Don’t ‘say no to drugs’ in Germany! Rehab clinic masks illegal Scientology church

The building of the Church of Scientology is seen in Hamburg © Morris Mac Matzen
Ad stands for rehab facilities with the particular slogan ‘Say no to drugs – say yes to life’ in Germany are under serious suspicion of being nothing more than a Scientology recruitment scheme, police warn. The sect is illegal in Germany.

The enigmatic group, which believes our human souls have alien beginnings, does not enjoy the same legal status everywhere. In the United States it boasts dozens of Hollywood A-listers among its members and biggest donors.

Not so in Germany, where the religious sect has been deemed “unconstitutional” since 1997 by domestic security, despite its existence there since the 1970s. This has led to a proliferation of masquerading tactics.

The group has already been found operating under different names in Germany, and according to the recent statement from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hamburg residents are being warned about particular ad stands featuring the most common anti-drug slogan of all.

The statement says the campaign is not linked to any drug rehab clinic or counseling service, but instead leads to a conversation with an agent of the Church of Scientology, as it tries to “win over new members.”

The government body explains that “It is well known that the Scientology organization is observed by us, so it is unlikely that a single passerby would be interested if they openly used the ‘SO’ label." Hence the church uses many leaflets, the most common among them ‘The Truth About Drugs’, recognizable from its slogan and the black-and-green color scheme.

It also warns people to steer clear of information booths the church is setting up this Saturday in Bergedorf, Hamburg. As with other leaflets in the campaign, it only gives a brief overview of the organization and encourages people to sign up. Back in 2011, Scientologists also used blogs and videos on social networks to promote their fake ‘Say no to drugs’ campaign.

The group has been coming under increased scrutiny across the world recently.

Earlier in July, a Scientologist in Germany was denied security clearance to view sensitive information connected to his work as a helicopter mechanic. The firm often deals with the military, and it was deemed too risky to have him working with classified information.

The US isn’t too fond of the German view. The Church’s Number 1 star member there, Tom Cruise, recently launched a $50-million TV network that promises to deliver the religion to every person on Earth with its 24-hour broadcasting cycle.

The sect is also illegal in Russia, where in June the Federal Security Service (FSB) carried out 14 simultaneous raids on its offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, seizing dozens of documents connected to the organization’s shady financial dealings in the country.