Of course not. The organization knew that I presented a threat because of what I knew. They declared me to be a "Suppressive Person" [how Scientology defines its critics - ed.] Such a person is subject to what Scientology calls its "Fair Game" doctrine: he may and should be slandered, threatened, deceived and destroyed.
What did they do with you?
They set private detectives on me and my wife practically 24 hours a day. For a period of one month, in August 1982, these private detectives came onto our property and looked through our windows, threatened us, and drove at me on the street, slamming on their brakes at the last minute, all the things meant to make us nervous.
And with what result?
Scientology finally gave me a contract to sign. It forbade me from talking about my experiences with Scientology. If I were to do that, then I could be prosecuted and would have to pay a $50,000 fine. This interview with you costs $50,000!
Then why did you sign it?
My attorney was also undergoing operations like mine. He had the feeling that they were going to murder him, they had threatened his family, they brought him to court fifteen times. He was the one who finally insisted that the thing be put to an end - and so he goaded me into signing. This contract stated that I would not be permitted to say anything more and, in return, Scientology would cease its "Fair Game" operations on me. The war was supposed to be over.
And was it over? No, actually Scientology continued attacking me and the others who signed in the media. They published their own version of my experiences - which was simply lies.
But didn't the contract have any kind of regulating force?
No western country would regard such a contract as legal. But Scientology is so rich that it can afford the most expensive attorneys to use the courts against you. I regard that as corruption. Therefore I speak out here in Germany, too.
Germany, however, is under particular pressure from the USA. There is currently more freedom in Germany than in the United States. Many in the USA who are in my situation are happy about the vigilance which Germany has for this organization.
Is Scientology really so big and dangerous?
Scientology claims it has ten million members. I don't believe that; there are maybe 150,000 worldwide. These 150,000, however, are totally devoted to the organization. They do absolutely everything and follow every order. They are in all levels of society. Scientology is constructed like an intelligence agency: it collects information on people, organizations and finances.
But what does Scientology want with that? World domination?
They would love that. Within the organization they always talk about a "cleared land" or about a "Scientology land." A land that is ruled by Scientology
Is there a genuine strategy for that or is it just a figure of speech?
Almost every activity in Scientology is described in detail in elaborate programs. In them operations to be developed are described step by step - whether it concerns "black propaganda" or operations against persons.
And what is the goal of all this activity?
The end goal is control of everything in sight. World domination. Of course they are far away from that, even from controlling a single country. But in order to carry out something in a new country, you don't necessarily have to have absolute control. As you can see, they have already made some progress in the USA.
Do you mean to claim that Scientology controls the United States?
If one manages to set a precedent in court in the USA, then one controls a portion of the justice system. Scientology has much money, and it uses this money to bring about court decisions in its favor. So it sets precedential cases - and intimidates others: victims, attorneys and judges. Still Scientology, of course, is far away from controlling the Supreme Court of the United States.
Do you think it is right that Scientology be under surveillance with intelligence methods like it is by Constitutional Security in Germany?
If you accept that there no justification for the existence of of a private intelligence agency, that an intelligence agency should collect information for the purpose of contributing to the security of a country - then I would say yes. Scientology is a threat to the democratic constitution of every country.
But what exactly is this threat? Isn't that infinitely exaggerated?
It is not a threat which one has to defend himself against with armed force. But Scientology has this totalitarian end goal, it is here in Germany and is committing human rights violations - that is justification for keeping an eye on it. I do not demand the annihilation of Scientology or of Scientologists, either. But one has to know certain things and make sure the word gets around. I don't know of any operations by the German government which would exceed the limits.
In Bavaria, Scientologists are being refused access to state positions.
OK, that could appear discriminatory. But one has to know that the loyalty of a Scientologist is not primarily to the state, to his job, or even to his own conscience, but exclusively to the orders which he receives from the organization. Therefore it is justified not to install such people in government positions.
Scientologists storm Berlin
An Interview with Chick Corea
Ten thousand Scientologists were scheduled to descend on Berlin October 27 to demonstrate for religious freedom; only 2,000 or so came. Scientologists are as good as forbidden in Germany, where they are seen as a business ruthlessly exploiting an unwary public. Leaders in church and state have united in a campaign against the Scientologists in Germany, raising eyebrows in other parts of the world, such as the States, France, Australia and the Netherlands, where the Scientologists have been successful in gaining the status of an official religion. The drive for recognition in Germany has set off a feud between the Scientologists and the German power structure. Among the proponents of Scientology is jazz pianist Chick Corea, whose open stance in favor of the sect, and freedom to participate in it, has resulted in him being blackballed from many performances in Germany. Metropolis spoke with Corea before the demonstration in Berlin as he was on tour in Brussels.
Pianist Chick Corea has practiced Scientology since 1968, and for years that didn't stop him from being a regular guest at jazz events all over Germany. But ever since a highly publicized incident in 1993, in which a Corea concert in Stuttgart was cancelled by authorities in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Corea's appearances in Germany have been rare. He believes Germans are not only being denied access to his live performances, but also their right to religious freedom. Last month he was in Washington D. C. to testify the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe on september investigating charges of religious discrimination in Germany.
Metropolis reached the American musician in Brussels:
Metropolis: You're still banned in Germany?
Chick Corea: The gigs have dwindled to one or two a year. Most promoters are reluctant to speak about it because they are being pressured. Usually a local concert promoter gets a call from a minister or some government official urging him to take me off the concert list. This has happened several times. Most recently in Burghausen. A local minister actually appeared on tv and on radio encouraging the public to boycott the concert.
Germany against Chick Corea?
I don't think anyone's interested in the religious preferences of a particular jazz pianist. I think they're more interested in the direct repression of all minority religions in Germany. But at some point it got personal. For years the standard practice in Germany would be before a concert I would meet with a journalist and there would be the normal press coverage. Starting in 1993 to about 1995, after the first incident in Baden Wuerttemberg, German journalists would come and ask me what's going on with Scientology, and there would be an article. Usually the government line would be promoted and I'd be made to look like a jerk. But after 1995 all of the German press went silent: no one reviewed concerts, no one came to speak with me. It just stopped. To me it was an obvious indication of how the government was tied up with the media in Germany.
But you still have fans here?
The past couple years when I've played in Munich, the house has been sold out and audiences have received me very warmly. I continue to get fan mail from Germany. I don't think the German public thinks I'm a bad guy because of my Scientology, but I think they have a hard time maintaining their position because they are absolutely flooded with black PR from the media. I'm convinced only a few people are responsible for the against me.
Why is this happening now, not in the 1980s?
I really can't give you an answer. I have no idea.
Have you been snubbed in other countries?
No where else have I ever had a concert cancelled because of my religious affiliation. We live on a planet full of intolerance. Race against race, culture against culture, nation against nation. Some intolerance is considered normal. But when it gets escalated into a campaign that expressly intends to remove a group of people, that's when it gets dangerous, when it could turn to violence and bloodshed. The discrimination and intolerance leads to a hateful atmosphere.
What needs to be done to change things?
All we're trying to do is to have an open discussion with the German government. Their charges against Scientology are all false. It would be different if they were grounded in truth, if there was some criminal activity or something. But there isn't and never has been. There have been plenty of investigations into Scientology by the German government. They have all come up with nothing. The usual way a sane person resolves a conflict is to sit down and discuss it. That's all we're trying to do with the German government. Get a discussion going.
Are you a Scientology a public relations tool?
Tool is a hard word. I am not a tool. I am a human being with beliefs and I'm willing to talk about my beliefs. I think honesty and integrity mean that a person is willing to say what he believes. I've been studying Scientology since 1968. L. Ron Hubbard is very much of an inspiration and I've learned a lot from him and his courses and his books. When people ask me who I've learned a lot from, I say I read an American philosopher named Hubbard and I've gained a lot.' To me that's logical and very straightforward.
Normal people in Germany are afraid to reveal their interest in Scientology, but celebrities like you promote it. Is that fair?
Who gives a shit about that? The point is we're talking about something that goes way, way above income and status. I don't want to be worried about making an income in a country where I can' t say what I believe in. People ran out of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries for that very reason. The right to freedom of religion is a right you have to fight for. I devote time to this issue because I don't want a world where religious discrimination exists.
The Church of Scientology has a militaristic structure and Hubbard insists only Scientology provides solutions to the world's problems. Wouldn't it be unusual if the Germans did not find something wrong about this?
The Germans want to find something wrong with Scientology and any other minority religion that they can. That's what it looks like to me. When Hubbard talks about a solution he's not talking political, military or industrial solutions, he's talking spiritual. He's talking about solutions to problems in life that are not found in everyday experience. But whether you believe that or not is really not the issue.
The issue is an attempt by a government to push out a people because they don't agree with that government's basic philosophic or religious tenants. Germany is a country which has its state and religion merged in a unified front. It has been proven historically that such a merger is not a good thing. This is the issue, not Scientology. You have laws in a country, if someone breaks those laws you prosecute them. That's what laws are for. All we're trying to do is get the Germans to uphold their own constitution, which provides for freedom of religion.
You were at a small demo in Frankfurt in July 97. What's the point of another demo in Berlin?
When you have a government that won't sit down and talk, you do peaceful protest. That's the intent of the Berlin march. To say to the German people and the world that there is a problem here and we'd like it resolved through communication. We've only gone to the U.S. Congress with this because from the beginning the German officials turned down requests for a meeting. The doors of Scientology churches are completely open. We' re saying if there is some kind of problem or misunderstanding, come on in, we'll show you around. It's a very, very open group.
Scientologists storm Berlin
November 1, 1997
Zitty 23/97 November 1997 Magazin
Part 1: Hubbard, Hysteria und Hardship
Part 2: Chick Corea, are you a PR tool of Scientology?
Part 3: Scientologists and the Basic Law
The call of the Scientologists to be not only a religious denomination, but also a "church" - although the term is etymologically used for Christian churches - has resounded unheard in Germany. According to a decision reached by the Interior Minister, the Scientology organization presents "an association which, under the cloak of a religious denomination, combines elements of commercial criminality and psychoterror against its members with commercial activities and sectarian layers." The Federal Labor Court reached a similar decision in 1995. What lies behind that is that in a "defended democracy" not everybody can call upon the protection of religious denominations provided by Article 4 of Basic Law: in long-standing decisions by the Federal Administrative Court, that may be withdrawn if an association is active in a predominantly political or commercial manner.
Unlike the USA, where Scientology has battled for the status of a religious denomination, thereby gaining enormous commercial and tax advantages, there are no religious denominations registered to Scientology in Germany, just associations - and those can be founded by just about anybody. The actual debate revolves around whether Scientology may incorporate as a registered charitable organization, or if it is to be regarded as a commercial association. It has since then been decided in many German states that Scientology must report its earnings for tax purposes. In Berlin, Scientology is incorporated as a registered association, yet pays taxes nonetheless.
Similar to the Jehovahs Witnesses, Scientology could attempt to advance to a so-called "corporation of public rights." By doing that, the organization would, in practice, be equivalent to the churches: they could have church taxes levied, send clergy into prisons and could claim membership in decisive committees, such as the radio councils, for instance. On top of that are considerable tax advantages, privileges in the deeding of real estate, etc. The provisions for that, however, is that the organization exists for at least 30 years in Germany with a qualifying number of members. Neither is currently the case. Scientology settled down in Munich for the first time in 1970; according to its own statements, the organization has 30,000 adherents, but that number is doubted by experts.
And in May of this year, the Jehovahs Witnesses, in spite of their hundred year history and a membership of 165,000 at last count, also lost in the Federal Administrative Court. The judges determined that "the viewpoints of neither democracy nor a religious denomination need not be completely undisturbed," stated Wolf-Dietrich Patermann, responsible for religion and worldview in the Senate culture administration. Patermann presumes that behind the self-proclamation as a church , as well as behind the efforts to become a corporation of public rights, is something entirely different from commercial interests. "The confidence of the people becomes greater. And that is what matters to these groups in the end."
March 10, 1995
by Uwe Rada
In Neukolln a sharp wind blows in the face of Scientology condo converters.
When Kirsten Bringel is not smiling, she is asking questions. About living conditions, about individual needs and the desired resident-owned dwelling. When Kirsten Bringel asks questions, she does not let you out of her sight. All the while she puts your answers down on paper. Without kindling any suspicion. Kirsten Bringel is a Scientologist and "sales director" of the Phoenix Real Estate Company. Selling rental apartments as resident-owned dwellings does not disturb her sense of priorities. That is only routine and it is legal. Those interested in buying find Kirsten Bringel sympathetic. Only afterwards do they realize that there was more to her than they would have liked to see.
Phoenix Real Estate, besides TCG, HIC, GGB, Brix, Lutz, Erber, Prewa, MetaReal, MegaReal and Transwert, is one of the companies aligned with the notorious Scientology business sect, and which has engaged to the business of speculation by the sale of rental apartments. In Berlin, the Scientologists Leif Bottcher or Robert Bohm most often appear as the proprietors of these companies. In Hamburg, where Gotz Brase is active, the sect's condo-converters have obtained, according to the local Renters Association, 50 percent of the conversion market.
The goal of an initiative, which started three weeks ago in Neukolln, is that things not get that far in Berlin. Last summer, while the conversion of many Kreuzberg apartments on Muscauer Strasse and Falckensteinstrasse were taking place with no fanfare, the Neukolln alliance mobilized the public. The rental company ASM was receiving up to 80 calls per day. "Most of them were people interested in buying, or renters who wanted advice," stated ASM staff member Ursula Dyckhoff. "But lately we've been having a growing number of skeptical pre-owners."
Besides the condo conversions, Ursula Dyckhoff is also interested in the psychological practices of the sect. "When anyone protests, the price goes up. Whoever gives in pays for it.," she has determined. A woman from Neukolln paid 1,500 marks for a worthless brochure, which was recommended to her by one of the conversion companies, "Prowofi." In it, foreigners are advised to get the renters their place of birth. Someone who comes from Venice creates "positive mental connections," whereas an Italian may not.
The activities of the alliances have already had an effect. In the upcoming brokers convention in Essen the "Ring Deutscher Makler" (RDM) ["German Brokers Group"] will present a decision of incompatibility with the black sheep. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) are also keeping their distance. Scientology has as much in common with a church as the IHK does with the Mafia, according to a presentation given on the subject "Security in Commerce." The sect's commercial organization, WISE, continues the Hamburg sect commissioner, is marked by "organized criminality, tax evasion, deceit and bankruptcy."
The white-washed rooms of the Phoenix company are apparently occupied only with licit matters. After Kirsten Bringel jots down the answers of those interested in buying, she gladly tells about herself. She works for many owners, but, at the moment, has only three empty residences on Allerstrasse 4 for sale. "A super area," she states enthusiastically. Neukolln now ranks number two of all German city districts, according to the consumer foundation. Ahead of Munich, ahead of Hamburg, ahead of Charlottenburg. Her price sounds even more attractive: a three room residence in the front of the building, 90 square meters, empty, for 289,000 marks [approx. $200,000].
The conversion business is booming, and not just for the Scientologists. On the Schillerpromenade in Neukolln alone, every fifth building has already been converted or is in the process of being converted. In the real estate classifieds of the Berlin newspapers the number of ads for condominiums has long since surpassed those of rental apartments. The Scientology-aligned companies are conspicuous by their offers of "cut-rate bargains." A condominium which is already rented out can be had for 2,000 marks per square meter [approx $1,400 per square yard]; vacant residences are more expensive.
"For us there are three types of renter," lectures Scientologist Kirsten Bringel on Schluterstrasse. "One which is moving out, one which has given notice, and the last is staying put." The buyers are handed a "renter profile" so that they will know how long the third kind is staying put. The price of the "cut-rate bargains" go up if the one occupant has cancer or if the other is 86 years old, for example.
While the renters in Neukolln are fighting against the conversion tooth and nail, the greater part of the apartments in the Kreuzberg buildings have already been sold. A lively trade in rented residences is also taking place. One residence has been sold three times. Other owners, such as one who now has a "cut-rate bargain" on Lausitzer Place or the Convest company from Munich, have already let several residences escape their clutches, and are now are hoping to buy them back with profits. On top of that, a portion of the renters have accepted the "moving incentive" of up to 50,000 marks and have given notice. However, the kickback does not always remain in the hands of the renter. Of the 30,000 marks which a renter received for her giving notice, half of it went to the new renter. This was recommended by, who else, the Scientology converter.
The hopes of Kreuzberg now rest in Neukolln. It has not escaped Kirsten Bringel, Phoenix salesperson, that a new wind is blowing in the conversion business on Schillerpromenade and east of Kottbuss Damm. One should not let oneself be influenced by the banners hanging from Allerstrasse, she reassures her customers in the pre-sales viewings on Schluterstrasse. Responsibility for this "Turkish bazaar" is that of the Renters Association, which, according to Bringel, has quite unjustly stirred up the renters.
March 10, 1995
by Uwe Rada
In Neukolln renters defend themselves against conversion of their residences / Sales director "outed" as Scientologist
In Hamburg they have complained about being called Scientologists. In Berlin they "out" themselves. Shortly after Kristen Bringel, sales director of the Phoenix Real Estate company, told the renters of Allerstrasse 4 of her Scientology membership, she gave them some written assistance, "The Scientology Church is recognized as non-profit organization and as a religion by America and by many countries in Europe." Of course, here at home it has been proposed in the federal government that the sect be observed by the Office for Constitutional Protection.
The renters of Allerstrasse, whose residences have been targeted for conversion into condominiums by the Phoenix Company, had already found out that Kirsten Bringel is a Scientologist. The Phoenix is one of several companies which have gotten into the lucrative business of the conversion of rental units in Berlin. 14 buildings in Neukolln have been affected, in Kreuzberg nine, add to that buildings in Moabit and Steglitz. Besides Kreuzberg, where most of the units have already been sold last summer, the residents of Neukolln are forming an alliance to mobilize against the building conversions.
Banners have been hanging at 4 Allerstrasse for two weeks. For Kirsten Bringel, Phoenix saleswoman, this is just one more reason to be annoyed. One should not let oneself be affected by it, she mollifies a presumably interested buyer in the pre-sales talk held in the company offices at 37 Schluterstrasse. Nevertheless the Allerstrasse renters who have been "instigated" by the Rental Association , and who hope to make an example, have already scared off more than one prospective buyer with their operation. One elderly lady said, "I will not get involved with that. It makes me ashamed."
In the meanwhile, the German Broker Association (Ring Deutscher Makler) has announced that it has decided upon nation-wide incompatibility with Scientology companies.
Scientology man wants to buy Krupp
Operating manager of Berlin Krupp Steelworks takes action against planned takeover by Scientology adherent
June 24, 1992
from Berlin, Bascha Mika
"Today we are suffering from economic idiocy worldwide," wrote the science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in the 1980s. But he had a recipe against the economic nonsense. Not only did he found his own psycho-cult - the "Scientology Church" - but also the "World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE)." WISE is regarded as the economic arm of the sect, an association which spreads Hubbard's very special ethics and administration technology in business.
"We do not intend to have our operation carried out according to Scientology methods!" The operation manager of the Berlin Krupp Steelworks is excited because the oversight board of Krupp plans to sell its majority holding in the 300 man factory. The most promising prospective customer: Baden-Wuerttemberg businessman Gerhard Haag.
Gerhard Haag is not only a steelworks engineer. The sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin/Brandenburg categorizes him as a "particularly high-ranking Scientologist," as an adherent of the richest, most fanatic, rabid psycho-cult on German soil. About 300,000 people are said to belong to the organization, which was exported from the USA. Gandow: "Haag and his wife have paid at least 350,000 US dollars into the Scientology "war chest," and he was listed in a catalog as a "Patron Meritorious."
Of course all that would be Mr. Haag's own personal business, if it were not for the fact that he is a member of WISE, which attempts to penetrate business management with its social Darwinistic teachings. In 1989, Haag bought a steelworks operation from Krupp Essen in Altbach near Esslingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg. Since then, as Gandow is aware, the factory was renamed the "Stahlbautechnik Neckar" and was turned into "a Scientology-managed operation in which Hubbard human management techniques are implemented and applied." In the "codes and ethics" that WISE corporations follow it says, among other things, "... push power to those from whose power you depend ... It can even consist of having one of the enemies (of the power person, ed.) hit the pavement with a thud in the dark or setting the entire enemy camp on fire as a birthday present."
Of the old employees at the Stahlbautechnik Neckar, only five to ten percent remain engaged in Altbach, reports the operations manager from the Berlin steelworks. "It was made unpleasant for them." How unpleasant was recounted by one of the former employees: "In the beginning chaos was created, people were put under high pressure, there were transfers and upsets." The result was numerous resignations from the 150 people formerly employed there. From other operations which function according to Hubbard's model with the "ethics" of Scientology, it has been revealed that illegal personal folders are maintained, that employees are forced to buy expensive, obscure courses (communication, auditing) and other similar irritants.
"We see no future under the leadership of Haag," said the operating chairman of the Berlin steelworks, Karl Koeckenberger, and he informed the appropriate people in the Senate about Haag's connections to Scientology. According to what the operating manager said, Meisner, the senator for business, has called upon the board of directors at Krupp to make a statement as to the sales plans.
In the meantime, Haag has directed his activities toward the East. In May 1992 he bought, from the trust, the Stahlbautechnik Elbe, a branch operation of the Riesa steel and bearing works. He continued to express an interest in the east Berlin BE-Stahl GmbH in Hohenschoenhausen. But there is also a completely different sort of interest in existence. Namely, the Stuttgart state attorney's office has been getting interested in the dealings of the Scientologists. Klaus Bieneck, chief state attorney specializing in business crime said, "Several investigations are in process against Mr. Gerhard Haag."
Trust stops sale of a steelworks
June 27, 1992
Berlin. The trust institution has annulled a contract with the Baden-Wuerttemberg businessman and member of the Scientology Church, Gerhard Haag, to take over a steel operation in Riesa, Sachsen. It was known that Haag has been in Berlin in recent times to express an interest in acquiring the Krupp Stahlbau GmbH (Berlin) and the Bestahl Stahlbau in the eastern section of the city (see taz of 6-24). The operating manager of the works was upset over the latest news of selling, "We do not intend to have our operation carried out according to Scientology methods! We see no future under the leadership of Haag."
The trust gave for its reason yesterday for breaking the contract to acquire the Technik Elbe Stahlbau, a branch of the Riesa steelworks, that in Stuttgart Haag was being investigated for engaging in illegal work practices. It was emphasized that the investigations had not yet closed.
On his side, Haag did not reveal that he was a member of the sect although the federal finance ministry, which supported the trust, wrote him a letter asking him to maintain reserve with regard to sects. Compensation may be sought in the interest of the 450 staff.