Scientology Crime Syndicate

Agence France Presse
September 15, 1999 09:25 GMT
Scientologists had mole in French presidency: report
PARIS, Sept 15

The Church of Scientology had a mole in the French presidency and tried to infiltrate defence and police departments in France, the head of a sect-busting government committee said in an interview published Wednesday by Le Figaro newspaper.

"The Scientologists succeeded, it is said, in infiltrating the cabinet of a former president of the republic -- a claim that has never been denied," the chairman of the government sect-fighting body, Alain Vivien, said without elaborating.

He added that "it is also said that there was an attempt to infiltrate" the French defence forces' arms procurement department and the judicial police.

In a quick response, the Church of Scientology denied the allegations as "a pure invention."

A statement from the organisation said the claims "are a pure invention and have already been denied repeatedly."

The charges by Vivien came in the wake of a scandal in which prosecution evidence in court cases against the Church of Scientology had been destroyed or gone missing.

Vivien also said that, while he opposed a blanket ban on sects, his committee favoured dissolving "extremely dangerous" organisations including the Church of Scientology and the Order of the Solar Temple, of which several members had committed suicide.

France, along with Germany, has come under repeated attack in the United States for classifying the Church of Scientology as a sect.

Established in Los Angeles in 1954, the wealthy organisation claims eight million members worldwide -- including US actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise -- with an estimated 30,000 followers in France.

The organisation promises spiritual advancement and self-therapy through cures and devices inspired by the writings of late science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, who spelt out principles that he called scientology and dianetics.

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