Jeff protests against Scientology in Paris. He has done so for five years. He is now astonished to find that they are very active on the Web, that they advertise on Facebook. He wonders how this is allowed to happen.
But nothing in French law prevents Scientologists from advertising on the Web. Their use of the internet is thought to be very astute. 'The problem, for Scientology, as for other similar groups, is how to make the first contact with potential clients. The Internet solves this problem. It has replaced pavement stands and is much more effective', said François Belanger, an advocate.
The self-styled Church of Scientology denies that it recruits on-line. "Our presence on the Internet is not aimed at recruitment', explained Francine Bielawski, spokesman of the organisation. We simply wish to explain better the reality of Scientology and to polish up an image which has been tarnished by the media and those who attack us.'
Nevertheless several Scientology sites offer viewers the opportunity to fill in an on-line personality test, whose results serve as the basis for personal development within the cult. That is slightly more than a mere question of image.