Scientology goes on trial in France

From France 24:

A high profile trial against the Church of Scientology opens in Paris Monday amid questions about whether the latest legal battle could threaten Scientology’s operations in France.

This time, the organisation faces a fine of up to 5 million euros and even the prospect of dissolution.

The latest case centres on a complaint made by a 43-year-old Parisian woman, who claims the organisation persuaded her to spend at least 20,000 euros for various fraudulent cases including medication for “self-purification”, books and an “electrometer”, a device used to measure galvanic skin response in patients…

The Church of Scientology says money can be reimbursed whenever a former member wants it back. The organisation says that it is not afraid of this court case, having won so many in the past. This time though, it’s on high alert. If it loses out, its French operations could be shut down.

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21 Comments

  • Mark Williams 25th May '09 - 2:03pm

    A fraudulent cult, but not dissimilar to a political party soliciting donations from “members” when it knows it has no prospect of power.

  • Bruce Wilson 25th May '09 - 2:28pm

    I dislike secretive organizations. They remind me of the House of Commons.

  • Mark Williams obviously believes that chalk = cheese. They would only be similar if that political party had no intention of seeking power.

  • Mark Williams 25th May '09 - 5:07pm

    Adam Bell, if you can honestly belive that the Lib Dems will ever gain power then you shouldn’t have to much trouble with the idea that the universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality because most thetans agree it exists.

    Personally, I think much as I disagree with the Scientologists hypothesis, it is much less likely that anyone wearing a yellow rosette will end up in Downing Street unless they cross the floor.

  • at least the supporters of the lib dems know what chance of success they have, while scientologists are constant victims of fraud and deception

  • The amazing thing about the “Church” of Scientology is that it has been going for 60 odd years and has been exposed as a rather dubious cult on several occasions, but it still continues to function.

    I seem to recall as a councillor receiving glossy flyers from the “Church” telling me what wonderful things it was doing in the community. They went straight in the recycling bin.

  • Geez, anyone would think they’d been caught selling indulgences…

  • Oranjepan,

    The labour party is a perfect example to refute your claim.

    For the past 12 years they’ve utterly stuffed the vested interest of the people who fund them with complete impunity.

    Just a pity the people who co-opted it did it for personal gain.

    Ho hum.

    🙂

  • Mark Williams 26th May '09 - 12:31pm

    Mark Pack said:
    “The issue really is that whether or not you think you’re going to win a general election doesn’t make asking for money to support your political party fraudulent. One doesn’t follow from the other at all.”

    Nobody said it was fraudulent, just that it was similar to Scientology, and implicitly a little dishonest.

    A more honest approach to Lib Dem party fnsd raising would be to say “your hard earned cash can save us from political oblivion and indeed if you give us some money we might even come third”.

    Fraud would be for example where a party claims that they had conducted a full due diligence in to a UK company that had donated £2.4 million, when in fact the company had no UK business, employees, VAT registration, FSA registration, UK based directors, UK place of business, no record of any business transactions and no financial statements. That would be fraud on a grand scale.

  • “claims that they had conducted a full due diligence”

    {sigh}

    Where have we ever claimed that. Using phrases like “due diligence” is a complete red herring as there is no such requirement under PPERA – at least in the commonly understood, financial services sense

  • Readers should know that Mark Williams’ party doesn’t have members. That much was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Conservative Central Office v Burrell.

    Fraud might mean committing perjury at a libel trial and winning £500,000 in damages as a consequence. “I am convinced this is a man of probity and integrity” – W Hague.

  • Mark Williams 27th May '09 - 1:40am

    Mark Pack Says:
    “26th May 2009 at 2:02 pm Hywel: and also, if those allegations were true, then that’s what the Electoral Commission would have found it its detailed investigations. Instead, it concluded that the party had done its job of checking the validity of the donation properly.”

    Not at all. The Lib Dems flunked the investigation and so did the Eectoral Commission.

    The Electoral Commission hoped they could kick the whole thing into the long grass. Sam Younger retired, despite the fact he said that there were still questions to answer and promised to review the facts once the police had finished their investigations “in a matter of weeks”, but then delayed further until Younger retired.

    On the other hand two High Court judges in two separate criminal cases found that 5th Avenue Partners had never been in business.

    Many others, including Dominic Kennedy of the Times investgated the company and found it to be a complete sham. There never was a UK business, there were no employees, no VAT registration, no FSA registration, no UK based directors, no UK place of business, no record of any business transactions and no financial statements for 5th Avenue Parters, and neither you nor anybody in the Lib Dems or the ELectoral Commission has any record of them because they never existed.

    After 4 years of lying about Michael Brown, are you beginning to get the message?

  • Kevin Smith 29th May '09 - 2:48pm

    Scientology ethics teach us that only by getting your own ethics back in can you climb back up the chute. It gives us a whole new discovery on how to start heading back up towards survival to a conditions where man can be cause over life. “An Intro to Scientology Ethics” is a must for any person or political organisation – especially one struggling for it’s existence.
    Good Luck

  • Sounds like the Electoral Commission is in need of reform – not fit for purpose

  • The major problem with all these false allegations is that most people don’t understand or know what Scientology is. If they knew they would see it is a honorable activity: helping people with their problems and enhancing their abilities. Some very few individuals instead have other objectives and these include vested interests (see Big Pharma).

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