The Scientology organization reports constant victories in court.
Often their reports are false.
Here are a couple of examples of Scientology's systematic public deception.
Address of Ingo Heinemann's original German-language page
(last updated on November 15, 2000) from which this
translation came: http://www.ingo-heinemann.de/falsch5.htm
The Scientology organization continues to claim that it has been acknowledged as religion in Germany through 30 court judgments. These judgments, however, are nowhere to be found.
The Scientology organization does not only "redefine" speech, it also redefines judgments. In this manner a negative or insignificant court decision is presented as a great success. In most of those a simple trick is used: An individual sentence from the basis of the decision is quoted out of context. By doing that it cannot be discerned what the judgment was really about. What particularly cannot be discerned is what the process on the whole was about. The "tenor" of the judgment, that means the language of the judgment, is what makes the difference. There is not a single judgment which purports that Scientology is a religion or that Scientology is acknowledged as religion. There is not a single court process which concerns the acknowledgment of Scientology as religion. Considerations used in the basis of the a judgment can never have the same effect as the judgment itself. The basis of a judgment is where the court quite simply places a certain characteristic (e.g., as religion). But the end result does not necessarily depend on it. A court often errs on an individual point, but the final decision is right nonetheless.
In November 2000 the Scientology organization sent a fax to a number of church sect commissioners:
--- begin fax transcript (translation)Deutsches Büro für Menschenrechte Beauftragter für Sekten- und Weltanschauungsfragen der Diözese Regensburg z.Hd. Dipl-Theol. Hans Rückerl Roritzer Str. 12 93047 Regensburg per Fax: 0941-5839-402 Information: Current Court Decision concerning "employees' membership in Scientology" Ladies and Gentlemen, In the scope of your work you have come into contact with so-called "Scientology security statements." This method of alienating people from society has long ago been found illegitimate by a Munich court. The complete court decision can be obtained by calling 089-27817738 and it is available on the internet (see attachment). cordially, Ingo Lehmann - Management - Scientology Kirche Deutschland e.V. - Menschenrechtsbüro München Beichstraße 12 - 80802 München - TeI: (089)27817738 Fax: (089)27817740 EMail: kontakt@Menschenrechtsbuero.de Internet: http://www.menschenrechtsbuero.de
--- end fax transcript
[A "Scientology security statement" is a form which contractors/employers use in Germany to ask if applicants will be operating according to the doctrines of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology Founder. The forms can be used for job or contract applicants. Use of the Hamburg form was approved by various courts including the German Federal Constitutional court ( 980129a.htm) and the Hamburg government administrative court (Also contain examples of security statements excerpts: 000408d.htm, 000408e.htm and 000408g.htm). Interior Minister Beckstein invited Scientology to sue against the Bavarian form years ago. For more perspective, see 001031b.htm.]
The fact of the matter in the case referred to in the fax above: a Scientologist won a court process in the first hearing. The context of the case: A Scientologist in civil service was asked by his employer to fill out a questionnaire (the "security statement"). He sued. The court decided that he did not have to fill out the questionnaire because of "insufficient basis of [his employer's] claim." Here's the court decision:
Arbeitsgericht München 21 Ca 13754/99: Kein Urteil gegen Schutzerklärungen
It no more contains a discussion of a "security statement on Scientology" than it does a "method of alienating people from society" being found "illegitimate" by the court (quotes are from the fax above to the sect commissioners.) So the fax is not an interpretation of the court decision. Neither can what it contains be interpreted from the decision. Rather Scientology's claims are sheer fabrication.
The Scientology organization wrote in a press release (below) :
"Even 'the condition that the complainant was employed ... with the Scientology Church Bavaria Inc. ... is not evidence of anti-Constitutional activity by the complainant,' continued the court in its decision of October 24, 2000 ..."
That sounds as if the court wrote that there was no evidence of anti-Constitutional activity for the Scientology organization Actually the court did not concern itself with that question, as shown in the following sentence:
"This is because it cannot be concluded from these activities that the complainant pursues anti-Constitutional goals now or in the future, even if the Scientology Church Bavaria Inc. turned out to be an anti-Constitutional organization."
The Scientology has followed the model above exactly which was described in the section above, Judgments redefined.
The following is an unofficial translation of the following German-language Scientology page: www.Menschenrechtsbuero.de/sf3110.htm
German OSA Press Release Scientologist wins in court Bavarian Scientology Questionnaire Impermissible Munich, Germany 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
end of excerpt from: www.Menschenrechtsbuero.de/sf3110.htm
--- begin press release (translation)Dianetik-Scientology Stuttgart e.V. Press Release 10 July 99 French Cassation Court rejects General State Attorney's office appeal Scientology acknowledged as religion Paris A new chapter began in the history of the Scientology Church in France with a decision handed down by the French Cassation Court on June 30, 1999. The highest French court upheld a decision by the Appeals Court in Lyon - which made headlines all across Europe in July 1997 - whereby the Scientology Church was stated to have fulfilled all criteria of a religious congregation. The General Attorney's Office had taken the appeal to the highest court to get nine prior acquittals (in three judgments), and primarily the establishment of the religious nature of Scientology by the Lyon Superior State Court, overturned. The latter was a primary attachment of the complainant's representative in the appeals proceeding. The highest court dismissed the appeal of the General State Attorney's office concerning the acquittals as well as the establishment of the religious nature of Scientology and found that the conclusions of the Superior State Court about the religious nature of Scientology were well founded and let stand the contention in the appeal by the General State Attorney's office, since it had not recognized any logical or legal mistakes. With that, the acknowledgment of the religious nature of the Scientology Church by the highest court in France has been verified. Now, according to the French Constitution and the European Human Rights Convention, Scientologists may freely proselytize and practice their religion without governmental restrictions. The judgment also has significance for the criticism of the Scientology Church in Germany, because a one-time negative decision by the Lyon State Court from 1996 against Scientology continues to be distributed even today in official publications. For the content and further information: Reinhard Egy
--- end press release (translation)
On November 22, 1996 in Lyon, France, the former director of the local Scientology branch was sentenced to three years in prison plus 150,000 DM in fines. The foremost accusation consisted of blame for a Scientology adherent's suicide. A total of 25 Scientology adherents altogether were charged for various crimes. Five were exonerated.
The decision was confirmed in an appeal on July 28, 1997. The sentence was imposed provisionally. In the original hearing only half of he sentence had been made provisional. Imposition of a suspended punishment is applied in proportion to personal conditions. Therefore it was taken under consideration that the accused held the Scientology organization to be a religious community. Naturally the court addressed the arguments of the accused and - as usual - accepted some and rejected others. But the acceptance only pertains to the person of the accused, not to his organization.
A Scientology spokesman in France said of the outcome of the appeal: With the more lenient sentence the court indirectly acknowledged the organization as a religious organization. Scientology Chief Jentzsch from the USA: "Victory for religious freedom." He said a dream had come true. News agencies subsequently reported that the court had acknowledged Scientology as a religion in France. That, however, does not fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal court. Details: AGPF-Info 11/97 Scientology in France: Conviction confirmed. Scientology acknowledged?
The judgment was re-confirmed in an appeal of June 30, 1999. The court made it clear that it was not deciding whether Scientology was a religion.
The relevant paragraph:
"Attendu qu'en l'état de ces seules énonciations, exemptes d'insuffisance ou de contradiction et procédant de l'appréciation souveraine, par les juges de fond, des faits et circonstances de la cause, contradictoirement débattus, et abstraction faite d'un motif inopérant mais surabondant, dépourvu en l'espèce de toute portée juridique, relatif à la qualité de religion prètée à l'église de scientologie, la cour d'appel a justifié sa décision sans encourir les griefs allégués"
An English translation available over the internet from Roger Gonnet http://home.worldnet.fr/gonnet/cassation.htm follows:
N° A 98-80.501D N°3203 MPH 30 juin 1999 M. GOMEZ, président, R E P U B L I Q U E F R A N C A I S E AU NOM DU PEUPLE FRANCAIS The Cassation Cour [more or less similar to Supreme Court], Criminal Room, through its public hearing held into the Palais de Justice de Paris , has rendered the following ruling: Ruling on the appeal formed by: -The General Prosecutor near the Lyon Court of Appeal, against the ruling of the 4th above said Court Room, on July 28th 1997, which had notably relaxed Yves VEAU, Laurent QUOISSE, Damien CALVIN, Henri CAILLAUD, Jean-Paul CHAPELLET, Danièle CHEVOLLEAU épouse GOUNORD, Alain BAROU and Marie-Annick BAUDRY épouse ROBERT, charged with fraud and fraud complicity; (page 2)====== The Court, ruling after debates in the public hearing done on May 19th, 1999, where have been present : M. Gomez, président, M. Martin, reporter adviser, MM. Schumacher, Pibouleau, Challe, Roger, room's advisers, Mme de la Lance, MM. Soulard, Samuel, public auditors; Attorney General: M. de Gouttes, Room's clerk: Mme Daudé From the report of M. the adviser MARTIN, the remarks done by the civil professional company PIWNICA & MOLINIE, attorneys in the Court, and conclusions of M. Attorney General de GOUTTES; Considering the memoranda produced by demand and by defense; Whereas it results from the attacked appeal that the leaders of the Dianetics Center and of the church of scientology of Lyon, the members of the staff of those associations and three executives of the church of scientology of Paris, have been sued before the correctionnelle [criminal room, as opposed to the "assise" court, where more serious crimes are judged] jurisdiction, notably on fraud and complicity counts; That the Appeal Judges have held into the links of the accusation Jean-Jacques Mazier, Corinne Medallin spouse Barou, and Pascale Dullin, spouse Gaidos, leaders of the Lyon associations, as authors of the frauds and some other accused under accomplices quality, noting that the firsts, with help and support from the seconds, had made of the dianetics center and the church of scientology of Lyon, enterprises of improper solicitation to the prejudice of their adepts, by using two types of fraudulent maneuvers; That the ruling first noted the publication into the local media of advertisings never mentioning that they emanated from the church of scientology, written in equivocal terms and sometimes indubitably lying ones, to make believe or let believe to the reader that some job offers were at stake, offers tied to books buying, to courses attendance and to the participation to immediately payable sessions, while in fact the real purpose was to get them adhering to scientology and not to get a job offer; That it then noticed the massive distribution of leaflets, never referencing the scientology church, proposing (page 3)===== free personality tests, analyzed on computers by people having not the least competence for such matters and revealing almost systematically heavy personal problems; that it adds that those fraudulent maneuvers were intended to persuade [the public] of the existence of faked enterprises [activities, systems etc.], i.e., the associations called centre de dianétique de Lyon and église de scientologie de Lyon, presented as institutions able to solve, through L. Ron Hubbard doctrine's application, the pretended difficulties revealed through the tests and to privilege the blossoming and success of the adept, while in fact those associations dispensed, with increasing payments asked, courses, auditing sessions, purification cures, which could end, in some cases, in a true mental manipulation, were constituting enterprises having as only purpose or for essential purpose, the improper solicitation of the adept's fortune; In this status; Regarding the first cassation's cause, proposed by the general prosecutor near the Lyon Court of Appeal, taken from the infringement of articles 405 old, 313-1 new, of the penal Code; "from the fact that the ruling has relaxed the above named accused for default of intentional element; "while it does not pertain to the judicial judge to pronounce himself on the religious character of a community such scientology church and to draw conclusions upon the good faith area; Regarding the second cassation's cause, taken from infringement of articles 405 old, 313-1 new of the penal Code, 593 of the penal procedure Code, lack of legal basis, insufficiency or motives' contradictions "regarding the fact that the ruling relaxed the above named accused because of absence of intentional item; "while the appeal court could not, through observation of inapplicable facts to a same group of persons, draw into the appreciation of their good faith, consequences diverging whose motivation had not been explicated; (page 4)====== Regarding the third cassation cause, taken from the infringement of articles 59, 60 and 405 old, 121-7 and 313-1 new of the Penal Code, lack of legal base, insufficiency or motives' contradictions; "regarding the fact that the ruling released three executives of the church of scientology of Paris of the count of frauds complicity; "while first, the appeal court, which noticed to the count of these three executives, actions of help and support, did not draw legal consequences from its conclusions; "while secondly, their bad faith results from the identification of their fraud activities between the church of scientology Paris with [activities] of the executives in Lyon scientology church; The causes being so exposed; Whereas the appeal court, primarily, after having reminded that the religious freedom was complete and under the only restrictions resulting of public security measures, public health or public morality, said that the church of scientology can vindicate the religion's title, before though, to notice that individuals could use a religious doctrine, licit in itself, to financial or commercial purposes to defraud good faith people and that the practice of a cult can lead to fraudulent maneuvers from certain members of that religion; Whereas that, to relax Alain Barou, Laurent Quoisse, Henri Caillaud, Damien Calvin and Marie-Annick Robert, members of the staff of the two Lyon associations quoted above and getting a symbolic allocation, the appeal judges mention that these accused, "who entered in scientology" through similar methods to those described by the plaintiffs, and who could, at least for some of them and in a relative measure, be taken as victims themselves, were in fact mere parts of the associations they helped to run; that it [the appeal court] adds that, restricted to precise roles, they did not know obligatorily the fraudulent processes used by Jean-Jacques Mazier, Corinne Medallin and Pascale Dullin, and that a doubt remains regarding the moral element of the fraud and complicity infringements; That, to get rid also of the charges upon Danièle Gounord, Jean-Paul Chapellet and Yves Veau, executives exerting different roles into the scientology church in Paris, the ruling said that if it certain that all three helped punctually to the two churches of Lyon by having cooperation relationships , the complete examination of the procedure does not allow to conclude that they had, through provocation [orders] or instructions, been part of execution of the fraudulent maneuvers undertaken by Jean-Jacques Mazier, Corinne Medallin and Pascale Dullin to commit the fraud which have been accounted to them, neither that they had knowingly favored the running of those enterprises keeping on acting fraudulently; Whereas under such only elements, lacking of insufficiencies or contradiction and coming from sovereign appreciation, through the judges operating on the merits, on facts and circumstances of the cause, contradictorily debated, and without taking into account an inoperating motive but superabundant [=which should not had been said, is displaced or inapplicable, not], entirely lacking of any judicial influence, related to the quality of religion attributed to the church of scientology, the appeal court has justified its decision without incurring the alleged torts; From this the causes cannot be supported; And whereas the ruling is regular in its form; DISMISSES the appeal; So done and judged by the Cassation's Court, criminal room, and pronounced as such by the president, on June thirty, nineteen hundred ninety nine; Following this the present ruling has been signed by the president, the reporter and the room's clerk; --- This is the communiqué sent from the Mission Interministérielle de Lutte contre les Sectes (MILS) , depending of the Prime Minister services, Paris. (translation is unofficial, I don't know if there is an official one) PREMIER MINISTRE MISSION INTERMINISTERIELLE DE LUTTE CONTRE LES SECTES Paris, July 1st, 1999 -Press release- Scientology could not be recognized as a religion before Courts The Interministerial Mission to Struggle against Cults acknowledges formally, satisfactorily, of the Supreme Court ruling on June 30th, 1999. First, the indubitable character of the support given by Mme Gounord and MM. Chapellet and Veau to both the scientologist Lyon "churches" has been reaffirmed. Secondly, the Supreme Court limits itself to notice that the examination of the proceedings, which excluded the above persons of any sentence for the fraud affair committed in Lyon by three scientology executives, did not allow to prove that they had "by provocation or instructions, been part of the conception or execution " of so said fraudulent maneuvers. Implicitly, the Court reminds that no particular penal immunity has existed. Third, the Supreme Court reminds that it is not up to the judge to rule over the religious character of an association. The whereas of the Lyon Court, from which scientology abusively said it "had recognized it as a religion" by a French court, is therefore nullified. ---
Ingo Heinemann: court decisions on Scientology
Ingo Heinemann: Scientology Criticism
Address of the original German page from which this translation was taken:
its last date of change: Jan. 17, 2000
Constitutional Law: "Recognized by all courts?"
Association Law - Business Law
Freedom of speech law
Copyright law and Industry Protection Law
Key words: Investigation
Collection of Material
Religious Freedom as an all-purpose weapon
Herzog on the Storeroom Judgment
First printing of the text in: The 2nd Wormser Scientology-Tribunal 1994 - Die politische Herausforderung durch totalitaere Organisationen / "The Political Challenge from Totalitarian Organizations". Broschuere, Herausgeber: Junge Union Rheinland-Pfalz, Christof Kuehn.
Ingo Heinemann 1995
The Scientology Organization
in German courts
The Scientology organization has been in the courts in Germany since 1973. The ones filing charges back then were the Federal Criminal Investigative Office (BKA), Scotland Yard and Interpol (note 1). The Federal Criminal Investigative Office published a report (note 2) which stated, "The organization's activity consists of amateur psychological analysis of people which can be described as "brainwashing" (note 3). A number of law suits, some of which had a huge value of dispute, were filed as a result of that. The Scientology Organization - so far as I know - won none of them.
The "Snow White Program" (note 4) was launched on April 28, 1973 by a secret "Order Nr. 732" of Scientology's "Guardian Office"; it later included 38 main projects and "innumerable sub-projects and sub-sub-projects (note 5). The goal of the project was to remove negative reports about Scientology from different governments. "PGM Snow White" included a plan to increase court proceedings in these countries and then to bring "the matter" before the United Nations and the European Commission for Human Rights. This plan was fulfilled in in 1994.
Not all areas of law can be covered here, much less all judgments. There have been about 300. Therefore a current selection is presented here (as of end of February 1995).
Constitutional Law: "Recognized by all courts?"
For 20 years, the Scientology Organization has used the Basic Law of religious freedom as a moral and legal general-purpose weapon against criticism. The Scientology Organization responded to one of the first trials against them (for anti-competitive accosting of pedestrians) with a demonstration: "Hands off religious freedom" (note 6). On that matter, the Stuttgart Superior State Court said almost twenty years ago (note 7):
"... advertising for books and courses by accosting pedestrians on the street is offensive and oppressive and (must) therefore be viewed as disruptive and illicit. Furthermore, the accused cannot excuse his legally commercially competitive conduct by describing himself as a church. Because the Scientology Church disseminates its ideology primarily in the form of commercial transaction, namely for financial compensation, it must, to that extent, also be subject to the applicable rules in the field of business competition."
In the meantime, the Scientology Organization has left hardly an area of law untouched in its attempt to liberate itself, with the help of the Basic Law of religious freedom, from bothersome regulations
From the beginning, the Scientology Organization not only described itself as a religion and a church, but also claimed that its adherents were being persecuted like the Jews in Nazi Germany, and even back then the alleged persecutors were insulted in the the most vile ways. Here are a few phrases from a letter of Nov. 20, 1978, which was written on the occasion of a rather unimportant information event about Scientology in a Frankfurt suburb:
- "... Inquisitional gathering resembling a people's court
- ...; several pastors ... questionable life changes ... ; publicly displaying the intimate, religious areas of the lives of our congregation members in a criminal manner ... Inquisitor Heinemann ... ; an event resembling the "Kristallnacht"; instigating a Pogrom ... immoral, fascistoid insults
- ... we ask for police protection" (note 8).
Today the impression is given that this type of sidetracking is a spontaneous reaction to alleged violations of the basic rights of the Scientology adherents. That example, however - and any number of others follow - shows that this is a process which goes according to plan; the duration is now more than 15 years. Another example from 1979 is a booklet which was distributed entitled "Holocaust to 1984." The impression was also given in that booklet that an entire group [of Scientologists] was going to be systematically murdered.
For a long time, the Scientology Organization has said that it has been "acknowledged" by the courts as a religion. This assertion is used only because the concept of "acknowledgment" connotes an official state act on the one hand, while on the other hand it can also be applied with no regard to content whatsoever.
An example of one such alleged "acknowledgment":
In their booklet which they have been distributing for many years, especially for those not in Scientology, "Can we every be Friends?" (copyright about 1977), it says, "Acknowledged by every court. Courts all over the world have acknowledged the religious nature of Scientology." It reprinted the first page of a decision by the Munich State Court (note 9) stating the name of the accused journalist. Actually, the journalist had made a great number of very intense statements in an article, only one of which she was prohibited from repeating by the court, namely, that she had "been kept awake all night long by telephone calls from the SKD" (note 10) [SKD: Scientology Kirche Deutschland / Scientology Church Germany]. Indeed, (according to the court) it was "indisputably a telephone connection used by the complainant." But her statement gave the impression that "the telephone calls at night were an activity by the association and a method of behavior calculated to deal with opponents." But that had not been proven. Accordingly, the accused journalist only had to pay a tenth of the costs, which means that Scientology lost 90% of the court case.
Possibly the Scientology Organization feels it has been legitimized in speaking of an "acknowledgment" by the court in the following sentence: "It can be concluded for the case at hand that the complainant can be regarded as a religious community." The court, continued, however:
"All the greater is the justified interest of the press to report on this new church and express its opinion about it. The accused is supported by the grounds of justification of § 193 StGB in that the public has a significant interest in being critically informed about such movements, including censorious judgments. In weighing the interest of the complainant to be acknowledged as a church, which sees its mission solely in religious and social areas, and the interests of the accused as a journalist to describe her opinion about a corporation pursuing a financial interest as such, the latter gets preference. This is also because the press performs an important warning function in this area, which it can only fulfil if it is permitted to express a clearly negative judgment. The press observes a justified interest when it reports on affairs or takes a position on things in which a serious public informational interest exists (see BGHZ, 31,308). This is the case in a religious movements which appears in public."
When the halls of justice state, "It can be concluded for the case at hand," then that, by far, does not state that this is definitely the case. In judgments, a certain fact of the case is often submitted as true to the favor of one party, for example, when nothing depends upon it.
The difference is: may an organization describe itself as a "church" and as a "religion," or does it actually have to act like one. It is certain that the words "church" and "religion" are not protected by law. Any organization may call itself these things. There is a restriction only in a special area: if an organization describes itself as a church "in commercial transaction for purposes of competition," then competition and consumer organizations may take legal action against them and demand the "Law against unfair competition" be applied ["Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb" (UWG)] (note 11). However, no proceedings of that sort have yet taken place.
It is an entirely different issue as to whether an organization can claim the right due to a confessional congregation in accordance with Article 4 of the Basic Law. In that case, the question is asked of in what sense is this a profession of religion or weltanschauung. In most court proceedings that question can remain, by far, unanswered because it does not determine the result of the proceedings.
In connection with the Scientology Organization, only one German court has gotten involved with the context of this issue so far.
The Federal Administrative Court (note 12) had to decide whether a Scientology functionary would be exempt from military service like the clergy of the major denominations. The court refused deferment. It was not the stated creed which was decisive, but the creed which had been put into effect:
"It should be checked in individual cases to see if such a creed is available. In the evaluation of what is to be regarded as practice of religion, the self-understanding of the religious community may not be omitted from consideration (see BVerfGE 24,236/247f/). But that does not mean that a simple declaration suffices for the community in question to be of a religious nature, nor does it mean that the state, in its execution of military exemption regulations, does not need or have to check whether the submitted qualifications are those of a profession of religion (or an appropriate clerical office) or not. The religious profession must be given objectively and it must be "able to be sufficiently objective" ["hinreichend objektivierbar"] (for example, in another connection, BVerwGE 42,128/132/). In accordance with the principles of religious and weltanschauung neutrality, this review should not contain impermissible "evaluation" of content of faith.
The content is not just an abstract creed, but principally the tangible effect of a religious community, that is to say, a creed which has been put into effect. Other factors besides the self-understanding and the stated fundamentals of the community are the collective, actual presence and effect of the community and its members. It should be reviewed as to whether self-understanding, theoretical fundamentals and practical effects make the community into one which is predominantly religious.
In accordance with that, it does not suffice for a primarily religious idea to be present, the effect of which is overwhelmingly directed toward something else, as is often the case in associations with charitable or humanitarian objectives with religious foundation.
And a community cannot be acknowledged as one with a creed in accordance with § 11 I Nr. 3 WPflG, if it is engaged primarily in profit-making for itself or gaining advantage for a founder or preferred members. According to the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfGE 12, 1/4/\NJW 61,211), Basic Law "is not meant to protect all kinds of free exercise of belief, but only those which have emerged on the basis of certain moral basic principles agreed upon by today's cultural population as a result of historical development." That applies, in the same way, to § 11 I Nr. 3 WPflG. And it is to be assumed in the named sense of the agreed upon basic principles that religious content does not deserve protection for the purpose of private profit."
Concerning the documents submitted for the proceedings, the court wrote:
"These documents ... do support religious characteristics being present as an essence of the community, but as a fringe appearance."
The case was dismissed in its last hearing. Darmstadt Administrative Court (note 13) judged:
"Scientology is a philosophy with several religious elements, but not a creed in which religion is the central focal point of teachings."
The above-mentioned judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfGE 24,236) on the self-understanding of a religious community which "may not be omitted from consideration" is known under heading of "Storeroom action." Today's Federal President Herzog wrote about it in what is probably the most important commentary on Basic Law back in 1971, that is long before the organizations which were called "Youth sects" were known to the German public (Maunz-Duerig, Rdnr. 104):
"A danger to state competency(note 14): one need only conceive of what could happen if a 'religious congregation' ascribed 'religious' attributes to its favorite commercial or political activity in its definition of self and then claimed protection not only by means of the Weimarer Church Law Article, but also protection by means of Art. 4 II [of Basic Law]. The modern state, whose area of operation has to encompass many times what the states of past generations had to work with, can be fully deposed in an extreme case by this interpretation of Art. 4 II, but not, however, to the favor of the individual, rather to the favor of single, uncontrollable groups. There should be, at the least, a stern warning that the BVerfG's decision on the "storeroom action", on this point, will be interpreted and developed independently of the direct occasion of charitable activity."
More than 15 years later, that is exactly what happened under the heading of "self-understanding" in several court decisions. Still in a timely fashion, (even though it was already too late for several actual cases), the Federal Constitutional Court intervened to correct the matter and made binding determinations, as will be seen, as to what a religious denomination is in the sense of Article 4 of Basic Law:
"Merely the assertion and the self-understanding a community has of itself being a religion or a religious denomination, and thus being able to invoke the guarantee of the freedom of Art. 4, sect. 1 and 2 of Basic Law is less of a justifying factor than are spiritual content and external appearance for purposes of being treated like a religion or a religious denomination. Reviewing and deciding upon that in case of dispute are left up to the state organs - as an application of a regulation of the state legal system - and finally, to the courts (continuation of the sentence in the text of the judgment:), which, of course, cannot utilize free power of decision, but have to base their decisions upon the appropriate concept of religion meant and provided for in the Constitution in the sense and purpose of a fundamental guarantee." (note 15).
The Federal Constitutional Court later also explicitly applied this court decision to the Scientology Organization. The facts of the case, in the words of the court, "The complainants, divisions of the 'Scientology Church,' one of its members and an affiliated company, took action against a decision of the Hamburg citizenry with which the Senate had requested, among other things, that no real estate business be done with and that no building would be rented to the Scientology Church and its affiliated companies."
The court repeated the quote cited above, "Merely the assertion and the self-understanding a community has of itself being a religion or a religious denomination, and thus being able to invoke the guarantee of the freedom of Art. 4, sect. 1 and 2 of Basic Law is less of a justifying factor than are spiritual content and external appearance for purposes of being treated like a religion or a religious denomination (BVerfGE 83, 341 8353)" and added to that, "Nothing else is regarded in the examination of weltanschauung communities." Besides that, the Federal Constitutional Court made it explicitly clear that this was to be reviewed by the court: "If the legal path is open to the court, then it will apply the ... review as to whether the complainant could claim at all, first and second, the protection of Art. 4 sects. 1 and 2 of Basic Law. ... Just as the court first reviews whether the decision being opposed violates the rights of the complainant" (note 16).
According to that, classification of the Scientology Organization as a confessional denomination in the future, without proof being accepted and approved, would hardly be possible.
Most of what falls under this heading has to to with custody rights. Most of the time, one of the parents will try to prevent the child from being influenced by Scientology ideology. Court decisions on individual cases can seldom be quoted.
The Frankfurt Superior State Court (note 17), in a not atypical case on visiting rights: the parents were given joint custody, the child lived with the father and he denied the mother visiting rights. The court therefore leveled a fine in the amount of DM 5,000. The superior court lifted the fine, which opened the door to a new custody trial, and the appeals court wanted to obtain an opinion from a family psychologist:
"In the scope of this opinion, the membership of the female applicant in the "Scientology Church" - the problems of which are widely discussed in public - would have to play a considerable role. ... In view of the risks being discussed in the media of the "Scientology Church," the [court] Senate believes it is justified here ... in refusing the enforced execution of the visitation agreement for the time being, until the issue of custody is cleared up."
Association Law - Business Law
Since the founding of the first Scientology association in Germany in about 1973, a suspicion existed that it was not really a so-called "idealistic" association, but a hooded commercial enterprise. Association law contains a considerably more facilitated establishment of legal persons. But this privilege is supposed to favor idealistic associations, not of business associations. The first time the Duesseldorf superior state court (note 18) refused entry into the association register, Scientology was regarded as a business. In Munich, the authorities removed the long-registered central association from the association register, the administrative court (note 19) confirmed that decision. In the next court hearing before the Bavarian Administrative Court (note 20) it was stated that sales were being conducted by a different association. The association was once again recorded in the register. In another matter, the Stuttgart Administrative Court verified (note 21) a corresponding agency decision:
"The activities of the complainant fit the concept understood of a "commercial business operation."
"An essential part of the activities of the complainant consists of offering technologies to increase mental performance capability, to heal psychosomatic illnesses and to purify the human body from drugs, poisons and radioactive rays it has accumulated."
... but it must continue to held accountable for the sale of literature from members to non-members as it must its own actions"
"If the courses and seminars offered by the complainant were not worth the money required by the complainant according to worldly standards, that alters nothing in that the complainant is still providing services, courses and seminars for money. With few exceptions, those can be taken or obtained essentially only in exchange for payment of a fixed amount of money. In regard to the amount of the payments required, the appropriate findings were referred to in pp. 13 of the appeal decision. That the "donation amount" is compensation for the complainant's services is also recognized in that the complainant uses the words "rebate" and "sales" and that the complainant offers its staff a "Course for scheduled sales" (also the Duesseldorf Superior State Court decision of August 12, 1983, p. 16 and, most recently, the Hamburg Superior Administrative Court judgment of July 6, 1993, case Bf VI 12/91)."
"The overwhelming share of the courses are very expensive and could very rapidly reach expenses in the amount of of five figures ..."
"but the use of the profit is without significance in the presentation of a commercial business operation."
"If some one invokes a religious conviction, then that does not necessarily make the faithful's need for protection any less. It does not correspond to the basic legal system of values when those who invoke Art. 4 sects. 1 and 2 of Basic Law have to be permitted to abstain preventive measures for the protection of the rights of a third person."
The Hamburg Superior Administrative Court (note 22) has determined that the Scientology organization must also actually report as a business (background of that regulation: debtor and creditor protection, partially identical with what today is described as consumer protection):
"For the determination that a business is practicing commerce in the sense of the commerce codes and this is a business in accordance with § 14 sect. 1 of the Commerce Code (GewO), the determination is not needed of whether an association (in this case the Scientology Church) has been acknowledged as a religious or weltanschauungs community in the sense of Art. 4 sect. 1 of Basic Law.
A religious or a weltanschauung community can also operate a business in the sense of the Commerce Code, namely, if it conducts the sale of goods and services with the intention of obtaining a profit in the long-term, especially if it runs into competition with other commercial operations in advertising and sales and it presents its activity in the overall pictures as commercial.
The intention of obtaining profit in the sense of the Commerce Law is also given if fixed compensation is described in advanced as donations or if the sales contribute to idealistic purposes. Commercial activity is also present if the sales take place to members.
"There can be not doubt that the complainant is giving courses and seminars like the Communication course, the Dianetic course and the Dianetics home course in return for money, for which a fixed price is required, even though the compensation paid by the participant is described as a "donation."
"For instance, according to the testimony taken from business auditor W. as a witness in the court session of June 29, 1993 about the sale of books pp. - included in which is the sale of books, booklets, e-meters and other artifacts - the following returns were realized: 457,000.-- DM (1984), 354,000.-- DM (1985), 400,000.-- DM (1986), 442,000.-- DM (1987), 956,000.-- DM (1988), 1,825,000.-- DM (1989), 659,000.-- DM (1989), 1,503,000.-- DM (1991) and 1,813,000.-- DM (1992).
"... the complainant paid its members - just as a commercial book distributer does its salespeople - commissions for successfully closing sales on books pp. Those payments were of a considerable amount. According to testimony of the witness, commissions carried were: 1989 161.000,-- DM, 1990 58.000,-- DM, 1991 133.000,-- DM and 1992 160.000,-- DM. As the witness further testified, commissions were paid to a large number of people, and ran an average of 8.85 percent of the sales from 1989 to 1992.
"... intention to gain a profit ... is not precluded ... in that the earnings of the activity are used for an "ideal" purpose. In this type of case, an amount in excess of expenditures, a profit in other words, is strived for: it is alleged that it would be used only altruistically. The purpose for which the profit is used, however, is irrelevant in the evaluation of a commercial activity."
On February 16, 1995, the Federal Administrative Court (note 23) confirmed the decision of the Hamburg Superior Administrative Court. After the Superior Administrative Court did not permit appeal because no more basic legal issues remained, the case dealt only with a so-called non-admission complaint.
Freedom of speech law
In by far the greatest portion of all legal proceedings, the issue was what may be said about the Scientology Organization. In the beginning, the Scientology Organization defended itself at considerable expense against statements which today it must accept meekly.
Probably the most important case group at present concerns complaints by Scientology "adherents" and business enterprises which do not want to be counted as part of the Scientology conglomerate. In doing this, some of them invoke "negative religious freedom," or the right not to have to state which denomination one professes. The Federal Constitutional Court on that(note 24):
"In this context, the lead complainant incorrectly invokes the right to be permitted not to reveal one's religious conviction. Nobody is disputing that right; they are only seeing to it that those who make a claim to the fundamental privilege of the practice of religion also, by necessity, have to reveal a religious conviction."
The Munich Superior State Court(note 25):
"The complainant is ... a business manager (in a) color, style and image consulting institution ..."
"It can remain open as to whether the Scientology Church is regarded as a religious or weltanschauung community which may avail itself of the legal freedoms of Art. 4 of Basic Law or whether it merely uses the wide area protected by Basic Law as a pretext to pursue commercial goals ...
"At the center point is the right of the individual - in this case the complainant - to herself determine what information shall make its way from her personal sphere to the public. The revelation of her membership in the Scientology Church, and thereby her personal sphere, are an intrusion into the complainant's informational right to self-determination.
"In consideration of both the complainant's personality rights covered by the constitution and the freedom of press which is invoked by the accused, however, this intrusion was not illicit.
Standard criteria of consideration form, in particular, the gradations of personality protection in personality spheres, its own relation of those affected to the public and the stipulated public interest of information, on the other hand the freedom of communication protected by Art. 5 sect. 1 of Basic Law in all social - not just political - areas. In doing so, the fundamental of presumption of free speech applies in any case then, if legitimately obtained information is truthfully distributed (Degenhart, "Das allgemeine Persoenlichkeitsrecht", JUS 1992, 361 ff.)
" ... complainant appeared in public by holding seminars in the field of management and publicly revealed that she professed the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard in an article published by (xy) magazine.
"It is taken into consideration that the complainant openly represented the teachings of the founder of the Scientology movement, Ron L. Hubbard, in her article in (xy)."
" ... the court senate is not able to distinguish a clear difference between the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard in the field of management on the one hand and the weltanschauung field on the other hand (was founded).
"Finally, the total assessment is influenced in that the complainant indisputably made a donation of 25,000 dollars to the organization.
Even if every viewpoint, of itself, is not able to be founded with preference for the fundamentally protected freedom of press, in its entirety, it is still outweighed by the justified interest of the public to comprehensive information.
That probably goes for all legal areas in which rights can be considered apart from each other: only seldom does it come to a viewpoint in which one is considered independently of other viewpoints:
"Any individual viewpoint by itself," according to the court, could not have been founded a preference of press freedom over the personality right; it was the viewpoints "in their entirety."
Investigation and collection of material, therefore, do not serve, or do not only serve personal information, but also legal judgment and the weighing of basic rights.
Because the Scientology invokes its own basic rights (or those of its adherents) in all areas and accuses its critics of violation of these basic rights, this decision, finally, yields the justification for research and documentation.
The targets of the Scientology Organization's statements have defended themselves relatively infrequently. In presumably the first legal hearing of the sort, the Max Planck Institute took action in the Munich Superior State Court (note 26) against an article in the Scientology "Freiheit" magazine. The "Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte e.V." ["Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights, Inc."] alleged in the article that the MPI had been found to be responsible for atrocities during the Nazi dictatorship.
From the judgment (note 27):
"Based on this connection, the court senate is also convinced that an average reader of "Freiheit" magazine, insofar as can be determined, would understand the expression "psychiatric experiments" as psychiatric experiments on people as they occurred under the National Socialist regime and most of which caused psychic or physical injury to the subjects. In the opinion of the court, no further testimony is needed to show that this assertion, as used in this context, is suited to degrade public opinion of the scientific institute. The same goes for the assertion that a five year experiment was conducted by KWI with the microscopic investigation of brains taken from fresh children's corpses and that respected KWI scientists gratefully accepted several hundred kilograms of fresh and bloody children's brains which had been maliciously murdered by psychiatric colleagues."
The court's main objection is that the author made no kind of attempt to even make his accusations credible. He said he had not done any research himself, but based his statement only on that of a witness who could not verify her own observations, but had in turn heard them from a third party. That, however, is not sufficient."
The complaint of a counselor who was accused of having forwarded on personal data is similar. The Munich State Court (note 28) in a recognition judgment:
"The accused is ... prohibited from asserting that the complainant had forwarded the accused's personal data, which he had obtained in a confidential consultation, to a journalist."
The accused, at the time, was the press spokeswoman of the Scientology Organization. "Recognition judgment" means that she recognized a claim for her to cease-and-desist, namely, that she had no evidence of her statement which had high potential to damage the complainant's reputation.
The sale of dangerous products and services can lead to having to pay compensation or damages. But there can also be serious consequences when the results promised do not occur. In many categories, the provider is even obligated to give advance notice, such as someone who sells a motor vehicle which has been damaged in an accident, or even doctors and lawyers. So far this has hardly been of any consequence to the Scientology organization.
Munich State Court (note 29) ordered a Scientology association to pay back 28,934 DM, taking into account a liability of indebtedness in closing a contract and violation of obligation to give advance notice before a contract is signed. Precisely because the accused presented itself as a religion, an increased obligation to give advance notice existed. In its decision, the court considered practically all the cases available (note 30). A similar municipal decision had taken place 15 years prior (note 31). From the basis (note 32):
"The application to return payment contains, for those making the claim for return of payment of fees, nothing more than a series of obstacles which cover no justifiable interest of the accused (Scientology association). If the accused (Scientology association) indicates that the formalities of the application for return of payment are justified in order to make it clear that, after termination of the relationship as member, no more rights exist, this statement is not that drastic. The success wished for by the accused (Scientology association) cannot be achieved merely and simply by having those who want to leave sign a statement in which they waive all rights as a member. Why one has to go, as outlined in the application for return of payment, first to the receptionist, then to the Director of Corrections, finally to Qual, then to the Director for Technical Services, finally to the Case Supervisor, is simply inconceivable, unless the person who wants to leave is to be kept from leaving again and again at each of the checkpoints.
Neither can the accused (Scientology association) invoke Article 137 of the Weimar Government Constitution. The religious communities' freedom from regulation brought about by this article also stands under the provision of trust and faith. Finally, the accused (Scientology association) cannot make a reference that the complainant has acknowledged the accused's regulations by signing the regulation for the return of payment. For one thing, a valid agreement cannot be given to an illicit regulation, for another, the complexity of the path of departure cannot be gathered from this regulation."
One of the pillars of support of the Scientology system is the exploitation ("wage usury") of its employees. That is the only way the incredible expense of hand-written recruitment letters can be paid for, and that is the only way folders can be kept on any (possible) critic. The invalidity of the labor contracts can, in practice, can be applied for only after the fact by demanding back-payment. That type of case seldom happens, not just because of the massive pressure under which former members are openly subject to, but also especially because of the difficult psychic, financial and social situation in which former Scientology adherents, staff members in particular, are placed.
Two judgments have drastically approached the issue. In one case against Narconon, Inc., the Munich Labor Court (note 33) stated:
"In the outcome remains only the assumption that, in the weltanschauung realm which the accused (Narconon, Inc.) projects, a deprivation of labor rights is being carried out in grand style."
The same way for the Munich Labor Court (note 34) in a matter against the Scientology Center:
"The arrangement ... with the staff contract is usurious and therefore null in accordance with § 138 sect. 2 BGB. Besides that, it is contrary to morals and thereby null according to § 138 sect. 1 BGB. Finally, it is void because it bypasses § 2 KSchG. ... The accused has paid an average hourly way of DM 1.44. ... In having the complainant agree to this excessive contractual regulation, the accused, in the opinion of the court, has exploited the complainant's inadequate financial situation and an associated increase in a weakening of the will. ... The complainant ... was aware ... of the situation primarily through a terrifying loss of identity, a basic sense of depression and through a loss of social contacts and perceptual references. According to overwhelming information from the parties concerned, contact to the accused was, to a certain degree, the last hope for the complainant, the last straw for which she was grasping. ... In this situation, the court is convinced that the complainant, who had just turned nineteen at the time, could not rationally and critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and weigh them in relation to each other. As far as her ability to judge was concerned, it could no longer relate to her own interests based on her dependency relationship to the accused - specifically, based on the absence of psychic resistance. She was delivered to the accused, who then had an easy job of her."
The court also determined that a so-called "Freeloader Bill" was used to keep staff from making use of their right to give notice. The background:
Young Scientology adherents who could not afford the horrific prices are offered "free study" if they become staff. In the event they give notice, the list prices of these courses will be applied retroactively.
The Munich State Court on that (note 35):
"This item of the charter is invalid. It states that by giving notice, or by leaving the religious community, a claim can be made by the accused upon the former member for an amount of services. By this regulation, leaving the association, the accused, is objectively encumbered. In doing that, the validity of number 12 of the charter is contrary to force of law (§ 39 BGB).
Number 12 of the charter is also invalid on another ground. According to Art. 140 of Basic Law, in connection with Art. 137 of the Weimar Constitution, the accused does have a right to self-autonomy and self-management. But this right, according to Art. 137 sect. 3 of the Weimar Constitution, finds its restrictions in all valid laws. These laws especially include the right to freedom of belief (Art. 4 Basic Law) - a precedential basic right. This basic right also protects the appearance of a religious community. Therefore, encumbering a departure, in reference to Article 4 Basic Law, is invalid."
The court also made a determination about the amount of payment in this case: " ... monthly about 500 marks for work performed, often at up to 60 hours a week."
The Federal Labor Court (note 36) classified a staff member of the Scientology organization as an employee in a legal decision about the competency of the Labor Court. The Scientology organization made an application in that, as a religious community, it was authorized to administer and manage its affairs independently. That would have meant to exclude the applicability of the labor law. However, the Federal Labor Court did not categorize the Scientology Organization as a religious association in the sense of Basic Law. It applied the formula of the Federal Constitutional Court, according to which it was not sufficient for an association to assert that it was a religious community according to its own self-perception. In addition to that, it had to also actually deal with spiritual content and maintain the external appearances of a religion or religious community. The court furthermore came to the conclusion that the appearance of the Scientology Organization as a church merely served as a pretext for the pursuit of commercial interests.
The Muenster Revenue Court (note 37) declared that a German Scientology Organization was required to pay sales tax due to a lack of charitableness: " ... the pursuit of a charitable purpose is already lacking ...". The matter is on appeal before the Federal Revenue Court (note 38). Ten years before, the Hamburg Revenue Court had negated charitableness (note 39).
Moreover, it is not relevant in Germany whether a Scientology organization has been acknowledged as tax-exempt in the USA or not.
Also, costs for Scientology courses cannot be deducted from taxes as expenses toward professional training (note 40).
Copyright Law and Industry Protection Law
Probably every piece of paper from the Scientology Organization is marked with a "copyright" notation. As far as is known, there are no court decisions on that. In German law, such a notation is practically meaningless; it is in accordance with the U.S. American right.
The term "Scientologie" was first used in 1934 by a German named Nordenholz as the title of his book (note 41). Nevertheless, the Scientology has had the word registered as a trademark and the Federal Patent Court (note 42) has confirmed the registration. It stated in the basis, however, "The registered word is ... an artificial word which the founder of the registering association ... formed ...". The son of Scientology founder Hubbard, moreover, has verified that the Nordenholz book was the source of the term (note 43).
Accosting pedestrians is not only illicit according to competition law, but also according to public right-of-way law. What applies to right-of-way is that whatever exceeds "common use" is "special use." That especially applies to commercial purposes. The Scientology Organization has been prohibited from accosting pedestrians again and again since 1974. As early as May 29, 1974, the City of Munich (note 44) prohibited the sale of Scientology books on the street in accordance with the right-of-way law.
The oldest case as an example: the Freiburg Administrative Court (note 45) confirmed an order against accosting pedestrians. The Hamburg Superior Administrative Court (note 46) stated, "The practice that permission for the commercial advertising by accosting pedestrians on the street on public thoroughfares not be granted because of the interference with common use is justified." The Hamburg Superior State Court (note 47): "The protection of Art. 4 Basic Law is subordinate to the determinations as to public right-of-way if those acting out of religious or weltanschauung grounds make their appearance as people engaging in commerce (street advertising for books and remunerated participation in courses of the Scientology Church)."
Constitutional complaints were filed against that decision, but those were not taken up for decision by the Federal Constitutional Court (note 48). It stated in the basis that addressing pedestrians in the form being practiced "is no longer covered by the constitutional concept of practice of religion, even if the lead complainant is pursuing the goal of obtaining new members for her organizations."
Matters can be different with an information stand. In that case, the basic rights of freedom of opinion and freedom of profession of faith will be taken into account. If no goods of any kind are being sold in doing this, an application has a good chance of being approved. Most, apparently, are applied for under "distribution in return for cost." For example, the Frankfurt Administrative Court (note 49) found for the application "to distribute or give out on the streets of Frankfurt, in return for cost, literature without commercial content (books, writings, printed material) for religious purposes and to lead to an ethical change of life. This missionary activity is to happen at the following time ...." (The complaint was also founded in that the Hessian right-of-way law makes no "provisions for the granting of a special use permit." Therefore there is a wide margin of error. The judgment was confirmed by the Hessian Administrative Court(note 50): the non-admissibility complaint of the City of Frankfurt was dismissed by the Federal Administrative Court (note 51), (this decision contains exclusively legal considerations and no sort of information about the Scientology organization). The judgment rests on abstract considerations of religious freedoms on the basis of the presentation by the complainant. Some of the key words used were "Sunday services, prayer day, according to the association charter." It was said that the self-perception of an organization was decisive. The outcome was that the Scientology organization could invoke the basic right of religious freedom. That opinion is - as already presented above - no longer so tenable today.
In its argument on the "distribution in return for cost" the Hamburg Administrative Court (note 52) specified:
"The question as to whether the complainant was actually distributing these books in return for cost can remain unresolved here. Even if these books were being made available for cost in order to gain the interest of the acquirer in other printed matter or other services, this does not oppose an intention to gain profit.
Besides that, the Hamburg Superior Administrative Court (decision of February 27, 1985, OVG Bs II 12/85, NJW 1986, p. 209) has already determined that the complainant was operating a commercial business intended to gain profit in a settlement decision regarding the complainant.
In addition, this argument probably requires a review of the price and the price arrangement, in particularly because it dealt with large amounts, per the Scientology organization's own testimony. Therefore the prices would have to be far below that of the book dealer's prices.
The decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (note 53) in favor of the "Kommission fuer Verstoesse der Psychiatrie gegen Menschenrechte" [German CCHR] against a decision of the Hamburg Superior Administrative Court (note 54) concerned a case of distributing leaflets without any sales. Therefore that decision may not be applied to other Scientology organization without anything further being done.
note 1: LG Wiesbaden 2 0 243/73 Klage vom 3.10.73 auf Unterlassung von Behauptungen im BKA-Bericht v. 8.3.73
note 2: Bericht vom 8.3.73 EA III 1/4 - B 196 649
note 3: Zitiert nach Haack, Scientology - Magie des 20. Jahrhundert, 1982, S. 281
note 4: Zum kriminellen Teil dieses Projekts vgl. Anklage gegen Mary Sue Hubbard und andere von 1979, dazugehoerig Beweismittel-Vereinbarung und Schuldbekenntnis, ABI 12-80-93 ff: Einbrueche in das US-Buero von Interpol
note 5: GO 1206, 22.6.74
note 6: Photos abgedruckt bei Heinemann: "Die Scientology-Sekte und ihre Tarnorganisationen", ABI, Stuttgart, 1979
note 7: OLG Stuttgart 2 U 171/75 Beschluss vom 30.3.76 - LG: 17 O 285/75
note 8: Heinemann, a.a.O., S. 45.
note 9: Landgericht Muenchen 11 O 345/73 Urteil vom 4.4.74
note 10: Scientology Kirche Deutschland
note 11: Zum UWG vgl. auch: Heinemann in "Juristische Probleme im Zusammenhang mit den sog. neuen Jugendreligionen", C.H.Beck, 1981, S. 78 f.
note 12: BVerwG 8 C 12.79 v. 14.11.80 = NJW 81,1460
note 13: I/1 E 239/81 = NJW 83, 2595
note 14: Die Kompetenz, sich selbst fuer kompetent zu erklaeren.
note 15: Bundesverfassungsgericht BVerfG 2 BvR 263/86 Beschluss v. 5.2.91, BVerfGE 83,341
note 16: Bundesverfassungsgericht BVerfG 1 BvR 632/92, vom 28.8.92 = NVwZ 93,357
note 17: 6 WF 5/94 Beschluss vom 21.2.94 - 6 WF 16/94 - 54 F 730/93
note 18: 3 W 268\82 vom 12.8.83 = NJW 83,2574
note 19: VG Muenchen M 1392 VII 84 - Urteil v. 25.7.84 = GewArch. 84,329
note 20: Bayerischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof Nr. 4 B 84 A. 2190, muendliche Verhandlung vom 19.7.89
note 21: 8 K 697\92, Urteil vom 30.9.1993
note 22: OVG Bf VI 12\91 - Urteil vom 6.7.93, DOeV 94,441 -nur Leitsaetze
note 23: AZ: BVerwG 1 B 205 und 206.93
note 24: BverfG 1 BvR 479/86 v. 29.7.86; Nichtzulassungsentscheidung; Beschwerde gegen: a) den Beschluss des Hanseatischen Oberlandesgerichts vom 4.3.86 - 2 Ss 134/85 OWi, b) das Urteil des Amtgerichts Hamburg vom 3.5.85, 132 h - 94/85, 132 h OWi/813 Js 256/85; Beschwerdefuehrer: 5 Einzelpersonen
note 25: OLG Muenchen 21 U 1717/93 wegen Bericht in Forbes 8/92 "Psychokreuzzug"
note 26: 21 U 3811/73 Max-Planck-Institut .\. Brendel (vgl. auch LG Muenchen 11 O 345\73):
note 27: zitiert nach Heinemann: Die Scientology-Sekte und ihre Tarnorganisationen, 1979, S. 98
note 28: Landgericht Muenchen I 23 O 1891/80 Urteil v. 14.5.1980
note 29: Landgericht Muenchen I AZ: 28 O 23490/92 Urteil vom 9.11.93 gegen Scientology Nymphenburg e.V.
note 30: LG Frankfurt 2/4 O 471/88; LG Muenchen I 6 O 6895/82; LG Muenchen 31 S 282/92; LG Frankfurt 2/4 O 76/92; AG Stuttgart 13 C 3687/76; LG Stuttgart 27 O 417/92; LG Muenchen I 23 O 4805/92 v. 30.3.93
note 31: AG Muenchen 9 C 836/77
note 32: zitiert nach Heinemann, 1979: "Die Scientology-Sekte und ihre Tarnorganisationen" S. 81 f
note 33: Arbeitsgericht Muenchen 24 Ca. 14748/86
note 34: Arbeitsgericht Muenchen 3 Ca. 14663/82, Urteil v. 28.2.85
note 35: Landgericht Muenchen 6 O 22072\84 - Urteil vom 4.3.86 = NJW 1987, Seite 847
note 36: Bundesarbeitsgericht 5 AZB 21\94 Beschluss vom 22.2.95, die Entscheidung lag bei der Bearbeitung noch nicht vor; die Bearbeitung stuetzt sich auf die Pressemitteilung des Gerichts.
note 37: Finanzgericht Muenster, Urteil vom 25.5.94 AZ 15 K 5247\87 U = EFG 94, 810
note 38: Bundesfinanzgericht XI R 50\94
note 39: Finanzgericht Hamburg II 125\80 v. 13.12.84
note 40: Finanzgericht Nuernberg III 288\87, Urteil vom 6.7.88
note 41: Nordenholz: Scientologie - Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens. Verlag Ernst Reinhard, Muenchen 1934
note 42: 29 W (pat) 453\88: "Scientology" und Warenzeichen Nr. 979830
note 43: ABI INFO 53 vom 25.9.1975
note 44: AZ B 32-064122 A - 38\74-155\72
note 45: 4 K 758/93 Urteil vom 6.6.94
note 46: Beschluss vom 27.2.85 - Bs II 12/85 = NJW 86, 209
note 47: Beschluss vom 4.3.86 2 SS 134/85 Owi = NJW 86, 2841 Leitsatz
note 48: BVerfG 1 BvR 479/86 v. 29.7.86
note 49: IV/2 E 2234/86 - Urteil vom 4.9.90 wegen Sondernutzung
note 50: 2 UE 3583\90 vom 21.9.93
note 51: 11 B 163.93, Beschluss vom 8.8.94
note 52: 17 VG 978/88
note 53: BVerfG 1 BvR 1377/91
note 54: OVG vom 23.7.91 - OVG Bs II 47/91
More rightwing extremists, less violence
March 25, 1999
From: "Yahoo! headlines"
Constitutional Security sees leftwing mostly unchanged
- PDS and Scientology continue to be observed
Bonn (AP) The rightwing extremist potential in Germany, according to observation by Constitutional Security in the past year, has increased by about eleven percent to about 53,600 persons. The number of crimes by the right, however, has sunk by 5.7 percent to 11,049, violent crimes, though, by 10.5 percent to 708. Those results are contained in the Constitutional Security report of 1998, which was presented to federal Interior Minister Otto Schily on Thursday in Bonn.
The strength of leftwing extremist categories, according to statements made in the report, remained practically unchanged at about 34,700 persons. Crimes attributed to this sector rose by 3.9 percent to 3,201, however the number of violent acts from the left sank by 6.3 percent to 783.
There was a significant rise in the number of crimes by foreign extremists in Germany. To be sure, the increase of 46.5 percent to 2,356 offenses came about as a result of an increased number of violations of the ban against the PKK Kurdish Workers Party and leftwing extremist Turkish categories. Violent crime from this sector, however, decreased by 17.8 percent to 258 occurrences.
In the rightwing camp, according to the observations of the Constitutional Security agents, the DVU and NPD have taken on members. The number of members of the Deutschen Volksunion of the Munich publisher, Gerhard Frey, rose, according to the figures, by 3,000 to 18,000, those of the NPD by 1,700 to 6,000. The 15,000 members of the Republicans is almost unchanged. 8,200 members from the rightwing area have been classified as being prone to violence, 600 more than in the year previous.
For the leftwing groups, the Constitutional Security estimate of about 7,000 violence prone person remains unchanged, of those over 6,000 that describe themselves as autonomous. Since the RAF [Red Army Faction] declared itself dissolved, there has been no more "underground terrorism," stated experts of the Interior Ministry.
The PDS presents a special case for the left wing. Although, it is under surveillance by Constitutional Security, the experts at the ministry indicate that the 96,500 members remaining (eight percent fewer than in 1997) are not in any way regarded as extremists.
In the same way, the Scientology organization continues to be observed by Constitutional Security agents. Evidence exists there of endeavors against liberal democratic basic order. The group's importance has been diminished, however, by the 5,000 to 6,000 actual members instead of the 30,000 given by the organization itself.
Arms smugglers using increasingly complex methods
Among the foreign extremists, the Islamic categories continue to dominate with 31,290 members given in the Constitutional Security report, of which 27,000 alone belong to the Turkish "Milli Gorus." Despite a ban in effect on the PKK, the report states it has over 11,900 Kurdish members.
In the intelligence service area, the Constitutional Security agency indicates that there is an ever more complex procedure in use by arms smugglers. While the counter-espionage department has been able to make a "positive re-estimation" of the intelligence services of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in view of the efforts by those countries to join NATO, the report still states that various intelligence agents not only from Russia, but also from Near East countries, China, and North Korea, continue to bustle about in Germany. In contrast to that, there were no findings on commercial espionage from allied nations, such as, for instance, the USA.
Putting Friendship to the Test
From: "Hamburger Morgenpost"
Saturday, March 6, 1999
Bonn - First the brutal execution of the LaGrand brothers, then the acquittal of the killer pilot of Cavalese; the public sentiment between Germans and Americans at at a low point. As one, politicians and commentators are asking whether the same values which were celebrated on the 50th NATO anniversary still exist in the West.
A Bonn diplomat said bitterly, "The USA ignores the international court and, at the same time, threatens Europe with sanctions on account of the import restrictions on bananas."
Karsten Voight, German-American coordinator of the federal administration, is both concerned and confident. "If Germans would have been executed in China, we would have been enraged, but less surprised. The fact that we have reacted differently with the USA shows that we have differences of opinion because we are so close," the SPD politician told MOPO [this newspaper].
These differences are completely based on reciprocity, "The USA does not understand that we observe Scientology, that we do not want to eat their genetically altered meat, or support their boycott of Cuba."
Voight said, "We cannot solve these difference with pressure and sanctions. This is not a question of power, but a question of society. We must find an entirely new way to work things out." He is considering a new German-American forum, supported by political foundations.
Ulrich Rosenbaum http://www.mopo.de/seiten/19990306/nachrichten-artikel15.html
States apparently want to continue
surveillance of Scientology
From: "Berliner Zeitung, Berlin Online"
November 20, 1998
Security Agency presents report to Ministry of Interior
BONN, November 19. The majority of the Interior Ministries of the States will probably vote in favor of the continued surveillance of Scientology. That was the general feeling on the fringes of the Interior Minister's Conference (IMK) in Bonn on Thursday. In the estimation of the domestic intelligence agents, the controversial organization is fundamentally opposed to the ground rules of democracy in the Federal Republic [of Germany]. Scientology strives for a new society which would replace democracy, thereby endangering the inner security of Germany, stated a confidential interim report of the Federal Office for Constitutional Protection (Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz, BfV), which was presented to the IMK and which is to be discussed today. Surveillance of Scientology was decided upon in June of last year.
Scientology itself states that the surveillance has not resulted in anything factual other than scandal and a waste of tax money. It says there are no indications that Scientology is making a political endeavor to remove the fundamentals of German democracy.
The intelligence agency has come to the conclusion that Scientology is in considerable difficulty because of increasing social pressure and the one-year surveillance. The business sect reportedly does not have 30,000 members as it has stated, but only 5,000 - 6,000 members. Individual cities struggle with significant fluctuation in membership.
Moreover the business sect is encountering financial difficulties. The Scientology establishments, in part, have shown signs of a significant drop in, or at least a stagnation of, in come. These problems, according to German intelligence, can mainly be traced back to the increased, directed information concerning the dangers of Scientology.
The report is not able to make a direct connection of the influence of the business sect with political parties. However there are signs that several party exclusion processes have "caused the Scientologists in the parties to not reveal their membership in Scientology." In their search for allies the organization has worked with other religious groups, including Jehovas Witnesses and Islamic groups.
Scientology attempts to realize its claim to power with strict inner management and its own secret police force, the OSA (Office of Special Affairs). OSA, according to the investigations on it, is judged to be "effectively" outspoken. It operates using means of "psychological warfare" and covert intelligence methods such as espionage and counter-espionage. Its goal is to infiltrate governments, offices and businesses as well as to sytematically wear down and discredit opponents and former members. According to the report, this secret force has less than 100 members in Germany. (dpa/po.) -----------------------------------
Scientology to remain under Surveillance
States will probably continue observation of organization
[... DIE WELT reports essentially the same as above, but adds: ]
According to the testimony of a prominent former member, the Scientology organization systematically influences judges who are involved in Scientology cases. First, data about the judge is collected, then friends and associates are queried, reported Jesse Prince, Scientologist from 1976 to 1992, member of management for years, as relayed by the Bavarian Interior Ministry on Thursday. Documents about the judges which are collected include tax statements, bank data, medical records and tape recordings. dpa.
© DIE WELT, 20.11.1998
Security Agency warns:
Scientology wants to destroy democracy
From: "Hamburger Abendblatt"
November 19, 1998
Bonn - The Scientology organization, in the judgment of the Constitutional Protection agents, is hostilely opposed to the fundamental democratic order of the Federal Republic. Their efforts at a new social order threaten the inner security of Germany, according to a report by the Constitutional Protection officials after a one-year observation of Scientology.
It was further stated that the operations of the Scientologists in political areas have not yet been sufficiently researched. The organization had immediately adjusted its operations in reaction to the surveillance. From a "technical viewpoint," further observation would therefore be necessary.
According to the findings of the officials, they do no agree with Scientology's statement that there are 30,000 members in Germany. The actual number is under 10,000. Also, the growth of Scientology in the Federal Republic as decreased considerably. The Scientologists have tried unsuccessfully for years to be acknowledged as a religious group in Germany. In the United States, Scientology has the status of a church.
According to the investigations, the intelligence service of the organization is "effective" in its outspokenness. It works using "psychological warfare" and methods such as espionage and counter- espionage. Its goal is to infiltrate governments, offices and businesses, and to systematically wear down and discredit opponents and former members. According to reports this intelligence service has just 100 members in Germany. There is not a danger of a "power takeover" by Scientology. It has been noted with interest that right radicals regard themselves as "comrades of the Scientologists" in the Federal Republic. (dpa)
SPIEGEL PRESS RELEASE
Scientology Surveillance Continues
From: SPIEGEL magazine
November 7, 1998
The Constitutional Protection authority of States and Nation will continue the surveillance of the Scientology organization. According to the news magazine SPIEGEL, this was the conclusion reached in a 102 page report which the security agents presented at the Interior Minister's Conference after a one year surveillance of the psycho-sect. In the report the officials found that the organization in Germany was far smaller and less dangerous than previously supposed, however they still requested further surveillance since far smaller extremist groups are also under observation. Moreover, the security agency wants to clear up the issue of whether the Scientologists have infiltrated the [political] parties. Findings to date are thought to be "still too vague."
Scientology has gained little
From: "Der Spiegel"
September 19, 1998
The Scientologists are rather short of their alleged goal of obtaining controlling positions in society. This is the conclusion arrived at - according to a report by news magazine "Der Spiegel" - by German federal and state security in a report which is to be presented to the Interior Ministry conference this fall.
In the dossier, which is still being prepared, the security agents come to the conclusion that the [Scientology] psycho-sect has not even gotten their foot in the door of political parties. The state security agents were only able to detect one sect member in the FDP and two in the CDU. Neither was there any possibility of the systematic infiltration of the German economy. Nationwide the number of Scientologists are "significantly under 10,000, exactly 30 of whom reside in the new German states."
In addition to that, according to the findings of state security, the sect is in a financial turmoil. Several of the district [Scientology] organizations are carrying an enormous debt. The "growing money shortage" has even led to a cut in pay for staff members. Scientology denies major commercial difficulties, "We have a very sound financial policy: 'do not spend more than you take in'." According to the security agency's opinion, OSA themselves, the alleged sect secret service acts more like a kind of security guard "and rather dilettantish at that."
From: "Berliner Morgenpost"
July 3, 1998
BM/dpa Bonn - About 40 members of the civil service in Germany are said to belong to the controversial Scientology organization. That is what state intelligence has determined after an approximately one year surveillance, reported the "Rheinishe Merkur." Most of the Scientologist members who hold positions in civil service are in Berlin. There are about 15 officials registered there who count among the ranks of the psycho-sect.
The Department of Interior conference for federal and state had decided in June, 1997 on the surveillance of Scientology by domestic intelligence. The results of the surveillance are to be presented in November. The president of domestic intelligence, Peter Frisch, has stated that the number of Scientologists in Germany is probably less than 10,000.
15 Scientologists in Berlin offices?
List compiled by domestic intelligence
From: "Berliner Zeitung"
July 3, 1998
by Frank Nordhausen
Apparently most of the Scientology members in the civil service are in Berlin. This was stated in an internal memorandum of domestic intelligence, as reported by the weekly newspaper, "Rheinisher Merkur." According to the numbers, which were quoted for the first time, there are about 40 Scientology adherents in the civil service nationwide, some of them in leading positions. In Berlin there are supposed to be at least 15 officials of the psycho-sect. Bavaria, upon having its civil service checked out, only yielded one leading advisor as a sect member, according to the paper. The results were much lower than previous estimates by domestic intelligence.
A representative of federal domestic intelligence in Cologne would neither confirm nor deny the statement of the "Berliner Zeitung," but stated that that "was probably based on statements by the state office in Berlin." From the perspective of the Scientology commissioner of the Hamburg Senate, Ursula Caberta, the statistics are probably realistic. She says that there are also Scientologists "in leading positions" in Hamburg. Nationwide, only several teachers and two police were known to belong to the Scientology organization; they were transferred on suspended.
In Berlin, the police director of operations central, Otto D., was relieved of his duties at the end of March. He contests the action, and wants to lodge a complaint against the transfer. His name is said to be on one of the Scientology membership lists held by Berlin intelligence. The lists caused some excitement in the city administration since other names were leaked - among them an administrative judge "B." He stated to the "Berliner Zeitung," "I am not, nor have I been a Scientologist."
The Federal and State Interior Secretaries Conference had decided in June, 1997 to have Scientology observed nationwide by domestic intelligence. The agency believes that Scientology has "significantly less than 10,000 members" in Germany, and will present the results of its surveillance in November.
Final report presented after two-year investigation
Bonn, June 19, 1998 (AFP) - Continued surveillance of the Scientology Organization by the Office for Constitutional Protection is required, according to the opinion of the Enquete Commission "So-called sects and psycho-groups." Last Friday during a presentation of their final report, the Bundestag commission substantiated their findings that Scientology worked against liberal democratic foundations. The [Scientology] organization is not a religious community [according to the findings], but an organization with political goals. At the same time Ortrun Schatzle, the chairperson of the Commission, criticized the public tendency to "throw all religious communities and psycho-groups into one pot" and characterize them all as "dangerous." In contrast to Scientology, "the other new religious and ideological communities and psycho-groups in Germany present no danger for state or society."
The object of the two year investigation was the potential for conflict that could arise in connection with new religious communities and psycho-groups. The Commission led a debate concerning this kind of group and organization. People who are attracted to such communities are not "passive victims"; they can also "experience individual and social gain through their connection to the community." Nevertheless, membership in such a group can also lead to considerable problems for the individual, such as family conflicts, financial dependency, or psychic or physical damage and strong limitations of personal freedom. The Commission's investigations has found that there is no "typical sect biography."
Enquete-Commission presents Report on Sects and Psycho-groups
From: "Hamburger Abendblatt"
May 30, 1998
Bonn - So-called sects and psycho-groups are, according to the Enquete Commission of the same name, not presently a danger for the nation and society at large in Germany. After the final report, which was published on Friday in Bonn, the Commission still pointed out individual groups with a high potential of political conflict. The Commission called for further surveillance of the Scientology organization by the Federal Office of Constitutional Protection. Scientology is said to be "not a religious community, but a politically extremist endeavor." The Commission and its connection with new religious and ideological communities and psycho-groups are "completely temporary," according to the German bill of rights (Verfassungsänderung). Because of the work done by the Commission, general terms describing the total spectrum of new religious and ideological communities and psycho-groups will be avoided. For instance, the Commission has decided not to use the wholesale, and thus stigmatizing, concept of "sect."
In addition to the final report of the Enquete Commission, there will be several special referendums. Differing from the Commission's majority, the SPD expressed their preferences for a fine-tuning of Basic Law article 140 (Grundgesetzartikel 140). This will consider whether the acknowledgment of religious communities as public, legal corporations should be contingent upon their preservation of allegiance and loyalty to the democratic state. In a special referendum the Green Party stated that the regulations recommended by the Commission created the impression that dealing with new religious and philosophical movements was a "highly risky area."
May 29, 1998
by: Frank Nordhausen
The Bundestag's Enquete Commission recommends surveillance of Scientology
Bonn, May 28. The rights of consumers in the commercial psycho-market should be legally reinforced. That is the view presented in the final report of the Bundestag's Enquete Commission about "So-called Sects and Psycho-groups, extracts of which have been made available to the "Berliner Zeitung." The report is now closed, and will be debated on June 19 in the Bundestag. The Commission has recommended that the Bundestag carry out the proposal of the Bundesrat for the "regulation of commercial life assistance." According to that bill, groups such as Scientology would have to explain the details of their applied methods to their customers, as well as give exact information about prices and the qualifications of their "assistants."
The customers should have a certain length of time in which they can back out of their contract with the psycho-company and receive a refund of money they have paid. The proposed bill has met heavy resistance from providers on the psycho-market.
In order to promote knowledge and information about sects and psycho-groups, the Enquete Commission has suggested that a new federal states foundation should be established. They should use their financial resources to advance the continuing education about sects, and also to provide support to private institutions which care for sect victims. Besides that the Commission called for a legal regulation to lend assistance for the initiative in question; this had not been possible since the 1992 decision of a federal administrative court. Although the Commission sees no need to change article 4 of the basic law about religious freedom, it has suggested a set of legal regulations to the Bundestag. One of these is the recommendation that provisions be made to be able to bring criminal charges against legal personnel as well as criminal enterprises or associations.
In order to be able to take legal proceedings against initiators and participants of "generally harmful" pyramid games, many of which bear sect-like characteristics, a new type of punishable offense would have to be introduced. The profiteering paragraph of the criminal law book would have to be tightened up, and the law for practicing medicine would have to be changed. Besides this there would have to be more money for research. The majority of the Commission welcomed the surveillance of Scientology by the Office of Constitutional Protection. In their two years of work the Enquete took statements from over 100 people. The subject of these statements were: methods and practices of "religious and ideological communities," and motives for joining and leaving. The idea of "sects", since it is misunderstood, should no longer be used, according to the Commission. Bundnis 90/The Green Party took a separate position with a 100 page special vote of the Commission's report. They mainly criticized the placing of various groups together with Scientology. Scientology was said to be "extremely atypical."
"Fuldaer Zeitung" [Fulda News]
March 14, 1998
According to a statement by the Office for Constitutional Protection, the controversial Scientology organization endangers the inner security of Germany
They strive for a new social order which is intended to replace democracy, stated Peter Frisch, the president of the Federal Office for Constitutional Security, in a seminar of the Federal Academy for Security Politics on Friday in Maria Laach. The Constitutional Protection Office states. through its observation of Scientology in a number of reference points, that the endeavors of the organization collide with our liberal democratic fundamentals. The secretary of the interior conference for both federal and state had decided in June of last year upon the surveillance of Scientology by the Office of Constitutional Protection. According to the statement by Frisch, the results of the first one-year observation will be made available in November of this year. According to Frisch it has been uncovered that the organization's own statement of their membership in Germany - 30,000 - does not prove to be correct. The actual number is under 10,000. Also the influx into Scientology in Germany has apparently declined appreciatively.
According to the statement of Frisch, Scientology has eight million members world wide, seven million in the United States alone. The headquarters of the [world] organization is in Los Angeles; the German organization headquarters in Munich. The Office of Constitutional Protection has had to ward off an "abundance of protests" by the Scientologists because of its surveillance. In Germany Scientology has for its goal, above all else, the [business] families of commerce.
Scientologists have tried in vain for years to be recognized as a religious association in Germany. A short time ago in the USA, a commission of the Bundestag (German Federal Assembly), took the trouble to allay the fears of the American representatives that Scientology members were being persecuted in Germany. Scientology has the status of a church in the United States. After the return of the commission, the chairperson, Ortrun Schatzle (CDU), stated that Scientology was one of the most dangerous internationally active sects. This was confirmed in the discussions with experts, lawyers and victims in the USA. Scientologists "do not hesitate to use coercion, blackmail, psychological terrorism and legal battle strategy for the annihilation of civil existence.
March 6, 1998
Bonn (WR). Bundestag [German Federal Assembly] representatives of the Enquete Commission's "So-called Sects and Psycho-groups" demanded on Thursday a stronger explanation for the Scientology sect as well as help for former members.
Commission chairperson Ortrun Schatzle (CDU [Christian Democrats]) explained after her fact-finding mission to the USA that the two faces of Scientology "were frighteningly apparent." The "beaming Hollywood facade stood in contrast to the dark, totalitarian inner side of the Organization." The Scientologists are not afraid of [using] "coercion, extortion, psychological terrorism and legal battle strategy for the annihilation of civil existence." Delegation members from the coalition as well as the opposition called for greater watchfulness over Scientology in Germany. Angelika Koster-Lossack (Green Party) further demanded explanation for "the machinations of Scientology," and a decision to right the violations of law. From the impression she received of the organization on the trip to the USA, she thinks of the sect "as an organization that has totalitarian characteristics."
In spite of this the associated sanctions against Scientology, such as the ban from public service or the tabulation of companies through the Labor Offices, were deemed prejudicial to individual members. Much more important was help for the victims and the expediency of exit-counseling for all Scientology members.
According to the estimation of the delegation members Scientology has it more lenient in the USA than it does in Europe. There is no work being done to clarify the existence and activities of the sect, regretfully expressed Renate Rennebach, the SPD [Social Democrats] sect expert. On the contrary, there is "a fruitful environment" for sects. The FDP representative, Roland Kohn, expressed amazement at the fact that US President Bill Clinton publicly meets with Hollywood stars who belong to Scientology. Beyond that members of the government regularly associate with sect members. The Commission will proceed with the dialogue with the US administration and congressional representatives. It has been made clear there that "nobody will be discriminated against because of his religious affiliation in Germany," reports Schatzle.
Dr. Angelika Köster-Loßack
Member of the German Parliament
March 5, 1998
Press statement on the USA trip by the Enquete Commission
"So-called Sects and Psychogroups"
First I would like to mention that I see my position fully validated in the trip to the USA in approaching the phenomenon of so-called sects and psychogroups. Also in the dealings with Scientology. Everybody we talked to in the USA, be it former members of the Scientology organization or lawyers who have spent many years in the Scientology dispute, clearly stated that no special measures should be taken against Scientology by government.
They see as wrong the deployment of the Constitutional Security agency, proposals for the initiation of an association ban, and investigation of civil service applicants or data storage on companies by the labor offices. That would only lead to Scientologists being able to play the martyr, and would serve to prevent the break-up of the totalitarian structure. People who are in Scientology need not have the feeling that they are criminal. That would seriously damage all bridges back into society.
Besides, the people we spoke with indicated that the concept of membership in Scientology was extremely difficult to define. Does someone belong when he takes a course? Even the most vehement critics of Scientology thought it harmful to couple sanctions with individual membership in Scientology, be it non-enlistment in the civil service or storing data on companies by the labor offices. I can only agree with them. Instead of that, the first lines of defense are increasing the information on the machinations of Scientology and decisively punishing violations of the law.
From the impression I got on my trip to the USA, I think Scientology is an organization which has totalitarian characteristics. I came to this conclusion from investigation documents which were given to me, from the reports of former members and their lawyers, but mainly from the conduct of the Scientologists. We were hounded every step of the way, photographed and hard pressed in a way which clearly broke the limits of normally permissible discussion. Anybody who has experienced this behavior can no longer see Scientology as a religious minority, rather, he has seen it as a secular organization in its militant form of operation.
Scientology strongly adapts itself to the accepted norms in individual countries. The threatening events which I experienced in the USA were not at all comparable to the conduct in other countries, for example, in Holland. Considerably fewer problems with Scientology appear there, as shown by the report of a Dutch parliamentary commission. However the experiences in Scientology's motherland, the USA, confirmed my impression that we have to be very watchful. That does not mean overreacting on a state level with strong repression, but decisively and professionally offering information on Scientology, giving its victims professional help, and making it easier for anybody who is in Scientology to leave.
The talks in the USA made it clear that there were fears on the American side that the freedoms of religion and speech could be curbed in Germany. We can allay these fears. At the same time we have to make sure that religious minorities are not all thrown into the "sect pot" in the course of the discussion on Scientology. When 80% of all callers to a 3-Sat broadcast speak in favor of a ban on "sects" with no further qualification, then I hold that to be extremely objectionable.
In opinions expressed to me by several representatives of religious minorities in Germany, it has been mentioned that problems have arisen amongst their members in their circle of acquaintances, the work place and the courts, based on their religious affiliation. One evangelical non-denominational church said that the Youth Office and an employer had inflicted clearance certificates on its members based on their religion. That is not state discrimination, but it makes for a social climate which induces anxiety on the part of religious minorities that they would be at a disadvantage based on their beliefs.
We have to take this just as seriously as we do the fears of victims and those affected. I see it as one of the most important missions of the Enquete Commission and, primarily, of myself: to oppose all prejudice against religious minorities and its resulting disadvantages.
March 3, 1998
Bonn - The dialogue about Scientology between Germany and the USA has materialized, according to the statement of a Bundestag [Germany Federal Assembly] commission. A greater understanding of the German position by American politicians and religious groups has come about as a result of the trip to the USA by the Enquete Commission, said the Commission Chairperson, Ortrun Schatzle (CDU [Christian Democrat]). Scientology is regarded as a commercial enterprise in Germany, as a church in the USA.
The two faces of Scientology are said to have "become frighteningly apparent" in the USA. The "beaming Hollywood facade stands in contrast to the dark, totalitarian inner side of the organization," said Schatzle. The Scientologists are not afraid of using "coercion, extortion, psycho-terrorism and legal battle strategies for the annihilation of civil existence.
Discord prevailed in the commission over the evaluation of the danger from Scientology. Representative Angelika Koster-Lossack (Green Party) gave an indication that she is no longer convinced that the organization should continue to be observed by the Office of Constitutional Protection. "Scientology is more dangerous in the USA than here. There ought to be no discrimination in regards to the organization in Germany." Other members of the commission energetically contradicted and expressed surprise over this "difference of opinion." In the USA Scientology possibly has it easier, but the organization is just as dangerous in Germany," said Renate Rennebach (SPD [Social Democrats]). Ursula Caberta, the Scientology [Work Group] appointee from Hamburg characterized the surveillance of the sect as absolutely correct. "That is one extremist organization."
From: Rundschau Online (Raum Koeln/Bonn)
February 13, 1998
Four or five years ago the German Federal Assembly found itself confronted with an increasing number of petitions that all had one thing in common: citizens described their unpleasant experiences with new religious movements, in particular, Scientology. The talk was of violation of human rights, and of massive changes of the personality through the contact with sects. People hoped to receive information and help from their political representatives. With this in mind the Federal Assembly in May 1996 established the Enquete Commission "So-called Sects and Psycho-Groups."
Twelve representatives and twelve scholars have occupied themselves since then with the practice in our country of active sects, researched problems of membership and [sect] departure and have worked out recommendations for lawgivers. "Areas of conflict" included the assurance that a "Sect Hit List" should not be produced. In the summer of 1997 the Commission presented an interim report, which is to be followed by a final report in early summer of this year.
Why do grown people trust themselves in the hands of "Psycho-Gurus", renounce their personal freedoms and throw themselves into financial ruin for the sect? For Ortrun Schaetzle that is the mirror image of our society, in which people no longer orient themselves to family or church, and mass unemployment brings about widespread uncertainty. "People are looking for a refuge [in sects], they wish to shed the responsibility for their own lives."
The Enquete Commission will make legislative recommendations to the lawgivers so that consumers may be better informed about the immense market for "Life Management Assistance."
Since the Sixties there has been a strong increase in the activities of sects and psycho-groups in Germany. Affected, worried citizens have turned to the use of petitions to voice their requests and complaints in this area. For this reason the petition committee recommended the appointment of the Enquete Commission to clarify the numerous problems and questions of rights which have been addressed in the petitions.
On May 9, 1996, at the request of the SPD party, the German Bundestag decided upon the appointment of the Enquete Commission in regards to this range of subjects. The Commission held their first meeting on May 9, 1996.
The following central areas are subject to research by the Enquete Commission:
- Analyses of goals, activities and practices of so-called sects and psycho-groups in the Republic of Germany.
- Reasons for the membership in so-called sects and psycho-groups and for the expansion of such organizations.
- Problems of membership and departure.
- Working out recommended actions in regard to the current socio-political discussions.
Therefore, the Commission has the assignment of gathering, sorting, and evaluating information about sects and psycho-groups. It will analyze the social background of the rise and expansion of this phenomenon, evaluate goals and practices and determine the actual and foreseeable political necessity for action. It is to make recommendations for legislative and other measures by the federal government, the provinces, and by communities or by other affected social institutions. The Commission works together with relevant offices and miscellaneous institutions.
Besides the twelve representatives the Commission includes twelve professional experts as regular members which have been named by the parties. The PDS party is represented with a non-voting member and with a non-voting professional expert.
Corresponding to the four central areas of the mission assignment the Commission has established four functional areas in which sub-problems of the topic are investigated. The functional areas have finished their preliminary work, the results will be evaluated in future sessions of the combined Commission.
The work of the Commission will be supported by a secretariate. This consists of a director and five scientific staff. The secretariate prepares for the meetings of the Commission, establishes the meeting agenda, and advises the Commission chairperson of everything having to do with questions concerning the work of the Commission.
In numerous areas, e.g. concerning the problems of constitutional rights (especially article 4 basic law) or concerning various international sects and psycho-groups, the members of the Commission are also informed by other external experts who have a grasp of the sub-problem of the subject.
As a result also of these hearings the Enquete Commission has presented an interim report of their work on January 7, 1997. In this interim report recommendations have already been made as to the formulations of actual legislation and opinions have been made in individual aspects. The complete text of the interim report is found on the internet, in the pages of the German Bundestag, among others.
All citizens are explicitly invited to give their opinions in regard to the subject of the Commission. Qualified suggestions from citizens will be reviewed in Commission sessions. These opinions can be sent by letter or as e-mail to the Commission.
The Enquete Commission will finish their work in the next several months and make their findings available. This report will be debated in the plenum of the German Bundestag.
The Commission chairperson, Ortund Schatzle has determined the position of the Commission's work:
"The Enquete Commission's 'So-Called Sects and Psycho-groups' has struck a balance in its interim report on June 27, 1997. In the second stage of consultation the Enquete Commission will solidify fields of conflict and problems in the area of so-called sects and psycho-groups, and analytically develop group structures, activities, and goals. As an extension of this, the Commission will concern itself with career paths in so-called sects and psycho-groups, with the social cause of the formation of these groups, and with their effects upon society; the Commission will clarify notions of the sect and will test the corresponding information and advice which is being offered.
As a result of the analysis the Commission will recommend courses of action which have already been alluded to in the interim report. These will range from the recommendation of legislative initiatives to suggestions for advancement of research. The final report, as has the interim report, will take the path of observance of religious freedom, the resolution of discussion and the development of appropriate measures."
Related articles: http://home.t-online.de/home/Ingo.Heinemann/paris991.htm
[The following is from:] http://home.t-online.de/home/Ingo.Heinemann/gesetz1.htm
The proposal submitted to the German Parliament on the "life management assistance law" [Lebensbewältigungshilfegesetzes] (Bundestag publication 13/9717; text available in AGPF bulletin 1/98 and from AGPF) was addressed on May 7, 1998 in the first parliamentary reading (minutes 13/235) and handed over to committee. It cannot be taken up again before the end of Parliament's 13th legislative period.
The proposed law can once again be addressed in the 14th legislative period.
AGPF Bulletin 3/97 of February 18, 1997
When will a law be passed?
The legislative regulation of life management assistance is overdue.
Commercial activity is the basis of the success of many sects and other providers on the psycho-market. That is especially true for the Scientology organization. Commercial activity takes place on the basis of contracts. The contents of these contracts have not been looked at, and they do not follow any law. Where the law cannot take effect, consumers are often at a disadvantage. That was the case with correspondence course, so in 1974 a correspondence course law was passed. Since then, practically no complaints have been heard. It was the same way with certain plans offered by travel agencies, so a travel contract law was enacted.
On December 18, 1996, the Federal Chancellor and the Minister Presidents of the states dealt with the Scientology organization. From the minutes (see AGPF bulletine 9/96):
"The federal and state administrations agree ... to intensively review ... the regulation of commercial life management assistance."
A similar, previous demand had already been made at the Health Minister's Conference of November 21, 1994, "Consumer protection in matters of health should be enacted in the so-called psycho-market." The Hamburg Senate has also announced that it would introduce such a law to the Federal Assembly.
"Regulation of commercial life management assistance" can only happen with a law. There a two fundamental possibilities. The first is the regulation of the processes and their use, which are called "technology" in the Scientology organization. The other is the regulation of the commercial procedures, namely, the contracts. However, various contract forms are possible.
The government leaders have now agreed "to intensively review" such regulation. That means several German states will work on proposals.
The AGPF had proposed, on November 21, 1985, that such a law be made and gave some concrete suggestions as to its contents. For instance, someone who provides services in return for compensation should be obligated to make a statement as to his qualifications, the type and style of service provided, as well as the projected length and costs associated with the service. Violations of these terms of agreement would have to be met with certain sanctions, the nullification of the contract, for instance. Ruling out bypass provisions would assure that prices would not be re-labeled as donations.
A contract law of this sort would fit perfectly into the legal structure. The payment-by-installment law [Abzahlungsgesetz] of May 16, 1894 is two years older than the BGB of August 18, 1896. These dealt with a new form of inducement, at the time, in closing contracts.
Other consumer protection laws of this sort:
- Correspondence course protection law of August 24, 1976
- Bulletin 3/97 - General Business Conditions Law of December 9, 1976
- Travel contract law of May 4, 1979 (PP 651 a ff BGB)
- "House door recall law" [Haustürwiderrufsgesetz] of January 16, 1986
- Production liability law of December 15, 1989
- Consumer loan law of December 17, 1990
There may also be a use for warnings in this type of law, such as the warnings on cigarette packages ("Smoking endangers health ..."), prescribed in the "Ordinance on labelling tobacco products and highest percentage of tar in cigarette smoke" of November 8, 1991. Also in advertising medications, "Read the enclosures or ask your doctor or pharmacist as to risks and side-effects" prescribed by P. 4 Medication Law (HWG). That one even states that, in a TV commercial, the text should be clearly legible on a neutral background and should be spoken simultaneously as well."
Surely such a law is not a patent recipe. It is, however, the basis for effective consumer protection. Consumer protection on the psycho-market is of special significance because the products cannot be measured, weighed or tested, because the products are a risk to health and can produce dependcy and because the personal rights of the customers can be affected (Bulletin 3/97 Basic Rights, and 3/97 Personality Rights).
This is why consumer protection in the form of information and consultation must be written into such a law. Because these products cannot be measured, weighed or tested, observation of their effects and potential damage have the greatest importance.
"Ethical is, whatever Scientology does"
Sect expert defends Nolte against Uhrlau:
Case for Office of Constitutional Protection - Kniola demands ban
by Gernot Facius
From "Die Welt"
January 16, 1996
Bonn - In her requirement to have the totalitarian-categorized Scientology organization watched over by the Office of Constitutional Protection, Claudia Nolte (CDU), Federal Minister of Families, has the support of the renowned evangelical sect expert, Thomas Gandow. In a discussion with the "Welt", Gandow, appointee for sect and world outlook questions of the Berlin-Brandenburg Church, defended the Nolte drive against the critics of the Hamburg Constitutional Protection Chief, Ernst Uhrlau: "What Frau Nolte does is the right thing at the right time."
Uhrlau said, according to the law, the Office of Constitutional Protection observes extremist groups which have political motivation, "and where the political motivation of Scientology is, that has not yet been made clear to me." Gandow counters, "One apparently is squeamish about taking on new challenges. If we ask about the motivation of the Skinheads, one can also say that it lies in drinking beer together. The leaders, who goad them into violent acts, can be said to come in afterwards." Scientology's "plans of transformation," which are directed against the establishment of a democratic constitution, are there to be read in the writings of the organization. Scientology presides over "all elements of a duplicate structure, even with their own government." Gandow recommended quotations from the reports of defectors - especially from the power center. They even reveal "the application of secret service methods" against their own members.
Gandow confirmed assumptions by Mrs. Nolte, that real estate trade is a current field of activity for Scientology. There is hard evidence for that in Berlin. Although, he added, the primary goal is not to dominate this field, but "to make money" - for example, for campaigns as those in the large American newspapers, in which the organization has presented the topic that it is persecuted today in Germany as the Jews were in the Third Reich. Scientology, according to the evangelical sect expert, belongs in the "category of totalitarian ideology, and not in the category of the alternative religious scene." The Family Minister has found, in documentation now available, evidence that Scientology ethics serves exclusively to shut out non-Scientology thought, so that the organization will survive: "Ethical is only what Scientology does."
The Nordrhein-Westphalian Secretary of the Interior, Franz-Joseph Kniola (SPD), after a look at the yet unpublished evaluation of his office, also demands a ban of Scientology. He spoke of a "political organization, which pursues gradual modification of society." According to "Spiegel," the new NRW (Nordrhein-Westphalian) study states that Scientology represents a "constitutionally hostile goal" and has "characteristics of a totalitarian organization with political extremism."
Copyright: DIE WELT, 15.1.1996
Ingo Heinemann: Scientology Criticism
Federal Minister Bluem,
"That is Psychological Warfare"
Minister Bluem accuses the Scientology Organization of psychological warfare, money-laundering and brainwashing.
This page is a translation from the German language at:
Key words in the interview: employment placement, Information, Departure Counselor, Bavaria, employment ban, capability of nation and states, intimidation strategy, Families Ministry, advertisement, Holocaust, brainwashing, churches, octopus, marionettes, market niche, psychological warfare, raid, informant, prohibition, world domination
In 1981 at an AGPF meeting on sects, Norbert Bluem had already expressed himself, "The enemies of freedom are the same ones that today are calling for freedom and tolerance." (Book: "Destuktive Kulte" by Karbe and Mueller Kueppers)
As Federal Labor Minister, Norbert Bluem accused the Scientology organization in the Sep. 18, 1994 "Welt am Sonntag" of laundering money, brainwashing, et al. An application for a temporary restraining order was denied by Muenster Superior Administrative Court case no 5 B 993/95 in a decision of May 31, 1996. The text of the decision is in a bulletin entitled "AGPF-Info 3-96." The lawsuit in the main issue has not been initiated to this day.
The Labor Minister had called Scientology a "criminal money-laundering organization."
The Spiegel 48/95
November 27, 1995
That is psychological warfare"
Labor Minister Norbert Bluem on the threat to society by the Scientology business sect
"Octopus" is what Federal Labor Minister Norbert Bluem, 60, calls the worldwide psycho-business of Scientology. The sect, founded in 1954 by American L. Ron Hubbard, has been active in Germany for 25 years and has, according to what it says, more than 30,000 members in Germany. The sect deals with its critics aggressively. In a magazine called "Freiheit" ["Freedom"] it disparages not only Bluem, but also the Scientology Commissioner of the Hamburg Senate, Ursula Caberta, and the best-seller author and Scientology expert Renate Hartwig. "Scientology is an organization in which the end justifies the means," stated Robert Vaughn Young, a former management level member of the sect. "Its goal is complete control of schools, companies and governments" (Spiegel 39/1995).
Mr. Bluem, you are the only minister in the federal government who loudly warns people about the Scientology psycho-sect. What alarms you?
Two years ago at an election rally in southern Germany I met a mother who had lost her son to this sect which disregards human beings. The young man had been turned into a completely different person, and she no longer had any kind of contact with her child. It became clear to me then for the first time what kind of terrorism Scientology uses on people.
In the meantime you have gotten quite high up on the sect's enemies list. In Scientology propaganda you are portrayed as a "spiritual arsonist" in the tradition of Adolf Hitler. The accusation goes that you have persecuted the Scientologists as the Nazis did the Jews in the Third Reich.
That would be OK if it only concerned me. But anybody who compares our campaign against sects, which we are leading by legal means, with the mass murders of the Jews is insulting the victims of the Holocaust. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is that.
Don't you have to worry about slander and verbal attacks? Sect founder L. Ron Hubbard gave the instruction that Scientology critics like you can be "harassed, lied to, deceived or destroyed" in order to silence you.
That is part of the intimidation strategy of this association. But if one believes he can worry me, then I can get real stubborn. In case anything ever actually happens to me, someone will certainly get the idea to look for evidence. I am better protected than a labor office official, for instance, who denies a Scientologist a license for running a private employment agency. If they chose to take it out on him, that would, of course, have less effect than [if they chose to take it out] on me.
Scientology makes claims of being a church - and would therefore enjoy the protection of Basic Law.
Scientology is the opposite of a church. The sect does not base belief on freedom, but on suppression; golly, you can't call that belief at all. It only has to do with satisfying their lust for power. Money, money and money - that is Scientology's trinity.
You have described the organization as a "cartel which disregards human beings" ["menschenverachtendes Kartell"] and as a "criminal money-laundering organization. What makes Scientology so dangerous?
This sect is an octopus which ruins people and intentionally puts them in debt by obligating them to graduate unending, over-priced psycho-courses. It destroys the individual's personal essence, by a refined form of brainwashing, no less, which has only been developed this century. Those persecuted in former times can almost be envied, at least they could still think freely regardless of threat. But the victims of Scientology do not understand how they have been conquered by these manipulation techniques. That is a massive danger for our democracy.
"Public Enemy Scientology" - this kind of classification used to only be used on political extremists. Aren't you giving the sect too much credit?
Not at all. A democracy needs voting citizens. If people turn into marionettes, though, there's no more democracy. All it needs then is a string-puller, and Scientology wants this world domination. Their goal is a new form of imperialism in which the opponent is not shot, but gotten rid of in some other manner. That is war, psychological war. The new conquerors like Scientology no longer arrive like Genghis Khan or Hitler on horses or tanks. Nor with atom bombs. But they can leave behind the same devastation if they manipulate an entire society.
"We have long underestimated the problem."
Why doesn't the state just ban Scientology?
That would be the emergency measure. Our primary weapon is information. We have to immunize society against this soul peddler. The young people - they are especially at risk - and even their parents should have the alarm signals go off when they see the name of Scientology. Nobody can lead seeing people to their ruin.
But that happens sometimes anyway. Many former sect members report that they had been informed about the risks. But everything they had been warned about, psycho-terrorism or brainwashing, they did not see those things at first - instead they saw only nice, happy people who were ready to help.
That is the trick. This feigned friendliness is the bog in which people mire down. In it they believe they have found what society can no longer offer them. It is not good enough to say, "You have something to eat and drink, and once a year you can take a vacation." What that doesn't cover is an enormous void of meaning which people have - the yearning for transcendence. That is the market hole which Scientology exploits.
Aren't the churches supposed to be doing that?
The churches frequently shy away from filling their role of supporting understanding. If I listen to morning services on the radio when I am in the bathtub, that is all quite interesting, but I really don't need a minister for that. The churches' message is reduced to social comforting, and the rest is almost shamefully kept quiet - the good God, the presence of the unknown. That area is wide open for charlatans and devils who take the place of the churches.
Scientology has been spreading even into business for a long time. Entire areas, such as the real estate market, are under threat of being systematically infiltrated. The German Convention for Industry and Commerce has called the business sect a "danger to business in Germany." But the government is not doing anything.
We have been underestimating the problem for a long time. But society is beginning to snap out of it. Using court decisions, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and other cities are forcing the sect to officially put their business on record. In doing that the sect has to reveal its finances and show from whom it gets money and what it does with it. That is already quite a bit.
These judgments have hardly influenced Scientology's drive for expansion. For instance, the sect may recruit for adherents on the open street and lure unsuspecting pedestrians in with its psycho-tests. There are no related decisions which apply nationwide.
As a first resort, this is a matter for the states. The Interior Ministers Conference will concern itself with that. As part of the federal government, we cannot make a presentation there.
Why not? As Labor Minister you could, for example, systematically review the business relationships of the Scientology staff. Many are slaving away for pocket money 50 hours or more a week, and often get little or no social security. What would be the harm of making a raid on the sect?
That would also be a matter for the states. We have no central person who reviews labor relationships in Germany.
Random checks at construction sites for illegal workers [who avoid paying tax] have become customary since you have requested this of the states.
I also strongly recommend this to the states in the case of Scientology. But the main thing is to gather information on activities. Facts and evidence of the sect's criminal machinations must be gathered by Constitutional Security. They have not had a blind eye to the matter. But first, at the next State Interior Ministers' Conference, it will be decided whether a nationwide operation will take place. I am very much in favor of that.
You keep Scientologists from operating private employment placement centers. Do the reproaches against the sect serve to curtail the rights of its members to freely elect a career?
Anyone who wants to operate a business needs permission from officials, in this case the Federal Office of Labor. But why issue someone a license when he uses this as a pretext to gain the personnel layout and personal data from a business? It starts out quite harmlessly, with the psycho-tests, but the goal is a network of informants who exploit the needs and weaknesses of people.
Which career should a Scientologist be permitted to follow? May he be a teacher?
Kindergarten teacher, professor, police officer?
No. Those are all tentacles of the sect. Why would they bother themselves with teachers? In order to timely prepare the next generation for their dirty business.
Are you thinking of a legal professional ban?
A professional ban is the extreme, the last resort. Until then we are in the position of having to explain the techniques used by the sect. But in any case I want to prevent the Scientologists from settling themselves down in the nodes of society - kindergartens, schools, state agencies and commercial enterprises. These nodes link together to form a net for those being manipulated.
In that you are alone in the federal government. Nothing on this subject can be heard from the departments of commerce, family or the interior.
Well, Manfred Kanther is not afraid, in any case; he has already expelled a Scientologist in his CDU state association from the party. And naturally I would be glad if his colleague Rexrodt joined him in the battle against psychic suppression which Scientology organizes. Freedom is a basic liberal theme. The FDP, like the CDU/CSU, excludes Scientology members. And Bavaria is at the forefront of the battle against Scientology.
And your friend in party politics in the Families Ministry, Claudia Nolte?
She has recognized the danger.
"We need a public system of exit counselors"
But apparently without suffering the consequences. Sect experts state that many members - some of them deeply in debt or at their spiritual end - would depart Scientology if there were institutions which would show them the way back to civil life.
That must not be permitted to fail because of money. We need a public system of exit counselors. To use military terminology, we need a psychological Red Cross which carries the wounded from the battlefield like the medics do in war. The Scientologists should be clear that we mean this seriously. They have to know that the game is over.
Sir, we thank you for this interview.
Bluem(Footnote under Photo with: Hans-Joerg Vehlewald and Susanne Koelbl with Blüm documents on Scientology)
1. Version 10.5.99
Bluem demands rigorous opposition to Scientology
[The German language original is on Ingo Heinemann's page entitled
"No Legal Proceedings against 'Money Laundering' or 'Brainwashing'" at
September 18, 1994
Welt am Sonntag
by Heinz Vielain
Federal Labor Minister Norbert Bluem (CDU) urged a "substantially rigorous, faster opposition" to the "Scientology" sect, which is active in Germany.
He regards the sect as a "criminal money-laundering organization which is intent on expanding its delusional ideology worldwide under the pretext of religion and will stop at nothing," Bluem explained to "Welt am Sonntag." The Minister has instructed the Federal Labor agency not to issue members of "Scientology" permits to run private employment agencies.
The CDU politician said to the "Welt am Sonntag," "It is high time that the big wheels of this human-despising cartel of suppression finally receive our message loud and clear: they are criminal! Provisions will have to be made so that the sect will be put under surveillance by the Constitutional Security agency [domestic intelligence]."
Scientology, according to the Minister, is spreading its tentacles around the world like a "giant octopus": "Potential members are put into psychologically and physically dependent relationships. They are subjected to brainwashing; their personalities are systematically destroyed. Then they are materially exploited without end. Even though we know all this, far too little has really been able to be done in effectively opposing this organization."
Bluem pointed out the danger of giving the sect more and more leeway through "constant update of legal review procedures, instead of [maintaining a] determined opposition."
Forgot about the Lawsuit?
In the "Welt am Sonntag" of September 18, 1994 et al. Federal Labor Minister Dr. Norbert Bluem accused the Scientology sect of money-laundering and brainwashing. On May 31, 1996, the Muenster Superior Administrative Court (case 5 B 993/95) rejected the application for a temporary restraining order against Federal Minister Bluem's utterances. The court also made it clear that these did not amount to the statements of a private individual:
"Therefore the Minister was taking a position on the issue, which was part of his commercial area, not as a private individual, but in his official capacity as Minister. ..."
Text of this decision can be found in the bulletin, "AGPF Info 3/96."
At the end of this bulletin, a comment is made that after after the publication of the decision, the Scientology Organization immediately announced a lawsuit as the main issue. The lawsuit could have been started while the other proceedings were ongoing.
From the very start the Scientology Organization defended itself against the accusations of the Minister only halfheartedly.
In their bulletin of 1997, "AGPF-Info 6/97," the AGPF recalled the lawsuit-as-the-main-issue which had been announced:
Scientology against Minister Bluem
After the Muenster Superior Administrative Court turned down an application for a temporary restraining order against the utterances of Federal Minister Bluem (decision 5 B 993/95 of 31 May 96, see "AGPF-Info 3/96), the Scientology Organization announced a lawsuit as the main issue. Because of this, the court had permitted the use of the words "criminal money-laundering organization," "in anticipation of the main issue." A follow-up inquiry to the ministry yielded that this lawsuit has yet to be initiated.
Scientology advance in the Balkans
Bonn aid for the sect
The notorious Scientology sect has its eyes on Albania. Of help to the infiltration of developing countries are the federal commerce ministry, agencies and politicians.
December 24, 1993
IG-Metall, Nr.23, 1993, p. 10
Dr. Michael Scheele, an attorney with a plush address on Munich's Prinzregentenplatz, is interested of all places in the most impoverished country of Europe: Albania. On December 7, 1992, he verified for the "Cooperation Office of German Commerce" in Berlin that he was participating in the "Commerce meeting on Albania." Included on the guest list were the Albanian ambassador, staff of the federal commerce ministry and representatives from banks and industry. Also his client, Gerhard Haag, would be coming, wrote Scheele; specifically, Haag would be preparing a "major investment project in Tirana," the Albanian capitol city.
Apparently taking part in the commerce meeting paid off for Haag and Scheele. That same month, Scheele was summoned into the Albanian constitutional commission and, since then, has had close contact to the Albanian government.
Gerhard Haag also obtained official aid from Bonn. The federal commerce ministry verified on March 26, 1993, that he and his company "Albanien Bau und Handel" ("Albanian Building and Trade") "would be provided construction work "in the interest of broadening the cooperation and commercial relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Albania in the infrastructure and in the building of that country." In actuality, Haag, the big Scientology investor, went to Albania the end of last year and there, in the service of the sect, started its "Project A." In Tirana he wants to raise a multi-storied trade center which would "harbor ... and bring into this country" Scientology's technology, as the sect center in Clearwater, Florida revealed. Thanks to aid from many sides, Haag was able to climb up to "preferred German investor," according to an inside source. Suspicions abound that Haag's attorney, Scheele, will be providing valuable service with his government contacts. Surely the fact that CSU federal representative Dr. Juergen Warnke (CSU), former development aid minister, was, up until recently, Scheele's partner in his law office on Prinzregentenplatz, will be of use.
According to a binding contract from August, 1992, Scheele and his partners Andreas Zielke and Juergen Warnke carried out the sale of Haag's former company, the "Stahlbautechnik Neckar" (STN), which helped him prepare his move to Albania. For doing that the attorneys took in over 300,000 marks. According to the contract, signed by Scheele, Warnke, who until recently was the CSU chairman, was supposed to help with the sale or the restoration of STN.
Warnke disputes having been aware of this deal with Haag. He said neither had he given his agreement to taking on a client. At the end of October, Warnke suddenly left the law offices on Prinzregentenplatz. Just in the nick of time. Several days later the state attorney's office went there and confiscated numerous files because of the connection to Haag.
(Michael Linkersdoerfer, from IG-Metall, Nr.23, 1993, p. 10)
CSU refuses to clean up an internal Scientology affair
March 7, 1998
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)
Albanian Shadows over the Hanns-Seidel Foundation
Staff warned of sect attack
Stuttgart superior court confirms developments in Tirana
by Conny Neumann
Munich (SZ) - In early 1993, top Scientologist Gerhard Haag was making his way from Lichtenwald, Swabia to start Project A. Behind that move he plan to penetrate the new construction market taking place in Albania with the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and to install an SC (Scientology Church) center in Albania. To get his foot in the door, Haag, who at the time was being sought on an international arrest warrant because of suspicious movements of money and other peculiarities in his Swabian steel company, got a letter of recommendation from the federal commerce ministry. The government agency wrote the businessman a confirmation that his Albania Building and Trade company would be performing valuable construction work.
Shortly prior to that, the CSU aligned Munich Hanns-Seidel Foundation (HSF) had decided to try its luck in Albania. The young project leader, Michael Kosmala from Amber in Oberpfalz, was send by the HSF to Tirana in order to get acceptance from Albania's management and institution offices. Not a small part of Kosmala's activity consisted of making Albania's minister or minister president aware of the presence of CSU greats in Tirana. CSU guests to Albania in 1993 included Munich's federal representative Erich Riedl as well as former traffic minister Juergen Warnke.
Warnke and his law office partner, the Munich attorney and known Scientology defender Michael Scheele, petitioned the Albanian government chiefs, who, in turn, took the lawyers' client, Gerhard Haag, under their wing and put things in motion at the government offices for the businessman from Swabia. Today Kosmala claims that Warnke also must have been aware of the open arrest warrant for Haag at the time. Haag was already investing in Albania, and a part of the delegation could view the project at the invitation of the German Embassy.
Both Scheele and Haag intended on making good money in Albania through the CSU aligned Hanns-Seidel Foundation. While Warnke's partner offered the Albanian justice minister a legal study from his Albanian Business-Consult [sic] for approximately 200,000 marks, which the HSF was supposed to co-finance, Scheele, Warnke and Haag looked for offices in the HSF building in Tirana. Michael Kosmala sounded the counter-attack. In numerous memoranda and letters the project leader instructed the HSF foreign director Rainer Gepperth and HSF business manager Manfred Baumgaertel to keep the foundation's money and offices out of the clutches of Scheele, Warnke and Haag. Kosmala also wrote that Warnke had tried to extort money from him. The CSU representative was said to have advised him about a share in a Haag company. Obviously the matter was highly uncomfortable for Gepperth. He wrote to his law office partners that he could do without offices for at most two months. A little later Gepperth learned that Scheele had planned a big dedication ceremony in the the HSF building in Tirana. Unfortunately, as the foreign director wrote, he could not participate: "You are nevertheless at liberty to undertake the opening of your office."
Kosmala, who was getting desperate and who saw his foundation being infiltrated by the Scientologists, ran to the Albanian justice minister, Hudret Cela, and warned him about Scheele. Haag's attorney did not receive the lucrative contract that he had already been promised for the study. An ARD TV team also learned about the contact between the Hans-Seidel Foundation and Scientology. Kosmala wanted to tell the complete story to the ARD journalists, but Baumgaertel delineated exactly which lines he could say. The wording was neutral.
Then began the professional decline of the project leader. Kosmala had to sign a draft letter to Minister Cela in which he apologized for his statements about Scheele and in which he took back everything. The text was conveyed to Kosmala through HSF southeast Europe director Klaus Fiesinger. Gepperth said to me, "Kosmala, you have done great damage, see to it that it is repaired," reported the man from Amberg. A little later Kosmala received a written warning from Gepperth. The foreign chief let his staff member know that he would, in the future, be more reserved with his statements. In early 1996, Kosmala was then let go. Due to cut-backs, the HSF could no longer use him, it was said.
Now the 39-year-old man from Amberg has made a last attempt at reinstatement and he hit paydirt in the CSU, which is still his party at heart. The Stuttgart superior court, in a decision concerning a "Suedkurier" newspaper, which reported on the Albania affair, sided with the former project leader. Kosmala's statements that Scheele, along with Warnke, were involved with the Scientologist Haag, were plausible, according to the judge. The presentation by Scheele, who had sued the "Suedkurier," appeared to be less likely. Warnke's sworn statement, in which he emphasized that he had never given Haag a recommendation, could not convince the judge.
With a pile of evidence, Kosmala then approached Bavarian Culture State Secretary Monika Hohlmeier and Joachim Herrman, the CSU General Secretary. The matter has to be cleared up within the CSU, Kosmala demanded. He was rejected by both. "I have to ask myself what else Mr. Kosmala would really like," Monika Hohlmeier told the SZ. The old procedures have been cleaned up, Herrman believes. He said he did not want to interfere with the affairs of the Hanns-Seidel foundation. Nevertheless, Kosmala's opposition to the SC endeavors has earned him respect. Warnke communicated through his office in Bonn that he had never had anything to do with Scientology. He had nothing else to say about it. But the man from Amburg will not settle for that.
Attorney makes clear his distance from Scientology
March 14, 1998
Michael Scheele: Connecting me to the sect is only an afterthought.
Munich (SZ) - Munich attorney Michael Scheele (50) believes he has been unjustly associated with the plans of the Scientology sect (SC) to found a center in Albania in 1993, and with the plans to accompany the new construction of the state with the SC teachings (as we reported). According to the lawyer's version, the accusations made against him were part of a campaign of revenge by a former staff member of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation (HSF). HSF project leader Michael Kosmala was supposed to have established the Hanns-Seidel Foundation in Albania in 1993. In doing so, he had contact in Tirana with Scheele, as well as with Scheele's former client, Gerhard Haag, member of Scientology. Kosmala later asserted that Scheele had been involved in Haag's business in Albania.
The Munich attorney called this misleading, if not completely false. He said he did not represent Haag as a Scientologist, nor did he represent Scientology interests. Scheele: We have produced expert testimony about the legal ramifications for a former client, Haag, who wanted to build a hotel. Nothing more and nothing less. We produce such testimony because we are regarded as experts in eastern Europe, for companies and for persons, regardless of membership in religions or sects. However, our law offices decided four years ago to no longer represent anyone who professes to Scientology. That is because we have had the unfortunate experience of being identified with the all too fast and superficial hysteria along those lines. Kosmala, according to Scheele, had expected money from him for referring clients to him and for his cooperation. He had also wanted a fee for the legal study that Scheele was supposed to have produced for the justice minister. Scheele said he turned him down without hesitation. By doing that he apparently set off an unprecedented campaign of libel.
He said that Kosmala had warned the justice ministry that the price Scheele was asking for that kind of legal study (200,000 marks for an estimated 750 hours) was too high. For that, he said, Kosmala later, at the urging of his foundation, had to apologize to the justice minister. That was the reason, according to Scheele, for Kosmala inventing the backstabbing story. He was felt depressed. And, months later, when he learned that Scheele's former client, Gerhard Haag, was a Scientologist, he began talking people into believing that Scheele had support Haag in his Scientology infiltration. Thank God that he could put the matter to rest in court. And the broadcaster by whom Mr. Kosmala hit the skids then also aired a suitable correction.
Today attorney Scheele advises and represents famous Scientology critics, like Steven Goldner, and he and his colleagues have legally reviewed an information book about Scientology (Scientology in Management, Econ-Verlag) to ensure it against attacks from the ranks of the Scientologists. With that as background, according to Scheele, it is an afterthought to put him in connection with the sect in any form.
One year ago the Berlin State Court made a decision about a complaint from attorney Scheele by which his law office was no longer to be mentioned (mainly in press releases) as formerly occasionally representing Scientologists. The harm from that was too great, explained Scheele. He won. The Berlin judge came to the conclusion that Scheele could at no time be credited with a connection to Scientology. The decision is legally binding.