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Secret behind cult's anti-Nazi campaign

Title: Secret behind cult's anti-Nazi campaign
Date: Tuesday, 4 April 1995
Publisher: The Argus (UK)
Author: Paul Bracchi
Main source:
Alternate and/or complementary: link (362 KiB)

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The Scientologists have accused the German Government of acting like the Nazis. They claim their members in that country are being persecuted like the Jews under Hitler. That controversial message has been rammed home in full-page adverts in the American press funded by the Sussex-based International Association of Scientologists.

Today we expose the hypocrisy behind the campaign.

THE MESSAGE is blunt — "Don't let History Repeat". It is accompanied by a chilling photograph of a book burning session in Hitler's Germany.

The full-page advert, published in the New York Times, warns: "In 1933 the world stood by as freedom of speech was crushed under the Nazi jackboot.

"It is starting to happen again. It must not."

The plea followed the German government's attempts to curb the distribution of a Scientology booklet called "Hate and Propaganda: Then and Now."

The publication compared the so-called "persecution" of cult members in Germany to the treatment meted out to Jews during the Third Reich.

Other adverts in the "series" continued the Nazi theme: "Taking Pride in Persecution, Hatred Knows no Age, Never Again, Human rights Alert."

They were all paid for by the East Grinstead-based International Association of Scientologists.

But they fail to mention the credentials of one of their own members.

Tom Marcellus is a patron of the association. He is also the leader of the notorious Institute for Historical Review (MR) which claims accounts of the Holocaust are exaggerated.

The following statements have been published in his group's official journal:

* The Holocaust is the "most hyped and taboo-laden chapter of history".

* Aerial photographs of Auschwitz in 1944 "show no evidence whatsoever of gassings or killings of any kind".

* The Holocaust "has become a kind of Jewish racket".

* Revisionists have challenged the acceptance of the "so called Holocaust in all its improbable details (Tom Marcellus).

The adverts also fail to mention what one American judge had to say about the cult. He ruled: "In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the organisation over the years has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as its enemies."

Today the Scientologists defended their campaign.

Cult official Margaret Reese said: "The public awareness campaign in American and international newspapers has exposed very real examples of discrimination by the German Government aimed, incidentally, not only at Scientologists but other religious and ethnic groups."

Marcellus became director of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in 1981. He succeeded the late David McCalden, an expatriate Ulsterman who was once active in the National Front and later helped to prepare Ku Klux Klan literature.

In documents obtained by the Argus, McCalden once wrote: "For some time now I have been extremely worried about the influence of Scientology over the IHR operation. "Tom spends long hours talking Scientology on the company phone, writing Scientology letters on the company typewriter, storing Scientology books in the company warehouse, and recruiting among employees' families and revisionist supporters."

Similar claims have also been published in The Spotlight, a far-right, publication based in Washington. The Church denies the allegations.

Marcellus has shared a platform with some of the world's most controversial right-wing figures. These are some of the speakers who attended an IHR-sponsored conference last year:

* David Irving.

The British revisionist historian has been banned or deported from countries including Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Italy.

In Britain, Brighton is one of his favourite stomping grounds and his friend Anthony Hancock often arranges venues for his lectures here.

Mr Hancock allows his property at 20 Madeira Place, off Kemp Town seafront, to be used as a mailing address by activists sending racist propaganda around the world. A booklist featuring work by people linked to Marcellus's organisation was found at the premises.

Last year an Anti-Nazi League protester was convicted of attacking Mr Irving's car following a meeting at a Brighton hotel. The defendant's solicitor said in court that Mr Irving was accompanied by a Combat 18 "minder" who was waiting in the foyer.

The terror group has been blamed for the recent outbreak of soccer violence.

* Ernst Zundel.

The German revisionist created a publishing house in Canada to reprint and distribute an array of neo-Nazi material.

This included tapes of Hitler's speeches and cassettes of sham trooper songs and marches. He also produced stickers proclaiming "Germans stop apologising for the things you did not do."

In 1984 the Canadian government charged Zundel with stimulating anti-Semitism.

The case against him resulted in two trials, numerous appeals, and extensive media coverage.

* Robert Faurisson.

The Frenchman believes it was technically and physically impossible for the gas chambers at Auschwitz to have functioned as extermination facilities.

He was an "expert" defence witness at Zundel's first trial and was asked to explain the fate of the missing six million Jewish Holocaust victims.

Faurisson urged survivors to give him the names of relatives they had lost so he could try to locate them.

He has been convicted by a French court of the libel of denying the fact of the Holocaust.

The cult has an estimated 30,000 members in Germany. Five years ago the Hamburg government set up a task force to combat Scientology and has tried to get the courts to declare it a criminal conspiracy.

Ursula Caberta, who heads the four-strong team, said: "It's a totalitarian organisation that seeks to control everybody else."

[Picture / Caption: ROBERT FAURISSON: Convicted in France of the libel of denying the fact of the Holocaust // ERNST ZUNDEL: Created a publishing house in Canada to print neo-Nazi material // TOM MARCELLUS: Talks about the "so called Holocaust in all its improbable details" // DAVID IRVING: The revisionist historian has been banned or deported from several countries // History in the faking? The guest speakers at last year's conference sponsored by the institute for Historical Review]

[Picture / Caption: The picture of the Nazi book-burning from the New York Times ad]