CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL:
PRESS STATEMENTS CONCERNING GERMANY

      The following is a compilation of recent press statements issued by the Church of Scientology International concerning German government discrimination of Scientologists.

January 30, 1997

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Contact: Leisa Goodman
Karin Pouw
(323) 960-3500

STATE DEPARTMENT 1996 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT:
COURAGEOUS, DECISIVE CONDEMNATION OF GERMAN HUMAN RIGHTS TERRORISM

      The Church of Scientology’s international president, Rev. Heber Jentzsch, today acclaimed the 1996 Human Rights Report of the U.S. State Department as “the most courageous, decisive condemnation of German human rights terrorism since the end of WWII.” Rev. Jentzsch said the 1996 Human Rights report “strips the artificial veneer from German-style democracy.”

      At the same time, he charged the German government with stepping up the retaliation campaign against his Church in Germany. “Just yesterday, police hand-couriered the latest, outrageous government dictate to the doorstep of our Church in Stuttgart,” said Rev. Jentzsch. The decree, dated 29 January 1997 and effective immediately, forbids the Church to hand out drink, food and clothes to homeless people in public streets or to offer them living quarters. The order threatens to punish every violation with a $2300.00 fine. Rev. Jentzsch called the decree “a mad act by a spiteful government which got exposed violating its own Constitution, international law and the principles of decency.”

      He said that officials of the Church in Germany rushed copies of the decree, which the Church pledged to appeal immediately, to the State Department and human rights watchdog organizations in Europe and the U.S. this morning.

      “Given the massive evidence of human rights violations in Germany, which no official or politician there has ever denied,” said Rev. Jentzsch, “the 1996 report is an important victory for religious freedom and true democracy.” Mr. Jentzsch congratulated the State Department for “refusing to give in to Germany’s intimidation tactics,” which, he said, German diplomats “had mounted behind the scenes and in the media and which went far beyond the boundaries of diplomatic decorum.”

      Mr. Jentzsch said he takes issue with German officials’ “ugly attempt” to smear State Department personnel when they realized the Americans couldn’t be bullied. “As German paranoia reached peak levels, their officials turned ugly and slandered State Department personnel as ‘dupes’ and portrayed them as gullible,” explained Rev. Jentzsch.

      “The State Department insisted on its position,” said Rev. Jentzsch, “because clear cut evidence of massive violations shows that Germany certainly isn’t a democracy for the Scientologists who can’t join a political party or enter civil service or who get thrown out of teaching jobs, all on the basis of their religious belief. It isn’t a democracy for the Charismatic Christians and other minority religions which get persecuted in that country.”

      Rev. Jentzsch said he considers the German officials’ reaction to State Department report “hate rhetoric which delivered the proof of the parallels between present day human rights violations and the Nazi campaign against Jews and other minority religions in the 1930’s.” He considers it “the ultimate irony and an admission of guilt” that German officials “ignore the evidence of human rights violations” and justify their actions by making “absurd allegations” that Scientology seeks money and world domination and is not a religion. “Their paranoia has blinded them,” stated Rev. Jentzsch, “because it was precisely what they said about the Jews to justify their outrageous actions in the 1930s.”

      “Even Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesman who called such comparisons ‘historical amnesia’ cannot help but wake up to the fact that history is being repeated in Germany,” added Rev. Jentzsch, in reference to a statement made by Burns at a State Department briefing and reported on by the media this past week. “‘Never again’ makes sense only now, before the ostracism reaches the point of no return.”

      Last week, the Church of Scientology of Germany filed a lawsuit against the German government with the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The suit attached 600 documented cases of discrimination to show that the Church and its parishioners have been subjected to a systematic campaign of discrimination in violation of their human rights.

      The Church of Scientology now exists in 120 countries and has over 8 million members.


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