The case of the folk music group, Golden Bough, is illustrative. Specializing in traditional and original acoustic music, Golden Bough has gained a large following in the United States and Europe, performing at festivals and concert halls, as well as on radio and television, in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary.
Discriminatory articles have been regularly published in music magazines in Germany such as the March 1994 Musikblatt magazine urging readers not to support Golden Bough’s record company and booking agency, by refusing to purchase records or CDs or cassettes from the company’s label, or by not attending concerts given by the company’s artists simply because the company is owned by a Scientologist.68 One prominent German folk magazine listed the names of musicians who were Scientologists and urged the public to boycott these musicians. Golden Bough is one of the groups listed.69
Government discrimination directed at Golden Bough began in the Fall of 1991, while on a performance tour with The World Music Ensemble, a group of musicians from different parts of the world and with different religious backgrounds. The group was assembled and the tour was scheduled. One of the first cities contracted for a performance was the city of Hamburg. After the contract had been signed to perform at the city’s Music Hall, the city cancelled the contract simply because the booking agency was owned by a Scientologist.70
Throughout Golden Bough’s 1991 tour, German city government officials attempted to cancel concerts due to Golden Bough’s religious affiliation. Golden Bough’s scheduled concert at the city of Celle, like the concert in Hamburg, was cancelled. As a letter from the Mayor of Celle evidences, the musicians’ affiliation with the Scientology religion was cited as the reason for canceling the concert, even though, like Chick Corea, Golden Bough never promotes religious beliefs in concert.71
During a 1993 Golden Bough concert in the city of Stade, members of the Young Union, took the stage with banners in protest of the Scientology religion. The stage was eventually cleared, but the concert was severely disrupted and the audience intimidated. Following the incident, administrators of concert halls across the country have been discouraged by local, state and city governments from allowing the group to perform.
In the Summer of 1994, Golden Bough was refused the right to perform a concert in Sylt because of the musicians’ religious beliefs and its music was boycotted by the city newspaper in Bad Segeberg.72
This discriminatory government conduct has seriously infringed upon the artistic rights of Golden Bough. In 1991 it had approximately 15 concert appearances in Germany. In 1992, its Germany concert tour included 12 dates. In 1993, with a much greater emphasis on booking dates due to the intolerance experienced the two previous years, Golden Bough could only contract five concert dates. In 1994, Golden Bough could only muster two performances and were forced to cancel a planned fifteen-concert German Tour. There is no question that this dramatic decline is due to the government-sponsored policy to boycott Scientology artists in Germany.
Other artists represented by Golden Bough’s record company have also been blacklisted due to the company’s "connection" to Scientology because it happens to be owned by a Scientologist. Indeed, in March of 1995, the company was notified by the Cultural Office in Wuppertal that no musicians represented by the company would be hired to perform in concert due to the company’s supposed "connection" to Scientology.73
These ongoing incidents of official intolerance towards artists who happen to be Scientologists or who, like Gottfried Helnwein, are simply suspected of being Scientologists demonstrates that the actions taken by German officials represent an official sanctioned policy to stifle expression by artists believed to be associated with the Scientology religion in Germany.
Artistic Cleansing Continued
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