Family Survival Trust conference on Scientology, April 15th, 2009 – Ursula’s speeches

Due to illness Ms. Ursula Caberta was unable to attend. The following speeches were read on her behalf.

Speech 1

“Scientology in Germany”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,

First of all I would like to outline my own remit and that of the section that I lead in Hamburg. This section has been in existence since 1992 and it has the title of: Working Group Scientology. Since 2000 we have also been the Youth Agency for the Federal State of Hamburg for problems of protecting children and young persons in all so-called sects or psychogroups. So our remit is extensive.

The section headed by me is the only one of this kind, with the particular tasks assigned to it, in Germany. In the early 90s the politicians in Hamburg decided to concern themselves intensively with the Scientology Organisation and deemed this Organisation to present a danger to internal security. That is why my section comes under the auspices of the Office for Domestic Affairs. When it comes to Scientology we are not talking about some kind of group that seems a bit weird and exercises undue influence over people who are already somewhat unstable; we are talking about an organisation operating worldwide and representing a danger both to individuals and to free, democratic societies.

Let me also say at the start that our research into the Scientology Organisation soon revealed that, since its inception, there has been not a single moment when it has not been the subject of criticism. There has not been a time in any country in the world when members of the public and politicians have not been engaged in critical discussions concerning this issue.

The Organisation has been in Germany since the late 60s and, as in other countries of the world, conflicts ensued relatively quickly. Political reactions soon occurred in Germany as well and, as is normal for Scientology, were followed by court proceedings lasting many years. The background to this first lengthy dispute was a decree issued by the German Minister of the Interior at the time who, in 1972, I repeat: in 1972, instructed the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation to disclose information it had gathered on the Scientology Organisation to the top person in charge, the Minister of the Interior. At the time Scientology in Germany was still in its infancy. The first associations had been founded, but they had not yet gained a strong foothold in German reality. However, it was already enough to call the Federal Government into action. Since the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, understandably, had not been able to do much research of its own at that stage, it sought information from other countries. This meant that the report submitted by the Bureau was based on investigations carried out by Interpol. The foundations for the statements made were largely taken from a report written by New Scotland Yard in 1969.

So we are now in the very country that supplied the first relevant, critical information to the German Government. It could almost be described as the historic site of the political struggle against the Scientology Organisation.

Perhaps today I might be able to reciprocate somewhat by describing how the Organisation is currently regarded in Germany.

There are a few decisions by the highest courts in Germany which – as usual – involved many years of legal battles. For instance, Scientology as a whole, which styles itself a “Church”, has been classified by the courts as a “commercial enterprise operated for profit”. In other words, these are businesses and not some kind of charitable providers easing people’s lives. Furthermore, Germany’s supreme labour court had already ruled in 1995 that the members working in the so-called “churches” are in fact employees and, as such, entitled to be paid, just like in any other business. But that is not all. Within the scope of this ruling, the German Federal Labour Court also shed light on the ideological contents of Scientology, concluding that this Organisation is not a religious or ideological community.

The decisive political qualification in Germany took place two years later. In 1997 the Conference of Ministers of the Interior of the German States and Federal Government decided that the Scientology Organisation constituted a new form of political extremism and should therefore be monitored by the intelligence services.

The Organisation of course took legal action against surveillance by the intelligence services. However, the final judgments were devastating for Scientology. The courts unreservedly confirmed the legality of the intelligence services’ activities since, according to the courts, there were real indications that Scientology was pursuing goals that were aimed against the free and democratic constitutional system of the German Federal Republic. In particular, again according to the courts, the Organisation’s activities are directed against human rights, the people’s right to choose its government by elections and ballots. The courts also stated quite plainly that this Organisation denies human dignity to anyone who criticises it.

This is the current situation in Germany: an ideology operating under the name of Scientology and aimed against the freedom of individuals and society as a whole.

Of course this insight that has been reinforced the various court judgments does not apply to Germany alone. The Organisation employs the same operating method in every country in the world. Consequently Scientologists are actively seeking to make their ideology socially acceptable in every country in the world. In my opinion there is only one way to combat this: we must finally develop a common strategy, at least in Europe, against the totalitarian system of Scientology. We should all be clear about one thing: there is the great danger that the strategy devised by Hubbard, the founder, will succeed wherever it does not meet resistance – and that strategy is, under the cloak of religious cherubs, to introduce a political system that has no regard for human rights.

Speech 2

“Children and Scientology”

Quote: “I remember one particular situation. I was having problems at school and at home. I was feeling abandoned and unloved. I even thought about suicide. I longed for my father to take me in his arms and tell me he loved me. He didn’t do it – and I didn’t want to ask him. Finally I asked him what he would do if I killed myself. He replied: That is solely your responsibility, Tanya.”

This was the statement made by a 15-year-old who, after she left the Scientology Organisation, was trying to describe her relationship with her Scientologist father. The tragedy of a child whose father had brought her up in accordance with the Hubbard method: “A child is not a special kind of animal that is distinct from human beings. A child is a man or a woman who has not yet reached his or her full size. Any law that applies to the behaviour of men and women also applies to children” (Child Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard).

The 15-year-old had practically fled from the Sea Org at Saint Hill Manor in the English town of East Grinstead to Hamburg. We accompanied her for years as she made her way outside the Organisation. We were able to give her support, but the yearning for her father’s affection was something no one else could replace. She had been robbed of her childhood.

The children of this world: Reports about real-life stories of children are attracting a great deal of attention. Anyone who harms children not only attracts criticism, but is frequently shunned and ostracised. Everyone feels regularly called upon to voice their opinion in the defence of children. Manipulating children, using them for purposes that they are unable to understand, subjecting them to physical abuse quite justifiably leads to political discussions as well. We then repeatedly hear of intentions to take greater measures in protecting children against all kinds of assault.

However, it should be mentioned that not enough attention is paid whenever the behaviour of parents and therefore the children or young persons is inconspicuous as perceived by our society.

Children who grow up in parallel worlds, in so-called sects or psychogroups, do not generally come to our attention. This also applies to the parallel world of Scientology. Parents and children appear to function, they look tidy, they are friendly and perhaps only conspicuous in that they live in seclusion. Every time a person who has already reached adulthood – and in such cases it is generally an adult – manages to break away from the organisation, it emerges that the requirements set out in the writings of the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, always apply to the children as well. It then becomes known that the children helplessly born into the system did not and do not have a chance. The children display none of the usual symptoms that cause public uproar: they do not have any visible, external signs of physical abuse, no bruises, no fractured ribs. Perhaps the eyes might reveal their plight, but who wants to take such a close look?

So where is the problem – why are we not aware of the distress experienced by these children? The mentally programmed parents, and therefore the employees functioning within the organisation, behave in a way that appears, on the outside, to be in conformity with the system. They cannot help doing so, as they have internalised L. Ron Hubbard’s ideology. As they have completed course after course, they have become part of the system. From a particular moment onwards they no longer ask questions, they merely function in all respects, including with regard to their own children.

In the Scientology organisation an ideologically closed model of thought and action is conveyed. This also includes the thesis that there are no children in this thought construct:

“(…) A child is not a special kind of animal that is distinct from human beings. A child is a man or a woman who has not yet reached her or his full size. Any law that applies to the behaviour of men and women also applies to children“ (L. Ron Hubbard, Child Dianetics, Copenhagen 1983).

This is reflected in the education within the Scientology system. The child has to function appropriately, so he or she has to be familiarised with Hubbard’s teachings as soon as possible. Like the adults, the child has to learn that everything outside his world, a world that carries the name of Scientology, is bad, along the lines of: anything that is not for us is against us and either has to be made to think like us or has to be fought. That is what the parents have internalised and the ideas with which the children grow up.

The effects of the kind of brain training practised by the Scientology organisation are difficult for outsiders to appreciate and above all to recognise as a problem or a danger in adults, let alone children, who have no chance of escaping the training, which teaches them to be a cog within the Scientology system.

The sentence penned by the founder that all laws that apply to adults also apply to children needs to be understood in the same way. It means that even the youngest are exposed to various processes. These extend from so-called communication training to so-called auditing and security checks, which are used to monitor strict toeing of the line. But all this also applies to the offspring of Scientologists. Also and in particular the interrogation rituals using the Hubbard E-meter (a kind of primitive lie detector) instil respect and possibly fear even in adults, according to all known reports. How then can a child deal with this? A child that is not even able to turn to its parents if it is afraid, if it is unsure? After all, the maxim is: you are responsible for what happens, whatever your age!

If we create a parallel world where children are brought up to function in that world, it is also logical that this world has an “educational system” that fits in with those ideas. Consequently the Scientology organisation tries to set up its own schools in areas where it is active, schools in which the younger generation can be educated unhindered, based on the methods of Scientology. It will be clear to everyone that these teaching institutes are not comparable to normal schools. The organisation has not yet managed to open a private school in the Federal Republic of Germany. So they have sidestepped the problem and gone to a neighbouring country, Denmark, instead. All-day schools and a boarding school, just beyond the German border, are responsible for looking after the new generation. The extent of the problem becomes evident when parents and their children leave the organisation. The children have problems when they attend a normal school. It is not just the learned and internalised special language that causes problems when talking to other students, the curriculum is also new. So not only do these children experience the problems of breaking away from the Scientology system, they also encounter the problem of integrating in the previously rejected outside world – a problem that should not be underestimated. It is therefore not surprising that many of them probably ask to be taken back, back to the system that has led them on the so-called bridge to freedom to a system characterised by a lack of freedom of thought and action.

What are the consequences? The consequences are that these children growing up are unable to get their heads around the civil rights that apply in free and constitutional democracies, and worse, they even classify these civil rights as hostile. This is because “the prevalent drill at Scientology, Scientology’s image of people, which is concerned with breeding a kind of “superhuman” race, the destructive attitude to the family, which means that children are neglected, rejected or even aborted, can only lead to one conclusion: the children’s rights to life, to natural development and to growing up in a proper environment, to education, are disregarded completely.

The Scientological idea of human beings therefore contradicts the basic values of our society in several points. (…) An organisation that, when all is said and done, wants to train and develop a new dominant clique, is no longer in keeping with our free and democratic constitutional system.” (Quoted from: Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth: Die Sektenkinder [The Sect Children], Freiburg 1996)

This formulation for the Federal Republic of Germany applies to all free and constitutional, democratic states. That is why we are at long last taking serious note of these parallel developments throughout Europe and are finally starting to take European action to help the children in Scientology, as well as other children in many destructive cults. Providing information about what is happening with children is an important part of this, but faster state intervention – even with regard to parental rights – must be made possible. It is not only the children who have clearly endured physical torture who are entitled to protection – those tortured by mental training must now, finally, be seen for what they really are: children who need protection, who need help.

So let us start to inform people and to bring our influence to bear on politics and the society in our countries, so that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child can apply to all children, as the Convention states that children should be prepared to live an individual life in society and be brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity. For the children who grow up in the Scientology organisation or other destructive cults, let us demand that the signatory states to the Convention on the Rights of the Child do what they have pledged to do, in other words to take all suitable legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children against any kind of physical or psychological use of force.

Let us not tire in our efforts until we have achieved this goal – until it has been implemented throughout Europe.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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