Scientology Crime Syndicate

6 Sep 2000

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>

Fanatical Activism

Scientology is defaming Thomas Gandow, the sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church. Reason: the bestowal of an award to an opponent of Scientology. Gandow taking legal steps.

Berlin, Germany
September 5, 2000

by Barbara Bollwahn de Paez Casanova

For several weeks Scientology has being going to great expense to mobilize against the sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenbrug, Thomas Gandow. On his birthday, August 18, glossy brochures were distributed with the daily mail in Zehlendorf. In them, Gandow, who has been involved in sects since the end of the 1970s and who has been sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg since 1992, was defamed as "chief inquisitor," "anti-sect commissioner," "notorious exorcist of belief," and "chief architect for the discrimination campaigns against religious and weltanschauung communities and their members in parts of Europe." One week later, residents of Steglitz found the same brochure in their mail. In addition, Scientology Church Germany with its offices in Munich demanded Gandow's immediate dismissal from state Bishop Wolfgang Huber for "fanatical activism."

The occasion for the attacks was the first "Alternative Charlemagne Award" given out by the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA," of which Gandow is a member as a private individual, in June in Leipzig. The reason: The award went to U.S. American Robert Minton, a proven opponent of Scientology. The award took place as a counter-presentation to the granting of the "Charlemagne Award" to U.S. President Bill Clinton, whose liberal attitude towards Scientology is controversial.

Minton, who worked as a debt regulator for the Nigerian government, is the founder and financier of a private incorporated organization in the USA which supports and makes legal referrals to people who have been adversely affected by Scientology - thereby being a thorn in the side of the Scientologists. Therefore they never pass up an opportunity to describe him as a "white-collar criminal" and to described the citizens committee as a "front organization directed by the state church to fight minority religions."

As far as Gandow is concerned, the campaign against him is a symptom of the sect's financial difficulties, "They're worried because their sales have dropped dramatically." Scientology sees an "archenemy" in the Evangelical Church in Germany, which has been issuing warnings about Scientology for many years in its handbook of religious communities. It is plain to him that, "I am being attacked because of my efforts against Scientology."

The Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg stands completely behind its sect commissioner. Press spokesman Reinhard Lampe stated, "We are decisively against all attempts to defame the work of the sect commissioner." He says Scientology is "sensitive" because the Evangelical Church is providing information about a group "which pretends to be religious, but which uses methods which violates human rights." In the meantime, Thomas Gandow is taking legal measures against Scientology for asserting false statements and for insult to person.


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