Church of Scientology to be tried in France for fraud
Legal sources said the Church of Scientology will be tried in a French court for organised fraud and illegally prescribing drugs.8 September 2008
PARIS -- The controversial Church of Scientology will be tried in a French court for "organised fraud" and seven of its members for illegally prescribing drugs, legal sources said Monday.
The charges stem from a case taken by a woman who said she paid the church more than EUR 20,000 for lessons, books, drugs and an "electrometer," a device which the church says can measure a person's mental state.
She allegedly made the payments after being approached by Scientologists in a Paris street in 1998.
The case to be examined at a still-unknown date by the Paris court is also being taken by another plaintiff and by France's professional pharmaceutical association.
Founded in the United States in 1954 by science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, the church, which has attracted Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise, was officially recognised as a religion there nearly 20 years later.
It is often accused in France and in other European countries, including Belgium, Germany and Greece, of exploiting its members financially.
[AFP / Expatica]