Leipzig Award










Welcome to the Award Ceremony in Leipzig

by Ursula Caberta y Diaz 

Good afternoon, I'm happy that we are back in Leipzig this year to confer this human rights award upon a person who has distinguished himself to a remarkable degree in the battle against Scientology. 

But first, it is my honor to bid today's laudator, Robert Minton, last year's award winner, a cordial welcome to Germany, and to Leipzig - it is my pleasure and I believe I speak for all of us when I say that we are happy that you could be here, and that you are giving the laudatio to this year's award winner. If anyone has already forgotten or, perhaps, does not yet know who Bob Minton is, here is a little reminder. For those of us looking from Europe to the USA, Bob Minton is our bearer of hope there, a private citizen who has founded and supports the Lisa McPherson Trust. Lisa McPherson was a Scientologist who met her death in Scientology; her parents, or relatives, fight for her, and they do this with assistance from Bob Minton. It is really true that people in the USA are envious of Germany, France and Europe. Because they think that awfully much is done here against Scientology and they feel like they are alone in the USA. But they are not alone; the Lisa McPherson Trust is with them, and at their forefront is Bob Minton. Once again, Bob, many thanks for being here with us again, and honoring us with your presence, and for giving the laudatio.

And now to Mr. Blüm... Dear Norbert Blüm, speaking as a Social Democrat, or perhaps I should say, as someone who is still a Social Democrat, I am very happy that you have accepted the offer of our human rights award.

In this German Federal Republic, there really are only very, very few politicians who are aware of the risk that Scientology poses. Even though it may frequently appear to other countries that German politicians have been pledging themselves to the fight against Scientology's cynical system for years, or even decades, this, unfortunately, does not entirely correspond to reality. Nobody is as aware of this as Mr. Blüm himself, how difficult it is to make it clear to the people in politics and to the people in law that we are dealing with an association that manipulates human beings, all the while projecting itself as a caring, religious community. I'll never forget, Mr. Blüm, when I went to look at the news, in my house, in front of my television. I will never forget when I was sitting there that evening to watch the news and Mr. Blüm was asked about Scientology. A basic piece of legislation on the privatization of employment agencies had just been passed, and it had become clear that this would let Scientologists write their own ticket to infiltrate businesses, and Mr. Blüm was asked what he thought about Scientology. 

And Mr. Blüm answered, that in case anyone had forgotten, Scientology was regarded as a cynical system, a totalitarian system, and that the leaders were criminal. I sat there in front of the television and thought, Well, Mr. Blüm, that's easier said than done. But working together, with your staff of the contemporary Federal Labor Ministry, and with my staff of the Task Force on Scientology, we won the legal proceedings against Scientology together, and it was very significant, in that phase of German history, because Mr. Blüm was the first Labor Minister who had expressed himself in such a clear fashion. And unfortunately I do have to say, speaking as a Social Democrat to the Christian Democrat, that he was the only minister to have ever done so.

Unfortunately I must say that I was not pleased, as a Social Democrat, to look out over the Red-Green federal administration in view of this theme, and be greeted by a valley of sorrow. We of the committee had to find somebody, and there was only one person who had ever been a federal minister, Norbert Blüm, to give thanks to for their involvement, and for that we are in your debt. Thank you very much.





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