Andreas Heldal-Lund receives the Human Rights Award of the European- American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA
2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award of the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA (originally the “2000 Alternative Charlemagne Award”), May 2003 (Press Release)
The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA is involved in human rights and religious freedom in the USA and worldwide, and is engaged in the discussion in particular about new totalitarian organizations. In doing so it lets itself be guided by the stance taken by 17 million Americans in 1950 when they signed a pledge to the Berlin Liberty Bell:
“I believe in the sacredness and dignity of the individual. I believe that all men derive the right to freedom equally from God. I pledge to resist aggression and tyranny wherever they appear on earth.”
We are dismayed that, for the last few years, the Scientology Organization (SO) has managed to exert its influence in US foreign politics. The SO, responsible for the 17 days of anguish immediately preceding the death of Lisa McPherson (USA), for the financial ruin of the Aigner family (Germany) and for the tragic death of Patrice Vic (France), tries to inflict damage upon the European-American friendship for which we have all been working so hard in the past decades. As European friends of the United States of America and or as US citizens, we are concerned about the attacks by the Scientology organization on the lives and human dignity of not only its own members, but also of its critics.
2003 Human Rights Award for Mr. Andreas Heldal-Lund, Norway
In Leipzig, the city of the East German civil rights movement, we will bestow the Human Rights Award of the European-American Citizens Rights Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA to Mr. Andreas Heldal-Lund.
Mr. Heldal-Lund is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Award, which has been given each year to individuals who have made contributed to the bringing about human rights reforms in totalitarian cults that operate from the USA.
Previous Leipzig Award recipients have been Robert Minton, American retired banker and civil rights activist; Dr. Norbert Bluem, former German Federal Minister of Labor; and Alain Vivien, then President of the Mission Interministerielle pour la Lutte Contre les Sectes for the Prime Minister of the Republic of France (MILS).
Mr. Heldal-Lund is an Information Technology professional and free speech proponent who created and maintains the most famous Internet site in the world — Operation Clambake http://www.xenu.net/ — that exposes and opposes the fraud and human rights violations of the US-based Scientology organization.
Scientology has attacked Mr. Heldal-Lund and his Internet Service Providers with lawyer threat letters and a black propaganda campaign, and caused a succession of ISPs to terminate his service.
In February this year, bowing to pressure from Scientology lawyers employing the US law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the widely used Internet search engine Google removed links to Operation Clambake from its directory.
But Mr. Heldal-Lund held his ground, contending that Scientology withholds important information about its teachings that he was making available, and that people perhaps would not join the cult if the full information was accessible.
Free speech advocates around the world rushed to his defense, mounted an Internet and print media campaign, and forced Google to put Clambake back into its search engine.
During his years of activism against Scientology human rights abuses, in addition to his webmaster work, Mr. Heldal-Lund has given talks to various groups, generated a tremendous quantity of excellent news stories, and been a respected and valuable contributor to the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.
To this day, Heldal-Lund has not let himself be intimidated into silence. In November 2002 his “Operation Clambake” celebrated six full years of operation, publishing the truth about Scientology.
Although he has been a target of Scientology legal and extralegal threats, and black PR throughout these years, Mr. Heldal-Lund has stayed light hearted, kept his sense of humor, and sustained his desire to help the cult’s victims.
The EEAC echoes Mr. Heldal-Lund’s words from Operation Clambake:
“People should be free to believe whatever they want, including Scientology. What I have against [the organization] is
— its deceitfulness,
— its lack of compassion for its members (especially the hard- working staff),
— its aggressive hard sell,
— its arrogance,
— its attack on free speech,
— its litigiousness,
— its harassment of its critics,
— its lack of concern for families,
— its gross neglect and abuse of children.”
With this distinction for Andreas Heldal-Lund, this Committee would also like to express support for all politicians on either side of the Atlantic for their efforts to put a stop to the human rights violations committed by the Scientology organization in both Europe and in the USA.
Gerry Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada, Writer
Prof. Claire Champollion, Paris, France, Linguist, Researcher and Author
Joe Cisar, M.S., Cleveland, Ohio, Vietnam Veteran, Journalist
Prof. Alexander Dvorkin, Moscow, Russia, Director of the St. Irenaeus-of-Lyon-Center
Rev. Thomas Gandow, Berlin, Germany, Publisher of Berliner Dialog
Mike Garde, Dublin, Ireland, Dialogue Ireland
Roger Gonnet, Paris, France, Author
Friedrich Griess, Vienna, Austria, Engineer, Press Spokesman of Gesellschaft gegen Kultgefahren Österreich
Birgitta Harrington, Accountant, Helsingborg, Sweden
Tilman Hausherr, Berlin, Germany, Software Developer
Ursula MacKenzie, Retiree, London, United Kingdom
Solveig Prass, Leipzig, Germany, Business Manager EBI Leipzig
Prof. Johannes Aagaard, Aarhus, Denmark, President of the Dialog Center International (DCI) ]