der tagesspiegel 01-21-2003
Police Parade in the Luisen Church
Church service under police protection: Fear of disruption
from the Scientology Church got to the point on Sunday to where
arrived at services in the Luisen Church. That is where Thomas Gandow,
commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, with ex-
Gerald Armstrong at his side, spoke about the controversial
Gandow told the Tagesspiegel that he and his companion were being
followed, photographed and crowded on the road from Brandenburg to the
Sunday. Apparently sect members were taking measures to intimidate
keep him from appearing. During the service, Armstrong spoke about his
experiences in confronting the Scientologists. Armstrong said that he
persecuted not matter where he went ever since he left the organization
The Scientologists started hounding Gandow as soon as he got on the
public road in his home town. One pursuer closed in on Gandow's vehicle
autobahn to take pictures, hindering passage as he did so. When the
situation got to
a critical enough point Gandow called up the highway patrol. The police
the pursuing vehicle over at the Michendorf rest stop for an ID check
issue the driver a warning ticket for improperly using his cell phone
moving vehicle. Gandow also said he filed complaints for duress and
The Berlin police took over protection of Thomas Gandow and his
at the city line. Gandow said he recognized a high-ranking Scientology
in the church. He said that the German boss of Scientology's OSA "
intelligence agency" sat in church and took down every word. He
were "very interested" in Berlin as a capitol city.
In Berlin, the Tagesspiegel reported, Scientology is under
by the Verfassungsschutz (LfV). German homeland security regards "
political and social objectives of the organization as a contradiction
principles of Basic Law." In other areas, Scientology's teachings
are viewed as
"anti-democratic and misanthropic."
In the spring of 1998, a Verfassungsschutz informant falsely
high-ranking Berlin police officer as a leading member of Scientology.
director was subsequently reinstated. Joerg Schoenbohm, Berlin Interior
the time, admitted to the mistake of the LfV.