The Scarlet Letter also became intensely popular upon publication because it had the good fortune of becoming one of America's first mass-published books. Before The Scarlet Letter, books in America usually were handmade, sold one by one in small numbers. But Hawthorne's novel benefited from a machine press, and its first run of 2,500 copies sold out immediately. As a result, then, The Scarlet Letter benefited not only from its implicit controversial subject matter but also from an unusually large available readership. Readers who agreed or disagreed with the book's choices, however subtly, could spread the word. The novel became the equivalent of a seminal political tract--and the subject of endless discussion and debate, no doubt influencing social change. The novel also benefited because of Hawthorne’s support and respect among New England's literary establishment (he would soon become good friends with Herman Melville). Thus, the novel became popular not only with the masses. It was heralded as “appropriate” reading despite its attention to adulterous love.
On 1997-JAN-17, the Church of Scientology, which has operated in that country as Center of Applied Philosophy was labeled a danger to society and ordered to close by an Athens court. Judge Constandia Angelaki wrote: "It is an organization with medical, social and ethical practices that are dangerous and harmful. It claims to act freely so as to draw members who subsequently undergo... brainwashing by dictated ways of thinking that limit reaction capabilities." Scientology representative Heber Jentzsch wrote: "The case is a sham. It is unfortunately reminiscent of the former junta that ruled Greece as a totalitarian state and the assault today is simply because the mission is not 'orthodox' according to the prevailing vested interests in Greece."