Church of Scientology “guilty of fraud”..

hubbardA court in France has found the church guilty of fraud – but has stopped short of banning them from the country.

The case centred on a complaint by a woman who says she was pressured into scientology shoppaying large sums of money after being offered a free personality test.

France regards Scientology as a sect, not a religion and prosecutors had asked for the group’s French operations to be dissolved.

Newshour is looking at the story today and will feature, among others an official spokesman for the church.

haggisThe verdict comes just hours after the director of ” Crash” – Paul Haggis –quit the church complaining of what he called the organisations’ “anti-gay” stance.

23 Responses to “Church of Scientology “guilty of fraud”..”

  1. 1 Boadu Kwabena
    October 27, 2009 at 12:11

    I believe its a great ruling, I only wish this could be replicated in Africa where millions of people are being duped on the basis of Religion. Am in Ghana and it is not an exageration if I say that Religion and its promise of miracles and well being is the biggest industry. Many have built houses for Pastors, bought cars for them etc. in exchange of so called protection.
    Some Pastors even demand money for Prayers and scare people with the prospect of curses if they fail to fulfil certain promises

    • 2 Josh, Indianapolis
      October 27, 2009 at 12:39

      The regrettable thing is that Scientology is so peculiar, if not downright dangerous, that certain countries have been able to ban it or rule it fraudulent. Sadly, this is not so with other religions: the beliefs of Christianity and Islam are just as outrageous and have served as the basis for many more atrocities than Scientology is guilty of. But these two religions are perfectly O.K., and many times influence the foreign policy decisions of our legislators.

  2. 3 patti in cape coral
    October 27, 2009 at 12:55

    I remember when you guys did a show on scientology a bit ago, and I was so excited to finally hear what they had to say, and they managed to say absolutely nothing. I’m surprised on the statement about them being anti-gay, though, I thought that they take everyone with cash.

  3. 4 Ann
    October 27, 2009 at 13:02

    I’m normally very open minded, tolerant of, and can see the value of most religions, but from what I have heard of Scientology over the years, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge-pole and would be keen to advise anyone against joining it. Nasty stuff! Stay well clear!

  4. 5 Peter Gizzi
    October 27, 2009 at 13:24

    In my opinion ALL religions are frauds as they cannot prove what they preach. People who sell non existent products on the internet get fined and even imprisoned. Religions can “sell” their ideas and get away with it. They can even make threats including death but this is allowed! Such hypocrites!

    • 6 Tom Billesley
      October 27, 2009 at 17:36

      Politicians also make all sorts of promises and do not deliver. Their excuses, when cornered, are wondrous. After all the body politic has all the trappings of religion including collection of money from the faithful, periodic meetings with doigma expounded by gurus, promises of a better life some time in the future, castigation of blasphemers and apostates and obstructing justice for “priests” found to be corrupt. Some politicians envy the characteristic of most religions – no elections.

  5. 7 Eric Boysen
    October 27, 2009 at 14:50

    I take it that the word “sect” as used here is equivalent with “cult,” a minority religion with some unusual features that outsiders fear. I think of a sect as a division witin a broader religious tradition, such as Anglicans and Methodists as being of two sects within the Protestant Christian tradition. I am hardly a student of Scientology, but it appeared to me to be founded as a tax shelter for Hubbard.

  6. 8 T
    October 27, 2009 at 15:16

    If you look in many phone books here in the States, you’ll see a Scientology ad. Yet, they never mention the world Scientology. If these people are so proud of their religion, then why do they deliberately hide the name? Looks like a double standard to me.

  7. 9 Samdromeda
    October 27, 2009 at 15:38

    Some religious practices, as in parts of Africa with Christianity, are a blend of witchcraft and universalisim. It leaves the masses under the control of a central figure who an individual will want to be in the good graces of lest he curse you and your future generations. In this tradition Noah was the first High Priest of Vudoo.

  8. 10 Anthony
    October 27, 2009 at 16:00

    Thank God. But why is it I get censored when I talk about how violent Islam is, yet when I talk about crazy Scientologists, that’s fine?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  9. 11 gary
    October 27, 2009 at 16:27

    How many Christian, Jewish, or Moslem faithful tithe? What do they believe their money buys? Membership in any organization offers privilege at a cost. Analyzing the return on investment is an individual responsibility.

  10. 12 John in Salem
    October 27, 2009 at 16:34

    As long as there are people who believe it is possible to buy what these groups offer there will be someone to sell it to them. Ban them completely and a dozen others will take their place tomorrow.

  11. October 27, 2009 at 16:43

    Just read a little about Scientology,nothing to write home about really. Small mebership of about 3.5 million,and a lot of silly ideas,such as signing a million year contract,oh yes,living on other planets and parting with your hard-earned. Fraud? Yes.

    October 27, 2009 at 17:16

    All religions are narrow minded and violent by there nature. Yes that includes Islam and Christianity Tony.

    I want to start a Religion based on the works of Anne Wood the creator and writer of the Teletubbies kids program, I guarantee I would get someone to follow it with me and I don’t think it would be any more ridicules than following the works of a second rate sc-fi writer.

    Human beings are lemmings.

  13. 15 Tom Billesley
    October 27, 2009 at 17:20

    I’m a bit sceptical about the continence of a “religion” making such use of diuretics. What is the difference between a religion and a sect – is it power, wealth, long-stanging, or links with the establishment / government. Or is it just that mine’s a religion but yours is a sect. Follow the sensible French and keep all religions/sects out of government and state education.

  14. 16 miriamhyde54
    October 27, 2009 at 19:01

    To my understanding, a sect is a variation of an established religion (Protestant breaks into “x” number of groups).

    Scientology is scary, and I think it is a cult and a fraud. The sad thing is that you can’t protect people who fall into these clutches. It’s all but impossible to get out and is so secretive that no one is really quite certain what all goes on.

    Just like a lot of other cults and religions…

    Any religion that requires you to buy in to be either a member or some kind of leader is wrong, simply wrong. So are televangelists who ask for donations.

    Someone who chooses to support a cause should do so because they choose to. I have never read a “holy book” that asks for anything more than 10%. And it’s true, most people don’t do that.

    However, it is difficult to know where that 10% goes. I would hope it helps supports their community – members or not. If that were so, then government programs would not be necessary in most places.

    I cringe as I type this…I was once a guest on the PTL Club. After, I was handed an envelope that contained a $100. I told them, “Paying my expenses to get here is one thing; paying me to be on your show is quite another. I don’t know who’s money you’ve taken for this check, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t think it was going to pay a guest.” I didn’t say they wouldn’t have thought the money also went to pay for Tammy Faye’s eyelashes. I ripped it up and threw it in their faces. Never watched it, or any other similar show again.

    At the same time, I also gave up on every so called “fanatic, religious evangelist, fundamentalist”, and haven’t regretted it for a minute.

    The creation of religion is mankind’s greatest mistake.

  15. 17 Kasado
    October 27, 2009 at 21:36

    I agree that Scientology can be over-aggressive in their recruitment and demands for contributions, but for someone to join and receive 21000 euros of ‘help’. Then ask for a refund is just anti-capitalist and when French courts get involved, actually scarier than the so-called religion.

  16. 18 Tom D Ford
    October 27, 2009 at 23:21

    @ miriamhyde54

    “The creation of religion is mankind’s greatest mistake.”

    Hear hear!

  17. 20 Tom D Ford
    October 27, 2009 at 23:24

    “A court in France has found the church guilty of fraud…”

    Good start, France, and let’s hope that all other nations follow your lead, and find all churches guilty of fraud.

  18. October 28, 2009 at 16:03

    Nice post. I’ve just posted on the case at http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/scientology-current-problems-illustrate-susceptabilities-of-religion/ I argue that the problems are indicative of broader susceptabilities facing religion–namely, susceptability to the profit-motive and an over-estimation of religious leaders.

    If you haven’t already read it, here is a NYT article on the case: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/europe/28france.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=scientology&st=cse

  19. 22 Jim Newman
    October 29, 2009 at 14:02

    Hello again
    In my opinion scientology is a business that owes it’s success to fraudulent claims that attract people who are permanently or temporarily fragile.
    I know one person in my family who can vouch for that.
    They weave a web of mythology but the bottom line is the money rolling in.

  20. 23 Kasado
    October 30, 2009 at 17:58

    But how can what Scientalogy did be concidered fraud? These people received everything they asked for and now they claim they are not somehow ‘enlightened’ enough. How do they prove this, since there are no quantitive ways of measuring their spiritual condition? Well, at least outside of their own chosen religion, of course.
    Does this mean I can sue my church for the return of all my tithes I have donated over the last 10 years, because I don’t feel saved? I have recently become unemployed and really could use the return of the 10% I have donated to support my church.

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