Leipzig Award










Laudatio by Ursula Caberta
Director of the Work Group on Scientology
Hamburg Interior Ministry

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Bob Minton, 

It is a great honor and pleasure for me to be here in Leipzig today, and to address the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom.

And there is a special reason for this: the place - Leipzig!

As a person who grew up in a divided Germany, it is sometimes still incomprehensible to me that it is completely normal now to drive to Leipzig. East Germany used to be an area more unfamiliar to me than Spain or Denmark. I still experience a feeling of well-being in this regard, be it in Berlin, Schwerin, Jena or Dresden. And my joyful appreciation is due in large measure to the people of the city of Leipzig. These people no longer wanted the Stasi-state of the DDR; they rose up to claim freedom of speech and freedom of opinion to freely develop their own personalities. They made a decision for human rights and for freedom of belief. They have made such a large contribution to the reunification of Germany. For this I thank you!

And it is exactly for this reason that this city is of special significance in the granting of the alternative Charlemagne Award.

Because it is for those ideals to which the people in Leipzig have dedicated themselves that the Committee today bestows the alternative Charlemagne Award.

One would really think that, in a liberal democracy with elected representatives, in a functioning legal state, the dangers from totalitarian organizations are rather slight. I am actually convinced of that - and that is also how things are in fact. A democratic state and the people who live in it have many alternatives in defending themselves. So what happens? Anti-democratic ideas and cynical ideals under the guise of a supposed church appear. From a country which proclaims personal rights of freedom such as no other in the world - the USA. This new form of political extremism has a name: Scientology!

The system of Scientology operates according to a political ideology which jeopardizes democracies all over the world. L. Ron Hubbard and his successor have used their organization to create a state within a state. Scientology proclaims the freedom of the individual, but deliberately creates servitude. Hubbard's statements are nothing other than operating instructions as one would find in war. They may realize that or they may not: all methods utilized by Scientology serve the waging of war:

  • camouflage by religion
  • pseudotherapeutic measures in courses and seminars
  • psychomanipulative techniques in "auditing"
  • presentation of self as a persecuted minority
  • assimilation of celebrities for purposes of advertising and dissemination
"The war is over," announced David Miscavige after the tax exemption agreement was reached with the IRS (U.S. tax authorities). If proof had previously been lacking for this theory that war is being waged, then that statement makes it clear to all. Clear to all who want to listen.  

But here in Europe we have taken note that that there are those in the United States of America who either did not want to listen or did not want to understand. After the Scientology-IRS tax agreement, a number of their political representatives - how should I put it - either without reflection or simply uninformed, took up the war strategy of the Scientology Organization. When Scientology began its unspeakable campaign of defamation against the Federal Republic of Germany which its public relations described as the beginning of a new Holocaust, many in Germany, including me, hoped their campaign would lead to protests. The campaign presented not only a disparagement to representatives of this Republic, but also an insult to the victims of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, however, it did not lead to people in the USA contemplating why their country had previously maintained a critical attitude towards Scientology.

No - just the opposite: just recently, during our newly elected Federal President Johannes Rau's visit to the USA, he was compelled to make a statement on the Scientology Organization. He did that - as could be read afterwards in the "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung" (FAZ) newspaper - very graciously and unequivocally.

Now it is conceivable that the Germans are not far behind. The President of the United States, Bill Clinton, will be presented with the Charlemagne Award. An award that is meant to distinguish people who promote democracy, human rights and the common values of Europe. It is not that I do not wish him to have this award, but in view of the cynical practices in Scientology, in view of the many victims of this organization in the USA and worldwide, and in view of the described - cautiously stated - uncritical assumption of the Scientology Organization's arguments against European states, like France and the Federal Republic of Germany, it is time send a clear signal. A signal that there are also people in the USA itself who follow the assessment of the European states regarding the Scientology Organization. Enough to reinforce us in Europe in our discussion and in our informational work.

For this reason, we today bestow an alternative Charlemagne Award. And we bestow it full of pleasure and pride in a citizen of the United States of America who did not intend to accept that it was possible, in his home country, for an organization to silence all its victims and opponents. A U.S. citizen who took action for equal rights in the U.S., who recognized what dangers could arise for a liberal democracy and its people from Scientology.

Dear Bob Minton, your involvement in the USA is exemplary. Your activity - not least of all, the founding of the Lisa McPherson Trust - has given us hope again in Europe. Hope that it may one day be made clear in the USA how dangerous Scientology is. Hope that the political representatives of your country understand that totalitarian systems insidiously spread their ideology over the heads of their manipulated members. Probably - no, I am sure of it - it is more difficult in the States to point out the dangers than it is in Europe; we have been there before. Especially in Germany. Based on our past, we know one thing: never again do we intend to live in a system in which the dignity of a person is not respected, in which freedom of religion and freedom of belief are restricted. This is what would happen to the extent that Scientology reaches its political goal of "Clear Planet," i.e., a planet purged of people who think differently. In the USA, you are helping to keep that from happening. For this, we would like to thank you, to wish you strength and courage, to tell you that this award is an expression of our respect and also that you, and all those who defend human rights and freedom of opinion in the USA from Scientology, can always count on us here in Europe.






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