Title: Free Zone makes Focus magazine
Author: ronsmuerto@hotmail.com
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 12:47:28 GMT

SCIENTOLOGY
Auditing for Sale

From: "Focus Nr. 35"
August 24, 1998

Former members challenge the psycho-cult with competitive prices for
courses

Raidar Tavarez relinquishes his protection from atomic radiation.

After 14 years on the "Bridge," which is what the controversial
Scientology organization calls its path to salvation, the 32 year old
man had had enough of the growing social pressure and
increasingly expensive courses. Tavarez left the sect, thereby
giving up his chance to attain the highest grade of enlightenment of
promised invulnerability.

Nevertheless, Tavarez cannot do without the obscure teachings of
sect founder L. Ron Hubbard. He says they "surpass all other
known therapies." Along with other ex-Scientologists, he now
tries to to experience "pure Hubbard."

Whether it be a circle of friends, as are those of Tavarez' group,
or a legally registered association by the name of "Freie Zone"
[Free Zone] which is organized with its headquarters in Bavaria -
an ever-growing number of former members are becoming a
serious threat to the self-named Scientology "Church." The
one-time Scientologists have one thing in common: they reject the
cult as "totalitarian," yet retain Hubbard because they see
something "worthwhile in his philosophy and in his techniques."
That is how Silvia S., an ex-Scientologists explains it. She runs a
"counseling center" in Walchwil on Zuger Lake. It is a gathering
point for numerous Hubbard adherents from southwest Germany.

The former members offer the Hubbard teachings at "dumping
prices." Adherents of the Free Zone offer an "auditing session" - a
mixture of discussion therapy and interrogation on an e-meter -
for 100 marks. Scientology charges nearly 600 marks per hour
for this. Up to a half a million marks must be invested if a person
wants to reach the highest grade of the controversial
psycho-group. Ursula Caberta, the Scientology Commissioner of
the Hamburg Senate, sees this competitive offering as "the lesser
of two evils," which could alleviate the shock of leaving the sect
business. This opinion is shared by Thomas Gandow, the Sect
Commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin Brandenburg.
He believes the Free Zone is "okay" as a transitory point on the
way back to a normal life. However, Gandow warns, "Anybody
who believes that he would get the positive side of Hubbard there
is mistaken. His teachings are not the way to therapy."

The apostates do not just wait for people to leave the sect, but
make an active effort to weaken the psycho-cult. In the early
1990's, Silvia S. and Ruedi M. launched a letter-writing campaign
to Scientologists known to them in Germany and Switzerland to
win them over to their side.

The sect and the former members do not only compete when it
comes to gaining adherents. Bernd L., a Free Zone organizer,
who does not want his full name published because of fear of
persecution by the Scientology organization, has another poker in
the fire for Scientology. Members of the Free Zone have obtained
the rights to a book entitled "Scientologie." It appeared in 1934,
and was written by Anastasius Nordenholz, a German
Argentinian. Therefore, the people from the Free Zone possess
the copyright for the germanization of the sect name. "It is
completely conceivable," says Tavarez, who has published a
book ("Versklavte Seelen", [Enslaved Souls]) about his
experiences in the Hubbard cult, "that the Free Zone may soon be
designated as the Church of Reformed Scientologie."

A. KINTZINGER/T. RÍLL
FOCUS 35/1998

Association for ex-members
The "Freie Zone" was founded by Bill Robertson, a high-ranking
Scientologist, who left the cult in 1982. Adherents of the Free
Zone retain the teachings of Hubbard, but reject Scientology as
an organization. The members mainly communicate through the
internet.

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German Scientology News: http://www.cisar.org