Church of Scientology declared a scam by France government French courts just declared the church of scientology a scam, hitting the church with a sizeable fine of $530,000 plus a $265,000 fine for its bookstore. This is the first declaration that the church is a fraud within the region. The Scientologists deny the accusation and claim it is a disrespect to their religion in an organized protest infront of the courthouse in Paris. Members claim, "we did not have a fair trial", and "France doesn't tolerate religions, it is attacking our movement." Head members of the church were given up to 2 year prison sentences. The Paris court ruled that the church was not a religion but that it was rather a business scheme to take vulnerable peoples' money, stating that the organization "engaged in dishonest maneuvers in order to sell services and books, and draw payment" (sounds an awful lot like all religions to me). Key facts that were observed by the courts were tests that "delivered negative results" to acquire recruits to purchase their courses. The organization was then accused of selling further test that would keep giving negative results in order to sell more products and services. One plantiff claimed the church "had preyed upon her when she was psychologically fragile" and dropped $28,000 of her savings in these "courses" in one year (1998). (No wonder celebrities seem to be their spokespeople).