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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 uniformed police arrived at services in the Luisen Church. That is where Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, with ex- Scientologist Gerald Armstrong at his side, spoke about the controversial organization.

Gandow told the Tagesspiegel that he and his companion were being followed, photographed and crowded on the road from Brandenburg to the church on Sunday. Apparently sect members were taking measures to intimidate Armstrong and keep him from appearing. During the service, Armstrong spoke about his experiences in confronting the Scientologists. Armstrong said that he had been persecuted not matter where he went ever since he left the organization about twenty years ago.

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 on the 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 pulled the pursuing vehicle over at the Michendorf rest stop for an ID check and to issue the driver a warning ticket for improperly using his cell phone from a moving vehicle. Gandow also said he filed complaints for duress and endangering traffic.

The Berlin police took over protection of Thomas Gandow and his companion at the city line. Gandow said he recognized a high-ranking Scientology member in the church. He said that the German boss of Scientology's OSA " intelligence agency" sat in church and took down every word. He said Scientologyists were "very interested" in Berlin as a capitol city.

In Berlin, the Tagesspiegel reported, Scientology is under surveillance by the Verfassungsschutz (LfV). German homeland security regards " the political and social objectives of the organization as a contradiction to basic 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 denounced a high-ranking Berlin police officer as a leading member of Scientology. The police director was subsequently reinstated. Joerg Schoenbohm, Berlin Interior Senator of the time, admitted to the mistake of the LfV.

weso

 

Berliner Dialog
Leipzig Award

 

 
 

Vielen dank Joe Cisar for the unofficial translation

This article in original German

 

 

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