Far East authorities take Scientologists to court for illegal business

TV6, Moscow, July 6, 1999

Today we received a report from our Khabarovsk correspondent. A court case has begun there against members of the international Scientology sect, supporters of the so-called Hubbard school.

The sect is banned in almost half the developed countries. The Scientologists became famous in Russia a year ago thanks to rumours that the sect had suspicious ties to ex-Prime Minister Sergey Kiriyenko. The fuss grew and died down.

This spring, mass searches and document seizures took place at the Scientologists' Moscow offices, also without visible consequences. But the matter was brought to court in Khabarovsk.

[Correspondent Aleksey Romanov] You have ended up alone. Your children are causing you unbearable spiritual pain. You are not getting any joy out of life anymore. Thousands of people ascended these steps for a year to solve these problems like this. For example, a month ago several people from the tax police and the economic crime department were among these thousands.

The police brought nothing close to a wish to get rid of all their life problems at once to the Khabarovsk humanitarian dianetics centre. They came to the organization that generously hands out promises of heaven on earth to investigate it. The results were predictable.

The humanitarian organization, which once even wanted to gain the status of a religious organization, turned out to be conducting paid education and medical treatment.

[Yevgeniy Kozlitin, captioned as head of the department for monitoring inquests and investigation of the Territorial Prosecutor's Office] It is clear from the explanations that they were treating people for somatic illnesses, which we found extremely surprising because special knowledge in the medical field and special medical preparations are needed for this. But this is a public organization, a humanitarian centre...

[Correspondent] A criminal case has been opened against the Khabarovsk centre for illegal business in the field of medicine and education.

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