Berlin, Germany
October 20, 2000

Travolta thinks flop is a classic

Hollywood star John Travolta is convinced that his sharply criticized movie "Battlefield Earth" will still turn into a cult classic. "Battlefield Earth" opened in May of this year in the USA and is based on a book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Travolta, a passionate Scientologist himself, produced the film and also plays the lead role. It took 15 years for Travolta to get the go-ahead for filming from a studio. Critics mercilessly shredded the film and described the movie as "trash" and "extremely bad." Besides that, the sci-fi epic has only brought in 21 million US dollars so far, while the production costs were said to have been 70 million US dollars. The online magazine Mr. Showbiz now reports that Travolta will not let himself be deterred by this and that he is even planning a sequel to the flop. Critics were said to never have had a kind word for science fiction films and did not even give films like "Alien" a chance at first, according to Travolta. He said their was a stirring interest on the internet for his movie and that it would definitely advance to the status of cult flick la "Blade Runner."

Yet another Flop?

Travolta on the Path of Delusion

Berlin, Germany
October 19, 2000

Scientologist out of conviction: John Travolta's science fiction drama "Battlefield Earth" flopped worldwide. Nevertheless he plans to continue filming the novel by sect founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Travolta in "Battlefield Earth": Possessed by the spirit of Hubbard?

Yet "Battlefield Earth" has already been deemed one of the worst films ever put on celluloid. The transparent science fiction story about a brave hero who saves humankind from the yoke of evil alien rule hardly attracted any viewers last summer in the movie theaters. The movie, which critics flushed alternately with derision and tirades of malevolence, disappeared from the movie charts in the USA alone after barely three weeks, and took in only 20.5 million dollars at the box office. Meager results when you consider that co-producer Travolta expended close to 70 million dollars for the ambitious filming of the 1980 novel from Scientology founder Hubbard.

But the worldwide flop appears not to bother the ever chubbier-cheeked mime ("Pulp Fiction"). When he was recently asked whether he planned to do a sequel to "Battlefield Earth," he answered, "Sure. Yeah." As reported by "E! Online" magazine, Travolta - obviously bedazzled - claimed his film has long been a cult classic on the internet and was gaining a large audience overseas.

When the movie was distributed in theaters last spring, critics almost ran out of bad things to say about it. The New York Times compared it to a high school performance and the Washington Post described it simply as "cretinous." No reason to worry, says Travolta, critics are not known, in general, for liking, future movies.

The actor and producer said he felt encouraged after honored colleagues like George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino assured him that they thought his "Battlefield Earth" was a good science fiction film. Encouraged enough to go at the next filming of a Hubbard saga based on Scientology's ideology with new strength. "My whole career has been based on trying something new," said Travolta, who incarnated the evil alien "Terl" in his mega-flop. "If I don't try something new, I worry." Well yes, maybe it's time to pause to catch your breath, John ...

Berlin, Germany
approx. August 2, 2000
TV Spielfilm 16/2000

"[...] 'Battlefield Earth', based on the best-seller by Scientology founder Ron Hubbard, is such a deal.

[....] Although John Travolta, who guarantees box office success, plays the main role, the movie failed miserably in the USA. Intertainment AG is said to have been paid 76 million marks for the European rights. "Sheer nonsense," was the response from the Munich company office. But neither did anyone at their central office want to name the correct figures. The only thing for sure is that the movie will not make it to the German box office. [...] "

Battlefield Earth

Swallowing Toads


Berlin, Germany
May 24, 2000
Der Tagesspiegel

by Kai Müller

He will have told them that they had him to be grateful for. They had already earned millions through him. He turned movies which would not have interested a single person into top successes. "Therefore," John Travolta could say, "You owe me! Make the damn movie!"

Some superstars in Hollywood are more powerful than producers. Otherwise, how could you explain Warner Studios distributing a movie like Battlefield Earth which was based on a novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and which the New York Times has already described as the "worst film of the century"?

Making this movie was John Travolta's life's dream come true. His membership in the sect, which has been and still is denied acknowledgment as a religious community in Germany, is no secret. In the strict organization, he wears the ranks of a Thetan, a spiritual leader who, according to Scientology, has expelled negative influences from his life. He therefore took the filming of Hubbard's best-seller material seriously because he had his master to thank posthumously for that kind of spiritual support. They had helped the "Saturday Night Fever" dancer back to fame.

Travolta thanked Hubbard, Warner thanked Travolta, and what came out of that was a movie which, apparently, nobody wants to see. That is how it goes sometimes with gratitude: one wants to do good on all accounts, but there still are those who do not understand the message. In this case it was the public who kept their distance from the testimony to thanks in the American movie theaters. Even the plot of the bombastic science fiction epic seemed to have arisen from a head drunk with missionary zeal: the earth in the year 3000 is a slave state ruled by extraterrestrial "Psychlos" who keep humans around as beasts of burden. Yet one person succeeds in instigating a rebellion and casting off the yoke of slavery. Anybody familiar with Scientology's teachings of salvation will not be able to overlook the allusions. Hubbard detested modern psychiatry, whose representatives perpetuate the servitude of humanity here as "Psychlos."

The German "Intertainment" company had financed almost a third of the $73 million movie project. This is not pleasant anymore for the Munich corporation which is quoted on the new market - but they apparently had no choice last year in a five year partnership with Time Warner. A classic case of acting the toady: in the package of 60 movies which included "No half matter" [not sure of English title] with Bruce Willis or "The Pledge" with Jack Nicholson, Battlefield Earth was also financed - with a share however which, in contrast to the USA ($40 million advertising budget), was to be "as little as possible." It was said that the losses were to be kept at a minimum, the television rights were sold a long time ago.

As co-producer, Travolta also had a powerful hand in financing the thing. He needs two things now for the future: money and another success. Warner will take care of that. But the next time it will not be out of sheer gratitude.

Miserable, silly, flop
Travolta's science fiction film "Battlefield Earth" finds no mercy

Berlin, Germany
May 18, 2000
Berliner Zeitung

by Gunter Goeckenjan

Berlin, May 17. "It may still be a little too early to pass judgment," thought New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell, but the chances are good that Battlefield Earth will gain the reputation of being the worst film of the new century. "Here we have a film, that, without contradiction, will be greeted as one of the worst that was ever made in this category," correctly predicted "Slate" internet magazine. And the Los Angeles Times faulted the "out-of-date visual style, the ragtag special effects and silly dialogue" which made Battlefield Earth into a "complete and quite miserable experience."

Among the other failed things which the U.S. media told about were really every other aspect of this major production. They included the costumes which resembled cheap rubber Halloween masks, the dramaturgy, which looked like it was viewed through water, and the plot, which did not deserve the name. Also the actors, predominantly John Travolta, had reached a previously unfamiliar low low point of oily witlessness.

The New York Times described Travolta's embarrassing presentation like this, "He threw his head back and let loose stage laughter that would be hurt the ears of the bad guy in the worst trash series. Next to that the eye-rolling clumsiness of his number in 'Broken Arrow' seems to to be a miracle of nuance and understatement." In the unusually direct criticism accompanied by incredulous astonishment, it was said that the major Hollywood production, which had cost about $90 million, had fallen short of every amateur level.

"The only thing professional about the movie was the sound. It was so loud that you would think you were on a runway while jets were taking off. Drones of proper aircraft, however, would have been preferable." Another newspaper warned that there was not even enough humor from the unintentional failings of the movie, "Travolta is even too weak for that."

Now that the movie is running in the theaters in the USA, one can more easily understand why no studio wanted to take on John Travolta's pet project. Scientologist John Travolta had tried for many years to find a producer for the science fiction film, "Battlefield Earth," which is based on a novel by Scientology founder Ron L. Hubbard, without success. His concoction finally got a start from an outsider to Hollywood, Elie Samaha, a native born Lebanese. It was financed, in part, by the Munich company, Intertainment AG.

Co-producer Travolta had foregone a wage in the sum of double-digit millions in the filming, but he would have received $15 million if the box office take in the USA exceeded $55 million. The chances of turning a profit, however, are poor. "Battlefield Earth" was immediately thrashed at the box office by "Gladiator" with Russel Crowe.

Rumors continue to appear whereby the Scientologists are said to have financed the movie but these, as usual, are denied by speakers for the sect. The presumption that the association intended to recruit new, young members with the film was also officially denied.

However, an organization critical of the sect, Factnet ( maintains on the internet that the official web page of "Battlefield Earth," which appeals to a young audience, is not operated, as normal, by the distributer, but by Scientology's own Author Services, Inc. (The distributer operates its own web page). Factnet is concerned that the sect will obtain new addresses by which it can aggressively recruit from the ordering of memorabilia and internet links.

New York Times:

Travolta created the worst film of the century

Movie Criticism Without End

Berlin, Germany
May 15, 2000
Berliner Zeitung

At $25 million, he is indeed one of the highest paid film actors in history, but now John Travolta, 46, has also provided us with one of the greatest film flops in history: his "Battlefield Earth" has been shredded as hardly any film before, and on its premier weekend - although it ran in over 3,300 U.S. movie theaters - it took in on $12.3 million.

One supposes that "Battlefield Earth," based on the science fiction novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and co-produced by Scientology member Travolta, will not even return a fraction of its production cost of $80 million.

"The film is surrounded by the stink of death," the Los Angeles Daily News cited an unnamed film producer. And the New York Times critic wrote devastatingly about the "amateurish work" in which Travolta "stomped hysterically around in platform shoes like a caricature of Tim Currie as Frank-N-Furter in the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'." And, "It could well be that 'Battlefield Earth' turns out to be the worst film of the century."

The film is set in the year 3000, when the earth will be ruled by extraterrestrials called "Psychlos." The few surviving people serve as slaves, or vegetate in hiding at the level of apes. Travolta plays the 8 foot tall security chief of the Psychlos called Terl.

America's most well-known TV critic, Roger Ebert, described the work by Travolta as "one of the most gruesome films I have ever seen" and advised his audience, "Don't forget: just don't go see 'Battlefield Earth'."

The Los Angeles Time made fun of the "ridiculous dialogue." Film journal "Daily Variety" did not have one good word for this "fun for idiots." It was filmed because Travolta wanted it. "The film," he said, "symbolizes the power I have. I can start things which a studio would not take on. If I cannot use my power today, what is it all for?"

Helmut Voss, SAD

The worst films from Hollywood

Worst films from Hollywood, crowned with at least one Golden Raspberry: "Mommie Dearest" (1981, with Faye Dunaway), "Burn, Hollywood, Burn" (1997 with Ryan O'Neal), "Hudson Hawk" (1990 with Bruce Willis), "The Postman" (1996, with Kevin Costner), "Showgirls" (1994, with Elizabeth Berkeley), "Striptease" (1995, with Demi Moore), "The Adventure of Ford Fairlane" (1990, with Lauren Holly), "Ghosts Can't Do It" (1991, with Bo Derek) and others.

The Golden Raspberry has been awarded since 1980 by the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation in several categories. As at the pompous Oscar ceremonies, there are these - only one inch high - trophies, which have been awarded for the worst actors (Madonna and Burt Reynolds have scored there), the worst supporting actor (Pia Zadora, Prince, Christopher Atkins) and the worst script. The Raspberry is the most well-known award for bad Hollywood productions.


Berlin, Germany
May 15, 2000

by Martin Paetsch

With "Battlefield Earth," Hollywood star John Travolta has chalked up virulent criticism in the USA: The actor and professed Scientologist has been accused of spreading covert messages from the sect with the science fiction spectacle.

At first glance, "Battlefield Earth" is not the stuff of which scandals are made. The setting for the $70 million film which was just released in U.S. movie theaters is in the year 3000: evil aliens, commanded by low-down super-grouch Terl (John Travolta), have taken over the earth and enslaved humanity. This is followed by the battle for liberation customary for the genre which offers the opportunity for the just as customary special effects spectacle.

A simple plot which would quickly pass into oblivion were it not for the fact that the primary actor was named John Travolta and the story had originated with L. Ron Hubbard. "Battlefield Earth" is based on the novel of the same name published in 1982 by the science fiction author and Scientology founder. The major share of the first filming of a Hubbard work was taken on by professed Scientologist Travolta as co-producer, and he likes to emphasize that, for him, this was a life's dream come true.

The public proximity to Scientology has been at the top of the agenda for critics of the sect. The anti-Scientology organization, F.A.CT.Net, even accused the film maker of having put subliminal messages in "Battlefield Earth" in order to recruit new members for the sect from the theater-goers. Even though Scientology was not the real financer for the Warner Brothers film, it was said to have had massive influence upon the script and production.

Those responsible for the film strongly reject those kind of accusations: there is "no connection" between the film and Scientology, asserts Travolta, who is already suspected of spreading sect propaganda with "Phenomenon." Also the producer of "Battlefield Earth," Roger Christian, contests any affinity to sect philosophy. He is not a Scientologist, but a Buddhist, he is quoted as saying in "USA Today." "If I, as a producer, were to have put subliminal religious messages in the film, don't you think they would have had their roots in Buddhism?"

At least on the internet, the separation between the sect and the filming of the novel is not as clear as people like to stress. From the official film homepage of, one mouse click brings the visitor to the internet page, where L. Ron Hubbard is praised, not only as an author, but also as an "artist, discoverer and philosopher." The operator of the web page is, who would be surprised, a company managed by Scientologists called Author Services Inc., which is entrusted with the licensing of Hubbard's science fiction works.

The containment of the indignation in the USA, despite the protests of the anti-Scientology activists, is probably due to the fact that no great power of conviction has been ascribed to the science fiction film due to a lack of quality. The U.S. critics are not sparing the rod with "Battlefield Earth": the script is said to be "deeply stupid and depressingly full of cliches," judged "USA Today." And the Los Angeles Times found that the Hubbard film, in the genre of the post-apocalyptic adventure films, even made Kevin Costner's "Waterworld" look like a masterpiece.

"In contrast to the fears of the sect haters, Battlefield Earth has nothing in it which could drive weak theater visitors into the open arms of the Scientologists," U.S. news magazine "Newsweek" summed it up. And it actually appears as though the indignation over Battlefield Earth in the USA will soon die down - after all, in the country praised for its freedom of opinion, Scientology is dealt with relatively tolerantly.

In Germany, however, the sect is regarded as incompatible with society. For that reason, "Phenomenon" has been eyed much more critically here at home than it has in the States: in 1996, media watchdogs presumed there were parallel between the simple story of enlightenment and the Scientology philosophy, and requested an intensive review of the film. In "Battlefield Earth," which is supposed to open in Germany in October, super-alien Travolta will probably have a much harder time of it.

SPIEGEL ONLINE is not responsible for the content of external internet pages.

John Travolta brings Scientology founder's novel into the movie theaters

Munich firm is the film's largest co-financer
U.S. Premier on 8 May

Berlin, Germany
April 6, 2000
Berliner Zeitung

by Frank Nordhausen and Thomas Schuler

Berlin, 5 April. For John Travolta, this film is the fulfillment of a dream long cherished. 15 years ago, when the Hollywood actor started out to film the novel, "Battlefield Earth," he had wanted to play the young hero, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. Now it has taken so long to put it together that he took over the part of Tyler's aging opponent. Even before John Travolta celebrates Battlefield Earth's premiere in Hollywood on May 8, the science fiction film has already gotten increased attention in the USA. When it comes to the theaters in Europe at the end of June, it is sure to have critical reviews, mainly in France and Germany.

Propaganda Coup

There is a reason that production has taken so long and that renowned film studios like MGM, and later 20th Century Fox, first bought the rights then later gave them up for the book published in 1982: its name is L. Ron Hubbard and he was the founder of the Scientology sect. "Battlefield Earth" is Hubbard's (deceased 1986) first book ever to be filmed - for John Travolta it is the opportunity of a lifetime. For him the first film adaptation of a Hubbard novel is as meaningful as "the filming of Tennessee William's first work," Travolta told the Wall Street Journal. Of the $70 million budget, he contributed more than $5 million himself.

What is noteworthy about this is that, besides the "Franchise" U.S. film production company, a German company is the largest financer of the film: Munich company "Intertainment AG." Scientology is still under especially critical observation here at home. Four years ago, members of the "Youth Union" even called for a boycott of a film in which Scientologist Tom Cruise played the leading role.

Intertainment chief Ruediger Baeres said that he had hesitated, because of Hubbard, when the film was first offered as part of a package of 60 productions for Europe-wide licensing: "Scientology doesn't make any difference to me." He said he only wanted to earn money. His objections had been overcome because a renowned company had taken over the operation of the film, Warner (Time Warner) - "for me that was guarantee enough that the content was harmless," said Baeres. The film script based on Hubbard's work was especially carefully reviewed by Warner. "We bought a science fiction film with John Travolta, not a Scientology film," Baeres defended his involvement.

Perhaps the German businessman has taken on more than he can handle; perhaps it lies in the casual style of the Americans who prefer to think of Scientology as more of a traditional "Church" than as a "Mafia." Within the sect, "Battlefield Earth" has long been celebrated as a propaganda coup. "The parallels between the film and Scientology are obvious," said Stacey Brooks, who was part of the organization's top management in the USA in the 1980s, from Floria.

The film portrays sinister aliens with the name of "Psychlos" who make humble slaves out of poor people - until they are chased back into the cosmos by the youthful hero. This treatment approximately matches the instant myths upon which Hubbard founded his science fiction religion. "It is not coincidence that the monsters in the film are called 'Psychlos,' of all things," Stacey Brooks believes. "Psychs" is what Hubbard called psychiatrists, whom he regarded as his most troublesome lifelong adversaries. "The model upon which Jonnie Tyler, the film hero, was built is Hubbard himself, who wanted to save humankind from psychiatry," said the former member. "The story of Battlefield Earth is absolutely ridiculous." She supposes that the film will be "a giant flop."

Scientology managers, however, do not only anticipate worldwide recruitment from the film, but also business profit. Yet the sect denies that it will be making any money. However, Author Services, Inc. has closed the merchandising contract for toys with Warner. ASI is managed by Scientologists and belongs to a Scientology daughter company.

More information on Scientology is on the internet at:


Berlin, Germany
July 1, 2000
CINEMA 07/2000, p. 38 f.


Cinema: It could be read recently in the U.S. press that you wanted to leave the Scientology Church. Can you comment on that?

Tom Cruise: Look, people make mistakes. If you read the counter-presentations in certain magazines, you'll see what I mean.


Readers ask, Cruise answers

Question: What advantages do you see in your membership in Scientology which is controversial in the media?
(Question from Oliver Schultz, 48329 Havixbeck)

Tom Cruise: I know that sometimes the media plays havoc, especially outside the USA. No belief is free from the hate of intolerant people who, luckily, only make up a minority of people. Actually, my religion has already helped me much - in private life and in work. Nevertheless, I hope that people judge me based on my films, regardless of which church I belong to.

The new message is an old one

Chick Corea turns completely solidly back to jazz

Berlin, Germany
August 10, 1999
BerlinOnline GmbH

by Gernot Gärtner

Chick Corea used to be able to combine all known genres of music with playful ease. For him, fusion was not a synonym for elevator and supermarket background music, but an original combination of jazz, show tunes, folk, classic and rock. Albums such as "The Mad Hatter," "The Romantic Warrior," "Return to Forever" or "My Spanish Heart" on the one side and "Lyric Suite For Septet" and "Circle" on the other side caused the strongholds between entertainment and serious concert music to fall. The intitial rage for the California pianist abruptly languished with the Chick Corea Electric Band in the mid 1980s. The story-teller had turned into an ornament who only made headlines in Germany because of his membership in the Scientology Church.

With his new band he is now forging out a new claim. "Origin" is the logo of a program. Indeed he has oriented himself with this band to the spirit of the fifties. Will he be able to defend his place there among the greats?

"Change" is the second album by Chick Corea & Origin. Perhaps it is an intentional glance back to his own roots, when Corea put out a genuine, pure jazz album out of which neither gnomes sidled nor flamenco dancers spun. He presented a solid theme and had his companeros - saxophonists Steve Wilson and Bob Sheppard, trombonist Steve Davis, the extraordinary bass player Avishai Cohen and drummer Jeff Ballard - paraphrase. The separation of soloists and rhythm group was strongly maintained. Unfortunately the customary zest of the fabulist fell victim to this inner connection to the jazz idiom. For Chick Corea the stories have all gone away.

If, in his opening piece "Wigwam," which is primarily based upon the tinkling sound of the marimba, Corea already seems played out, the other ten songs bring the listener down more. It is not the solo performances of his highly motivated playing which leaves something to be desired, but the compositional preparation of the band leader. The pieces lack bite, passion and surprising turns. Much sounds like it was written for a primer for jazz. Even Corea's own playing in this context is not at all what one would expect from him.

It appears as though Origin was conceived of as a long-term project. Surely Chick Corea still has extensive reserves which he can accentuate with this band. However the situation today is different than it was 35 years ago when the small pianist began to play his way to fame. There have been no aesthetic barriers for a long time. Everything is allowed. The jazz spectrum of expression has widened many times. It will cost Corea a considerable effort to establish the relevancy of this band not just from his own biography, but from their collective experiences. When it has gotten that far, the best case would be to see "Changes" be overlooked as an intermediate goal.

An embarrassing appearance in Berlin

From: "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" Germany
January 23, 1999

Chick Corea's Concert in the name of Scientology: US artists assert that they are discriminated in Germany because of their sect membership

by Werner Bloch

When the American jazz pianist, Chick Corea, recently gave a concert in the Berlin "Traenenpalast," this was more than just a performance. The world-renowned artist, who formerly played with Miles Davis and Stan Getz before he turned into the grandfather of jazz-rock in the 1970's with his "Return to Forever," had come to Berlin as ambassador of Scientology. Corea is one of the most prominent members of Scientology ever since he advertised for the sect in a whole-page advertisement in the International Herald Tribune and thanked its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, for his "spiritual direction." In interviews, as well as on the cover of his CD's, Corea has thanked the former science fiction author Hubbard as the "ultimate friend of mankind" without whom he "never would have made it so far."

If there was any doubt that there was more going on than just jazz music in Berlin, this was dispelled by the concert's theme "A Tribute to Freedom." The "friends" of the announced "Chick Corea and Friends" turned out to be his wife, formerly a known jazz singer, as well as a youthful tenor by the name of Mark Janicello, who had already appeared once in Berlin in the "Elvis" musical. While Corea more went through routine than paid tribute to jazz hits from Ellington to Monk, and finally found his unique personal expression in "Children's Song," which he composed himself, the musical plane of the songs' passages generally lay under a wave of painfulness. "Corea and his Friends" are all members of Scientology. They were accompanied on their tour by a lady from the Scientology center in Los Angeles who called herself "Director for Human Rights" - as though Scientology had to see to human rights in Germany and defend its members from attacks.

Surprisingly, the small festival was financed by the American Embassy, who had invited selected correspondents and topped off the Berlin concert with a small reception and hors doeuvres. Flying world class pianists into the country at the cost of the American taxpayer is not at all usual. There were, however, it was revealed in diplomatic circles, many good reasons to send Chick Corea to Germany.

With this background, a letter which recently arrived on the table of Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has special significance. Four Republican US senators, among them the influential Senator d'Amato from New York, who will be in office until December, demanded that the new federal administration adopt tolerant politics toward Scientology. The Senators, who asserted they were speaking in the name of about sixty people's representatives, raised serious accusations of "state sponsored discrimination against religious minorities." In violation of the Helsinki Accords as well as in the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which the Federal Republic of Germany is a signatory, the situation of religious minorities such as the Jehovah's witnesses and the Scientology Church is said to have worsened noticeably - the more so since the state is allegedly gutting the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free practice of religion and free determination of conscience by cutting employment possibilities of Scientologists and restricting their participation in public life. An answer to that letter is presently being prepared in the Chancellor's Office.

Similar accusations were made in 1996 in an "Open Letter to Helmut Kohl," signed by 34 Hollywood stars from Dustin Hoffman to Oliver Stone, and appeared in whole page advertisements in the New York Times and Washington Post. It that an absurd picture of Germany's democracy was sketched which did not leave the USA without an affect. The initiators themselves were not ashamed of making a comparison with the Jewish persecution. In the 1930's, it said, music by Felix Mendelssohn-Batholdy had been banned in Germany; today Chick Corea was being boycotted.

Although Scientology was first acknowledged as a religious congregation in the USA only since 1993, the sect has succeeded in getting across their image of Germany in the USA to the public through aggressive press campaigns. The support for Scientology is amazingly high among film producers and actors; also nothing much happens in the music industry without Scientology, as noted by the pop star formerly known as Prince. Scientology even appears to have a certain influence among the circles of the State Department. The reports by the US State Department in the past several years regularly make references to an alleged religious discrimination in the German Federal Republic - Madeleine Albright and her German counterpart, Foreign Minister Kinkel, had repeatedly discussed the subject at the highest levels. Since the end of October, the legal situation has intensified: President Clinton signed an "International Religious Freedom Act," in which a series of measures against countries can be taken if religious freedom is not maintained from the perspective of the USA. These range from verbal warnings up to the limitation of military cooperation and to commercial sanctions, for example, in the issuance of loans as well as import and export embargoes. To be sure, the law stipulates that serious sanctions are to be tied only to serious human rights violations in matters of life and death, and nobody is expecting the outbreak of a trade war. There are constant allusions in the letter from the US Senators to the rights of the President to put a whole new dimension and depth into the conflict surrounding Scientology.

Cultural politics, it appears, do not just play a supporting role. Artists themselves are making a public issue of the alleged discrimination against Scientologists. For instance, Chick Corea claims he is practically banned from appearing in Germany. In 1992, during a professional European track event, he was disqualified after his membership in the sect became known. According to a government decision, he may no longer take part in publicly subsidized concerts. Corea sued the Baden-Wuerttemberg state government on that account, but lost in 1996 in the Mannheim Administrative Court.

Other Scientology artists have also sued for discrimination. Among them are Mark Janicello, who appeared with Corea, and Enrique Ugarte, the self-named "world master of the accordion" who lives in Munich. Both claimed they have lost large amounts of money in recording contracts after their universal philosophy had become known. The musicians protested in a letter to the Federal Chancellor. From the side of the BMG recording company can be heard, naturally, that it had to do with an individual contract with Janicello which was not extended because it did not meet expectations. BMG stated that it had not installed a "sect filter," was was claimed by the Scientologists.

Corea's statement that he has been boycotted because even private concert arrangers have been "put under pressure" has not been confirmed. To be sure, the pianist can hardly participate in publicly subsidized festivals where high fees are normal. The Hamburg concert arranger, Karsten Jahnke, countered, however, that he had never been put under pressure. The stream of visitors to Corea's appearance have been thinning out since the artist has made himself known as a Scientologist to the point where his engagements were terminated on financial grounds.

The US Embassy in Berlin will have a difficult time getting Corea back in Germany. An offer was made to the Berlin Jazz-Fest for the keyboard player to play - for free. Nevertheless the organizers refused. Finally, the "Traenenpalast," which is in financial need, agreed to letting the artist on stage - on the condition that the subject of Scientology not be brought up. The artist did not keep up his end of the bargain in that he stated to the TVB broadcast company that he had come to Berlin for Scientology. Neither did Corea leave any room for doubt as to his particular motivation for this concert in his interview.

The question remains of why the Scientology "problem" is now being played up again from the American side: is an actual change hoped for in the new Schoeder administration? Should newspaper entertainment departments be mobilized here in order to protest against Corea's "performance ban"? The Berlin coup has more likely backfired. Concert arrangers are talking about "impudence"; the gestures by the US Embassy are seen as an intrusion into the independent music scene. Among those who experienced Corea live, some share incredulous surprise in the embarrassment which was offered there. The one-time world class artist is openly seeking sect membership instead of musical quality.

The Jazzman as Entertainer
Chick Corea in Tränenpalast

From: "Berliner Zeitung"
November 21, 1998

by Rainer Bratfisch

A twenty-year old recording by jazz pianist Chick Corea and Lionel Hampton will soon be re-released under the title "Sea Breeze." "Live At the Blue Note" has assembled more recent recordings with various casts, next year the London Philharmonic Orchestra will play Chick Corea's Concert for Piano in three movements.

50 solo albums and at least as many co-productions prove that quantity and quality do not have to be exclusive of each other. The jazz genre has long proven to be too small for the all-around artist. The master played across all genres at the "Tränenpalast" under the theme "A Tribute to Freedom." Fusion, Free Jazz, Latin, Classical - Chick Corea appears to react in any direction according to his mood. He shows that he is not impressed with the pressure which the German officials and promoters have exerted on him since he revealed his connection to Scientology. Chick Corea began in accustomed casualness with "Armando’s Rumba", segued from Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" to Thelonius Monk and Buddy Powell, then into a classic with "Brazilia."

The duet with his wife, Gayle Moran, and the tenor, Mark Janicello, showed that "jazz" can also be a synonym for "entertainment and show." Gershwin's "Summertime" with Corea on the Piano and the vocalists sounded as American as a meeting between Disney and Elvis in Las Vegas to study a musical with Bernstein.

Back to the Horn of Plenty

Chick Corea at the "Tränenpalast"
A Pianist would like to be rehabilitated

From: "Berliner Morgenpost"
November 23, 1998

by Oliver Hafke-Ahmad

We were not able to spot a horse's foot under the piano, however the concert by Chick Corea in the "Tränenpalast" was nothing usual. No advertisement, only a few tickets for sale. Rather than selling tickets, numerous highly official invitations on hand-made paper were sent out by the US State Department. Many journalists asked themselves, upon receipt of their letter, "what have I done now?"

Now, before I forget to write anything else. It was about Corea being nominated for the 33rd time for a Grammy and being immortalized with about 200 records and CDs, as the American Cultural Attaché announced before the concert began. For the past several years, the press has preferred to write little or nothing about Corea's membership in Scientology.

However, Corea wants to promote his music and dip into the German cornucopia, because Germany is one of the most important record markets of the world and has subsidized countless festivals which are able to book top stars. The losses of the last five years, during which time many promoters have not wanted to book Corea, may have taken a heavy toll on him. Still Corea denies having made a mistake. He believes that everything in Scientology is "clean", no psychological terrorism, no rip-offs.

At the concert in the "Tränenpalast" he presented himself as a victim; this was not stated explicitly, but was, nonetheless, clearly perceptible. "A Tribute to Freedom" was the name of the program which the US Embassy had previously tried to promote at the Berlin Jazz Festival amid much fanfare, in vain. The Jazz Fest turned them down, but the "Tränenpalast" accepted on condition that "not one word about Scientology" be mentioned.

On the stage the 57 year old gave free rein to his youthful charm. He admitted that he would completely unprepared, and improvised solo with standards by Ellington, Buddy Powell and Thelonius Monk, as well as his own compositions through the first set. There is no doubt that Chick Corea is a gifted pianist, but nobody has taken issue with that.

In the second half things got painful when Chick Corea went on stage together with his wife, singer Gayle Moran, and with the theatrical singer, Mark Janicello. The former Elvis imitator could appear with Corea only because his recording contract with BMG had recently been terminated, allegedly "because he is a Scientologist," as Chick's manager confided to us. The public was treated to untried releases of "My Funny Valentine" and "Summertime" by a trio which could not have been more unequally matched. As an encore, Corea gave the public Chaplin's "Smile" as he whistled along and danced like a clown from the stage.

Does the man have humor or was everything just a clever put-on? The free tickets did not completely make up for the stale aftertaste of the evening. Perhaps Chick Corea should perform again, but only if half of the night's take goes to sect victims. And if he promises to leave wife and Elvis at home.

Movie critics without end

The movie summer lull is over: "Quite Normal in Love" starts Thursday.

Juliette Lewis:
"The only thing I still don't have is a nice-looking husband"

For years she was the most spoiled brat in Hollywood. No surprise that the drug-dependent Juliette Lewis had to play schizophrenic women in "Natural Born Killers" and "California." The 26 year old woman does not want to hear any more about that today. After her drug withdrawal she only wants to be likeable on the silver screen. Like in "Quite Normal in Love" (starting Thursday in theaters). Markus Tschiedert met her for an interview.

At age 15 you stated that you were already grown up. Have you ever regretted that?

At the time I was very melancholy and dramatized a lot. I moved out young, but saw my parents every day. Unfortunately I looked for friends who were not good for me. So my difficulties began at age 18.

What kind of difficulties?

Drugs. I used to be totally negatively disposed, but today I see my life with completely different eyes.

Did you have help in getting rid of drugs again?

Yes, but it began with my decision that I wanted to live. I got help from my parents and from a woman from the center.

Center? Are you talking about the Scientologists now?

This woman was a Scientologist and had made friends with me. After that I went to Florida, where there is a sort of Scientology college.

Did your life change?

I became more religious. I used to go to the Catholic church a lot but I didn't understand anything. Today I recognize that God stands for love and understanding.

Does your faith also have an influence on your selection of roles?

After "Natural Born Killers" everybody thought that I was really the blown away girl. Therefore I wanted to play a girl in "Quite normal in love" who was just the opposite. It was my most difficult role. Speaking like a handicapped person for 16 hours was exhausting.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a person who needs and gives a lot of love. I am rarely serious and like to make others laugh.

May one laugh about mentally handicapped people?

We did not want to film a documentary with "Quite normal in love." You don't laugh at, but with Carla. She is sweet and still completely innocent.

What disadvantages do you see in your career?

A certain danger comes with fame. I don't have to muscle to defend myself if I were to be attacked. But I try to avoid such thoughts.

What would you have been if you would not have been an actress?

A singer? I love music. When I'm feeling good, I put Jimi Hendrix on repeat play, if I am sad, I put on Fleetwood Mac.

Do you still have a dream?

Certainly. For the future I would want to have children and a nice-looking husband. But I still don't have that.


Berlin, Germany
August 2, 1999
Die Welt

Nicole Kidman

is an actress, early thirties. Was born in Australia, used to do drugs, owns a yacht by the name of "Talita," and has a little butterfly tattooed on her breast. She had her first international success in the film "Death Silence [not sure of this name]" in 1989; in 1990 she filmed "Days of Thunder" with Tom Cruise - and married the good-looking guy that same year. The two of them adopted two children and are united in their belief in the Scientology Church. The Batman film flopped in 1995, in which Kidman played a starring role. Once again she appears before the camera with Tom Cruise in Stanley Kubrick's long awaited film "Eyes Wide Shut." Outside of that, would anybody else be interested that she wears contact lenses?

Here are two articles relevant to Executive Software, a Scientology company which makes Diskeeper and Windows defragmentation program.

Deinstallation of Windows 2000 Defragmentation program

This is an unofficial translation of material downloaded from You are responsible for what you do to your own computer.

Windows 2000  Artikelnummer:  D43422  Modifiziert:  19-OCT-2000  
Erstellungsdatum:  19-OCT-2000  Produktkürzel:  W_Win2000

The Information in this article refers to:

     Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional  
     Microsoft Windows 2000 Server  
     Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server  
     Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server 

WARNING: This article contains information on revising the registry. Before you revise the registry, produce a back-up copy of the files System.dat and User.dat. Ensure that the registry can be reproduced if a problem arises. You can find information on that under "restoring the registry" in "Regedit.exe" or under "restoring a registry key" in "Regedt32.exe." If you are working with Windows NT or Windows 2000, then you should, in addition, update your emergency restore diskette (ERD).


In order to deinstall the Windows 2000 defragmentation program, you must execute the following steps. An error in the execution of all these steps can lead to the Windows file protection re-installing the files from the Windows 2000 defragmentation program.

1. Ensure that the Windows 2000 installation CD is not in your CD-ROM drive.

2. If you have installed Windows 2000 over the network, comment out the entries of the installation source path in the registry in order to prevent the Windows file protection from re-installing the files. Make a back-up copy of the entries of the following registry keys and delete the entries:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SourcePath 

3. Then delete the following files from \system32\dllcache


4. Then delete the same files from /system32. The Windows file protection will now show a dialogue window with a warning that the files have been deleted. Select discontinue/terminate [not sure of exact word] and then "yes."

5. (Optional) Delete the following entry from the start menu:

[not sure of exact words above]

6. Delete the following registry entries:





7. Restore the entries of the installation source path if you deleted them in step 2.

8. Re-start the system.

Be aware that with each service pack installation these files will be re-installed. You have to re-execute these steps in order to remove the files. The incorrect use of the registry editor can cause serious problems affecting the entire system which would require a new installation of your operation system. Microsoft can not guarantee that problems caused by incorrect use of the registry editor can be solved. Use the registry editor at your own risk. Microsoft can provide no support or guarantees for problems which are caused by manipulation of the Windows or Windows NT registration. When you use Windows or Windows NT registry editor Regedit.exe or similar tools to manipulate Windows or Windows NT registry, you are doing so at your own risk.

Additional search terms: uninstall deinstall hard-disk defragmenter registry

Copyright 1999 by Microsoft Corporation


Digital News

By Nancy Kelly

Ciba-Geigy was refused technical support for its disk defragmenter after the supplier, Executive Software Inc., learned that the Swiss chemical company made Ritalin, a drug sometimes prescribed for hyperactive children.

Executive Software, maker of the dominant disk defragmenter for the VAX, Diskeeper, objects to the production of Ritalin as a drug that is prescribed by psychiatrists. The drug has provoked controversy based upon some studies that document several cases of suicides among young adolescents who had been given the drug as children. The Physicians' Desk Reference indicates that the side effects of Ritalin withdrawal include paranoia with thoughts of suicide.

The Glendale, Calif. software firm has a longstanding policy against selling its products to psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions. On Jan. 9 the firm's board of directors voted to expand that policy to include psychiatric drug manufacturers, after a company employee brought it to President Craig Jensen's attention that the makers of Ritalin had purchased a copy of Diskeeper.

"Ciba-Geigy ranks with the scum of the earth in my opinion," said Jensen. "The primary effect of Ritalin is suicide. When some of our employees heard we sold our software to them, I agreed to cancel that license, if necessary, and refuse to do business with drug manufacturers in the future."

The U.S.-based Ciba-Geigy MIS manager who bought Diskeeper late last year is not part of the pharmaceutical division of the company, which has eight seperate divisions that produce products ranging from pigments to plastics. He asked that he and his division not be identified. He said that he sought technical support when his employees ran into difficulty installing Diskeeper and that he was referred by the support staff to Dave Kluge, Executive Software's corporate affairs manager.

He said Kluge told him Executive Software would not provide Ciba-Geigy with any technical support. "He told me 'You people make psychiatric drugs and implements of torture.'

"I said, 'You're kidding.' I thought he was putting me on.

"He said we're responsible for people taking these drugs and don't we know they commit suicide. I told him we have nothing to do with the pharmaceutical division but he said it was the company policy," said the Ciba-Geigy official.

Kluge sent the MIS manager a letter outlining Executive Software's policy and the means by which Ciba-Geigy could obtain a refund for its purchase.

Jensen told Digital News that Executive Software would honor its contractual obligations with Ciba-Geigy, which had purchased a 12-month update service. However, it would not renew the service or the software once the agreement expired.

"Ciba-Geigy slipped through," said Jensen. "But I think someone should take a stand on this, and I'm willing to do so."

Meanwhile the Ciba-Geigy MIS manager, who had worked with Diskeeper at a previous job and had decided to purchase it after experiencing problems with a competitor's product is essentially without a disk defragmenter.

"There's no point in using it if this is what they are going to do," he said, referring to the eventual loss of technical support and upgrades. He also expressed dismay at Executive Software's stand on Ritalin.

"Thousands of kids can attend school because of Ritalin," he said. "Those parents thank us. There are problems with every drug on the market. It is up to the doctor to decide who it should be prescribed to."

According to two former Executive Software employees, the company's policy in part stems from Jensen's membership in the Church of Scientology. "He doesn't believe in anything that has to do with psychiatry because the church doesn't," said Michael Sigourney, president of Aviv Software Inc. and a former director of marketing at Executive Software. A second employee, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Jensen's affiliation with the church, adding that, "The Church of Scientology is against the distribution of Ritalin to school children. They're opposed to a variety of drugs."

In an October 1989 letter to his employees, Jensen detailed the company's policy in refusing to license software to psychiatrists or psychiatric institutions, stating that the policy reflected his own personal views. That policy states in part that to do business with psychiatrists "would condone political mental treatment such as electric shocks, lobotomy and convulsive drugs. We condemn utterly this fascist approach to 'mental health' by extermination of the insane, and we will not agree to brutality and murder in the guise of mental healing or to the easy and lawless seizure of persons in the name of 'mental health' for political reasons."

The latter further elaborated that, to counter the action of some psychiatrists who purchase the product, Jensen personally donates "large sums" to organizations such as the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, "which is doing an excellent job of documenting and publicizing psychiatric crimes."

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to protect individuals from psychiatric abuse. It frequently lobbies against the practice of prescribing Ritalin as a means to control hyperactive children.

Criticism about Scientology's advertising

Berlin, Germany
November 14, 2001
Berliner Kurier

Berlin - The controversial "Scientology" organization (SO) is once again advertising in Berlin. They are currently scattering about 20,000 copies of their glossy paged "Freiheit" sermon pages around the capitol city. The group is even using the attack on New York for its campaign.

"This organization is deliberately using the current crisis to drum up business. By doing so, it targets those people who feel helpless. For them it wants to appear as a "savior," criticized Anne Ruehle, sect commissioner of the Berlin Senate.

But the "SO" is not active only here. "Throughout the country we are currently distributing 100,000 copies, but most of them in Berlin," confirmed Scientology spokeswoman Sabine Weber.

Among other things, "Freiheit" wrote that "Scientologists" are tackling the terrorism catastrophe in New York. But at the same time they are advertising for their so-called "Dianetics" process, which they say alleviates "spiritual suffering" with controversial psycho-methods.

In fact, the "SO" is under strict surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Berlin. The Berlin Senate's sect report also warns that, "The SO's image of society is unmistakably at odds with our basic liberal democratic system."

How many members "Scientology" has in Berlin is not clear. The Senate has concluded it is 200, but the "SO" itself says it has 2,000 in the greater Berlin vicinity.

Tobias von Heymann

This advertisement has been posted in major cities for days
photo: Herrmann

Scientology under the Christmas Tree

Berlin, Germany
November 23, 2000
Die Welt

In order to ward off apparently imminent bankruptcy, the sect is advertising books as Christmas presents.

by Jochen Foerster

Berlin - The Christmas season is book-buying season. Ideal for publishers and book dealers to advertise in grand style the best-sellers of the season, new books or Christmas stories as the ideal present for under the Christmas tree. Scientology has now also apparently made this insight its own. On poster surfaces in the major European cities, the notorious sect group has been mass advertising one of its founder's works for days - L. Ron Hubbard's "The Fundamentals of Thought."

The name of the sect itself is not to be found on the posters other than on the book covers; instead there is a quote by Hubbard who is honored by the powerful US group as a bringer of salvation, "It doesn't matter where you're going. What matters is how you get there." The line does not allude to the positioning of the cadre-like organization and to spiritual torture in Scientology, it is also symptomatic for the new advertising strategy: if Scientology had first established itself in Germany mostly by recruiting pedestrians, now the sect is using ever more perfidious tactics - according to press reports, adherents are placed in restaurants, seniors homes, driving school and even kindergartens; in Hamburg establishments are disguised as exhibits and film demonstrations.

With solid success to be sure, one compares today's membership figures with those in the USA, where Hollywood stars like John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman are among Scientology's supporters, where the power of the sect supposedly extends to the uppermost circles of government and their private intelligence services recruits an abundance of volunteers for the so-called "Purification Rundown." Microsoft has recently even published free software to delete a component of its Windows 2000 system - it had been learned that a company managed by Scientologists had produced the program.

The current poster campaign, according to experts, is not just part of the attempt to find a subtler form of advertisement. What's at stake is commercial survival of the German branch. According to community and church sect commissioners, the organization is suffering under heavily dwindling membership and is also headed for bankruptcy. "Financially, the organization is doing very poorly," says Hamburg's Scientology commissioner Ursula Caberta. The end of Scientology Deutschland is not in the foreseeable future, said Berlin's Evangelical sect commissioner Thomas Gandow, "The organization has been declared dead before. But then it comes back all the more radical."

The poster campaign is not illegal - the organization may advertise as anybody else according to law. Which is also what annoys the poster marketing company, "Scientology is not banned in Germany. We may not act as censor," said its spokesman Andreas Schaefer.


Hate mail in mail boxes

Berlin, Germany
September 8, 2000
Der Tagesspiegel

Unwanted mail in Steglitz and Zehlendorf: the Scientologists have sent their "Freiheit" magazine to 20,000 households in the two districts via a mass mailing - without address, return sender and without other information.

Jasmin Jouhar

The source of distribution was the organization's center in Munich. Another 20,000 copies were distributed to pedestrians in downtown Berlin. Sabine Weber, Vice President of Scientology in Germany, justified her choice of the two districts, they had "the greatest need for information." The Scientologists wanted to instruct the residents of Steglitz and Zehlendorf about the work of persons and institutions of which the Scientologists disapprove.

The way it looks to her, "That is where SPD politician Rennebach comes from. She is the political spokeswoman of the SPD and closely allied to the Evangelical Church," said Weber. From what she says, she has also taken Reverend Thomas Gandow into her sights, political spokesman on sects for the Evangelical Church and who has his office in Zehlendorf. The magazine was distributed on his birthday in August and contains a defamatory article on him and his work. "It contains false allegations," said Thomas Gandow, who is looking at taking legal steps against the sect.

"Freiheit" says that Gandow "directs a whole army of cover organizations." He was described as "Evangelical Chief Inquisitor" and "chief architect of the discrimination campaign being run in parts of Europe against religious and weltanschauung communities." He was accused of consistently and systematically taking action against minorities - in the name of the Evangelical Church. The Berlin-Brandenburg Church has already made its statement supporting the minister. "That is really an attack against the Evangelical Church as a whole," said Thomas Gandow, "but the Church has not sent me into the desert yet."

The minister, who has been involved with Scientology since the 1970s and who has published diverse texts on the theme, is not surprised at the operation: "The involvement of the American management in Germany has gotten stronger. I have now brought their anger upon me, too." Scientology management was said to have directed that a harder line be taken in combatting critics. In any case, this edition of Freiheit also attacks Hamburg Senator of the Interior Hartmuth Wrocklage. According to a statement from Sabine Weber, Scientology has also distributed 80,000 copies in Hamburg.

The Berlin post office reacts to the theme of Scientology with reservations, "We have a general obligation to accept and deliver," said post office spokeswoman Barbara Scheil. The business was not authorized to censor broadcasts. One could interfere only when a broadcast contained material pertaining to something visibly criminal. In the case of the "Freiheit" broadcast, it could not even be determined where the mass mailing had been dropped off. Barbara Scheil did not think that receivers of mail such as that could do anything about it. "The customer can only appeal to the originator. Personally, I don't see the slightest chance of that helping the next time."

How the thinking apparatus works

A publishing house advertises writings from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard about the fundamentals of thought

Berlin, Germany
September 5, 2000

by Andreas Spannbauer

A man stands before a large pile of problems. A big question mark hovers over his head. "How do I tell Uschi?" he is probably thinking. Perhaps he'll find the answer in the book, "Scientology" by L. Ron Hubbard. The Scientology founder's writings have been heavily advertised with that motif in display cases for weeks.

Since about the time the federal government started moving to the city, Berlin has become the site of increased Scientology operations. Anne Ruehle, Berlin Senate sect commissioner, believes the Scientologists are "currently pushing all the buttons they can to get a foot in the door in Germany." In doing that, they are struggling mainly against their surveillance by Constitutional Security. Last year Scientology put Bavaria's Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein, of all people, in the same category as communist China.

Ute Kiesel, spokeswoman for New Era Publications, Inc., verified that many ad companies refused to take the work to advertise for books. "There is too much influence from the side of the government." And what do the books have to offer? The friendly woman on the publishing company's info hotline promised us that in reading the book you would finally learn "how this thinking apparatus works." She said the book by the "leading best-seller author in the field of the human mind" is appropriate for all who "would like to know from where they come." If you would like to have it explained more precisely than that, then the lady, unfortunately has to resort to reading the text on the cover of the book - at a speed of about 180 bpm. The only thing clear when she's done, "The answer is Yes!"

Berlin, Germany
November 13, 1998 (appox.)

Scientology continues to recruit

But Berlin would rather not have you!

One incredulous look, then another ... the poster is still there. "Think for yourself," it demands of the reader, then gives the path to that goal: "Scientology." This year the organization is going on a recruitment offensive. That is what Interior Senator Joerg Schoenbohm (CDU) has noticed: the "Berliner Behoerden Spiegel" [magazine oriented towards government] ran an ad for the sect. Embarrassing. But the Berlin administration has everybody it does business with sign a I-have-nothing-to-do-with-Scientology statement. Nobody knows exactly how the ad got in the magazine - not even Sabine Weber, spokeswoman for Scientology Deutschland.

As for the poster campaign she said, "We selected the concept 'Think for yourself' because salvation comes only through finding the truth. But it is also meant to challenge people to make their own picture of Scientology." She said that the campaign was not a reaction to the organization's opposition in Germany; it was said to have run throughout Europe in the end of '97. About 60 walls were booked [for the hanging of Scientology's advertising posters] from the middle of April to the beginning of May.

What is being advertised is a book by chief and founder L. Ron Hubbard, "Scientology. The Fundamentals of Thought." It appears through the services of Danish Scientology publishers, New Era Publications. Problem: many book stores do not sell it. And the media are also cautious, especially in Germany. Here at home, according to New Era spokesman Krister Nilsson, it was almost impossible for his publishing house to place advertisements. Only a poster advertising company said yes.

The London "Times," in contrast, published an advertisement, radio spots were running in Italy and in Copenhagen every fourth bus ran with the Hubbard advertisements for a couple of weeks. In Berlin, on Hackeschen Markt, the poster had been torn in half after several days ...

Meike Wöhlert