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October 27, 2009


BBC- A French court has convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud, but stopped short of banning the group from operating in France. Two branches of the group's operations and several of its leaders in France have been fined.

The case came after complaints from two women, one of whom said she was manipulated into paying more than 20,000 euros in the 1990s.

A Scientology spokesman told the BBC the verdict was "all bark and no bite".

France regards Scientology as a sect, not a religion.

Prosecutors had asked for the group's French operations to be dissolved and more heavily fined, but a legal loophole prevented any ban.

Instead, a Paris judge ordered the Church's Celebrity Centre and a bookshop to pay a 600,000-euro fine.

Alain Rosenberg, the group's head in France, was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined 30,000 euros.

Three other leading members of the group were also fined.

Unlike the US, France has always refused to recognize Scientology as a religion, arguing that it is a purely commercial operation designed to make as much money as it can at the expense of often vulnerable victims, the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby reports from Paris.

Over the past 10 years, France has taken several individual members of the group to court on charges of fraud and misleading publicity, but this is the first time the organization itself has been charged, she says.


Anonymous If the pharisees are going to heaven, I'll happily go to hell. said...

"a purely commercial operation designed to make as much money as it can at the expense of often vulnerable victims". At the risk of offending some earnest Catholics whom I love and respect, and admitting I raised my children Catholic because I wanted them to be loving open-hearted courageous souls like their mother, this quote perfectly describes what the Vatican has made of our church.

October 27, 2009 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope the French go after the various Christian sects, Judaism and Islam next.

October 28, 2009 8:40 PM  

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