Scientology Crime Syndicate

Reuters September 20, 1999

French Scientology fraud trial goes ahead

By Thierry Cayol

MARSEILLE, France, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Seven Church of Scientology officials went on trial in this southern French port city on Monday accused of fraud in connection with fees charged to members of the group for spiritual purification.

The seven defendants, five of them women, face up to five years in prison on charges of fraud and illegally practising medicine.

The court rejected a bid by the defendants to have the hearing postponed on the grounds that a controversy over the disappearance of legal documents relating to the case would make a fair trial impossible.

It was the third time in a year that evidence was reported missing in a case involving the Church of Scientology.


Scientology President Heber C. Jentzsch said in a statement faxed from Los Angeles he would complain to the United Nations Human Rights Commission that "governmental religious intolerance in France has escalated to the point where it threatens the right of minority religious members to a fair trial." [Heber C. Jentzsch is wanted in Spain to stand trial for fraud, racketeering, and spying for a foreign power, along with numerious other Scientology cult bosses. He has reportedly skipped a one million dollar (U.S.) bail and fled back to the United States to escape Spain's authorities which are expected to imprison him and his fellow ringleaders for 30 years - FLR]

French authorities, worried by the influence of the Church of Scientology, are keeping the group under close scrutiny. Alain Vivien, who heads a ministerial committee investigating sects, has called it a totalitarian movement and raised the possibility of a ban.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank