County budget lost in Scientology

The Vladivostok News/February 25, 2004

The head of a county in the Far Eastern Amur region has been accused of using over 600,000 rubles ($20,000) from the local budget to train officials in administrative techniques designed by the founder of Scientology, Ron Hubbard, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Boris Shalimov, the head of the Skovorodino County, sent colleagues on a course at two companies transferring them 646,000 rubles ($21,500) of the local budget. The companies propagate organizational technologies devised by Hubbard, whose religion claims to set people spiritually free using the nonscientific theory of dianetics-explaining behavior in terms of an individual's experiences prior to birth.

Igor Shalmarov, head of the regional police department to fight institutional corruption, noted that Shalimov faces charges of abusing his position and that a report is in its final stages of preparation before being sent to the regional prosecutor.

If found guilty Shalimov could face a fine of 300,000 rubles ($10,000), or imprisonment for up to seven years.

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