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Scientology struggles to find followers amid recruitment drives
Photo: DPA

Scientology struggles to find followers amid recruitment drives

Published: 05 May 2011 14:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 May 2011 14:18 GMT+02:00

The Church of Scientology is losing members in Germany but is campaigning to recruit more followers and increase its size, the German government says.

The controversial organization has over 4,500 members in Germany, according to a federal government response to a parliamentary inquiry submitted by the socialist Left party.

In addition to working through its churches, known as “Orgs,” as well as “Celebrity Centres” and other missions, the group is promoting more than a dozen other Scientology-related initiatives.

Scientology has come under criticism in Germany, where the government suspects it of being an unconstitutional cult, although it has not been outright banned. Scientologists say they are treated unfairly by the government, which refuses to recognize the group as a religion.

Last month, the German authorities expressed alarm at reports that Scientologists were using social media, such as YouTube and Facebook to attempt to recruit young people.

As a response, intelligence officials said they were ramping up online surveillance of the group.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:03 May 5, 2011 by FredFinger
How can that be? Those folks are experts at getting blood out of a stone and its not easy to escape their clutches once your involved. Maybe they're going underground like the early christians? Or perhaps Xenu has returned to spirit the faithful away.
23:45 May 5, 2011 by pepsionice
Not to insult you Germans...but you guys are stingy folks. The idea that you would require a fairly sizable donation.....to get in the front door....and every single week? Oh my.....a German would ask why and the minute you start talking about some meter changing your life....you've got an automatic German skeptic.

So add up the numbers....twenty million Germans are on Hartz IV or fall into the lower class of income where Scientology doesn't want to bother with them at all. Then you have the working class folks who make up the next thirty-odd million, and frankly....they don't have mental or social problems....they just go to Ibiza each year....drank for fourteen days straight, and then feel 100 percent better. Toss in the ten million Muslims, Russians, or foreigners....who would just laugh in the face of a Scientology recruiter, and you've got barely twenty million potential people to recruit who might have money to fit the profile.

So you look for character flaws and weakness in a guy. You want to find women who question themselves and are seeking a massive change in their life. You seek people who coaching to achieve their goals and change their lives. You need Germans who fill unfilled and can jump-start themselves into a mighty and dramatic change. So out of twenty million....the best you can hope for is 25,000 Germans nation-wide. 25k folks who have money, no ambitions, loser attitude, need focus, and would be stupid enough to part with $5k for a weekend seminar on how to control bowel movements & be a winner. Then you convince them to return the next month for another $5k seminar at another luxury hotel.

Just some advice for Scientology trolls....if you had to pick three European countries to just skip....I'd rank Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark as worthless for your ambitions. I might skip France too because they'd ask too many questions, and way too many Muslims to deal with. The best group....maybe the British? They've got the money and naive nature to buy into religion costing money.
01:02 May 6, 2011 by FredFinger
Lord Xenu would not be pleased with your analysis pepsionsid...pepsiosnnn..peperonii... whatever (hic). There's gold in them thar hills and them thar Scientolll..Scionitool...Scientolollologists need every penny. The Britisch ill fall inta line soon enough, you can count on that (burb) unless the ayrabs get em first (fart).
09:53 May 6, 2011 by MfromUSA
Scientology is, without a doubt, a cult. My first exposure to it was in 1987 when a friend of mine went to work at the Jenson Chiropractic Clinic, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

The owner of the clinic insisted that this new employee embrace Scientology, or else! The pressure to study and adopt Scientology was intense and endless. My friend would call me to discuss the situation, and would reveal the types of beliefs that she was being pressured to accept, and integrate into her life. She needed the job but thought that Scientology was a brainwash job. I suggested that she tell her employer to put her Scientology where the sun doesn't shine,and then resign.

An interesting tidbit is that this clinic caters to many wealthy celebs who fly into Chicago, then take a limo to Milwaukee to go to this clinic.

It does seem like the Scientology people are all about brainwashing and $$$$$.

My friend finally quit her job and moved on, but the time she spent working at this clinic, being pressured, coerced, etc was a nightmare.

Germany should just kick the Scientology group out, as this is NOT a religion.

I saw the official Scientology books that were in this clinic.

Honest to God, it is like being in a law library..........volume after volume of mindwashing crap.
10:47 May 6, 2011 by Celeon
Scientology is not a church, it is an money making enterprise founded by a third-class science fiction author who himself had openly admitted that he invented it with the sole purpose to gain him a living.
11:22 May 6, 2011 by FredFinger
Perfectly and truely stated Celeon
06:11 May 8, 2011 by simulator8
Wir sind Anonymous. Wir sind Legion. Wir vergeben nicht. Wir vergessen nicht. Erwarten Sie mit uns auf.
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