Scientology Crime Syndicate

Berlin, Germany
November 13, 1998 (appox.)

Scientology continues to recruit

But Berlin would rather not have you!

One incredulous look, then another ... the poster is still there. "Think for yourself," it demands of the reader, then gives the path to that goal: "Scientology." This year the organization is going on a recruitment offensive. That is what Interior Senator Joerg Schoenbohm (CDU) has noticed: the "Berliner Behoerden Spiegel" [magazine oriented towards government] ran an ad for the sect. Embarrassing. But the Berlin administration has everybody it does business with sign a I-have-nothing-to-do-with-Scientology statement. Nobody knows exactly how the ad got in the magazine - not even Sabine Weber, spokeswoman for Scientology Deutschland.

As for the poster campaign she said, "We selected the concept 'Think for yourself' because salvation comes only through finding the truth. But it is also meant to challenge people to make their own picture of Scientology." She said that the campaign was not a reaction to the organization's opposition in Germany; it was said to have run throughout Europe in the end of '97. About 60 walls were booked [for the hanging of Scientology's advertising posters] from the middle of April to the beginning of May.

What is being advertised is a book by chief and founder L. Ron Hubbard, "Scientology. The Fundamentals of Thought." It appears through the services of Danish Scientology publishers, New Era Publications. Problem: many book stores do not sell it. And the media are also cautious, especially in Germany. Here at home, according to New Era spokesman Krister Nilsson, it was almost impossible for his publishing house to place advertisements. Only a poster advertising company said yes.

The London "Times," in contrast, published an advertisement, radio spots were running in Italy and in Copenhagen every fourth bus ran with the Hubbard advertisements for a couple of weeks. In Berlin, on Hackeschen Markt, the poster had been torn in half after several days ...

Meike Wöhlert


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