French Anti-Cult Law (May 30, 2001): English Translation, with Notes

Translated by Cesnur, with additions from the Webmaster "Le Secticide" - Roger Gonnet

Note: The law is in black; the Introvigne notes are in braun, webmaster's notes are in blue.

I've erased a lot of technicalities being unimportant for the undestanding of the text.

similar observations in french

Readers could think that the comments done here against a scholar or scholars do not demonstrate politeness or respect. They are right; I'm no longer intending to show respect for some people who do not respect their own integrity or their readers or spectators. Indeed, lying is not showing much respect for others.


Note: This is a collection of Sections as voted in the Senate and the House. The final published text may include some minor variations.

A bill directed to the reinforcement of prevention and repression of cultic movements which undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.

[Note by Introvigne and webmaster's reply: "It has been finally decided to include a reference to cultic movements , notwithstanding objections that there is no definition of cult (the word equivalent to cult in French is secte not to be translated by the milder English word sect and the title of the bill refers to mouvements sectaries " - My reply to Introvigne: the law does not speak of cultic movements, but of cultic movements which undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms - this is quite different and contains the definition of "cult" sort of.]

Chapter I


Civil dissolution of certain legal entities

[Note from Introvigne and Webmaster's reply: This portion allows dissolution and ban of cults after one final decision against the cult itself or its de facto leaders, finding them guilty of one among a number of criminal offences. Notice that (a) although in previous readings the dissolution when there were at least two decisions against the cult , now one single decision is enough; and (b) some of the offences are quite minor, such as breach of privacy or using the likeness of a person without its consent. One final decision where a de facto leader of a cult is declared guilty of one such offence is enough for the draconian remedy of banning the group. Webmaster's reply: Introvigne is wrong: he did not read correctly the text of the law, the wording of which shows a PLURAL - more than one offense - see: "offenseS" - not offense. Introvigne being an attorney, one can really suppose that he could take his retirement.

Section 1

The dissolution can be pronounced, according to the provisions of the present Section, of any legal entity, whatever its legal form or object, pursuing activities which have as their purpose or effect to create, maintain or exploit the psychological or physical subjection of persons taking part in these activities, when final criminal sentences have been pronounced against the legal entity itself or its legitimate or de facto leaders, for one or the other of the offences mentioned hereafter:

1° Offences of intentional or unintentional prejudice to the life or the physical or psychological integrity of the person, endangerment of the person, prejudice to the person's freedoms, prejudice to the dignity of the person, prejudice to the personality, imperilling minors or prejudicing property provided for by Sections 221-1 to 221-6, 222-1 to 222-40, 223-1 to 223-15, 223-15-2, 224-1 to 224-4, 225-5 to 225-15, 225-17 and 225-18, 226-1 to 226-23, 227-1 to 227-27, 311-1 to 311-13, 312-1 to 312-12, 313-1 to 313-3, 314-1 to 314-3 and 324-1 to 324-6 of the Criminal Code;

2° Offences of illegal medical or pharmaceutical practice provided for by Sections L. 4161-5 and L. 4223-1 of the Public Health Code;

3° Offences of deceptive advertising, frauds and falsifications provided for by Sections L. 121-6 and L. 213-1 to L. 213-4 of the Consumer Code.

The dissolution procedure is filed before the Court of First Instance by the Public Prosecutor, acting on its own accord or at the request of any interested party.

The request is formulated, examined  and judged in conformity with the fast-track (fixed date) procedure. The time limit for appeal is fifteen days. The President of the Court to whom the case is entrusted will fix a short time limit for the hearing to which the case will be summoned. At the indicated day, the proceedings are conducted according to Sections 760 to 762 of the New Code of Civil Procedure.

The overt or disguised maintaining or re-forming of a legal entity disbanded in application of the clauses of the present Section is an offence provided for by the second paragraph of Section 434-43 of the Criminal Code.

The Court of First Instance may pronounce in the course of the same procedure the dissolution of several different legal entities mentioned in the first paragraph, when these legal entities pursue the same purpose and are united by a community of interests and when at least one final criminal sentence for one of the offences mentioned in 1° to 3° has been pronounced against each of them or their legitimate or de facto leaders. These different legal entities must be parties to the procedure.

Chapter II

Extension of the criminal responsibility of legal entities to certain offences

Section 2

I.    - After the words "is sentenced", the end of the first paragraph of Section L. 4161-5 of the Public Health Code the following words shall be included: "to one year in prison and a 100,000 Francs fine."

II.  - After Section L. 4161-5 of the Public Health Code, a Section L. 4161-6 is inserted, reading as follows:

"Sect. L. 4161-6. - Legal entities may be declared criminally responsible in the conditions established by Section 121-2 of the Criminal Code for offences provided for by Section L. 4161-5.

"The penalties incurred by the legal entities are:

"1° Fine, according to the provisions of Section 131-38 of the Criminal Code;

"2° The penalties mentioned in Paragraphs 2nd to 9th  of Section 131-39 of the Criminal Code.

"The interdiction mentioned in the 2nd Paragraph of Section131-39 of the Criminal Code concerns the activity in the exercise of which or at the occasion of which the offence was committed."

III. - In Section L. 4223-1 of the same Code, the words: "to a 30,000 Francs fine and, in the event of a subsequent offence, to six months in prison and a 60,000 Francs fine" are replaced by the words: "to one year in prison and a 100,000 Francs fine".

Sections 2 bis

(Skipped section 2 bis to 2-13, of almost no interest for the foreign reader: technicalities about fines etc)

Chapter III

Clauses regarding the sentence of dissolution
incurred by legal entities penally responsible

Section 3 [or Section 2 no. 14][4]

In the second paragraph of Section 8 of the Associations Law of July 1, 1901, the words: "by a fine of 30,000 francs and one year of imprisonment" are replaced by the words: "by three years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 francs.

Section 4

Section 434-43 of the Criminal Code is supplemented by two new paragraphs worded as follows:

 

"Anyone taking part in the overt or disguised maintenance or revival of a legal entity whose dissolution was ordered pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Section 131-39 shall be punished by three years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 francs.

 

"Where dissolution has been ordered for a second time offence or for the offence provided in the preceding paragraph, the penalty shall be increased to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 francs."

 

Section 5

A paragraph (5) is inserted before the last paragraph of Article 434-47 of the same code, reading as follows:

 

"5) The offences under the second and third paragraphs of Section 434-43 shall be punished by dissolution as set forth in paragraph (1) of Section 131-39."

 

Chapter IV

Clauses restricting the advertisement of cult movements

[Sections 6 and 7

Deleted]

[Note from Introvigne and reply from the webmaster: One of the small victories scored by opponent of the law has been the elimination of the provisions preventing  cults from establishing offices or advertising within a certain radius of public buildings. Anti-cult MPs plan to reintroduce these provisions in a subsequent bill. Webmaster's reply: Introvigne is wrong: the problem was a technical one, not at all a victory from opponents to the project: indeed, mayors could not reasonably be asked to exercize such a power of refusal of associations without leading them into "traps"]

Section 8

The fact of distributing, by whatever means, messages intended for youth and promoting a legal entity, whatever its legal form or object, which is pursuing activities with the purpose or effect to create, maintain or exploit the psychological or physical subjection of persons taking part in these activities, when final criminal sentences have been pronounced several times, against the legal entity itself or its legitimate or de facto leaders, for one or the other of the offences mentioned hereafter, is sentenced to a 50,000 Francs fine:

1° Offences of intentional or unintentional prejudice to the life or the physical or psychological integrity of the person, endangerment of the person, prejudice to the person's freedoms, prejudice to the dignity of the person, prejudice to the personality, placing minors in danger or prejudicing property provided for by Sections 221-1 to 221-6, 222-1 to 222-40, 223-1 to 223-15, 223-15-2, 224-1 to 224-4, 225-5 to 225-15, 225-17 and 225-18, 226-1 to 226-23, 227-1 to 227-27, 311-1 to 311-13, 312-1 to 312-12, 313-1 to 313-3, 314-1 to 314-3 and 324-1 to 324-6 of the Criminal Code;

2° Offences of illegal medical or pharmaceutical practice provided for by Sections L. 4161-5 and L. 4223-1 of the Public Health Code;

3° Offences of deceptive advertising, frauds and falsifications provided for by Sections L. 121-6 and L. 213-1 to L. 213-4 of the Consumer Code.

The same sanctions are applicable when the messages referred to in the first paragraph of this Section are an invitation to join such a legal entity.

The legal entities may be declared penally responsible in conditions provided for by Section 121-2 of the Criminal Code of offences defined in this Section. The sanction incurred by legal entities is a fine, according to the provisions of Section 131-38 of the Criminal Code.

Chapter V

Clauses connected with the fraudulent abuse of the
state of ignorance or weakness

Section 9

[Note from Introvigne and my reply: This is the key Section of the bill. Although the government claims that it has accepted international and domestic criticism and has eliminated a specific offence of mind control or brainwashing, in fact the anti-brainwashing provision is still there, cosmetically disguised as an amendment of a pre-existing Section of the criminal code, Section 223-15, now including techniques likely to alter judgement . Note that Section 223-15 is among those Sections whose breach, when confirmed by a final decision against the cult or its leaders, leads to the group's ban. Once again, something is skipped by Introvigne: the enormous similarity between plain fraud - which is technically a lie or series of lies so as to get a profit - and the "techniques to alter the judgement." True, Introvigne is a first size LIAR, who lies by action and by ommission, so as... to alter the judgement of people regarding cults, and so as to obtain a profit! This is wholly documented by instance on this site, here, by instance.]

After Section 223-15 of the Criminal Code, a section 6 bis is created, reading as follows:

"Section 6 bis

Regarding the fraudulent abuse of the state of ignorance or weakness

"Sect. 223-15-2. - The fraudulent abuse of the state of ignorance or the condition of weakness of either a minor or a person whose specific vulnerability, due to his age, an illness, a disability, a physical or psychological deficiency or pregnancy, is apparent and known to its author, or of a person in a state of psychological or physical subjection resulting from serious pressures exercised or repeated or from techniques likely to alter his judgment, leading this minor or this person to an act or an abstention which are seriously harmful to him, is sentenced to three years in prison and a 2,500,000 Francs fine.

"When the offence is committed by the legitimate or de facto leader of a group which is pursuing activities with the purpose or effect to create, maintain or exploit the psychological or physical subjection of persons taking part in these activities, the sentences are extended to five years in prison and a 5,000,000 Francs fine.

"Sect. 223-15-3. - Individuals guilty of the offence provided for in this section also incur the following supplementary sentences [note from Introvigne and reply of the webmaster: Note that those found guilty of brainwashing face a sort of civil death: they cannot exercise political, civil or family rights, work as professional or even sign checks for several years. Webmaster's reply: This is quite interesting!! Introvigne DOES ADMIT HERE THE EXISTENCE OF BRAINWASHING - while the law does not speak of it. Besides, Introvigne generalizes to every possible suit the single possibility offered to judges to deprive someone of some civil or family rights etc. Indeed, if by instance a pedophile guru was condemned for such an offense, it is probable that he would be deprived of family rights, or that if a cult member would have defrauded people by the cult's methods, he would be deprived of the right to exercize such a professional activity]

"1° Deprivation of political, civil and family rights, according to the provisions of Section 131-26;

"2° Deprivation, according to provisions of Section 131-27, of the exercise of a civil service or the exercise of the professional or social activity in the exercise of which or at the occasion of the exercise of which the offence was committed, for a length of five years at most;

"3° Closing, for a length of five years at most, of the establishments or of one or several establishments of the corporation having served to commit the incriminated facts;

"4° Seizure of the thing which served or was intended to commit the offence or the thing which is its product, with the exception of objects susceptible of restitution;

"5° Prohibition to stay in France or in certain French departments, according to the provisions of Section 131-31;

"6° Interdiction, for a length of five years at most, the drawing of checks other than those which enable the withdrawal of funds by the drawer from the drawee or of certified ones;

"7° Posting of the bill or circulating the pronounced decision, in conditions provided for by Section 131-35.

"Art. 223-15-4. - Legal entities may be declared criminally responsible, in conditions provided for by Section 121-2, of the offence defined in this section.

"The sentences incurred by the legal entities are:

"1° A fine, according to the provisions of Section 131-38;

"2° Penalties mentioned in Section 131-39.

"The interdiction mentioned in 2° of Section 131-39 concerns the activity in the exercise of which or at the occasion of the exercise of which the offence was committed."

Section 10

I. - Section 313-4 of the Criminal Code is repealed.

II. - In the first paragraph of Section 313-7 of the same Code, the reference: ", 313-4" is deleted.

III. - At the end of the first paragraph of Section 313-9 of the same Code, the words: "to 313-4" are replaced by the words: "to 313-3".

Chapter VI

Miscellaneous

Section 11

[note from Introvigne and reply of the Webmaster: "This is one of the most dangerous provisions in the bill, since it enables private anti-cult associations to become party of court cases against cults on behalf of allegedly brainwashed victims (even if the latter would not even dream of entrusting their representation to these associations: since they are brainwashed, their opinion does not count) and to collect damages. The anti-cult MPs explained very clearly that the number of court cases against cults in France, notwithstanding several years of propaganda, is quite low. Apparently public prosecutors are often unenthusiastic about the anti-cult campaigns. The remedy is to encourage anti-cult movements to take themselves the lead. Reply from the webmaster: once again, Introvigne does admit brainwashing. Then, he would like to refuse to associations SIMILAR to his own, but financed by the government LIKE HIS OWN, the rights he has himself for his association in Italy??

Introvigne does not care to come before the french justice as a "witness" and to lie grossly about what scientology is.

The only difference between his Cesnur and associations like the ADFI and CCMM, is that his own funding is partially secret, and he is most probably paid by criminal cults; in any case, he is always defending those cults and attacking anti-cult assocs and people, without the least shame for his dishonesty.

Besides, the number of suits against cults is continually soaring, and Introvigne knows it. Scientology by instance has at least 8 new actions since last year.]

Section 2-17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is written as follows:

"Art. 2-17. - Any association recognized as serving public interests regularly registered since at least five years[9] at the date of the facts and proposing through its statutes to defend and help individuals or to defend individual and public rights and freedoms can, at the occasion of acts committed by any individual or legal entity, in the frame of a movement or organization which has as its purpose or effect to create, maintain or exploit a psychological or physical subjection, exercise the recognized civil party rights regarding the offences of intended or unintended prejudice to the life or the physical or psychological integrity of the person, endangerment of the person, prejudice to the person's freedoms, prejudice to the dignity of the person, prejudice to the personality, placing minors in danger, or prejudicing property provided for by Sections 221-1 to 221-6, 222-1 to 222-40, 223-1 to 223-15, 223-15-2, 224-1 to 224-4, 225-5 to 225-15, 225-17 and 225-18, 226-1 to 226-23, 227-1 to 227-27, 311-1 to 311-13, 312-1 to 312-12, 313-1 to 313-3, 314-1 to 314-3 and 324-1 to 324-6 of the Criminal Code, the offences of illegal medical or pharmaceutical practice provided for by Sections L. 4161-5 and L. 4223-1 of the Code of Public Health, and the offences of deceptive advertisement, frauds and falsifications provided for by Sections L. 121-6 and L. 213-1 to L. 213-4 of the Consumer Code."

Section 11 bis

Section 706-45 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is modified as follows:

I.    - After the fifth paragraph (4°), a 5° is inserted written as follows:

"5° Put under the control of an administrator appointed by the examining magistrate for a renewable period of six months, as regards the activity in the exercise of which or at the occasion of which the offence was committed."

II. - The next to last paragraph is completed by a sentence written as follows:

"The measure provided for by 5° cannot be ordered by the examining magistrate if the legal entity cannot be sentenced to the penalty provided for by the 3° of Section 131-39 of the Criminal Code."

../...[of no sepcific interest]


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