Ilse Hruby and the Xenu Liberation Front on the Donau
My time in the cult
An interview with Gerhard Foerster
Published with his kind permission
December 14, 2001
Interviewer: Ilse Hruby
How were you recruited into Scientology?
Interviewee: Gerhard Foerster
Like most of the others, with the nonsense they tell people on the street about a personality test. I thought I had landed in some kind of psychological institution with the Catholics (that was because of the cross on the wall), and I signed up for the communication course. I was 19 years old and still rather naive. Besides, that was in 1974 and back then practically nobody had heard of anything like psychocults yet. I must have been somewhat susceptible, because apparently there are people who are immune to it.
Back then I was impressed with father figures, like John Wayne. And my understanding was that the overall purpose was to get better. Applying that to Scientology, that meant that you couldn't exactly be picky about recruitment methods because, after all, we wanted to "clear the planet." It was communicated to us that, through his research, L. Ron Hubbard had found the solution to the problems of mankind, so that history was running a race between the atomic bomb on one hand and Scientology on the other. Naturally that gave us a license to act in many different ways and we realized sometimes you had to make sacrifices.
Is that the way people turn into fanatical cult adherents?
Yes! But with me that worked only to a certain degree. Subconsciously I knew very well that a human being should always take precedence, no matter how "glorious" the ideology may be. Nevertheless it was quite a while before the consequences of my actions sunk in. Maybe a part of that was due to pride. In a cult it is relatively easy to look the other way. All I really wanted to do was to keep my promise to give Hubbard a chance. But somehow they sucked me in. The pseudo-scientific role is part of what did it. They wouldn't have been able to get me with the Jesus thing or with the hopping Hare Krishnas. Those have different target groups.
What do you think about Scientology as a religion?
It's a "con" (trick) by the organization to a) get tax exemption and b) gain insurmountability with religious status. A certain Vaughn Young said he reinforced the religious connections for Hubbard in the late 50s. You'd have to say, in any case, that certain spiritual aspects are actually present. Unfortunately Hubbard and his epigones lacked the modesty needed to progress in that area, therefore Scientology conveys an adolescent form of spirituality. People who do not have much experience with life can possibly be impressed with their bombastic ideas, but life teaches you that spirituality can be found in small, simple things. That's what it taught me, anyway, at least to the extent that I learned you can't buy enlightenment from Scientology!
Did your parents or family know about this?
(In the 1970s, anyone under 21 years old in Austria was underage.) Since I was still underage, I had to let my mother know. It was somewhat embarrassing for me to hear from her that a "strong man" such as myself "should not need a psycho-course." After a while, though, I was no longer ashamed, but boldly sprinkled little crumbs of my wisdom around my parents. My father didn't care as long as I thought of it as a hobby. But when I became a staff member in 1975, he was devastated. It looked to me like he thought I had done as good as joined the Nazis. I never thought it might ever turn out that he was right.
Did you have any particular duties in Scientology?
When you're taking a course, all you have to worry about is finishing it (that and the interviews that don't stop until you've signed up for the next service). As a staff member, my first job was to talk people on the street into taking the personality test. Later I was promoted to "test rater." That's what I did for 2 1/2 years. Every day I had "study time" from 9 a.m. to noon, where I took staff training courses, etc. Work hours were from 1 to 6 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. (with Thursday afternoons and Sunday evenings off). But work did not end on time if there were still a couple of diehards waiting in the test room for their results. My contract as staff member was up after three years. After that I took a couple more courses, but was no longer under "spiritual spell" of the organization. The stark contrast of everyday Scientology theory with the practice of real life slowly brought me out of Scientology, a little bit at a time.
When did you know for a fact you were out?
Despite everything I was still closely connected to the organization, really more to the people there. My friends were there. Not "Scientology fanatics" but real friends; I'm still in contact with some of them today. Naturally they've also been out for a long time. One of these friends was thrown out when he made things uncomfortable for management. I sided with him, and so we both ended up getting declared as a "suppressive person."
What kind of financial effect did Scientology have on you?
The Scientologists were not able to cure me of my budget-mindedness. I didn't invest much money with them. With my disposition, it was easier for them to exploit my willingness to work, instead.
What kind of effect did Scientology have on your life?
Hard to say. What came first, the chicken or the egg. The fact is that I am a child of a performance-minded society and this is exactly the clientele Scientology aims for. There are still some things I do today that I wouldn't want to change, such as how to act in times of crisis. Perhaps sometimes I make my own problems, but when there is real difficulty, rather than look away, I try to do the right thing instead. Scientology pounded that into me.
Other times it's not so easy to shake the typical Scientology fantasies of all-powerfulness. But when that happens, real life brings you down to earth again real quickly. You don't end up gaining anything with the "Think big" mentality, because you lose the joy of sunshine, or of seeing children smile. You are driven by bogey men - pure insanity!
In regards to this I think that I've turned around completely. These days it is easier for me to let things happen that I myself didn't cause. Accept things, experience people, let love happen. All the things that are alien to the Scientology caricature of capitalism. It's a shame I had to waste the "best years of my life" with that kind of scam, but I got over it. Today I'm doing well, thanks to me alone and not to some training! Just don't be afraid to live. That's all there is to it. But you can't make money by saying that, so every 5 minutes a new kind of life management training pops up.
Scientologists have a very poor reputation and even ex-Scientologists are sometimes regarded with suspicion ....
There's probably a good reason for that, and ex-Scientologists can always help out in that area. It's easy to get paranoid. I also think the concern about Scientologists infiltrating and taking over a company is exaggerated. In my opinion, Scientology is, a) a rather dilettantish mishmash and b) very inflexible, as is the case with most cults. If they have undercover operatives, they'll turn up sooner or later. It's also possible that I'm underestimating the risk, but I think you should view ex-Scientologists as people. It's not the worst people that end up in a cult. We shouldn't alienate them but try to get them back in contact with real life, without being dogmatic, without endless arguments where everyone is trying to blame and convince everyone else. I'm also saying this for my own benefit, as I sometimes tend toward that sort of jabber. Let's also try confronting the cultists with humor. I presume that it is humor that the guru fears most, isn't it?
two sample of cartoonist Gerhard Foerster's work:
Ilse Hruby and the Xenu Liberation Front on the Donau
Life in the Thetan Factory
- translation -
This text comes from a very nice ex-Scientologist lady, and is published with her very generous permission.
Something to ponder
My Mother and I
Life in the Thetan Factory
I considered it a personal obligation - after the experiences I had, not just in Scientology, but most of all in the process of leaving - to support any "expert" who tried to keep both individuals and society from the harm that arose in connection with "cult" operations.
I ran into one argument in particular rather often, that of "self-determination." People never could understand how it was, and to what extent people's own convictions and perceptions could be turned around. Perhaps hearing about my own experiences could be a step towards better understanding for some of these people.
I had already gotten several weeks past my introduction into Scientology. The way to the "org" had become just as routine to me as the way to the university. Irritation at strange or objectionable course material had not yet put the damper on the enthusiasm for my new interests. One day I told a friend of mine there, a high-ranking Scientologist, how much I liked a song by Roger Whittacker, and that whenever I wanted more energy to get my assigned duties done, all I needed to do was hum this song. It worked even when I wanted to do something else entirely.
Instead of getting excited about this (like I expected), my friend was alarmed. How often did it happen, he asked, that I was feeling "down"? Could someone be re-writing my emotional life for me, varying it between "jumping for joy and deathly depressed"? I didn't see it quite that dramatically, and mentioned things like biorhythm and hormone cycles, but my friend stayed anxious. He thought that everything pointed to me being under the influence of a suppressive personality, and that I desperately needed help.
Somewhat confused, but at the same time curious (and probably also duly impressed by suddenly being the center of attention), I followed him into the "org." It was decided there, that the suppressive should be discovered in the course of a special "auditing" session and that his power over me should be rendered ineffective.
Exposing the person happened rather swiftly. It turned out my mother had repeatedly made ironic, or even sarcastic comments about my enthusiasm for Scientology and about individual Scientologists! Problem solved. The suppressive person had been found, and in the course of the auditing session, I "naturally" had a "cognition" that my mother had not only been making critical comments about Scientology, but that she had also caused me uncertainty and had discouraged me in the past.
The second phase of the operation was boring. I had to tell about all the times my mother made me feel discouraged, did not take me seriously, or about any other situation in which I felt I had been treated poorly. Each incident was told several times over (supposedly to make its power over me disappear). When the auditor thought the incident was "discharged," then he looked for earlier, similar incidents.
This procedure lasted several hours. At the end it "was clear to me" what a ruinous influence my mother had over my life. From that point on, I could seldom face her without suspicion. Many incidents that, from an impartial point of view, could have been interpreted as an entirely normal part of cutting the [figurative umbilical] cord process, seemed to me a constant confirmation of her "anti-social" character.
Due to natural affection and a close family bond my mother and I were able to get along on her terms, but, "thanks" to the many hours of auditing in which I repeatedly recounted negative incidents about her (auditing never "defused" anything unless it was positive), my antagonism toward her sprang to life on more than one occasion.
The influence of such measures stayed with me a lot longer than my enthusiasm for Scientology. It was not until a later time that I became aware of what was actually being "run" in these sessions, and I began to consciously tackle what I had done. And wouldn't you know it, the more I talked about my mother during auditing, the more clear it became to me that I had done her wrong. While she was by no means perfect (the only people who think they are are Scientologists), she had no doubt done the best she could for her children. In some situations she was in over her head; probably, like many grown-ups, she just lacked the knowledge she needed to react. But the auditing described above certainly put a stop to any mature mother-daughter relationship for several years.
Today I am aware that there are other former Scientologists who went around for years with the enemy-images created in Scientology, sometimes without recognizing the source of their problems. And I ask myself how many relationships have been destroyed - perhaps forever - in a similar manner. How do children handle it with one parent a Scientology and one not? What happens to their loyalties and their inner struggle in a Scientology relationship? There are many open questions, and I sometimes am afraid about how they will be answered.
Where is Lisa McPherson's smile?
On December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson died in room 174 of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, the "spiritual" headquarters of Scientology.
Criminal proceedings against the resident branch of Scientology (FSO) were suspended on June 12, 2000, after Lisa's caretakers had already been granted immunity in an effort to break through the "wall of silence." Today the family is still trying to get an explanation for Lisa's death by means which include a civil lawsuit (as of November 12, 2001).
In August of 2000, I was able, for the first time, to view Lisa McPherson's autopsy photos on the internet (by reading the page and clicking on "I Agree," other autopsy photos were also available here.)
First impression of the autopsy photos
It is worthy of note that Lisa's relatives agreed to have her pictures made public, because these pictures speak for themselves.
As I looked at the photos, I was horrified, because it was clearly evident from them that the deceased had died under very poor general conditions. Lisa's visage of death conveyed to me evident signs of her struggle in passing; it looked to me as though she had not left this world at peace with herself.
Lisa could not have had anything to drink for days, as evident from the dehydration sores on her lips, mouth, eyes and nose. As it appears, Lisa died from severe dehydration, because if she would have received adequate liquid shortly before her death, whether orally or by infusion, then there would not have been dehydration symptoms.
No qualified care
If she would have had qualified care, first of all she would have received adequate liquid, whether orally or by infusion, and the caretaker would have applied baby oil to the dehydration sores with a cotton swab, then put petroleum jelly on her dried out lips. Under good care a patient never would have debilitated to such an extreme state of dehydration, as adequate liquid would have been introduced before Lisa ever got so dried out.
Lung embolism as cause of death is the presumed consequence of extreme dehydration and lack of movement in the patient. This can also happen in a hospital as a result of bed sores in people who have not been able to sit up for days.
Under professional care in a hospital, patients in this condition receive blood-thinning medication, anti-embolism stockings and sufficient fluids, so that a lung embolism could not occur as a result of a thrombosis. In medical jargon, these measures are called thrombosis prophylaxis, and it is one of the most important commandments in the medical care of patients.
Besides that, attempts are made in hospitals to mobilize and rehabilitate such patients, i.e., have them sit or stand up a little bit more every day, then take a few steps with assistance; they are provided easily digestible nourishment, eating a little more each day, first just a spoonful at a time, then more and more, depending on the patient's appetite.
These photos could easily justify the charge of negligence and of failure to provide adequate, competent care to a seriously ill woman.
Scrutinizing the autopsy photos more closely
Apparently an attempt was made to bring an already dead Lisa back to life. On photo one, she has been intubated (a breathing tube was put into her windpipe). That means an attempt was made to get her to breathe. The breathing tube could not have been in the patient very long, as evidenced by the tube being fastened rather loosely, the tape was fastened rather carelessly to Lisa's face - that sort of makes sense, since there is hardly any danger that a dead person will grab the tube and pull it out. It looks here like a show was made to give the impression that everything possible had been done to save her life, although in a regular lifesaving effort, there would have been EKG electrodes pasted on, unless these were removed, but why only them and not the tube and the vein cannula is not clear.
On Lisa's left arm was placed a vein cannula. It was placed in her quite obviously after she died, as is clearly evident in that no blood is present in the vein cannula. If this vein cannula had been attached to a living person, it would have been filled with blood from the force of circulation, and then after death the blood would have been visible and coagulated (dark red and sticky). But the vein cannula on Lisa's arm is empty, which does not indicate that it was put into the arm of a living patient.
The dark blue marks that you can see in the neck and ear-neck area are "Livores" marks (lividity), which occur post mortem (after death), because the blood is no longer circulating and the serum (lighter blood component) and blood corpuscles (heavier blood parts) separate, with the heavier part sinking down and staying there; without sufficient oxygen the red blood corpuscles are bluish and appear blue to blue-violet through the skin.
The various green-blue discolorations on the left upper thigh and the right hip, as well as on the left rear pelvic area don't look like lividity; they appear to be marks of traumatic injuries about 3-5 days before death.
The pictures of her arms and legs are bad enough. According to expert opinion on the part of the family, there were over 109 places on Lisa where cockroaches had fed (look in the text for "cockroach feeding). Cockroaches don't do this with healthy people; they would certainly move (also look for the quote in this article from the insect expert on cockroaches biting people, which contradicts the assertion of a Scientology attorney). The fact there were cockroaches in the room at all gives a good idea about the conditions in Lisa's sick room at the Fort Harrison hotel in Clearwater.
Even if Lisa had died as a result of an accident, as the Scientologists claimed, why would she not have been afforded competent medical care when she started going downhill?
Lisa McPherson was a beautiful, young woman who still had a full life ahead of her and certainly would have been able to fulfil that goal had she managed to leave Scientology ...
Her future was taken away from her by these people who, rather than afford her competent, qualified medical care, deprived her of it.
- Notes from her "caretakers", (also available as a PDF file). You can see that there is only a "summary" available for her last couple of days, because the original was shredded by Brian Anderson
- Autopsy Report (also available as a PDF file
- Evidence CD from the police in Clearwater (Florida)
Deutsch: Lisa McPherson - Tod einer Scientologin
Gebet für Lisa McPherson von Thomas Gandow
Kondolenzschreiben an den Botschafter der Vereinigten Staaten in Deutschland
Lisa McPherson: Tod und Missbrauch des Namens
Die Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater
English: The Lisa McPherson Memorial Page
Fort Harrison Hotel - Room 174
The Lisa McPherson Trust
more unexplained deaths in Scientology
French: Index du memorial Lisa McPherson
The above is an English-language version of
The Xenu Liberation Front on the Donau
Ilse Hruby's presentation of the
Students FAQ on Scientology
- translation -
The original German-language version
Antworten auf die häufigsten Schülerfragen
This text comes from a very nice ex-Scientologist who has generously given me permission to publish it. These are answers to the questions most frequently asked by students during her informational presentations in schools.
Why did you decide to join the cult?
Stated precisely, I never "decided" to "join" a "cult." Just the opposite. I had always been convinced that something like that could never happen to me. After all, I believed I was intelligent, capable of criticism and mentally sound; I didn't have any serious problems, I had many friends, and greatly enjoyed my (overall successful) life as a student.
So how did you get into this cult?
One day an intensely sympathetic speaker told me that her spouse had become acquainted with a wonderfully nice group of people which gave courses, including a communication course. The impression I got from her story was that the main purpose of these "courses" was for entertainment and to meet people. Because I had always been interested in (strange) new ideas and in meeting new people, one evening I decided to go along with her. What frightens me today is how completely "natural" and "normal" everything seemed to me at the time, and how quickly, completely unnoticed by me, I went along with them, even though my original intentions were often diametrically opposed to what was presented.
When did you join the cult? How old were you?
I went into Scientology 18 years ago when I was 20 years old and left after 1 1/2 years, but still can't get away from the subject. Perhaps you can gather from that how much of an impression this relatively short term of involvement left me with.
How did you get into this particular cult?
As I already mentioned, it was pure coincidence that got me into Scientology; but getting hung up in it was certainly not [a coincidence]! I've always been strongly inclined toward "improving the world." For me, social involvement and aid for the weak in society was an internal need; and because it appeared to me that Scientology was a very effective means of attaining this goal, more so than established political parties (or churches), I soon got into it more enthusiastically.
Did your relatives know about this?
Yes, but at the end of the 70s, this was not widely known as a problem. Because my parents had never heard the word "Scientology, and because everybody trusted the decision of a speaker at the university, at first nobody objected. It was not until they discovered that I was secretly taking out a student loan, and that my reaction to their concerns and disapproval (in contrast to my previous behavior) was brimming with arrogance and a loss of reality, that they became suspicious. And when, after the mass suicide of the People's Temple cult in French Guyana, Scientology came into disrepute, they began their "persuasion" against Scientology. Unfortunately, like so many people, they were completely uninformed, and thus had no chance of avoiding all the mistakes that would end up causing a complete loss of trust between the person in the cult and the loved ones.
How did the cult want to help you?
This question was never asked; I wanted to help Scientology, so that the dream of a world without hunger, without war and without mental illness could be more quickly realized. Back then I never comprehended that this dream of theirs was nothing but propaganda.
Didn't it ever occur to you that something, somehow was not right, when you first joined the cult?
No. At first I was only familiar (as were most of the other newly initiated) with the interesting and "non-suspicious" sides of Scientology. The operation had no similarities to any "youth sect" that I had been warned about in school. It was not until very much later that it became clear to me exactly how much really did not check out. My experience was typical. Therefore any appeals to you to "simply look for yourself and make your own decision" and "what's true for you is what you yourself observe" must be met with mistrust. What you are being told to "observe for yourself" has already been thought through in detail by somebody else.
Do Scientology members have special obligations?
You have to do anything to make Scientology expand as quickly as possible - both with personnel and financially - because constant increase in performance is an absolute "must" not only for individual Scientologists, but for the entire organization. That is the way Scientology's influence and power is supposed to rapidly get bigger. In this case, doing everything means starting with your own body - Keep it healthy (in working condition). It also means keeping a neat appearance and being polite so that Scientology does not get a bad image. Naturally it also means to proselytize, but in Scientology, work takes absolute precedence over any other activity. That also includes over your "own" interests, because there is allegedly only one legitimate interest in the world, and guess what that is -- Scientology!
What were your duties?
I was not on staff, but was a paying "student," so my immediate duties were limited to quickly studying the materials of the courses I paid for and to effectively train in their methods. There was a mandatory minimum time of 15 hours I had to devote to this task each week. Excuses like "my university studies are bogging me down" or "but I'm on vacation that week" were not taken. Since I wanted to avoid investigation into my personal ideas and life, I stuck to the rules. Of course I also had an (unspoken) duty - in the sense of Scientology expansion - to constantly schedule and start new courses so that I would always be "on lines."
What was your daily routine like?
My daily routine was relatively unspectacular. In the morning I drove to school, went to lectures and seminars, worked in a library, then drove in the evening to the "Org" (the Scientology Organization) to "study" there for several hours. When that was over at 10 p.m., I drove home, studied for school and went right to sleep.
But some of my friends who had signed a staff contract had to work 9 in the morning to 10 at night every day except Saturday (and Sunday). They had Saturday afternoons off. They accumulated no vacation and were paid 150 to 500 marks per week (about 40 - 125 dollars).
What were some of the methods the Scientology cult used to recruit members?
Surely you have already had some experience with representatives of all sorts who try to get you interested in their various goods or services on the streets. Scientology follows the same strategy when it tries to get passersby to take its "personality test." That test (despite its professional sounding name) is not academically recognized. Its ability to predict anything has been seriously doubted and disputed by experts. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in the life of Scientologists for recruitment purposes. It is always used as an argument when people say they don't need any more services from Scientology. More effective that this, though, is the "personal" approach. That is when a credible character, preferably one who is personally known to the target, raves about how great something is. That way the confidence factor is ensured in advance (the way Tupperware parties do it, for example). Various "fringe groups" also work like that. For instance, when you get to know someone in a human rights group, to say the least, you would expect that person to somehow be committed to specific human rights. But these organizations, of course, are only there to strengthen the credibility of Scientology. Besides those two methods, of course, Scientology also uses "classic" means of advertising such as newspaper inserts, pamphlets, etc.
Are there many members?
Back then I really only ever saw the same (maybe 20 or 30) members - and many others who only showed up on occasion or just once. What gives me the creeps today though is my awareness of how many people have been, are and will be under Scientology's influence for reasons including the following:
- A (genuine) involvement in Scientology encompasses practically all areas of life, and in this way, it influences the entire world picture of the subject person. This does not happen as a result of any logical discussion about the individual aspects of the teachings (although that is occasionally asserted). The Scientology mindset is stamped into the adherents' consciousness by means of strong psychological mechanisms. This leads to many people still having the mindset even though they have left Scientology.
- In my opinion, Scientology's teachings contain a whole lot of dangerous ideas. These include not only concepts objectionable from a public health point of view, but counter-democratic ideology and even convictions directed against human rights and basic law.
- Keeping in mind that these attitudes sometime remain, unexamined, in the minds of people long after they have left, and that they could theoretically be activated at any time, I think this is a good reason to be concerned, especially when you consider the total number of all former, present and future members.
- But aside from those aspects, with a rigidly organized (to the point of totalitarian management), international organization, there is always a latent danger, especially if the group promotes ideas that contradict the basic values of our social system.
Is anyone in charge of the cult?
Around here a charismatic leader never existed. The Creator and - if I may - guru of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, never showed up in Austria; today he is deceased. But he was always "virtually" present. He had his own room in the "Org," in which was kept his favorite brand of cigarettes. His image (the Creator/image pun is intentional!) hung in all the rooms, and he was privately and publicly thanked and applauded on various occasions for his "discoveries."
Did anything ever happen in the cult that might have violated today's laws?
Officially the Scientologists make an effort to avoid that sort of thing in general. The reason is the bad reputation it would cause, but on the other hand there are directives that, in my opinion, clearly promote conduct that is indirectly illegal. This is a contradiction in terms that each person is left to logically resolve for themselves.
Why did you leave?
Once I got to the materials in my first major course, the difference between theory and practice began to irritate me, and my initial enthusiasm was dampened. At first I thought these points in question were the result of understandable translation problems that any new movement like the Viennese organization would have. For that reason, I made constructive suggestions to "improve" the system. I also thought somebody would pay attention to me because I was friends with a relatively high-ranking Scientologist. Unfortunately, it turned out that I had completely misjudged the situation. Scientologists don't do "constructive criticism." Their teachings may not be altered. The creator's directives have dogmatic character and, above all else, I had formed totally false concepts about the goals of this "religious philosophy"!
How did you manage to get out of the cult?
Several weeks after our first "reform attempt," my friend was declared an "unwanted person" by Scientology and had all his titles revoked. For a short while a few friends and I tried to get him reinstated and to convince the Scientologists that our reform suggestions were sensible -- until we found ourselves put on trial in an internal court. We remained loyal to our friend, to Scientology's directives, and we were not about to admit to any "wrongdoing," therefore there was only one choice -- leaving Scientology.
Did you suffer financial losses when you left?
Because we demanded that portion of our money back that had not yet been used for services (in accordance with Scientology's statutes), we had to undergo so-called "interviews." These took place late at night (after 10 p.m.), and were not so much conversations between friends (like we expected) as they were "third degrees" out of a second-rate gangster movie. Finally we shut off further contact to Scientology, even at the risk of never seeing our money again. For some unexplained reason we - eventually - were refunded our unused course payments (minus a hefty "administration fee"). So for me, the financial loss was kept within a reasonable limit.
What problems did being in the cult cause you?
None at all, at first. I thought it was great to have finally run into a group that seemed to have goals similar to mine, and which offered seemingly infinite ways to attain them.
Later, once I experienced my first conflict with the Scientologists and was suddenly not so sure of myself, I also started having friction with my parents. All of a sudden I wasn't doing so great. Trouble in the "org" and fights at home. If I had not held onto this magnificent idea that, with Scientology, it was possible to help practically every person on earth lead a better life, then I probably would have thrown in the towel right there. I was fighting on two fronts. On one side I thought Scientology needed to be changed and improved, and on the other side I thought my parents needed to recognize and acknowledge that I had begun to discover incongruities in this group. (I didn't realize until much later that Scientology posed a risk not only to individual people, but to society.)
After I got out, I was doing fantastically at first. My friends and I somehow felt we were the better Scientologists, the victors.
It was not until, over the course of time, when I had massive doubt about the various basic Scientology dogmata, and I noticed I was thinking only in terms of Scientology (either for or against - Scientology was the measuring stick), that the problems began. Gradually I became aware of no longer knowing what was "true" and what was "false." I began to realize that the simple good-bad mindset I had been using was a complete distortion. I stopped trusting my own critical ability, and it began to dawn on me that all the involvement and idealism I had devoted to this thing were not only completely wasted, but apparently even dangerous. I just couldn't believe it!
Destabilized this way, and hurt by my former "friend's" behavior, which I perceived as treason, and plagued at the same time by feelings of guilt about these same friends, I rapidly fell into a deep depression that took me over two years to find my way out of.
- My studies, of course, had to be put on hold during this time.
And that is why today I am still fighting the consequences of my former fascination.
My German-language book "Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen":
From: Ilse Hruby Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: A Childhood in Scientology! Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 Organization: Xenu Befreiungsfront an der Donau
Interpreting Note: Some of the Hubbard quotes in the following text are non-literal. They are not Hubbard's exact words, but a translation from English to German back to English. The sources of the quotes are given, though, so if you want his exact words, you know where to find them if you can find an English-language source. In doing so, the page numbers may not be exact, as they are those of the German-language editions. If anyone wants to take the time to find the literal quotes and send them to me or post them, they can be included in a future revision of this work. This especially applies if you have access to "Have you lived this life before?" or "The Fundamentals of Thought."
"A Thetan assumes a baby's body usually about the time it takes its first breath." L. Ron Hubbard: "Have You Lived This Life Before?" page 50
A childhood in Scientology means children who were born into the Scientology system or who were brought into it when their parents joined the organization. They were raised according to the fundamentals of this organization and grew up doing the drills of Scientology. From the time they are infants they were quashed by a prefabricated thought system that isolated them from social contact and human interaction in society outside of Scientology.
Maturing with Scientology's ideology is supposed to be guaranteed in the organization's private kindergartens and schools, where the children are "educated" and "counselled" according to Scientology's point of view. At the earliest possible age, children are drilled by Scientology that Scientology itself and working for Scientology takes top priority. This amounts to nothing less than the "clearing" of the planet.
Many Scientology parents endeavor to get their children into Scientology's elite Sea Org unit, and to have that be their children's "career." Contained within the Sea Org elite is the RPF Rehabilitation camp, which is the equivalent to a Chinese re-education camp. That is where children are sent when they commit "crimes" in the Scientology sense of the word.
Any law that applies to the behavior of men and women also applies to children.
From the above it can be concluded that children are to be punished just as severely as adults and that they would receive punishments which are just as harsh as they are for grown-ups.
See also "Brainwashing in Scientology's RPF, page 46
Since the same directives apply to children as to adults, according to Hubbard, children are monitored and handled with the same policies.
"A child is a man or a woman who has not yet attained full growth."
L. Ron Hubbard, Child Dianetics, Copenhagen 1983
As reported by a young women who left Scientology about her work in the Saint Hill Sea Org, after she finished her 8 am to 4 pm Sea Org courses there was manual work, during which time she was not allowed breaks. Throughout the day there were two breaks to eat, half hour each. Walking was frowned upon - they were urged to jog so that maximum production could be achieved. She practically never went to school, instead she and her friends worked to help build a sauna. In doing so they quite often labored the whole night through, and with little or no sleep would go back to the course the next morning.
Even when she was sick she had to work and take her courses because she was told, "A Thetan can do anything."
When she tried to flee, she was apprehended by supervisors and locked in a room for hours. Her telephone conversations were listened in upon and her mail was read. She herself had been a part of this system, had monitored other people and opened their mail. She succeeded in getting vacation in Germany by giving the excuse that her father was sick. With the support of the local police and the German authorities, she was able to leave Scientology afterwards, never to return to the Sea Org again. Her story is here, in English: "Tanya's Training as the perfect machine".
On page 65 of his book, "Cult Children" ["Die Sektenkinder," Herder Verlag, 1996], Kurt-Helmut Eimuth wrote under "Scientology: Conquering the World with Children" the story of an eleven year old girl who had to be carried away from the "Purification Rundown."
She cried and, as she later told a doctor, had not been "in control of her body." She said she had "seen herself from above" and felt like "one who had died." The girl had her father to thank for this "out of body" experience. He is a member of Scientology. Every day he had dragged Dorothea and her brother, one year older than herself, to the Scientology center at Karlsruhe. That is where the children say they took courses and the "Purification Rundown." This torture consists of sweating in a sauna for from three to five hours while swallowing handfuls of vitamins. Finally their grandparents told a children's doctor. "The doctor determined that the girl, at such an age, was being cared for mentally and physically in a wholly inadequate manner."
Scientology considers and treats children as Thetans in small bodies, therefore there is no place for childhood in the Scientology system. Procedures such as auditing and dubious communication training exercises, such staring at people, is also done by children; in all likelihood it leads to a loss of reality and social problems. In "Child Dianetics," Hubbard said of auditing children:
Of course this technique can be used only after the child has learned how to talk enough to give a coherent account of what he is thinking and feeling.
Auditing for Children:
Children are interrogated about the details of their environment, such as conflict situations at school and with their family, with the questions of the "Security Check Children," used from ages 6 to 12. (see http://www.xenu.net/archive/HCOB/FU-HCOB-610921.html)
The most telling question of this interrogation is probably the first one:
1. What has somebody told you not to tell?
2. Have you ever decided you didn't like some member of your family?
3. Have you ever taken something belonging to somebody else and never given it back?
4. Have you ever pretended to be sick (ill)?
5. Have you ever made yourself sick (ill) or hurt yourself to make somebody sorry?
6. Have you ever wanted something very much but never told anybody about it?
Now these first six questions alone are enough by far to give children between the ages of 6 and 12 years a bad conscience, but there are 99 of them, each one of which is suited to give the child a bad conscience.
Here are a few more:
14. Have you ever pestered older children or grown people who were trying to work?
19. Do you have a secret?
35. Have you ever done something you shouldn't when you were supposed to be in bed or asleep?
36. Have you ever told others bad stories about someone?
37. Have you ever tried to make others believe that your parents or teachers were cruel to you?
38. Have you ever offered as an excuse for something you have done wrong that you are only a child or that you haven't grown up yet?
70. Have you ever cried when you should'nt have?
71. Have you ever been a coward?
72. Have you every made too much fuss over a little hurt?
73. Have you ever tried to make your parents believe you were doing better in school than you were?
74. Have you ever told on anyone?
L. Ron Hubbard "Security Checks Children" HCO WW Security Form 8 of 21 September 1961
In Scientology-think, children are regarded as the bodies for the next generation:
It has been been clearly proven that a Thetan is immortal, cannot really experience death nor have it erased by forgetting about it. It is appropriate for the Thetan, who is going to live again, that he urgently try to create something for the future in order to have something to which he can return. Out of this comes the concern about sex. There have to be more bodies for the next life.
L. Ron Hubbard, "The Fundamentals of Thought," page 77
This is approximately the spiritual state of mind in which a Thetan usually has discovered that his body is dead. His main thought is take up another body. He can do that by finding a small child that he resurrect to life. But normally he goes into a body at the point in time that we describe as the assumption. In most cases, the assumption occurs several minutes after birth. The baby is born, and then the Thetan takes the baby. That is the usual procedure. But the Thetan has perhaps already been in the area for a long time. How do Thetans behave who find that they suddenly no longer have bodies? The behave like people. They hang around people until they see a pregnant woman and then follow her along the street.
L. Ron Hubbard: "Have you lived this Life Before?" page 50
How important it is in Scientology to indoctrinate children at an early age to become uncritical fanatics is shown in the following quote:
Scientology for children could in practice very well be the most important single area in this religion's efforts.
L. Ron Hubbard: "Handbook for Ministers" Kopenhagen 1980 auf Seite 449
The cases of tomorrow are the cases of children today. Whole civilizations have changed because somebody changed the children.
L. Ron Hubbard: "Techniken für Kinder Prozessing" in "Ability" Ausgabe 110 aus 1959 (deutsche Ausgabe)
For the child in question, a childhood in Scientology is the equivalent of no childhood at all. It is more like suiting the child up with a totalitarian system and its often brutal, ruthless regulations and directives. In this case the question could be asked of whether freedom of belief might not have its limits?
Mein Buch "Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen":
http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3579011456/religio Meine Homepage:
From: Ilse Hruby Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Theaterstück: "Deine Freunde früher und deine Freunde jetzt sind nicht die gleichen" Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001
One Act Play:
"The friends you have now are not the same friends you had before"
A dark comedy loosely based on the motives of life in one act
A a devout Scientologist
B a devout non-Scientologist
A cozy sit-in kitchen (decorated by B)
A and B eating an evening meal
B: Do we want to have a barbecue in the park this weekend with your friends from town?
B: Why not? Wouldn't it be nice to be with your old friends and chat a little.
A: I already have something planned. I'll be in the Org!
B: (annoyed) But not on the weekend!!! Do you want to leave me alone again? Say, don't your friends from town mean anything to you any more?
A: I haven't been interested in that deluded gang for a long time!!!
B: What's that supposed to mean?
A: That means I can't see those bad-mouthers any more!!!
B: I still don't know what you're trying to say. What happened?
A: They told a bunch of lies about my religion!
B: There has to be a reason for what you're saying. What have your friends been saying that bothers you so much?
A: Lies, all the time.
B: So tell me, what lies are it this time?
A: (angrily) Don't be so hypocritical, you already know, you're always hanging out with them.
B: And what's so bad about that? Your old friends here from town simply became my friends, too. Can't I talk to them anymore?
A: All these lies!
B: Which lies? I've asked you now a couple of times and can't get anything out of you other than "all these lies". But you can't say what the lies are.
A: But you also have counter-intentions and you believe those lies too!
B: Here comes that word at me again, why are you always hitting me over the head with "counter-intention", just why? I ought to tell you something. You're doing your old friends wrong. They are honest people and lead decent lives.
A: (screaming) Are you trying to tell me I am not honest and don't have a decent life?
B: You're not listening to me again. I'm talking about your friends here in town and not about you!
A: (still screaming) But you implied that I'm not honest!!!!
B: (also screaming) Tell me, are you dreaming or did you just make this all up. What is this religion pouring into your head? Listen to me very closely now. I like these people a lot because they are respectable, decent people. That is what I'm telling you! And your friends in town are very worried about you. That's all I can say.
A: (continuing to yell) Now I have other friends who mean more to me!
B: Yes I know, one of them helps himself to your wallet!
A: (angrily) Now that's enough, my old friends are criminals and my new friends are honest.
B: (just as upset) I'm asking you for the last time, why are your old friends criminals? Because they take a critical attitude toward your religion? The friends you have now are not the same friends you used to have! What could have happened? Your old friends have not given up on you. They hope that one day you'll be the same person you used to be.
A: (mocking) You'd like that just fine!!!
B: Your new friends in the organization will drop you like a hot potato the moment you don't have any more money. Not only that, they'll tell you that it's your fault! Then you'll see who your true friends are!! That would be the same ones by whom you're now doing wrong.
A: (very angry) takes a full bottle of beer and hurls it at the floor - Wham! - the entire floor is covered with shattered glass and beer.
B: Stop that! What are you trying to do?
A: (still very angry) takes a second full bottle of beer, eyes B, but misses his target and the beer bottle lands with a loud crash on the floor.
B: at a loss for words because of A's horrible helplessness.
A: (now in total rage) and takes a dart board and smashes it on the floor which is already covered with slivers of glass.
B: is frightened and flees the house to friends.
The small, cozy live-in kitchen looks awful.
* THE END *
(Should certain practices in the above narrative contain similarities with the practices of Scientologists, then those similarities are neither intentional nor coincidental, but unavoidable.)
Book: "Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen"
Interview when book was released:
From: Ilse Hruby Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Theaterstück: "Marriage Auditing" in Hamburg Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001
In light of the occasion:
Theatrical Play: "Marriage Auditing" in Hamburg
A dark comedy loosely based on the motives of life in three acts
A: a steadfast Scientologist
B: a steadfast non-Scientologist
C: a religious person functioning as advisor
D: a caller from the religious organization
E: another religious organization person
Act 1, scene: a small, stuffy room with old stains on the carpet in a religious organization. A and B are being counseled by C.
C: (very friendly) Now you two have marriage problems, that much I understand. So we have something very special for you. You can get Marriage Auditing in Hamburg. It only costs 37,000 Austrian shillings (about 2,000 US dollars), you can take the night train out, get the Marriage Auditing there the next day and take the night train back. That way you are out the least amount of time possible. Wouldn't that be great?
A: That would be super, that's fine with me.
B: Wait a minute. Why is it so expensive? That much money for one day?
C: (irritated and not so friendly anymore) It's not that expensive if you consider the money to be an investment in the future of your relationship.
B: My question is why it is so expensive!
A: It is for the services of a highly trained auditor and you would basically pay more for a psychologist.
B: How would you know? Are you familiar with the prices because you have been to a psychologist?
A: (annoyed) No!! I wouldn't go to one either, they are all criminals.
C: (nods in agreement)
B: What do you mean they're *all* criminal? How would you know that?
C: (very factually) That's not what we're talking about now! Do you want to go, should I call them up?
B: No, that is way too expensive, we don't have 37,000 shillings ($2,000) to casually spend. (turning to A, very concerned) Think about all our debts, should they go up?
C: (friendly again) Couldn't you look around for a money flow into the family?
A: (makes a disgusted face and wants to leave)
B: (firmly) No, that's out of the question!!
A and B excuse themselves and get ready to go. B promises C that they'll think things over some more. A is very angry and feels as if B is once again making fun of his religion.
A: (very worked up, turning to B in the car) Apparently you enjoy finding fault with me in front of my friends, you always have counter-intentions.
B: No, I only said that it is too expensive and that we don't have that kind of money. Aren't you a little quick on the draw with your opinion when it comes to your friends?
A: (screaming loudly) You and your friends and all the lies you've told about my religion, you are all criminals!!!
Act 2, Scene: an old, small company office (not decorated by B). A is not home, the telephone rings and B picks it up. D is calling.
D: Hi B, I have good news for you!
B: Hi D, you don't say!
D: You can get your Marriage Auditing here in the organization and it will cost only 2,500 shillings (125 US dollars).
B: That is very good, but please explain the enormous difference in price to me? I have that much but would like to know how that happened! D: In Hamburg a highly trained Auditor would have done the Marriage Auditing, but here we have a clergyman from the public relations department. I've already talked to him and he agreed.
B: Hold on, *I* have not yet agreed!
D: But A already said it was OK and made reservations for both of you - besides that A was already here today and paid up.
B: Well, OK, we'll do it so that I don't always have to hear about counter-intentions.
Act 3, scene: a very small, poorly ventilated room furnished 1970s style with wobbly chairs - again in the religious organization. In this room the carpet is not stained. A and B are there on time in order to get Marriage Auditing. E walks through the door.
E: Hello, there you are, now let's begin. I've already got the cans out for you. (... now comes the spiel about misunderstood words, etc.)
A and B sit on the old wobbly chairs
A takes hold of two metal cans. The cans are connected with thin wires to an electrical device which can detect mental charge.
B: (doesn't take up the cans) I can speak freely so I won't be needing any electrical device. I am not a member of this religion so I don't have to do it, besides I don't want to be holding something that is putting an electric current through me.
A: (in a loud voice) Not again!!!! Can't you do anything else but constantly find fault with me????
E: Then we can't do the Marriage Auditing since I cannot detect whether you have any charge.
B: I don't have any charge. I can speak very well without this grotesque device and say what about this relationship disturbs me.
E: (hostile and annoyed) But it doesn't make any sense, without the device I'm not doing the Marriage Auditing.
A goes with B into another small room. A gets B to hold the cans and the case of an interrogation device which is not turned on. Besides that B gets to hear about the function of the meter needle of the interrogation device.
A is happy that B held the electrical interrogation device. A and B go home.
The Marriage Auditing for A and B was never done (although it was paid for). It failed because B wanted to speak freely, without the "help" of a religious interrogation device.
* THE END *
(Should certain practices in the above narrative contain certain similarities to the practices of Scientologists, those similarities are neither intentional nor coincidental, but unavoidable.)
Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen:
Interview anläßlich der Bucherscheinung:
From: Ilse Hruby Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Theaterstück: "Das ausgeräumte Büro" Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2001
Theatrical play: "The cleared-out Office"
A black comedy loosely based on the motives of life in one act
A: a steadfast Scientologist
B: a steadfast non-Scientologist
C: a caller, another steadfast Scientologist
a old, small office room (not decorated by B)
A and B are diligently working.
A is off and on the telephone with customers, B is preparing bills and invoices.
It is about 9 a.m. and the telephone rings.
A picks up the receiver.
A: (to C on the telephone) Hello, yes that's what I'll do, yes, immediately, that'll work! That is fine with me!
A: finishes talking, hangs up the telephone, gets up from his office chair and speaks to B.
A: You have to stop work now. You are relieved of all duties in this office.
B: What's wrong now? I'm right in the middle of writing up a bid.
A: You heard what I said. Someone from C's office will be taking over your job, don't touch anything more. Understand?
B: So what's this about?
A: Because that's what been decided.
B: But there has to be a reason. Who made the decision anyway?
A: (sharply) I made the decision because you have counter-intentions and have launched a slanderous smear campaign against me.
B: What? Who was that on the telephone?
A: You said the finances in my company are not good!
B: That's right, look at your debts!
A: You enjoy negative statistics, you take devilish delight in telling me how many debts I have.
B: How'd you figure that out? For months I've been telling you your debts are going sky-high and your company is going straight down and you didn't raise an eyebrow, you just told me I was dramatizing. Just take a look at your bank account and you'll see!
A: (angrily) You're lying!
B: Why do you say that? The bank statement is printed by the bank, you haven't looked at it for months, so that means I'm lying now?
A: (screaming) That isn't doing any good now you have hostile intentions, crawl out of this office right now and don't touch anything more. I forbid you, you liar, do you understand!!!!
B: It's not going to be that easy. I have an employment contract.
A: (very loud) Fiddlesticks, get out!!!
B: Would you just tell me who that was on the telephone and what they have to do with what's going on here?
A: (yelling) None of your business! Tell your slimy psychologist about your fake fantasies!
B sadly leaves the office and to buy supplies for the company, staying away for two hours to give A time to get over it.
After two hours B comes back in the hopes that A has settled down. But what a surprise for B when he gets back, the office is almost cleared out! In the time he was gone, A (with the help of C?) removed the billing files, the various company accounts and the computer. All that's left to let anyone know this used to be an office is some old office furniture. A is also gone!
There's a piece of paper (apparently forgotten) dated the day before. On the paper is the Danger Formula for A's company and the takeover by Company C.
* THE END *
(Should certain practices in the narrative contain similarities to the practices of Scientologists, they are neither intended nor coincidental, but unavoidable.)
Ilse Hruby-- Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3579011456/ Interview anläßlich der Bucherscheinung: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/mystory/Interview.Ilse.Hruby.html
"Married to a Scientologist"
My name is Ilse Hruby and I am from Vienna, Austria. I work as an operating room nurse in the trauma unit, I am not a Scientologist nor an ex-Scientologist, and have been posting to the de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology forum under a different name - Max and Max42 - for reasons of security.
I was married to a Scientologist for almost 4 years, have directly experienced Scientology or, at least, an attempt to make me into a Scientologist. At the same time I have had to take a look at how much Scientology can influence, control and destroy the life and thought of a person.
The book "Meine Ehe mit einem Scientologen" appears in September in the Bertelsmann Verlag in the Gütersloher non-fiction series. The book is not a litany of complaints nor is it a smoking gun, but a first-person report of a marriage between a Scientologist and a non-Scientologist and the effect the Scientology doctrine had upon our marital relationship.
El Awadalla and Marie-Susanne Klar are my co-authors, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their cooperation in writing this book. It can be ordered in advance: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3579011456/
You can read an interview with me in English: 990700a.htm or in German: http://www.renatehartwig.de/ren-har/interview.html
We would have liked to have introduced the book and my identity to this NG at the appropriate moment.
But Jörg Pohler seems to have felt that he has been chosen to reveal my identity in his unqualified scribblings here.
Mr. Pohler did NOT have permission to post my wedding photo on alt.binaries.scientology. As has been seen in his postings on de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology ("anonymes Foto" and "wo ist er denn") he revealed the identity of Mrs. Sperber, who sent him the photo, in an extremely maladroit manner, thereby tipping his hand and making the statement that he did not know who the people in the photo were completely unbelievable. Furthermore, Mrs. Sperber is the only person who ever received the scanned picture, and that was for personal use.
Trusting her was a mistake. She had NO justification and no permission to forward the photo to a third person "anonymously." The photo was taken at my wedding to a Scientologist by someone in my family with my camera. The negative and copyright of the photo belong to me, and any use of it must have my approval.
Isn't there always somebody who wants to use your involvement in Scientology for their own, not always entirely pure, interests?
It used to be that this type of "outing" was carried out only by the Scientologists; it's surprising that the same methods are also being used by certain circles of critics. That, of course, helps Scientology, for instance, OSA used to think that "Max" was somebody else entirely.
Now, thanks to Jörg Pohler's "ethical" toils, OSA is well-informed.
What's also striking about this campaign by Mr. Pohler and Mrs. Sperber is that it's taking place right before my book is to appear. It's easy to see what's behind these two people.
From: ARS-CC Vienna Legal <arscc at a-topmail.at> Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology Subject: Personnel leasing firm sued Date: 30 Aug 2000 03:10:04 -0700 Organization: ARS-CC Vienna
A Viennese Scientology Personnel Leasing Firm has been sued by two staff because of failure to pay fees. One in the amount of 27,000 Austrian shillings (about 4,000 DM or 2,500 USD) and the other for 140,000 shillings (about 20,000 DM or 15,000 USD). Former staff state that stop-gap measures often have to be used for debts, and sometimes it takes a while (months!) before they get paid.
This is true
ARC-CC Vienna Legal (WDNE)
arscc at a-topmail.at
Esoterica in the Work Place
Hocus Pocus in the Office
The Millennium. The world is still standing, the stock market crash passed us up and we were spared by the comet. Even though such prophesies have proven to be false, the esoteric field of business is booming.
Solidaritaet (magazine of the ÖGB) 1/2000
by Katharina Klee
You often get esoteric philosophy in management courses today
Management and Meditation
We not only come into esoteric offers of salvation in the area of the stock market and personnel management - they have also very successfully sold their techniques in professional continuing education. Christoph R. (name known to the editors) was sent by his company to an "unbelievable sales seminar" put on by "Business Success," management consultants founded by a Scientologist. In the beginning everything was absolutely normal and much of the advice appeared very useful to Christoph. So his company booked a second seminar for him - this time on the topic of communication. Christoph said, "What they put out was a who-is-not-for-you-is-against-you mentality." He really had doubts towards the end of the seminar: "When we were doing meditation exercises and the trainer actively intervened in the meditation. That appeared rather dubious to me, and I left the seminar." El Awadalla filled us in, "Business Success even gives clear instructions for 'mobbing.' I have seen written material which says to overwhelm unliked co-workers with information or to cut them off from information." The "Business Success" company had not responded to calls from the editors as of press time.
Scientology alarm in Telekom
October 25, 1999
Commotion in the Army and Ministry of the Interior about an EDP [electronic data processing] technician who controls the Republic's secret telephone network
When a catastrophe occurs, war breaks out, or an ambassador wants to conduct diplomacy in secret, then secret telephone lines are activated. Right at the "hottest" points of the secret state telephone network sits a Scientologist. A member of an organization which German Constitutional Security as categorized as hostile to the Constitution.
A dilemma for Telekom. Here at home [Austria], Scientology (SO) is not prohibited. On the track of the Scientologists are Viennese television journalist Guenther Zaeuner and German book author Renate Hartwig. In their research, they came upon a "clear," as high-ranking Scientologists are known.
These journalists' discovery caused some concern, in the Ministry of the Interior and in the national army, among other places. This is because the man is a top technician at Telekom. He tends to the network equipment for the Ministry of the Interior, federal police management and the gendarmerie. He coordinates the "state ground network" for the federal chancellory office. A secret telephone system for the event of an emergency.
Embassies and consulates also have telephone connections there. And if the Justice Department were to order telephone surveillance, that instruction would be routed through the Scientologist. The reason for the concern is a report from the German Federal Office for Constitutional Security, which Dr. Peter Prisch presented, "There are indications that the SO intends to obtain leadership in society and in state through infiltration of the economy, politics and the state apparatus."
Zaeuner: "It seems precarious to have a Scientologist sitting in a key position."
Dilemma for the authorities
This is an opinion which is shared by people at Telekom. But what to do? The EDP expert cannot be said to have committed a crime. And membership in the SO is not prohibited.
In contrast to Germany, where the authorities have even instated career bans, the Austrian state security report does not portray any bad evidence for this or similar organizations: "Even if the worldviews of several communities are wholly or in part incompatible with the basic order of western democracy, members of these communities still have regard for the order or avoid violations of its laws."
Telekom has now found an Austrian way out: the transfer of the technician to a "harmless" area without personal disadvantage. A speaker for Telekom: "This, on one side, is about finding a human solution, and at the same time avoiding mistrust in advance."
Harmless organization or a sect hostile to the Constitution?
The Scientology Organization (SO) was founded by American science fiction author Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. Scientology views itself as a religion of redemption in the tradition of east Asian religions, Buddhism in particular. Critics in the BRD [Germany] make mention of a psycho-sect or a paramilitary sect.
In contrast to that, in Austria the SO has achieved a decision in the courts that it may not be described as a "sect." The German Interior Ministers Conference of Nation and States, on June 6, 19997, assigned Constitutional Security, initially for one year, to observe the SO "with all intelligence means"* and to clarify whether "concrete indications for objectives hostile to the Constitution existed."
According to the Constitutional Security reports which have been presented, the SO has clearly political objectives, "An overall view yields that the SO not only ... propagates an order which is hostile to the Constitution, but its activities are directed towards establishing an order hostile to the Constitution in state and society."
The goal, according to the constitutional security agents, is the "infiltration of state and commerce." To that end, there is even a "Department of Government Affairs." The "Office of Special Affairs" (OSA), the SO secret service, is responsible for handling dispute with opponents.
As to OSA's methods, the Bavarian State Office for Constitutional Security quotes its founder, Hubbard, "It could even consist of a thud on the pavement of an enemy in the dark or having the entire enemy camp go up in smoke as a birthday present."
Other SO instructions, according to Constitutional Security, for handling a person who is perceived as hostile: "He may be tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed." The OSA's predecessor organization, the "Guardian Office," is said to have led a regular war against the highest tax agency in the USA.
At an investigative procedure in Greece, suspicions arose of SO connections to the US secret service, the CIA. The Greek authorities secured SO documents during search and seizure operations. From these it could be concluded that CIA intervention with Greek state security had caused a staff member critical of the SO to be let go.
In any case, the German Constitutional Security report says, "The Scientology Organization (SO in Germany, in the unanimous opinion of Constitutional Security federal and state agencies, is pursuing goals which are hostile to the Constitution."
In Austria, there is no official position to the SO. In the state security report of 1998 by the Interior Ministry, it says, "Based on the legal situation in Austria, security officials can only take action against such groups or their members if there is a suspicion present that criminal acts are being committed." Austrian Scientologists have not incurred penalties upon themselves.
Dr. German Mueller, Director of the Federal Center for Sect Issues: "One find points which can cause concern, however, on political, commercial, social and individual levels."
State ground network
The instruments without dialers are no longer entirely new, that sit in the front rooms of the federal chancellor, of the ministers and the federal and state emergency centers. They have never been needed in the history of the Second Republic. That is because these telephones are part of the "state ground network." The ministries maintain their connection with each over this network only in times of crisis or in the event of war.
That would be only after the civil network has been disrupted for a long time. The centers and the maintenance is left up to Telekom. Besides that remains the IFMIN system of the national army, but that is coupled with Telekom's system over long stretches.
Author: Wilhelm Theuretsbacher
AMW / Metzger
* This does not include wiretapping, phone surveillance or reading mail.
Scientology - what to do?
June 18, 1999
Buying a good program is a virtue, Wednesday evening on Hotpoint it was the virtue of the ORF broadcasting company. The true laurels, however, were earned by the producers of the broadcast, Southwest Broadcasting (Suedwest-Rundfunk). What Ina Brockmann and Peter Reichelt were able to put together about the Scientology "rehabilitation centers" left the audience shaking their heads in confused disbelief by the end of the program.
Labor camps, rehabilitation centers, brainwashing, undercover methods - this was how "Missing in Happy Valley" presented the experiences of any person who turns against Scientology after having joined it. It had a credible effect, it was also good that the Scientology press spokesperson also had her say. Even if there was nothing she could do to lessen the message of the broadcast - that there is a totalitarian organization with a deluded person at the peak of its power. On the contrary.
The conflict of conscience of the relatives of Scientologists was well developed. The interview with the brother of a Scientologist woman who had been put in a rehabilitation camp showed the quandary: What is the degree of freedom? When is it manipulation, when does the person "really" want what is happening with him? This is a question - if one takes manipulation into account - which is difficult to answer. All the more important are broadcasts like Hotpoint on Wednesday - perhaps it will keep people from handing control of themselves over to strangers.
[An English transcript of the program:990225j.htm ]
From: "Kurier" (Austria)
June 4, 1998
by Alfred Payrleitner
Do you believe that 35 billion years ago, an evil prince by the name of Xenn existed in the universe? He is supposed to have taken two billion excess spirits, so-called Thetans, and banned them to earth.
Of course, at that time, it was not called earth, but "Teegeeack" (the whole thing happened before the origin of our current universe). Anyway, Xenn made use of hydrogen bombs, which he used to annihilate the Thetans in cold blood - a real repulsive guy.
Since that time the thetans hover about, really they are sleeping inside of everyone. If somebody really tries, he can find them in his insides and reveal their existence. Of course this happens only with the proper instructions. And with the proper course fees. This is how one becomes "clean."
So far, so good, but only for someone who knows how to assess this type of nonsense, culturally and scientifically. Characteristics such as those of the upper levels of the sphere of the original Scientologist, Ron Hubbard, are found in many sects: revived stories of the fall of man and prophecies of doom, Gnostic hopes of salvation, and Asiatic meditation methods, mixed with a little relativity theory and "document X."
The unfortunate, customary, post-modern boonswoggle. The effects of these false prophets usually cancel each other out - in the USA there are an estimated 3,500 new religious movements. On occasion, however, they lead directly to self-destruction; the murder rituals of the Sun cult in Switzerland come to mind.
From an association of harmless liars about systems of cynical exploitation to suicide clubs, there is an abundance of variants. This is the reason that sect abuses are difficult to keep under control with laws and prohibitions.
Finally, there is no ordinance against stupidity . What "religion" is and what it is not can lead to an endless splitting of hairs. Much can be believed. However, when it comes to cases of psycho-terrorism or to the demand of privileges, the state can and must intervene. Since 1993, Scientology is counted as "beneficial to society" in the USA, which brings tax advantages.
That has to be investigated. A sure explanation would be most effective. Whoever once has determined through observation and practical comparison how very similar the methods are of the soul chasers and psycho-exploiters, is already half immune.
Even if he should find himself in a crisis, which is an entirely normal event. There can be amazing similarities between known sect practices, the machinations of a [church] Cardinal, the methods of some group therapies, political brainwashing and sales training.
Once you have recognized it, your eyes have been opened up. You can almost be a Thetan. Without any Scientology at all.
From: "Salzburger Nachrichten"
May 30, 1998
Vienna. Families Minister Martin Bartenstein (OeVP) wants to prevent the enlistment of members of the Scientology sect in sensitive areas of the civil service. "If a Scientologist wants to enter the civil service, then it must be affirmed that he denies the teachings of Hubbard, the founder," he said in an interview with the Monday news magazine, "Profil." This pertains mainly to the hiring of teachers and kindergarten workers, but it also to judges, attorneys and police. Scientology criticizes Bartenstein's requirement as a "scandal," and accused the Minister of conveying one of the opinions of the APA by putting "people on drugs" with the help of his drug business. The Families Minister will lodge a complaint against the sect.
This page refutes the assertion that Scientology is recognized as a religion in Austria. More to follow.
Scientology itself claims to be recognized in Austria, and calls on the "Unabhängigen Verwaltungssenat" (UVS) [Independent Senate] of the city of Vienna, which is conspicuous for its peculiar decisions. In 1995, the UVS had determined that Scientology is a religious community and not a taxable, commercial enterprise. They focused their attention on just one thing: must taxes be paid on auditing and the sale of Scientology literature? Not according to the UVS's decision, because they determined that they were dealing with a religious community.
The UVS, however, does not have the least ability to recognize whether something is a religious community or not. The only one responsible for that is the federal government, not the community, nor Vienna, but the Culture Department of the Ministry of Education. They have never recognized Scientology.
There are twelve religious communities in Austria. These have extensive rights available to them. They are:
- Evangelical A.B.,
- Evangelical H.B.,
- Greek Orthodox,
- Catholic Orthodox,
- Armenian Apostolic,
- the New Apostolic and the Syrian Orthodox Churches,
- the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons),
- the Buddhist, as well as the
- Islam, Hanefitic rite.
If a religion is officially recognized, it is a corporation of public rights, and may, among other things, conduct its religious education in public schools at state expense (the religious instructors are provided by the religious community itself), is exempt from taxes, does not have to participate in collective agreements, etc.
In 1997 the application of the Jehovah's Witnesses was turned down. The basis of this decision was that they were not pro-government, because they refuse to take part in elections. They describe this attitude as being "politically neutral."
In 1997 a federal law was passed that re-vamped the rules for recognition as a religious community. The fact that it placed new, built-in hurdles for those wishing to be recognized as a church became evident when it was found that at least five of the previously recognized churches did not have enough members to qualify for an application. Besides this it became clear, after reading the fine print, that a few of the passages in this law referred to Scientology. Scientology is not only not recognized in Austria, but it does not stand a chance of being recognized.
The UVS decision has also been criticized in high places:
Ombudsman Horst Schender has called upon the responsible officials to review the activities of the Scientology sect in reference to commercial and tax laws. For about three years, the attorney has been pursuing an investigative proceeding which is supposed to determine whether certain activities of Scientology are undermining the commercial establishment, he stated in a press conference from his institution.
In essence, the matter deals with whether the so-called "auditing" is a religious exercise or a type of life and social counseling. If the latter were the case, then the commerce officials are being deprived of some financial contributions. Also the sales activity of Scientology, to the extent that books are offered for sale, could be categorized as commerce in trade under certain circumstances, according to Schender. Financially, Scientology has a lot at stake in the question of whether it is a church or a business, because churches in Austria are not required to pay taxes.
The Ministry of Commerce has assigned the three state governments of Vienna, Salzburg and Karnten, in which Scientology associations exist, the task of clarifying this question.  In Vienna only, a charge against the sect on suspicion of unauthorized commerce was mentioned. In the first instance, a civil fine could result, depending on whether a finding of commercial exploitation as a life and social consulting company without authorization were made. Scientology states that this decision was already granted by the UVS. Punitive procedure is suspended if Scientology were to be considered a church.
Schender does not agree with this decision. "The determination as to whether an institution is a church or not does not lie in the realm of an independent Senate, but is made by the appropriate department in the Ministry of Education. To date, they have not yet recognized the Scientology Church as a religion," stated the attorney. For this reason, he sees a much wider field of operation for the commerce officials. This area should be used to conduct new investigations, demanded Schender. The attorney will see to it in the future "that the officials comply with their area of responsibility in regards to the activities of the Scientology Church," said Schender.
APA302, April 24, 1996
The Ministry of Education on Scientology distribution of publications:
In a brochure, the Ministry of Education had the following to say about the Church of Scientology's announcement that it would distribute Scientology material to all schools in Austria:
"This method contradicts the normal procedure followed by non- government organizations, who obtain the agreement of the Education department before distributing newspapers or publications [in schools]."
Since that time, Education Minister Elisabeth Gehrer has directed all state school boards and directors to refrain from distributing the Scientology publications. The schools were instructed to return the materials sent to them by the Scientology Church. These [Ministry of Education] brochures are available from the Ministry of Education in Vienna.
ÖPV press release,
July 1, 1997
Another official opinion on Scientology (and other like groups) is contained in a sect brochure which is distributed by the Ministry of Families.
Politicians on Scientology:
Representative Fritz Neugebauer, SPÖ:
Several days ago, the Commission for Psychiatric Violations of Human Rights distributed a booklet entitled: "Psychiatry - the Decline of Schools." The people behind this group are the Scientologists, a sect which is being considered for prohibition throughout all of Europe. On the inside cover of the booklet, it states that the publication has been made possible by a grant from the International Association of Scientologists. In the booklet, the psychological care of school children is demonized and is labelled as "child abuse." "In reality it is the Scientologists who upset people with psychological stress to make them receptive of their sect," warns Representative and ÖGB Vice President  Fritz Neugebauer.
The high gloss booklet imparts the impression of seriousness. "All the more reason for the urgent warnings!"
"Today, psychological care of school children is an important bastion of pedagogy, and is not an aid with which children and their parents can do without," the representative summed up from his own experience as a teacher.
Besides that there are numerous obstacles, school stress, and psychological troubles which need to be reduced. (...)
"In any case, the best place for the Scientology booklet is in the trash can," is the final recommendation from Neugebauer to his professional colleagues.
Press release of June 14, 1996
ÖVP Press Release:
Vienna, July 22, 1997 (Övp-PD) A discussion took place this afternoon at the request of Werner Amon in the ÖVP federal party. The discussion participants were: ÖVP General Secretary Mag. Othmar Karas, Rep. Maria Rach-Kallat, the ÖVP Security Speaker, Rep. Paul Kiss, and the ÖVP sect speaker [sic!] Rep. Werner Amon (z. NR).
It was unanimously decided by all participants that the Scientology Sect be rejected by the ÖVP as unmistakably socially disruptive and personally destructive, and that people be warned about it. This sect not only endangers democracy (as stated by Families Minister Dr. Martin Bartenstein in the Morning Journal), but also pursues commercial interests and political power under the guise of religion.
Letter to the Editor by Karl Öllinger, National Council Representative for the Green Party:
I do not at all know whether Josef Hoechtl (VP) is for the prohibition of Scientology. I am quite sure that I have not required it. I am also sure that Scientology should not be recognized as a religion and valued accordingly, as Michael von Bruck the theologian says.
If the concept of religion has gone so far as to encompass Scientology, then Coca-Cola or Pepsi would also be world religions. However, in contrast to a commercial enterprise, Scientology pursues goals which lie in the direction of totalitarian domination.
Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology stated, "Perhaps some time in the future the goal will be reached, when only the non-aberrated receive citizenship and can profit from it. This is a worthy goal, the attainment of which would enable a considerable increase of the ability to survive and of the happiness of mankind." (By "aberrated" - "sick" - is meant non-Scientologists.)
Scientology is cut from a whole different block of wood than a group which calls upon the teachings of Buddhism or Hinduism. In order to come to terms with Scientology, it will require more than just the symbol of a round table used by Michael von Bruck. 
The state may not shirk its responsibility, but must proceed upon a (very difficult) detour between the right to religious freedom and the right to spiritual integrity.
"Der Standard", May 8, 1996
- In Austria religious groups are not permitted to organize into associations. For this reason, an association of the Unification Church (Moony sect) was dissolved in the 1970's. Since then, this regulation has not been stringently enforced. [Return]
- ÖGB: Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund [Austrian Labor Union] [Return]
- According to Bruck, a theologian from Munich, all religious groups must be treated identically in a democracy. Discussions should be held in its own public institutions (round tables). Ölliger's letter was the report about the "Dialogue of Religions", which appeared in Salzburg in May '96. [Return]
- Federal law of the legal character of religiously acknowledged communities
- Sect brochure of the Ministry of Families
- Press release from Scientology about the alleged recognition by Austria
- Dr. Ernst Kollmer's testimony about Scientology allegedly being a genuine religion.
Dr. Ernst Peter Kollmer is alleged to have been a witness to Scientology's being a true religion. According to the Wolfsegg am Hausruck town records ("Gemeindeamt") of 5.5.98 Dr. Kollmer died in 1988. He was a practicing physician, and occupied himself with homeopathy. Wolfsegg is a community with about 2,000 inhabitants. An Institute for Psychotherapy is to be found neither in the telephone book nor in town records. It is peculiar that Scientology relies upon the word of an Institute for Psychotherapy when it also broadcasts that anything which has to do with psychotherapy is evil. See the minutes (by memory) of the CCHR meeting.
Friday, April 3, 1998
Vienna (red.). Schools have been sent Scientology material from a textbook publisher, warned the Catholic Family Association recently. Nevertheless the incident was cleared up quickly, and turned out to be not very extensive. It was not the textbook publisher, but an employee in the distribution department of the "Osterreichischen Bundesverlags (OBV), who included a comprehensive brochure on Scientology in about 20 shippings one day. Among the recipients was the Wiedner School. The employee, who turned out to be a Scientology member, was dismissed without notice. The customers affected were immediately notified, stated Othmar Spachinger, Operations Director of OBV Pedagoguish Publishing.