Police search Scientology headquarters

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The search came about after the judiciary launched a fraud inquiry following a tip-off by the regional employment agency.

14 April 2008

BRUSSELS - The federal police have conducted a search at the Belgian head office of the Scientology Church in the Brussels municipality of Ukkel. The search took place last Thursday but news of it only broke on Saturday.

In a reaction, Scientology said it believed the search to be part of a series of “malicious actions”.

The search came about after the judiciary had received some pieces of incriminating evidence against the organisation from the Brussels Employment Agency.

Scientology is alleged to have put job advertisements in a Brussels local newspaper asking for administrative personnel.

During the interview, the candidates were told they would only get the job if they joined the organisation. On top of that, the job turned out to be an unpaid one.

The federal judiciary has started an investigation against Scientology on suspicion of forgery and extortion.

Scientology, on the other hand, insists on its innocence. The organisation says its fundamental rights have been violated and claims it has become the target of “malicious actions”.

In anticipation of any further action, the organisation’s premises have been sealed off.

Doubtful organisation
Although the organisation considers itself to be a religion, the Scientology Church is not actually recognised as such. In many counties, including Belgium, the organisation is regarded as a sect that is only out to lay its hands on members’ money.

The Belgian judiciary has kept a close eye on Scientology for years. In its turn, Scientology went to the highest courts to fight off the accusations of criminal activities.

In February 2007, the highest Belgian court, the Court of Cassation rejected Scientology’s claim in appeal.

[flandersenews.be / Expatica]

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