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Media Articles - 1990s

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3 December 2002
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Psycho-Organization Advertises in Disguise

Hannoverische Allgemeinen Zeitung-Magazin, Germany
August 14, 1998

Gottingen (la). The Scientology organization has launched a new advertising offensive in Gottingen. Community offices, doctor's offices and schools have received the organization's booklets on "Psychology and Religion." Besides that, a leaflet by the Narconon organization, which alludes to ideas of Scientologist Ron Hubbard, is also fluttering in many mailboxes.

According to Ingolf Christiansen, Scientology is pursuing a new strategy in that it is not advertising under its own name, but hidden behind a second organization. Church commissioners see a clear connection between Narconon and Scientology. The leaflet targets people with alcohol and drug problems and advertises a detoxification "sweat cure" in the Narconon clinic in Itzehoe. It is not just a matter of the questionable therapy, says Christiansen. Another goal is to "clear" people in the Scientology sense. "People go from one addiction to another."

The leafletting operation is part of Scientology's nationwide "Crusade Week." The organization cannot be described as a sect, said Christiansen, who is a member of the Parliament's Enquete Commission for "So-Called Sects and Psycho-groups." Scientology does not deal with matters of belief, but with world domination.

Christiansen estimates that Scientology has about 10,000 members in Germany. A small group is trying to increase its influence in Gottingen, especially in the university area. They have many ways to attract customers: sometimes it is a "Children's League for Nutrition Conversion against Psycho-drugs;" sometimes it is just a political flyer. The organization is under pressure in Germany. This could be the reason for the new advertising strategy. "Scientology is not a religious group," said Christiansen. Therefore they are not able to appeal to Article 4 of Basic Law.