Hammer man attacks ARD team while filming

Clearwater, USA
February 5, 2000

Mainz (dpa) A team from ARD magazine "Report Mainz" says that it was attacked by a man with a hammer in Clearwater (U.S. state of Florida) in front of artist Gottfried Helnwein's house. As reported by "Suedwest" (SWR) Broadcasting in Mainz, camera man Mark Bunker was hit twice and his camera was damaged. He, himself was not wounded. The "Report" team was trying to do some research into the artist's Scientology background before the new set of hearings in the Helnwein proceedings.

Journalist Peter Reichelt had managed to find out the secret location where Helnwein had been staying in the vicinity of Scientology Central in Clearwater.

Renowned painter Helnwein had been described in 1994 by two associations critical of Scientology as a Scientologist. 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 desist order, but was soundly defeated in the second hearings in front of the Frankfurt Superior State Court. The Federal Constitutional Court overturned that judgment at the end of 1998 and referred the matter back to Frankfurt, where a new hearing is set for February 17.

The TV show about Helnwein and Scientology will be broadcast by ARD on Monday (February 7, 9 p.m.)

German Scientology News