France calls shenanigans on Scientologists… again.

There are those times when the French government deserves a high five, and today could be one of them.

Nine News reports that the French government has gone beyond labelling Scientology a ‘sect’–it’s straight-up fraud, baby. Basically, a French court just upheld several top Scientology leaders’ fraud convictions, declaring that the church targets and exploits vulnerable recruits:

“Scientology teaches that followers can expand their mind and reach a state known as ‘clear’ by using Hubbard’s technology, which involves the use of an E-meter.

But the Paris appeals court did not believe that Scientology was able to expand the mind. It ruled instead that the organisation ‘engaged in dishonest manoeuvres in order to sell services and books, and draw payments.’

The court found that Scientology offers ‘free personality tests which delivered negative results to disturb people and convince them of the need to seek cures.’

Recruits are then given ‘new tests, which again delivered negative results,’ in order to get recruits to buy more courses, stated the ruling.”

This is the first time the church has ever been convicted of fraud, although its criminal activities go back a long way.

Scientologists are up in arms, declaring that the government has no right to clamp down on their religious freedoms. But if you’re looking for some anecdotal evidence of how bad things can get, check out this article in the Village Voice, telling the sad tale of a young girl who nearly lost her brother:

“My brother fell to another of the evils of these organizations wherein they money monger until you are no longer useful to them. By watching all this happen from an ‘outside perspective’ I feel like I’ve learned a great deal from what these sorts of people are capable of, and how to avoid it.”

Was the French government right to uphold its fraud convictions?

Read more about French politics in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!

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