by Beate Osterhoff

From: "GP Magazin. Zeitschrift der IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik, Ausgabe Sachsen-Anhalt/Thüringen. S. 18."
("GP Magazin." Magazine for the Chemistry-Paper-Ceramics Community of Interests, Sachsen/Thuringen edition. p. 18.)

November, 1994

The business sect of Scientology has taken sides against the [German] Federal Republic with full-page advertisements in American newspapers. The point of the campaign: that the federal government is said to be promoting discrimination of religious minorities. One of the alleged victims is supposed to be, of course, Scientology. Meanwhile [German] citizens regard the activities of the Hubbard followers with increasing suspicion. A report by Beate Osterhoff.

Regardless of whether it's searching for a place to live or unemployment, Scientology does not leave anybody out when it comes to making money. After the sect adherents quickly got themselves noticed by the district attorney with their 'Professional Homefinders' (Prowofi), Scientology has caught scent of a new business. Hardly had Bonn permitted private employment agents, than the organization became active. "The private employment agency has become a pillar of support for Scientology," said the Baden-Wurttemberg SPD State Representative Carla Bregenzer. According to her statement, Scientology was active in brokering positions of over 100,000 marks per year (about $70,000). The new regulation now permits a private agency to negotiate for positions under 100,000 marks. That should make work easier for Scientology.

This time, however, the Hubbard followers were not successful in taking over a new market with no problem. Federal Labor Secretary Norbert Blum (CDU), complains the sect, is said to have instructed the presidents of the Nurnberg federal community of labor to deny Scientology members licenses for private employment agencies. That is an "affront to religion," inveigh the adherents. However, since Scientology almost always operates using dummy companies and straw men, it is not likely that sect members will be granted licenses as such.

In the meantime, information and a series of publications about the machinations of the business sect have continued to raise the suspicions of citizens. This was how "Eurosport", the television broadcasting company, pulled its advertisements for the Scientology organization from their programming. The broadcaster gave the reason as "partly because of negative audience reaction," and because of the protest of Renate Rennebach, the SPD Federal Assembly Sect Commissioner. The television spots were originally supposed to be broadcast until the end of September. An "immediate stop to these spots", argued Rennebach, is "urgently called for in light of the danger from Scientology, and also for our common welfare." She referred to a decision by the Minister of Interior from May of this year. According to that decision, Scientology possesses, under the cover of a religious community, "elements of economical criminality and of psycho-terrorism against their members."

The sect must also chalk up a defeat from another side. The chairperson of "Robin Direkt", the security community, published her book, "Scientology - Ich klage an." ("Scientology - I accuse you"). Within the first few weeks the first printing of 15,000 copies were sold out. At which time the sect sued the publisher and author for 100,000 marks damages. In order to increase the sales, according to the sect, the publisher knowingly marketed "a fabricated murder plot by a psychopathic criminal." In one chapter, Renate Hartwig told of a woman who, while she was in Scientology, is said to have planned the murder of the author and of other critics. The publishers have stated that the book was "researched with the greatest of care," and that they first learned of the complaint from the press.

In order to do something about ever increasing criticism, Scientology has now started a campaign in the USA. In the New York Times and the Washington Post, according to a statement by the sect, Scientology "brings attention to the growing fascism in Germany. On full-page ads, the active role of the German government will be unmasked in their advancement of intolerance, discrimination and violence against religious and ethnic minorities in Germany." Naturally, the sect counts itself among those minorities most discriminated against.

German Scientology News