Scientology accused of fraud

This video says about itself:

scientology OTIII and XENU, from BBC Panorama 1987.

From AFP news agency:

Church of Scientology on trial in France

May 26, 2009, 10:11 am

PARIS – The Church of Scientology and six of its French leaders went on trial on Monday on charges of organised fraud that could lead to an outright ban on the organisation in France.

Known for its Hollywood celebrity followers Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the group is in the dock in Paris for the second time in six years, although French courts have prosecuted several individual Scientologists since 1978.

The court is hearing a complaint from two women, one of whom alleges she was manipulated into handing over 20,000 euros (28,000 dollars) for costly Scientology products, such as an “electrometer” to measure mental energy.

She says she was approached in a Paris street by a Scientologist in late 1998 who offered a free personality test, at a time when she was feeling psychologically fragile.

After being told that her test results were poor,

Yes, people who do that dodgy Scientological personality test are always told that their results are poor; in order to persuade them to part with their money.

the woman was sold a series of “life-improvement courses”, vitamins and other products that she could ill afford, landing her in debt.

The second complainant alleges she was forced by her Scientologist employer to undergo testing and enroll in courses in 1998. When she resisted, she was fired.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers argue that Scientology resorts to harassment and pressure to rein in victims who show signs of vulnerability.

The Scientology Celebrity Centre in Paris, its director Alain Rosenberg and five other top officials are accused of preying on fragile followers “with the goal of seizing their fortune by exerting a psychological hold”. …

The Scientologists are also charged with illegally supplying pharmaceutical products after plaintiffs said they were given vitamins and concoctions to improve their mental state. …

Founded in the United States in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the Church of Scientology was officially recognised as a religion there nearly 20 years later.

It is often accused in European countries of exploiting its members financially. In France, where there are believed to be several thousand Scientology followers, officials treat it as a sect and not a religion.

The trial is scheduled to continue until June 17 and a ruling is not expected until some time later.

Even if the court rules in favour of the plaintiffs and decides to impose a ban, the Church of Scientology has the right to appeal and the legal wrangling could continue for years.

See also here.

Wikipedia Blocks Church of Scientology From Editing Entries: here.

5 thoughts on “Scientology accused of fraud

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