GUENTHER BECKSTEIN, 56, Bavarian Interior Minister, is doing an exemplary job of seeing to the computer security of German financial institutions. For instance, he recently had "Das System Scientology," a brochure published by the Bavarian State Ministry sent to Bernd Fahrholz, chairman of the board of the Dresdner Bank. Then the banker used that information to advertise for the implementation of the Windows 2000 Microsoft operating system. In contrast, Beckstein's agency sees a considerable "security risk" in there having been a Scientologist providing a component of that system. In that way, Bavaria is concerned, an "investigation and infiltration of employers and business partners" is possible. "For additional information," Civil Servant Beckstein has let us know, "we are at your service at any time."
By the Beard of the Scientologists
From: "Süddeutsche Zeitung: Bayern"
December 10, 1998
Tips for students who want to 'out' Hubbard followers
by Conny Neumann
Munich. The Bavarian Constitutional Security agents will continue to closely observe Scientologists. "There is still a considerable need for information," reported Interior State Secretary Hermann Regensburger in the Municipal Committee of the State Assembly, there are other actual points in common with extremist endeavors. 6,000 Scientologists at most, counted by investigators in all German states, are said to be in Germany, about 1,000 in the Free State [of Bavaria], where the sect has established its headquarters. A considerable number of police and state security informants are assigned to them. They would have been able to decrease their workload if only they had looked in the book bags of their little ones for the school report from the Bavarian Ministry of Culture, and especially if they had paged through the edition from April, 1996.
That is where K. Maier gave "Information about Scientology" under the psycho-business column. The state security agents should tape the paragraph "Recognizing an SC member" to the mirror. SC members show up "in an interesting manner," reads the school report in regards to standard personal characteristics. Outwardly this is said to be recognizable not only by a "change in weight (obesity, anorexia)," but above all - and this is heavily emphasized by the author - by altered facial hair.
Inquiring students want to know: does a Scientologist's facial hair grow overnight? Do the whiskers of the Hubbard adherents fall out or do they change color, like a chameleon? What effect does this phenomenon have on female SC members?
Without expounding further upon the gripping passage, the school report leads us right into other characteristics which may be recognized after a more thorough observation of the subject. "Loss of strength" counts as a clear index that an SC course has been successfully graduated, along with a "narrowing or weakening of the thought process" or an alteration in the sense of perception. Even hallucinations can plague the person who is mired down with the auditing trainers of the sect.
However, a reassuring sign is given at the end of the article. "Discontinuation of an academic major is not an unconditional sign." From that we conclude that school students who throw in the towel in their upper levels out of sheer frustration will not necessarily go straight into an anti-constitutional sect. However, if they should suddenly grow a beard, a belly, or break up with a girlfriend of many years, surely a little wave to the state security agents would not be premature.
Bavaria, that will be clear from this article, takes first place among the sect hunters in Germany.
SZonNet: Alle Rechte vorbehalten - Süddeutscher Verlag GmbH, München
Threat smaller than feared
From: "Fränkischer Tag - Bayern"
Thursday, December 10, 1998
Ministry: Surveillance of Scientology continues
Munich. The infiltration by Scientology into state, society and economy is, according to a statement by the Bavarian state administration, less than previously feared. On Wednesday, Interior State Secretary Hermann Regensburger (CSU) attributed that to the intensive public information campaign and to state counter-measures. This is not a sign to let down defenses, he said to the Municipal Committee of the State Assembly. Surveillance by the Constitutional Security Agency continues to be obligatory. The SPD appealed to the state administration to let well enough alone. Even though Scientology is an anti-constitutional organization, the threat by the Kurdisch PKK for the state is essentially greater than that of "this fringe psychological gang," said SPD Representative Paul Gantzer. The Greens have expressed criticism for a school newspaper written by the Ministry of Culture in 1996 which said that one can recognize Scientology members by "altered facial hair" and by a "weakening of the thought process."
Fränkischer Tag - Bayern - Donnerstag, 10. Dezember 1998
NAME="description" CONTENT="Bavarian Court decision on Scientology - contains facial hair statement">
record 7 CE 96.2861
M 3 E 96.2692
Bavarian Administrative Court
In the administrative dispute between applicants
1. Dr. Wolfgang K.,
2. Ingrid K.,
3. Maya K.,
4. Iris K.
[address given] with applicants 3) and 4) legally represented by their parents, applicants 1) and 2), and authorized to act on behalf of applicants 1) through 4) : attorney Wilhelm Bluemel and colleagues of [address] Munich
The Commonwealth of Bavaria, plaintiff, represented by the Bavaria state attorney's office
for an injunction: "Schulreport" April 1996 (Application in accordance with sect. 123 VwGO), here: Complaint of the applicants against the decision of the Bavarian Administrative Court Munich of 29 July 1996, the Bavarian Administrative Court, 7th Senate, by Judge Moll as chairman of the administrative court, and Judges Priegl and Grau of the administrative court, without oral hearing, do issue the following on 27 September 1996:
I. The complaint is dismissed.
II. The applicants bear the cost of the proceedings.
III. The value of the dispute is set in both attempts at 4,000 DM per applicant.
Applicants 3) and 4) are the daughters of applicants 1) and 2) and go to a state grammar school. The applicants describe themselves as Scientologists and perceive themselves as members of a religious-philosophical association.
In the magazine, which is distributed by the Bav. State Ministry for Education, Culture, Science and Art, "Schulreport", April 1996 issue, there appears on pages 8 through 10 an article with the title "Alles Clear? Informationen ueber Scientology," which critically discusses the Scientology organization. 90,000 copies of the magazine were printed and, except for 2,200 left over, have been distributed among Bavarian schools. The article on Scientology was also used as instructional material in the schools of the Commonwealth of Bavaria.
2. The applicants applied at the administrative court for a temporary restraining order against the plaintiff with the goal of
"prohibiting these to distribute or have distributed the April 1996 issue of the "Schulreport" magazine, if this magazine contains on pages 8 through 10 "Alles Clear? -- Informationen ueber Scientology" as described above, and to obligate the plaintiff to instruct those already in receipt of the issues distributed that the article may no longer be used as instructional material, and may not be made further accessible to third parties."
In a supplementary capacity, the applicants applied that the injunction they applied for in the main application apply to ten separate specific verbal statements and two cartoon features.
In another supplementary application, the applicants limited their main, or first, application to the grammar school at which applicants 3) and 4) attend.
3. The administrative court dismissed the application because the applicants were not credible in stating they had a claim to the injunction they had applied for. None of the statements in question nor do either of the pictures concern the applicants personally. Neither do the passages of text nor the pictures refer to all adherents of the Scientology organization.
4. The applicants further pursued the goal of their application. The applicants said their human dignity was affected by the magazine article in question. It was said that several statements, based on their content, could be construed as not just refer ring to the organization itself, but to its members. The cited passages of text were said to have the goal of presenting the members of the Scientology Church as negatively as possible. Additionally, applicants 1) and 2) said they were affected in their rights as parents, and applicants 3) and 4) were affected in their basic right to freedom of belief.
5. The state attorney's office recommended that the complaint be dismissed. It was said the applicants were not directly affect by the specifics of the article in question, so they could not claim the right of defense. It was also stated that the application was not factually based, since the magazine article stayed within the bounds of the state's right of expression.
The complaint is not founded, because the administrative court rightly dismissed the application on the basis that the applicants were not warranted in making the claim they set forth.
1. As far as disparaging expressions about a community go, this might be suited for an injunction. A differentiation has to be made, however, between the legal position of a member of that community who strives for an injunction of certain statements not in the name of the community, but puts forth that one's own individual rights are being violated. The larger the aggregate upon which the disparaging remarks are directed, the weaker the personal concern of the individual member, because with negative remarks about a large aggregate, they apply mostly not to individual misconduct or individual characteristics of the member, but the valuelessness, as seen from the point of view of the one making the statement, is spread over the aggregate and its social functions, as well as the the associated demands for improvement to the members. On an imaginary scale, which on one end exists the individual offense of an individual who is identified or named, there exists on the other end the devaluing remark about simple human characteristics or criticism of a social establishment or apparition, which is not qualified to shatter personal honor (see BVerfG NJW 1995, 3303/3306). One who wants to express himself in a negative manner about an aggregate, is basically also responsible for avoidable effects of those addressed with regard to a person who is not himself the target of criticism but who falls in the same category (see BGH NJW 1982, 1805). The intention of the publishers of the "Schulreport" magazine, who wanted to inform and warn people about the Scientology organization, did not automatically exclude the individual relationship of the applicants. They, however, can only demand that specific statements be prohibited if, by these statements - at the very least - their legal positions are most personally directly interfered with (see BGH NJW 1980, 1790; BVerwG DOeV 1984, 940 on the opposition to an association ban). An intervention which is only indirect is not sufficient. Honor rights and civil rights of the person, which are protected under criminal law, refer to a person who might be hurt by remarks directed at him by others and which fall within the bounds of the personality protection law (BGH NJW 1980, 1790). Nothing else can be made valid in public law with personality protection. If a less than flattering conclusion is come to about an aggregate, then a member of that aggregate can only act in defense in his own name if the remark is bound to a criterium that clearly applies to all aggregate members (see BayObLG NJW 1990, 1724; BayVGH NVwZ 1994, 787; BayVBl 1995, 564).
2. Following are the statements objected to by the applicants, including supplements:
a) "With a crude mixture of science fiction, psycho-analysis and manipulative practices of totalitarian states, Scientology adherents are made dependent and systematically exploited both for their services and financially."
This statement contains only a description of the contents of the teachings of the Scientology organization and the methods of spreading these teachings. Adherents of the organization are presented in a sort of victim's role. An expression that contains a negative valuation about the individual conduct of all members of the organization is not contained in the passage of text cited.
b) "A technology of consciousness control based on deception and manipulation is used in Scientology."
This statement is not contained as stated in the article in question. The applicants have strung words from several passages together. These obviously refer, however, to the Scientology organization and not to the individual adherents.
c) "Use of over a thousand group-specific English basic terms and several thousand group-specific supplemental terms have as their goal acquisition of control over thought."
That stated under II.2.a) and b) also applies here.
d) "A spectrum of emotions of members is manipulated that includes guilt (adherents are conditioned always to seek guilt within themselves) and fear (of the "enemy" on one side and of leaving on the other).
In the article in evidence it says "of a person" instead of "of members." From the accurate formulation of words it is even more clear that this is a description of the organization's method of operation, and not a statement about the behavior of all members.
e) "In Scientology a world of many truths would be created, and this would make it impossible for an individual to come to an objective assessment."
The article in question does not contain the words "In Scientology" in the cited sentence apparently refers however to the teachings of the organization.
f) "In order to attain control of consciousness, Scientology breaks up the personality of people. As techniques of this phase of break-up, monotony, rhythm and repetition are the main ingredients of the formal indoctrination sessions."
This statement is not a literal duplication of passages from the article in question, but a summary of the contents of more extensive texts. These, in turn, are concerned with the practices of the Scientology organization and therefore do not directly affect the applicants as far as their rights go.
g) "In Scientology, the good things of the past are disparaged and transgressions, failures, ailments and feelings of guilt are exaggerated."
Previous explanations are referred to for this.
h) "Scientology places all contact to the outside world in doubt, and skills, interests, friends and family must be given up."
This statement also directly concerns only the organization.
i) The applicants further object to the following passage of text:
"Recognition of an SC member
In some cases the conduct of a person is changed as a result of consciousness control over a period of several months, more typically however within several days or weeks. Interestingly, the member develops according to a standard personality (of the same sort of personality structure as the cult member). As a result of cult membership, physical aspects which have been noted are a change in weight (obesity/bulimia), degeneration of strength, change in facial hair, chronic exhaustion and psychosomatic illnesses. Psychic aspects appearing as symptoms have included reduced and weakened thought processes (loss of ability to recognize figures of speech, metaphors or irony, for which are substituted cliches unique to the cult), alteration in the field of emotion, in strong vacillations of feelings and uncharacteristically anti-social behavior. In addition, the appearance of hallucinations can be observed, since excessive daily auditing can make people physically and psychically dependent upon this psycho-technique. This often has harmful side-effects as a consequence, such as lessening of cognitive abilities, e.g., weakening of concentration and ability to make a decision. A radical change in personality is the surest sign that a totalitarian group is at work."
Neither can these statements be successfully contested by the applicants. Regardless of the title, which give the impression that trusted and scientific references for the recognition of a Scientology member follow, the text contains a mitigative, non-binding and general wording that is regularly found in texts on so-called totalitarian new religions. Use of the words "In some cases," "obesity/bulimia," "have been noted," "In addition, the appearance ... can be observed," "this often has," "that a totalitarian group is at work" show that the passages of text are not suited to deliver anything approaching a concrete impression about the image or conduct of every adherent of the organization. The passage more contain information about - from the view of the author - possible consequences of membership in Scientology, and so directly concern only this organization.
j) "Scientology can be regarded as a totalitarian organization from which the fields it uses to cultivate its power are being removed."
This too is a statement solely about Scientology.
k) The cartoon features on pages 9 and 10 make a connection between Scientology and the practice of "brainwashing." No attack on individual members of the organization is recognized.
3. Since due to lack of direct disconcertedness the applicants cannot demand that the plaintiffs not distribute the individual pictures or passages of text they object to for use in instruction, nor prevent them from being distributed or made accessible to third parties, neither can they have a court order issued concerning the entire article. The article on the whole, excluding the segments objected to, is not solely devoted to the Scientology organization.
4. The application does not meet with success, either, in the further attempt to limit it only to the school which applicants 3) and 4) are attending. It does not matter whether Scientology is regarded as a religion or not and (in case it does) whether the article in question is an impermissible assault on the religious freedom of this organization. To the degree that would be the case, the degree to which the applicants are directly affected is inversely proportional in their (personal) honor and civic rights, and their freedom of religion and rights as parents. They still can only make a valid claim as far as their own rights go, and not demand that the state stop, from their point of view, illicit treatment of religions in general or at least as far as schools go (see BayVGH BayVB1 1996, 26 on Crucifixes in Schools).
It was not submitted that applicants 3) or 4) themselves were confronted with the article in question during the course of their studies. Neither was it submitted or credibly presented that this sort of direct confrontation is anticipated in the near future.
5. After consideration of which the complaint is dismissed.
Cost decision: sects. 154 para. 2, 159 sentence 1 VwGO. Setting the value of dispute: sects. 20, para. 3, 13 para. 1 GKG. This decision in incontestable (sect. 152 para. 1 VwGO).
Moll Priegl Grau
Informationen ueber Scientology
K. Maier [name changed by editors], Psychologist, Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich
In view of increased efforts by Scientology in recent times to infiltrate society according to its ideology, the state government made a list of measures to fight the organization on 17 Oct. 1995. These measures include more public information work and provides for public information work specifically in schools.SSS S sss s sss
eldom has any group in recent history evoked so much discussion, criticism and controversy as Scientology. This organization, with its approx. 8 million members worldwide, is among the approx. 300 sects, cults and seperatist groups currently active in Germany.
Under the plateau of upper management, Scientology is divided into three sections:
1. The self-proclaimed "Church", which engages in the sale of books and seminars;
2. ABLE (Association for better living and education), which is intended to exert influence upon cultural and social areas, and
3. WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) to attain influence in the business world.
As far back as 1947, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, said, "If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion." Using money and manipulation, Scientology seeks to attain power and control over business and governments. Members are strategically placed in agencies and governments without revealing their own backgrounds, with the motto, "Clear the Planet." With a crude mixture of science fiction, psycho-analysis and manipulative practices of totalitarian states, Scientology adherents are made dependent and systematically exploited both for their services and financially.
What makes people susceptible to Scientology?
Generally speaking, any person of any age may fall into the hands of this organization. It's mainly young people who can withstand the the cult's daily routine and middle-aged people who have business contacts and savvy that are recruited. People with real problems are not wanted in Scientology. At first glance, members are psychically stable, intelligent, analytically gifted and often career-oriented people. Research has shown that most were approached while they were in a stressful phase of their lives (e.g., moving to another city, new place of employment, broken relationship, etc.) or that they wished to have personal fringe experiences. One can say that Scientology is 100% compatible with today's society, since it promises more performance, more success, more joy, more health and more freedom (Potthoff, 1993). The feeling is imparted that one can apply strictly technical procedures to solve personal problems.
Concept of attaining members
Deception is characteristic of totalitarian groups. The first contact with Scientology can happen in a number of ways: through person-to-person contact on the street, flyers, mass pamphleting, advertisements, books and newspapers or even through a friend who has already become a cult member. Cover organizations are used to waylay innocent bystanders and keep them in the dark as far as the true program goes. One favorite method is the seminar with alluring titles, such as "Success is learnable," "How do I develop my personality?", etc. Groups active in Germany include NARCONON, the "Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte (KVPM)" [German equivalent of CCHR), which also develops special activities for children in kindergarten, an d the "Zentrum fuer Individuelles und Effektives Lernen (ZIEL)" [German equivalent of ABLE], whose mission it is to make children and adults familiar with Hubbard's learning and study techniques in offering tutoring and private instruction, for instance. Scientology also offers a very comprehensive personality test with 200 questions, which is called the "Oxford Capacity Analysis" (OCA). This process of testing suggests an air of confidentiality, but is lacking in any scientific basis.
In the business world, Scientology can be found mainly in the fields of real estate and finance, business consulting and personnel placement, color and style consultation, and software and EDP. Celebrity Scientologists like John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Lisa-Marie Presley and Michael Jackson are offered as identification models for young people, and serve to cultivate territory in which Scientology may take root. "I was subjected to total consciousness control," said a 43-year-old woman in retrospect (Augstein, 1995, a)
Technique of Consciousness Control
Similar words are often heard from former Scientology members. By "consciousness control" can be understood a system of influence by which the identity (thought, feelings, conduct) is crumbled and replaced with a new one. In doing this the operators are viewed as like-minded citizens. Because the deception and manipulation is not accomplished through direct threats, the cult member receives an overall positive sensation. The techniques of behavior modification, peer pressure and giving way to authority all seem to be happening only in the background. Using the additional component of information control, personal ability to think freely and on one's own is restricted.
Behavior Control consists primarily of controlling the environment of the person, for instance, through financial dependency. One former member reported it this way, "My search for meaning and recognition in Scientology expressed itself as a yearning, and to finance this I did without everything else, even to the point of not paying my monthly rent on time." (see Hassan, 1994). The auditing sessions and other courses are not to be had cheaply.
One basic course of indoctrination for members in the internalization of group dogma. Scientology's jargon contains certain expressions meant to have new concepts central to the dogma supplant the old. In this regard, ethical concepts in particular are robbed of their original meanings. To this end over a thousand English elemental terms specific to the group and several thousand incidental terms are employed. The goal is to attain control of the mind, alienation from the outside, as well is to implant the elite thinking of members during indoctrination of recruits.
A person's spectrum of emotions is manipulated in ways including the use of guilt (adherents are conditioned always to seek blame within themselves) and fear (of the enemy on one hand and of leaving on the other).
A world with many realities is created, and for the individual this makes it almost impossible to come to an objective assessment of any given situation. Information is assiduously broken up so that adherents may not form a complete picture. Scientology ideology consists of one set of doctrines for the outside world and another for insiders. One former member reported, "Everybody always said that Scientology was much, much more than simple auditing alone. But what this 'much, much more' meant, nobody was ever able to rightly tell me, because I had not gotten far enough along, as they told me" (see Hassan, 1994)
Process of Instrumentalizing Personality
Consciousness control happens in three stages:
1. Breaking up
In order to prepare somebody for a radical change, his or her reality must first be shaken up. Most of the activities used to do that begin completely harmlessly, but get more intense and more direct during the course of this phase. Physiological disorientation is attained through certain combinations of physical activity, nutrition and use of the sauna, in which the body is supposed to be freed of drugs and toxic substances. During this "Purification Rundown" the user is driven toward hallucination with high doses of vitamins in up to five hours in the sauna a day. Hypnotic procedures are undertaken during "auditing," where the candidate is plied with suggestive questions and verbal techniques similar to those used in hypnosis.
In this phase a new identity is forced onto the individual to fill the vacuum left by the old identity's break-up. Indoctination happens more formally (seminars and rituals), as well as informally (spending time with members, reading). Behavior is at first subtly modeled, and pressure is added over the course of time. To prevent premature decay of the new identity, new material is served up as quickly as the subject person can assimilate it. Many techniques of the Break-up phase are also used here. Formal indoctrination sessions are worked primarily with monotony, rhythm and repetition.
After a person has been broken down and indoctrinated with the new belief system, it is time to rebuild him or her as a "new person." Recollections of the individual are distorted. The good things from the past are diminished and the sins and failures, illnesses and feelings of guilt exaggerated. Doubt is cast on all contacts to the old world. Skills, interests, friends and family have to be given up. The group now forms the true family of the member. A more senior member is placed at the side of the new member. This tactic has the effect of putting the senior member in the model role, plus of motivating the "preclear" (neophyte) to also become a role model for others. The result of this process (duration: days or weeks) is the member no longer being willing to leave the group.
Recognition of an SC member
In some cases the conduct of a person is changed as a result of consciousness control over a period of several months, more typically however within several days or weeks. Interestingly, the member develops according to a standard personality (of the same sort of personality structure as the cult member). As a result of cult membership, physical aspects which have been noted are a change in weight (obesity/bulimia), degeneration of strength, change in facial hair, chronic exhaustion and psychosomatic illnesses. Psychic aspects appearing as symptoms have included reduced and weakened thought processes (loss of ability to recognize figures of speech, metaphors or irony, for which are substituted cliches unique to the cult), alteration in the field of emotion, in strong vacillations of feelings and uncharacteristically anti-social behavior. In addition, the appearance of hallucinations can be observed, since excessive daily auditing can make people physically and psychically dependent upon this psycho-technique. This often has harmful side-effects as a consequence, such as lessening of cognitive abilities, e.g., weakening of concentration and ability to make a decision. A radical change in personality is the surest sign that a totalitarian group is at work. Meanwhile, dropping out of school is no longer necessarily a positive indicator, as this practice has been deliberately avoided in recent times as a defensive measure.
In today's world in which there are any number of groups in every category, it pays to be a critical consumer, especially in the areas of continuing education and life management, to avoid systems like Scientology that operate under the guise of religion to cultivate a field on which they can further develop their own power. There are specific questions by which 90% of all cult recruiters can be spotted. One such list can be found under Hassan (1994). According to Haack (1991) the fundamental image that a group has of people should also be checked out. Scientology ethics reads, "The purpose of ethics is to remove counter-intentions from the environment." One woman who left Scientology clarified the danger: "Six weeks in Scientology and the old me was gone, with the new me just a cog in the Scientology machine. Yearning for recognition and total freedom expressed itself as the exact opposite: total subjugation to one idea and many rules."
Augstein (1995a, 6, 7 May, Eine Scientology Aussteigerin berichtet ueber ihre Erlebnisse. Suddt. Zeitung S. 5)
Augstein (1995b, 27, 28 May, Scientology Milliardumsatze mit einem Kult um Macht und Geld. Suddt. Zeitung S. 10)
Haack F.W. (1991) Europas neue Religionen, Sekten - Gurus - Satanskult. Zurich, Wiesbaden.
Hassan, S. (1994) Ausbruch aus dem Bann der Sekten, Psychologische Beratung fuer Betroffene und Angehoerige. Reinbek bei Hamburg, Rowhohlt
Potthoff, N. (1993) Scientology, Analyse (3 Auflk) Krefeid Verlag Norbert Potthoff
[There are a couple of cartoons, one called "Scientology No!" and the other "Scientology and the dangers", stated to be for 7th graders.]
Schulreport 1/96 Interview with Bavarian Interior Minister Dr. Gunther Beckstein on the Scientology organization
Mr. Minister, the Scientology organization describes itself as a "church." What is really behind that?
Dr. Beckstein: By using the word "church" the Scientology organization makes a claim that it is a religious or philosophical organization. That is exactly what the Federal Labor Court said in its decision of 22 March 1995 that Scientology is not. According to the decision of the Federal Labor Court, this self-proclaimed character of religion or philosophy serves only as a pretext for pursuing business objectives. One can also see from the story of how Scientology started as an organization that its religious or philosophical character is portrayed only as a preventive measure against criticism and state intervention.
How dangerous is Scientology for the individual, for society and for the state?
Dr. Beckstein: Any individual is open to multiple serious risks either as a customer, member or critic of Scientology. Customers who consume services such as psychotests, courses and the like are imperiled most of all by financial exploitation, indebtedness and dependency. In addition to that, they are putting their health at risk with dilettantish "psychotherapy" that could result in anything from a nervous breakdown to an attempted suicide. Members who work for Scientology will be denied their right s with regard to German labor and social security law, as has been noted in court proceedings. Critics are posed by Scientology as "suppressive" or "anti-social" persons, equated with the criminal or insane, and threatened and prosecuted.
With regards to society and the state, Scientology poses an extreme danger as an "organization that combines elements of white-collar crime and psychoterrorism with cult-enclosed business operations under the guise of religion (decision of the Interior Ministers Conference of 6 May 1994) that strives in the long run for world domination and must be met with the combined mechanisms of state agencies.
This organization is also said to be trying to systematically infiltrate business with its own companies and through top management. Are there any factual findings to this effect?
Dr. Beckstein: According to reports at hand Scientology values its business contacts today much more than it does its "church" department. According to these, the Scientology organization is expending 75% of its energy on increasing its influence in the business world. The main contributor in this area is WISE ("World Institute of Scientology Enterprises"), to which German companies also belong. The media and expert literature are reporting continually on that.
Are there any known cases of Scientology trying to install its own educational courses or platforms for children, teens or adults?
Dr. Beckstein: In the education sector the "Zentrum fuer Individuelles und Effektives Lernen" (ZIEL) is active, which is part of Scientology's ABLE branch. It's been generally found that Scientology offers a complete set of educational services for children, which underscores the dangerous of this organization.
Mr. Minister, is the Scientology organization regarded as a totalitarian organization that is at odds with the constitution?
Dr. Beckstein: This question has been answered in the affirmative by a number of experts. The recent opinion from an expert in Frankfurt broadcast by the media also goes in that direction. The proper state authorities, however, have not yet put this question to the test.
What legal alternatives may be pursued in taking steps against Scientology and its multitude of front organizations?
Dr. Beckstein: The state government's list of measures of 17 October 1995 and the decision of the Interior Minister of 15 December 1995 about Scientology describe a good number of legal measures, such as revocation of registration for Scientology associations and use of business, revenue and medical malpractice laws. The state is meeting the challenge as set forth by Scientology.
Schulreport 1/96 continued ...
Information about the Scientology Organization
In connection with increasing the public awareness about the Scientology organization, schools are explicitly requested to provide information during the course of the upcoming year.
1. Students - apart from dealing with the theme in teaching plans, at all grade levels, in conjunction with the SMV, discuss as appropriate the goals, strategies and methods of operation of the organization and its sub-organizations.
2. With regard to the parents association, distribute information to parents as appropriate, e.g., an information evening on this problem area. Parent information should be supported by the "Schule aktuell" magazine, and this should be pointed out explicitly.
Useful references also include a brochure from the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth called "The Scientology Organization: Goals, Practices and Dangers" available from the Federal Administrative Office in 50728 Cologne. Another reference that can be given is a publication from the Bavarian State Center for political information work, "New Religious Movements," the second edition of which is available to all schools. Further information is contained in several films (FWU, Landesbildstellen).
From: "Süddeutsche Zeitung"
November 21, 1998
Conspiracy theories can almost never be disproved. If there is no proof for a hypothesis, then that is proof positive in the world of conspiracy that the suspicion has been justified. See, investigations are very specialized and dangerous. This is the model which is being used for the present discussion about the Scientology sect.
Well over a year ago, the Interior Ministers made the decision to observe sect founder L. Ron Hubbard's group. Scientology was said to not only exploit the trust of its victims, but also to be infiltrating politics and the economy. Catastrophes resulted from the dilettantish investigations into the sect in Berlin and Stuttgart, which caused plenty of collateral damage. Now the report of a federal-state group shows that Scientology had been immeasurably over-estimated. The number of members is not, as prognosticated, thirty thousand, but is more like six thousand. "An infiltration of the political parties" can no more be detected than can a "systematic infiltration of the economy." Of 3.2 million employees of the civil service, 48 are in Scientology and three of the sect members are in a political party.
However, a group such as "Schalke 04", which is still considered to be sinister and inflammatory by old Dortmund fans, can continue to count on having more followers. The decision to continue the investigation into Scientology is a make-work measure for the Constitutional security agents and evidence of the self-justification of politicians.
A Police Psychologist calls the Scientology profile "worthless"
February 28, 1998
Munich. An official profile of Scientology as a "totalitarian organization" in the province of North Rhein-Westphalia is, in the opinion of a former Munich police psychologist, George Sieber (62), worthless. At a meeting of the German Press Agency in Munich Sieber said that the much-cited Jaschke Report is "awkwardly defective." In 1995 Hans-Gerd Jaschke, a political scientist from Frankfurt, had put together the analysis at the request of Franz-Josef Kinola (Social Democratic Party), the Minister of the Interior of North Rhein-Westphalia, and had come to the conclusion that Scientologists acted without compunction in accordance with totalitarian principles, and that their organization had militaristic characteristics.
These perceptions were said by Sieber in his analysis to be based on a "bleak outlook." Jaschke's report is not appropriate "as a source of reliable, serious findings concerning the mindset of either the Scientology organization or the commercial enterprises of the Scientologists in Germany.
A representative of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior said that the administration knew about Sieber's report. Apparently it was part of a contract which was paid for by the Scientologists. As far as the surveillance of the Scientology organization under the constitutional protection clause goes, the statement of the Scientology Work Group of the Ministry of the Interior convention is as valid now as ever; with them it has more to do with a "new form of extremism" which ruthlessly exploits its own members. The Sieber report will change nothing in this regard.
Sieber, who, according to his own statement, supplied the Munich police with reports and and analyses from 1968 to 1972, countered energetically. He had read the Jaschke report and written his reply "angrily" as to the unscientific method. Later he had handed the analysis over to a Scientologist attorney in return for payment. His critique of the Jaschke report, he says, is not to be taken as a contradiction of the political determination that Scientology is an enemy of the state.
[The writer of the main article was a Scientologist.]
Anyone may have at it
April 4, 1997
by Hans W. Alberts
About the loss of reason: when dealing with sects, German judges forget Basic Law.
Does one not have to state in advance that one is not a member of Scientology, Mun, Osho, Maharishi or some other organization which has been described today as a sect, youth sect, psycho-sect or something similar? May one join the conversation at all if a conclusion is drawn from these considerations other than the strict battle against the [Scientology] "octopus" which performs brainwashing as a criminal organization with blind ideology, so therefore is, naturally, not a religious congregation, but a criminal money-laundering organization? [as stated by Minister Bluem]
All these statements have been made and none of them have been contested in German courts. The truth of content of these statements must not have to be proven. It is much more sufficient for the German courts if the judgment as to their worth contains "at least an objective and defendable kernel of fact," which also means the justifiable remains. A danger to the people does not have to be proved against the accused "sect," the suspicion of danger is adequate; references to actual violations against the legal system do not have to be made because it is regarded as a wholesale warning to the general public, and such warnings are not scientific discussions. Therefore, anyone may have at it. In the opinion of German judges, "sects" may be used to describe a community because the term is said not to be derogatory, but neutral. If the Evangelical non-denominational Church "Gemeinde auf dem Weg" is in the same brochure as Scientology, then they will have to take this highly unloved neighbor as part of the deal. All decided by the courts in the past years.
What can happen then, based on such a labelling, that would be so bad? Well good, it could chase away your customers if you were to be outed as a member of a sect. And no new ones would arrive. That would be the person's own fault. Everybody is free to do business with whomever he chooses. Therefore his bank can also close down his account. It does not have to cooperate with a sect member. Do other banks also refuse to open an account? But, says the judge, today there is the wonderful opportunity of having an electronic bank account, way far away.
It could happen that one is dismissed from his job, that one may not train an apprentice. But only if one is recruiting for his group, or, at least, the fear exists that one is doing that. And this fear even exists because one "is acquainted with" these groups. Disinheritance could affect our member of a "sect" even worse. No problem, write the judges in their decisions, freedom of last will and testament. One is still permitted to leave a legacy to whomever one wants. A basic legal system of valuation of worldview-religious tolerance does not enter the picture. Why then, we are among private people, and Basic Law does not apply there.
But did the Federal Constitutional Court not say in the 1950s, in the so-call Lueth judgment, that the value system of private law is influenced by the values of Basic Law? Poppycock, that is a different case entirely. And besides that it did not have at all to do with religious communities which only wanted to make money and take over world domination. The complainant belongs to a completely different community!? Oh that, that is the same everywhere.
That, or a similar, dialogue could have taken place among lawyers in this area. The facts were not carefully evaluated, nor did a fair hearing of evidence take place. Or can one describe it as "fair" when the testimony of sect commissioners are admitted as "proof," but not the personal testimony or sworn assurances of the group? Deviant findings are not anticipated from them. Naturally a member of a group will see this in a positive light, but through whose "glasses" is the sect commissioner looking? In the legal sense, he is a "competitor" in the religious market of alternatives. How would the Catholic Church like it if statements about it were "proven" with "opinions" from Evangelical preachers?
A process is "fair" if the accused person has ample opportunity to present his side, if the evaluation of facts is not taken from the viewpoint of pre-ordained prejudice, and if the experts in question are really "neutral" (in any case, not openly biased). In the handling of the problems of so-called sect, there is an absence of any kind of fairness. As far as investigations which differ go, either they are not accepted or not heard. A contact with representatives of the groups did not and is not taking place.
Instead it is intensive contact with people who have been "affected" [by sects] and with the major churches. The Parliament's Enquete Commission for the research into "the presence of sects" was comprised overwhelmingly of "sect opponents." When a different position was represented, the person had to answer to accusations of being a sympathizer, if not a member of Scientology. The hearings by the experts did not happen by any other model: one only wanted to support what one already knew. And so one can assert that one did not want to evaluate the groups (because the Federal Constitutional Court forbids that), but at the same time to speak of their escape from reality or from the world, and to license their pseudo-religiosity along with their destructiveness. It was not only an evaluation that took place, but a massive devaluation.
One could interject that it was "politics," after all. Yes, but the justice system approves of all of this and lends countenance to such actions through its wording. The judges themselves ignore the basics of a fair trial, they themselves take quotes from "gurus" out of context, thereby forming their prejudice about the group.
What would come out of this trial if one were to put the Bible to the test? Anti-constitutionality would be easy to document, the frankness of the Old Testament could be incriminating as to the endangerment of youth (a favorite argument in the "sect" discussion). Where reason and freedom to contradict have lost ground, one can now assert, uncontested, that a group whose members have an average age of 35 is a "youth sect." ["Youth sects" is a German expression from the 1970s which means "cults."]
Although Basic Law, in addition to guaranteeing Basic Law, also decrees that discrimination against worldviews and religions is illegal, the justice system has shown considerable carelessness in carrying out this valuation. It is recognizable all the way up to the Federal Constitutional Court that freedom of belief and worldview does not hold a place of value like the freedom of opinion. The decisions which refer to the so-called sects do not stress the guarantee of Basic Laws or their meaning for people but rather they stress the limits of the guarantees which permit state intervention. That is in opposition to the proscribed parity, or the equal treatment of groups, and is very different in a recognized congregation than it is in a "sect."
Every official receives administrative leave to go to a "church day"; members of a sect do not receive that because there is nothing about it in the rules, and the comment that Jewish officials also receive leave without regulations is dismissed as irrelevant. When mention is made in trials that sects are incriminated for practices which are customary by "major" churches, this is dismissed by the court by saying that the inconveniences of the "major" churches are known to the public, and therefore must not be taken up. Very many decisions are nothing more than legal, little-qualified coverlets of anti-constitutional prejudice.
Naturally, the comparisons to the Nazi era are irrelevant. They ridiculed their victims and were absolutely lacking in their powers of distinction. When we defend ourselves against warnings from other countries, we would do this but with more justification if the system of values of the Basic Law were in effect and this were not just being asserted. The danger of discrimination exists. Or can an official today be a member of a group which is not banned? Will rental contracts be ended, workers be dismissed and custody laws done away with because of evidence of worldview or religion? This must be looked into and changed.
Haven't we learned from the "sympathizers" discussion of the late 1970s how easily freedom can disappear by "correctness"? When people who have a different opinion are ignored, when judgments which are different from the mainstream are not published in legal magazines, when commissions are put together one-sidedly and one-sided "proof" is given, this is reason enough for admonition. It would be a good occasion for self-reflection, regardless of what the motives are for the United States raising its voice. Federal President Herzog last year gave us a day of recollection on the horrors of National Socialism. If we really have learned from experience, we would have to use this occasion so that discrimination cannot grow any more in this Republic.
Hans W. Alberts is a professor of public law at the Hamburg administrative high school ["Verwaltungshochschule Hamburg"].
Letter to the Editor
May 31, 1997
On the religious market of alternatives
concerning the above article
After most of the media have honestly tried, in a type of anticipatory obedience to Mr. Beckstein [a famous Bavarian anti-Scientology proponent], to ignore any report which did not fit into the pre-fabricated picture of Scientology, it is to be commended that at least one fighter of objectivity has a chance to state his opinion in your paper. After all, we have had the views of declared opponents hammered mercilessly into us for years, while the subject groups themselves have hardly had a chance to express themselves in the media.
I found the presentation of the state church as "competitors on the religious market of alternatives" to be amusing and relevant. More than once the SZ [this newspaper] has reported on the dwindling membership, the necessary budgetary measures, together with the new "marketing activities" of the two state churches. Perhaps the gentlemen of the clergy are beginning to comprehend that they have to deliver something to society which is perceived by the people themselves - the "target group" - as being really useful, if they want to make money. Then some politicians could get a piece of that pie, too.