Vienna, Austria
November 2, 2000

It is alleged that Austria is deliberately making propaganda against religious groups - such as with the sect office. Religious minorities are said to be put at a disadvantage, boycotted and put under surveillance. That was what a "Presse" article says about a resolution recently accepted by the U.S. Representatives' Committee on International Relations. Besides Austria, France, Germany and Belgium were criticized for allegedly unequal treatment of religious communities (mainly Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology). Besides that, the U.S. State Department voiced the fear that the FPOe's participation in government would further worsen the climate for religious minorities. Then statements from the ranks of the FPOe were cited which were regarded as intolerant and anti-Semitic. WM.

No talk of fighting sects

Anti-constitutional ignorance of a right

No other basic right would have been able to be ignored so consistently without kindling public outrage.

by Heinz Mayer

If proof would have been needed that liberal attitudes do not count as part of the daily routine in Austrian politics - the 1998 law on religious confessional denomination would have done it most recently. The law and the story of its origins demonstrate that liberal state thinking are solved in some areas by closed-mindedness and intolerance.

The State Basic Law of 1867 provides individuals with "complete freedom of belief and conscience" and sets the relationship between state and religion according to the principles of parity and neutrality.

The 1874 acknowledgement law, which still is in effect today, took into account and foresaw generous claims to acknowledge religious communities. The Second Republic's practice knew enough to slip this law in. The Constitutional Court has indeed always determined that the claim to acknowledgement as a religious community is constitutionally guaranteed; but because the Administrational Court did not permit a delayed complaint, this right was never effective. It was not until the Constitutional Court forced the Administrative Court to put the right to acknowledgement into effect that the decades-long counter-constitutional practice of ignoring a basic right could be uninstalled.

Now the legislators are rushing to be of assistance. With the federal law on religious confessional communities, it is ascertained in a refined manner that no acknowledgement can happen in the next ten years, either. All religious communities which want to be acknowledged must first exist as an acknowledged confessional community and must have been in existence for at least twenty years. That also applies to those communities which have already been held back for decades in a manner contrary to the Constitution.

For security, as it were, additional criteria have been associated with acknowledgement which nearly annihilate the state of basic rights achieved back in 1867. An example: for acknowledgement there is now a requirement for something like 16,000 members. Above that can be said that of the twelve currently acknowledged religious communities only four - possibly five - reach this membership figure.

Politically this attitude is justified with the necessity of fighting sects. While this argument is regarded and effected as a killer argument, it is false nonetheless: first of all acknowledgement of a religious community does not mean that it or its members are no longer bound by law. Anyone who deceives, terrorizes or performs criminal acts against people can be punished, even if he is acting as a functionary or member of an acknowledged religious community or has religious motives. Secondly: what "dangers" can come from groups like Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists or Coptic Orthodox? The anti-Constitutional practice also targets these religious minorities and is now even confirmed by a federal law. Under cover of fighting sects, a religious minority is treated in treacherous ways.

The European Court of Human Rights proclaimed in 1996 that true religious pluralism "is an eminent characteristic of the concept of a democratic society." A political camp which backs such pluralism can not currently be discerned; the positions of the parliamentary parties on the church-state relationship varies between apathy and maintains the status quo. No other basic right of the Austrian Constitution could have been ignored so constantly and for so long without kindling a public storm of outrage. It almost appears as though the public is in solidarity with their political representatives in this question.

The author is a profession at the Institute of State and Administrative Law at the University of Vienna

No group is being condemned per se

Warn the citizens and protect them from danger

When groups produce dependencies under cover of religion, then authorities must intervene.

by Robert Lender

Religious freedom also means: it must be possible for the individual citizen to freely choose his weltanschauung. This primarily consists of the guarantee of free entry into and departure out of any group. It is not a contradiction when the Austrian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and opinion for the individual while, at the same time, government agencies publicize information about sects.

Recruitment and promises from many groups address positive feelings like security, community and health. It is not until later phases of membership that background of the whole weltanschauung becomes clear - a system which seeks not just a couple of hours of free time, but also a complete restructuring of the individual's behavior to fit group concepts. One coming into a sect does not recognize the successive transformation, to outsiders though it is incomprehensible and to adherents it seems menacing.

The goal of informational measures on the theme of sects is not a condemnation of a group per se, it's not criticism of the individual member and is not at all a devaluation of religious views. The only task is to document the methods and structures which could be objectionable to individuals. That work is all the more important since an overview of all the groups active in Austria is no longer possible for citizens.

Media reports alone deal only with those groups which have been spotlighted by tragic incidents or by their own massive propaganda. Many other associations are not afforded even token attention. In order to obtain sufficient information, collection of data is necessary from many sources other than the groups' own self-presentation.

This type of information has been afforded by the state through brochures such as "Sects - Knowledge protects" or through the Federal Center for Sect Information. By doing that, public counter-presentation is made available for advertisement and presentations from sectarian groups. Citizens can form their own opinion from this palette of information. The individual is not relieved of his decision about further dealing with a group, everyone must do that for themselves.

Sect information is sensitive material which should not be left in the control of private institutions alone. For those seeking information - and for groups - is has to be assured that factual and objective information is being provided. In this sense there is a constructive dialogue between the agencies and individual groups.

The state also has the mission in other areas of protecting and warning citizens about risks. The state intervenes, for example, in the areas of traffic safety or nicotine consumption: every cigarette pack must contain a visible warning, and youth protection laws regulate consumption and government agencies support information and prevention campaigns. This does not happen so intensively on the theme of sects, although the potential for dependencies exist there, too.

Perspective: Religiosity must be left up to the individual, as well as whether the individual finds fulfillment therein or not. But when individual groups, using the excuse of religion, produce dependencies which influence family life and cause financial harm, then government is obliged to put suitable counter-measures in place. Tragic events in other lands (the USA, for instance) which end up in catastrophic use of state force have not yet happened in Austria. Perhaps this demonstrates that the Austrian way of information and prevention is proportionate and productive.

The author is an official in the Federal Ministry of Social Security and Generations responsible for youth-political affairs of prevention and so-called sects.

Pro & Con

Scientology: Unexpected surprise at the concert

Vienna, Austria
November 3, 1999
Die Presse

Vienna (do). American singer Mark Janicello received a birthday surprise of the other kind on Tuesday evening at a Mario Lanza musical presentation of "Be My Love" in the Vienna Akzent Theater. After the intermission, opponents of the Scientology sect suddenly stood up from their seats in the first row, took pictures of main actor Janicello and distributed leaflets against Scientology. The singer, who is said to be a member of Scientology, interrupted his performance and apologized to the public. "The theater is really no place for that," he said. "Some people just don't have any manners."

The audience, most of whom had no idea what the disturbance was all about, apparently agreed with Janicello and loudly booed the sect opponents.

On Wed, 03 Nov 1999 01:55:44 +0100, el awadalla wrote in <>:

Today (11-2), four people went into the Viennese Theater Akzent to give out information about Mark Janicello and Scientology. Two of the four wore t-shirts which read "Scientology Kills," which Janicello could see from the stage as could the primarily older women which made up the audience.

Shortly after the intermission, the group left the theater, in doing so one person laid leaflets on the stage. Janicello interrupted the performance and did not continue until all four were outside. In the foyer, a policeman took down the personal data of this person, while the other three distributed leaflets to the employees and shuffled them into the programs which were lying around. Afterwards they stuck the rest of the leaflets on the cars parked around the theater, also on each theater entrance.

The public understood surprisingly little of the whole operation (indicative of the Austrian awareness of Scientology), yet the staff and the police read the flyers with interest.

The play itself was unbelievably bad. The high point of the embarrassing dramatization was before the intermission, when Janicello and his female partner sang along with a film of themselves which was projected on a large screen. Janicello looked completely different on the film and did not manage to sing in sync with it once.

the flyer (nothing especially original) is here::

"<Translator's note: text which appears in quoted angle brackets such as this has been translated from English to German back to English. That means it is not a DIRECT QUOTE, but an interpretation of a quote.>"

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Flyer on Janicello in the Akzent

Mark Janicello and Scientology

There is probably no other organization that uses all the opportunities for recruitment that Scientology does: from talking to acquaintances about a communications course and mass mailings to professional internet pages.

Some people who have shown an interest in the SO [Scientology Organization] and have unsuspectingly given away their addresses have received piles of mail and inquiries by telephone; a flow which a negative attitude has yet to stem. Public agencies and politicians are drowning in a flood of glossy brochures.

In this sense, an appearance by Janicello can also be regarded as a Scientology advertisement. Several recruitment appearances by Janicello in Austria:

7-30. Oberpullendorf: During a concert, he introduced himself as a Scientologist.

8-4-1998 Innsbruck, at a performance for religious freedom for Scientology

12-10-1998 Vienna, Stephansplatz, together with the Scientology "Say No to Drugs" movement. There he presented himself as a recognized artist supporting the good of the public.

The path to a Scientology society is through an infiltration of all areas of society: "Hit for the key spots by whatever means, the head of the women's club, the personnel director of a company, the leader of a good orchestra, the president's secretary, the advisor of the trade union - any key spot. Make a good sound living at it, drive a good car, but get your job done, handle and better the people you meet and bring about a better earth.."

The goal of Scientology is a "cleared" world. In doing that, Hubbard proposed that a part of the population, estimated by him at 20 percent and which he has categorized as "anti-social" (i.e., critical of Scientology), should be isolated from society (of the Scientologists); he said another 2.5 percent should be eliminated immediately.

Today Scientology introduces itself as a religion, it used to introduce itself as an applied philosophy. When problems with the tax officials had shown up in the USA, the tax advantages of a religious denomination were recognized.

An assessment of the SO [Scientology Organization] was made in Germany in the judgment of the Federal Labor Court on 22 March 1995: the membership and the "religious" services in the SO are commercialized. The teachings of a religious or worldview nature only serve as a pretext for commercial goals; there can be no discussion of a religious denomination in the sense of Basic Law.

Scholar Prof. Able, summed up: "SO does not present its saving concept as one possibility among many, but as absolute, and thus intends to implement it absolutely. If one considers Scientology's concepts in connection with the whole, the transformation of such ideas into reality is the equivalent of establishing a totalitarian dictatorship. Thinking in Scientology depends only upon itself. This thinking is incompatible with the principles of state order in the FR of Germany and other democratic, constitutional states."

L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Scientology

On democracy and dealing with critics of Scientology:

"<Nowhere on the planet is democracy practiced today. And so far as I know, it never has been, not even in ancient Greece was there a democracy.>"

"<It is probable that any human group will elect only those who will then murder them.>"

"<Scientology gives us the first opportunity to have a genuine democracy.>"

"<Scientology is for a free people and declares itself at this time to be free of any political connection or obligation of any kind as it ever was.>"

"<Despite all the talk about mutual agreement, a thoroughly democratic organization does not have a good reputation in Dianetics and Scientology.>"

"<In case you ever have the chance to elect a leader for your group, then don't do it democratically.>"

"... And I don't see that popular measures, self-abnegation and democracy have done anything for Man but push him further into the mud. Currently, popularity endorses degraded novels, self-abnegation has filled the South East Asian jungles with stone idols and corpses, and democracy has given us inflation and income tax."
- L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 7 Feb 65 r. 15 Jun 70, "Keeping Scientology Working"

"<... democracies hate intelligence and ability. Don't get caught up in that mess. [...] Democracy is only possible in a nation of clears - and even then mistakes can still be made. If the majority rules, the minorities suffer.>"

"<The best is always a minority.>"

"<Since Scientology now brings TOTAL freedom, it must also have the power and authority to demand total discipline, or it will not survive.>"

"1) Spot who is attacking us.

2) Start Investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies.

3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.

4) Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way. "

The enemy "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
- HCOPL 18 October, 1967, "Penalties for Lower Conditions"

First appeared: flyer of 2 November 1999

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Last modified: Wed Nov 3 01:51:04 1999

There are seven articles previously listed on Janicello at

This information was provided with the assistance of:

Tilman Hausherr

Fotos fm Clearwater: Fotos fm Los Angeles:

"Scientology" for former Scientologists

Vienna, Austria
August 5, 1999
NEWS 31/1999

Splinter groups of Hubbard disciples are getting a foothold in Austria. They offer ex-Scientologists a new homeland for old "belief values."

Ratten is an idyllic spot in Steyermark. Ralph Hilton's house is even more idyllic on the side of a hill down from the village. And if everything goes according to the plan of the Englishman who immigrated to Austria two years ago, a new Scientology center will be established here in the next few weeks. However, the name "Scientology" will probably not come up: Ralph Hilton is a "Squirrel" - that is how the official Church of Scientology describes its apostate members.

Holy dumping prices. For decades there has existed an international network of apostate Scientologists who nevertheless wanted to remain loyal to the teachings of the master, L. Ron Hubbard. Now the "Free Zone" is also getting a foothold in Austria. "We would like to train and spread the true technology of Scientology without being subject to the pressure and control of the Church," explained Hilton. He is trying to enhance the limited possibilities of his team - presently Hilton and his girlfriend are the only ones - through economic marketing methods: "Our offerings are many times cheaper than those which Scientology Austria charges." For instance the e-meter, which is the essential control device in auditing and which measures the feelings of the interviewee, costs only a fraction of the official price at only 5,000 Austrian shillings; complete training up to the "upper levels" is available for only 40,000 shillings. Scientology spokesman Andreas Boeck strongly doubts the success the success of the dumping program: "Anybody who turns away from the church will not make any spiritual progress."

New Homepage. The attack on the Austrian Scientology Church is not, however, limited to a battle over price: Heidrun Beer, Hilton's Scientology comrade, has obtained for her "Spiritual Research Workgroup," another "splinter group" from the "mother church," the internet address of She obtained this before Scientology was able to. She will not have to wait long before she is sued, and Beer has already been declared to be a "Suppressive Person," which includes being an enemy and an obstacle to spiritual freedom. The homepage from her association which is based in Semering offers advice and help for Scientologists who are overcome by doubt - and she would like to help them with Scientology methods.

What enrages Boeck: "That is one of many attacks upon our beliefs. If one would like to use the word "sect" in connection with Scientology, then he should use it on these people who think that they are leasing truth even though they have removed themselves from Hubbard's teachings." Boeck's warning: "It is not our style to publicly discuss mistakes of former members, but that depends upon their continued behavior."

Michael Hafner

Scientology threatens lawsuit

Vienna, Austria
May 3, 1999

Vienna - Scientology Austria is defending itself against endeavors to exclude its members from state service. Upper Austria's state personnel officer Franz Hiesl (OeVP) announced last week that state civil service will have to state in writing that they are not members [of Scientology] (as reported in DER STANDARD).

Scientology wants to introduce a constitutional complaint against that on the basis of "freedom of belief and conscience," according to "Format" magazine. Apparently Lower Austria is also considering a similar style of professional ban.

According to a profile survey, the majority of Austrians would reject this type of law. 36 percent are against this regulation, 31 percent for, and 33 percent undecided. 39 percent, at most, would end up in favor of the ban. (red)

Scientology preparing constitutional suit against states

Vienna, Austria
May 3, 1999
Oberoesterreich Online

Vienna - Scientology Austria is defending itself against the endeavors of states dominated by the OeVP to remove Scientology members from state service. As the news magazine "Format" reported in its Monday edition, the Austrian presence of the business sect wants to introduce a lawsuit on maintaining "freedom of belief and conscience" against several Austrian states.

After Upper Austrian state official Franz Hiesl (OeVP) announced proposals of this sort, "Format" reported in its most recent edition of similar considerations underway in the states of Lower Austria and Salzburg. Scientology spokesman Andreas Boeck confirmed the upcoming suit: "A regulatory hysteria is upon us. It simply takes my breath away. We will fight that in the Constitutional Court. In any case we will sue."

Campaign against Minister


From: "DER STANDARD" page 66, Inland edition

June 4, 1998

Scientology protests against Sect Panel in Parliament

Vienna. Sects and psycho-cults are ever more popular. All across Austria, various sects include between 50,000 and 200,000 members. On Wednesday, a parliamentary panel in Vienna on "sects and psycho-cults", initiated by a fact-finding committee, discussed appropriate counter-measures. As has already been reported, Families Minister Martin Bartenstein wants to establish a federal advisory board on sect matters. He also wants to ensure that no sect (read "Scientology") members are active in federal civil service.

The head of the fact-finding committee, Josef Hochtl (OeVP), wants to establish special consumer protection in the psycho-market. In the sect market, a transformation of paradigms has taken place, Hochtl said. "New forms, which are know to us under the name of 'sects' have been showing up. Some are from the so-called psycho-market, others are from scurrilous presumed scientific-technical life and perceptions programs." Consumers must be effectively protected in this area.

Scientology, which has been leading a private war against the Families Minister for months, now wants to launch a second assault. The 'church' feels that its civil rights have been slighted by the parliamentary panel. [The 'church'] no longer accepts that Scientology members are to be "stigmatized as second class people." The speaker of Scientology Austria, Angelika Thonauer, wants to start proceedings against Families Minister Martin Bartenstein. Among other things, she would like to have the "background of the Minister's opposition explained," said Thonauer.