NEWS: ‘Homophobic’ Scientologists found Guilty of Fraud

Scientology_Protest_03-15-2008_quote_sign_02The controversial Church of Scientology has found itself once more under the media and legal spotlight. Two recent stories from the BBC have reported allegations of ‘homophobia’ by an ex-member, as well as a guilty verdict against Scientology, in the long running French trial. In the first report, Oscar winning director, Paul Haggis is alleged to have ‘severed his ties with the Church of Scientology’ as a reaction to what he describes as an organisation ‘where gay-bashing was tolerated’. Although, Tommy Davis, spokesman for Scientology, strenuously denies these allegations, it would seem that Haggis’ remains unconvinced and determined to end his 35 year connection to the church.

On top of this damaging news report, comes the result of the French trial, in which the Church of Scientology was found guilty of fraud. Although, the court stopped short of banning Scientology from France – viewing it as a money making commercial operation rather than a religion – it did hand down heavy fines and in one case a suspended sentence. Again, Davis has vigorously denied the allegations, indeed, suggesting that when the church took the appeal to the ‘court of human rights we’re confident we will win there.’

In spite of Mr Davis’ confident assertions, this has been a very difficult week for the Church of Scientology, one in which the ramifications have yet to be properly ascertained.

$1.99 - small Secrecy and New Religious Movements: Concealment, Surveillance, and Privacy in a New Age of Information
By Hugh B. Urban
(Vol. 2, November 2007)
Religion Compass

$1.99 - small From Exotics to Brainwashers: Portraying New Religions in Mass Media
By Sean McCloud,
(Vol. 1, August 2006)
Religion Compass

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