Church of Scientology in Belgium to be prosecuted?

12th May 2009, Comments 8 comments

A Belgian court will decide on Tuesday whether the Church of Scientology will be prosecuted.

Two years ago Belgian public prosecutors stated that the Church is a criminal organisation.

The prosecution, if it happens, will be a world first.

In September 2007 detectives completed an investigation into the Church of Scientology. The activities of the organisation during the past twelve years came under scrutiny.

Their verdict was not a flattering one.

The public prosecutor's office claimed that the organisation was involved in fraud, blackmail of members and illegal medical practices.

Earlier the Belgian Parliament put the Church of Scientology on its list of 'sects'. Abroad, the church has been recognised as a religion.

The Church of Scientology is eager to defend its position. In the past it took the Belgian state to court on several occasions.

If the matter comes to court now, a procedural battle is on the cards.

Lafayette Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954. Under its teachings each individual is an immortal soul.

The organisation claims thousands of members in Belgium, though there is little evidence of this.

It is particularly popular in the US.

The actors John Travola and Tom Cruise are among its more famous followers.

8 Comments To This Article

  • B posted:

    on 18th May 2009, 01:02:04 - Reply

    It is very popular in the states, check out (critics) If you dont want to thats fine also... its your life... this is what I dont get if you people are so happy with your lives why come and try to degrade other people's viewpoint on life and religion, keep your angry, hatred comments to yourself... and if you are reading this article objectively you will see they are very bias...
  • Anonymous posted:

    on 16th May 2009, 02:21:20 - Reply

    "Read a book read a book go to our website read a book go to our website."

    Steve, that is what ALL Scientologists say to its critics. It is a statement which fails on so many levels, because reading a Scientology book only talks about the SUBJECT of Scientology, whereas people protest the organization's abuses.

    I can't learn that Scientology disconnects families from an LRH book, nor can I learn about Hubbard's Fair Game policy that Scientologists may lie, cheat, or utterly ruin critics. I can't learn about Scientology's policy that a woman who gets pregnant in the Sea Org must be forced to have an abortion. Where then did I learn all this? From ex-Scientologists, all around the world, all unrelated to each other, who claim the same abuses.

    So the next time you start spewing your CRAP about reading a book, then I'll let you know when I'm interested about the subject about Scientology. Learn about the subject of Scientology from Scientologists and books. Learn about the abuses of Scientology from ex-scientologists and old guard critics who experienced it first hand.
  • imominous posted:

    on 14th May 2009, 17:26:59 - Reply

    Steve is likely a Scientologist, as his response is pure copy/paste of the usual propaganda they are allowed to produce when it is necessary to communicate with the public at large. This is for Steve:

    " "The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of the Church of Scientology of Toronto and one of its officers on two counts of criminal breach of trust stemming from covert operations of its Guardians Office more than 20 years ago.

    In a 143 page ruling released late yesterday, a three judge panel rejected arguments by Scientology lawyers that incorporated non-profit religious associations should not be held liable for unauthorized criminal acts committed by individuals within the ranks.

    Although agreeing that the liability infringed guarantees of religious freedom in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the court held that the infringement was permissible under Section 1 of the Charter as a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society.

    Speaking for the court, Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg concluded that there was no possible "reformulation of corporate criminal liability that will not infringe" the guarantee of religious freedom. "The mere prosecution of the church will stigmatize the parishioners and members and divert funds from religious purposes to defence of the charge."

    "Even if the prosecution were limited to the acts of the board of directors, it would infringe freedom of religion since liability would still be imposed on the corporation on a vicarious basis. The 'innocent' parishioners would be required to fund the defence, and church property would be at risk if the church were convicted and a fine imposed."

    Judge Rosenberg said the objective of applying criminal liability to religious corporations "relates to a fundamental tenet of our society, namely that no person is above or beyond the law". "
  • Artoo45 posted:

    on 13th May 2009, 18:18:43 - Reply

    By all means do read Hubbard's "work". I recommend "A History of Man". This masterpiece of unintended hilarity will introduce you to Hubbard's "tech", like how we're trillions of years old (yes, trillions . . . with a t) and how we've progressed through past lives as neurotic clams and how Piltdown man used to try to eat his wife. Oh, that's right, Piltdown man was a hoax, how come your "tech" didn't figure that out Elron? And don't miss Hubbard in his own voice describing how our solar system came to be known as Space Station 33 . . .
  • Paul posted:

    on 13th May 2009, 12:47:43 - Reply

    Your entire post is pure Scientology cult PR and filled with lies. The E Toronoto org is closed and the remaining "cough***church***cough" is a near empty s*^t hole.

    Never trust a cult that was convicted of the largest infiltration of the US government in history (Operation Snow White).

    Scientology? It's worse than you think. Far worse.

    However Steve's idea of reading a book is good. Here are a few titles that explain what the cult of scientology is all about.

    The Complex
    A Piece of Blue Sky
    Bare Faced Messiah
  • Steve posted:

    on 13th May 2009, 03:49:14 - Reply

    Where I live in Canada it has grown quite a bit over the last 10 years, and apparently this growth is common in most areas. Scientology gets bad press mostly because the people who pay for the press do not like what the Scientologists say about the people who pay for the press. It is pretty simple.

    If they do try to prosecute the Church in Belgium it will turn out that they did nothing wrong and they will end up with more people saying "what is this all about?" Most detractors really don't know anything about what really goes on there, just the ambiguous claims of people on the internet. If you really want to find out about it, read a book, then decide for yourself.
  • Tara posted:

    on 12th May 2009, 23:15:33 - Reply

    Absolutely right Mark. There are only around 25,000 Scientologists left in the U.S., down from over a million when Hubbard was alive. Even mainstream media and non-cult celebrities openly mock them. Their reputation could not be any worse than it already is.

    Of course Scientology SAYS they are 'wildly popular' and 'growing like never before' but it simply is not true. In an April 2008 Gallop pole Scientology was rated the most negatively viewed 'religion' in the U.S.
    Their bogus front groups no longer afford them the respectability they once did, and in fact cities throughout the country are fighting to keep Crimanon, Narconon, etc out of their back yards.

    The cult is barely clinging to life. Let's hope Belgium does the right thing and decides to prosecute. But regardless of whether they do or not, the cult is circling the drain.
  • Emmitt Mak posted:

    on 12th May 2009, 19:44:06 - Reply

    Popular in the US??? Not really. Their 'church' is widely mocked here in the states. The famous actors belonging to their church are considered to be out on a limb, at best.

    Religion is war.