Puzzling Death of Konrad A.
From: Xenu Mania <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Puzzling Death of Konrad A.
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 16:09:22 -0500
The Puzzling Death of Konrad A.
Passau New Press
Saturday, February 14, 1998
by Gerhard Huber
8,000 marks for a few circuits and a multi-meter scale. Berhard Aigner
lays the device back in the well-worn hard-cover case: an e-meter
counseling device, basic equipment for Scientology members who use it for
measuring spiritual energy. "That is the only thing in our house that
still reminds us of Konrad's time with the sect. And we'll throw that
away sometime, too", says Bernhard Aigner.
Konrad was one of six brothers and sisters who grew up with Bernhard
Aigner in a small Rottal farm house in Weiler Rumannsaigen. The parents
were farmers and increased their holdings in the course of time. The
family is intact - a happy group and a tightly-knot society. In their
open house hospitality means everything. Konrad was mostly the center of
attention. "He was the life of the party. Always joking and good-natured
before anything else", recalls Bernhard.
After lineman training with the railroad in Simbach/Inn and the ensuing
service with the military Konrad Aigner left Rottal in 1976. He went to
Munich and to a position as a busdriver with the Federal Transportation
Department. That is where he made his first contact with Scientology.
Bernhard Aigner: "A naive, trusting, inexperienced farmer's son, who had
no idea of what the world is like - the ideal member."
Konrad Aigner's positions with the Transportation Department as well as
his places of residence changed: Munich, Augsburg, Ulm. What remained
were the regular visits [home] to Ruhmannsaigen - and his membership in
Scientology. Konrad did not make any secret out of that. Brothers,
sisters, parents, the entire family knew about it. Nevertheless hardly
anything was ever said. "That was off limits", said Bernhard. Only once,
as a report about the sect was broadcast over the TV, did the [deceased]
brother react uncustomarily vehemently and defended the Scientology view.
"Otherwise there was never any sort of attempt by Konrad to interest and
to recruit one of us in the organization."
Three years ago Konrad Aigner unexpectedly moved back to the house of his
birth. In the meantime his father had died. Konrad threw away his secure
civil service job and became independently employed with a used bus.
"That way I can earn a lot of money, so I can move up the Bridge as soon
as possible", he told his mother Anna, today 76 years old. The "Bridge" -
that means "salvation" for Scientologists.
Mardi Gras associations, theater groups, sports fans - the easy-going bus
driver was loved by the entire community. At home the facade crumbled.
"In the last two years Konrad changed. He was tense, nervous,
thoughtful", said Bernhard. The family often spoke about it and came to
the conclusion that it must have had to do with the worries that come with
Only after Konrad's death in August, 1997 was the personal catastrophe
apparent. The first time his brothers and sisters entered his room.
Books, pamphlets, letters - Scientology documents everywhere. Bernhard
said, "We had no idea that he was in it so deep."
Georg Stoffel, public relations agent for the "Scientology Kirche
Deutschland" [Scientology Church of Germany] did not want to address the
specific case. But said, "We have no support from taxes and also no
membership fees, we live from the voluntary donations of members - and
that can be connected to expenses." Konrad's joy of donating leaves the
Aigners a bitter legacy: their parents' estate is laden with debt. His
brothers and sisters who commonly share the inheritance have to sell the
land. "We have lost everything. We could only save our parents' house -
but that is still worth something to us", said Bernhard. The Aigners do
not blame their brother. "He went through hell and could no longer make
his own decisions. Scientology ruined his life - and ours." All brothers
and sisters agree unanimously, "If he would not have been with this sect,
he could still be alive."
The bachelor left behind a financial ruin. Forms showed that he had
within the last few months given about 70,000 marks over to the
organization. It must have been over 600,000 marks, estimates Barnhard
Aigner, in the course of the years. "Konrand made good money and was very
frugal. He never bought a new car, never went on vacation and had no
hobbies. In spite of that he left only debts."
Witnesses testify that Konrad had often tried to throw off the chains of
the sect. He poured his heart out to a doctor, with whom he had been
friends for a long time, "I want to get out, because I've changed for the
negative. I have finally seen through the group." The doctor offered his
help. Months later Konrad showed up at his place for the last time,
"Everything's alright, things are moving again." About one year ago he
tearfully said to his mother, "Mom, I want to get away from them. I have
learned something so terrible that if I were to tell you, you would fall
dead on the spot." But Konrad stayed with them until the end. And of
course his mysterious death bothers his family, "We'll never rest until
everything is cleared up." The district attorney is also occupied with
the case. Konrad Aigner died in August 1997 after being delivered to a
Swabian hospital and after a three-week coma: multiple organ collapse -
heart, lungs and stomach had simultansously shut down. Neither did the
autopsy bring an explanation. "For his age the man had unusually poor
organs", reported Chief District Attorney Helmut Meier-Staude.
Vitamin pills from the Netherlands were found among Conrad Aigner's
possessions. It is suspected that Scientologists encouraged him to take
them. For that reason a charge against the pharmaceutical and medical
laws will be pursued. Charges which have been rejected by Scientology.
Bernhard remains determined, "They have not directly murdered my brother.
But indirectly they are responsible for his death." Konrad Aigner did not
even have hospitalization insurance - he believed that his religion would
protect him from illness. The brother described Konrad Aigner's last
days: on Thursday, July 17 around 9 o'clok the phone rang. "Yes, I'm
coming right away." Sweating and shaking, but completely healthy, he
grabbed his things and drove his bus to Munich. He remained there until
Monday, but felt increasingly ill. Among other things he cancelled a
planned drive on Saturday. On Monday he was supposed to drive Scientology
members to the "Demonstration for Religious Freedom" in Frankfurt. While
leaving Munich he braked too late at a light and caused an accident.
Despite the fact that he was feeling poorly he drove a rental vehicle to
Frankfurt. That evening, back in Munich Scientology center he vomitted
about 10 o'clock. The ambulance came and in the hospital Konrad Aigner
immediately fell into a coma.
We would have notified a doctor much earlier. If Konrad would have been
at home, he would not have had to die", believes Bernhard Aigner. In his
investigation he was at first fended off by the Scientology center, "They
lied about Konrad." Only when he drove to Munich himself was he able to
find anything out. He was treated friendly and sympathetically during his
visit - but no concrete information. Berhard Aigner said, "I went there
angry and hateful, but they calmed me with nice words." Since December
there's been no word - of the help for the family, as Scientology had
asserted, no trace. The last contact was December 24: a card on which
the sect wished "Happy Christmas."
"Nothing like this should happen again", Bernhard expressed himself. This
is why he and his family are now going public, "We cannot bring Konrad
back to life, but maybe he can serve as a warning to others."
translated by Joe Cisar
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