This is a French TV documentary, re-broadcast by the Australian TV channel SBS One. They substituted an English narration and subtitles, making life a lot easier for English speakers.
It begins with clips (and interviews with Scientologists) illustrating Scientology’s strenuous efforts to obtain good PR in France, and the control they exert over their members, even in public.
The programme then describes the case, in 1978, when three prominent French scientologists were convicted of fraud, along with L Ron Hubbard, who was sentenced to in absentia to four years imprisonment and a find of 30,000 francs. At this time, Hubbard was in hiding, and escaped the consequences.
It then relates subsequent legal battles between the Church of Scientology and the French state – and makes accusations that the course of justice was impeded by the actions of Scientology’s ‘secret police’ – the Office of Special Affairs (OSA).
Among other things, it presents documentary evidence that:
- An “OSA Mole” persuaded the then President of France, François Mitterrand to intervene on behalf of Scientologists who stood accused of manslaughter, attempted fraud and the illegal practice of medicine after a Scientologist, under heavy pressure from the Church to pay for and undertake the ‘Purification Rundown’, committed suicide.
- Forged letters which suggested that the plaintiffs had withdrawn from the case.
- Court documents containing no less than three years worth of notes were ‘disappeared’ (allegedly by OSA operatives who had infiltrated the court system).
- Infiltration by Scientology of the democratic process (supported by another leaked OSA document containing a list of politicians who were to be ‘won over’).
View the film in a video window after the break.
The programme moves to Clearwater in Florida, and describes OSA operations against US politicians who are not sympathetic to Scientology. Marjorie Wakefield (and others) describes their parts in “Operation Snow White” (the most extensive infiltration of US government in history) and their campaign against the IRS.
The French tax authorities were less sympathetic, and at one point directed that Church entities be liquidated. Scientology escaped this sanction by simply reforming under another name. They also operate familiar front groups including a French version of WISE, which is closely examined.