16 Scientology Offices in Italy Shut After Raids

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: December 7, 1986

Raids were conducted in 20 cities, including Milan, Turin, Florence, Rome, Genoa and Naples. The last one was yesterday, when police shut down a recently opened Scientology office in the eastern town of Macerata.

No arrests were made or charges filed. The office of Milan investigating magistrate Guicla Mulliri said the raids were part of an investigation into possible physical abuse, fraud, violation of labor laws and tax evasion.

The president of the Italian chapter of Scientology, Silvio De Fante, told a news conference Friday: "These charges have to be proved and there has been no proof."

He declined to discuss the church's financial status but said, "We will continue with donations. Every church survives by donations."

Scientology, founded in the United States by L. Ron Hubbard, the author of Dyanetics, combines self-improvement theories with counseling and instructional seminars.

The U.S. government has long contended that Scientology is not a religion and should not be exempt from taxes.

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