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 verified.

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 Scientology infiltration.

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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