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Friday, December 7, 2007

Germans to Ban Scientology?

German officials have ruled the Church of Scientology unconstitutional, leading many to speculate that the fringe religion may soon be banned in the country.  Many Germans, like many around the world, accuse the organization of cult-like practices and financially exploiting its members.

Scientology is not recognized as a religion in Germany and officials have asked their domestic intelligence agency to look into their status as an association.  Scientology has been closely monitored by German agencies for years and these agencies are now being asked to draw up a report in advance of this decision.

This has come to a head since January, when Scientologists opened a new church in the German capital of Berlin.  Many people have complained about active recruiting.  Germany has approximately 6000 Scientologists who demand a right to "freedom of religion."

Scientology was founded in America by science-fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard, in the 1950s.  It has come under scrutiny throughout the years for its closely-guarded secret rites, as well as many of its beliefs.  Scientology has become very popular since the 1990s, when it became Hollywood's religion du jour, boasting such A-list celebrity members as Tom Cruise and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The Weirding, 2007

UPDATE (2018):
According to Wikipedia, Scientology has not been banned in Germany, and claims to have five churches coming this year.  Although residents may remain skeptical, Germany is known for its sound decision-making and responsible choices.

The Weirding, 2018

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