Decision of the Appellate Court

Scientology Greece finally prohibited

Athens, Greece
January 4, 1998

Scientology theory and methods recognized as extremely dangerous and illegitimate

In January 1997, the Athens district court released its decision about prohibiting the activities of the Greek branch of the Scientology organization and about its dissolution.

For its part, Scientology did not recognize the decision, but claimed discrimination on religious grounds and persecution of its faith. At the same time it carried out a noisy international campaign to put pressure on the Greek justice system, Scientology filed an appeal in the Greek appellate court, saying that the court's decision would certainly be in their favor.

However, the decision of the appellate court, case number 10493/1997, published January 4, 1998 in the legal paper "Apogevmatini," was the last blow for Scientology, not only because it finally did away with the Scientology organization, but it also condemned Hubbard's theories.

In its decision, the Greek appellate court called KEFE (the Greek division of Scientology) a totalitarian organization for which human life was regarded as material need to gain money and power. It was said to preach survival of the most powerful and ruthless. The Greek court called Scientology's methods extremely dangerous and it was said that it often drove its members to suicide while the organization stood by and did nothing. To force its methods on people, Scientology engaged in brainwashing. Outside of that activity, it was not meticulous about anything else except undermining the reputation of its opponents and critics.

In the court documents, it stated that Hubbard's theories were created with the goals of acquiring money and of gradually seizing power. Thus the decision of the Athens court was relevant not only to KEFE, but to any group based on Hubbard's teachings; it basically complicates the operation of any Scientology structure in the event it again makes a decision to continue its existence in Greece under other appellations.

In the ruling it was said that in the Scientology organization, the "dead agent" instructions and practices were used on any person who made comments critical of Scientology. The critical people were declared to be "enemies" and they were found to be in a "condition of treason" by the organization. This sort of instruction, it said in the court documents, "eliminated any concept of personal freedom." The decision of the Greek court also called methods used by Scientology "fake," "arbitrary" and "illegal." These methods included "auditing," "postulate," "detoxification," "purification marathon" [sic] et al. These methods, it was emphasized in the documents, were employed without taking the necessary precautionary measures. They were practiced without having present the people who were appropriately qualified technically or medically, and they were guided only by Hubbard's theories. Along with this, the "clients" of the cult were required to reveal to their "consultants" the innermost secrets of their personal lives, and then to live according to the instruction given to them.

It also said in the verdict that "It was completely demonstrated that those who participated in KEFE activities experienced personality changes, shifts in behavior and in attitude towards others, especially members of their families. ... It was also completely demonstrated that KEFE was an organization with a totalitarian tendency and structure, that it disregarded people on principle, and that it freely used deceptive tactics to gain new members, who then (with the assistance of all the above-mentioned theories and processes) were subjected to brainwashing. The goal of all this was the creation of an information and thought control process to minimize people's critical ability (this is the underlying postulate in Scientology). In this way the basics were created: the deprivation of personal freedom and the loss of ability to accept decision on the basis of free will. People who have been through the propagandistic filters of Scientology and through the corresponding procedures, perceive only Scientology 'truth'; they no longer have a reason to make their own estimate or to make a comparative analysis." The Greek appellate court recognized that KEFE was not a religious (which the organization pretended to be in order to achieve the corresponding privileges), but a commercial venture that had changed appearance to avoid government registration and regulation.

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