schwit1 writes "France's top appeals court has upheld a fraud conviction and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology, for taking advantage of vulnerable followers. France regards Scientology as a cult, not a religion, and had prosecuted individual Scientologists before, but the 2009 trial marked the first time the organization as a whole had been convicted. 'The head of a parliamentary group on religious cults in France, lawmaker Georges Fenech, hailed the ruling. 'Far from being a violation of freedom of religion, as this American organization contends, this decision lifts the veil on the illegal and highly detrimental practices' of the group, said Fenech. The court case followed a complaint by two women, one of whom said she was manipulated into handing over 20,000 euros in 1998 for Scientology products including an "electrometer" to measure mental energy. A second woman claimed she was forced by her Scientologist employer to undergo testing and enrol in courses, also in 1998. When she refused she was fired.'"
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