Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
France passes anti-cult law
The French National Assembly - the lower house of parliament - has
passed a controversial law aimed at curbing the activities of religious cults.
It makes mental manipulation a crime, punishable by up to three years in jail.
It also gives judges the power to dissolve cults if they repeat certain, specific offences.
The new law which still needs Senate approval has caused outrage among
civil rights groups and minority religions.
One the Church of Scientology called it the death knell of democracy.
Correspondents say pressure to outlaw cults has grown in France in
recent years, after mass suicides and allegations of extortion and
This ex member of the $cientology cult wants you to ask your United States Congressman for simliar legislation, Thank you - Arnie Lerma
France to crack down on sects
By PAUL WEBSTER
June 14, 2000
PARIS - France will defy President Clinton's appeal to be more tolerant of
religious sects and introduce draconian laws, including an offense of
"mental manipulation" - brainwashing - which will carry a two-year prison
President Jacques Chirac has told Clinton that religious freedom will no
longer be a subject for bilateral presidential talks in the light of what
has been officially described as "shocking" White House support for
Scientologists and Moonies.
The French government has also complained that Congress's introduction of
laws protecting religious freedom internationally is "an unacceptable
intrusion into internal affairs."
Alain Vivien, chairman of a French ministerial mission to combat the
influence of cults, said many observers believe Clinton was making his peace
with big religious movements "because they offer an indispensable source of
The French senate has approved legislation reinforcing the right of victims
to take action against marginal religious groups. The national assembly
plans to toughen the measure even further when it debates the measure on
Legislators on both the left and the right are expected to vote in favor of
authorizing the courts to forcibly dissolve sects after two complaints, and
to forbid them operating in the neighborhood of schools, hospitals and
nursing homes. They also intend to make sects responsible for acts
considered to be a provocation to suicide or incitement to abandon families.
France has waged war against mainly American-sponsored movements, including
the Jehovah's Witnesses, has been running for at least 20 years, prompting
the accusation, particularly by Scientologists, that it is indulging in
"collective hysteria" and preparing to ban religious freedoms.
Vivien denied that France was acting alone, claiming that Germany was
leading the battle, with strong support from Belgium, the first country to
produce a legal definition of a sect.
"The United States position is less and less understood in Europe," he said.
"No one can forbid us to take action against sects in the interests of human
rights. This point of view is particularly absurd when these movements flout
the most elementary rights."
He claimed that religious sects, led by Scientologists, were infiltrating
U.N. and European human rights associations, financing some of their work
and collaborating on reports that condemned France "with virulence."
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. For more Guardian news go to
Title: That could be the end of Scientology in France
Author: "roger gonnet"
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 17:44:28 +0200
(and some other cults could be also targeted there...) Copyright agence france presse, original in french onto: http://fr.news.yahoo.com/000611/121/g5hb.html The french Assemblée Nationale [Congress] ready to start war against cults PARIS, 11 juin (AFP) - Paris, june 11, 2000: (AFP) The struggle against cults should be considerably reinforced by a specific judicial arsenal, according to a bill initiated by the socialist group, and shall be examined on june 22d by the national assembly. The parliament has "hesitated for long" before planning specific anti-cult dispositions, but this time, it has decided to "take the bull by horns", said the deputy PS Catherine PICARD, reporter of the text and president of the Task Force to study cults in the french assembly. Socialist congressmen have planned to the order of the day the discussion about the bill of the french senator UDF Nicolas ABOUT, which was adopted in the Senate in December. The text's purpose is to allow the political authorities to dissolve "moral entities" having been condemned many times - either themselves or their executives, for some typically cultic offences, such as endangering people, illegal school studies, abuse of trust, etc. But they have prepared a series of motions to make this bill more efficient and to rewrite its bases. The socialist deputies want to attribute to justice, and not the political power, the possibility to dissolve cults having been sentenced at least twice by justice. This possibility to dissolve was asked, between else, by the french Mission to Combat Cults (MILS). "MENTAL MANIPULATION" MISDEMEANOR The socialists deputies plan also to create a "mental manipulation" offence, which should allow to launch more easily judicial suits against cults. It should apply to "important and reiterated pressures" exerted against a person "in order to create and exploit a physical or psychological dependance" state, by a "group having as purpose or as effect to create or to exploit" these dependances. The offence would be punished up to 200000 FF amend and two years jail, according to the text. The punishment could amount to 5 years and 500000 FF if it was committed against specially vulnerable persons. A Congress source added that the text could allow to engage proceedings without having to ask if the person having been victimized was agreeing or not. The struggle against cults should be the more easy by the fact that "for the first time, the legislator gives an embryo of definition of what is a cult", has said the same source. The propositions of the socialist group should find a large agreement into the congress, as they take most of the disposals from the RPR deputy Eric Doligé, author of a Bill on mental manipulation, or Jean Tiberi, Paris Mayor. Like M. Tiberi, socialists have proposed to forbid a cult having been ialready sentenced to install istelf near a school, an hospital, a dispensary or other institutions dealing with vulnerable persons. They suggest as well, as did M. Tiberi, to forbid advertisement toward young people, from a cult already sentenced Moreover, to facilitate the sentencing of cults by justice, the socialist deputies included also the senatorial bill to extend the penal responsability of moral entities to some other offences: offence to impede assistance or to omit to assist, provocation to suicide, family abandon complicity or complicty regarding cure deprival or food deprival to minor of less than 15. -- roger gonnet Le Secticide <http://home.worldnet.fr/gonnet
Title: BBC-02-08: France urged to ban Co$
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 00:24:58 GMT
http://news2.thls.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/europe/newsid_635000/63598 6.stm BBC News Online: World: Europe Tuesday, 8 February, 2000, 22:33 GMT France urged to ban Scientology A government committee in France has recommended dissolving the Church of Scientology there, on the grounds that its activities threatens public order. A report submitted to the Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, described the church as a "totalitarian" sect that kept files containing personal information on its members. The head of the committee, Alain Vivien, said that while the committee opposed a blanket ban on what he termed sects, it favoured dissolving "extremely dangerous" organisations such as the Church of Scientology. The report added: "When such organisations disrupt public order and violate human dignity, measures should be taken to dissolve them." Mr Vivien said the committee had determined that the church's leaders in France were manipulated by their headquarters in Los Angeles. He attacked the organisation's operation in France as "underground activities led from abroad". The findings are the latest in a series of controversies to hit the church which is promoted by celebrity supporters such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman. US criticism rejected The report rejected US criticism of the French Government's hostility to Scientology. The church has come under attack several times in France in recent years, with some of its 30,000 members there tried for fraud. Last year, a US Government report raised questions about freedom of expression for new religious groups in France and several other European countries, including Germany. But this concern was dismissed by the French report which said Washington's protection of sects was "exorbitant". It also said American criticisms of France's conduct were based on "inexact and unfriendly allegations." A Scientology spokeswoman in France, Daniele Gounord, denounced the report.
Parisian Agency classifies Scientology as "totalitarian" Paris, France February 7, 2000 AFP Paris, February 7 (AFP) - According to an assessment by the French anti-sect agency, the Scientology Organization is a threat to "human rights and social equilibrium." Scientology was said to propagate religious goals, but it was an organization with "totalitarian structure," said a report by the Executive Agency to Control Sects (MILS) which was submitted on Monday in Paris to Premier Minister Lionel Jospin. Scientology was thereupon included in the groups which signified a danger for the "public order" and "human dignity." The MILS study did name possibilities for the Justice Department and the Administration to take action against Scientology, but left the decision up to politicians as to whether the organization should be forbidden. The state may not take action against "the content of religious conviction or ideology," but must take care that "laws are not violated under the guise of personal convictions," the agency emphasized in the report. Sects were said to frequently make use of a "religious mask." Several months ago in a newspaper interview, MILS chief Alain Viven had already categorized Scientology as a "totalitarian" and "extremely dangerous" sect which should be banned in France. Besides Scientology, the only organization listed in the MILS report as dangerous was the Order of the Solar Templists. MILS has distanced itself from the assessment of the Scientology Organization in the USA. There, it was said, "sects enjoy an extraordinary protection, as long as they proclaim themselves to be sects." MILS was founded in 1996 and expanded under the Jospin administration. The Scientologists' operations in France are as precisely scrutinized as they are in Germany by Constitutional Security. There is apprehension that key political and commercial positions will be infiltrated. Because of this, Berlin and Paris are regularly heavily criticized by the United States, in which Scientology is recognized as a church. The organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, was founded in 1954 and, according to its own statement, has eight million members worldwide. Their number in France is estimated at 30,000; in Germany, according to findings by North Rhein-Westfalian Constitutional Security, about 5,000.
"A government report has described the Church of Scientology
as a dangerous organization that threatens public order and
human dignity and has called for its dissolution.
The 60-page report submitted to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin,
described the U.S. based group as a "totalitarian" sect that
keeps files containing personal information about its members.
Also targetted as an organization that should be dissolved was
the Order of the Solar Temple, founded by Canadian Luc Jouret."