Hamburg (Reuters) - Germany and France intend to cooperate on an international level in the surveillance of the Scientology Organization. "A resolution of the sect phenomenon must be found on a European level," said France's national sect commissioner, Alain Vivien on Wednesday in connection with the federal-state conference on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" in Hamburg, in which Vivien also took part. France issued invitation for a European conference in the beginning of 2001 so that future operations can be discussed. Most countries reacted to Scientology like Germany and France, said Vivien, though with hesitation.
According to estimates from the Federal Interior Ministry, Scientology has up to 6,000 members in Germany. The organization, founded in the USA in 1954, has been active in Germany since 1970. It has been under surveillance by Constitutional Security since 1997 because, as they say, Scientology presents "evidence of endeavors against liberal democratic basic order."
Hamburg's Interior Senator Hartmut Wrocklage (SPD) said, "The battle against Scientology can only be won internationally." Vivien said that Scientology was an international matter, because, not least of all, its goal was worldwide domination. He warned that Scientology could "infiltrate" international organizations like the United Nations (UNO). For instance, he said, there was a non-governmental organization, "Friends of the United Nations," which was officially recognized by the UNO whose charter said it was involved with developing countries. But the fact of the matter was that it was issuing statements about the "alleged non-maintenance of religious freedom in France."