Television network denies claims that Until Nothing Remains depicts group as totalitarian and unethical
Germany’s state broadcaster is locked in a row with the Church of Scientology which wants to block an upcoming feature film that depicts the controversial organisation as totalitarian and unethical.
Bis Nichts Mehr Bleibt, or Until Nothing Remains, dramatises the account of a German family torn apart by its associations with Scientology. A young married couple joins the organisation but as the wife gets sucked ever more deeply into the group, her husband, who has donated much of his money to it, decides to leave. In the process he loses contact with his young daughter who, like his wife, is being educated by Scientology instructors.
Scientology leaders have accused Germany’s primary public TV network, ARD, of creating in top secret a piece of propaganda that sets out to undermine the group, and have demanded to see it before it is broadcast.
The 90-minute film reflects an unease in Germany about the organisation, which boasts several thousand members across the country and has its headquarters in central Berlin. The church is considered anti-constitutional by its critics.
According to the makers of Until Nothing Remains, the €2.5m (£2.3 m) drama, which is due to air in a prime-time slot at the end of March, is based on the true story of Heiner von Rönns, who left Scientology and suffered the subsequent break-up of his family.
Scientology officials have said the film is false and intolerant. At a preview screening in Hamburg members distributed flyers in which the filmmakers were accused of seeking to “create a mood of intolerance and discrimination against a religious community”.
Jürg Stettler, a spokesman for Scientology in Germany said: “The truth is precisely the opposite of that which the ARD is showing.” The organisation is investigating legal means to prevent the programme from being broadcast.
Understanding Germany’s viewpoint on Scientology (archived version of information formally posted at the website of the Germany Embassy in Washington, D.C.)
Stephen Kent, Ph.d. has addressed Scientology’s human rights violations
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi: Scientology, religion or racket?
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