Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

$cientology loses appeal against fraud ruling

Fri 3 February 2012, 3:49pm

The Irish Times reports from France, where the inheritors of L Ron Hubbard’s greedy and manipulative anti-science cult of scientology have lost their appeal against a 2009 ruling that “two French branches of the US-based organisation were guilty of “organised fraud” and gave four of its leaders suspended jail sentences of up to two years.”  A Huffington Post report notes

During the appeals process, the prosecution had asked for the church to be fined at least euro1 million ($1.3 million) and its bookstore euro500,000. But the appeals court on Thursday instead ordered the same fines as the trial court, euro400,000 ($530,000) for the church and euro200,000 for its bookstore.

Five members of the church who were convicted in the first trial were ordered to pay fines ranging from euro10,000 to euro30,000. Four of them were also given suspended sentences between 18 months and two years.

In the original trial, prosecutors had tried to get the group disbanded in France, but the court declined even to take the lesser step of shutting down its operations, saying that French Scientologists would have continued their activities anyway.

[Other supernaturalists take note! - Ed] Well, it’s been a tax-empt religion in the US since 1993… Blame the IRS…

As the Huffington Post report adds

Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the church in Los Angeles, denounced Thursday’s decision, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.”

She said the group would appeal the decision to the Court of Cassation and plans to bring a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. Another complaint is pending with a U.N. special rapporteur.

If you haven’t seen it before, I highly recommend this 1967 World in Action documentary with access to the inner sanctum of the cult that simply would not be allowed today…  Video via XenuTV.

 

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Comments (7)

  1. I’d love to see a professional body language expert take this apart, but to me he comes across as a complete charlatan, and not even a competent one.

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  2. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    I’m gonna miss Slugger…

    Pete you know this lot don’t take well to criticism, they don’t give up easy…!

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  3. Mark (profile) says:

    They don’t give up easy …

    They used to recruit ( I’m sure they still do ) as you come out of the Grafton Street gates of Stephens Green when we were in college . You’d get all kinds approaching you about beer tasting , medical experiments etc and one this scientology guy ( Irish ) asked a friend and I would we like to hear the answers to life etc ……. so we bit and followed him to a first floor office on sth Anne st to hear what he had say ………………or not .

    But we’d given our home addresses at which time were our folks as we were in Ist yr college . After about a half hour of quite agressive questioning we said we’d had enough . The Scientology guy was really put out and couldn’t understand our attitude . He seemed under serious pressure to meet his quota / target for potential discyples

    For 10 maybe 15 years that guy wrote to me 4/5 times a year . The same style small brown envelope with the same handwriting . They sure don’t give up easy all right !

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  4. Greenflag (profile) says:

    It’s plain and simple a money grabbing enterprise which preys on the weak, the confused , the uncertain and of course those who ‘want’ to believe in a fanciful ‘explanation ‘ to the answers to life .

    They’re probably the worst of the cultists out there and IIRC the German government has tried to have them ‘criminalised’ as racketeers in the past . ‘Dianetics ‘ is the bible of this particular brand of charlatanism .

    The Church of Mammon sorry Mormon is probably the most successful of the present plethora of bullshit spouters . They too have their ‘brainwashing ‘techniques ‘but then so also do the ‘mainstream ‘ denominations which have more established and longer historical credentials .

    Any kid of normal intelligence who somehow manages to reach the age of reason without being subjected to whatever form of religious brainwashing his/her milieu has been conditioned by-would write them ( religions-all of them ) off as being to greater or lesser degrees ‘wacko ‘ or simply irrational at best and positively mentally harmful and dangerous at worst.

    And yet the human ‘psyche ‘ still seeks more than what a purely material world offers .And it’s in that gap between seeking and knowing that some find a ‘faith’ that meets their needs while others find comfort in a nebulous cosmic consciousness while yet others fall into the money grabbing outreach departments of cult religions .

    I’d say pray for the latter if I believed that it would do any good but I don’t. They can only be protected by legislation which treats ‘religion ‘ as a business and taxes them on their ‘profits ‘ and on their property holdings .

    And in cases where ‘religions’ are found guilty of breaking the civil law to the great financial or psychological or physical health of their ‘clients’ their license to practice should be removed and or heavy fines imposed and full restitution made to the poor suckers who were taken in by these con men !

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  5. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    But DR is right. Pete should keep his identity a close secret. These people are nasty. OMG, do I need to hide too?

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  6. carl marks (profile) says:

    Hubbard is a master of tack, read his sci-fi, it aspires to the lofty heights of mediocrity; scientology is a mess of pseudo science and platitudes. Its main function is to separate fools from their money.
    Not a lot more to be said about it except unless you want to waste your wages on little black boxes that don’t do anything, stay away from them. They aren’t even funny at least some of our home grown godnuts are able to raise a laugh.
    Joe don’t worry we got your back. ;-)

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  7. Tochais Síoraí (profile) says:

    Vive la France. Nevertheless, as a belief system is what they’re pushing any more ridiculous than what is sold by various assorted purveyors of escapist gobbeldegook including our long established christian denominations (I’ll see your rock behind the moon with my transubstantiation or young earthism and raise you a whole raft of bible fairy stories).

    Anyway, there’s a theory that scientology was set up as a result of a bet between Hubbard and another sci fi writer Robert A. Heinlein as to which of them could make the most money, Hubbard by inventing a religion, Heinlein by writing a novel (Stranger in a Strange Land) about one.

    However, my legal advisors tell me that the above is totally untrue.

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