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Psycho-Cult vs. German Law

by Thomas Röll and Walter Schütte

 

The article states that the government of the Free State of Bavaria paid 250,000 Euros for the "most comprehensive scientific research to date" on the controversial Scientology psychocult. The 680 page study was four years in the making and is the result of efforts by psychologist Heinrich Kuefner, forensic psychiatrist Norbert Nedopil and legal scholar Heinz Schoech.

The study's legal findings are particularly stimulating. Several of the psychocult's areas of operations and its internal structure are said to be "in conflict to central principles of our legal system." The authors were particularly critical of cult members being subject to constant demands of improvements in performance, including cutting off contact to close relatives and having relatively minor infractions regarded as crimes. Many of the cult courses were regarded as illicit practice of medicine, with some texts fulfilling preliminary conditions for fraud. For these reasons the authors saw that conditions of a criminal association were potentially met, and that there was sufficient evidence present to warrant consideration of an association ban.

On studying the effects of Scientology and Dianetics methods, the researchers ran into a brick wall. Scientology had refused to let active members of its organization be interviewed, so the researchers had to make do with former members. The researchers were aware that those who had left the cult would have an overwhelmingly negative opinion of the methods being studied, but there was no alternative available.

The Interior Ministry of the Free State of Bavaria expressed its satisfaction with the findings of the researchers. In particular, they were interested as to the potentially criminal aspects of the organization. It was said that legal alternatives would be carefully weighed, and that these deliberations would set the tone for future dealings with Scientology.

—the above is not a literal translation
— for non-commercial use only
— visit http://cisar.org

 
   

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