Germany government drops Scientology investigation

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[JURIST] The German government announced Friday that it has ended its investigation into the practices of the Church of Scientology. The German Interior Ministry began a probe into Scientology in 2007, calling it an “organization that is not compatible with the constitution,” seeking to ban the organization. The German announcement came during a meeting of ministers in Potsdam. While the government’s investigation into Scientology has ceased, the organization will continue to be under surveillance by domestic intelligence services [AP report]. Additionally, the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC) has said that it will continue to monitor Scientology.

Scientology, founded by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, has come under increasing scrutiny in Europe in recent years. Last September, a Scientology center in France faced criminal charges in connection with allegations of fraud and the illegal practice of pharmacy. In September 2007, Belgian prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen said Scientology should be classified as a criminal organization after completing a 10-year investigation into the church’s activities.