Celebrity-Lobbyists and American Foreign Policy Toward German Scientology - 2002-03-01
Neither Travolta, nor Corea, nor Hayes mentioned (probably because they did not yet know) that earlier (on February 28, 1997) a German Scientologist had "been granted asylum in the United States after telling a judge she would be subjected to religious persecution if she went back home" (The Washington Post 1997). Nearly three years later, however (on June 14, 2000), another actress and Scientologist, Catherine Bell, did bring up the asylum issue before the House Committee on International Relations. Pointing out the former German resident in the hearing room, Bell told that committee that she was "Ms. Antje Victore, who in 1997 became the first German Scientologist to be granted asylum by a U.S. immigration court on the grounds that she faced ruinous persecution if she had to return to Germany" (Bell. 2000, [3-4]). Bell could not have realized that the circumstances under which Victore sought asylum were fraudulent, having been contrived by the Scientology organization itself ostensibly to embarrass the Germans. German media exposed the fraud just two weeks after Bell's introduction of her to the American congressional members (Kruttschnitt, Nuebel, and Schweitzer 2000; see Billerbeck 2000; Kent 2001c, 3).