Scientology to be put on trial in France for fraud

Paris, France - The Church of Scientology, a controversial self-styled religion with many well-known Hollywood adherents, will be tried in Paris on charges of organized fraud, France-Info radio reported on Wednesday. If found guilty, the church could be declared illegal and disbanded. French authorities have always considered that Scientology, which counts film stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its members, is a sect, not a religion.

The organization is accused of using illicit arguments and procedures to sell its products and services to its members.

The public prosecutor had argued that the charges should be dismissed because the officials of the Church of Scientology did not benefit personally from the organization's revenues.

The trial is scheduled to be begin on May 25.