Since other activities have kept me from posting recently, I thought I would start out with a really tame subject: religion…

It seems the Belgians, Germans and several other European countries view the Scientologists as a “crime organization” and the Belgians are prepared to file charges of fraud and extortion, among other charges.

The CBS story is here.

The Scientology web page is here.

From their web page:

Man is an immortal, spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized — and those capabilities can be realized. He is able to not only solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability.

In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by personally applying its principles and observing or experiencing results.

And here, I always thought it was a pseudo-religion cooked up by founder L. Ron Hubbard, who also happened to be a Science fiction writer.

Actually, it sounds pretty depressing. If my spirit can only be released by what I have actually observed in life, I am in trouble.

Speaking of trouble, here is what the Belgian prosecutor says about the group:

Van Espen’s probe also concluded that Scientology’s Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.

Here is a sobering aspect of this prosecution, however:

The European headquarters of Scientology is based in the Wetstraat in Brussels, next to the headquarters of the Belgian Christian-Democrat party. The Church is active in 156 countries. It is recognized as a church in the United States, but not in Belgium which only recognizes Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, the Orthodox Church, Judaism and Islam.

Scientology, along with other churches such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [Mormons], Anthroposophy, Opus Dei and various Catholic and Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal groups, figures on an official Belgian list of “harmful sectarian organizations?

Brussels Journal story here.

While I don’t believe in the tenets of Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mornons, and so forth, this seems to me to be a slippery slope. Which are the Protestant evengelical and Pentecostal groups that are not allowed? Hmmmm…

What do you think?