Scientology opponent from Zurich writes to the Constitutional Protection agent, "Goller"
From: "Stuttgarter Zeitung"
July 1, 1998
by Klaus Grundgeiger
The Baden-Wurttemberg [Germany] official Peter Gobel must still answer this year in a Basel [Switzerland] court on charges of prohibited activity for a political intelligence service and prohibited business for a foreign country. The [Swiss] Federal District Attorney in Berne has accused him of illegally trying to obtain information about the Scientology organization from Odette Jaccard, resident of Zurich, in early April under the cover name of "Goller." Gobel was apprehended during this attempt. Susanne Haller, a Basel politician who had been invited to the meeting with Gobel by Jaccard, the 64 year old sect specialist, had "in the exercise of her informational obligation" (in the words of District Attorney Thomas Hug) informed the Swiss security officials. As a precaution, Hug, in the "interest of avoiding any misunderstanding" had confirmed that Haller, a Social Democrat, would only figure in the upcoming legal proceedings as a witness, and that no kind of contact or exchange of information with the foreign official would be used against her.
However, the same did not hold true for Odette Jaccard of the Information Group on Scientology and Dianetics, who faces charges by the Swiss District Attorney. Susanne Haller has publicly accused the feisty older lady of providing the Baden-Wurttemberg Constitutional Protection agent with a list of names of 2,000 Swiss Scientology prospects. Because the meeting with Peter Gobel, alias Goller, took place on Swiss soil, Jaccard, a retiree, faces a sentence of from three days to five years in prison - a fine is not foreseen in Switzerland for "political intelligence service." After Gobel's arrest, the Zurich residence of the Scientology opponent [Jaccard] was searched by order of Federal District Attorney Carla del Ponte by six officials, who took custody of 25 diskettes and a computer, among other items.
The President of the Information Group on Scientology and Dianetics, Kurt Hassig, has distributed a press release stating that his organization stands completely behind Odette Jaccard. Research by the Group has "long since shown that certain activities of the Scientology business, after the surveillance by the German Constitutional Protection Agency, have moved to Switzerland." He says it is now "fitting that the Swiss politicians and officials direct their attentions toward the goings-on of Scientology." Odette Jaccard herself has been saying that Swiss officials have been looking on blandly at the operations of Scientology, which, in her opinion, are hazardous to the state.
In an open letter distributed over the internet ("since I have been prohibited from speaking directly to you"), Odette Jaccard has addressed "Peter Goller", the Constitutional Protection agent. In her letter she said, "Since we were meeting on account of the border-crossing activities of the dangerous Scientology/Dianetics business, I think the reaction of the Swiss Federal Police was classic overkill and incomprehensible." The 64 year old values the welfare of her addressee. "My greatest concern is that the whole thing will not have serious consequences for you, Peter. Hopefully, no one will forget that you are a new father who must see to his wife and children! I wish that you or your office would write me and tell me that everything will be alright. I would like to sleep without the nightmare of your possibly being suspended or something similar." Although she is doing well, and she will continue to fight, "ten district attorneys could come at me - that would not impress me one bit." Unfortunately, you always have to count on there being people like "our denouncer," Susanne H., the Basel politician, continued Ms. Jaccard, "what a pity, but there's no changing it."
From: "Stuttgarter Nachrichten"
April 30, 1998
Method of arrest in Basel encumbers relationships between German and Swiss investigators
Stuttgart - The Stuttgart Constitutional Protection agent, who was arrested in Basel while gathering information about Scientology earlier this month, was apparently treated by the Swiss Federal police as a dangerous criminal.
by Rainer Wehaus
As our newspaper has confirmed on several pages, the official from Stuttgart was overpowered Rambo style in a parking garage by his Swiss colleagues. An example of this is that a sack was pulled over his head. A strip search was performed on him. "They did not leave anything out," reported an insider. A heroin dealer would not have been treated worse; one is shocked. The official, who did not offer any resistance and admitted to his offense, was then put in a cell that was described as "similar to pre-war." The cell was filthy; he was only given two slices of bread to eat. Presumably the Swiss, who pay close attention to their neutrality, treated the man from Stuttgart so austerely for reasons of deterrence.
The Constitutional Protection agent sat in a detention cell for more than three days. He was not freed until after an official apology and the posting of 25,000 francs bail by the the Stuttgart Ministry of Interior. Besides that, the German authorities have to insure that the official appears at a judicial hearing in Switzerland. The Constitutional Protection agent has been charged with prohibited political intelligence gathering. Legal experts predict that the most he will receive is probation.
The Constitutional Protection agent was arrested shortly after a meeting with two Scientology critics at the Hotel Victoria in Basel. Apparently one of the two critics, who protests these kind of "snooper methods", had informed the police several days before, so that he could be arrested. Apparently the informant had talked the official into meeting in Basel. The meeting had originally been planned on the German side. The reason for the German intelligence efforts is that the Scientologists in Sudbaden [Germany] are directed from Basel [Switzerland].
In Stuttgart, [the feeling is that] their neighbor's harsh treatment borders on misunderstanding. Officially, one is the repentant sinner; one does not want to further instigate the prosecutors in Switzerland. On the other hand, some people are gritting their teeth. Up until this time, the Swiss investigators helpfully answered questions. Now, however, the readiness of the "quarrelsome mountain folk" (quoted from an investigator who said it half in jest, half in earnest) to cooperate across the border has decreased. "If we would have arrested one of our Swiss colleagues for something like that, at least we would have seen to it that he had a proper place to sleep and gotten some decent food," stated a source.
A few days ago, Secretary of the Interior Thomas Schauble (CDU) let his surprise at the proceedings of the Swiss police show through. To the question by a reporter as to whether one could not expect from a friendly neighboring country, that they indicate the degree of injustice of an action to the colleagues in Germany before they make an arrest, he said "That's not far off the mark." Schauble has written to the Swiss Interior Secretary Ruth Dreifuss, asking for a meeting. An answer has not yet been received. Deep rumblings against the "quarrelsome mountain folk."
Regional State Secret Service: Scientologists Spy on Opponents
Stuttgart (dpa) - The Scientology organization, according to a statement of the regional Secret Service of the German State of Baden-Wurttemberg, uses a secret service to spy upon its critics.
The Southwest of Germany has a relatively high density of the [Scientology] organization's establishments, stated a new report of the regional Secret Service for 1997.
In order to carry out their extremist and totalitarian goals, Scientology systematically shadows their opponents and selectively slanders them, said the President of the regional secret service (State Office of Constitutional Protection), Helmut Rannacher, on Friday in Stuttgart.
The Scientology propaganda machine and secret service, Office of Special Affairs (OSA), is said to compile blacklists of their critics. The means they use of doing this are, to some degree, adventurous: Scientologists are said to, among other things, photograph the dwellings and surroundings of its critics. Disguised as street sweepers, they have rummaged about in garage trash containers for waste paper, in order to obtain information on critical organizations, said Rannacher.
The organization has been under observation in Baden-Wurttemberg since January, 1997, by the secret service. During this time, according to Rannacher's statement, quotations, publications, the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, as well as extensive information from former Scientologists have been systematically assessed.
The failed attempt to gain additional information from Scientology opponents in Switzerland made headlines in early April. Because of the arrest of a member of the regional secret service in Basel, Baden-Wurttembergs Interior Minister, Thomas Schauble, has offered Switzerland stronger cooperation against Scientology.
The organization is not under observation in Switzerland. The German provincial secret service takes the view that the organization operates out of central Switzerland, primarily in the Sudbaden region, but is also active in the Bodensee area.
According the view held by the German secret service, the dynamic development of Scientology has decreased in recent years. According to Scientology, they have over eight million members world-wide. In Germany there are supposed to be, according to various estimates, between 30,000 and 70,000 Scientologists.
The regional secret service in the state of Hamburg has also recently published a report warning of OSA activities. The goal of the Scientologists is said, in the report, to be the infiltration of governments, offices and businesses, as well as the systematic defamation and wearing away of opponents and former members.
April 24, 1998
From "Stuttgarter Nachrichten"
April 15, 1998
Swiss Canton politician wanted the arrest of the 'Snooper' from Stuttgart - Political Motive?
Stuttgart - The Stuttgart Constitutional Protection agent, who was arrested last week during his investigation of the controversial Scientology organization in Switzerland, was apparently caught in a trap.
by Rainer Wehaus
There is much to indicate that the Swiss Canton politician, Susanne Haller, brought about the the arrest of the investigator, allegedly because of political motives. Haller is a member of the Social Democrat Party (SP) in Switzerland, which is the only party in our neighboring country who supports the people's initiative "S.o.S. - Schweiz ohne Schnueffelpolizei" [Against the Switzerland Snooper Police] The initiative was brought up long ago for the disbandment of the [Swiss] "Political Police" (read: intelligence service [note: "secret police".)
After a year-long battle - the initiative was quashed in Parliament - it now comes down to a popular vote. The election is scheduled for the seventh of June. Here comes an conspicuous incident such as the one in Basel, where the official of the State Office of Constitutional Protection was arrested, conveniently for the opposition of the [Swiss] intelligence service. Haller herself made this version of the story credible (there was no official opinion as of Tuesday). She said to the "Basler Zeitung", "I knew that there was going to be an arrest. That's what I wanted." She resists that kind of "Snooper method", even if it was directed against Scientology.
The Constitutional Protection agent from Stuttgart was arrested on Monday of last week, after he had conversed with Haller and another Scientology critic, Odette Jaccard, for several hours in a Basel hotel right on the square. He was charged with conducting political intelligence activities for a foreign power and the falsification of identification. After several days in detention the agent was released on bail.
The investigator has to answer before a Swiss court. The case will also have possible disciplinary consequences for him. The authorities in Stuttgart have conceded that the agent offended the sovereignty of their neighboring country. Helmut Rannacher apologized, as did the German ambassador who was called by the Swiss State Department.
Apparently it was Haller who, in cooperation with the Swiss police, saw to it that the meeting did not take place as had been planned on the German side, but in Basel instead. The Constitutional Protection agent wanted to travel with both his informants from Basel to Weil on Rhein by train, to talk about the connections between Basel and Sudbaden Scientologists. Despite this, Haller urged that the proceedings take place in the square - presumably due to lack of time. After the meeting the Stuttgart agent was arrested relatively quickly; the Swiss Federal Police were apparently well prepared. There is much to indicate that Haller already had contact with the police a couple of days before the meeting. The warrant for arrest is dated April 2 - four days before the meeting.
From the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten"
April 11, 1998
One really pictured Espionage to be something quite different.
by Rainer Wehaus
The Constitutional Protection agent from Baden-Wurttemberg sat in Basel with two Scientology critics, in order to learn about the connection between south Baden and Swiss scientologists. That really doesn't sound like a James Bond film. Nevertheless, what is permitted for others, such as journalists, is prohibited to Constitutional Protection agents. From a purely legal viewpoint, the man from Stuttgart presumably fulfilled the conditions for espionage, even if it appears to be a less serious case. For this reason, the matter is painful to the Office of Constitutional Protection in the State.
It had to have been clear to the investigator from Stuttgart that the Swiss react particularly sensibly to transgressions against their sovereignty. In early February, five agents of the Israeli secret service were caught installing bugs in a multi-family dwelling in Bern, presumably to eavesdrop on Iranians. Whoever has to experience this in their own country will not close their eyes to it, even in minor cases. In addition to that, the Swiss government thinks differently about the Scientology sect than does the German. It does not see any reason for the surveillance of the sect. The mere suspicion that Scientologists operate with criminal methods is not enough for the Swiss. That is how it happens that the Scientologists can work together, unhindered, from either side of the border -- a condition which is apparently far beyond that of the investigating officials.