Author Topic: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)  (Read 2127 times)

Offline News Thetan

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New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
14 September 2009, 3:02 pm

PARIS (Reuters) - A new French law means the Church of Scientology cannot be dissolved in France even if it is convicted of fraud, it has emerged during a trial of the organisation.

A prosecutor has recommended that a Paris court dissolve the church's French branch, which has been charged with fraud after complaints by former members who say they gave huge sums to the church for spiritual classes and "purification packs".

The Church of Scientology's French arm denies fraud.

Whatever the ruling, under a legislative reform passed just before the start of the trial in May, it is no longer possible to punish a fraudulent organisation with dissolution.

The legal snag was discovered by the Inter-ministerial Unit to Monitor and Fight Cults. Georges Fenech, head of the unit, demanded on Monday that the legal power to dissolve an organisation be reinstated.

"Faced with organisations of a sectarian nature, which present a real danger to public order and public health, the law must always have such a measure at its disposal," he said in a statement.

Prosecutors' unions and a lawyer representing alleged victims of the Church of Scientology, Olivier Morice, called for an inquiry into the legal change and an explanation from the Justice Ministry.

Even if the law is changed again, it cannot be applied retroactively to the Scientology trial, which was held in May and June, with the ruling expected in late October.

Jean-Luc Warsmann, a member of the ruling UMP party who introduced the bill amending the law, said in a statement that the change made the maximum penalty for fraud committed by an organisation a ban on its activites in France.

He said he believed a ban was better than dissolution, since it meant an organisation could not continue its activities under a different name.

The church said in a statement on Monday its prosecution was "scandalous" and had already seriously harmed the organisation.

Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France.

The trial, which began on May 25, centres on complaints made in the late 1990s. Scientology's French headquarters, a bookshop and six leading French Scientology members are in the dock.

Prosecutor Maud Coujard urged the court to return a guilty verdict, dissolve the organisation in France and fine it 4 million euros ($5.8 million).

Scientology's lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, has called the prosecutor's recommendation a "death sentence" for the organisation in France.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 18:44 by ethercat »
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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 23:52 »
WOW!

At first I thought this was going to be a bad thing.  I was reading it as sci would still be around, but actually this is a much better!

A ban would take care other manifestations and stop sci from sidestepping the law so much

Offline Stutroup

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 14:56 »
A ban!  that's wonderful!

But does the French Government have the full and ever-evolving list of Scientology's names and front groups?

I certainly hope so!  Miscavige doesn't want his crones to fail at re-infiltrating a nation!

Offline mefree

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 17:59 »
Quote
But does the French Government have the full and ever-evolving list of Scientology's names and front groups?

That's a long list.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 22:27 »

Quote
But does the French Government have the full and ever-evolving list of Scientology's names and front groups?

That's a long list.

They don't need a list!  That's what may turn out to be a blessing in disguise about this.  They can ban the activities.

Quote
Jean-Luc Warsmann, a member of the ruling UMP party who introduced the bill amending the law, said in a statement that the change made the maximum penalty for fraud committed by an organisation a ban on its activites in France.

He said he believed a ban was better than dissolution, since it meant an organisation could not continue its activities under a different name.
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Offline Stutroup

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 14:41 »
Right; it cannot continue even under a different name.  But then without knowing he names, how will the government know if it is operating under a different name?

Offline mefree

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 19:52 »
good point, Stu!
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 22:21 »
How do we recognize them without knowing? 

Don't you find that when you read something online, you can recognize that they're scientologists without knowing that they are (even when they don't say "I'm not a scientologist" as they're so prone to do)?  They have a way of talking that just screams it.  I would be very surprised if the French cultwatchers haven't caught on to this.

Besides, other groups which are acting in a scamlike manner deserve to be banned too!

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Offline ethercat

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Re: [Yahoo] New French law blocks Scientology dissolution (The Star)
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 01:16 »
It appears the law has been changed back, to allow the dissolution of scientology.

www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jzOYsG3RjawPzlTEOTORTpLtMh5g

Translation:
Quote
Senate annuls the disputed provision benefiting Scientology

Agence France Presse: September 23, 2009

PARIS - The senators on Wednesday passed an amendment rescinding the disputed  legislation that would prohibit the dissolution of the Church of Scientology, while reviewing the draft Law on Vocational Training.

The Interministerial Mission for the fight against cults (Miviludes) revealed recently that a provision passed on May 12 as part of a statute to simplify and clarify the law prevented the dissolution of a cult for fraud.

But on June 15 the Paris prosecutor's office had requested dissolution of the main organizations of French Scientology in a fraud case. The court must rule on October 27, the dissolution being sought having been rendered impossible.

The amendment that restores the possibility was proposed by the chairman of the Centrist Union, Nicolas About and centrist Senator Anne-Marie Payet. It was adopted unanimously.

It is included in a section of the bill introduced by the National Assembly on the fight against cult infiltration in the training sector. This section includes a prohibition against conducting a training activity by anyone convicted of cult activities, and contains measures for controlling the content of training.

The Act of May 12 "has changed the penal code and resulted -- after a mistake I suppose -- in making it impossible to dissolve legal entities convicted for fraud," said M. About in the session. This is "a particularly serious situation" and it is mandatory to "restore the
possibility of dissolution now," he added.

Secretary of Labor Laurent Wauquiez welcomed this amendment, denouncing "cult movements that have been tolerated for too many years" and announced "a merciless hunt against cults" in the training sector.

"For 2010, the main challenge will be to purge this cult cancer from training programs," he said.

Annie David, speaking for the Communist group, said her group was "alerted to the danger" of the provision that had made it impossible to dissolve cults during consideration of the concerned bill, and regretted "not having sufficiently understood."

The bill on training, written as an emergency measure (a reading by the assembly), should be adopted by the Senate on Wednesday. It will then be reviewed by a Joint Commission (7 senators, 7 MPs), whose conclusions will then be submitted to both chambers for final approval.

Quote
"after a mistake I suppose" 

That's being diplomatic!

Quote
"This is 'a particularly serious situation' and it is mandatory to "restore the
possibility of dissolution now," he added. "

LOL!  Those French, when it comes to cults, they get things done!

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