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German minister slams Scientology but praises movie

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany
July 21, 2007 • Sunday July 22, 2007

Berlin – German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has criticised Scientology, but said that would not stop him enjoying Valkyrie, the movie in the making about a true 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

US actor Tom Cruise, who is playing Count Claus von Stauffenberg in the movie, has been ostracized by many Germans because of his advocacy of the Scientology creed.

In remarks released Saturday and to appear Sunday in the newspaper BZ am Sonntag, Schaueble said the federal anti-subversion unit BfV which he oversees would continue to monitor the Scientology organization.

‘This sect has the purpose of annulling basic and human rights and thus abolishing constitutional liberty,’ and thus had ‘anti-constitutional objectives,’ he said.

Although some German courts had ruled that the Scientology organization was a religious group, this did not mean it did not have to obey the German constitution.

‘The cover of a religious community is no use if one wants to get rid of the free, democratic constitution. We do debate this with our American friends,’ he said, referring to US criticism of Berlin’s surveillance.

Schaeuble said that all the same he could contemplate going to see Valkyrie when it was ready.

‘If it is a good film about July 20, 1944 and Stauffenberg, then the fact that Tom Cruise is a Scientologist would not stop me seeing it.

‘I’m interested in the subject, it’s a historically important story, and Hollywood can do good movies,’ he said.

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