Scientology: Attack on ARD film team

Man hits camera with Hammer

Clearwater, USA
February 4, 2000
Mittelbayrische Zeitung

Mainz (dpa). According to a team from ARD magazine's "Report Mainz," they were attacked in front of artist Gottfried Helnwein by a man armed with a hammer while they were making inquiries in Clearwater, U.S. state of Florida. As "Suedwestrundfunk" (SWR) broadcasting reported yesterday in Mainz, camera man Mark Bunker was hit twice during the incident and his camera was damaged. He himself was said to be unharmed. According to the broadcast statement, the report team was researching the Scientology background of the artist before the next Helnwein proceeding at the Frankfurt Superior State Court. Helnwein was said to have been staying in the vicinity of the Scientology Center in Clearwater. The renowned painter had been described as a Scientologist by two associations critical of Scientology in 1994. Among other things, they accused him of being a "clergyman" of a group "which uses coercive hypnotic procedures with the help of a lie detector to destroy people's psyches to control them."

In response Helnwein sued for a cease-and-desist order, but was overturned in the second set of hearings before Frankfurt Superior State Court. At the end of 1998, the Federal Constitutional Court repealed that judgment and referred the matter back to Frankfurt. That was supposed to have been tried anew on February 17.

When "Report Mainz" wanted to interview Helnwein, the door was opened for the camera team. Only a few moments later an attacker armed with a hammer came out of Helnwein's house and attacked the team on the open street. It is now being reviewed to see if charges will be pressed against the man.

by Gomolka, Georg

German Scientology News