Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

16 Tammuz 5760 - July 19, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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"They Fired Me Because I Refused to Join Scientology"

by Eliezer Rauchberger

Shocking testimony about a Zoglobeck factory worker who was fired for not submitting to demands of the company director to participate in Scientology cult seminars was heard on 9 Tammuz at a special meeting of the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee.

Committee deliberations were held as a result of Rabbi Meir Porush's urgent request to place the issue of the Scientology seminars on the Committee agenda. He stressed that the information which Lev L'Achim's Anti-Cult Department had divulged to the media must be presented at the committee meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Committee Deputy Chairman MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. Lev L'Achim director Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin, as well as the coordinator of its Anti-Cult and Anti- Missionary Department Rabbi Zev Steiglitz, were invited to attend the meeting. Representatives of the Scientology cult and Zoglobeck were also in attendance.

MK Rabbi Meir Porush presented startling information about this cult's activities in Israel and worldwide, noting the dangers posed by this cult which has caused many countries throughout the world to outlaw Scientology activity.

The shocking testimony of a former company employee who was brought to the meeting by Lev L'Achim was then heard. The employee described the pressures exerted on company workers to participate in Scientology activities.

MKs Gal'on from Meretz and Paritzki from Shinui attacked the worker and Lev L'Achim, defending the Scientology representatives who claimed that they are a "religion" and not a "cult," a claim which aroused snickers. Company representatives who found it difficult to counter the claims of the fired worker could only utter abuse towards him personally, degrading and belittling him. They disregarded the names of additional workers who had been fired, whose cases were presented to the Committee.

In order to enable the appearance of additional employees before the committee, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman decided to continue the deliberation the following week.

Lev L'Achim representatives asked members of the Committee to call an immediate halt to this dangerous, illegal activity. They denounced various elements who are trying to help the company silence public criticism while denying the continual efforts of members of the company's administration to persuade and force workers to join the activity of the cult, taking advantage of employer authority. In their statement, Lev L'Achim expressed shock over the "statement of opinion" issued by various prejudiced parties for the purpose of approving the company's activity: parties who know nothing about Scientology or understand its tremendous dangers.

The fact that rabbonim and gedolei Yisroel have issued halachic rulings calling Scientology avoda zorah was confirmed at the Committee meeting by representatives of the Scientology cult. They complained that they are called a "cult" instead of a "religion." This wish to be labeled a religion is also expressed in their publications, where they call themselves, "the Scientology Church," and, "the new religion." In addition, one of the official Scientology symbols is the cross.

Lev L'Achim's administration has said that it will continue the public battle to call an immediate halt to this dangerous activity in the Zoglobeck meat company. It will continue to help factory workers to ward off attempts to divert them from their religion.

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