Court proceedings in Basel for recruitment by Scientology

Basel, Switzerland
October 22, 1999

Today, Friday the 22nd of October, the first legal proceedings in Basel were undertaken against two Scientologists who were charged under the law that prohibits using public land for unfair and deceptive recruitment of pedestrians.

(There were three charges, one of two specifications on the same day, the others from the middle of the year.) The charges against the Scientologists from the same day were dropped due to a technical deficiency. In the two other cases there were two exonerations. The charging authority had complained of "annoyance," while the law specifies "unfair and deceptive advertising."

Despite this, the whole thing turned into a disaster for Scientology, because the court clearly stated that "Hard sell - people buy" cannot be a religion. The sale begins with the recruitment on the street, said the court president - and: Scientology is clearly a commercially operating undertaking with wages and work contracts. Both Scientologists had taken the "Hard Sell" and "Body Routing" courses - after some hesitation, both admitted to that. That would probably have qualified their action as "unfair and deceptive advertising."

Other trials are scheduled; the indictments for them will have to worded accordingly.

German Scientology News