23.5.2000 Regarding the May 13 opinion, "In Germany, scientology is a real threat," the U.S. government shows its arrogance when the secretary of state, et al, in the annual report to Congress, condemns Germany for discriminating against the Church of Scientology.
I have great admiration for the German officials who have the common sense and guts to stand up and hold their ground. But I do not have much regard for the likes of Tom Cruise and John Travolta, who, as public figures, might otherwise be esteemed as role models.
The Church of Scientology is not a religious organization. The name is a mere facade, originated by a science fiction writer. That alone tells me a great deal. The organization is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and the Germans are intelligent enough to see through it.
Scientology does psychologically influence behavior and manipulate individuals. I have heard some of the horror stories told by former members.
I must hasten to add that this "church" is not alone in using psychology to influence people's behavior; all organized religions do that. That is how they gain membership, money, power and avoid paying taxes. In the world of organized religions, subterfuge is merely a matter of degree.
Marvin A. Carmichael
He states that "the Germans are wholly justified." By what facts does he derive such a conclusion? His only source was the German ambassador in Washington.
Scientologists are not the only religious group experiencing these human rights violations. The "sect filter" is extended to most of the smaller religious groups of Germany. Jews have endured this treatment since before the Nazi uprising.
As far as the Germans being "peculiarly sensitive to the presence of cults and extremist groups in their midst": Where are the facts? The Bay Area has more Scientologists per capita than Germany has. This is also one of the most diverse communities in the world working together in relative harmony.
I have been to Germany and experienced what goes on there. The German people are warm and gracious. They have endured an unbelievable amount of factless biases.
The German people did their own research - they made up their own minds.
The result was that former Chancellor Helmut Kohl lost re-election along with several other officials who pushed the "sect filter."