German Scientologists ousted
AP 19 Dec 1996
BONN, Germany (AP) -- Chancellor Helmut Kohl's governing Christian
Democratic Union party expelled three of its members today because
they belong to the Church of Scientology.
The dismissals came one day after Kohl's government decided to set
up a central office to coordinate its drive against the Church of
Scientology and keep people linked to the group out of certain public
jobs.
The Christian Democratic Union acted to distance itself from the
public image of the Church of Scientology, the party said in a
statement. The party did not release the names or positions of the
three.
The German government claims Scientology is largely a money-making
organization with some traits of organized crime that seeks world
domination and threatens democracy.
The U.S.-based church, which claims 30,000 members in Germany,
denies it has political aims and accuses officials of Nazi-like
persecution.
Kohl announced Wednesday's move against Scientology after meeting
governors of Germany's 16 states.
Federal and state governments will work together to try to keep
companies and people with Scientology links away from jobs such as
those involving teaching and counseling, the statement said.
The Church of Scientology in Germany, in a statement from its press
office in Munich, accused the government of "spreading the propaganda
of state church extremists."
Founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Los
Angeles-based Scientology teaches that technology can expand the mind
and help solve human problems.