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James R. Lewis

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331493.001.0001

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Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations

Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations

(p.283) 14 Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations

James T. Richardson

Oxford University Press

Since its establishment in 1954, the Church of Scientology has filed innumerable lawsuits against governments, individuals, and organizations in a long-running effort to establish itself legally as a religion, and to defend itself from allegations made by outsiders, former members, and government officials. This chapter analyzes the experience of Scientology in court in terms of two issues: (1) cases in which Scientology has attempted to define and defend itself as a genuine religion and (2) cases concerning registration in societies that demand registration of religious groups before they can achieve tax exempt status and other privileges. These types of cases are discussed by country, with certain countries being particularly significant in terms of legal precedents and the impact of their decisions.

Keywords:   Church of Scientology, lawsuits, religion, religious groups, tax, registration

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