LE SECTICIDE
L'ANTI - SCIENTOLOGIE antisectes.net

Témoignages devant le Comité du Congrès US en faveur de la "tolérance religieuse".

D'emblée, faisons observer que seuls des témoins "à charge" sont retenus par ce "comité" institué par une loi US destinée à sanctionner des pays qui ne respecteraient soi-disant pas la tolérance religieuse façon US. Certains, comme le Rd. N.J.L'Heureux, sont directement liés à la scientologie (sans être forcément scientologues) d'autres sont simplement scientologues, vexés d'avoir à montrer patte blanche alors qu'ils travaillent dans des entreprises de très haute sécurité et qu'il leur serait facile de tafiquer les programmes des gouvernements ou des "ennemis". D'autres, comme Jeremy T. Gunn, ont ressenti un affront lorsque M. Vivien a failli refuser de les recevoir, sachant évidemment d'avance (c'est mon opinion que j'exprime ici) "qu'ils"" étaient essentiellement là pour tenter d'établir un "dialogue" entre scientologues et la MILS.

Il suffit d'observer son insistance sur la question scientologue et son argumentaire pour ne presque plus avoir de doutes sur la fait que le scientologue possible, ou le séïde de la secte criminelle au sein de la commission, ce pouvait être LUI, et non Karen Lord... Aucun des témoins n'est neutre ou opposé aux sectes criminelles. Ce qui porte à dire immédiatement, en résumé (pour ceux qui n'auront pas le temps de lire le développé des argumentaires, - argumentaires démontrant que la scientologie guide en partie, par chantage, argent, ou autres pressions, une partie du gouvernement US. Nous n'en doutions guère, nous en douterons moins encore.

Le lecteur a le droit de penser que j'exagère. Mais que penser d'une secte qui du jour au lendemain, en dépit d'opinions complètement contraires de ce même gouvernement US en Cour Suprème des Etats-Unis, a brusquement conquis son but final: l'agent économisé - le milliard de dollars -de son propre aveu- extorqué en impôts dûs au gouvernement US, et donc, au contribuable? On ne le répétera jamais assez : pour la scientologie, la fin justifie les moyens.

Dernier recours du loup affamé, de Méphisto derrière le dos du Dr Faust qui lui a vendu son âme.

Mais il n'est jamais trop tard pour les vrais "croyants": la vérité a toujours triomphé bien que des périodes noires aient endeuillé l'humanité depuis l'aube des temps. Mais la vérité ne se trouve pas là où on l'attend - dans les sectes; elle est dans la Vie. je crois qu'il est impossible à la scientologie d'aller au delà de ce qu'elle a atteint, ce qui peut se résumer à des bouts de papier et à des actions de quelques membres du gouvernement américain, à qui une simple tache de sperme sur la robe de leur maîtresse fut capable de créer une hystérie nationale, tandis que chez nous, la fille "naturelle" d'un président n'est qu'une tempète dans un verre d'eau, ne soulevant aucun problème politique véritable.


En conclusion, le peuple du nouveau monde -ou son gouvernement- a beaucoup à apprendre de la tolérance du peuple de l'Ancien Monde.

Recevoir les scientologues ne sert à rien: ils ne viennent pas discuter, mais mentir et se plaindre de leur sort dès qu'on tente de leur demander de se conformer au droit, à la loi, et aux droits de l'homme. Qu'on me permette d'assister aux entretiens avec eux, et le vent risque de tourner, car je connais assez leurs méthodes et leurs mensonges préférés: ils ne s'en tireraient pas sans mal.

En attendant que ces "témoignages " soient traduits, ils sont ici offerts aux lecteurs intéressés en anglais.

Note: certains ne sont pas encore disponibles et seront ajoutés sous peu.

On peut déjà se rendre compte de la composition des anciennes "auditions" du même organe US à la solde des sectes, quand on sait qu'avaient été reçus en 1998 des gens comme Massimo Introvigne, l'apologiste ultra-droite, l'inconnu belge Willy Fautre à la solde des sectes, et le "pasteur" Demeo d'une soi-disant église baptiste, mais non reconnue par les baptistes officiels.


Témoignage de Robert A. Seiple, ambassadeur itinérant US

Témoignage de Jeremy T. Gunn, intervenant de la part du gouvernement US auprès des pays européens.

Témoignage de Craig Jensen, tout simplement membre de la scientologie et patron d'une boite ayant infiltré Microsoft.

Témoignage de C. Bell, actrice scientologue

Témoignage de Benjamin A. Gilman, intervenant pour le compte du Gouvernement US

Témoignage de Philip Brumley, témoin de jéhovah, ou avocat pour le compte des Témoins de Jéhovah

Témoignage du Révérend N.J. L'Heureux, très lié à la scientologie et membre dirigeant du "comité d'experts internationaux" ayant été chargé par celle-ci de "juger" les "violations des droits de l'homme" de MMs N. About, sénateur, Tibéri, député maire; Alain Vivien, président de la MILS, ainsi que de divers autres personnages clé du domaine anti-sectaire dans plusieurs villes de France et à l'étranger (Suisse et Belgique).

Témoignage du Pasteur A. Hunt, église méthodiste de Vienne (Autriche)


s'ajoute à ceci:

l'interview entre deux des membres du comité, le SENATEUR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS) & NINA HOPE SHEA, MEMBRE, U.S. COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


PREPARED TESTIMONY OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT A. SEIPLE AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE
FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SUBJECT - THE TREATMENT OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN WESTERN EUROPE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2000

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am honored to appear before
you today to testify on the treatment of religious minorities in Western
Europe. Let me begin by thanking the Chairman and the Committee for their
strong and continuing contributions toward our goal of promoting religious
freedom.

Each of us here today shares a commitment to protecting the dignity of all
human beings. We hold in common the belief that at the heart of human
dignity lies the right to pursue the truth about the mystery of faith, the
truth about our place in the universe, about how we ought to order our
lives. Together we seek to speed the day when every human being is free to
pursue that truth as he or she sees fit - not only unhindered by others,
but protected by the state itself.

Freedom of religion and conscience is also foundational for democracy, as
recognized in the international covenants. The government which fails to
honor religious freedom and freedom of conscience is a government which
does not recognize the priority of the individual over the state, and that
the state exists to serve society, not vice versa. By the same token, the
government which nurtures religious freedom may be more likely to honor
other fundamental human rights. So, Mr. Chairman, the promotion of
religious freedom and freedom of conscience makes sense from the
standpoint of freedom in general, but also from the standpoint of all
human rights, and from the standpoint of promoting healthy, vibrant
democracies.

Against that background, Mr. Chairman, let me turn to our subject this
morning the treatment of religious minorities in Western Europe. Overall,
it must be said that religious minorities are treated better there than in
most other regions of the world. Indeed, in relative terms, the citizens
of Western Europe enjoy a measure of freedom that is the envy of aspiring
democracies around the globe. Persecution on the basis of religion - in
the form of brutal activities by governments, such as prolonged detentions
without charge, torture and slavery -- simply does not exist there as it
so tragically does elsewhere in the world.

But it also must be said that discrimination on the basis of religion does
exist in the four countries on which we are focusing this morning -
Germany, France, Austria and Belgium. Let me give you a brief overview of
the problems that we see in each. Before I do, however, I want to
emphasize that the standard applied to these countries by the United
States is a standard that they have accepted. All of them embrace the
international instruments that protect freedom of religion and conscience,
including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European
Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights. In applying these standards, we see ourselves as
citizens of the world community, putting our national shoulder to the
international wheel.

But our willingness to speak of discrimination elsewhere should not be
taken to imply that we are free of it ourselves. When it comes to
religious minorities, the United States falls far short of a perfect
record. One need only recall discrimination against the Catholic minority,
or the Mormons, in the 19th century. However, we believe that one sign of
a mature democracy is the willingness to accept criticism, so long as it
is based on international standards of human rights.

Germany

Let me begin with Germany, where our primary disagreement involves the
treatment of the country's roughly 8,000 Scientologists. The nub of the
problem is that many in the German government believe that Scientology is
more a money-making scheme than a religion. This view is shared by
officials in certain Laender (states), where responsibility for religious
questions are usually handled.

At the same time, German officials say they are concerned that Scientology
has "anti-democratic tendencies." The Offices for the Protection of the
Constitution at both the state and federal level have been monitoring
Scientology since 1997 for evidence of activities that would constitute a
"threat" against the state. Although initial reports concluded that it did
not, the monitoring continues to this day.

In 1998 a commission on "so-called sects and psycho-groups" presented a
report to the Parliament that criticized Scientology for "misinformation
and intimidation" of its critics, accusing it of being a political
extremist group with "totalitarian tendencies." Following this the states
of Bavaria, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein published brochures warning the
public of the purported dangers Scientology poses.

For their part, many of the country's Scientologists have reported both
governmental and societal discrimination in their daily lives. Some
employers, for example, use the so-called "sect filter" -- screening
applicants for Scientology membership. The Federal government also screens
companies bidding on some consulting and training contracts for
Scientologists, as do some state governments. That these and other forms
of discrimination are occurring was documented in a 1998 UN report,
although it rejected the outrageous claim that Scientologists' treatment
was similar to that suffered by the Jews during the Nazi era.

Scientologists continue to take their grievances to the German court
system. Some who have charged their employers with "unfair dismissal," for
example, have won out of court settlements.

Mr. Chairman, we have discussed these issues at some length with German
officials, both in Germany and the United States. We have stressed in
particular the risks associated with governments deciding what does and
does not constitute a religion. We have made clear our concern with "sect
filters." To prevent an individual from practicing a profession solely on
account of his or her religious beliefs is an abuse of religious freedom,
as well as a discriminatory business practice. We have expressed our
concern that the continued official "observation" of Scientology by the
German government without any legal action being initiated as a result -
creates an environment that encourages discrimination. We have urged our
German colleagues to begin a dialogue with the Scientologists, and we have
raised our concerns multilaterally at meetings of the Organization of
Security and Cooperation in Europe.

France

Let me now turn to France. There have been recent reports by the National
Assembly which cast Scientology in a negative light, expressing concern
that they may use excessive or dishonest means to obtain donations.
However, the government has taken no action against them. Indeed, Interior
Minister Chevenement and others, including Foreign Minister Vedrine, have
assumed a very positive and public position in support of freedom of
conscience and religion, a fact which has helped diffuse tensions
considerably.

But it is also true that France has been at the vanguard of the troubling
practice of creating so-called "sect lists." These lists are created by
government agencies - in France the list was part of a parliamentary
report - and typically contain the names of scores of religious groups
which may not be recognized by the government. Some of the groups are
clearly dangerous - such as the Solar Temple, which led to suicides in
France and Switzerland. But others are merely unfamiliar or unpopular. By
grouping them together under the negative word "sect," governments
encourage societal discrimination.

Some groups that appear on France's list continue to report acts of
discrimination. One of them is the Institut Theologique de Nimes, a
private Bible college founded in 1989 by Louis Demeo, who is head pastor
at an associated church there. Others have been subjected to long audits
of their finances. For example, tax claims against the Church of
Scientology forced several churches into bankruptcy in the mid 1990s. The
Jehovah's Witnesses have also been heavily audited. According to the
International Helsinki Federation, this audit, which began in January 1996
and continues to this day has been done in a manner which "suggests
harassment."

In France, too, the U.S. has been engaged actively in promoting a dialogue
with French authorities. U.S. embassy representatives have met several
times with the Interministerial Mission to Battle Against Sects. President
Clinton, Secretary of State Albright, Assistant Secretary of State Harold
Koh and I have each raised these issues of religious discrimination with
French officials during the past year, and we will continue to do so. Our
goal is to develop a common understanding with the French government on
what actions are - and are not - in accord with international agreements
on religious freedom.

Austria

Mr. Chairman, the pattern in Austria is not unlike that in France. The
government has long waged an information campaign against religious groups
that it considers harmful to the interests of individuals and society. A
brochure issued last September by the Ministry for Social Security and
Generations described several non-recognized religious groups, including
the Jehovah's Witnesses, in decidedly negative terms that many found
offensive. With the recent appointment of a new Minister from Jorg
Haider's Freedom Party, there are fears that the government may intensify
its campaign against religions that lack official recognition. We have
raised these issues with the Austrian government and will continue to
press our view that such practices contravene Austria's commitments to
religious freedom.

Belgium

Let me conclude with Belgium. In 1998 the Belgian Parliament adopted
several recommendations from a Commission report on government policy
toward "sects," including the creation of a "Center for Information and
Advice on Harmful Sectarian Organizations." The Commission had also
appended a list of "sects" in Belgium divided into those considered
harmful, and all others - and recommended a special police unit to deal
with the harmful groups. The government has not yet taken any action on
this proposal.

Our concern here, Mr. Chairman, is not with the government's attempts to
deal with illegal activities on the part of any religious group, whether
recognized or unrecognized, new or old. Our fear is that Belgium, like
France and Austria, is painting with too broad a brash. In its very use of
the pejorative term "sect" to characterize unrecognized religious groups,
it casts aspersions on those groups, creating (even if inadvertently) the
suspicion that there is something wrong with them. But every religion
began as something new and unpopular. We have discussed these issues with
Belgian officials, and we will continue to urge all our European friends
to recognize that the religious quest must be nurtured, not discouraged,
for true religious freedom to exist.

Before concluding, I want to note that Muslims continue to experience some
discrimination in Western Europe, even though Islam is the second largest
religion in France and Belgium and the third in Austria and Germany. In
some cases, this discrimination has more to do with race, culture and
immigrant status than religious beliefs. Indeed, Muslims are free to
worship and form cultural organizations in each of these countries. Islam
is recognized as an established, organized religion, thus enabling it to
claim certain tax exemptions and receive subsidies from the state.

The most persistent and controversial religious issue facing Muslims in
Western Europe is the question of headscarves and whether girls should be
permitted to wear them in public schools. The question has caused
considerable debate, some of it quite charged with overtones of
intolerance. But civil society is well-established in these countries and
many organizations have defended the rights of Muslims. If some
jurisdictions remain opposed to students wearing religious clothing,
others are becoming more accepting of the practice. Our view is that the
international covenants are quite clear - freedom of religion includes the
right to manifest religious belief. Surely democracies can find the
flexibility to tolerate such an expression of piety as the religious
headscarf.

Let me conclude where I began, Mr. Chairman. We share a great deal with
our Allies and friends in Europe - including common religious traditions.
Together we have done much to make the world a safer, more humane place, a
place where human rights like democracy - might take root and flourish. We
offer these thoughts about religious freedom to our friends out of a sense
of shared responsibility for what we have done, and what we might do,
together. We will continue to discuss these matters with them. Our plea is
that they consider our argument that freedom of religion -- while
sometimes tragically exploited by those who would manipulate faith for
their own ends -- is inherently good because it supports the dignity of
the human person, as well as democracy itself.

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership and that of this
Committee on the matter of promoting religious freedom abroad. I would be
happy to take your questions.





TEMOIGNAGE PREPARE DU DR. T. JEREMY GUNN DEVANT LE COMITE DES RELATIONS INTERNATIONALES DU CONGRES

SUJET - " DISCRIMINATION SUR LA BASE DES RELIGIONS ET DES CROYANCES EN EUROPE DE L'OUEST"

MERCREDI 14 JUIN 2000


En 1939, Felix Chevrier arrivait à la petite ville de Chabannes dans la Creuse, pour rénover un château abandonné pour y héberger et éduquer des enfants réfugiés juifs d'Europe de l'Est.
1 L'orsque le bruit de l'arrivée de Chevrier se répandit, la France possédait une réputation considérable et méritée de fournir un toit aux éxilés étrangers. Mais dans l'année qui suivit l'ouverture de l'école à Chabannes, la France elle-même tomba victime des occupants étrangers. Fin 40, la zone nord de la France était sous contrôle nazi. La zone sud était sous juridiction du gouvernement de Vichy, localisée à moins de 100km de l'école de Mr Chevrier. [ nous voici d'emblée dans l'atmosphère nazie, comme pour les allemands trois ans auparavant: ce sont déjà les gros sabots de M. Gunn qui sonnent sur les pavés d'une France qui se défend contre l'envahisseur, comme... les indiens d'Amérique se défendirent des "blancs" qui, au 17e siècle supprimeraient presque entièrement leur "race".]

Alors que M. Chevrier et les bonnes gens de Chavannes risquaient leur vie pour sauver les enfants réfugiés, le gouvernement de Vichy envoyait la police dans les villages de France pour y arrêter les juifs. En octobre 40, le gouvernement de Vichy publiait une loi définissant les juifs et leur interdisant de tenir certains emplois, y compris des postes du gouvernement, de la justice, de l'armée, de la presse et de l'enseignement. La loi s'est étendue pour empêcher les juifs de s'engager dans la plupart des formes de commerce.
2 Ces décrets furent publiés contre les juifs non parce qu'ils avaient été découverts coupables de crimes. Ils étaient condamnés en tant que groupe simplement parce qu'ils appartenaient à ce groupe. C'est une logique particulière de préjugés. Elle ne demande pas qu'on soit coupable individuellement, elle exige seulement qu'une personne soit membre de la classe condamnée. [les scientologues se sont déjà fait remettre à leur place par les juifs et par l'ONU lors de leurs accusations de nazisme envers le gouvernement allemand, mais Gunn remet cet argument effarant sur le tapis, sur le dos de la France cette fois.]

Le gouvernement de Vichy fut finalement responsable de l'arrestation, du transport et de la livraison aux nazis de dizaines de milliers de juifs européens, aussi bien français qu'originaires d'Europe de l'Est. Par contraste, tous les enfants sauf quatre, parmi les 400 enfants juifs de l'école de Mr Chevrier, survécurent à la guerre.

L'un des collègues de M. Chevrier, le Dr. Meiseles, avait traité des enfants dans les camps de concentration français avant d'arriver à Chabannes. Il écrivait en 1942: "Examiner les enfants de Chabannes après avoir éxaminé les enfants en camps de concentration, c'est se rendre compte de la triste période où l'on observe les deux visages de la France. Le véritable visage ici est à Chabannes, où M. Chevrier travaille avec un tel succés à soigner les crimes des autres."

Malheureusement, la France, comme tous les pays dans le monde -- y-compris les Etats-Unis -- a deux visages: le visage du courage et de la tolérance et le visage du préjugé et de la discrimination. Le visage de la France représenté par Mr Chevrier ne voyait pas les juifs comme un groupe condamnable mais comme des individus. L'autre France entreprenait des mesures "légales" contre des gens sans avoir besoin d'une preuve quelconque de leur antipatriotisme, de leurs actes d'escroquerie ou du tort qu'ils faisaient à leurs enfants. Peut-on encore voir les deux visages de la France?

Survol de la situation en Europe Occidentale.


Plusieurs obstacles se dressent, dans de nombreux pays d'Europe, face à la liberté reconnue de religion et de croyance. Bien que j'aimerais en discuter dans la mesure où le temps le permet, il est tout d'abord important de reconnaître que comme dans d'autres endroits du monde, les gouvernements et les peuples de l'Europe de l'Ouest croient généralement au rôle de la loi et aux droits de l'homme. On peut porter à leur crédit le fait que, virtuellement, tous les états d'Europe ont ratifié la Convention Européenne des Droits de l'Homme, et que les gens de ces pays ont choisi d'amener des plaintes devant la Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme.
5 La Cour Européenne Des Droits de l'Homme est apparue depuis 1993 comme un champion de la liberté de croyance et de religion. Je crois qu'il est très probable qu'en définitive, les problèmes de discrimination sur la base de la religion et de la croyance auxquels font face les états d'Europe de l'Ouest actuellement, finiront par être correctement règlés par la Cour Européenne. (J'ajouterai que les plus fiables des défenseurs des droits des minorités religieuses dans les pays européens ont généralement été les tribunaux.) Je crois aussi fermement que le bon visage de l'Europe finira par prévaloir -- avec ou sans aiguillonage de la part des Etats-Unis. [devons-nous vraiment remercier des gouvernements qui agissent en ennemis de notre économie et de nos droits à la différence, pour cet 'aiguillonage' dont le terme en dit long sur la façon dont Gunn envisage de convaincre la France?]

Bien que désormais, je vais m'occuper essentiellement des problèmes des nouveaux mouvements religieux (nommés péjorativement par leurs opposants par les mots de "sectes"), ce comité ne devrait pas avoir l'impression que c'est le seul, ou même qu'il s'agit du plus important des obstacles à la liberté de religion et de croyance.
6 Sans essayer pour autant de classer par ordre les difficultés, les trois autres problèmes concernés et liés, de liberté de religion et de croyance en Europe de l'Ouest sont: d'abord l'incorporation des musulmans dans la société, deuxièmement les lois qui établissent des discriminations parmi les religions, et troisièmement, les attitudes sociétales d'intolérance (y-compris l'antisémitisme). [on verra toutefois que cet appel aux juifs n'est que lettre morte au lecteur: seule la scientologie et, en alibi, les témoins de Jéhovah, vont désormais intéresser Gunn. Qu'il fasse des paragraphes sur la foulard islamique n'a visiblement aucune importance pour lui; il ne connaît manifestement rien au problème et ne fait que le survoler pour faire passer la suite.]

1. les Musulmans.

Dans de nombreux pays d'Europe de l'Ouest, les musulmans constituent maintenant la seconde ou la troisième des religions. Dans le monde entier, ils sont près d'un milliard. Comme pour les Etats-Unis, les Musulmans n'ont pas été complètement intègrés et souffrent d'un préjugé populaire et de stéréotypes. La commission européenne contre le racisme et l'intolérance (ECRI), opérant sous l'égide du Conseil de l'Europe a récemment rapporté que les préjugés contre les communautés musulmanes (c'est à dire l'islamophobie), démontraient une tendance troublante à la violence, au harcèlement, à la discrimination et à des attitudes généralement négatives ou des stéréotypes.7 Les attitudes sociétales affectent les Musulmans, particulièrement en ce qui concerne la discrimination à l'emploi, l'absence de possibilité de pratiquer leur religion au travail et à l'école, la discrimination contre les jeunes musulmanes quant à porter leur foulard à l'école et l'incapacité d'obtenir une reconnaissance légale de leur communauté de culte (voir ci-dessous). Un échec à traiter correctement et créativement ce problème finira je pense par amener de grandes difficultés domestiques et internationales. [Gunn se gardera bien de dire que les quelques peuplades extrémistes "musulmanes" sont très ennemies de son propre pays, le "Satan US", bien davantage que de la France, qui entretient globalement de bosn rapports avec la très grande majorité des pays musulmans depuis des décennies. Doit-on pour autant émettre des opinions internationales OFFICIELLES déclarant que les Etats-Unis pratiquent une énorme discrimination religieuse? Je ne le pense pas. Ces opinions doivent rester le fait de particuliers comme moi, qui peuvent se permettre d'annoncer clairement ce qu'ils pensent de certains aspects du gouvernement US sans que cela crée d'incidents diplomatiques!]

2. Les lois discriminatoires


Reflétant par-là une expérience historique très différente de celle des Etats-Unis, nombre des pays d'Europe ont des lois qui fournissent des bénéfices significatifs à certaines religions, alors qu'ils sont refusés à d'autres. Ceci inclut des profits tels que des statuts d'exemption d'impôts, le paiement de salaires du Clergé, ou des enseignements religieux, le paiement des salaires aux religieux des écoles publiques et l'accés de leur clergé à des institutions telles que militaires, hospitaliaires et pénitentiaires. Actuellement, bien qu'il y ait des raisons fermement ancrées historiques pour cette discrimination légale, je partage l'idée de mes collègues européens qui défendent ces lois, en raison de leurs racines historiques. Mais de la même façon que le passé ne peut être utilisé pour défendre la discrimination actuelle sur la base de la race ou du sexe, aussi ne devrait-il pas être utilisé pour établir de discrimination sur la base de la religion et de la croyance. Les traîtés internationaux sont assez explicites en interdisant la discrimination sur la base de la religion.
[Aux Etas-Unis, il est vrai, on peut aller jusqu'à fournir une exemption d'impôt injustifiée et anticonstitutionnelle à un système commercial criminel plusieurs fois condamné jusqu'en Cour Suprème des Etats-Unis, et considéré là-bas comme une entreprise commerciale douteuse durant 35 ans, dont les plus hauts dirigeants ont fait l'objet de condamnations criminelles pour conspiration contre l'état.

Par ailleurs, il n'est pas non plus forcément simple aux associations américaines se prétendant religieuses d'obtenir le statut d'exemption excessivement avantageux - bien plus qu'en Europe, preuve en est la Scientologie, qui mena 35 ans de guerre à outrance anti-IRS avant de l'obtenir injustement par des moyens on ne peut plus condamnables, dans un deal secret très contesté et désavantageant fortement toutes les autres religions américaines.]

Les gouvernements européens exigent fréquemment des religions qu'elles aient une organisation très étendue dans le pays pour pouvoir être reconnues par l'état. Bien que ceci ne présente pas de problème pour des églises organisées hiérarchiquement telle que le Catholicisme romain, cela représente un problème pour des corps religieux qui opèrent traditionnellement, indépendamment les uns des autres, telles que les églises Chrétiennes Congrégationelles ou les Mosquées Islamiques.

3. Les attitudes sociétales


Il y a cinq ans, alors que j'étais jeune, naïf et avocat en activité, je croyais que la clé pour résoudre les problèmes de discrimination religieuse en Europe, consistait à amender les lois discriminatoires. Bien que je ne sois peut-être pas plus sage désormais, j'en suis néanmoins venu à croire que le coeur du problème se situe dans les attitudes sociétales discriminatoires. Bien que les lois et attitudes discriminatoires, sans aucun doute, se renforcent réciproquement, ce sont ces attitudes qui en portent la responsabilité principale. L'ECRI, après avoir découvert la discrimination envers les Musulmans dans son plus récent rapport note également une intensification de l'étendue des idées antisémites... La dissémination de matériaux antisémites augmente.8

Discrimination contre les nouveaux mouvements religieux


Le mouvement anti-sectes est l'un des domaines ayant de plus en plus attiré l'attention en Europe au cours des quelques dernières années . Le mouvement anti-sectes avait observé avec inquiétude la prolifération de petits groupes de croyance religieux qu'il décrivait sous le terme de "sectes". Il y a nombre de ces groupes privés, dont certains reçoivent des subsides gouvernementaux, qui sont de plus en plus actifs pour mobiliser l'opposition aux "sectes". 9

La naissance du mouvement anti-sectes peut être attribuée à l'horrible massacre de suicide en masse de Jonestown au Guyana, ou périrent plus de 900 personnes.
[mémoire déformante de M. Gunn: il y eut aussi de nombreux meurtres dans cette tragédie, dont celui du député américain Leo Ryan envoyé en Mission par le congrès et de trois autres personnes l'accompagnant, dont un journaliste, sans compter des centaines d'enfants qui n'ont certes pas choisi le suicide en toute connaissance de cause. Ces "oublis" sont particulièrement révélateurs de la part de quelqu'un dont les amis scientologues ont de surcroît osé voler le nom de Leo Ryan, député US, pour piéger de nouveaux "adeptes", et ce, au moment où il témoigne justement devant une commission du Congrès US.] D'autres évènements sensationnels ont démontré la gravité du problème tel que les mouvements anti-sectes le voient: l'empoisonnement au gaz sarin à Tokyo, les suicides du temple Solaire au Quebec, e France et en Suisse, ceux du Heaven's Gate à Los Angeles en 1997, et le récent suicide-meurtre en série d'Ouganda [rien ne prouve qu'il y ait eu aucun suicide dans cette dernière tragédie]. De plus, le mouvement anti-sectes désigne des cas moins dramatiques où il est question de sectes impliquées dans des escroqueries, lavage de cerveau, abus envers des enfants, promiscuité sexuelle et méthodes de recrutement trompeuses.

Avant de critiquer certaines des tactiques et méthodes communes au mouvement anti-sectes, je désirerais en premier lieu accuser réception au fait qu'il y a des gens bien intentionnés dans ces mouvements et que nombre des problèmes identifiés sont réels. Il y a des individus et groupes qui font mauvais usage du mot "religion" pour cacher des activités frauduleuses. Il en existe aussi qui se servent du voile de la "religion" pour manipuler d'autres êtres humains de façon nocive. Bien des anciens membres des nouveaux mouvements religieux ont d'amers ressentiments d'avoir été trompés psychologiquement et financièrement par ces mouvements. Ces problèmes existent, il ne faut pas les ignorer. Il existe beaucoup de bénévoles du mouvement anti-sectes qui consacrent temps et ressources à des gens ayant vraiment besoin de leur aide.
[Nous ne serons pas surpris de constater que la scientologie et d'autres sectes coercitives ne soient pas citées par Gunn; ces louanges relatives aux bénévoles de l'anti-sectarisme annoncent le pire, comme nous l'allons voir plus loin à propos de M. Vivien.]

Hélas, l'une des caractéristiques saillantes du mouvement anti-sectes, en particulier son côté public - en est venue à promouvoir la discrimination et l'intolérance envers un vaste ensemble de mouvements. Ce qui était à l'origine intentions pures et nobles buts est de plus en plus entaché d'attaques ad-hominem et d'une analyse vaseuse des faits. [nous verrons que M. Gunn y va aussi des attaques ad-hominem]. Ces raisonnements erronés conduisent inévitablement et tristement à une discrimination publique étendue de la part du gouvernement sur la base de la religion et des croyances. [Raisonnement erroné de M. Gunn: c'est ainsi que le gouvernement français, en dépit de la montée d'une discrimination raciale assez évidente de la part de membres de groupes politiques extrémistes importants -15 % des électeurs -, a au contraire pris des mesures législatives pour endiguer le flot et les effets nuisibles du racisme, et que plusieurs ténors politiques ont été condamnés à la suite de ces lois.]

Le problème de discrimination le plus grave d'Europe de Ouest se situe en France. 10 En 1998, le gouvernement a créé une agence nommée -sans subtilité- la Mission Interministérielle de Lutte contre les Sectes, ou "MILS", désormais sous l'égide de l'ex-ministre Alain Vivien. L'actuel Ministre de la Justice a expédié des circulaires engageant les procureurs à plus d'activité dans leur travail à l'encontre des "sectes". Au cours des années précédentes, l'Assemblée Nationale avait émis des rapports préjudiciables péjoratifs, qui sont étonnamment peu scientifiques.
[Engageons les lecteurs à lire et comparer la scientificité des rapports français avec celle des rapports des députés américains, qui sont encore bien moins scientifiques et mélangent des problèmes, des faits isolés individuels et des faits racistes avec des faits religieux, sans compter l'incompréhension parfois avouée des législations spécifiques appliquées, etc.] Des projets de lois largement publicisés réclament des mesures de plus en plus sèvères à l'encontre des "sectes". Les militants des groupes anti-sectes publient des documents aggressifs. Bien que le gouvernement français pourrait utiliser son influence considérable pour promouvoir la tolérance et calmer les passions de ces groupes, il a au contraire choisi, c'est la Commission suédoise qui le dit dans son rapport de 1998, de faire "cause commune" avec les groupes anti-sectes. 11 (J'aimerais faire observer ici qu'on a néanmoins observé des signes encourageants de changement d'attitude de la France, et je développerai cet aspect plus loin).

Je vais décrire le problème du mouvement officiel anti-sectes en France afin d'illustrer le fait que le souci légitime du bien-être humain peut s'amenuiser et faire prendre des mesures illogiques et discriminatoires. Bien que les problèmes français soient similaires à ceux rencontrés ailleurs en Europe, les méthodes et l'illogisme en sont similaires. J'identifierai deux caractéristiques liées quant aux méthodes préjudiciables ayant pénétré certains officiels et institutions françaises. La première est le langage de préjugé, la seconde, l'illogisme de la méthodologie du préjugé.

1. Le langage du préjugé. Celui-ci se sert de termes péjoratifs pour faire appel à la partialité de celui qui l'entend, comme substitut à l'analyse réfléchie. [bel exemple de "politically correct"; nous pourrions désormais appeler "longs animaux sans pattes" les serpents, car "serpent", c'est souvent péjoratif.] Le terme le plus couramment utilisé par l'activiste [activiste: terme fréquemment utilisé péjorativement...] est bien sûr le mot "secte", qui joue son rôle parmi les épithètes raciaux péjoratifs. 12 La commission d'Enquète allemande, dont la tâche démarra par une attaque des "sectes" a finalement conclu que le terme était péjoratif et ne devait plus être utilisé. 13 [M. Gunn omet de compter le nombre de fois où le terme secte est utilisé, y compris par lui-même, que ce soit ou non entre guillemets. Preuve s'il en faut que le terme est fort bien compris et d'usage général; par ailleurs, si M. Gunn suppose que ça changera le contenu et les crimes scientologues ou moonistes ou Hare-Khrishniens de les requalifier en "NRM" ou "psychogroupe" comme les allemands, je veux bien changer de suite ma façon de nommer cette... secte.] Le rapport suédois se sert du terme "nouveau mouvements religieux" et abjure le terme secte. [si M. Gunn connaissait bien le rapport français et les sectes, il constaterait l'ineptie de cette appellation pour des mouvements n'ayant aucune prétention religieuse, mais se trouvant néanmoins sur la "liste" française -ou belge-, certains la refusant même nettement; c'est là bien une preuve de plus que seules quelques fausses religions veulent obtenir le nom sésame".]

Le langage de préjugé utilise des termes péjoratifs afin d'écarter les opposants idéologiques. Une tactique dont se servent certains membres du mouvement anti-secte consiste à accuser leurs opposants idéologiques d'être membres (ou compagnons de route) du groupe décrié. J'ai personnellemnt été témoin de cette malheureuse tactique.de la part du Président de la MILS en personne à l'encontre d'un membre officiel de la délégation US en visite en France.


En avril 1999, j'étais membre d'une délégation de trois personnes expédiée en Europe sur demande de l'Office pour la Liberté Religieuse du Département d'Etat US. Nous avions convenu d'un rendez-vous avec le Président de la MILS. Mais peu avant la réunion, l'ambassade US de Paris nous signalait qu'il avait décidé de ne pas nous recevoir car l'un de nous était affilié à l'église de scientologie. Je ne suis pas scientologue et je savais que les deux autres praticipants, le Dr David Little, désormais professeur à l'école de théologie d'Harvard et membre de l'institut pour la Paix, et Mme Karen Lord, conseil pour la liberté religieuse à la commission du congrès d'Helsinki, n'étaient pas scientologues. Après divers appels via l'Ambassade, le Président décidait finalement de nous rencontrer. [ le refus ne touchait pas les trois membres, mais seulement, et par erreur, Madame Lord. Des renseignements incomplets semblent en être la cause.]

M. Gunn tombe fort mal par ailleurs, car je n'hésite par exemple pas à prendre contact, en tant "qu'activiste", avec les scientologues ou leurs amis; mais en dehors de leurs tentatives de me couper la parole en débat public, ou de me faire virer de leurs réunions publiques, les scientologues font tout ce qu'il peuvent pour éviter leurs critiques, ne prenant jamais contact avec moi si ce n'est pour me menacer de plaintes judiciaires. Ils vont même jusqu'à contraindre leurs adeptes à utiliser un logiciel internet leur coupant automatiquement l'accès à toute discussion critique!]

Alors que nous étons présentés au Président, il fit observer qu''il "connaissait déjà" qui était Madame Lord et qu'il n'était pas nécessaire de la lui présenter. Ensuite, répondant à une question de Mme Lord, le président disait qu'il ne lui répondrait pas, mais répondrait au "chef" de la délagation. Quelques jours après l'entretien, le président de la MILS expliqua qu'un des membres de la Commission US était scientologue, affirmation qu'il répéta à plusieurs reprises.14 Lorsqu'il l'a dit aux médias, on ne lui a semble-t'il pas demandé de prouver cette allégation.

En un mot, l'affirmation de M. Vivien est fausse. Je suis certain qu'il ne pourra pas la prouver. Je le défie d'en donner la preuve, sinon, qu'il s'excuse auprès de Mme Lord et des Etats-Unis. Je pense que ce serait une idée excellente pour les média français et pour le gouvernement français d'insister que M. Vivien prouve son affirmation ou la retire.
[Observons ici que le gouvernement français a été gravement insulté par certains membres du gouverement US, qui n'ont pas exemple pas hésité à comparer la France à la Roumanie sous Ceaucescu... mais ne se sont pas excusés de leur grossièreté en dépit de ma demande motivée. Deux poids, deux mesures?]

Le sujet le plus important n'est cependant pas que M. Vivien ait fait cette erreur destinée à discréditer Mme Lord, le Département d 'Etat ou les efforts des Etats-Unis en faveur de la liberté religieuse. L'important ici, c'est que sa façon de répondre aux questions à propos de la discrimination l'usage d'affirmations fausses, non-informées, provocantes afin de discréditer des personnes ou des groupes. Si le président de la MILS tient à annoncer au monde de telles affirmations incorrectes au sujet d'un membre d'une délégation officelle US, on peut très bien imaginer ce qu'il pourrait faire aux membres des petites religions et groupes de croyance en France. Les gouvernements devraient s'occuper de promouvoir la tolérance, et non d'énoncer des allégations fausses quant aux croyances des gens dans le but de les discréditer.

Cette attaque ad-hominem n'est pas une aberration; c'est hélas devenu un outil rhétorique normalisé destiné à discréditer ceux qui croient que le mouvement anti-sectes va trop loin. Par exemple:

Dans son rapport annuel, la MILS a écarté les témoignages de trois experts qui avaient été invités à témoigner devant une réunion supplémentaire de l'OSCE sur la liberté religieuse à Vienne, le 22 mars 1999, en disant que la France "était critiquée par certaines sectes qui avaient été impudemment admises à participer aux réunions par des officiels du Bureau des Institutions Démocratiques et des Droits de l'Homme, ou par des personnes affiliées à la commission du congrès US d'Helsinki."15
[lorsque des gens sans neutralité se disent experts et sont payés par les groupes qu'ils défendent ou par la Commission partiale qui s'occupe de la religion au parlement US, ou par les amis acquis à la cause sectaire on n'a aucune raison d'accepter leurs "rapports"; le meilleur exemple est M. Introvigne, dont le site Internet ne contient pas la moindre trace d'une critique de la scientologie, à l'exemple du "témoignage" de Gunn]

- Quand on demanda au président de la MILS récemment de répondre aux critiques faites par le chef de l'Ecole Pratiques de hautes Etudes qui disait que la MILS devenait "hystérique", il répondit en disant: "l'accusation d'hystérie est typique du langage de la scientologie". 16
[c'est le cas; quoique Introvigne l'utilise également... et que les autres mouvements criticables s'y soient mis de concert]

- Lors du débat d'un projet de loi anti-sectes au parlement, un sénateur français annonçait récemment "Le Departement d'Etat américain compte parmi ses membres des adeptes de la scientologie" 17

- Un membre anglais de l'assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe, qui avait parlé en faveur de la non-discrimination, fut décrit dans le rapport de la MILS comme étant "un adepte de la scientologuiie, selon les rapports". 18
[il s'agit en effet de Lord Mc Nair, qui ne cache pas son appartenance, et M. Gunn le sait - à moins que les scientologues ne le lui aient caché]

- Le président de la MILS a récemment, et sans fournir de preuves, prétendu qu'un scientologue (non nommé) avait infiltré le cabinet d'un ancien président de la République (non nommé) et qu'un autre (non nommé) scientologue avait tenté "d'infiltrer" la police judiciaire. 19
[les preuves sont archi-connues en France, depuis le livre "Une Secte au Coeur de la République", sorti il y a plus de dix ans]

Ce langage de préjugé s'observe aussi dans l'usage de termes comme "infiltration" pour décrire l'usage (réel ou imaginaire) d'un membre de "secte" dans un office gouvernemental ou dans les affaires. 20 Tandis que les membres de l'église catholique ou de l'église réformée enseignent à l'école ou travaillent pour Electricité de France, ils sont "employés". S'il s'agit de membres des groupes attaqués, ils sont alors "infiltrés". Ce n'est pas là le langage de la raison ou d'une analyse dépassionnée, c'est du préjugé pur. L'anti-américanisme se fait désormais jour comme une autre caractéristique du préjugé de langage. 21
[en effet, des jugements critiques de l'attitude du gouvernement US à l'égard de certains groupes qui paient de fortes sommes en lobbying est souvent abordée. N'aurions-nous pas droit à la parole, sous prétexte que nous serions critiques de certaines sectes? La critique est-elle seulement acceptable de leurs amis?]

2. La méthodologie illogique du préjugé


La MILS en particulier et le mouvement anti-sectaire en France de façon générale, se fient à la véracité de l'information recueillie par nombre de rapports parlementaires sur les sectes, dont le plus important date de 1996, sous le titre "Les sectes en France". Ce rapport, souvent nommé Rapport Guyard, identifie 172 groupes comme étant des "sectes". Le parlement Belge a aussi publié une Enquète Parlementaire identifiant 189 groupes comme étant des "sectes". Ces listes incluent une large gamme de groupes, dont beaucoup sont très respectés et établis, comme les Southern Baptists
[FAUX. Ce mouvement n'existe pas sur la liste. M. Gunn fait-il exprès d'inclure dans les "Baptistes" la secte criticable dite "Institut Théologique de Nîmes", dont le fondateur a des relations coupables avec la secte scientologie, via son chef américain décoré par la scientologie?], les Témoins de Jéhovah, l'Opus Dei et l'Antroposophie. Nombre de groupes identfiés sur les listes des rapports ont vu augmenter la discrimination populaire et gouvernementale à leur encontre. [Il y a de bonnes chances que les relations avec les Témoins de Jéhovah s'arrangent, car ils ont retiré tout récemme de leurs règles celles qui étaient contraires à la vie civile des adeptes et à la Charte Internationale des Droits de l'Enfant, et qui ont coûté la vie à un nombre indéterminé d'enfants par la décision coupable de leurs parents Jéhovistes. La décision date du jour de la présentation du rapport de M. Gunn: on ne lui reprochera donc pas de l'ignorer, mais il ne pouvait par contre ignorer les exigences françaises et internationales de protection des enfant, dont il est vrai, les Etats-Unis ne se souvient pas vraiment.]

Voici les critiques essentielles de la méthodologie utilisée par le mouvement anti-sectes (particulièrement démontrées dans les rapports parlementaires belges et français):

En premier lieu, les rapporteurs n'ont pas sérieusement consulté les universitaires ou scientifiques familiarisés avec les sujets des nouveaux mouvements religieux, mais se sont plutôt fiés aux activistes anti-sectaires. C'est ce qu'a critiqué l'enquète parlementaire suédoise, qui est venue en France et a questionné les participants à l'élaboration du rapport. On peut faire la même critique contre le rapport parlementaire belge. Le rapport final de la commission d'enquète allemande, qui fit inclure en fin de compte des universitaires dépassionnés, parvint en général à des conclusions largement divergentes des rapports unilatéraux des France et Belgique. La rapport allemand concluait par exemple qu'il n'existait pas de menace sociétale des "sectes" en tant que telles.
[certes, mais seule l'Allemagne en est à avoir des services gouvernementaux spécialisés pour combattre les abus de la scientologie]

En ne consultant pas les universitaires, les rapports présentent une vision passée et caricaturale sur les nouveaux mouvements religieux. Les rapporteurs semblent ne pas avoir reconnu que toutes les religions furent par le passé considérées comme des sectes honteuses et furent accusées de
[cranes?sic; probablement crimes et non cranes] [crimes ] de haine. Le rapport manque à démontrer une compréhension dépassionnée et une compréhension consciente du phénomène dont nous parlons. 22

Ensuite, les rapports et le mouvement anti-secte ne consultent typiquement pas les membres actuels et les chefs des soi-disant "sectes", mais se fient au contraire aux allégations des accusateurs et d'anciens membres déçus. Ils refusent d'admettre l'évidence considérable que la plupart (bien que pas tous) des membres de nouveaux mouvements religieux indiquent des expériences positives et bénéfiques dans ces groupes -- ce qu'ont constaté le rapport parlementaire suédois et l'enquète du parlement allemand. 23
[c'est largement ignoer le fait que nombre de ces mouvements ont un taux d'échec considérable, de l'ordre de 99 % à long terme pour la scientologie]

Répudiation qui en dit long, un tribunal français a récemment reconnu Jacques Guyard, président l'enquète parlementaire sur les Finances des Sectes en 1999, coupable de diffamation à l'encontre de l'Anthroposophie. Lors d'une émission télévisée après la publication du rapport, M. Guyard avait accusé l'Anthroposophie d'être "typique des sectes par le fait que dans son vrai but était de s'approprier l'argent et l'exercice d'un contrôle mental sur ses adeptes. Les Anthroposophes ont porté plainte. 24 Comme le dit le journal Le Monde, le tribunal avait conclu qu'il n'y avait pas eu "d'enquète sérieuse". Le tribunal estima que le rapport parlementaire et les allégations de M. Guyard se basaient sur des témoignages de "victimes" auto-déclarées de l'Anthroposophie et que la rapport ne fournissait pas l'occasion aux officiels de répondre. M. Guyard fut condamné à 20000 F d'amende et 90000 F de dommages et intérêts.
[M. Gunn se gardera bien de dire, bien qu'il le sache - sauf si les scientologues le lui ont caché, que M. Guyard a fait appel et qu'il est probable qu'il gagne en appel] 25


Typique aussi du mouvement anti-sectes, le refus de s'engager dans un dialogue avec les groupes attaqués.
[FAUX, voir ci-dessus! C'est tout à fait le contraire au moins pour la scientologie, car j'ai des contacts sérieux avec des membres d'autres mouvements] Quand nous avons discuté avec le Président de la MILS, nous avons suggéré l'importance d'entendre les deux aspects d'une histoire avant de parvenir à des conclusions. Il a répondu qu'il n'était pas nécessaire d'entendre les sectes parce qu'elles cherchaient uniquement à fausser le débat. J'en déduis personnellement que la MILS refuse de rencontrer -et plus encore, de comprendre- tout groupe étiqueté comme "secte". Ce refus de s'engager dans le dialogue est une approche très différente de la commission suédoise, par exemple, laquelle recommandait très fortement le dialogue avec les groupes plutôt que se polariser sur les sujets. 26 [cela reviendrait à dire: ne parlons pas de ce qui nous gène, et acceptons tout ce que disent les sectes, ndt]

Troisièmement, la principale source documentaire des rapports français se situe dans les affirmations secrètes des dossiers des Renseignements Généraux, une division sécurité de la Police. Dans plusieurs cas, le rapport place sur la liste des groupes d'après des preuves secrètes infondées que les groupes n'ont pas les moyens de réfuiter ou de disputer. La "preuve" reste secrète.

Quarto, les rapports se servent d'exemples d'activités illégales prétées à certains membres de certains groupes (par exemple l'inculpation de plusieurs scientologues pour escroquerie à Lyon), et condamne alors le groupe en entier, ou même, les "sectes" en général. Ce type d'analyse est fallacieux comme l'illustre aisément l'inculpation criminelle récente de Jacques Guyard (Jacques Guyard était le président du rapport parlementaire français sur les finances des sectes, le rapporteur du rapport parlementaire de 1996 sur les sectes en France, et reste membre de la mission Interministérielle). Le même M. Guyard qui condamnait pour escroquerie les "sectes" en 1999 était ironiquement condamné par un tribunal français pour trafic d'influence à un an de prison et une amende de 100000 F. 27 Si nous appliquons la même analyse à la situation de M. Guyard que lui-même et d'autres appliquent aux groupes qu'ils condamnent, il nous faudrait tenir toute la mission interministérielle dont il est membre -- pour responsable de les actions ce certains de ses membres individuels.

Cinquièmement, les rapports sont fatalement partiaux du fait qu'il ne se focalisent pas sur les causes du problème qui a manifestement lancé les enquètes (par exemple, abus envers les enfants, escroquerie, kidnapping), mais sur les groupes décriés. En se focalisant sur les groupes plustôt que sur les problèmes, l'analyse suramplifie rhétoriquement et anti-intellectuellement les problèmes dans ces groupes et ignore des problèmes identiques dans d'autres groupes. Par exemple, le suicide d'un membre de "secte" est traîté comme une preuve choquante que la secte est "dangereuse", alors que celui d'un banquier ou d'un boulanger n'est pas considéré comme preuve du danger des banques ou des boulangeries. Cette méthodologie anti-sectes n'a de sens pour ses avocats que parce qu'elle démarre par l'allégation que les groupes sont dangereux. [la méthodologie pro-sectes de M. Gunn est exactement similaire à celle qu'il dénonce, puisqu'à aucun moment, il ne nomme les sectes criminelles en les accusant nommément des erreurs qu'il semble parfois leur reprocher; il dispose pourtant de nombreux textes judiciaires ayant condamné la scientologie, par exemple, pour divers crimes majeurs; jugerait-il les tribunaux français partiaux ou leur justice inacceptable?]

Sixièmement, le mouvement anti-sectes se fie souvent à des accusations non vérifiées contre des groupes tout en ignorant les faits qui exonèrent souvent ces groupes. La rapport 2000 de la MILS a répété par exemple nombre d'accusations faites contre des groupes, mais n'a pas cité plusieurs décisions de tribunaux français ou de la Cour Européenne de Justice qui exonéraient les Témoins de Jéhovah et La Famille.
[M. Gunn ignore évidemment qu'à partir du moment où, comme les TJs viennent de le faire, ils abandonnent leurs règles illégales -comme l'interdiction de transfusion sanguine- il ne leur sera pas demandé autre chose. Quant à la Famille, il va un peu vite à défendre une secte dont on sait parfaitement que son gourou professait non seulement la prostitution, mais aussi la pédophilie et l'inceste organisé. Peut-être ces pratiques ont-elles disparu, mais si c'est pour les voir apparaître chez les Hare-Khrishnas comme on vient de le constater, sous l'oeil de l'Oncle Sam depuis 20 ans, je conseillerais vivemnt à M. Gunn de changer de références judiciaires et découter ce qui se passe ailleurs. A-t'on jamais vu la scientologie par exemple admettre qu'elle était coupable en tant que groupe ou du fait des actions illégales de son gourou? NON. Elle s'est systématiquement défossée sur ses cadres qui ne faisaient, je peux le prouver, que suivre au mieux les règles internes; le pire est qu'on retrouve des années plus tard les mêmes délits commis par d'autres, comme on le voit dans ce détail-ci ou celui-ci]

En résumé, la "méthodologie" du préjugé commence par l'opinion qu'elle prétend ensuite à prouver. Puis elle admet comme preuve des accusations allant dans le sens du préjugé, mais refuse de considérer les preuves contrariant le préjugé.
[M. Gunn fait strictement la même chose, comme on l'a vu, érigeant par conséquent "la méthodologie du préjugé" en principe de sa logique]

PPROMOTION DES ACTIONS ANTI-SECTES hors de France


La Mission Interministérielle est particulièrement fière de ses efforts pour promouvoir le message anti-sectes hors de France. Elle signale avoir des relations étroites avec le Ministère des Affaire étrangères et observe avec plaisir avoir recontré des ambassadeurs français pour les informer sur les dangers des sectes. La MILS participe désormais à diverses réunions internationales en tant que délégation française. 28
[est-ce qu'on demande aux USA dans combien de pays ils envoient leurs ambassadeurs pour se méler de ce qui ne les regarde pas?]. Elle passe un tiers de son temps à promouvoir le message anti-sectes hors de France. [sans doute M. Gunn ignore-t'il que l' expérience des sectes de la MILS est demandée, jusque aux Etats-Unis, ce qui explique pourquoi ses intervenants sont si demandés: la France est appelée en tant qu'un des exemples à suivre en matière de lutte contre les multinationales organisées qui ne paient pas même d'impôts dans leur pays d'origine, en ramassant toutefois des pactoles en Europe, qu'elle dédouane ensuite d'impôts aux USA]

La semaine passée, le Président de la MILS a ainsi rencontré un groupe anti-sectaire allemand avec qui il ménera des actions conjointes. La semaine d'avant, il était à Moscou. La presse polonaise a rapporté une visite à Varsovie, où la presse polonaise dit qu'il a convaincu le gouvernement d'entreprendre des étapes contre les sectes. 30back

L'autre visage de la France - et de l'Europe


C'est capital de faire remarquer qu'il existe en France et en Europe quelques signes encourageants d'insatisfaction vis-à-vis des méthodes discriminatoires et tactiques utilisées par le mouvement anti-sectes.

C'est avec quelque soulagement que j'ai appris qu'un journal célèbre, Le Monde, rapportait récemment que les "méthodes" du Président de la MILS étaient de plus en plus ouvertement critiquées." 31 Deux des plus fameux historiens français, René Raymond et Jean Bauberot ont récemment critiqué les campagnes anti-sectes en France. Le meneur des universitaires français constitutionnels, Jacques Robert, critique aussi les méthodes des activistes anti-sectes. Le président de la Fédération Protestante de France, Jean-Arnold de Clermont, a pris publiquement parti contre les activités de la MILS. Il disait récemment "la MILS souhaite faire une distinction entre "religion" et "secte" mais c'est en contradiction formelle avec la loi et la Constitution: la loi indique qu'il n'y aura pas de contrôle à priori sur les associations." 32

Le journaliste repecté en matières religieuses Henri Tincq, du journal Le Monde, met en doute les activités anti-sectaires en France.
[H. Tincq n'est pas le moins du monde respecté hors des milieux pro-sectaires] Dans un nombre de cas de plus en plus élevé, dont plusieurs en 1999 et 2000, des tribunaux français ont fait tomber des actions gouvernementales contre les Témoins de Jéhovah et d'autres groupes populairement désignés comme "sectes". Les tribunaux ont noté que "secte" n'est pas un terme de la jurisprudence et que l'insertion d'un nom dans la liste des 172 ne devrait pas avoir de conséquences légales. Espérons que les esprits rationnels de France prévaudront et qu'un Emile Zola sortira du rang et exposera les méthodes de la campagne publique anti-sectaire.[c'est fort heureux que les tribunaux ne tombent pas dans la petite erreur commise lors du jugement d'appel de Lyon, qui pouvait laisser supposer qu'un tribunal français reconnaissait la scientologie comme religion, erreur ensuite rectifiée par la Cour de Cassation]

Il existe d'autres signes encourageants en Europe. La Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme a pris plusieurs décisions contre des gouvernements ayant exercé des discriminations contre des minorités religieuses, en particulier dans les affaires impliquant des témoins de Jéhovah. Lors d'une décision très intéressante, la Cour européenne de Justice (bras de l'Union Européenne) a récemment publié une décision critiquant les efforts du gouvernement français pour "restreindre la circulation libre des capitaux", afin d'empècher l'église de scientologie de recevoir des fonds provenant de l'extérieur de la France. Nombre d'organisations pour les droits de l'homme, y compris la Fédération Internationale d'Helsinki, Human Rights Watch et Droits de l'Homme sans frontières, font régulièrement des rapports (et critiquent) des actions gouvernementales discriminatoires quant aux religions.
[On note qu'un sponsor de cette fédération "des droits de l'homme" n'est autre que... la scientologie; on notera aussi que le fisc français faisait preuve de courage à ne pas accepter un chèque de 48 millions d'origine douteuse - cadeau empoisonné à une secte qui doit actuellement quelques 120 millions à la République]

Recommandations


Il n'existera de véritable respect de la liberté de religion et de diversité religieuse que lorsque les européens le désireront. Les Etats-Unis ne peuvent certes pas provoquer cet évènement, que ce soit par les cajoleries ou les sanctions. Du fait de l'anti-américanisme en augmentation dans le mouvement anti-sectes, comme on peut l'observer dans le rapport de la MILS, les Etats-Unis doivent rester prudents quant à leurs méthodes de promouvoir la liberté religieuse. J'aimerais faire quatre recommandations, la dernière touchant les groupes religieux des USA.

En premier lieu, le Departement d'Etat US devrait surveiller plus complètement plus vigoureusement les mouvements anti-sectes à la fois multilatéralement et bilatéralement.
[en bref, c'est "nous" qu'ils veut surveiller? Mais nous, on n'a jamais été impliqués dans les crimes et les homicides de certaines sectes, n'est-ce pas? Cela montre parfaitement bien l'état d'esprit de préjugés et d'idées toutes faites pilotées par les scientologues. Big Brother veut donc établir une police de la pensée , dotée d'exceptions en faveur des criminels comme la direction de la scientologie, pour nous les refuser à nous? Un comble pour un "défenseur". On m'excusera d'être aussi sarcastique envers quelqu'un que je soupçonnerais volontiers d'être purement et simplement un scientologue ou un des séïdes "honorables" de la secte.

Jeremy T. Gunn, je préfère ma tolérance à la vôtre, mon impartialité à la vôtre, les lois de mon pays aux lois du vôtre, et la criminalité existant dans le mien à celle du vôtre.]

En second lieu, compte tenu de mon expérience pendant que je travaillais à l'Office de Liberté religieuse Internationale, je dois aussi recommander au congrès de prendre vraiment la responsabilité de financer complètement le Département d 'Etat.
[ ces gens voyagent sans cesse aux frais de leurs contribuables puisque le rapport US touche plus d'une centaine de pays - , ils émettent des rapports internationaux énormes, sont parfois très grassement payés, et veulent davantage]. Selon mes observations, le personnel du département d'état est généralement surchargé de travail et pas assez assisté. Lorsque le Congrès crée de nouvelles responsabilités pour le département d'état, il devrait aussi lui fournir les ressources suffisantes pour faire correctement son travail. La gène la plus importante que nous rencontrions pour surveiller et promouvoir la tolérance religieuse et les droits de l'homme n'est à mon avis pas un manque d'ardeur au travail, mais un manque de temps et de ressources pour bien faire ce qui doit l'être. [Qui a demandé aux Etats-Unis de policer des pays? Ou d'y entretenir des espions qui font passer aux USA des données privées et économiques tout à fait confidentielles ? M. Gunn serait-il naïf?]

En troisième lieu, le Congrès devrait assister le Département d'Etat en promouvant simplement une approche internationale des droits de l'homme. Le plus fort argument rhétorique des critiques US, c'est que les Etats-Unis ne jouent pas un rôle continu de promotion des droits de l'homme, tel que le démontre une répugnance à ratifier des traités internationaux ou à incorporer des normes internationales dans les lois américaines.
Pendant que nous encourageons la France à incorporer des normes internationales sur la liberté de religion et de croyance dans la loi domestique française, nous répugnons à faire des concessions similaires. [Bravo encore, mais vos politiques aiment presque tous la peine de mort. Je me trompe? Voir néanmoins la liste de certaines conventions non signées par les USA, fournie par M. Gunn. Il a omis les plus importantes: Convention Internationale des droits de l'enfants, application véritable de la Convention pour le désarmement nucléaire, convention pour l'abolition des mines anti-personnels etc.]

Quatrièmement, je pense que la communauté religieuse US peut davantage s'impliquer dans la promotion de la liberté religieuse ailleurs
[pour nous refiler leurs sectes, églises de miracles, et prédicateurs milliardaires? No thanks.] Il serait par exemple très utile que les chefs catholiques rencontrent leur coréligionnaires étrangers et les engagent à des efforts destinés à réduire la discrimination religieuse. Je crois en effet qu'en Europe, l'influence la plus grande pourrait être exercée par l'église catholique. [M. Gunn a dû oublier de lire ce que dit le Pape ces denrières années, ce qui en dit long sur ses compétences religieuses. Le Pape ne cesse de promouvoir les droits de l'homme. Mais pas les religions bidon, même s'il s'abaisse parfois pour des raisons politiques à reconnaître des mouvements catholiques assez extrémistes comme l'Opus Dei, dont je préfère ne pas rappeler les activités sous Franco.] Tandis qu'aux Etats-Unis toutes les croyances peuvent aider, les religions que voici, largement pratiquées et respectées en Europe, catholicisme, Luthérianisme, Orthodoxie, et Eglise Réformée, peuvent largement aider à promouvoir la tolérance. [c'est ça, pour ouvrir les portes aux commerces américains totalitaires de style scientologie? No Thanks.]

Conclusion


Je suis assez confiant en le fait que dans les vingt années à venir, la manie anti-sectes sera considérée comme un passage bizarre et dicrédité de l'historie de France et d'autres pays européens
[si les scientologies et autres Moonistes disparaissent, M. Gunn aura en partie raison: on considérera en Europe comme ailleurs les gens qui ont vu plus loin que le bout de leur nez - les anti-sectes- comme des bienfaiteurs de l'humanité: pouvez-vous observer l'énorme taux criminel de votre pays, M. Gunn, en raison de votre mode de vie et de vos "religions" de ce type, qui donnent l'exemple du crime?] Les craintes publiques observables en Allemagne il y a seulement quatre ans ont pour l'essentiel disparu. [oui? Surtout parce qu'on y a mis la scientologie sous contrôle, et en quasi faillite. La capacité d'observation et les mérites que Gunn s'attribue indirectement sont décidément inverses l'un de l'autre.] Il reste la question de savoir combien de temps il faudra pour que les pays européens s'engagent dans une vraie tentative pour se focaliser sur les problèmes et les résoudre, plutôt qu'ostraciser des catégories de groupes. [M. Gunn semble ignorer, encore? - que depuis des décennies, la France avait aussi déterminé que les Objecteurs de Conscience avaient le droit d'échapper au service armé, ce qui avait règlé une bonne part des problèmes légaux que posent les TJs. Bien sûr, les TJs ne risquent pas d'être acceptés vraiment par le grand public tant qu'ils insisteront à vouloir prècher la bonne parole avec insistance, comme ils le font... mais c'est leur problème, et les français s'en fichent et ne vont pas au-delà de leur refuser l'entrée de leur maison: allons-nous aussi être considérés comme "discriminateurs" sous prétexte que, comme chez les américains, il nous arrive de refuser d'écouter la version et interprétation TJ de la Bible? Puis-je rappeler à M. Gunn que les crimes de haine anti-homosexuels sont nombreux aux USA, et souvent perpétrés par des "religieux", et que parmi les groupes acceptés comme religieux là-bas, on trouve des groupes archi-racistes, des suprématistes blancs assassins?] Le gouvernement de Vichy n'a duré que quatre ans. Nous pouvons espérer que les excès des activistes anti-sectaires ne dureront pas plus longtemps [Il semblerait que Gunn ait copié contre les français les défauts que l'ONU reprochait aux scientologues, quand ils se comparaient à des victimes du nazisme. Où a-t'il appris les "manières? Dans quelle "église"? Je cesse donc ici ma critique de son texte, dont tous les arguments paraissent passés au feu de la moulinette OSA/scientologie, les uns après les autres; son comportement est extraordinairement "typique", puisque cet adjectif lui plaît tant: on fait ce qu'on reproche aux autres de faire. J'en suis prèt à perdre mon calme.

Et je conclurai de mon côté en constatant que loin de vouloir la paix et l'entente avec les anti-sectaires, puisqu'il n'a pas écouté ni la MILS lors des "auditions", ni les antisectaires, M. Gunn veut la guerre.]

FOOTNOTES:

1 A prize-winning 1999 documentary film recounting the story of M.
Chevrier is entitled The Children of Chabannes, directed by Lisa Gossels
and Dean Wetherell. Ms. Gossels generously provided me with a transcript
of the film.

2 For a discussion of Vichy France and its attitudes and laws against
Jews, see Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France: OM Guard and New Order,
1940-1944 (1972), pp. 168-85.

3 I wish to be clear on one very important point. Although I will argue
below that many in France are using the same language and methodology of
prejudice against new religious movements that previously were employed
against the Jews, the resulting legal actions in France are very
different. No one in France is advocating massive arrests or incarceration
of members of new religious movements. All serious proposals urge that
legal measures be employed and that human rights be recognized.
Nevertheless, there are some frightening broader similarities to Vichy in
some extreme cases, such as the 1993 raid on the Children of God (now The
Family) community in Aix-en Provence. In that case, 200 heavily armed
police arrived during the night and dragged members of the group into
custody, alleging that they had committed child abuse. In February of this
year, the court in Aix-en-Provence finally dropped all charges against the
group and closed down the investigation.


Do you believe that? This group has been heavily using pedophily and incest as well as prostitution for decades. Who could be sure they ceased to do it? A group like Hare Khrishnas has escaped to such searches in USA, where hundreds of children have been abused sexually, from 3 years age on, tortured and abused as children for decades. 44 of them have done a mass complaint some days ago. And the scientology group has at least 3 private gulags running under the same sun. Whats' best?

4 International standards for freedom of religion and belief are set out
in a number of international documents ratified by. The countries of
Western Europe, including the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the 1989
Vienna Concluding Document of the Conference on Security and Co- operation
in Europe. These instruments prohibit discrimination on the basis of
religion. They also guarantee the freedom of religion and belief,
provided that the exercise of these freedoms does not cause harm to the
public welfare.

5 Europeans believe that their countries have been more willing to accept
and apply international norms than has the United States. Whereas all
European countries have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights,
the United States has not ratified the comparable InterAmerican Convention
on Human Rights.

Nor has the United States agreed to submit itself to the jurisdiction of
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Therefore, criticisms that the
United States might wish to make that European states are not applying
international standards should be well-tempered by the recognition that
the Europeans are, after all, ultimately willing to accept international
review of their laws and practices and that the United States is not.

6 There is need for some clarification on terminology. In English, the
term "cult" is widely understood to be a pejorative term, whereas "sect"
more generally refers to a branch or division within a religion. In
French, the term "culte" is a neutral term that refers to religious
bodies, whereas "secte" generally now is employed as a pejorative term
(although it also has a technical meaning). When "secte" is used by
Francophone governments, whether in France, Belgium, or the
French-speaking areas of Switzerland, it is understood to be a derogatory
term. In German, "Sekten" generally has the same negative connotations as
the French "sectes." Thus the more accurate translation of the German
"Sekten" and the French "sectes," is the English word "cults." The German
parliamentary investigation, known as the Enquete Commission, originally
used the term "Sects and Psycho- groups" to describe the groups they
investigated. (See text at footnotes 12 and 13 below.)

Scholars generally apply the term "new religious movements" to describe
these groups, although this term does not satisfactorily capture the
variety of groups that now come within its ambit. Some groups, for
example, may scarcely be considered "religious" and others certainly
should not be considered "new." Thus a Hindu ashram in France might be
labeled a "secte" by the government and a "new religious movement" by
scholars, even though the beliefs and practices at the ashram may be
traditional and thousands of years old.
[and even if the french government does not even make any monitoring of its activities]

7 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Annual report on
ECRI's activities covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 1999
(27 April 2000).

8 Ibid.

9 Examples include the Union Nationale des Associations de Defense de la
Famille et de l'Individu (UNADFI), Centre Contre les Manipulations
Mentales (CClVIM), and, within the United States, the American Family
Foundation.

10 I should add that I personally wish that I did not need to say this. I
have spent some years of my life in France and I know and admire the face
of France represented by people such as M. Chevrier.
[That's merely hypocrite. If you did not wish to need to say it, don't say. Be consistent]

11 See In Good Faith - Society and the new religious movements (1998) (the
Swedish government's English summary of the report), section 1.4: "In
France the state has on the whole made common cause with the anti- cult
movement .... "The French parliament recently amended French law to allow
these militant anti-sect groups legal standing to participate in
prosecutions and legal actions against so-called "sects," thereby
encouraging a common cause between private anti-sect groups and official
government policy. Before becoming President of MILS, M. Vivien was the
President of CCMM, one of the two prominent anti-sect groups.
[so what? Is that a reason for pretending he's biased? He's not, except perhaps - perhaps - on scientology, whose behaviour has never changed, and whose crimes continue to appear similar to before, so, the judgements are already done , but based on FACTS.]

12 For discussion of the terms, see footnote 6 above.

13 New Religious and Ideological Communities and Psychogroups in the
Federal Republic of Germany (1998), p. 295.

14 See, for example, Agence France Presse, "France-USA-Sects," June 14,
1999. "A person connected ("proche") to the Church of Scientology was a
part of an American delegation that came to conduct an inquest in the name
of the Department of State .... "(All translations from the French are my
own.)

15 MILS, Rapport (January 2000), p. 24-25. Although the religions of the
experts ought not be relevant, it may be noted that Dr. Massimo
Introvigne is a Catholic
[extremist catholic, a full size liar and dishonest man totally biased toward scientology, using the same methodologies as yours.], Canon Michael Bourdeaux is an Anglican, and
Master Alain Garay is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. M.Garay is a
distinguished French lawyer who has won several religious discrimination
cases before the European Court of Human Rights.
16 La Vie, May 11, 2000, p. 11.

17 Statement of Senator Derycke, Senate proceedings, December 16, 1999.
The opponents of the anti-sect movement sometimes accuse it of practicing
"McCarthyism." Perhaps there is no better illustration of this point than
the Senator accusing the U.S. State Department of harboring unnamed
Scientologists.
[yes. Because some are, some others paid or bribed, like Travolta who was asked to pay the assistance to scientology cult given by President Clinton by being bentle with his portraying of a transparent picture of Clinton in a film]

18 Mission interministerielle de lutte contre les sectes, Rapport (January
2000), p. 27 (hereinafter MILS 2000 Report).

19 Agence France Presse, "France-sect," September 15, 1999.

20 See, for example, MILS 2000 Report, p. 10: Sects "repeatedly attempt,
with some success, to infiltrate democratic institutions and international
organizations, official or nongovernmental." The report provides no
evidence to support this assertion.

[ Itdoes not need. We don't show everything, we don't show our President's sperm spots, do you see? We would'nt even do that in most criminal cases unless absolutely forced to do it] When a Bavarian government official
reported to me that Scientologists are attempting to infiltrate the
Bavarian government, I asked him what evidence he had to support the
assertion. He responded by saying that he is aware of no evidence to prove
it -- but that is what makes the infiltration attempt so insidious --
Scientologists cover up the evidence of their infiltration. When I asked
him whether Catholics had "infiltrated" the government of Bavaria, he
could not understand the relevance of my question.
[you are really biased, M. Gunn. You know perfectly the difference between a catholic working normally and a scientologist spying what he can for his group. ]

21 Massimo Introvigne concluded, after reading the MILS report, that
"rough anti-Americanism and nationalism are offered as poor substitutes
for logical argument." In the report, the United States is accused of
having "ulterior motives" in promoting freedom of religion. MILS 2000
Report, p. 6.
[You'd better read my own version to speak of unbiased manner.]

22 This is far different from the Swedish report, which is balanced and
nuanced, as well as the German report, which shows much sophistication on
many issues. While I continue to have reservations about parts of the
German report, it reveals a great deal of balance.
[yes? What reservations? That scientology is the main problem there too? Because Germany was finally overtired of scientologists? Because perhaps Scientology is the most quoted group, always pejoratively? Why don't you say?]

23 New Religious and Ideological Communities and Psychogroups in the
Federal Republic of Germany (1998), pp. 113-15, In Good Faith - Society
and the new religious movements, section 1.6.

24 Because of parliamentary immunity, groups have not been able to bring
defamation suits regarding accusations in the reports.
[wrong: I've done far worse "accusations" in my site <http://www.antisectes.net> or in my book "'La Secte" against the most virulent of those groups, without ever being attacked. I would have won in any case, because everything is right in these data.]

25 See Jean Michel Dumay, "Jacques Guyard Condemned for Having Called
Anthroposophy a 'Sect': The Work of the Parliamentary Commission did not
Constitute a Serious Inquiry," Le Monde, March 23, 2000.

26 In Good Faith -- Society and the new religious movements, section 1.4.

27 Le Monde, May 11, 2000.

28 MILS 2000 Report, p. 18.

29 Reuters, June 7, 2000.

30 Polish Press Agency, September 12, 1999; Jonathan Luxmoore (Warsaw),
"War or Peace with Cults," The Tablet, January 22, 2000.

31 Xavier Ternisien, January 22, 2000. The article suggested that some in
the French government insisted on redacting parts of the MILS report,
which would seem to be explained by the number of unexplained blanks on
pages in the report. See, for example, MILS 2000 Report, p. 4 (wholly
blank) and p. 29 blank except for two sentences in the center.
[Nonsense: I have a 98 sheets report from scientology, full of blanks everywhere. You take whatever you could, to add to the fire, isn't it?]

The President of the MILS is a member of the Socialist Party who in the
past has been critical of the Vichy government. He apparently fails to
see, however, that with regard to sects, he applies the same logical
analysis as the Vichy government: deciding that a "group" is dangerous
without questioning whether individuals are individually culpable; relying
on onesided, untested minors and innuendos to reach conclusions that
groups as a whole are dangerous; smearing the motives of opponents;
refusing to hear exculpatory evidence; and attacking opponents as being
sympathizers of dangerous groups.
[You are really distateful, and obsessed by ad-hominem attacks directed from over the scientology pyramid, are'nt you?]

Analogies are used to illustrate points and they obviously do not fit all
points. It must be kept firmly in mind that while the "intellectual
analysis" of the anti-sect movement may parallel in some ways that of the
Vichy government, its actions are not even remotely comparable to the
horrendous humanitarian violations that took place under Vichy. It is the
similarity in analysis that causes concern, not a similarity of behavior.
[well, I'm happy to see at least such a declaration, after all the horrendous crimes you charge upon people like me, or upon my government. I'd say that you lack of discernment and differentiation, though. In one word, you are very biased, and intellectually dishonest in fact, against us, and your amalgaming of cults with religions will not help, no more than your insulting comparisons.]

32 Quoted in "Faut-il dissoudre les sectes?", La vie, May 11, 2000, p. 12.


PREPARED TESTIMONY OF REP. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN (20TH-NY) CHAIRMAN BEFORE
THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SUBJECT - THE TREATMENT OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN WESTERN EUROPE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2000

WASHINGTON (June 14) - U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (20th-NY), Chairman of
the House International Relations Committee, made the following statement
today at a full committee hearing on the treatment of religious minorities
in Western Europe:

The Committee on International Relations meets in open session today to
take testimony on the topic of "The Treatment of Religious Minorities in
Western Europe." We do so as part of the full Committee's geographic
responsibility for Europe.

Today's hearing allows the Committee to turn its attention to a problem
that has troubled many Americans who respect and value the nations of
Western Europe -- countries who are without doubt friends of the United
States and places where in general freedom flourishes.

The "blind spot" that some of those countries seem to have is their
attitude toward religious minorities. As Ambassador Felix Rohatyn has
written with respect to France "recent actions by (its) government
vis-a-vis sects raise questions about intolerance toward religious
minorities, and contravene France's international human rights
commitments" although it "is a country with a long tradition of religious
freedom and rule of law."

I want to point out that the purpose of this hearing is not to support the
religious doctrines or other activities of the religious minorities active
in Western Europe.

But we are called on not only to protect the rights of those we like, but
of those with whom we may disagree with as well. I have put on the record
repeatedly, for example, my concern over the use of Nazi-era imagery by
supporters of Scientology in their effort to make their points about
German policy. But I am also here to say that I must defend their human
rights.

Holding or expressing a religious belief or worshiping in public and
private as one pleases is not as such forbidden by law in Western Europe.
In practice, however, expressing a minority religious belief often leads
to discrimination -- the loss of a job, of educational opportunities, of
the right to gain custody of one's own child or to be a foster parent --
which seriously burdens one's exercise of freedom of religion. Some
European governments discriminate among religions, giving some favors --
such as financial aid or simply the right of clergy of that religion to
visit a sick parishioner -- while withholding those privileges from
others.

Moreover, religious discrimination by private parties is far from
universally discouraged. It is encouraged in some cases, for example, by
the compilation and publication by governments of lists of "sects,"
although encouraging religious tolerance is an international human rights
obligation.

Such problems are complained of frequently and vociferously with respect
to Austria, Belgium, France, and Germany. It is frankly difficult to
understand how our friends in these countries can say that they have
freedom of religion, given the burdens on the free exercise of religion I
have mentioned and which will be described today.

The Committee's attention has been drawn to this issue for several
reasons. The practices to be discussed appear to be in contravention of
internationally accepted human rights standards and seek to be leading to
an atmosphere of religious intolerance.

Americans abroad who wish to evangelize, or merely to practice their
religion, professions, or businesses, face discriminatory treatment on the
basis of their religion. Emerging democracies in Eastern Europe may copy
the bad examples that are being set by some Western European countries.

And finally, the growth of political extremism on the left and right in
some of the same countries where religious discrimination appears to be on
the rise to questions of whether there are links between such
discrimination and those political trends.


PREPARED TESTIMONY OF CRAIG JENSEN CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF EXECUTIVE SOFTWARE
BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SUBJECT - THE TREATMENT OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN WESTERN EUROPE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2000

German Embargo/1 of American Products

Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the House International
Relations Committee:

Thank you for holding this hearing on religious intolerance in Western
Europe, and for giving me the opportunity to tell you about an embargo of
American products by the government of Germany.

My name is Craig Jensen. I am a citizen of the United States of America
and a living example of the realization of the American Dream.

I am the founder, owner and chief executive of Executive Software, a
company I founded in 1981 in California. Through hard work and ingenuity,
my company has grown to be one of the top 200 software companies in the
world, earning a great deal of success in the marketplace and numerous
awards for the finest products and service in the computer software
industry. Our products have been extremely thoroughly tested for safety
and effectiveness by the National Software Testing Laboratories and by
Veritest, the independent testing company responsible for granting
certification of compatibility with Microsoft's Windows operating system.
My company's products are in use in every sector of the American economy,
including fight here on Capitol Hill, and are sold extensively abroad as
well.

As you can see, I am proud of what I have accomplished in my own business.
But I am not the only American software company that is a success. Let me
be perfectly clear: No German company, indeed no company in any other
country on earth, can produce software of the quality and usefulness that
American software companies produce. We Americans have a lock on this
industry. I cannot say why exactly, but computer software is something
Americans do a far cry better than anyone else in the world. Accordingly,
this is an industry contributing terrifically to America's economic
greatness. In that setting, a foreign embargo, and particularly a German
embargo, of American software products must be viewed as a hostile act.

Purchase of my company's software products is restricted in Germany by
government edict and attempts are being made to forbid it entirely. This
is a recent development, as my products have sold well in Germany for over
a decade. What prompted the embargo is the announcement that Microsoft
Corporation's new Windows 2000 computer operating system includes a
component developed by my company.2 This fact is being used to justify
calling for a full-scale German government prohibition on the sale of
Windows 2000 in Germany.

"Why?" you might ask. Well, here is the truly heinous part. The official
reason given is that my company, Executive Software, is headed by an
"admitted" member of the Church of Scientology -- me. Yes, it is true that
I am a member of the Church of Scientology and have been for 25 years. I
am proud of it and credit much of my success to what I have learned from
my church and the writings of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. But what does
my religion have to do with selling software? Obviously, nothing. My point
is this: the German government makes no attempt to hide the fact that
their embargo is based on religious discrimination. In fact, the
government officials who have imposed it see nothing wrong with religious
discrimination, even though it violates both the German Constitution and
Germany's international human rights commitments.

As First-Amendment-loving Americans, we sometimes forget that other
countries lack this all-important freedom. Germany, a signatory to the
Helsinki Accords as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has a clause in
its constitution stating, "The freedom of faith, of conscience, and the
freedom of religious and ideological beliefs are inviolable." Yet the
actions of the German government in their conduct towards me and towards
American businesses, their social ostracism and stigmatization of
Scientologists and members of other minority religions clearly contravene
all these accords and conventions.

Simply put, I come here today not to complain of just a trade embargo or
religious discrimination, but to alert your attention to a combination of
the two -- a trade embargo justified on the grounds of government-mandated
religious discrimination.

Let me give you the background. In December, 1999, the German computer
magazine C'T published an article entitled "Windows 2000 In Danger of
Being Banned." The article discussed a proposed boycott of Microsoft
Corporation's Windows 2000 operating system, on the grounds that I, as
owner and CEO of Executive Software, am a Scientologist. The article came
out a few weeks before the release of Windows 2000 in February and was
apparently tuned to interfere with the release of Windows 2000 in Germany.

It was alleged in the C'T article that the Church of Scientology had made
a "brilliant move" to introduce a computer program into practically every
desk in companies, government offices and church institutions. The article
went on to insinuate that the computer program had a hidden purpose to
filch information from its German customers. These insinuations are
completely false and easily shown to be so. It is patently incredible that
even a semi-competent software engineer could believe such things. But, of
course, the software itself was not the real reason for the attack. It was
being targeted solely because of my religious affiliation.

The article even conceded that C'T experts had examined the program and
found no evidence of any peculiarities, but this led the magazine to
conclude (naturally) that the Americans were so clever that the hidden
purpose could be carded out without the German experts being able to
detect it!

In response to the story, a Microsoft spokesman defended the company's
choice of the program and stated that Microsoft does not refuse to do
business with anybody based on their religion, race, or other personal
characteristics. Microsoft has consistently maintained this position of
nondiscrimination.

But the false and discriminatory allegation soon became international
news. The German news agency DPA sent out a wire story quoting another
alleged "expert" who said that Executive Software's involvement "is of
interest to the Catholic church, the other German states, the Office for
the Protection of the Constitution (German's domestic security agency) and
German industry."

A government official from the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior fanned the
flames by boasting in the press that in Bavaria and Hamburg, the
government does not use the services of or products from companies owned
by Scientologists. While such a blatantly discriminatory admission would
be condemned immediately in this country, in the climate of intolerance
created by the German government, it is allowed to pass.

That particular Hamburg official heads an office called "Working Group
Against Scientology" which receives $1 million annually from the Hamburg
government.

This Hamburg government office, along with their counterparts from the
Ministry of the Interior, created the so-called "sect filter" which
forbids employment or contractual relations with individuals participating
in the Church of Scientology. I have even seen a sect filter which makes a
course in business training conditional on an individual declaring that he
is not a member of a "sect or free church." Employment applications and
contracts typically include a "sect filter" clause requiting one to
explicitly declare that he is not affiliated with my religion. And to make
sure that government officials can identify and thereby actively practice
discrimination against Scientologists, private businesses owned by members
of my Church are entered into the German government's computers with a
chillingly evocative "S" notation. The extent and pervasiveness of
governmental religious discrimination in Germany may be gauged by the
decision of a U.S. federal immigration court to grant asylum to a German
Scientologist on the grounds that she would face religious persecution if
she had to return to Germany.

"Sect filter" declarations such as I have described are now in wide use by
private and public companies throughout Germany, including Deutschebank,
Daimler-Chrysler and Lufthansa. Indeed, in 1998, the New York branch of
Deutschehank dismissed an employee for no other reason than that she is a
member of the Church of Scientology. Fortunately, unlike in Germany, the
United States has strong anti-discrimination laws, and Deutschebank was
forced to pay the Scientologist $125,000 in damages. Indeed, upon being
alerted to them, the American headquarters of Ford Motor Company, GE
Capital and IBM instructed their German branches to discontinue use of
these hateful "filters." Unfortunately, however, other American companies
operating in Germany are being compelled to use these sect filters, to an
extent not yet fully determined.

Since the first of the year, the German government attacks on American
companies Executive Software and Microsoft have escalated. A spokesman for
the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior stated that the Ministry would
attempt to use Windows 2000 only after deleting the program produced by
Executive Software.

After further reports appeared in the news media, the Federal Office for
Security and Information Technology (acronym "BSI" in German) informed
Microsoft that the agency would not certify Windows 2000 for sale in
Germany because part of the program was produced by a company owned by a
Scientologist.

The events I describe have been widely reported in newspapers and
magazines both here and abroad, by customers of my company, and by our
European resellers and distributors. An article in the German magazine Der
Spiegel indicated that the German government's Office for the Protection
of the Constitution has asked the Ministry of the Interior to examine the
intellectual property source code for the portion of Windows 2000 produced
by the Scientologist-owned company. This article fueled the climate of
suspicion and intolerance being generated against my company and my
church.

I find the circumstances maddening and frustrating. It is humbling for me
to come before you and present this matter. In fact, if it were solely for
my own benefit, I would not do it at all.

I come to you today on behalf of others who may not be able to shrug off a
single market such as Germany and make up for the lost sales by redoubled
efforts elsewhere. I come to you on behalf of my friends, partners and
business associates who are suffering at the hands of official German
bigots. I also come before you on behalf of all Scientologists, both
American and German, who are forbidden employment, political party
affiliation and even schooling for their children because of their
religious beliefs.

The U.S. State Department has criticized the German government for
religious discrimination against Scientologists and members of other
minority religions in each of its last seven annual human fights reports.
The State Department's first annual report on international religious
freedom, published last September, reiterated those criticisms, and
particularly criticized the use by German state and federal governments of
the "sect filters." Indeed, there are now more than 30 reports criticizing
governmental religious discrimination in Germany from bodies including the
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, the U.N. Human
Rights Committee and the Commission for Security and Cooperation in
Europe.

This year, for the first time, the U.S. Trade Representative, in her
report on discriminatory foreign procurement practices, placed Germany on
the watch list over its abuse of Scientologists' rights. The report states
that upon learning of German government clauses excluding Scientologists
from contractual relations, "the Administration raised its concerns to the
German government and continues to press the Germans to repeals this
discriminatory policy." According to Executive Order 13116, signed by
President Clinton on March 31, 1999, identification in the report
indicates that a foreign country "maintains, in government procurement, a
significant pattern or practice of discrimination against U.S. products or
services which results in identifiable harm to U.S. businesses ...."The
inclusion of Germany in the Trade Representative's report therefore shows
that, in the view of the U.S. government, Germany's discriminatory
practices are not only a blatant violation of human rights but a threat to
American trade as well.

But despite all these condemnations of German government policy targeting
American and German citizens because of their religious beliefs, there is
no discernable change in German government practices. In fact, as the
German government has continued to flagrantly violate its international
human rights commitments, the discrimination has worsened. Official German
discrimination broadened from individuals to private corporations and now
to corporations who use suppliers who employ or are owned by members of
minority religions - while official statements from the German government
have confirmed that public bodies expressly ban purchases from companies
owned by or associated with Scientologists, effectively prohibiting the
purchase of U.S. products. Indeed, the circumstances involving my company
and Microsoft are precisely as set forth in the Trade Representative's
report.

We had hoped that the election of a new government in Germany a year and
half ago would mark a more liberal approach to human rights, one sensitive
to the requirements of democracy and international law. While the
Schroeder government is less outspoken in attempting to justify its
discriminatory practices than the discredited Kohl administration, it has
not only shown no interest in ending the discrimination, but is escalating
it. The Federal Economics Ministry, which already employs a so-called
"sect filter", is in the process of exporting it to all federal government
ministries of Germany. Thus, the German government is neck-deep in these
human rights abuses, and is the source of the climate of intimidation and
intolerance that minority religious members face.

Mr. Chairman, I am thankful for your actions and those of other members of
your committee such as Congressmen Salmon and Payne, who have shown
themselves to be sensitive to this issue. I am also thankful for the
actions of the Administration, but, unfortunately, these have not yet
ended or curtailed the German government's discriminatory policies and
practices. So, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Committee, I
ask you to take up this matter as one that is vital for the preservation
of basic human rights in Europe. Perhaps the most effective action that
you can take at this time is to give your full support to the Resolutions
on Germany- HR. 388 and S. 230 - which call upon Congress and the
President to demand that Germany abide by international human rights law.
Through these Resolutions, I ask you to send a message to the German
government that the Congress and the people of the United States will not
tolerate either human rights violations of a religious nature or
discrimination against American trade or American products such as our
computer software, the pride of our new economy.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this
Committee.

FOOTNOTES:

1 Embargo: any restriction imposed upon commerce by edict.

2 The component included in Windows 2000 is called "disk defragmenter," a
tool for consolidating disks that have become fragmented through use.
Defragmenting the files restores system performance to like-new state,
increasing the computer user's productivity, extending the life of the
computer and reducing the computer's total cost of ownership. Windows
products have included components designed and implemented by Executive
Software for six years. Why this recent announcement provoked such a
violent response is a matter for speculation.



PREPARED TESTIMONY OF PHILIP BRUMLEY GENERAL COUNSEL FOR JEHOVAH'S
WITNESSES BEFORE THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE

SUBJECT - THE TREATMENT OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN WESTERN EUROPE; EFFECT
ON INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL AND PERSONAL LIVES

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2000

INTRODUCTION

Fifty-seven years ago on this very day--June 14, the nation's annual Flag
Day--the Supreme Court handed down one of its most historic decisions:
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. Speaking for the
Court, Justice Jackson stated: "If there is any fixed star in our
Constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can
prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or
other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their
faith therein."i This ruling guaranteed religious freedom for Jehovah's
Witnesses in connection with our Bible-based belief that saluting any flag
violates God's demand for exclusive devotion.ii

Even though most citizens do not agree with our doctrinal stand on this
issue, the fact remains that the United States has gone on record that it
will defend our right to adhere to this belief. In contrast, many nations
of Western Europe are becoming increasingly equivocal about whether they
will protect genuine freedom of worship.

When governments determine that religious beliefs do not meet standards of
"loyalty" to the State or constitute a breach of public order and withhold
religious recognition or registration, where does that lead us? Will
governments next dictate what beliefs are acceptable in democratic
societies? When governments fail to acknowledge any distinction between
commercial enterprises and voluntary, self-sacrificing endeavors to
promote humanitarian, religious endeavors, what will happen to the concept
of charities? Will volunteerism be taxed out of existence? Can a
government legitimately assert that it protects religion freedom when at
the same time it uses its taxing power to oppress those who belong to
certain religions?

We will provide some details of these trends using France, Belgium,
Germany, Austria, and Sweden as examples. The following facts speak for
themselves and document the current state of the basic human right of
religious self-determination in Western Europe.

DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN FRANCE

Records show that Jehovah's Witnesses have been active in France since
1891. This spring more than 204,000 attended the most sacred celebration
of the year for Jehovah's Witnesses, the Memorial of Christ's death.
Certainly Jehovah's Witnesses are not a "new" religious movement and can
hardly be called a "minority" religion when we are the third-largest
Christian religion in France.

The recent attempt of the French government to officially deny religious
status to Jehovah's Witnesses began with an adverse ruling by the Conseil
d'Etat in a 1985 inheritance case. (The French will aver that, under the
rubric of the "wall of separation of Church and State," the French
government grants official recognition to no religion. However, the facts
speak otherwise. Recognized religions are extended benefits, such as being
able to receive charitable bequests.) The Conseil d'Etat refused to allow
one of Jehovah's Witnesses to leave a portion of her estate to the
Association of Jehovah's Witnesses in France because the court did not
agree with our doctrinal rejection of blood transfusions and refusal to
participate in military service. The fact that there are 3,000 French
doctors who are willing to operate without blood completely eviscerates
the first basis for the court's ruling. The passing of a law on
alternative non-military service in France that provides a conscientiously
acceptable method for young Jehovah's Witnesses to render "Caesar his
due,/iii does away with the other reason for the Court's refusal to
recognize the legitimacy of the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses in France.

In spite of these favorable developments, the French Parliamentary
Commissions on Sects have made the situation worse by issuing biased
reports containing lists of supposedly "dangerous sects" and including
Jehovah's Witnesses among them.

Institutional Consequences:

A direct result of the discriminatory treatment toward Jehovah's Witnesses
in France is a 60-percent tax that has been levied on donations received
by the Association of Jehovah's Witnesses in France. Next week, on June
20, 2000, a hearing is scheduled in Nanterre on this matter. Supreme Court
Justice John Marshall wisely observed: "The power to tax involves the
power to destroy."iv Although governments are fully authorized, both
Biblically and secularly, to tax their constituents, this particular tax
has no other purpose but to make it impossible for Jehovah's Witnesses in
France to financially support the operations of their own faith. That
means 60 cents of each dollar contributed to support our annual Bible
conventions, operate our Kingdom Halls (houses of worship), and fund
national relief measures will go to the French government. Only forty
cents on the dollar will be left to use for the charitable reason for
which it was given. No religion could financially continue to operate
under such a punitive tax.

To our knowledge, no other religion is being taxed 60-percent on personal
contributions made in good faith to their church. Instead, other
religions enjoy tax exemptions granted by the Conseil d'Etat. Not even
most minority religions are taxed--in fact, we are only aware of one other
case where personal donations to a religious association have been
questioned v. The French tax authorities have clearly indicated at the
conclusion of their 1996 and 1997 audits that the association that is now
being exorbitantly taxed "participates in the maintenance and practice of
Jehovah's Witnesses' form of worship."vi Those audits established the
not-for-profit nature of the associations used by Jehovah's Witnesses.
Recently, an audit by the international firm of Grant Thornton likewise
established the not-for-profit character of all associations used by
Jehovah's Witnesses in France. Upholding the religious nature of
Jehovah's Witnesses' associations, there have recently been four favorable
Courts of Appeals decisions exempting Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses
(houses of worship) from paying land (property) tax. This is part of the
process established in France to grant religious recognition. Needless to
say, French authorities have appealed all four cases which means that this
issue will ultimately be heard by the Conseil d'Etat. Should that court
rule in favor of religious freedom as Justice Jackson's court did in this
country in 1943, it will not be necessary for us to pursue this matter to
the European Court of Human Rights.

Personal Consequences:

The negative effects on a personal level from the parliamentary
mislabeling of Jehovah's Witnesses as a "dangerous sect" are widespread.
Schoolteachers and day care workers who are Jehovah's Witnesses have been
targets of smear campaigns, unwanted job transfers, or have been fired
because they were perceived as being a threat to the safety, morals, and
education of children under their care only because of belonging to a
supposed "sect." A new aspect of the consequences on a personal level is
illustrated in the case of Rene Schneerberger, a minister of Jehovah's
Witnesses, who has been corresponding regularly with inmates in the French
prison system to provide spiritual guidance. Some prisoners, who are not
Jehovah's Witnesses, requested subscriptions from Rene to The Watchtower
and Awake, the official journals of Jehovah's Witnesses.

In October 1999, the prisoners advised Mr. Schneerberger that they were no
longer receiving these religious magazines. The reason given by the
director of the Bapaume prison was that the magazines were suspended
because of the "sectarian" nature of Jehovah's Witnesses as "recognized by
the parliamentary commissions." The suspension has not been lifted.vii

DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN BELGIUM

Belgium's roots with Jehovah's Witnesses also trace back to 1891. At the
Memorial celebration of Christ's death held this spring, there were more
than 46,000 in attendance.

Belgium also had its parliamentary commissions and reports on sects in
1997 with ongoing consequences. Although Jehovah's Witnesses have no
"institutional consequences" as a result of being included in the
discriminatory list of sects that was published, there are effects on a
personal level.

In some schools of the French-speaking community in Belgium, students who
are Jehovah's Witnesses are feeling the effect of being, perceived as
belonging to a "dangerous sect." For example, a teacher in the Ecole des
Pagodes/viii issued a paper for class discussions that said: "In Belgium,
there are 189 variable dangerous sects and 37 are hard- core ones, such
as--Jehovah's Witnesses (among others)."

In child custody disputes, some judges have a high regard for Jehovah's
Witnesses and have granted custody to the Witness parents and rejected the
allegation of opposing parties who claim that Jehovah's Witnesses are
dangerous. But note what was stated in two cases in the Flemish section of
Belgium:

- "It constitutes a grave danger for the children taking into account the
influence of the "Jehovah-sect" of which the mother seems to be a
member./ix

- "Jehovah's Witnesses are not to be viewed as a religion but as a
movement of fanatics."x

DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN GERMANY

In 1891, Jehovah's Witnesses became established in Germany. This year over
276,000 attended the Memorial of Christ's death again not a new religion
and not an insignificant minority. In the not-too-distant past, Jehovah's
Witnesses survived the Nazi concentration camps and Communist persecution
on German soil.

The right of Jehovah's Witnesses to remain neutral in politics has again
become the focus of a legal struggle over our right to have the same legal
status that is granted to other recognized religions. The denial of this
favored status to Jehovah's Witnesses is based on our Bible-based and
historical stand of not electing individuals to political office. Recall
that Jesus told Pilate: "My kingdom is no part of this world."xi The
German State has determined that this is not an acceptable belief in a
democratic society. Since freedom of conscience and belief is one of the
most basic and universally protected human fights, what should have been a
mere logistical formality has transcended into a human rights straggle.xii

Institutional Consequences:

The Federal Administrative Court made a decision that has far-reaching
consequences for Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany. They reversed two lower
court decisions and refused recognition to Jehovah's Witnesses as a
"public law" corporation. Jehovah's Witnesses had fulfilled all designated
requirements, but the State introduced a new element when considering our
application. It was decided that Jehovah's Witnesses do not have the
degree of loyalty required by the German State to extend favorable-status
treatment. This decision is based on the fact that historically Jehovah's
Witnesses refrain from participation in political elections or holding
political office. Not even the German Constitution requires mandatory
participation by all citizens in the electoral process, but evidently the
Federal Administrative Court requires this of Jehovah's Witnesses. We have
contested this decision through a complaint to the Constitutional Court.

Due to this federal-level decision, the finance authorities then took the
unwarranted step to rescind the permanent nature of tax exemptions granted
to associations owning the houses of worship for Jehovah's Witnesses in
Germany. These authorities, in anticipation of a negative outcome, are
poised to declassify Jehovah's Witnesses' corporations as not being of
"common benefit." If an adverse ruling is handed down, every Kingdom Hall
in Germany will be taxed as though what goes on inside is not worship, an
assertion so ludicrous that no nation could make it and still maintain
that it guarantees religious freedom to those within its borders.

Personal Consequences:

The impact of the trend toward discrimination of members of minority
religions is well illustrated by what happened to a family from Bergheim,
where both parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. Over a period of 15 years, the
Local Youth Office in Bergheim assigned about 20 foster children to this
couple's care. After the chairwoman of an anti-cult- movement contacted
the office, they refused to renew the Witness couple's permit for a baby
girl to remain with them, although the baby had spent half her infant life
in their care. This resulted in a two- year court battle, with the court
ultimately defending the rights of the Witness parents to retain custody
of the foster child and rejecting the youth office's arguments as
completely unfounded. However, after the court case, the Local Youth
Office has not assigned any new foster children to the care of this
family. Clearly, the courts cannot legislate an end to prejudice.

DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN AUSTRIA

Jehovah's Witnesses began their preaching in Austria in 1891. In April
2000, over 33,000 joined them in their sacred annual Memorial of Christ's
death.

After 20 years of seeking to be classified as a religion in Austria and
just when the courts were close to obligating the government to do so, the
government passed a new law setting up a special religious category called
"confessional community." We are the only religion immediately affected
by this law. Under this new law, we are now required to wait an
additional -year probationary period before we may once again apply for
recognition as a religion. As a result, this new law automatically and
deliberately extends Jehovah's Witnesses' -year struggle into a 30-year
wait. In the meantime, a new complaint by Jehovah's Witnesses is pending
with the Austrian Constitutional Court concerning the new law that created
this multi-tiered religious classification system.

Institutional Consequences:

The classification of "confessional community" does not allow for
performance of marriage rites, pastoral visits to hospitals or prisons,
recognition of ministers who are free from military and civil service, or
tax advantages.

Showing that not all Austrian officials share the same viewpoint, last
fall the Austrian Constitutional Court handed down a favorable decision
regarding the pastoral care of a prisoner. This decision influenced the
Federal Ministry of Justice to make a provision for Jehovah's Witnesses to
visit prisoners who request assistance from us.

Personal Consequences:

To illustrate the impact on people's daily lives, we offer two examples
from Austria. A woman who is one of Jehovah's Witnesses applied for an
apartment in a village. The mayor of that village has a say on such
decisions. At a meeting with the mayor, both parties came to an oral
agreement. Upon departing the mayor asked in passing: "You do not belong
to a sect, do you?" The woman said: "I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses." The
mayor did not say anything, but was visibly shocked. Later the Witness was
told that the apartment had to be given to someone else.

At times, when seeking work, a trial period or preliminary tests are
required for all applicants. The results of such trial periods have often
been very positive for applicants who are Jehovah's Witnesses. Employers
have advised them that they are very pleased with their work. However,
when employers learn afterwards that the applicant is one of Jehovah's
Witnesses, all interest in hiring them is dropped.

back

Most employers have only expressed their reluctance verbally, but one
letter explicitly stated: "We thank you for your application but we are
sorry to have to tell you that based on our long experience we do not
employ persons belonging to any kind of sect."

DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN SWEDEN

The work of Jehovah's Witnesses began in Sweden in 1886. This year over
36,700 joined together in the annual celebration of the Memorial of
Christ's death.

Sweden just instituted an arrangement for registering religions, thus
ending the existence of one official State religion. We are pleased to
report that on March 13, 2000, the government registered Jehovah's
Witnesses as a religious community. However, Sweden's labor and tax laws
evidently make no exceptions for members of religious orders or other
religious workers. Because of a lack of any acknowledgment of
"volunteerism" even based on religious devotion, the Swedish government is
in effect dictating how much time and energy one can devote to godly
endeavors within the context of a monastic arrangement. In fact, other
religions in Sweden no longer have volunteers, but have to rely on an
employed staff under central collective agreements with labor unions. For
Jehovah's Witnesses, volunteering our time and energy to promote true
worship is the whole- souled sacrifice that we desire to make to God.

Institutional Consequences:

In most nations Jehovah's Witnesses have a national office that
coordinates, under the direction of the Governing Body in New York, the
religious activities of adherents in that land. Those serving in these
offices belong to a religious order and provide their services free of
charge. This inures to the benefit of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide by
keeping the cost of our religious endeavors to a minimum. Instead of
recognizing the monastic nature of our office in Sweden, the authorities
there are obligating each member of that office to pay a tax on any
service he or she receives from others who also serve there. Labors of
love, such as cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry, contribute to a
family environment and expedite efforts of others to translate and
distribute our religious literature, and organize the worship of Jehovah's
Witnesses throughout Sweden. These helpful endeavors are being assessed at
the current "market value," that is, what it would cost to commercially
obtain such services. Thus, they have become prohibitively expensive to
those benefiting from those services, although no one is being paid. For
example, a volunteer member of our religious order in Sweden receives
approximately $100 to reimburse him for personal expenses incurred during
the month. The tax imposed adds up to $937, almost 10 times the cash
income that he receives.

By requiring a tax for volunteer efforts--anything perceived as a personal
service--the government has equated the self-sacrificing,
religiously-motivated lifestyle of members of the coordinating office of
Jehovah's Witnesses in Sweden with wealthy individuals who pay for such
services. As a result of this attempt to secularize the religious
activities of what takes place at our office in Sweden, we may have to
drastically reduce the number of volunteers who serve there.

Keeping this situation in mind, you may recall a Biblical event involving
Jesus and Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Matthew, Mark and John all record
the event, which took place not long before Jesus died. The account at
Mark 14:3-8 states, in part: "A woman came with an alabaster case of
perfumed oil, genuine nard, very expensive. Breaking open the alabaster
case she began to pour it upon his head." Many of Jesus' followers
objected to this act of kindness because of the cost of the gift. Jesus
reprimanded them saying, "Let her alone. She did a fine deed toward me.
She did what she could." The account estimates that Mary's gift of
personal service cost 300 denarii, which was the equivalent of a year's
wages.xiii If Mary had attempted to render such a service today, Sweden
would require Jesus to pay a tax of 10 times the value of the gift for
Mary's personal service, i.e., 3,000 denarii in cash. Mary would have been
precluded from rendering the service to Jesus and our Lord would have been
precluded from accepting it. What Jesus called "a fine deed" would never
have taken place. This well illustrates the dilemma facing our religious
order in Sweden.

Unhappily, this situation is not limited to Sweden, but is becoming more
frequent throughout Western Europe.

Personal Consequences:

A case in point is a graduate of our missionary training school who has
been serving voluntarily in Sweden since 1961. She has devoted her life to
her religious work. She has acquired decades of experience as a translator
of Bible literature. Now she has been forced to reduce the amount of time
she formerly devoted to translation to cook her own meals, care for her
own laundry, and clean her own room because she cannot afford the
prohibitive tax that would be imposed if others were to care for those
needs, as is routinely done in other branch offices of Jehovah's Witnesses
throughout the world. In another case, a skilled worker had to decline
participation in a renovation project of a house of worship. He wanted to
donate his time, all costs involved with travel, and use of his tools to
the project, but decided he could not afford to pay the high daily tax for
the simple meals that would be prepared and served for free by members of
the congregation.

CONCLUSION

The concept of legally legitimizing religious discrimination is fraught
with problems, legally and morally. Yet that is what happens, when nations
adopt a multi-tiered system of religious recognition. International
agreements/xiv have attempted to eliminate discrimination due to religious
belief, but as we have seen, it still goes on. A new and worrisome trend
in Europe is the refusal to recognize the religious nature of activities
performed by volunteers. European labor and tax authorities are
arbitrarily imposing an "employer/employee" relationship to the religious
activities engaged in by those of Jehovah's Witnesses who are privileged
to become members of the Order of Special Full-Time Servants, as our
international religious order is known. Interestingly, the Supreme
Administrative Court of Brazil ruled that members of our religious order
in that land are not subject to taxes imposed on employees since the
activities involved were religiously motivated rather than of a pecuniary
nature.xv Are governments, who laud religious freedom and human fights on
the one hand, acting consequentially when they limit "religious
activities" to what they narrowly and arbitrarily define as "worship"?
What is the solution?

Personally, I am eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of the promise contained
here in the Bible, in Isaiah 32:16 through 18, which says: "And in the
wilderness justice will certainly reside, and in the orchard righteousness
itself will dwell. And the work of the (hue) righteousness must become
peace; and the service of the (true) righteousness, quietness and security
to time indefinite. And my people must dwell in a peaceful abiding place
and in residences of full confidence and in undisturbed resting-places."

Until that time arrives under God's Kingdom rule, I appeal to this
committee to use its influence to protect and reinforce the universally
recognized right of religious freedom in Western Europe.

FOOTNOTES:

i Justice Robert H. Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v.
Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943).

ii See the Bible at Exodus 20:2-5 or Deuteronomy 5:6-9.

iii See the Bible at Matthew 22:21; also Insight On the Scriptures, (New
York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 1988), Vol. 1,
p. 382.

iv McCulloch v. Maryland, Wheaton (1819) p. 431.

v According to the report dated June 14, 1999, by the parliamentary
commission under Mr. Brard on sects and money, "the Tax Department has
availed itself of the possibility of inquiring about the source of gills
from hand to hand to sectarian associations in two cases: Jehovah's
Witnesses and Mandarom." (p. 223).

vi Reassessment notices dated December 27, 1996, and December 8, from the
Tax Department to the Association Les T6moins de Jehovah.

vii Article D. 432 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides that "each
prisoner should be able to meet the requirements of his religions, moral,
and spiritual life" and Article D. 439 of the same code authorizes
prisoners "to receive or keep in their possession those items for
religious practice and books necessary for their spiritual life."

viii Ecole des Pagodes, 305, Av. des Pagodes, 1120 Bmxelles.

ix Juvenile Court, Twentieth Chamber of First Instance of Bruges - October
15, 1999.

x Justice of the Peace Court of the Filth Canton, Antwerp - January 11,
2000.

xi See the Bible at John 18:36.

xii The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article :
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
this right includes freedom to chane his religion or belief, and freedom,
either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and
observance." Freedom to manifest his religion or belief, in worship,
teaching, practice and observance" is guaranteed by Article 9 of the
European Convention on Human Rights. Also, the German Constitution in
Article 4 states: "(1) Freedom of creed, of conscience, and freedom to
profess a religions or non-religious faith are inviolable. (2) The
undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed."

xiii In the days of Jesus' earthly ministry, agricultural laborers
commonly received a denarius for a 12-hour work-day." Insight On the
Scriptures, Vol. 1, p. 614.

xiv Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 2; Declaration on the
Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief, Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 36/55 of 25
November 1981; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Part
II, Article 2 and Article 18:1.

xv National Social Security Institute, INSS/CAF-21,600,0 - Coordinator's
Office, on 11.12.97, Ref.: Term of Debt NFLD No. 018.702-0, 03.22.96,
Taxpayer: Sociedade Torre de Vigia de Biblias e Tratados, Matter:
Ministerial Avocation - Non-raising; and Ministry of Social Security and
Support- MPAS, National Institute of Social Security - INSS, General
Advisor's Office - Advisory, .200.13 - Collection Advisory Division,
Brasilia, May 06.


JOHN MCLAUGHLIN'S "ONE ON ONE"

GUESTS: SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS) AND NINA HOPE SHEA, MEMBER, U.S.
COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

TAPED: FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2000
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF MAY 20, 2000

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Intolerance. At the dawn of the 21st century, one of
mankind's age-old curses still afflicts us. It is religious intolerance.
In China, Christians and so-called "cults" are the targets of brutal
government crack-downs. In the Sudan, antichristian riots have killed
hundreds. In Russia, antisemitism is rearing its despicable head. Is there
a cure for intolerance, a way to guarantee religious freedom? We'll ask
Senator Sam Brownback and Nina Hope Shea.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senator Brownback, your committee this week held hearings.
What were those hearings about?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It was about the Religious Commission report on
international religious liberty and what has happened, in that report,
they're putting forward three countries that they're particularly citing
that have some of the worst cases of religious abuse, such as in the Sudan
and China, and one that we hold some of the most promise, but some of the
problems are rearing their head, in Russia. We held the hearings on that.
It was their first report that they've come out with.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nina Shea, you're a member of that commission, are you
not?

MS. SHEA: Yes, I am.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the official title of the commission?

MS. SHEA: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: International Religious Freedom. Is this a new commission?

MS. SHEA: This was the first annual report of the commission. We were
founded in 1998 under the act that also established an ambassador for
religious freedom in the State Department, and we are mandated to make
recommendations to the president and to Congress about foreign policy
regarding some of the worst religious persecutors in the world.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So this is your first report?

MS. SHEA: That's correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What kind of standing does it have, officially?

MS. SHEA: It is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you get cooperation from the White House? Did you get
cooperation from the State Department?

MS. SHEA: We are an independent panel created by Congress. We got -- our
cooperation from the State Department was so-so. We had some meetings, we
met with the president briefly. We met with Madeleine Albright, the
secretary of State, once. But one of the problems was that we were not
given access to important cables, especially on Sudan, from --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You were not?

MS. SHEA: We were not. So, at this point --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you register a complaint on that?

MS. SHEA: We have, and that's in the report.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And did you get any satisfaction from the State
Department?

MS. SHEA: We were told that they would correct that, so we're looking
forward to having a good working relationship with them next year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I mention this because this is a brand new commission, is
it not?

SEN. BROWNBACK: Oh, it's brand new. This is their first report.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you find it odd that religious liberty, which is at the
backbone of this country, one of its key, if not its central underpinning
since the Pilgrims came here seeking religious freedom -- and I come from
the state, Rhode Island, where Roger Williams sought religious freedom
there. Do you find it odd that it's taken this long for the United States
Congress to focus on religious liberty?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I find it odd, but I'm also finding it a proud moment that
we're finally doing it. This country was founded on religious freedom. My
state of Kansas came into the union on the fight about freedom versus
slavery. And it was abolitionists that moved it out to Kansas, went out to
Kansas, that founded that freedom. But the U.S. is finally stepping up and
standing tall and starting to say this is a key human right, what you do
with your own soul. Indeed, it's the first human right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, you've caucused with the members of the commission
because you are a member of the commission yourself; correct?

MS. SHEA: That's correct.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How were you impressed by your peers? And how many are
there, and who heads it up?

MS. SHEA: We have 10 members. There are nine voting members. It's very
diverse politically -- both parties are represented -- and very diverse
religiously.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who selects the members of the commission?

MS. SHEA: We have a couple selected by the president, a couple selected by
the majority in the House, majority in the Senate, who are the the
opposite parties of the president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who heads up the commission?

MS. SHEA: Our chairman is David Saperstein (sp), who is a rabbi.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's a rabbi.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And is there a Mr. Siple (sp), or Reverend Siple (sp)?

SEN. BROWNBACK: He's the ambassador-at-large for religious freedom that
was also appointed in this act, Bob Siple (sp), excellent man, really a
top-quality guy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was he with World Vision?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I understand that he was previously. So he has a
background and a knowledge of issues regarding faith around the world, and
he carries a passion with it, which is needed as well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right.

Now, the commission decided that it would sharpen its focus in this
particular report and focus on Russia and China and the Sudan. Let's talk
about the Sudan. What is going on in the Sudan, which, by the way, is a
country in Africa? It's about four times the size of Texas, bigger than
Texas, that is. It's got about 35 million people. And it's about 52
percent black and about 35 percent Muslim.

MS. SHEA: We call Sudan -- the commission calls Sudan the world's most
violent religious persecutor, and that's why we took it up. Two million
people have been killed in a war that is largely about religion. That is,
a major factor of the war that's been going on for 17 years is about
religion. It was ignited when the government tried to impose Shariah law
and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is Shariah law? S-h-a-r-i-a-h, right?

MS. SHEA: Islamic law.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Islamic law.

MS. SHEA: It's a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you've got Muslims who are fighting and trying to
repress the Christians; correct?

MS. SHEA: Not quite correct. It's a Muslim extremist government that's
unpopular among its own people as well. It's a dictatorship.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this the government in the north or the government in
the south?

MS. SHEA: There's only one government, and that's the government in
Khartoum, in the north.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I'm talking about the government of the rebels in
the south. That, of course, is a Christian quasi- government, government
in exile, if you would. Correct?

MS. SHEA: There is a rebel force there that is comprised mostly of
Christians and animists and also some Muslims.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, has there been much bloodshed in this war?

MS. SHEA: Two million killed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two million?

MS. SHEA: Two million killed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two million. That must be a kind of a record, isn't it?

MS. SHEA: More than Kosovo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Bosnia combined.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Over how many years, Nina Shea?

MS. SHEA: That's over 17 years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Seventeen years?

MS. SHEA: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there any remission in the fighting, or is it going on
with the violence that it has had all along?

MS. SHEA: It's accelerating because oil has been discovered there and is
now being piped up. And enormous revenues are being channeled to the
government; that started last August. Foreign companies -- Chinese
government companies, Canadian companies -- Talisman Energy -- are pumping
oil for the government of Khartoum in a joint venture partnership. The
government's wealthy now; it can afford to really prosecute the war.

SEN. BROWNBACK: (Inaudible) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the government --

SEN. BROWNBACK: -- that's what they're doing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- you have been there, right, Senator?

SEN. BROWNBACK: Yes, I have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the government instigating the violence there?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I believe that they are. I believe that they are, not only
doing it, they are also commissioning other people to do it. And they also
put things such as -- slavery is in practice in the Sudan.

I met yesterday in my office with a young man that had been a slave for 10
years in the Sudan, taken when he was 7 years old and wasn't able to
escape to freedom until he was 17 years old. And he was just -- he was a
slave. And that's happened in thousands of cases in the Sudan. Slavery
happens today somewhere in the world, and it's in the Sudan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So we are talking about a Muslim government that is
instigating violence?

SEN. BROWNBACK: An extremist Muslim government, because there are a number
of Muslim moderates that aren't satisfied or happy with this government at
all either. And they took power by force about 10 years ago.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What kind of proportionality are we talking about? What
percentage of moderate Muslims then, who do not try to impose their faith,
their belief, their purist Muslim belief?

SEN. BROWNBACK: The group that took power -- they had stood for election
prior to taking power by force, and they got less than 17 percent of the
vote.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why is this -- is there something in the Muslim religion
that makes it prone to instigate a dimension and a quality of violence and
aggression? For example, Islama (sic) bin Laden, he clearly is motivated
by something that makes the West appear the harlot of the world, and he
hates it, and he wants to stop it. And he wants to impose the will of the
Muslim faith upon it. What is there about the Muslim faith where it is
felt in this type of extreme conditions -- what is there about it that
makes it so intense and violent and aggressive?

MS. SHEA: Well, I don't think that's quite fair; I don't think that Bin
Laden speaks for the Muslim faith. He is self-appointed. He is a Lone
Ranger. He goes out. He is very wealthy; he is able to hire armies, hire
terrorists. And I don't know what his true motives are, whether they are
religious or he is seeking power. Certainly, the government of Sudan is
seeking power and cynically cloaking itself in religious garb in order to
do this, to consolidate its power.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't wish to convey the view that I think that the
Muslim religion is anything else but noble and that there are these sects
or parts of pieces of the Muslim religion, which are extremely violent.
And they believe that everyone should convert to Islam; and if they don't
convert, then it's time for war. And, therefore, they conduct a jihad, a
so-called holy war. Correct?

MS. SHEA: That's what --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But what is there about that impulse? Is there something
in the tradition that would allow a Bin Laden and allow the government of
Khartoum to conduct itself the way it does?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I don't think it's there in that basis. I think this is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh it's there and to some extent in Nigeria?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It is. But you are also seeing; there are Muslim groups
around the world that are persecuted for their faith, as well. And there
are moderate Muslims in some places in Islamic countries, that are being
persecuted and killed for their faith, too.

And I don't think you can associate it just there with that, because it
also happens in other faiths and religions, too.

MS. SHEA: I agree with what the senator said, but I also think that this
government is, he -- they are invoking Islam as a way of getting support
for this war, which they do call a jihad. Now, I don't think they are
representative of Islam; I don't think it's a legitimate form of Islam.
There are other forms I think we should -- the United States, as policy,
should be supporting moderate Islam. We are doing no favor to our friends
who are moderate Muslims by being silent about what's going on in Sudan.
I'm not --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you talked with President Clinton about this matter
in the Sudan?

MS. SHEA: Yes, I have.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What did he say to you?

MS. SHEA: He said, he only said, "I find it very frustrating." He was not
that engaged in the issue. We have really been begging him, the
commission, Freedom House, the senator --

SEN. BROWNBACK: I have. I've met with Secretary of State Albright, I've
talked with her three times. I've talked with the national security
advisor about this, asked for a meeting with the president about it. We've
been pushing to try to get this as a focus point, because of all the
countries around the world, religious persecution is taking place the most
and the worst in the Sudan.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Sudan is horrible. Horrible.

SEN. BROWNBACK: It's a horrible situation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It stands alone as a perverse monument to intolerance. But
let me ask you this. When you were in Khartoum -- as you know, the
president was responsible for bombing the El-Shifa pharmaceutical factory
over there and it was a glaring mistake, and the CIA has all but admitted
it. And -- has that inflamed the passions of those -- of those violent
Muslims who are there, those violent Islamists who are there?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I have not detected that. Now, I have not been in
Khartoum. I've been in the southern part of the Sudan in the areas that
have been held by the rebels. I have not been in Khartoum.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you saw the famine?

SEN. BROWNBACK: The areas I were in there was not a famine going on at
that time. I was at a refugee camp where people had been driven from the
famine territories, and I've heard and talked with a number of people who
have had family members killed, that have died --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you don't detect any reaction to the erroneous bombing
of the El-Shifa pharmaceutical plant?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I think there has to be a reaction to that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But we know there's a government reaction.

SEN. BROWNBACK: There is a government, and I'm certain there is in the
population as well. What I'm saying is that what's taking place by
government policy in Khartoum; they house terrorists, this is a terrorist
regime, they are conducting an ethnic and religious cleansing of
monumental proportions, and the United States should be stepping forward
and helping in the south, and we're not doing it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why? Why should we help? Humanitarian grounds alone?

MS. SHEA: Yes. I think past genocides haunt our leaders today. Our
newspapers to this day are filled with stories about past genocides.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you make a geopolitical national security case out of
getting control of this lost, hopeless continent of Africa today? You've
got Sierra Leone, you've got Zimbabwe, you've got this situation there,
you have the ravaging of AIDS in the continent.

MS. SHEA: I think you have to distinguish the Sudan from all the other
areas because of the genocidal proportions of the conflict there, of the
deaths, the number of deaths.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But are there geopolitical dimensions to that?

SEN. BROWNBACK: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Israel -- is any outside nation aiding either of the
combatants?

MS. SHEA: As the senator said, this is a terrorist government that is
spreading terror around the world. They tried to assassinate the president
of Egypt. There has been links to bin Laden and so forth.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This goes to a larger point, and that is whether or not
Africa itself, in many of its locations, is becoming a terrorist
stronghold. And I've discussed this with other senators and they seem to
pooh-pooh the idea, but, you know, with the bombing of our embassy in
Kenya, this type of cooperation from indigenous citizens there does not
come unless there is a human climate that is hospitable to terrorism. And
bin Laden then can move in and arouse that stimulus. And I think it does
have a Muslim and Islamist extremist component that does render it
hospitable to conduct terrorist acts. So that makes it a national security
problem, does it not?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It is. And Sudan is the center --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So it goes beyond humanitarian aid.

SEN. BROWNBACK: But Sudan is the center point for terrorism in Africa, if
not globally. Actually, you'd probably have to look at Afghanistan as
being the center point for terrorism globally, as the lead country now,
but Sudan is not far behind. And it's clearly the node for Africa. That's
why we have a national security interest. And I can't believe that we
aren't willing to step forward and to speak up for these people in the
south that have been so killed, 2 million. We had 100,000 die of a
man-induced starvation in 1998 alone. You have slavery going on,
terrorism.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, wait a minute. Are you complaining we don't send
foreign aid over there?

SEN. BROWNBACK: We are doing it, but it's at the direction of the Sudanese
government of where it can go to. So they actually say you can't go here.
We have people who are starving.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do we have any of our own AID workers on the ground over
there who are directing the flow of our humanitarian aid? Do we?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It's Operation Lifeline Sudan, which is a U.N.
over-arching type of operation, that's actually delivering human aid. But
it only goes where the Sudanese government lets it go.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But there's a larger question here, and that is the
incredibly paltry dimension of our foreign aid as a nation. Here we are,
the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world, and we stand at the
dead bottom of the top 20 nations that contribute. I think it's less than
1 percent of our national budget. It's about one-fourth of 1 percent of
our national budget.

MS. SHEA: It's overall very small, but I think in Sudan it's pretty large.
We've been giving about $100 million a year to Sudan for the last 10
years. That's a billion dollars in aid. But there's no policy, there's no
over-arching policy, so we don't do anything to stop the killing, we don't
do anything to stop this displacement of people. Five million people have
been driven from their lands, cannot grow agriculture, cannot produce,
cannot feed themselves, dependent on this humanitarian help.

SEN. BROWNBACK: When I was there, they weren't asking for more food aid,
for even food aid. They were saying, "Look, stop the bombings that are
taking place from the north. Let us get to peace here." That's what they
really want.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should the U.S. trade relationship with China be in any
way controlled, governed or regulated by China's treatment of its citizens
and their human rights?

We'll put that question to our guests. But first, here are their
distinguished profiles:

Born Garnett, Kansas. Forty-three years of age. Wife, Mary. Five children;
two children recently adopted, a girl from China, a boy from Guatemala.
Methodist. Republican. Kansas State University, B.S. University of Kansas,
Doctor of Laws. State of Kansas, secretary of agriculture, seven years.
United States House of Representatives, Kansas, two years. United States
Senate, Kansas, four years and currently. Committees: Commerce, Science
and Transportation, Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions; Joint Economic Committee. Hobbies: reading history, working the
family farm, running. Samuel Dale Brownback.

Born Philadelphia. Forty-six years of age. Husband, Adam. Three children.
Catholic. Independent. Smith College, B.A. American University, Doctor of
Laws. Human rights attorney, emphasis on religious persecution, 21 years
and currently. Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom, director, four
years and currently. United States Commission on International Religious
Freedom, commissioner, one year and currently. Author: "In the Lion's
Den," a book subtitled "A Shocking Account of Persecution and Martyrdom of
Christians Today," 1997. Hobbies: baking cakes. Nina Hope Shea.

Senator Brownback, how serious is the repression of Christianity in China?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It's serious. It also appears to have some regional
impact. In some places, it's far worse than it is in some other areas. But
the point of it is, I think to China; if they consider themselves moving
forward towards freedom and being a great nation today, they really need
to say to their citizenry, "You are free to practice whatever you want to
do and to do with your own soul as you see fit," rather than the
oppression that's taking place.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In your hearings, did you concentrate on the repression of
religious freedom in Tibet?

SEN. BROWNBACK: We focused some on that. China was one of the three
countries that we hit, and Tibet is one of the most glaring examples. And
I personally have met with a number of Tibetan refugees; even in January
of this year, I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, talking with people who had spent
two weeks at least, walking over the Himalayas in the wintertime just to
get to freedom. And they had some incredible stories of that human spirit
and the willingness to be out and to be free.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the United Nations recently accused China of using
torture; I think it was an Amnesty International report. Is torture used
to repress dissidents, do you know, Nina Shea?

MS. SHEA: Absolutely. And we have seen some torture deaths this year. A
Falun Gong woman was beaten --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Falun Gong?

MS. SHEA: -- Gong -- the spiritual movement --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MS. SHEA: -- in China that's being terribly repressed; 35,000 of them by
the government's own admission, were imprisoned. Some of those people have
been tortured.

And some have been tortured to death. A Catholic bishop was handed over to
his family in the early '90s, dead -- the body -- dead with marks of
torture all over it; Catholic priests found dead on the street, last seen
in custody last May, a year ago.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Should we use trade sanctions to modify China's behavior
towards religious dissidents?

MS. SHEA: The Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's your commission, the new commission.

MS. SHEA: The new commission recommended that we not give PNTR to China at
this time. It sends the wrong message. We want to see substantial progress
in a range of categories.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that the gentleman you're sitting next to favors
giving China permanent normal trade relation status, is that correct?

SEN. BROWNBACK: That's correct. I think it's the best way for us to move
China forward towards more freedom, including religious freedom.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you make that clear to the members of the commission
when you held you hearings this week?

SEN. BROWNBACK: We discussed that issue some, but it was also in an
overall context of --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You didn't make it clear what your own opinion was?

SEN. BROWNBACK: I don't think we discussed that at length at that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you have unanimity from the members of your commission
on this point?

MS. SHEA: Yes, we did, and we have a wide range of people. We have a
Catholic bishop, we have a Jewish rabbi, we have a Baha'i, we have a
Muslim on our group, Protestants, and everybody agreed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you hear the rationale of the senator for not
restricting trade relations, or denying them PNTR status, by reason of the
things that worry you?

MS. SHEA: Yes, and you know, the commission recognizes that in many of
China's neighboring countries that trade relations -- permit trade, normal
relations -- does open up countries politically. But we feel that to give
China this benefit at this time when there is such a sharp deterioration
in religious freedom now would send the wrong signal.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Antisemitism exists in Russia. How bad is it and what
measures is the U.S. government taking to try to induce Russia to
eliminate antisemitism?

MS. SHEA: We're very concerned about antisemitism. It is rising, it's a
serious societal problem in Russia, and we're also concerned about the
religious registration law that requires all churches and all religious
groups to register or else be liquidated.

SEN. BROWNBACK: And that's the point of really what the commission is
looking at now, is Russia is setting the template for much of the Soviet
Union, and they're putting in these very restrictive religious laws, and
we don't want them to do it because if they do it, it's going to be
replicated in a number of areas.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Russia engaged in antisemitism -- I mean, that segment
of the Russian population -- because of scapegoating?

SEN. BROWNBACK: Who knows, really, what all the underlying factors are
that takes place in it, but it exists and it's pretty rampant within that
country, and I think we've got to continually speak up and say religious
freedom is a key right for everybody, regardless of what their faith is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have a concluding thought, quickly?

MS. SHEA: That we should continue to support the Smith Amendment tying our
aid to Russia to religious freedom.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thanks so much, Nina Shea and Senator Brownback.

SEN. BROWNBACK: Thank you.

MS. SHEA: Thank you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Baha'i movement, and we can call that a religious
movement, that movement is key to the lives of 7 (million) to 8 million
people worldwide. There's terrible persecution of the Baha'is going on in
Iran, in Pakistan and, where, Russia?

MS. SHEA: There's some in Burma, I think some in Malaysia, yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, I know that the commission has focused on the
countries of China and Russia and Sudan and the more outstanding and
populated religions, but what about the Baha'is? You have a Baha'i member
on your commission, correct?

MS. SHEA: That's right. And we are going to be taking up Iran this next
report. We're very concerned about it because it's illegal to be a Baha'i
in Iran. It can be punishable by death. And they have killed 200 of them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This goes to my point that where you have the Muslim
religion you do have a serious or more or less uncontrolled element of
aggression that comes to the fore that has a religious -- a
pseudo-religious origin that makes it almost beyond constraint. And this
is the case with the Baha'is. They cannot tolerate the Baha'is because
they're not from Islam.

MS. SHEA: It definitely is a -- they consider it a heretical sect, and
apostate, and, therefore, liable for death, have no rights under the
constitution.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was founded by an Iranian in, what, the 1860s? Is that
right?

MS. SHEA: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And let's move on to Scientology. There's another --it's
called a cult, which is kind of a dismissive word, which almost invites a
certain amount of oppression, doesn't it?

SEN. BROWNBACK: It does, or regulation, in some countries. Where I get
concerned is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But it is, to those who practice Scientology, a true
faith.

SEN. BROWNBACK: It is. And where I get concerned is, like the First
Amendment, when you start cutting somebody's speech out somewhere, I get
concerned anywhere about it. And I think you ought to look at this the
same way. What people choose to do with their own souls is their right,
and it should be protected.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know, in Germany, the Scientologists take an
extra-heavy hit. Why do the Germans find Scientology so obnoxious? Do you
know?

MS. SHEA: They don't consider it a religion, and I guess they feel
threatened by it. And I don't think governments, especially Germany,
should be in the business of saying, you know, what's a religion or not.
And I find it very disconcerting.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you find that India is a religiously free country, or
does it also persecute Christians? Because I've read about Jesuits in
northern India who have been either slain or wounded and members of their
schools likewise, or communities.

SEN. BROWNBACK: You can read about a number of horrifying stories in
India. But I would put on your radar screen North Korea. I'm reading some
absolutely terrifying stories, and I've had in my office people who have
witnessed individuals who were told, "Renounce your faith or we're going
to pour this molten iron over your head and kill you." And they wouldn't
renounce their faith, and they witnessed people killed that way, with
poured molten iron on their head. I've read of stories of people having
road equipment run over people because they wouldn't deny their faith, you
know, and this is governments doing it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is because communism cannot withstand anything that
looks like a conflicting hierarchy; correct?

MS. SHEA: That's right. And we're seeing that today in Vietnam, as well.
And they're particularly harsh with the independent Buddhist church, but
also Protestants and also some Catholics in the tribal villages in
Vietnam, plus the Hoa Hao, which is an indigenous religion similar to
Buddhism.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have some of your people from the commission been to
Vietnam?

MS. SHEA: Some of them no doubt have, not as representing the commission,
but the commission has also met with delegations from Vietnam, delegations
of religious people who are oppressed, and that is one of the countries
that is on our list for next year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I was in Saigon and in Hanoi about six months ago, and I
heard a little bit about the Buddhist persecution, but not as strongly as
you have put it. But apparently something is there.

SEN. BROWNBACK: The problem is, this is going on in so many places around
the world. And the beauty of what we're doing is it's finally starting to
get a little bit of focus, but it needs a lot more.

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