Letter: Scientology ban helps democracy

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Scientology ban helps democracy

Sir: To compare Germany's stance on Scientology with the Nazi persecution of Jews, as several Hollywood stars did, does no justice to modern Germany (reports, 10 and 11 January).

The reason for the opposition to Scientology is the same reason that Communists cannot become civil servants, and why there is now discussion on whether civil servants who are Freemasons should have to declare their affiliation.

The purpose is to prevent nepotism and the undermining of a working democracy by secretive, possibly undemocratic organisations.

When the Nazis seized power, it was facilitated by the existence of a democracy which permitted its very opponents to form groups and even become members of parliament. Germany's post-war constitution has recognised this fault and established a "strong" democracy, one that can indeed be intolerant when its very root, the open democratic process, is endangered.

TOBIAS SCHUMACHER

London W14

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