[This is the unofficial interpretation of the Scientology[tm] write-up on the Alternative Charlemagne Award. To see what this article refers to, visit the award site at http://www.alt-charlemagne-award.de.]
Latest news: March 27, 2001
Bob Minton won a court case against Scientology.
Scientology presented false information about Bob Minton.
Compare this page with a previous article on Nigeria and you can see the difference.
FREIHEITcirculation 200,000 published by the Scientology Church to households with daily mail
Those who stood in the way of the skimming of Nigerian petrodollars were murdered: in just one single "incident" 80 peaceful demonstrators were slaughtered by mobile "police troops" as they protested against the effects of oil production on people and environment. At that point in time, Robert Minton's business relationship with the former military dictatorship were in full bloom. "Human rights activist" Minton's protests were not to be heard when the internationally known writer and citizens rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (above, at a rally) was executed in spite of worldwide protest.
"Human Rights Award" for Third World Exploiter
Hamburg's Interior Senator Wrocklage sinking deeper into the mire of the Minton Affair
[large picture of the Old Stock Exchange in Leipzig Germany. Underneath are pictures of Wrocklage, Caberta and Minton.]
In Nigeria, crude oil plays a central role. "Black gold" attracts ruthless businessmen from overseas just as the avarice arouses the despot. The oil in the west African state seemed so important that the succession of military dictators literally walked over corpses until 1998.
The world was not publicly horrified until five years ago, when the terrorist regime of the time under General Sani Abacha had renowned author and Alternative Nobel Prize Award winner Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his comrades executed. The citizens' transgressions: they led the resistance by the Ogoni tribe against the oil pollution of their environment.
The murder of the poet Ken Saro-Wiwa was the sad high point of a gradual removal of citizens and human rights in Nigeria. At that time, the extermination openly sought by the military regime caused worldwide protest from an uncomfortably prominent opponent. Germany was also horrified. Today, however, hardly anyone recalls these atrocities.
One dictator after the next kept the Nigerian population which had been deprived of their rights in poverty, while a few chosen people were allowed to get rich with the help of the organized tyranny. One who was a good friend of the violent Nigerian rules at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s is the American Robert Minton.
Among other things, Minton was accused of having aided the military dictatorship of the time in the carrying out of a fraudulent "debt buy-back system" - by that is mean state debts,
[image of "The Sunday Times" headline "Fashanu reveals giant bank fraud." accompanying text: The London "Sunday Times was one of the first newspapers to report on the background of the missing billions. Today's Republic of Nigeria is among the poorest countries, and is among the last in matters of quality of life, as proven in a just-published study by the UN Development Program (UNDP).
Scandal about ...
continued from page 1 top:
and indeed by means of an extensive network of corporations, hidden bank accounts and secret agreements in order to circumvent pertinent regulations (FREIHEIT reported in its last edition).
Now more and more is coming to light: according to a charge against "Robert Minton and accomplices" for fraud, money-laundering and falsifying documents which was filed by the Republic of Nigeria on June 23, 2000 at the attorney general's office in Geneva, Minton had diverted "several billion dollars to the loss of the Republic of Nigeria in the exercise of secret, fraudulent plans between 1987 and 1993. ... Robert Minton was alleged to have deposited the diverted monies in various business bank accounts as well as in private numbered accounts."
After the Nigerian government demanded Minton's bank accounts be frozen and demanded information concerning the accusation of money-laundering, Robert Minton "met with the directors of the bank on May 30, 2000," it continued in charge. "According to our information he demanded the immediate transfer of his monies as well as the destruction of documents."
Minton has already admitted in the media that he "earned" about 45 million dollars along with two accomplices. Probably it had to do with a much larger sum - at the expense of the millions of starving people in Nigeria.
[image of a girl holding a picket sign which reads "We demand: dissolution of Caberta's 'Kindergarten for exorcists' (according to the Spiegel magazine)". Underneath the picture, "Three times a week: vigil in front of Hamburg's Interior Agency."]
But Minton is still confronted with an essentially grave suspicion, namely that after the covert "debt buy-back" which was carried out until 1993, his worldwide network of bank accounts was to have played a major role in which up to 12 billion dollars disappeared from the Nigerian state treasury - mainly to the good of the families of the former Nigerian military dictators.
Scandal in Leipzig
With full awareness of the accusations against the multi-millionaire and the ongoing investigations, Hamburg Senate employee Ursula Caberta and Evangelical reverend Thomas Gandow handed over a so-called "Alternative Charlemagne Award" to this sort of model of a "people's friend" Minton - with reference to the actual Charlemagne Award, which had been recently given to U.S. President Clinton in Aachen.
The parasitic flavor quickly made the rounds. The event, which took place in the beginning of June under the patronage of a "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" (for that see article "Cheaper by the Dozen") in Leipzig, turned into a flop in the media.
Even more tasteless than the fake copy of the human rights aware are the sole grounds for distinguishing Minton. He is "against" Scientology - and he has money to buy support for his doubtful activities. Where he got this money from, though, is not a secret anymore.
Wrocklage in the Twilight
Caberta was already paying court to her close confidant "Bob" Minton from America in April in the rooms of the Hamburg Interior Agency. She also did this openly with the consent of her direct employer - although Minton's involvement in the skimming of the billions of Nigerian oil money had already been reported upon. This fact had also been unmistakably pointed out to the Hamburg Interior Senator.
The reason for their behavior may very well lie in the in the prospect of "big money." Otherwise Caberta's cordial conduct towards a doubtlessly dubious character can hardly be explained. As recently as July 2000 she spent several days with Minton and his friends in Florida.
One way or another: her stubborn persistence in honoring a man who has been accused of serious commercial crime is making her unbearable as a "billboard" of Hamburg politics.
Her constant escapades, which occur, as it were, in the name of and with the apparent blessings of an Interior Agency, raises the question of which role Hamburg's Interior Senator Hartmuth Wrocklage really plays in the sordid human rights affair.
That is because the Caberta case has long ago turned into a Wrocklage case. The Interior Senator was aware of the details and undertook nothing to prevent the participation of his agency in the disgraceful spectacle. Anybody who thinks our country has to discredit itself in front of others this way should take his leave as soon as possible.
A Man without Conscience
Minton's billion-dollar deals were allegedly "solely to the advantage of the Nigerian people," as Reverend Gandow told the media. But those who have not yet seen a trace of Minton's "good deeds" are the millions of Nigerians themselves, the major portion of which vegetate on an annual per capita income of about 400 marks (!). In spite of the abundance of oil, the country slipped down to the 20 poorest nations. The only ones that became rich were a handful of Nigerian generals-by-birth who subjugated the country over the years and decades - and their diligent business assistants naturally also became rich. One of the most cunning of the is called Robert Minton. Millions of deceived Nigerians paid, many of them who supported human rights in Nigeria, even with their lives.
Minton did not show any sort of pangs of conscience, but mimed the rather diligent capitalists. He answered the question asked by the Nigerian citizen of whether he himself had ever been to Nigeria with "no." He also answered the question of whether he had invested any of his own profits in Nigeria with "no." For him it was only "business," albeit a lucrative one.
While Caberta and Gandow paid court to their new friend in Leipzig as a "human rights activist," Minton is said to have combined business with pleasure: according to the charge by the Nigerian government, he met with representatives of at least one German bank in Leipzig, directly after he was said to have met to transfer his accounts from Switzerland to Germany in order to bring his little baby to safety.
The seriousness of the current Nigerian state leadership was shown only a few days after the "honoring" of Minton: in the Warburg Bank in Luxemburg the prosecutor froze 1.2 billion marks of the "missing money" which disappeared during his time.
Finally, it is all the same how deeply Minton is really involved in what he is accused of. Honoring someone as a "human rights activist" who represents the robbery of the sum of billions as welfare for the defrauded Nigerian population is more than only a farce.
The citizens rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa, murdered by the former Nigerian military dictator, once wrote, "The truth is strong and always successful. Sometimes it loses, but that does not last long."
The deeper the investigating authorities dig, the more on Minton and his supporters they will learn, and that Ken Saro-Wiwa knew exactly what he was talking about.
A Mortgage no one will stand for
It must have hit Bavarian Interior Minister Beckstein most painfully of all. The CSU politician was portrayed on the internet, as it were, as a moral patron of a man who was accused of being in the middle of a mire of a gigantic commercial fraud. The inventors of the so-called "Alternative Charlemagne Award," Hamburg Interior Senate employee Ursula Caberta and Evangelical minister Thomas Gandow apparently deliberately wanted to give the impression that the White-Blue police minister was a part of that little group of people that supported the honoring of Minton. Beckstein appeared not to see it that way. He answered the question of his connection to Minton with silence, presumably not to raise any more of a fuss.
Parliamentary President Wolfgang Thierse (SPD) will also have to be more careful for what purposes he gives out his name. As Beckstein, Thierse found his name on a signature list for the support of a cover association which, in turn, distinguished Robert Minton. The Parliamentary President instantly stated that he was "not on the board of the Alternative Charlemagne Award." And as to how he got on this signature list at all, one could ask "those people there."
People in the world-renowned old stock exchange in Leipzig were shocked. One of the people who worked there was on the list of Minton admirers with her renowned work place. The management of the old stock exchange stated unmistakably that Mrs. Solveig Press took part in the event "solely as a private person." "The old stock exchange in Leipzig is not connected with either the Committee nor with the bestowal of the award."
To all appearances that was part of the rumors from behind the scenes of the Hamburg Interior Agency where one had invoked the spirits of which one now wanted to once again be rid of.
But the employee Caberta was apparently not willing to roll up the red carpet for her friend Minton again. Instead of that she made her employer Wrocklage into a quasi-accomplice of a man who had been accused of half the crimes in the book.
"Caberta's post mostly does its own public relations work," was the reply to an inquiry of Wrocklage's press office. And because "Caberta's post" had been openly scolded to have no official connection with the Minton token of esteem, asserted Caberta's staff member Mark, nobody from her office "had participated in the event in Leipzig." This purely tactical token rule did not correspond to reality, as so many other out of this corner of the world.
But the question arises of what the background is behind the fact that nobody in the Hamburg government dares to bring Caberta to reason.
Cheaper by the Dozen
Thomas Gandow's false packaging
[image of smiling portrait of Thomas Gandow, sub-titled: "Hunting for heretics: the Lutheran Chief Inquisitor Thomas Gandow."]
The Berlin reverend Thomas Gandow directs a whole army of cover organizations which are all something other than they appear. Now it turns out that even the "Alternative Charlemagne Award" for the dictator's assistant Robert Minton (see article above) was crafted in the workshop of the Evangelical Chief Inquisitor.
When a "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" bestows an "Alternative Charlemagne Award" to an American citizen, by mere words this process gives the impression of internationalism and professionalism.
Involuntarily one thinks of a human rights organization spanning the world, of many confirmed German-American friendships, of religious freedom, including for minority religions and of similar lofty endeavors.
This first impression is really muddled by only one small discrepancy: namely that the address of the internationally tinged association is found exclusively in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
One looks closer: hey, you can't believe your eyes, the post office box of the association office, "Heimat 27" is identical to the address of the Evangelical parish office for "Issues of Sects and Weltanschauung" in Berlin!
Oh, how good, that nobody knows ...
The sober truth: The "Citizens Committee for Religious Freedom in the USA" is nothing other than another cover organization directed by the state church to combat minority religions.
The brazenly false packaging - which serves entirely different purposes than is let on - was planned on the drawing board of Berlin reverend Thomas Gandow.
Gandow cleverly hid himself in the list of people responsible for the Committee as "Editor of the Berlin Dialog." In reality, he is the Anti-sect Commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and a chief architect of the discrimination campaign against religious and weltanschauung communities being carried out in parts of Europe. For decades he has defamed all religious movements outside of the structures of the state church and has tried to butcher them off in writing.
In any case, with his "Citizens Committee" Gandow and his employer have no more interest in religious freedom than does the Chinese state leadership have in the spread of Falun Gong.
From a reverend's life
Under these pretenses it is not surprising that the backyard association baptized for the media is not the first occurrence of false packaging by the scheming Grand Inquisitor.
Namely, there is a method to the false labelling swindle.
For example, since the early 1980s in Berlin there has been a "Parents Initiative" which says it supports "spiritual freedom," and in alleged fulfillment of this mission fights smaller religious communities. Founding member and 1st board member: Thomas Gandow. Office of the association: "Heimat 27." Fie upon him who thinks anything evil of that. The "parents initiative," upon closer scrutiny, has revealed itself to be a church cover organization
continued on page 3
against the presumed competition of belief.
In 1985 "special funds" were exacted from the Berlin Senate for a Project "Escape Point" in order to minister to "former members of religious extremist groups" and to "protect them from suicide." The talk was of 250 such groups in Berlin alone. The initiator and project manager of the spectacle of delusion: Thomas Gandow, "Heimat 27."
"Escape Point" vanished very quickly, because literally nobody wanted to escape there. Specifically, the sensational horror tales of the Lutheran minister had not the least thing to do with reality.
In contrast a therapy center for Evangelical clergymen just around the corner was booming. The Berlin Medical Depression Center, according to one of its published list of statistics, already had 1,500 state church functionaries under treatment by 1990, of those 900 (!) were ministers, who overwhelmingly (!) came from the Evangelical Church. 120 members of this group of people were in treatment right after a suicide attempt, 550 after being diagnosed as suicide risks. 60% of the people who held church positions who were treated came from the area of West Berlin (!). This statistic situation lets one get an inkling of how a group of people across Germany makes an exception of themselves. The director of the Berlin Medical Depression Center, Dr. Thomas, wrote literally at the time, "The degree of poverty in this area is incalculable."
According to the "Stop the Thief" method, however, Reverend Gandow continued to manage to manipulate this and similar tales, facts and situations from his own mileau to that of smaller religious communities, for which NOTHING of the sort is the case.
Monologue instead of Dialogue
Another example: in 1998, a Berlin Dialogue Center opened its portals which saw its duty as "religious confrontation." It was supposed to create "ways and means of creating an honest, responsible dialogue between Christians and the new (and old) religions ..." - that is according to a promotional letter from the center. But in fact it has developed into an agitation forum against all known minority religions, a sort of "monologue center" for sect hunters. Founder and Chairman: Thomas Gandow. Office: "Heimat 27."
As early as 1995 an agitation magazine by the name of "Berlin Dialogue" was published in Berlin. Office: "Heimat 27," of course. The rag that Gandow personally backed explored matters of cynicism and meanness in dealing with other religions of the same kind. It even had the audacity to put on its cover a picture of the Dalai Lama - who had just been greeted by Federal Interior Minister Schily - hand in hand with Shoko Asahara, the one allegedly responsible for the poison gas attack in the Tokyo subway. Inside, Thomas Gandow commented on the "unholy" connections between the Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara. Co-publisher Aagaard hypocritically commented, "We find it regrettable that we have to take into consideration that Buddhist leaders of the quality of the Dalai Lama aid in veiling counterfeits of Dharma through their perhaps well-intentioned recommendations."
[image of building, underneath is the text: "Clear relations: Inquisition Central 'Heimat 27' (above) is the home of numerous cover organizations for the persecution of people of other faiths, but only one 'man of the house' is visible - Reverend Thomas Gandow."]
In reality, chief editors Gandow and Aargaard may have been slapping their thighs with pleasure. The Dalai Lama had never been incriminated and disparaged so well.
The "honest, responsible dialogue" proclaimed for appearances, however, stumbles on almost every page of the magazine in its true intentions. In all seriousness "the Buddhism" is offered, "false Buddhism" is identified and "a real service" is thus shown to "the Buddhism." This Inquisitional totalitarian offering is, of course, not made entirely in vain: "When we could ask the Buddhists for a comparable critical service, then we would welcome them seeing Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Revival Christians and occult sects, etc. ... who pretend to be Christians as valueless counterfeits of Christianity without validity. ..."
The Inquisitional rag also regularly defames the constantly growing number of religious sociologists who do not wish to support the perfidious alienation of people of other faiths and who deal with the new religions and so-called sect factually and without hysteria. These are put up for church mockery in their own column ("Cult Lobby") as "cult supporters" (Gandowian speak).
"Heimat 27" is also home to other curiosities, like, for example, the "Friends of the Berlin Dialogue Center," which may contribute to church owned banks, or a "Dialogue Academy" in which one does not learn how to dialogue with other religions, but how one disparages them and fights them.
Worthy of mention in the foregoing connection is also "Operation Russia," a model example of apologetic underground work, which in any case was started from the Berlin front address "Heimat 27." Namely, for years, Gandow has been cooperating sinisterly and secretly with the Russian Orthodox Dr. Alexander Dvorkin from Moscow, who is also found in the "scientific council" of the Berlin Dialogue Center and also, ridiculously in the "Citizens Committee for Religious Freedom in the USA" - as if the Russian Orthodox fundamentalist were the least bit interested in religious freedom in the United States. Both of them, Gandow and Dvorkin (who was also present at the "award" for Robert Minton in Leipzig) are proponents of the Russian "religion law" of 1997, probably one of the most repressive laws in recent decades against smaller religious communities, which quite rightly has invoked vehement criticism of the world press, the United Nations, a collection of noteworthy human rights organizations and the international community.
Gandow's written commentary on the worldwide protest of the time, "A proposal previously approved by Parliament was rejected by Yeltsin after it had been subjected to a foreign disinformation campaign and various foreign posts, including the American President Cline and the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, John Paul II, disapproved of the law in letters."
The "disinformation campaign" as Reverend Gandow put it, from the American President and the Pope was, as it is know, of no avail: the law was passed in September 1997 without keeping with internationally recognized human rights standards.
In the best of company
With this type of climate, one need not be surprised if a self-made "citizens committee" gives a self-made human rights award to the compadre of a military dictator, namely to Robert Minton, and only because he is "against Scientology" - and also without doubt because he has much money at his disposal and is known to keep his followers in luxury.
In complete conformity with this self-perception of human rights is the circumstance that the granter of the award, Caberta, may be described, with the blessings of the court, as a human rights violator. One if even "beside oneself."
It can be imagined without difficulty that "Minton instead of Clinton," the conceited campaign cry of the "alternative" award, came from the Zehlendorf preacher's pen of intrigue, who can express his obviously disturbed relations to his trans-Atlantic allies only with difficulty.
In the 1990s, Gandow was outed in a documentary as a former activist in the "League against Imperialism", a Communist Party front organization. Gandow does not dispute his former membership at all, but stated his opinion that the league had not been "Communist Party front organization." It's a free country; anybody can say what they want to. In any case he has had ample opportunity to assemble experiences in agitation against America and its Presidents. Even Clinton's religion, the Baptists, have been described by Gandow as a "case study of a sect," naturally in a derogatory sense of the term.
No wonder that the American President is not "worthy of an award."
The Great Human Rights Swindle
It can only be taken cynically when a notorious exorcist of faith like Gandow says he is a proponent of "religious freedom in the USA." It IS cynical.
Many loose ends come together in the house of Thomas Gandow and still more dubious associations of the mold of the "Citizens Committee for Religious Freedom in the USA." But they all serve one purpose: defamation, incrimination and - if that is still possible - annihilation of of smaller religious congregations "on which," as Martin Luther once summed it up, "no person sees a stone or a cinder of them for all eternity. And so should one do the honor for our Lord and for Christianity, so that God will see that we are Christians."
Luther's words on the right way of dealing with the wrong belief may well be law for Reverend Gandow. In any case it has nothing to do with the Sermon on the Mount. And with human rights and supporting religious freedom in particular it has even less.
And the more people that learn of this perhaps not so joyful message, the better.
Not So, Reverend!
Another front company on the vicinity of "Heimat 27" is now suffering in the headlines: the so-called "Lisa McPherson Trust" - an investment vehicle of Robert Minton who has just been distinguished by Gandow.
The "Trust" exists exclusively to gain profits from lawsuits against an American Scientology Church, to which end the death in 1995 of a member of Scientology by the name of Lisa McPherson is manipulated. Naturally Scientology is supposed to be generally defamed by this "media effective" event. The planned happy ending: a large settlement. What else.
Lisa McPherson died as a result of an accident, as was also confirmed by the court doctor. No misconduct on the part of the Scientology Church was found by the state attorney's office. In response, Reverend Gandow has spread the most adventurous notions throughout Europe and has mercilessly exploited the death of the woman for his perfidious purposes - including the founding of the above-mentioned front association, the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA." The height of this Inquisitional hypocrisy: together with his obedient followers he even "demonstrated" for the deceased woman whom he would have only persecuted and mocked in her lifetime.
On June 12, 2000, the state attorney's office in Florida put the obscene corpse dangling by the Berlin parish office to an official end: the proceedings were suspended because, according to expert findings, McPherson had apparently died as a consequence of a lung embolism after an accident.
It can hardly be assumed that Gandow will be satisfied with that. This case also shows exemplarily that nothing is guaranteed to be sacred to the clergyman in his witch hunt.
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