Scientology prosecuted for fraud, drugs

The Church of Scientology will face trial in France for fraud, and seven of its members are to be tried for illegally prescribing drugs after a woman filed a case against the the movement because she had paid more than 20,000 euros for lessons, books, drugs and an “electrometer”, a device that the church claims can measure a person’s mental state.

She allegedly made the payments after being approached by Scientologists in a Paris street in 1998. Two other plaintiffs have been named in the case, including France’s professional pharmaceutical association.

Judge Jean-Christophe Hullin signed an order referring to the church’s main holding in France, the Ases-Celebrity Centre and its bookshop, as “organised fraud”, according to judicial sources.

The centre and bookshop could be closed if the church is convicted.

As noted by this article, this is not the first time Scientology has been investigated in France; in 1978, Lafayette Ron Hubbard himself was convicted in absentia for fraud.