Project Day "America" at the Friedrich List High School
April 3, 1999
Past and Presence of the the United States
Gemuenden. 35 students of grades 11a and 11b took part in project day, theme "America", at the Friedrich List High School
After an introduction by senior student council member Christoph Zaenglein, the former security advisor of the US headquarters in Heidelberg, Dr. Will Gerling, a German-American who was invited by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, gave a presentation on the theme "USA - Past and Present."
Dr. Gerling went to the USA shortly after the Second World War as a high school graduate, only to return to Germany two years later as an active GI. He served in the US Army in various capacities as a senior officer until his retirement in 1996.
His history made him an ideal lecturer for the students because, on top of his comprehensive technical knowledge, he introduced a string of personal anecdotes and informative, light-hearted stories from American newspapers and magazines in his presentation.
After a glance through the development history of the USA, Dr. Gerling took up the political system of America. He had a copy of the Declaration of Independence and had the students search its signers for a German name, in vain. Even today, according to the speaker, German-Americans, unlike Greek, Polish and Italian Americans, rarely participate in political life. Dr. Gerling sees an advantage in the American system in the fact that US politicians are not put in placement lists, as they are in Germany, and must have their positions confirmed every two years (House of Representatives) and six years (Senate). American representatives always have to maintain relations with their constituency.
After a glimpse at actual problems of American society (Christian Coalition, social security, health insurance and the arms lobby), the speaker discussed the American psyche, in order to explain certain behavior models to the students. Accordingly, the US Constitution was said to guarantee every citizen the right to happiness and individualism. The constant hunt for something new, for meaningful and nonsensical inventions, and the struggle, which Europeans view as exaggerated, for equal rights as well as for fame and honesty are all based on these articles.
After this thoughtful presentation was greeted with hearty applause, senior student council member Roland Koeniger gave a dialogue on the theme "The American City by example of New York", which involved the chessboard layout and the architectural peculiarities of Manhattan.
After a break, presentations were given by individual students. Andreas Bayer talked about American measures and weights such as stone, ounce quart and gallons, and figured them into the German system. Annika Hoefling and Joerg Breitenbach had researched "Scientology" and described the obscure teachings of L. Ron Hubbard in detail, and did not forget to mention the anti-Constitutional aspects. Judith Koberstein and Sebastian Brandt lectured on the theme of "Immigration into the USA today," and examined the latest statistics and current practices of the US Immigration service. A presentation on Hip Hop by student speaker Virginia Rothemund with girls of the eleventh grade and a meal consisting of hamburgers in the school cafeteria wound up the successful presentation. The second part of the project day follows on April 4, 1999. Zaenglein will visit the Wuerzburg American High School with the 11a and 11b classes, where the students from Gmuenden will participate in the classroom and will experience an informative and exciting school day with American students.
"Islamic instruction would remove prejudice"
March 30, 1999
Pfalz Evangelical Church reaches out to Moslems
- Strong criticism of the addition of sects
by Juergen K. Neumann
No anxiety about Islam and its people, but a dread for the expansion of sects. This is the view which the Pfalz Evangelical Church has taken in Speyer (we have recently reported on this). First the church presented its long-term experience with Moslems. In a second discussion the church gave an insight into the observation of "sectarians" and "pseudo-religions."
For church President Eberhard Cherdron, "tolerance" is the issue in dealing with Moslems. Cherdron stated, "Our basic principle says that we respect people with different worldviews without giving up the basic Christian truths in doing so." As far as sects go, this amounts to locking out "this transient religiousness." Gerhand Eckstein, Islamic commissioner of the Pfalz Church, emphasizes that the Christians of Pfalz are finding new ways to live with the 40,000 Moslems of their region. Nationwide, there are more than five million Moslems. In 1990, Eckstein created a work group in which Christians and Moslems could exchange ideas. Eckstein stated, "There is too much prejudice which comes simply from not knowing enough about each other." In 1995 the "Christian-Islamic Discussion Group" was founded in Ludwigshafen. Its members include congregations from both church and mosque who celebrate together, hold lectures and visit each other. Islamic instruction in school, for Eckstein, would be a "natural outcome." The commissioner stated, "We should look beyond the German borders. This type of instruction already exists, without problem, in Spain and Austria." Leading church board member Christian Schad, member of the church administration, stated, "We support the requirements for Islamic instruction, and will serve as liaison, if this should be desired."
There is no negotiation with sects. Dr. Richard Ziegert, Commissioner for Sects and Issues of Worldview, has gathered 200 different "addresses" of sects so far. The activities range from the Scientologists' practicing medicine without a license to "backyard gurus." Open access to the internet conceals a great deal of risk. In the area of the "Scientology Church," the battle is already lost. Ziegert stated, "Our politics and economy have opened up the doors for them." He felt that the unreserved takeover of the American structure along with the simultaneous addition of a "Me Culture" was disturbing. "Information creates necessity!" said Ziegert.
The Pfalz Evangelical Church has its seat in Speyer and accounts for 666,000 Evangelical Christians. Of those, 50,000 faithful are from the Sarrpfalz region.
KAB presentation on the topic of "sects"
Recommendation of the speakers
Friday, March 1, 1999 - Gemuenden
Personal conviction instead of pure religious contentment
The Wuerzburg Diocese commissioner for issues of weltanschauung, religion and sects, Alfred Singer, made it clear during his presentation on "Sects: a challenge for churches and society" in Pfarrheim in Langenprozelten that sects continue to pose a danger. People who have encountered a crisis reach out for new religious market offerings, which restrict their freedom and alter their personality. About one percent of the German population make use of these offerings.
During his presentation, Singer essentially warned against the Scientology sect, Spiritual Human Yoga (SHY), Universal Life and the Moon Sect. The speakers had invited the local Catholic Employees Movement (KAB) [Katholische Arbeitnehmer Bewegung].
In 1986, the Vatican published a document about sects as a challenge for the ministry which reflected the de-personalized structure of society, Singer reported. People often were being exposed to promises of personality changes made in harmless leaflets or flyers by these groups. From a theological, religious perspective, sects are a minority which have separated from a mother religion which has deviated in their teachings or practice; from an ethical, social psychological perspective, it is a group which breaks ethical, common human standards.
Singer spoke about the methods of making contact: it mostly happens through personal word of mouth, flyers or ads, the sale of books and tapes, invitations to a meal or to a personality test, posters, course offerings, recommendations from experts, magazine articles, radio and TV broadcasts.
The judgment of sect-like groups, said Singer, follow various criteria: messiah, guru or prophet. Besides that he talked about the dangers: elitist thinking (only sects will survive a cosmic catastrophe), absolute claims ("We have the absolute truth"), love-bombing (members are overwhelmed with apparent love), control of members (they are loaded down with assignments), the claim of having religious and worldly power, an insider's vocabulary (a vocabulary which is only understood by a few people), an informational hierarchy (commercial power), inability to criticize (criticism may not be thought or spoken), world conspiracy against outside groups (cover corporations) and the total modification of one's way of life.
Lead by example
The speaker gave tips on how to behave when you learn that one of your children or a friend has joined a sect: ethical and human standards promoted by churches in public also have their place in for an individual. "Churches are not there to satisfy every religious need. Christians have a message to give which you mustn't hide from," said Singer. "Christians of the future are not those who have taken over their parents' beliefs, but those who have won their own convictions."
Kiel. (US) The new sect commissioner of the state administration is administrative director Matthias Knothe. The Director of the Media section of the State Chancellory has taken over this assignment as a collateral duty, the administration announced.
The position was vacant for five months after the previous occupant, Hans-Peter Bartels, went to the Federal Assembly [Bundestag] as an SPD representative. In the meantime, Knothe has been holding the position as a commissary. The state chancellory had, at first, left the matter open as to whether they would forego a sect commissioner or combine the position with one of Hamburg's. The brunt of the workload is standard information from authorities and the public about actual findings in the areas of sects. The central point of all this has been the Scientology organization. Since 1994, the post has gathered extensive documentation about sects and associations similar to sects which has regularly been brought up to date.
"We press charges for anything"
From: "DIE WELT"
December 11, 1998
Jeanette Schweitzer was a member of Scientology for three years. Since 1993 the 47 year old and the Vitem association have been assisting followers of the sect in their leaving.
WELT: Stars like John Travolta swear by Scientology. Why?
Schweitzer: Sect Founder Ron Hubbard has very successfully employed his stars as part of his PR machine. As celebrities they are cared for and pampered, they do not get to know the negative side.
WELT: What makes going into Scientology so attractive?
Schweitzer: At the seminars they meet people who listen to them, worry about them, and spend much time with them. Passage into the sect is not noticeable. It becomes dangerous with the so-called "auditing."
WELT: What is that?
Schweitzer: Alleged discussion therapy, however, it is actually a coercive hypnotic process with brainwashing. The goal is the glass person, who can be filled up with the language and ideology of the Scientologists.
WELT: What happens from there?
Schweitzer: Many separate themselves from their family and friends. It becomes unpleasant when the first bills arrive. After one year almost 100,000 marks have gone for auditing.
WELT: How do you help people who leave?
Schweitzer: At first it's just the basic necessities, such as a place to live and a new job. If the sect should make problems we turn tough: we press charges for anything.
© DIE WELT, 11.12.1998
"Scientology is not a Religion"From: "Frankfurter Neue Presse - Rhein-Main.Net - Frankfurt - Deutschland"
Saturday, November 28, 1998
by Christine Winkler
Kriftel. Many people are looking for a meaning in life. For years, New Age has been attractive, and not just for younger people. Assistance in life orientation is sought from sects or other groups. The Adult Education Committee of the Evangelical Church organized two presentations under the title of "Search for Salvation." "There is a need for information in the community," stated Reverend Christa Lohenner. A presentation had just been made 14 days ago on the theme of "various sects and new religious movements." Reverend Fritz Huth (Commissioner for Weltanschauung of the Evangelical Church) will report on "Scientology" in the Evangelical community building. As an introduction, Huth showed excerpts from an advertisement video as well as an interview with the founder, Ron Hubbard (1911-1986).
The "Church of Scientology California" got its start in the United States in 1954. "Its teachings say that every human being is an immortal spirit (Thetan)," stated the speaker. The Scientologists are of the opinion that a "Thetan" can be freed from his numerous disabilities (engrams) with the assistance of an electrometer (E-Meter) - a type of lie detector - through auditing. "Each person has weak points (disabilities) which are continually addressed in these type of sessions," stated Fritz Huth.
The highest goal is to become an "Operating Thetan," which requires taking very many expensive courses. Well-known personalities also belong to the "Church of Scientology."
"All who criticize us are criminals," Huth quoted Scientology founder Hubbard. "That is a totalitarian claim, and that is exactly what the danger is," the theologian criticized this statement.
In the ensuing discussion, a visitor stood up and tried to criticize the presentation. He said he was an independent journalist and had studied Scientology in detail. The man hurried up to the blackboard on which Huth had written down the highlights of his presentation of "Scientology" and tried to augment some points and contradict others. He could lecture on this theme for seven hours, stated the visitor. For example, he stated that there were penal camps in California. The visitor even wanted to answer questions from the audience. "This is not your presentation," he was reminded by discussion leader Christa Lohenner. The man became excited and stated that he could not let things stand as they were.
An elderly lady wanted to know if Huth believed that "Scientology" is a religion. The speaker answered with a clear "no." "It arose from a vacuum in society and that is what is used by the Scientologists," continued Huth. People need to get more information from meetings such as these. These "campaigns" have been successful in that people "have become generally more cautious." The theologian primarily criticized the fanaticism inside the "Church of Scientology." That fanaticism is then carried on by those who leave. "Using the same fanaticism they once had inside the group, they try to criticize the group after they leave it," added Fritz Huth.
© Frankfurter Neue Presse 1998
A Total Violation of Human Dignity
Reverend Volker Kükenshöner lectured about the danger of Youth Sects
Scientology as an Example
From: "MINDENER TAGEBLATT"
November 24, 1998
Hille (sbo). The typical method of procedure by psycho[logical]- groups and "youth sects" was the topic of discussion at an evening informational meeting called "Youth Sects - another danger for my child?", which was held by the Youth Care of Hille. Reverend Volker Kükenshöner was the guest lecturer in the Hille General School. He informed the visitors in the audience as to which groups in particular are at risk in regards to sects.
Starting off the meeting with a video, Reverend Volker Kükenshöner pointed out the danger of the well-known Scientology sect and used this as a role model for other sects. The group baits people by awakening anxiety about their future and then presenting themselves as a safe haven. One is led to tell everything about himself. Human dignity is then totally violated, as the young man in the video realizes after leaving the sect.
It is very simple to rip people off, and that is exactly what sects are designed to do. The consequences are mountains of debt which is up to the victims to pay, stated the expert.
People most at risk are those who are at a turning point in their lives. Unemployment and spousal problems give rise to the sect promising special knowledge, success or love. The group appears to offer exactly that which the person would need in this kind of situation, related Reverend Kükenshöner.
He also adamantly warned of "cover companies," behind which a sect can hide. Those interested can receive information about these companies from the Work Group on Sects, which has also published a volume on the topic of "youth sects" this year.
Kükenshöner's closing tip for parents: even if you find out that your child is a member of a sect, you should still listen to what they say and remain in contact with them.
The evening's discussion also served as a lead-in to the play "Theatology" - a sect comedy with a realistic background - for students of the school.
Key Word: Scientology
From: "Main Echo"
November 20, 1998
Bonn. Scientology was founded in 1954 by an American science fiction author, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911 - 1986) in the USA. According to the "Lexicon of Sects, Special Groups and Weltanschauungs", the organization is said to have between eight and 25 million members worldwide. Scientology first set up business in Germany in 1970. In the Federal Republic of Germany there are now said to be about 10,000 members. The hierarchically structured organization likes to see itself perceived, according to the lexicon, "as the conclusion and pinnacle of all humanity's prior endeavors." It would like to explain all areas of life "in a new and definitive manner." Membership can have "deep-reaching, negative effects of a financial and personal nature" says the lexicon. An example of street recruiting tells how Scientologists use free "personality tests" as a lure.
Then an attempt is made to sell courses of instruction. That includes offering individual programs for "happier people." Scientology is viewed by critics as a profit-oriented business which uses dubious methods. It is mainly active in the psychological and real estate markets. Several German courts have dealt with Scientology. The Federal Labor Court in Kassel decided that the organization is a commercial enterprise and not a church. In the USA, Scientology has the status of a religious community.
Not Enough Chairs
Vast Interest in "In the Labyrinth of Scientology"
From: "Saarbrücker Zeitung"
November 4, 1998
Illingen (ets). Additional seating had to be hurriedly arranged in the town hall because of the number of the people arriving at a lecture presentation which was held by the Community Culture Office in conjunction with the public high school of Illingen. The theme, which apparently was of interest to many people, was "In the Labyrinth of Scientology."
The author of the book by the same name, Norbert Potthoff, reported very succinctly about his time as a Scientologist. He departed in 1988. "I was not just a paying member, but a so-called 'officer,' that means that I was in the organization in a leading position," he explained. Seven years of Scientology was not exactly a claim to fame. He needed time to get over his shame and feelings of guilt. Now he considers warning his fellow man about this organization to be his duty. They use quite subtle methods to get their members. Various psychological tricks and even hypnosis is applied. The structure of the organization is rigidly hierarchical. Absolute obedience and discipline is expected of the Scientology disciples.
They are promised success, power and money. Ethical values fall completely by the wayside. That means that no consideration is given to incapable, sick or weak people. The message of Scientology is spread in courses and instruction, which is often disguised with harmless learning goals and are offered for a lot of money.
Potthoff himself bore these expenses, just as have many of his fellow victims, up to the brink of ruin. Completely coincidentally to this he lost two wives with Scientology, one because she did not want to go into it, the other because she didn't want to leave. The "creation story" which forms the pivot point of the pseudoreligion, and which the author related, sounded more like a science fiction story. The question arose from the rows of the audience, how a normal thinking person could fall for that. This happens with the "brainwashing" which every new member is subject to, according to Potthoff.
Just the vision of being an immortal superhuman itself lures even highly intelligent people. "Scientology presents a danger for democracy from which we have to defend ourselves," said the lecturer. He told the audience to be critical when it came to attractive-sounding offers for courses or any new product. For instance, Scientologists are not averse to selling hand puppets in kindergarten along with their ideologically flavored stories. "Watch for changes in family members or friends." If somebody starts behaving in a regulated manner for no reason, that should get your attention. If there are doubts, consult the Church commissioners on Scientology, advised Potthoff. There are also a few private groups. [...]
Norbert Potthoff, class of '48 [note: must be '84] is a degreed graphical artist. Besides his presentations, of which he holds about 100 to 150 per year, he finances his "re-won" life with painting. He also has written a second book about Scientology, also being printed as a pocket book by the Bastei-Lübbe-Verlag, which will be appearing sometime soon.
New Religious Movements a Challenge for Churches?
November 3, 1998
Dieburg Parish to hold an Information series
Dieburg. The Evangelical congregation is holding an open series of meeting in the parish community building on Frankfurter Street. The series will have the theme, "New Religious Movements a Challenge for Churches?" Each meeting begins at 8 p.m.
On Tuesday, November 10, the Director of Community Work of the Frankfurt Evangelical Regional Association, Professor Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth of Frankfurt, will speak on the topic of "What makes a sect a sect?"
On Thursday, November 12, the Commissioner of World Ideology of the EKHN, Professor Dr. Fritz Hutz, will talk about "Universal Life." His lecture is called "Good Life with Universal Life?"
The series closes with an evening of lecture and discussion about the origins of the teachings and technology of the "Scientology Organization." The speaker is Professor Thomas Waldeck from Darmstadt. This is to be held on Thursday, the 26th of November.
The presentation may include the chance for discussion. The organizers hope for lively participation in these highly charged issues.
From Religious Supermarkets
and the Search for Salvation
From: "Höchster Kreisblatt"
Tuesday, November 3, 1998
Kriftel. An increasing number of people are turning to sects and other groups in the "religious supermarket" in their search for a meaning to life and for the group experience. The Evangelical Church community will be holding two lectures to promote a critical discussion of this phenomenon. These will be offerred by the Adult Education Committee on Orientation Assistance.
"Search for Salvation? Sects and new religious movements" is the name of the first presentation, which will be held on Thursday, November 12. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Resurrection Church on Immanuel-Kant Street. The speaker is Reverend Dr. Matthias Poehlmann, Academic Assistant to the Dean of Religious Studies at the University of Erlangen- Nurnberg. He has been involved with issues of sects and world ideologies for years now.
For the second presentation about "Scientology," which begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, the 26th of November in the Evangelical Church in Kriftel, the parish Adult Education Committee is able to get Reverend Dr. Fritz Huth as a speaker. Huth is the Commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau for issues of *"world ideology". (kajo)
© Frankfurter Neue Presse 1998
Remaining skeptical requires courage
The Hoisdorf Initiative
The busses came from Hamburg. Not unusual for the federal capitol of Bonn. The people debarking the busses, at first glance, seemed to form an entirely normal group of visitors. It was not until a young woman held up a megaphone and poles were to be seen on which banners were furled that it was clear that this was a demonstration. But still, that's not unusual for Bonn. "First we go to Market Square." The group was led with the help of the megaphone.
The Bonn Market Square is the target of many demonstrators, so the police are not surprised by the various little groups which were gathering there. Several wore t-shirts which said, "Crusade for Religious Freedom."
I found Esther Martensen and greeted her. We knew each other from various arrangements in Hamburg. Esther is the head of the Hoisdorf Initiative which formed against the founding of a Scientology school in Hoisdorf. "They're here, too," I said and nodded in the direction of the people with the t-shirts, the Scientologists who lead a crusade for religious freedom. Esther smiled, "That was counted on."
The Hoisdorf and Hamburg initiatives brought 55,000 signatures with them in laundry baskets, "We demand an investigative committee be formed in the German Parliament in matters of 'Scientology-Dianetics'."
Dr. Rita Suessmuth, President of the German Federal Parliament, wanted to speak with the people forming the initiatives, listen to their arguments and collect the signatures after the demonstrations. 1992 appears to have been a successful year for Scientology critics in Germany. Nevertheless, it was only several hundred people who assembled at Market Square, perhaps two dozen Scientologists among them. There are still not very many people who know about the dangers which occur as a result of Scientology. The example of the Hoisdorf Initiative shows how necessary civil courage is for citizens. Journalist Uwe Birnstein called the work of the Hoisdorfers "Head wind from the province." One could just as well speak about a storm which had developed in the village of 3,000 in the vicinity of Hamburg. The powerful pseudo-church of Scientology shattered for the first time on a citizens' initiative.
Leading up to the issue was a well-financed real estate firm from Hamburg which had acquired a vacant children's home in Hoisdorf for 1.6 million marks. The local politicians, charmed by the blessing in the form of money which the sale of the former "Gottesgabe" orphanage had brought them, had a very positive attitude about the plans of real estate broker and Scientologist Goetz Brase. Those plans were to establish a respected boarding school entirely according to the Scientology's model in America. Anyone who has ever seen the glossy brochures of the American model institutions like the "Delphi School" and does not know what "teaching" means in Scientology almost has no choice but to be charmed. Without a doubt it would bolster Hoisdorf's infrastructure; that could have been what the politicians were thinking at the time. Therefore it is understandable that people, at first, were not at all charmed when somebody rocked the boat and announced that they opposed the Scientology boarding school. Esther Martensen organized the first evening informational meeting. At her side stood Hoisdorfer Uwe Blankenfeld, whose daughter had already been snatched up by Scientology. The residents of the village were shocked and enraged when they heard about what was actually behind the beautifully formulated plans of the self-proclaimed Scientology Church. A signature-collecting action found that 98 percent of the inhabitants spoke out against the boarding school. Mayor Horl felt that he had been essentially deceived and misled by the Scientologists; he put himself at a distance to the project and looked for a way to make the whole deal null and void. The purchase contract, however, was already in effect.
Suddenly all of Germany was looking at the little village in the North which was so desperately putting up resistance. Articles appeared in all the leading newspapers and magazines and lent the Hoisdorf Initiative popularity and a favorable climate. Nevertheless, Esther Martensen and her friend also wanted to meet with the Scientologists. Brase's female companion, Irmgard Hellkamp, an academic who was to take direction of the boarding school, painted a positive picture of the curriculum with many musical subjects, painting, ballet, with child-oriented teaching.
"Learn how to learn," "Overcome the barriers to learning," "Study Technology" and the Scientology founder Hubbard had planned a bombastic sounding program for children. In 1981, after having been in Scientology for six months, I, too, was totally enthused about it after hearing about it for the first time. I drove to Switzerland, took a look at the establishment there and my decision was made: this kind of school would have to exist in Germany as soon as possible. One may well criticize our strict school system, but sometimes something like that also has its place. Anyone in Germany who wants to establish a school has to present a schedule, come up with a curriculum and much more. These are the hurdles up against which Scientology "study technology" has always failed. The use of the so-called "teaching accelerator" is also extremely questionable, a machine which supposedly is able to uncover alleged "misunderstandings" in students. The "learning accelerator" is the equivalent of the Scientologists' electrometer, a device to measure skin resistance which is supposed to indicate sensitive areas. In Scientology's child-rearing, machines replace academic advice.
In spite of the Scientologists' impressive "teaching schedule," Esther Martin remained skeptical and gathered more information. Soon it was clear that Scientology was a system of deception. Hubbard's methods of training proved to be claptrap banalities void of affection for children. "Children are little adults," what serious academic would like to go along with such maxims!
The Hoisdorfers' campaign continued and expanded. They didn't let themselves be taken in by the Scientologists' sweet-talking propaganda and neither did they give in to terrorism. Telephone-terrorism, public insults and unexplained break-ins were supposed to discourage the citizens. Some groups hit the roof when Franz Riedl, press spokesman of the Hamburg Scientology Center announced that "Such stories are untruths fabricated by paid people. The Scientologists are being persecuted as the Jews once were."
Finally, CDU Member of Parliament Michael von Schmude brought the problem to Bonn. In the question session at Parliament, he asked what information the federal government had about the activities of this sect and whether any details or attempts to bring young people into total dependency by them were known.
The year 1990 will also be known as the turning point for Scientology in Germany. Scientology was taken up by politicians and was no longer a theme just for church sect commissioners. Hoisdorf citizens took politics from the ground up and saw to it that politicians got involved with Scientology from that time forward. The battle of Hoisdorf was not in vain. One and a half years after the campaign had begun, Uta Knack from the Hamburger Abendblatt wrote on September 7, 1990:
"Hoisdorf resistance successful: Scientology gives in.
Hoisdorf is breathing a big sigh of relief. The sect has given up its plans to establish an elementary boarding school for children of sect members in the former 'Gottesgabe' children's home."
A sigh of relief, but they did not give up or fall back. Their work was not over, as Scientology spokesman Franz Riedl announced:
"We're seeking another good site. And God will help us to find it."
It was not God, though, who helped them out, but Goetz Brase once again. After a few more tries to find a suitable site for a Scientology school in Germany fell through, he came up with a fantastic way to get around German law. With his own childhood in northern Schleswig in mind, he went to Denmark. He found a place in Behrendorf (Danish: Bjerndrup), not far from the German-Danish border. He believed he would be able to attain his goal there, where the Germans are in the minority. Denmark, tolerant by tradition, including to Scientologists, would tolerate this school.
But the Scientologists also ran into trouble there. On the one side because, as usual, they did not want to keep state records (they have those in Denmark, too), and on the other side because the German people strode towards more information. We can learn a lesson from Hoisdorf.
The above is a chapter from "Scientology Schicksale: Eine Organisation wird zum Socialen Stoerfall - Erfahrungsberichte" by Norbert Potthoff / Sabine Kemming, copyright 1998
"Management" with Scientology
Discussion with Sect Commissioner Hans Rückerl about the worldwide operating Organization
From: "Der neue Tag / Amberger Zeitung (Oberpfalz)"
October 7, 1998
Weiden. (ay) "Do you believe that you use all your mental abilities?" Anyone who accepts this invitation to a free personality test is on the way to selling themselves to an organization that wants, above all else: money and power. Scientology. The machinations of the sect were discussed by Hans Rückerl, Commissioner for sects and issues of ideology, at a meeting of the Catholic Employee's Movement (KAB) and the Catholic Education Society.
The advertisement strategy is perfectly fitted to the needs of performance in a modern society, said the speaker. In every case, the test reveals to the person who fills it out serious weaknesses which allegedly inhibit his professional progress or the development of his personal abilities. All this is no problem, if one is to believe the "experts." A simple communications course promises speedy assistance. The provider of this course: Scientology.
Courses are supposed to make you happy
As soon as you take one of these courses, you have already lost, says Rückerl. The search for happiness and success does not rarely end in financial ruin. The maximization of happiness is only possible through taking more courses -- and they are expensive. The organization, which says it has over 30,000 members in Germany, makes its appearance as an ideological group. The ideology is simple: "We are building a new society."
The sect commissioner also related that a special department is dedicated to the expansion of organizational techniques in commercial business; it arranges management seminars for people in positions of leadership in order to win the most influential people possible as members. The new member is made suggestive, and is made to break off familiar and social contacts if there is a danger that he will waver in his [new] convictions.
The main component of the Scientology training is, according to Rückerl, "auditing." Through constant repetition of a process similar to brainwashing the resultant state of "clear" can be reached -- paradise on earth for any "devout" Scientologist. The foundation of the commercial enterprise is the book "Dianetics", in print since 1950, by sect founder Ron L. Hubbard.
Family members or friends who actually end up in the clutches of the Scientologists should not be "damned," pleads Rückerl. Their successful departure can be gained with sufficient help.
Christian Churches and Sects
From: "Nassauische Neue Presse"
September 17, 1998
Bad Camberg/Selters. The Ecumenical Monday night meeting on September 21 at 7:30 p.m. will discuss sects, and will be held at Hotel Haus Pohl, 9 Park St., Bad Camberg (by the miniature golf course). All interested parties are invited by the ecumenical core group, "Action 365." Admission is free.
The ecumenical speaker of the German Bishop's conference, Dr. Georg Schutz from Aschaffenburg, will make his "Remarks on the Enquete Commissions Sects Study."
Dr. Schutz contributed substantially to the informational paper, "The Christian Churches and the Sects," which has recently been distributed by the Ecumenical Center of the Study Group of Christian Churches, and which is available that evening free of charge.
The topic of sects is of concern to the public primarily because of the discussion about the Scientology organization and the horror stories about violent outgrowths elsewhere. Even here at home there is an unmanageable diversity of radical philosophical and religious groups of varying molds and flavors. Some make harsh claims, have people sign contracts, and lead them to some degree in radical opposition to churches and society.
However, Dr. Schutz cautions against throwing completely different groups all together in one pot. From his ecumenical work, he knows that the question of whether a certain category is a sect often concerns Christian communities and associations, too, especially when they are still young, are small in size, or are unfamiliar to the public. Even the large popular churches are affected, according to the experiences of the Study Group of Christian Churches, since the fear of sects occasionally leads to distrust of religion in general.
Because of the seminar on the "Basic Questions of Belief," which begins on Thursday, September 24, the "Action 365" team evening which was scheduled for that day will be postponed one week to October 1. At that meeting, 7:30 p.m. in the Evangelical Community Building in Bad Camberg, 13 Eichborn St., Reverend Ingrid Maxeiner, honorary staff member of the Ecumenical Core Group, will celebrate divine services. Interested guests from both near and far are welcome to attend.
"Action 365" has been receiving mail from Guatemala. "Education is the gate to cooperation in the controlling positions of our country. This gate, which has opened just a little bit for the Indian population and the poor of my country, must remain open, and it will stay open with your assistance and support." This was written by Angel Lopez Camposeco, the manager of one of the coffee growers fellowships supported by "Action 365." His assessment was confirmed by two further letters from Guatemala. Juan Pop Colom told about his life and his family. He attended the elementary school in his village of Quixal. His education was possible only with great difficulty to his mother, since his father died in 1988, and he has three siblings. Thanks to the support of the "Comon Celeba" fellowship and "Action 365," he is now able to attend night classes in business at San Pedro Carch. He works in agriculture in the morning, at the co-op office in the afternoon, then studies from 7-10 at night.
Candelaria Arcely Montejo Diaz described the role of women in Guatemala. Most of the women, she writes, are housewives. "They wash, cook, iron and look after their husband and children." In the co-op she learned how important it was that women mutually encourage each other, and how it is not always important to do whatever others expect from them.
Supermarket of Salvation
From: DIE WELT
September 15, 1998
by SONJA BOERDNER
"Enjoy your Life. Every Day." A trendsetter draws customers by using large letters. However, not all calls to happiness are as harmless as the advertisement itself. "We are the only group on the planet that offers an effective solution," reads a slogan from Scientology.
"The more desperate the search for happiness is, the more susceptible we are for the questionable promises of salvation from sects, psycho[logical]- groups and esoterica cults," says the Episcopal Sect Commissioner, Father Klaus Funke. Hundreds of these groups bustle about the streets of Berlin, he says. A general view of them has been lost long ago, and the nuances between them and management courses are slight. "Supermarket of Salvation" was the name of a presentation by St. Paul's Dominican Cloister in Tiergarten which gave information about the groups, their practices and the background of psychological dependency.
"Sometimes I feel like a private detective," says Father Funke. People who are seeking help show up almost daily at the consultation center on Oldenburg Street. Most are the desperate relatives of psychologically unstable people who have fallen as victim to a group. That is the way it was with the mother of a 30 year old. After he threw away college and teaching, he started taking esoterica courses. Now he is begging his relatives for money. He says that he has to support a project of the group.
A lady sought help for her friend. The 30 year old had joined an "overeater's" group. She downed medications and had to call her guru daily. Then came the breakdown. Now she is lying in the mental hospital. A social worker sought support for an HIV infected girl. She belongs to a Christian group which refuses medication. Other women come to the priest believing that they are possessed by devils, and ask him for exorcism.
However, it is mostly managers who have been sent to leadership seminars that inform Father Funke about the numerous providers. "Psycho[logical]-groups are dangerous because they do not have a meaningful degree in a solid discipline, and because their methods are not clear," says the sect commissioner. Most of them have the participant sign a contract that releases the provider from the responsibility for "bodily or psychological harm." A doctor committed suicide after one of these psycho[logical]-seminars.
To make things worse, the fear of Scientology has turned into paranoia. There was the restaurant owner from Tiergarten about whom rumors suddenly flowed that that he was a Scientologist. Even a kindergarten was said to be aligned with the sect. "Scientology has turned into an irrational bogeyman," said Funke. The accusation from often unknown sources is responsible for most rumors. Whether it is the son who finally wants to leave home or the competitor in a real estate business. Even the church fathers are concerned about infiltration by a psycho-organization. The fears, nevertheless, most often turn out to be unjustified.
Publicity is the Oxygen of Democracy
September 6, 1998
Visit http://www.heise.de and search their archive for the original article in German. Here are some quotations in English of the Heise article:
To some people, he is "the busybody," to others, he is already the icon of German investigative journalism: Gunter Wallraff . . .
Wallraff on the "Information society"
Have you really tangled with the issues of the Information Society? With issues of globalization or of neo-liberalism?
Gunter Wallraff: Not on the abstract plane. As terrible as this Scientology sect is, it is the end religion of our capitalistic era. It is an adequate substitute for religion. The only things that count in it are success, wealth, effectiveness and a mercilessness towards those who are weaker and those who deviate. What Huxley described in "Brave New World" is exercised by this sect.
However, it is not just about this sect - when one looks at certain business structures, then the principles of this sect are already being practiced in full. In those case, one does not first need to be a member of Scientology. The authorities should look there once, to see whether 'mobbing' and brainwashing are practiced daily, and whether that violates Article 1 of Basic Law, namely, that the dignity of the person is inalienable. It is an American principle which is being refined through German rituals of orderliness and thoroughness. In certain stages of businesses, banks and insurance companies, mercilessness is running wild. As much as the currents of capitalism have become international, and the unions try to limit damages just to the national plane, one has the impression that the unions try to stem the tide of turbo-capitalism with a couple of sandbags. Relations are crying out for a new social movement to take place. It will have to define and organize itself in a different way and make use of the the new technical possibilities.
[. . .]
What do you think about publicity and democracy?
Gunter Wallraff: The more publicity there is, the more oxygen will be pumped into democracy.
[. . .]
Copyright © 1996-98 All Rights Reserved. Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Verlag Heinz Heise, Hannover
last modified: 6.9.98
May 21, 1998
Ex-Scientologist Norbert Potthoff lectured and answered questions in the Ganderkesee secondary school. Was life in Scientology easier than life after Scientology? What was going on the with the sect's secret service? Are Scientology missionaries in the schools? The questions of the students after the lecture by ex-Scientologist Norbert Potthoff showed a high degree of interest in Potthoff's experiences with the totalitarian sect. For one and a half hours, the 50 year old reported on the teachings of the Scientologists and their founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and his own, seven year experience in this system. Potthoff has written a book on the subject, therefore his presentation was in conjunction with the community library and the central library in Luneburg.
The author was very clear on one point -- that the teachings were based upon social Darwinistic principles. "Making the capable more capable," according to Potthoff, is a Scientology motto which does not take an interest in the weak. To another question, Potthoff explained how he, as an advertising artist, was convinced to joint the sect, namely, the teachings are arranged in hidden layers. At first, Scientology helped him greatly in arranging his contracts. That was his big professional weakness. He then explained the training methods in a medical manner. At first, the concentration exercises result in the release of adrenaline, later, in the release of the body's own painkiller hormone, endorphin, which is related to morphine. That is how the Scientology training went so well for him. It was a "drug experience", stated Potthoff. "We were trained like rats."
In the mid 1980's, Potthoff was one of the leading strategists in Scientology's European theater. That was how he learned the rigid hierarchical side of the sect from the inside. He was not able to adequately answer the question as to why he left after barely a year, because of a lack of time.
His criticism of the sect, he repeatedly stated, was not about whether Scientology is a religion or not. He devotes his attention to the sect's demeaning nature, which nullifies social contacts and obligations, thereby carrying out "social terrorism."
- "Robin Direkt" is a German information group on sects. Its director is Ms. Renate Hartwig, who is not admired by Scientology.
- "German domestic intelligence" is a generic name for the German Office of Constitutional Protection. By comparison, American domestic intelligence is carried out by the FBI, which has a far greater workload in criminal investigation than it does in intelligence activity.
- A canton is a Swiss state/geographical area.
- Ms. Ursula Caberta is a German politician who does not agree with Scientology.
Report from "Robin Direkt e.V." March/April 1998
April 30, 1998, pages 14-16
Instructor and Agent Trapped
Every genuine Scientology opponent is familiar with the the fact that the Scientology organization pursues political, anti-democratic goals. These objectives are the reason why the German domestic intelligence keeps the Scientology organization under surveillance nationwide. It has also been proven that Scientology knows no national boundaries, and pursues its goal of a "clear planet" worldwide. The leading cadre for the strategic execution of their goals is in Los Angeles. The individual organizations act throughout the various countries and are responsible to the leadership in the USA. Not only are Scientology individual areas of responsibility bordering Germany and Switzerland being obliterated, but things have gone so far that, for tactical considerations, various missions led by the cadre of management into nearby countries are being delayed.
According to reports by German domestic intelligence, the operations of Scientology in the southern Baden area have been directed ever more frequently from Switzerland. As early as 1992, the Swiss Scientology organizations in Basel and Zurich, as well as the neighboring areas on the shores of the Lake of Constance in Bavaria, Germany were recruiting "raw meat" for Scientology organizations in Switzerland. The Scientologists do not have any kind of problem with national borders in any part of the world. From a strategic viewpoint, this procedure is even logical, as one hears from Scientology adherents that people are specially selected by reason of their commercial, legal or political fields, then trained in the Swiss organizations. When one realizes that these border-crossing operations have been going on for some time, then it makes sense that the various officials of the individual countries cooperate in matters of Scientology.
Through years of close contact between Robin Direkt and the AGSD (Information Group on Scientology) in Zurich, Switzerland, we know that the cofounder and chairperson, Odette Jaccard-Fuchs, has advanced the information situation in Switzerland with unbelievable involvement. She would never do something which she knew would harm somebody, or which was illegal. She thought nothing of it when Susanne Haller, the canton politician from Basel, took it upon herself to fill her empty folders with the research of the AGSD. We at Robin Direkt can even confirm that Susanne Haller did not even know, two years ago, what a war chest list means for the Scientology organization, nor what the "Impact" book is, nor what a WISE licensee is.
Renate Hartwig met Susanne Haller during a television broadcast in Zurich in 1996, during which time she had her documentary evidence such as Impact and Swiss WISE lists almost literally pulled out of her hands by Haller, according to her notes. After the broadcast, Haller copied the various Swiss documents, which she did not even know existed before that time, in a hotel. The subject of Scientology was to become a political stepping stone for her. Haller established contact with Caberta, her fellow party member, in Hamburg, and was very quickly assimilated into that environment. From that point on, we at Robin Direkt heard about Susanne Haller only second-hand. She made herself conspicuous about a year ago, when she attempted to stop a young man, who is also politically active, from submitting a petition to Parliament. He was contacted over the telephone not only by her, but repeatedly by ex-Scientologists acquainted with her, in an effort to convince him not to go through with his action against Scientology. That was the work of Susanne Haller all on her own. She had been provided with information for two years by AGSD chairperson Jaccard-Fuchs, who turned out to be a "stooge" for the politician from Basel [Haller].
Today she says that she had not thought anything of informing Haller that she was in telephone contact with a German intelligence agent. Susanne Haller, the politician, did not see fit to mention a single time to Jaccard, a private citizen, that there could be difficulties in cooperation between Germany and Switzerland because of the way the laws are. No, on the contrary, she got the name of the German agent from Jaccard-Fuchs. On March 12, 1998, Haller helped organize a public meeting on the subject of Scientology. She invited Caberta, her fellow party member, to speak. She let it be known that she herself was striving for a position similar to that of Caberta, but in Switzerland. Anybody who disputes the subject of Scientology is enthused when a politician finally starts to take them seriously. This is why the AGSD chairperson [Jaccard-Fuchs] told the politician [Haller] of her planned meeting with the German intelligence agent.
[note: The one sentence following may reflect the opinion of the writer of the original article, and may not be based on fact.] This meeting was planned to take place in Germany. However, that apparently did not fit in with the strategic plan of the politician, Susanne Haller. She agreed to participate in this meeting. For this reason, Jaccard-Fuchs took the train from Zurich to Basel, Switzerland. The German agent was supposed to pick up Jaccard-Fuchs from the railroad station. An arrangement was made over the telephone to meet at a counter at the railroad station in Basel. The German agent arrived by automobile to drive the two ladies to Weil am Rhein, Germany, for the meeting. He was concerned only with the German Scientologists who, because of the increased surveillance activity in Germany, were executing their operations into Germany from a base in Switzerland. From our research and the available statements and documents, Jaccard-Fuchs and the German agent had made the calculations without Susanne Haller, the politician.
As the German agent arrived at the railroad station in Basel, Haller greeted him effusively with outstretched hand and told him that she only had about an hour, and therefore would not be able to make the drive to Weil am Rhein. For this reason she - the politician, Susanne Haller - suggested that the meeting be held in the Hotel Victoria, which was in the immediate vicinity of the train station. Using this surprise tactic, Haller succeeded in having the meeting between the German agent and the two Swiss women held in Switzerland. Admittedly, this decision by the German agent is not without legal objection. Without this ruse about the shortage of time, Haller would not have been able to bring about her coup with the arrest of the German agent and the resulting house search of the AGSD.
The German agent was surprised even more when Haller started to speak, as they were eating their meal in the Hotel Victoria, of an illegal meeting. He immediately pointed out the fact that she was the one who had suggested the Hotel Victoria, and that she did not have time to drive across the border because of a lack of time. Haller let the German agent and Jaccard-Fuchs try to figure that one out as she then argued that, in what little time she had left, she still had to speak with Jaccard-Fuchs alone. Upon hearing that the German agent excused himself, paid for everybody's meal, and left. At that point, Haller told Jaccard-Fuchs that she had to use the ladies' room, and then disappeared for about 15 minutes. It later came to light that she had gone to speak with the observation team in the hotel lobby at this time. The German agent was arrested as soon as he left the hotel. Odette Jaccard-Fuchs had nothing at all to do with it. She trustingly asked Haller what she had wanted to speak with her about.
She said it was nothing after all but stated, instead, that she wanted Jaccard-Fuchs to meet a policeman who was a friend of hers. This policeman was waiting for her in the police station in Basel. Haller said he had been involved in the matter about Scientology for a long time. So Jaccard-Fuchs had another appointment made for her in Basel, at Haller's urging, whereby she was supposed to be at the police station in Basel at 1:30 p.m. When she showed up at the police station, however, it was not the policeman who was waiting for her, but four officials from the Federal Police in Berne. They took all her documents away from her and drove her by automobile to Berne for an interrogation by federal attorney Carla Del Ponte. She was questioned for many hours. At about 10 o'clock that night she was brought to the train station in Berne, where she had to take the train back to Zurich at her own expense. She was in a daze for several hours, and had no explanation for what was going on. On the next day, April 7, 1998, six officials came to her house with a search warrant from the federal attorney's office in Berne, and took her computer and 25 diskettes. That day she called up Susanne Haller, and asked her if she knew what was going on. Haller pretended that she did not have a clue and feigned surprise. She became irritated only after Jaccard-Fuchs asked her why she was not brought to Berne by the officials with her.
After the search of Jaccard-Fuchs' house on Tuesday, April 7, 1998, an AGSD member telephoned Susanne Haller and asked her if she knew about anything that was going on. She denied any knowledge and pretended that she did not have a clue. On Wednesday, April 8, 1998, she stated to the press that she had orchestrated the whole thing from the beginning; she had placed the charge against the German agent; she had wanted him to be arrested. This proves that Jaccard-Fuchs had been a victim in that she was used as bait of the basest sort. Haller approved of that as a matter of course.
Meanwhile, it has been determined the the arrest warrant against the German agent had already been made out April 2, 1998. The actual meeting was supposed to have taken place on April 3, 1998, in Germany, between Jaccard-Fuchs and the German agent. Haller postponed the date to April 6, 1998, and gave the reason as a matter of time - in reality the reason was that Haller wanted to attend the funeral of a high official in Basel.
After the arrest, the politician, Susanne Haller, even tried to incite Jaccard-Fuchs against the German agent, in that she told Jaccard-Fuchs that the agent would have to remain in custody for a long time, because of alleged additional charges. Haller had also lied on television in that she said that the German agent had given her and Jaccard-Fuchs the assignment of investigating Swiss citizens. This is an outright lie, as has been proved by Jaccard-Fuchs and the agent. Susanne Haller had falsely and vehemently denied any knowledge of the arrest of the German agent.
On Thursday evening, April 9, 1998, the public learned for the first time on the Swiss television show "10 vor 10" that Susanne Haller was the instigator of the coup. According to our research the whole thing was a foregone conclusion which had been prepared in advance.
The question remains of how Scientology succeeded in setting its PR machine in motion against the German intelligence agency within hours of the arrest. Reacting concurrently with the Swiss press, Scientology Church International President Heber Jentzsch stated how outraged he was by the German operation in Basel. It may be a coincidence that the Swiss operation took place at the same time statements were released which announced that Scientology had been categorized as constitutionally inimicable, as well as statements from various other intelligence agencies as to how dangerous Scientology and its own intelligence service are.
Because of the press releases which were distributed by Scientology Germany and by Scientology Los Angeles about the episode, insiders are not clear as to whether it was only a coincidence that both of these phenomena - the domestic intelligence reports from Germany and the arrest of a German intelligence agent in Switzerland - turned out to be a stroke of luck for the Scientology PR department.
An open letter to Susanne Haller from a concerned Swiss citizen who is informed as to Scientology sums up the situation:
"Now Mrs. Jaccard is the scapegoat and the Dianetic fanatics are celebrating."
Open Letter to Susanne Haller
Not so, Mrs. Councilor Haller,
In the scope of your political work you maintained regular contact with Mrs. Jaccard. Mrs. Jaccard supported you with informative material about the Scientology business and trusted you. Last Fall, an official of the Baden-Wurttemberg domestic intelligence agency put in a request for information to Mrs. J. The day afterwards they talked about a "meeting on the border." Mrs. J. and I agreed that a meeting of this sort should only take place in Germany. During those months I often helped Mrs. J. with PC problems and general office work. During that time I listened to extremely cordial sounding telephone conversations between you and Mrs. J.
I heard about the spy antics in Basel two days after the fact, and was witness to a further call from you. Mrs. J. had notified the press in the meantime, and this news caused you, Mrs. Haller, to angrily and abruptly to end the conversation. You followed that up with your bold appearance on DRS television.
Your manner of conducting yourself has enraged me and raises several questions. Why did this meeting with you take place in Basel? Why did you betray Mrs. J., who never suspected a thing? Mrs. Haller, are you a Scientologist, or just a local politician without a conscience who seeks to raise her own profile? Do you enjoy harming people who trust you?
The woman you deceived has (often in the middle of the night) spontaneously helped many sect victims, calmed and consoled confused adherents, as well as bravely and successfully fought against the harassment of passersby by Hubbard's liars. I knew her as a person who was always ready to help those in need. Now Mrs. J. is your scapegoat, and the Dianetic fanatics are celebrating...
Rainer Vogelsang, Zurich
From: "Hamburger Abendblatt"
April 29, 1998
Kiel - In north Germany, Scientology's advance appears to have been stopped. "The movement has run its course," reported Ursula Caberta, the Hamburg sect expert, yesterday in Kiel. At the same time, she joined Hans-Peter Bartels, the Schleswig-Holstein Sect Commissioner, in calling for a firmer stance against the "politically extremist" organization.
Specifically, Bartels asked that the red-green administration in Schleswig-Holstein give up their liberal course and assign the Constitutional Protection Office to Scientology, as have all other states. That would enable the use of [government] undercover people. The Secretary of the Interior will not make a statement on the surveillance which has been going on since Summer of 1997 until the Fall of this year. Bartels is nonetheless positive that continuation of the surveillance will be justified. It is for this reason that Schleswig-Holstein should follow suit [he says]. The Interior Ministry reacted calmly to the renewed demands by the sect commissioner. They would like to wait until they see the report first.
Besides that, there is no indication that Scientology has initiated any operations in the surveillance-free North. This [new Scientology operations] is what several sect experts had been [apparently needlessly] afraid of. Neither is there a possibility that a growing danger from the sect exists. "The politicians have sent out clear signals, and these have met with success," said Bartels. In the past years, there have been a rising number of exits [from the sect], added Caberta. The Director of the Work Group on Scientology in the Hamburg state council also reports that the organization's Hamburg unit, once one of the most successful in the world, is now "on the brink of bankruptcy."
We cannot yet let down our guard, said Caberta. Scientology is said to have about 10,000 adherents nationwide, of which there may be several hundred in Schleswig-Holstein.
It has not been determined whether and in which form a sect commissioner will exist in the North in the future. The 36 year old Bartels is an SPD candidate in Kiel for the Bundestag elections. For months the Green Party has demanded the removal of the position, which had been introduced by the state chancellory. They are still considering this. Yesterday, an administration representative would only say that a vacancy of the position would be addressed by the state assembly.
From: "Nordbayerischen Kurrier:
April 27, 1998
Renate Hartwig talks tomorrow in city hall "Even CSU members and journalists work for the psycho-business."
Her books are best sellers. Her power of words is feared among Scientologists. She is the envy of some governmental and ecclesiastical sect commissioners because of her success.
The pert Swabian, Renate Hartwig, appears next Tuesday, April 28, in the Bayreuth city hall (8 p.m.). Hartwig will explain how to defend oneself against the commercial criminality and company infiltration [of Scientology]. The author, who has the best archives on Scientology at her disposal, will also discuss the recruitment of children in kindergartens and schools. She appears in Bayreuth at the invitation of the Gondrom book stores. Even CSU members and journalists work for the psycho-business, she revealed. "Scientologists try to recruit new members in first aid courses, anti-drug programs, and even dance schools. Panic is the wrong reaction. One should have information." According to Hartwig, one should not dispute the self-named church on the theological level. The idea of being a sect is also misplaced. "A sect is an offshoot of a church, but Scientologists have nothing to do with religion." Scientology has often used so-called "black propaganda" to present Hartwig as an untrustworthy criminal in order to prevent her appearances. Her light-hearted answer is that she always keeps her drivers license with her [in case she needs to be checked out].
In the office. "I hope," said the director to his new
secretary, "that you are not one of those people who stop work at the
stroke of four o'clock without finishing the letter you've started!"
"Oh, no, sir! Where did you ever get that idea," she smiled sweetly. "I
Renate Hartwig Mainpost March 27, 1998
Bad Bruckenau (MM)
The audience listened intently in the nearly full Georgi Hall. For three hours Renate Hartwig put them under her spell with information on Scientology. The 49 year old speaker effectively described her progress as the highest-profile Scientology critic of Germany.
Her efforts to publicize, as widely as possible, the machinations of the sect which seeks world control, have been paid for dearly. While her daughter has been supporting her mother's work, Hartwig's oldest son has changed his name and disowned her. She has often been asked whether the price for understanding has not been too high, she said.
Hartwig told how people fall into the clutches of Scientology. It happens mainly through advertisements. If an interested person takes the offered test, he is advised to take more courses. The goal of these seminars is brainwashing. The old thought patterns are dissolved, and the person is ideologically re-designed from scratch. The courses given by Scientology are very expensive.
Hartwig clarified the intention of the organization to gain control over people by constantly referring to passages from the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. In the meantime there are Scientology kindergartens in Germany, she reported. A legal and a dental group are said to be associated with the organization.
Many training institutions, from tutoring to management training, have connections to Scientology, said Hartwig. There is, however, the possibility of protecting yourself. One should require a signature that neither the trainer nor the institution have anything to do with Scientology or Hubbard's methods. Adherents of the organization will not sign such a statement, assured Hartwig.
Presentation of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation in Salz
March 12, 1998
They take the fullness and brightness of life from people and make them into moral cripples. But the most important thing: above all they want the money of their victim." It was a sinister scenario of sects and their methods that Ursula Hoff drew in the Salz stadium.
On behalf of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation she reported on the enticements and dangers of sects. "Unfortunately I can describe myself as an expert, since I have lost my only daughter to the Scientology sect," declared the speaker.
Because of this painful and life-altering experience she has made it her assignment to spare other families from this fate.
"It begins quite harmlessly," Ursula Hoff reported to the numerous listeners. Her daughter, until that time, a lively and outgoing young theology student, declared to her horrified mother one day, that from then on she was a Scientologist.
The result: the girl alienated herself from her family, closed herself off, and finally broke off contact altogether. With a so-called "disconnection letter", prescribed by the Scientology organization, the young woman told her mother, "It is now time to break our connection, because no acceptable solution is in sight for us."
"That's how you see how criminally this sect works," analyzed Ursula Hoff. "Just because we had a different opinion, our daughter had to separate herself from us."
According to Hoff, it is not the "spiritually defunct" types that land in sects, but much more often it is young and outgoing people: "It is intelligent people that wish to change something, and to seek a deeper meaning in life," said Hoff.
The approximately 600 sects in Germany deal smoothly. First, young people are addressed on the street and engaged in an apparently harmless discussion. At the invitation of the sect, further discussion ensues, which finally develops into brainwashing, and then into psychic dependence. "Scientology does not make the person more capable. Instead it turns them into a spiritual and moral cripple who is no longer capable of emotion," said Ursula Hoff.
Disapproving critics are persecuted, according to Ursula Hoff. The reporter tells of numerous intimidation attempts by the organization out of her own experiences, "in order to put an end to my public appearances."
Hoff also addressed the infiltration of companies and of the civil service by Scientology. She explicitly praised the Bavaria's drive to give applicants for the civil service a thorough investigation. "Scientology is after world control, such positions are indispensable," she stated.
During the three-hour report she succeeded in keeping the attention of the public with her effective decisive manner of presentation. The conclusion: "Nothing like that could ever happen to me," was the unanimous opinion at the end of the evening. However, Hoff warned, "Whoever is feeling safe is still an easy target for the sect."
From: "STERN: Der Maler und die Sekte", "97/25"
June 10, 1997
A new book reveals that the Viennese painter, Gottfried Helnwein, in spite of his denials, is a leading member of Scientology. The sect is now under observation by the Office of Constitutional Protection, because it is possibly totalitarian, criminal and hostile to democracies,
by Andreas Hallaschka
Gottfried Helnwein really has it made. Museums all over the world display pictures by the native-born Viennese, who currently resides in a castle in Burgbrohl [Germany]. His posters are best-sellers everywhere. Famous theaters have him paint their stage scenery. The bald painter, who poses mainly with a long-haired wig, headband and sunglasses, is among the most internationally successful, German-speaking artists at age 48.
Helnwein has, over the years, used sworn testimony to successfully battle rumors that he belongs to the Scientology sect - which, per the decision of the Ministry of the Interior, is being observed by the Office of the Constitutional Protection nationwide, because it apparently pursues goals hostile to a democracy and has a totalitarian foundation. When the Frankfurt Superior State Court (OLG) [Oberlandesgericht] decided a year ago that Helnwein may even be designated as a "clergyman of the Scientology sect," this was "a catastrophe" for him, wrote Herbert Riehl-Heyse in the "SZ" [Sueddeutsche Zeitung]: "No museum, no gallery in Germany can allow themselves to work with him." Riehl-Heyse also thought that Helnwein was "not a clergyman of the so-called Scientology church, most certainly not."
Helnwein, who has chided the OLG judge as a "Nazi judge," and has appealed the decision in federal court, believes the entire thing is a "campaign led primarily by the Evangelical Church. It [the Evangelical Church] has been trying to use psycho-terrorism for years; it has a sort of secret service in Stuttgart, where it pays millions to spy on people all over the country." The Germans are said [by Helnwein] to need the phenomenon of a witch hunt. He stated, "They have tortured and burned hundreds of thousands of people in Germany. That's what they did with the Jews, too... Now they're fighting the Scientologists... Germany is an unpleasant country, an intolerant, fanatical country."
In interviews, he has continued to assert: "I am no Scientologist," "I shit on Scientology." He says he had only taken several courses with Scientology many years ago to come off of LSD and alcohol, and since then he has even proceeded violently against Scientology. However, because the Evangelical Church's "witch hunt" against him cannot be stopped, he will leave Germany. "I have already brought my children to safety."
Is Helnwein being used by the Scientologists, and has he been "fair gamed," as stated by the Green Party Bundestag Vice President, Antje Vollmer? Is the artist a victim of German sect hysteria?
A remarkable book has appeared this week, in which the unique biography of Gottfried Helnwein, the Scientologist, is told on 496 pages*. Peter Reichelt, who was an advisor to the artist from 1987 to 1994, describes in his book how Helnwein entered Scientology in the 1970's and married a highly trained Scientologist. He also reveals to which "safety" Helnwein has brought three of his four children: a private school of the sect and to their paramilitary "Sea Org."
Substantiated by numerous documents and writings, Reichelt describes how Helnwein was able to serve as a sect spy and a Scientologist for years without being recognized, while he cooperated with OSA, the sect secret service and fooled critics with possibly false sworn statements and kept his image as a persecuted innocent.
Today 39 years old, Reichelt has already made headlines on numerous occasions. In 1991 he made financial manipulations public to the disadvantage of Hessian radio, where he was the producer for the talk show "Zeil um zehn." The manager later resigned, and the auditing office did actually find numerous irregularities.
In 1994, Reichelt accused the actor and show host, Dietmar Schonherr, of embezzlement of donated money. Schonherr had founded a development assistance association for Nicaragua. Reichelt was a business manager at the time. The district court [Amtsgereicht] of Mannheim admonished Schonherr, in 1996, for related matters [Untreue per Strafbefehl].
Today, Reichelt is a promoter, journalist and publisher in Mannheim. In he book, he presents Helnwein as one of the most important men of the psycho-business. He writes about prison camps of the Scientologists, about illegal money laundering, and about tax evasion in the international network of the sect.
"I want the public to learn the truth about Gottfried Helnwein," said Reichelt, who had a falling out with the painter after both he and Helnwein published a book about Carl Barks, the Donald Duck cartoonist. That was the first time, Reichelt told STERN [a German magazine], that he experienced the dangerousness of the sect.
According to Reichelt's rendition [of the Helnwein story], Helnwein's Scientology career started 26 years ago in Vienna. In early Summer 1971, the struggling young artist got heavily involved with the almost unknown healing teachings of "Dianetics," [creation] of the American science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard. By July, 1972, Scientology in Munch had already published Helnwein's name as a graduate of a "communications course."
Along with five co-students, he founded a discussion group of artists in Vienna. This groups culminated, in 1974, with the "founding, under the direction of Helnwein, of the Center for Art and Communication, ["ZKK", Zentrum fuer Kunst und Kommunication] which, to my knowledge, offered Scientology courses," said Ulrich Gansert, current assistant professor in Vienna, to STERN.
In the sect's hierarchy, Helnwein soon advanced to "clear" and then "operating thetan I," wrote Reichelt. That is part of a personal record which Helnwein published in his exhibition catalog in 1974.
One year later, the 27 year old Helnwein gave an interview to a Scientology magazine in Germany for the first time. "Scientology has brought about a consciousness explosion in me," he said. Question: "How long have you been in Scientology?" Helnwein, "Since 1972."
In Winter, 1975, writes Reichelt, Helnwein met the 22 year old Renate Buhre from Heilbroon, a psychiatric nurse and trained Scientologist. A short time later she was his wife. The couple had three children: Mercedes, Ali and Amadeus. The son Cyril came from her first marriage.
After the official opening of the "Art Center," Renate Helnwein gave Scientology courses there in 1976. This was confirmed to STERN by the Viennese author, Heinrich P. Steiden, "I really learned very little there about communication. It was more how to lie perfectly, how to manipulate your environment."
By the beginning of 1977, the ZKK was praised in a German Scientology magazine as one of the two "unique Scientology training centers" in Austria. "It is directed by the renowned painter, Gottfried Helnwein. In an area of 400 square meters, 12 staff members and 4 staff on half-days work on the attainment of highly-placed goals. Besides receiving training up to a Dianetics auditor, one can receive excellent auditing from a Class IX auditor there."
In Summer, 1977, Gottfried Helnwein went to the USA for seven months of "spiritual recuperation," according to Reichelt. That is where the sect's messiah Hubbard had opened his new "Flag" headquarters, in the small port city of Clearwater, Florida. Helnwein's "Art Center" on Singer Street in Vienna was disbanded. The course instructors and students moved to the painter's former residence.
In the ensuing years, Helnwein kept a low profile. As evidenced by a contract in Reichelt's book, he rented a castle in the village of Burgbrohl in December, 1984, from Marietta Kempe. Mrs. Kempe has been an "operating Thetan VIII" (OT VIII) since 1990, which is the highest step of the Scientology hierarchy, the same as held by Renate Helnwein. Mrs. Kempe's husband is Klaus Kempe, the Dusseldorf millionaire and real estate agent. He is a "patron" (donor of a large amount of money) and an "operating thetan."
16 months after the move into Burgbrohl, Renate Helnwein reported to the Kempes, whom she had also met in the "Flag" sect center in Florida, "Dear Marietta and dear Klaus, ... Surely you have heard what all has been happening around the castle. There is auditing here and courses two times a week."
In the internal charts of the Dusseldorf sect organizations, according to the statement of an ex-sect-member, the castle in Burgbrohl is a "city office," which ranked 9 out of 35 in recruiting Hubbard youths. Successful "field staff members" receive ten percent of all money which the future novices pay into Scientology.
In September, 1985, Gottfried Helnwein wrote a "knowledge report" to the police officers of the Hubbard headquarters in Florida, wrote Reichelt in his book. In in he blew the whistle on a friend who had visited Burgbrohl, because his [friend's] girlfriend was "constantly unsure in regards to Scientology."
These kind of tattling letters are compared by Renate Hartwig, critic of Scientology, to the secret police reports of the former East German system. Gudrun Derlin, the "unsure" girlfriend, told STERN that in early 1986, her lover was given the choice of "separation from Gudrun" and "being thrown out of the organization."
In 1988, Helnwein bought a villa with a beach and a pier, located just three kilometers north of the Hubbard headquarters in Clearwater. Later, Renate Helnwein took the "L10 Rundown" at the headquarters. This is a course which is reserved exclusively for the elite of Scientology, and which costs more than 70,000 marks ($50,000).
In 1990, the American Scientology magazine, "Celebrity", mentioned Helnwein - in the meantime he had reached the rank of "OT V" - as one of its major donors. Altogether, Helnwein's ex-advisor calculates in his book, the Helnweins have paid over 1.6 million marks to Scientology down through the years.
Helnwein maintained frequent contact with Alfred Biolek, who visited him at his castle. As the talk show host learned that Renate Helnwein knew the wife of Adnan Kashoggi, the arms dealer (she is said to have taken courses in the sect's headquarters in Florida), Biolek invited the Kashoggis to be on one of his broadcasts.
After one of Biolek's visits to Burgbrohl, Renate Helnwein proudly reported in a letter to a sect friend, which is cited by Reichelt in his book, "Gottfried is to be a guest in the Biolek broadcast, Scientology will be mentioned. Biolek was here, [he] is very positive! Renate." Helnwein was actually a guest on the broadcast of November 3, 1992.
During the time that Scientology President Helmuth Blobaum was testifying under oath that Helnwein was not a member of the sect, Reichelt quoted "a hand-written letter" from the international Scientology President Heber Jentzsch. "My dear friends Gottfried and Renate", reads the letter, dated Mary 27, 1993. In it Jentzsch describes how he has "thoughts" with one of the UN staff who is allied with the sect about the further development of Scientology in Germany, and which "special function" Helnwein will play in those. He signed off, "... much love, your Heber Jentzsch."
In June, 1993, Helnwein stated in the trade union paper "Arbeitnehmer" ("Employee"), that he would not subject his children to the "weak-minded system" of the schools in Germany and Austria. Instead of that, wrote Peter Reichelt in his book, they were brought to the USA and England to take various training and education courses of the sect, or to boarding schools, where the organization schooled its progeny elite. Cyril, the eldest Helnwein son, had enlisted in Spring, 1991, in the sect's "Sea Org," in which children and cadets are trained. In Fall, 1991, he was sent to the world headquarters in Los Angeles for further training.
It is no rarity, reports ex-Scientologist Martin Ottmann, who was a leading staff member of the Sea Org until the end of 1993, to have a ten year old child in the Flag center in Clearwater giving orders to a subordinate, some of whom are over 50 years old. It is very advisable to obey the instructions of these children, since stiff punitive measures are enforced otherwise. Numerous ex-members report of penal camps, which they call "modern concentration camps." The FBI has investigated in one case, because a former member gave sworn testimony that the sect gave him the assignment of killing critic[s] and apostate[s].
As Helnwein met with increasing suspicion of his being a Scientologist in 1993, he wrote to the German Scientology President Blobaum, "Dear Terminal" is what he wrote. He urgently needed a statement that he was not a Scientologist, he requested a meeting in order "to clear up a few important things," and asked, in closing, "Why have you really let Professor T. Gottschalk from Switzerland be publicly outed?"
Sat 1 [TV station] and "Bild" [magazine] had speculated that "T. Gottschalk" was the renowned TV moderator, whereupon Scientology made it clear that it was just a like-named Swiss man. This outing was not alright with Helnwein. He wrote, "This information only benefitted the enemy." Scientologists designate all opponents of the sect as "enemy."
Inquiries from journalists as to whether Helnwein was a member were apparently reported from the German Scientology secret service (OSA) directly to the artist. Helnwein was outraged, as shown by a hand-written note documented by Reichelt in his book, "Since our faxes are possibly being intercepted, in the future I want every Comm (communication) only via the OSA computer. That means no more faxes in clear text."
Four months after Helnwein appeared a second time with his friend Bio[lek] and presented himself as a persecuted innocent in October, 1996, Waki Zollner, long-time Scientologist from Gmund by Tegernsee, said "Yes" to the ARD magazine "Report": Helnwein was a Scientologist, Also, on January 15, 1997, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported out of Washington, "The Austrian artist, Gottfried Helnwein, had given officials of the American administration "a first-hand report about the shocking and painful discrimination that he, a Scientologist, has been subjected to in today's Germany."
STERN would have been happy to give the artist the opportunity of responding to the claims made in Reichelt's book. Gottfried Helnwein reacted to neither the questions sent to him from STERN over the fax machine, nor to inquiries left on his answering machine.
Sabine Weber, the speaker for the Scientologists in Germany explained that she could not answer questions as to individual membership. "Why don't you ask Gottfried Helnwein himself?" she asked.
The Scientology Psycho-Business
L. Ron Hubbard founded the sect in 1954 in the USA
"Scientology" (SC) is a word coined from Latin "scire" (to know) and Greek "logos" (study) and is supposed to mean "study of knowledge." SC has, according to its own statistics, 30,000 members in Germany, and eight million members worldwide. The goal of the sect is to "clear" the world, that means to rule the whole world and to recruit, if possible, all people into SC.
The sect adherents must graduate expensive courses, which critics describe as "brainwashing." Membership usually starts out with a "personality test," which is offered on the street and also by employment agencies. The Scientologists can qualify, in their courses, as "operating thetans," who are supposed to be able to travel through space and time and be immune from atomic radiation. The crude teachings were discovered by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950's in the United States. A strong regime rules SC. The SC judicial system can place questioners into their prison camp, which are compared to concentration camps by former members. Investigations are continuing into unexplained deaths.
SC has numerous cover organizations: the drug rehabilitation "Narconon," the "Commission for Offenses of Psychiatry against Human Rights,", the tutoring assistance "Ziel" ("Able"), or the kindergarten organization "Happy Kids." Scientology controls hundreds of commercial businesses, mostly under the the umbrella of "WISE." Areas of heavy concentration are real estate dealing (mainly in Hamburg, Berlin, and the new German states) and employment agencies.
June 4, 1997
Interview with Reverend Wolf about dangerous Psycho-Organizations
The word "Scientology" has become a modern-day bogey-man. With revulsion you read reports about refined methods of exploitation and about penal camps. One of the determined researchers of the machinations of the organization, which according to the the decision of a Munster superior court judge may be designated as a "cartel of suppression with no regard for humankind", is the Reverend Bernhard Wolf from Rehau, representative of the Evangelical Church in Bavaria for new religious and spiritual trends. In an interview with our newspaper Reverend Wolf speaks about the background and goals of Scientology - and about his concerns that other, not less threatening, groups can spread unchecked in the slipstream of these confrontations.
What is Scientology?
Wolf: One of the most dangerous psycho-organizations, which was founded in the 50's in the USA by the partly successful fantasy author L. Ron Hubbard. Source and center was and is "Dianetics", a crude psycho-technique, which has consistently - and incorrectly - been designated by the Scientologists as a type of "psychoanalysis." The goal is to create a "clear", a new, perfect person, who shall have control over matter and energy, over space and time.
What is the difference from psychanalysis?
Wolf: Psychoanalysis has to do with empathizing with other people and their problems, building trust, and using this to lead people to psychic stability and health. The "auditing" process of the Scientologists (from Latin "audire", listen) is exactly the opposite. An auditor is trained to have no feelings such as sympathy, rather to use an overblown method of questioning with the help of a so-called "e-meter" to make other people dependent and turn them into creatures with no will of their own. Human emotions such as compassion are only destroyed. According to Hubbard, people who cause problems can even be rendered physically and psychically harmless.
What makes Scientology so dangerous?
Wolf: Scientology is a refined mixture of delusions of omnipotence, progressive ideology, positive thinking ("all problems are solvable"), a pinch of religious exoticism such as reincarnation, some occult, scientism and a pseudo-scientific technology. The whole results in a bombastic structure in which a fascistoid, strongly hierarchically ordered system is molded. This explosive mixture is streamlined to fit into our day and age and appeals to many people who believe they have received short shrift. Along with that is methodical cynicism; an exploitative system with a claim of world domination which is supposed to be brought about by any means.
In the Slipstream
What effects does this method have upon society?
Wolf: Many former Scientologists and those fascinated by psycho-technologies currently work independently using methods similar to those of Scientology. They offer management and communication training - a wide-open market in which the same spirit is at work as is in Scientology. The danger is that our society will fixate on Scientology, while it basically is a straw man war. Many organizations sail in the slipstream which - if also in smaller number - are similarly problematic to society, because they are able to use their activities to change the foundation of our democracy.
You speak of former Scientologists. Is it possible then, to separate oneself from the organization in a peaceful agreement?
Wolf: Departure is possible, but as a rule is made difficult by corresponding financial, psychological or other dependencies (extortion). People who leave count as enemies who must be fought with all means.
How many members does Scientology have in Germany?
Wolf: We don't know that exactly. The Scientologists themselves speak of more that 30,000.
Do we know how active Scientology is in Oberfranken?
Wolf: We don't have verified information. The real estate sector is being converted to a large extent by Scientologists in the new German states, most of all in Sachsen and Thuringen. In Oberfranken we know of no company which has a clear association with Scientology. But I am convinced that the area had become very interesting after the border opening. According to the labor exchange (Firma masterselect, Nurnberg), there is a direct connection in Hof to the President of Scientology Bavaria and leader of the Nurnberg center, Gerhard Boehm, who has a business address there. You have to count on increased activity in Oberfranken, because of the high unemployment rate. Fields in which Scientology is particularly active are construction, real estate, employment agencies, management and communications training.
Can you recognize Scientologists by their choice of words or their appearance?
Wolf: There are small signs. Scientologists train themselves to look at each other for extended periods without blinking. They repeatedly use certain concepts such as ethics or havingness or communication. In written communications a Scientologist will sign out "with high ARC", which stands for affinity, reality and communication. Scientologists in management are often recognized in that they urge workers to take specific courses. Other signs: a person changes very quickly and begins to say in a feverish tone of voice that you can achieve anything. On the other hand you should be careful of suspecting someone. One example: a man called me up and said that his neighbor was surely in Scientology - because it was funny that he left the house so early. I warned against sect hysteria. Rumors spread quickly, and they are hard for a company to shake. It is dangerous for the value system of a society when people turn into covert informants, as they do in connection with Scientology.
In the news the concept of a penal camp comes up. How can such a camp be envisioned?
Wolf: For that we must depend upon reports from ex-Scientologists who were there. There is basically [garbled words], whether that is now in Copenhagen or in Clearwater in the USA. The people have work up to 16 hours per day, performing demeaning tasks. Any contact to the outside is broken, everything is inspected. On top of that sleep deprivation and brainwashing are used to heavily influence people.
Disciplinary? Surely nobody goes there voluntarily?
Wolf: No. They are ordered there. That does not mean that force was used in each case, but that the person in such a system goes because he knows he has done something which merits discipline in the eyes of Scientology.
Some time ago Scientology threatened to expose "criminal and moral transgressions" of Bonn's politicians...
Wolf: ...yes, that goes with the system. Hubbard has said to exploit the weak points of your opponent in accordance with the slogan, "everybody has a skeleton in his closet." Find something in the past of your opponent and expose it. We know about the time as the discussion was taking place with Scientology in Munich that Gauweiler was being tailed, along with my deceased colleague Friedrich Haack, who ***. In the value system of Scientology that [tailing] is an indispensable measure used to bring an individual under control.
You spoke previously of a straw man war, in whose slipstream many organizations who want basically the same thing ride. What can state and society do against exploitative gurus and dangerous psycho-groups without harming the fundamentals of religious freedom?
Wolf: Rule number one: enlightenment and information. In practice that means that whoever takes a course or undertakes some kind of psychotherapy for himself should quite pointedly ask who or what stands behind the offer.
Where can one get information about this?
Wolf: For companies there is the Information Education Campaign in Stuttgart, Alte Poststrasse 5, telephone 0711/299335, where you can receive information. For the psycho-market the Professional Association of German Psychologists in Bonn provides a source of information, but will often refuse ecclesiastical counselling. That is a certain weak point: the state has to have an interest in making an arrangement which gathers information, sorts it and lets their judgment be influenced in the advisement.
The Munich judge Juergen Keltsch, member of the Federal Assembly's Enquete Commission's "So-called Sects and Psycho-Groups", demanded - similar to the long since maintained product test foundation - a psycho-test foundation for businesses in the psycho-spiritual area, outside of state counselors which are philosophically neutral.
Wolf: An entirely new market has developed with these alternative psycho-methods which the present legal system cannot get a handle on. The direction is going more for therapy for society in general, combined with areas such as life counselling, life arts or life assistance. This spectrum is close to the estimated one thousand therapeutic methods. In addition there are entirely new hybrid forms from which elements of various methods have been assembled, which in turn is offered as therapy. This is referred to as spiritual therapy, a combination of religion and therapy, so that on the basis of religious freedom it is very difficult for the state to interfere. A psycho-test foundation would not be a bad idea, because we have so many psychotherapies. As to what length legal protection would extend, that has not yet been determined.
The problem is to separate the religious systems and methods whose concept identifies the sect from those which have nothing to do with religion. We have to get away from the idea of a sect, or else we are immediately identifying with a religion. We have to bring up a new issue whose point is: what is totalitarian, what is a totalitarian organization, in order to define how the individual citizen can be better protected.
Does the state do too little to protect the citizens from the expanding psycho-market?
Wolf: The state would be able to more strongly support existing counselling agencies as well as create new ones. People concerned occasionally get the impression that the government on the one side leads a welcome struggle against the Scientologists, but the other hand the necessity for counselling - with other problematic organizations - are not yet extensively recognized and would seem to be hidden under ecclesiastical auspices.
In the USA
Why is Scientology apparently seen as harmless in the USA?
Wolf: In the beginning Scientology also amounted to a dangerous organization in the USA, before gaining tax free status from the American government under peculiar circumstances. Since then they have emphasized their religion status and have had a certain success on the American public. This has to do with history. In the 17th century many emigrants, who had been persecuted in Europe on religious grounds, experienced a new freedom in America. Religious freedom has been confirmed by the American constitution since then as a valuable commodity, as it should be. On the other hand one must ask whether the American government is sufficiently aware of organizations such as Scientology, which merely hangs a cloak of religion around itself but pursues entirely unreligious goals which introduce a serious threat to the free democratic social structure.
We in Germany have a regrettable history of totalitarianism and fascism behind us. Both sides could learn from each other. Sometimes a shot of religious tolerance towards those who believe differently from us would do us Germans good. And the Americans would be able to learn something worthwhile from us about the danger of totalitarianism, which often conceals itself today in unsuspected ways behind a pseudo-religious cloak. Worldwide it would pay for itself if democracy, and the freedom which it brings to the individual, could step in and limit all attempts to undermine this freedom.
Report about a state assembly hearing on the subject of sects in the Zeitspiegel "Mirror of the times"
The questions were asked by Elfriede Schneider
February 20, 1997
Scientology - a Fascistoid, Mafia-like Gang
by Sandra Le
Peter Vossmerbaeumer reports in Wunsiedel on his life as a leading sect member
WUNSIEDEL. - The influence of Scientology is not only big in Hollywood, said Vossmerbaeumer, who had come at the invitation of the Academy of Steinwald-Fichtelgebirge and the mayor to Wunsiedel. Members of this "obscure association" also seek to undermine commerce and society in Germany. The 57-year-old should know. He had laid aside a full-blown 20-year career in Scientology, and is the highest ranking member who has dared to leave in Germany, announced the discussion leader, Frankenpost editor Herbet Scharf. As auditor and member of the sect's own secret service, OSA, he was not only active in the homeland of the sect, the USA, and in South Africa, but also in Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin.
And as an auditor he has helped Scientology to increase its wealth through its main source of income, auditing. "In auditing a specially trained staff member, the auditor, sits across from a sect member, who holds two electrodes which are connected to the electro-meter", explains Vossmerbaeumer. Spiritual reactions to the questions of the auditor are supposed to be measured with the electro-meter. "And the questions are of a very personal nature", said Vossmerbaeumer. Not only the central points of sexuality, but also the whole palette of human possibilities are questioned, "There is nothing which will stop the curiosity of the sect."
The goal of every member, according to Vossmerbaeumer, is to reach the condition of "clear", which turns him into a "glass person." In this manner Scientology has been able to gather the most intimate data of at least eight million people worldwide. "The sect then has not only total control over the people, but can also blackmail them with this knowledge", reported the speaker.
The danger of auditing is that people who are not qualified are performing therapy, said Vossmerbaeumer. As a result, some victims not only develop severe psychosis or schizophrenia from it, but a few are even driven to suicide. If the government were to forbid auditing , the rug would be pulled out from under the fascistoid, mafia-like gang," suggested the ex-member. Then it [auditing] is the total claim to power which the founder L. Ron Hubbard had demanded in his Dianetics book. This struggle for world domination and the vision of a Scientology-ruled society differentiates the sect from other pscyho-cultures and makes it so dangerous, [according to Vossmerbaeumer.]
Four Types of People
The Scientologists also have a unique view of people, of which non-members, in accordance with Hubbard's theories, are divided into four categories, said Vossmerbaeumer. There are "wogs", who amount to "inferior people", "bodies", those are soulless bodies, and "raw meat", who are interchangeable with "anti-social personalities." "The differences between the two is pure fascism," thinks Vossmerbaeumer.
The former member shudders at the thought of a scientological future society. The educational system would be based on Hubbard's training methods, so that schools would be able to release Scientologists who already would have had years of training. Criticism would be nipped in the bud, disturbers of the peace would be sent to the Ethics Officer or transformed into "zombies with no will", true to Hubbard's statement, "I'd rather have you dead than incapable." "What would happen then with sick or handicapped people?", asked Peter Vossmerbaeumer.
The former member was able to observe how fast the sect abandons sick members such as happened to a close friend of his. The staff member, who was valuable to Scientology - she had brought over 5,000 people into the sect, contracted cancer of the lower abdomen. "From then on nobody worried about the woman anymore, not even to ask about her health", described the speaker. Vossmerbaeumer cared for her until her death and so found out about the thesis "a sick Scientologist is an illegal Scientologist."
"That was the first enormous disappointment that contributed to my departure", he said. His wife, a dedicated Scientologist and his two children were able to hold him for a while, but not for long. During a convention in Paris he fled through a side door and hid for a year in Spain. "I travelled back to Germany with a deep resentment inside of me." Since then he has made it a goal to expose the dangerous sect.
"My doubts steadily increased after a mysterious death occurred in my circle of friends", said Vossmerbaeumer. All deaths had a common denominator, he determined, in that they were so-called ethics crises. However it is customary in Scientology that the body is cremated shortly after death, in order to make any doubt undebatable. The speaker wound up his speech with the statement that the death certificates are signed by sect doctors.
His presentation was met with extended applause.
Remaining questions were answered in the ensuing discussion. For instance a woman was interested in generally finding out how you become a member of Scientology. Most of the people in the sect had been approached by so-called body-routers in pedestrian zones and invited to take a free personality test, explained Peter Vossmerbaeumer. After answering 200 questions the personality would be determined and the person invited to an interview with an auditor. "For most people discussion is not an issue", said the former member. Purpose of the interview is to find the point of ruin in the interviewee and to bring him to "unbounded despair."
From there the Scientologist is to build his victim back up and install hope in him. "Then it is relatively simple to have the person fill out the first check for over a thousand marks for a Life Repair course", reports Vossmerbaeumer. In the ensuing auditing sessions the readiness of the person to trust everything he hears grows, as does the pressure coming from the sect. "Many do not risk getting out and remain in the trap. Because all have the fear that their secrets will be betrayed." The same as it is with the Hollywood stars, whose egos are stroked. "Though really they are only unwitting dupes who bring money and are directed to [take part in] any film", said the ex-member. He himself has worked with Priscilla Presley, who has invested over 20 million dollars in the sect.
A vocational school teacher wanted to know how the schools could be protected. According to Vossmerbaeumer teachers in schools should pay attention to training methods. He gave the name of a Scientology teachers association by the name of "Ziel" (for Center for innovation and effective learning), whose purpose is to bring children closer to Hubbard's study technology.
How do you recognize a Scientologist, asked a man. According to Vossmerbaeumer there are distinctive signs of recognition. Members have a trained-in fixed stare and often betray themselves through their methods of expression, among which the concept of "ethics" and "communication" often occur. Also the Hubbard followers like to have Scientology paraphernalia around them such as the Dianetics or Scientology symbols, the Scientology cross, the Clear wristband or the ARC triangle, which stands for affinity, reality and communication.
With the goal to infiltrate society and commerce, there are, according to Vossmerbaeumer a large number of cover organizations which belong to the sect. "Even Oberfranken is not untouched on the Scientology map", assured the former sect member.
Scientology: A new type of political extremism
From: "Die Zeit"
August 16, 1996
The conflict with Scientology comes to a head: Bavaria takes measures against it, the Youth Union calls for a boycott of Tom Cruise's movies. Washington protests.
by Hans-Peter Bartels
What is Scientology? A religion? A company? A science? A psychotherapy? When it comes to satisfying the official interest, Scientology has given only one answer for decades: Scientology is a church, that is what the full name says: "Scientology Church." The word "church" itself does not guarantee anything. Beer may also be marketed as "Kirchenbrau," "Krauterschnaps" or "Klosterfrau," with or without blessings. In contrast to "Scientology", the word "church" is not a registered trademark.
When the American science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard, started his undertaking in 1950, religion was not at first an issue. "Book One" of the movement is called "Dianetics. The Modern Science of Mental Health." In 1952 in Phoenix, Arizona, the "Hubbard Association of Scientologists" was registered as a commercial corporation. In 1954 the "Church of Scientology of California" was founded. At the time, Hubbard wrote, "It appears that we have now managed everything. All auditors will be clergymen, and the clergy has special privileges in many places, including tax advantages. Of course everything is a religion that deals with the human spirit."
For the recruitment of new adherents, the religious label is easily dropped. Scientology support centers incorporate as "Dianetic Centers" or "Celebrity Centers." Until the mid 1980's, the Hamburg branch was called the "College for Applied Philosophy." In the front groups of the "church" management training companies and business consultants struggle to gain a new following.
In the mass mailings in which Scientology's New Era Publication advertises, there is only a small reference that Hubbard is known for "Scientology, an applied religious philosophy." The bait for the unstable is a free 200 question personality test, which has the distinguished sounding name of "Oxford Capacity Analysis." "Oxford" is a general term as "church" is. Neither does Einstein, whose photograph is used to advertise for the test and Hubbardistic books, have anything to with Hubbard's organization. Wherever Scientology is involved, a fraudulent label is stuck on the outside.
This fraud came to a legal end in Germany last year in two high court decisions. The Federal Administrative Court upheld a decision by the Superior Administrative Court of Hamburg from 1993 in which the overwhelming portion of the Scientology activities are seen as commercial and therefore are reportable as earnings for tax purposes. In plain English, the sale of books, courses, electronic devices (E-Meter "lie detectors") and the so-called auditing is not seen as divine worship. The Federal Labor Court took it one step further, and was the first federal court to answer the question of whether Scientology was entitled to legal protection as a religion -- clearly not. The 56 page decision included, "An advertisement for a religious community without indicating that it is a religious community is unusual. One can describe it as 'unspoken' in association with the law against unspoken competition." An institution which pays a commission for recruitment of members cannot be a religious community in the sense of German Basic Law.
In their decisions, the federal judges also made references to "views contemptuous of humanity" and "totalitarian tendencies" of Scientology, while avoiding the peculiar battle of the experts - sect or business. The insight that it does not have to do with religion or profit in favor of an individual, but with power over people, elimination of opponents and domination, is slowly gaining ground. Scientology is a power machine. Their goal is a Scientology world by the name of "Clear planet." One stage of their goal is "Clear Germany."
Hans-Gerd Jaschke, the political scientist from Frankfurt, presented an opinion about Scientology in December, 1995 on commission from the Nordrhein-Westphalian Ministry of the Interior. He assembled indices which indicated "that Scientology advocates long term constitutionally hostile goals and exhibits common points as a totalitarian organization with political extremism." Certainly further information and analysis are necessary in order to come to a conclusive judgment. A new opinion by Ralf Bernd Abel, a professor of law, written on commission by the Schleswig-Holstein Minister President, supports the theory of political extremism of a new sort. Abel determined that "Scientology's idea of people and society contradicts the legal order of the Basic Law." Also, "The contents of the Scientology writing forces the acceptance that an ideology corresponding to that of Scientology would influence or 'equalize' the fundamental value of legal order for society, and as a result, would restrict the core of the pertinent and political acceptance of responsibility, or through associated relations of power, remove it altogether." Scientology - a case for domestic intelligence?
The State Interior Ministers themselves, independent of party lines, are still at odds with each other. Nordrhein-Westphalia and Bavaria are for surveillance [of Scientology], most of the others reserve their opinions. On the part of the federal administration, Youth Minister Claudia Nolte pleads in favor of surveillance while Interior Minister Manfred Kanther rejects use of the secret agency. His State Secretary, Eckehard Werthebach, who earlier was intelligence chief himself, thinks the agency would be appropriate. Some intelligence chiefs would first have to come to grips with the fact that his agency is not being used against a "church" or "an economy," but - as usual - against an organization whose efforts are being directed against basic liberal democratic order, even if Scientology does not fit so well into the historical idea of communists or Nazis. Perhaps this type of "brainwashing" extremism will be more preferred in the 21st century than it was in the 20th.
Of course, surveillance by domestic intelligence is not the state's only answer to the problem of Scientology. For this reason, the minister president's conference in March decided upon an extensive list to consistently confront the Scientology organization's "claim to domination." At the suggestion of Schleswig-Holstein and Bavaria the administrative chiefs agreed to the withdrawal of the status of "registered association" for Scientology, to an information exchange of diverse tax and labor inspections, and to prevention of irresponsible exploitation of medical practice and street recruitment. Besides that, consumer protection should be improved for psychological courses. Furthermore, the states agreed unanimously that the matter would have to be "continuously" examined to seen if it was in the operational realm of domestic intelligence. That is not a decision for surveillance, but a quasi-permanent pre- inspection process. Finally, the federal interior ministers were invited to introduce an investigative process of association law, the results of which could mean an association ban [of Scientology].
Hans-Peter Bartels is the sect commissioner of the state administration for Schleswig-Holstein.
The Scientology sect is this week's theme of "ZEIT" in the internet. Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff examines the small degree of difference between state endangerment and wrongly understood state security, and Ludwig Siegele describes how the Hubbard adherents are pushing into the internet.
(c) beim Autor/DIE ZEIT 1996 Nr. 34
All rights reserved.
Ban on Scientology is Called For
NRW Secretary of the Interior talks about a political organization
January 15, 1996
Copyright © contrapress media GmbH
Cologne (AP/taz) - Franz-Josef Kniola, the Nordrhein-Westphalian Secretary of the Interior, demanded a ban on the controversial Scientology Church. Moreover, the sect should be put under surveillance by the German domestic intelligence agency. This is part of a new opinion which was written on commission from his office. Scientology, Kniola has stated in various radio interviews, is a profit-oriented commercial business and a political organization with the goal of a gradual alteration of society.
Federal Families Minister Claudia Nolte has also expressed an opinion favorable to having Scientology put in the area of domestic intelligence. The president of the Hamburg state intelligence office, Ernst Uhrlau, does not see political motivation of the sect as a provision for surveillance.
To that, Kniola replied that the study done by Hans-Gerd Jaschke, the political scientist from Frankfurt, could lay the groundwork for the assignment of the intelligence agency. The Spiegel magazine reported on the expert opinion, which has not yet been published, that the sect presents long-term goals hostile to those of the constitution, and has "totalitarian reference points in common with political extremism." These are oriented to "ideas of an absolute herioc super-human, who strives to shake off the burdensome chains of liberalism and democracy on his way to world domination, which is based on totalitarian fundamentals which are incompatible with a democratic, constitutional state."
January 12, 1996
Copyright © contrapress media GmbH
Saarbrücken (dpa) - Ernst Uhrlau, the domestic intelligence chief, has spoken out against the surveillance of the Scientology sect. He said that people are financially exploited by Scientology, but that the sect does not want to "politically change society."
From: "Der Spiegel"
September 25, 1995
Rough English translation of an article by Robert Vaughn Young in the September 25, 1995, issue of the German magazine DER SPIEGEL. The article is introduced in a "preview section" on page 3. Young's article is given a large introduction by DER SPIEGEL on page 104. The article itself begins on page 105 and extends to page 114. There are numerous photographs. The captions are also translated here.
Page 3 ("preview section"):
The man lies "shamelessly," and is breaking many oaths of silence if he talks - claims Scientology. But Robert Vaughn Young, 56, can document his allegations against the cult. For five days the highest ranking Scientology defector ever and SPIEGEL editor Hans-Jorg Vehlewald sat down together and evaluated a whole suitcase of the sect's internal papers. These show that 20 years ago Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard declared Germany to be an empire of evil that wanted to destroy him and his sect with the help of "Nazis and psychiatrists" (sic). Hubbard's counter-strategy: the secret "Snow White" program, the consequences of which are still being felt by critics today. Thus the Scientologists are trying by nearly all means to discredit journalist Young with the media and to portray themselves as persecuted (page 104).
Page 4 (Contents page):
(under the heading "Society")
Why Scientology is attacking Germany.........104
Revelations by a defector
Robert Vaughn Young.....................................105
Page 104 (introduction by DER SPIEGEL):
Codename: Snow White
The Scientology sect is fighting for its position in Germany. With the most lavish PR campaign to date, the psycho-concern blasts its opponents with its hardest attack yet. A defector reveals why: Sect founder L. Ron Hubbard himself had early declared Germany to be enemy number one, he feared that German psychiatrists wanted to murder him.
The colorful pamphlet with the monster on the cover appeared very suddenly in Bonn's government district. At the parliament building, in front of ministries, and at bus stops along Bonn's main street, helpers of the psycho-concern "Church of Scientology" had distributed heaps of the broadsheet. Its message: Germany stands at the brink of the abyss.
A phalanx of politicians, church leaders, as well as old and new nazis, have allied themselves with Germany's psychiatrists to wipe out Scientology, according to the crazed report. The sect, which "is bringing the well camouflaged dark stains on the white vests of German psychiatry back into view," has become irksome to the shrinks and their lackeys in politics, according to the report. Scientologists are the Jews of the 90's, and are being persecuted and destroyed.
Not only Bonn was papered with this nonsense, collected in 52 pages. Throughout the Federal Republic of Germany the sect distributed, according to its own figures, a million copies of the free pamphlet entitled "Freedom."
This is the largest PR campaign run by the Scientologists in Germany so far, and according to experts, it shows that the sect is running out of steam in the Federal Republic of Germany. "Those guys are under massive pressure" says Ursula Caberta, the Scientology expert in the Hamburg Senate.
The sect shows its iron nerve particularly against defectors and critical journalists. For example, the wife of a reporter at the Hamburg Morning Post who had been critical of Scientology was visited by a detective. He had, so he said, information about the reporter's love life. He named as his employer a Scientology lawyer's office. The sect disputes this, but asserts nonetheless that the journalist is cheating on his wife in order to get information about Scientology.
Der Spiegel has also been attacked by Scientology ever since it has been in contact with the American journalist Robert Vaughn Young, 56. Young served the sect for more than 20 years in important posts. For about 15 years he belonged to the sect's own secret service, which kept an eye on members and opponents of the organization and controlled all contacts the sect had with the outside world. Young left the sect in 1989.
"Young lies" Q with this declaration sect lawyers by the dozens bombarded Der Spiegel's editorial offices. According to the Scientology attorneys, it doesn't matter whether Young's representations are "true or untrue." He has violated the secrecy agreement he once signed when he was a member.
Der Spiegel must pay for every publication of Young's insider information, or so runs the threat from Scientology. The vice chief of Scientology's secret service, Kurt Weiland, who is an old acquaintance of Young's, took the trouble to fly personally to Hamburg from Los Angeles, in order to stir up opinion against his ex-colleague in the editorial offices. Sect members also picketed outside Young's house in Seattle to protest the revealing of the secrets.
The fears of the sect's devotees are well founded. What the defector tells about the campaign against Germany could ultimately cost Scientology its recognition as a religious organization in the Federal Republic of Germany.
According to Young, the leadership of Scientology has been trying for years with the help of firms and front organizations to infiltrate Germany and bring it into international disrepute Q with a secret operation with the code name "Snow White."
The anti-German campaign was started by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard himself. Hubbard labored under the delusion that psychiatrists and psychologists wanted to kill him. At the center of the conspiracy he placed German scientists who had also brought Hitler to power, and who remain active today.
German politicians have been suspicious of Scientology for quite some time now. In May the interior ministers of the federal states decided to investigate the recognition of the sect through the constitutional office and the police, and to consider a ban on the organization.
Business also is keeping its distance. More and more banks are refusing to do business with Scientologists. For months, real estate and tenant associations have been fighting against landlords with Scientology connections and their dubious business practices. "They can barely get rid of their apartments," reports an insider.
According to insiders of the sect, in order to hide the collapse of the German organization from the sect's leaders in the USA, the director of the Scientology branch in Hamburg, Wiebke Hansen, 50, even falsified the books. When the fraud was discovered, the American Scientology Central is reported to have transferred her promptly to a punishment camp.
Scientology denies this vigorously: In America Mrs. Hansen is merely devoting herself to her "spiritual advancement."
Captions of photos on page 104:
Under photo of building:
Cult headquarters in Los Angeles: "Cleanse the Earth of psychiatry"
Under photo of German Freedom and Hubbard: Scientology propaganda, Sect founder Hubbard: collected nonsense
Page 105 (article by RVY):
The Empire of Evil
Robert Vaughn Young on Scientology's fight against Germany
Six months ago I was invited to Hamburg in order to explain Scientology to government officials. I spent almost 21 years in the sect, primarily as a staff member and later as a member of the inner circle. I know the secret language of the sect, its internal structure, its greed, its strengths and weaknesses. I know of the punishment camps, the beatings, of dubious sources of money and mysterious deaths.
Above all, though, I know why the sect has waged such a violent battle with Germany.
For most people, Scientology's attacks against the Germans began in September of last year, when the cult began placing nearly every week full-page advertisements in the New York Times and the Washington Post, libeling the Federal Republic of Germany as a neo-Nazi state. For example, the ads showed large photos of Nazi events like the book burning or Jewish extermination. In the text, the cult compared its German members to Jews under Hitler. Other ads showed young Germans with their hands raised in the Hitler salute and chanting slogans against foreigners and Jews.
The ads and also brochures give the impression that Germany stands on the brink of another Holocaust - only that Scientologists - like the Jews under Hitler - are portrayed as the victims. Readers were called upon to protest to government authorities against "the Hatred in Germany."
The media have reported for several months about the campaign, noting that Scientology's marketing methods and its invasion into the German real estate markets should be seen as the background to the campaign. This is not true. It goes much deeper. I know, because I was there when it began.
Germany is one of the most important goals of a program developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1973. He assigned it the name "Snow White." Only a handful of selected people got a glance at the scope and the goals of this program because Hubbard feared damaging the image of Scientology.
From outside, the cult must seem like a benevolent, but misunderstood movement. Its stated goal: "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war."
Behind this is hidden the cult's true face. The organization is a totalitarian system that knows only one goal: Control over the planet. Only Hubbard's ideas are true, all others are forbidden. Every criticism is stamped as "criminal," critics are declared as "fair game."
Members of the leadership - the so-called Sea Organization - end up in the punishment camps for only the smallest transgression. I experienced this special treatment myself: 1987, in a power struggle over the succession to L. Ron Hubbard, which David Miscavige, the current leader of the organization, finally won, I ended up on the losing side and was detailed to a work camp.
I spent 14 months in the cult's gulag, not far from Los Angeles. For 12 hours a day in a black uniform, I was required to do strenuous manual labor, build houses, dig ditches. Finally, at 6 o'clock we were required to study Hubbard's texts for five hours.
Twice I tried to flee, twice they brought me back and I went with them, because I was convinced I was doing something wrong, convinced that I needed help.
The fear of camp occupants was great, they feared they would be labeled "Fair Game," "Suppressives," as Hubbard named them. His directive for such outlaws: "May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed."
I've experienced what Hubbard's directive means myself. During my secret mission in Hamburg, selected journalists already had a dossier in which Scientology defamed me as a liar and a sexual pervert.
The story of Scientology began in 1950 with the publication of Hubbard's book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Until that point, Hubbard was known only as the author of science fiction stories. Dianetics was intended to be a mental therapy. The idea was that every person has a "reactive mind," not unlike Freud's subconscious. Unnoticed, it records painful experiences ("engrams") which unconsciously determine our fears and our behavior and which can trigger every known sickness, including cancer.
This "reactive mind" can only be reached through Hubbard's special therapy, in which the patient generally in so-called auditing lies on a couch with closed eyes and recalls the "engrams" so that the problem can be treated.
Criticism by the experts was withering: Physics Nobel Prize Winner Isidor Isaac Rabi had something to say about Dianetics: It contains "more promises and less evidence per page than has any publication since the invention of printing."
Hubbard's Dianetics groups became involved in legal battles. He needed a new organizational form and so, in 1954, Scientology was founded - Scientology, the religion.
Every member who was to meet with journalists or government leaders was trained to present Scientology as a religious movement. Only in such a way could Hubbard's organization build a new image and be freed in many countries of taxes.
At the time workers were taught to form groups that did not belong to the Church of Scientology, in order to secretly infiltrate schools, companies and governments.
In 1971, I joined the cult's secret service, the Guardian's Office, in the San Francisco organization. At that time the office had above all four important duties: The cult's secret service took care of dossiers on members and critics and assembled information through its own spy network. The legal division handled suits and legal hearings, the finance division administered the cult's income, and the public relations division, in which I worked, worked on PR. We concerned ourselves with the media and government authorities primarily to gain tax-free status.
My work was successful enough so that in 1973 I was promoted to the U.S. headquarters of the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles. Hubbard had just then completed writing his Operation Snow White, which would set us on the collision course with Germany.
Hubbard believed himself to be hunted by communists, psychiatrists and government officials. He was openly under the delusion that psychiatrists and psychologists wanted to murder him because he had exposed their profession as a scam. Finally he came up with the idea that the core of the anti-Hubbard conspiracy was located in Germany, it was the root of National Socialism and had brought Hitler to power.
Hubbard became a German hater. Psychology, he claimed, traced back to "Professor Wundt, who in 1879 was pressed by Bismarck to develop a philosophy which could persuade soldiers to kill people."
"Therefore," said Hubbard, "we can define modern psychology as a German military system that was used to program people for war." It was not Hitler who later commissioned the extermination of the Jews, but rather a secret group of German psychiatrists had. "They built the death camps, and they, not Hitler, ordered the extermination of the Jews."
This conspiracy of psychiatrists survived the Second World War. A small clique of psychiatrists and old Nazis now control the world drug market; all pharmaceutical firms of the world are either "German or connected to Germany," said Hubbard. These groups have strong influence on the international financial system. Hubbard said: "Germany today owns the largest part of the world's gold reserves or at least a lot of it."
With Hubbard's wife Mary Sue at the helm, the U.S. Guardian's Office began to collect more and more information against Germany. Soon Hubbard had enough material for a further crazy theory: The organized German Nazi conspiracy used the information resources of Interpol to fight Scientology worldwide.
I discovered unknown material on the history of Interpol, in the form of both documents and photos, on how the international police organization was in fact dominated by SS leaders like Reinhard Heydrich and Ernst Kaltenbrunner during the Third Reich and was used to hunt down Jews and political opponents. Interpol Head Paul Dickopf, who held office until 1972, was himself in the SS, I discovered.
Hubbard ordered that the conspiracy against him be destroyed worldwide. The operation was given the name "Snow White."
"Snow White" contained terms out of the fairy tale as names for the countries in which Scientology was active. Germany, the evil empire, took the name of the grim dwarf Grumpy out of the Walt Disney production of Snow White. Other countries included in the Nazi conspiracy were Sneezy (Holland), Doc (Sweden) and Happy (Denmark). The U.S. section of Scientology was named Hunter.
I was appointed U.S. head of the propaganda division of the Snow White Operation through which I had access to all the important papers of the campaign.
In Germany, the Austrian Kurt Weiland took over this job. His duty was, according to the secret plan, firstly to "get materials related to all ongoing lawsuits" in which Scientology was involved. Then he was supposed to obtain "police and Interpol files" to support Operation Snow White.
Weiland's office was supposed to find the source of all attacks against Hubbard. At the same time it was supposed to damage Interpol through lawsuits and scandals and to find areas of attack for our legal and PR divisions. The legal division was supposed make an effort to file one suit after another in order to obtain the files of Scientology opponents, which could then go into the Guardian's Office.
In the U.S. the operation went well. I succeeded in appearing before the Congressional subcommittee to reveal Interpol's Nazi past. I appeared on nationwide television shows and on the radio and our Interpol story was received around the world.
But in Germany, Snow White did not function as planned. No one was particularly interested in our Nazi story. On the 17th of January I was sent to Munich, Bonn and Wiesbaden, disguised as a member of an organization which we named the "National Commission for Law Enforcement and Social Justice."
Weiland and I attempted anew in this way to spread the Snow White campaign in the German media. We spoke with many journalists, some from Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and gave them material on the Nazi involvement in the police and in Interpol.
All without success. No reporter was interested, hardly any trusted Weiland or me.
Several months later, in July 1977, the FBI got onto us in the U.S. Several members of the Guardian's Office had stolen Scientology documents from government offices.
Dozens of FBI agents searched through the cult's headquarters in Los Angeles and Washington. There they came upon part of Operation Snow White. Eleven high- ranking colleagues of Hubbard's, among them his wife Mary Sue, went to jail.
With that our reputation was ruined. The new strategy therefore said: What has happened is in the past. Scientology is reformed, the criminals are behind bars. Snow White went into the safe, but not in the shredder.
The business went on: private businesses under the roof of WISE [World Institute of Scientology Enterprises], including real estate companies, business consultants, and software companies, refilled the war chest of the International Association of Scientologists.
Germany, Hubbard's number one enemy, took on, after his death in 1986, a new, more important role after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Eastern Europe a new, until then closed, market for the cult opened up and Germany lay immediately at the door. It was supposed to be the launching point for the conquest of the East.
Success was considerable. In Russia alone Scientology now possesses a total of three missions and churches as well as four WISE subsidiaries. Further centers were founded in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where the cult had attempted to recommend its Dianetics Course to a grade school.
If Scientology, however, was in the long run categorized not as a religion but as a profit-oriented company, these neighboring countries in the East could be strongly influenced because they had until this time barely any experience with cults and they looked to Germany for answers to many questions. Therefore Germany is now even more important for Scientology's world domination plan. Snow White had to be awakened again.
Current events in reunified Germany appear to confirm the theory of Snow White: There are neo-Nazis, attacks on Turks and asylum seekers as well as government attacks on the sect, tenant protests against Scientology property speculators, and work prohibitions against some members announced by Federal Minister of Labor Norbert Bluem.
Bluem and his psychiatric cronies are trying to "solve the cult question," according to the newest Scientology propaganda. Even worse, the war in Bosnia itself with its horrors has been ignited by "criminal psychiatrists."
Snow White contains the recipe for opposing the states and the government, which Scientology has carried on forcefully. "Represent them as villains, which one can't trust." And so it is happening. "Norbert Bluem and his government have planned," says the cult, "to make Scientologists and other minorities in Germany into a second class." Bluem's true face: "An arsonist in a firefighter's uniform."
At Hamburg airport I was picked up in February of this year by Ursula Caberta, the Scientology expert of the Hamburg Senate, under strict security measures. Three policemen were assigned to my protection.
Almost daily I met with high-ranking officials from Hamburg and other cities, and with the head of the Hamburg Constitutional Protection Group, Ernst Uhrlau, with the state prosecutor and officials from various ministries and state criminal bureaus. For hours I answered questions and explained Scientology documents.
In order to be able to effectively deal with Scientology, I offered the following tips:
- Structurally, the organization is not what it seems. No one should be taken in by their tricks. The worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles is not the true center of power. Power is centered much more in a former resort near the small city of Hemet, a good hundred kilometers east of Los Angeles. Therefore anyone who wants to investigate the organization should work with someone who knows the true structure and leadership.
- Scientology is an organization in which the means serve the ends. Its goal is the complete control of the press, companies, and governments.
- Government officials and judges should be particularly cautious, because they are the favorite target of smear campaigns and lawsuits.
- One should not forbid Scientology or make it illegal. This was attempted in Australia in the 1960s. The organization simply changed its name and continued on.
- Scientology should be classified as a profit-making business and should be taxed.
- Scientology should be required to account for members who have possibly disappeared in the cult's United States prison camps, like the former Hamburg Scientology leader Wiebke Hansen, whose location even today is unknown. German embassy and consulate officials should inquire about her to ensure that she is not in danger.
- Private firms, above all real estate firms, which operate under Scientology's license should be required to disclose how much money they give to Scientology.
- Moreover, they should be required to make known to all customers their ties to Scientology. Before this, Scientology must be stripped of its status as a religion by court ruling.
Since my visit to Hamburg six months ago the organization has opened up another front. They are attempting to fight Germany not only internally. Pressure, according to their plan, must come from the entire world.
The propaganda magazine Freedom is already translated into several languages. An American translation issued a few weeks ago has as its goal to win adherents and people with money for the attacks against Germany.
In the middle of July more than a thousand cult members met at a celebration in Pasadena, near Los Angeles. The motto of the evening: "Clear the earth of Psychiatry."
To the "rousing applause of the crowd," remembers one participant, Scientology reported on the latest attacks against the psychiatric conspiracy, distributed the American version of Freedom and the group swore itself to a new, old Hubbard tactic: Finding the victims of psychiatry. Help them to sue psychiatrists. Sue also universities and schools which have educated and continue to educate psychiatrists.
Nearby members circulated their collection plates - in the end, Scientology needs money for its international fight for survival.
One can only imagine how much money, should the campaign against Germany continue forward. As Thomas G. Whittle - the editor in charge of Freedom - writes: "Germany is far more than a German problem. It is a problem for the world."
Caption for photo of Young on page 5:
Ex-Scientologist Young: "Critics are fair game"
Captions for photos on page 107:
[Top photo shows portions of full-page ads that Scientology has run in the New York Times and Washington Post] Scientology propaganda in the USA: "hate in Germany"
Photo of Miscavige:
Sect leader Miscavige: power struggle at the top
Captions for photos on page 110:
[Top, photo of Young's house]
Scientology protest against Young (in front of his house): "defamed as a sex monster"
[Middle, photo of Ursula Caberta]
Scientology critic Caberta: "They are really under pressure"
[Bottom, photo of Kurt Weiland]
Scientology manager Weiland: "Young lies"
Pull quote on page 111 - Eleven of Hubbard's colleagues were jailed.
Caption for photo on page 114
[Photo of an apartment building with a large banner on it that says (in German) "Scientology Piss Off - the tenants"] Tenant protest (in Berlin): Money for the war chest
From: "Schweriner Volkszeitung"
August 12, 1995
Since 1990: Appearances by sellers of the Hubbard book, "Dianetics," plus offers to give Scientology's Oxford Personality Test in the pedestrian zone of cities, e.g., Rostock and Gustrow. Many households have heard Scientology commercials over the radio.
May 1991: Our newspaper uncovers: In Schwaan a company has been established by Scientologists Karl-Erich Heilig and Detlef Foulloise, "Heilig Ad Ideas," as a money-maker for the sect. The book, "Dianetics," was sold to employees there. There was also staff training according to Hubbard technology and attempts to recruit employees as members.
Residents from Rostock and Wismar received letters from Scientology Hamburg, in which conditions required for a Dianetics Center were being sought.
July 1991: Our newspaper uncovered: 6 million marks of the Heilig company's income was transferred from company coffers to sect accounts.
In 1992 there were several ad campaigns, in Schwerin and elsewhere, although without any mad rush. The Heilig company disappeared before the arrival of the court hearing in Schwaan and re-opened in Malchow as "Hanse Ad Ideas." There were more mass mailings, which included advertisements for the psychological test.
In August, 1992, Karl-Erich Heilig was arrested on charges of tax evasion. A legal process initiated by a Scientologist, Peter-Uwe Krumholz was decided in favor of a minister from Usedom, Friedrich von Kymmel. Krumholz had wanted to launch a huge project with dubious means and felt that he had been upset by the preacher...
October 1992: Scientology leaflets start showing up around the Schwerin schools. The sect opens a branch of their Hamburg Dianetic center in Schwerin.
February, 1993. Detlef Foulloise is arrested. The Dianetics branch in Schwerin is closed again.
March, 1993. The notorious brochure, "Hate and Propaganda", with anti-Semitic slander from the "Sturmer" Nazi Journal, is distributed.
July, 1993: Heilig and Foulloise are sentenced in Rostock to two years and two months confinement each. The sect pays back over two million marks in back taxes.
November, 1993: Medical School of the Scientologist, Hermann Keppler, in Schwerin and Neubrandenburg. Numerous students give notice after the sect connections of their courses become known.
September, 1994. Sect attorneys try to put pressure on book dealers. Goal: To stop sales of the [anti-] Scientology book, "Ich klage an" ["I accuse"] by Renate Hartwig. More mass mailings and broadcast advertisements.
January, 1995: Child care centers receive letters from the Scientology cover organization, Commission for Violation of Human Rights by Psychiatry. The sect publishers offered counselling.
May, 1995: School and district libraries receive packets of books from the Scientology "New Era Publications" of writings by Ron. L. Hubbard with the instructions to put these out for public display.
May/June, 1995: First distribution of brochures to district officials, ministers, media.
July/August, 1995: State representatives, ministers, publishers and other institutions receive "Freiheit" ["Freedom"], an instigative brochure.
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
- The largest and most dangerous sect
- Prohibit Scientology?
- Peter Landmann
- Herbert Schnoor
- Eckhard Tuerk
- Norbert Potthoff
- Carl-W. Roehrig
- Ursula Caberta
- Guenther Beckstein
- Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
- Juergen Keltsch
- Objective: Management
- "To the Point of Ruin"
- TIPS: How to protect yourself from Scientology consultants
- In the war against Germany
- SPAIN: Charges against Scientologists
Scientology: The Profit-Sect: Part 1
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
By Norbert Blüm
The largest and most dangerous sect in Germany is covertly changing the economy.
They deal in power. They deal in money. When we look around us in the world today, it quickly becomes clear that a new form of sect is emerging, one that leads to death. I am thinking of the mass murders of the Sun Temple in Switzerland, the Aum sect in Japan, and the Davidians and the militia in the United States. They fight their own battles and lead their own personal wars. We have to focus on this type of warfare.
A war does not only take place when people are wounded or killed. War does not only occur when buildings lie in ruins and ashes. Whoever vanquishes the innermost personality of a human being is also leading a war. What I mean here is the worldwide campaign of Scientology, from whom no mercy is granted.
An imperialistic organization has taken it upon themselves to infiltrate business and manipulate people. Its goal for power in the economy includes placing its own members in personnel departments and on management boards. In other areas, such as real estate, publishing, and software development, it gathers contacts and information, again with the goal of gaining more power. This is a covert campaign of conquest which is all the more dangerous as it operates behind closed doors. We must stop it.
It's about time that something be done. If one believes the Scientology publications, the organization, which has operated since 1954 under the name of "Church of Scientology", has undertaken a years-long campaign to transform Germany into an allegedly higher state of consciousness. It has stated that its goals include the takeover of five percent of the German book market, the gaining of 15 percent of the opinion leaders for its own purposes, and finally the takeover of power. According to statements by the organization, Germany has at least 30,000 adherents of Ron Hubbard. Hubbard, the American founder of the sect, died in 1986.
"Using the appearance of a religious community," the states' Interior Ministers determined over a year ago, Scientology combines "elements of white collar crime and psycho-terrorism against its members in commercial activities and sect-like practices." In March, the federal labor court in Kassel decided that Scientology is not a church, but a commercial business.
According to the observations of former Scientologists, a danger exists that members, who are mercilessly gauged by income statistics and the success of the mission, will cause damage to their companies in the course of fulfilling assignments from the organization. This damage includes embezzlement of money or information, industrial espionage, disloyal behavior and violation of the confidentiality agreement. The organization leaves, in its wake, bankrupt companies and former members who have been ruined psychologically as well as financially.
Unfortunately, no good would be done by banning Scientology. That would only create martyrs. One has to interfere with the non-transparent business of the organization. Only one strategy is effective against Hubbard's ideology of "business, business, business." That is the strategy of information, information, information. For this reason I call upon all concerned: the Office of Constitutional Protection, businesses, and also schools. We must use all means available to us to remove the camouflage used by Scientology. We must meet it face on. We must not give in, not even when we are under its threats. It relies on the cowardice of society, and the desire to have peace, as opposed to conflict. I don't think that way. Nobody need yield to fear of repression, especially the media. There has to be a chain of defense.
Perhaps my experiences can contribute to the breaking of the tabu [of conflict]. Last year a Scientologist from Nurnberg received a license from the Federal Labor Office for his company to act as a private employment agency. After his membership in Scientology became known, we withdrew the license.
In the past year, I have been calling Scientology what it really is: a criminal money laundering organization which will stop at nothing in its world-wide effort to advance its ideology under the auspices of religion. Scientology reacted by applying for the issue of a temporary order. It was turned down by the judge. The main decision lies before us. I am confident of the outcome. I have said nothing that I will retract. The spiteful advertisement campaign from the United States which equates allegedly persecuted Scientologists to the victims of Auschwitz will not cause me to become amenable to discussion. That would be perfidy. It is time to put a stop to the people who are pulling the strings in this ruthless organization. Have courage!
NORBERT BLÜM (59) has been Federal Minister of Labor and Social Welfare since 1982. His studies include Catholic theology.
Scientology: The Profit Sect: part 2
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
The Proposal: Ban Scientology?
For years, Scientology has been making headlines with its questionable methods of operation. The sect has been accused of fleecing its members with expensive psychological courses, driving them into complete dependence, and destroying their personalities. The stated goal of the totalitarian organization is world domination. Scientologists have already infiltrated sectors of business which include real estate, recruitment consulting and data processing. The Federal Office of Constitutional Protection in Cologne believes that Scientology fulfills the necessary "requisites [needed to be put under] surveillance." Federal Labor Minister Norbert Blum even believes the sect to be a "criminal money-laundering organization which stops at nothing in the worldwide spread its misleading philosophy under the auspices of religion." The result of all this can only lead to one thing: Scientology must be banned.
Scientology was founded in 1954 by LAFAYETTE RONALD HUBBARD. Four years prior to that, the American, former science fiction writer had published the book DIANETICS, the cornerstone for the entire philosophy of the sect. In it, Hubbard promised the individual healing of physical and psychological ailments. He proclaimed to humanity a world without drugs or criminality, and the CLAIM of Scientologists TO WORLD DOMINATION. Nine years after Hubbard's death, the sect, which today calls itself a church, is operating under its new leader, DAVID MISCAVIGE, in more than 30 countries. Besides the USA, Scientology also has strongholds in Germany. Estimates of the number of German members vary between 30,000 and 300,000. It is considered to be the largest sect in Germany. The highest concentrations of members center in financially stable regions such as HAMBURG and BADEN-WURTTEMBERG.
"Have you ever heard or read anything about 'Scientology'?"
"What kind of connotations have you had of Scientology?" (*)
DON'T KNOW: 1%
"Should Scientology be banned?" (*)
N0: 18% DON'T KNOW: 13%
(*) Basis: These are of the people who had previously read or heard of Scientology.
Scientology: The Profit Sect: part 3
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN [REAL ESTATE] AGENTS ("RING DEUTSCHER MAKLER")
Stop Scientology! This is the goal of a "concentrated action against Scientology" by all commercial real estate associations in Hamburg, undertaken to expose the aggressive methods used by Scientologists and their assistants in vacating rental apartments for conversion to condominiums. A no-nonsense legal procedure against Scientology, such as the one taken in Spain, is also possible in Germany. A general ban would be better.
NORDRHEIN-WESTPHALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, SPD
Scientology, under the guise of religion, carries out psychological terrorism against its members. Its principle objective is the attainment of profit. I believe it is necessary that police and the Constitutional Protection Agency gather all information about Scientology and do an assessment on it. That is how the Federal Interior Minister could receive extensive material for the urgently needed ban of Scientology and its associations.
SECT COMMISSIONER IN BISTUM MAINZ
Based on my experiences with people who have suffered harm from Scientology, I can only agree with this proposal. Scientology must be banned. Even a ban would not be enough. One needs to inform oneself what it is that Scientology represents. Scientology holds a distorted mirror up to our society with their cult of [compulsory] success and achievement at any cost. Until we have worked out what we are seeing in its mirror, Scientology will have success, whether we prohibit it or not.
FEDERAL LABOR ASSOCIATION OF SCIENTOLOGY VICTIMS
In my work in Scientology management, I never once doubted the political goals of Scientology. When I compare these goals today to democratic perspectives, I recognize an unmistakable enmity to our Constitution. Scientology does not provide for freedom of expression. It disregards human rights in multiple ways, and is counter to parliamentarian democracy. From my perspective, a classification as a constitutionally hostile organization is sensible and necessary.
PAINTER UND SCIENTOLOGIST, HAMBURG
I have taken innumerable courses and participated in many seminars since 1977. During this time, my life has developed very successfully. Scientology has encouraged me to actively and confidently participate in life. Scientology is interested in making its knowledge accessible to the entire world; this, quite naturally, lends itself to the concept of "world domination." I would like to assert that both large Christian churches are concerned with preventing the knowledge, the philosophy and the belief of Scientology from being generally accessible to the public. The "Christian view" is the source of a media and PR war which has now been going on for decades. The prohibition of the Scientology religion would be a great loss for society, but would be favorable to "world domination" by the Catholic church and the domination of Germany by the Evangelical church. It is a fight of David against Goliath.
WORKGROUP ON SCIENTOLOGY IN THE HAMBURG INTERIOR OFFICE
A ban would be a last resort by the state. A measure such as that would have to withstand judicial scrutiny. A uniform procedure of measures would have to be drawn up as quickly as possible for all states and assemblies. The uniformly decided application of business law as well as the ensuing punitive measures would be lead the procedure. The political discussion so far has suffered from the notion that Scientology is allegedly a "youth sect."
BAVARIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, CSU
It has been determined in the higher courts that Scientology, with its sale of literature and courses, is a commercial, not a religious, enterprise. Conclusions must quickly be drawn from that decision. The official goal would have to be the revocation of the status of an ideal association from the commercially active registered Scientology associations. Besides that, one would have to see to it that regulations for active businesses were kept up to date.
FEDERAL MINISTER OF JUSTICE, FDP
I support a ban, as much as uncritical tolerance for similar unsuitable means, in the effective opposition to this provocation. In the dispute with movements such as Scientology, factual information is much more important to potential victims. One should not forget to ask the question of what associations such as this one have that make them so attractive for people, and what we are able to do about it. In that regard, this is not primarily a legal, but a social problem, the solution of which must include all socially relevant forces.
The question in Scientology is not what Scientologists believe, but what they do and are capable of doing. In Scientology, techniques which affect a person's health are used, but under false labels. It is claimed that therapy is being applied and that confessions are being heard. In reality, conditioned behavior modification is taking place. People are trained into behaving in a a pre-determined manner. Calling that religion is a misuse of terms. What we need are rights in the psycho-market. We need a psycho-market law, not for medical psycho-therapy, which will soon be legally regulated, but for the 1995 "life assistance" market, in which millions are made in income, but for which no consumer protection exists.
Scientology: The Profit Sect: Part 4
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
By Matthias Lambrecht
How Scientology infiltrates the German Economy.
A Report by MATTHIAS LAMBRECHT
Michael Peters [name changed] usually just brushes off callers such as the representative from the Ahrensburg Company for Management Training (CMT). "Those kind of programs are offered to us all the time," says the co-owner of an automobile business in a Hamburg community. "I had tuned them out a long time ago."
However, the CMT representative was convincing right from the start. The caller was "very open, clear and flexible," Peters recalls. The management trainer wanted to bring up further points in a no-obligation consultation meeting. Peters said, "They were really super. They had a high class manner of getting themselves across, and argued highly intelligently." They promised fast, simple solutions. "What you bring away with you from our seminars are key words which will fit onto one page. You already have the rest."
The automobile business owner attended four weekend seminars for a total of more than 7,000 marks ($5,000) before he noticed that he had fallen into the hands of Scientologists. "At the beginning, I enjoyed myself immensely, and got a lot of positive gain out of it," said Peters. Peters did not at first notice that terms taken from the Scientology gibberish were showing up the CMT communications exercises, nor did he see that the Scientology "tone scale" was being used to assess mental condition. Dirk Braun, the CMT Director and Trainer, in reply to inquiries, had maintained that the program was based solely on his own considerations and experiences.
Peters had his first reservations on the matter when the participants were encouraged to transfer what they had learned from the course over into their private lives. Then the management trainer, in a one-on-one discussion with the automobile business owner, called upon Peters to supply data from his business, so that he would have better control over his success. Even when his suspicions about Scientology were confirmed, it was hard for him to leave. "I thought over whether I should continue with the seminars, because they were so good," said Peters, "but I didn't know if I would be strong enough to stop before they took over my mind."
CMT founder Dirk Braun is not unknown as a Scientologist. He is quite high up on the members list of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), the sect's association for businessmen. Despite all the information about the machinations of the organization, Michael Peters' experience with the sect is not the exception. The Scientologists' push into commerce is unchecked. "90 percent of our work consists of the counseling of businesses which have come into contact with Scientology," states Renate Hartwig of "Robin Direkt", a self-help group for Scientology victims.
"The Scientologists pursue two goals. They want to get at the money, and they want to get to the staff," says Ursula Caberta of the Work Group on Scientology in the Hamburg Interior Office. According to Renate Hartwig, "occupying key positions in the economy and getting businesses under their control" are important steps in the path to the higher goal of the sect: "Clear the Planet", or world domination. "Since Scientology now brings total freedom, it must also have the power and authority to demand total discipline," is how the solution is stated by L. Ron Hubbard, sect founder. There is no place for critics in this dictatorship. "We have in mind the removal of everything in the way which must be removed, no matter how big it may be," clarifies Hubbard, "in order to create a civilization that can actually survive." For Ursula Caberta, Scientology is a tough as nails political movement which does not put its ground rules up for a vote," and is thereby a "danger for democracy and the constitutional state." Its appearance as a church serves only as camouflage, and is, consequently, "a pure publicity stunt."
In their internal memos the Scientologists make no secret of the true intentions of the organization. These have only to do with the spread of the "Dianetics" holy teachings of the sect founder, who died in 1986. "The only reason why LRH (sect abbrev. for L. Ron Hubbard) founded the church was to sell and deliver to the people of this planet direct on-policy and in-tech Dianetics," reads the "International Management Bulletin" from Scientology central in Clearwater, US state of Florida.
The marketing of Hubbard's ideas is rigidly organized. WISE, the Scientology business unit, works as a business which spans the globe to issue licenses to businesses and collect fees for the same. The license contract of the WISE member precisely regulates the use of trademarks and copyrights. The fees are sent in weekly, and WISE has, according to the contract, the right to inspect the books of the licensee at any time. Whoever spreads the wisdom of Hubbard in seminars or meetings as a business consultant, such as "management trainer" Dirk Braun does, must also pay up to 15 percent of their income as commission. WISE members must pay six percent of their income to install the portions of the administrative technology "as main source of services, which are opened up for customers or clients" to organize their internal management operations according to the Scientology regulations.
WISE members, which include an increasing number of German business and personnel consultants, real estate agents and software dealers, put themselves in Scientology's debt by placing their signature on the license contract. In accordance with the ethical categories of the organization, only those who regularly submit high license commissions and gain new adherents for the sect are successful and gain recognition. "And when that doesn't work, pressure is applied," says Ursula Caberta, the Hamburg Scientology expert. So-called "ethics officers" stand watch to make sure that the organization's instructions are followed. If anyone resists them, the worst case is assignment to the "Rehabilitation Project." An insider reports that these installations, one of which is located in the California desert, resemble prison camps. 18 hours work a day, a sparse diet of water, rice and beans, along with constant auditing on the "e-meter" (a lie detector developed by Hubbard) are supposed to serve to put the deviate back on course.
How the goals of the organization are to be achieved has been precisely laid out in the internal documents of the WISE licensees. "Choice International," a business and personnel consultation firm, has dictated to its franchise holders how Scientologists and their ideas should be utilized with their customers: "LRH Tech" must be applied in the recruitment of personnel of the affected companies, so that "the 'tech' is immediately introduced into the management level and that alliances are created." Besides this, "the door must be opened for further demands for WISE tech, e.g., in other areas of business." The success of this Scientology strategy is proved by the multiple page listing of references given by the Choice personnel agency. The variety of customers range from automobile carrier to dentist, from software outlet to large bakery.
When the Hubbard marketing is hindered by the media's publishing of the names of the WISE licensees, the Scientologists simply start new companies. Dirk Braun first sold his seminars in the Academy for Management and Communication before he went after customers with the Company for Management Training. WISE member Martin Ostertag, a former Metzinger Choice franchise holder, now runs Euroselect, M. Ostertag & Partner, out of Stuttgart. "They change their names so quickly that we can hardly keep track of them," says Renate Hartwig. In many cases Scientologists are active only as silent partners, which makes them even more difficult to detect.
WISE members are finding new ways of presenting their wares. Dieter Schmitt, a management consultant, distributed Hubbardistic intellectual material in a report entitled "The Secret of Performance Ability" from a personnel office of a Nordrhein-Westphalian mold and panelling producer. He invited woodworkers to his shop to view his new selection, and offered his customers a "day of dialog" as a side program. In that program, unsuspecting officials such as Gertrud Hohler, a germanistic professor, and Jurgen Austinowitz also appeared. "Schmitt pulled out all stops," recalls Gunter Schwarz [name changed], a woodworker who attended the series of presentations. "He inspired everybody."
The woodworker was reminded of a book about Scientology he had read shortly before, when he was on vacation. "Robin Direkt" confirmed Schmitt's connection to the sect, and the woodworker informed the unsuspecting organizer of the presentation series. The company finally chose to separate its activities from those of Schmitt, but not before a shop supervisor and four salespeople of the panelling producer had signed up for seminars with the management consultant.
With their subtle strategy, the Scientologists even fool professionals. "I know plenty of personnel people who fell for that nonsense, even though they really should have known better," said business consultant Steven Goldner, who works with "Sinus," a self-help group. At the same time he warns of falsely judging the Scientologists. "People who go on and on about how terrible [Scientology] is do not do the matter justice. It must also be recognized that they do something positive." Hubbard adherents have taken "completely rational concepts" from adult education, and adapted them to themselves. This technique is later used to gain new members.
In this, the trained Hubbard adherents know how to exploit the weaknesses and travails of their opponents. "People are addressed on their most sensitive point. They bare their souls, and let it all hang out. Then they get the whip," is how ex-Scientologist Gunter Trager describes the strategy. "When they catch the head of the company, who perhaps has just gone through a divorce, off balance," says Goldner, "they often have already won."
That can have fatal consequences for the affected person. Anybody who sets out upon the path to the "bridge to total freedom," in the Scientology sense of the word, must first invest hundreds of thousands of marks in seminars and counseling before he can become an "operating thetan." Huge debts and excessive private withdrawals from the company's cash drawer are the rule with Scientologists. On top of this, [attainment of] "LRH technology" hardly amounts to qualified leadership of a company. "Scientologists tend to overestimate themselves and have an extremely short memory," says Golder, the business consultant. The result of this is that business is not oriented towards the customer, but centers around how fast a customer can be parted from his money." As a gauge of success, "absurd statistical criteria" are reported, such as the number of phone calls by each individual staff member.
Businesses cannot last long when they let themselves be led by this type of criteria. On one side, customers leave in droves, while on the other side, more and more money is diverted to the purposes of the sect. The business quickly goes bankrupt. "Obstructing the competition and tax evasion are classic symptoms of Scientology businesses," states Ursula Caberta. Escaping a system of belief and hope, of dependency and pressure, is difficult. Scientology is like a slippery blob which you slide into without noticing it," says Gunther Trager, ex-Scientologist. He jumped ship when he, as a PR consultant of the sect, had the chance to look behind the scenes and to experience "the incredible discrepancy between what they claimed and reality." "There is a hard core group which knows what is going on." The majority of the adherents have been lulled into a "Potemkinistic village" without noticing that they are being exploited.
Cases are seldom made public in which Scientologists make their appearance in management. For years, one of the managers of a chemical business, BASF, recruited for the sect. He was finally given notice in 1992, because he "seriously disrupted operational peace and order by his recruitment activities," stated the BASF documentation. Another BASF staff member was dismissed at the same time. The chemist wanted to profit at the expense of his company so that he could finance his advancement in the sect.
In commercial associations such as the German Industry and Commerce Assembly (GICA), alarm bells went off. Scientology is a danger for the economic position of Germany," emphasized Elmar Halbach, a GICA political economist. He said it was not only the danger that businesses infiltrated by the organization would be bled dry, but that "we may gather from this that Scientologists glean confidential operational information and use that knowledge for their own purposes." In order to oppose this form of criminality, "whose hidden effects may not be easily assessed", the GICA has instituted a decisive, common process between state and business. "The federal and state governments must not regard Scientology as a religion. That would leave the struggle up to the Ministry of Youth and Families," says Halbach. The fight against Scientology must be the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior.
Renate Rennebach, the political speaker on sects for the Bundestag SPD faction, also demands a sect office under the cognition of the federal Department of the Interior. From this point, the missions of the federal criminal investigative division (Bundeskriminalamt) and of the Constitutional Protection Office could be coordinated against the Hubbard adherents. Besides this, the SPD politician strongly supports a ban on Scientology. "That would be an effective instrument. The organization could be observed, and the Scientologists would no longer be in the position to operate, as they have been doing, in the open." Federal Labor Minister Norbert Blum (CDU) also takes a hard line. He says that it is "high time that we put a stop to the string pullers of this cartel which despises people." He says the resources of the Constitutional Protection Office must be used against the "giant Scientology octopus."
The Bonn Interior Ministry, however, does not see that further actions are necessary, and refers to a decision handed down by the Interior Ministry's Conference of May, 1994, which stated that Scientology is an organization "which, under the guise of a religious community, combines elements of white collar crime and psychological terrorism against its own members with economic activity and the impact of a sect." Sorting out the activities of the Scientologists should be a matter for the Attorney General's office and for the police. The Conference rejected the use of the Office for Constitutional Protection.
The increasing public pressure against Scientology has led to activity behind the scenes of the organization. In Hamburg, the center of the movement in Germany, key positions were done away with, and their functions were taken over by high officials from the US headquarters. Gotz Brase, real estate agent and leading WISE member, was deposed. Resistance was formed in the real estate market in Hansestadt. The Agents Association and the Renters Association made a concerted effort to proceed against the Scientologists, who, according to the estimates of the Renters Association, had taken over half of the business in conversion from rental units to condominiums. However, the organization is also active in other locations. For several months, Scientology agents have been increasing their presence in the Berlin real estate market. Their specialty there, according to the Berlin Renters Association, is also the conversion to condominiums without any capital investment: the buyers must pay immediately, while the sellers have to wait for their money for months.
Representatives of large German businesses continue to report to Ursula Caberta that they have entered into contract for the specification and purchase of computer programs from the "Executive Software" company. Executive Software boss Craig Johnson belongs to the highest rank of WISE member. The Scientologists get into the market by offering up to 50 percent rebate, after which they sit on the nerve system of the business, with access to highly sensitive data.
Decisions of the Federal Labor Court and the Federal Administrative Court from the past weeks which require Scientology to report as a business instead of operating under the guise of a church are, in the estimation of Scientology opponents, of only conditional value as weapons. Even with a ban, the sect would only be that much more difficult to deal with. "Germany is the central country for Scientology, out of which, together with Switzerland, about a third of their worldwide income originates," says Ursula Caberta. Even if there is not a reliable estimate of the number of WISE members and the amount of the license fees, Caberta is sure that it [fees] are in the millions. "In the event of a ban, they would find ways to go underground," states ex-Scientologists Trager, "and once it blows over, they'll come back."
Scientology: The Profit Sect: Part 5
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Nothing but Rumors
How two companies came under the suspicion of being connected with Scientology
One morning they stood at the business entrance. Friendly men and women passed out brochures to the employees arriving for work at the Walldorf SAP-AG, the largest German software company. They came from the AMK Scientology training center eight kilometers away in Wiesloch. Their goal was to recruit new members. This event quickly became public knowledge. Reports in the press and on television even mentioned connections between the software company and the sect. Rumors hit the stock market. In one week, the company's stock value sank 10 percent. SAP denied any contact to the sect. Management started a campaign to warn the staff of Scientology. Meanwhile the reports have died down. Michael Pfister, spokesman for the company, asserts, "We do not have any evidence that any one of our employees is a member [of Scientology]."
It began in the night clubs of Hamburg. One heard mentioned at the bars that WARSTEINER GMBH, the largest private brewery of Germany, had been infiltrated by Scientologists. Even Albert Cramer, the brewery chief, was said to have belonged to the sect. The rumor continued making the rounds. Beer sales [for the company] came to a standstill. Their image suffered. Under this kind of pressure, Warsteiner decided upon an unusual course of action. The Sauerlander business started a 300,000 mark campaign in north German newspapers with the title "Slanderer Wanted," in order to take the wind out of the sails of this "reprehensible, criminal attack." Besides that, all leading staff had to sign an affirmation that they were not members of Scientology. The plea to the public appeared to be successful. In any case, a manager has stated, "The rumor is dead." The rumor monger remains unknown.
Scientology: The Profit Sect: Part 6
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
"To the Point of Ruin"
By Sigrid Ulrich
Economic researcher MATTHIAS BRANAHL on the harmful influence of Scientology on German business
Scientology expands aggressively into the economy. What harm can befall companies which have been infiltrated?
The influence can harm business if staff or management are put under pressure. They can be threatened with psychological damage, indebtedness to the point of ruin, and possible coercion. Management itself can suffer from commercial espionage and embezzlement, from disloyalty, nepotism, silent competition, and transgressions of the confidentiality agreement.
Do businesses take open action against their own staff?
Hardly. It is not "in" to "out" oneself. Even though information is the best protection, most companies are afraid of damaging their image. They try to solve the problem inside of the company, unnoticed by the public. BASF AG and the Warsteiner brewery did not handle it this way. The brewery was, by far, the exception, with its publicity campaign against infiltration.
Is the problem covered up in other ways?
Just the opposite. In many business I have detected an increasing sensitivity. For example, many management seminars act out the problem of "my co-worker is a Scientologist." We at the institute receive 15 or 20 calls a month from individual employees seeking personal help. Hardly any of them know how they should act [in regards to the situation].
Scientologists mostly present themselves as optimal, open-minded achievers who are oriented toward performance. In most of the known cases, this image eventually falls through. Is that the rule?
Yes. Because the sect is, so far as is known, organized very hierarchically. There is a constant power struggle over the status of the so-called OT ("Operating Thetan"). Anybody who wants to make his way up into this hierarchy, or just wants to maintain his current status, must demonstrate success. That means with income or [attaining] new members.
How does this pressure influence their behavior?
If a Scientology adherent does not recognize himself as such, personality changes often manifest themselves. Membership in a totalitarian organization often lends itself to a feeling of individual strength and invulnerability. This strong consciousness of belonging to an "In group" can, with time, only lead to a higher loss of reality. On the other side, the sheer number of workshops and courses in the evenings and on the weekends often cause permanent stress. A growing need for money accompanies that. That means that individual responsibility in management runs a higher risk of a reaching a wrong decision.
How can management rid itself of Scientologists before it gets that far?
That is a delicate question. Fundamentally speaking, there is enough leeway in the labor laws so that an obstruction to management can be overcome. That ranges from issuing a warning to dismissal. But so far as I know, dismissal on grounds of simple membership in Scientology is not possible.
What does the organization want to do with its economic power?
It wants to establish economic influence over society. Not much is certain, just that the sales from courses, books and licensing fees to WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) are high. In Germany, they are estimated to be at least 200 million marks annually. These sales probably include a high rate of profit. What is being done with this profit by the bosses of the organization is widely unknown. I do not speculate as to company or stock sales.
The commercial undertakings of Scientology have been concentrated in clearly delineated areas such as real estate agencies, and personnel consultants and trainers. Do they have other areas in mind?
The organization is interested in all innovative areas which are fast-paced, profitable and open for young people who have much creative power and a good financial background. These areas include staff in bank and stock market, in textbook publishing companies and in software companies.
Some time ago, Scientology had declared Germany to be the center of its commercial operations. In recent times, the German management crew has been almost completely deposed. What must have caused this?
Even the so-called experts know little or nothing about that. As is the case with all other large institutions: five percent is in the newspaper, insiders know 15 percent, and 80 percent remains behind closed doors.
The Scientologists supposedly have a data collection system which feeds into a central computer. How can businesses and staff protect themselves against misuse of data?
A prohibition would not help. Listening to the police radio is also forbidden, but, technically, it is child's play. One cannot absolutely protect oneself anyway. However, good common sense is often helpful. Computer technology is similar to professional sports: theft of data is only as effective as the opponent permits it to be. [You are only as good as your opponent permits.]
Which data is particularly at risk?
As far as one knows, personal data, such as evaluations by psychological training seminars for potential management ability. Good common sense can also be of help here. Many [seminar] participants are already distrustful of the business doing the evaluation. Personnel trainers have been complaining for a long time that their tests are reflecting less of people's personalities.
And if it does happen, nevertheless?
Bad luck. Years can go by before the data is actually used. Neither do bank robbers spend their take immediately.
Interview: SIGRID ULRICH
Scientology: The Profit Sect: Part 7
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
TIPS: How one can protect oneself against Scientology consultants
Anybody that wants to recognize a Scientologist, should first ask him about L. Ron Hubbard. That is because the sect adherent will not hesitate to deny his membership as a Scientologist. However, as a rule they will acknowledge, in practice, the principles of L. Ron Hubbard. Denying him would shake the foundations of their convictions.
For this reason, a signature on a written statement that says that Hubbard's rules will not be followed is a relatively sure method of guarding oneself against business consultants which belong to Scientology.
Besides that, there are several tell-tale signs which can indicate that a personnel consultation company of Scientology is at work. One of them is the recommendation that a 200 question personality test, called the "Oxford Capacity Test," be used for the selection of personnel. If this is the case, caution is called for. This is the same questionnaire used by the Scientologists in the recruitment of new members on the streets.
Another conspicuous indication is the devaluation of established science, especially psychology, in the [written] material of the Scientology consultants. The programs often aim toward an extensive personality change and promise fast and great success.
An annotated checklist of self protection against Scientology can be obtained from SINUS - "Sekteninformations- und Selbsthilfe", [address given].
Scientology: The Profit Sect: Part 8
From: "Die Woche"
May 12, 1995
Copyright 1995 Die Woche Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co.
In the War against Germany
by Steffan Heuer
The SCIENTOLOGY SECT makes charges against Germany with an aggressive advertisement campaign in the USA - not without effect
Edward Tashji, speaker of the Turkish-American Union in the USA, was full of praise, "In the name of our President, Dr. Sevket Karaduman," he thanked the Scientology Church for its "true-to-life description of the spirit of fascism and racism in Germany." This Scientologist hypothesis has been spread in whole-page advertisements. The New York Times of January 11 contained an ad which stated "Human Rights in Danger: Germany's present resembles the past in a terrifying way. In the 1930's and 1940's, the world closed its eyes while the climate for the Holocaust was created. Nobody did anything. Today you can take care of it." This was followed by the addresses of Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl and Klaus Kinkel.
The 26 whole-page advertisements, which ran between September and February, cost the sect a total of almost a million dollars. The campaign began when pressure on the sect in Germany increased. Federal Labor Minister Norbert Blum hit them hard as he repeatedly called them a "criminal money-laudering organization." In October, 1994, he had the licenses of the Scientology-allied private employment agencies withdrawn
Have the advertisements convinced the newspaper readers in the USA? The German embassy in Washington received calls from German tourists who felt outraged, yet it maintained its silence on the matter. "The campaign has gone up in smoke," was the verdict pronounced by embassy speaker Ekkehard Brose. "And that's where we'll leave it."
Abraham Foxman, Holocaust survivor and director of the Anti-Defamation League, the most influential Jewish organization in the USA, saw the advertisements as an "overblown, unwarranted attack on the democratic government of Germany." The sect "undertakes anything in order to have its revenge upon an administration which takes measures against it," wrote Foxman to the New York Times. Upon reading that, leading Scientologist Heber Jentzsch responded to Foxman's letter by writing that Foxman supported "fascist treatment" in Germany. "Wake up, Mr. Foxman," wrote the excited Jentzsch in his letter, in which he incorrectly spelled both Luebeck ("Leubeck") and the name of Labor Minister Norbert Bluem ("Bleum"). "Do you smell the burning flesh of the Turks who have been thrown into the fire by your beloved German democracy?" he wrote.
The advertisement campaign was hatched by the Scientology establishment in Los Angeles. Press spokesperson Leisa Goodman said she wrote the text to it. "The members of our community have been denied basic human rights. That can only be compared with what has been done to the Jews," she stated. She claimed that the advertisements reflect the situation in the German Federal Republic "exactly." "The text could have been even more polemic," she said.
Marcia Rudin, who runs the International Cult Education Program in New York, gave her opinion, "As a Jew I feel particularly insulted that Scientology is exploiting the Holocaust. But that is typical for sects that present themselves as victims."
Former Scientologists who continue to watch the sect today, find the advertisement simply "abominable." Lawrence Wollersheim, who was "ruined after eleven years of brainwashing," sees the true face of Scientology in the propaganda. "The real Nazis are the Scientologists," says the American, who, two years ago, set up a data base on the organization which can be accessed for free over the internet.
In the political arena of the USA, the Scientology campaign has found a willing audience. The United Nations Human Rights Commission seized upon the accusations of religious persecution in a four page report. The US State Department also announced the accusations of the sect in its Human Rights Report without further commentary. However, in an opinion to a senator the US State Department ascertained that there was no proof "that a hate campaign against the Scientologists or other groups had been approved by German officials."
That does not sway Leise Goodman. The sect spokesperson stated that "Scientologists will never give up." Hubbard advised his followers, "Treat every small battle like a war." The first battle was with the newspapers. The German newspapers refused to print the advertisements. Therefore, the Los Angeles Scientologists planned to run advertisements in the countries neighboring Germany. They have enough money. According to its last tax statement, Scientology took in $300 million a year. Insiders estimate that $100 million of that is used for advertisement.
SPAIN: Scientology under indictment
In early May the district attorney's office in Madrid indicted the international President of the Scientology Church, HEBER JENTZSCH, and 17 other members of the organization. In Spain, Scientology has been accused of establishing a PROHIBITED ORGANIZATION, along with tax evasion, usury, deprivation of liberty, bodily harm, and the feigning of punishable acts. In its 80 page indictment, the state district attorney's office accused SCIENTOLOGY of using the guise of religion solely to mask its real goal of making PROFIT. It has not yet been decided when the procedure will begin.
Picture: Advertisement, "The business of hatred"
The Scientology Church, in an advertisement campaign in US newspapers, accused Germany of persecuting religious groups and racial minorities. Jewish organizations, in particular, criticized this as a clumsy attempt by the sect to oppose increasing criticism of Scientology's behavior in Germany.
"Agents in their own country"
August 20, 2001
REGION (vin) - Canadian Gerald Armstrong spoke about his life of suffering in Scientology and the dangers of the psycho-cult at the invitation of the CDU business council in Tettnang. The seriousness with which Armstrong was taken as a critic by his former organization was demonstrated by two high-placed Scientologists who attempted to discredit the speaker.
Unspeakably sad eyes above sagging shoulders, not a glimmer of a smile on his face, Gerald Armstrong had a subduing effect. Twelve years of membership in Scientology, most of them as a staff member close to cult founder Ron Hubbard, and a pile of court cases with his former employer, have taken their toll. Yet the Canadian stressed, "They did not destroy me." Since he got out in 1981, he has been fighting against Scientology in that he sheds light on the organization.
He was 20 years old when he had his first contact with the cult in 1969. It was the free 200 question test (also called the Oxford Capacity Analysis, although it has nothing to do with Oxford University.)
Anyone who takes the test is then talked to by a staff member of the church who tells him that he has a personal deficit of one sort or another. But Scientology could help, it is said. With costly courses which, for example, are supposed to increase the ability to communicate, to the core of Scientology's psychotherapy, called "auditing."
During this very intimate interrogation in which the subject is attached to a sort of lie detector, called an E-meter, the "auditor" learns much of the subject's personal life. This is recorded exactly and can later be used against him. For instance, such as if he were to ever want to leave the organization. Auditors are trained to find weak points in people by which they can be suppressed. In this way, the cult says, people can be turned into "superior beings with superhuman powers" (operating Thetans). Armstrong says he didn't notice it himself until after twelve years, when he ran into "lies" while doing research for a biography on Hubbard. He said the former science fiction author had not been either a highly decorated war hero nor a nuclear physicist. "He lied about practically everything that concerned him personally, his wife or his children."
Since he got out, he has been subjected to intense "black propaganda," the critic complained. He said Scientology flooded him with court procedures - in the USA there is an arrest warrant out for him because he openly violated a condition of the settlement rather than let himself be pushed out of the way.
Settling the account with Scientology
A former member spoke about his experiences in Scientology yesterday as a guest of the CDU business council
June 6, 2001
Loerrach (kh). The CDU business council invited an unusual guest to the county city on Tuesday: before the representatives of business and politics, Canadian Gerald Armstrong reported in the "canteen" about his experiences with the Scientology sect. The 51-year-old said that he was employed in a management position in Scientology for over twelve years and that he was regarded as a close confidant of sect leader Ron Hubbard.
He said he ran into Scientology like many others did: he fell for the promises with which Scientology lures people by the thousands. For example his communication ability was supposed to be improved and even his intelligence raised - and all in a scientific setting. Armstrong told about his career in the organization which is recognized in the United States as a church. For instance, once he researched a biography about Hubbard - and in doing so, as he says today, it became clear to him that "this man had lied in every connection." Contrary to Hubbard's assertions, he had never been a nuclear scientist, an engineer, nor a war hero, said Armstrong about his former companion.
But mainly his presentation was a settling of accounts with the sect with which he had been closely connected for years: he said you could not trust Scientology, the organization operated a sort of private intelligence agency and even a concentration camp, former members such as him were persecuted and basic rights trampled upon.
After Armstrong's 40 minute long talk, a good, one-hour discussion unfolded: the audience asked a number of questions and wanted to know more and more of the background information on Scientology and about the status of the organization in the United States. In Armstrong's eyes that was a commendable starting point, "I advise everybody to learn as much about Scientology as possible. Only in that way can one arm themselves against the organization." Among all the questions from participants there was an announcement which caused some unrest in the hall, "I am a Scientologist," said a woman quite openly, elaborated upon her opinion and emphasized, "We do not intend to keep ourselves a secret." Armstrong reacted calmly. He said that in his time with Scientology he was not aware of everything either - and that he would be happy to talk with her.