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International News


'Your Help is Forbidden' Madness in Stuttgart

Alerting readers in other countries to the extent of intolerance in Germany today is not easy. Examples can be so outrageous that people without first-hand experience of prejudice feel the stories must be exaggerated.

The following description of the insane measures recently taken by the city government of Stuttgart speaks for itself. We invite you to read it and come to your own conclusion.



Y
our help is forbidden.”

That is effectively the content of a new law passed by the Stuttgart City Government. Bill No. 5.4858.700 124.7, passed into law on January 29, 1996, has only one subject. The text states:

“It is prohibited for Dianetics Stuttgart, the Church of Scientology, its members and employees or other commissioners to distribute beverages, food and clothes to the homeless and to offer them houses which were rented by you or on your behalf in the Klett-Passage, in the Rotebuehl-Passage, at the Castle Square or in any other public place.”

For years, German Scientologists have regularly provided warm food and clothing to the city’s homeless. This program has always been funded and carried out entirely by volunteers – with no cost to, or apparent interest from, the city. Nothing has ever been asked in return, and nothing has ever been accepted from the destitute individuals helped. No government or private body has ever been asked to support the program in any way and none ever would be.

Particularly during the cold winter months, a hot bowl of nutritious soup from the Scientology volunteers is sometimes the only kindness the destitute of Stuttgart can look forward to.

But that is not how some of the city’s officials see it. Blinded by unreasoning prejudice, they do not see a constructive social volunteer program, but only something to destroy.

Scientologist helping
For years, Scientologists have regularly provided warm food and clothing to Stuttgart’s homeless. This was recently “forbidden” by the city government in an irrational attempt to hinder Church activities.

The government’s frame of mind can be seen in the penalty for disobedience:

“In any case of violation an administrative enforcement fine of DM 3,000 [$2,260]” will be levied.

$2,260 fine for the “crime” of helping, and possibly saving the lives of, homeless German citizens? This fascist insanity is exceeded only by the justifications contained in the text of the bill. The law is needed, it states, because “these social help actions [feeding and clothing the homeless] could serve to improve your bad reputation in the public.”

But there is one final thing: “An administrative charge of DM 100 is imposed for this order.”

In other words, the Church has to pay to have its charitable works forbidden – to cover the “administrative effort” expended by the government in violating the country’s constitution and the international human rights accords Germany has pledged to uphold.

The official German response to international criticism of its politically-supported human rights violations? “These people don’t understand Germany. We have a special history and have to take special actions to preserve the German way of life.”

Bill No. 5.4858.700 124.7 is an example of the “special actions” required to preserve the German way of life.

Perhaps the politicians are right – the world just does not understand Germany.

But more likely they are wrong – the majority do understand, and reject German intolerance. – P.M.

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