“The original charges were filed by two former members who said they felt coerced into spending tens of thousands of dollars on training, vitamins, personality tests and other things the church provides.”
Which is basically the Raison d’être of Scientology, along with making loads of money. (Proof? This nice quote from founder Ron Hubbard: “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion!”
The church was ordered to pay fines of €600,000 ($900,000) and the Scientology Library was fined €200,000. The church and the library were also ordered to prepare and issue, at their own cost, press releases containing the judgements in their own publications, the French press, and international press outlets. Ka-pow!
Unlikely such a thing could happen in England, not least because the Thetan space opera nutters have been assiduously wooing the police, as the Guardian reported a couple of years back. (Worth a read).
The church has a history of infiltrating govermental bodies. In a 1970′s operation by the organisation termed “Operation Snow White“, Scientologists conducted a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology.
The operation was carried out by Church members in more than 30 countries; the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history with up to 5,000 covert agents. Germany has for this reason, among others, attempted to ban the group outright, terming it’s activities in breach of the nation’s constitution.
For an entertaining tale of how the cult attempts to recruit people, Ray has a tale to tell: