We'll now call upon Mr. Craig Jensen, the entrepreneur who founded, and president and CEO of Executive Software. Mr. Jensen.


Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you about an embargo of American products by the government of Germany. I will be presenting a brief summary of my views.

I am the CEO of Executive Software, a company I founded in 1981 in California. My company's products are in use in every sector of the American economy, including right here on Capitol Hill, and are sold extensively abroad, as well.

I would like to point out that no other country on Earth can produce software of the quality and usefulness that American software companies produce. In view of this, a foreign embargo of American software products must be viewed as a hostile act. Purchase of my products is restricted in Germany by government edict. And now, the fact that Microsoft's new Windows 2000 operating system includes a component developed by my company is being used to justify a ban on the sale of Windows 2000 in Germany.

Why? The official reason given is that my company is headed by a member of the Church of Scientology. But what does my religion have to do with selling software? Nothing. The German government makes no attempt to hide the fact that their embargo is based on religious discrimination. In fact, the government officials see nothing wrong with religious discrimination. Simply put, I come here today to alert your attention to a trade embargo justified on the grounds of government-mandated religious discrimination.

Let me give you the background. In December, a German magazine article proposed a ban on Windows 2000 on the grounds that I, as CEO of a Microsoft supplier, am a Scientologist. The official German news agency, DPA, sent out an international wire story saying that my involvement in Windows 2000, quote, "is of interest to the Catholic Church, the other German states, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and German industry," unquote. A government official from the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior fanned the flames by boasting in the press that in Bavaria and Hamburg, the government does not use the services or products from companies owned by Scientologists.

While such a blatantly discriminatory admission would be condemned immediately in this country, in the climate of intolerance created by German government, it is allowed to pass. That official heads an office called Working Group Against Scientology, which created the so-called "sect filter" which forbids employment or contractual relations with individuals participating in the Church of Scientology. In the end, the German Security Technology Office informed Microsoft that they would not certify Windows 2000 for sale in Germany because part of the program was produced by a company owned by a a Scientologist.

Although the U.S. State Department has repeatedly condemned the German government for its use of sect filters, the discrimination has not lessened. In fact, it has gotten worse. Official German discrimination has broadened from individuals to corporations and now to corporations whose suppliers employ or are owned by members of minority religions. Official statements from the German government have confirmed that public bodies expressly ban purchases from companies owned by or associated with Scientologists, effectively prohibiting the purchase of U.S. products.

This year, for the first time, the U.S. Trade Representative placed Germany on the Watch List over its abuse of Scientologists' rights. The inclusion of Germany in her report shows that in the view of the U.S. government, Germany's discriminatory practices are not only a blatant violation of human rights, but a threat to American trade, as well.

Mr. Chairman, I come to you today not just on my own behalf but on behalf of my friends, partners and business associates who are suffering at the hands of official German bigots who can't stand the thought of anyone participating in a sect or free church. I also come before you on behalf of all members of the Church of Scientology, who are forbidden employment, political party affiliation and even schooling for their children because of their religious beliefs.

I ask you to send a message to the German government that the Congress and the people of the United States will not tolerate either human rights violations of a religious nature or discrimination against American trade. Perhaps the most effective action that you can take at this time is to give your full support to the resolutions on Germany, H.R. 388 and S., which call upon Congress and the president to demand that Germany abide by international human rights law.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee. And I'll be happy to respond to any questions.


Thank you, Mr. Jensen.

We will now proceed with our final witness, Ms. Catherine Bell, known for the television series of JAG. As a former Marine Corps attorney, I'm sure you don't hesitate to give us straight testimony today. Thank you for being here, Ms. Bell.


Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, thank you very much for holding today's hearing and for the opportunity to testify.

In fact, I'm here at the request of my friend and fellow actress, Ann Archer, whose professional commitments unfortunately prevent her attendance at this hearing to speak on her behalf. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to present the testimony she would have given had she been here today.

First, a word about my interest in this issue. Having been born in London to an English father and a Persian mother, then becoming an American citizen at a young age and spending most of my life in the United States, I have learned that difference is best celebrated, and never made a reason for division or discrimination. Therefore, when I first heard that government officials in Germany were canceling the exhibitions and concerts of artist friends of mine solely because of their religion, I was shocked that such intolerance could be enacted by a Western government which loudly proclaims its commitment to democracy.

Ms. Archer has undertaken two fact-finding missions and has been committed to combating religious discrimination against members of minority religions in Germany for several years. In addition to her fact-finding visits to Germany, she has addressed large rallies for religious freedom and human rights in Berlin, Frankfort and Hamburg. In October 1998, she raised the problem before the plenary session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and she's also taken up the issue with various members of the European Parliament.

Last October she visited Congress again to welcome the introduction of House Resolution 388 and Senate Resolution 230, resolutions which now have a combined total of more than 50 sponsors in the House and Senate. The resolutions call upon the German government to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws and to respect the rights of minority religions.

On behalf of Ann Archer, I would like to thank you, sir, as committee chairman, as well as Congressmen Salmon and Payne, for introducing the resolution in the House, and Senator Enzi, the principal sponsor in the state.

Our thanks go also to the many members of this committee who have co-sponsored the resolution. I trust that after today's hearing, those members who have not yet signed on to House Resolution 388 will be motivated to do so.

Present in this room today are nearly two dozen German citizens who have come here to witness the fact that an official body would care enough to hear their personal grievances and provide an open forum to air the facts about governmental religious discrimination in Germany. I'd like to introduce some of them to you and briefly recount their personal stories of discrimination.

Mr. Karl Rorig (sp) is a very talented graphic artist whose work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared on the covers of leading international magazines. He's here today with his daughter, Marlene (sp). Because of his religious beliefs, Mr. Rorig (sp) has been blacklisted and has had exhibits boycotted or cancelled. His bank accounts were closed with explanation, and his family threatened. He was compelled to send his family abroad to rescue them from the discrimination and intolerance they faced in Germany, and his children are now being schooled in Denmark, not in their native country.

In addition to the disruption of Karl's (sp) pursuit of happiness, he has suffered economic damage totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a recent example, in early January of this year, Mr. Rorig (sp) held an exhibition of his works in Newburg, Bavaria. The town's cultural director learned that Mr. Rorig (sp) is a scientologist and demanded that the gallery director cancel the exhibition. When the director refused, the city government publicly called for a boycott of Mr. Rorig's (sp) exhibition, resulting in a financial loss to him of more than $20,000 because several clients cancelled their purchases of his paintings and prints.

Mr. Hans Bajor (sp), another Scientologist who is here today with his family, worked for 20 years as a journalist, producing highly regarded reports for Bavarian and national Germany television on the central issues of the day. After his religious affiliation became known, all work suddenly dried up. In the end, he had no choice but to leave Germany, and he and his family now live here in the United States.

Finally, I would like to introduce Ms. Antia Viktor (sp). In 1997 she became the first German Scientologist to be granted asylum by a U.S. immigration court on the grounds that she faced ruinous religious persecution if she had to return to Germany.

I understand that on behalf of all those experiencing discrimination in Germany, the members of my religion who are here today wish to present a petition to you, Mr. Chairman, asking for the full support of your committee behind House Resolution 388.

In addition, Mr. Chick Corea, who had hoped to be here today but is prevented from attending by a physical impairment, has requested that his written testimony and evidence regarding German officials' continuing denials of his right to perform in Germany be included in the record.

Hearing these accounts of discrimination, you may well ask what remedies are available through the courts. Though the German courts do act to some degree as guardians of the constitution, Germany's want of anti-discrimination legislation leaves them poorly armed to remedy a pattern and practice of religious intolerance that has soaked into the bureaucratic culture. By contrast, due to the efforts of Congress, we are fortunate in the United States to enjoy strong anti- discrimination laws. When Deutsche Bank in New York fired an employee solely because of her membership in the Scientology religion, she was able to obtain not only financial compensation but to extract an apology from the bank. In Germany, no comparable remedy would have been possible against Deutsche Bank In German schools today, children are taught, by order of the government, that members of certain religions are evil. I have seen some of the so-called "teaching materials" they use, and they are highly offensive and calculated to breed intolerance and hate.

On a personal note, I receive a lot of letters from people in Germany who watch "JAG," the TV series in which I play a U.S. Marine Corps attorney. I would hate to think that due to reading such hateful propaganda, that they might be made to think less of the program or of me.

Nor is discrimination in Germany a problem only for Scientologists. Mormons, charismatic Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, orthodox Jews and others also suffer a climate of religious intolerance in Germany. Officials of both state and federal governments there continue to discriminate against thousands of law- abiding members of minority religions, many of them American in origin.

It's unfortunate that the German ambassador has chosen not to appear today. It's my understanding, Mr. Chairman, that the ambassadors of Germany, France and Austria were all invited. I further understand that the German government also refused to appear before the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe when it held a hearing into religious intolerance in September 1997. However, the ambassador has not hesitated to discuss his government's position on Scientology with members of the press and with certain members of this committee in private. It is my view, and that of Ann Archer, that the ambassador's repeated refusal betrays the fact that there is neither defense nor justification for his government's position.

Following a hearing on German official discrimination conducted by the Helsinki Commission in September 1997, the German government said that it would deploy its foreign intelligence agency on US soil to inform Americans about my religion. We have, of course, no way of knowing yet if this legally impermissible plan was carried out, but we hope not.

Our point is that if German officials had a clean human rights record vis-a-vis minority religions such as mine, they would not shy away from the scrutiny of the public forum. As I have looked deeper into these issues and have studied the extent of the discrimination, I've become alarmed to learn that intolerance has been carried across the border from Germany into some other countries of Europe, notably France. French officials have stigmatized members of 173 religious minorities, including the Baptists, as sects.

The French government has set up a special unit to fight against minority faiths headed by an individual with a long history of intolerance who has described our precious First Amendment as crazy. His self-professed goal is to legislate which religions a person may and may not believe. Today's growing religious discrimination in Central Europe was spawned several years ago in Germany by the Kohl administration. Unfortunately, the government of Chancellor Schroeder has taken no steps to reverse those divisive policies and propagate religious freedom and pluralism.

Forums such as today's are essential to drive home that we will not only speak out against these governmental abuses, but take firm action against them. The resolutions in Congress, House resolution 388 and Senate resolution 230, deserve the full support of this committee. And given the spread of religious intolerance to other European countries, I believe a resolution is needed calling upon countries such as France, Austria and Belgium to respect international human rights laws, especially as regards to religious freedom. I ask you, Mr. Chairman, to give serious consideration to a resolution of this kind in the near future.


Thank you Ms. Bell for your testimony.


Okay, I have a little bit more.


Yes, please sum up.


While we continue to speak out, of course we must keep open the doors to a dialogue. Anne Archer and I share the desire of many here to bring the governments of Germany and France to the discussion table and persuade them to open a genuine dialogue with the minority religions whose members worship in those lands. In the end, only dialogue can resolve this problem. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you.


Thank you Ms. Bell for being here and for your testimony and for your request, which we will honor and take a good hard look at. Dr. Hunt, you're back with us again. We apologize for the interruption, which was something that was beyond our control, but we hope that you can give us your testimony now. Dr. Hunt please proceed.


Thank you, I will continue where I left off. It's my experience that even though Methodists are a state-recognized religion, they do not live free from official and unofficial bias. I have encountered this in trying to book hotel rooms for church retreats, notably being told by the private owners of certain (pincion ?) small hotels that they would not engage having a sect in their hotel. In a more official and larger hotel, it was possible to book rooms for our church retreat, but only after demonstrating that we were a state recognized religion. And I cannot say that the same hotel would have rented rooms to a non-recognized religion.

I've also encountered problems, as I say in my statement, in making visits to different prisons. In one case I was simply turned down and told that I must be part of the Catholic group (Caritas ?). In another case I had to get permission from the Roman Catholic chaplain first. I would not generalize here, I have been given access to other prisons.

Another type of bias has been reported by one of my members. In one case a member of our church felt the judge in a child custody case, as well as the court appointed psychologist, showed prejudice against him by referring to him as a fundamentalist and a member of a sect, because he was a Methodist. Apparently they were not aware that ours is a state-recognized religion. In another case a member was surprised to find that if as a divorcee he married a Roman Catholic religious instruction teacher, she would lose her job. All of their education salaries are paid by the state. If she wishes to remain employed, her right to marry and thus his, hinges on a Roman Catholic marriage tribunal; and presumably a priests approval of her future spouse.

Such a situation can hardly fail to be coercive. It puts the resources of the state at the disposal of a religious group purely for the enforcement of its own idiosyncratic beliefs. The problem of bias is unfortunately rooted in Austrian law. At a symbolic level it's telling that the Austrian courts still display prominently a crucifix, a symbol hardly calculated to inspire confidence by non-Catholics in an unbiased judicial system.

The Austrian government distributes a document entitled, in English translation, "Sects: Knowledge Protects," which attempts to define religion and then distinguished between three types of religious groups. Some are able to obtain legal entity status, others are given legal recognition as churches whose activities are in the public interest, and thus receive public support. And then there are groups regarded as dangerous sects.

One cannot escape the effects of this official bias by simply keeping ones religious identity secret. Every resident of Austria must declare their religion on a (melda zetle ?), or required residency registration with the police. And you must present a copy of this for every activity from signing a housing lease to opening a bank account to even purchasing a mobile telephone. But you cannot keep your religion private and you cannot keep it in private in a biased environment. I would just add quickly here that the United Methodists Church of Austria, in its annual conference last week, adopted a short statement on the book "Sects: Knowledge Protects," and I will just read it for you in English translation.

"We strongly disagree with the law and office being set up by the Austrian government for documentation of sects and their activities.

We do not see any need to do this. If illegal actions are taking place existing criminal law, civil law and consumer rights should be called on to correct it. We challenge the majority churches to clarify their position on these matters."

And if I can add just one other thing, Congressman Lee was interested in whether there was a relationship between religious freedom and discrimination against ethnic and racial minorities. I would just have to say my congregation is one-third African and one- third Asian, one-third European and American. And several times, privately, people have characterized us as a sect based on the large number of African members of the church. In one case, again in trying to rent rooms for our church, we were told "We know that all those Africans must be sect members." So there is a link here in Austria between these two things.

In closing, let me just say I'm not unhappy to live and minister in Austria. As an American and a Methodist the majority of my relationships with Austrian society are happy and positive. And yet I don't think there can be any apathy on this issue. No country is so far along in its social evolution that it cannot, given the right circumstances, revert to religious bigotry and intolerance. And our commitment to freedom requires of us a continual and disciplined self examination and honest appraisal of our friends. I want to thank the committee members and I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity. Thank you.


Well thank you Dr. Hunt, and again, we apologize for the interruption. We hope you can stand by for questions by the panelists, and possibly questions of yourself. Will you be able to do that?


I'll be happy to.

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