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The German Discrimination

The reasons for the German overreaction against Scientology

 

deomorto@aol.com (DeoMorto)
Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)


20 Oct 1997
alt.religion.scientology

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: The reasons for the German overreaction against Scientology

Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)

20 Oct 1997

Message-ID: 344c45d1.580239@snews.zippo.com

[DeoMorto:]
Let me ask you this Bernie - why is this situation in existence? What has brought it about?

[Bernie:]
A variety of reasons, IMO.

  1. To start with, the CoS own behavior and policies. Trying to squash dissent and use policies aimed at ruining someone utterly, use the courts to harass, spread rumors in the neighborhood of the critic, etc. In many of these cases, I do think that the State should ruthlessly act against the CoS upon any evidence of wrong and illegal acts. It would then assume plainly its role of leveler of the playing field.

  2. General anti-cult propaganda promoted by organizations like the old CAN and others organizations and individuals taking part in the anti-cult movement. They depict groups they consider as "destructive cults" in the darkest possible way, mainly based on the fallacious, largely debunked, argument that their members are being brainwashed and aren't in the groups out of their own free will.

    The anti-cult movement has done so for several groups, among which the CoS. They are one of the main actors in promoting cult phobia and an hysterical reaction on the part of parents and authorities, something I believe helped to bring Jonestown and Waco about.

    Apparently, some members of the German government fell for this propaganda and irresponsibly help to spread the phobia around, even though the CoS' own actions as in (1) helped to bring that about as well.

    The InSects booklet made and diffused by the Young Union group of the CDU is a good example.

    The cover shows insects being killed by a fly swatter. The booklet aims at Scientology as well as Mormons, the Unification Church, Hare Krishnas, the OSHO movement, etc. It contains a sticker showing a skull surrounded by the words “SCIENTOLOGY - UGLY - DIANETICS - POISON.”

    A picture of the booklet cover can be seen at:

    http://hatewatch.freedommag.org/hatewach/issues/eng/risehv/monger2.htm#insects

    The CoS claims that the booklet represents an official statement because it was disseminated at the CDU Federal Party Convention in February 1994 and promoted by CDU General Secretary Peter Hintze. While I am not sure about this conclusion, it certainly reflects the kind of influences at play at the government level, and I hardly consider it an objective information to be promulgated by a responsible government.

    Tilman Hausherr, of course, justifies such practices, even if their parallel with the anti-Jew propaganda of the 30s is obvious. From the Germany FAQ:

    19. Are there similarities between pictures in the SS magazine "Der Stürmer" and german newspapers?

    Yes, for example the Octopus has been used by both. This has two reasons:

    - German newspaper cartoonists do not have a collection of "Der Stürmer" at home to check for similarities

    - The octopus is a picture representing a concept, in this case the "Threat that is everywhere at the same time".

    The question is not whether a german newspaper, or "Der Stürmer", or scientology itself (e.g. against psychiatry) has used these pictures, the question is whether its use is according to the facts. A german court ruled that scientology may be called an "octopus", based on scientology's own documents.

    "The question is not whether the newspaper has used these pictures", he says, "but whether its use is according to the facts". That says it all... Of course, the concept of the Jew being a "threat that is everywhere at the same time" was a "fact" as well... A "German court ruled" that it's ok, so it's a fact...

    I more pragmatically consider such practices as nothing else than demonization, propaganda and inducement of fear and paranoia. It is rather well in line with the practices of the anti-cult movement, notwithstanding point (1) and the role of the CoS itself.

  3. Germany is understandably sensitive to anything that may look like a possible resurgence of its past demons. The combination of (1) and (2) above has for effect to make them react out of any proportion to the real danger represented by the CoS.

    Special laws exist in Germany to deal with extreme groups. These were instituted in the aftermath of the war together with the Allies in order to keep these groups under control. While the usefulness and rationale to keep such laws in effect when the situation has changed and it is obvious that they don't prevent the raise of fascism (rather on the contrary since it creates an additional reaction) is debatable, it allows the German government to identify the CoS with these groups and apply to them the same status.

  4. The internet obviously had its role as well. Initially, the reaction of internators against attempt of the CoS to sue some of its representative and try to control it the way they try to control other media, was, I think, an healthy and noble reaction. This, however, has enthralled many in the illusions of the anti-Scientology crusade. They still think it's a noble cause, but it's often hardly more than the classic anti-cult disinformation, of which they often don't know much and are not historically aware about. That's one of the reasons why I started to document the anti-cult movement history on my web page.

    Altogether, it has spread over the net a mixture of actual and largely exaggerated information about the CoS which gives a new dimension to its demonization and helps its opponents to sustain the "reasons" why it is justified to discriminate against CoS members.

    I certainly don't propose any kind of censorship, and in fact believe that, in the long run, the same process will help to bring about a more accurate and balanced picture and maybe even help to shred light on some important issues that are underlying all of these questions.

 



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This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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