by Eva Male
Washington. It is said that U.S. President Bill Clinton should hold talks with the political powers-that-be in France, Germany, Belgium and Austria about violations of religious freedom. This is proposed in a resolution (HR 588), which has been taken up recently in the International Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. The theme has already been dealt with in detail at a congressional hearing last June. The resolution was sponsored by Committee Chairman Ben Gilman and Republican Matt Salmon and Donald Payne. They have also expressed support that experts on religious freedom should be included in international meetings, such as OSCE. The resolution criticizes mainly France (for a parliamentary report on religions) and Germany (for discrimination against Scientology adherents in business), but it was also said that religious minorities were disadvantaged, monitored and boycotted in Austria and Belgium. Austria was said to produce "intentional propaganda against religious groups," such as through its established sect office.
Severe criticism is being applied to a law which puts religious movements under observation as a condition for possible state acknowledgement. The Austrian model was also said to serve for new democracies in the east, like Hungary, Romania and Russia, as justification for more stringent laws. The U.S. State Department's annual report, as it did in the year previous, criticized the unequal treatment of religious communities (mainly Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology), which division resulted in various categories with assorted legal statuses. An American singer, member of Scientology, was said to have been exposed to vehement protests, and a staff member at Telekom was said to have been degraded by transfer to a less responsible post because of his membership in Scientology. In any case, the State Department has emphasized that the religion law formalized the second-rate status of groups not recognized by the state.
It was said that mistrust of non-recognized religious groups was spread in Austria, whereby governmental participation by the FPOe aroused the fear in religious minorities that the climate would continue to get worse. It was said that former FP chief Joerg Haider was continuing to make statements regarded as intolerant and anti-Semitic. It was further said that the Evangelical Superintendent Gertaud Knoll, after his appearance at the rally against hate of foreigners on Heldenplatz was threatened; however it was said not to be proven, but assumed, that the FPOe was behind the hate campaign. It was also noted with displeasure in the report that Social Minister Elisabeth Sickl (FP) wanted to increase the call to battle with specialists (teachers, people from youth work), an inter-ministerial work group on sects and non-acknowledged religious groups. Also the sect brochure distributed by the former Families Ministry is a thorn in the side of the USA.
Does Hollywood pay critics of Germany?
June 16, 2000
Robert von Rimscha
Republican U.S. Representative Mark Foley from Florida threatens to make freedom of belief in Germany a theme at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The congressional hearing on Wednesday discussing the Microsoft boycott was led by Ben Gilman from New York. Gilman, Foley, Republic Matt Salmon (Arizona) and the Senator from Wyoming, Mike Enzi, are all part of a regular gang of Germany critics.
On the other side are always the same celebrities from Hollywood who give their names to matters of Scientology. Husband and wife actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, jazz musician Chick Corea, TV lawyer Gretta Van Susteren, as well as actresses Anne Archer and Catherine Bell are among them. Using files from the Federal Election Commission, which records political party donations, the "Tagesspiegel" has looked into whether cross-connections could be found: do the Scientology adherents from Hollywood donate money to the Scientology advocates in the U.S. Congress? Do they receive noteworthy sums from the alleged church?
The answer is no on both accounts. John Travolta and Chick Corea, whose names are always appearing in the issue of whether Germany boycotts Scientology artists, do not have a single donation recorded to politicians since 1993. Only Cruise and Kidman donate regularly. Since 1998, Tom Cruise has written 11 checks, his wife Nicole seven in the same time frame. Main benefactors of the money, a total of $58,000, are not pro-Scientology congressional representatives, but Hillary Clinton ($14,000), the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, Tom Daschle ($2,000) and Vice President Al Gore ($5,000).
Just to even out the picture, the main sources of income for the Scientology defenders in Congress were investigated. Gilman received donations from representatives for pilots, Albanians, attorneys, engineers and Boeing businesses, but nobody among the many hundreds of donors are from a church environment. Enzi takes money from sugarcane planters, retailers, beef raisers and from the companies of Coors, JP Morgan and GE, but not from Scientology. The support for the "church" is apparently not financially motivated - at least not directly.
The American trade authorities criticize Germany for "sect filter"
June 16, 2000
Robert von Rimscha
The latest U.S. Congressional hearings on the theme of "Treatment of religious minorities in western Europe" took place on Wednesday. Once again, Germany was put on trial for its dealings with Scientology. But the old feud took a surprising turn. Has the Federal Republic of Germany been maneuvered into a situation in which it must boycott the Windows software from Microsoft?
Enter Craig Jensen. He is the founder and chairman of "Executive Software" and professed Scientologist. He started his corporation in 1981. He sold much to Germany for a decade. He wrote the "disk defragmenter" for Windows 2000, a tool to improve the access to data. Executive Software components have been integrated in Windows for six years.
The actual dispute began with an article in a computer magazine in December 1999. "Windows 2000 at risk of being banned" ran the headlines. A Hamburg Interior Ministry spokesman stated that the city government would only use Windows 2000 after the Executive Software components had been taken out. Bavaria and Hamburg refuse public contracts to Scientology companies. Federal agencies have communicated to Microsoft that Windows 2000 will not be generally released because of the Scientology connection. This is apparently the first case of a provider being caught in the "sect filter" of the public procurers.
"The federal government at first did not even try to palliate that their embargo being based on religious discrimination," said Jensen on Wednesday before the foreign politics committee. "I am not appearing here today to complain about a trade boycott or religious discrimination, but to direct your attention to the interplay of the two of them, an embargo that is justified with official government religious discrimination." He called for the U.S. Congress to pass a resolution critical of Germany.
An old story? It depends. It is recognized that one or the other government official in Washington will bow to the adeptly mounted pressure from Scientology and get excited about Germany's dealings with the alleged church. What's new is that the scandal pulls in one crisis after the next.
Up to now, it was a couple of congressional representatives who pressed for resolutions critical of Germany and saw to it that the theme appeared in the State Department's Human Rights Report. But now the friends of Scientology have managed, for the first time, to rope in a second U.S. department. The USTR trade agency, directly subordinate to the White House, announced in the beginning of May that the disadvantages of Scientologists in announcements in Germany presented a serious obstacle to free world trade. It was about the exact same "sect filter" that Craig Jensen complained about so emphatically.
The brunt of censure went to a directive issued by the German Federal Commerce Ministry in September 1998 which made it possible in public contracts "to immediately end contracts being negotiated and to reject offers" if the applicant companies refused to sign a "sect filter." "At least one major U.S. provider had to undergo a review which far exceeded any of his existing competitors," wrote the USTR. This is a big jump. Nobody gets particularly excited about the State Department's Human Rights Report any more. That is just a compilation of what one or the other powerful U.S. lobbies complains about. Fabricating an encumbrance to bilateral trade out of that, though, is an enormous success for Scientology.
Juergen Chrobog, the German Ambassador in Washington, reacted on Wednesday to the Congressional hearing on the Microsoft boycott with a statement typical of how German government officials answer U.S. accusations. While victims told their stories in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chrobog was pointing out paragraphs in the Constitution. On the role of the "sect filter" imposed by the government, Chrobog said only, "The latest assertions concern only a fraction of the contract announcements, in particular the educational measures in government contracts. These are not directed at Scientology, but are meant to ensure that techniques which attempt to suppress or psychologically manipulate are not implemented for purposes of consultation or education." More on that at www.meinberlin.de/microsoft
Notes not in original article:
United States Trade Representative - responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and leading or directing negotiations with other countries on such matters.
Missile Defense and Other Issues
May 9, 2000
Neue Zuercher Zeitung
Joschka Fischer in Washington
The routine visit by German Foreign Minister Fischer in Washington is overshadowed by trans-Atlantic dissension over missile defense and by denied rumors about a replacement for the German Ambassador's post in Washington. The personal understanding between Fischer and Albright appears as good as it was before.
R. St. Washington, May 8
In the course of his official visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has had meetings with Secretary of State Madeliene Albright and, on Tuesday, will be received in the Pentagon by Secretary of Defense William Cohen. As could be concluded from a joint press conference held by Albright and Fischer, the issue of missile defense is on the forefront of the meetings in the State Department.
While Fischer is concerned about deteriorization in Russian-American relations in the event a missile defense system is installed, Albright repeated that the anti-missile shield which will extend over Alaska is not directed at Russia, but against uncontrollable, so-called "rogue" states. The Secretary of State also recalled that the decision of the Clinton administration about the installation of the system will not be made until November, and that further tests are predicted for the summer. For a positive decision, she said, four criteria must be fulfilled, and not all of them rely solely upon sheer feasibility.
Several days ago former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, aligned with the Democrats, warned the Clinton administration in an article in the Washington Post about making a final decision in the issue of missiles. He said that there was currently no strategic necessity for such a decision and that the diplomatic effects upon relations to Europe, to Russia and to China would be negative. He said that Clinton should leave the decision up to his successor and not make missile defense into an internal political question of prestige. Foreign Minister Fischer stressed repeatedly before the press that this was to be regarded as a national decision of the United States; he was trying to publicly note his distance in this manner. Germany does not stand alone in Europe in regard to its skepticism about a National Missile Defense.
Other topics of discussion were the ever appearing problem of greater efforts at defense on the part of Europe. Washington is skeptical about the European Defense Initiative diverting energy from NATO. The Europeans answer that they had never been against taking on greater responsibility. In all the differences in the facts at hand, both foreign ministers appeared to maintain a good tone towards each other. Fischer expressed his appreciation for the United States as Germany's most important ally, and Mrs. Albright expressed her hope for a strong Germany in a strong Europe.
It can been seen from data published last evening on the German defense budget (at 1.5 percent of the gross social product the smallest of the large European countries) that German preparedness to act does not quite meet the level which is being conceptualized here. At least there are bilateral themes with a human touch on the fringes or in the forefront of the visit. That is where the Federal Republic justifies its politics against Scientology. The newspapers have also reported sporadically on the concerns of divorced American parents for the care of their overseas children. Minister Fischer took note of a newspaper article which criticized the practice of the German courts, but could not take a comprehensible position on the case.
Also in the forefront of the meetings were speculations about a transfer of the current German ambassador in Washington, Juergen Chrobog, to the Foreign Office as State Secretary. He denied that emphatically.
The American World Power needs a strong Europe
Official visit to Washington
Forced laborers, Arms control, Scientology
Fischer to follow
May 4, 2000
Washington. May 4. Federal President Rau pled for a "strong Europe" as a complement to the sole remaining world power in his first official visit to the United States since he entered office. Rau started off his three day visit to Washington on a positive note and said that there was "no crisis" in trans-Atlantic and bilateral relations, but that there were occasional "differences of opinion among friends." Rau, who wants to get together this Friday at the end of his visit in New York with the General Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Annan, spoke out in favor of a "community of those with equal rights."
In the American capitol, Rau met with leading representatives of Congress, but not with President Clinton. The Federal President expects to meet him in the beginning of June - before his Moscow "summit" with Russian President Putin - as a guest in Berlin, and then in the presentation of the Charlemagne Award in Aachen. The main occasion for Rau's trip to America (besides a benefit concert for the renovation of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig) was a joint appearance with Secretary of State Albright and Swedish Minister President Persson in an annual conference of the American Jewish Committee. Rau rated the invitation to speak before this forum as a "personal distinction."
In his speech on Thursday, he added praise to his prepared speech for the American Jewish organization, which opened up its first office in Berlin two years ago, for having been the first outside of Germany to "publicly support German unity." He added, "I know that there were anxieties that German unity and the move from Bonn to Berlin could go the routes of the past. That has not proven true." Prior to that, he had told journalists that there was no "new high-handedness" in German foreign politics. On the contrary, he admitted that in connection with the filling of a new director's position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), there have been "annoying overtones." But that subject had meanwhile been "straightened out." Moreover, he pled for a "mixture of self-confidence and modesty."
Regarding the agreed upon recompensation for the slave and forced laborers of the German agent, Graf Lambsdorff, there will be consultants traveling to Washington in the coming weeks - but the Federal President expressed his confidence that German business would keep its promise and, in spite of a shaky start, would quickly make its contribution (five billion marks for a total sum of ten billion). He hoped for payment this year. That was especially urgent in view of the advanced age of the surviving victims, said Rau.
To the question of neo-Nazi dealings in Germany, he replied that he could not perceive any "growth in rightwing radicalism." Neither were there political extremists, like the Liberal Party in Austria, because no forces of that type existed in the German Parliament. With a look at the continuing controversy surrounding the "Church of Scientology," Rau said that it "was not a religious association with us." The fact that an organization described itself as a "church" did not make it one.
In his speech before the American Jewish Committee, Rau stated, without going into detail, "See to the future of arms control negotiations," and added, "I do not want to hide the fact that I am concerned about the attitude of principle opponents of arms control in the U.S. Senate." That statement apparently referred to the rejection of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of last year. But the Federal President did not wish to comment on specific questions, for example, on the plans of the American government to construct a missile defense system. This subject was going to be a theme in the spring negotiations with Foreign Minister Fischer, which are to begin on Sunday.
U.S. Human Rights report sees positive trends worldwide
February 25, 2000
Washington - The USA has determined in its annual Human Rights report that, worldwide, there is a positive trend. In its report published on Friday, the State Department sees a tendency towards democratization. A positive comment was made about Germany in that the number of attacks against foreigners in the past year has decreased again. However, there still continued to be dark spots on the world map, like Serbia, Iraq, Cuba and Sierra Leone.
In contrast to previous years, the attitude of the German authorities toward the Scientology Organization was not criticized, but merely recorded. For instance it was stated that the organization is not regarded as a church in Germany, but as a commercial business. In addition, it was noted that civil service applications in Bavaria include a mandatory, detailed questionnaire in which contain questions about connections to Scientology.
The State Department report noted that attacks against foreigners in Germany continued. However, the number of attacks in the first ten months of the past year decreased by 25 percent compared to the equivalent period in the year prior. Anti-semitic attacks had also decreased by 27 percent in the first nine months.
The U.S. State Department described the traffic in women and girls as a serious problem. It said that Germany was a transit as well as a end country for women who are forced to be prostitutes. At the same time, the U.S. State Department recorded several positive measures being taken by the German authorities against traffic in women. For instance women who testify against the traffickers have some hope that they will not be immediately deported.
According to the estimate made by the U.S. State Department, developments in Nigeria and Indonesia have contributed to the positive worldwide trend. Because of the political change, people in two of the world's most densely populated countries are living under democratic conditions.
On the negative side, the U.S. State Department commented on the "ethnic cleansing" of the Serbs in Kosovo. President Slobodan Milosevic's administration was said to have brutally employed military and police force against Albanians and other groups. The violent acts of the Indonesian military in East Timor was also sharply criticized.
The Cuban government was accused of routinely employing chicanery against regime opponents. It said that critical journalists and business experts were deliberately apprehended - often with the goal of forcing them into leaving the country.
The U.S. State Department accused the government of the People's Republic of China have having increased suppression of regime opponents. For instance, the Democratic Party was said to have practically been dissolved by the imprisonment of its leaders. The Chinese government was said to have used similarly harsh procedures on the Falun Gong meditation movement.
In its annual report, the U.S. State Department evaluates the human rights situation in nearly all countries in the world. dpa tm xx hf
U.S. Congressmen criticize the current dealings with the sect using fantasies of German domination
Washington, D.C., USA
October 23, 1999
Robert Von Rimscha
The theme of Scientology is back again. On Thursday afternoon, a phalanx of American representatives, backed by Hollywood celebrities, sharply attacked the Federal Republic of Germany. The majority Republican politicians let it be known that a new resolution which was extremely critical of Germany would be brought before Congress.
What's new this time around, though, is that the "undisputed leadership role of Germany in Europe" is alleged to be responsible for the suppression of freedom of religion by "other governments such as Poland, France and Denmark who are, regrettably, trying to imitate the Federal Republic."
Other than that, the accusations are nothing new. Nevertheless, they were imparted in unusually harsh terms on Thursday in the U.S. Congress. Among other things, the representatives said: "hate is taught in German schools," "the government's persecution of minority religions has destroyed many artistic careers," "thousands need our help, because their voices are being suppressed in Germany." Ben Gilman, Republican from New York and chairman of the foreign politics committee in the House of Representatives, who has sponsored similar resolutions in the past, expressed himself relatively moderately. Gilman demanded that the German government be required take up a dialogue with representatives of small religions. "Unfortunately we have gotten nothing from them so far but trash." Gilman believes that Americans would be violating their Constitution if they did not "speak up against persecution of minority religions everywhere." He alleged that, unfortunately, Germany, in puncto tolerance, had taken a leadership role in Europe, and that other countries were following its bad example.
Republican Mark Foley from Florida threatened to make freedom of religion in Germany a theme at the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also said that Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians were discriminated against in the Federal Republic of Germany. He said it was "shocking that something like this could happen in a democracy." California Democrat Xavier Becerra asserted that hundreds of Americans were denied entrance into Germany because they were Scientologists or members of other small religions. Matt Salmon, Republican representative from Arizona and himself a Mormon, gave his impression that the federal government was less of a problem than were state and local governments. Salmon asserted that jazz musician Chick Corea was stopped from entering the Federal Republic of Germany.
Senator Mike Enzi, a republican from Wyoming, and film actress Anne Archer demanded that the Schroeder administration "finally embrace pluralism" and put pressure on its European neighbors to be just as tolerant of small religious denominations and their adherents. Several speakers compared the situation of religious freedom in the Federal Republic of Germany to that of China.
Contrary to custom, the "press conference" for 60 mostly American journalists, who appeared to be overwhelmingly convinced of the truth of the accusations, was delivered without permitting any questions to be asked. Gilman and Salmon said afterwards to the "Tagesspiegel" that they did not know of a single actual case where Americans could not travel to Germany because of their religious affiliation. He said that Corea had not obtained the permit he needed to appear for a concert in Germany. In response to the question as to what kind of permit a musician needed to appear in Germany, Representative Salmon said, "That is just what Chick Corea told us."
The three and a half page proposed resolution demanded that Germany keep its international obligations. The U.S. President was called upon to "express his concern" to the Federal Republic. It is not clear what chances the initiative has. Gilman and Salmon said, however, that they were "optimistic," but interjected that they would still have to do much information work among their fellow representatives.
Previous resolutions of similar content were voted down with the help of German lobby efforts once they reached committee, or never made it to the Senate. This time the sponsors, among them Tom Davis, a Republican from Virginia, wish to introduce the resolution simultaneously in the Senate and House of Representatives. They hope for a vote this spring when the State Department presents its annual report on the situation of human rights in Germany. In the meantime, it has become known that the attorney who represents Scientology in Washington is the same who had Joerg Haider for a client.
Translation note: the quotes cited are not actual, word-for-word quotes, but are translated from English into German back to English.
US Representatives take action against Berlin
Washington, D.C., USA
October 23, 1999
BM/dpa Washington - A group of 26 American representatives are trying again to have the German government condemned by the U.S. Congress for its dealings with Scientology. A proposed resolution to that effect is to be brought before the House and Senate in short order. Similar resolutions have previously failed. The parliamentarians think Germany persecutes members of Scientology by keeping them out of civil service.
US Advance for Scientology
Washington DC, USA
October 22, 1999
Washington: Several American congressional representatives accused Germany of persecuting and boycotting the Scientology organization and its members. They want to have the Senate and House of Representatives condemn this discrimination. President Clinton would be called upon to side with Scientology organization against the German government. In the USA, Scientology has the status of a church.
Similar proposals shattered in the House of Representatives last year and in 1997. Bavarian Minister President Stoiber said yesterday that nobody complained about Scientology to him at his meeting in Washington.
"We should not permit state discrimination on religious grounds to continue in a democracy like Germany."
- MATT SALMON American congressional representative
Washington DC, USA
October 22, 1999
Scientology Resolution in the USA
Representatives accuse Germany of discrimination
American congressional representatives have proposed a resolution in which the German government is criticized for discrimination against religious minorities. The presentation dealt with the treatment of the Scientology organization in Germany.
Similar resolutions failed in 1997 and 1998 in the House of Representatives. At the presentation of the papers in Washington, their main author, Representative Matt Salmon, said, "We should not permit state discrimination on religious grounds to continue in a democracy like Germany." He said that Germany violated human rights with its handling of religious minorities. In the yearly reports of the American State Department and the UN, these kind of cases of discrimination in Germany continued to be referenced.
Protection of the Freedom of Belief
Among other things, the congressmen's criticism stated that, in Germany, members of the Scientology organization were persecuted, denounced and boycotted, and kept out of civil service and political parties. It was said that the German government was responsible for protecting the freedom of belief of members of the American state in Germany. The resolution called upon President Bill Clinton to express his concern about religious discrimination to the German government.
"The problem of religious intolerance in Europe is great," said the chairman of the Committee for International Relations in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ben Gilman. "The German government must begin a dialogue with us about this discrimination." Film actress Ann Archer demanded religious freedom in Germany. "Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, Orthodox Jews and the Scientology Church suffer in Germany under a climate of religious intolerance," said Archer.
Numerous celebrities and stars from film, TV and the music industries are members of the Scientology Organization, which has the status of a church in the USA. The new proposal is supported by 26 U.S. Congressmen so far.
Washington (dpa) - The use of "sect filters" against the employment of adherents of the Scientology Organization in Germany violates their rights, in the view of the U.S. government. That was stated as fact by the U.S. State Department in its report published on Thursday on religious freedom all over the world. By "sect filters" were meant statements in which applicants have to assure that they are not members of Scientology or other similar organizations. However, the report, on the whole, expressed significantly less criticism of the treatment of Scientology members in Germany than did previous reports.
The State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Germany had tried in vain to arrange meetings between a U.S. Scientology attorney and officials from the German Foreign Office and other ministries, said the report. A meeting was refused because no new viewpoints had been anticipated. Scientology is under surveillance in Germany by their Constitutional Security agency because of suspicion of totalitarian endeavors [by Scientology].
In its world overview, the State Department found that religious freedom had increased on the whole. Nevertheless people were said to be persecuted for their beliefs in many countries. As examples Afghanistan, Burma, China, Iraq, India and Pakistan, among others were named.
USA condemns German Scientology politics -
complains of lack of religious freedom all over the world
September 9, 1999
The USA has criticized the "sect filter" which German companies and agencies use to protect themselves against infiltration by the Scientology organization. The security statements which are demanded of [German] employees were said to be discriminatory, stated the U.S. State Department's first status report on worldwide religious freedom. Altogether the U.S. State Department published a well-weighed opinion of the German handling of the organization. In the past, Scientology's complaints about its treatment in Germany as led to ill feelings between the German government and U.S. agencies.
According to the report, the USA has brought its objections to the "sect filter" multiple times in the course of the past year to [German] representatives of nation and state. They said it was a violation of human rights if Scientologists were hindered in the practice of their profession because of their belief alone. Nevertheless, the U.S. State department also quoted the words of the Bavarian State government that no Scientologist, just by reason of his connection to the organization, had lost his [work] position in Bavaria. Unlike the USA, Scientology is not recognized in Germany as a church. The number of German Scientologists in the report were given as about 8,000.
The U.S. State Department also went hard in the face of the Chinese government. The practice of religious freedom in China was said to be greatly hindered. Victims of persecution and oppression were said to be Christians who did not belong to recognized churches, Buddhist monks and nuns, Tibetans and Moslem figures. Religious freedom was also alleged to have been kicked down in Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Laos and Vietnam. *<"The majority of the earth's population lives in countries in which religious freedom is restricted or not available">, said the report.
*<"The citation in angled brackets like this is not a true quote, but has been translated from English to German back to English."> .. translator
The Americans pass out their grades
This article supplements the one at 990226a.htm.
February 27, 1999
Washington's report on human rights is missing a chapter on their own country
by Thomas Ruest, Washington
As it does in February every year, the US State Department published its report on contempt for human rights on Friday. From the Balkans to Africa, from the Near East to Burma, countries were lined up according to how they rank. The report says that for 1998, 55 percent of the world's population live under more or less democratic conditions in 117 countries.
Especially chastised was the Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic for the murders of Serb groups in Kosovo. In 1998 alone the atrocities cost 2,000 people their lives and drove 180,00 people to flee. The criticism continued to say that Milosevic also suppressed the opposition in the remaining Serb regions and violated fundamental human rights.
Typical for its meting out of grades is that Washington often deals mildly with states which have the same economic and political interests that it does. While Iraq, Syria, Libya and Cuba continue as the traditional villains, China, as well as numerous countries of Central and South America, were treated with greater reserve.
For the first time, countries of the former Soviet Union reaped harsh criticism: White Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were accused of lapsing into authoritarian practices.
Democracy and Crisis Management
The introduction to the several hundred page report is unique this year: the US State Department makes a direct connection between democracy and crisis management. The report states that authoritarian administrations can, indeed, bring about a temporary prosperity, but in view of corruption and denial of citizens rights, the prosperity cannot be sustained. "When severe economic downturns occur, authoritarian regimes cannot respond flexibly or effectively to economic problems. Without genuine democratic mechanisms to channel popular displeasure, the government must often choose greater repression to avoid a popular uprising."
Indonesia and South Korea were compared to each other as examples of this theory: while the authoritarian Suharto regime had a political crisis in the middle of serious economic problems, the South Korean President Kim received, thanks to a democratic election, the support of his people in making incisive reforms.
The Human Rights organization, Amnesty International, has criticized the annual report because nothing about the USA itself is mentioned in it. Its opinion was that the world power should not be "immune from international observation." Among the serious violations of human rights in the USA, Amnesty cites "systematic mistreatment" of prisoners with electroshock and shackles. The minimum standards for the imposition and carrying out of the death sentence continue to be ignored. In this regard, Amnesty referred to the execution of Sean Sellers at the beginning of February: at the time of his crime, the condemned man was 16 years old. It is said that acceleration of the proceedings would increase the danger of innocent people being executed.
The taxpayers pay
At least verbally, the Clinton administration speaks in favor of the USA becoming more watchful in matters of human rights in its own land. Victims of mistreatment by police and prison guards continue to be awarded higher compensations for their suffering. To that, Amnesty laconically stated that "the (compensation by the state) means that, in fact, it is the tax payer who is bearing the burden for the authorities in the misuse of their power."
US Report criticizes infringement upon foreigners in Germany
From: "Landeszeitung Lüneburger Heide"
February 26, 1999
Washington (dpa) - The USA has criticized infringements upon foreigners living in Germany.
The human rights report published today in Washington by the state department mentions cases of excessive use of police as well as force against foreigners and harassment in public. Foreign organizations have expressed credible complaints about the discrimination against minorities in social and professional life, said the report. However, the number of anti-foreign and anti-Semitic incidents has decreased since 1998.
The report emphasized that the authorities followed up on such accusations and sought a remedy for them. Officials at all levels were proceeding against the use of right extremist force. "Police in the eastern states continued to move toward reaching standards of effectiveness characteristic of police in the rest of Germany and demonstrated greater coordination in preventing illegal rightwing and neo-Nazi activities" it stated literally. The report cited criticism of the deportation practice of several German states and mentioned by name the case of 14 year old "Mehmet," who was born in Munich and deported to Turkey.
The report varies from previous years in that it does not support the accusations of the Scientology organization about a persecution of its members in Germany; it only references them. The US State Department, in its annual report, evaluates the situation of human rights in nearly all countries on earth.
The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) has criticized the process as one-sided and politically motivated, particularly as it leaves out human rights violations in the USA. "Every year, 50 entries are missing: from Alabama to Wyoming," stated Amnesty. In the USA there is said to be widespread misuse of police, and torture and violence in prisons. In the use of the death penalty, the USA has not even reached the minimal international standards.
US Voters support Clinton's Democrats
From: "Yahoo! Schlagzeilen Kurznachrichten"
Wednesday, November 4, 1998, 18:03 Uhr
Washington (Reuters) - Bill Clinton's Democratic party came out of the congressional elections surprisingly stronger than they went in. According to the final counts, the Democrats, contrary to what the polls said, hung on to their 45 seats and won five seats in the House of Representatives. In both houses, however, the Republicans are still in the majority. With their gains the Democrat broke a trend for the first time in many years: for the first time in 64 years the reigning president's party gained in the President's mid-term. The Republican strategy of teaching Clinton a lesson with the Lewinsky affair did not pan out.
In California and several southern states such as Alabama and South Carolina, the Democrats won governorships traditionally occupied by the Republicans. The predictions had forecast a slight loss for the Democrats. Elections were held on Tuesday for 34 of the 100 senators, all 435 seats of the house of representatives and 36 of the 50 governors.
According to the final count the Republicans got 223 seats in the House of Representatives (from 228), the Democrats got 211 (from 206). Besides that there is one independent among the 435 representatives.
Several observers had described the election in the middle of the second and last presidential term for Clinton as the vote for the political future of the president after the Lewinsky affair. However, a TV broadcaster's post-election survey stated that only 5-7 percent of the voters said they were influenced by the Lewinsky affair in the election. Clinton admitted to a sexual relationship with the former Presidential office intern, Monica Lewinsky, only after having lied about it for a long time. At that point the Republican majority in the House of Representatives initiated an impeachment process against Clinton only four weeks before the election. The Democrats' success will take the momentum from the impeachment process, according to former White House staff chief Leon Panetta. The process will continue, but will be pushed with less energy than before, said Panetta.
Vice President Al Gore spoke of a "tremendous night for the Democrats and a tremendous night for the USA." The voters apparently stood behind the Democrats in the Lewinsky affair, he said. Instead of any further investigations they would want the administration to get back to work. The demographics found that the Democrats received support in particular from women, blacks and Hispanics.
The Democratic minority party leader of the House, Richard Gephardt, spoke of an "historical shift of opinion." The American voters voted that the administration should concern itself with health, training and social security, and not with the Lewinsky affair, he stated.
The French Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine, assessed the results from the USA as a strengthening of Clinton's position. Clinton's term would last two more years, and so Europe could continue working with a partner who was well known, said Vedrine on Wednesday on French television.
In the Senate election in New York, a surprise came in the defeat of Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato who had been in office for 18 years. He is known in Germany for his intervention on behalf of the Scientology sect and for the demands for reparation for the Holocaust survivors. D'Amato and his victorious opponent, Charles Schumer, had conducted a very aggressive campaign battle.
In the White House the atmosphere was one of relief. "I don't want to say that Hillary Clinton did somersaults when she heard about Schumer's win over D'Amato. But she was just short of it." "The mood is really good. In view of the problems of the past months, the results are remarkable. Think about all the predictions the Republicans made about coming away with an overwhelming victory: it didn't turn out that way."
The Republicans got their turn in Florida and Texas, where the son of former President George Bush won the governorship. In Florida Jeb Bush took the election. In Texas his older brother George W. Bush secured his re-election. In Ohio, the Republican candidate George Voinovich managed to take the Senate seat from Democrat John Glenn. The 77 year old Glenn is presently circling the earth as the oldest astronaut.
Copyright © 1998 Reuters Limited. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
US Congressional Representatives back Scientology
From: "Yahoo! Schlagzeilen, Schlagzeilen Politik"
Saturday, 8. August 1998, 01:10
Germany condemned in resolution for disregard of religious freedom
Washington (AP) 53 representatives of the US Congress signed a resolution in which the German administration is to be condemned for disregard of religious freedom. In the statement from Friday the US State Department's Human Rights report is quoted as saying the Scientology organization is discriminated against by the administration in Bonn. It states, in addition, that the Parliamentary Enquete Commission had also gathered information on Mormons, Jehova's Witnesses and other Christian religious communities which could lead to discrimination.
Scientology is recognized as a church in the USA. In Germany the organization is regarded as a commercial business which takes vigorous action against critics and which financially exploits its own members. Coalitions and the SPD requested that surveillance of the organization be continued by German domestic intelligence. The German Parliament received the final report of the Commission in June, which stated that other so-called sects and psycho-groups are not dangerous.
According to Scientology, its 30,000 members in Germany are persecuted and suffer disadvantages in the work place. The organization has eight million members world wide. On Monday Scientology plans a demonstration in Frankfurt against its treatment by the federal administration.
AP-Nachrichten - The Associated Press News Service Copyright 1998 The Associated Press, all rights reserved
From: "Sueddeutsche Zeitung"
March 2, 1998
German delegation gets a clear picture of Scientology in the USA
In English, there is a picture of ships which pass each other on the high sea at night. The next morning the ocean is, once again, clear and smooth - and the crews are none the wiser for the confrontation. A diplomat of the US State Department called that picture to mind after she had been a witness to a near collision. A steamship - manned by members and experts of the Enquete Commission's "So-called Sects and Psycho-groups" of the German Bundestag - was on a collision course, and it required several attempts to make radio contact with the ship. The Enquete Commission had traveled to the USA in order to track down the causes of the transatlantic difference of opinion in matters of Scientology. Their timing could hardly have been worse: even in the USA, Scientology has been finding itself the subject of criticism. Reports about alleged criminal acts by sect members abound. Teachings and practices of the group are being looked into. President Clinton's security advisor, Sandy Berger, has been ridiculed after he - apparently at the behest of Clinton - met with John Travolta, the actor and Scientologists for an exchange of opinion about Germany. Only a few congressional representatives were ready to have a meeting with their German colleagues; the theme was too unpleasant, too open for a perfectly staged campaign. A proposal from 1997 to condemn Germany had failed. As a result of the vote, many representatives had become aware of the dubiousness of Scientology's accusations. The Commission started off the discussion with the academic work ethic and the German political leeway connected with the the hot topic and wanted to convey that measuring gauge from their country to the American continent. The Commission Chairperson, Ortrun Schaetzle, interjected at the end of the discussion with experts and former members that there are different understandings as to what religious freedom is, and that the state playing a passive role in the life of the citizen and individual responsibility are measured in different ways. America is not a precaution-society, and the protective function of the state for its citizens is considerably weaker. State and church do not fit together here, so that even obscure groups can gain enormous lobby influence. Besides these remarks, the delegation carried a clear picture of the operational effects and technique of the Scientology organization with them back home. Schaetzle said that Scientology had a bright facade and a dark interior. The dangerousness of the organization has, once again, been made clear, in that it does not reject extortion, duress, psycho-terrorism or criminal behavior. Green representative Angela Koester-Lossack said that she would recommend a new position for her party and urge them to categorize Scientology as "threatening" and as an "extremist organization." The Commission did not recommend a new strategy in dealing with Scientology. In the USA, one would have to gain understanding and comment upon German history and their concern about totalitarian organizations. Schaetzle believes that fighting Scientology with its own means would be delusionary. She insists upon slow and peaceful explanation.
February 28, 1998
Bundestag (German Assembly) representatives sought enlightenment in the USA - concerned with "consumer protection"
From our correspondent Jurgen Koar
Washington - the friendly superpower exercises criticism of its ally Germany in a human rights report. President Bill Clinton promised John Travolta to speak his mind with Bonn. His Security Advisor Sandy Berger met with the Hollywood star, who has already taken Germany to task on more than one occasion for "persecution of religious minorities" as if it were a highly volatile matter. The Germans expressed surprise, complained about the lack of understanding on the part of the Americans, and stood by their rights to intolerance, at least in this case.
The discussion on both sides of the Atlantic reminded Ruth van Heuven of "two ships in the fog." The leader of the German Section of the US State Department is not worried about a collision. It is more like ships which pass each other, with neither one knowing the position of the other. The danger of misunderstandings arises. As when one is at cross-purposes with the other. Take, for example, the Scientologists.
In the past week a concerted effort was made on the part of the Germans to bring about and gain clarity. Five Bundestag representatives and five scholars of the Enquete Commission's "So-called Sects and Psycho-Groups" have led all-day discussions in Washington, have stated their mission, and have gathered impressions and information. They met up with occasional Scientologists protesting their presence with banners on the street. They met with "respect for the German point of view" from the American hosts, as the FDP representative Roland Kohn said.
On the other hand it became clear to some members of the delegation that in the past a lack of calmness could have created the false impression of a witch hunt. For decades the American government itself had been at odds with the Scientologists, but that had to do with the recognition of tax status rather than with being a non-profit organization. Since 1993 that is no longer an issue, since religious freedom is untouchable in the land of the Pilgrim Fathers.
If there are complaints, that is a matter for the lawyers, not for the state, which is not on call in the USA as it usually is in Europe. "In Germany the question is asked how defensive must democracy be, with us it is asked how open democracy must be", noted a high-ranking member of the US State Department. Defamation of individual citizens on the basis of group membership, rather than because of anything they themselves are to blame for, is said to border on imprudence.
From time to time political indiscretions have been committed in Germany, as has been conceded by members of the Enquete Commission. But they stand united in making it clear that these indiscretions certainly do not make up the entirety of their careers. The goal of their work is to neither decrease religious freedom, nor is it to put the heads of sects and psycho-groups upon pikes. Their assignment is rather, as Kohn formulates it, "to impel public discussion of a society in upheaval, and to create conditions for the discussion of new pluralism." Not least of which is to bring about a condition which deals with more visibility of "consumer protection" in the emerging market of 'attainable life management assistance." Lawyers of victims of American sects have even expressed the hope, reported Kohn, that the coming Enquete report, which is to be available to Parliament at the end of May, will bring about public discussion and also increase the awareness of the problem.
Washington, February 27, 1998 (AFP)
Tom Campbell, congressional representative from California, has characterized his talk with the German Bundestag's Enquete Commission about Scientology as a helpful contribution in regards to the claims which have been made against Germany. The meeting on Wednesday was open and objective, without diplomatic embellishments, said the Republican on Friday to the AFP news agency. It was finally made clear to him that the German courts have decided once and for all that Scientology does not have a religious status.
To his question as to whether children in Bavarian schools were warned about Scientology and whether they were trained in recognizing distinguishable physical characteristics of Scientologists he had at first received no answer, said Campbell. This idea was apparently also new to the delegation from Bonn.
The representative said that for years he has agreed with the majority of his colleagues in Congress not to judge Germany based on Scientology. "I've found that America must first give our friend and ally the chance to be heard, first-hand," explained the Catholic representative.
Bonn delegation struggles against prejudice in the USA
Washington, February 27, 1998 (AFP)
The Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag, which concerns itself with Scientology, has conducted a week-long fact-finding mission in the USA about the organization. During this time they were successful in raising doubts in the concept that Scientologists are persecuted by the state in Germany, said the delegation members on Friday in Washington. Representatives of religious groups such as the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses had complained about a climate of hysteria which had arisen in Germany because of the Scientology debate. They, however, do not feel discriminated against by German officials.
The Commission chairperson Ortrun Schatzle (Christian Democrat Party) said, that they had jointly confirmed with John Shattuck, the department head of the US State Department for Questions of Human Rights, that religious freedom is guaranteed in Germany just as it is in the USA. Nevertheless he admitted to differing understandings of the role of the state in regard to new world philosophies. The knowledge of some US representatives about the totalitarian aspect of Scientology is limited. With time the USA will also come to the realization that this is about an anti-democratic and anti-pluralistic organization, "and then a country like America will have to wake up."
The delegation shied away from taking the offensive in their discussion with the representatives of US institutions. "It would have been a tactical mistake to present pages from German history," said the FPD representative Roland Kohn. Schatzle pleaded for a "world-wide object-oriented discussion." The Enquete Commission went about reassuring that they were not an investigative committee which dealt exclusively with Scientology. Angelika Koster-Lossack, German Green Party, said that she has been convinced through the visit to the USA that Scientology really is an extremist organization.
The differing attitudes toward Scientology has encumbered the transatlantic relationship for the past two years. The Scientology organization is acknowledged in the USA as a religion. In contrast it is seen in Germany as a commercial enterprise with totalitarian tendencies.
- Enquete Commission wins new recognition in the USA - German Parliament Visit could generate Debate
By Henriette Löwisch
Washington, February 27, 1997 (AFP) If the topic is Scientology, then CDU representative Ortrun Schaetzle chooses her words with care. "We talk about the same thing, but from different views.", she characterizes the different perspectives in the matter of Scientology on both sides of the Atlantic. In the latest visit of the Bundestag's (German Assembly's) Enquete Commission of the so-called Sects and Psycho-groups in Washington both sides finally listened to each other in peace after a presentation by the Commission chairperson. The US delegation against the German proceeding about Scientology had not even been cleared from the room. Nevertheless a contribution was made to the generation of the extremely emotional debate.
Robot theory, gestapo methods, cyber-fascism - key words such as these have long been a trademark of the statements made about Scientology by the German officials. The USA takes exception to these German measures and actions such as observation for constitutional protection, party exclusions and film boycotts. Scientology itself adroitly exploits US cliches concerning Germany and makes comparisons to jewish persecution during the National Socialist era. Little measurable agreement is heard on either side. The controversy encumbers current German-American relations.
For the last few months at least, Scientology's PR campaign against Germany has retreated into the background. The US media has increasingly questioned the methods of the organization and has reported critically about the mysterious death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson in Florida and about the secret agreement with the IRS tax agency. Neither is there any help for scientology forthcoming at this time from congress.
With this serving as background the Bundestag representatives concern themselves with imparting to their US counterparts, successfully, according to Schaetzle, the knowledge that they are not conducting a witch hunt against Scientology nor against any other group. Among other items to be addressed at the proceedings was the policies of the Bavarian officials. The chairman of the Congressional Committee for International Relations, Ben Gilman, is said to have met the delegation with full frankness. To be sure, Gilman and the other US representatives do not make a big fuss over their mission in matters of German-American friendship.
The Bundestag representatives gained new recognition in Washington through their own attendance. "Now I am becoming truly aware for the first time of the two faces of Scientology", said Schaetzle on Thursday. Harmless, sympathetic faces are seen in the USA, "with actors and representatives from the spiritually cultural area." The other side is the "Scientology System", which is not acceptable for Germany because of experiences with National Socialism. "Americans have a different point of reference there."
Scientology reacted by posting a watch on the German legation and with a flood of press releases about the visit from Germany. Upon the presentation of a guest speaker, the sect immediately launched an attack, claiming his former membership in a known anti-semitic and nationalistic organization. Dieter Detke from the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, who had arranged the meeting, angrily rejected the accusations. "I see this failed attempt as another typical Scientology untruth", he said. Topic of the meeting was the eight mysterious deaths which occurred in the Scientology stronghold in Florida, held by a former Scientologist.
Detke does not have any illusions that the public friction with Scientology will soon be over. "I have never seen them stopping for one moment in their struggle against Germany", he says.
by Lothar Ruhl
January 31, 1997
At the beginning of President Clinton's second term, America offered, in the words of the re-elected president, "to build a bridge into the 21st century" for the outside world, a particularly inconsistent image, ruled by contradiction and double-meanings. As the world's single "world power", the USA dominates world politics for the foreseeable future, even if they are not able to decide the outcome of every conflict. But the goal is also, as has been made clear by State Department head Albright, to use the favorable hour which has been offered by the crises in Europe and the Far East to win back its dominance in world commerce. In the sphere of global information and communications networks this has succeeded thanks to English as a world language and to American technology;
At the same time this gradually emerging opportunity also has an effect on American politics and the relationships with other countries: whomever Washington declares to be an enemy, as "unfriendly" or even as a "rogue state,", as robber or pirate states, as Libya, Iran, Iraq, Cuba and also Burma are currently designated, will find themselves in a sort of "hue and cry" situation. All nations are expected to follow the US example and break off relations or end commercial business.
Along with that comes "human rights" - vigilance as morally defined for the US State Department but not as pragmatic when it comes to steadfast American interests, such as Afghanistan, where human rights are no better than in Burma or Cuba, and where the "Scientology Church" would not stand a chance of survival: that is where most recently the US has tried to make a "deal" with the religious intolerance and summary executions of the known Taliban opponents for the installation of an oil pipe-line from central Asia to the Indian Ocean. The attempt was for the benefit of the American oil companies as well as for the Turkish allies along with the Russian "security partners", who one did not want to confine to Europe, exactly as the enemy Iran had just been excluded from business there. This example of "Realpolitik" in Washington stands in lively contrast to the half pastoral ,half legitimate rhetoric of the Washington pronouncements of American positions in dealing with dictators.
The diplomacy of the USA has long since struck a shrill note in which the self-realization of its own good rights is being coerced by anglo-sachsen tradition, while the laissez faire of former times has disappeared. The public instruction of other governments has become more urgent - as it had once shortly done in Berne during a dispute over the "informationless accounts" in Swiss banks, in which all parties conducted themselves unseemly and provokingly, instead of seeking a possible settlement of interests.
In that instance American politicians such as the notorious Senator D'Amato and also the speaker of the State Department, Nicholas Burns, and countless media commentators of America handled Switzerland, their OSCE partner, the same as they would have a Banana Republic in Central America which is dependent upon United Fruit. The characterization of an unhappy, but in essence not incorrect, remark concerning the contemporary Swiss Confederacy State President Delamuraz by Burns as "silly" can already no longer be seen as something special.
In the conflict surrounding the "Scientology Church", which above all is led against German sect politics in the name of religious freedom of "American citizens" (so says Burns), the absurdity of the American argument as to the political dealings of allied countries is apparent. For the USA, repelling an invasion of a subversive organization becomes an attack upon the freedoms of speech and religion in the sense of the US Constitution, which was not known until this time to be regarded worldwide -- as nonsensical toward the human rights as is the US order to the European States to have no trade with Cuba, Libya or Iran. According to the judgment of the State Department the German defense against the "Scientology" sect in Germany is "a campaign of harassment and intimidation." Is this the way one speaks about a proven ally in a "transatlantic partnership" which one hopes to renew?
In Washington the readiness to get involved in the strange circumstances of the private American interests is counter-balanced with the welfare of the US public; contemporary US politics is counter-balanced by the welfare of mankind. The certainly unsuspicious American columnist William Pfaff wrote recently in Paris that America does itself no good in its new role as the solitary world power. And the corresponding US Paris resident columnist Flora Lewis asked whether Clinton didn't mean "hegemony" when he stated that the next century will see "the greatest democracy of the world leading an entire world of democracy." It is not really clear whether he plans to deal "with the responsibility or with the rivalry of the rest of the world."
Probably it has to do today more with an attitude of lordly self-righteousness in the full swing of power and no competition. Nevertheless, whoever does not want or is not able to be the "world police" surely does not amount to "world censor" or the "last word" over right or unright between nations.
copyright: DIE WELT
Wednesday, August 6, 1953
Medicine: Deep Psychology
Three years ago, when the American quack Ron Hubbard announced to an astonished world that the human psyche was already gathering experiences in the darkness of the mother's womb, it appeared that Hubbard and his thousands of followers were fated to be left standing on the front steps of spiritual development. Even back then the more serious psychologists of the Freudian school (who mainly think of subconscious childhood experiences as being crucial), held that Hubbard's "dianetic teachings" were only so much quackery which contained a grain of truth.
Now the respected psychiatrist Denys Kelsey also believes to have discovered through basic research that there must actually be "memories" of (mostly unpleasant) "experiences" in the prenatal period. In any case the same view appears to have been published in a respected British psychology paper "Journal of Mental Science", in which Kelsey's puzzling test results appeared. Though this says more about the dilemma of modern psychology than it does about the human soul.
The article depicts the absurdity of witch Doctor Hubbard, who deigns to let us know that "Dianetics" is a "milestone of mankind", comparable to the discovery of fire (Spiegel 2/1952), as a logical extension of an already psychologically beaten path. Practitioners of this psychoanalysis make the claim to heal the human psyche through exploration and conscious discovery of their "sub-conscious" experiences. But the human psyche refuses to be grasped by men with hypnotic stares and leather couches, not to mention being healed. As many practitioners of psychoanalysis as there are, it is only natural that they now begin in earnest to seek their mistakes instead of themselves in their mother's womb; a grotesque claim which leads to grotesque conclusions.
Cannibalizing the achievements of Freud, Hubbard has professed that the human spirit is made up of two parts: the analytical element (Consciousness), which observes, remembers and thinks, and the reactive element (similar to the Freudian "sub-conscious"), which neither remembers nor thinks, but automatically records impressions the same as a tape recorder.
In a spiritually fully-developed person the analytical spirit sorts and files the majority of its experiences. Nevertheless it can be shut off through unconsciousness, acute spiritual shock, and bodily pain. During this period the subconscious registers all events with absolute precision, not as a memory, but as an "engram" (literally "inscription") directly into the ectoplasm of the body cell. Afterwards the ectoplasm forms a sort of recording shellac, in which the subconscious experience is encased.
The unconsciousness hoards recordings of experiences without the person knowing anything about it. In recent conscious experiences which contain some similarity to the engram-snapshot, the "reactive mind" automatically mounts the corresponding recording and begins playing it. An example from Hubbard's lecture: A woman is beaten by her husband into unconsciousness, and then beaten some more. A chair is overturned, and the water faucet is running. The woman does not remember, but her unconsciousness has made an engram. Later on the sounds of the falling chair and running water causes the recording of the engram to come into play. The woman feels pain, but doesn't know why.
Hubbard further asserts that the embryo, which already contains an analytical spirit inside of the mother's body, is inscribed with the basic and determining engram. With this basic engram Hubbard claims that he has discovered the "hidden source" of psychosomatic illness (bodily afflictions without recognizable physical cause, mostly rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, heart complaints, migraines, stomach ulcers) and "human aberrations" (perversions). All you have to do to become a "clearer" person is to buy Hubbard's handbook (four dollars), hypnotically track down the engrams and make them consciously known.
Thousands of Americans place themselves on the couches of Hubbard's quacks, curl up in prenatal positions, and try to hypnotically displace themselves back in their mother's body so that they may recognize what it was that they were so scared of back then. Grown men and women writhe, squeal and wheeze while they "re-experience birth." Mass hysteria breaks out as the worst excesses of quackery are amateurishly brought into being.
Now Psychologist Kelsey, a professor who is taken seriously, comes on the scene and says without cracking a smile that these so-called fantasies were the actual re-living of "prenatal (that means before birth) experiences. Kelsey quotes the hypnotic depositions of three people.
The first, a 44 year old single woman, "returned" under hypnosis to her 13th year of life, "back" to the fifth year, to the first half-year, finally to the third week. She said, "I was part of a unit, now I am separate." Kelsey said "When I count to ten, you will once more be the unit."
At the count of ten she said "quite calmly and confidently", "I am in the womb. Something is pulsating in me - the heart of my mother. I can see nothing, and I cannot feel my mouth."
Kelsey's second case is that of a 28 year old married woman, who, despite the fact that she had born two children, claimed that she was completely uninformed [about the births]. It could be that she suffered from hysterical amnesia, interjects Kelsey, but "I am sure that she knows nothing of the biological details of the experience. ...Under hypnosis she soon travelled back to a point in time shortly after her birth. She felt as if her neck was being pressed together. She had no idea why. I told her to re-live the feeling. She reached for her neck with her hand... and then for her navel area - 'It's coming out of my belly." The patient presumes that she is an unwanted baby and twice describes a burning pain, which she then traces back to an abortion attempt by her mother.
From her mother, Kelsey learns, that she was not really wanted and was nearly strangled by the umbilical cord at birth. "Of course the mother denies any attempt to cause herself a miscarriage."
The third patient, a 25 year old bachelor, could not pull an article of clothing over his head and could not successfully maneuver with his hands. He also suffered trauma in his mother's womb. At his birth, reported the mother, the shoulders stuck after the head came out. It was an hour before a doctor came and freed the baby from his unhappy position.
Although his mother maintained that she had never told the patient anything about it, he re-enacted his birth difficulties in pantomime under hypnosis. Informed now as to the cause of his limitations, the young man exercises as part of professional therapeutic treatment and makes good progress.
While Psychologist Kelsey and a growing number of his Anglo-American colleagues believe that they have intelligently managed "to break the last bonds of scientific materialism to pre-natal psychology", Psycho-quack Hubbard already blazes the trail to finding causes of pre-natal shocks which are "not to be pin-pointed on this earth."
According to Hubbard's freshly brewed "Scientology", each person is as old as the universe and already has multiple incarnations to his credit. Each person has in this universe a "theta being" (similar to the astrological "Astral Body"), which contains his thought energy. A victim of Hubbard who had a pain in his chin used to be a clam. What he thought was flying must have been a clam which was plucked up by a bird and dropped someplace where it landed on a rock.
"Scientologist" clubs are being formed everywhere in America, and Hubbard, the grand master, drives around and listens with false concern as his fellow members stammer out their fearful adventures they had on Venus. A Hubbard fanatic fervently declared, "Existence in the universe is exactly as unpleasant as it is here. Anything can happen."
Wednesday, January 9, 1952
Gifted charlatans such as L. Ron Hubbard, the father of Dianetics, have recognized that a potential mass market exists over here. Therefore they strive to put psychotherapy on an assembly line, as for example the "Dianetic Auditor", which as the sole bible for Dianeticists ("Dianetics" by Ronald Hubbard), is to have been "thoroughly understood."
The birth of Dianetics, the "modern science of mental health" has been extolled by its founder as a "milestone for humankind which is comparable to the discovery of fire." Dianetics is an esoteric potpourri of modern psychotherapy and has raged epidemically for some time in the USA. It teaches, among other things, that the most important "Engrams" (trauma) occur before birth, and that if 24 of these prenatal shocks are "neutralized", neurosis can be eliminated.
Last year in Hollywood one could see members of the film aristocracy cower upon their couches in the natal position and "relive their births" in order to neutralize their prenatal shocks. In the meantime the interest in the Dianetic method has somewhat waned. But there are still several medical doctors putting in an appearance -- renegades in the camp of the Dianetic freebooters. The demand is still great enough to assure the Dianetic "auditors" a fee of ten dollars per hour.
Whereas the "listeners" themselves, the plebes of the psycho-quackery [who are not Dianetic "auditors"], must content themselves with receiving an hourly fee of three dollars.