Moscow court bans Hubbard’s Scientology works as extremist

A Russian court has found that some Scientology literature distributed in Russia is illegal. The writings by the father of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, have been ruled extremist and anti-social.

The Prosecutor General's office said that the Moscow’s Shchelkovo Court had ruled that “What is Scientology?” and other L. Ron Hubbard brochures “contain calls for extremist activities.”

The court’s decision has not been enforced yet, so these books are still being sold in the shops. The PR director of the Church of Scientology of Moscow, Natalia Alekseeva, has told RT her view on the court’s decision.

“The court's decision is surprising,” she said. “L. Ron Hubbard's writings have been going around the world for 60 years. People across 165 countries have been using his books to make their lives better, and no country has ever found them to be extremist.”

“We think the case was handled inappropriately, and we will make an appeal,” she added. “Until the court's decision is brought into force, we'll keep selling the books just like before.”

Scientology has always led a controversial existence in Russia and actually is very used to fighting these legal battles, not only in Russia.

Last year, in the Siberian city of Surgut, a very similar court decision was reached. A team of experts that included psychologists and sociologists found that some of the materials contain cause for social and religious hatred, as well as urges to hinder the activities of courts and law-enforcement bodies.

However, the Justice Ministry overturned the Surgut court’s ruling in May 2011.

In Russia, the Church of Scientology was first registered in the city of Surgut in 1994 as a non-governmental organization, but was later banned.

Scientology is the culmination of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. It teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature.

Many countries around the world consider Scientology not to be a religion, but rather a cult or sect. Russia's dominant Orthodox Church has denounced Scientology as a “totalitarian sect.”