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Could Belgium Bring Down Scientology?


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Could Belgium Bring Down Scientology?

By Alexander Abad-Santos | The Atlantic Wire – Fri, Dec 28, 2012


Scientologists may be facing their most daunting court case yet, and all it took was for someone to stop calling them a cult. After a years long legal battle, federal prosecutors in Belgium now believe their investigation is complete enough to charge the Church of Scientology and its leaders as a criminal organization on charges of extortion, fraud, privacy breaches, and the illegal practice of medicine. "The decision follows years of investigation that was triggered by a complaint by the Labour Mediation Service in the Brussels Region. Labour mediators were unhappy with a number of labour contracts," reads the report from Flanders News. "The matter ended up on the desk of examining magistrate Michel Claise, who ordered raids on Church of Scientology premises in 2008. During the raids police managed to seize a wealth of evidence," they add. And (with the help of Google translate) Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L'Echo are both reporting that the Belgian federal attorney is now seeking prosecution.

Multiple reports and the group's legal history point to one key factor here: The Belgian government won't charge Scientology for being a cult — authorities are focusing on prosecuting it as a criminal organization. Which is a new twist, as most of the group's many court battles over the years have focused on establishing its legitimacy as a religion. Scientology's well-funded legal team won very expensive cases against Time in 1991 and the Cult Awareness Network in 1996, but the Belgian authorities have been battling Scientologists since 2007, when the country tried to label the group with cult status in a move that even received blowback from the U.S. State Department.

The Church of Scientology houses its European headquarters in Brussels, so a ban in Belgian could be crippling to the group — and authorities there seem to know it. One of the more similar recent cases against came in 2009, when the French chapter of Scientology was convicted of fraud by a Paris court and fined nearly $900,000. "But the judges did not ban the church entirely, as the prosecution had demanded, saying that a change in the law prevented such an action for fraud," reported The New York Times's Steven Erlanger. So the French chapter got saved by a legal wrinkle, but the Belgian prosecutors don't appear to be backing down.

Neither the federal prosecution nor the Church of Scientology have not made public comments since word of the impending charges surfaced early Friday.

Scientology Church Has Secret Alien Space Cathedral In New Mexico Desert


Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

A gigantic symbol etched into the desert in New Mexico holds below it a secret “alien space cathedral” built by Tom Cruise’s Scientology church, according to one man’s account.

The symbols are supposedly a welcoming message to aliens designed in a crop-circle fashion that can only be seen from high above the ground, BBC reporter John Sweeney says.

The cathedral is hidden about 30 miles from the nearest town, and it reportedly features a huge underground bunker that was built to withstand a nuclear holocaust.

Sweeney says that deep inside sealed vaults within the alien space cathedral are titanium caskets that hold the original texts of founder L Ron Hubbard on gold discs. These are considered to be the religion’s most sacred scriptures.

Church leaders of the Scientology religion deny talk of aliens, but Sweeney writes in his new book “Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology” that there is a mass conspiracy with it.

According to Sweeney’s account, the religion believes a sinister extraterrestrial being called Xenu brought billions of people to earth in spaceships similar to DC8 airliners. The gigantic symbols above the underground religious base are reportedly a way to guide Scientologists returning to Earth after fleeing to outer space to escape armageddon.

Sweeney visited the site, known as Trementina Bae, and interviewed former members of the church of Scientology for his book. When he asked members about Xenu, they called him crazy, and acted as if they didn’t know what he was talking about.

“But if I’m wrong about the church believing in aliens, then why have they built these giant symbols in the middle of the desert that can only be seen from outer space?,” Sweeney told Sun newspaper. “I think there is something very strange about a church which builds an enormous cathedral but then hides it away from everyone.”

He said that what concerns him is that Scientology says it wants religious status in the U.K., but rules make it clear that religions must be open and honest about their beliefs.

Sweeney makes an argument during the interview that the “alien space cathedral” is physical proof that scientologists believe in aliens.

“I’d like to see Tom Cruise and John Travolta explain why they hide this from people,” he told Sun newspaper, as cited by Mail Online.

During his venture out to the alien space cathedral, Sweeney writes in his book that he and former Scientologist Marc Headley traveled for miles down a dirt road until the two made it to a set of huge steel gates guarded by two security cameras.

“I press an intercom button. A voice says “Hello” in what sounds like a Scandinavian accent. I announce that I’m John Sweeney and ask nicely for a tour,” he wrote in his book. “We are not invited in and the intercom simply spouts white noise. We drive back to civilization, wondering what kind of religion builds a space alien cathedral underground.”

He said he received two phone calls during his stay at a hotel room the same night at 1:00 a.m., and claims that the people on the other end of the line were Scientologists.

Sweeney’s companion in the adventure, Headley, was brought up in the church since age six. He claims to have been “audited” by Cruise, and then beaten up by the church’s leader David Miscavige. Headley wrote a book about his experience with the religion called “Blown For Good: Inside the Dark Curtain of Scientology.”

In Headley’s book, he reveals how the church’s E-meter devices are used to measure the static electric field around a person. These devices cost just $40, but the church sells them for $4,000, and leaders recommend everyone should have two in case one breaks.

Another perspective of the giant alien message in the New Mexico desert is that the symbols are really the corporate logo of the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), and they help pilots find the airstrip nearby.

According to the Scientology website, CST is “a California nonprofit religious corporation formed in 1982 to preserve and archive the Scientology scripture and to ensure its availability for all future generations.”

Mail Online reported that a spokesman for the religion said the New Mexico facility is an archival storage facility that contains preservation copies of Hubbard’s writings and lectures.

With both accounts into perspective, the global truth between both parties is that there is definitely an underground facility for Scientology in the New Mexico desert. Whether it hosts secrets about Xenu is an open-ended discussion.

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