How should one deal with Imperialists?
jW speaks with human rights award winner Norbert Bluem (CDU)
June 11, 2001
Junge Welt (jW)
(The federal parliamentary and former welfare minister was distinguished with the 2001 Leipzig Human Rights Award on Sunday. Last year it was handed out for the first time as the "Alternative Charlemagne Award.")
F: The European-American Citizens Committee is honoring your courageous appearances as a politician with the Alternative Charlemagne Award. Why does that take courage?
Courage - well, yes, I didn't see it so heroically. It's true that the Scientologists do not exactly deal with their opponents lighthandedly. They have signed instructions which include eavesdropping upon and libelling people. Scientology acts on people's fears. For instance they threatened me by saying they would distribute their dossier on me to television. They've called me all kinds of names in their newspaper: the "Rasputin" of politics, for example. But I don't worry about that sort of thing.
One only has to know that they are unscrupulous, that they have power and that they will use any means publicly.
F: Why are there so few politicians, then, who work against Scientology?
What we are dealing with here is violations of the mind, and those are not so conspicuous. If they were to break someone's arm then everyone could see that, but when the mind is broken, nobody sees that. The Scientologists' control is noiseless.
F: What can politics do about that?
I don't support a ban because that would only make martyrs. I believe that one has to cut the ground from under their feet with information. And do it in such a way that their ship will not pull into port in Germany, as they have planned.
F: Distributing information takes people.
This is not the old scheme of the poor people being defenseless. Here even the rich people are at risk. The Scientologists do not target the recipients of the welfare system as much as they do management levels. They are looking for people who want to be successful and who therefore will accept Scientology's psycho-offerings without any criticism. Moreover I think students are also at risk.
Because, as a rule, academics want to improve.
F: You have described the Scientologists as new Imperialists. What then would conventional imperialism be for you?
Imperialism strives for domination. Imperialism as we know it from history, colonization, deals with the conquest of countries and populations. This time we are dealing with the inner life of people. They are not being bound in chains, but are being made dependent upon psycho-technology.
F: But advertising also appeals to people's inner lives. Business binds people as consumers. Isn't that also a form of dependency?
If Scientology were as harmless as advertising, I would have nothing at all against it. In Scientology, people are made to heel with so-called auditing, that is interrogation technology. Comparing that with advertising is rationalizing it.
F: Isn't it also rationalization, in reverse, to compare Scientology founder Hubbard with Hitler, as happened on Sunday at the award ceremony?
I do not compare Hubbard to Hitler. I only compare their totalitarian systems. Scientology's ideology is totalitarian. We, the opponents of Scientology, are being compared to Hitler in America because we warn against Scientology. The word has to be gotten out - parents, company management, and also students.
Interview: Anna Lehmann
June 10, 2001
Norbert Bluem's speech
Dear Mr. Minton, honored assembly, dear comrades-in-arms,
The twentieth century has surpassed all prior hopes of progress, it has brought us accomplishments which formerly belonged to the realm of Utopia. We have conquered outer space, viewed Mars with probes and walked on the moon. Always higher, always faster, always larger: that is the Trinity of progress.
But looking back to the earth from the moon gives us another view of this world: 200 million people in this century - tortured, murdered and annihilated. 200 million. That, too, is a new record, but it is a record in the annihilation of people.
Back on this earth, and proud of its progress, we recognize a world suffering from hunger and poverty. Millions of children perish because they have nothing to eat, or because they have no roof over their head. Torture is still used in 150 countries on this earth.
We have become observant of and sensitive to the agony of people. We have finally woken up. We cry out when people are tortured. Rightly. We cry out when blood is shed. Rightly.
Human rights must be defended everywhere, without regard to skin color, religion, gender, intelligence or wealth. There may be many reasons for getting involved with human rights. My reason is that all people are children of God, and are therefore fundamentally equal in dignity.
But the dignity of mankind is not first endangered when bodily integrity is violated; it is not first endangered when blood is shed. There are new, sublime forms of annihilating people without shedding blood. There is a new form of imperialism.
We conceive of imperialism as a subjugation of the population, as a conquest of geographical territory. It has been recorded in history as colonization.
There is a new imperialism that no longer conquers geographic territory. It conquers people; it conquers their spirits. It does not drive people out of their houses, but out of their heads and minds. Among these new conquering organizations, colonists and imperialists, is Scientology.
Scientology is big business. In order to understand this, you only have to take seriously the words of its founder Hubbard, "Make money, make more money, make others make more money." That is the abridged Creed of the Scientologists.
And they have put this business into operation with much finesse. The great yearning of people to improve, to transcend and outdo themselves, this great yearning of people for God, is what they shamelessly exploit. It is an old trick of the Devil to use the mask of dear God. For the good folks who do not have as great a sense of religion I have a different example which comes from Grimm's fairy tales: the wolf that eats chalk, dips his black paws into flour and pretends to be a good mother - that is the folk version.
Naturally they exploit human yearning. Wanting to surpass oneself and be better is an old dream of mankind. Nietzsche announced the program of the Übermensch. That was a break with the two thousand year old culture of the Occident. In the Occidental culture and in the Christian ethic the weak are to be protected by the strong. Nietzsche proclaimed the reverse program: the strong should be protected from the weak. Nietzsche himself had gone mad over it.
Hitler then put the Master Race program into effect. And the Scientologists are trying, in their own way, to exploit the old longing. They offer training and technology to train away the old human traits and instill new ones in the alleged Übermensch.
Ladies and Gentlemen, such techniques, which are better known under the label of "brainwashing," destroy humans. It starts with putting people into debt, then it continues until they are made totally dependent.
They even pervert language. "Ethics," that lofty word for the teachings of good - in Scientology terminology that is the word for surveillance, control and annihilation of the opponent. "Rehabilitation," which we know as restoring a person's integrity, is the Scientology term for concentration camp. Scientology has transformed Orwell's "1984," a horrible Utopia, into reality. Orwell called the Propaganda Ministry the Ministry of Truth.
Scientology occupies people's heads. The goal of the new conquest is "heads." No blood is shed. The new oppressors are not arriving with horsewhips and combat boots and they do not need tanks or missiles. They use psycho-tricks to bloodlessly annihilate people. And those who end up in their clutches practically don't stand a chance. I am also accepting the award in the memory of Lisa McPherson. I cannot bring her back to life, but I will do anything I can to prevent others from having to suffer the fate of Lisa McPherson.
This is the new war which we have to carry on. Not with force of weapons, but with the power of argument. With trust for reason, that reason has not died out but is here in this world. I am an optimist inspired by the Enlightenment. I insist that people demand
- to be able to think what they want in their own heads,
- and to speak the thoughts they have in the heads with which they were born
Therefore our most powerful weapon is not force and is not prohibition. Our strongest weapon is information. Pulling the mask of "religion" and "therapy" from the face of Scientology - that is our task. Exposing Scientology as an inhuman monster and as a cynical cartel.
Neither the language of diplomacy nor the language of agreement are appropriate here, this is about clarifying information. Without force, oppression or prohibition. But with clarity.
Using your head for your own thoughts, that's what Freedom is for. For your own thoughts, not for rehearsed text, not for the indoctrinating concepts of ideology. And I trust that is what people hunger for. My trust is founded on cities such as Leipzig. This is not to compare the communists with the Scientologists. The similarities are that socialism did not collapse from fired missiles, but fell apart because it could not answer the most important question, because it could not conquer the people's yearning for freedom.
But brave people, such as those ten years ago in places including Leipzig, are needed in this discussion. Freedom does not fall from heaven, it did not happen that way in Leipzig, either. Reason without courage is an academic blind alley. Reason must be bold if freedom is to win. That is what the courage of the people in the GDR and the word "Leipzig" stand for.
Europe and the United States make up an Atlantic partnership. The best thing we could bring about together in a globalized world is the idea of human dignity. That is one of the major ideals of the American Constitution.
Yet it was a European discovery; the concept of freedom of conscience originated in Europe. But its first powerful, historical splash was made in the United States by citizens who fled European suppression and left their homeland for freedom abroad because freedom of conscience was being suppressed here in Europe at that time.
This memory should not be forgotten, in view of the new, refined threat to freedom. It needs to be protected and defended, and for that we need an Atlantic partnership in a globalized era that gives us a common humanity. That would be the best contribution of the Atlantic partnership.
Let me express my appreciation and thanks in closing. Mr. Minton, permit me to express my thanks to those who have helped to fight for the dignity of all the people living on this earth. Many people on this earth have already paid for that with their lives. And brave contestants will continue to be needed in this major discussion.
That is because it is possible today, using modern psychological and technological means, to produce a society of happy idiots. To keep this from happening it would be worthwhile to organize an undertaking against the new imperialists, against Scientology.
I'll close with the text of a song which is 150 years old and, I hope, that people will be able to sing it 150 years from now, too.
Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten, sie fliehen vorbei, wie nächtliche Schatten. Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen es bleibe dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei. Thoughts are free. Who can catch them, they fly past like nightly shadows. No person can know them, no hunter can shoot them. The fact remains: Thoughts are free.
Norbert Bluem receives "Alternative Charlemagne Award" for human rights
June 10, 2001
Leipzig (dpa) - ex-federal minister Norbert Bluem received the human rights award from the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA in Leipzig.
His spirited efforts for human rights and religious freedom in the discussion with the Scientology organization were honored with the "2001 Alternative Charlemagne Award." Bluem moreover distinguished himself exemplarily with his involvement in at risk nationalities and ethnic minorities, it was also said.
Goslarsche Zeitung Vermischtes
Norbert Bluem receives Human Rights Award
Former federal minister honored in Leipzig for his involvement against the Scientology organization
June 10, 2001
Leipzig. Things had finally settled down for Norbert Bluem. As a simple CDU federal parliamentary representative, he is no longer so much in the limelight of publicity as he was in the days of being the federal labor minister. But yesterday the cameras were again pointed at the 65-year-old man. Bluem received the "Leipzig Human Rights Award" in the Old Stock Exchange. He was honored for his involvement against the Scientology Organization. Bluem was the only federal minister so far who had gotten publicly involved with Scientology's "new totalitarianism," as the sect commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Church, Thomas Gandow, read in the decision.
Rev. Gandow is a founding member of the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. This committee is active against new totalitarian movements and functions as the body responsible for the award. The first of these was bestowed last year. Back then the bestowal of the Aachen Charlemagne Award to U.S. President Bill Clinton was met with protest. "Clinton had not done anything for the European unification process," explained Leipzig resident Solveig Prass, who is a member of the international citizens committee. During Clinton's term in office the U.S. administration even exerted pressure on Germany and France to recognize Scientology as religion, said Gandow. For that reason the Citizens Committee founded an "Alternative Charlemagne Award," which was presented to the American Robert S. Minton. The millionaire was recognized for his financial legal assistance to those who had suffered loss from Scientology. The "Alternative Charlemagne Award" now lives on as the "Leipzig Human Rights Award."
Bluem has already been attacked both verbally and in court by the Scientologists. So far without success. That never stopped him in Spiegel magazine, for example, from accusing the Scientologists of "psychological warfare" or getting an order to stop them from running private employment agencies, Gandow remembered. He said that Bluem was the only high-ranking federal politician who had expressed himself publicly against the religious community. It said in the award basis that the the distinction should help support politicians in their efforts "to put an end to the human rights violations that are being committed by the Scientology organization in the USA and in Europe."
Bluem has also looked after the sect's victims. He made contact with trade companies in Zwickau who had been done out of their money by Kurt Fliegerbauer, real estate dealer and professing Scientologist.
Leipzig was chosen by the Citizens Committee from among several European candidates for the award site. "A totalitarian regime has already once been brought to collapse from Leipzig," stated Solveig Prass. For that reason the award continues to have a picture of the Nikolai Church*.
In the meantime, Scientology Church Germany, Inc. has attacked the human rights award as "cynical mockery of the most elementary basic rights and of the East German civil rights movement." Behind the Award stood "a dubious clan of fanatical religious discriminators," according to the Scientologists.
*Nikolai Church: where East German civil rights demonstrators assembled before The Fall.
Human Rights Award for Bluem
June 10, 2001
Leipzig/Goettingen (dpa) Ex-federal minister Norbert Bluem (CDU) received the human rights award of the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. The German politician's spirited efforts for human rights and religious freedom in the discussion with the Scientology organization were honored with the "2001 Alternative Charlemagne Award."
Bluem receives Human Rights Award in Leipzig
June 4, 2001
Leipzig (ddp-lsc). On June 10, Germany's former Labor Minister Norbert Bluem (CDU) will be distinguished with the human rights award from the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA." Bluem is being honored because of his spirited involvement in the discussion with the Scientology Organization and because of his concern for human rights and religious freedom, the Citizens Committee said on Sunday.
Bluem was the only German federal minister so far who has had the courage to gain knowledge of the facts and make a personal effort to publicly come to terms with the Scientology Organization, read the basis of the award decision. His clear words, the award continued, encouraged those people who had felt the effect of the Scientology Organization, and he had also set the standard for the politics of the day for his fellow politicians. (Internet: http://www.leipziger-preis.de)
Bluem receiving "Alternative Charlemagne Award 2001"
February 26, 2001
Leipzig. Norbert Bluem is to be recognized with the "Alternative Charlemagne Award 2001." The CDU's federal representative in Parliament is receiving the award because he has implemented and "championed human rights and religious freedom in the discussion with the totalitarian Scientology Organization." (KNA)
The award web site is located at http://www.leipzig-award.de.
February 25, 2001
Leipzig (dpa) - Former federal labor minister Norbert Bluem is receiving a human rights award from the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA.
Bluem's efforts for religious freedom in the discussion with the totalitarian Scientology Organization are to be honored with the "Alternative Charlemagne Award" 2001. That was released in a statement from the association in Berlin. The distinction will be bestowed in early summer at an awards ceremony in the Fair City of Leipzig.
The award site is http://www.leipzig-award.org.
The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA
The Alternative Charlemagne Award
October 24, 2000
This year's human rights award to US citizen Bob Minton, the Alternative Charlemagne Award 2000 from the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA, has met with great resonance on both sides of the Atlantic.
The committee which bestowed the award is concerned with violations, especially those by the Scientology organization, against human rights and religious freedom. Scientology's headquarters is located in the USA. In recent years, the totalitarian Scientology organization has been able to carry out its operations there, presumably with official government support (such as tax exemption and diplomatic activities).
The Committee has decided to again bestow this honor as early as 2001 to some deserving individual who has distinguished him- or herself in the trans-Atlantic aspect of the discussion with Scientology about human rights and religious freedom.
The committee is currently deliberating recommendations. In January 2001, an award recipient will be selected and announced.
for the Committee,
Parents and concerned people initiative against psychic dependencies of Sachsen, Inc.
First Alternative Charlemagne Award goes to American Scientology Critic
June 5, 2000
U.S. President Bill Clinton received the Charlemagne Award in Aachen on Friday. For his involvement in matters of peace, freedom and democracy. On Saturday the 1st Alternative Charlemagne Award was given out in Leipzig - criticism of Clinton and the USA. Reason: their liberal attitude towards the Scientology sect.
Clinton's fellow citizen, Robert Minton, received the (unremunerated) award for his effort on behalf of victims of the sect. It was bestowed by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom. The basis of the award stated, "Minton recognized what dangers can arise for people and for liberal democracy through Scientology."
The Alternative Charlemagne Award will now be presented annually."
[Next to the article is a photo in which Ursula Caberta (member of the committee) is handing the Alternative Charlemagne Award (in the form of a sculpture of the Nikolas Church at Leipzig) to Robert Minton.]
Alternative Charlemagne Award for sect opponent
June 3, 2000
The way the initiators picture it, it is more honest than the famous original: the "Alternative Charlemagne Award" which will be bestowed today by the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" one day after the official Charlemagne Award. "By holding this ceremony, we intended to give a sign that, in spite of the Clinton administration, there are people in America who think differently and who do not swim with the Scientology tide," said Thomas Gandow, Sect Commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and member of the citizens committee.
Clinton, who received the official Charlemagne Award in Aachen yesterday for his merits in humanity and world peace, was said to have met with celebrity Scientologist John Travolta in the last few years, and to even have authored an article in a magazine for the controversial community. Therefore the Committee regards the U.S. President as anything but deserving of distinction and now wants to honor the American Scientology opponent and investment banker, Robert Minton, with the "Alternative Charlemagne Award."
Scientology went on the offensive and brought serious accusations against Minton: a letter to Berlin Bishop Wolfgang Huber alleged that Minton had been involved in illegal money-laundering deals, "aided and abetted by a former military dictatorship and notorious human rights violators in Nigeria." In this manner, the investment banker was said to have bought back Nigerian debt at cheap prices on the world market on commission from Nigeria and without knowledge of credit bankers, causing damages in the amount of hundreds of millions.
Thomas Gandow described Scientology's accusations as false. He said the "Lisa McPherson Trust," of which Minton is the chairman, helps victims of Scientology make their claims in court. He also said that Scientology has been using its accusations for years in a campaign of slander against Minton. The debt transactions were said to have taken place, but it served nothing other than the interest of the Nigerian people. "In no case did Minton profit unduly."
Nevertheless, there is doubt about Minton's credibility. "Transparency International," an international organization which fights corruption, confirmed, without naming names, that criminal actions occurred in connection with Nigerian debt transfers. These accusations have also caused upset in the church administration. "We are conducting our own investigations," said Provost Karl-Heinrich Luetcke. "If it should turn out that there is anything to these accusations, then that would be an annoying win on points for Scientology."
Alternative Charlemagne Award for Robert Minton
June 3, 2000
Leipziger Volkszeitung (pg. 2)
Leipzig (dpa). U.S. American Robert Minton received the Alternative Charlemagne Award 2000, which was presented on Saturday in Leipzig for the first time. In doing this, the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA intends to publicly appreciate Minton's involvement on behalf of the victims of the Scientology Organization.
The unremunerated human rights award is in the form of a sculpture of the Leipzig Nikolas Church created by Leipzig artist Ruediger Bartels. The Award is intended to be an alternative to this year's presentation of the Aachen Charlemagne Award to U.S. President Bill Clinton. From the Committee's point of view, there is reason to dispute Clinton's liberal attitude towards Scientology. In advance of the bestowal of the human rights award to Minton, the Scientology Organization has resorted to accusing him of complicity with former military dictators and notorious human rights violators in Nigeria. He was also said to have "defrauded banks in Europe and the USA with illegal money-laundering deals." Minton has rejected these allegations.
The US American banker will be distinguished this Saturday with the "Alternative Charlemagne Award 2000". Minton is receiving the unremunerated award for his struggle against the Scientology organization, stated the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" in Berlin. Minton is said to have provided Scientology victims with financial and legal assistance. The award was a reaction to the presentation of the Aachen Charlemagne Award to U.S. President Clinton, who allegedly openly supports the Scientology Organization. (kna)
Leipzig (dpa) - The U.S. American Robert Minton received the first Alternative Charlemagne Award in Leipzig. In doing this, the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA honored Minton's involvement in support of the victims of Scientology. The Committee intended to create an alternative to the bestowal of the Charlemagne Award to U.S. President Bill Clinton. From the Committee's point of view, Clinton's liberal attitude towards Scientology is controversial.
Minton vs. Clinton
Alternative Charlemagne Award for Scientology Critic from the USA
May 31, 2000
Badische Neueste Nachrichten (Karlsruhe)
by Achim Winkel
Karlsruhe/ Leipzig. On Friday in Aachen, U.S. President Clinton will be presented with the Charlemagne Award "for the most worthwhile contribution in the service of the European unification and community work, in the service of humanity and world peace." Another award, however, will be casting long shadows in the forefront of the solemn occasion. On Saturday in Leipzig, the "Alternative Charlemagne Award" will be bestowed - and there is a direct connection to the "original" for Bill Clinton. The recipient of the "Alternative Charlemagne Award" is Robert "Bob" S. Minton, a millionaire banker from the U.S. State of New Hampshire.
For years the 53-year-old man has been dedicating himself to the struggle against the controversial Scientology Organization. The arrangers of the "Alternative Charlemagne Award," which consists of noteworthy sect critics called the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" would also like to give Clinton a sign. That he is regarded as expressly friendly to Scientology: one of the first actions which happened in his term was that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exempted the organization from taxes because the organization allegedly had "religious character." Rumors that the IRS was coerced cannot be quashed.
Clinton also received prominent U.S. Scientologists (such as the actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise) and promised them that he would urge that the rights of religious minorities be observed, mainly in Germany. By that was meant Scientology, and Clinton's actions even today still have brought diplomatic friction with them. Bob Minton, in comparison, has been attracting a little attention in the USA. Minton is the Chairman of the "Lisa McPherson Trust": he intends to see that Lisa McPherson's mysterious death is cleared up; she died almost five years ago. In December 1995, a 36-year-old woman was delivered to a hospital in the north of Clearwater, the Scientology stronghold in Florida. However the woman, Lisa McPherson, was already dead - died of dehydration. Her autopsy showed that she had not received water for days. In addition her emaciated body exhibited bruises, insect bites and scrapes - indices of an unnatural death.
Circumstances surrounding Lisa McPherson's death are still coming to light - circumstances that indicate considerable complicity on the part of Scientology (Lisa McPherson allegedly wanted out of the organization) and which have cause a rethinking to occur, mainly in the USA. While that is alarming for the organization in Germany, where it is under surveillance by Constitutional Security, over there it is business as usual for them. The "Alternative Charlemagne Award," even if it is being bestowed in Leipzig, can still enliven the discussion about Scientology even in far-off America.