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Scientology goes on the offensive in Switzerland

Meritxell Mir · 31 Oct 2011, 11:05

Published: 31 Oct 2011 14:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Oct 2011 11:05 GMT+01:00

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The Church of Scientology is planning to build a temple in Basel as part of a worldwide expansion plan, according to a Swiss newspaper report.

The church's president in Basel, Patrick Schnidrig, confirmed to Der Sonntag that the organisation is planning to build a new church, although the final location will not be decided until the end of November.

However, the newspaper reported on Sunday that Schnidrig bought a plot of land in the Hegenheimer district in April, along with Zurich-based member Henry Renggli. The space comprises two adjacent office buildings on Burgfelderstrasse 211 and Kyasersberg 3 that currently house a petrol station, a workshop and an electrical substation.

The potential location lies close to the French border, a fact that has led some to speculate the organisation is seeking to attract new members from France, a country where the church has often been at odds with the authorities.

A new temple in Basel would form part of the sect’s worldwide growth plans. The Church of Scientology recently announced at a fund-raising event in the United States that it planned to build 70 new churches, including the one in Basel.

But one expert on religious sects, Georg Otto Schmid, dismissed the move as a marketing ploy aimed at regaining some of the members lost in recent year. Even though the organisation claims to have 1,200 members in the region of Basel alone, Schmid instead believes the figure to be “around 200”.

“The church wants to give the impression that it is in full bloom,” he said, noting that membership has in fact been in continuous decline since the 1990s.

In a report that appeared in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper in July, Schmid said that the sect might “no longer exist in Switzerland in a few years.”

According to Schmid, the organisation currently has 1,000 active members across Switzerland, a steady decline compared to the 3,000 registered in 1990.

Story continues below…

Another Swiss sect expert Dieter Sträuli from Infosekta, has claimed the Church of Scientology is running out of money, the paper said.

However, Church of Scientology spokeswoman Annette Klug rejected the experts' analysis, which she dubbed “completely absurd”.

Spokespeople from the Church of Scientology have argued that the group founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard still has 5,000 “passive and active members in Switzerland.”

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2011-11-05 14:05:04 by BLiP
To see how Scientology helps people, google Lisa McPherson. Don't be fooled with any of the cult's various front-groups which act only as recruitment vehicles and none of which have any official recognition nor peer-reviewed evidence as to their efficacy. I note that the above writer has failed to mention the front group Citizens Commission on Human Rights. I wonder if that's because its International President Jan Eastgate (aka Janice Meyers) has been arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to child sexual abuse. The simple fact is this: Scientology has been an on-going organised criminal conspiracy to defraud since the day L Ron Hubbard said he used Dianetics to cure war injuries. AVOID.
2011-11-01 22:02:12 by THE RONBOT HUNTER
"Another Swiss sect expert Dieter Sträuli from Infosekta, has claimed the Church of Scientology is running out of money, the paper said." There are two reasons why the Cult of Sin and Greed is running out of money, as so stated above by Dieter Strauli. 1. It is losing members by the thousands each year. 2. The US Federal Government who owns the copy-rights is also dead broke and will soon fall. When the feds fall because the privately owned Federal Reserve will be shut down, at that point, the protection by the Corporation known as the USA will be gone. The USA will go back to common law, and the foreign agents known as "ATTORNEYS" will have to renounce their oath to the British Crown. We will have common law grand juries run by the people, and not by the corporate Administrators know as Judges, and Attorneys of their county corporations. There are many millions of patriots and hundreds of thousands ex-scientologists that will take down the cult.together. This will happen in less than a years time. First the Feds will fall and then the cult. THE RONBOT HUNTER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
2011-11-01 13:58:37 by I am Marcabian-Swiss
SwissAndProudOfIt is probably a Scientology Office of Special Affairs internet-marketing person, and probably not Swiss at all, and they won't tell you real purpose of those Scientology front-groups. It's to recruit people into Scientology since Scientology has such a bad reputation itself. They won't tell you that another Scientology front-group by the name of YHRI or Youth for Human Rights International was banned from the United Nations convention on Human Rights due to the concern over the human rights abuses that take place in Scientology. These Scientology internet marketing people are banking on your ignorance, educate yourself.
2011-11-01 13:34:37 by THE RONBOT HUNTER
There are slave-like beings in the cult called RONBOTS. They are the few left in the cult, that will and have harassed, and will abuse, beat, harm and seek to destroy any person who has had enough abuse from them. We, the independents who managed to escape the cult are targeted by their evil and un-Godly "doctrine of fair game". Do you want your Mother targeted? Do you want your Father beat up by them? Do you want your neighbors to know ALL the secrets from your confessionals? They will try to harm you in all ways possible and will even KILL you or your Mother or Father if necessary. They have evil agendas and their copy-rights have been owned by the IRS and Federal Government when they held L. Ron Hubbard captive, until they broke him to give up his copy-rights to the Feds. The Cult of SCIENTOLOGY IS FEDERALLY CONTROLLED!!! That means slavery to the Feds for your own country. The Feds took over the cult for it to be the only religion for the NEW WORLD ORDER. Scientology's agenda is to destroy ALL other religions!! Your lives, health, sanity and freedom is a stake if your leaders betray you and let the cult take over. THE RONBOT HUNTER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
2011-10-31 23:02:35 by MOI
Scientology is a CULT!!!! Hated in the USA, don't allow this in Switzerland!!
2011-10-31 15:07:48 by THE RONBOT HUNTER
Here in the Corporate United States all know that the "Cult of Sin and Greed', has been evil and is dying out. Their so called churches are nearly empty 24/7. Just visit any study coarse room or count how many are receiving auditing, and you will see that it is always nearly empty. Their paid staff are not volunteers and are the lowest paid staff in the world. We are as the Ex-Scientologists that left the corporation/cult, are more numerous and are uniting to take them down. If you let them buy a building or one inch of property, your families will suffer "Disconnection". THE RONBOT HUNTER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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