Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News from Germany's Morgen Post on Cruise's latest cinematic venture, an account of Stauffenberg, the man that came very close indeed to assassinating Hitler.

High-ranking politicians of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) in Berlin have argued against Scientology ambassador Tom Cruise playing German resistance fighter Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. Secretary general Frank Henkel (CDU) said: "That‘s utterly distasteful, and it would cast doubt on everything Stauffenberg stood for." In a letter to minister of defence, Franz Josef Jung (CDU), Henkel is now pleading to prevent movie shots at original locations, such as the Bendler-Block.

This opinion is shared by member of the Bundestag, Klaus Uwe Benneter (SPD): "Stauffenberg was prepared to give his life in his fight against an authoritarian regime and its repressions. He of all people is now to be portrayed by Cruise, whose cult uses dubious methods in an attempt to lure and control people. This is a slap in the face for all respectable democrats, resistance fighters in the Third Reich and all victims of the Scientology cult." Benneter‘s fellow party member, expert on protection of the constitution Tom Schreiber, has a slightly different view, that Henkel apply for the part of Stauffenberg as an alternative to Cruise.

SPD: Scientology is not wanted

"With Tom Cruise it is dificult to differenciate. However, it would be wrong to use his part as Stauffenberg to campaign for Scientology." Schreiber stresses that, unlike Berlin‘s mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD), he would address the actor with firm words: "Scientology is not wanted here. It is a malodorous commercial enterprise trying to give itself some semblance of religiousness." Therefore, secretary of the interior, Ehrhart K├Ârting (SPD), recently decided to have Scientologists monitored by the institution for interior safety and protection of the constitution.

From the German perspective there are a great many things in Scientology to cause alarm, from the military hierarchy, the youth-orientated programmes and the totalitarian nature of its teachings to its self-proclaimed desire to "salvage the planet". This site has more on Scientology being perceived as a totalitarian regime aiming for world domination and the segregation and possible destruction of dissenters and those singled out on the grounds of a pseudo-science.

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