Charges Next Week
Scientologists continue advertisement
From: "Badische Zeitung"
November 28, 1998
BASEL (pos). On Thursday a law against aggressive recruitment methods on public ground took effect in Basel. The law was directed primarily at the members of the Scientology sect. They have been on the hunt for new members for years in Basel's downtown. In spite of the law, they continue unperturbed.
On weekdays they appear mostly in pairs, on Saturdays up to five at a time. They stubbornly address passers-by and want to bring them into nearby rooms to take a "personality test." These methods are now illicit, even if Scientology continues to make a more aggressive appearance in Switzerland than it does in Germany. The Basel Parliament in Switzerland passed a unique law which prohibits importunate advertising on public land, regardless of what it is for. The word "Scientology" does not appear in the law, even if it had been directly at the sect in particular.
The downtown business association of Basel's sales and entertainment mile already reacted on the first day of the new law. They requested that the police clear the sect recruiters away as soon as they appear. Scientology is primarily active in this district. "Many customers avoid this area of town because of the Scientologists," stated Rolf Fuhrer, President of the business association. Rolf Fuhrer, together with 35 of his neighbors, asked the police to clear the Scientologists away daily.
This is not an action which Herbert Maritz, acting Police Commandant, can take. He waits on a charge made by a pedestrian who feels molested. Officers can do nothing on their own. Starting next week, Rolf Fuhrer and his business association want to start pressing charges. Scientology will presumably take these charges to court.
Until judgment is imposed by a Basel judge for the first time, probably little will change. The Scientologists were standing at their posts on Thursday and Friday. They have filed an objection to the law in Swiss Federal court.
Complaint will not cause a delay
From: Blue Window, Switzerland
November 18, 1998
(sda/bs) The new Basel sect criminal code can still be put into effect despite a pending complaint in federal court. The Lausanne judge has refused to grant the request by Scientology to postpone its enforcement, as evidenced by a decision which was published today.
The criminal code, which was approved by Basel Canton Parliament, is directed against unfair or deceptive methods of advertisement on public land. Scientology and one of its individual members perceived the vote as an "unacceptable special law", and lodged a complaint against public law in the federal court.
Becomes effective within the next few days
An inquiry to the Justice Department revealed that the criminal code is supposed to be put into effect either this week or next. The decision of the federal court must first be published in the Canton paper. A complaint against a general legislative decree does not necessarily have to mean that a delay will be granted, stated the highest court as it confirmed the refusal of the Scientology request.
According to the new Basel criminal code, a fine, or in repeat cases, arrest, can be levied against a person who "recruits or tries to recruit pedestrians on public land by deceptive or unfair methods." Police are thereby empowered to clear an area if there are signs that "illicit, particularly deceptive or otherwise unfair methods are used or if pedestrians are being molested."
Scientology: "State Arbitrariness"
In Scientology's judgment, a criminal code of this sort comes off "gummy" in that it would "open the gates to state arbitrariness." In the future the law could be used against all possible unfavored groups and opinions and could restrict freedom of religion and freedom of speech on public land.
Despite official asserverations that this is not a Lex Scientology (Scientology law), the organization views the criminal code as a law which is directed primarily at them. The regulation would affect any Scientologist who accosted pedestrians in downtown Basel.
This criminal code came about as the result of a motion approved in 1996 in connection with the recruitment methods of Scientology. The code was passed in the Great Council with four opposing votes. The referendum was not affected.
© 1998 News-Window
Scientology goes before the Federal Court
From: "BAZ - Basler Zeitung"
October 22, 1998
BaZ. The "Scientology Church Basel" and one of their members have filed a legal complaint disputing the supplement to the trespass code decided upon in September by the Great Council. In that supplement, approaching pedestrians on public land "with deceptive and unfair methods" became a legally punishable action. According to Scientology's view of the situation, this is an "unacceptable special-case law," which would restrict freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Moreover, the new criminal standard is said [by Scientology] to be "almost a duplicate of a federal law against unfair competition." A part of the law is said to be so imprecisely worded that citizens do not know what is meant. That law, in the future, could be applied to all unfavorable groups, wrote Scientology; on the other hand, they say, the new regulation is meant to "affect only a few Scientologists who address pedestrians in a certain area of the city ["Steinenvorstadt"].
SP (Sozialdemokratische Partei) on the Criminal Code on Unfair Advertisement
From: "Basler Zeitung"
September 21, 1998
BaZ. The supplement to violations of criminal law which was approved last Wednesday by the Grand Council, which made recruitment by people on public land by means of deceptive or unfair methods a punishable offense, meets the demand of various groups for consumer protection on public land in a responsible manner, wrote the SP of Basel City. An organization such as Scientology motivates the closing of loopholes in the law. The SP is therefore convinced that the law will serve as an example to other Swiss cantons.
Small obstruction for Sect Recruiters in Basel
From: "Basler Zeitung"
September 17, 1998
Contrary to original expectations, the subject of sects - in plain language, Scientologists - did not occupy the Great Council for long. For once, everybody from one end of the room to the other agreed as to the assessment of the situation. Basel City is the first canton in Switzerland to proceed against aggressive recruitment by sects on the street. Radical measures, however, are out of the question.
Basel. Anybody wandering through the suburbs will presumably be left in peace, joked an announcer on Radio Basilisk yesterday morning. The Scientology adherents have probably been following the debate in in Basel City Hall, where proposed legislation on aggressive recruitment by sect members on public ground promised a lively discussion. Something was missing though. Apart from a single adherent who was waiting for the arriving members of the city council with a flyer, nothing was seen or heard of any Scientologist in the vicinity.
Even on the floor of the Great Council only one group from the Basel Justice Department appeared, presumably to inquire as to the fate of the proposal they had worked out. The lack of interest might not have been surprising had the Scientology adherents not flooded the population of Basel with thousands of flyers which stated that today the Great Council was about to vote on a one time law "which the extremist anti-cult cultists in Switzerland would greet as a milestone on the road to exclusion of and warning to religious minorities."
Zurich absolutely did not serve as a model for Basel: last week, the same theme was debated in the Zurich community council, but was cleanly dismissed with arguments such as "this reeks of censorship," or "it contradicts the principle of the constitutional state." (This judgment, to the sorrow of the Scientologists, can only be read in the NZZ [newspaper], but not in the BaZ.)
The popular Basel [measure], (what the Scientologists regard as a waste of energy) was of short duration, at least as far as the usual sessions go. A topic which has made headlines so consistently and so often has seldom been discussed and passed so quickly. After barely half hour it was all over with. The reason for that is easily related: In such a politically heterogeneous Parliament, a solution can be found which does not meet any remarkable resistance.
Justice Minister Hans Martin Tschudi outlined the framework as an introduction. Freedom of expression and pluralism are important cornerstones of a democracy. Government intervention is only necessary when an outside source influences these cornerstones to some degree. In any case, the misuse of a right does not merit protection. It was not permissible to direct a "unique case law" at a particular group - the Scientologists.
Letter to the Editor
From: "Basler Zeitung"
September 25, 1998
Breaking teeth on the ordinance
In reply to:
"Small obstruction for sect recruiters in Basel," BaZ Nr. 216
This ordinance is a miscarriage of justice. It basically repeats what has already been on the books concerning unfair competition, and I ask myself what the lawyers in the Great Council were thinking of. If somebody lies or advertises unfairly, then there is already a paragraph [to cover that]. The fact that this [paragraph] has not previously been applied shows that the activities of Scientology and other groups are not deceptive. So this ordinance will probably change nothing at all as to the alleged "problem." Completely apart from that, the intention behind the law is legally questionable. Can one expel different ideas from the street just because they do not suit certain people?
Basel will probably break a few more teeth on this ordinance.
Unfair Sect Recruitment on Public Land a Criminal Offense
From: "1998 News-Window Switzerland" September 16, 1998
(sda/as) Unfair or deceptive recruitment methods by sects on public land is now a criminal offense in the city of Basel. The Basel Canton Parliament ruled by a landslide with four votes against the new code. The people have the last word.
According to the new Basel criminal code a fine can be levied, or in repeat cases confinement can be imposed upon anybody who "recruits or is trying to recruit passersby on public land using deceptive or unfair methods." The police have a right to tell people to move on if signs exist that "illicit, especially deceptive or otherwise unfair methods are being used or if passersby are being bothered in an inappropriate manner."
Unanimity in the Council
The bill was passed almost without debate and was resolved through consensus by representatives of all factions. Only one speaker out of the Swiss Democrats withheld his vote after making a reference to the risk of widespread restrictions to freedom. This was dismissed by the great majority.
The proposed criminal code was presented in its final form in a common motion of all factions. The proposal of the administration was thereby understood more exactly and supported by the prohibition against unfairness in the competition law of the nation, which now also applies to non-commercial activities, as mentioned by the faction speakers. The administration, which had objected to the more strongly worded "importune annoyance", withdrew its objection once the wording was changed.
Not a Scientology Law
Justice Director Hans Martin Tschudi had previously stated that freedom of opinion and pluralism are important characteristics of a democracy. The inner city is a suitable forum for those items. When an outside interest is being served, the the democratic state sets boundaries. The misunse of a right does not merit protection. The Basel criminal code does not prevent legitimate activity and is relative. Neither is it a one-time law and is not a Scientology law.
The criminal code was worked out after the Basel Great Council had requested measures be taken in connection with the recruitment activities of Scientology in 1996. It had demanded the prohibition of "aggressive" and "suggestive" recruitment of new members of sects on public land. Similar endeavors are underway in the cantons of Geneva and Waadt.
Scientology reacts testilyIn a communiqué this evening, the Scientology reacted testily to the criminal code. It stated the new regulation was "a populist waste of time, since the Basel Great Council is trying to re-invent the wheel." It continued to say that the federal law about unfair competition already covers the facts of the matter. The sect does not see that it will be affected by the regulation, since Basel is not able to do away with freedom of thought or religion. The sect also states that it operates in neither an unfair nor a deceptive manner. © 1998 News-Window
Basel State Attorney:
Scientology not a religion, but a destructive cult
Scientologist Housie Knecht had filed a criminal complaint against politician Susanne Haller for religious discrimination
The state attorney dismissed the complaint and suspended the proceedings
original German page:
Ingo Heinemann: Scientology Criticism
last updated June 27, 2001
Basel-City Attorney's Office
folder number: S 263.31/00 vs
Decision of 12 June 2001
The criminal complaint against Susanne HALLER SIDLER
in regards to racism against Housie Knecht committed in June 2000 at the "Mondo Novis" art operation in the World Children's Festival is suspended for lack of facts in the case.
The complainant brought forward that based on Susanne Haller Sidler's intervention, to which he objected, in the OK of the World Children's Festival, he was discriminated against in connection with his art operation because of his membership in Scientology. In regards to that, the following has been determined:
The criminal action of the sort in Art. 261bis StGB has to have been directed at a member of a race, an ethnicity or a religion. By religion, which in the case at hand would include the understanding of any conviction which maintains a transcendental relationship of people to divinities and manifests weltschauung dimensions whereby the content of the faith is not of prime importance (Rehberg, Criminal Law IV, crime against the public, 2nd edition Zurich 1996 p. 183 with further reference of Niggli, Race discrimination, Zurich 1996 p. 122 N. 470). The kernel of this definition is the reverential relationship (lat. "religio") of people to God. The members of the religion have to think of themselves as a group and must be considered as such by the rest of the population.
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Besides the traditional religions, which without doubt fall into the category protected by Art. 261bis StGB, there are other religious and quasi-religious groups among which there absolutely are a few that may be qualified as religious groups in the sense of the named determinant. Besides those, though, there are also the so-called destructive cults, most of which manifest eastern esoteric and totalitarian tendencies (Niggli, see above N. 474) which cannot claim the protection of Art. 261bis.
The first provision that a new religious group has to meet before it can qualify as "religion" in the sense of Art. 261bis StGB, is the relative immutability of the confession of faith (Niggli see above N. 476). Besides that it has to clearly act like a religious group. That excludes groups which pay homage to an exclusively psychological weltanschauung and those that pursue business interests under the guise of religion (Rehberg see above, p. 183, Niggli, see above N. 477). The legislators specifically left out the word "weltanschauung" under the protected category of Art. 261bis StGB (message of 2 March 1992, BBl 1992, Bd III p. 311). And finally, in light of the Swiss right of immanent liberal concepts of religion, those associations which use coercion on their members, including in the sense of creating psychic dependencies, may not claim this protection (Rehberg see above p. 193, Niggli see above N 470 and 478).
One of the characteristics of Scientology is that it does not present a congruent dogma about the existence of God to its individual members. It understands itself to be a religious philosophy and teaches that it does not try to alter anyone's belief or have them leave the religion to which they already belong. The association makes it clear in its presentation of itself that it is not concerned about the creation of a new religion, that is, a new understanding of people's transcendence, but about the essence of people in the center, whose simple restoration is in no way connected with a belief in God (see: "Catechism of Scientology" in "What is Scientology?" Copenhagen 1993, short "Scientology" p. 544). In this presentation of self there lacks a respectful relationship of people to God. It is exactly there that Scientology differentiates itself from a religious group in the legal sense whose members are connected with an express belief in God by some standard.
Also auditing, used by Scientology for the attainment of its goal of putting civilization on a higher level ("Scientology" p. 155) shows that it is propagated on a psychological and not - in the sense of Art. 261bis StGB - on a religious place following the reformation of its members' lives. According to Scientology's own description, auditing is
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"a unique form of personal counseling," "which helps the individual to look back over his life anew and become more capable and get a look at what he is and where he is."
In view of the generally well-known aggressive recruitment attempts by Scientologists, including against passersby on public land (see, among others, Federal Court in its unpublished decision of June 27, 1995 where the Scientologists' recruitment methods are debated) as well as against mentally handicapped and those who are not well off (see BGE of Dec. 14, 1994 in Practice 1994 Nr. 2 p. 4), with the primary goal of selling them books authored by the founder of Scientology or to motivate people to buy very expensive auditing-courses, the question is posed of whether the organization actually is dealing with the attainment of its stated higher goals or whether, under the mask of religion, it is pursuing purely commercial interests. German courts (among others cited in Niggli, see above N477) have answered in the positive to this question and have clearly found that Scientology uses its appearance as a church as a pretext to pursue commercial interests.
Besides that Scientology forgoes individual independence. The strongly hierarchical construction of the organization is conspicuous (see "Scientology pp. 225). In the "Creed of a good, trained Manager" there is even talk of "subordinates" ("Scientology" p. 501). Intensive influence and strict control mark the operations of the organization. In the above-mentioned auditing the auditor demands from his "subordinate," the "Preclear," (someone who, in the terminology of the Scientologists, is not yet clear) unconditional obedience ("Scientology," p. 326). If the Scientology member commits "mistakes, misdemeanors, crimes or high crimes," then punishment is prescribed. Included as a misdemeanor, for example, is continual uncertainty over directives from a superior (see "Introduction to the Ethics of Scientology," Copenhagen 1988/1989, "Ethics" for short, p. 197). It is considered a crime for someone to neglect or refuse to carry out a direct, lawful order from a member of the international board of directors ("Ethics" p. 202).
The restrictions put upon individual members is also clear in Scientology's prescribed method of operation against people who are not inclined toward the organization. In that case the member, in accordance with the teachings of the association, has to solve the situation by "either handling the antagonism of the other with true information about the church or - as a last resort, if all other attempts have failed - to separate himself from this person," which is described as "disconnection" ("Scientology" p. 552).
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Finally people who once had gotten themselves into the Scientology organization often appear to have trouble getting themselves out again (see. BGE I 384, e. 7). If someone publicly turns away from Scientology, then he has committed a "high crime," according to its teachings ("Ethics," p. 208). This indicates there is a presence of coercion and psychic dependency.
Scientology aggressively advertises for its weltanschauung. The "Code" dictates to adherents that the "size and strength" of the movement will expand over the entire planet ("Scientology," p. 585). In doing that the opponents of Scientology are not dealt with light-handedly. This is shown in the "Ethics" book under the title, "The Responsibilities of Leaders," where passages can be found which talk about "the dull thud of one of his enemies in the dark, or the glorious blaze of the whole enemy camp as a birthday surprise" ("Ethics", pp. 270). In view of that sort of speech, it is not surprising that in the above cited decision of 14 December 1994, Scientology was described by the Federal Court as an "untrustworthy organization," and by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior as "a counter-constitutional endeavor" (Munich, August 1997) and the description of Scientology as a "cynical cartel of suppression" was declared permissible by a German court (decision of the 5th Senate of the Superior Administrative Court of the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen of 31 May 1996) and another German court in a newly published decision found that the goal of Scientology was directed against the basic liberal democratic system of Germany (judgment of the Saarland Administrative Court 8 K 149/00 of 29 March 2001).
Altogether Scientology can be regarded as an untrustworthy, destructive cult with the significance of, at most, a quasi-religion. This is, according to its own self-presentation, characteristic of the new belief in the proclaimed, charismatic founder L. Ron Hubbard (not in God in the tradition manner), the authoritarian leadership and control of the categorized members (not the free religious activity of a confessional denomination) and the pervasive claim to have and teach the only true determination for humankind (not the admission of the remaining mistakes and imperfection of human nature). In that this organization fulfills neither the criteria of religiosity nor that of a liberal core content which - besides that of stability, which would still have to be reviewed - which a religious group would have to in order to be religion in the sense of Art 261bis StGB whose members who invoke this standard of protection. Facts of the case are missing.
As a result there is still a process to be initiated against Hugo Stamm.
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The state will bear the cost.
Basel-City State Attorney
lic. jur. D. Weissberg, Leading State Attorney
- Susanne HalIer Sidler
- Housi Knecht
1. Version of this page installed on June 26, 2001
Website www.Ingo-Heinemann.de was opened September 1998
CRIMINAL COURT BASEL CITY
of 10 June 1987
1. (Accused x)
2. (Accused y)
charged in criminal court by the State Attorney of Basel City Canton on 27 November 1986 for practicing usury and possible fraud.
Findings of Fact
The indictment was based upon the following facts of the case:
The accused x was from December 1983 until March 1984 president of the Basel "Scientology Church," a - according to its own account - "religious" congregation which, based upon the teachings of its founder L. Ron Hubbard "wants to help individuals in obtaining freedom as a spiritual being." In this capacity she was responsible for all the interests of the church, especially for the financial presence.
The accused y was - before she took over the office of president from x in April 1984 - a staff member and board member of the "Scientology Church.
(The injured party) (born 1957, ----------), as a consequence of an automobile accident in 1976 - after a trauma to the skull - suffered from a psycho-organic syndrome and is restricted to a considerable degree in his ability to think and act. As compensation for the results of the accident, he had received an insurance payment in the amount of 100,000 Swiss franks, which had been placed in the form of a bond in the Maennedorf/ZH Commerce Bank.
In September 1983 (the injured party), who was living at the time in Sch. and who was employed in the Labor Center for the Handicapped in Str., came into contact with the "Scientology Church" for the first time in Basel. After he had been invited by a recruiter on the street to a "personality test" and then took the test in a local office of the "Scientology Church," it was mentioned to him that he was in a very poor way, and that he absolutely had to read the "Dianetics" Hubbard book, which was then sold to him for 45 franks.
On December 31, 1983 (the injured party) took up a written invitation from the "Scientology Church" to visit an event at the Seegarten Restaurant in M., where the people he met included the accused x and y. Invited by both of the accused, on New Year's Day 1984 he went to 432 Gundeldinger Street, the seat of the "Scientology Church Basel" at the time. The accused y, who received him, used this opportunity to sell him the course "Success through Communication" for 100 franks -- along with the book that went with it for 43.30 franks, upon which (the injured party) started this course on the same day, and - allegedly because of a failure and after payment of a further 95 franks - also
had to take the "Ups and Downs of Life" as well as acquire the "Ups and Downs Book" for 54.70 franks.
Practicing of Usury, possible practice of fraud
After the accused, x and y, learned from (the injured party) that he had a fortune at his disposal, they promised him in a following visit, at the beginning of January 1984 in Basel, that he would markedly improve his mental and physical abilities by taking other courses offered by the "Scientology Church, and would thereby be able to gain the potential of obtaining a good work position.
1. By deliberate exploitation of his mental and character weaknesses and by deceitful pretensions that he could shed a large portion of his invalidity by using the methods of Dianetics and Scientology, the accused, x and y, intending to enrich themselves to an unjustifiable degree, induced (the injured party) to pay 3,704.40 franks in advance for a so-called "Purification Rundown" on 3 January 1984.
They were aware at that time that the amount of this payment for the services being provided - consisting solely of visiting the church's private sauna on Gundeldinger Street for about two to three weeks, along with taking vitamin and other preparations - was a blatantly unfair exchange and, in spite of their assurances, was not suited to bring about a noteworthy improvement of physical or mental health.
2. A few days later, the two accused disclosed to (the injured party) in Basel, that for the successful treatment of his ailments, further courses would be necessary, for which he would have to pay a total of 59,000 franks.
Although (the injured party) attempted to shield himself from this demand, the accused, x and y, managed, by renewed exploitation of his weakness of discretion and by exaggerating - by cunning pretension, since they knew it could hardly be realized - his chance of being cured, to get him to mortgage his bond for a bank loan of a matching amount.
On 11 January 1984, the accused, y, drove her personal vehicle to Str., picked up (the injured party) at his place of work at the Labor Center for the Handicapped and drove him to Z. to a branch of the General Aargau Savings Bank, where the two were received by bank loan officers. Obeying the instructions given to him by the accused, y, (the injured party) obtained a loan for 59,000 franks, which was basically secured with what was left of his bond.
On 13 January 1984 the accused, y, once again looked up (the injured party) in Str., had him sign a filled-out form so that a direct deposit in the amount of 59,000 franks would be made to the account of the "Scientology Church" in the Basel Volksbank, and sent him with it to the bank at Z. After the formalities had been completed, the planned transfer of funds finally took place on 19 January 1984.
According to the receipt filled out by the accused, x, for (the injured party)
- without his cooperation and without further communication - the amount paid was valid for the following "services":Receipt Nr. 13691 12 "Intensive" and 1 "Sunshine Rundown" Fr. 45.290,30 Receipt Nr.13692 "HQS" Course and "Solo 1"- course Fr. 4.747,15 Receipt Nr. 13693 1 Mark VI E-Meter" with var. technical manuals on Scientology and Dianetics Fr. 6.730,50 Receipt Nr. 13694 var. course documents and cassette tapes of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard Fr. 1.401,50 Receipt Nr. 13695 "Installment" for books Fr. 830.55 Total Fr. 59.000.--
This unjustifiable enrichment gained by "Scientology Church" required from (the injured party) and in exploitation of his mental inability through deception was obviously disproportionate to the services promised. For instance, he was given a bill for an "e-meter" which has a material worth of, at most, 200 franks for 7,786 franks (inc. 20% rebate) and 12 "intensives," each consisting of 12 hours of "auditing" (hearing from a Scientologist) for 46,665 franks (inc. 5% discount for pre-payment). Moreover, these "courses" and "instructional aids" had been in no way suited to help (the injured party) in decisively improving his conditions of health as had been dangled before him by the accused.
With the knowledge that (the injured party) had another 41,000 franks at his disposal, and intending to secure the rest of his fortune for the "Scientology Church," x, a short time later, assigned sect member R.F. to talk him into getting another loan in the amount of 41,000 franks. This amount was to be given to another member (J.B.) as a loan by (the injured party) for payment for courses from the "Scientology Church."
In the beginning of February 1984 F. and B. looked up (the injured party) in Str. in order to set up the planned loan. The deal was not concluded, however, because the employer and the parents (of the injured party) learned of it and put a block on his bank account in time, and established a guardianship for (the injured party).
As a consequence (the injured party) broke off his relationship with the "Scientology church."
As a result of an agreement of 23 July 1986 between the legal representatives (of the injured party) and the "Basel Scientology Church," the injured party was paid back 62,000 franks on July 29, 1986.
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The accused, x and y, were released on their own cognizance.
I. Factual and Legal
The facts of the case, as the indictment describes them, were not stipulated, in objective hindsight, by either of the accused, so this was established from an exterior setting. Both of the accused vehemently denied the subjective side of the events, i.e., both asserted that from their perspective, (the injured party) never appeared mentally handicapped, that there was never any question of misuse of services and counter-services, and that the services of the Scientology Church had been of considerable financial use to them which they had considered to be appropriate (see attached testimonies of the accused HV Prot. p. 6-21 and 36-40 as well as the testimonies in the investigative proceedings).
Based on this circumstance, the primary question is whether the two accused could or would have been able to recognize the effective condition of (the injured party). Here it must be ascertained that the state of (the injured party's) health described in the charges can be clearly established through objective means. At the top of the list here are the various doctor's reports (see records p. 40, 41-2, 44-5, 46), which diagnose serious brain damage in the sense of a psycho-organic syndrome for (the injured party) as a result of an accident. Disturbances of memory and thought are characteristic for this injury (see attached from Bleuler p. 186). As can be further gathered from the doctors' reports, the psychological condition of (the injured party) is expressed in ways which include forgetfulness and not being able to relate to reality, i.e., he has demonstrated limited mental
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capacity, which has made it necessary that he be placed under guardianship. As can be gathered from the medical opinions, (the injured party) exhibits a 75% disability, which is the maximum category in actual practice, and which comes close to 100% disability. On the basis of this condition, (the injured party) was accepted into the Labor Center for the Handicapped in Str., where he received an hourly wage of 3.27 franks for carrying out the easiest chores.
(The injured party's) easily recognizable limited mental condition was observed by the bank officials (records p. 67-8) who informed the parents (of the injured party) after a second meeting for a loan, which then led to guardianship. In this context, it can be further seen from the statements of Scientology members B. (records p. 98-100, F. (p. 93-7) and K. (p. 106-8), which all confirm that the handicap was noticeable to them.
(The injured party) was heard as a witness in today's primary proceedings (see testimony HV Prot p. 21-36). During this intensive questioning, the court itself could form a picture of him which incontrovertibly demonstrated that for every lay person, it was recognizable from the first glance that (the injured party) was a man who was considerably mentally handicapped. The form of (the injured party's) expression, along with his unmistakably extreme slowness in diction and response, left no doubt that this was a severely handicapped person. That was indicated in this context in the records of the main proceedings (records p. 21-36, incl. comments). The symptoms which were ascertained by the court were conspicuous enough so that it would have to be said that they could have escaped neither of the accused in their contact with (the injured party).
In today's main proceedings, both of the accused took the position that they were shocked, today, at the condition of (the injured party), they said it had obviously worsened (see HV Prot. p. 29). To this objection, which has to qualify as extraordinarily unhelpful and even tactless,
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it can only be responded that the objective condition (of the injured party) has improved during the past three years, since he was able to get a better wage of employment on the outside today - even if in a limited capacity. Altogether, it can be clearly determined that the psychological condition (of the injured party) has gotten better during this period of time rather than worse.
The objection made by both the accused that (the injured party) had passed the intelligence test given by the Scientology Church with 100 points, whereby they could clearly see that he was mentally fit (see HV Prot. p 15/16), cannot be heard. The questions in this so-called IQ test are given in a primitive environment - and have not the least in common with acknowledged IQ tests - so that it has to be determined that these type of questions can be answered by even the least qualified, and are therefore no indication at all of ability to express oneself.
Altogether it has to be said that (the injured party's) severe mental limitations are unmistakable and that they could not have remained concealed from the two accused. In spite of this perception, the two accused sold (the injured party) the sauna visits mentioned in the charges, books, various courses, etc., for a grand total of 59,000 franks by telling (the injured party) that he would improve his mental capabilities which would enable him to get a better job (see (the injured party's) statement HV Prot. p. 21-36). It is undisputed that the accused, x, gathered an amount of 59,000 franks from (the injured party) and deposited it into the bank account of the Scientology Church. The fact that (the injured party) could be talked into departing with the majority of his wealth that quickly clearly shows the degree of his discretionary ability.
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In fourteen short days he handed over a total of 62,000 franks to the church of which he hardly knew a thing, and it is quite clear from his testimony that he did not want to make a donation to the church, but that he expected help in getting better work.
Now the question arises of whether the accused, through their conduct, have exploited the mental incapacity of their victim and if there was an evident incongruity between services offered and services rendered, as is necessary in the commission of usury.
Even if the word "price" is avoided in favor of "donation" in the documentation of the Scientology Church, it is nevertheless clear that the offered services have fixed prices, and that these must be paid in advance. That means that price and service are related to each other objectively, and the expense can be effectively estimated. The fact that this money is needed for the advance and expansion of the organization, as has been made clear by the accused, cannot be relevant. The only thing which (the injured party) wanted for his money was the cure of his illness and a better job; without doubt that was also the only thing that he had understood of the Scientology teachings. It must be mentioned in this context the the letter from the Scientology Church to the advisor (of the injured party) also indicated "that the possibility existed that (the injured party) would lose a large part of his invalidity and could once again reach his full mental potential" (see records p. 49d). All the statements which (the injured party) had to sign in which he had to confirm that he understood all the documents he received, including the "Dianetics" book, are rated to be the sheer application of alibi. His inability to understand any of it is shown by the fact that the reading comprehension of (the injured party) is on the level of comic books and horror stories (see comment HV Prot. p. 28).
As the first service, a "Purification Rundown" was sold to (the injured party) by the accused on January 3, 1984 for a price of 3,704.40 franks. This Purification Rundown amounted to a sauna cure which included taking various vitamin tablets. A comparison of services and price reveals that the use of a sauna costs, on the average, between 10 and 20 franks, and the vitamin tablets could cost, at most, several franks. Since taking the entire service meant that (the injured party) would have to go into the sauna daily for two to three weeks, this, at a cost of 20 franks per visit, would have come to a maximum worth of 400 franks. The objection on the part of the accused, that these services were very expensive as a result of significant costs, cannot be accepted; this is only an attempt on the part of the accused to place the whole matter in a medical-therapeutical light which bypasses the facts. In the sauna reports (see Sep. attachment I), it can be seen without a doubt that the whole undertaking consists of a banal sweat cure which would give (the injured party) nothing outside of a feeling of heat and thirst. Since there is a crass disproportion in the price of this Purification Rundown between the services offered and the services tendered, no more need be detailed on this account.
The price-to-services ratio of the "package" sold to (the injured party) for 59,000 franks falls wide of the mark. This was to cover 12 so-called "intensives," including 1 Sunshine Rundown, which were listed for the hefty sum of 45,290.30 franks. The exact breakdown is 12 segments of 12 hours each of auditing (interrogation sessions by a scientology adherent) conducted by, mostly, very young people who enjoy no kind of recognized education. When one calculates the price per hour, it comes to about 315 franks. An hour at a degreed psychiatrist's, by comparison, is 150 franks. It would be very difficult to provide obvious proof that this type of spiritual counseling
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is outside the scope of good and evil. It is mentioned only in passing that the circumstance under which the weakly gifted (injured party) was sold about 150 hours of session in one fell swoop, when it was known that next to nothing could be accomplished with his abilities and with completely unqualified people, can only be described as unconscionable. It is also mentioned in this context that the auditing reports in the separate enclosure I consist of completely illegible sheets of paper. As further service, an "HQS" course was sold to (the injured party) - along with a "Solo 1" course for the price of 4,747.15 franks. Even though both accused have been members of the Scientology organization for years and have taken courses up to "clear," they sold (the injured party) courses which they had not taken, since they had not reached this level yet, according to their testimony (see HV Prot. p. 40). This course was sold to him because, according to testimony from the accused, y, it made a "more favorable package," although he would have had to attain the level of "clear" first (see attachment p. 142). There are hardly words to describe the relentlessness which lies in this relationship of price to services in this sale. It may not be overlooked that (the injured party) had to struggle to sleep in taking these services, since he was not able to understand what was being done with him. In this situation he was sold courses for his near, far and furthest-term future with no regard as to whether he would ever be able to take them. Also the fact that the psychically ill person was sold courses in two short weeks which neither of the two accused had been able to take after years of having belonged to the questionable organization as a "special action" make the tactics of the two accused more than clear. The other services are analogous to this one, for instance the e-meter, for which a price of 6,730.50 franks was named, and which is to be used for spiritual processes in a dust-free room. Apart from the fact that this device, according to a report by the Institute for
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Physics of the University of Basel yields a material worth of from 100 to 200 franks, it, according to an instructional pamphlet in the teachings of Scientology (see records p. 142), is supposed to be used after one has reached a "clear" state, from which (the injured party) was far removed. The picture was rounded out, then, through course documents to the amount of 1,401.50 franks and particularly by the last entry on the invoice, "payment for books" in the amount of 830.55 franks. This last entry shows with the highest clarity desirable for that the invoice was calculated out to the last cent for the purpose of relieving (the injured party) of 59,000 franks at one stroke. This machination legally qualifies as exploitation in accordance with the law. It puts a picture book in hand of how the two accused exploited the mental incapacity of (the injured party) in order to obtain a fortune for the Scientology Church which it would never have obtained under normal conditions. In this finding, the belief of the two accused in the Scientology Church cannot change anything, even so little as could their statement of retribution make up for damage done after about 2 1/2 years and intensive efforts on the part of (the injured party's) guardian.
Altogether it is found that both accused had to have been able and did recognize the obvious incapacity of (the injured party), and exploited this in the crassest way. No doubt, therefore, can remain that the subjective findings of fact have been fulfilled; both of the accused are, as pertains to the charges of practice of usury, guilty.
II Degree of Punishment
The culpability of the two accused is described as serious. The amount of the misdeed of about 62,000 franks, is extremely high, especially in view of the fact that it is the total wealth of (the injured party). Both of the accused proceeded purposefully, stubbornly and ruthlessly to obtain (the injured party's) money in the shortest time possible.
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This desire for profit becomes extraordinarily repulsive, as the two accused also had to have been aware, in that the severely handicapped person was completely dependent upon his insurance payment. Their procedure can be described as nothing other than unscrupulous. The desire for profit and the disregard for any moral limitation which the accused exhibited are extremely reprehensible. The fact that both the accused are long-term members of Scientology whose senses have possibly already been somewhat dulled through the practices of this institution may also explain their lack of insight in the crass injustice of their deed. The assertion by the accused that they, themselves, have already afforded high sums for the organization may not extenuate the judgment in the present matter. What the accused themselves may have invested is not of significance here, since the both of them are healthy, young women who are accountable for themselves.
The culpability may be viewed with a less harsh light when one considers that the accused were dealing primarily in the interests of their community of faithful, however, in spite of everything else, it cannot be overlooked that a unique, if also more decisive, advantage was connected with this for them, since their pay is dependent upon sales.
In favor of the two accused is the lack of prior convictions (see preliminary report file p. 3, 14) as well as the condition that both have unsullied reputations.
Not to be held in favor of the accused was covering the damages, which was a long time in the coming and occurred only under pressure of criminal proceedings.
Even though the circumstances listed under Part IV of the charges do not specify charges for x, there is no hiding that x also had the intention to relieve (the injured party) of his last 41,000 franks, which reflects upon her reputation.
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In consideration of all the above named circumstances, a differentiation in the degree of punishment appears to be indicated in regards to the two accused, with the accused, x, as the one more primarily accountable for the financial consequences. The 8 months imprisonment being asked by the state's attorney for x and 6 months for y is held by the court, in view of the crass guilt in casu, as far under the justifiable limits.
The circumstance that the accused was operating primarily for the organization alone rather than for her own pecuniary interest permits the punishments be set at 12 month imprisonment for x and 11 months imprisonment for y.
Because of lack of prior convictions and a favorable prognosis of the conditional execution of sentence, the minimal probation period of two years is approved.
A fine can be associated with the confinement, 1,000 franks for x and 900 Swiss franks for y.
III. Accessory Points
The separate attachment I, Scientology folders of (the injured party), are, since they were used in the commission of a punishable offence, confiscated in accordance with Art. 58 Abs. 1 StGB.
The confiscated E-meter and 6 pill-shaped preparations will be given back to the Scientology Church
Accordingly the CRIMINAL COURT finds
are declared to be guilty of the practice of usury and sentenced
1. x to 12 months imprisonment suspended with a probation period of 2 years, as well as a fine of 1,000 franks which if not paid will be commuted to confinement, in accordance with article 157 number 1 and 41 number 1 of the criminal code.
2. y to 11 months imprisonment suspended with a probation period of 2 years, as well as a fine of 900 franks which if not paid will be commuted to confinement, in accordance with article 157 number 1 and 41 number 1 of the criminal code.
The separate attachment I, Scientology folders on (the injured party) will be confiscated in accordance with article 58 paragraph 1 of the criminal code.
The confiscated E-meter and 6 pill-shaped preparations will be given back to the Scientology Church.
Those convicted will bear their own costs, of the general costs each will bear half as well as judgment fees of 1,500 franks each.