Scientology still smoldering

Zwickau, Germany
May 23, 2000
Freie Presse

(raech) Scientology in Zwickau - even after the announced retreat of top Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer - a smoldering issue. On Wednesday at 10:15 p.m. while MDR television aired a special broadcast of the SachsenSpiegel entitled "The Lord of Osterstein Castle," Gottfried Teubner, CDU state assembly member from Brand-Erbisdorf and commissioner for issues of religion and weltanschauung was making an announcement: the rumor ridden business group of "Peter and Partner" was not a company that "can be associated with Scientology in any way," he said.

He bases his opinion on a statement by the three business managers of the builder, Michael Peter, Bernd Ehret and Ulf Hofmann: they let Teubner know in writing that neither they nor their staff were trained according to the technology of Ron L. Hubbard. They furthermore stated that their business did not operate according to Hubbard's teachings, and that neither they nor their employees were Scientology members. If the company bosses had submitted false statements, according to Teubner, then they would have committed a serious crime according to the Scientology code of ethics and would have to publicly leave the sect.

In the middle of February, when Fliegerbauer announced his retreat from Zwickau in a press conference, he tried to protect to the builder from suspicions of Scientology which were making their rounds in Zwickau. Just the opposite occurred: since that time the presumptions have become more strongly rooted. It is mainly the special interest group of the "Victims of Peter and Partner" who believe they have been conned out of millions of marks who continue to associate the names of the company bosses with the sect, which has been categorized as anti-Constitutional. The trio have continually denied the accusations and believe they are victims of a campaign of libel. The damage done by such rumors, and mainly to those in the construction field, is often incalculable, said state assembly member Teubner.

Hesse's CDU under pressure

Real Estate Business

When your business partner turns out to be a Scientologist

Zwickau, Germany
March 16, 2000
Der Tagesspiegel

Christoph Schmidt Lunau

Hesse's CDU is not only a "conspirative combat association," as Frankfurt's chief mayor, Petra Roth, has recently determined. One can also get helpful tips in personal matters. It was in fall 1996 when the legal political speaker of the CDU state assembly faction of the time, Christean Wagner, told his faction colleagues, Volker Bouffier and Norbert Kartmann, about a hot investment opportunity: in Zwickau in Sachsen there were attractive buildings from the time of the city's founding being offered for sale, Eastern tax write-off included.

One after another, the three political party associates made their investments. Since that time, however, they have a problem. Their business partner, construction tycoon Kurt Fliegerbauer, was and is a prominent Scientologist. Volker Bouffier, who has been Hesse's Interior Minister for one year, Christean Wagner, Justice Minister and CDU faction chief Norbert Kartmann, all of whom have been propagating a hard line against the Scientology sect, bought from Fliegerbauer, although they would have had to have known of his involvement [in Scientology], according to research by the "Tagesspiegel." Today the CDU politicians are to address those accusations before the Hessian state assembly as a result of application by the opposition parties.

"We are aware that several business consulting companies and several real estate companies are affected [by Scientology's influence], and that many questions need to be asked there," warned CDU colleague Karin Wolff in 1996 in the Hessian State Assembly. If the three investors in the East had taken Wolff's advice to heart, or had at least made inquiries of the local political party associates, then they would have saved themselves much trouble, both politically and commercially; because Fliegerbauer has since stopped paying them the guaranteed rent, he and Bouffier are in a legal dispute.

In February 1996 for instance, six months before the CDU celebrities got involved in the matter, "Der Stern" news magazine reported on Scientology's involvement in eastern Germany in an article entitled "Their God is called Money." The article described in detail the investor with the "ungodly power," Kurt Fliegerbauer, and even included a picture of him; "Stern" quoted Hamburg sect expert Ursula Caberta, who designated him a "one hundred percent Scientologist." Following that, several articles appeared in the Chemnitz "Freien Presse" about the shady investor. The city, dominated by the CDU, pulled the emergency brakes. On February 10, planning mayor Dieter Vettermann announced, "We will not sell any more municipal buildings to Fliegerbauer."

Six months later, the Hessian party associates invested in Zwickau. "If they would have asked me back then," said CDU city councilman Frank Seidel to the "Tagesspiegel" today, "I would have advised against it." Bouffier says he did not hear of the Scientology connection until September 1997 from a newspaper article in "Bild am Sonntag." When requested, Fliegerbauer verified for him under oath that his company had nothing to do with the sect. Apparently that was good enough, at first, for the CDU representative, although he had recommended the use of Constitutional Security against Scientology in his position as interior political speaker.

As late as November 1999, Bouffier is said to have assured his Zwickau business partner of his regret "if unjust accusations have been made against you in public." In the meantime, Green State Assembly Representative Tarek Al Wazir has drawn parallels to the embarrassing proceedings on the Hessian CDU financial affairs and voiced a suspicion "that it seems to be a fundamental requirement for a Hessian CDU politician that, where money is concerned, no questions are asked about where the money comes from or with whom one is dealing."

Chief Mayor gives Scientology a helping hand

Zwickau, Germany
February 1, 2000
Freie Presse

Confidential document proves Zwickau's Chief Mayor supported Scientology member's construction plan.

Zwickau (raech) Chief Mayor Rainer Eichhorn (CDU) and the embittered debate over Scientology - Zwickau's leading man has fallen under heavy pressure now that it has been revealed that he has been following the controversial construction projects by Scientology member Kurt Fliegerbauer with approval. The construction tycoon has renovated about 250 buildings so far.

And there's more: Eichhorn publicly lied. He stated in writing January 7 in a press conference this year that there could be no discussion about a "municipal tailwind" for operations by Fliegerbauer or his company. Yet it was no other than he himself who had courted the Scientologist, chummed up to him, and provided him with the necessary "tailwind." That is now evident from a previously unknown, confidential letter from the Chief Mayor to the construction businessman. "What I am able and would like to communicate to you is that the city of Zwickau has good reason to be thankful for the commercial involvement of your Osterstein Castle Management, Inc.," Eichhorn wrote on November 17, 1997 to Fliegerbauer.

In a letter, the existence of which the council factions have not yet been aware and of which the "Freie Presse" has a copy, Eichhorn praised the controversial Scientologist in the highest tones on the one hand, and on the other hand, indirectly jabbed the citizens, who, according to Eichhorn, are deficient in market savvy and risk-taking awareness. The Chief Mayor wrote Fliegerbauer, word for word, [note: a German sentence which contains approximately 70 words was quoted, so the following is not word for word, but just an approximation:] "Out of commercial inducement which I would like very many more people to perceive and have a go at in a social market economy, and which is mirrored in the business goals of your company, you have already made a significant contribution to making the north suburbs appear as they do, thereby making a large and important step on the way to a model residential district.

The Chief Mayor also sucked up to the Scientologist in another passage: "Naturally I will not shy away from the public discussion about either your person or the Osterstein Castle Management, Inc. when it comes to clearly stating those kind of merits." And he continued, "We should get together for a personal discussion. I'll get in contact with you about that," Rainer Eichhorn urged himself upon him.

When the Chief Mayor wrote the letter in November 1997, Kurt Fliegerbauer had not yet outed himself as a member of Scientology, although there were already many signs of that. While the city had stopped selling any more real estate to the businessman for some months by that time, the political parties were also maintaining a clear distance from him. Except for the leading city official, as it has just now turned out.

Meanwhile, the week before last Eichhorn steadfastly maintained, "I cannot fault myself for any deficient conduct." Shortly before he had presented a sworn affirmation, according to which he had nothing to do with the sect.