Alain Vivien's speech accepting the 2002 Leipzig Human Rights Award on May 11, 2002
[Original auf deutsch]
I'm very sorry today that I have only an imperfect grasp of the German language.
All the more so, since the award presentation speech that was addressed to me seemed to me to be completely overdone.
So I ask your forgiveness. Only a few short words from me in German, in this so beautiful language, that I also studied once at Gutenberg University, but which I have not practiced enough for a long time.
Therefore I will now continue in French, and I thank our interpreter for the burden that she takes away from me.
[translation from the French]
Allow me first of all to express my joy to you that I am feeling in accepting this award. The honor goes to the whole mission, which I have chaired since 1998, it goes to the entirety of its staff, and especially to Mr. Debord, too, the advisor for business affairs.
You are assured of my strong appreciation. I would also like to thank all the moral, religious and spiritual forces that have participated in our fight.
And I would also like to dedicate a thought of compassion for the numerous victims of the cult presence, especially for the youngest among us.
Mr. Minister, you have been so kind as to recall that France has been paying special attention to the cult presence for approximately the last twenty years. But France has strongly increased its efforts since the horrible massacre that happened in Jura in France that was conjured up by the sinister "Order of the Solar Temple."
The view of the public and the French government agencies was no less disturbed in the face of the numerous cases of fraud that have been committed by Scientology and by other cultic movements.
In 1998, by order of the President of the Republic, as called for by the prime minister of the time, Mr. Jospin, the "Mission de Lutte contre les sectes" (MILS) was created.
The mission made it possible to not only improve the legislation, but also to organize a central preventive network for the entire national territory together with the concerned citizen and victims associations.
We are now seeing the results of our efforts for the first time. The cult presence has been on the decline in France for two years, and Scientology especially is experiencing ever more difficulty in finding members.
I will add that, for the first time, Scientology has been convicted by French judicial authorities for its conduct that stood in contrast to human rights; previously only individual Scientologists that had committed crimes could be charged. Today it is the Scientology organization itself that has to face justice.
And all this with the strongest regard for freedom of thought, of belief and of the expression of religious conviction under the scope of the law.
Much has also been done on the international plane. Two years ago the Council of Europe unanimously accepted a proposal regarding illegal activities by cults. The European Parliament, for its part, intervened in the same spirit.
We are very happy about that, but we also remember that this path must be continued.
Today the cult presence has, as with many other things, actually established itself on a world scale. Our Mission Interministerielle is in the position to interact not only with the agencies of the United Nations, but also to the inquiries by remote countries that are disturbed at the problem, but sometimes do not yet have a democratic enough legislature to answer it positively.
In that regard I feel especially honored that I am receiving this award in Leipzig, in a city that has done so much to restore freedom.
(Applause) Permit me to dedicate this award to all victims of the cult presence, and to all those who fight against these new totalitarian tendencies, and assure them of our solidarity.
[Original auf deutsch]
Dear German friends,
We are in a fight together, the fight of human dignity against all forms of totalitarianism.
The tendencies of the current cultship pose new challenges for the international community. These challenges compel us to work together.
They require developing a basis for joint European legislation to be a first step to a worldwide position for all democracies in this area.
In connection with this perspective, I salute the valor of our American friends, who, in their country, are confronted with the most significant international cults and the seen and unseen allies of the psycho-groups.
I would like to close with a few words of hope:
History has shown us that people have always managed to get by, even in the worst difficulties. That also goes for situations whose outcome appears impossible.
Our German friends, especially here in Leipzig, know a lot about that.
Let's go! We'll go together. We walk with composure and determination into our common future.
Le Parisien , Wednesday, June 19, 2002
cults: Vivien resigning
63-year-old ALAIN VIVIEN, former mayor (SP) of Combs-la-Ville, announced yesterday that he was leaving the Mission Interministérielle de Lutte contre les Sectes, which he has presided over since its founding in 1998. The term of his appointment would have run out in 2003. He said that his resignation has no connection with the election successes of the rightwing in the legislature. The state secretary for foreign affairs in Edith Cresson's (1991-1992) term was elected as a representative of the "Departement Seine-et-Marne" in 1983 and was the author of the first report on cults in France. From 1977 to 1983, then from 1989 to 1992, he was also mayor of Combs-la-Ville, one of the most important communities of the new city Sénart. Named as honorary president for a limited term, Alain Vivien did not omit calling to mind the threats and the ever repeating legal procedures directed against him over the course of his term from the very start, especially from the Scientology Church.
German Scientology News