German OSA Press Release
Scientologist wins in court
Bavarian Scientology Questionnaire Impermissible
October 31, 2000 http://www.menschenrechtsbuero.de/html/sf3110.htm
Mr. K. has been employed with the City of Munich since 1990 After over 9 years of objection-free civil service, an official letter found its way to his table: Constitutional Security - according to his employer - believed it found out that Mr. K. was a member of Scientology. Therefore he was requested to fill out a questionnaire about "relations to the Scientology Organization." Mr. K. was astonished to say the least, he was supposed to thoroughly write up in detail whether and how much time he spent with "organizations, groups and establishments..., including those active in social or business areas and in the field of education which were connected in some way with the Scientology Church." The questionnaire was invented in November 1996 by Interior Minister Beckstein to discriminate against members of the Scientology Church, but had hardly a friend in the city administration.
Mr. K. believed his private sphere was being violated and sued in the Munich Labor Court.
The court has now decided that Mr. K., "due to a lack of assumed foundation, was not obligated" to fill out the questionnaire. It was said there was no actual evidence for Mr. K. being a member of an anti-Constitutional organization. Even "the condition that the complainant was employed ... with the Scientology Church Bavaria Inc. ... is not a evidence of anti-Constitutional activity by the complainant," continued the court in its decision of October 24, 2000 (Az.: 21 Ca 13754/99).
The Human Rights Office [Menschenrechtsbuero] of the Scientology Church of Germany welcomes this brave and just decision. "It is time that the Free State [of Bavaria] wakes up and orients itself to the fact with the judgment on the theme of Scientology," according to Ingo Lehmann, Director of the Human Rights Office of the Scientology Church German in Munich.
Attached: an anonymized [i.e. no names in accordance with German privacy law] decision of October 24, 2000
"Simple membership in an anti-Constitutional organization as such is not evidence of anti-Constitutional activity by the complainant. The question of whether the 'Scientology Organization,' as such, or the Scientology Church Bavaria Inc. constitute anti-Constitutional organizations can therefore remain open."
I predict the Scientology Church will quote the first sentence to mean that membership in Scientology is not evidence of anti-Constitutional activity, leaving out two fundamental facts which are required to understand the point in question:
- the court decision concerned the fact that the civil servant's relationship to Scientology, to all visible indications, ended prior to 1990 while his present city labor contract started in 1990, therefore no relationship between the two exists, and
- the court explicitly stated no decision was made in this case as to whether Scientology was an anti-Constitutional organization or not.
The excerpt would be better para-phrased as follows:
"Simple membership in an anti-Constitutional organization PRIOR TO 1990 is not evidence of anti-Constitutional activity by the complainant AFTER 1990 when he signed his labor contract. Therefore there is no need to determine whether Scientology is an anti-Constitutional organization or not, as no physical connection between the civil servant's membership in Scientology and his labor contract exists."
The Bavarian Interior Ministry's view of the court decision
Letter to the Editor
Irrelevant theory on Scientology
May 14, 2000
In response to the May 6 edition of the "Heimat-Rundschau": "With a TUeV for continuing education, one could show Scientology the door."
At a presentation in Wuerzburg, Ministerial manager Juergen Keltsch of the Interior Ministry made polemic assertions and stated irrelevant theories about the Scientology Church.
In contrast to statements in the article, the Scientology Church is not acknowledged only in the USA, but also in other important democratic states. Those include Canada, Australia, South Africa and Sweden. There just a few days ago, Scientology clergy were granted the right to perform legal ceremonies. Also the Federal Administrative Court in Berlin published a decision on November 6, 1997 saying that the Scientology Church did not pursue commercial interests.
Georg Stoffel, Scientology Deutschland Bleichstrasse 12
Scientology wants to stop Constitutional Security Agency in seven states
From: Giessener Anzeiger Online
Tuesday, December 8, 1998
Organization demands a statement of non-interference
Interior Ministers reject an end to surveillance
Munich (AP). The Scientology organization wants to take legal steps against surveillance by the Constitutional Security Agency in seven German states in which the organization is not represented. In a letter to the Interior Ministers of the east German states as well as of Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland, the sect demanded, according to information released on Monday in Munich, a letter of non-interference. The alternative was that Scientology would sue in the Administrative Court. The states have unanimously rejected the demand.
The organization based its proceedings on it being "an absurdity" for the Interior Ministers of the seven states to have agreed to nationwide surveillance by the Constitutional Security Agency at the last Interior Ministers Conference even though they have no organized Scientology members in their respective states. The Constitutional Security Agency is said to have been "misused as a discriminatory instrument of propaganda against Scientology."
The Interior Ministers whom Scientology wrote to rejected the organization's process. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Chief Gottfried Timm said that the administration would not let itself be extorted, and the Constitutional Security Agency would continue to observe as long as there was activity by Scientology in the state. Timm mentioned that the Interior Minister's Conference had assessed the surveillance of Scientology as "permissible and appropriate." The Saxon Interior Minister, Klaus Hardraht, also emphasized that the Saxon state administration would not be influenced by steps which were threatened to be taken. The sect has goals which oppose those of the constitution. It violates democratic principles by its totalitarian organization and harms human dignity by its dealings.
Besides this, Scientology would have to be asked why they would want to stop surveillance in Brandenburg although they say they are not present there, stated Manfred Fueger, speaker for the Potsdam Interior Ministry. At the Constitutional Security Agency's federal office in Cologne, a speaker stated that there had been no order to stop the surveillance. In November, the Interior Minister's Conference had unanimously approved further surveillance of Scientology, however the process is carried out differently from state to state.