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The last Inquisitors: 1999 US report on "religious tolerance in world" 

 LES NOUVEAUX INQUISITEURS RELIGIEUX (French translation)

The last Inquisitors

See also - french - these short texts -

The following complementary general notes deal with the Report presented on

9/9/99 at 9pm, [are they superstitious people there?]

by the US Congress, about the situation of religions in most world countries.


It could be interesting to note as a primary remark, that the US governement uses here of most stereotyped arguments used by cult apologists defending cults, or arguments from the cults themselves - including the worse.

After ample reading of most critics adressed by USA to many countries, one could think that the secondary intention could be to make some call - some seduction operation - to all these groupuscules, groups or multinational cults - to get complaining by Uncle Sam, so as he'd act against those targeted countries: perhaps is it there some new method to make new friends there. But, USA congressmen and senators and president, do remind this: such groups are mostly ready to takeover you, or to betray everyone as soon as they think their interests could be dumped. They'll never support their engagements against politics: just one moment, observe Iranian religious/political mish-mash.

I'd not say that such a report is completely vain or unuseful, as information can be really useful to defend human rights and make people more aware, but giving wrong and biased public observations in many cases is perhaps more dangerous than remaining silent.

Who can say by instance what could be iranian or irakian reactions when pointed out publicly by their USA enemies? My guess is that they could get revenge acts, on the exact points pointed out. How many new victims of religious intolerance will create this relatively biased, intolerant and inexact report?




Subtitles are those from the report. Original piece in many files hre:

http://secretary.state.gov/www/briefings/statements/1999/ps990907.html



1/ USA did not exert their own critic about the topic: should we think they believe being perfect, and their own application flawless?

Appendix A: International Religious Freedom Conventions

(List of conventions and countries having signed them)

2/ Here we discover the list of International Conventions about Human Rights, signed or unsigned by countries.

USA did not speak of the International Convention about Children's Rights .

Neither the one about anti-personal mines; did they fear that we could remind them having not signed those?

They have, through their CSCE, some agreements (exposed at length in their report) with OSCE and European Union. Why did not sdigned up either the European Convention about Human Rights, then?


Neither did they signed the United Nations Chart, is'nt that a surprise?

PREFACE

3/ Here, we could read:

"Officers also consulted with experts on issues of religious discrimination and persecution, religious leaders from all faiths, and experts on legal matters. The guiding principle was to ensure that all relevant information was assessed as objectively, thoroughly, and fairly as possible. "

From the first moment one reads the one report about France (I'm not competent to speak of other countries legislation and legal or religious organization), one can find that US congress did not understand some of the very basic principles of quite simple french laws about associations and various other legal speak. They have given a number of erroneous explanations (if I can, I'll translate the critic of their report about France, where this is detailed). This shows a very faulty methodology: would they not accuse the french deputies of faulty methodology too, perhaps could we forget theirs.


4/ Later in the text:

"The Report also will serve as a basis for the U.S. Government's cooperation with private groups to promote the observance of the internationally recognized right to religious freedom. "

Should we understand here that, not yet satisfied to have dealt some secret agreements detaxing some commercial - if not worse - cults, the US government would like to go further and give them subsides if "they promote the observance of internationnaly recognized rights to religious freedom"?

But these same exact groups are often those promoting the worse intolerance about others. Just an example: how could the US convicted and jailed felon Sun Yung Moon, who preached he's the actual Christ, be of any tolerance against any other churches or faked religions?

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

5/ Into that part of the report, other negative judgements of value are done by US govt against democratical countries which are precisely refusing the takeover of dangerous groups onto democracy; indeed, one can observe here the inversed default reproached by USA to France and Belgium, that is, USA speak of dangerous cults but they amalgamate them to more benign movements, while Europe established lists of groups with sectarian/cultic tendancies, some of them being evidently more scrutinized -or attacked - than others by officials, as they are known being more dangerous.


6/ US congressmen then explain that the ancient context of countries should not be used as an excuse to religious discriminations.

But how do live the american people, whose ancient context allows anybody to possess deadly weapons? - moreover, one of the countries keeping on to feed religion wars through weapons selling to minorities - or majorities, or governemental and non-governmental entities, is that country entitled to speak of what others should or should'nt do?

Going further, USA think apparently inacceptable that countries could have any monitoring of religious groups.

Later, one can read that the Chinese Government is stigmatized, as "In China government intolerance of unregistered religious activity has led in some areas to persecution of persons on the basis of their religious practice, through harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or "reform through labor" camps... ". But what does not say the report, is that documented evidences show that the US based scientology group has private gulags, yes, those are private "reform through labor and indoctrination camps", where people can be sent for undetermined durations - and without due process of any form of justice but biased scientology one.

7/ Later: "The Government of Kazakhstan requires religious organizations to register in order to receive legal status." - where is the problem here? Why USA do have struggled for decades against the criminal cult of scientology, up to the Supreme Court of United States, winning each time against the cult, before agreeing, against any logic, to tax exemption of that group? That's also "registering", and in extremely hard and doubtful methods, no?

8/ Then, using once again the really practical apologist argument of "lists of cults" established by France or Belgium, US deputies omit then to indicate that NO such group has ever admitted publicly being a "cult" or "sect"; I must though remind here that I've personaly signed - was forced to -, in 1981, as the then president of the Lyon Scientology association, a "contract" between the organization of Lyon and the upper worldwide direction of the cult, where the directors were calling scientology "a sect", and Hubbard's works "sectarian writings". But that was no public document.

U.S. ACTIONS TO PROMOTE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ABROAD

9/ Read this "The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act mandates presidential action in cases of particularly severe violations of religious freedom, although it grants considerable flexibility in deciding on what action to take." Could we understand that the decisions will essentially be based onto US economics and politics? Why flaming the Kosovo war, or by Saddam Hussein, but not by Indonesia (where there is mass manslaughters in Oriental Timor now), or by Talibans, or Northern Ireland - people to whom weapons are sold, sometimes to both camps?

Under "religious freedom", democracy and civil peace cover, USA are actually leading directly or undirectly most of the present wars, at least as the biggest weapons producer and reseller. I must say that France has not always been white on that either. And then, USA lead all the economical wars agitating entire countries or continents, whose people will soon or late rebel and will go directly from a relative multiparty anarchy" to a "military dictature" - that one being always a system intolerant of some or all religions. See Central America, Africa, SE Asia, etc.

The true "religion wars" have always been started into political and economical conquering contexts, the same adopted by the US strategy, hypocrite country attempting to drown Europe - between others - under its cults, to get some profit later. But cults multiplying can also have a bad side effect: some can become very strong and become paranoïd - if they have not always been so - and could infilitrate a whole society that they'll destroy at first oppportunity; this has been most practized in the past, and the relationship politics/religion has very often been too massive, a fact which explains why most modern democracies have separated church and state affairs.

Year in Review

We'll read here that, naïvely the report adds: "contributions to international religious freedom frequently advance the interests of the United States."

U.S. Missions Abroad: Ambassadors

The report declines here ambassades and missions having had to deal with religious tolerance. If one can very well understand that the disappearance of a chinese bishop could be of importance, the report does teach much also through its unsaid parts : what subjects could by instance be discussed on religious tolerance, between US Embassy and Saudi Arabian government? We'll not know; but that could be very surprising. Are they trying to forbid woman's headscarves or polygamy?

U.S. Missions Abroad: Embassy Officers

When such an Embassy as Kaboul is closed since ten years, what could well be the Talibans reactions to discussions with special officers sent from US? Could we observe some efficiency, while observing more and more crimes committed against their managed populations?

Actions by Other U.S. Officials and Agencies

"At the 1998 OSCE Human Dimension meeting in Warsaw, the U.S. delegation expressed concern over growing intolerance toward minority religious groups in several countries, including Austria, Belgium, France, and Germany." ...

but that delegation was much strong: supported by the european chief apologist Massimo Introvigne (who's member of no government, and is an official of nothing but of his own created organization, the CESNUR), or by Karen Lord, described as a member of a small "christian" minority, but official member of the USA CSCE. How could any discussion be objective with one-way-thinking people having direct interests and no neutrality?

Actions by the Office of International Religious Freedom

Interesting passage here: the US bureau for religious freedoms (called Office of International Religious Freedom) is certainly informed, but only to one source: the religious or pseudo-religious organizations - omitting therefore the violations of human rights continually committed by these groups and denounced by their opposants, the anti-cultic associations.

That "executive summary" ends on this:

"To preserve religious freedom is to reaffirm and defend the centrality of those truths--and to strengthen the very heart of human rights.",

But US congressmen, representatives and senators do forget here something which is really the essence itself of human rights: the life's right, the right to live is far above beliefs, whatever solid or not.

In their US country, one keeps on killing legally people, and some kills yet under the guise of religion. And they don't give much official pardons, even for mentally ill persons or innocent people, or foreigners. Besides, being waiting for decades under jail to be shot is not much of an human treatment.


But it's US treatment given to its own kin.

Would they teach us how to be more human and compassionate?


COUNTRY BY COUNTRY

(For the most interesting ones in this context: the report has sub-index for 181 countries)

Belgium

The report is neutral enough, though quoting some anecdotes one could consider as local details, unsignificant, but for a libel suit led by the Ecole d'Anthroposophie against the authors of a leaflet that has been widely distributed to the french speaking belgian public.

Denmark

Here, we learn that scientology is on its third demand to be recognized as a religion. Though this report does not relate it, scientology also lobbies much there to be recognized as an "ONG" (a Non Governemental Organization) which could give them an outrageous european advantage which it certainly not deserves. - because if it was done, many other european countries suits against scientology could be judged in Denmark and make some more troubles to Danish justice...

Otherwise, religious and other civil tolerances are well known here - that's certainly one of the main reasons why Hubbard choose to go there when he was threatened almost everywhere aboard of his Apollo boat.

Finland

Herre too, scientologists have tried to get the religious status, but having not contended the govt for the steps which were asked - they have certainly much to hide and don't want to show their black hands.

(My opinion: the day where scientologiists will disclose their complete secret files (intelligence service and legal service), they'll be forbidden everywhere and forever.)

France: see report - french only

Germany

The report is quite significant: almost half of it deals on scientology court problems there. Some suits have been for them, some against, the most important being against. They keep on being monitored. One can well see the hands of them on the american officials. An omission: no trace here of the so-said sentence of an american judge (NY?) who would have agreed to political asylum for a German scientologist having pretended she went off germany because of religious persecutions.

Other significant fact: the US activity, aside of the noisy operations by State Secretary Madeleine Albright and such high personages as White House security advisor Sandy Berger, has been limited to get a rendez-vous between an american attorney sent by US scientology and two or three german officials.

Would one imagine, if Catholics would have some problems in Germany or elsewhere, the Pope sending an attorney from Italy instead of going himself - or sending one of his top-aids, - to arrange the problem with german officials? True enough, that's how Hubbard himself did to "arrange" things: called for a suit in France, he did not come, and tried to defend himself through his co-accusés.

Greece

Greece is divided between its official religion - Orthodoxy - and other confessions, whose statuses are less interesting on a financial paln.

The most evident religious problem here is mostly the relatively mediocre integration of Islamists, probable reaction of 4 centuries of Turkish domination in Greece.

Significant about scientologists: the report does not say why some indicted scientologists have not been sentenced, and does not say they were recognized guilty: that was because the legal delay for such an offece was out.

Ireland

Few comments here. The report does not though remind that North Ireland is not included into Ireland. Are there yet some weapons traffic organized there, though the situation is far less catastrophic now than years before? Northern Ireland has been included into the UK report.

Italy

Few comments too. Scientology is not yet considered a religion; the report says that this should come again under an Appeal Court. I'd add that scientology situation there is relatively desired, thanks to the strong defence of its criminal interests by chief apologist Introvigne of CESNUR, who is spending Piemont state public fundings (and perhaps private ones) to help that cult and some others by calling them religions and finding many an argument to support such an untruth. To say, Cesnur chief estimation is that criminal or not criminal, this has nothing to do to define a religion.

Netherlands

The report does not criticize much Netherlands that looks to have good anti-discriminatory laws; to fill in some more paper, some other civil rights are exposed in the report (like two affairs about homosexuals; is there much relationship here with religion? It could look so, but it's here in the reverse sense, as those homosexuals were possibly to be refused by the religious board of a school, so, the problem is the intolerance of religiously inclined people).

Besides, as in France, Netherlands problems of headscarves have had to be solved by official actions - with comparable tolerance.

Norway

Here too, few problems, and a relatively similar situation as for Netherlands. On can read some congratulations from the USA to Norway, as it was the head-in-office of the OSCE - especially during the Warsaw meeting in 1999 , and therefore has much helped to forward "religious tolerance" purpose.

Russie

The Russia's report is quite long and complex. Due to the fact that US congressmen have not understood much of the quite simple french laws on associations when reporting about them, I doubt that the terrible complications of the various and different set of laws on religions coming in successions and varying from a region to another in Russia could have been much understood and precise in the report: much confusion probable here. Jehovas Witnesses are frequently quoted - is it that there central services in NY, the Watchtower, are very apt to PR with the US religious international tolerance office? But facts remain difficult to check , and the report says it. Further, despite a few contacts, I've never been able to get any of the various judgements on cults.

Also quoted: the already too famous"Christ Church", who is said to practice proselytism on minors.

As well, the anti-semitic quasi visceral of some elected officials (and probably, of a part of the population) in Russia is quite high; but here, I'd like to say that it seems to me that the report is derailing toward non-religious matters, as it's far more and ethnic problem than a religious one. That confusion about anti-semitism is also very apparent in many other countries' reports, even if this is not accompanied of critics from US deputies.

Spain

As many other countries having undertaken some measures against scientologists - between other destructive cults - Spain has been criticized through the CSCE/OSCE.

Still some more anedotes of local importance; by instance, the story of a Guardia Civil chief who said a Jehovahs' Witness that he could'nt undergo researches onto religious coommunities - this, after the dubious death of a woman.

Another relates the story of a woman, a norwegian born "psychic" fraud, who got the monies from some twenty persons and was then sued by eight of them: what's the "religious" matter here? Her groupuscule was called "Orientation".

Why then the story of the "young" 48 years polnish girl (saying she's 12 or 24, depending the moment) in France, who is doing the same since some years in Bourges' area, with some 10 victims of her chants? Would it have been taken seriously too by the US reps, if they had learnt it, and would they have included it into a supposedly serious text about religious tolerance, international, with the United States Seal on it?

Omission: the report does not remind the fact that the President of Scientology International and a lot of spanish scientologists are actually under a multiple counts suit from the spanish government; does that mean that Robert Seiple, US itinerant Ambassador, is presently trying to help scientologists to get out of that dangerous pace?

Spain, between all others, has a law on (destructive) cults. I can't presently quote what it looks like, and it is not commented by the report either.

Sweden

Le rapport ne critique pas le fait qu'une commission gouvernementale ait proposé une loi-non votée- en 1998, loi dont le but était de lutter d'une part contre les groupements "religieux" ayant une influence indue sur les personnes, et d'autre part, recommandant d'aider les personnes ressortant de tels groupements.

The report does not criticize the fact that a governmental commission had proposed a Bill - october 1998 - whose purposes were: 1/ to struggle against groups using deceptive or undue influence on persons and 2/ to help financially, spiritually etc, some 100 persons a year when they got out of such cults.

USA reps seem also to have decided the swedish government to vote some law which would inhibit future problems such as the scientology "copyrighted" secret texts, which are definitely available from the parliament, since someone [Zenon Panoussis] gave them there to render them public. Everyone can actually buy them for the price of duplication.

Switzerland

If the various measures undertaken against some of the scientology proselytist methods in some swiss cantons - even to the supreme court when needed - are partially indicated, they are not accompanied of real critics; the report has not said either that scientology was sentenced here for fraud and extortion against disbaled persons. Nevertheless, if the US report speaks of the 1998 police general report done on scientology and observes that it was attributing totalitarist measures to the group, and disclosed that it runs an intelligence service, the report don't speak of the last Conseil National Suisse 60 pages may 1999 report, excellently done and worded, which qualified cults as "endoctrinating movements" and qualified the psycho-religious affair as a "market" which should be monitored to avoid abuses against populations and children.

Once again, the report derails there , speaking of non-religious matters concerning the jews possessions and banks payments to those having been ripped off during WW II.

United Kingdom

Strange things happen here: one does not generally know that it is still an illegal act to blasphemy against the anglican church, neither that a prayer is mandatory in schools, though some pupils could be dispensed of it.

Also, this is one of the world only country where a King or Queen is the chief of the national religion (she nominates the archbishops etc) and archbishops plus 21 bishops are automatically members of the Chamber of Lords - an extravagant political system added to a old mixing scheme between politics and religion.

Other interesting details, it's not yet illegal - will become in 2000 -, except for Northern Ireland, to discriminate in UK between believers for employment.

Northern Ireland problems of religious + economical nature are going to be better.

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