Scientology Debate

Does Hollywood pay critics of Germany?

Washington, USA
June 16, 2000
Der Tagesspiegel

Robert von Rimscha

Republican U.S. Representative Mark Foley from Florida threatens to make freedom of belief in Germany a theme at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The congressional hearing on Wednesday discussing the Microsoft boycott was led by Ben Gilman from New York. Gilman, Foley, Republic Matt Salmon (Arizona) and the Senator from Wyoming, Mike Enzi, are all part of a regular gang of Germany critics.

On the other side are always the same celebrities from Hollywood who give their names to matters of Scientology. Husband and wife actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, jazz musician Chick Corea, TV lawyer Gretta Van Susteren, as well as actresses Anne Archer and Catherine Bell are among them. Using files from the Federal Election Commission, which records political party donations, the "Tagesspiegel" has looked into whether cross-connections could be found: do the Scientology adherents from Hollywood donate money to the Scientology advocates in the U.S. Congress? Do they receive noteworthy sums from the alleged church?

The answer is no on both accounts. John Travolta and Chick Corea, whose names are always appearing in the issue of whether Germany boycotts Scientology artists, do not have a single donation recorded to politicians since 1993. Only Cruise and Kidman donate regularly. Since 1998, Tom Cruise has written 11 checks, his wife Nicole seven in the same time frame. Main benefactors of the money, a total of $58,000, are not pro-Scientology congressional representatives, but Hillary Clinton ($14,000), the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, Tom Daschle ($2,000) and Vice President Al Gore ($5,000).

Just to even out the picture, the main sources of income for the Scientology defenders in Congress were investigated. Gilman received donations from representatives for pilots, Albanians, attorneys, engineers and Boeing businesses, but nobody among the many hundreds of donors are from a church environment. Enzi takes money from sugarcane planters, retailers, beef raisers and from the companies of Coors, JP Morgan and GE, but not from Scientology. The support for the "church" is apparently not financially motivated - at least not directly.

German Scientology News