Scientologists Lash Out Against Film Critical Of Their Beliefs

Mar. 13 2010, Published 4:20 a.m. ET

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Scientologists in Germany are up in arms over a new movie that is extremely critical of their church, has learned.  A battle over a TV documentary is heating up three years after German officials had a meltdown over Scientologist Tom Cruise shooting Valkyrie in their land.

The new movie, Until Nothing Remains, is the true story of Heiner von Ronns who breaks from Scientology after donating huge amounts of money.  He paid the ultimate price for his decision, also losing contact with his wife and daughter who stayed behind. A spokesman for Scientology in Germany calls the story "fabricated" and has tried to have it censored.

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Scientology defectors are growing increasingly vocal in their criticism of the organization, which in Germany is viewed as a cult. Oscar-winning writer/director Paul Haggis often gets the credit for this new trend. His very public split from Scientology last year, shocked Hollywood and has seemed to encourage other defectors to tell their stories.

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Although the German government eventually relented and allowed Cruise and Valkyrie to shoot at all their desired locations in Germany, officials are not being so accommodating to church members now.  They've refused to step in and block the film.

"Scientology is about power, business and building up a network," said the program director for Germany's state broadcaster.  "Its lessons are pure science fiction.  It's no religion."


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