World Film Festival: Scientology, The Truth About A Lie

The Montreal Gazette/August 31, 2010

Scientology is recognized as a religion, for income tax purposes, in the U.S., but not in France. In France and Germany it is generally considered a cult.

While church members had already been convicted of fraud in France, last year the church itself was convicted for the first time, and fined close to $900,000. (You can read a New York Times article about that here.)

This documentary talks to several French citizens who had been Scientologists for many years.

They describe the methods used to attract potential members and to keep them.

Many join out of a desire for self-improvement. A combination of praise and criticism draws them further and further into the organization.

(The criticism is easy since people have already revealed their weaknesses while answering various questionnaires.)

Every step costs more money. Some members gave the organization thousands of euros, one even gave more than one million.

After hearing their stories, it's really amazing that these long-term members were able to break free.

One of the sadder stories comes from a woman who brought her two sons into the movement when they were children. Eventually she decided to leave, but they did not want to. They cut all contact with her and she has not heard from them in years.

Scientology, The Truth About A Lie will be shown Monday, Aug. 31 at 2:30 p.m. at Quartier Latin.

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