German Government Ministers Declare Scientology Unconstitutional

The German Government has long been opposed to Scientology which it regards as a money-making cult rather than a religion.

Now a large group of German government ministers has declared Scientology "incompatible with the Constitution."

One very controversial component of Scientology is its drug treatment program, Narconon. Tom Cruise, in an interview with Der Speigel quoted here, called it "only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world."

Cruise: I'm a helper. For instance, I myself have helped hundreds of people get off drugs. In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon.

SPIEGEL: That's not correct. Yours is never mentioned among the recognized detox programs. Independent experts warn against it because it is rooted in pseudo science.

Cruise: You don't understand what I am saying. It's a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. Period.

SPIEGEL: With all due respect, we doubt that.

So do many others.

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    Excellent Example (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 06:48:04 PM EST
    of why religious organizations should get no tax breaks or any other recognition from the government.  They should be recognized exactly the same as convenience stores or real estate offices, i.e. as businesses whose charitable contributions MAY qualify them for tax breaks but whose primary purpose is no different from that of any secular social club.

    Scientology was created to take advantage of the conflict between the First Amendment and the special tax status afforded to churches.  The CofS has a right as a religion to exist, even though it is in fact a criminal organization designed to take large sums of money from pathetic losers, and the People of the United States have no right to judge its conduct because it is protected by the First Amendment.

    Like all religious "organizations"? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:15:07 PM EST
    Don't get me started (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:41:34 PM EST
    I'm an atheist who can't believe that ANYONE is religious.

    It's that transparent.


    Me too. And very vocal about it. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:44:36 PM EST
    The JP's don't come around anymore......... they still go to houses on either side, but they look at the other side of the street when they see me.

    errr..... JW's (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:45:06 PM EST
    Amazing what the lack of a First Amendment (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:05:24 AM EST
    in your Constitution means, isn't it?

    Not only can they come down on Scientology.  A couple weeks back, there was a decision from their highest court which compelled some "radical Baptist" parents to put their kids in the public schools and prohibited home-schooling.  The basis for that decision was that the schools promoted socialization and participation in society, and that disagreement with those goals was not a sufficient basis.

    I dunno which is better, because their society is a whole lot more homogeneous than ours and it seems to work for them.  But I kinda like ours better.  

    Forcing parents.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 12:45:05 PM EST
    to send their kids to public school?  Too tyrannical for my taste....We got problems, but I'll take 'em over a government thats allowed to do that crap and ban certain religions...even the really whacky cons like Scientology.

    Is anybody aware of any fringe religions being banned as cults here at home?


    False information / attack on democratic rights (none / 0) (#2)
    by Andreas on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:10:26 AM EST
    The German government has not "declared" Scientology "incompatible with the Constitution."

    They are considering to outlaw Scientology.

    More important: These government activities have nothing to do with drugs or the reactionary character of Scientology. They are part of the attacks on democratic rights in Germany.

    Actually, I think it's more accurate to say (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:16:42 AM EST
    that they either intend to outlaw it as a cult, or that Scientology is losing a legal challenge to a prior determination that it is a cult.

    But, the end result is pretty much the same.

    As to an attack on democratic rights in Germany - you have a point there, particularly in the ways their interior ministry (both federal and state branches) have tried to negate their much-stronger-than-the-US privacy protections and expand "Online Durchsuchungen", i.e., warrantless wiretapping.

    There's a whole story in the uproar over Cruise portraying von Stauffenberg in the coming movie about the July 20 plot to kill Hitler, on so many levels I cannot begin to count.


    Thanks, I fixed it (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:19:05 AM EST
    I changed the post title and the body to reflect it's a large group of German Ministers and not the Government. Thanks for the correction.

    Those "ministers" (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:22:16 AM EST
     are not religious leaders; thety are government officials as in Minister of the Interior, etc. You were closer the first ttime.

    changed it again (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:28:14 PM EST
    I assumed people would know the ministers are government officials, but maybe not, so I changed it again. Thanks.

    every single day. Never read a one. How did they get my name?

    Did anyone ever offer you... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Plutonium Page on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:24:23 PM EST
    ... a "personality test"?  That's probably how they got your address.

    I had lunch day before yesterday with a very good friend who's been sucked into $cientology.  Only two hours with her and I thought my brain was turning to Jello.  She's just totally gone.

    I have no idea how they got to her.


    don't know (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 01:12:59 PM EST
    much about Scientology or Tom Cruise, but I kind of miss the Krishnas. They used to be everywhere in the 70s and 80s.

    known here in the US that they've mostly moved on to greener pastures.

    I was on one of the first flights into Romania when Ceausescu fell. A few days later, since the gvt no longer denied them entrance, the first krishna's showed up and were, literally, mobbed.

    In the US you'd see them, traditionally, at airports and stuff with, mostly, no one paying them any attention.

    In Bucharest they stood on a wall in the square and banged their drums as 100's of Romanians stood mesmerized.

    As the only westerner in the crowd I caught one krishna's eye and he grinned and turned quickly away.

    On the flight back to London a week or so later, the Romanian girl sitting next to me spent the flight reading krishna pamphlets and told me she was going to London to join the church.

    I tried to dissuade her, and told her to be careful not to give them any of her money, but the country had been so isolated and fed so much gvt approved/produced BS for so long that the citizens, generally, had no idea what they didn't know, no idea that much of what they "knew" was wrong, and were pretty sceptical of the sudden in-rush of information about the outside "real" world.

    Anyway, I think of her now and again. I hope things worked out for her.


    they were (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 02:15:23 PM EST
    far more entertaining than the Scientologists, thats for sure.

    Mafia (none / 0) (#20)
    by bernarda on Sat Dec 08, 2007 at 06:26:06 AM EST
    Scientology as a religion is the same as declaring the Mafia or the Cosa Nostra or the Chinese triads or the Japanese Yakusa as religions.

    Why aren't Tom Cruise and his cohorts prosecuted under RICO law?