In Germany, the rights of religious minorities have been under attack over the last few decades, reaching a fever pitch in the 1990s, causing the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of State to express concern at this systematic deprivation of cherished human rights.
Ursula Caberta, former chief of the notorious and now disbanded Scientology Working Group of the Hamburg Ministry of Interior, engaged in years of hate speech against Scientologists and was a driving force inciting hatred, discrimination and the illegal and official blacklisting of Scientologists.
Caberta’s reprehensible record of depriving Scientologists of their fundamental human rights includes creating and disseminating odious “sect filters” to blacklist and boycott Scientologists; advocating boycotts and cancellations of concerts, art exhibits and performances by artists who are Scientologists; and fomenting hatred against Scientologists, their Church and their religion.
Caberta’s anti-religious activities and hate speech were repeatedly condemned in the courts and elsewhere. In 1994, the Hamburg State Court of Appeals enjoined the Interior Ministry from continuing to distribute an anti-Scientology booklet Caberta published. The Court stated:
The principle of neutrality and tolerance has been violated by the opponent by giving non-objective opinions about the doctrine of the applicant… The opponent's restriction of the fundamental right of the applicant per article 4, subsection 1 and 2 [the right to freedom of religion or belief] is illegal.
Caberta is responsible for the creation and wide distribution of “sect filters,” odious documents individuals have been forced to sign declaring no affiliation with Scientology in order to obtain or maintain a job.
Caberta is responsible for the creation and wide distribution of “sect filters,” odious documents individuals have been forced to sign declaring no affiliation with Scientology in order to obtain or maintain a job or enter into a contract. The U.S. State Department has criticized the use of “sect filters” as an abuse of human rights.
In 2000, a German Scientologist living and working in the United States sued Caberta after a German company presented him with one of Caberta’s “sect filters” while negotiating a contract. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins of the U.S. Federal Court in Tampa, Florida, condemned Caberta’s discriminatory behavior, sanctioned her for noncompliance with Court orders forbidding such discrimination, and described her behavior throughout the litigation as “evasive,” “unresponsive,” “uncooperative” and “argumentative.”
The State Department criticized Caberta for serious human rights abuses against American citizens. She is the “sect commissioner” referred to in the State Department Human Rights Report for 2000 who falsely claimed that Microsoft Windows 2000 contained a “Trojan Horse” or “back door” that would permit the Church of Scientology to obtain information from an unsuspecting user system.
Microsoft allowed the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) to investigate the software. The German government conducted various tests and found no evidence to support Caberta’s hate speech.
In June 2002, Caberta was sanctioned for accepting $75,000 from a private individual who at that time was funding anti-Scientology litigation in the United States. Under German law, a government employee is criminally liable for accepting an advantage for themselves in exchange for the execution of an official function on another’s behalf. This incident warranted mention in the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom December 2003 report.
Despite her reprehensible conduct and such continuous condemnation, Caberta persisted to carry out her illegal anti-religious crusade against Scientology for another decade.
On July 11, 2008, the Administrative Court of Hamburg issued another decision condemning Caberta and her Working Group Scientology for failure to remove the “sect filter” from all their Internet sites as required by previous legal decisions. The Court determined that Caberta’s continued publication of such “filters,” despite Court orders finding them illegal and unconstitutional, resulted in irreparable damage to the Constitutional right to religious freedom of Scientologists, and condemned her continued posting of the “filters.”
This is not the first time that German Courts have found that Caberta had violated the German Constitution in abusing the rights of Scientologists. In 1998 the Superior Court of Hamburg ruled that sufficient reason existed for the Church of Scientology to accuse Caberta of “contempt of the German Constitution, violation of Human Rights Conventions, violation of state neutrality, abuse of office, violation of the data protection law and illegal calls for boycott.”
In August 2010, Caberta’s Hamburg government “anti-sect” Scientology Working Group office was dissolved ostensibly for budget reasons. Documents later released revealed that Caberta’s continued anti-religious activities had become an embarrassment to Germany’s ruling political party and a political liability no one wanted to be associated with.