Berlin District Posts Warning About Scientology
A poster denouncing Scientology has gone up on a public kiosk outside the Scientology headquarters in Berlin. Local officials warn that Scientology may be “undemocratic” — part of an ongoing battle between Berlin and the guardians of L. Ron Hubbard‘s belief system.
A public kiosk on the sidewalk in Charlottenburg bears a poster with a big stop sign and a printed message: The district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf “expresses its opposition to the activities of the Scientology sect in this district and in Berlin, and hopes that responsible parties in Berlin will watch the Scientology sect with a critical eye in the near future, and that any new information will be made public.”
The Scientology headquarters in Berlin opened in January 2007 amid national controversy.
The German government has never considered the US-based “Church of Scientology” a religion, refuses to exempt it from taxes and spies on it regularly for “anti-constitutional activity” because of aggressive recruitment practices. During a failed attempt to ban Scientology in late 2007, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, “fundamental basic and human rights like the dignity of man or the right to equal treatment are restricted or abrogated,” by the organization. “It rejects the democratic system.”
Sabine Weber, president of the Berlin chapter of the Church of Scientology, called Schauble’s remarks “unrealistic” and “absurd” at the time, and a government poster outside the chapter headquarters may not ease the Scientologists’ fear of government persecution.