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Spain: State asks dissolution of Scientology Church

Herald Wire Services, Sep. 15, 2001
http://www.miami.com/herald/content/news/world/digdocs/033083.htm Off-site Link


hate groups, church of scientology, spain, l. ron hubbard, religion news report provides news of interest to those who work in Christian apologetics and countercult ministriesn.  It includes information about religious cults, sects, new religious movements, and related issues, such as religious freedom, religious tolerance, and cult crimes.

MADRID -- Spanish prosecutors called Friday for the dissolution of the Church of Scientology and heavy prison sentences for 13 followers of the movement on trial on charges ranging from illegal detention to tax fraud.

A Madrid district court heard allegations that the Church of Scientology was a cult driven by the lure of money and an obsession with getting rich, and the movement had psychologically damaged some followers.

The case started in 1988, when police raided a Madrid hotel where the movement was holding a congress, arresting 37 members, but the trial has been postponed five times since that date.

Scientology claims to have 10,000 members in Spain, but its critics have regularly challenged the movement's own estimates of its strength.
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Commentary:
The Church of Scientology is a commercial enterprise that masquerades as a religion, and that increasingly acts like a hate group. Scientology has a long history of hate and harassment activities, which are condoned in the cult's own ''scriptures.'' (See, for example, its ''dead agenting'' and ''fair game'' policies). This is why Apologetics Index classifies the organization as a hate group.

The publisher of Apologetics Index / Religion News Report agrees with the German government's view of Scientology:

The German government considers the Scientology organization a commercial enterprise with a history of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals and an extreme dislike of any criticism. The government is also concerned that the organization's totalitarian structure and methods may pose a risk to Germany's democratic society. Several kinds of evidence have influenced this view of Scientology, including the organization's activities in the United States.
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