Four Men Face Sentencing for Drugs Distribution; Fasnacht Goes to Boston Dalai Lama Comes to Basel; Scientology Gets new Basel HQ

In a trial expected to last 10 days, four Baseler men face severe prison sentences for having been indicted in a case of large scale drug trafficking.  Starting in November 2012, the men aged 22-31 years old, sold Ecstasy under the street names Blue Ghost, Red Canada and White Superman throughout Basel City clubs along with marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine.  It is alleged the men procured their drugs wholesale from a sauna club owner in Olten, Switzerland.  The drugs the men purchased weren't only for distribution though.  It is alleged at least two of the men consumed a significant quantity of the drugs, then replaced and mixed what they used with milk powder before selling.  The trial will begin once questioning of the suspects is completed and the police conclude their investigation.

**************************************************   Harvard university in Boston intends to recognize four Basel natives with honorary doctorate degrees in Schnitzelbanggologie.  The honor is to be bestowed upon them in return for organizing a special cultural event through the Harvard department of Germanic Languages and Literature designed to teach participants about Carnival Cultures.  In addition to revelry, the men intend to write and recite a traditional fasnacht verse which Basel cliques typically author.  Having picked a theme already the men have the additional challenge of translating the verses into High German and English so the audience can understand the lyrics.  Although the PhD diplomas don't convey the same value as more traditional Harvard degrees, the mothers and families of the Baselers are no less proud!   ************************************************   Invited by the Tibetan communities of Lichtenstein and Switzerland, the Dalai Lama, the most holy leader of global Buddhism was in Basel last weekend for a series of public talks and teachings at the St. Jakobshalle.  In his first visit to Basel since 2001, at a media conference in Saturday, the dalai lama explained the purpose of the event.  He emphasized the need to educate children on morality and ethics starting at an early age, instead of emphasizing material values.  In addition, he strongly urged all nations of all continents to work together to address environmental issues for which each individual and community share a responsibility.  And finally, the dalai lama encouraged everyone to enhance their personal compassion and question their beliefs.  The visit was not without some controversy as 500 members of the Shugden movement, a sect of Buddhism that opposes the status of the dalai lama, were outside the stadium to protest the dalai lama's presence and message.  Police reported no incidents of violence or disruption.




The controversial Church of Scientology intends to open its first Swiss Ideal Org temple in Basel in March.  Situated on Burgfelderstrasse, the 4182 square meter building was purchased in 2011 by the organization and will also become the local headquarters for the scientologists and is expected to house 150 members.  According to official Scientology materials, Switzerland has 5000 members of the church, though Georg Otto Schmid of Relinfo, a website dedicated to tracking and reporting on evangelical activities in Switzerland, the number of members is probably closer to 1000.  Residents of the Iselin neighborhood of Basel, where the intended temple is set to open are far from pleased.  Thomas Erlemann the district secretariat was quoted in the Basler Zeitung calling for street protests in the neighborhood on March 7