German Official Wants Scientology Ban
Dec 3 02:11 PM US/Eastern
BERLIN (AP) - Germany could be asked to ban the U.S.-based Church of Scientology under a Hamburg security official's proposal that contends the group violates human rights.
Hamburg's secretary of the interior, Udo Nagel, plans to seek a nationwide ban of Scientology at this week's meeting of top German security officials, spokeswoman Ulrike Sweden said Monday.
The German government considers Scientology a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of vulnerable people. During the summer, it initially refused to allow the producers of a movie starring Scientology member Tom Cruise as Germany's most famous anti-Hitler plotter to film at the site where the hero was executed, although it did not expressly state Scientology as its reason.
If all 16 states agree to the proposal to ban Scientology, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble would be asked to initiate proceedings against it, Sweden said, confirming a report by Focus magazine.
The report quotes Nagel saying that Scientology pursues "anti- constitutional goals in an aggressively fierce" manner that run counter to human rights and dignity.
A spokeswoman for Scientology, Sabine Weber, called Nagel's proposal "more than incomprehensible" and pointed out that the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Scientology when Russia denied its application to register as a religious community.
The United States has said that Germany discriminates against some religious groups, including Scientology, that Germany does not recognize as a religion.