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  1. #1
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    Scientologists convicted of fraud

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8327569.stm




    Scientologists convicted of fraud

    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 (18,100) 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.

    Ban 'still possible'

    Unlike the US, France has always refused to recognise 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.

    Religious freedom is in danger in this country
    Eric Roux French Celebrity Centre spokesman
    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 organisation itself has been charged, she says.

    Tommy Davis, spokesman for the Church of Scientology International, told BBC News that the court had acted "in total violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and French constitutional guarantees on freedom".

    The case "fell flat on its face", he said.

    "The fines will get thrown out on appeal. We've had similar cases before and in other countries. If it has to go to the court of human rights we're confident we will win there."

    Speaking by phone from the US, he said it was a "political gesture" against the organisation, but "Scientology will continue to grow in France".

    The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by the late science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, and includes Hollywood stars such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

    Manipulation claims

    In the case leading up to Tuesday's ruling, a woman said she was sold expensive life-improvement courses, vitamins and other products after taking a personality test.

    A second woman alleges she was fired by her Scientologist boss after refusing to undergo testing and sign up to courses.

    The organisation denied that any mental manipulation took place.

    The court was unable to impose a ban because of a legal amendment that was passed just before the trial began, preventing the banning of an organisation convicted of fraud.

    However, that amendment has now been changed.

    "It is very regrettable that the law quietly changed before the trial," Georges Fenech, the head of the Inter-ministerial Unit to Monitor and Fight Cults, told French TV.

    "The system has now been put in place by parliament and it is certain that in the future, if new offences are committed, a ban could eventually be pronounced," he said.

    A lawyer defending Scientology' s operations in France said there would be an appeal.

    Eric Roux, a spokesman for the Celebrity Centre, urged France to recognise Scientology' s "legality".

    "Religious freedom is in danger in this country," he said.


    *Hand up. I am no fan of them, but if they can get fines given to them, because some silly twonk was gullible enough to donate to their cause, how long before we get people claiming that from mainstream religions?*
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

  2. #2
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    The big problem is that they are not a religion, but a corporation focused on money. Im an athiest myself and to be honest scientology makes much more sense than say, judaism or islam(except the xenu bit) but scientology has proven itself over and over again to be focused on money instead of faith. As idiotic as christianity and the other religions are, they are at least genuinely driven by faith and not the almighty dollar.
    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Owninator View Post
    The big problem is that they are not a religion, but a corporation focused on money. Im an athiest myself and to be honest scientology makes much more sense than say, judaism or islam(except the xenu bit) but scientology has proven itself over and over again to be focused on money instead of faith. As idiotic as christianity and the other religions are, they are at least genuinely driven by faith and not the almighty dollar.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Christianity not driven by the dollar? Oh I'm not sure about that. Go check into the televangelists Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Oral Roberts or any of the "megachurches".

  4. #4
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Witchboy you caught me there;) i was referring more to your basic monk and nun christianity, not those weirdo cultist preacher types! Still. Christianitys Basic tenents are not financially driven, though as you correctly pointed out some of its fringe members are.

  5. #5
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Owninator View Post
    The big problem is that they are not a religion, but a corporation focused on money. .
    While the vatican is....
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

  6. #6
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeah Well Fine Then View Post
    While the vatican is....
    Inquisitive?
    Church of Doojie proud member

  7. #7
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    Inquisitive?
    No.

    A money making scam.

    And one that has cost people their lives.

    Which, to my knowledge, the 'Scientologists' have not.
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

  8. #8
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Hi yeah well fine. But the vatican does not disconnect loved ones, make moms give up their kids, drain people of all finances, physically assault its staff, brainwash, threaten ex-members, file 10s of thousands of frivelous lawsuits against those who disagree with it, the list goes on and on. Im not supporting christianity or any religion, but clearly their is a difference between modern(note the use of the word modern) christianity and scientology. I highly suggest you do basic research on scientology before you make ridiculous claims. A good place to start is youtube,and another good site called "google".

  9. #9
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Oh yeah and plenty of people have lost their lives in scientology, google lisa mcphereson for one horrifying example.

  10. #10
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Owninator View Post
    Hi yeah well fine. But the vatican does not disconnect loved ones, make moms give up their kids, drain people of all finances, physically assault its staff, brainwash, threaten ex-members, file 10s of thousands of frivelous lawsuits against those who disagree with it, the list goes on and on. Im not supporting christianity or any religion, but clearly their is a difference between modern(note the use of the word modern) christianity and scientology. I highly suggest you do basic research on scientology before you make ridiculous claims. A good place to start is youtube,and another good site called "google".
    I am well aware of You Tube and Google (rolls eyes).

    The Vatican doesn't disconnect loved one's? You sure?

    Doesn't drain people of their finances? You sure?

    Perhaps you should take your own advice, and go look at the modern day horrors, paedophile cover up's etc, and all brought to you by the Vatican.
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

  11. #11
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Duh. Im not saying "vatican good, scientology bad" its spples and oranges. Scientology is a multinational national corporation/cult whise sole purpose is controlling. Comparing the 2 is plain silly.

  12. #12
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Whoops, meant to say controlling your wallet, no edit function on the scam.com mobile version.

  13. #13
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Don't heve time to fairly debate this with you, the g/f arrives in a short time, and I will be offline for a week.

    Catch ya later
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

  14. #14
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    Inquisitive?
    Lol. :judges:

  15. #15
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by kazza View Post
    Lol. :judges:
    Thanks Kazza. I glad someone got that. I was starting to worry. :freak3:
    Church of Doojie proud member

  16. #16
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    Re: Scientologists convicted of fraud

    I think it is absolutely fair to examine Christianity, if we are to examine Scientology.

    As it happens, I am no supporter of L Hubbard's teachings, yet, in the grander scheme of things, his stories are no more or less grandiose, over stated, and just plain false, than many of the stories that you would find in the Bible.

    Now let us look at murder and torture. Which of the two has been most culpable of that, over the years? I would place my bets on it NOT being Scientology.

    Money? Well, it is most likely true that there is a steak of sharp practice involved with the group, and yet, we have many many examples of people donating large sums of money, often money they cannot really afford, to some preacher on tv, via their credit card. But they claim to be Christians, and their followers are certainly Christians, therefore, could one of them later turn around and claim that they had been 'brainwashed by unproven stories', and 'defrauded out of their money'?

    Technically, I think if it is legally feasible to do this with Scientology, then the entire Vatican could be placed in an international court, charged with crimes against humanity.

    There is such a fine line between cult and religion, that the line really only exists in the mind of the person calling the other lot a 'cult'.
    Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future..

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