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Ididntcomeback
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« on: May 29, 2009, 12:07:56 AM »

I figured there`s going to be quite a it of coverage on this trial over the next month or so ... Maybe deserves its own thread.

Here is a link to kick things off and put everyone in the picture.
Videos and sound bites here...

http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2009/05/oh-church-of-scientoloy-what-art-thou.html
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rockyslammer
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 09:00:46 AM »

And the chain reaction starts..........

Australia's Federal senator Nick Xenophon says it's time to re-examine Scientology's claims as a religion and to change the laws to force the group to start paying tax.


Scientology fraud
Reporter: Bryan Seymour
Broadcast Date: May 29, 2009

The church of Scientology is fighting one of the biggest battles in
its 50-year history.

Forget Xenu the alien overlord and Tom Cruise's bizarre outbursts,
this time they're in court facing serious fraud charges.

A woman in France alleges she was manipulated into handing over her
life savings.

Bryan Seymour reports the case has ignited questions here about how
Scientology minds its own business.

Scientology is under siege.

"Well in Germany Scientology isn't recognised as a religion and in
France it's leaders are facing fraud charges," said Nick Xenophon, the
Independent Federal Senator from South Australia.

In Paris a court will decide if Scientology fraudulently manipulated a
woman into handing over $36,000.

"The only purpose of Scientology is to take money from people," said
the French prosecutor in the case. He is seeking to have Scientology's
leaders found guilty and fined over ten million dollars and to have
the group banned from France altogether.

The French spokeswoman for Scientology was blunt in her assessment of
the case: "â ¦it's nothing really, it's bullshit really."

She added that the judge may have been influenced "by the media and
the climate" to allow the trial to proceed, which is a serious and
unfounded allegation.

Originally four people were accusing Scientology of fraud but two of
them came to a financial settlement with the organisation.

The woman at the centre of the trial says she was walking past
Scientology headquarters in Paris in 1998. She was approached in the
street and offered a free personality test.

"She was humiliated and defrauded for a long time, she bought cases
full of expensive books and cassettes all cloaked in this goal of self-
improvement to become this incredible person," said the French
Prosecutor trying the case

Not surprisingly, the test revealed she had shortfalls. She says she
was told Scientology had the cure and was then scammed into buying
books, courses, vitamins and even an electrometer, which is supposedly
able to measure mental energy.

Scientology says the case is one of religious discrimination rather
than the alleged fraud leading to members handing over their life
savings.

"There's no witch-hunt, France respects freedom but even with
religious freedom France can't ignore people breaking the law, if you
have religious freedom if you can't do things that are above the law,"
said a French Government official.

After a nine year inquiry into the group, a French judge declared
Scientology "...is first and foremost a commercial business."

Prosecutors allege the director of Scientology in France, Alain
Rosenberg, and six other top officials preyed on vulnerable would-be
followers "...with the goal of seizing their fortune by exerting a
psychological hold."

Today Tonight were contacted by a woman who claimed she had been
recruited into Scientology as a child and manipulated into handing
over a vast sum of money. When Today Tonight approached Scientology to
respond to her claims, they said the woman had signed a
confidentiality contract with them and they sent their lawyers
scurrying to court seeking an injunction on the story.

But that's not why Today Tonight decided not to show the interview.
Her family asked that the the interview not be aired - and Today
Tonight agree... her best interests should come first.

Federal senator Nick Xenophon says it's time to re-examine
Scientology's claims as a religion and to change the laws to force the
group to start paying tax.

"We need to have a close look at those laws because I think there's a
lot of community concern that an organisation such as Scientology gets
the huge benefits of having the tax exempt status as a religion,"
Senator Xenophon said.

Historically Scientology brands anyone who questions their
organisation a religious bigot.

"This is not about religious bigotry, this is about accountability and
I think it's pretty cowardly of an organisation to start accusing
those that just want to question they way they operate, to make sure
what they do is transparent, accountable and fair," Senator Xenophon
said.

As always, the church of Scientology declined a request to be
interviewed.

No doubt they'll be closely watching what happens in France.

"I think there is a role for regulators, for governments to have a
very close look at these tactics because if they don't we'll continue
to see more and more of these cases emerging where people's lives are
being destroyed because they've handed over their life savings,
they've handed over their inheritances to Scientology," Senator
Xenophon said.

The cult information and family support network has branded
Scientology a cult, not a religion and say ex-members can contact them
for help and advice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lbByKVj_20
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anonyrat
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 02:21:27 PM »

"Federal senator Nick Xenophon says it's time to re-examine
Scientology's claims as a religion and to change the laws to force the
group to start paying tax."

Oh niiiiiice.
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Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2009, 11:36:02 PM »

Scientology May Have a Friend in Sarkozy: Le Monde of France
Posted by WILLIAM KERN in Celebrities, Civil Liberties, France, Law & Legal Matters, Legal Matters, Moral Values, Movies, Newspapers, Nicolas Sarkozy, Popular Culture, Religion on Jun 1st, 2009 | Comments |


As has been widely publicized, a trial began last week in Paris that could result in the dissolution of the Church of Scientology in France.

But according to Le Monde reporter Caroline Fourest, the French government might just tip the scales of justice in favor of the group, called a path to salvation by its adherents and a dangerous cult that takes advantage of the vulnerable by its critics.

For Le Monde, Caroline Fourest writes in part:

“After a 10-year-investigation, the case against the group is solid. Yet Scientology has expressed confidence. And what’s the reason for such optimism? A surprising request for dismissal by the public prosecutor at the end of the court investigation [a sign that the Sarkozy government isn’t too happy about pursuing the case. The court dismissed the request].”

“In 2003, members of the Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances recall having attended a seminar where the lawyer for the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Danièle Gounord, spokesperson for Scientology, had dinner with a representative of the Interior Ministry’s Religious Affairs Bureau [Sarkozy was interior minister]. The same year, Arnaud Palisson, an intelligence service official, published a thesis on Scientology that was shelved at the request of the sect.”

“In 2004, Sarkozy met Scientology ambassador Tom Cruise - to talk about the cinema, of course. That same minister [Sarkozy was finance minister] published a book calling for a more tolerant secularism, where the word ’sect’ wouldn’t be used ‘left, right and center.’”

    By Caroline Fourest

    Translated By Sandrine Ageorges

    May 29, 2009

    France - Le Monde - Original Article (French)
    The trial that began in Paris on May 25th is a test to determine whether France remains a country that is particularly diligent about a reversion to sectarianism or whether it’s letting down its guard. One may recall the ambiguous statement by Emmanuelle Mignon, the former chief of staff to the president, which has since been deemphasized: “Sects are a non-issue.”

    This is not the opinion held by the victims of Scientology, for example a hotel maid who spent over $29,800 [€21,000] in just a few months on “life reparation classes,” sauna sessions, vitamins and an “electrometer” supposed to measure the “zones of spiritual imperfections.”


Check out the photo
http://themoderatevoice.com/33883/scientology-may-have-a-friend-in-sarkozy-le-monde-of-france/
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Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 12:35:18 AM »

                                 More on France


The Church of Scientology is on trial in Paris for organised fraud. Six individuals and two organisations have been charged and if they are found guilty the Church may well have to wind up some or all of its activities in France.
This trial had been talked about for months here as being a make-or-break affair for Scientology and it began last Monday. The two organisations being tried are the Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology and the Scientology library, SEL. The individuals are all members of the Church of Scientology.

Several people brought the case to court, all of them filing complaints for alleged fraud and or mental and emotional abuse. They allege that the Church put heavy psychological pressure on them to invest thousands of euros in Scientology products and services.

Three Scientology services in particular are being analysed by the court and sworn-in experts. The French online paper Rue 89 gives a short description of them.

The first is called Communication Lessons. New members receive lessons from Church Counsellors.

The price of these sessions varies depending on the member’s ability to pay and which branch of the Church he or she is enrolled in. Prices of over 1000€ have been cited. 1 euro is worth 1.4 US dollars at today’s rates.

Another service involves Purification Rundown sessions. They are one of the biggest-selling products for the Church and are claimed to be a means of ridding one’s body of impurities. Ex-member Roger Gonnet describes a session, saying “Members have to take lots of vitamins in the morning, and follow that up with a half-hour jogging session. Then they go into a sauna for four and a half hours. Members do this for days on end.” The cost of this service is around 2000€.




But the service that is being most talked about right now is the Scientology Electrometer, pictured above. An electrometer is an electrical instrument designed to measure electric charge or electric potential differences. There are different types of electrometers on the market, ranging from simple-to-build kit models to sophisticated electronic versions.

The one used by the Church of Scientology is said to be a relatively simple model which is produced in Taiwan. Scientologists claim that it explores and analyses emotions and they consider it as being a religious instrument of scientific value.

The person being analysed is hooked up to the instrument via two electrodes and then undergoes a two hour long interview which is said to begin with phrases such as “Take yourself back to a moment when you were happy (or unhappy).” During the interview the electrometer measures changes in the electrical energy being discharged by the interviewee. This shows up on the instrument, whose needle moves to the left or right with energy fluctuations. The interview is supposed to lead to a “confession” by the person concerning his or her emotional capacities, strengths and shortcomings.

A Scientology Church witness quoted by Le Figaro said “The electrometer helps us to decide in which direction questioning should go. This questioning allows the member to know himself better, to improve and grow stronger.”

The person is then audited, starting at level zero and has to reach level OT8. The Church is said to organise the result attribution process in such a manner that some members fail to reach OT8, which means they have to begin, and pay, again

The machine costs 5000€.

Most of the testimony given by experts in the field of electrometers are skeptical of the Church’s claims, one of them saying “It clearly appears that the machine is nothing more than a trap destined to lend a scientific aspect to a process which is not scientific at all.”

Some accusations of abuse are from alleged victims who prefer to remain press anonymous, such as Madame A, who has testified that she was swindled out of over 20 000€. Her lawyer Maître Morice says “This woman was made to believe (in 1998) that she was in a very bad state and that the only way out of it would be Scientology. She was told that she should equip herself with an electrometer, follow Communication lessons, and take a Purification Rundown.

Another of the alleged victims is Madame Aude-Claire Malton, who says she lost 21 500€ in two months.

Eric A, for his part, lost 49 483€ in three months. He is appearing as a witness in the trial, having retracted his formal accusations in exchange for a financial settlement from the Church.

According to Liberation he described himself as being “lonely and depressed” when he joined, and that he hoped to find friends within the Church. He was recruited by Didier Michaux, a Scientology librarian. Eric A has testified to being telephoned several times a day by Michaux, who would read him passages from texts by Ron Hubbard, the Church’s founder, for hours. Eric A also contends that Michaux accompanied him literally to the door of a credit company in order that he obtain a loan to pay the Church’s bills.

Michaux puts all this down to what he calls their “Convivial relationship.” Of Eric A’s Purification rundown, he says “All I can remember is that Eric A was a figure skater, and that he was very happy with the Purification Rundown because that gave him better sensations when on the ice.”

Didier Michaux says he was paid 4500€ a month in commission on sales of the Church’s books. “But” he says “I did it out of religious conviction, not because of financial motivation.”

Another Church of Scientology recruiter, Jean-François Valli, was also questioned about his commission on sales of the church’s products and services. He tried to justify his payment by supplying documents to the court, one of which was an internal financial document dating from 1998 and containing figures relating to cash payments which were expressed in euros. That which surprised the court, and subsequently led to Valli being reminded that the euro didn’t come into existence as a hard currency until 2002.

The trial is still in the initial testimony phase, with many more witnesses still to be heard.

There has been another recent Scientology-related development here in France. Miviludes is the French government agency whose job it is to track and counter those religious and other groups it considers as being sects.

I recently wrote an article describing their work and the accusations contained in their latest report which contend that the Church of Scientology is actively trying to block their efforts to bring attention to alleged sect and Scientology influence within the United Nations.

I received information after that article drawing my attention to a letter–petition that was sent by six United States Congress members on US Congress letter-headed paper to Pierre Vimont, France’s Ambassador to the United States.

The letter is highly critical of the report highlighted in my article and was signed by Trent Franks (Rep-Ariz.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Dianne Watson (Dem-Calif.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.).

They contend that the report "..raises serious concerns regarding protection for an individual's right to freedom of religion in France.”

Miviludes has expressed their ironic surprise that US Congress Members would suddenly be so interested in France, and it would appear that the letter is a subtle reference to Mivilude’s allegations of Scientology’s influence in the United Nations via front organisations.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/273868
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rockyslammer
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 07:53:38 AM »

"Another Church of Scientology recruiter, Jean-François Valli, was also questioned about his commission on sales of the church’s products and services. He tried to justify his payment by supplying documents to the court, one of which was an internal financial document dating from 1998 and containing figures relating to cash payments which were expressed in euros. That which surprised the court, and subsequently led to Valli being reminded that the euro didn’t come into existence as a hard currency until 2002."

With all the enhancing services these guys have had why are they all so furking stupid.  I mean "creating" a document purporting to be from 1998 and using euros which didn't come into being till 2002!!

Another fine example from homo idiocis.  They think they are superior - someone ought to tell them.

regards
Martin



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Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 04:00:47 PM »


‘Damning Testimony’ from Former Scientology Leader: Le Parisien, France


Posted by WILLIAM KERN in Arts & Entertainment, Religion on Jun 10th, 2009 |

Scientology ‘electometer’: Does this $7,000 device actually identify unwanted influences, emotions or painful traumas?

The trial of Scientology, France continues, and here is the latest report on the proceedings from France’s Le Parisien magazine.

According to the report, on Monday the former leader of Scientology in Lyon and a former member of the French National Assembly testified on how the Church operates, how it persuades its adherents to fork over thousands and thousands of euros for treatments and a device that is supposed to help ‘clear’ followers of unwanted influences, emotions or painful traumas.

For Le Parisien, reporter Anne-Cecile Juillet writes in part:

“It was a grueling morning for representatives of the Church of Scientology, on trial for organized group fraud since May 25. Monday morning before the 12th criminal court of Paris, they faced two witnesses called by the plaintiffs. All told, only two witnesses, but two witnesses that both inflicted historic destruction on the movement, which they described bluntly as a ‘cult’: Jean-Pierre Brard, former National Assemblyman from the French Communist Party who represented Seine-Saint-Denis, and above all, Roger Gonnet, director of the Scientology center in Lyon. They didn’t mince words …”

According to Brard, the Church has two goals, ‘Power and money. Money to gain power and power to gain money.’ … Presiding judge, Sophie-Hélène Château, wanted details, especially when Brard claimed that Scientology makes the process of its decision-making and finances opaque: ‘It is like a drainage system,” he illustrated. “We don’t see all the little underground channels, but it functions very well, and the water always arrives safe and sound.’

    By Anne-Cécile Juillet

    Translated By L. McKenzie Zeiss

    June 8, 2009

    France - Le Parisien - Original Article (French)
    It was a grueling morning for representatives of the Church of Scientology, on trial for organized group fraud since May 25. Monday morning before the 12th criminal court of Paris, they faced two witnesses called by the plaintiffs. All told, only two witnesses, but two witnesses that both inflicted historic destruction on the movement, which they described bluntly as a “cult”: Jean-Pierre Brard, former National Assemblyman from the French Communist Party who represented Seine-Saint-Denis, and above all, Roger Gonnet, director of the Scientology center in Lyon. They didn’t mince words, being accustomed to the judicial proceedings that Scientology and other movements have become accustomed to.

    BRARD: ‘ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CULTS’


http://themoderatevoice.com/35017/damning-testimony-from-former-scientology-leader-le-parisien-france/
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useful_anon
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 07:52:33 PM »

Cults sur son moyen de sortir de France. ce sont de bonnes nouvelles. =)
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 07:56:54 PM »

excuse the french.
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2009, 12:37:13 AM »

 Bit of an update..

Quick translation:

Scientologists claim no self-interest

Anne-Cécile Juillet | June 10, 2009, 22:36 | Updated : 22:39 (Paris time)

If the stakes are so high for the Church of Scientology in France at the organized fraud trial which began on May 25 in Paris, it's because a conviction as a legal entity could entail its dissolution.

On Wednesday, the court heard the testimony of Eric Roux and Aurore Nadler. The former is a representative of the Celebrity Center, one of Scientology's two Parisian sites.

The latter represents SARL SEL, the bookstore which is located within the Scientology premises and markets the works of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The actual manager since 1997 refused to be present at the trial. She lives in Denmark, where the headquarters of Scientology in Europe are located. Since taking that post, she has visited the Paris bookstore only "five or six times".

At the Correctional Tribunal, Eric Roux, tall, lean, and speaking in a calm voice, spent three hours testifying. This "Minister of the Church of Scientology", accustomed to preaching, appeared completely at ease in front of the audience, to the point of sometimes wanting to set the pace. Before letting him speak, the presiding judge, Sophie-Hélène Château, made the cryptic comment: "I imagine you've been well trained," a veiled reference to several witnesses who explained that, "In Scientology, we were trained to lie in court."

"We are not a department store!"

Eric Roux replied simply, "This is totally false" and dismissed out of hand all the testimony against his organization. His message was summed up in a refrain which he repeated over and over on the witness stand: at the Church of Scientology, "no one puts a penny in his pocket." Yes, Scientology requires that members pay "contributions", but what church does not? Yes, we are delighted when we receive large donations, like any church that wants to "help humanity to progress." No, it does not seek new followers according to their income. No, there is no re-invoicing outward to the mother house.

When the tribunal pointed out that the testimony of Scientologists and even the writings of Ron Hubbard state that target numbers must be met, he retorted that these are religious ... and that the financial aspect is inevitably connected with religion. "We are not a department store," argues Eric Roux, denying any form of telephone chasing of followers who participate little, as one plaintiff lamented, or any form of "hard sell".

The tribunal heard the explanation on that subject from Aurore Nadler: "In reality, hard sell means taking care of a person, this is how Scientology defines it" said the de facto manager of the bookstore. "Really?" said the presiding judge with a look of surprise. "Yes, this means that we take as much time as necessary to understand a person's needs." And then sell "religious services".
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Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2009, 04:50:56 PM »

Nothing new here, but this is from "USA Today"
This is the newspaper Scientology ran full page ads in
for weeks back when Time magazine put out their
cult of greed and power cover story back in 1990 or so.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-06-19-scientology-france_N.htm

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Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2009, 02:21:48 PM »

You can help vote Scientology out of France!

English translation of French online Opinion poll @
MSN Politique - Sondages
http://2007.fr.msn.com/Votes.aspx

Are you favorable to the dissolution of the Church of Scientology?

44 % * Yes = * Oui

55 % * Not

3 % * Without opinion

Number of answers: 12029 polls

Opinion poll performed by the 6/16/2009 in the 6/22/2009

Alerted to this by scilon email asking all scilons to
go here and vote non. NO   

There have been (at least) two other polls

The Orange home page poll was 84 per cent for banning Scientology, 12 per cent 'does it matter', and 4 per cent don't know.

Some other Yes-No poll was 95 per cent Yes.

I would say these are genuine reflections of the balance of public opinion in France during the trial. So this poll is certainly rigged.
Do it now. Voting closes on Monday !!! 22 of June
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 02:29:57 PM by Ididntcomeback » Logged
Ididntcomeback
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2009, 02:47:37 AM »

Should scientology be thrown out of France ?
As of 2:46 am Monday morning.

52 %  * Oui

47 % * Non

1 % * Sans opinion No opinion

Vote again... !!!
Send the link to your friends.

http://2007.fr.msn.com/Votes.aspx
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 11:14:40 AM »

Should scientology be dissolved in France ?

56 % yes
43 % no
1 % no opinion.

As of 11:13 am Monday June 22nd.

http://2007.fr.msn.com/Votes.aspx
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2009, 07:24:31 PM »

58 % * Oui

41 % * Non

1 % * Sans opinion (No opinion)

As of 7:24 PM 22nd June 2009
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