"Reason must be bold if freedom is to win"
Speech of Dr. Norbert Blüm
2001 Leipzig Human Rights Award
June 10, 2001
Dear Mr. Minton, honored assembly, dear comrades-in-arms,
The twentieth century has surpassed all prior hopes of progress, it has
us accomplishments which formerly belonged to the realm of Utopia. We have
outer space, viewed Mars with probes and walked on the moon. Always
faster, always larger: that is the Trinity of progress.
But looking back to the earth from the moon gives us another view of
200 million people in this century - tortured, murdered and annihilated.
That, too, is a new record, but it is a record in the annihilation of
Back on this earth, and proud of its progress, we recognize a world
from hunger and poverty. Millions of children perish because they have
to eat, or because they have no roof over their head. Torture is still
150 countries on this earth.
We have become observant of and sensitive to the agony of people. We
woken up. We cry out when people are tortured. Rightly. We cry out when
is shed. Rightly.
Human rights must be defended everywhere, without regard to skin color,
gender, intelligence or wealth. There may be many reasons for getting
with human rights. My reason is that all people are children of God, and
fundamentally equal in dignity.
But the dignity of mankind is not first endangered when bodily
violated; it is not first endangered when blood is shed. There are new,
forms of annihilating people without shedding blood. There is a new form
We conceive of imperialism as a subjugation of the population, as a
of geographical territory. It has been recorded in history as
There is a new imperialism that no longer conquers geographic
conquers people; it conquers their spirits. It does not drive people out
houses, but out of their heads and minds. Among these new conquering
colonists and imperialists, is Scientology.
Scientology is big business. In order to understand this, you only have
take seriously the words of its founder Hubbard, "Make money, make more
make others make more money." That is the abridged Creed of the
Foto: Tilman Hausherr
And they have put this business into operation with much finesse. The
yearning of people to improve, to transcend and outdo themselves, this
of people for God, is what they shamelessly exploit.
It is an old trick of the Devil to use the mask of dear God. For the
who do not have as great a sense of religion I have a different example
comes from Grimm's fairy tales: the wolf that eats chalk, dips his black
into flour and pretends to be a good mother - that is the folk version.
Naturally they exploit human yearning. Wanting to surpass oneself and
is an old dream of mankind. Nietzsche announced the program of the
That was a break with the two thousand year old culture of the Occident.
Occidental culture and in the Christian ethic the weak are to be protected
the strong. Nietzsche proclaimed the reverse program: the strong should be
from the weak. Nietzsche himself had gone mad over it.
Hitler then put the Master Race program into effect. And the
are trying, in their own way, to exploit the old longing. They offer
and technology to train away the old human traits and instill new ones in
Ladies and Gentlemen, such techniques, which are better known under the
of "brainwashing," destroy humans. It starts with putting people into
it continues until they are made totally dependent.
They even pervert language. "Ethics," that lofty word for the teachings
good - in Scientology terminology that is the word for surveillance,
annihilation of the opponent. "Rehabilitation," which we know as restoring
integrity, is the Scientology term for concentration camp. Scientology has
Orwell's "1984," a horrible Utopia, into reality. Orwell called the
Ministry the Ministry of Truth.
Scientology occupies people's heads. The goal of the new conquest is
No blood is shed. The new oppressors are not arriving with horsewhips and
boots and they do not need tanks or missiles. They use psycho- tricks to
annihilate people. And those who end up in their clutches practically
a chance. I am also accepting the award in the memory of Lisa McPherson. I
bring her back to life, but I will do anything I can to prevent others
to suffer the fate of Lisa McPherson.
This is the new war which we have to carry on. Not with force of
with the power of argument. With trust for reason, that reason has not
but is here in this world. I am an optimist inspired by the Enlightenment.
that people demand
Therefore our most powerful weapon is not force and is not prohibition.
weapon is information. Pulling the mask of "religion" and "therapy" from
of Scientology - that is our task. Exposing Scientology as an inhuman
and as a cynical cartel.
- to be able to think what they want in their own heads,
- and to speak the thoughts they have in the heads with which they were
Neither the language of diplomacy nor the language of agreement are
here, this is about clarifying information. Without force, oppression or
But with clarity.
Using your head for your own thoughts, that's what Freedom is for. For
own thoughts, not for rehearsed text, not for the indoctrinating concepts
And I trust that is what people hunger for. My trust is founded on cities
as Leipzig. This is not to compare the communists with the Scientologists.
similarities are that socialism did not collapse from fired missiles, but
apart because it could not answer the most important question, because it
not conquer the people's yearning for freedom.
But brave people, such as those ten years ago in places including
are needed in this discussion. Freedom does not fall from heaven, it did
that way in Leipzig, either. Reason without courage is an academic blind
Reason must be bold if freedom is to win. That is what the courage of the
in the GDR and the word "Leipzig" stand for.
Europe and the United States make up an Atlantic partnership. The best
we could bring about together in a globalized world is the idea of human
That is one of the major ideals of the American Constitution.
Yet it was a European discovery; the concept of freedom of conscience
in Europe. But its first powerful, historical splash was made in the
by citizens who fled European suppression and left their homeland for
abroad because freedom of conscience was being suppressed here in Europe
This memory should not be forgotten, in view of the new, refined threat
freedom. It needs to be protected and defended, and for that we need an
partnership in a globalized era that gives us a common humanity. That
the best contribution of the Atlantic partnership.
Let me express my appreciation and thanks in closing. Mr. Minton,
to express my thanks to those who have helped to fight for the dignity of
the people living on this earth. Many people on this earth have already
that with their lives. And brave contestants will continue to be needed in
That is because it is possible today, using modern psychological and
means, to produce a society of happy idiots. To keep this from happening
be worthwhile to organize an undertaking against the new imperialists,
I'll close with the text of a song which is 150 years old and, I hope,
people will be able to sing it 150 years from now, too:
| Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten, sie
vorbei, wie nächtliche Schatten. Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein
erschießen es bleibe dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei.
|| Thoughts are free. Who can catch them, they fly past
shadows. No person can know them, no hunter can shoot them. The fact
Thoughts are free.