After a decades long battle with the Internal Revenue Service, Scientology leader David Miscavige declared on October 8, 1993, "The war is over!" More precisely, Scientology's war with the Internal Revenue Service to gain tax exemption for religious purposes was over. Its wars with Germany and the internet had only just begun.
Starting in 1994, the "International Association of Scientologists" publicly identified itself in full page advertisements in three major U.S. newspapers as the power behind a massive campaign to presumably warn the American public of a danger of a new Holocaust in Germany. Large black and white photographs in the ads portrayed scenes from Nazi Germany while accompanying texts put Scientologists in Germany today on a level equivalent to the Jews in Nazi Germany sixty years prior.
In a seemingly unrelated action, Scientology's newly tax-exempt organizations instituted legal proceedings in which raids were conducted upon the homes of critics of Scientology in the United States. Federal marshalls stood by while Scientology representatives ransacked computer storage media of people whom Scientology believed had posted its copyrighted secrets to the internet.
One of the results of these 1995 raids was that retired investment banker Robert S. Minton sympathized with people who would not otherwise have been in a financial position favorable to defending themselves from prosecution. Furthermore, the combined outcomes of his assistance to those in legal need and of Scientology's previous public relations attacks on Germany has now had unexpected consequences. Bob Minton is to be distinguished in Leipzig, Germany on June 3, 2000 for his work in promoting the human rights of victims of Scientology's aggressive tactics. Members of the newly formed Alternative Charlemagne Award committee come not only from Germany, but also from Ireland, Great Britain, France, Russia, Denmark, Canada and the USA to honor Minton's conduct. People publicly supporting the award reside in countries even more diverse than those of the committee members and include those with family still in Scientology. For more information on the award, see http://www.alt-charlemagne-award.de.
Presentation of the Alternative Charlemagne Award to Robert S. Minton will occur ten days after a jury sided with the Scientology opponent when he said assault charges filed against him by organization members were spurred not by misconduct on his part as he picketed Scientology's Florida headquarters last November, but by his accusers' own organizational policies towards its critics. In related news, Swiss Scientology opponent Odette Jaccard has been nominated for the "Prix Courage."