Scientology Crime Syndicate

14 Sep 2000

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>

Sect Commissioner Gandow
considers legal steps against Scientology

Berlin, Germany
September 14, 2000
Die Welt

Thomas Gandow, the sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, is considering legal steps against the Scientology Organization. Glossy brochures from the Scientologists were distributed in the daily mail in Zehlendorf on the 18th of August, his birthday, of all days. In those brochures, Gandow was defamed as a "Chief Inquisitor" and "Anti-Sect Commissioner."

Despite the slanderous statements though, Thomas Gandow will not be intimidated: "I regard Scientology as a menace comparable to the Nazi movement when it was on the rise. Both had to be stopped." Scientology has reacted to Gandow's information work with a defamation campaign via mass mailings: at the end of August, Steglitz residents found the same Scientology brochures in their mail boxes. At the same time, Scientology Germany, with its offices in Munich, has also demanded the clergyman be dismissed in a letter to State Bishop Wolfgang Huber.

The cause of the smear operation was the bestowal in June of the first "Alternative Charlemagne Award" by the "European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA," of which Gandow, as a private person, is a member. The award was granted to U.S. American Robert Minton, a man who has publicly taken action against Scientology.

Scientology in the USA has been keeping its eye on the critic Minton for a long time, said Gandow, "They avoid factual discussion, the only thing they're worried about is putting people out of the picture." Minton supports the family of a former Scientologist in the USA, Lisa McPherson. "She was tormented for 17 days after she tried to leave and died as a result," said Thomas Gandow, who will be holding a service on Sunday in the Luisen Church in Charlottenburg for Lisa McPherson. Scientology denies any responsibility for Lisa McPherson's death. "She died in a car accident," said the spokeswoman of Scientology in Germany, Sabine Weber. She did go on to verify, however, that former members, "in exceptional cases, are not always dealt with lightly."

The Evangelical Church stands behind Gandow; as its spokesman stated, "Information about groups which appear making religious claim, but which in practice apply methods which exploit human rights, is an indispensable component of church work."



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