17 January 1997

PHONE (323) 960-3500


      LOS ANGELES: The Church of Scientology today accused leading German officials of “hiding behind generalities” and declared that it will wage “a war of facts” on German officials who “deploy propaganda and lies” to avoid answering up to specific claims of discrimination in Germany.

      “German officials use demagoguery to try to hide the truth from the German people and the world,” said Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International. “That is why they have never responded adequately to the charges of discrimination expressed by the United Nations, the United States State Department and other international human rights groups.”

      “So long as officials like Norbert Bluem and Guenther Beckstein can hide behind generalities, they feel safe,” said Jentzsch. “But they are getting desperate because their human rights violations are receiving international exposure.”

      He accused Federal Minister Bluem of backing out of a TV debate with Bert Fields, author of last week’s celebrity Open Letter to Chancellor Helmut comparing discrimination against Scientologists to the Nazi treatment of the Jews in the 1930s. Jentzsch said that Bluem withdrew because he knew he had no answer to the specific examples of discrimination Mr. Fields would present.

      He also said that German officials had lied about religious recognitions of Scientology in Germany.

      “German officials never mention that thirty-six German courts have found that Scientology is a religion whose members are entitled to protection under the German Constitution,” said Jentzsch. “If the German people knew that, then the unconstitutional nature of the attacks on Scientology would be plain to all.”

      To counter the German government’s “propaganda war” against Scientology, Jentzsch announced that the Church will be releasing regular “Factsheets” covering different aspects of Scientology.

      “In the 1930s, the Nazis used the media to spread lies about the Jews. Nobody believes those lies now, but they were believed at the time. Today, German officials are trying the same tactic with Scientology. But they will fail because, bit by bit, the truth about their assault on our religion is coming out.”

      Scientology is a religion founded by writer and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, who is best known as the author of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which has sold more than 17 million copies.

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