Monday, May 25, 2009
Scientology On Trial
February 2008 protest outside New York Scientology HQ
Scientology - embraced by celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, protested as a cult by detractors, considered a religion by others - is on trial in France where it is considered a sect.
A woman who joined the Church of Scientology is claiming that she was mentally coerced into giving up large sums of money to the organization after she agreed to a free personality test.
Scientology rejects psychiatry. It has been accused of pressuring its members to give up large sums of money.
In an on-the-street interview during a protest outside its church near Times Square, the president of Scientology in New York, Rev. John Carmichael, denied it was a cult but declined an invitation to appear as a guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com.
The outcome of the case could have wide-ranging implications for Scientology. If the church loses, it could be banned from France - and that could influence how it is viewed elsewhere in the world.
Clearly this is a case that will be closely watched by supporters and detractors alike.