This is a suppressive law that allows the government to
choice of religion.
I am against it and will fight against any such law if proposed in
When criminals,engaged in mind
control tactics come on the scene though some legislation seems
to be necessary to prevent fruther damage.
I hope you or someone else has
a better solution.
Yes. Someone else came up with a better solution.
The solution is the Bill of Rights. The framers made the decision
that it is better to err in the direction of the individual's own
reasoning powers, limited as they can be from time to time, and
his ultimate responsibility for the choices he makes in his own
life, than to put the idiotic and easily corrupted powers of
government to work saving him from any mistakes he may have made.
The deterioration of rights is always attended by the fear of too
much freedom - in this case, the freedom of cults to proselytize.
We must preserve our right to think for ourselves, even if it
means that we may allow others the ability to trick us into making
mistakes that are devastating to our lives.
Nothing is as dangerous to all of our continued survival than to
allow the government to limit our rights as to our choice of
religion. This strikes at the very heart of the freedom of
thought, and the freedom of speech.
Prosecute real crimes - yes. Ban certain ideas - NEVER!
This, right here, and right now - what we are doing on ARS - is
THE ethical and morally legitimate way to deal with cults. We are
exercising our rights to the freedom of thought and the freedom of
speech. It is EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE. We must never lose sight of
I see that the LMT is promoting this law on their Web site with
"Viva La France!". I am in total disagreement with them
on this one.
The French law is very dangerous - more dangerous than all the
This law must not be allowed to become a precedent in dealing with
John C. Randolph:
No, it doesn't [allow the government
to determine your choice of religion]. Clams in france can still
throw their lives away watching a needle on an e-meter, they
just can't arm-twist anyone else into doing likewise.
No one ever arm-twisted me into becoming a Scientologist. That
would be illegal and a crime.
This law, the way it has been presented to me, would ban groups
for having and *speaking* ideas that the government had labeled as
coming from a sect.
You are mischaracterizing the freedom of speech as arm-twisting.
Speaking is not twisting.
Come on, man, don't get caught up in the witch hunt.
I think you cult is on the way to
dissolution in France. Viva la France!
[Klemesrud is wrong to assume
Poopsy is a Scientologist. She is an ex-member and critic.]
That's one viewpoint [that it's
better to err in the direction of the individual's own reasoning
powers, as the framers of the Bill of Rights decided] who leads
to the next step of your stupid reasoning:
"fraud does not longer exist, and people extorting money
under false pretenses should never be sued, since the victim is
the one who did the "error of reasoning powers".
Fraud and extortion are already crimes. They are actions
committed by individuals. Those actions should be prosecuted. But
the books the criminals read should not be banned, along with
everyone else who reads them!
Why? Because the book did not commit the crime, nor did the other
You seem to be for this law.
Prove to us that you are not an idiot for that.
Since the law covers illegal
activities of an organization and not individual activities per
se there is no threat to freedom of speech or religion. The fact
that COS has a history of illegal activities (infiltrating
government offices etc.) and that they have as Organizational
Policies such things as fair game, dead agenting, harassment by
law suits,manipulation of the legal system, and so on is enough
for anyone with the history that France and Germany have to say
no more. It is not a bad law and I for one am glad that it has
passed. When Scientology and other coercive and destructive
groups stop their abusive practices this law will become moot.
No one wants to ban religious ideas - they only want to stop the
abuse and the illegal, immoral, and unethical behaviours of
Organizations. If someone commits a criminal act because of the
policies of an organization then the organization is at fault as
well as the individual. This is the connection that you are
failing to see.
I see the connection. But when it comes to enforcing a law
like this, we will end up with governments having the power to
inspect religious beliefs, and they will have the power to say
"this religion is bad because it has this belief."
If government is only allowed to prosecute the actions of
individuals, then we can have equal protection, due process,
religious freedom and freedom of speech. If the government is
allowed to inspect the religious beliefs of criminals, and then
BAN those religions - none of those things can survive.
Prosecute crimes - never prosecute beliefs.
Any mental manipulaion technique
that creates a criminal mindset should itself be outlawed.
What would Thomas Jefferson say to what you just said?
You quote him on your site with "The Liberty Tree".
Prosecute crimes. Not mindsets.
Maybe you've been in the fray too long. Sit back - look at it.
T. G. Yak:
The scientology business, chief
purveyors of Scientology Brand Artificially Religion Flavored
Quack Mental Health Cure Product (tm) is currently in a snit
because France says merely claiming to be a religion doesn't
allow you to commit fraud. Given the scientology business'
record over the years, that's easy enough to understand, since
lying to get other people's money is their chief 'religious
[That's not what the law says. Fraud
is already punishable, whether an organization is religious or
The Lisa McPherson Trust is
contacted daily by people not only from across the United States
but also from around the world who have been victimized by
Scientology. These are the very people the new French law seeks
We have many documented cases in which Scientology has committed
the crimes that the French have named -- fraud, abuse of
confidence, the illegalpractice of medicine, wrongful
advertising and sexual abuse, as well as many others.
Each crime you listed already has a law that can be used to
prosecute it, and which have been used successfully in the past.
This new law adds the power to disband organizations to which the
criminals belong. This expands the target of prosecution to far
beyond the source of the crime, and will be used to do any manner
of things completely unrelated to the prosecution of criminal
This law will be used to smash any unpopular political groups, as
well as any unpopular religions. That's why, up until this law,
only criminal acts have remained the focus of prosecution.
This law, when applied, will be used to gut the rights of French
Victims of Scientology repeatedly
tell us that they were pressured to do things that were against
their best interest. The wording of the French law addresses
precisely this pattern of conduct by making it illegal to
"exercise heavy or repeated pressure on a vulnerable
person, or use techniques likely to alter his judgment, to
induce in him behaviour prejudicial to his interests."
Scientology has denounced the new
law as anti-democratic and in breach of human rights laws, but
in fact it is Scientology that has proven itself to be
anti-democratic over and over again. The new law will protect
democracy and the human rights of people who would otherwise
fall prey to Scientology's cold-blooded fraud and abuse.
Please know that not only Scientologists are denouncing this
law. I am certainly no longer a Scientologist, and I am denouncing
this law. Many others on this NG, also not Scientologists, have
denounced this law. The frikking Pope has denounced this law, as
well as many non-Scientology related human rights groups.
Scientology hides its criminal
conduct under a false cloak of religion and does so with
impunity, because the laws are not equipped to deal with its
insidious form of coercion and fraud. France is the first
country to formulate a law that will specifically protect the
human rights of its citizens from this unholy predator.
This law adds a clause that allows third parties, not the
affected victim, to define what that victim's interests were, and
how the cult made the victim act in ways prejudicial to his
interests. That clause allows members of outside organizations -
someone other than the victim himself - to speak and originate for
the victim in court, with or without the victim's consent.
That means that an individual who belongs to *any targeted
religion or organization* can be deemed mentally incapacitated by
virtue of the "mental manipulation" of the organization,
and have others, not assigned by him, speak for him in court.
Here's the article:
... "Art. 2-17.
- Any association recognized as serving public interests
regularly registered since at least five years at the date of
the facts and proposing through its statutes to defend and help
individuals or to defend individual and public rights and
freedoms can, at the occasion of acts committed by any
individual or legal entity, in the frame of a movement or
organization which has as its purpose or effect to create,
maintain or exploit a psychological or physical subjection,
exercise the recognized civil party rights regarding the
offences of intended or unintended prejudice to the life or the
physical or psychological integrity of the person, endangerment
of the person, prejudice to the person's freedoms, prejudice to
the dignity of the person, prejudice to the personality, placing
minors in danger, or prejudicing property provided ..."
Please consider the civil implications of this clause.
This law provides a way to incapacitate an individual's right to
speak for himself on his choice of religion, or to any
organization he belongs. It destroys the very foundation of human
rights - the recognition of the individual's right to decide for
himself - even if that decision is a mistake.
For instance, if this were in the US, you Stacy Brooks, would be
given the power to originate a claim for a person who had not
requested that you represent them. Think about that. Would you
In a free society where citizens are allowed to choose their fate,
do you believe that you deserve this power over another
Do you think you have the right to legally affect someone else's
choice of religion or membership in an organization?
I don't. And I hope that you don't either.
Did you consider this?
We applaud the French assembly for
having the courage to oppose this flagrant threat to democracy.
We invite anyone who is interested in learning about specific
instances in which Scientology is guilty of fraud, abuse of
confidence, the illegal practice of medicine, wrongful
advertising, sexual abuse, and other crimes to visit our website
at www.lisatrust.net or email us at email@example.com.
The LMT has been an immense help to me, but tonight, I am
sorry to say, I do not applaud the LMT.
[This post was preceded by the
following comments by Poopsy:]
I'm afraid that, in its rush to stop a Scientology-created
Orwellian world, the LMT is now applauding the actions necessary
to create one.
I wish to comment on your endorsement, for the LMT, of the French
law that will have the power to disband religions in France.
My position has nothing to do with Scientology (which I am sure
you will think is short-sighted) and everything to do with the
precedent this law sets for the rights of all French people.
My position concerns the defense of the freedom of thought itself.
I can only assume that you considered your statement fully after
what you felt to be a full review of the French Law. I must also
assume that the other individuals in the LMT are behind your
statement as you title this "Lisa McPherson Trust applauds
French law controlling Scientology".
This law has nothing to do with Scientology.
Right now, everyone in France is afraid of cults. These
legislators have capitalized on that fear and created a political
tool that can be used to smash any enemy - political, religious,
This law is a political tool, and it will most definitely be used
as such by politicians.
Please read my comments.
That's because you cannot think for
yourself. READ THE FUCKING LAW! You "oppose" a figment
of your imagination.
The right to religious expression does not include the
"right" to violate another's human and civil rights:
the French law merely confirms this precept. If a religion (or
fake "religion" such as Scientology) is not injuring
people or violating people's human rights, it has nothing to
worry about this law.
Read my response to Stacy Brooks in her "LMT APPLAUDS
FRENCH LAW" post.
You're the one who hasn't read it, and can't see the extensions of
the law and how it will be applied.
It is a law that has NOTHING to do with Scientology.
Only if the religious group
exercises undue influence and abuses their position of trust.
While I see room for the usual legal mischief, the fact remains
that if a religious group allows complete freedom for its
members, then it need not worry. Sure, religious groups are
going to have to think carefully about their practices to ensure
that they are not unduly influential against the member's
self-interest, but legitimate religious groups did that years
If you see room for legal mischief, then why would you want
this law? The writing of a law is one of the most *intentional*
things in society. Every word, every comma is fought over. A law
that keeps a door open for legal mischief is a law *written* for
that exact mischief.
In the 1980's, the RICO amendment was passed "solely" to
go after organized crime. The fact is that it was the
"organized crime button" that legislators could push at
the time to loosen the constraints to their power that the
constitution placed upon them.
The DEA has used the RICO act in the widest possible sense in
order to get funding that Congress would not approve. Even local
police departments have used parts of its asset forfeiture clauses
to fund themselves. Right now, you could have everything you owned
seized by the government FIRST, and then you get your trial, under
RICO. Where did due process go? It was all just part of the
"legal mischief" WRITTEN INTO the RICO amendment.
The asset forfeiture precedents established from the RICO
amendment have turned DEA agents, IRS agents and even local police
into revenue generators, looking to bust the most wealthy in order
to fund their departments. In the mean time, citizens' powers
extended by the constitution to place checks and balances on
government have been bypassed by the RICO amendment. They don't
need to rely on the legislature to approve their funding as much
anymore - they just need to bust some wealthy citizens and seize
their assets now.
Do you think that the legislators who passed this law, the
lobbyists who paid for it, and the branches of government who have
exploited it ever since, never really intended to do this?
You have to remember, the constitution is a RESTRICTIVE document.
It's a real pain in the ass to a government employee who needs to
get some additional power to "do his job".
The RICO amendment is a real life example of what happens when a
law written with loopholes for "legal mischief" gets
And I ask you, how easy has it been to repeal the RICO amendment,
with all it's constitutional abuses, since the 1980's?
Bottom line - if you can look at the law and see chances for
"legal mischief" - it's a bad law, and should have never
been allowed to pass.
The problem is that the group could
hide behind individual leader's crimes and abuse, and get away
with continuing to sponsor crimes and abuse. This gives the
individual a defense against a coercive group.
Do you think a religious group should have more rights than an
individual? Religious groups cannot be put in jail.
OK. A crime is an act committed by an individual, or a group
of individuals in collusion, that is against the law. It must be
proven in a court with sufficient evidence to convince a judge or
jury that the accused is/are guilty.
This principle is entirely sufficient to stop the criminal acts
being committed by the individuals in the Church of Scientology
who are committing them. You say that "The problem is that
the group could hide behind individual leader's crimes and abuse,
and get away with continuing to sponsor crimes and abuse."
Give me an example of that! Heber is looking at 56 years in prison
in Spain. Mary Sue went to jail for several years with other
members of the GO. How did this "hiding behind individual
leader's crime and abuse" work in these cases?
My point is that the powers extended to government by this law to
disband the organization that the criminal belongs to will lead to
this law being used as a political tool to disband any
organization that is unpopular with those in power. Again, my
point isn't that this law won't be effective in destroying
Scientology - it's that this law will be used as a political tool
in cases having nothing to do with Scientology and will end up
rights of French people in France, as the RICO amendment has done
with Americans in the US.
Later I'll show further how this law will wreck the rights of
So read on, Bro!
Let's go back to the days when you were a Scientologist. If
your mother stood up in court and said, "Perry's rights have
been violated by Scientology. He was interested in becoming a
doctor before, and now all he wants to do is stare at people until
his eyes glaze over, your honor."
You had earlier made a decision to become a Scientologist. Whether
you were tricked into it or not, or whether you regret it now, it
was YOUR OWN decision.
This French law will now allow someone else to make a statement
for you in court. That means that, legally, it is recognized that
you can not speak for your self. You are considered as a person
suffering from Alzheimer's, or who has been declared insane, or
who is mentally retarded and under the care of a legal guardian.
Do you see the damage this does to your legal rights? By your
membership in this group, you are no longer considered competent
to make your own decisions if someone else can speak for you
legally and you have not assigned them to do so. You become a few
brain cells shy of a legal unit, in the eyes of the law.
What's that? It's all because you decided to join a religion where
some other people were criminals. You didn't know they were
criminals - you would not have joined if you did. But what happens
to your rights now?
This gets into the fundamental right to think and decide as YOU
wish - whether it is a mistake, whether it is unpopular, or
whether you end up killing yourself. The whole concept of
"rights" rests upon the foundation that an individual is
capable of reason, and thus possesses free will. This 3rd party
representative clause decimates that foundation for anyone who
belongs to a religion with some criminals in it. How many
religions have no criminals in them?
And then look at "terrorist" organizations and their
members, marginal groups that are annoying like the Green party
and Greenpeace, and other active, noisy, effective (and extremely
annoying) groups. If the political wind should blow a certain way
- they're fucked, too.
The cult is going to have to VERY,
VERY CAREFUL that it doesn't even go near "undue
influence". Explain how this is a bad thing.
Anyone can look at another's actions, and disagree with them
thoroughly. It can easily be argued that the person was under
undue influence when he made that decision to do that disagreeable
action - especially if third parties are testifying for him!!!
Example: Belief in Jesus Christ, for Christians, is the way to
never die. Under this law, an atheist can easily prove that the
death that the Christian was avoiding by joining up, was the one
they hung over his head when he threatened to leave. That is undue
influence. And since we're in religion, we're into beliefs. And
proving undue influence with religious belief in immortality will
be A PIECE OF CAKE.
I believe in religion. I understand that there are some on this
ng, and in the world, who do not believe in religion. And I will
be fucking godamned if they are going to dictate their beliefs
onto me through the power of the government. This law gives them
that power to dictate beliefs. All they need is for me to be in an
unpopular enough religion, and have the political back up, and
they can do it now with this law.
Before this law, they had no loophole. Now they have it.
That's why I say it's the Middle Ages again.
Viva La France!!!
BZZZT! This is completely wrong. Now
I see that your objection is based on a M/U.
You have identified the follower of a religion as the same as
the religion itself. Disbanding an abusive organization that
uses a religion is not the same as disbanding other
organizations that practice that religion.
Under this law, I'm afraid it is. Read it.
"...The overt or
disguised maintaining or re-forming of a legal entity disbanded
in application of the clauses of the present Section is an
offence provided for by the second paragraph of Section 434-43
of the Criminal Code.'
"The Court of First Instance may pronounce in the course of
the same procedure the dissolution of several different legal
entities mentioned in the first paragraph, when these legal
entities pursue the same purpose and are united by a community
of interests and when at least one final criminal sentence for
one of the offences mentioned in 1° to 3° has been pronounced
against each of them or their legitimate or de facto leaders.
These different legal entities must be parties to the procedure..."
Now. In the case of Scientology, this will mean that an
individual will have to hold course in someone's living room, and
audit in their bedrooms and offices. If they charge for it, they
will be taxed. And if they are taxed, they will have to form a
legal entity - right?
This law DISBANDS COMPLETELY the targeted religion.
Further - individuals are completely forbidden from speaking or
disseminating their religion.
Again, read the law.
part in the overt or disguised maintenance or revival ofa legal
entity whose dissolution was ordered pursuant to the provisions
of paragraph (1) of Section 131-39 shall be punished by three
years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 francs.'
"Where dissolution has been ordered for a second time
offence or for the offence provided in the preceding paragraph,
the penalty shall be increased to five years of imprisonment and
a fine of 500,000 francs."
"The fact of distributing, by whatever means, messages
intended for youth and promoting a legal entity, whatever its
legal form or object, which is pursuing activities with the
purpose or effect to create, maintain or exploit the
psychological or physical subjection of persons taking part in
these activities, when final criminal sentences have been
pronounced several times, against the legal entity itself or its
legitimate or de facto leaders, for one or the other of the
offences mentioned hereafter, is sentenced to a 50,000 Francs
Free Zoners are fucked. So are individual Church
Scientologists. So are Moonies, so are Catholics and so are
Communists (if they want to) and so areARSers, if they are allowed
to go too far.
This law opens the door to untold abuse of the right to peaceably
assemble - no matter what the group.
By analogy, this is like the wife
who is beaten by her husband. The woman may not be in a position
to oppose the batterer. The guy needs to be locked up to stop
the abuse. The fact that the friends of the abuser are deprived
of their association is NOT part of the equation.
The problems that law enforcement have in these cases are
BECAUSE the law restricts them from acting on behalf of someone
else: People who have not been harmed can not charge someone else
with a crime!
Justice exists for the people who seek it to redress wrongs that
have been committed against them. If I have my house ripped off, I
am free to *not* call the police if *I* don't want to.
***I am the one who decides if I've been wronged or not. ***
I fully recognize that *I* accepted the shackles of Scientology
into my mind. I did it willingly. But *I* recognized them for what
they were and *I* threw them off again.
I don't want anyone else deciding this for me. I am the final
decision maker over my life and my property. This is a tradition
that, politically, is sacred to me, and I will fight and die for
it for myself and for all Americans.
Why else believe in freedom?
Prosecuting spouse abuse is sometimes a problem. Yes. Solving that
problem with government endangers us all. That's why it's best to
counsel the abused spouse, provide them safe haven, and then see
if they would like to prosecute. If they don't want to YOU CAN'T
And this is good.
Again, please explain how this law
is bad for the abused member's civil rights? The other
(presumably non-abused) cult members can still practice their
religion away from the abusive organization.
Look, I am no constitutional lawyer. I don't have to be to
be an American and understand the principles that we are all
supposed to share in common, as Americans, and as citizens of
countries that recognize the rights of individuals and their
freedom to think for themselves and to peaceably assemble. I might
have a few holes in my arguments above, and I would invite anyone
to show them to me.
But god dammit - let's not start gettin' medieval here - aw-ight?
Have I answered all your questions?