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FRG on W2K: No CoS 247

Anonymous Coward writes: "Germany pressured MSFT into removing the defrag tool in Win2k because it was developed by a software company whose CEO is a Scientologist. They were afraid there were security risks from using software from a Scientologist. No joke." The outcome of this bizarre and long-running story stemming from the interaction of Germany, Scientology, and programming, according to reader telstar, is that "Microsoft has decided that they would provide step-by-step instructions in German on how to uninstall this utility."
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FRG on W2K: No CoS

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Scientology IS a criminal organization. The thing that surprises me is that they are still allowed to roam free in the rest of the world. This is a Good Thing (tm).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The whole religion is based on L. Ron Hubbard's failed science fiction writings. The premise is that your body is inhabited by evil demons banished to earth millions of years ago and you must give the $cientologists millions of dollars in order to help you through various 'levels' of spiritual development where you eventually rid yourself of these demons. L. Ron Hubbard was a stupid, failed science fiction writer, but evidently he was a bullshit artist on par with Bill Gates and Adolf Hitler, because now this whole bullshit religion has flourished. Read more http://www.xenu.net [xenu.net].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This comment is right, read this [slashdot.org] for more info. The Co$ is more evil than M$ (believe it or not)... at least M$ uses courts and legal means. The "Church of $cientology uses harrasment, impersonation, violence, bribery, assasination, etc, etc ... one of their official church manuals (confiscated in a raid a few years ago) stated that "any means are allowed in order to silence a critic." Anything from discrediting the person, damaging their property, kidnapping a loved one, beating and raping a spouse... anything. Think about that and tell me what kind of a 'religion' that sham of a bullshit money hungry crock cult is.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is an excellent post, and contains excellent information. Another great intro to the evils of scientology is The Road to Xenu [cmu.edu], a fictional book written by a woman who spent 13 years in Scientology. The book is based loosely on her own life (it's _much_ friendlier/more accessible than her autobiographical text, which is also available at the same link), and it's a real eye-opener. It also prepares you to read some of the scarier real-life accounts of ex-scientologists, like Steve Fishman's Lonesome Squirrel [xs4all.nl].

    Anyone who tells you Scientology isn't dangerous or should be protected under freedom-of-religion doesn't know what Scientology is all about. It's no more a religion than, as another poster, Amway, but it's far, far more destructive. Where Amway will get you to do stupid things like try to sell cheap-ass junk to your friends and cost you some money, Scientology will destroy your mental health, estrange you from everyone you know, physically rape your friends and relatives, force you into slave labor to pay for the very classes that are ruining you, and, should you try to leave, will discredit you, harass you, defame you, file lawsuits against you, and make your life hell until you commit suicide (a href="http://www.xenu.net/">see xenu.net for details.) And, yes, you post anonymously when you speak out against them, or they'll come after you and your loved ones. I can take care of myself, but I wouldn't unleash them on my family for anything.

    Religious protection.. hah.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, whatever you think of Micro$oft, they are not known to have burgled government files and engaged in similar criminal activities.

    Does somebody buy software from NSA? Perhaps if they were renting office space in German government buildings to sections of NSA, and providing them with master keys for the whole building, that would be a more valid comparison.

    The German response to the Scientologists is not persecution of a religion. Scientology is not a religion, but a SCAM based on extorting money from its victims (low level adherents) and intimidating its opposition. It costs thousands of dollars to be made "clear" by the pseudoscientific nonsense of the Scientology witch doctors.
  • in a defrag program.
  • shows that the US government can still take lessons from us (me being a german) when it comes to telling M$ to jump. :-)

    I mean, you've been on this explorer thing for how long now? will it even matter anymore when the lawsuit is finally over?

  • I'd be more concerned about software from a company with a CoS programmer than a CoS CEO. After all, if the only person who wants to insert nasty code is the CEO, chances are he's not going to be able to. If a programmer or a few want to insert nasty code, they could do so without anyone being any the wiser-- and the whole thing will be easier to hide.

    Germany probably is reasonable in being suspicious of this program, but they ought to be carefully reviewing all of the programs they use; they should review everything sufficiently that they don't care where it came from.
  • Well, then the company has both. But I'd still be worried more about the programmer than the CEO.
  • Actually, I wasn't the first to use the Nazi comparisons in this thread; there were several others. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it; I don't like to be the one to invoke that law.
  • Banning it just because some fellow is involved in scientology. Why shouldn't they be allowed to keep their beliefs like everybody else?

    It's been said that scientology is not a religion, it's a cult, that infiltrates goverments and institutions. If this criteria was applied fairly, then the entire M$ product would be banned, as they attempt to infiltrate and influence the goverment. Not only that but just about everything else would be banned as well. How about GNU? They infiltrate Comapnies, and Universities, and try to influence those too.

    Then there are those stories about how people have been abused by scientology. They volunteered to do whatever they did. It's their own fault. I myself have been approached by scientology, gave them a "no thank you", and they went away. It wasn't difficult to do.
  • I did not call you Asshole.

    That sounds like something a German would say to a Scientologist if you transpose me and you :-)

    Regarding your statement:
    "I merely pointed out that it creates the appearance of wrongdoing for a government to perform an action like this."

    Well appearances can be deceiving.

    And I am tired of being regarded as or compared to a Nazi just because I happen to be German. Which was what you (and the "C"oS) used to critisize the German government.

    BTW: The Open Source Movement is also strengthened by this German fear of sofware from dubious sources.

  • " Killed millions of indians, had slavery, has a war on harmless drug users"

    Note the use of past tense for the first entries and the use of present tense (has/had).
  • Judaism was never "legally" a criminal offence in the Third Reich. There were stroing laws against mixed marriages and many discriminatory measures, but being a Jew was never a "crime" in the strict sense of the word.

    And CoS is not illegal in Germany, you just won't get employed by the state and get public contracts.
  • If you want to remove the defragmenting utility, it's not very hard. Start -> Search -> "dfrg" will show you the files.

    The NTFS defragmenter, written by Executive Software, is somewhat interesting. Back in the days of NT 4.0, if you wanted NTFS defragmentation, you had to get Executive Software's Diskeeper program. AFAIK, there was no alternative, not even from Microsoft. Evidently, Microsoft decided not to re-invent the wheel and licensed a stripped-down version of Diskeeper for Win2k. This version does not include "Set it and Forget it" backup scheduling or paging file defragmentation like the real Diskeeper program does. The fact that you can't schedule defragmentations is cheesy but easy to get around with a Windows cron daemon and a scripting utility. If you search for dfrg, you'll find the dfrg.mmc (IIRC), which you can drag onto your desktop for quick-and-easy access to this utility.

    Contrary to what the previous poster said, I have certainly noticed performance issues on machines with fragmented NTFS partitions. In fact, they're so bad that I defragment my drives nightly. If you let them go for months, it's going to take hours and many, many re-runs of the defragmenter to get your drive back in order.
  • The page on http://www.religiousrolerance.org/ [religiousrolerance.org] actually contains a lot more on CoS. They believe that CoS does not keep people from leaving them, and keep pointing at anti-cult organisations that focus on more cults than the CoS. However they do include evidence that CoS has lost several interesting legal cases, is remarkeably aggressive at keeping their trade secrets (trade secrets? Im sure glad the Bible, Koran, etc. arent trade secrets) and ask a lot of money for those higher religious texts. A few years ago, when the issue of CoS versus some internet free-speech people was at its peak (see Karin Spaink, www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink), I read quite a lot about CoS and it seems to me to be a real threat. Granted, there are good and bad people on both sides but the evidence that the CoS organisation is bad is pretty overwhelming to me. (note: Im talking about the organisation and their policies, not their beliefs which seem rather wacky to me as well but dont really bother me) I agree with the German government that they should be very careful with CoS, and understand the concerns raised in Germany about the defrag program. Before I read it here on /. I didnt know about the W2K-CoS connection and it does seem to be a convenient way for the CoS to gain some more power. I doubt the security problem (unless very cleverly implemented, I guess by now somebody would have seen evidence of the bad side of the program if it existed) but I wouldnt be very happy funding the CoS by buying their software :(
  • A quick search found:


    note that I didnt have time to verify these claims, so draw your own conclusions :)
  • Signal 11 vs. L. Ron? Round 1 - FIGHT!
  • One word:


  • by Anonymous Coward
    removing IE is possible - third parties hav utilities to do it; however, most people don't want to remove - it's the best browser there is ATM

    on technet they provide step-by-step instructions for how to remove OE from w2k - so anyone concerned about unwanted OE can remove it easily.
  • Please, I would like to know what parts of the Linux kernel you have written, so I can audit them by hand, and possibly replace them with something else.
  • Oh yeah, by "audit" I mean "code audit" and not "drive to suicide".
  • Not defragmenting an NTFS partition is a sure-fire cause of performance problems on a Win2k box. It's very unfortunate, though, because without the "real" version of Diskeeper, there is no way for the _average_ user to automate this. See my post further down the page for info on how to get around this. It's not toooo hard but not exactly nice and clean either.

    I defragment my Win2k box every night. When you first start defragmenting an NTFS partition that has never been defragmented, you are going to have to run the defrag util multiple times to get it up-to-snuff. Keep running it until it the defragmenter finishes its work a few seconds after you start it.
  • I figure I'd better follow it my whining post, 'cause it's going to make it onto the +3 message lists, without benefit of the followup posts that didn't get rated up, and should have.

    So ATTENTION, PEOPLE WHO WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION: it turns out that karma has been capped at 50 points. It isn't a Taco bitchslap, it's a way of dealing -- I presume -- with karma-whoring. It's not a conspiracy! [grin]

    I think it's safe to say that a lot of us ignored the karma business. Back when it first kicked in, it took me a few weeks to clue in that the suddenly weird +2 posting behaviour was related to the new-fangled plus-whatever karma score of mine. Sure, call me clueless; the whole thing just wasn't important.

    Guess I'll go read some slashFAQs and find out what the new rules are...

  • > The "democratic" government of Germany is traveling down a well-trodden path of state
    > persecution of officially designated "hate groups" (that is, groups which the government
    > says we should hate).

    Kind of like the Communist Party in the USA, right? Different names, same game. I don't suppose you put quotes around American democracy?
  • > That is definitely a country that doesn't believe in freedom of speech.
    > I'm glad I don't live there. Sheesh.

    It's always good to get a laugh from the emotionally simple. I'm sure you're glad you live (most likely?) in the US, a country which certainly gives you all the necessary freedoms of speech so that you don't question the ones you don't get. While we could sit down and do a line item listing of freedoms of speech you DON'T enjoy in the US, whether legally or de facto, what would be the fun in that? Just go join your local Communist Party chapter instead.
  • > I am an Agnostic, and to me, all "religions" are the same and have no apparant use.

    There is a big difference between a religion and a cult: you're usually born into a religion and it might mean nothing to you personally, even if your particular religion might have evil ulterior motives. You usually join a cult yourself because of personal convictions, not because your parents were members (most cults don't last long enough for inter-generational hand-off). So if you discriminate against a religion, you are including many individuals without strong convictions, but when you discriminate against a cult you are dealing with individuals strongly focused on a particular idea.

    So even as a religious pragmatist I have to say that it is important to discriminate between religions and cults (pun fully intended).
  • > I mentally replace "Scientologist" with "Jew" and I see something that could
    > have happened 50 years ago [...]

    Sure, or replace "Scientologist" with "National Socialist", which would be more in the spirit of what the German government is trying to achieve here. Had this been done in the 1920's the world might have never experienced the evil that was the Third Reich (and the US might have never been what they are now). Before you jump and reply that while the intention is noble it proves that Germany is lacking in free speech and democracy, replace "Germany" with "USA" and "Church of Scientology" with "Communist Party". That should clear up any misconceptions you might have about freedom of speech in your (and currently my) country.
  • > So was Judaism. Your point?

    No it wasn't, not particularly. You were persecuted for Jewish blood and Jewish ancestry, not for Jewish beliefs. If you were a true-blooded Aryan of Jewish belief, your could rescind your beliefs and live. If you were of Jewish ancestry, it didn't matter how agnostic or atheist you were, you couldn't disavow your genetic heritage. That was one of the points made by many Jews later on: if only they could have given up their faith and beliefs to save their lives, they would have. But they couldn't, because the Nazis despised not their ideas but who they were.
  • > It was just the wording of it all that disturbed me - is it appropriate, despite or
    > because of past historical events, for a government to try to ban software or books or
    > products because the member of a group that commits admittedly evil acts was involved in a
    > company that produced them.

    Don't they teach about McCarthyism at Harvard? It amused me that it fits your objections to the letter: goverment=US, books or products=movies and scripts, group=communist party, company=Hollywood. Selective memory is a dangerous thing.
  • > I don't believe it makes sense to wage war against economic or commercial products with a
    > tenuous link to the organization.... but maybe that's because I'm an American and I worship free trade.

    Amen to that. You should cc: Fidel on that, he might send you a few boxes of Cubans for being such an advocate.
  • > you would clearly understand that I am not flaming the German nation [...]
    > get your own head out of your self-righteous German ass [...]

    These two statements present somewhat of a semantic conflict. From reading most of your posts in this thread I can detect a definite anti-German sentiment simmering under the surface. Which is fine, but don't pretend otherwise when people call you on it.

    I have tried hard to counter you on a point-by-point basis, but in retrospect that might have been pointless (:-) since you're stuck on your particular notion of replacing "Scientologist" with "Jew" even when given more plausible and factually backed alternatives.

    > I never said the current German government is Nazi-like

    Not verbatim, but you've implied it repeatedly with sledgehammer subtlety. Kind of like asking me again and again "hmm, I wonder, what if I slammed these scissors into your eyes? Not that I would, but what if?" After about the third such question I might put on my coke bottle glasses, just in case.

    > I would never use software produced by a Nazi.

    How would you know? The About... dialog doesn't have to sport smartly animated GIF swastikas, you know. You might have already been assimilated for all you know.

    > But I don't want my government banning software based on WHO produced it without consideration of
    > the software's content.

    I guess that would be completely unlike the US government banning the export of encryption software, or its use by "rogue nations." But I guess your reply to that would also be that "[You] didn't say the US is blameless nor do [you] represent the US."

  • > So my point is the "stuff" isn't coming from "the US". I am not "the US". I am an
    > individual who sees unfortunate things come out both the US and Germany.

    I can see your lips move, but they don't match your words. Trouble is, when it suits your moral mood you ride high on American righteousness and mention many of America's perceived virtues as your very own moral code. When the shit hits the fan, you leave the room. You've got to take the good with the bad, buddy.

    Nobody is denying Germany's legacy with its Jewish members, least of all those of us of German extraction or nationality. It treated some of its most productive citizens the worst, and in the process made America what it is today. Still, as an American I would be careful to point a finger too long at Germany, since over the course of its history the US have easily committed atrocities on the same level. Germany just compressed them into twelve years. There are other countries (and their citizens) more suitable than the US to take the moral high ground above Germany. Yet as an American Jew you carry a certain exemption, so you may carry on, and I will bow my head. And I mean that sincerely.
  • I was just shocked by the casualness with which most posters seemed to accept banning or mucking around with the sale of software that involved an individual associated with a "bad" organization.

    Well, as someone else mentioned in this thread, it is CoS doctrine that laws do not apply to Scientologists and that members are encouraged to use unlawful measures to hurt the CoS' enemies, especially intelligence operations and infiltration which is part of upper-level Scientolgy training (no kidding).

    Also, a few years ago, the software company in question itself absolutely denied any support to a medical corporation that manufactures a psycho-drug, for religious reasons. (The CoS believes that Psychology and Psychiatry are both evil and that there is a hidden conspiracy of psychologists running the world. Reading some of Hubbards ramblings, you'll realize that Psychologists are the Jews of Scientology.)

  • Well, I think that one of the things that the German governmen wanted was to see the source of the software in question.

    So, yes, this is only the question of "closed-source software from a company we better not trust".

  • For your information, Executive software, the company in question, also uses the right to choose its business partners based on their religious beliefs.

    It's Scientology doctrine [cchr.org] that all evil in the world is caused by Psychiatrists. That previous link came from the CoS operated lobby group Citizen Commission on Human Rights [cchr.org]. Visit their homepage and take some time to appreciate the whole wackyness there, then you'll better understand the following article:



    Nancy Kelly, Digital News. Feb 4, 1991

    Ciba-Geigy was refused technical support for its disk defragmenter after the supplier, Executive Software Inc., learned that the Swiss chemical company made Ritalin, a drug sometimes prescribed for hyperactive children.

    Executive Software, maker of the dominant disk defragmenter for the VAX, Diskepper, objects to the production of Ritalin as a drug that is prescribed by psychiatrists. The drug has provoked controversy based upon some studies that document several cases of suicides among young adolescents who had been given the drug as children. The Physicians' Desk Reference indicates that the side effects of Ritalin withdrawal include paranoia with thoughts of

    The Glendale, Calif. software firm has a longstanding policy against selling its products to psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions. On Jan. 9 the firm's board of directors voted to expand that policy to include psychiatric drug manufacturers, after a company employee brought it to President Craig Jensen's attention that the makers of Ritalin had purchased a copy of Diskeeper.

    "Ciba-Geigy ranks with the scum of the earth in my opinion," said Jensen.

    "The primary effect of Ritalin is suicide. When some of our employees heard we sold our software to them, I agreed to cancel that license, if necessary, and refuse to do business with drug manufacturers in the future."

    The U.S.-based Ciba-Geigy MIS manager who bought Diskeeper late last year is not part of the pharmaceutical division of the company, which has eight seperate divisions that produce products ranging from pigments to plastics.

    He asked that he and his division not be identified. He said that he sought technical support when his employees ran into difficulty installing Diskeeper and that he was referred by the support staff to Dave Kluge [no relation- s.d.] Executive Software's corporate affairs manager.

    He said Kluge told him Executive Software would not provide Ciba-Geigy with any technical support. "He told me 'You people make psychiatric drugs and implements of torture.'

    "I said, 'You're kidding.' I thought he was putting me on.

    "He said we're responsible for people taking these drugs and don't we know they commit suicide. I told him we have nothing to do with the pharmaceutical division but he said it was the company policy," said the Ciba-Geigy official.

    Kluge sent the MIS manager a letter outlining Executive Software's policy and the means by which Ciba-Geigy could obtain a refund for its purchase.

    Jensen told Digital News that Executive Software would honor its contractual obligations with Ciba-Geigy, which had purchased a 12-month update
    service. However, it would not renew the service or the software once the agreement expired.

    "Ciba-Geigy slipped through," said Jensen. "But I think someone should take a stand on this, and I'm willing to do so."

    Meanwhile the Ciba-Geigy MIS manager, who had worked with Diskeeper at a previous job and had decided to purchase it after experiencing problems with a competitor's product is essentially without a disk defragmenter.

    "There's no point in using it if this is what they are going to do," he said, referring to the eventual loss of technical support and upgrades. He also expressed dismay at Executive Software's stand on Ritalin.

    "Thousands of kids can attend school because of Ritalin," he said. "Those parents thank us. There are problems with every drug on the market. It is up to the doctor to decide who it should be prescribed to."

    According to two former Executive Software employees, the company's policy in part stems from Jensen's membership in the Church of Scientology. "He doesn't believe in anything that has to do with psychiatry because the church doesn't," said Michael Sigourney, president of Aviv Software Inc. and a former director of marketing at Executive Software. A second employee, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Jensen's affiliation with the church, adding that, "The Church of Scientology is against the distribution of Ritalin to school
    children. They're opposed to a variety of drugs."

    In an October 1989 letter to his employees, Jensen detailed the company's policy in refusing to license software to psychiatrists or psychiatric institutions, stating that the policy reflected his own personal views.

    That policy states in part that to do business with psychiatrists "would condone political mental treatment such as electric shocks, lobotomy and convulsive drugs. We condemn utterly this fascist approach to 'mental health' by extermination of the insane, and we will not agree to brutality and murder in the guise of mental healing or to the easy and lawless seizure of persons in the name of 'mental health' for political reasons."

    The latter further elaborated that, to counter the action of some psychiatrists who purchase the product, Jensen personally donates "large sums" to organizations such as the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, "which is doing an excellent job of documenting and publicizing psychiatric crimes."

    The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to protect individuals from psychiatric abuse. It frequently lobbies against the practice of frescribing Ritalin as a means to control hyperactive children.


  • Co$ is not a religion in Germany. It's classified as some kind of a criminal organization.

    Well, not quite. CoS is not a religion in Germany, although they love to refer to other countries where they have this status.

    But it is just an "organization" here, and while many German government officials call it criminal and openly discuss about banning the cult, the CoS is not forbidden in Germany.

    Btw, being an "organization" is very easy in Germany. I can get together with a few buddies and form a legal, official organization, which includes a few, yet very little tax improvements on our organization's money.

  • Scientology is not outlawed [slashdot.org] in Germany. It hasn't been granted the status of a religion, but it isn't banned.

  • and I contributte to the Linux kernel.

    Good for you. Since your source isn't closed, there is little chance that a backdoor could be added (and if someone did, it will be found).

    Or maybe I'm in a progressive branch. who knows?

    You must be an OSA shill*. There is no progressive branch. Being a Scientologist means being 100% "tech" - everything else means you're a squirrel [deja.com].

    * However, the Scientology intelligence branch OSA has a history of adding distracting noise to discussions.

  • Well, I tried to defend my position in a reasonable manner, despite the out right bigotry and name calling from people who are supposed to be educated and intelligent. I am not a shill, I am just someone contributing my view.

    And I don't believe you, nonetheless, especially since you are posting as an Anonymous. Anonymous trolls defending CoS but not coming up with details when asked for it have been a standard technique on alt.religion.scientology.

    Anyone reading Scientology's documents [scientology.org] and documented statements by CoS officials [xenu.net] will see that what you said contradicts Scientology's official standpoint.

  • > They were afraid there were security risks from using software from a Scientologist. No joke.

    And for some strange reason they weren't afraid of security risks from Microsoft itself? Or the NSA?

    Or even the insecure-by-design philosopy that let MS itself get hacked by a kiddie?
  • One profits from defective engrams, the other profits from defective programs.
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    There's a whole lot of achronims in that title :P
  • No, I don't think so. I think you've encountered Karma Freeze. It sets in around 50pts, I think. I just means you can't really go up beyond that point. It happens to everyone, sooner or later. Nothing personal, I've been stuck there for about a year.
  • The Crusades were not so much about conversion or about slaughtering infidels, as they were about retaking land from said infidels--land which had been Christian since about 70. And, in reality, it was a way for a warlike people to expend their energies. Like all wars, religion di not cause it; religion was its excuse.
  • Well, whatever you think of Micro$oft, they are not known to have burgled government files and engaged in similar criminal activities.

    This may simply mean they havn't been caught doing so.
  • I've had to deal with these bozos before. I ran one of the news servers they tried to hack when I refused to allow them to cancel of a few articles about them. They tried to run exploits aginst the news server. When the OSI visted some of the bozos and told them to stop, more attacks came from other places. We even got letters from one of their attys. I'm not sure why they gave up in the end. Maybe they finaly understod the .mil on the end of the domain name.

    So the next time you asked to take an IQ test, ask the idiot how L R's head is doing and when its going to thaw out.

    If you make a scientoligst cry, does that mess with their orb or what ever it is? do they have to pay more to get back to the same level?

  • Is there any truth to the story that Heinlein and Hubbard bet over this one? I thought there wasn't.
    I think it was Hubbard and Campbell, the famous editor/publisher. And I also believe it is true.

    No, it was Heinlein and Hubbard, according to the Urbal Legends site [urbanlegends.com].
    Whenever he was talking about being hard up he often used to say that he thought the easiest way to make money would be to start a religion."

    -- reporter Neison Himmel: quoted in "Bare Faced Messiah"** p.117 from 1986 interview. Himmel shared a room with LRH, briefly, Pasadena, fall 1945.
    The incident is stamped indelibly in my mind because of one statement that Ron Hubbard made. What led him to say what he did I can't recall--but in so many words Hubbard said:

    "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is!"
    --Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, "Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era", pages 125 and 126
    ... it seems to still be in dispute whether Hubbars started the CoS on a bet; however, it does seem more clear that he started it for the money.

  • You saved me the trouble of posting that.


    Church of Scientology: the only religion ever started on a bet.


  • I'd be more concerned about software from a company with a CoS programmer than a CoS CEO.

    Do you really think the CEO won't employ CoS programmers? In fact: "In 1992 the Californian company opened an office in Hamburg. Staff was hired according to the following criteria: "Fully trained scientologists, computer skills desirable but not a prerequisite". (source [heise.de])

  • Dianetics isn't taken seriously by scientists because it makes
    dramatic claims which it makes no effort to validate. Check out this link [holysmoke.org] for
    some of the earliest claims (with time they become more and more

    These claims are objectively testable, but Dianeticians do not
    either try to validate them or retract them. When faced with
    criticism that these claims are a pack of lies, they try to claim the
    criticism is a result of a conspiracy. This is anti-scientific.

    Psychiatry is a broad church, with many competing ideas on how to
    best treat patients. I don't think the ideas involved in the early
    dianetics were whackier than some in the psychological mainstream, but
    what differentiates dianetics and scientology is its secrecy and
    hostility to criticism.

  • There are things in the German treatment of the CoS that bother me,
    but it is not religious persecution as the CoS alleges.
    Scientologists are free to publish what they will and try to persuade
    others what they will, given the following caveat: if they make a
    profit from these activities they are required to register them as a
    business. The freedoms have been defended in sevral court cases.

    Have a look at the following FAQ about Scientology in Germany [uni-wuerzburg.de] for
    all the boring little details. The document is partisan, but unlike
    the CoS stuff, it keeps to the facts.

  • Hold on: the software isn't banned. Various German government
    organisations have restrictions put on them preventing them from
    working with companies assocaited with Scientology, but private
    individuals and companies are free to make such associations. Some
    states in Germany are encouraging companies to adopt similar schemes,
    but these schemes are purely voluntary.
  • GNU is no problem. they will happily let the german government audit the source.


  • It's this same kind of intolerance and paranoia by the dominating German political parties that led to the holocaust.

    Bite my e-meter, squirrel boy.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • Amway is the biggist religous cult in the world.

    amen bro, and it has 2 eLRons, making it twice as good as CoS. Ascended Master Diamond Platinum 'Downline' VanAndel & Grand Exhalted Dickhead DeVos, for whom almost everything in this town is named.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • promise nirvana, collect fee, enter endless costly upgrade cycle.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • the lines are nebulous indeed! :-)

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • It's like saying Islam is bad and no Muslim programmer can be trusted.

    no, it's not like that at all. it's more like saying al capone was bad or timothy mcveigh cannot be trusted.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • So you are saying the CoS is inherently bad?

    yes. inherently fucked up lunacy. CoS gospel is little more than the depraved rantings of a madman. CoS operations are little more than a con game on a massive scale. Travolta is a clueless untalented schmuck, Cruise is just a dumbshit. The "church" is loaded with sadistic control freaks and thier misbehavior is widely documented in vast detail. CoS sucks. Any doubt left as to what I'm saying, squirrel boy?

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • Scientology brainwashed my pet dog snowy. I miss snowy so much. Does anyone how I can rescue my snowy?

    snowy is now living 10 million years in the past, lapping up the excrement of l. ron and his alien overlord hierarchy.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • Sorry, but this is BS. Would it be OK for you if another country did this? Just because of their history the Germans should not be allowed to do what they think is right?

    No, clearly not. I was just talking about the appearance that was created, not about the moral rectitude of the act itself.

  • I didn't say they were good. Note my comments that I agree that everything I know about CoS indicates to me that they are essentially a cult (although I don't claim to be an expert). Merely that it creates a generally bad appearance for the German government to get involved in this sort of thing, whether the organization is a cult or a religion, or a political group or whatever. It's the affiliation of one person who happens to be the CEO of a company that produces the software. My point is that 50 years ago many people in Germany would have said the exact same things about a company run by a Jew. Now, I think we are pretty much right today and they were clearly morally way-off 50 years ago, and I'm not a moral relativist. Merely pointing out that it should give us pause - not that I have the ideal explanation for the situation and the correct and incorrect course of action for the German government or people.
  • It may seem like a Good Thing. My point was that it would have seemed like a good thing to Germans 50 years ago to boycott software written by a company run by a Jew. Is this the appropriate way to fight an organization that we think is bad? It seems to me to cloud the distinction between an organization committing immoral acts and the people in it being "inherently bad" or somehow polluting to projects that they are involved in (i.e. defrag software).

    I don't know the answer, this is a tough question. I agree the CoS is a Bad Thing. But I don't think it's a Good Thing to boycott software, or judge ideas or judge products as good or bad based on the beliefs, however wacked we think they are, of somebody who was involved in its production. Actually, let me clarify that: I think it's fine for INDIVIDUALS to make those sorts of decisions, but I don't get a good feeling when the GOVERNMENT of a large nation makes a decision like that. Governments tend to be bad at making fine-grained philisophical or ethical decisions like this (i.e. is the software somehow polluted by the participation of a Scientologist?).

    Note that I'm ignoring potential security issues. There are other ways to deal with that (code audit for security).
  • Fully agreed. They aren't a legitimate religion. I stated that in my original posting. I was just shocked by the casualness with which most posters seemed to accept banning or mucking around with the sale of software that involved an individual associated with a "bad" organization. It was just the wording of it all that disturbed me - is it appropriate, despite or because of past historical events, for a government to try to ban software or books or products because the member of a group that commits admittedly evil acts was involved in a company that produced them.
  • No, if it was flamebait I would have posted AC. Acting against CoS is one thing. I am not criticizing the German government for raiding CoS compounds or banning the organization's activities. I am simply wondering about the appropriateness of extending these activities to the realm of bans based on personal affiliations. It blurs the line between "bad organization" and "bad person". This is NOT flamebait. This is a fucking legitimate question.

    And please note, shithead, that you can't be "corrected" for having an opinion. If I stated something factually false, I will concede it. I merely stated an opinion about the impression that was created by certain words used to describe the German government's actions. I realize these concepts are too abstract for an AC like you.
  • It is true I'm afraid.
    It was even on slashdot at the time (not that it proves anything, but...)

    "The law" in this case was Co$ interpretation of copyright law, which they perverted to use against any unauthorized (read, outside) reading of their books

  • A potentially compromised disk defragmenter is quite a bit more dangerous than a simple movie (write me a trojan/virus/worm hidden in a movie file and I will be quite happy to change my mind)

    Also, Windows 2000 was only banned from use on Government computers (private users and businesses are of course free to use it, but a lot of businesses decided on their own that they would not buy W2K).
    And you simply cannot run a software written by people whose loyalty lie by an organization like Scientology on a sensitive computer.

  • I mentally replace "Scientologist" with "Jew" and I see something that could have happened 50 years ago if we had a software industry
    Germany is trying so hard to avoid the mistakes of the past that they're doing the same thing, just on the other side. It is, quite literally, a pendulum effect. For example, because the fascists so infringed on the rights of people, Germany has now completely outlawed Fascisim and Nazi symbology, to the point that, for example, Corel software was once banned due to a clip-art CD having three Nazi symbols and two pictures of Hitler. Remind you of something? America's the same way, just not to the same extent. Trying to re-write history, 'affirmitive action' which is really anti-white racisim, as opposed to pro-equality. That sort of thing.
  • sounds like mindless US bashing to me.

    First, I can't believe the swedish government would be so foolish as to yield to an unsubstantiated letter from a powerless congressman.

    Secondly, if the letter was real, any country, or even any group could bring that congressman a world of pain if he wasn't acting within the law, which clearly he wasn't if this was real (which I doubt)

    If you can find a link, I'd be interested to read more, but it sounds very much like something which has been made up.


  • I mentally replace "Scientologist" with "Jew" and I see something that could have happened 50 years ago if we had a software industry ... "We won't use software tools made by the Jews, you can't trust them or their software".

    The impression I got was exactly the opposite. Germany have (unsurprisingly) a large set of strong laws that are designed to prevent large super powerful organisations (MS, the Nazi party) using their power to over promote a single point of view. I agree that in this case it is probably a bit of overkill, but the sentiment is right. If MS *were* promoting a set of ideas that some people find distastful, then we shouldn't be forced to accept it. We should have the choice as to weather we "support" them or not.

    It is not "religous suppression", it is exactly the opposite. It is giving us the choice as to whether we support something, or not, and that can only be a good thing.

    If you're not going to use software written by a Scientologist, or written by a crony of Bill Gates, that should be your own wacky individual choice to make

    And it should be your choice if you *do* want to use it. The German ruling gives *you* the choice, not Bilbo.

    The whole thing breaks down (again) to choice. German law is very very hot on freedom of religous choice. They've forced MS to respect that freedom, even over a very very minor point, which is a good thing.

    Now, if only they could be convinced that the use of IE contravened our religious beliefs...


  • the reason Germany is so tough on cults like Scientology is because of the suffering wrought by said Austrian ex-colonel, on the German people and the whole world

    I suggest you elaborate on why Scientology is bad because of one particular person's view. Your logic is slightly twisted and I fear that you are the one who is brainwashed. You are following right along with your government's views and condoning the discrimination against a (harmeless) religion all because of one person. You are prosecuting EVERYONE because of ONE. That is just so unbelievable silly.

    Consequently, instead of allowing dangerous, brainwashing religions to flourish under the sort of blanket coverage provided by the US consitution, they're seeking to protect weak-willed citizens from the cult leaders and themselves

    Yeah, because I see SO many people here who are brainwashed by cults! Right. I can tell you that this 'brainwashing' you are referring to doesn't happen as much as you would like to think.

    if you found that part of your operating system was developed by an avowed neo-Nazi, what would you do?

    How can you compare a hate group to Scientology? I don't know that much about it but from what I know it's harmless. Perhaps you can educate us on why it is OK to prosecure Scientology as a whole.

    It's posts like this that make me proud to be an American.
  • Just to provide a little information for Linux fans, defragging as of Win2000 isn't really needed. The NTFS5 uses clusters that are so small, very rarely do they have to be defragged.

    As an example, using the defrag utility on my Win2000 box right now, it says about 15%-20% of the drive is fragmented. Recommended course of action by the program: don't worry about it. Earlier Windows versions (and users) would have scoffed at 20% fragmentation. "It's one-fifth of the drive!". But not so in Windows 2000.

    I defrag my current drive around once in every 4 months. About the number of times I had to sit through fsck in rebooting my Linux machine (for various reasons).

    If they want to remove defrag, I say let them. It's barely used or needed.

  • "It's no more a religion than Amway is."

    Amway is the biggist religous cult in the world. They trick average, generally good people into worshiping Pyramid (schemes) and other evil things. And they keep it shrouded in secrecy because you can only sell to other Amway "followers", wich encourages them to go seek out more followers for their evil cult. If Scientoligy is no more a religion than Amway is, I'm getting pretty scared of Scientoligy.

  • the reason Germany is so tough on cults like Scientology is because of the suffering wrought by said Austrian ex-colonel, on the German people and the whole world. Consequently, instead of allowing dangerous, brainwashing religions to flourish under the sort of blanket coverage provided by the US consitution, they're seeking to protect weak-willed citizens from the cult leaders and themselves. Reverse the situation: if you found that part of your operating system was developed by an avowed neo-Nazi, what would you do? BTW, a discrimination lawsuit? In which country's courts are you gonna bring that in? What makes Americans think that their legal system is global? Thank Ghod, it's not.
  • It's worth noting that the first set of instructions MS released were just a deceptive sop to the German authorities. If you followed those instructions, the defragger (and all the iles you deleted) would be automatically restored from internal backup no later than the next reboot after you deleted them.

  • Yes, they could be there. It would be harder than most programs, but they could be there. So have some M$ engineers look at it, and announce whether or not there are. They shouldn't be hard to find; its a fscking DEFRAG program -- if it connects to the net, that's BAD. If it changes *any* content other than logs and where stuff is, thats BAD. A few more I probably can't think of, check for buffer/string format holes, and its done. Not too hard. And if M$ says its OK, well then it's as OK as the rest of the OS (not very, but good enough for most people).
  • by evanbd ( 210358 )
    is it not sufficient for M$ to simply have a team of their own engineers review the code and declare it safe? That seems to me the best way to deal with an alleged security hole. Now, that assumes it is safe. If it isn't, then more needs to be done...
  • If AC would have read the article, he would have known that the problem here is not security. The problem is that Germany sees Scientology not as a religion, but as a criminal organization and is hence outlawed.

    I don't know enough about Scientology to have a firm opinion on this, but I do know that there are large numbers of people, not only in Germany but in other European countries as well, that figth them. These people are generally not your average traditional-christian zealots, nor militant agnostics.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:31AM (#648203)
    Why should it be a joke?

    What is wrong with fearing a Cult that has been shown to do very bad things. They allready intimidate and kill people. So what is wrong with fearing software from them?

    www.xenu.net is a great resource of the evils of scientology
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @12:05PM (#648204)
    I'm no fan of the CoS. I've read the stories. I know what they've done. I have a lot of trouble believing the "Church" bit, since they didn't start out that way and, at the time they prepended "Church of" to their name, said it was only "for tax purposes."

    But still, this action leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Banning a piece of the software because the maker's CEO, who probably never so much as glanced at the code, is a scientologist and therefore a "security risk"? This seems a bit too much. Certainly it can't be considered more of a risk than any other closed-source software.

    Or to put it another way, when one group uses Nazi-like policies to fight a group that uses Nazi-like policies, in the end only the Nazis win.
  • Criticism like this coming from a country that in the present:

    * Kills innocents (death penalty)
    * Does not follow international treaties
    (2 German criminals were prosecuted in the US of A _after_ the International Court [including one US judge]
    ordered a stop, becaues of violation of international treaties granting right to diplomatic help)
    * Killed millions of indians, had slavery, has a war on harmless drug users
    * Has the highest rate of people in jail of all "civilized" nations

    Please moderate this down.

    Anyways German courts have decided Scientology is not a religion. I tend to agree. Thus it does not have the same protection as e.g. Jewish, pagan , christian or any other religion or belief system.

    German government _is_ a bit hysterical about scientology IMHO.

    But that does not mean that your comparison to Nazi terror is in the least bit justified, get a life, buy a newspaper and stop smoking crack.

    I hate this crap.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @12:40PM (#648206) Homepage
    Speaking of "Fair Game," it appears I'm now flagged as a troublemaker by Slashdot. For the past four or so months, I've yet to gain an iota of karma for the posts that I've had moderated up -- and, in fact, I've seen a net loss of karma, because meta-moderation has smoked me a few times.

    What happened? Oh, just that during the summer, I was particularly disappointed with the quality of Slashdot postings and the moderation system. I groused about it, quit being a moderator (I was part of the test pilot group, so I must have engendered some sort of respect at one time) and came within bits of deleting Slashdot from my bookmarks list.

    I can only assume I've received a Taco bitchslap. How petty.

    In the past week, I've posted twelve messages. Four have been moderated up and seven have generated follow-up replies. None have been moderated down. And yet my karma -- it's dropped at least three points, and perhaps five.

    This wouldn't bother me, except that at some point I'm bound to fall below the +2 boundry, and will have no method of recouping the loss. I really don't give a flying fuck about accumulating gross amounts of karma, but I am a little cheesed that I've been excluded from the system, to my detriment.

    Church of Scientology, coming soon to a Slashdot near you: fair game policies, chain-locker imprisonment, Operation Freak-out and Karma Exclusion -- whoo! What fun it is to run a private fiefdom!

  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @02:04PM (#648207) Homepage
    As far as I know, no movie has ever been banned for reasons of Scientology in Germany.

    However, CoS Germany tries again and again to use "their" movie stars as advertisement for their recruitment and both Tom Cruise and John Travolta openly advertised their CoS membership in interviews over here in the past. (Cruise has stopped doing so, but I read that for any interview, his management now insists on having no CoS-related questions and that every question must be sent to his press agent in advance...)

    Anyway, since both CoS and the CoS-related stars use their movies for Scientology recruitment efforts, many Cruise- and Travolta-movies are not just seen as simple, mindless entertainment over here. The youth organization of the CDU (CDU is the conservartive of the two major parties here in Germany) has even picketed some of these movies, but back then, the German press thought that this was neither effective nor smartly done.

    However, a script like "Phenomenon" (where Travolta turns into some kind of superman and does a few CoS-inspired nonsense) raises a few eyebrows over here. Movies with CoS-stars are always looked at for some potential subtext. If I am not mistaken, the German voice actor who used to dub Cruise in the past has given up this job because he was disgusted by Cruise's continuing CoS recruitment propaganda.

    BTW, Battlefield Earth will appear as a video premiere in Germany. It seems that noone is happy about it, but a contract is a contract. It appears to me that the American release was also part of a contractual deal that forced Warner Brothers to do it, no matter if it was any good.

    On the other hand, MI:2 was a huge success in Germany and while some critics mentioned Cruise's involvement with the CoS, it was no big deal for the audience.

  • by Jenova ( 27902 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:51AM (#648208)
    Incidentally I've replaced the default W2k defrag tool with another free beer tool from:


    I think its by a German company.

  • by G-Man ( 79561 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @09:38AM (#648209)
    What I'm curious about is whether the Germans ban any movies, since there are many CoS devotees in Hollywood. Are Travolta movies prohibited, especially "Battlefield Earth"? (Well, OK, you could ban that simply as a "crime against humanity") How about Tom Cruise films?

    While it's well and good to make their stand against the CoS (given recent German history, I'll cut them some slack on the freedom of religion and association issues), but it seems like taking on M$ but not Hollywood is kinda questionable -- "Well, if we ban movies people will actually be upset -- they gotta have their MI2. But no one really cares about some defrag utility".
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @09:02AM (#648210) Homepage
    What's suprising is that this would be contracted out. One would expect defragmentation to be written by the file system team. What other parts of the various Microsoft operating systems weren't written within Microsoft?

    Also, remember how strongly Microsoft objected to the read-write version of NTFSDOS [sysinternals.com], because it "violated security" by reading and writing NT file systems from DOS. (The original read/write version was pulled under pressure from Microsoft. There's now a freeware read/write version, years later, but it's a different program. Microsoft didn't like those guys; they wrote NTCRASH [sysinternals.com], which found dozens of security holes in NT by generating random system calls.) So it's suprising to see something like file system defragmentation farmed out.

  • Their beliefs do not include ethics and/or morals of any sort that you would recognize
    Actually, they do, but only for themselves. As far as they're concerened, we're just a bunch of supressives and jailers who all pay heed to the words of Xenu, who neutron-bombed the Earth several millions of years ago, and put us all in prison colonies. Know thy enemy, [xenu.net] know thyself, [slashdot.org] and victory [5c5c5cdev5cnull] shall be yours.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2000 @09:45AM (#648212)
    Scientology is BAD NEWS. They will stop at NOTHING to discredit people who publicly criticise them. They will dig up any dirt, publish any accusation, go to ANY LENGTH to shut you up if you're a critic.

    Trust me: running software written by a Scientologist IS a security risk. Their beliefs do not include ethics and/or morals of any sort that you would recognize. I don't remember this for sure, but I think they believe non-scientologists are essentially not human and thus it doesn't matter if they lie, cheat, or steal from them. If they put a trojan horse on your computer and Scientology can use it to further the causes of the church (ie, steal money from you), well, so much the better.

    I don't know if the money and power have corrupted them enough yet (they certainly don't have far to fall) but it wouldn't surprise me if they simply started killing people who oppose them.

    They are the most evil organization I have ever encountered in my medium-length life. Tread carefully around them. Their religion is morally bankrupt and corrupt to the core and the central leadership is deeply evil.

    I would post this under my user account but I know for a fact they have long memories -- I'd rather not end up on any of their lists.

    Tread carefully with anyone who supports scientology -- anyone who claims it is a wholesome outfit is almost certainly corrupt and not to be trusted.

    Germany is RIGHT.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2000 @09:38AM (#648213)
    I am not the original poster, and yes, I am posting as AC, but this is why:

    The Co$ is known for totally destroying and discrediting its critics.
    Take this for example: The Co$ saw Prozac as such a threat (because they prey on the depressed and disenfranchised) that they took it upon themselves to launch a campaign against the drug both in the courts and by impersonating the inventor of the drug and doing many outrageous acts in public. It got so bad that the inventor of the drug (a woman, I forgot her name) was eventually locked up in a mental hospital until this whole shenannigan was uncovered. The Co$ is evil (even more evil than M$, believe it or not.) Time magazine had an article on the evils of the Co$ many years ago (around '91 or '92)... if you want more info on the current evils of Co$, check here [xenu.net]
  • by GlowStars ( 57169 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @11:50AM (#648214)
    Some very good background information can be found in this c't article [heise.de] from last year.

    Just some quotes:
    • The CEO of Executive Software, Craig Jensen [scientologist.org], is an operating Thetan at level VIII (OT VIII), the highest level scientologists can achieve currently.
    • Executive Software Inc. [execsoft.com] is a member of the Scientology umbrella organization WISE [wise.org] (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises).
    • Guideline 1 of WISE says to "utilize the administrative technology in every business of the world". WISE further demands: "Conquer the key positions, the position [...] as companies' director of human resources, [...] as secretary of the director, [...]. The manufacturing plants, the trade centers, the counties, these are the places where we want trained scientologists."
    • Scientology wants to extend the administration technologies in its enterprises, resulting in a total control of the employees, to government and society as well. Scientology engages espionage to systematically gather information about enemies and uses psychological intimidation. For this the organization is operating its own secret service called Office for Special Affairs (OSA).
    • According to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten (German newspaper) strictly confidential material of the State Department ended up in the OSA headquarter in Los Angeles. At the end of 1997 the Foreign Office had created an internal strategy paper that investigated "Scientology Under the Aspect of German-American Relations". The State Department brought in the Federal Intelligence Agency to identify the mole. So far without any success.
  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:38AM (#648215)
    Now, I'm no fan of the tenets of CoS. But things like this coming from the German government also give me pause. I mentally replace "Scientologist" with "Jew" and I see something that could have happened 50 years ago if we had a software industry ... "We won't use software tools made by the Jews, you can't trust them or their software".

    I am not saying that I think CoS is a legitimate religious organization. I don't. Admittedly, many religions tend toward greed or zealotry, but CoS walks like a cult, smells like a cult and quacks like a cult. Nevertheless, coming from the German government broad regulations and requirements of software or other consumer products based on the belief set or association of those who created them - well, it just doesn't ring very well in my mind. If you're not going to use software written by a Scientologist, or written by a crony of Bill Gates, that should be your own wacky individual choice to make. I don't think having the government try to muck around in it is a good idea, especially in a country like Germany, where there is a long history of cultural tendencies toward nationalism and racism.

    I realize that in this case the result is instructions on uninstalling and not government action, but the government made the statement and did try to get involved, and that's enough to give me pause.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:50AM (#648216)
    I'm posting anonymouisly so I won't be harrased further by sceintology. I've been a critic, and have been harased by them. They've intercepted E-mails, bugged my phone calls, and how do I know this? they've brought printouts when they come talk to me. Although I have no proof, I believe they also inflitrated the computers at my place of business, 3 days after my incident with them, my main server lost its root nfs key (unusual for solaris to say the least ...) .

    In the 1970's Scientology had a intelligence orginization called the "GO" Guardian Office, which infilitrated several government agencies and stole millions of documents from them in what they called "Operation Snow White". They were eventaully caught and 12 top officials went to jail.

    Scientology is real, these are the crazy fucks your mother warned you about. They are no less then true evil.

    I can guarantee the defragger is a trojan horse.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:34AM (#648217)
    As an ex-scientologist news like this just makes me laugh with joy. Scientology is an evil cult whose goal is to take over the world and imprison or kill anyone who doesn't agree with them. Anyone who has spent any time in it can tell you that. Just look up the Fair Game PL. Scientology claims to be a religion but in fact the religious trappings it puts on are for PR and legal protection. It's no more a religion than Amway is. It's true nature is more like the Nazi party of the 1930's. If anyone could recognize this, its the Germans.

    Many scientologists as individuals are decent honest people. Its unfortunate that they have made such a poor choice in remaining in the "church." I could go on all day long about them, but many others have already covered it and more eloquently than I could.

    What is the difference between Scientology and Microsoft? One is an evil cult bent on world domination and the other was begun by L. Ron Hubbard.

  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @09:44AM (#648218) Homepage
    There will be a *flood* messages from cultists that attack the German government and/or mock the situation.

    The reality is that the CoS actively infiltrates governments. It's part of their cult mandate: LRon himself wrote "The goal of the [CoS] Department [of Governmental Affairs] is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by a high-level ability to control and in its absence by a low-level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies."

    Here's the internal CoS memo that ended up with the US IRS being infiltrated, a bijillion documents stolen, and ultimately the arrest and subsequent jailing of CoS members: [Infiltrate the IRS] [xs4all.nl]. It is, of course, worth noting that in the end, the IRS dismissed over a billion dollars in backtaxes and granted the CoS religious exemption status... in a secret, shady, wholly unprecedented deal.

    [This document] [rickross.com] also provides some good insight.

    The Greek government busted a CoS unit, and discovered [top-secret US military airbase maps.] [lermanet.com]

    In Canada, the CoS stole confidential documents from myriad Ontario government organizations, when those organizations were investigating the CoS for various illegal practices. They CoS had operatives working in the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Metro Toronto Police, the Ontario Medical Assoc., the College of Physicians, the Cdn Mental Health Assoc., and even the Attorney General's office.

    The CoS is also infiltrating businesses: it offers a "training package" which is no more than Hubbardology in business guise. There's a bit of a write up [over here] [rickross.com], and a bit of web-searching will dig up a lot more information about the repugnent tactics they use to abuse people to perform better.

    Here are two great CoS information sites: [RickRoss] [rickross.com] and [Xenu.Net] [xenu.net] And it really takes no effort at all to use Google to dig up plenty of facts that will shock and astound you.

    As evil organizations hell-bent on world domination go, the CoS is pretty much at the fore-front. Their adherents are fanatical beyond any rational thinking, their mandates to infiltrate governments, businesses and opposition groups is explicit and ruthless, and they have a pile of money.

    Go do some web-prowling. The CoS is fascinating, scary and shocking. It's a better use of your time than surfing for goat pr0n!

    [I'm probably now "Fair Game" -- which is kind of scary: in CoS words, I "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."]


  • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:45AM (#648219) Homepage
    As far as Germany (and, frankly, I) am concerned, Scientology isn't a religion, it's a bona fide cult that engages not only in targetted litigation to silence its critics, but also in systematic violent repression of dissenters and, in some cases, murder. Ask them about what happens to people they identify as "repressives" some day.

    This is analogous to protesting that something you were more or less compelled to buy (let's face it, you can't do business easily without buying much MS software) was developed by the Aum Shinrikyo, the Mafia or the Taliban.

  • by viktor ( 11866 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:55AM (#648220) Homepage
    Frankly, I do understand the German government's fears, although perhaps a bit exaggerated. I am truly glad that there is at least one government that dares fight CoS.

    Why am I negative against CoS? Aren't they just another church? Not in my view. A few years back the CoS managed to get the Swedish goverment [chalmers.se] to break against the Swedish constitution, to preserve the "secrets" of the CoS Bible. They did this through one of their members, an american congressman.

    This congressman wrote a very sharp and direct official letter to the Swedish government, threatening with all kinds of retributions unless they made a decision that was (and is) against the swedish consistution, namely to make the CoS Bible secret although it, through clever usage of Swedish law, had been made a public document.

    The swedish government yielded to that threat, because the USA is a powerful nation. The congressman, when asked about the letter afterwards, could "not remember writing such a letter"...

    Anyways, a "church" that powerful and defensive is not a healthy thing. Politicians that easily convinced to make official threats on account of their religious leaders isn't either.

    So I can understand the German government. By making sure that absolutely nothing in official use is made by or (ideally) even influenced by the CoS, the risks of them overtaking (or perhaps rahter "affecting") important parts of the country's affairs is significantly lessend.

    I only wish that the U.S.A. would take similar measures. After all, that's where the problem^H^H^H^H^H^H^HCoS originated.


  • by Domino ( 12558 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:54AM (#648221) Homepage
    > Now, I'm no fan of the tenets of CoS. But things like this coming from the German government also give me pause. I mentally replace "Scientologist" with "Jew" and I see something that could have happened 50 years ago if we had a software industry ...

    Ironically, that is the reason why Germans are very careful about organizations like scientology. Scientology's beliefs (which include reigning the world) are triggering the German government to act in order to PREVENT the same thing from happening again in Germany under the disguise of an organization.

    In Germany, Scientology is under surveillance because it has engaged in criminal activity. It is regarded as a dangerous cult and not a church. While religious freedom is taken very seriously in Germany, cults are recognized to be a great danger.

    A while ago, scientology ran a worldwide campaign with page-size newspaper ads, accusing the German government of prosecuting them like the Jews. This caused a great outrage among Jews living in Germany, even Ignaz Bubis, the former chairman of the jewish council [access.ch].

    It scares me that an organization such as scientology still has so much acceptance as being legitimate, especially in the U.S.
  • by jerdenn ( 86993 ) <jerdenn@dennany.org> on Sunday November 05, 2000 @11:38AM (#648222)
    For those looking for a first hand account of Scientology, one may be found here. [xenu.net]


  • by Gone Jackal ( 108992 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:58AM (#648223)
    It's not just a 'religious affiliation'. Read the position papers and corporate goals of Executive Software, inc. They view their organisation as a tool specifically for funding and furthering CoS goals, i.e., full integration of the cult into world government and business. You want to talk about discrimination? When they opened their Hamburg offices, their only hiring requirement was that you be a member of CoS; computer skills were desirable, but not necessary.

    They're also currently being investigated for corporate espionage by the German government. Even if I were for Scientology, this corporation is run by a 'religion' which has been declared illegal in a Germany, and by its nature refuses to separate its beliefs from its corporate practices.

The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.