Criminal methods of Scientology
28 Dec 2000
It can happen to any company
WIRTSCHAFT - The IHK magazine for Munich and Upper Bavaria 11/2000
by Margit Auer
Scientology. Heinrich Stiefel had long considered whether he should go public. His problem: the Hungarian branch of his publishing group had been infiltrated by Scientology. The company proprietor from Ingolstadt just barely had time to stop the psychological terrorism which had neutralized his staff and would presumably have meant ruin for his establishment.
"Another year and my company in Budapest would have been gone," Heinrich Stiefel is convinced today. After long discussions the 51-year-old man had decided, yes, he would go to the public. The businessman from Lenting near Ingolstadt wanted to warn other companies. Warn them about Scientology - an association which officially calls itself a "church" but actually is nothing other than a business which makes its members psychologically dependent with the help of totalitarian methods, and financially exploits them. "It can happen to anyone," Stiefel emphasized. "Not only mid-size companies with contacts out of the country, but also small trade operations right in town."
At first everything was running great in Budapest. The Hungarian business manager rapidly brought the operation from the red into the black. "He was fluent in six languages and had the publishing company set up very, very soundly," summarized Heinrich Stiefel. But then the Hungarian fell into the clutches of Scientology. He took seminars for communication training in which course participants stared at each other for hours and had to smile and scream at each other. His boss in Ingolstadt knew nothing about this. "As far as I'm concerned, taking such courses is inconceivable," said the Ingolstadt businessman, who has since then gotten very well informed about Scientology. "All it's about is learning to manipulate." In real terms that means: one is supposed to learn to play a part for a course partner to influence him. Part of the fabric of Scientology is to at first offer these courses for free, then gradually make them more expensive. The expenses are born by the participants who then attempt to deduct the fees as company business expenses. Stiefel Inc. also suffered loss that way.
They were presented with deductions of astronomical amounts. A single course costs up to 12,800 marks per person. The amount was deducted from different accounts and the balance was hidden in various ledger posts. So it took some time before Heinrich Stiefel caught on to what was happening.
Although he was visiting his branch in Budapest three or four times a year, he had not noticed anything unusual. When a company is running well, then you don't think to look into it." He says Scientology is like AIDS or cancer in that "You don't really get informed about it until you're affected yourself." It cost about 80,000 marks to save the operation in Budapest and get it back up and stable.
On top of that was the enormous wear and tear on nerves. The businessman was all ears when the director of the Hungarian branch showed up in May 1999 and said he wanted to be the export manager for all branches. In the course of the discussion the Hungarian business manager, brimming with enthusiasm, showed his boss an advertising film. That was a mistake.
In the credits of the film could be read, "Copyright by L. Ron Hubbard." That cleared up everything. Heinrich Stiefel knew that Hubbard was the founder of Scientology. "At that point I saw the light." The businessman didn't let on that he knew anything, feigned interest and asked his Hungarian business manager to send him additional informational material. Stiefel used the time thereafter to find out about Scientology. He got in touch with the well-known exit counselor and Scientology expert Jeannette Schweitzer. He also talked the problem over with his home bank. They put it to him short and sweet, "If your company is infiltrated by Scientology, you'll not receive any more public contracts. You could close down within a short time."
At that point the Ingolstadt businessman reacted very quickly. The next appointment with his employee was on June 14; this time Jeannette Schweitzer sat in. It quickly came out in the expert's presence that the man had officially been a member of Scientology for three months.
When Stiefel explained to him that the working relationship would be ended in the event he did not give up Scientology, the business manager came around. He said yes, he would give Scientology notice and leave them. Shortly after that meeting Jeannette Schweitzer sent the prepared separation letter to Budapest. About 9 p.m. Heinrich Stiefel called up his man in Hungary.
He again made it clear, "If the separation is not official by 10 p.m., we will not continue working together." Nothing happened; the fax sit idle. Stiefel reacted immediately. Together with his Ingolstadt business manager he climbed into his car. The two drove the whole night through to Budapest. Nobody there had counted on such a prompt visit. "We were there at 8 in the morning, immediately secured the evidence and locked up the business manager's office."
During this time the personnel were questioned. What came to light shocked the businessman from Ingolstadt. "It really hurt me, what happened there." Normally he reserves his feelings, but in talking with the Hungarian employees tears came to his eyes. "It was like being slapped in the face."
Over the course of time the Hungarian business manager had reorganized the entire operation. He introduced a strongly militaristic system of operation developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. A miserable operating climate prevailed in the 20-person operation. The people were not allowed to speak with each other, everything was in writing," said Heinrich Stiefel.
Every desk was cleared off and three baskets labelled "In," "In Process" and "Out" replaced personal conversation. Anyone caught "gossiping" had to pay a fine. The employees went along with it out of fear of losing their jobs. Behind every desk hung statistics which were supposed to document each worker's performance. "The one by the secretary, for example, told how many checks she wrote." As soon as the statistics went down, they were offered training. But the worst was the so-called "ethics folders" which were being kept on every worker.
Personal data was listed and private details were documented. Stiefel has put the ethics folders at the disposal of Constitutional Security.
"Spying on your acquaintances is prohibited in all nations on earth," says Heinrich Stiefel. "That is psychological terrorism." In securing the ethics folders, evidence has been obtained that Scientology operates using criminal methods. The evidence also includes state maps which were produced by the Budapest operation.
Next to the company logo of the Stiefel publishing group was printed "Hubbard College of Administration." An attorney's office which specializes in Scientology has gotten involved. The attorney's are trying to stop the Stiefel company logo from appearing in any form in connection with Scientology. The Ingolstadt businessman's quick handling of the situation paid off. His operation in Hungary is once again running normally. Heinrich Stiefel took on a new business manager who highly motivates his staff. He had all other branches investigated to see whether there were connections to Scientology.
An lo and behold, the business manager of the Slovak establishment had been animated by his Hungarian colleague to take courses from Scientology training companies. Heinrich Stiefel pulled him out of the trap.
Since then he has had all his staff sign statements that they have nothing to do with Scientology [The actual statement does not actually mention "Scientology," but the "operating procedures written by L. Ron Hubbard." - trans.] . Every new applicant also has to sign the declaration - a measure which the 51-year-old man now recommends for other businesses.
"The dangerous thing about Scientology is that everybody thinks it could never happen to them." There are clear signs, however, which could mean that infiltration is occurring. "The first indices are the empty desks and the statistics on the walls." There are numerous brochures on the theme which describe other risks. People should start paying attention when supervisors turn into "Executive Directors" in charge of their own numbered "Divisions."
Caution is also advised when staff return euphoric from seminars and all too openly attempt to recruit colleagues for the same seminar. Heinrich's going outside his company was the right decision in his eyes. "We have an unbroken chain of evidence." That made matters easier. "There is proof that the entire system is criminal." He did not know before how Scientologists harm business. The reactions he's gotten since have validated his method of procedure.
There has been public outcry from other company owners in the press and on television describing similar problems. But the most important thing, he says, is to sensitize other businesses to the problem. "What I mainly had in mind was that something had to be done to warn other companies."
Editorial by Joe Cisar
So what would have happened if Mr. Stiefel had just minded his business back in Germany? As stated above, the staff of the Scientology company would have all eventually been given Scientology mental conditioning, called "training" or "courses." This conditioning is not cheap. Stiefel would have ended up paying to have all his Hungarian staff indoctrinated by Scientology.
Also, a Scientology company is eventually required to spread the worldview of L. Ron Hubbard. For this privilege it has to pay a commission to Scientology for use of Hubbard's methods, 10 percent of gross sales. That's gross, not net. More loss. If those extraordinary expenses do not kill the company, it is legally and financially weakened enough to the point where it can't fight back, at least not against a corporate giant like Scientology.
Reacting to promises of money and power, Scientologists end up convinced that, by giving Scientology money and power, there will be more for them. That is the backbone of Scientology's lie.
Unofficial translation/critical interpretation of German media, For
non-commercial use only. Recent events -
http://cisar.org/trnmenu.htm Informational publications
http://members.tripod.com/German_Scn_News Thousands of articles sorted by date
Any text written by other authors which may be quoted in part or in full within this exposure of the Scientology cult is provided according to U. S. Code Title 17 "Fair Use" dictates which may be reviewed at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html If you're an author of an article and do not wish to allow it to be mirrored or otherwise provided on The Skeptic Tank web site, let us know and it will be removed fairly promptly.E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank