Business people protest against the Scientology show on Reichenbach Square

Sueddeutsche Zeitung/May 11, 2001
By Claudia Fischer

Munich, Germany -- A cheerful scene on Reichenbach Square in front of No. 1 Buttermelcher Street: three gentlemen dressed in suits give out roses to the ladies and blue balloons to the children. They cheerfully wish the passersby a a wonderful day. The young mother, stopped with her child's wagon and having words with a carefully groomed lady in a dark outfit, does not give the impression that she is in an affable mood. "I don't want you stopping the children to talk to them and pushing balloons on them! I knew this was going to happen." The woman thus addressed, it turns out to be Sabine Weber, the Vice President of Scientology Church Germany, is completely understanding, "I'll see to it that it does not happen again," she promises.

Anja Schultes is the only person who so clearly vents her annoyance at the controversial "Live better without Drugs" Scientology show in the Rosipal building on Reichenbach Square. Other pedestrians prefer to complain in private. Gerd Richter, who is waiting for the bus right across the street doesn't think the show is very good because, from his point of view, the Scientology Organization itself is what people are blustering about: a drug.

Another mother with her baby from the Gaertner Square district was a little bit more combative about how she expressed herself: "It's impossible, how can they be using balloons and roses to lure children!" Juliana Previcz, another resident from the Gaertner Square quarter is certain that if she had a child, that it would not be getting a Scientology balloon. Olga Meier, too, would not take a rose, on principle. She had no idea "how they even got a permit to distribute those things on the street."

The business people on Reichenbach Square are not amused over the commotion which is going on outside their front doors. They initiated a counter-demonstration with the district committee which will occur today at 2 p.m. on Reichenbach Square. Herta Rauch, who has been here with her alteration and tailor shop for 27 years, gave everyone a flyer to let them know when the counter-demonstration started. Johanna Wallner-Wiener of the "Cafe Wiener" on Reichenbach Square told about the experience she had with Scientology. "We were photographed by them through the window," she says.

Josef Sattler, business manager and proprietor of the "Deutsche Eiche" restaurant on Reichenbach Street, would not have made such a big deal of it. "Things are blowing out of proportion and turning into a big PR stunt for Scientology!"

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