Thought some people might find this interesting:
The Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology, founded in 1954 by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, has been active for decades in Europe, but has struggled to gain status as a religion. It is considered a sect in France and has faced prosecution and difficulties in registering its activities in many countries.
The original complaint in the case dates back more than a decade, when a young woman said she took out loans and spent the equivalent of euro21,000 on books, courses and ''purification packages'' after being recruited in 1998. When she sought reimbursement and to leave the group, its leadership refused. She was among three eventual plaintiffs.
Investigating judge Jean-Christophe Hullin spent years examining the group's activities, and in his indictment criticized what he called the Scientologists' ''obsession'' with financial gain and practices he said were aimed at plunging members into a ''state of subjection.''
The Church of Scientology teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve problems. It claims 10 million members around the world, including celebrity devotees Tom Cruise and John Travolta.