• Germany's news in English

Scientology recruiting kids through Facebook

The Local · 15 Apr 2011, 13:47

Published: 15 Apr 2011 13:47 GMT+02:00

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Investigators in the populous western state of North Rhine-Westphalia are concerned that the faith, viewed by many in Germany as a dangerous cult, has orchestrated a targeted campaign to recruit children and teens, the WAZ media group reported on Tuesday.

Scientologists have been using platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and its German equivalents StudiVZ and SchülerVZ, blogs and forums to post videos with titles such as “Youth for human rights,” and “Say no to drugs, say yes to life,” WAZ said.

Young people searching online for information on drugs or human rights quickly land on Scientology sites, which provide a glossy presentation of the organization without revealing exactly what it is, they added.

Viewers are quickly encouraged to sign up for its online groups, which provides Scientology leaders with a means of direct contact to spread their message.

With Scientology membership on the rise, the state’s Verfassungssschutz domestic intelligence agency has increased its observation of their activity in the state, now home to some 600 Scientologists.

State Verfassungssschutz president Mathilde Koller said she was worried about the trend, which is drawing children into an organisation which employs “structures with totalitarian demands.”

Meanwhile the Church of Scientology is reportedly looking to buy a building to build a church in the state capital of Düsseldorf.

Around this time last year Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann encouraged state leaders across the country to ban the group, but failed to gain enough support.

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At the time he said the religion was clearly contemptuous of human values, posed a danger to the Germany’s constitution and was “at odds with the basic principles of our democracy.”

The Church of Scientology accused Herrmann of “cheap populism.”

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:33 April 15, 2011 by abigail2011
Germany thinks scientology people are bad (no, I am not one of the scientologists....they are very weird in my book), but yet people who practice environmentalism as a religion (they do for all practical purposes....if you don't believe me, look up the definition of religion) are considered sane and normal. Look at the rise of the so-called "Green" party if you doubt me. Microwaves are evil and gasoline should be so expensive that only "the super rich" can afford it.

We are not inhabited by little beings from some distant place from long ago (according to the anti-scientologist Germans, with whom I wholeheartedly agree), but yet the very possiblilty of something bad happening far on the other side of the planet with zero possibility of significantly affecting me has a 100% possibility of affecting me to a deadly degree. Somehow this is a contradiction (or am I an idiot?), but it is 100% real to Germans.

Let's see, a gigantic earthquake hits Germany, and the ensuing tidal wave devastates. Then there is a nuclear disaster as a result. Um, is it me or is the chance of this happening virtually zero? Let's panic and call Chicken Little.

Dumb! The sky is falling!
15:56 April 15, 2011 by trash head
What has scientology to do with the the energy supply.

>The sky is falling!

I believe this too right now ...
16:05 April 15, 2011 by abigail2011
There is no safe way to supply energy to the planet. Period. One must decide on what the limits are.

I am just sick and tired of the Germans (including my relatives) crying out every time something bad happens. It is the way of life. Would I rather live in these ages with some risks or in the middle ages where we all die by age 40 of some disease or another (the green version of modern life)? I think I would choose the longer life, thank you!
16:23 April 15, 2011 by GermanyBert
I have no relgion but so what if these guys have a facebook page with their crap on it? Don't all relgions try to recruit children?

Catholic priests like to have sex with under 18 boys but you don't see the catholic church being investigated for having a facebook page.
16:42 April 15, 2011 by derExDeutsche
This is an unusual case. I am all for religious and financial freedom. However, this is a group of Grifters. this is NOT a religion, this is a theft ring. I was against the German trial against these guys the first time around. now, I know too much about it now to not be against it. Germany has a responsibility to protect their citizens from international thieves. Warm fuzzies or no
16:44 April 15, 2011 by dedic8edmum
We are not talking about a "religion". The Church of Scientology is a ruthless for profit organization that participates in human trafficking, slave labour and practicing medicine without a license (Google- Lisa McPherson). They are also responsible for the largest infiltration of the US government in their history (Google Operation Snow White). I really wish ppl would educate themselves in regards to the crimes committed by this so called church before they comment that they do not deserve to be monitored closely.
17:33 April 15, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Scientology is as dangerous as islam as both ideologies masquerade as religions thereby taking advantage of western civilization's tradition of religious tolerance. There are a lot of confused people in the world and scientology abuses its share and takes their money in the bargain. Its a business, pure and simple, and not a very nice one.
17:36 April 15, 2011 by trash head
> I am just sick and tired of the Germans (including my relatives) crying out every time something bad happens.

Thats right, trypical mentality in almost all federal states here.

But, the actual discussion abt the future of energy supply has nothing to do with this german mentality. Also, this mentality isnt related to the discussion abt scientology. If you have german relatives, you should know these mentality that, if possible, nothing is left over to the random. And at least, this is what germany defines, this diligence, sustainability and future-oriented. Not stucked in conservative minds or ignorance.
19:16 April 15, 2011 by blueribbon
What's wrong is in this picture is that so much energy is put into "observing" Scientology, when they have not committed any crimes. Where is religious tolerance? Why can't we respect those 600 scientologists for believing what they do? They're not sitting on the sidelines judging people, they're actually doing a lot of good in the world - like the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
19:19 April 15, 2011 by LiberalGuy
@fatherknowsbest (really??)

With a 600 year old history and 1.5 billion followers I think Islam can claim to be a religion.

wow the ignorance
19:27 April 15, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ blueribbon

Scientologists are not 'Bad People', its the Organization that is the problem. If you want to believe/practice Satanism, great, good for you. You should have a right to do that. However, con artists and grifters to the extent of the Church of Scientology , have no place under the cloak of 'Religious Freedoms'.
19:31 April 15, 2011 by Smasho
You are kidding, right? A parody on German bureaucracy maybe. The state secret service pays people to "find out" that the Church of Scientology runs internet websites? And then does a huge report about it?

OMG, you ARE serious...
19:33 April 15, 2011 by Caden Cotard
To agree with @blueribbon, Scientologists have done nothing wrong. Continuing to spend time, effort and money keeping 600 innocent people under surveillance is a waste of resources for a nation facing economic hardship. Even if you don't agree with the philosophy or aim of the group, they are doing no harm. In fact, they volunteer for humanitarian ends all the time. Perhaps leaving them alone is in order.
20:02 April 15, 2011 by scoobydube
The Church of Scientology is as DANGEROUS as the MORMAN CHURCH(of LATTER DAY SAINTS). Both are strict in their interpertation of the BIBLE/SCRIPTURES with no CONDONING dissenting views permitted. It would BEHOOVE the German Govt "nip" this growing threat in the "bud" .........
20:04 April 15, 2011 by SeñorAyende
This is sad....this Church of Scientology doesn't even have a Facebook account. Do us a favor, stop writing things that make your readers more hate-filled individuals.
20:20 April 15, 2011 by dedic8edmum
"this Church of Scientology doesn't even have a Facebook account"

and that is part of the problem...this organization utilizes a multitude of front groups to lure ppl into their fold. I strongly urge people to check out xenu(dot)net for documented information regarding their crimes...and trust me there are many...too many to list here!!
20:28 April 15, 2011 by Juliane Ferra
There are so many bad articles about Scientology, and it is very unfortunate because every Scientologist i've met has been really cool. I think they do a lot of really great things, and genuinely want to help others.
20:37 April 15, 2011 by dedic8edmum
Most Scientologists are genuinely great people...but the Management of their church are anything but!!! Why would there be so much negative press if there was nothing there?? Don't be ignorant, educate yourself
20:48 April 15, 2011 by brigand
Ask yourself one simple question..."What has ANY organized religion contributed to society as a whole?". War, dominance and separatism. Religion has DIVIDED mankind, not UNITED mankind. In other words, think like us or DIE. Pi$$ on all of it. Religion revolves around power and money.
00:36 April 16, 2011 by wxman
A made up religion created as a bar bet by a science fiction writer. L. Ron Hubbard was in a bar knocking back a few with a friend when he be him he could start a religion, his friend said he couldn't. His friend lost the bet. True story.
03:25 April 16, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
@ liberal guy

If I were you I wouldn't be too loud with your accusations of ignorance, you just might be the one who iignorant. Because a political philosophy is 600 years old doesn't necessarily mean it qualifies as a religion to my way of thinking, no matter how many people accept it. A god may be an important part of Islam but just as important are the political admonitions of jihad and exclusion. Scientology is something else, a totally venial attempt to control and make money from gullible people, as sincere and genuine as those folks might be. Not the sharpest knives in the drawer if the scientologists I've come into contact with are representative.
04:50 April 16, 2011 by endru

Just to clarify: there is no comparison there. If you look at the history, leadership, doctrine, and most significantly their views on Jesus Christ, you'll find nothing but coincidental commonalities between the two. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by well-respected people, and the church itself has abundant media outlets (www.kirche-jesu-christi.org, youtube channels, blogs, facebook, usw.) that present the church in a transparent way. Religion in Germany has its good and bad sides, determined by every individual's own viewpoint, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
08:50 April 16, 2011 by LiberalGuy

So according to your formula if I don't agree with some of the aspects of a religion it can be reduced to an 'ideology'

So I guess that means Catholism is an ideology know. I mean the Vatican City is a nation that excludes freedom of religion. Is ruled by a religions figurehead that used dogmatic law as it's basic code of laws.

You may of have some points about scientology, but you couldn't help yourself by saying something (I tried hard to think of another word) stupid about islam.

And just for you here is a list of bible verses that speak about accepting others

Mathew 7.1-5, John 7.24, Roman 2.1-3, etc etc

But I think the two best for you are James 4.11-12, and Luke 6.37

The local isn't a place for spreading hatred or propoganda, it's a news site.
09:41 April 16, 2011 by tallady
If scientology is a religion, it has no uniqueness when it comes to scamming people in the name of religion.

Facebook is the ideal place to post your Propaganda and announce and promote your beliefs. Why should scientology be excluded?

People that are soul searching for the answers to their problems and the problems of the world are always looking for the silver bullet ,maybe that is scientology to some (: or Jesus to others ,right Logic Guy?
09:46 April 16, 2011 by brigand
Isn't Facebook a religion as well?
09:49 April 16, 2011 by tallady
Good point !
11:34 April 16, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
@ LiberalGuy

This forum doesn't depend on my postings for hateful propaganda about Islam, violent islamists themselves provide that with the way they behave. And more "moderate" muslims reinforce these impressions through their general failure to fully condemn this behavior.

As strange as they are at least scientologists don't go around murdering people in the name of religion, at least not that I've heard.
11:54 April 16, 2011 by authun

The Cult of Scientology leaves the murdering to the Judeo-Christians ... in the name of religion.
13:04 April 16, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Quatsch. Spam.
22:52 April 16, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
http://www.exscientologykids.com/ot3.html :

"What really ought to be criticized are the practices of Scientology management, such as physical abuse in the Sea Org, denial of basic medical services, disconnection, and other issues of malfeasance."

Scientology is simply a mind-control cult with extremely violent tendencies (before whichever Scientology goons complain recall that anyone can read Hubbard and he's your prophet and he was brutally violent and advocated it all through his books). Kudos to the North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavarian Governments for watching over their children!
08:49 April 17, 2011 by storymann
DavidtheNorseman,what about Jim Jones ,PTL Club, Tammy Faye ,Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart,Oral Roberts,ect and ect,

When you take on any religion you do so at your own peril or enrichment,they are all mind controlland into your pocket organizations using faith to scam the trusting public.

Ban one ban them all especially the perverts in the Catholic Church.
11:03 April 17, 2011 by michael4096
Its interesting how the anti-religious are becoming the most religiously-intolerant people around.

Surely, there is only one real issue - how to stop kids getting sucked in before they are old enough to make up their own mind.
17:41 April 17, 2011 by derExDeutsche

who is anti religion? ask yourself this; why are there no POOR Scientologists?

Are Poor people not in need of spirituality too? Why are they not Worthy of the Church of Scientology?

No other religion that I know of, sells salvation for 1 thing only; Money. and the price is however much you happen to have. If that is Religion, then maybe I should start one too.
21:51 April 17, 2011 by michael4096
You claim that a church is selling the secret of what lies beyond death and charges you even more for preferential treatment in the queue. Well knock me out with a whiff of incense. Next you'll be telling me that teenagers have acne and play music loudly.

Surely the question is not your source of dreams, which dreams you are buying into or how much it costs but the respect you have for other people. We all buy into dreams in one way or another; who are you to say that these guys are wrong?

As far as starting your own religion - go ahead, there are plenty of successful roll models. Being against everything seems to be a great way to start. Try burning a koran or two and the money will soon start flowing.
23:08 April 17, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman

At least "Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 NIVUK

is free and upfront, take it or leave it without fear or mindnumbing fees-for-truth LOL
07:34 April 18, 2011 by storymann
DavidtheNorseman,,Have you any real proof to that or are you simply going to quote the Bible?
09:32 April 18, 2011 by moistvelvet
Scientology on facebook, big deal. Obviously people don't like this religion but calling them dangerous and not other religions is rather ignorant, they are all dangerous.

An international group of grifters and thieves? Could easily apply to the Catholic church that impose a tax on members to be part of it, has it's own bank and run by a secretive regime in the Vatican where the age of consent is 12 years old.

All these religions read "the book" in different ways, some to more extremes than others, but that doesn't make any religion better or worse than others, they are just different groups of nut jobs believing in a book.
16:02 May 10, 2011 by FredFinger
I think Lord Xenu will be very peeved with those of us who dare to doubt that the Chuch Of Scientology (must have something to do with science so it must be good, right?) is the one true way for all spiritually enlighted humans. Perhaps Lord Xenu and Muhammed will have it out in the end for the future of mankind, the very definition of a lose - lose situation for all of us.
21:25 May 28, 2011 by JBlooze
@abigail2011- When a nuclear reactor has an issue, that's not chicken little and affect everyone for miles and for decades and the claim that there is no way to provide energy for the planet is just plain ridiculous. Nuclear facilities are getting old and are starting to break down. Why take chances with that crap? I say the risks of nuclear and the waste we produce from it and the costs of trying to contain that waste is not worth it and many agree. There are lots of ways to power the world and the ones we should be focused on are ones that don't pollute and don't destroy the ecosystem. We live here and when we destroy the place we live in, pretty soon we can't live there anymore. That is not rocket science. It is self interest. What is wrong with wanting clean air, land, and water? We can have that and produce energy for everbody and it will happen.
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