from http://www.alt-charlemagne-award.de/ceremony.htm [This was just the initial page. There will probably be additions, corrections and pictures later on.]
Alternative Charlemagne Award 2000 Ceremony in the Old Stock Exchange (built circa 1687) in Leipzig, Germany
Introduction from American Co-Moderator
Laudatio from the Director of the Work Group on Scientology, Hamburg Interior Ministry
Presentation of the Award
Speech by Robert S. Minton in Leipzig, Germany on June 3rd, 2000
Entrance music (coronet, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone)
Introduction from Event Arranger, Solveig Prass
Introduction from German co-moderator, Rev. Thomas Gandow
Introduction from American Co-Moderator
Hi, my name is Joe Cisar. I am from the USA.
[Spoken alternately in English and German co-moderators,]
I think there is a lack of news about Scientology in the USA. So I translate German news articles about Scientology into English and post them on the internet.
In late April 1998, I posted a couple of my translations about Scientology which mentioned Bob Minton's work with that organization. Two months later, on June 16, 1998, NBC's Dateline television show broadcast a show about Bob Minton's work with Scientology. At that time, one of the few places information about Bob Minton and his work could be found was at my web site.
After people found my web site through internet search engines, dozens wrote me e-mails about Bob Minton. "How can I help Bob Minton?" "What can I do?" "Where can I send money to help this man?" I answered to send their money to FactNet, which is an organization which informs people about Scientology.
My point is that not only do I appreciate what Mr. Minton has done to inform people about Scientology, but I appreciate the fact that there is an actual need for help and this need comes from people who have no one else from whom they can get help. This is very basic, and it should not be forgotten.
Laudatio from the Director of the Work Group on Scientology, Hamburg Interior Ministry
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Bob Minton
It is a great honor and pleasure for me to be here in Leipzig today, and to address the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom.
And there is a special reason for this: the place - Leipzig!
As a person who grew up in a divided Germany, it is sometimes still incomprehensible to me that it is completely normal now to drive to Leipzig. East Germany used to be an area more unfamiliar to me than Spain or Denmark. I still experience a feeling of well-being in this regard, be it in Berlin, Schwerin, Jena or Dresden. And my joyful appreciation is due in large measure to the people of the city of Leipzig. These people no longer wanted the Stasi-state of the DDR; they rose up to claim freedom of speech and freedom of opinion to freely develop their own personalities. They made a decision for human rights and for freedom of belief. They have made such a large contribution to the reunification of Germany. For this I thank you!
And it is exactly for this reason that this city is of special significance in the granting of the alternative Charlemagne Award.
Because it is for those ideals to which the people in Leipzig have dedicated themselves that the Committee today bestows the alternative Charlemagne Award.
One would really think that, in a liberal democracy with elected representatives, in a functioning legal state, the dangers from totalitarian organizations are rather slight. I am actually convinced of that - and that is also how things are in fact. A democratic state and the people who live in it have many alternatives in defending themselves. So what happens? Anti-democratic ideas and cynical ideals under the guise of a supposed church appear. From a country which proclaims personal rights of freedom such as no other in the world - the USA. This new form of political extremism has a name: Scientology!
The system of Scientology operates according to a political ideology which jeopardizes democracies all over the world. L. Ron Hubbard and his successor have used their organization to create a state within a state. Scientology proclaims the freedom of the individual, but deliberately creates servitude. Hubbard's statements are nothing other than operating instructions as one would find in war. They may realize that or they may not: all methods utilized by Scientology serve the waging of war:
- camouflage by religion
- pseudotherapeutic measures in courses and seminars
- psychomanipulative techniques in "auditing"
- presentation of self as a persecuted minority
- assimilation of celebrities for purposes of advertising and dissemination
"The war is over," announced David Miscavige after the tax exemption agreement was reached with the IRS (U.S. tax authorities). If proof had previously been lacking for this theory that war is being waged, then that statement makes it clear to all. Clear to all who want to listen.
But here in Europe we have taken note that that there are those in the United States of America who either did not want to listen or did not want to understand. After the Scientology-IRS tax agreement, a number of their political representatives - how should I put it - either without reflection or simply uninformed, took up the war strategy of the Scientology Organization. When Scientology began its unspeakable campaign of defamation against the Federal Republic of Germany which its public relations described as the beginning of a new Holocaust, many in Germany, including me, hoped their campaign would lead to protests. The campaign presented not only a disparagement to representatives of this Republic, but also an insult to the victims of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, however, it did not lead to people in the USA contemplating why their country had previously maintained a critical attitude towards Scientology.
No - just the opposite: just recently, during our newly elected Federal President Johannes Rau's visit to the USA, he was compelled to make a statement on the Scientology Organization. He did that - as could be read afterwards in the "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung" (FAZ) newspaper - very graciously and unequivocally.
Now it is conceivable that the Germans are not far behind. The President of the United States, Bill Clinton, will be presented with the Charlemagne Award. An award that is meant to distinguish people who promote democracy, human rights and the common values of Europe. It is not that I do not wish him to have this award, but in view of the cynical practices in Scientology, in view of the many victims of this organization in the USA and worldwide, and in view of the described - cautiously stated - uncritical assumption of the Scientology Organization's arguments against European states, like France and the Federal Republic of Germany, it is time send a clear signal. A signal that there are also people in the USA itself who follow the assessment of the European states regarding the Scientology Organization. Enough to reinforce us in Europe in our discussion and in our informational work.
For this reason, we today bestow an alternative Charlemagne Award. And we bestow it full of pleasure and pride in a citizen of the United States of America who did not intend to accept that it was possible, in his home country, for an organization to silence all its victims and opponents. A U.S. citizen who took action for equal rights in the U.S., who recognized what dangers could arise for a liberal democracy and its people from Scientology.
Dear Bob Minton, your involvement in the USA is exemplary. Your activity - not least of all, the founding of the Lisa McPherson Trust - has given us hope again in Europe. Hope that it may one day be made clear in the USA how dangerous Scientology is. Hope that the political representatives of your country understand that totalitarian systems insidiously spread their ideology over the heads of their manipulated members. Probably - no, I am sure of it - it is more difficult in the States to point out the dangers than it is in Europe; we have been there before. Especially in Germany. Based on our past, we know one thing: never again do we intend to live in a system in which the dignity of a person is not respected, in which freedom of religion and freedom of belief are restricted. This is what would happen to the extent that Scientology reaches its political goal of "Clear Planet," i.e., a planet purged of people who think differently. In the USA, you are helping to keep that from happening. For this, we would like to thank you, to wish you strength and courage, to tell you that this award is an expression of our respect and also that you, and all those who defend human rights and freedom of opinion in the USA from Scientology, can always count on us here in Europe.
Music: U.S. National Anthem - "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Presentation of the Award by and the Award Certificate, which read:
On the 3rd day of June in the year 2000 in Leipzig, Germany, the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA presented its Human Rights Award, the Alternative Charlemagne Award 2000 to Robert S. Minton in appreciationSpeech by Robert S. Minton in Leipzig, Germany on June 3rd, 2000. The occasion being the award of the Alternative Charlemagne Award by the European American Citizens' Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom
- of his involvement, led by his courage and sense of civil duty, on behalf of the victims of Scientology - of his efforts towards human rights and freedom of expression in the USA - and as an expression of our support for the American people in putting human rights violations by the totalitarian Scientology to an end.
For the Committee
Thank you Mrs. Caberta. I am very honored to receive the Alternative Charlemagne Award this morning from my esteemed colleagues of the European American Citizens' Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom. It is very moving to receive this award in Leipzig, where freedom was reborn in the former East Germany.
In 1984 I crossed from West Berlin into East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie. The vast difference between my democratic freedoms in the United States and the Communist Stasi-controlled GDR were extremely striking to me, and that moment has had a lasting impact. I well remember walking through the deserted No-Main's Land on the East Berlin side of Checkpoint Charlie after midnight with a heavy suitcase to a waiting State-owned taxi for the short trip to my State-owned hotel for foreigners only. The GDR viewed me then in very much the same way the Scientologists view me now. I was the equivalent of a Suppressive Person, or SP, to the GDR, and it was important for them to keep my thoughts and information from their citizens.
Today in Leipzig, we are in the shadows of the famous St. Nikolas Church, where the cry from freedom in East Germany began with a handful of people that grew to hundreds and then hundreds of thousands shouting for freedom in the streets surrounding this very building where we are now gathered. Leipzig is now free, East and West Germany are now reunited as one, and the vast majority of citizens are extremely happy with their new-found freedom. However, not everyone in the former East Germany or in other formerly Communist-controlled Eastern European countries are happy with these new freedoms, just as there are people in the United States and every other country in the world who want someone else to make their decisions for them.
The State no longer makes life's major decisions for the citizens in the old Eastern Europe who must now utilize their new freedoms to become self-sufficient and self-determined individuals. It is no accident that in such a vacuum, those individuals who have never been willing to accept the responsibility that freedom brings have allowed themselves to be recruited into organizations like Scientology. Scientology offers a replacement for the former Communist regimes that promises real freedom while in actuality creating an apparatus of coercion that dominates and terrorizes humans from within.
Once again, I must reiterate that Scientology is a monster with two heads. First and foremost, Scientology is an aspiring totalitarian political movement. That is really the End of the Story! The religious face of Scientology is in reality nothing more than an illusion masking its political agenda and ambitions. However, Scientology uses this religious face as a cover to protect it from scrutiny. This is not the kind of political animal that any democratic society has ever had to deal with before. It has co-opted the U.S. State Department under the guise of religious freedom to condemn Germany and France for religious persecution against Scientology.
The American system of government is built on two major counter-balancing principles. The first is the principle of democracy - the notion that the majority should govern most political decisions made on behalf of the country - and this principle is imbedded in the main body of the Constitution. The second great principle, which is set forth in the Bill of Rights, is the idea that the power of any group - even the democratic majority itself - must be limited to insure individual rights and liberties.
Throughout America's short history, there has never been any time in which groups or even the government itself, while egged on by extremists, hasn't tried to expand their authority and control at the expense of individual rights and liberties.
Scientology is just such an extremist group that adamantly refuses to accept the basic principles underlying the Bill of Rights. Their outright attacks on our most fundamental liberties threaten to do permanent damage to the Bill of Rights which is the bedrock of America's traditions of fairness, equality, decency and ultimately, justice. We are all in danger from Scientology's success in cloaking itself in the mantle of religious freedom as a means of focusing government attention away from their human and civil rights abuses as well as their outright manipulation of the legal process.
France and Germany have every bit as much respect for religious freedom as the United States does. Make no mistake that Scientologists have a right, which I would protect, to their truly held religious beliefs. However, we all - including France and Germany - have a right as well as a duty to oppose what the organization of Scientology seeks, because what the Church of Scientology seeks is the destruction of the wall that separates church and state. What they seek is government desecration of our basic liberties through policies and law to advance Scientology's political and social agendas.
In 1975 Scientology established a major headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, and launched a program called Project Normandy to turn Clearwater into the first Scientology-controlled city. Thus, in deciding where to establish the first office of the Lisa McPherson Trust, it seemed fitting that it should be in Clearwater. We opened our Clearwater office in January of this year, and in the nearly six months since we have been there it has become clear just how vital it is to have such an organization in the United States.
Ours is the first organization ever to be established in the United States solely for the purpose of providing education about the abusive and deceptive practices of the Church of Scientology, and we have found that there is a tremendous need amongst Scientology victims and their families for our services. We have also seen that it is vitally important for us to counter the efforts of Scientology in Washington, D.C., and because of this we plan to open another office of the Lisa McPherson Trust in Washington within the next year. The purpose of our D.C. office will be to educate our government about Scientology and get our government working with the governments of Germany, France and other countries who recognize the danger of Scientology.
We have also seen that is is crucial for us to coordinate our actions with those of other countries, and for this reason we plan to open offices of the Lisa McPherson Trust in Germany, France and one or two other countries within the next year.
For myself, I was born in the United States, a free country. I was fortunate that during my business career I was able to acquire sizable financial resources. I did this by honest hard work, including the work I did for the Nigerian government. Scientology has tried to turn everything I have ever done into something dirty, but the things they say are lies, and I will not let their lies silence me, just as each of you in the audience here today will not be silenced by Scientology's tactics of terror.
I want to share with you a passage from the Bible which a friend showed me recently, and which I'll cite at this time, from Psalms 71:13. "May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace." God is compassionate. We would like to be compassionate, too. If those who are now responsible for Scientology's inhumanities would want to leave the organization, then I would be happy to help them.
Never before has Scientology had such an organized resistance. Despite their most vigorous efforts to silence us, we will not be stopped. We have all worked to hard for our freedom. We will never let Scientology take it away.
Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for this great honor you have bestowed on me today. It is truly an award for all of us and I shall keep it in trust for everyone who stands up for human rights and religious freedom.
Music: European Anthem - "Freude schoener Goetterfunken" / Beethoven
German and American co-moderators thank everyone.
Music: "We shall overcome / We are not afraid"
Music Bob Minton stands with Award, then receives congratulations by door.
Reception afterwards in Auerbachs Keller. No relation to Rod Keller, as far as I know :-)
Joe Cisar: http://cisar.org/rfs0100.htm
Award site: http://alt-charlemagne-award.de
Why would Gottfried Helnwein, one of the world's leading Scientologists, lie? See http://members.tripod.com/German_Scn_News/has00.htm