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Scientology Crime Syndicate

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>
The Traveling Scientology Show in Steglitz
Wed, 19 Apr 2000 16:49:25 -0400

Steglitz, Germany
April 19, 2000
Die Welt

Despite public protests, the first "What is Scientology?" exhibition has been in Berlin since Wednesday. While the public pressure could at first prevent the religious community from making a public presentation in the "Best Western" Steglitz Hotel, the organization which is under surveillance by Constitutional Security quickly found an alternative location. A private lessor made spaces available on short notice at 30 Dueppel Street in Steglitz.

The federal press office is said to have lodged a protest at the Best Western Hotel. It allegedly threatened to cancel all visitor groups from the parliamentary representatives for this and the coming years in the event that the hotel accepted the exhibition in its spaces. Scientology spokesman Georg Stoffel described that as "duress" and made chastising remarks saying that these kind of problems would only happen in Berlin. He said the exhibition had already travelled through five German cities and was supposed to visit 52 European cities this year. The hotel's business manager, Klaus-Volker Stolle, however, believes he was deceived by the Scientologists because they had only ever mentioned a closed conference. He said he did not want to be used in their recruitment campaign. Now Scientology is suing for 250,000 marks in damages.

The people of Berlin should to go the exhibition to form their own picture of what was really behind the controversy, said the Scientologists' invitation. The group itself claimed that it said what Scientology was at the exhibition's opening: that it fought for a better life in hard times, a life "without mental illness and without cancer or other illnesses."

In the experts' judgment, the capitol city is coming more into the sights of international sects. The sect commissioner of the Evangelical State Church, Thomas Gandow, estimates that there are 10,000 people in Berlin organized into 500 sect-like groups.

MCM

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