Scientology Crime Syndicate

22 Sep 2000

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>

Helnwein's capitulation

St. Ingbert, Germany
September 20, 2000
Jeannette Schweitzer
Pr=E4ventions- und Ausstiegsberatung mit psychosozialer Begleitung

The last German-language VITEM release is now at:

Press Release

Gottfried Helnwein the painter finally lets
"Scientology trial" fall through

Frankfurt (21 Sept. 00) - Gottfried Helnwein the painter has finally let the "Scientology trial" in the Frankfurt Superior State Court fall through, and now may officially be described as a Scientologist according to the superior court's decision of 21 September 2000 (case number: 16 U 183195). Before the new trial could begin in accordance with the Federal Constitutional Court, by which Helnwein would risk public testimony taken into evidence, the artist, as expected, waived due process. The result is that all the statements in question which showed a connection between him and Scientology are allowed by the courts.

The background to the situation: in the early 1990s, indices grew which showed that internationally known artist Helnwein was a member of the Scientology organization, which he disputed. In 1993, Jeannette Schweitzer, chairperson of "VITEM e.V.," of St. Ingbert, and a representative from another association wrote an open letter which said that Helnwein "described himself as a clergyman of Scientology," and that the Austrian artist was a "Class IV auditor of the Scientology Church." The open letter further stated that "Gottfried Helnwein belonged to a group which destroyed people's psyches in a compulsory hypnotic procedure aided by a lie detector in order to control their consciousness."

Helnwein sued over these statements and publicly distanced himself from Scientology. He made it through Frankfurt State Court, but then lost on all points save one in the next hearing. The only statement prohibited said that the proceeds from the sale of a Marilyn Monroe lithograph provably went to the OSA Scientology intelligence agency. With what is known today, it would also be possible to prove the factual content of that statement (see, in German: www.ingo-heinemann.de/helnw2.htm).

After that defeat, Helnwein brought his complaint to Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. In a startling decision, the constitutional court referred the complaint back to the Frankfurt Superior State Court in 1998 for technical reasons in order to give VITEM e.V. the chance to prove the truthfulness of the statements.

Jeannette Schweitzer and VITEM e.V. were well equipped for the new trial. They could name a number of new facts of evidence and several witnesses to support their assertions.

Among the witnesses were former high-ranking members who have since left Scientology, who knew Helnwein in connection with Scientology activities and who lived with him in Germany and in the Scientology stronghold of Clearwater, Florida. They included a former high-placed "clergywoman" from the organization's training center in Clearwater. In the mid-1990s, at the high point of the legal, public dispute, she was sent to Helnwein in Burgbrohl, Rheinland-Pfalz, as she said, to help with difficulties Helnwein was having in training up to "Operating Thetan VII," the second to highest level of "salvation" in Scientology.

Helnwein has appeared repeatedly in Scientology publications as a contributor to Scientology's "War Chest," the last time was 1998. According to the organization's own publications, that money is used to combat critics. As of the year 2000, the artist himself is still being displayed by Scientology as an example of Germany's alleged discrimination against Scientologists because of their "membership in a religion."

Since Helnwein has waived due process in the Frankfurt Superior Court, it is no longer necessary in civil law, but neither is it possible, to prove how Scientologist Helnwein tried to deceive the courts and the German public. VITEM e.V. will now look into filing a criminal complaints for suspicion of attempted trial fraud and false sworn affirmation.


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