Scientology is being sued in France by a woman who claims that the religion has been manipulating her and pressuring her to pay large sums after having been offered a free personality test. The case is against the entire church of Scientology - the belief.
I don't know the details of the court case and am getting more facts on that. But looking at the information I do find, it seems like a pretty ordinary "case" against Scientology.
The scenario goes something like this.
1. Find something about a group that the general public wont understand.
2. Publicize it as the standard thing of that group and give it an angle of evil and bad intent.
3. General public who doesn't have the time to study up on it for real will believe what he hears.
4. Roll out with "evidences" if you can't find any, look for unhappy former members and get their interviews. In most cases for a bit of money or some status reward.
Voila you have a "good" case. Add a bit of controversy, money and big names and you even have a news story! It's not that hard.
In fact there was a TV Program on M6 (French TV station) called "Enquête exclusive" it depicted the story of Senegalese salesmen under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on tourist locations in Rome and on street stands in New York or elsewhere around the world. Per that piece of journalistic wonder these "salesmen" are part of a "very organized" religion in Senegal and that part of all the money made by these "salesmen" goes to the head of that religion.
The connection between the religion and these salesmen is dubious. The evidence on screen is a bunch of people praying in a medium to small sized, dropping coins in a bag and a few doller bills in a box. Right after that claims are made that "Religion and Business are mixed here" shortly after a member of the church is interviewed who says that any believing member would give everything he had to the church.
And with that and a few more images which the narrator clearly tinges with his opinions, the "investigation" links the street salesmen to a religious group. The street salesmen seemingly being the "money machine" for the religion.
But when you look just about 1 nanometer under the surface - that is what the narrator is saying based on no fact. Unless putting a few coins in a donations bag is part of a secret financial system of a mysterious religion of Africa...
Well back to Scientology now. The court case is about someone who claims Scientology is an extortion and took their money by force. Well if Scientology really did that and if that really was part of the religion it would long since have ended and people (not the justice system) would have shut down the religion long ago.
Could it be that someone (i.e. the media) is only listening to what they want to hear? Could it be that there is something more to Scientology than money? and that the donations made to the church are actually valid donations with a valid purpose?
Could it be that people donate because they truly are feeling spiritual enlightenment?
For some info from the Scientology site in France there is a link here: http://scientologie-espace-presse.fr/ it is all in French but could be of use if you want to hear some background info to what the news says.