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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


On Tuesday, a Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than half a million euros. The court, however, but stopped short of banning the group as requested by prosecutors stating shutting down the Church of Scientology would be "outside any legal framework."

The Church of Scientology's French office, its' library and six of its' leaders were included Tuesday's Fraud conviction against Church of Scientology. In their summation of the fraud charges against the Church of Scientology, French investigators said the Church of Scientology pressured members into paying large sums of money for questionable financial gain and used "commercial harassment" against recruits into the Church of Scientology.

As part of the Fraud conviction against the Church of Scientology, The group was fined 400,000 euro and the library 200,000 euro. Four of the leaders of the Church of Scientology were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. The other two were given fines of 1,000 euro and 2,000 euro.

The complaint which lodged the Fraud Charges against the Church of Scientology dates back to 1998, when a young woman said she took out loans and spent the equivalent of 21,000 euro on books, courses and "purification packages" after being recruited into the Church of Scientology in 1998. When she sought reimbursement and to leave the Church of Scientology, its leadership refused. By the time the Church of Scientology was brought to court on accusations of Fraud, there were three plaintiffs.

While looking at the fraud charges against the Church of Scientology, investigating judge Jean-Christophe Hullin spent years examining the Church of Scientologies' activities, and in his indictment criticized what he called the Scientologists' "obsession" with financial gain and practices he said were aimed at plunging members into a "state of subjection."

The Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology, founded in 1954 by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, has been active for decades in Europe, but has struggled to gain status as a religion. The Church of Scientology is considered a sect in France and has faced prosecution and difficulties in registering its activities in many countries.

Of course, the Church of Scientology followed up with their own announcement, stating they would be appealing the Fraud Charges layed against the Church of Scientology.

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