Celebs spring to Scientology’s defense

A who’s who of Hollywood is protesting German attitudes towards the Church of Scientology in an open letter to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the Jan. 9 edition of the International Herald Tribune.

Echoing a letter to the New York Times in October, more than 30 industry luminaries, including John Calley, Dustin Hoffman, Sherry Lansing and Oliver Stone, signed the letter, which compares anti-Scientology attitudes with the early persecution of Jews by the Nazis.

The letter notes that Scientologists are banned from political life in Germany and that, “like the book burning” of the Nazi era, extremists in Kohl’s CDU party have sought to ban performances by prominent Scientologists like Tom Cruise, whose “Mission: Impossible” sparked demonstrations over the summer.

Kohl’s reaction? He describes the letter writers as not having any “idea about Germany and not wanting to have an idea.”

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