The Greek Holy Synod has issued a stark warning about Scientology, calling it “medically, socially and ethically dangerous” and urging the public to stay away. Branding it a “pseudo-religious organisation with socially dangerous activities“, the statement exposes Scientology’s use of front groups to further its aims, referencing programs such as Narconon and the ‘Foundation for a Drug Free World’.
Scientology maintains that while its ‘social betterment’ programs are funded by the Church, they operate independently and operate as secular bodies, with only official Scientology organisations carrying out the work of the Church. The Greek Synod however, warned today “in recent years, [Scientology] has been active under other names, fronting seemingly innocuous services such as self-improvement seminars or sales seminars for businesses.”
Operating under the name “Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece”, Scientology lacks religious recognition in Greece following a 1997 ruling that determined it to be a “profit-making group that endangers the mental and physical well-being of its members“. The judgement was upheld by the Court of Appeal the following year, with judges expanding on their concerns about the group: “Scientology causes a personality change in members and interferes with family relationships” and ordering the liquidation of Scientology’s assets.
Despite being raided by the authorities and ordered to close, Scientology continues to operate in Greece, opening a new Org in Athens in 2019. Today’s statement from the Greek Synod cites the judgements, saying it stands by the judicial system’s categorisation of Scientology as an “organisation with medically, socially, and ethically dangerous and harmful practices.”
The statement in full can be read in Greek on the Synod’s website, or translated into English below:
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