French Court Upholds Fraud Conviction of Scientology

A French court of appeals upheld a fraud conviction against the Church of Scientology, confirming that the organization (relegated to cult status in France) had manipulated and deceived its followers into paying money for its dubious services. Stopping short of shutting down the French wing of Scientology, the conviction requires that nearly a million dollars be paid out to at least two French victims of fraud for various activities limited to the 1990s.

Representatives for the Church of Scientology, in a statement as clunky as Hubbard’s novels, tried to make the claim that this was a case of religious persecution:

The Court failed to address the fundamental violations of the human rights of each of the defendants that infected every level of this case.

Huh? The defendants infected every level of this case? Infected them like body thetans, I bet.

Anyway, France rightly classifies Scientology as a cult. This “religion” is absurd almost beyond parody. It is actually difficult to state its tenets without exclaiming, “Wait. People actually believe this?!” An episode of South Park satirizing Scientology often had the subtitle “This is what Scientologists actually believe” at the bottom of the screen. In other words, Scientology is a parody of itself.

Like “As Seen on TV” commercials, snake oil sales pitches, and televangelist pledge drives, Scientology has harnessed the incredible gullibility of the general public for its own financial gain. If someone told me that I was “infected” by invisible, undetectable traces of alien trauma, and that they could heal me (for a small fee of course) of the inimical effects of that 75-million-year-old, malicious, alien tampering with an untestable process first developed by a science-fiction writer, I don’t think my first reaction would be to reach for my wallet. One can hardly feel bad for people who join a religion that has a fee-for-service practice as its foundational “religious” activity.

And yet, since we have a sucker born every minute, I imagine that fraudulent institutions that espouse worthless ideologies and prey on the weak-minded will continue in perpetuity. I mean, Washington and the Federal Reserve are still standing, right?








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  • chamuiel

    Yep, Tom Cruise, and many of the Hollyweird elite are pretty weak minded.

  • Pam Dunn

    Hubbard told his room mates in college that he was going to start a religion that would make him rich. You have to be a REAL IDIOT to fall for any “religion” started by a sci-fi writer. Just read his novels and you see where the ideas came from. Personally, I think Asimov, Heinlein and many others were BETTER writers than Hubbard. I loved the South Park Episodes shooting down Scientology, there were several of them and they were hilarious and probably true.

  • evieeffanineffable

    good for France, for once.

  • smartgranny55

    Which of the human rights of the scientologists have been trampled on?
    The right to defraud gullible people?

  • mogul264

    Everybody should read L. Ron Hubbard’s book. He wrote of Scientology as a JOKE! Unfortunately, too many failed to realize it and took him serious! Some went completely overboard, and swallowed the hook, line, and sinker! Tom Cruise is a prime example!

  • David Hall

    Yes, but Tom Cruise is #2 now, so he has hold on the $billions for himself, at least when he becomes #1.

    When I was in my early 20′s, a friend and I were walking around downtown D.C. and we got taken in by these folks, they own a large old mansion type building there. Anyway I, a devout Catholic could see right through it all, but my friend, an Agnostic at best, was starting to get taken in, I had to shake him up a bit and tell him it was time to go (we stayed and listened and held the cans and all that, for at least 45 minutes, I wanted to see what it was about, I started getting preachy and they didn’t like that at all). My lesson was that anyone so desperately trying to avoid belief in God will fall for these cults, because of course it’s human nature to desire some kind of spiritual fulfillment.

  • http://fanon.clubpenguinwiki.info/ TurtleShroom

    There was a song about Scientology.
    “Itʻs not science fiction, though our founder wrote some…”

    As much as I hate to admit it, I have never so strongly agreed with Internet Anonymous than in their disgust towards Scientology.

    Scientology is basically a fantasy version of Al Gore’s teachings, and it is RACKETEERING. (At least anthropogenic climate change has definitive origins and makes sense,.)

  • Fenderman52

    I took a couple of classes in “Skin’em tology” back in the late ’60s and those but-holes still keep sending me literature and calling me on the phone to get me back in. They’re harder to get rid of than crabs!