Scientology Increasing Activities - Looking At Driving Schools

Source: Die Welt
Date: April 7, 2000

The "OSA" intelligence agency is spying on more opponents of the organization - "Valentino's" is hosting an exhibition opening for Scientologists<

Berlin, Germany<

by Insa Gall

With massive financial support and personnel from the USA, the Scientologists are again increasingly active in Hamburg. It is primarily the organization's intelligence service, the "Office of Special Affairs (OSA)" which has significantly increased its activity in recent times, reports Ursula Caberta, Director of the Work Group on Scientology in the Interior Agency. It is reported that organization opponents are being increasingly spied and eavesdropped upon and harassed. The Scientologists are also appearing in greater number on the streets, Caberta warned.

After they have been partly squeezed out of the real estate business, the Scientologists in Hamburg currently have their sights set on driving schools, among other things, according to Caberta. There they find young people who are open-minded to their attempts at infiltration. "That causes us worry," explained the Director of the Work Group. The Organization also has their first day care center in Hamburg.

Today the Scientologists in Hamburg are opening a wandering exhibition with which they hope to whitewash their negative image. Even though color pictures and glossy brochures are being distributed which are supposed to deceive the public about the true goals of the organization, "Valentino's" is seeing to the cocktails. That is because the exhibition is being hosted in the same building as the catering business on Valentinskamp. The Great Hall on the second story is often rented by "Valentino's" for events. The restaurant is doing the catering for the Scientologist, as proprietor Toens Haltermann has verified. "We are not delivering to the church, but to the people who are visiting the opening of the exhibition," he defended the catering. "For us, that's business like anything else."

Robert Minton, one of the sharpest Scientology opponents in the USA and currently a guest in Hamburg, believes, in contrast, that the organization is extremely dangerous: Scientologists are said to have constructed a paramilitary group in the USA which trains in the desert with pistols and rocket launchers and is modeled after the U.S. Marines, reported the 54 year old man.

In Hamburg, according to Ursula Caberta, the Scientology Organization is "practically bankrupt." After the Scientologists left behind bank rent in the amount of 1.6 million marks in their move from Steindamm, charges have been filed for fraudulent bankruptcy.

Today the power struggle between Caberta and the Scientologists is going into a decisive round. The Administrative Court must decide whether the security and technology statement developed by the Hamburg Work Group and in use all across Germany may continue to be used. By using the form ("I declare that I do not operate according to the technology of L. Ron Hubbard"), businesses can obtain information about whether the companies with which they do business belong to Scientologists. The organization has sued against the practice, but two applications for temporary orders have been dismissed.