Letter to the editor
regarding "Defeat for Scientology" of September 20:
October 14, 2000
Since 1994, the Stuttgart "Regierungspraesidium" (RP) [Executive Presidium] has been trying to justify a decision which, in our opinion, and also, according to the latest decision of the Administrative Court, is not licit. After the RP lost in the last hearing, the appeal was permitted. Labeling that a victory can only be explained by the confusion of the government officials. The request for an appeal is a admission that you have lost the last hearing but would like to be right anyway and are making yet another try. We view the matter calmly because the fact is the Scientology Church is an idealistic association and a religious community - and it will be that way for the appeal process, too. The RP has already had six years to prove it is right.
Scientology Church Stuttgart
The legal dispute between the executive presidium and the Scientology organization continues. As the executive presidum stated yesterday, the Mannheim Superior Administrative Court permitted appeal against the decision of the Stuttgart Administrative Court. November last year the Stuttgart judges decided that the "Dianetics" sect branch had not had its association status justly revoked by the executive presidium.
Appeal would be filed "in the next few weeks," said Ralph Koenig, spokesman of the executive presidium, yesterday to the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper. Koenig, however, did not name an exact date. In a written position, Executive President Udo Andriof expressed the hope of "now confronting the Scientologists' machinations by using administrative law."
Letter to the editor
Thanks to the codes office
In response to "Scientology can continue to recruit" of July 21
August 14, 2000
Scientology Church Stuttgart welcomes the Executive Mayor's decision to grant members of the Scientology Church the right to proselytize for their beliefs. The church takes care to obey the regulations of the codes office, and there has not yet been any reason to complain. Should this ever be the case, then that would not be the sense of the church. Scientologists are, by nature, active in society and are involved in various areas. Now and again the use of public land is necessary, and we would like to express our appreciation for the codes office cooperation.
Maja Nueesch, Scientology Stuttgart
Caution: Scientology Advertising Campaign
Stuttgart - State politicians of the major parties have issued warnings of a new advertising campaign by the Scientology Organization. The organization is putting on more exhibitions and anniversary celebrations, believes the trans-partisan "Aktion Bildungsinformation" (ABI) in Stuttgart. It was said that the group tries to position itself at these events as a religious community with social goals. "We are convinced that these propaganda measures are part of an overall strategy with the goal of altering the face of our society according to the policies of Hubbardism," said ABI Board Chairman Eberhard Kleinmann. As examples he named operations entitled "What is Scientology?" and "L. Ron Hubbard," as well as celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the publishing of the "Dianetics" book.
FDP State Representative Dieter Kleinmann said that the advertising also takes place in kindergartens, schools, parish offices and around psychically unstable people. From the ABI's viewpoint, "Dianetics Stuttgart, Inc." plays a key role in financing the operations.
"Scientology is not a church, but a commercial enterprise with criminal tendencies," said SPD State Assembly Representative Carla Bregenzer. With her political colleagues from the FDP and CDU, she plans on giving increased support to the "Odenwaelder Wohnhof" pilot project. Former members of the sect can receive help there. lsw
In spite of slapping, Scientology may continue to advertise
Staff members of the organization beat up a school girl -
Code Office stated, "We have no legal means of handling"
May 20, 2000
by Michael Deufel
Not only does Scientology continue to make headlines with its psycho-practices: recently a member even beat up a school girl. Despite that the group may continue to advertise in Stuttgart.
The event already took place several weeks ago. A mild Saturday afternoon in March: a sales crowd. On "Kleinen Schlossplatz," Scientologists were advertising for the "What is Scientology?" exhibition on 39 Friedrich Street. Four school girls who happened to be passing by discovered balloons on which "Scientology" was written in large letters. Annoyed that she had been accosted several times previously by members of the controversial organization, one of them stuck a pin in a yellow balloon. "A dumb trick," the young woman has since admitted. This sort of thing, however, drove one of the Scientologists into a rage so that he hit the 16 year old girl. "Repeatedly," she said. "A slap," is how Scientology says it. According to statements by the victim, the man had to be restrained by two passersby. The school girl got away with bruises and a headache. In the meantime, the state attorney's office has the case.
Not only are Scientology's psycho-practices controversial: do some members of the organization also tend to physical violence? "Scientologists normally avoid such confrontation," said Codes Office Director Till Neumann. The conduct of the Dianeticians in public has not now reached new proportions. Advertising for exhibitions is and always has been permitted, even if not gladly seen. Neumann said, "We try to do much, too often we lack the legal means." Offering books or expensive Dianetics courses for sale or recruiting members are still prohibited. That was decided by a judge of the Stuttgart municipal court.
But for how long? "The Administrative Court in Mannheim recently permitted an appeal of that judgment," reported Reinhard Egy. The Stuttgart Scientology spokesman sees that as a good sign. Will the Scientologists, who have been under surveillance by Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security, then soon be able to offer their questionable practices on Koenig Street? The city's administration is staying calm. "We have our line," asserted office director Neumann, "in given cases we can issue a special use permit."
That is exactly what Untertuerkheim SPD city councilman Andreas Reissig is demanding, "If that alternative exists, why is more not being done about Scientology." He would like to see all activities by the group prohibited. But not commercial advertising, as happened in March with the balloon operation by Scientology ended with slapping.
Scientologist advertise with its "founder's" work
April 13, 2000
Stuttgarter Zeitung online - Stuttgart Internet
Information stands in the city - Constitutional Security agents issue warnings over the internet: the Organization wants to infiltrate the social system
Exhibits about the Organization and its "founder," ["Stifter"] information stands, billboard busses and men carrying sandwich boards downtown - the Scientologists appear to be omnipresent in the city. Yet while Scientology is hitting the streets, Constitutional Security says, "Scientology is dangerous."
by Ludwig Laibacher
Just when the display partitions, books and brochures of the traveling "What is Scientology?" exhibition had been packed into their containers and shipped off to the next stop, another Scientology exhibit opened its doors in the former furniture warehouse on Friedrich Street. Until Sunday, the life and work of the founder of the self-proclaimed "church" will be presented until the title "L. Ron Hubbard." Hubbard's German publishing house, which has its offices in Maschen near Hamburg, is responsible for the ten day show, said Reinhard Egy, the spokesman for the organization in Stuttgart. He said that one could form his own picture of the American founder by means of science fiction novels and articles about flying or ship navigation.
Up to four teams of walking billboards are underway downtown to give directions to the show. Besides that, members have been advertising for it in a stand on Kronprinz Street since Monday. That was all quite legal, stated Egy, and continued to state that the abundance of exhibitions was "sheerly coincidental."
The information stand downtown had a permit from the Public Codes Office, verified Stefan Braun, member of Codes Mayor Juergen Beck's staff - but only to give directions to an open exhibition. He said advertising for the organization was generally forbidden in the city. He also said that sandwich men could march through the pedestrian zones without a permit as long as they did not accost or disturb anybody. Braun assured that police and the codes office would keep a close eye on the advertisers' activities. If injunctions were violated, fines could result.
So the Scientologists were not mounting an offensive? No, assured spokesman Egy, that would not be necessary. After the Administrative Presidium's failed attempt last fall to revoke association rights for the organization and more alleged "disgraces by Constitutional Security," which he said had nothing solid on Scientology, people had found a new self-awareness. He said that the public itself would notice "that the fears being spread are unjustified."
On which account, said Dieter Wiesinger, Interior Ministry spokesman, "Scientology is a special danger." Therefore Constitutional Security would continue keeping Scientology under surveillance. Along those same lines, the Constitutional Security agents have been issuing the warning about Scientology since March, "Through power over people and influence on politics, business and society, it is intended that our social system be converted into a totalitarian system."
Interior Minister Thomas Schaeuble ascertained, in the 1998 Constitutional Security report, that the organization's financial difficulties in Germany were due, in part, to observation by Constitutional Security. What put the German sub-organizations into overdrive was the revelation that the membership numbers were, in truth, much smaller than had been realized. Surveillance of the organization since 1997 in Baden-Wuerttemberg, said the Minister, had "confirmed findings of anti-constitutional efforts." Wiesinger added that this trend was also confirmed in the new Constitutional Security report which would next be presented.
These facts were not mentioned at the advertising stand. There one learned about L. Ron Hubbard's dream of a "civilization without insanity" in which "man has the freedom to climb to greater heights ..." But only for hefty course fees.
[This is a English version of a forwarding of a report of an article in the "Weiblinger Zeitung," in which the commentator noticed a contribution by Stuttgart Scientologist Reinhard Egy.]
I read the following on a mailing list and am forwarding it on (with permission!):
One could almost have missed it in the over-sized article (1.6 newspaper pages) about the famous Stuttgart VfB Soccer Club on February 17, 2000 in the "Weiblinger Zeitung," but it got our attention. Under the heading "Sports readers join in: a critical glance at the Stuttgart VfB from its followers," readers shared their opinions about VfB President and former Baden-Wuerttemberg Finance Minister Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder and his trainer politics. The readers' letters, which the editorial staff took in either by fax or by letter, but also by telephone, expressed opinions about VfB trainer Ralf Rangnick. One of the opinions received by telephone which was printed in the paper contained the following:
"For the first time in a long time, Stuttgart VfB has a trainer of character who will not let someone distort his words. Not only that, but he is from this area. Now President Mayer-Vorfelder is stabbing him in the back. It is time for the President to say "so long."
The caller was no less than Reinhard Egy, Stuttgart (Scientology press spokesperson). If one happens to know that in the distant past, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder was one of the people who spoke out in favor of Reverend Hauser, in favor of an inter-ministerial work group, and that he was publicly critical of Scientology, then one asks the following question:
Was the above a delayed payback or a personal opinion on the part of Mr. Egy?
Krokodil Information Group
[TH: I followed up on one point, he was listed in the newspaper there only as "Reinhard Egy," not as "press spokesman ..."]
From: Tilman Hausherr
Subject: fwd: Soccer fan Reinhard Egy
Date: 22 Feb 2000
Stuttgart. (stn) - The Scientology organization described the planned security clause for public administration to be a "malicious attack on basic rights and human rights." In a communication distributed in Stuttgart, the organization, which is under surveillance by Constitutional Security, described the plan as "outright ridiculous." According to the latest sect report of the state administration, the German states intend to have every private enterprise which counsels or trains the administration to state in writing that it is separate from Scientology. The decision is expected this spring.
Scientology Mail in the Mailbox
From: "Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany"
September 11, 1998
Many households in the Stuttgart area are receiving mail they did not ask for: Scientology is distributing its magazine "Freiheit" [Freedom] via mail carrier. The German postal service is obligated to deliver.
by Thomas Faltin
In several Stuttgart districts, including Sommerrain, mail carriers have been distributing the magazine "Sonderausgabe Freiheit" [Special edition of Freedom] which is published by Scientology to all households. This mail hits many people the wrong way: they neither like to find advertisements from Scientology in their mailboxes nor are they able to understand why the German postal service is distributing the magazines.
Gerold Beck, speaker for the Stuttgart postal district, can understand the ill humor of some postal customers. Nevertheless, the mail service has a "general obligation to pick up and deliver" and must therefore deliver anything sent no matter who the sender would be. The postal service is only able to refuse its mission when the delivery would be in violation of the criminal code. This is not the case with Scientology. This obligation to deliver, said Beck, would also remain valid after privatisation of the postal service, since the company would always have an exclusive contract. The legality of this obligation has already been tested in several legal proceedings: any refusal of the sort by the post office would constitute an act of impermissible censorship.
In Stuttgart mail carriers have already been called names several times because they are the ones carrying mail for Scientology, said Gerold Beck. He asked for understanding for the deliverers' situation. Several letter carriers have even refused to deliver the mailings, but they are obligated to do it anyway. Beck could not say which districts in Stuttgart could still expect mail from Scientology. For the time being, Scientology is selecting city districts according to certain criteria.
© 1998 Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany
Scientology wants out of its dingy corner
Information display in former furniture showroom downtown - city without recourse
March 11, 2000
by Daniela Mack
Where Italian designer furniture was once sold, the controversial Scientology Organization in Stuttgart will be advertising its view on life for ten days. Glossy photos and writings hung on the wall are supposed to show visitors the way to "success."
Yesterday's opening exhibition was comparable to a Las Vegas show: Munich artist Waki Zoellner ("Das ist genial") cut a red ribbon with an over-sized golden scissors accompanied by a swing band in red suits. American flavor also dominated the display of advertisement: the partitions were covered with marble-textured paper with rose-colored cornices and gold beading, the text was printed on sheets of plexiglass.
Despite the mounted glossy photos of Scientologists from all over the world and countless book titles by Scientology founder Ron Hubbard, the messages were not light fare. "Dianetics gives you a method," said one for example, "by which the recreative [sic] mind is addressed so that hidden negative experiences are discovered and their harmful effects on a person are deleted.
With all the information about their methods, the show primarily serves to improve their own image. Critics accuse the controversial organization of pursuing mainly commercial interests. "On neutral ground," said Stuttgart Scientology spokesman Reinhard Egy, they wished to "tear down obstacles" and show "that we are not an elitist club." The recreative energies can be detected via the e-meter: the subject holds two metal cans in his hands and the indicator on the gauge moves according to energy flows. Cost of the device: 5,000 marks.
Scientology rented the vacant rooms of the furniture building on Friedrich Street for the length of the show. That way it can recruit without being disturbed in the middle of the city. In February of last year, the "What is Scientology?" wandering exhibition triggered numerous protests because the organization rented the Cannstatt bingo hall from the city and aggressively recruited visitors. In the near vicinity of the actual presentations there are no loud opposing voices - the rooms are located in a private building. Therefore the city, which would like to forbid Scientology's recruitment downtown, has no recourse in regard to the banner hanging on the facade of the building.
Last year was Scientology's 40 year anniversary in Europe. The celebration in Stuttgart was joined up by a critic with a camera for a while, until he was issued a "Hausverbot." Story and pictures (including Scientology's double-decker billboard bus) at: http://members.tripod.com/German_Scn_News/cannstadt.htm
Chagrin over Scientology
Exhibition Downtown - real estate agent keeps his distance
March 10, 2000
Stuttgarter Nachrichten online - Stuttgart Internet
In an eleven-day, public exhibition, Scientology is praising its questionable psycho-methods and is recruiting new members. The exhibition was opened on Friedrich Street - the city sees no legal recourse.
by our reporter
"We have no legal alternative to prevent this event," verified Otto David from the codes office. Registration by the arrangers was not necessary, and the assembly ordinances only apply to those of more than 200 visitors at a time. "There is no legally enforceable step to take," said David. And proceeding with a ban based on content of the exhibition would be "very, very difficult." His view, "I think we have to let it happen."
The Scientology Organization is active worldwide; in Germany it is especially active and there is said to be 1,200 members in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security has had the group under surveillance since 1997, since it is allegedly striving for a "different political system in the middle- and long-term." The exhibition on 39 Friedrich Street, which is to be opened this Friday morning, will also be observed by Constitutional Security "with interest."
According to spokesman Reinhard Egy, Scientology is counting on "at least 100 visitors per day." Among other things, "the Dianetics methods will be demonstrated." But the true goal is recruitment of members. "We would be happy if membership came about from acceptance," commented Egy.
The circumstances in which the 200 square member spaces were leased were apparently nebulous. The respected real estate corporation which is seeking lessee in commission of the building owner, clearly and immediately took its distance from the controversial short-term renters, "Our corporation is not in the least involved. We have nothing to do with this matter."
The background of the strong reaction is the assumption by security agencies that Scientology has systematically and successfully been infiltrating the real estate market - that did not stop the building owner from going through with the short-term lease. He countered the concern that Scientology would be using the building in the long term with the statement, "there will be no further use."
On the Way to Happiness, via the Finance Office
June 15, 1999
Visit to a Scientology Seminar - An insecure participant, little reality but much banality
"Do you have anxiety, in the elevator, perhaps? Dianetics helps you, provided that you turn to them in time. The lady smiled triumphantly. "Cool," said the young man, as his entire face lit up, "simply cool."
by our reporter
Sunday afternoon in the course hall in Bad Cannstatt. The "Clear Expansion Committee of Baden-Wuerttemberg" had sent out invitations for a Dianetics Seminar. A good fifty participants have arrived. There is no sign announcing the event; the word "Scientology" is nowhere to be seen. Neither is there anything special about the men and the women, most of whom are middle-aged. Inconspicuous dress, innocent gestures. Plain people. In the frontmost row sit two children. A boy and a girl. Sweet, nice and smart.
A pyramid, covered with green and yellow material, hovers over the stage. To the right hangs a gold-framed portrait. The photo shows an older, agile gentlemen. He is sitting on board a yacht. The outfit with cap and sunglasses fits. That is how Lieschen Mueller imagines a skipper would look. It is a picture of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the inventor and founder of Scientology.
The seminar director is of this world. Barbara (all names have been changed) speaks in the drawling cadence indicative of people who have spoken nothing but English for a long time. With her red and white checkered dress, white jacket and her gray hair boldly styled back out of her face, the dynamic woman in her mid-50s reminds one of Brigitte Laemmle. Her voice also sounds something like the TV advisor on life. In her civil profession she is a courier-driver, says Barbara.
After her spirited welcome ("Are you doing well? Yes? Okay!"), the seminar begins. Barbara is a rehearsed speaker. She reads the text word for word out of the "Handbook for Dianetics Groups." When the script instruction say to pause, she pauses. When a sentence is supposed to be emphasized, she emphasizes it. The mouthpiece functions. The audience listens intently.
For the uninitiated visitor, a young man is sitting to the side. His name is Harald and he is supposed to "answer all questions which are unanswered." Harald is upset that he cannot decipher the notes which the new people have written. His notoriously happy smile and his applause becomes more subdued. Matters have gotten out of hand, there's no more control. That is not good, but cannot be changed.
There is little reality in the presentation or in the subsequent advertising film. "Mass" is talked about, so is "energy" and a "reactive mind" which is said to cripple people. And the chances of clearing this mind through "auditing." Everything is said to be founded on science, uniquely effective and tested a million times. The testimonies of the blessed effects of auditing are awe-inspiring. How does it work. "There is no logic to it," says Barbar. Headaches, drugs, criminality? No problem. The "better world" and the "ideal society" are do-able.
The people in the auditorium are charmed, their faces beam. Now is the time to sell electric blankets or insurance policies. Instead of that, sandwiches are unwrapped. During the intermission, Harald tells how Scientology has helped him to "clear things up with the finance office."
Robert has been a Scientologist for ten years. Before that he was an evangelical church assistant, somewhere "out there in Remstal." When the church superiors heard about his new interest, he had to vacate the post. "With Scientology I experienced a clarity which let me see the child of God," says Robert. To do that, of course, he needed "many courses in auditing," and those cost "much money." How much? Robert looked to the side. The powerful man shrugged his wide shoulders. "This whole thing is about a new era, isn't it?"
Aggressive advertisement for Scientology presentation
From: "Stuttgarter Zeitung"
February 16, 1999
Dispute with the sect - loss of image for the community hall
The Scientology Church is celebrating its 40 years of existence with an itinerant exhibition. There were many protests on the sidelines of the show at the Cannstatt community hall, some of which were in response to the aggressive advertisement on billboards and sandwich board carriers in the city.
by Ludwig Laibacher
The city administration has been fighting in court for a long time to prohibit the Scientology Church from advertising in the city proper. On the first specification, the court had decided in favor of the city, said Till Neumann, the Director of the Municipal Codes Office ["Amtes fuer Oeffentliche Ordnung']. However, Scientology has, since them, appealed to the Administrative Court in Mannheim.
"This is a very delicate kind of legal issue," said Neuman. In the opinion of the administration, Scientology is not counted as a church, but as a business. From their point of view the sect is not advertising for their outlook on life, but for a product. Even if the parade by the sect members this past weekend violated the city's idea of the law, there was nothing that could be done this time. This is not least of all because the legal dispute continues to smolder.
The city is trying to give some fundamental signals that it does not approve of the sect and its meetings, said Mayor Dieter Blessing. However, nothing can be done to prevent them from renting the Cannstatt community hall, which is to be used starting tomorrow. Since there have been many protests on the sidelines by the citizens against this arrangement, the city administration once again discussed the possibility of a ban recently. "However, we would have lost the legal dispute," said Blessing.
He looks on with concern as the Cannstatt Community Hall has been rented more and more by right extremist or other unfavored groups, but does not fear a genuine loss of image. "What could we have done about it?" Fortunately, said Blessing, other arrangers are continuing to rent the community hall. Space in private halls is more expensive and the community hall has practically no competition of the same size in the city.
© 1999 Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany
Scientologists celebrate anniversary in community hall
From: "Stuttgarter Zeitung", Germany
January 29, 1999
On February 17, the controversial Scientology Church will celebrate its "40 years of existence in Europe." The anniversary will be held on municipal property: the sect has rented the Cannstatt Community Center for an "information presentation" for three days.
Alfons Schwedler, senior attorney at city hall, justified the letting of the rooms: the Scientologists are recognized neither as unconstitutional nor as banned, therefore the city had no other choice but to rent them the hall. In stating this, he referred to the agreement from 1975, which, as a matter of fact, contains no exclusion clauses. It states there, "The community hall is a public establishment. It is available for business conferences, association and union get-togethers, meetings and conventions. Exhibitions can be permitted if they do not interfere with other arrangements." If the city were to close off the community center to the Scientologists, "then we would not be able to hold our case in court," was the decision of the codes office. One official joked, "We could only get rid of them if we called in the painters."
It is a different story in the legal situation as to the public appearances of the Scientologists: advertisement by the sect on streets and squares has been forbidden by the city for years; no flyers may be distributed in the pedestrian zones. In these issues, the legal options for the Scientologists have been closed. In July, 1996, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Administrative Court in Mannheim had confirmed the bans by the city. Commercial street advertisement in Stuttgart requires a special permit. That decision was accepted by the Scientologists without appeal (case number 5 S 472/96). kAe.
Scientology serves itself
From: "Stuttgarter Nachrichten" Germany
January 29, 1999
City must rent the Cannstatt Community Hall to the Sect
"What is Scientology?" The sect wants to answer this question at an "information presentation" on the morning of February 17 in Bad Cannstatt. Painful side note: the city must make the little community center on Koenig Place available to them to do this.
by Konstantin Schwarz
The city administration has recently taken a hard line with the Scientologists, who promise their clientele a "grand future" in advertisement leaflets. For two years, employment applicants have had to sign a form which asks whether the applicant is a "professional (actively employed) associate member of a Scientology organization." Sect intercessors are supposed to be recognized before their entrance into city administration.
In November of the past year, the Administrative Court upheld the city in its repeated decisions to prohibit the registered association of Dianetics in Stuttgart from offering pedestrians personality tests on the public streets.
However, the administration cannot prohibit the presentation from occurring in municipal spaces. "The community hall is a public establishment which has to be rented to anybody. That is city law," said legal spokesperson Alfons Schwedler. There could be no question of making an exception, since "this would be contrary to law." The city could only step in if the association had its status as a corporate entity revoked. The state is trying to bring about this revocation in the administration court.
Alexander Heinze, who has been running the dining service in the community hall for eight years, is not happy, either. It "hurts our image," fears the host. "We have the contract here and the exclusive right to serve," said Heinze. At the arrangement on February 17, however, a special solution will be found. Scientology will serve itself, using "our utensils."
"I have not found anybody who wants to take over that day," said Heinze, who controls the management of the meeting rooms, but not their rental. That is done by the real estate office of the city.
May 12, 1998
Basel/Stuttgart (dpa) - On Tuesday, Swiss Scientologists demonstrated in from of the German consulate in Basel and in front of the regional Ministry of the Interior of the southern German state of Baden Wurttemberg in Stuttgart against "spying on Swiss citizens" by the country's secret service.
They demanded the release of all information which pertains to Swiss citizens. In Basel there were about 70 people, in Stuttgart, according to the police estimates, there were about 50 Scientology adherents on the street.
The cause of the protest was the arrest of a member of the Baden-Wurttemberg regional secret service in Basel in April. The agent, who was charged with political espionage, had been gathering information in Switzerland about the Scientology scene under a false name.
The man was later released on bail from the detention facilities. After the affair the state department in Bern protested the violation of Swiss sovereignty to the German ambassador.
Scientology now maintains that there is evidence that the regional office of the secret service in Baden-Wurttemberg has stored data on thousands of Swiss which contains "intimate, private details." According to Stuttgart, the information was obtained using "illegal spy operations."
Scientology means business against city and state
February 1, 2001
The Scientology organization, which is under surveillance from Constitutional Security, apparently wants to gain new members with the widespread launch of a new image campaign. The sect is threatening to sue the city because its video advertisements were cancelled and the state is also being vigorously attacked.
by Michael Ohnewald
The best defense is a good offense - disciples of the Scientology movement have adapted this dogma and made it their own. Yesterday the movement announced it would sue the City of Stuttgart because a pre-paid video commercial for Scientology writings was taken out of the program at the municipal Bosch Tower at Pragsattel. Besides that the controversial organization also handed a petition to State Assembly President Peter Straub. In the petition 59 Scientologists demanded the dissolution of a work group which resides in the Ministry of Culture and which is concerned with sects and psycho-groups. The signers used the usual heavy artillery in their list of reasons: they accused the head of the work group and CDU regional assemblyman Hans-Werner Carlhoff not only of wasting taxpayers' money and discrimination, but also of disinformation and misuse of office.
The activism by the Hubbard disciples was triggered by an expert opinion report about sects and psycho-groups from the State administration of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It warned about the Scientologists' activities. The report, fresh from the press, deals critically with the sect founder's writings, which are said to aim for a "cleared" society and to reprogram sect members into robots. "We'd rather have you dead than incapable," sect guru L. Ron Hubbard is quoted as saying.
According to what the sect experts in the state government say, the Scientology organization in Baden-Wuerttemberg has about 1,200 members. Their establishments are said to have not been able to expand their positions, but are able to continue to afford money for costly propaganda campaigns. Two years ago, for instance, 40 million marks were allegedly made available from sect centers overseas for a "crusade." Continued advertising offensives are to be reckoned with in the future. This was verified by Scientology spokeswoman Maja Nueesch. She said the organization will launch a new image campaign, but would not go into details. It is also said that Scientology plans a chain of establishments which allegedly will be concerned with the risks of drug consumption.
What this actually involves is a widespread membership drive. The campaign is supposed to increase the degree of familiarity with Scientology, because in membership figures the sect is way behind its own expectations. As the experts in the state government say, the organization is trying to present itself to the "public as a small, persecuted, religious minority." The state view is shared by Andreas Reissig, SPD city assemblyman and sect expert of his faction, "The fox wants to take care of the chickens."
The political party member, as have other members of his faction, has received mail from Scientology in the past few days. In the letter, Scientology encourages bearers of the political mandate to form a picture of the sect for themselves. For that purpose a copy of Scientology's mass mailing magazine "Freiheit" is enclosed.
The Hubbard disciples have also tried to get a foot in the door at the fair in Stuttgart. The StZ [this newspaper] has received a written response stating that the Scientology publishing company has tried multiple times in Seevetal-Maschen to rent meeting spaces. But in the meantime there is a black list on the Killesberg which has proved itself helpful. Pointing out the lack of capacity, the Scientologists have always been refused. However the early warning system failed on the video-wall at the Pragsattel. The sect was able to win an agency contracted by the fair, and so one of their video-spots was shown for days on the open-air screen. Since then the agency has been reprimanded, but that's not enough for the SPD in the assembly hall. The politicians want the agency dissolved.
With the latest goings-on the state government believes its perspective is being verified, and that publicity has to continue to be given to the practices of the organization. It would a false conclusion to assume "that the fanatics have gone into retreat," said Carlhoff. The sect will continue to be observed by Constitutional Security.
Those concerned may contact the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution. All calls will be handled confidentially.
Advertisement of the undesired kind
The controversial recruitment campaigns by the Scientology organization in Stuttgart have gotten more annoying. A few examples:
The railroad was not paying attention two years ago. Scientology obtained wall space for posters at Wolfram Street. When the break-down became known, the railroad had all signs removed.
A recruitment campaign downtown in March 2000 was cause for an incident. A female student popped an advertisement balloon, whereupon a 44-year-old Scientologist struck her openhandedly. The man was convicted and fined.
The sect's advertising brochures created quite a stir at the Merz School in 1997. Third-graders brought recruitment material home, which they were given by persons unknown.
Stuttgart Streetcar received an unpleasant surprise seven years ago when they found out who had rented one of their properties. It involved a celebrity Scientologist.
The city administration could not prevent an exhibition for the 40th anniversary of the Scientology Church in European in the auditorium at Bad Cannstatt. (see http://members.tripod.com/German_Scn_News/cannstat.htm for on the spot report, includes pictures of the white double-decker Scientology advertising bus.)
A video spot for the writings of the sect founder was beamed on city-owned property at Pragsattel for several days in January.
Scientology is advertising
Bug in the ointment
January 11, 2001
by Michael Ohnewald
Scientology is trying to get new members in Stuttgart with expensive advertising. In its doing so the city has proved to be a lackey in that the sect is able to present itself side by side with big-name companies. And do it, of all places, at the giant screen at Pragsattel (see report this page).
The Stuttgart Market is responsible for marketing municipal real estate, and it says it relies completely on an advertising firm with which it does business. But what has Business Impulse Stuttgart GmbH gotten itself into in offering such a platform to a sect which is under observation by Constitutional Security? Was the service manager simply hopelessly naive in the face of a lucrative contract? The company's managers still owe us an answer. They were not able to be reached in this case.
Even Thomas Brandl, spokesman for the city's own Marketing Association, is not able to properly explain how the bug can be extracted from the ointment - especially the video commercial which was previously stopped and which suddenly appeared again from the abyss. In any case it cannot possibly be an embarrassing computer error, as the city Market would like us to believe. The Scientologists have obviously managed to obtain a valid contract.
The ticklish matter is especially annoying for chief assembly representative Wolfgang Schuster (CDU), who does not want to offer a platform for advertising in his city. He has denied the sect a major advertising presence on public spaces, even their leaflets may not be distributed in Stuttgart. So Schuster can't stand the thought of a laggard leaving the door wide open to Scientology in his district. He wants an explanation - now.
Scientology on the presentation dish at Pragsattel
The bunker at Pragsattel has served Scientology as an advertising platform the day long. Until yesterday, the organization's video has been in good company - the IHK, Bahn and VfB also have presentations at the gate of the city. Now the going is getting choppy.
by Michael Ohnewald
Carla Bregenzer was flushed with outrage. "That can't be happening," said the sect political speaker of the state assembly. What visibly raised the blood pressure of the Social Democrat was the report about Scientology's advertising commercials widely visible from Pragsattel. Right on the video screen of the tall bunker, for the past few days drivers stuck in occasional traffic jams have been receiving a recruitment message from Hubbard disciples for the writings of the Master, "Read Scientology ..."
From Carla Bregenzer's viewpoint, that's the last straw. "It can't be happening that they're advertising for an organization which is justifiably under surveillance by Constitutional Security - especially in such a central location." That's the way SPD city assembly member Andreas Reissig sees it, too. "That really takes the cake," he chides and said he spoke his mind to the city.
In fact the tall bunker belongs to the city. The business of contracting with advertisers however is taken care of by the Market and Congress Association (SMK). The marketing of the property is contracted out to Business Impulse Stuttgart GmbH. And this corporation has apparently just shot itself in the foot.
According to statements by SMK spokesman Thomas Brandl the Scientologists tried back in early October to get Business Impulse Stuttgart GmbH to show a video commercial. After several days the city Market got the word and told Executive Mayor Wolfgang Schuster (CDU) about the case. His proclamation was unmistakable: he wanted the commercial out of there. That was October 11 of last year.
And now the controversial commercial has showed up again. For several days Hubbard's message flickered up again on the giant screen. Their attention brought to the misunderstanding, the city Market reacted again yesterday - and had the Scientology commercial disappear before noon. But how did the Scientologists get into the program anyway? Brandl explained it this way: normally the advertising company under contract would have to submit every contribution for approval first. But that wasn't done because the company had been in business for years. Brandl blamed the controversial commercial's showing up again on a bug in the computer program.
That was described by a spokeswoman for the Hubbard distribution company which paid for the commercial as "lies." She said the company had actually complained that their spot was not being shown as scheduled. "Now it happened again," explained the spokeswoman. It couldn't be a matter of a computer bug, she said. She said "someone was not dealing from the top of the deck." However those statements are evaluated, the case for the city and the market is rather embarrassing. The Scientologists are able to advertise for days at the gate of the city. Hubbard & Co. was in best company with Hofbräu, Karstadt, the IHK, the Neckarwerken, VfB Stuttgart and the Bahn.
Most of the people whose advertisements were being shown up there too were not aware of sharing their platform with the Scientologists and took a dim view of the news. Peter Godenrath, operating manager of VfB Marketing GmbH thinks there is no excuse. "I'm outraged," he said. "That is completely unacceptable." Lutz Zeller from Hofbräu was also unpleasantly moved, "We're not happy being in a Scientology environment." If the sect commercial would not have disappeared, most others would have terminated their contracts. That was verified by Ursula Eickhoff of Deutschen Bahn AG. The transportation company quite decisively distances itself from the controversial organization.
Just as little enthused by the unfortunate presentation was the IHK, Industry and Trade Chamber, Stuttgart region. Chief operating manager Andreas Richter said, "We didn't like that at all." The IHK has since terminated their contract, but that didn't have anything to do with the blunder. Richter indicated that the IHK would not have participated to begin with if it had known it was going to be in the same boat with Scientology.
In Stuttgart the Scientologists, according to Constitutional Security, operate a so-called Class V Org, that means a major establishment with a wide range of services. The number of members in Baden-Wuerttemberg is estimated at 1,200. In past years Hubbard disciples have made their presence known with several exhibitions and vigils. They are described in the Constitutional Security report as using, among other things, "particularly aggressive recruitment measures."
No advertisement for Scientology -
Sect thanks the city
Transportation company sells ad space to somebody else
From: "Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Germany"
February 19, 1999
The "Deutsche Bahn AG" transportation company is selling the ad space at its stops on Wolfram Street to somebody else. Hans Dieterle, press spokesman for the DB system explained, "we will not advertise for Scientology."
by Konstantin Schwarz
The advertisements for the sect have been a sore point for the transportation company because of the complaints of its customers. "We regret that this has happened," said Dieterle, who made a reference to the standards for advertising in train stations. Posters praising the psycho-sect are prohibited there, as they also are on construction fences.
In the marketing of the fence space surrounding the development of the the area under construction by "Stuttgart21", the DB real estate company uses the German Railroad advertisements as a model. That company offers space to "Moplak" in Duesseldorf. The "Monumental und Plakatreklame GmbH" advertising company has been in business for 20 years, and has been placing its posters on about 100 available spaces in Stuttgart for 15 years. As the city does, they also have internal policies. They have a ban on sect material. Scientology is not explicitly mentioned. However, the owner of the property can stipulate a restriction clause in Duesseldorf. And "all advertising space without a restriction clause has to be available for all advertisement."
The city, which is trying to repel the sect's advances, but which nevertheless had to place the Cannstatt Community hall at the sect's disposal (for which they received a letter of thanks), sees its own hands as having been tied. "If the transportation company makes money that way, we can do nothing to prevent it," said Rudolf Scheithauer of the codes office. The office dealing with heavy construction, which is responsible for the advertising space available on city construction fencing "consistently" opposes Scientology advertising, according to its director, Hartwig Beiche. They also have an arrangement so that "our advertisers see to it that Scientology advertisements are not put up," he said.
Spy in the Foreign Ministry
Secret Document lands in the Scientology headquarters
July 27, 1999
Federal Intelligence Agency is searching for the leak - Sensitive proceedings also in Munich
The Scientology psycho-concern is very active in the political arena, as now demonstrated by new information. However, state officials are having to fight counter-productive inadequacies as well as moles planted in their own backyard.
In the fight against Scientology, the Interior Ministers have brought out their heavy guns: the psycho-concern is under surveillance in almost all German states by Constitutional Security. Big breakdowns have not only occurred in Baden-Wuerttemberg, however, as research by our newspaper has shown.
by Rainer Noebel and Peter Reichelt
The allegations of spying activity by Scientology in the environment surrounding Minister President Teufel at the beginning of the 1990s has put the Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security in hot water. Teufel was never informed, and the source upon which the constitutional security agent based his claim in the latest report seems to be questionable.
A disgrace for the Stuttgart intelligence "flatfoots" - a fleeting respite for the psycho-concern. Real evidence of its spying activity in recent years upon state politicians exists, as our newspaper has learned: six years ago Scientology utilized a detective agency against a CDU federal representative from the Stuttgart district who had taken a determined stance against the sect organization in a television discussion. For four weeks his personal environment was intensely investigated; the results were forwarded on to the Scientology secret service in Munich. Stuttgart tax investigators happened across the case while they were doing their own investigation at the time. "My family feels very threatened," said the representative, "one must take the activities by Scientology seriously." Out of concern for his family he does not want his name mentioned. In a booklet from the Bavarian Interior Ministry it can be seen that about six years ago a Scientologist was sentenced in court in Baden-Wuerttemberg for a murder threat against the state chief of the CDU Student's Union.
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has accumulated other problems in connection with Scientology: apparently a mole is operating from his office. At least one case was able to be reconstructed by our newspaper in which confidential documents from the Foreign Office appeared at the Scientology secret service headquarters in Los Angeles.
On November 20, 1997, the director of the political department in Bonn held a confidential department meeting. The theme was "Scientology in the scope of German-American relationships." The background of the meeting was that the Scientologists had taken out full page advertisements in U.S. newspapers to flaunt their supposed discrimination of Scientologists in Germany, even trying to equate the Federal Republic with the Third Reich. Also many Hollywood greats had signed a letter of protest to Helmut Kohl, who was Federal Chancellor at the time. In the Foreign Ministry's meeting, the method by which the Germans would present their position to the Americans was determined. An internal strategy paper resulted which was not meant for publication. In the summer of 1998, Kinkel's office became aware that the document had appeared at Scientology's OSA intelligence agency in Los Angeles, where it had been forwarded to a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Foreign Ministry would rather not talk about the painful incident. It could be learned, however, that the case was not assigned to the Constitutional Security agency in Cologne, who it normally would have been assigned to, but was given to the Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) in Pullach, Bavaria so that the leak could be found - which still has not happened. A Kohl administration politician criticized, "The BND was not actively tied into the information situation in the Foreign Office." And he indicated that other important papers, like the ones about Lebanon, had also "walked out the doors" of the Foreign Office. In the dealings with Scientology the Kohl administration had repeatedly "blocked out" the Foreign Office. The politician also mentioned that "in the area of commercial criminality there is no more dangerous organization which also presents a problem in the political arena." In Pullach, it was stated that the BND has no official assignment in regards to Scientology. A foreign official of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office (BKA) in Washington confirmed that the weak spot in the foreign office had not yet been found.
As if things weren't bad enough. When the Bavarian State Office for Constitutional Security was asked about Scientology, there was plenty more information at first: politicians, even Bavaria's Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein, had whispering campaigns spread about them by Scientology in 1998. Besides that the sect spied on Peter Gauweiler for the purpose of trying to discredit him in the 1980s.
Suddenly, however, the official speaker became very silent when he was asked about an entirely different case. According to information our newspaper has received, the Munich Constitutional Security agents have been aware for two years that representatives of Scientology and its cover organizations have been trying to establish close contact with leading politicians in the CSU. And, from the view of the sect organization, they succeeded in two prominent cases - that was the information which was provided to the Constitutional Security agents at the time. At least in one case there were several confrontations and meetings involved. It is still not known if the two politicians are aware that Scientology was behind the whole thing. The sources are to remain confidential. Not one word on this topic appears in the Bavarian Constitutional Security report.
Today Bavarian Constitutional Security will not deny this informal proceeding when asked about it. Neither, however, will they confirm it. "We cannot say anything about it," is the official position. This reaction raises questions: perhaps they wouldn't like to grab the hot iron? No comment. It will remain the secret of the the intelligence "flatfoots." ["Schlapphuete" literally means "slouch hats" and refers to spies.
Scientology Spy in Foreign Ministry
July 27, 1999
Stuttgart - Apparently there is a mole in the Foreign Ministry: in 1998 an internal strategy document ended up at the Scientology secret service in the USA. According to information our newspaper has received, the Federal Intelligence Agency is searching for the leak - so far without success. Meanwhile a state representative from the Stuttgart district has been under surveillance by the psycho-concern. (page 3)