“Materials on Scientology by Ron Hubbard have been found extremist and will be banned from distribution in Russia,” the Russian prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.
The ban relates to 28 books and audio-video discs containing lectures by Hubbard, a US science fiction author who founded Scientology in 1954, the statement said.
The ruling was the latest blow to the Church of Scientology, an organisation that some countries treat as a legitimate faith but that others consider a cult designed to trick members out of large sums of money.
The ban on the Scientology materials was imposed by a court in the city of Surgut in eastern Siberia, which decided they should be added to a list of literature banned in Russia for extremist content, the statement said.
The informational materials were confiscated and sent to the religious expert council at the Khanty-Mansiysk governor for examination where experts in psychiatry, psychology and sociology concluded that the materials should be prevented from spreading “as they undermine traditional spiritual life basis of citizens in the Russian Federation.”
On the results of the conducted psycholinguistic expertise it was recognized that the materials “contain evident and concealed appeals to social and religious discord, to promotion of exclusiveness, superiority or deficiency of a person on grounds of his or her social and religious affiliation and attitude to religion, urges to impede legal activities of the state bodies including judicial and law enforcement agencies, to commit crimes motivated by ideological and religious hatred.”