Author Topic: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals  (Read 2107 times)

Offline ethercat

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Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« on: July 03, 2009, 20:33 »
http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1144090.html
Quote
KAZAKH PROSECUTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE SAYS RELIGIOUS SECTS THREATEN NATIONAL SECURITY
Saparbek Nurpeisov, a spokesman for the Kazakh Prosecutor-General's Office, on April 10 said that there are 1,870 non-traditional religious organizations and sects in Kazakhstan whose activities pose a threat to national security and stability, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. According to Nurpeisov, the religious sects are expanding their activities and growing significantly, with more than 40,000 members in total. He warned of the threat posed by "representatives of a number of occult and mystical dogmas," whom he accused of "actively destructive activities in Kazakhstan." Nurpeisov named the Scientology and "Novaya Zhizn" (New Life) movements as among the most active sects. He added that "criminal and administrative charges were brought against 50 heads and active members of non-traditional religious organizations...in 2007-2008, while 13 foreigners were expelled from Kazakhstan for illegal missionary activity." RG


http://www.rferl.org/content/Kazakh_Scientologists_Appeal_Church_Closure/1760918.html
Quote
Kazakh Scientologists Appeal Church Closure
 June 23, 2009
QARAGHANDY -- The leader of the Church of Scientology in the central Kazakh city of Qaraghandy has said he will appeal a decision to close their church, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Qaraghandy Appeals Court on June 12 upheld a lower-court decision to close the church.

Church leader Vadim Vitushkin told RFE/RL that if the decision to close his church stands, then other churches could face closure in the future. He said the closure of his church violates Kazakh law and the rights of the 5,000 followers of the Church of Scientology in Qaraghandy.

The Church of Scientology was officially registered in Kazakhstan in 2000 and has since come under pressure numerous times.

The Qaraghandy court ruled the church's activities were "threatening Kazakhstan's stability and security."

Vitushkin estimated there are more than 30,000 Scientologists in Kazakhstan.

Seems the government of Kazakhstan sees scientology for what it really is.  Why doesn't ours?

Do those membership numbers look a little exaggerated to anyone, or is that where a large portion of the alleged 8 million members are hiding?

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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 21:30 »
The numbers are correct if you use Scilonmaths, which counts everyone's body thetans and adds them to the total. :P
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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 07:53 »
The numbers are correct if you use Scilonmaths, which counts everyone's body thetans and adds them to the total. :P

lol

I agree our government is way behind on catching on to the scientology con

Offline mefree

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 11:36 »
Yep. It seems like our government turns a blind eye to Scn shenanigans. I don't get it.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 14:25 »
I don't know if it's a good idea to actually ban scientology outright; some people are drawn to "forbidden fruit," and it would also allow them to play the "martyr" game they play so well, but, certainly, a heightened awareness of the goals that do not mesh with most of the goals of society, and a willingness to convict activities that are plainly illegal would go a long way to knocking them back to a manageable state of existence. 

It almost seems like scientology gets a free pass to do whatever they want, illegal or not.  Is it because people are afraid to cross them, due to the years that they've developed a reputation for striking back, or is it because our government is overwhelmed with the number of things needing attention?  Is it that maybe our civil servants have given up trying, or maybe that they just don't care?

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Offline ethercat

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2009, 14:32 »
More news from Kazakhstan, compliments of Roger Gonnet, one of the ex-members who has testified in the hearings in France (synopsis: scientology complains on the basis of "Kazakhstan is a religious bigot"):

Quote
Another criminal pack of lies to the OSCE  ==this time against the
Kazakhstan govt, which has forbidden the cult to act.

==========

PC.SHDM.NGO/22/09
10 July 2009

ENGLISH only





Submission by Church of Scientology
OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting: Freedom of Religion or Belief
Vienna, 9-10 July 2009
Session II:  Status of Religious or Belief Communities
Religious Discrimination Targeting Scientology
in Kazakhstan: 2009


The religious freedom rights of the Church of Scientology and its
parishioners continue to be seriously and systematically violated in
Kazakhstan in contravention of international human rights standards
articulated in the Helsinki Accords and the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, human rights instruments that Kazakhstan has signed
and ratified.

This memorandum provides a summary of matters relating to Scientology.

Karaganda: Liquidation of Church of Scientology Mission

Scientology is a worldwide religious movement active in more that 160
countries.  Since the religion first came to Kazakhstan four Scientology
churches have been registered in Almaty, Karaganda and Semipalatinsk.

On 16 Feb 2009, the Specialized Inter-District Court for Resolution of
Economic Disputes of the Karagandi Region delivered a judgment liquidating
the Church of Scientology Mission of Karaganda, a non-commercial religious
organization of Scientology. In its judgment, the Court sustained all
arguments produced by the public prosecutor that the Church engages in
commercial activity that is not consistent with its Charter and that it has
failed to pay taxes as a commercial organization. The Court reached this
erroneous conclusion on the grounds that, while the Church's Charter
articulates activities including the dissemination of religious literature
and delivery of religious services, the Charter does not specify that
Scientology books would be sold and that donations would be accepted for
Scientology services.

The Church noted that sales of books and other Scientology properties are
carried out for the purpose of dissemination of the Scientology religion,
which goes to the heart of their activities and their right as articulated
in articles 2.3 and 2.4 of the Charter. The Church also argued that it had
never violated any tax regulations. All its activities are carried out in
accordance with its Charter. The Judge dismissed the arguments of the Church
that the inspection conducted by the prosecutor was unlawful, and that the
conclusions made following the tax audit were false and unlawful. The
Mission was not provided the opportunity to proffer evidence showing that it
operated as an idealistic non-profit religious organization and did not
engage in any commercial activity.

The Court also accepted the prosecution's argument that the activities of
the Church of Scientology "entail a threat to the national security of the
Kazakhstan Republic, as well as to the health of its residents". In reaching
this erroneous conclusion, the Court accepted "expertises" filed by the
prosecution arguing that Scientology Scriptures are not religious materials
and that Scientology services are not religious in nature but instead are
"aimed at the use of mind technologies to alter the state of consciousness
of individuals". The Court accepted these expertises even though this
assessment of the religion is completely false and violates human rights law
which mandates that the government may not evaluate religious beliefs as
such evaluations are inherently discriminatory. See, e.g., Church of
Scientology Moscow v. Russia (no. 18147/02) (April 2007).

The Court did not accept the Church's arguments that the expert opinions
were inaccurate, contrary to overwhelming international academic, judicial
and administrative opinion and evidence and unlawful as they were conducted
without notifying the Church and were procedurally and substantively
completed in noncompliance with the law. These arguments were rejected by
the Court even though two of the three expert opinions were not signed and
the one expertise that was supposedly from the Chair of the Religious
Committee was signed by someone else.

The Court also refused to allow the Church to submit other expertises
finding that the books and services were religious and to call witnesses to
testify to this effect. Finally, the Church noted that the expertises were
conducted in violation of Article 4 of the Law of the Kazakhstan Republic on
Freedom of Religion and on Religious Associations as they were carried out
without the required participation of representatives of religious
organizations, lawyers and other experts in the field of freedom of
conscience, rendering them unlawful and inherently deficient. These
arguments were also rejected by the Court.

This decision violated due process in that it was made without providing the
Church with an opportunity to put forward witnesses and evidence on key
issues in the case. In March 2009, the Church and its parishioners filed
separate appeals of this liquidation decision to the Karagandi Regional
Court on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, violates the Church's
right to religious freedom and freedom of association and offends
fundamental due process.  These appeals were summarily rejected in June
2009.  Supervisory appeals are pending.

Liquidation is effectively a "death sentence" for a religious organization
which represents a drastic government action terminating the very existence
of the Church of Scientology Mission, making it impossible for this
religious organization to exercise the Church's fundamental right to
religious freedom and parishioners' right to practice their religion. In its
General Comment, the UN Human Rights Committee makes it very clear that the
freedom to manifest religion protected by Article 18 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty signed and ratified by
Kazakhstan, extends to the Church of Scientology and other new faiths:

1.   The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (which
includes the freedom to hold beliefs) in article 18.1 is far-reaching and
profound; it encompasses freedom of thought on all matters, personal
conviction and the commitment to religion or belief, whether manifested
individually or in community with others. The Committee draws the attention
of States parties to the fact that the freedom of thought and the freedom of
conscience are protected equally with the freedom of religion and belief.
The fundamental character of these freedoms is also reflected in the fact
that this provision cannot be derogated from, even in time of public
emergency, as stated in article 4.2 of the Covenant.

2.   Article 18 protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as
well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The terms "belief"
and "religion" are to be broadly construed. Article 18 is not limited in its
application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with
institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional
religions. The Committee therefore views with concern any tendency to
discriminate against any religion or belief for any reason, including the
fact that they are newly established, or represent religious minorities that
may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious
community.


Likewise, the OSCE has from its inception recognized the importance of legal
personality and entity structure to religious organizations as part of their
right to freedom of religion or belief. The concern with this issue has been
reemphasized in recent years during the OSCE Human Dimension Seminar on
religious freedom and by ODIHR's Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of
Religion in its Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion
or Belief.[1] As Kazakhstan is set to assume the Chair in Office of the OSCE
in 2010, it should respect and protect these rights instead of engaging in
liquidation of targeted religious communities.

Moreover, the 2007 decision of the European Human Rights Court in the Church
of Scientology Moscow v. Russia case reaffirms the right of religious
communities like the Church of Scientology to be free from arbitrary State
interference.

"While religious freedom is primarily a matter of individual conscience, it
also implies, inter alia, freedom to "manifest [one's] religion" alone and
in private or in community with others, in public and within the circle of
those whose faith one shares. Since religious communities traditionally
exist in the form of organised structures, Article 9 must be interpreted in
the light of Article 11 of the Convention, which safeguards associative life
against unjustified State interference. Seen in that perspective, the right
of believers to freedom of religion, which includes the right to manifest
one's religion in community with others, encompasses the expectation that
believers will be allowed to associate freely, without arbitrary State
intervention. Indeed, the autonomous existence of religious communities is
indispensable for pluralism in a democratic society and is thus an issue at
the very heart of the protection which Article 9 affords. The State's duty
of neutrality and impartiality, as defined in the Court's case-law, is
incompatible with any power on the State's part to assess the legitimacy of
religious beliefs."

The decision of the Human Rights Court in the Church of Scientology Moscow
case mandates that States cannot intervene arbitrarily into religious
matters and are strictly prohibited from evaluating or reinterpreting the
internal validity of religious beliefs genuinely held by individual
believers or religious communities like Scientology. Any attempt to
investigate, evaluate or question Scientology beliefs would thus violate the
duty of a State to be neutral and impartial. Yet, that is precisely what the
government has done in this liquidation suit in violation of the Church's
fundamental rights.

Ongoing KNB Harassment and Bad Faith Investigations

In the morning of 8 October 2008, officials from Kazakhstan's Committee of
National Security ( KNB)[2] in Almaty raided and conducted a search and
seizure of the premises of the Church of Scientology Mission of Almaty and
the Scientology Mission of Medeo (Medeo is a district of Almaty) as well as
the Almaty Mission District Office.  The KNB also raided the homes of four
executives of the Missions to search their premises, seize documents and
bring them in for interrogation as well as the home of certain Mission staff
that also contained the Almaty Mission's archives. Nine different locations
were subjected to raids followed by searches and seizures.

The raids were executed by approximately 52 KNB officials who rushed into
the Missions and the flats of executives. The KNB alerted the media prior to
conducting the searches and seizures; KNB officials arrived at the Almaty
Mission accompanied by a Kazakhstan TV crew to film the raid.

The KNB seized and confiscated almost all the computers from the Missions.
In addition, the majority of files in the Mission were seized, including all
accounting and financial files. Materials seized included Scientology
Scriptures and religious artifacts used in Scientology religious services
known as E-Meters. All the confidential priest-penitent materials (referred
to as PC Folders) provided by parishioners to Church ministers as part of
the delivery of the central sacrament of the Scientology religion, known as
auditing[3], which memorialize the spiritual progression of parishioners
were seized.

These bad faith investigations aimed at disrupting the religion and its
parishioners from manifesting their faith remain ongoing.

Numerous verbal and written complaints have been lodged by the Mission,
Church staff and parishioners about the violation of their fundamental
rights, including the violation of their right to religious freedom based on
the seizure of their private priest-penitent confessional folders and other
religious materials. These complaints also detail the ongoing mistreatment
of parishioners and Church officials by the KNB in interrogations and
further seizures of religious artifacts and materials.

KNB officers have repeatedly threatened and attempted to intimidate
Scientologists during the interrogation process. KNB officers have warned
staff members that they will be imprisoned for a long time unless they "turn
against" the Mission and their religion. KNB officers have also attempted to
force Scientologists to watch a DVD containing propaganda denigrating the
religion in an effort to persuade them to leave the Church.

On 10 February 2009, KNB officers appeared at the Almaty Church of
Scientology Mission with a decree to seize E-meters and proceeded to do so,
disrupting ongoing religious services in the process of this latest seizure.
As the E- meter is a religious artifact necessary for the delivery of the
central sacrament of the Scientology religion, these continuing seizures are
designed to effectively shut down the religious activities of the Church.
Likewise, harassing KNB interrogations of Mission officials and parishioners
continue, with numerous interrogations occurring in February and March 2009.
In March 2009, the Karaganda Bureau of Human Rights accepted the complaints
filed by Mission staff and parishioners concerning their mistreatment. The
Bureau has opened its own investigation.

The resulting indictment issued against the Mission Holder attacks the use
of the E-Meter in the core religious practice of auditing, recasting purely
religious and spiritual pursuits as "unlicensed" commercial activity. The
interrogation of witnesses continued through June 2009 and resulted in the
case being sent back for further investigation on June 29.   Court personnel
have informed the Church's attorneys of the tremendous pressure the court is
under to render a decision against the Scientologists.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of
Discrimination based on Religion or Belief makes it quite clear that
necessary articles and materials related to religious rites in matters of
religion and belief such as the E-meter are included within the ambit of
freedom of religion. Article 6 of the Declaration states that the right to
freedom of religion or belief shall include, inter alia, the following
freedoms:

(c) To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles
and materials related to the rites or customs of a religion or belief.

Moreover, the rule of law is in serious jeopardy in Kazakhstan. Judges face
enormous pressure to convict members of religious groups targeted by the KNB
and by the executive branch. The right of Scientologists and Scientology
organizations to a fair trial has been completely undermined.

Judicial independence is the bedrock of the rule of law and a fundamental
guarantee of a fair trial. Judges are "charged with the ultimate decision
over life, freedoms, rights, duties and property of citizens" as articulated
in UN Basic Principles on the Integrity of the Judiciary, The Bangalore
Draft Code of Judicial Conduct 2001, adopted by the Judicial Group on
Strengthening Judicial Integrity, as revised at the Round Table Meeting of
Chief Justices held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, November 25-26, 2002,
and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Yet, in Kazakhstan, the judiciary is denied true independence and the Rule
of Law, and therefore the right of minorities to a fair trial, is under
assault.

Because of the discriminatory treatment of the Church of Scientology and its
parishioners, the President of the Church sent an open letter to the
President of Kazakhstan complaining about unlawful harassment against the
religion and its adherents by the KNB.

Conclusion

The Church of Scientology and Scientology organizations have been the target
of systematic religious repression and discrimination by Kazakh authorities
in contravention of OSCE Accords and international human rights law which
Kazakhstan is obliged to follow.

Religious repression of targeted minority faiths has become the pattern and
practice of the government of Kazakhstan in 2009. Many minority faiths have
been illegally targeted and subjected to religious persecution; moreover

The Church calls upon the OSCE and ODIHR to hold Kazakhstan accountable to
fundamental human rights standards such as the Helsinki Accords. The
egregious level of religious repression implemented by the government cannot
be countenanced by OSCE standards. Unless the Kazakhstan government takes
immediate action to reform its systematic campaign of religious repression
against minority faiths, the OSCE should take action so that Kazakhstan does
not assume the OSCE Chair in 2010.







[1] Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief,
prepared by the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or
Belief in Consultation with the Venice Commission (2004) Section 5.1.2.
[2] Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (KNB) was established on June
13, 1992. It includes the Service of Internal Security, Military
Counterintelligence, Border Guard, several Commando units, and Foreign
Intelligence (Barlau).
[3] Auditing is a core religious practice in Scientology. It is a unique
form of spiritual counseling involving an auditor (from the Latin audire
meaning to hear or listen) who is a minister or minister in training in the
Scientology religion and a parishioner.

===

[auditing is the best method one can use to brainwash people to believe into
unexisting spirits, unexisting "incidents" coming form "past lives" or
whatever. Calling scientologists "parishioners" is a total abuse of
language, since they ahev to pay to sue any part of the crime cult deliria]
 


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Offline ethercat

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2009, 14:35 »
And another, thanks to Roger:

Quote
This is the thrid whining of the crime cult. I wonder if it dares to protest
of having its fraudulous ceter "Narconon" closed while it has operated for
years in total disobedience of the Health Minister in Russia. I'll read
later]

======

PC.SHDM.NGO/23/09
10 July 2009

ENGLISH only





Submission by Church of Scientology

OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting: Freedom of Religion or Belief
Vienna, 9-10 July 2009
Session III:  Places of Worship
Religious Discrimination Targeting Scientology in Russia: 2009

Scientology Churches have faced their greatest difficulties in registering
as religious organizations under a complex 1997 law "On Freedom of
Conscience and Associations" (Religion Law) and in operating until
registration can be obtained. The law requires religious groups to have had
at least a 15-year presence in the country before becoming eligible to
register as religious organizations.  Scientology Churches have faced legal
obstacles to registration under this law as well as arbitrary restrictions
and harassing treatment by local officials for operating "unregistered"
activities.

This memorandum provides a summary of matters relating to Scientology from
July 1, 2008 to the present in Russia.

Moscow Church of Scientology Re-Registration Case: European Court of Human
Rights

By way of background, the Church of Scientology of Moscow is a religious
association and officially registered as such in January 1994.  On 1 October
1997, a new Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations entered
into force, requiring all religious associations previously granted the
status of a legal entity to bring their articles of association into
conformity with the Religion Law and to re-apply for registration with the
competent Justice Department before 31 December 2000. Failure to obtain
"re-registration" before the expiration of that time limit exposed the
Church to the threat of dissolution by judicial decision.
The Church of Scientology of Moscow subsequently applied eleven times for
re-registration to the Moscow Justice Department between August 1998 and May
2005. Each application was rejected.

The refusal to re-register the Moscow Church under the Religion Law placed
its status as a legal entity in jeopardy. The consequences of
non-registration as a religious organization within the meaning of the Law
were extreme for the Church and its members. As a result of the arbitrary
refusal to re-register, the rights of the Church and its parishioners
essential to the conduct of their religious activities on anything but the
most primitive level were seriously jeopardized, including the ability to
own and operate educational institutions including theological schools, to
own and maintain religious buildings, to conduct charitable activities, the
right to acquire, import and distribute religious literature and the right
to invite foreign citizens to preach and conduct religious services.
In April 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Moscow
authorities violated the religious freedom rights of the Church of
Scientology by refusing to re-register the Moscow Church .The government
appealed the decision.
In September 2007, the ECHR rejected the government's appeal and published
its final judgment in the case of Church of Scientology Moscow v. Russia.
The Human Rights Court ruled that Moscow authorities violated the religious
freedom rights of the Moscow Church of Scientology under the European
Convention on Human Rights by persistently refusing to re-register the
Church. The government paid the fine stipulated by the ECHR.

In June 2008 the Ministry recorded the Church's address change, appearing to
accept, for the first time, the legal existence of the religious
organization, Church of Scientology of Moscow.  However, the Ministry
continues to refuse to accept registration of the Church's revised charter,
rejecting it on numerous occasions since July 2008 for formalistic reasons
that are clearly spurious and made in bad faith.

For example, one of the reasons given for the refusal was that the Church
used a defined shorthand term ('the Church') in place of its full name
throughout the Charter.  The Justice Department claimed that this was
'illegal', insisting that the full name 'Religious Organisation "Church of
Scientology of Moscow"' be used at every mention in the Charter.

In light of the government's bad faith in complying with the Church of
Scientology Moscow ECHR decision, the Moscow Church has filed two
submissions with the Subcommittee on Execution of Human Rights Court
Decisions in the Council of Europe, requesting that the Council direct
Russia to comply with the Moscow Scientology final decision. This request is
pending.

Other Cases Pending in the European Court of Human Rights

15 Year Rule

The Religion Law requires religious organizations to exist for 15 years in
order to register as religious organizations. Three Scientology religious
organizations that were refused registration on the grounds that they were
not in existence for 15 years now have their cases before the Human Rights
Court after losing in Russian Courts.
On 9 June 2005, the European Court of Human Rights issued an important
admissibility decision concerning issues relating to the registration of two
of these Scientology Churches as a religious organization under Russian
national law. In that case, Kimlya, Aidar Sultanov and  Church of
Scientology of Nizhnekamsk vs  Russia (Application nos. 76836/01 and
32782/03), the Court considered separate applications regarding the refusal
of  Russian authorities to register Scientology Churches as religious
organizations filed by founding members of two Churches of Scientology, the
Church of Scientology of Surgut City in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region
of the Russian Federation, and the Church of Scientology of Nizhnekamsk in
the Tatarstan Republic of the Russian Federation.
In its admissibility decision, the European Court of Human Rights
determined, after examining extensive submissions and arguments by the
parties, that the founding members and the Church's complaint regarding the
refusal of Russian authorities to re-register it was admissible.

"The Court considers, in the light of the parties' submissions, that this
part of the applications raises serious issues of fact and law under the
Convention, the determination of which requires an examination of the
merits."
Along with the Church of Scientology Moscow vs  Russia decision, this
decision underlines the fact that the Scientology religion and Scientology
religious organizations are entitled to the same rights and protections as
other religions and religious organizations under international human rights
treaties.

The Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg also filed an action in the
European Court of Human Rights in November 2006 against the Russian
Federation challenging the refusal to register it as a religious
organization because of the 15 Year Rule.

These cases remain pending before the Court.

Forced Liquidation

Once Russian authorities decision to refuse to allow the St. Petersburg
Church to register as a religious organization pursuant to the 15 Year Rule
was upheld in Russian courts, authorities initiated actions designed to
liquidate the Church, which was forced to register as a social organization
due to the refusal, on spurious grounds. The government claimed that the
Church should be liquidated for, among other reasons, not allowing
psychiatrists to attend parishioners' private religious minister-parishioner
sessions and not allowing them to review confidential minister-parishioner
files.

The Church litigated the liquidation matter in Russian courts and the trial
court's decision to force liquidation of the Church on these spurious
grounds was upheld. In July, 2008, the Church of Scientology of St.
Petersburg filed an application with the ECHR challenging this forced
liquidation. This case remains pending with the ECHR.



Other incidents of discrimination

Because of the refusal of Russian authorities to register Scientology
Missions and Churches as religious organizations under the 15 Year Rule,
individual Scientology Churches in Chelny, Rostov, Ufa, Samara, Barnaul,
Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Surgut City, Penza, Ekaterinburg, and elsewhere
have experienced discriminatory treatment by local officials, These include
both civil and criminal charges that generally allege that the Scientology
Churches are either practicing medicine or running unregistered schools.
Authorities in Barnaul, Vladivostok, and Kaluga, for example, are attempting
to liquidate the Scientology Missions in those cities for allegedly running
unlicensed religious and educational activities, while at the same time
refusing to register them.  While the Churches have successfully challenged
a number of these claims in court, it seems that for each one that is
dismissed another one starts.  Where decisions in the first instance have
been negative, all necessary appeals are being pursued.

One of the most significant of these cases (in terms of its potential impact
on the practice of the Scientology religion) involved the seizure of files
and confidential parishioner confessional material from the St. Petersburg
Church of Scientology.  While the first investigator assigned to the case
recommended that it be closed for insufficient evidence, he was replaced by
another investigator who tried to "get new information" to support the case
by running roughshod over a number of St. Petersburg Church staff members
and parishioners.  Several of our parishioners filed complaints against him
and the police for their improper conduct and refusal to return their
confessional files and, in a major victory last June, the court ruled that
their actions were improper and ordered all the seized confessional files to
be returned.

Authorities in Surgut City, Penza, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk and Moscow
have initiated investigations seeking to block the importation of
Scientology religious books under the spurious argument these books are
"extremist" under the new law on "extremism".  As of April 2009, the
investigations in Penza and Ekaterinburg have been dismissed as groundless
and the books released to the parishioners who purchased them. Other cases
remain pending.

Conclusion

The Church of Scientology and Scientology organizations have been the target
of systematic religious repression and discrimination by Russian authorities
in contravention of OSCE Accords and international human rights law which
Russia is obliged to follow.

======

Il like so much when the maffiosi are targeted for religious discrimination
in a country where one is relatively tender sometimes with other maffias
;=)) the poor cult can't even see the humour of the situation :=))

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Offline ethercat

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2009, 14:40 »
One more:

Quote
I like particularly the part where the poor criminal culties do complain
that the ADFI anticult association receives some 400000 euros a year (once 1
million in 2000, the only one).

Indeed, the some 500 more or less dangerous groups it deals to have
meanwhile gotten dishonestly something like 1 billion. 1000 times more.

Some of these groups are engaged in very dangerous theoris and kill people;
some do not even give any education of any value to their kids; some do
recommend sex abuse and prostitution.

And what does the PROTOCULT scientology? It tries to hide its crimes and to
get more money from states and governments it's sucking off since half a
century, forcing them into incredibly long enquiries before courts, lying
every day it existed since may 9, 1950.
==========
PC.SHDM.NGO/21/09
10 July 2009

Submission by Church of Scientology

OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting: Freedom of Religion or Belief
Vienna, 9-10 July 2009
Session 1
From Commitments to Implementation: Freedom of Religion or Belief in the
OSCE Area

Religious Discrimination in France: 2009

On 19 September 2008, Prime Minister Fillon appointed Mr. Georges Fenech,
former Magistrate and suspended Member of Parliament, as President of
MIVILUDES (the Inter-Ministerial Mission of Vigilance to Fight against
Sectarian Drifts). MIVILUDES is an inter-ministerial government entity under
the Prime Minister tasked to collect information on religious movements and
inform the public about the "risks of sectarian deviances". MIVILUDES is
composed of a President, a Secretary General with a task force of twelve
officials assigned from government ministries, an Executive Committee
composed of 18 government officials from nine ministries, and an Advisory
Council composed of eight members of Parliament, eight associations, and 14
"experts".

Mr. Fenech assumed his position as President of MIVILUDES on 1 October,
2008. This appointment is of great concern to minority religious
organizations in France. Not only is Mr. Fenech unfit for such a high level
government appointment due to his controversial background, which includes
pending penal proceedings[1] and suspension from Parliament, Mr. Fenech has
also exhibited a complete lack of objectivity and neutrality on the issues
of religious tolerance and religious freedom.  His appointment as President
has resulted in policies, statements and activities from MIVILUDES has that
represent a backward step for religious freedom and a return to religious
repression of minorities in France.

Repressive Recommended Measures Contrary to Fundamental Human Rights

By way of background, a few days after his Parliamentary mandate was
cancelled for violating election laws, Mr. Fenech was appointed in April
2008 by the Prime Minister to conduct a study and evaluation of the
Judiciary to ensure that it is set up to "fight more efficiently" against
"sectarian abuses". The Report, presented to the Prime Minister in September
2008, advocates a series of draconian measures to "fight" targeted faiths in
the Courts. For example:

The Report recommends having Guardianship Judges intervene at the request of
third parties or families in order to place the "consenting victims" under
guardianship and a higher sensitization of Guardianship Judges to "sectarian
drifts".

The Report recommends that, during judicial investigations, a psychiatric
examination should occur to confirm if the adherence to the religious
minority group constitutes a state of subjection and that, during custody, a
special support be organized with a psychologist and anti-sect associations
as "followers who are not conscious of living in a situation of dependency"
are "susceptible of strong emotional reactions at the time of their arrest
and in the following hours"

The Report recommends the creation of "Cells of mobile intervention on
sectarian subjection" (Cellules d'Intervention Mobile sur l'Emprise Sectaire
or CIMES) composed of a psychologist expert in "sectarian" matters and
anti-sect associations to carry out these "interventions" during police
operations and custody, concluding that "Such a cell which relies to date on
the sole initiative of dedicated professionals could be very usefully turned
into a permanent institution under either the Ministry of Justice or the
MIVILUDES".

Many of the recommendations in the Report stem from the premise that the
doctrines and beliefs of religions derogatorily referred to as "movements of
sectarian character" are inherently dangerous and not entitled to be treated
like other religions. The Report champions the theory that all members of
these minority religious movements are victims.

For example, characterizing consenting adults who choose to be members of
minority faith communities as "happy slaves" who are "not yet conscious of
being victims" (Report at 42) exposes a bias against the beliefs of targeted
religions that cannot be countenanced with France's duty to remain neutral,
objective and impartial on matters relating to religion.

According to Mr. Fenech's repressive Report, one issue at stake is to
"protect" children from their parents' beliefs. Such a backwards approach,
and the recommendations that flow from that approach, constitutes a clear
violation of the right of parents to educate their children according to
their own beliefs guaranteed by international human rights treaties that
France has signed and ratified, including Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the
European Convention on Human Rights, which states that:

"The State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and
teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical
convictions".

These recommendations regarding children who have parents in minority faiths
are especially egregious as the United Nations Rapporteur on Freedom of
Religion or Belief published a report in March 2006 regarding her visit to
France in which she determined that the divisive policies adopted by the
government at that time has resulted in " the public condemnation of some of
these groups, as well as the stigmatization of their members, which has led
to certain forms of discrimination, in particular vis-à-vis their children".

Rather than attempt to repair these human rights shortcomings identified by
the UN Religious Freedom Rapporteur, the foremost UN expert on international
human rights law and religious freedom, MIVILUDES under Mr. Fenech's
leadership, has instead attempted to compound the problem of religious
intolerance directed at children of minority faiths by advocating draconian
laws and "awareness campaigns" designed to:
·         Take custody away from a parent or parents of children of minority
faiths simply due to their religious association and belief;
·         Stigmatize and marginalize such children in public educational
institutions;
·         Refuse to respect the fundamental human right of parents to raise
their children in accordance with their own religious beliefs;
·         Bias court officials against members of minority faiths;
·         Stigmatize hundreds of thousands of law abiding French citizens
due to their personal religious beliefs and religious association with
faiths denigrated as "sects"; and
·         Expand the highly controversial and internationally criticized
About-Picard law through further repressive legislation.

Despite Mr. Fenech's protests to the contrary, not only purported "sectarian
abuses" but beliefs themselves are targeted for repression. For example, the
Report quotes psychologist Mrs Sonya Jougla with approval:

"Until today, the children who are victims of sects remain the forgotten of
society and of professionals of childhood in danger; maybe because it is
even more difficult to protect a child from his parents' beliefs than from
their beating or their incestuous sexuality; maybe also because the duress
that the parents impose on their child by immerging him into a sect is
perfectly legal "(Report at 30).

This statement is very clear: the issue at stake is to protect children from
their parents' beliefs. Such an approach, and the implementation of
recommendations that flow from that approach, constitutes a clear violation
of the right of parents to educate their children according to their own
beliefs guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights.

The French State simply has no business intruding into the sphere of
religious convictions to "fight against" beliefs it does not approve of, yet
that is what Mr. Fenech advocates.

Renewed Call for a "Sect List"

In February 2009, Mr. Fenech called on the government to re-institute a
so-called official "sect list" in France similar to the infamous blacklist
established by a Parliamentary Commission in 1995.

Mr. Fenech publicly lobbied for this blacklist even though the previous
"sect-list" had been officially withdrawn in a Circular letter by then Prime
Minister Raffarin in May 2005 on the grounds that it operated as a
blacklist, because of the overwhelming prejudice it caused to organizations
on the list and due to its misuse by MIVILUDES officials to justify
harassment and persecution of religious minorities.   As reported in Le
Parisien on 13 February 2009:

"The policy of Michèle Alliot-Marie in this field is in conformity with the
2005 circular letter released by Jean-Pierre Raffarin (2) which was
rejecting lists of movements likely to have cultish misbehaviors and was
following another line of thought: to qualify in legal terms facts that
could be viewed as criminal offences. In her letter addressed to François
Fillon, the Minister of the Interior expresses her "surprise" about the
policy change of Miviludes, "without any previous inter-ministerial
dialogue" and severely points at the move: infringement of freedom of
conscience, weakening of France on the European and international scene,
repeated condemnations of its intransigence on religious freedom issues by
the annual report of the US Department of State but also by the OSCE
(Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe)".

There is no question that Mr. Fenech's incendiary statements to reinstitute
a blacklist are designed to incite religious intolerance in France. The
previous religious black list represented dark days for religious freedom in
France. Human Rights groups, interfaith groups, NGOs, officials from
intergovernmental bodies such as the UN, Council of Europe and OSCE, the
United States State Department in its human rights reports and other
governments spoke out against religious repression in France and France's
reputation as a champion of human rights was undermined. Initiation of
another blacklist would constitute a giant step backward for religious
freedom in France.

Under the previous blacklist, 173 movements and hundreds of thousands of
French citizens were officially transformed into second class citizens who
were denied basic human and civil rights and "fought against". Targeted
groups were routinely subjected to never-ending investigations, audits and
inspections. Municipal authorities refused to rent blacklisted movements.
Custodial rights of parents were challenged in court on the grounds that a
parent belonged to a religious group on the blacklist. The government
provided information to the public regarding businesses it identified as
employing individuals who associated with religious organizations on the
blacklist, falsely accusing these businesses of "infiltrating" the French
economy by conducting legitimate business in France. Individuals were fired
from jobs or not hired due to their religious associations. Ministries
cancelled contracts with reputable business if it was discovered principals
or employees were members of a religious organization on the "sect list."

As the UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief noted in her report on
her September 2005 Mission to France (E/CN.4/2006/5/Add.4):

"The debate on this matter and the different measures that were taken at the
governmental and parliamentary level in the second part of the 1990s
undermined the right to freedom of religion or belief and raised serious
concerns about religious intolerance. In particular, the establishment of a
list, as well as the awareness-raising policies that were carried out,
raised serious concerns in terms of freedom of religion or belief".

Mr. Fenech's call for a new blacklist in contravention of fundamental human
rights provides further proof that he is unfit to hold high office in
France. Instead of promoting religious pluralism and tolerance as require by
the Helsinki Accords, Mr. Fenech incites religious intolerance towards
hundreds of thousands of French citizens associated with religious groups he
denigrates as targeted "sects".

(to be continued in the following post...)
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Kazakhstan bans scientology, scientology appeals
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009, 14:41 »
(continued from previous post)

Quote
Improper State Support and Financing of Religious Hate Groups

The Union of Associations for the Defense of the Family and Individual
(UNADFI) and its affiliated organization, the Centre Against Mental
Manipulation (CCMM) are umbrella organizations for anti-religious extremist
groups in France. This deceptively-named UNADFI has a history of defaming
minority faiths and breaking families apart, at times by violent means. One
of the only reasons UNADFI (whose name is often shortened to ADFI) even
exists today is because it performs a propaganda function for France's high
level anti-religious extremists.
UNADFI and CCMM receive substantial financial support from the French
government to promote religious discrimination in France. A third
anti-religious group, FECRIS, receives substantial funds from the French
government to promote religious intolerance throughout Europe. National,
regional, and local government entities administrations provide more than
90% of the budget for these groups. These organizations use these funds to
incite religious hatred and fuel religious intolerance against specific
groups through completely biased "awareness sessions," conferences and
incendiary statements in the media. France thus funds these groups to
systematically defame minority religions and engage in the very activities
France is forbidden to do under international human rights law, which
mandates religious neutrality and the promotion of religious pluralism. That
is why these subsidies violate the law and should cease.

Indeed, these organizations enjoy such abysmal private sector support that
they could not exist at all without public subsidies. In 2000, for example,
ADFI received over 1,000,000 Euros from the Ministry of Justice and 8 other
ministries. Yet, it received only approximately 12,000 Euros in membership
fees and non-government donations. There obviously is no public support for
these organizations (which is further evidenced by the dearth of complaints
filed against the religions). ADFI uses this funding to mount propaganda
campaigns, to solicit legal complaints against religious minorities, and
work with their attorneys to prosecute these complaints in tandem with the
office of the prosecutor to a chorus of media derision aimed at the targeted
minority.

The close working relationship between the Ministry of Justice and ADFI
became even more intimate in 2001, when the Ministry signed an agreement
with ADFI.  Under Article 3 of that agreement, "UNADFI will receive from the
Minister of Justice a subsidy amounting to 200,000 francs." In exchange,
ADFI is committed to assisting the Ministry by "implementing all the means
necessary to the realization of the objective in Article 1." Article 1
requires that ADFI incite criminal complaints against religious minorities.

ADFI reported in its newsletter that "the importance of this circular for
UNADFI and ADFI has to be underlined..." and that "UNADFI is pleased to hear
about the nomination in each delegation, direction and department of the
Minister of a correspondent in charge of sectarian problems."

The government continues to designate UNADFI as an association of public
utility (Association d'Utilité Publique) to publicly subsidize ADFI's
campaign of religious intolerance through propaganda based on false and
derogatory data targeting minority faiths and to provide a means for it to
be a civil party against "sects". In 2004, the French government granted
110,000 Euros to ADFI in a letter signed by the Prime Minister. Thus, the
government sponsors and subsidizes ADFI's orchestrated campaign against a
plethora of minority religions it designates by fiat as "sects".

Yet, the very concept of fighting "destructive sects", which constitutes
ADFI's mandate, is anathema to international human rights standards as it
attempts to make an arbitrary distinction between religions described as
"good" and religions described as "bad".  Based on the public subsidies and
laws allowing it to intervene in trials, ADFI has a vested monetary interest
in "fighting" religious groups designated as "sects". Its position is purely
biased - as a policy it refuses to meet with targeted groups and instead it
specializes in providing one-sided and uniformly negative information. . As
an executive leader of a branch of UNADFI, Gerard Toussaint, declared on a
local radio program in Pau, which was quoted in La Republique in June 2001,
"It is part of ADFI's policy to never enter in direct contact with the
groups we are fighting against."

Such discrimination is incompatible with the duty of the state to remain
neutral and impartial with respect to religions and with the policy of true
religious pluralism.

Conscious of the fact that it may not so blatantly discriminate against
certain religions consistent with the UN Bill of Rights, France has instead
provided private anti-religious groups with the funds and the authority to
discriminate against chosen religious denominations. But what France may not
do directly under international human rights law it may not do indirectly
through a private group. ADFI is nothing more and nothing less than the
government's agent in the "fight against sects", and therefore any acts
taken by ADFI must be attributable to the government and fall under the
jurisdiction of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
other relevant UN instruments.

It is through ADFI and CCMM that extremists have been able to impose their
policies on the government and their propaganda attempting to marginalize
minority faiths on the public. Yet without substantial government monetary
subsidies, ADFI and CCMM would wither away through lack of interest and
support from the public.

In September 2001, an individual who planted a bomb at the Church of
Scientology's premises in the town of Anger was convicted and sentenced.
Fortunately, the bomb never exploded. The man, who stated that he got his
information only from public sources (such as  the media and promotion from
these anti-religious groups) stated in court  that "I was convinced that the
cults . are a threat for freedom, and I considered that almost any means was
justified to fight against these organizations."  This underscores the
influence that extremist statements made by these anti-religious groups and
like-minded politicians can have.

Conclusion

International and legal standards mandate that religious minorities be
treated in conformance with the principles of pluralism, non-discrimination
and equality. These standards also mandate a spirit of tolerance towards
minority faiths and a responsibility on the part of the State to create
dialogue and take action where discrimination occurs. Yet, MIVILUDES and its
President have advocated policies and repressive measures that completely
contravene fundamental human rights, including the Helsinki Accords.

Likewise, what France cannot do directly under human rights law, it cannot
do indirectly by aiding and abetting religious hate groups. As long as
France subsidizes, encourages and supports private groups to stigmatize
minority faiths and promote religious discrimination in France, the right to
religious freedom in France is in peril.
===
[The criminal cult scientology is under probable sentences of more than 5
million dollars and jail sentences for its french founder]

Do we need to have a subforum called "Scientology's Whining Again"?   ;)
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