2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award
European-American Citizens Committee for
Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA
(originally the "2000 Alternative
Introduction - Welcome to Leipzig
The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA greets the former President of the “Mission Interministérielle pour la Lutte contre les Sectes” (MILS) retired Minister Monsieur Alain Vivien, who will deliver the laudation; his wife Madame Patricia Vivien-Cassano; Representative of the President of the new "Mission Interministérielle de Vigilance et de Lutte Contre les Dérives Sectaires (MIVILUDES) in the office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of France, Monsieur Henri-Pierre Debord; Frau Landes from the Institute Française of Leipzig; two representatives of the City Council of Leipzig, Frau Weise of SPD, and Herrn Doktor Rothermund of CDU; Member of the Hamburg Parliament Herrn Rechtsanwalt Roland Schaube, of Partei Rechtstaatliche Offensive (PRO); Members and Friends of the Committee from abroad; our esteemed award recipient from Norway Mr. Andreas Heldal-Lund; Ladies and Gentlemen.
We welcome you to Leipzig and to our 2003 ceremony and celebration where we honor Mr. Heldal-Lund as this year's recipient of the Leipzig Human Rights Award.
All of our Committee members, who come from ten countries, have their own parts in the work of bringing about human rights reforms in totalitarian cults that operate from the United States. This annual gathering, where we honor and celebrate with a person outside of the Committee who has contributed in some outstanding way to that work, is the high point of our year.
It is, quite obviously, a high point in the Scientology cult’s year as well. Each past year, Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs and its duped or duplicitous agents have mounted a black propaganda campaign to attack the Committee, the award, the award recipient and its supporters.
Black PR is Scientology’s policy and practice of destroying their targeted enemies’ reputations and lives with vicious and relentless lies and perversions of the truth.
This year we celebrate the highest-ever black PR statistics. This year, according to reports we are receiving, there has even been a program involving Scientologists and non-Scientologist collaborators telephoning people who have signed the tabula gratulatoria to pressure them into withdrawing their support.
Incidentally, people from 15 countries, knowing they will be targeted, have courageously, given their names to be displayed publicly in support of this year’s award.
One of the main themes to Scientology’s black propaganda campaign this year is that the award winner Mr. Heldal-Lund says he is an atheist, and Thomas Gandow, a founding Committee member, and the target of much of the black PR, is a Christian Pastor.
Scientology and its agents attack Mr. Heldal-Lund as being intolerant of religion, and are doing whatever they can to cause Pastor Gandow trouble for supporting him.n Shamelessly, the cultists and their agents are even black PRing Pastor Gandow to his Bishop in Berlin.
The fact is that ours is not a religious committee, and this is not a religious ceremony or event. We are actually political. The human rights reforms we seek, although we seek them in organizations that call themselves “religious” just to avoid carrying out these reforms, are social, legal and political. We ask that U.S. politicians use the power and authority of their government to legislate these reforms into existence or enforce existing laws that the cults violate.
Anyone can be a human rights activist, and anyone can support our Committee’s goal of reforming human rights abusing U.S.-based cults regardless of other beliefs - Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim or Atheist. I am a Christian, and I am proud to call Andreas my friend, and I am extremely grateful for what he has done in this war and that we are in the same motley army.
There is a biblical passage with which no thinking person -- believer or atheist - disagrees. From Ecclesiastes. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
We had a time for an American, a time for a German, a time for a Frenchman, and now it’s time for a Norwegian. We had a time for a Catholic. Now it’s a time for an atheist. And hopefully we’ll have a time for a Protestant.
What Mr. Heldal-Lund has done that brings him here to Leipzig to receive this human rights award is a sort of virtual parallel to what Leipzig’s own citizens did starting 20 years ago. What was done in this city led to perhaps the greatest human rights reform in modern times.
In 1983 Pastor Christian Führer opened the doors of the St. Nikolai Church in Leipzig for a prayer for peace on Monday evenings. In part this was in response to the nuclear threat in the Cold War period, and in part a protest by people who wanted to leave East Germany for the West. For the next 6 years, at great risk of suppression and reprisals by the secret police, Pastor Führer kept his church’s doors open.
Every Monday at 5 P.M. people gathered. The numbers grew and the peace prayer transformed into demonstrations and protest marches. Another Leipzig church started its own prayer vigil, as did churches in Dresden and East Berlin. It was a time to open doors, a time to pray and a time to protest. And on November 9, 1989 it was time for the Berlin Wall to be opened.
On November 7, 1996 it was time for Andreas Heldal-Lund to open the door of his website, to tell the truth about Scientology and to oppose its criminality and human rights abuses. And November 7, 1996 was the time for Scientology to start its campaign of legal intimidation and fair game to close the site down. Despite a succession of Internet Service Providers being shuddered into terminating his service, Mr. Heldal-Lund has kept his door open and has kept telling the truth about Scientology ever since. And the cult has never stopped trying to close that door.
In a war with tyranny there is a time for reverence, and a time for irreverence. Irreverence sends tyrants the message of the true weakness and precariousness of their tyranny.
Mr. Heldal-Lund gave his website a most insightful and most irreverent name - Operation Clambake. Scientology cult founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in what Scientologists call their “scriptures” that human beings evolved from clams. Hubbard’s son stated that this revelation came to Hubbard during a drug hallucination. Nevertheless, the word “clam” attached itself irreverently to the folks who revere Hubbard and his “scriptures,” the Scientologists. Irreverently they call us “wogs,” and irreverently we call them “clams.” There is a time for “wogs” and a time for “clams.” Ich bin ein wog!
A “clambake” is an outdoor party where food - clams of course - is cooked, usually on heated rocks covered by seaweed. A “clambake” is also any gathering characterized by noisy sociability, especially a political rally. Pastor Führer’s 1983 Nikolai Church peace vigils here in Leipzig had by 1989 turned into a monumental clambake.
Leipzig, it should also be mentioned, just last month received its own great honor when Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced that the city had been selected to be Germany’s candidate for the 2012 Olympic Games. A significant factor in the selection was Leipzig’s role in the protests in Eastern Germany that helped end the Cold War and brought about a united Germany.
Leipzig’s Mayor has sent the Committee a letter with a very nice greeting:
Thank you very much for your invitation to the awarding of the Leipziger Human Rights Prize 2003. I am sorry that I cannot be with you on 18 May 2003, but I am bound by a commitment made earlier. I ask you cordially for your understanding. I wish you great success for your celebration, many interesting guests, and to the award winner Mr. Andreas Heldal-Lund I send congratulations for his honor.
So, borrowing from the opening of all Olympic Games, and keeping in mind the word’s meaning as a gathering of noisy sociability or a political rally, Let the Clambake Begin! Or, really, Clambake Must Go On!