May be they have been pressuring and defrauding people more than other religions - perhaps that is what convinced the court, but here is the bit that makes me think twice about it:
The court convicted the Church of Scientology's French office, its library and six of its leaders of fraud. Investigators said the group pressured members into paying large sums of money for questionable financial gain and used ''commercial harassment'' against recruits.
The group was fined euro400,000 ($600,000) and the library euro200,000. Four of the leaders were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. The other two were given fines of euro1,000 and euro2,000.The court did not order the Church of Scientology to shut down, ruling that it would be likely to continue its activities anyway, ''outside any legal framework.''
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.
And here is some information about the case was about:
Read the full story here.
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.''
P.S. Also, Paul Haggis has left the Church of Scientology.