Reported by the Associated Press, BRUSSELS, Belgium
A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization. Van Espen’s probe also concluded that Scientology’s Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.
“They also face charges of being … a criminal organization,” Pellens said in a telephone interview.
Short Information on The Church of Scientology and Ron L. Hubbard:
The famous Hollywood star Tom Cruise, as well as other Hollywood stars, David Beckham and wife are all members of the Scientology group created by the American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics.
According to Hubbard’s estranged son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., when Hubbard Sr. was sixteen years old and living in D.C. he obtained a copy of the Book of the Law, by Aleister Crowley, which introduced him to the world of Occultism, black magic, and Satanism, a tradition which Hubbard Jr. claims greatly influenced his life at home and the teachings of Scientology.
Hubbard also formed a religious order known as the “Sea Organization” or “Sea Org,” with titles and uniforms. The Sea Org subsequently became the management group within Hubbard’s Scientology empire. In this group, he was attended by “Commodore’s Messengers,” teenaged girls dressed in white hot pants who waited on him hand and foot, bathing and dressing him and even catching the ash from his cigarettes.
Hubbard is reported to have had frequent screaming tantrums and instituted brutal punishments such as incarceration in the ship’s filthy chain-locker for days or weeks at a time and “overboarding,” in which errant crew members were blindfolded, bound and thrown overboard, dropping up to 40 ft. into the cold sea, hoping not to hit the side of the ship with its sharp barnacles on the way down. Some of these punishments, such as imprisonment in the chain-locker, were applied to children as well as to adults.
“In addition to violating and abusing its own members’ civil rights, the organization [Scientology] over the years with its “Fair Game” doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH [L. Ron Hubbard]. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating, and inspiring his adherents.”
– — Superior Court Judge Paul Breckinridge, Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong, June 20, 1984
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