Bavaria Asks Disclosure of Scientology Ties

Source: New York Times
Date: October 30, 1996

The southern state of Bavaria said today that it would require all state employees to fill out a questionnaire detailing any tie to the Church of Scientology.

The state chancellery said all applicants for state jobs, including teachers and police officers, would not be hired if they refused. Those already employed would face disciniplary measures if they declined.

The move is part of a long-running effort by German authorities to stifle the influence here of the Scientologists, a self-help movement founded in 1954 by the American science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard. German authorites have charged that the group is a profit-making scheme and have denied it the tax breaks normally given churches and charities.

The leaders of Germany's 16 regional states also said last week that they would consider whether the Scientologists should be placed under government surveillance.

The measures against the group have drawn criticism of intolerance from some human rights groups and the United States Government. Bavaria said today that the latest move was intended to ''prevent Scientologists from infiltrating public positions.''

The decree also requires private companies awarded state contracts in ''sensitive'' fields to sign a statement saying they will not use the group's methods.