Code Name: Snow White

Source: Der Spiegel
Date: September 25, 1995

The Scientology sect is fighting for its position in Germany. With the most lavish PR campaign to date, the psycho-concern blasts its opponents with its hardest attack yet. A defector reveals why: Sect founder L. Ron Hubbard himself had early declared Germany to be enemy number one, he feared that German psychiatrists wanted to murder him.

The colorful pamphlet with the monster on the cover appeared very suddenly in Bonn's government district. At the parliament building, in front of ministries, and at bus stops along Bonn's main street, helpers of the psycho-concern "Church of Scientology" had distributed heaps of the broadsheet. Its message: Germany stands at the brink of the abyss.

A phalanx of politicians, church leaders, as well as old and new nazis, have allied themselves with Germany's psychiatrists to wipe out Scientology, according to the crazed report. The sect, which "is bringing the well camouflaged dark stains on the white vests of German psychiatry back into view," has become irksome to the shrinks and their lackeys in politics, according to the report. Scientologists are the Jews of the 90's, and are being persecuted and destroyed.

Not only Bonn was papered with this nonsense, collected in 52 pages. Throughout the Federal Republic of Germany the sect distributed, according to its own figures, a million copies of the free pamphlet entitled "Freedom."

This is the largest PR campaign run by the Scientologists in Germany so far, and according to experts, it shows that the sect is running out of steam in the Federal Republic of Germany. "Those guys are under massive pressure" says Ursula Caberta, the Scientology expert in the Hamburg Senate.

The sect shows its iron nerve particularly against defectors and critical journalists. For example, the wife of a reporter at the Hamburg Morning Post who had been critical of Scientology was visited by a detective. He had, so he said, information about the reporter's love life. He named as his employer a Scientology lawyer's office. The sect disputes this, but asserts nonetheless that the journalist is cheating on his wife in order to get information about Scientology.

Der Spiegel has also been attacked by Scientology ever since it has been in contact with the American journalist Robert Vaughn Young, 56. Young served the sect for more than 20 years in important posts. For about 15 years he belonged to the sect's own secret service, which kept an eye on members and opponents of the organization and controlled all contacts the sect had with the outside world. Young left the sect in 1989.

"Young lies" - with this declaration sect lawyers by the dozens bombarded Der Spiegel's editorial offices. According to the Scientology attorneys, it doesn't matter whether Young's representations are "true or untrue." He has violated the secrecy agreement he once signed when he was a member.

Der Spiegel must pay for every publication of Young's insider information, or so runs the threat from Scientology. The vice chief of Scientology's secret service, Kurt Weiland, who is an old acquaintance of Young's, took the trouble to fly personally to Hamburg from Los Angeles, in order to stir up opinion against his ex-colleague in the editorial offices. Sect members also picketed outside Young's house in Seattle to protest the revealing of the secrets.

The fears of the sect's devotees are well founded. What the defector tells about the campaign against Germany could ultimately cost Scientology its recognition as a religious organization in the Federal Republic of Germany.

According to Young, the leadership of Scientology has been trying for years with the help of firms and front organizations to infiltrate Germany and bring it into international disrepute - with a secret operation with the code name "Snow White."

The anti-German campaign was started by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard himself. Hubbard labored under the delusion that psychiatrists and psychologists wanted to kill him. At the center of the conspiracy he placed German scientists who had also brought Hitler to power, and who remain active today.

German politicians have been suspicious of Scientology for quite some time now. In May the interior ministers of the federal states decided to investigate the recognition of the sect through the constitutional office and the police, and to consider a ban on the organization.

Business also is keeping its distance. More and more banks are refusing to do business with Scientologists. For months, real estate and tenant associations have been fighting against landlords with Scientology connections and their dubious business practices. "They can barely get rid of their apartments," reports an insider.

According to insiders of the sect, in order to hide the collapse of the German organization from the sect's leaders in the USA, the director of the Scientology branch in Hamburg, Wiebke Hansen, 50, even falsified the books. When the fraud was discovered, the American Scientology Central is reported to have transferred her promptly to a punishment camp.

Scientology denies this vigorously: In America Mrs. Hansen is merely devoting herself to her "spiritual advancement."