Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scientology and Germany - Latest News

The German government's announcement last week that it is dropping its attempts to ban the Scientology religion in Germany is something that could probably have been predicted by simply looking at the history of such attempts.

In his 1974 book "The Hidden Story of Scientology", investigative writer Omar V. Garrison says:

I have read through thousands of pages of transcripts covering such hearings, official enquiries and parliamentary debates in the U.S., Australia, South Africa, Rhodesia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain. Yet in not a single instance that I have been able to discover have any of these lengthy proceedings produced a shred of evidence that Scientologists or Scientology's founder have been guilty of anything actionable under the criminal or civil laws of the countries conducting them.

The inquiries in South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) were conducted by repressive, apartheid governments, and even they couldn't find anything wrong.

I'm not familiar with the Canadian investigation, but as far as I know the inquiry in New Zealand was probably the quickest and most honest of them all. The New Zealanders found one minor policy they didn't like so the Church canceled it.

In Australia, in the late 1960's an inquiry in the state of Victoria banned Scientology. But in 1975 after many years of legal attempts to right this blatant wrong, the Supreme Court of Australia fully recognized Scientology as a religion and the ban went the way of the dinosaur.

In the UK in the early 1970's a government inquiry resulted in a ban on foreign Scientologists entering the country. No evidence was ever presented as to why such a ban was put in place and after a decade the ban was lifted after demands were made in the House of Commons for the evidence to be made public.

In Spain, an investigation went on for seventeen years and resulted in full religious recognition just last year.

The US government has the record for the longest history of harassment and bogus investigations: after 35 years of "investigations", which included infiltrating agent provocateurs into the Church, attempting to plant false documents and other illegal activities, the IRS fully recognized every Scientology Church and related organization as religious, public benefit organizations.

So, now it is Germany's turn. After eleven years of wasting tax-payers money while they spied on the Church in Germany, they have found that the Church of Scientology and its members have not been guilty of doing anything wrong. (For the history of this up until 2003, scroll down to "fact sheet".)

You can probably see a repeating pattern in all this:

  1. Accusations are made.
  2. Measures are taken or investigations are instigated.
  3. After many years, and millions of taxpayer dollars, marks or euros being spent, no wrong doing of any kind is found.
Because governments are limited in their activities by the law, eventually the fact that no evidence of wrong doing exists forces them to stop their harassment and remove the false reports they have been gathering and disseminating.

Unfortunately this is not the case with the Internet. Accusations can be made, lies can be told and no one has to prove it in a court of law, so the lies can go on forever. Entities such as "Anonymous" can gather supporters based on accusations backed by nothing that would stand up in a court of law and the poor dupes who believe them then go on spreading the lies and getting themselves into trouble.

Hopefully, this article will be instructive to people who have been duped and will help them to re-examine their ideas about Scientology and perhaps they will begin to use the requirements of legal evidence as their yardstick when examining information they encounter about Scientology, the Church and Scientologists.

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desi said...

I blogged about this, but I'm glad tos ee it covered so amazingly well. Kudos.

Grahame said...

Thank you.

I really wanted to give it an historical perspective. I hope I succeeded.