Belgium builds case against Scientology - 2007-11-04

F15.png Belgium builds case against Scientology November 4, 2007, Susan Taylor Martin, St. Petersburg Times

In 1997 a former member of the Church of Scientology, unhappy with courses she had taken, tried to get a refund of 700,000 Belgian francs - about $17,000. Authorities began looking into the church's finances and interviewing people.

Now, 10 years and 76 cartons of documents later, prosecutors say the evidence points to one conclusion: The Church of Scientology in Belgium is a "criminal organization" that has used fraud and extortion to separate members from their money.

"I always say that you are innocent until proven guilty, but we really have enough elements and statements that we can prosecute them for a number of crimes and misdemeanors," says Lieve Pellens, a spokesperson for Belgium's Office of the Federal Prosecutor.

{{cite news | first = Susan Taylor | last = Martin | title = Belgium builds case against Scientology | url = | work = St. Petersburg Times | date = November 4, 2007 | accessdate = January 14, 2017 }}