Now that the scandal surrounding the Church of Scientology in Hungary has died down, its members recently organized a defiant march in Budapest, claiming that “religious freedom cannot be exercised in Hungary”.
According to Magyar Idők columnist György Pilhál, it is a well-known fact that last year the Tax and Customs Office (NAV) raided the Budapest headquarters of the organization – Scientology lost its status as a state-recognized church in Hungary in 2011 – on grounds that they have violated the personality rights of their members.
At the time, Attila Péterfalvi, president of the National Data Protection and Information Freedom Authority said that he had never met such a blatant case in Hungary.
Police and NAV officers search the Hungarian headquarters of the Church of Scientology in Budapest, October 17, 2017.
When they set up camp in Hungary back in 1991, I wondered why we need this ill-fated group whose activities around the world have been scandal-ridden? (It is quite telling that its founder, L. Ron Hubbard once said his church is a great investment…) They keep files on every member, their private lives, their acquaintances and even their sexual habits and partners.
But most of all, they are particularly interested in the financial background of the members, going as far as using a sort of lie detector during the “confessionals”‘ to prevent people from telling anything but the truth. Should someone decide to quit, they will never hand them their own files and sometimes would even use them against them.
These are the very files they now want back, claiming they cannot exercise their “religious freedom” without them. A group would much rather like to see their “confessionals” in a court of law.