Scientology Crime Syndicate

ahein.usenet@xs4all.nl (Anton Hein)


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Controversial Church of Scientology under gun in Belgium

BRUSSELS, Oct 1 (AFP) - The controversial Church of Scientology was again under the gun in western Europe Friday after simultaneous raids and seizures of its documents in Belgium and France, the Brussels prosecutor said Friday.

Jos Colpin, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told AFP Belgian police with warrants swooped on 25 locations Thursday, searching premises, seizing bookkeeping documents and temporarily detaining people for questioning.

He said two such searches were also carried out in Paris at the request of Belgian authorities, but added that no charges were yet pending against the church in either country, and that all those questioned had been released.

"The files on Scientology members are not simply membership contracts," said Colpin. "They contain highly personal information. So the investigation could be expanded to include violation of privacy laws."

The seizures resulted from a fraud and abuse complaint filed in Brussels in 1997 by a former member of the church seeking recovery of money she had paid.


"These commercial concerns are offering so-called management training to established companies in order to gain their sympathy," said the prosecutor's spokesman.

The Marseille trial was highlighted by accusations the Church of Scientology had a "mole" in the French presidency and tried to infiltrate defence and police departments.

It was also enlived by the suspicious destruction of mountains of state's evidence just before the trial began.


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Anton --
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