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US stars accuse Bonn of Nazi view on Scientology

The Daily Telegraph, January 10, 1997, Friday

From nobody@huge.cajones.com Mon Jan 13 12:53:25 GMT 1997


LENGTH: 395 words

HEADLINE: US stars accuse Bonn of Nazi view on Scientology


   HOLLYWOOD celebrities accused Chancellor Kohl yesterday of 
allowing a Nazi-style persecution of members of the 
Scientology sect, write Andrew Gimson and Victoria Combe. 
Goldie Hawn, Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Stone were among 34 
names who signed an open letter to the Chancellor which 
appeared as a full-page advertisement in yesterday's 
International Herald Tribune. The letter compared
 Germany's treatment of the Scientologists to Hitler's 
treatment of the Jews in the 1930s and claimed that the sect 
was subject to "organised persecution". The signatories are 
not Scientologists but the sect has a stronghold in Hollywood. 
Its members include John Travolta, Tom Cruise, his wife, 
Nicole Kidman, Priscilla and Lisa-Marie Presley and Demi 
Moore. The letter was the idea of Bertram Fields, a Jewish 
lawyer, who paid the pounds 38,000 advertising fee and 
gathered the signatures, among them Tina Sinatra, Larry King, 
the talk show host, and Gore Vidal, the writer. The letter 
said: "In the Germany of the 1930s, Hitler made religious 
intolerance official government policy. Jews were at first 
marginalised then excluded from many activities, then vilified 
and ultimately subjected to unspeakable horrors. "The world 
stood by in silence. Perhaps if people had spoken up, taken a 
stronger stand, history would tell a different story. We 
cannot change history, but we can try not to relive it." 
Chancellor Kohl said: "They have no idea about Germany, and 
don't want to have any idea. Otherwise, they wouldn't have 
come up with something like that." German politicians have 
made swingeing attacks on Scientology.  Norbert Blum the 
Employment Minister, made allegations about its financial 
organisation and the youth faction of Chancellor Kohl's party, 
the Christian Democratic Union, called for a boycott of the 
films Mission Impossible, starring Tom Cruise, and Phenomenon, 
with John Travolta. Chick Corea, the American jazz musician 
and a Scientologist, had his German concerts cancelled last 
year. Graeme Wilson, spokesman at Scientology headquarters in 
East Grinstead, Sussex, said none of the celebrity members 
signed the letter in order to increase its impact. "We want to 
get across the message that it is not just discrimination 
against Scientologists, but discrimination against religion." 
The Home Office has recently allowed Scientologists entry as 

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