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ARD TV drama sparks Scientology's ire
Photo: DPA

ARD TV drama sparks Scientology's ire

Published: 08 Mar 2010 11:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2010 11:34 GMT+01:00

Trouble is brewing between the Church of Scientology and German public broadcaster ARD ahead of the TV premiere of a drama portraying the controversial faith as dangerous and unethical.

Bis nichts mehr bleibt,” or “Until nothing remains,” is the dramatised true story of a family torn apart by the religion, and Scientology officials may try to ban its broadcast on March 31, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday.

Scientology spokesperson Jürg Stettler told the paper that members of the church were not invited to a supposedly secretive press screening of the film last week, and ARD has tried “everything so that we don’t see the film before broadcast.”

“It is a violation of ARD’s programming guidelines, what they’re planning to spread,” he said. “The station is required to support religious tolerance, not the opposite.”

Until now, no German television station has directly addressed Scientology in such a fashion, which is designated as an anti-constitutional organisation in the country.

The film’s message is clear, the paper reported, portraying Scientology as a dangerous totalitarian organisation in direct conflict with democratic society.

Now the group is making its own documentary and plans to show it within the next two weeks in Hamburg or Munich.

“We will show that the so-called expert engaged by ARD Ursula Caberta is feeding the media false information,” Stettler said, adding that the film’s reportedly true story is fabricated.

“Exactly the opposite of what ARD shows is the truth,” he said.

But ARD subsidiary SWR, which filmed the drama along with Teamworx, rejected the organisations claims.

“We intentionally made a feature film and not a political analysis of Scientology, because we wanted to reach as many people as possible,” SWR film department head Carl Bergengruen told the paper, though he did add that the story was indeed a “true story.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:56 March 8, 2010 by Portnoy
Considering the revelations in the Catholic church recently, the Scientologists look like Girl Scouts.

Why's one sky-borne deity better than another?

What Would the Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?
12:05 March 8, 2010 by guerito
I have been touched by the noodly appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I can tell you that the FSM considers all other religions as herethic, but in its great goodness and mercy it forgives every sinner that has a helping of spaghetti today. Also, it said that I, as a believer and active member of its church, should be freed from paying taxes.
12:21 March 8, 2010 by michael4096
I'm waiting for the bolognese crowd to try to eliminate the carbonara lot - there can be only one true faith!
12:32 March 8, 2010 by manulvu
I like the photo on the article.. The red traffic signal before the Scientology Kirche..
12:51 March 8, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
"The film¦#39;s message is clear, the paper reported, portraying Scientology as a dangerous totalitarian organisation in direct conflict with democratic society. "

Bang on. That's what it is. Good for ARD!!
13:25 March 8, 2010 by biker hotel harz
Me thinks the Sceintology Church protests too much.
14:30 March 8, 2010 by Gaffers
Why pick on one religion based on myth and fantasy when there are so many others? If this documentary was made about Christianity there would be an outcry. what's more outlandish? Beings from another planet or virgin births and rising from the dead?

It all seems ridiculous to me...
15:01 March 8, 2010 by Fredfeldman
It is indeed all ridiculous, the difference being that the "church" of scientology was founded by a 3rd rate science fiction writer as a commercial enterprise designed to prey on society's most susceptible and credulous uneducated. At least early traditional religions started out genuinely altruistic even at the highest levels and even now they don't quite have the brazenness to foist pop trash "religious sacraments" on their flocks like e-meters. Scientology is the MacDonalds of the religion business except that although there is no meat to Scientology as a true believer you still end up paying for it. A lot.
15:06 March 8, 2010 by Jeeves_
I doubt the documentary has much to do about whether or not Scientologists' beliefs are outlanish or not. I imagine it's about the practices of Scientology and their effect on society and the individual.
15:23 March 8, 2010 by Talonx
Fredfeldman, are you kidding, have you ever read the old testament, god orders and OKs genocide multiple times. How is that altruistic?
15:36 March 8, 2010 by Fredfeldman
The early christians were more concerned about the new testament and its invocations to love one another I believe.
15:42 March 8, 2010 by Nom de plume
Nice derail comments. Adherents to the Flying Spaghetti monster are well aware that Scientology is one step worse than other religions, as L Ron Hubbard wrote many doctrines that had to do with legal harassment, "always attack, never defend," and talking about "enslaving man." This tactic of Scientology commenters posing as atheists is getting old and tired. So, you guys are planning to wreck a TV station like you tried to wreck John Sweeney and the BBC, and also the St Petersburg Times? Good luck with that. The journalism community has had enough, and will not tolerate your scare tactics anymore.
15:43 March 8, 2010 by dcgi
All hail lord Xenu!
16:03 March 8, 2010 by Gaffers
Nom de Plume: Who are you referring to on here?

Fredfeldman: Christianity today takes the Bible (it makes no distinction between old and new testaments) to be the word of God. Of course now it's easy to pass the bad stuff off as "not meant to be taken literally".

The god of the Old testament was the most vindictive mashocistic deity you could hope to find. Even in the New Testament it's do as I say or you'll burn forever. Thank God (pun intended) it's all nonsense....
17:06 March 8, 2010 by jade_divoff
Another day, another protest by the Church of Scientology about negative press...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/us/07scientology.html?scp=2&sq=scientology&st=cse

L Ron Hubbard, crafty old tax dodger that he was, was right..."If a man really wants to make a million dollars he should start his own religion."
17:58 March 8, 2010 by Fredfeldman
You can't say that there wasn't a bit of genius in Hubbard's approach to making money. As a "church" his organization is tax exempt in the US and free to empty the pocketbooks of the faithful without taking any legal or moral responsibility. Its a bit sad really. The folks the scientologists connive are the folks who are the most susceptible to every type of hustle and who need the most protection. Instead they are left open to abuse from every kind of sleaseball.
19:22 March 8, 2010 by bernie1927
All this hullabaloo, and for what? I realized the con jobs, starting with the sandman, the easter bunny, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the stork, and religion in total.

Why do seemingly intelligent people believe any of it? At least Hubbard was for real, a bona fide conman. Now that I can understand. He was in it for the money. Don't tell me. he believed any of it! You guys are right. I think I will get a theology degree from a correspondence school, giving me official sanction to tell fairy tales, and I would not have to pay any more taxes. I'll found a new religion based on an alien abduction's experience. Hey, not a bad deal, right?
19:54 March 8, 2010 by Portnoy
Dude Nom de Plume, how can you say Scientology is worse than an organized religion that, for decades, systematically hid the sexual abuse of children? Religion is religion. I am as glad as I am disappointed that it exists. It's just part of the world.
23:19 March 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Scientology is not a religion. It is a criminal enterprise. In that respect it is no different than religion.
02:59 March 9, 2010 by Fredfeldman
A slightly differently Scientology is a criminal enterprise dressed up as religion.
11:15 March 9, 2010 by SamiamFan
all hail his noodly appendages...
17:48 March 9, 2010 by Talonx
Olio Aglio on the highest to his noodly appendages!
16:55 March 10, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
"Considering the revelations in the Catholic church recently, the Scientologists look like Girl Scouts."

..rather perverted sick Girl Scouts.

Then again, during the apparent popularity of the abuse period, some 20 or more years ago, it was taboo to be openly gay. Hopefully with the higher tolerance of today, the need for expressing ones orientation in secrecy and with victims too young to object has diminished. If the two are related, merely my thoughts, certainly not the result of a study. Time will tell.
21:20 March 10, 2010 by Talonx
Edmond Schindler, homosexuality has as much to do with pedophilia as heterosexuality.

Anyways, the catholic church still considers homosexuality a sin.
23:05 March 12, 2010 by Johnny Cash
¦quot;It is a violation of ARD¦#39;s programming guidelines, what they¦#39;re planning to spread,¦quot; he said. ¦quot;The station is required to support religious tolerance, not the opposite.¦quot;

Spoken like Jim Jones of Jonestown fame. How quick we forget these religious nuts and the trouble they bring.
08:23 March 15, 2010 by Ich
There is no "proof" of any religion, other than looking at the results of its doctrine. Personnally, I like the Mormons' Angel Moroni, who gave Joseph Smith the "translating spectacles" to read Abrahams lost Tablet. It's even better than Mohammed's prescription of camel urine for purification, spirtual, we hope. As for space aliens takng control of a country, you only have to consider the Billary Clintons. Truth is, Christianity has worked well for us. It's had bad times, but mostly because of people, not the doctrine. It proscribes a constructive social ethic and relegates every man's relation to God as personal, requiring no Earthly intermediary-free will was the precursor for political equality and freedom, choice and consequences, even the choice to abandon it, which we have sadly done.

Islam, Scientology, Mormonism-when we penalize apostacy, we know we have fraud. In the case Christianity, I'm sure that we are returning to its basic tenets, after half a century of "turning left" at every opportunity. As a former "hippie", I'll have to admit, that there are some things that work for human society, that have always worked, and everything else doesn't. At least, not in the long run.
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