The Federal Government of Germany has stated that it views Scientology as an organization with primarily economical interests. The government believes that Scientology is not a religious community according to article 4 of the German constitution (Basic Law) which reserves certain rights for religions.
Scientology dislikes this attitude and has responded with a massive propaganda campaign. Its main thrust seems to be the comparison of Scientology treatment in present-day Germany with treatment of the Jews in the Third Reich.
- The Rise of Hatred and Violence in Germany (167 pp).
- Religious Apartheid 1996.
- In 1996, Freedom Magazine, one of Scientology's magazines, published a special issue on Germany in German, called Deutschlands Ruf - wie gut ist er wirklich?
- In 1997, Freedom Magazine published another special report on Germany called Echoes of the past. There is also a German version.
- A Documented Reference Guide to Intolerance & Discrimination Against the Scientology Community in Germany Today
- "Scientology News" runs these paragraphs about Germany.
Scientology "public service messages"Scientology "public service messages" are in fact advertisements, launched primarily in the U.S. in various newspapers. I here present an arbitrary collection. Some of the material can also be found at the Scientology website. Advertisements are often liberally decorated with swastikas and other Nazi emblems.
"Stop The Hatred In Germany - Don't Let History Repeat Itself.
- Third ad (?) in a series published in the New York Times and Washington Post
- Fifth ad in a series published in the New York Times and Washington Post
A series of advertisements in "Roll Call" (a newspaper for the U.S. congress).
1996Advertisement of 17 Oct 96 published in the New York Times.
1997This year the advertisement campaign called itself "Social Responsibility Campaign".
Full picture versions can be found on the Scientology website.
New Front GroupsScientology has founded a front group, G.A.A.D (Germans and Americans Against Discrimination). This pamphlet whines about the "unfair" treatment Scientology gets in Germany and makes the usual comparisons.
In the meantime, Scientologists who have allegedly been forced out of Germany because of their religious belief have started another group, calling itself ALARM (Alliance for Liberty and Rights of Minorities). This group represents Scientologists from the U.S., the U.K. and Denmark. They run a web page at http://www.alarmgermany.org/.
Another Scientology front group has been founded in Norway, calling itself the "Oslo International Peace Committee". Despite its impressive name, this committee is not in any way associated with the Nobel foundation or the Nobel peace prize. Head of the committee is Dan Viggo Bergtun, a Scientologist who previously forged an interview with the Norwegian Defense minister with the minister allegedly supporting Scientology.
Using front peopleThrough its influences in Hollywood, Scientology got 34 celebrities to sign an Open Letter To German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It was also published as an advertisement in the International Herald Tribune.
(A much more spiffy version of the letter is featured on Scientology's web site.)
In 1993, the IRS (the U.S. tax authority) recognized Scientology as a tax-exempt body. Since then, it has started to send out Scientology promotional material, for example this letter to the German federal minister for family and youth issues.
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