German, U.S. officials to address controversial Church of Scientology - 1997-02-15
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The German government's contentious relationship with the Church of Scientology will be the subject of talks with U.S. officials next week, although Germany doesn't see it as a human rights issue.
Instead, Freimut Duve, a member of the German Parliament, said the government believes the organization should be regulated like a business _ one that, in his view, sells a dangerous and addictive product. It has nothing to do with religious freedom or persecution, he said Friday.
"This organization is offering a product _ a mental service like a psychotherapist," Duve said, comparing German efforts to control the church to laws in the United States that regulate tobacco ads and smoking in public.