Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You know your church might be in trouble when it's convicted of fraud

Signs your religon might have some issues...

(1) It was founded by a science fiction writer.
(2) It's most famous member is considered crazy and jumps on Oprah's couch.
(3) It's convicted of fraud.

It would be safe to say that Sciencetology has some issues...

PARIS (AP) - A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than euro600,000 ($900,000) on Tuesday, but stopped short of banning the group's activities.

The group's French branch said it would appeal the verdict.

The court convicted the Church of Scientology's French office, its library and six of its leaders of organized fraud. Investigators said the group pressured members into paying large sums of money for questionable financial gain and used "commercial harassment" against recruits.

The group was fined euro400,000 ($600,000) and the library euro200,000. Four of the leaders were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. The other two were given fines of euro1,000 and euro2,000.

Prosecutors had urged that the group be disbanded in France and fined euro2 million. A law that was briefly on the books this year prevented the court from going so far as to disband the French branch of Scientology in Tuesday's verdict—though it could have taken the lesser step of shutting down its operations.

On the other hand, you can earn eternal salvation by paying off that fine if you choose to join the church. Woo hoo!

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