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The Story Behind the Controversy
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Exposing Hatemongers at work

The cover of a hate pamphlet published by the Young Union of the CDU
The cover of a hate pamphlet published by the Young Union of the CDU.

he booklet’s title: “InSects—No Thanks.” The cover illustration shows insects about to be crushed by a strong hand wielding a flyswatter. The sponsor—the Young Union of the Christian Democratic Union.

The depiction of religions as insects is an example of the abusive modern-day propaganda which today’s politicians and the media direct at all belief systems which differ from the contracted and state-approved German religions. Produced in February 1993 by the CDU’s Young Union, the “InSect Booklet” received formal CDU sanction at a convention where it was promoted by party Secretary General Peter Hintze. Hintze is a Christian theologian who has emerged as a prominent voice in the assault on minority religions.

By then, the CDU’s hate campaign against the Church of Scientology had become an all-out assault. In December 1991, at its annual convention in Dresden, the CDU resolved that membership in the Church of Scientology was incompatible with membership in the CDU and banned all Scientologists from the party. Since then, other political parties have followed suit, and today, if you happen to be one of the 30,000 German citizens who are Scientologists, you are denied participation in our country’s political processes.

Such actions directly violate the Basic Law, which mandates that regardless of race, color or creed, all citizens shall have their rights:

Article 3:3: “No one may be discriminated against because of his sex, his heritage, his race, his language, his birthplace, his beliefs, his religious or political ideologies.”

Article 4:1: “The freedom of faith, of conscience, and the freedom of religious and ideological beliefs are inviolable.”

Article 4:2: “The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed.”

These rights are also guaranteed by international covenants to which Germany is a signatory.

To circumvent the accusation that its treatment of Scientology violates the Constitution and its international commitments, the German government has ignored more than 25 decisions by our own courts which rule that Scientology is a religion, and hundreds of expertises, government adjudications and court findings in other countries which have also upheld the religious bona fides of the Church. Among the most significant of these is the October 1993 ruling by the world’s most powerful tax agency, the United States Internal Revenue Service, that Scientology is “organized and operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes.”

The IRS’ decision was not arrived at lightly. Church of Scientology International, the mother church of the Scientology religion, and more than 150 of its affiliated churches, missions and social reform organizations in the United States, received exemption only after the most comprehensive examination the IRS had ever conducted of an exemption applicant. At the conclusion of this exhaustive review, the IRS concluded to its own satisfaction that the Church of Scientology is factually a religion and entitled to tax exemption. (See “Religious Recognition by the Courts”.)

For years, the German government and media claimed that the Church of Scientology could not be considered a religious, tax-exempt institution because the Internal Revenue Service continued to deny tax exemption to its mother church in the United States, its country of origin. “You’re not recognized in the U.S., so you are not entitled to exemption in this country either” summed up the government’s attitude.

Logically, the German government’s attitude should have changed when American tax-exemption was granted. That the Internal Revenue Service so thoroughly investigated the Church of Scientology is particularly relevant to Germany, in several ways. First, the American civil and criminal laws closely parallel these same laws in Germany, so the IRS findings that the Church’s activities do not violate public policy should have equivalent force and strength in Germany.

Second, the United States is the home country of the Scientology religion. The mother church of the religion, Church of Scientology International, the largest Scientology churches, and numerous smaller churches, missions and related organizations are located in the United States. The Scientology religion’s worldwide program of religious activities, as well as its financial affairs, are directed by the mother church, and every church in the world operates in the same manner, utilizing the same policy.

Therefore, the IRS had complete access to every echelon of the Scientology ecclesiastical hierarchy and, through Church of Scientology International, to the details of financial and other information about every Scientology church outside the United States, including those located in Germany.

Despite this sweeping investigation and clean bill of health granted by the American government, German officials continue to repeat the same discredited allegations and to find new excuses not to recognize the Church—its vindictiveness has even driven it to embark on a full-scale propaganda campaign to persuade the media and public, as well as the courts, that the Church is engaged in trade.

In attacks upon the Church by German government officials involved in this campaign, innuendo is presented as fact, allegations which have been disproven in courts of law or by government bodies are asserted as if they were true, criminals are employed as sources critical of Scientology without reference to their criminality and claims made by individuals of known antagonism towards religion are presented without refutation.

In its assaults upon the Church, the German government has even ignored the findings of its own courts and prosecutors.

One of the individuals most actively inciting the bigotry against Scientology is a Hamburg civil servant named Ursula Caberta y Diaz, a hatemonger repeatedly debunked, even by courts. While a member of the Hamburg Parliament, Caberta demanded that constitutional rights for religious minorities be abrogated and that “special courts” be established to deal exclusively with members of such movements. She called for the confiscation of all property and assets belonging to these individuals and urged the government to deny them banking facilities.

In 1991, Caberta pressured the Hamburg Senate to establish a “Working Group on Scientology” in the Ministry of the Interior. The then-Minister of the Interior, Werner Hackmann, who had supported Caberta’s bid to create this office, appointed her as its head. Hackmann’s failure to curb racism among Hamburg police led to his resignation last September, after it was discovered that he had deliberately failed to discipline police officers under his command who had viciously beaten up detainees because they were black.

In 1991, as part of her hate campaign and with nothing to substantiate it, Caberta filed a penal complaint against the Church. The state prosecutor who investigated Caberta’s allegations could find no evidence in support of her accusations. When he said as much to his superiors, he was promptly taken off the investigation by Caberta’s sympathizers, and the next higher prosecutor, the senior state prosecutor, was placed in charge.

Under the leadership of politicians such as Norbert Bluem (see “In the Footsteps of the Nazis”), Germany’s reputation as a democracy which protects the rights of its citizens has been eroded.

During his three-year investigation, the senior state prosecutor made use of all his vast investigative powers and resources, liaising with police offices across the whole country and interviewing every key detractor of the Scientology religion in Germany. He found that there was no evidence to justify taking any action.

Further, the prosecutor found one of Caberta’s key witnesses against Scientology in prison, serving a sentence for fraud, forgery and grand theft. This person’s credibility was even further destroyed when the results of a psychiatric exam became known which branded her a chronic liar and suffering from hallucinations. Yet, despite being fully aware of these facts, Caberta had continued to use her as a springboard from which to launch allegations against the Scientology religion.

The final result of the prosecutor’s investigation was that not a single detractor he interviewed could produce one iota of evidence to support his allegations. After an extensive three-year probe in which the prosecutor cast his net throughout the whole of Germany in the hope of finding material evidence he could use against the Church, he was forced to admit that absolutely no facts existed to support Caberta’s claims. In June 1994 he unequivocally dismissed all charges against the Church of Scientology.

The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Senators and Congressmen, and international human rights organizations such as Helsinki Watch and the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe have all expressed grave concerns about the discrimination against Scientologists practiced by the German government. Government-instigated propaganda fanned by merchants of hate such as Bluem and Caberta has led to German members of the Church of Scientology being regularly excluded from participation in activities that even non-Germans are entitled to. Their children have been expelled from schools, they have been refused banking facilities, prohibited from performing their art, forbidden to rent public buildings, blacklisted, economically boycotted, coerced to abandon their religion, threatened, ostracized, disenfranchised, slandered and vilified once their association with the Scientology religion has been made known.

With these facts in mind, in December 1994, the United Nations Human Rights Commission devoted three pages of its annual report to a detailed account of discriminatory actions undertaken against Scientology by agencies of Germany’s federal and state governments. It is the first time since the war that the international community of nations has cited Germany for civil rights violations.
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