Tuesday, December 4, 2007

German Official: Scientology Should Be Banned

photo Benoit Doppagne AFP/Getty Images

Contends Scientology Violates Human Rights

This week in Germany, Hamburg's Secretary of the Interior, Udu Nagel, plans to ask his counterparts in the 16 other German States, to agree to ban Scientology nation-wide.

Associated Press

The German government considers Scientology a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of vulnerable people. During the summer, it initially refused to allow the producers of a movie starring Scientology member Tom Cruise as Germany's most famous anti-Hitler plotter to film at the site where the hero was executed, although it did not expressly state Scientology as its reason.

If all 16 states agree to the proposal to ban Scientology, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble would be asked to initiate proceedings against it, Sweden said, confirming a report by Focus magazine.

The report quotes Nagel saying that Scientology pursues "anti-constitutional goals in an aggressively fierce" manner that run counter to human rights and dignity.
This is not the first time Scientology has run into trouble at the national level.

In Belgium, Scientology has been recommended for prosecution.
ABC News

The Church of Scientology has been branded a criminal organization by a Belgian prosecutor, who has recommended it stands trial for fraud and extortion.

His investigation concluded that the church's Europe office, based in Brussels, and its Belgian missions, conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts.

A spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office, said: "They also face charges of being ... a criminal organization."

Investigators have spent a decade trying to determine how far Scientology went in recruiting converts after numerous complaints were filed with police by former members claiming they had been the victims of intimidation and extortion.
There is history going back decades of practices condemned in U.S. courts.

Scientology's "Attack the Attacker" policy has been known to have a chilling effect on publishing negative articles about them. I personally know someone who was attacked by these folks. (A Federal Judge agreed.)

Why then, am I putting it up? It's news.

Comment away.

NO calling anyone a cult. Belgium is trying to take Scientology to trial for being a criminal organization; that's different from being a cult, which has a very specific technical meaning. Seriously -- we're not going there; the legal liability is too great.

Otherwise, have fun. (But play nice.)