The Onion on Germany’s Stance on Scientology

The Onion

Germany To Ban Scientology

Germany’s interior minister called the Church of Scientology "an unconstitutional organization" and said the nation is seeking to ban the group. What do you think?

I like the last one :)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Tom Cruise, Scientology[/tags]

  • Darryl

    It’s fine with me if they can pull it off. As a Jeffersonian it’s somewhat bothersome that the state should tell anyone what is and is not off limits as a matter of conscience, but we have to make hard choices sometimes, and if it can be shown that the people have a compelling interest in this kind of thing, then in principle it is legitimate.

  • http://thewayward1.blogspot.com/ Brett

    I’ve discussed this over at my blog: http://tinyurl.com/2bw7fa

    Germnay is right to fight off Scientology because it is not simply a harmless belief system. It is a dangerous, brainwashing, and authoritarian cult.

  • Rob

    Scientology may be a brainwashing and authoritarian cult but so are all the major religions in my opinion. That being said I cant believe the Germans would go down the road of banning a religion again. The National Socialist Party did that once and it didn’t turn out so well for them.

    I am a somewhat familiar with Scientology because my wife worked for a period of time in a company owned by Scientologists and we were on the receiving end of conversion efforts. I was also raised LDS and am very familiar with that faith. The Mormons believe that Joseph Smith dug up golden plates near Elmira New York and decoded them with two magic rocks placed in his hat. Scientologists believe that they can determine all sorts of fantastic things by hooking you to an “E-Meter” (I took one apart once and near as I could tell it was a crappy ohm meter). To me they are equally silly ideas but I would fight for the right for both groups to believe what they want to believe.

    I could see eliminating their (and all churches) tax exempt status (if there is such a thing in Germany) but I sure cant support banning them. To me that seems too close to fascism.

  • http://danielkitta.org/ Daniel Elstner

    The reason for the move towards a ban is that Scientology explicitly encourages their members to subvert government institutions. It has nothing to do with their ridiculous claims in itself. The problem is that any group can call itself a religion.

    Well, for the record, I don’t think the case is clear cut, and sometimes I feel the hysteria about Scientology is a bit over the top. Take for example the ridiculous discussion over whether a Scientology member should be allowed to shoot film on some strip of wasteland used by the military. So I haven’t yet made up my mind about this.

  • Rob

    The reason for the move towards a ban is that Scientology explicitly encourages their members to subvert government institutions.

    In this bible banging part of the Inland North West there are a few religious groups that describe themselves as christian fundamentalists who refuse to pay taxes and work to subvert the government. (like Randy Weaver) Should they be banned? How would you choose where the line is? You can prosecute people and sometimes organizations for specific violations of the law but democracies should never ban organizations, no matter how wierd, just because they oppose the goverment. Hell, half the time I oppose our government.

  • http://danielkitta.org/ Daniel Elstner

    In this bible banging part of the Inland North West there are a few religious groups that describe themselves as christian fundamentalists who refuse to pay taxes and work to subvert the government.

    It would probably be considered in Germany. Also, “subvert” does not mean “oppose”. Subverting a government institution means to play along and to try and get as many Scientologists as possible into authority positions quietly. All that with the intention to take control once a critical mass is reached. That’s considered unconstitutional in Germany because it bypasses the democratic process as defined in the constitution.

    Now, if you want to discuss whether this is a realistic scenario, or whether Scientologists actually said that, or whether those who said it can be considered as speaking for the group, fine with me. As I said I haven’t yet made up my mind. But don’t frame this as “outlawing for opposing the government”, because it’s not.

  • Rob

    Subverting a government institution means to play along and to try and get as many Scientologists as possible into authority positions quietly. All that with the intention to take control once a critical mass is reached.

    Sounds like the the Christian fundamentalists in this country.

  • http://danielkitta.org/ Daniel Elstner

    Sounds like the the Christian fundamentalists in this country.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Christian fundamentalist groups like you have in the US would indeed be outlawed in Germany. Several radical Muslim groups with ties to terrorism have already been banned. Don’t know about Christian groups; I’ll have to look it up.

  • si

    I do think that all people have the right to believe what they wish even if it is wrong……

    we all say we know what is right and every one else is wrong……

    but if a org or religion starts to threaten others who don’t believe like them or speak out against them…

    Islam only the extremist….
    in the past the Catholic church..
    evangelical Christan to some extent
    the point is extremism in any
    religion is bad….

    so if a person needs Jesus, Buddha Mohammad Ron Hubbard,
    to give their life meaning… just don’t get bent out of shape when someone ? what you believe and why….

  • Anonymous

    The Co$ executed the largest domestic spying operation in America, it would be irresponsible to allow the organization in just because it’s a “religion.” If you researched into it you’d know that Germany allows the the reformed Scientologist, the Freezoners to practice the “tech.”

    The thing that amazes me as a fellow Atheist, is that most of you talk about how religion shouldn’t get special treatment just because it’s a religion in yet, a lot of you want that very special treatment given to a totalitarian cult seemingly just to spite mainstream religion by saying they’re no better. I know all religions have no basis in reality but, not all of them have their own prison camps.

    Do a search for Lisa McPhearson, Operation Snow White, Operation Freak Out, and Happy Valley. Be sure to read the $cientologist perspective also and make up your own mind .

    04/14/08 expect us

  • Anonymous

    I’m such a dumbass. I forgot to say my response was directed at Rob and,
    it’s not the april 14th was a typo sorry.Operation reconnect is on the 12th

    04/12/08 expect us…

  • Anonymous

    Sorry the 14 was a typo.

    04/12/08 expect us…


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