Scientology Amsterdam faces legal claims for rent arrears — Real Estate corporation Libra International has filed interim injunction procedures (Dutch: Kort Geding) against the Church of Scientology, Dutch daily The Telegraaf reports.

Scientology’s Amsterdam base is facing rent arrears to the tune of €78.000 ($103.000).

Scientology Amsterdam

Scientology's current rental in Amsterdam

Libra demands that the organization vacates the building at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and pays its rent arrears.

It is the second time that Libra has to resort to legal proceedings in order to get Scientology to pay.

“Sometimes it takes a while but until now they have always eventually paid up. The interim injunction is simply a ‘stick behind the door’,” Libra’s attorney says — referring to a Dutch idiom that suggests one has the means to compel someone into compliance.

According to Amsterdam TV station AT5 a spokesperson for Scientology claims not to be worried about the debt. “We’re busy with more important things, such as a project to help 11-year-old children to beat their addiction to drugs.”

On Thursday a judge will decide what the organization should consider ‘more important.’

Scientology is thought to have about 500 adherents in the Netherlands.

In 2003 the organization’s Amsterdam base faced a mutiny in which ‘at least 50 of the 150 active core members’ left.

At the time former Scientology recruiter John Leemhuis said “they have been in financial trouble for years. First we we housed at the Nieuwezijds in a building from De Slegte, at a rent of DFL 10.000 ($5200) a month, and even that we couldn’t always pay. We had to leave that building, and now we’re a litte further up the street in a building that rents for Dfl 40.000 ($20.800) a month! The telephone service is regularly cut off when there is no money. And that is now going to get worse.”

In 2005 Scientology lost a long-running legal battle against freedom of speech in the Netherlands.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday April 28, 2010.
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