Scientologists face closer scrutiny

Scientologists in Germany will face closer scrutiny after a decision in a higher constitutional court of North Rhine-Westphalia. The court found that Scientology is engaged in activities that are subversive to freedom and democracy and thus should be subject to further surveillance.

Scientology tried to veto the surveillance to which it has been subjected since 1997. The organization has been deemed subversive to freedom and democracy since 2004. Experts say that the organization makes members both psychologically and financially dependent.

Among the activities of the organization are extra-help after school and the distribution of brochures to state politicians in Berlin. Lawyers for the Church of Scientology say that these brochures contain “general ethical principles regarding the spread of one of Ron Hubbard’s established learning methods.”

Ron Hubbard was the science fiction writer who founded the Church of Scientology. His writing and mnemonic devices are the organization’s central tenets.

Scientology considers itself a church, however is not recognized as a religion in Germany.