October 21, 1999
Stoiber: Scientology is no longer
a trans-Atlantic problem
Washington, October 21 (AFP) - The treatment of Scientology, in the opinion of Bavarian Minister President Edmund Stoiber (CSU), is no longer a problem in trans-Atlantic relations. In any case, the people he spoke with on his trip to Washington did not mention it, said Stoiber on Wednesday (local time) in front of journalists in the U.S. capitol. "I believe that our standpoint has been understood." In the past, the complaints from Scientology about its treatment in Germany has led to ill humor between the German government and U.S. officials. The foreign affairs committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to look at a Scientology resolution on Thursday, which is critical of Germany. In the scope of his trip to the USA, Stoiber has met in Washington with lead speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, and Secretary of Commerce William Daley. Meetings were planned on Thursday with Senate Republican majority leader Trent Lott, Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan and U.S. vice secretary of the treasury Stuart Eizenstadt. loew/cs
U.S. representatives once again criticize Germany because of Scientology
Washington, October 21 (AFP) - The German treatment of Scientology, in the opinion of several U.S. members of congress, has negative effects on religious freedom in all of Europe. "Germany is a nation which should take on a leadership role in matters of tolerance," said chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the House of Representatives, Republican Ben Gilman, to journalists on Thursday in Washington. "Unfortunately, it is not doing that, and the other European countries are following the German example." Gilman supports a resolution which is critical of Germany, and which is to be brought before the both houses of Congress in the coming weeks. It is questionable whether the resolution will fare any differently than it did in previous years by finding a majority there. Republican Senator Michael Enzi from Wyoming said that exactly because Germany was prominent in the European Union, the alleged discrimination of minority religious went beyond the German borders. Similar arguments were brought forward by film actress Anne Archer, who read a statement as a member of Scientology. As to the chances of passing the resolution, Mormon Representative Matt Salmon told the AFP news agency, "We will have to do an enormous amount of information work." He said, however, that he was optimistic, "We intend to bring it to a vote this spring." In the resolution, Germany is required to initiate a dialogue with representatives of Scientology, which they have so far refused to do. Unlike the USA, the organization in Germany is not recognized as a church. Their complaints about their treatment by German agencies, parties and corporations in the past has led to ill humor between the German government and U.S. positions. loew/bt
Interior Ministers deliberate over Scientology Surveillance
Scientology President calls Beckstein a "political desperado"
November 21, 1998
Los Angeles. The President of the controversial Scientology organization, Heber Jentzsch has called upon the German Interior Ministers Conference to not let itself be led by the "hate-filled speech" of their Bavarian representative, Günter Beckstein (CSU). In a statement released in Los Angeles, California, Jentzsch called Beckstein a "blind fanatic" and a "political desperado" by whom the "mentally healthy" members of the Ministries should not be influenced.
The Interior Ministers deliberated on Thursday and Friday in Bonn on an agenda which included a continuation of the surveillance of Scientology by the German intelligence agency of Constitutional Protection. An agreement on an extension was seen as likely. Beckstein relentlessly appealed to the Conference, bringing up, among other things, the accusatory testimony of prominent former Scientologist, Jesse Prince.
According to Jentzsch, Prince is not credible. He is said to have a long history of "legal offenses" ranging from drug dealing to theft. Besides that, Jentzsch described German intelligence information about the operations of a Scientology secret service in Germany as "completely false."
Background and Opinion
Lead Story: Scientology remains under Surveillance
From: "Westfälische Nachrichten"
November 21, 1998
by Hilmar Riemenschneider
In principle the Scientology organization has already disqualified itself. Its boss, Heber Jentzsch, is flailing indiscriminately below the belt when he vilifies Bavarian Interior Minister Beckstein as a "blind fanatic" and "political desperado" from which the "mentally healthy" Ministers should not let themselves be infected. This is the same tone taken in the infamous campaign in which Scientology compared itself with the victims of Jewish persecution by the National Socialists. He who so readily reaches for the polemics chest cannot expect that he will be taken seriously in religious demands.
Taken in this light the presentation by the German intelligence agency becomes realistic. The concentration of Scientology upon commercial and social positions of power as the way to a new world of "mental health", a private intelligence service, influencing of judges, intimidation of opponents, resorting to methods of "psychological warfare" - such activities have nothing to do with the deep human search for a sense and value of life. The proven and the presumed commercial power of the organization leads more to the conclusion that Scientology is thinking along materialistic lines, namely, to rule the world with money.
Therefore it is only logical that the Interior Ministers should pursue interests of self protection and have the Scientologists continue to be observed by the Constitutional Security agency. Also the stated goal of scrutinizing the hidden political activity of the organization appears to be called for in light of its apparently large political influence in the USA. This will be a difficult task in which the Scientologists present at least a potential risk. Whether the estimate of 10,000 members in Germany is realistic must also be answered by the Constitutional Security agency.
The public pressure on Scientology has apparently been effective, the tide has been turned. All the same, many people are still searching for orientation with or social connection to sects and psycho-groups whose goals are either unclear or, in the worst case, can cause mental harm. Tolerance is just as indispensable as a critical look behind the facades. The state will have to walk the fence between religious freedom and protection of the basic rights of the individual.
Surveillance of Scientology continues
Bonn (Reuters) - The Scientology organization will continue to be observed by the Constitutional Security Office. Walter Zuber (SPD) said on Friday after a meeting with his colleagues from nation and states in Bonn, that the report presented by a nation-states workgroup of the Constitutional Security office had confirmed that Scientology still contains points essential for pursuing anti-constitutional goals.
German Scientology Vice President Sabine Weber stated that the continuation of the surveillance means a "confirmation of reversion to the inquisitional Middle Ages." It was obvious, that the one year observation of Scientology by the Constitutional Security Agency had brought nothing but scandal and a gigantic waste of taxpayer's money, stated Weber.
The Interior Ministers is having a feasibility report written up for next Fall, when they will deliberate over whether the Constitutional Security agency should also be used in the fight against organized crime.