How to find current information on the day-to-day practices of the Church of Scientology in Berlin
March 16, 2008 10:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm researching Scientology in Berlin. Anyone know what they're up to in this city either on a day-to-day basis, or politically? Or what sites I might search to get the relevant information?

I should add that I don't speak German. I am asking this here because although I can find many articles and videos etc about the opening of a big "church" in Berlin, I can't find much about what effect it's having now, in 2008. I need to do a paper on the Berlin/New York differences with respect to Scientology, and I'm finding current information hard to come by. Thanks!

PPS, wasn't sure if this fit in the "religion and philosophy" section or the "work and money" section...
posted by omnigut to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm German and have found that information about Scientology in Germany is hard to come by (except extremely biased, undocumented stuff - from both sides, obviously).
As a first step: Why don't you just call them? I'm quite sure they speak English. The number of "Scientology Kirche Berlin" is +49 30 30640760. Probably not very helpful, but least they will tell you what public events they are organizing at the moment.
Also, it might be a good idea to ask in the Toytown Berlin forum (for English-speaking expats in Germany). They are usually happy to help and know what's going on in the city. And speak English.
posted by The Toad at 2:02 AM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Another idea: the Berlin city council apparently runs a citizen information center on quasi-religious groups (e.g. Scientology, sketchy "psycho-esoteric groups", or sects). You can send them an email with questions on this contact page. I'm sure they speak (at least a bit of) English and can help you with your questions, from a probably rather COS-critical perspective.
posted by The Toad at 2:20 AM on March 17, 2008

I found this and this but nothing on the new church itself. This page is in German but you can see that it's actually a page against scientology from the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior -- and here's another page from the Berlin Ministry of the Interior and Sport (Germans have weird ministries). They argue that scientology is against the values of the German constitution, and Germany actually has an agency in charge of defending the constitution, Verfassungschutz, which investigates Nazism, fundamentalist Islamic groups, communists, etc., and apparently scientology as well. You also might want to look for information on Potsdam. Potsdam is technically not part of Berlin but it's right next door and I think Tom Cruise bought a house there. I've been there once and that is the one and only time I've ever seen scientologists in Germany. You see Jews for Jesus more than you see scientologists.
posted by creasy boy at 6:08 AM on March 17, 2008

Btw, for Germans Tom Cruise is synonymous with scientology and Germans have extreme prejudice against both. So it might help if you look for information on Tom Cruise in connection with Germany.
posted by creasy boy at 6:11 AM on March 17, 2008

Operation Clambake & the Ex-Scientologist Message Base both have forums dedicated to discussing European/German Orgs. Your best bet would be to post there asking for any recent information on the Berlin Org.
posted by scalefree at 11:41 AM on March 17, 2008

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