Tuesday, October 27, 2009

French Scientologists convicted of fraud

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
By Europe correspondent Emma Alberici

The Church of Scientology has been convicted of organised fraud in France and fined nearly $1 million.

A Paris court fined the church $980,000 but stopped short of banning the group's activities.

Four leading French Scientologists were also given suspended sentences.

The case centred on the claims of former Scientologists who say they were cajoled into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on personality tests, vitamin cures, sauna sessions and counselling.

The Church of Scientology is not recognised as a church in France, it is classified as a cult, and for the past 14 years the French government has kept it under strict surveillance.
This is interesting because the Russians were recently required to certify Scientology as a religion by an EU court. Russia’s ban on the Church of Scientology was illegal, the European Court of Human Rights said in a binding ruling.

Somehow the French have been able to keep Scientology classified as a cult. The French have been a secular country since the French Revolution and also prevented a tribute to Catholicism from being added to the EU Constitution.


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