Liberation: la scientologie se fait saisir deux ordinateurs et deux serveurs par le SEFTI et le juge Van Ruymbeke

French part below - texte en français en bas.


Van Ruymbeke attacks Scientology


June 1st, 2000


Every file were declared [to the official services] We have nothing illegal. If they were some things forgotten, we'll repair, that's all," says Daniele Gounord, spokeperson for the cult.


Usually, the cellars of the seat of the Spiritual Association of the Scientology Ile-de-France, Rue Jules Cesar, behind the Bastille in Paris, are a quiet location. There, under neons, it's the heart of scientology machine beating, calmly, most discreetly. Below stairs, a short hall leads to the finance bureau of the cult, the one of administration, those of DSA (Special Affairs Department, ex-OSA, intelligence private services) as well as a room for "purifications". Everywhere, stacked files, boxes correctly stacked... On tuesday may 16th, these locations have known an extreme agitation. Policemen of the Sefti (Section on frauds regarding information technologies) came without having been announced. Raid. For the cult, this is a strong shot. Part of its internal documentation will be seized. And that's not finished. According to our informations, two computers have been seized, as well as two servers. Two servers which, according a source behind the seizure, were "in a small room, hidden behind an electrical cabinet." Cult's spokeperson Danièle Gounord promised she ignored the presence of both these servers.

Computer Files. Originally, a very small affair. An ex-adept protests against scientology. He's tired to receive lots of cultic publications, despite his departure, and had asked to be erased from its files. Nothing works. The man keeps on receiving them. Receives letters, one handwritten, and things like Ethique et Liberté, the french Freedom magazine, that one which was saying in its february issue to be legal regarding computerized filings. But the cults never did its job about his demand. And the man complains for "privacy violations" through computerized files being kept, for "lying advertisements" and "fraud".

Some weeks later, a second member does the same. Complaints come on the bureau of a first judge, then go to the Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke. That's when the SEFTI comes in, on May 16th in the morning, as was confirmed through a judicial source. Purpose: to check what the scientoloy machines could contain. One contains the cult's accounts, the one of SEL (Scientology libraries), charged to sell books of the dead founder L. Ron Hubbard, and one is linked directly to Copenhagen, cult's center in Europe. Meanwhile, Marc Walter, president of the spiritual association of scientology Ile de France, is arrested, detained for some time, and relaxed later. Besides of his role, justice is interested by the CCDH, the commission of Citizens for Human Rights, whose french office has been for long at his adress, Paris north. A CCDH whose aims, since some thirty years, remains the same: attacking psychiatry, scientology's enemy number one.

Scientologists, sure. For them, the may 16th raid is an "administrative harrassment", "a benign affair". As a matter of proof, according to Danièle Gounord, diskettes and computers have been returned four days later. Used to judicial proceedings, she plays it down: "we felt that was a routine visit. Nothing to compare to 1990 raid."- that one finalized at the large Lyon suit, seven years later. "Every files are declared to the CNIL. We have nothing illegal. If they were some things forgotten, wel'll repare them. That's all"

"Dead Agent Files" The problem is that with Renaud Van Ruymbeke, scientologists fell on a magistrate whose tenacity and harshnness are famous. Unsure then that their optimism could remain great for long, since the police seized not only files about ex-adepts, other files about sympathizers, opponents, signed by the Dept of Special Affairs (DSA). The cult's spokeperson denies it all.

Officially, the DSA is the Public Relations Office for Scientology. Working here, people like Danièle Gounord, and Jean Dupuis, the spokepersons. And more dicreet people, responsible for tax, legal, and investigations affairs. People able, by instance, to establish "Dead Agent Files", sort of unofficial biographies built from articles and through individual investigations, files used as (as said by Danièle Gounord herself) to discredit individuals. That's how the people having spoken to the american billionaire Bob Minton, strong opposant to the cult, have received a file about him three days after his april travel in paris. That's how the most virulent journalists have the right to be filed. And everything is translated, resumed, sent to the mother company, in USA, with a percentage of "theta", "entheta", good or bad vibrations - and notes with "enemies quoted" 'key sentences", etc.

Into the multinational organization of scientology, the DSA is the heart of the machine, elite's side. In 1990, an internal advertisement disclosed the purposes: "To create a sane environement into which scientology could expand". Officially, on cult's side, one is saying this is all ended. That the cleaning has been done, and that "sensible sections of the DSA" have been dissolved. True? According to many sources, on may 16th, policemen would have also investigated into this, in scientology seat undergrounds.

Smiling delation, a scientology practice

The cult has issued the "files" of one of its opponents

May 2d.2000


By scientologists, a golden rule wants to see smiles everywhere. Even when it should be time to worry about. Therefore, yesterday, after the disclosing by Libération about the seizure on may 16th, of the association's seat by the SEFTI [computer investigations official services], what was next? That was now the tour for the american millionaire Bob Minton, one of the worse opposants to the cult, to announce that he launched a complaint in Paris through is attorney Jean-Michel Pesenti.

Purpose of his complaint for libel? The "Dead Agent Pack" (1) issued by the cult against him. Done from police reports, press articles and "confessions" from former adepts, the Dead Agent Pack about Minton had been sent to Liberation and other organs, soon after his 10th april travel through Paris.

[image of the letter sent to libération]

Despite this, Jean Dupuis, one of the cult's spokepersons, does not forget to smile. About Minton, he says "he has nothing to fear", even if the millionaire is the cult's devil Beast. Th 16th may seizure? idem... "It's a nothingness, a storm in a glass of water. Scientology does not have anything to be afraid of." Neither about its president police arrest - he was relaxed later - neither about the seizure of its computers, with the accounts; and, as the cult says, they have been given back. Better: "This affair shall prove that we are transparent". But the judge is Renaud Van Ruymbeke, he's rather a tenacious one. And, as scientologists are rather well informed, they know it's perhaps not so good a new...

Cause of the raid? Two Paris area's ex-adepts who complained for privacy violation through "keeping data base" about them in computers, "lying advertizing", and "fraud". Tired to get advertisements and other pieces, both had asked to be erased from the computers; but they finally complained before courts. According to Jean Dupuis, their names have really been erased, but a last prospectus has nevertheless been sent to them. It's the problem of large files: the one of scientology would contain some 20000 names and "correspondants" - every people having ever written to the cult.

(1) Regarding the yesterday's artcle, scientology wants to add: "... about the seized DA packs that could have been seized, it's a totally erroneous information. In any case, the expression 'dead agent' comes from a chinese book. When it is proven that the "agent" has lied, he is dead as an agent, that's where the expression comes. Files are regularly sent to the press to correct the lying allegations about scientology.

99% match; BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom ; 01-Jun-2000
12:00:00 am ; 115 words

The Paris headquarters of the Church of Scientology sect has been
searched and several documents seized on the orders of a French judge,
French La Chaine Info TV reported on Thursday.

The documents included files on former members, and the raid was
sparked by a complaint from a former Church of Scientology member who
objected to receiving publications from the group, the TV said.

The search occurred on 16th May but was revealed only on Thursday, by
the `Liberation' newspaper, it added.

Relations between the Church of Scientology and the French authorities
have been strained for some time, notably since the trial last year of
a former regional official of the group in Marseille, during which
prosecution evidence disappeared from the court.

Source: La Chaine Info, Paris, in French 1 Jun 00

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Copyright 2000 Agence France Presse

Agence France Presse

June 1, 2000, Thursday

International news

French police raid Scientology's Paris offices: report

By Jerome Cartillier

PARIS, June 1--Police raided the Paris offices of the Church of Scientology, a
French newspaper revealed Thursday, the latest in a series of clashes between
the French authorities and the controversial movement.

Scientology spokesmen were playing down the affair Thursday, describing it as a
minor matter that had sprung from a simple administrative error.

Officers from the fraud and computer crime squad SEFTI carried out the raid on
May 16, seizing computer materials from the movement's offices at rue Jules
Cesar, in Paris' 12th arrondissment, said the French daily Liberation.

Police held Marc Walter, president of the Church of Scientology in Ile-de-France
-- the Paris region -- for questioning for 24 hours.

Investigating magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke ordered the raid. He took up his
duties at the Paris courts in April, investigating financial matters.

The raid sprang from a complaint lodged by a former Scientologist who was still
receiving mail shots from the organisation despite having asked to be taken off
their mailing list. The complaint was for "invasion of privacy" over computers
files kept by the organisation.

Scientology spokesman Jean Dupuis played down the significance of the incident.

"This is a completely banal matter of common law ... a classic procedure used
every time a complaint is made to an investigating magistrate," he said.

Police had returned the material they seized -- two computers, two servers and
three disquettes -- three days after the raid, he added.

"The matter is settled and it stops there. The police noted that the people who
had complained had indeed been struck off the lists. That's the reason they gave
us back all our equipment."

The files, which contained the names and addresses of about 20,000 people who
had been in touch with Scientology, were updated on a daily basis, said Dupuis.

In the case of the person who had lodged the complaint, the details had been
deleted from the computer files -- but not from an earlier, printed

"It's an administrative error that could happen to anyone, to any business. In
any case, I don't see what interest we would have to send mail to people who
don't want to receive it," said Daniele Gounord, another spokeswoman for the

This is only the latest of a series of run-ins Scientology has had with the
French authorities over the years.

In November last year, a court in Marseille convicted a group of five
Scientologists and former Scientologists on charges of fraud or attempted fraud.

In 1996, a Lyon court handed out suspended sentences to six members on a variety
of fraud-related charges.

One of them also received a suspended sentence for involuntary homicide over the
1988 death of Scientologist Patrice Vic, who committed suicide after being
pressured to take out a loan for more courses.

Back in 1978, a Paris court sentenced the founder of Scientology, Lafayette Ron
Hubbard, to four years and a 35,000-franc fine for fraud.

Hubbard did not turn up for the trial and never served his sentence. Nor did he
ever appeal the conviction. He died in the United States in 1986.

Scientology has been listed as a cult in a number of government reports.

In February, Scientologists in France and abroad protested after a French
government report raised the possibility of banning the movement.

France, along with Germany, has been repeatedly criticised in the United States
for labelling the Church of Scientology a cult.
La délation en souriant, pratique scientologue
La secte a diffusé le «dossier» d'un de ses adversaires.



Chez les scientologues, une règle d'or veut que le sourire soit là en
toute circonstance. Même quand l'heure est plutôt aux préoccupations.
Ainsi, hier, après les révélations dans Libération de la perquisition,
le 16 mai, du siège de l'Association spirituelle de l'Eglise de
scientologie par le Sefti (Service d'enquête sur les fraudes aux
technologies de l'information), c'était au tour d'un des plus farouches
opposants de la Scientologie, le millionnaire américain Robert Minton,
d'annoncer le dépôt d'une plainte à Paris, dans les prochains jours, par
l'entremise de son avocat, Jean-Michel Pesenti. Objet de sa plainte pour
diffamation: le dossier «agent mort» (1) que la secte lui avait
consacré. Fait de rapports de police, d'articles de presse, et de
«confessions» d'anciens adeptes, le dossier «agent mort» de Minton avait
été envoyé à Libération, et à d'autres organes, peu après son passage à
Paris, le 10 avril (voir ci-contre).

Malgré cela, Jean Dupuis, l'un des porte-parole de la secte, ne déroge
pas à la règle du sourire. A propos de Minton, il dit «ne rien
craindre», même si le millionnaire est la bête noire de la secte. Quant
à la perquisition du 16 mai, même ton. «C'est une tempête dans une tasse
de thé. La Scientologie n'a rien à craindre.» Ni de la garde à vue de
son président, relâché depuis, ni de ses ordinateurs saisis - contenant
notamment sa trésorerie - et, selon la secte, restitués. Mieux: «Cette
affaire prouvera que nous sommes transparents.» Seulement, le juge en
charge du dossier, Renaud Van Ruymbeke, est du genre tenace. Et en gens
plutôt bien informés, les scientologues savent que ce n'est pas
forcément une bonne nouvelle.

A l'origine de la perquisition: les plaintes de deux anciens adeptes
franciliens pour «atteinte à la vie privée» par conservation de données
informatiques, «publicité mensongère» et «escroquerie». Lassés de
recevoir brochures et relances, les deux avaient demandé à être radiés
des fichiers de la secte, avant de finalement saisir la justice. Selon
Jean Dupuis, leurs noms auraient bien été rayés, le Sefti l'aurait
constaté, mais un ultime prospectus leur serait tout de même parvenu.
C'est le problème avec les gros fichiers: celui de la branche française
de la Scientologie contiendrait environ 20 000 noms d'adeptes et de
«correspondants» (toute personne qui a, un jour, écrit à la secte).

(1) A propos de notre article d'hier, la Scientologie précise: «[...]
quant aux prétendus "dossiers agents morts" qui auraient été saisis, il
s'agit d'une information totalement erronée. En tout état de cause, le
terme d'"agent mort" a été emprunté à un ouvrage chinois. Quand il est
prouvé que l'"agent" (source d'information) a menti, il est "mort" en
tant que source, d'où le terme d'"agent mort". Des dossiers sont
régulièrement envoyés à la presse afin de corriger les allégations
mensongères à l'encontre de la Scientologie».

99% match; BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom ; 01-Jun-2000
12:00:00 am ; 115 words

La chaîne française Info TV a indiqué jeudi que le siège de la secte "église de scientologie" a été fouillé et plusieurs documents saisis sur ordre d'un juge français.

Les doculments saisis comportaient des dossiers d'aneciens membres, et le raid a été lanxcé suite à la plainte d'une anciej membre de l'église se plaignant ded continuer à recevoir des publications du groupement, disait l'émission.

La saisie a eu lieu le 16 mai mais n'a été révélée que jeudi par le Journal Libération.

Les relations entre l'église de scientologie et les autorités françaises sont quelque peuentachées depuis un certain temps, en particulier depuis le procès ayant condamné un ancien dirigeant officiel régional à Marseille, procès durant lequel des éléments du procès avaient disparu du tribunal Marseille.

Source: La Chaine Info, Paris, in French 1 Jun 2000

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