Posts Tagged Scientology

More Bad News For Scientology

It’s been a bad week for Scientology all round, besides the ruling in France – with Academy Award-winning writer-director Paul Haggis officially and publicly resigning from the group. Paul took action after feeling his concerns over Scientology’s official stance on gay rights were not being addressed, leaving the group after writing a letter outlining his feelings on the issues and his reasons for wanting to disconnect with Scientology – more of which I’ll come to later.

Haggis’ action not only follows the ruling in France, but also the outburst made by Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis on Nightline where he linked the Anonymous movement – a movement allegedly set up to allegedly expose alleged crimes and alleged violations of alleged human rights allegedly by the allegedly alleged church of scientology – to a number of unproven illegal allegations which, to be fair, the presenter did a great job taking him to task on and highlighting that the allegations made by Tommy were not backed up by the FBI. The video is currently up on Youtube and is worth a look. On top of that, Tommy was recently interviewed by journalist Martin Bashir, citing offence of his religious beliefs and storming out after being politely asked to comment on the alien Xenu and the alien tales associated by some to Scientology, which is not recognised as a religion in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Isreal, Greece and Mexico, among other countries.

You might remember Tommy from the BBC Panorama programme, where he met with reporter John Sweeney – many times, during John’s attempts to interview other people with views on the practices of Scientology. On the back of those high-profile PR disasters, the open letter from Paul Haggis could not have come at a worst time for the group France classes as a ‘sect’.

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Bad News For Scientology

In a news story that’s garnered worldwide publicity, two branches of the Church of Scientology in France have been sentenced this week to pay fines of over €600,000 after being convicted of “fraud in an organised gang” by a court in Paris. Four officials of the group, including Alain Rosenberg, the group’s head in France, also received suspended prison sentences of between 18 months and two years alongside fines ranging from €5,000 to €30,000.

The sentence comes at the culmination of case which saw two female former members allege that they were pressured into paying large sums of money to the church after joining in the 1990s. They also alleged that members of the church had harassed them to buy a variety of products including vitamins and to sign up for “purification” courses costing thousands of euros. For listeners who aren’t familiar with purification, it’s a detoxification technique used in scientology variously for religious, spiritual and medical benefits. The program consists of large doses of vitamin B3 Niacin and long, hot saunas, both beyond what is usually considered a safe level, as was detailed in the New York Press in June 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

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