Something, however, doesn't quite fit with this prize:
Digging a bit further, you soon find out that the address of the committee is the same as that of the "Dialog Center", an anti-cult organization headed by Reverend Thomas Gandow, and that the very same Thomas Gandow sits in the committee in charge of attributing the award. And so are Ursula Caberta, Johannes Aagard, Friedrich Griess, Mike Garde, and other prominent anti-cult activists.
Known posters from the alt.religion.scientology newsgroups are also part of the committee. Gerry Armstrong, who presents himself in the committee as an "artist", Joe Cisar - "Vietnam Veteran", Roger Gonnet - "Writer", and Tilman Hausherr - "Software developer".
It is to laugh.
The "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA" is in effect nothing else than a front group for anti-cult activists, that has, so to speak, nothing to do with European-American relations at all, or with Human Rights or Religious Freedom for that matter.
As a matter of fact, the whole effort is an exercise in futility and something of utmost ridicule - a group of anticultists congratulating one of their own peer (and probably one of their main sponsor) for accomplishments that exist only according to their own biased criteria and recognized by no one else than by themselves.
Needless to say, the crowd of "Award Supporters" is made by nearly nobody else than anticultists and ARS posters who were told to massively support the prize much like Scientologists are told to massively support whatever award or pseudo-award that may be attributed to L. Ron Hubbard.
Apparently, the reasons anticultists came up with this idea is because the recipient of the real Charlemage Award was Bill Clinton, and anticultists are angry with him over the alleged support the United States are supposed to provide to the Church of Scientology.
The subject of anticultists grievance is the Country Report on Human Rights Practices that the U.S. Department of State releases every year through its Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The report has been documenting and reporting, among other, instances of human and religious rights abuses in Germany and other European countries. towards the Church of Scientology and other minority religions.
Anticultists do not see the type of incidents the report is concerned with as violation of rights, but they, quite on the contrary, actively promote discriminative measures towards minority religions and try to receive legitimacy for these through government agencies.The only way they seem to interpret objections to these measures is that Clinton is, somehow, part of a Scientology-backed conspiracy.
This, of course, shows once more the inability of anticultists to make appropriate distinctions. In this case, between a report which is almost a routine work for the Department of State and possible sanctions on the part of the U.S. Congres or the U.S. President.As well as between the need to educate the public about the potential danger of extreme or new religious movements and discriminative measures that are antinomous with the principle of religious freedom.
In an attempt to get level with Clinton and, at the same time, try to tab on the original Charlemagne Award in order to get press coverage for their cause, anticultists came up with the idea of this bogus award. To be willing to emulate the very thing they criticize against cults, however, setting up a bogus group just to give themselves an award it seems nobody else is willing to give them, is an high price to pay for a few mention in the press. If any.
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