Superior Administrative Court decision of October 15, 1996
10 S 176/96
The previous hearings was:
VG Stuttgart 4 K 4019 / 93
decision of December 8, 1995
Complainant: Chick Corea
Accused: State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
For: negligence, revocation, and identification
Result: dismissed appeal not permissible
The appeal of
the complainant against the decision of the Stuttgart Administrative
Court of December 8, 1995 - 4 K 4019 / 93 - is dismissed.
An agency terminated a contract with Corea after his membership in
Scientology became known. The concert was supposed to have taken place
in a state-funded event.
Facts of the
The complainant, an American state citizen and member of Scientology,
objects to statements made by the accused's state administration to
the state assembly.
The accused intended to present its own program ("Baden-Wuerttemburg
Club") for the public, in assocation with the field athletics world
championship in August 1993. The agency commissioned by the accused
started contract negotiations with the complainant, a pianist, for
a concert as part of the "Baden-Wuerttemberg Club." The agency
broke off negotiations, however, when it became know that the complainant
was a member of Scientology. It communicated the position of the accused's
state ministry in a letter which included the following:
of Baden-Wuerttemberg respects the religious beliefs of Mr. C
and those of others. Mr. C. can, of course, give concerts wherever
he wants to. The administration will not engage Mr. C. for a concert.
The administration is convinced that Scientology is not a religious
community, but is a sect which has interests which are primarily
Among the decisions
made on June 8, 1993 by the state assembly representatives was one
which asked the adminstration to review,
it evaluated the general problem that appearances by artists,
exhibitions, etc. by professed Scientologists in state institutions
or at events which receive state subsidies was, in fact, indirectly
supporting the so called Scientology Church;
2. how it would guarantee that such honoria and fees financed
by state subsidies would not, in part, be forwarded on to Scientology,
thereby contradicting the state opposition to this organization;
3.what process it would recommend for events in such a case."
It was said in
year's international tent music festival in F., C. will appear
with his band on June 22, 1993. The state subsidizes this event.
Since C. regularly appears in public as a Scientologist, the state
would thereby be indirectly promoting an organization against
which it is otherwise taking measures to prevent its further expansion."
for Culture and Sports, in conjunction with the Ministry for Family,
Women, Education and Art, took a position to the application in a
letter of July 9, 1993 (Lt.-Drs. 11/2051). It stated in part:
promotion of cultural events or artists in Baden Wuerttemberg
and elsewhere is directed by the principle of liberalism taken
from the freedom of art guaranteed by the Constitution. According
to this principle, no influence is exerted on the content of the
art. The responsibility for the content of the art lies exclusively
with the artists and art dealers.
The principle of liberalism, however, crosses the bounds of the
acceptable when artists promoted with state means made their appearance
with the intention of advertising ideas, associations or group
interests which the state administration deems worth opposing.
C.'s assciation with Scientology was previously not known to the
Ministry of Family, Women, Education and Art. In the future, state
promotion of events must be questioned in which active and openly
professed Scientologists and members of similar groups take part."
State Ministry communicated to the complainant in a letter of June
14, 1993 that he "could give a concert any place in Baden Wuerttemberg
or appear however else he liked ... but the state would not make a
contract ... with him because of the known attitude of the state administration
to the Scientology sect."
The complainant filed suit in Stuttgart Administrative Court on December
15, 1993, in which he applied:
|"1. to obligate
the accused to cease and desist from making the statement that
state promotion of events would be an issue when the complainant
appeared there as a known Scientologist, or statements to that
2. to obligate the accused to retract the statement that state
promotion of events would be an issue when the complainant appeared
there as a known Scientologist, and in addition, to obligate the
accused to publicly retract its statement in the presence of anyone
who had received the first statement, as well as issue a press
release, and to communicate that state promotion of musical events
was not an issue, especially when the complainant was involved;
to obligate the state to publish the resulting cease and desist
Supplementally, in reference to numbers 1 and 2:
1. to ascertain
that the expression by the accused state that state promotion
of events would be an issue if the complainant appeared there
as a professing Scientologist, would be illicit, and thereby
not legally valid.
2. to obligate the accused state to publish the resulting judgment."
submitted by the complainant, namely a - potentially also based on
other causes - significant decrease of offers for concert appearances
in the area of the state, do not seriously and lastingly affect his
freedom to form, to have, to profess or disseminate a religious or
weltanschauung conviction, nor are they aligned to his collective
conduct with regards to the teachings of this conviction, but they
certainly have a reference to his commericial interests. In particular,
there is no question, in view of the international success and renown
of the complainant, that a decrease in offers for concerts in Baden-Wuerttemberg
could exert any kind of pressure upon him to distance himself from
The assessment which was communicated that indirect, state promotion
of Scientology was problematic and therefore needed further review
is neither arbitrary nor disproportionate.
Moreover the complainant is mistaken; a possible denial of subsidy,
as was considered in the answer from the state assembly, would not
be connected to faith or religious views in the sense of Art. 3 sect.
3 Basic Law, but to definite external operating procedures or methods
which Scientology may practice outside the protection of Art. 4 of
Contrary to the complainant's presentation, the statements in dispute
do not interfere with his freedom of artistic expression (Art. 5 sect.
3, s. 1 Basic Law). The state administration's answer does not take
the context of art into consideration at all and does not - directly
- prevent the complainant from performing his work or from performing
as a musician in the field of his artistic activity.
Because he openly professes to an organization which has met the opposition
of public criticism and of justified government surveillance through
actions which are outside the protection of Art. 4 of Basic Law [freedom
of religion], he will have to accept the state assembly's report expressing
doubt about the feasibility of indirect state support. This doubt
is founded on actual, competently acknowledged bases of fact. The
accused has submitted specific, uncontested and uncontradicted facts
which lead to the conclusion that Scientology puts the individual
freedom and the human dignity of the people it recruits at risk, and
that its perspectives, because they contain cynical and totalitarian
tendencies, stand in opposition to the liberal and democratic values
of western democracies. This assessment has also been verified by
decisions from the highest court. In its decision of March 22, 1995
(see also the Nordrhein-Westfalen Superior Administrative Court decision
of May 31, 196 - 5 B 993/95), the Federal Labor Court, after evaluating
numerous publicly accessible sources of information, mainly publications
of Scientology, determined that the religious or philosophical teachings
of this group served only as a pretext for the pursuit of commercial
goals, and that Scientology represented cynical perspectives and used
methods which were not compatible with human dignity and the image
which Basic Law has of people. Under these circumstances, no discussion
is necessary of less substantiated objections which the complainant
has submitted against the accused, such as against the opinion of
Prof. Dr. Rolf Abel (April 1996) presented on commission of the state
government of Schleswig-Holstein.
If the complainant wants to appear within the state, he is completely
free to either promote his own concert or to work with an agency which
is not subsidized by the state. If he, as his legal representative
admitted in the appeals process, has not made use of this alternative
which is customary in the market, then that is his free business decision,
and that does not derive from the quality of interference from the
agency statements in question.