logo Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
2022-10-07 08:09:10 CoV Wiki
Learn more about the Church of Virus
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Everyone into the pool! Now online... the VirusWiki.

  Church of Virus BBS
  General
  Philosophy & Religion

  Scientology goes on trial in France
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
   Author  Topic: Scientology goes on trial in France  (Read 2095 times)
letheomaniac
Archon
***

Gender: Female
Posts: 267
Reputation: 8.44
Rate letheomaniac





View Profile E-Mail
Scientology goes on trial in France
« on: 2009-05-26 04:36:57 »
Reply with quote

[letheomaniac] I love the French!

Source: http://www.alternet.org
Author: John Lichfield
Dated: 26/5/2009

Is France on the Verge of Banning Scientology?

The religious cult has been accused of "organized fraud" against two female members who were persuaded to part with $28,000.

The Scientology movement went on trial in Paris yesterday for "organized fraud" in a case which could lead to the cult's organizing bodies being outlawed in France.

The French state prosecution service has failed to back the trial but denies that its decision was influenced by the lobbying of French politicians, including Nicolas Sarkozy before he became President, by leading Scientologists, including the actor Tom Cruise. After an 11-year inquiry, following complaints from four French former Scientologists, an independent, investigating magistrate decided that the prosecution should go ahead.

Two female plaintiffs allege that, between 1997 and 1999, the French movement persuaded them to pay the equivalent of $28,000 each on drugs, vitamins, counselling, saunas and equipment to improve their mental and physical health. This included an "electrometer" to measure the state of their "spiritual condition".

The movement is accused of pretending to "identify and resolve alleged psychological difficulties" and "promoting the personal flowering" of its adepts with the "sole aim of seizing their resources" and "establishing psychological control over them".

Although individual Scientologists, including the cult's founder, L Ron Hubbard, have previously been convicted in France, this is the first time that the movement itself has been accused in a French court of systematic criminal activity. Seven leading members of the movement in France are also on trial.

Scientology, officially accepted as a religion in the United States, is on trial for "escroquerie en bande organisée" – or organized financial fraud. It is also accused of dispensing drugs illegally to its members. Two of the original plaintiffs have withdrawn their actions.

If convicted after a two or three-week trial, the main French organisations of the movement could be ordered to close down.

The cult's French spokeswoman, Danièle Gounord, protested yesterday that Scientology was the victim of a "heresy trial" and "mendacious accusations." Maitre Olivier Morice, lawyer for the two remaining plaintiffs, said the court would have an opportunity "once and for all" to examine the evidence that the leaders of the Church of Scientology are driven by financial gain.

This was the conclusion drawn by the report submitted by the investigating magistrate, Jean-Christophe Hullin, three years ago. He said that Scientology was "first and foremost a commercial organization" motivated by "an absolute obsession with profit".

The French state prosecution service rejected Judge Hullin's conclusions and decided in 2006 that Scientology should not be sent for trial. Whatever outsiders might think, the prosecution service decided, Scientology was motivated by "religious conviction" and not "personal gain". The actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise had led a lobbying campaign to block the legal action, which is the latest of five against the movement in France since the 1970s. At one point, he sought, and was granted a meeting with M Sarkozy, before he became President. The prosecution service, or parquet, denies any connection between this political lobbying and its decision to recommend an acquittal.

Judge Hullin decided to send the case for trial despite the parquet's decision. Under French law, the investigating magistrate can, in effect, overrule the state prosecution service but the chances of a successful prosecution are inevitably dimmed.

The defendants, including the Church of Scientology itself, are formally accused of cheating the defendants "by systematic use of personality tests of no scientific value ... with the sole aim of selling services and products".

Scientology was founded in 1952 by a former science fiction writer, L Ron. Hubbard. Although the complete teachings of Scientology are available only to senior adepts, the core of its beliefs is that all humans are immortal beings who have strayed from their true nature. Human souls or "thetans" can be reincarnated. Many have already lived on other planets in the universe.

The movement "audits" the souls of members and would-be members and – in return for fees or donations – prescribes "purification" courses, including vitamins, drugs and lengthy saunas.

Scientology claims that it is a religion, like any other religion with beliefs that may seem implausible to outsiders. Its approach would, the cult argues, lead to a world without crime and war.
Report to moderator   Logged

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #1 on: 2009-05-26 10:50:01 »
Reply with quote

[Hermit] Brave magistrate.

[John Lichfield] Scientology was founded in 1952 by a former science fiction writer, L Ron. Hubbard.

[Hermit] I'd say that L Ron Hubbard went from writing science fiction to writing space opera (cf infra). Both of these are indubitably fiction. Space opera turned out vastly more profitably for him.

[John Lichfield] Although the complete teachings of Scientology are available only to senior adepts

[Hermit] Actually their flavourful BS is readily available via xenu.net and Wikileaks while a very readable summary is available at wikipedia (although this is not the main wikipedia article about them).

[John Lichfield] the core of its beliefs is that all humans are immortal beings who have strayed from their true nature. Human souls or "thetans" can be reincarnated. Many have already lived on other planets in the universe.

[Hermit] Time magazine published an article in 1991 describing Scientology as "a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner." and its credibility is beautifully summarised by Mary Farrell Benarowski (Professor of Religious Studies), 'Scientology describes itself as drawing on science, religion, psychology and philosophy but "had been claimed by none of them and repudiated, for the most part, by all.' In our view, the "core of its beliefs" appears to be the accumulation of profit and the destruction of any opposing them.

[Hermit] There are many advantages to inquisitorial justice systems with independent magistrates.
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
MoEnzyme
Acolyte
*****

Gender: Male
Posts: 2256
Reputation: 4.44
Rate MoEnzyme



infidel lab animal

View Profile WWW
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #2 on: 2009-05-26 12:35:13 »
Reply with quote

I stand in sympathy and solidarity with HKHenson, one of our Church of the Virus own, who publicly and unanonymously stood up to the bullies for a while, suffered for it, and whom I presume has survived the ordeal. As best I remember has been finally released from custody, and I haven't seen any obituaries for him. He's always welcome at my house. I'd love to meet him in person some day.

-Mo
« Last Edit: 2009-05-26 12:40:31 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

I will fight your gods for food,
Mo Enzyme


(consolidation of handles: Jake Sapiens; memelab; logicnazi; Loki; Every1Hz; and Shadow)
letheomaniac
Archon
***

Gender: Female
Posts: 267
Reputation: 8.44
Rate letheomaniac





View Profile E-Mail
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #3 on: 2009-05-26 13:31:10 »
Reply with quote

[Hermit]:
Quote:
There are many advantages to inquisitorial justice systems with independent magistrates.
[letheomaniac] Indeed. Definitely not a cheese-eating surrender monkey!
[Mo]:
Quote:
...sympathy and solidarity with HKHenson, one of our Church of the Virus own, who publicly and unanonymously stood up to the bullies for a while, suffered for it...
[letheomaniac] Very sad to hear about fellow Virian... In his honour I will personally ensure that Scientologists are first against the wall when the revolution comes. Before politicians even. *lethe wanders off humming La Marseillaise*
Report to moderator   Logged

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #4 on: 2009-05-26 14:19:15 »
Reply with quote

It is Howard Keith Henson.

I have emailed with him since his release.

While we sometimes disagree, his range of experience, vast breadth of knowledge, witty repartee and enthusiasm for life puts Keith in a very select group of humans.

I miss his presence here too.

Hermit



Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
letheomaniac
Archon
***

Gender: Female
Posts: 267
Reputation: 8.44
Rate letheomaniac





View Profile E-Mail
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #5 on: 2009-05-30 03:50:10 »
Reply with quote

[letheomaniac] I was having a bit of a think about the Scientologists, and it occurs to me that while in a way they did stick to the tried and true religious methods of promising their adherents all kind of wonderful things after their death, where they really went wrong was in promising their members all kinds of wonderful things while they are still alive. That is the kind of thing that lands you in court. To my knowledge, the Vatican has never been sued by even one dead Catholic. Meanwhile, here's an amusing roundup of people for you to lose all respect for from cracked.com...

The Top 10 Secret Celebrity Scientologists

Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman. Let's face it, we're not surprised when obviously unstable, closeted, or just plain untalented actors and actresses start blathering on about Xenu and cleansing their Engrams. Hollywood types can be pretty flaky. But while some of the famous faces of Scientology make sense, there are a surprising amount of celebs that honestly, we expected better from.

#10: JASON LEE: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: My Name is Earl, every Kevin Smith movie after Clerks.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: It breaks our hearts, honestly. Lee's a hilarious actor, and can deliver the driest one-liners around. He seems like a genuinely intelligent and funny guy. Hell, dude was a pro skateboarder. How cool is that? Knowing he thinks alien ghosts infected the planet with negative energy can't help but be a little disappointing coming from a guy who can execute a flawless nosegrind.

Connections: Lee's My Name is Earl and Mallrats co-star Ethan Suplee isn't just a Scientologist; he's also married to the sister of second-generation Scientologist/certified whack job Juliette Lewis, who starred in that awful "retarded people in love" movie The Other Sister with close friend and fellow Scientologist Giovani Ribisi.

Lewis and her father guest-starred on My Name is Earl in 2006, which must have made for a really fun day on the set for anyone who needed an E-meter reading.

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: One (is able to "audit" self, has knowledge of matter, energy, space and time above that of regular humans).

#9: LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGIST




Best Known For: The shrill, but perplexingly attractive wife of human-sized sandwich receptacle Kevin James on King of Queens.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Her To Be a Scientologist: Having watched King of Queens, we're more than a little surprised that they actually wanted her. You can almost picture her at some Scientologist retreat, nagging away at John Travolta for fucking up his tone scale.

That said, she's earned her Hubbard stripes, having been a vocal supporter of Scientology in the past. Remini gave the Church of Scientology a loving, 40-minute tongue-bath when she appeared on Janeane Garafolo' short-lived Air America show Majority Report to plug some manner of Scientology-endorsed "detoxification cure" nonsense. More surprising: that airwaves could handle that much brittle, sarcastic estrogen occupying the same space and not implode like a black hole.

Connections: According to Remini, she was the first person to have seen Suri Cruise in person, even though she's never been known to be on even "nodding acquaintance" terms with Tom or Katie. She did not comment about whether Tom Cruise has since eaten the baby.

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: Three or Four (is able to regulate her "meat body" for thetans, and can rid self of the "effects of drugs on the spirit")

#8: BECK: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: being in possession of two turntables and a microphone; being able to identify a good drum break; being the hippest white boy in the room.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: The Reverend of Electric Soul, genre-hopping creator of esoteric and complex albums--doesn't Beck seem a bit too ironically hip to believe in something as goddamn ridiculous as Scientology without putting quote gestures around it and talking about it through a voice synthesizer first?

While he never came out about his beliefs until 2005, Beck is actually a second-generation Scientologist; there are a multitude of conspiracy theories online that both he and his record label tried to conceal his Scientologist leanings for most of his career. Clearly the label didn't want anybody to think that Beck, a 100-pound Fraggle who writes acoustic guitar raps about plastic eyeballs spray-painting vegetables, was weird or anything.

Connections: Beck's mother was the midwife for the birth of pasty-faced actor/second generation Scientologist Giovanni Ribisi (The Mod Squad, Saving Private Ryan) and his twin sister Marissa.

Beck is now married to Marissa, the mother of his son "Cosimo Henri." As of this writing they're expecting another one, who'll probably get an even more retarded name, if that's possible. (See also: Jason Lee's son "Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee"; "Suri")

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: 7 or higher (able to audit self and "address the primary cause of amnesia"; according to Wikipedia, graduation from this level requires a $100,000 payment)

#7: GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: being a legal expert for CNN and FOX; covered the O.J. Simpson trial; host of Burden of Proof and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Her To Be a Scientologist: Well, she has an education, for one, and by all accounts was a pretty good lawyer. Second, she's on the FOX network, which tends to put tree-huggin' Democrats ahead of Scientology's foe, the cursed space pirate Xenu, on their Most Wanted Lists.

Connections: Her husband John "Bhopal" Coale represented Lisa Marie Presley (Scientologist) in her divorce. Lisa Marie is of course the daughter of Elvis Presley, who enjoyed eating ham a lot (below; ham's religious affiliations unknown).



The law firm owned by Van Susteren and her husband has also brought a lawsuit against Wellspring, a cult recovery facility, for reasons unclear, since Scientology is so obviously not a cult at all. (Note to Scientologists: please don't sue.)

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: We're not sure about Van Susteren, but her husband is a level 8, the highest level currently available (can only be achieved while on a boat at sea; seriously, we are not making this shit up).

#6: DANNY MASTERSON: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: his Jewfro'd stoner Hyde character from That '70s Show.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: Masterson played the only bearable character in a show consisting of smirking human skeleton Topher Grace, face-punchable douchebag Ashton Kutcher and functionally retarded ethnic stereotype (and Lindsey Lohan despoiler) Wilmer Valderrama. Masterson's the only guy in that cast that we don't actually want to strangle to death, and that's taking into account that he probably spends at least two embarrassing hours a day "sideburn-grooming."

But, alas, it's true. In his own words: "I have always been in Scientology my entire life. Each service in Scientology is something I have added to my toolbox of data for living." In December 2005, Masterson helped promote the gala opening of Scientology's controversial "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" Museum. You know, for the kids.

Connections: Laura Prepon, the red-headed masturbatory aid from That '70s Show, was brought into the Scientology fold by Danny and his brother Christopher (troublemaker Francis on Malcolm in the Middle) after Laura and Christopher started dating. Frankie Muniz has so far not been asked to participate, putting his Thetans at considerable risk. On the plus side, Frankie Muniz has not been asked to participate in something.

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: unknown; can perhaps be found in his high-tech data toolbox.

#5: ISAAC HAYES: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: The theme song to Shaft; playing Chef on South Park.

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: Who's a sex machine to all the chicks? Not Isaac Hayes, unless they're at least level 4.

Okay, this entry's sort of cheating, since after Hayes' public dismissal from South Park last year over the show's offensive portrayal of Scientology, pretty much everyone's aware of Isaac's Xenu-battling ways at this point. Still, though: motherfucker wrote the theme song from Shaft! Come on!

Rumors abound that Hayes was forced by Scientology overlords to quit South Park after the infamous "In the Closet" episode. Whew! Good thing it's not a cult, though! (Don't sue.)

Connections: The other three black Scientologists, who remain shrouded in mystery.

Presumed Operating Thetan Level: the baddest mother-- "Shut your mouth!" "I'm just talkin' 'bout Operatin' Thetan Levels!" "Then we can dig it."

#4: BART SIMPSON: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: Okay, it's technically Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson

Why You Wouldn't Expect Her To Be a Scientologist: Don't have an Engram, man! Of all people to believe in crazy shit L.Ron Hubbard cooked up on a sailboat while knocking back Coronas, we wouldn't have pegged the voice of Bart Simpson. Cartwright says she learned about Scientology in her acting class in 1988. It's frankly mind-boggling that she could have somehow heard about this in a place where people who can't act get in a group to act like trees and believe anything their teacher tells them.

Connections: Mr. Burns? Bumble Bee Man? LENNY?

Presumed Thetan Level: Four (self-"auditing"; gives one the ability to talk like an eight-year-old boy and produce catchphrases that wind up on t-shirts)

#3: SONNY BONO: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: being Cher's ex-husband; being a Republican congressman; not wearing a helmet when skiing

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: Back in the Sonny & Cher days, you totally would have pegged the diminutive, fringe-wearing Bono as the sort of vacuous, henpecked sucker to get roped into a fruity Hollywood cult.

But after he went all Catholic Republican in the '90s, he allegedly put all that hippy nonsense behind him. However, several sources claim he kept close ties with the Scientologist Church until his death, consulting members frequently on both personal and political issues. That's reassuring.

He was also quoted as saying: "My only sorrow is that L. Ron Hubbard left before I could thank him for my new life," in a full-page ad featured in several newspapers after Elron's death.

Connections: Widow and replacement congresswoman Mary Bono has also taken Scientology courses. Bono was introduced to Scientology by Mimi Rogers (who was also responsible for inducting football player John Brodie, and of course, Tom Cruise.)

Presumed Thetan Level: Slalom

#2: JERRY SEINFELD: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: Seinfeld; questioning the "deal" with airline peanuts; drilling a minor

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: Cynical Jewish comedians are better known for having issues with their mothers and getting their laundry back from the dry cleaners than worrying why the Galactic Confederacy blew up a bunch of volcanoes, dooming us all to centuries of terror. Also: he's Jewish. We're pretty sure religion doesn't advertise two-for-one specials.

Still, while Seinfeld claims not to be an adherent, "I took a couple courses a number of years ago that I thought were fabulous. I learned a lot and I had a good experience with it. I think the stuff I learned there really did help me a lot." He's also dismissed articles questioning Scientology as "poor journalism." Let that be a lesson to journalists everywhere, from the mouth of Seinfeld himself: stop questioning things.

Connections: Nothing we can prove. But Michael "N-Word" Richards could probably use whatever well-funded stealth Scientology PR team's keeping Tom Cruise's career afloat right about now.

Presumed Thetan Level: What's the deal with all these levels? Has anyone else noticed this?

#1: CHARLES MANSON: SCIENTOLOGIST



Best Known For: viciously murdering people, ordering people to viciously murder other people; carving swastikas into his forehead

Why You Wouldn't Expect Him To Be a Scientologist: One of the biggest lunatics in American history is actually precisely who we'd expect to be down on the ground with psychotic theories about aliens and immortal spirits. But here's the kicker: Manson took over 150 hours of Scientology courses, rejected it as too crazy, and then went on to murder a whole bunch of people.

We're just saying.

Connections: Peter "Big Gunner" Skinner, the guard he supplies cigarettes to so he can avoid getting raped all the time.



Presumed Thetan Level: Batshit insane, but knows total bullshit when he sees it.
« Last Edit: 2009-05-30 03:52:29 by letheomaniac » Report to moderator   Logged

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker
Fox
Archon
***

Gender: Male
Posts: 122
Reputation: 8.07
Rate Fox



Never underestimate the odds.

View Profile
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #6 on: 2009-06-15 16:24:30 »
Reply with quote

Apparently Scientology is under the guillotine with Wikipedia also, as they banned the IP addresses of all known Church of Scientology members in order to prevent them from spreading their lies.


Source: Wierd.com

Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing any articles. It’s a punishment for repeated and deceptive editing of articles related to the controversial religion. The landmark ruling comes from the inner circle of a site that prides itself on being open and inclusive.

In a 10-1 ruling Thursday, the site’s arbitration council voted to ban users coming from all IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology and its associates, and further banned a number of editors by name. The story was first reported by The Register.

Self-serving Wikipedia edits are hardly new. Wired.com readers pulled in an award for discovering the most egregious Wikipedia whitewashes by corporation and government agencies, but this is the first time the site has taken such drastic actions to block those edits.

And the edits are unlikely to stop, now that the user-created encyclopedia has become one of the net’s most popular sites and is often the top result for searches on a subject. Being able to massage an entry about oneself or one’s company has proven difficult to resist, even for founder Jimmy Wales — despite Wikipedia’s official warnings to the contrary.

The Church of Scientology, founded by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1953, has had a long and bloody history on the net — dating back to Usenet groups, where critics maintain that the organization is a cult that brainwashes its members and sucks them dry financially. The Church, which teaches that humans are reincarnated and lived on other planets, says it is a legitimate religion.

The case, which began in December, centers on more than 400 articles about the ultra-secretive Church and its members. Those pages have hosted long-running, fierce edit wars that pitted organized Church of Scientology editors — using multiple accounts — against critics of Scientology who fought those changes by citing their own or one another’s self-published material. In fact, this is the fourth Wikipedia arbitration case concerning Scientology in as many years.

The committee also banned a number of editors individually, prohibiting them from editing any Scientology-related articles for at least six months. Those privileges can be reinstated afterward if they show they can play nicely by Wikipedia’s rules.

While most disputes involving the Web and Scientology in the past year have involved anti-Scientology activists who bind together under the name Anonymous, that group is largely not involved in this argument, because only registered accounts are able to edit the articles under dispute.

The Church of Scientology did not immediately return a voice message, asking for comment.
« Last Edit: 2009-06-15 16:25:53 by Fox » Report to moderator   Logged

I've never expected a miracle. I will get things done myself. - Gatsu
Tas6
Adept
**

Gender: Male
Posts: 77
Reputation: 7.07
Rate Tas6



Virian Alchemist

View Profile E-Mail
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #7 on: 2009-07-03 10:43:21 »
Reply with quote

My son is a self confessed Thetanist, Hail Xenu!

I am so proud of him!
Tas6
Report to moderator   Logged

"Funny goggles and Frankenstein, what real science should be!"
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #8 on: 2009-10-29 20:59:12 »
Reply with quote

Update on the French case against the "extremely dangerous ... absolute ... totalitarian sect" of Scientology from Wikipedia

On 27 October 2009, the Church of Scientology was convicted of defrauding recruits out of their savings.[22][23] One woman claimed she lost more than €20,000 in the 1990s.[23] Judges ordered the Scientology Celebrity Center and bookshop to pay a €600,000 (888,000 USD) fine; earlier plans by the prosecution to force the Church to disband completely could not proceed. The law supporting complete dissolution was temporarily inadmissible, due to a rework of the penal code.[22] The dissolution law was not reinstated until after the case had begun, and therefore could not be used.[24] Judges stated that disbanding the church would force it to work underground, where it could not be monitored.[22] In his indictment, investigating Judge Jean-Christophe Hullin criticized what he called the Scientologists' "obsession" with financial gain and practices he said were aimed at plunging members into a "state of subjection".[25]

Seven leading Scientologists were fined, including the head of Scientology in France, Alain Rosenberg. Rosenberg received a two-year suspended jail sentence combined with a €30,000 fine.[22] Four of the leaders received sentences ranging from ten months to two years, while the other two were fined minor amounts.[26] Agnès Bron, a church spokesperson, likened the fines to, "an Inquisition for modern times".[26] According to Catherine Picard, head of the French Association of Victims of Sects, the fining might encourage more "unhappy Scientologist recruits" to bring out their concerns.[22] She also stated that, "Scientology can no longer hide behind freedom of conscience."[26]
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Scientology goes on trial in France
« Reply #9 on: 2009-11-19 12:51:23 »
Reply with quote

Scientology faces allegations of torture in Australia

Australian prime minister considers inquiry after senator tables allegations including forced abortions, assault and blackmail

Source: The Guardian
Authors: Toni O'Loughlin (Sydney)
Dated: 2009-11-18

The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has said he would consider an inquiry into the Church of Scientology after a senator tabled allegations against the organisation including forced abortions, assault, torture, imprisonment, covering up sexual abuse, embezzlement of church funds and blackmail.

Senator Nick Xenophon tabled letters from former officials and staff of the Church of Scientology alleging criminal activity, and demanded a review of the organisation's tax exempt status.

"Scientology is not a religious organisation, it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs," he told the senate.


Among the letters tabled was one written by Aaron Saxton, from Perth, who said he engaged in torture and blackmail while working for the church in Australia and at its American headquarters between 1989 and 1996.

Rudd said the allegations were "grave" and that he would consider an inquiry, but said the evidence needed to be looked at carefully. "Many people in Australia have real concerns about Scientology. I share some of those concerns. But let us proceed carefully, and look carefully at the material which he has provided, before we make a decision on further parliamentary action," Rudd said.

Xenophon, an independent member of the Australian parliament who built a reputation fighting the spread of poker machines in his home state, South Australia, tabled the documents in the senate saying he had also referred the allegations to New South Wales and Australian federal police.

Xenophon said he had received letters from many more former church members who were too afraid to talk to authorities.

The letter from Aaron Saxton claimed he had assisted in the forced confinement and torture of a female church member who was kept under house arrest, Xenophon told the Senate. Saxton also said he was involved in coercing female followers to have abortions to keep followers loyal to the organisation and to allow them to keep working for it.

"Aaron says women who fell pregnant were taken to offices and bullied to have an abortion. If they refused, they faced demotion and hard labour," Xenophon said. "Aaron says one staff member used a coat hanger and self-aborted her child for fear of punishment.".

One letter from a former executive director of the Sydney branch of the church, Carmel Underwood, said that when she fell pregnant she was put under extreme pressure to have an abortion.

"Carmel says she also witnessed a young girl who had been molested by her father being coached as to what she should say to investigating authorities in order to keep the crimes secret," Xenophon said.

Anna and Dean Detheridge from Sydney, who spent 17 years on church staff, said they were "subjected to physical and mental abuse during their time with the organisation", according to the parliamentary statement.

"Anna and Dean also provided evidence where information they and others have revealed to the church have been used to blackmail and control. They also provided more information about coerced abortions," Xenophon said.

The Church of Scientology issued a statement accusing Xenophon of abusing parliamentary privilege. "Senator Xenophon is obviously being pressured by disgruntled former members who use hate speech and distorted accounts," the statement said. "They are about as reliable as former spouses are when talking about their ex-partner."
« Last Edit: 2009-11-19 12:52:22 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
Jump to:


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Church of Virus BBS | Powered by YaBB SE
© 2001-2002, YaBB SE Dev Team. All Rights Reserved.

Please support the CoV.
Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS! RSS feed