Official German responses to Scientology
The German government
The German government has
for quite some time maintained that the chief purpose of Scientology is
not religious, but economical in nature. According to the Government,
Scientology disguises itself as a religion if this might be advantageous.
For example, in the remainder of Yugoslawia Scientology has claimed to
be a non-religious organization. In Greece, Scientology (KEFE) claimed
to be a philosophical, not a religious organization. And when Scientology
as founded in South America in 1955, one of its goals was "... to lend
and borrow money" (this slip has since then been corrected).
The German government maintains that Scientology is dangerous for its
members and possibly dangerous for society. Members are spending huge
efforts and large amounts of money; high debts (> 50,000 US$) are
not uncommon. Wages are low, often below welfare levels.
Some of Scientology's activities are aimed at subversively invading
the nation's economy. This is especially true in the areas of management
training and real estate business.
The German government has also written a
fairly detailed response to allegations
which were brought by Scientology before the ECOSOC in 1993. It turned
out that many of the allegations were fabrications and could not be
The State of Hamburg
The Senate (state parliament) in the German state of Hamburg in 1992 founded a
workgroup on Scientology, the head of which is Ursula Caberta. This group
has published at least two documents (in German, of course):
The State of Bavaria
The Bavarian Government is implementing a catalog of measures against
Scientology to "protect its citizens". The measures are intended to
force Scientology organizations to pay their taxes, to intensify
public awareness of Scientology and to protect the state from
Bavaria on Scientology:
The State of Nordrhein-Westfalen
In 1994, the department of the interior of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen
commissioned an advisory opinion about the "effects of applying the
ideas of Scientology to a pluralistic society in a democratic state".
The opinion, authored by PD Dr. Jaschke, Frankfurt, states that --
although different from current extremistic parties -- Scientology
has the hallmarks of a totalitarian organization, is mainly political
and economical in nature and aims at the abolishing of democracy.
The State of Schleswig-Holstein
The president of the State of Schleswig-Holstein commissioned a study
to investigate whether the idea that Scientology has of humans and of
society is compatible with the German constitution. The study was done
by Prof. Dr. Abel, Schleswig, who has done research on the topic of
religious freedom since the early Eighties and has long-term experience
as lawyer in cases involving Scientology and other groups. The
first part is a thorough discussion of the ideas behind Art. 1 GG which
states that the dignity of man is inviolable. The second part discusses
the ideology of Scientology in light of these ideas. The study concludes
that Scientology does not care a lot about the dignity of man, plurality
of ideas in a society, or democracy. Furthermore, it states that Scientology
is anti-social in character and does not guarantee equality before the law.
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