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German media: Scientology is essentially dead in Berlin

BerlinAnonsTwo recent newspaper reports indicate that despite the opening of its “Ideal Org” in Berlin seven years ago, Scientology is essentially defunct in the city, with only about 130 members in a metropolis of more than 3 million.

Drawing from the most recent report from the country’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Berliner Zeitung BZ, Berlin’s largest newspaper, reported that 130 members is also the same number Scientology had the year before.

“Scientology tried everything. An open house every day, free copies of an encyclopedic biography of L. Ron Hubbard sent to libraries (which were shipped back at Scientology’s expense), and an anti-drug campaign. But Berliners are smart, and they ignore Scientology’s headquarters at Otto-Surh-Allee,” the newspaper reported.

An earlier story drawing from the same federal report quoted government expert Stefan Barthel, who told RBB-online, “Scientology has failed in Berlin.” He pointed out that the staff of the Ideal Org is down to 60 or 70, about half as many as the facility had when it opened. He attributed the loss of workers to the terrible way they’re treated by the organization.

“In large part, Scientology treats its own employees in an unimaginably bad, miserable way — beginning with bad payment and ending with a lack of appreciation,” he said. “A former employee of the Berlin headquarters told me that she got a wage of 20 euros for an 80-hour week. Most Scientology staff lived under the poverty line. Sometimes they would sleep with ten men in a three-room apartment, travel on public transport without paying, and steal their lunch from the cafeteria. The whole enterprise was in a financially seriously depressed state.”

The story also credited the protesters of Anonymous, who have held monthly demonstrations outside the facility for six years. “The aim of our protest is that Scientology quickly disappears from Berlin and actually from Germany,” one of the Anons said.

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We want to thank several of the Bunker’s German-speaking readers who helped us with translations of the two stories from the German press.

 
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Ryan Hamilton files lawsuit number fifteen

Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed yet another federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon. This one involves a Nevada father who sent his son to the Narconon Fresh Start facility in that state, Rainbow Canyon Retreat in the town of Caliente.

In October, David Tino was looking for a rehab facility for his son, Michael. He called the 800 number at Rainbow Canyon Retreat’s website and spoke to Josh Penn, who said the center had a 76-percent success rate

Tino was told the program didn’t involve religion, and that his son would be under the care of “licensed medical professionals.”

David paid $33,000 up front so his son could start the program.

Michael was then taken to the “Treehouse” cabin at the facility for a cold turkey withdrawal. During that period, Michael had seizures, and had to be taken to a hospital emergency room, the complaint says.

Michael then realized that the program was actually Scientology, and it included “training routines” which had him shouting at ashtrays and making clay figures. He received no drug counseling at the facility.

“Michael suffered health complications because of the unsafe manner in which he was detoxed at Fresh Start. He is still suffering psychological effects from the bizarre and unsafe practices he was subjected to at Fresh Start. Michael left the program at Fresh Start without receiving any substance abuse treatment.”

Hamilton also includes testimony from other lawsuits that he has also featured in his other complaints, including excerpts from the deposition of Narconon’s own expert witness in a wrongful death lawsuit, who admitted that Scientology’s sauna-and-vitamins regiment (called the Purification Rundown in Scientology and the New Life Detoxification Program in Narconon) was not based on scientific principles.

Here’s the complaint…

 

Tino v. Narconon: Complaint

 
By our count, that’s fifteen federal lawsuits Hamilton has filed against Narconon in California, Nevada, and Colorado.

Angelo Amato (San Diego)
Christy Estrada and Branden Chavez (San Diego)
Cathy and Michael Tarr (Nevada)
Harry and Lauren Geanacopulos (Nevada)
David, Stacy, and Jack Welch (Nevada)
Bryan and Nikki Mott (Colorado)
Charles and Tyler Matthys, and Linda Phillips (Colorado)
Kenneth and Jered Mowery (Watsonville, CA)
Robin Jones, James Ramirez Sr. and Jr. (Watsonville, CA)
Charis Yates, Beret and Dean Pugh (Nevada)
Lori, Ryan, and Jilliene Winchell (Nevada)
Ben Levy (Colorado)
Monica and Sean O’Connell (Watsonville, CA)
Ronald and Jason McClure (Nevada)

 
Also, we mentioned the other day that Narconon appeared to be late answering one of the lawsuits, Estrada. Well, they have answered, and we don’t know if they’ll be penalized for their tardiness.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on July 3, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer

 

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