France 2009: Georges Fenech & Eric Roux Face to Face

mnql1

Patron Meritorious
A few days after Scientology was convicted of organized fraud on October 27, 2009 in Paris, Georges Fenech, the president of France's cult-monitoring agency MIVILUDES and Scientology spokesman Eric Roux met face-to-face on French television for the first and only time. This is the video of their encounter.

The program's host, Paul Amar, and journalist Julie Martin first summarize the court's verdict. Paul Amar then interviews Georges Fenech and Eric Roux, and a heated discussion ensues. An English transcript is provided below.

Reminder: The verdict of the November 2011 appeal of Scientology's 2009 organized fraud conviction is expected on February 2, 2012.

France 2009: MIVILUDES President Georges Fenech
& Scientology Spokesman Eric Roux Face to Face

[video=youtube;FgZzDtv2QD8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgZzDtv2QD8[/video]

This subtitled video is also available for download via the following link:

Revu et corrigé 2009-10-31 Fenech-Roux Eng Subs.avi
File size: 190.2 MB
Duration: 14 min. 27 sec.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DVMOQBEI

English transcript

Program name: Revu et corrigé
Broadcast date: October 31, 2009
Host: Paul Amar
Journalist: Julie Martin
Guests:
Georges Fenech, president of MIVILUDES (Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses)
Éric Roux, spokesman for the Church of Scientology in France.


Paul Amar: Political affairs will figure largely in this program, but we begin with a debate which has never been possible to arrange until now. This is a first. This debate will oppose Georges Fenech — Hello. And Éric Roux — Hello.

Georges Fenech is the president of MIVILUDES, the Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses. Éric Roux is a minister in the Church of Scientology and spokesman.

The church was convicted with severe penalties this week [Oct. 27, 2009], by the Paris correctional court, for organized fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy. However, it has not been dissolved. Here is a report by Julie Martin.

Julie Martin: After Lyon and Marseille, the Paris correctional court has convicted the Church of Scientology. Four top French officials of the organization were found guilty of organized fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy. The spiritual association complains that it is the target of a cabal.

Éric Roux: (Spokesman for the Church of Scientology) There is no reason to continue to be retrograde like this in France and to let media and politics interfere with justice.

Julie Martin: Suspended prison sentences ranging from 2 months to 10 years and fines of 630,000 euros were handed down for taking tens of thousands of euros away from former members. These penalties are of historic severity, but the organization was also facing the risk of dissolution.

Patrick Maisonneuve: (Lawyer for the Church of Scientology) The prosecutor had requested the death penalty for the Church of Scientology and the court decided today that the Church of Scientology must continue to live.

Julie Martin: Instead of pushing the organization into clandestinity, the court opted for publicity. The Church of Scientology must have the decision published in 5 French daily newspapers and 2 American newspapers, a very rare decision hailed by the associations for the defense of families.

Catherine Picard: (President of UNADFI) This is an intelligent decision. This will publicly highlight the fraud, the manipulation, and the danger.

Julie Martin: Pressuring of members, abuse of weakness, personality tests with no proven scientific validity, the methods used were condemned by the judges.

Olivier Morice (Lawyer for the injured parties) The court said: "Be very careful! If you continue to use the same methods, the justice system will not let go of you the next time."

Julie Martin: A court will have to rule on this case again sometime, perhaps next year. The Church of Scientology has announced its intention to launch an appeal.

Paul Amar: And why was it not dissolved, Julie?

Julie Martin: For 2 reasons, at least. First, there was a foul-up. Dissolution was no longer legally possible since last May 12 (2009) because of a modification of the penal code introduced by members of parliament — apparently unwittingly — in a bill that wasn't politically controversial, because the goal was to simplify the law and streamline procedures. Some saw this as proof of an infiltration by Scientology into our institutions, but the Minister of Justice believes instead that this was due to an error.

Michèle Alliot-Marie: (Minister of Justice) We did not realize we were at the same time barring ourselves, as it were, from being able to dissolve groups such as cults. This was a material error and it will be corrected as soon as possible.

Julie Martin: The error has in fact been corrected. Senators voted on October 14 [2009] to rescind this change. But it took time to repair the damage and, since the law is not retroactive, there is no possibility of dissolution.

Paul Amar: Let's forget about parliament. Did the judges consider dissolving it?

Julie Martin: There are grounds to doubt it, and this is the second reason. Dissolving the organization or simply prohibiting its activity — which the judges could have requested — would have been counterproductive, according to the court. Why? Because this would have driven the Church of Scientology and its members into clandestinity, in other words, driven them outside the legal framework, and outside the legal framework, it is difficult for judges and parliamentarians to exercise any control.

Paul Amar: Georges Fenech, you see things from 2 perspectives. You are the president of MIVILUDES, the Interministerial Mission of Combat against Sectarian Abuses, and you are also a judge. Is this the right decision? I understand that a judicial decision is not open to comment, nevertheless, is this the right decision — conviction without dissolution?

Georges Fenech: The first thing to note is that this is the first time in France — this is a historic judicial decision — that Scientology as a legal person, as an entity, is convicted. Until now, it was physical persons who had committed infractions. Now, it's the functioning itself of the Church of Scientology which has been heavily convicted by the court, because the fines are very high, 600,000 euros, and suspended prison sentences have been handed down. This is a first point. This is a historic first.

Regarding dissolution, as the Minister of Justice very aptly said, because of an error, dissolution — the penalty of dissolution disappeared without anyone noticing. Now, you will tell me that this gives an impression of disorder. Yes, it does, and we at MIVILUDES made this public. And I understand that citizens may be asking themselves, "A few years ago, files disappeared. Now it's the law that disappeared."

Paul Amar: You are also a former member of parliament. There were even suspicions of infiltration.

Georges Fenech: Yes, there have been suspicions. I rely today on the explanation given by the Minister of Justice and by the President of the National Assembly, who say it was a material error. Nevertheless, the provision for this penalty has been restored and this, in my opinion, is what is most important for the future.

Paul Amar: What stands out in your mind, Éric Roux? The convictions or the fact there was no dissolution?

Éric Roux: Well, both. What strikes me first is that there were many fantasies about dissolution and that today we have a court which, of course, couldn't resort to dissolution, though there have been many fantasies about the reason why. In any case, it couldn't, but it could have requested a ban and today the court did not request a ban, it said that the Church of Scientology must continue in this country. So this stands out for me.

Regarding the convictions, of course, you've seen that we've... that we are going to appeal and we've given notice that we will do this. I think that, today, we've had justice under pressure, that we've had justice under media pressure, under political pressure, and that it was very difficult to render a serene judgment and to render justice serenely in such an environment. And I think that, based on the fundamentals of the case, we have very good chances of acquittal on appeal.

Paul Amar: The court, which I am quoting, did not want to issue a judgment against the value of a doctrine, but against certain methods. It's the methods that are blamed, but your doctrine fosters these methods. Will you continue to use these methods, for example: personality tests, the e-meter?

Éric Roux: This is where hypocrisy comes in. It is hypocrisy to say: "We don't touch religion! You are a religion. That is not our concern." And —

Paul Amar: You say "religion". A question was sent to us earlier: Is Scientology a religion or a cult? You say it's a religion.

Éric Roux: Of course, I say it's a religion. It's a religion in most countries. It's a religion according to experts who have studied Scientology. There is no question about this. So they say: "We don't judge religion." And then they say that religious practices, that are protected by the Declaration of Human Rights, which France ratified, that these religious practices should not be allowed. So religion is being judged and it was the only thing that was judged in this trial.

Paul Amar: Both of you can address my questions, but I also encourage you ... As I said earlier, this is indeed a first. This is the first time that the president of MIVILUDES has agreed to meet and debate — By the way, why did you accept this invitation, Georges Fenech?

Georges Fenech: I accepted because, first of all, it is in my nature. I dislike running away from difficulty and I don't consider today that this is a difficulty because I think it is my responsibility, as head of MIVILUDES, to meet with persons who can come under observation by MIVILUDES. I am profoundly — I didn't come here to debate or convince. I came to tell Mr. Éric Roux that MIVILUDES is not a clandestine or sectarian organization. We are also here to listen to what you have to say. We do not wage personal battles. I have never waged a personal battle, contrary to what you believe, even though as an investigating judge, I followed the investigation of this case. It has always been in the course of my duties. I simply say that it is important that you understand what the court has just said and how MIVILUDES views the functioning of your organization so that you might perhaps adapt — I don't know.

But do not say, under any circumstances, that the court has given you an endorsement, or said, "You must continue to operate." The court did not say this at all. The court condemned the functioning — listen carefully! It condemned the functioning of the organization: organized fraud, fraudulent maneuvers. The court said it would not resort to dissolution — In the first place, dissolution was no longer possible. The court makes reference to dissolution. It notes that the penalty of dissolution had disappeared. And it says that to prohibit would mean to prohibit what? To prohibit the sale of books by Ron Hubbard? This would be truly grotesque in a democracy. To prohibit the use of an e-meter? Why? Taken intrinsically, things like this should not be banned. We are in a democracy. It's these things as a whole. Why as a whole? Because they are used to rob individuals and their families of their money and their possessions. That is what the fraud is.

Paul Amar: Excuse me, here is a question. Will the victims of Scientology receive compensation?

Georges Fenech: Of course! The victims —

Mr. Roux, you must surely realize that your organization has been repeatedly convicted in France since 1978. This is the sixth conviction, including Ron Hubbard's conviction in 1978, the case in Lyon in which I was the investigating judge and which ended in the Court of Cassation, where the sentences were confirmed.

The big problem is that you are maniacs for money. Everything is — You say you are a religion. You say it is recognized as a religion everywhere in the world. I say that no country in the world recognizes you as a religion. Because what enables you to play on confusion is that you enjoy tax exemptions in certain states.

Why have you never applied for status in France as an association of worship, as defined by the 1905 law? Because you know very well that you have no chance of obtaining it, since you are outside of a doctrine, which I respect and do not condemn. Ron Hubbard's stories about galactic wars 75 million years ago, the Thetans deep in the craters of volcanoes ... That is your problem. I have no comment. What interests me is respect for the law. And when you control a person's mind with pseudo-scientific personality tests, when you put people in a sauna for 5 or 6 hours straight at 60 degrees C, and stuff them with vitamins and then accompany them to the bank to write checks and take out loans, I say that you are doing things that do not respect the law in France.

Éric Roux: Well, Mr. Fenech said many things. You must allow me time to respond to each point that he raised. First, you say that, in certain countries, it's a matter of declaration and of tax exemptions. I think you know these countries very poorly. And you should know that, in the United States, for example, obtaining religious recognition as Scientology currently has, required 10 years of investigation by the IRS, 10 years of investigation that enabled the IRS to evaluate 16 criteria that are certainly much more draconian than the French criteria, including no disturbance of public order, an absolutely charitable purpose, no personal enrichment, etc., etc. After 10 years, this religious recognition was obtained. In Spain, it was exactly the same thing. It took 10 years —

Georges Fenech: Let's suppose —

Éric Roux: Let me finish.

Georges Fenech: Mr. Roux, let's suppose you are right. Of what importance ...?

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, you spoke for a certain time. I will try —

Georges Fenech: Do you believe that a self-proclaimed religion —

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, let me answer your question —

Georges Fenech: — or a recognized religion is above the law?

Éric Roux: I think a religion like ours that has existed in our country for 50 years —

Georges Fenech: Don't you think that all religions, even a recognized religion, must obey the law?

Éric Roux: — that has 45,000 members in France today, —

Georges Fenech: 3,000.

Éric Roux: 12 million members worldwide —

Georges Fenech: 3,000. Those numbers are inflated.

Éric Roux: I think that, if what you advance were true, there would be queues of a thousand Scientologists lining up to complain. But despite very powerful lobbying by MIVILUDES, very powerful lobbying by UNADFI, the anti-cult association associated with you —

Georges Fenech: What does an e-meter cost, Mr. Roux?

Éric Roux: — trying to, trying to —

Georges Fenech: What does an e-meter cost?

Éric Roux: Let me finish — trying to —

Georges Fenech: No! Answer the right questions!

Éric Roux: — to create victims —

Georges Fenech: How much does the e-meter we see on the screen cost?

Éric Roux: — to justify their subsidies.

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell this e-meter?

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, you are upset.

Georges Fenech: You see? No debate is possible.

Éric Roux: You are upset because I am talking about subsidies.

Georges Fenech: This is the first time I accept a debate with you. At least have the courage to debate!

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, please let me speak.

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell this e-meter for 5,000 euros —

Éric Roux: I will answer you right afterward.

Georges Fenech: — while experts say it's worth at most 500 euros.

Éric Roux: The subsidies that you receive and that UNADFI receives, which are totally unwarranted, require that you find cases. Today you are lobbying to find some.

Georges Fenech: This is the first time I meet you for a debate. It's a pity.

Éric Roux: You managed to find 5 or 6 so-called "victims" that you turned around and used to attack Scientology and who either were expelled —

Paul Amar: Éric Roux, —

Éric Roux: I will finish in 2 seconds.

Georges Fenech: It's a pity.

Éric Roux: either expelled from Scientology or in a situation of weakness and today you have these victims and you push and you achieve your ends.

Paul Amar: A question from a viewer, pardon me. Pardon me.

Georges Fenech: It's a shame we don't have the answer about the price of the e-meter. This is important. Why do you sell it for 5,000 euros?

Éric Roux: Please ask the question. I had other things to say to Mr. Fenech on other points.

Georges Fenech: Would it embarrass you to answer?

Paul Amar: Can you give a number?

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell it for 5,000 euros?

Éric Roux: The price is 2,300 euros —

Paul Amar: 2,300 euros.

Éric Roux: — and if you had been at the trial, sir —

Georges Fenech: 2,300 euros?

Éric Roux: 2,300 euros.

Éric Roux: And if you had been at the trial —

Paul Amar: I'm not an auctioneer, so I won't raise the price.

Éric Roux: — experts testified that the price is perfectly normal, but you forget to say this.

Paul Amar: Question: Is it not hypocritical to convict Scientology of fraud without dissolving it?

Georges Fenech: But this was not possible, because the law had disappeared. However, as Olivier Morice, the lawyer representing the injured parties, said, this verdict, which is balanced and very shrewd, is telling you: "Caution! Today you are convicted because of your practices. Tomorrow, if this continues, if you start again, if you reoffend, "you are seriously risking dissolution."

There are also other trials to come. There is the case of Alain Stoffen, the Belgian pianist who spent all his money, was divorced, etc.

Éric Roux: Oh, really?

Georges Fenech: There is the case of Gloria Lopez, which is presently under investigation. This woman, a mother, who committed suicide by throwing herself under a train, because she had given you all her money without realizing it: 200,000 euros.

Éric Roux: That's not what the police told me, Mr. Fenech.

Georges Fenech: The family's possessions —

Éric Roux: Unless you have confidential information about the investigation

Georges Fenech: No, but these are well-known facts.

Éric Roux: — which would be very problematic.

Paul Amar: Gentlemen, I must conclude this exchange, which at least has the merit of having taken place.

Paul Amar: One final question, Mr. Roux.

Éric Roux: Yes.

Paul Amar: But as a journalist, really, as a journalist.

Éric Roux: Of course, yes.

Paul Amar: Will your methods — I am not passing judgment — Will your methods remain in place? Simply.

Éric Roux: Our methods are our religion and our religion will remain in place — of that I can assure you.

Paul Amar: Thank you.
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Thankyou mnql1!!! Excellent and thanks for the transcription.

Thankyou mnql1 that is EPIC




Paul Amar: Question: Is it not hypocritical to convict Scientology of fraud without dissolving it?

Georges Fenech: But this was not possible, because the law had disappeared. However, as Olivier Morice, the lawyer representing the injured parties, said, this verdict, which is balanced and very shrewd, is telling you: "Caution! Today you are convicted because of your practices. Tomorrow, if this continues, if you start again, if you reoffend, "you are seriously risking dissolution."


and


Paul Amar: Will your methods — I am not passing judgment — Will your methods remain in place? Simply.

Éric Roux: Our methods are our religion and our religion will remain in place — of that I can assure you.

Paul Amar: Thank you.


Excellent
EricRouxLooksEvil.jpg
 

Teanntás

Silver Meritorious Patron
A few days after Scientology was convicted of organized fraud on October 27, 2009 in Paris, Georges Fenech, the president of France's cult-monitoring agency MIVILUDES and Scientology spokesman Eric Roux met face-to-face on French television for the first and only time. This is the video of their encounter.

The program's host, Paul Amar, and journalist Julie Martin first summarize the court's verdict. Paul Amar then interviews Georges Fenech and Eric Roux, and a heated discussion ensues. An English transcript is provided below.

Reminder: The verdict of the November 2011 appeal of Scientology's 2009 organized fraud conviction is expected on February 2, 2012.

France 2009: MIVILUDES President Georges Fenech
& Scientology Spokesman Eric Roux Face to Face

[video=youtube;FgZzDtv2QD8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgZzDtv2QD8[/video]

This subtitled video is also available for download via the following link:

Revu et corrigé 2009-10-31 Fenech-Roux Eng Subs.avi
File size: 190.2 MB
Duration: 14 min. 27 sec.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DVMOQBEI

English transcript

Program name: Revu et corrigé
Broadcast date: October 31, 2009
Host: Paul Amar
Journalist: Julie Martin
Guests:
Georges Fenech, president of MIVILUDES (Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses)
Éric Roux, spokesman for the Church of Scientology in France.


Paul Amar: Political affairs will figure largely in this program, but we begin with a debate which has never been possible to arrange until now. This is a first. This debate will oppose Georges Fenech — Hello. And Éric Roux — Hello.

Georges Fenech is the president of MIVILUDES, the Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses. Éric Roux is a minister in the Church of Scientology and spokesman.

The church was convicted with severe penalties this week [Oct. 27, 2009], by the Paris correctional court, for organized fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy. However, it has not been dissolved. Here is a report by Julie Martin.

Julie Martin: After Lyon and Marseille, the Paris correctional court has convicted the Church of Scientology. Four top French officials of the organization were found guilty of organized fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy. The spiritual association complains that it is the target of a cabal.

Éric Roux: (Spokesman for the Church of Scientology) There is no reason to continue to be retrograde like this in France and to let media and politics interfere with justice.

Julie Martin: Suspended prison sentences ranging from 2 months to 10 years and fines of 630,000 euros were handed down for taking tens of thousands of euros away from former members. These penalties are of historic severity, but the organization was also facing the risk of dissolution.

Patrick Maisonneuve: (Lawyer for the Church of Scientology) The prosecutor had requested the death penalty for the Church of Scientology and the court decided today that the Church of Scientology must continue to live.

Julie Martin: Instead of pushing the organization into clandestinity, the court opted for publicity. The Church of Scientology must have the decision published in 5 French daily newspapers and 2 American newspapers, a very rare decision hailed by the associations for the defense of families.

Catherine Picard: (President of UNADFI) This is an intelligent decision. This will publicly highlight the fraud, the manipulation, and the danger.

Julie Martin: Pressuring of members, abuse of weakness, personality tests with no proven scientific validity, the methods used were condemned by the judges.

Olivier Morice (Lawyer for the injured parties) The court said: "Be very careful! If you continue to use the same methods, the justice system will not let go of you the next time."

Julie Martin: A court will have to rule on this case again sometime, perhaps next year. The Church of Scientology has announced its intention to launch an appeal.

Paul Amar: And why was it not dissolved, Julie?

Julie Martin: For 2 reasons, at least. First, there was a foul-up. Dissolution was no longer legally possible since last May 12 (2009) because of a modification of the penal code introduced by members of parliament — apparently unwittingly — in a bill that wasn't politically controversial, because the goal was to simplify the law and streamline procedures. Some saw this as proof of an infiltration by Scientology into our institutions, but the Minister of Justice believes instead that this was due to an error.

Michèle Alliot-Marie: (Minister of Justice) We did not realize we were at the same time barring ourselves, as it were, from being able to dissolve groups such as cults. This was a material error and it will be corrected as soon as possible.

Julie Martin: The error has in fact been corrected. Senators voted on October 14 [2009] to rescind this change. But it took time to repair the damage and, since the law is not retroactive, there is no possibility of dissolution.

Paul Amar: Let's forget about parliament. Did the judges consider dissolving it?

Julie Martin: There are grounds to doubt it, and this is the second reason. Dissolving the organization or simply prohibiting its activity — which the judges could have requested — would have been counterproductive, according to the court. Why? Because this would have driven the Church of Scientology and its members into clandestinity, in other words, driven them outside the legal framework, and outside the legal framework, it is difficult for judges and parliamentarians to exercise any control.

Paul Amar: Georges Fenech, you see things from 2 perspectives. You are the president of MIVILUDES, the Interministerial Mission of Combat against Sectarian Abuses, and you are also a judge. Is this the right decision? I understand that a judicial decision is not open to comment, nevertheless, is this the right decision — conviction without dissolution?

Georges Fenech: The first thing to note is that this is the first time in France — this is a historic judicial decision — that Scientology as a legal person, as an entity, is convicted. Until now, it was physical persons who had committed infractions. Now, it's the functioning itself of the Church of Scientology which has been heavily convicted by the court, because the fines are very high, 600,000 euros, and suspended prison sentences have been handed down. This is a first point. This is a historic first.

Regarding dissolution, as the Minister of Justice very aptly said, because of an error, dissolution — the penalty of dissolution disappeared without anyone noticing. Now, you will tell me that this gives an impression of disorder. Yes, it does, and we at MIVILUDES made this public. And I understand that citizens may be asking themselves, "A few years ago, files disappeared. Now it's the law that disappeared."

Paul Amar: You are also a former member of parliament. There were even suspicions of infiltration.

Georges Fenech: Yes, there have been suspicions. I rely today on the explanation given by the Minister of Justice and by the President of the National Assembly, who say it was a material error. Nevertheless, the provision for this penalty has been restored and this, in my opinion, is what is most important for the future.

Paul Amar: What stands out in your mind, Éric Roux? The convictions or the fact there was no dissolution?

Éric Roux: Well, both. What strikes me first is that there were many fantasies about dissolution and that today we have a court which, of course, couldn't resort to dissolution, though there have been many fantasies about the reason why. In any case, it couldn't, but it could have requested a ban and today the court did not request a ban, it said that the Church of Scientology must continue in this country. So this stands out for me.

Regarding the convictions, of course, you've seen that we've... that we are going to appeal and we've given notice that we will do this. I think that, today, we've had justice under pressure, that we've had justice under media pressure, under political pressure, and that it was very difficult to render a serene judgment and to render justice serenely in such an environment. And I think that, based on the fundamentals of the case, we have very good chances of acquittal on appeal.

Paul Amar: The court, which I am quoting, did not want to issue a judgment against the value of a doctrine, but against certain methods. It's the methods that are blamed, but your doctrine fosters these methods. Will you continue to use these methods, for example: personality tests, the e-meter?

Éric Roux: This is where hypocrisy comes in. It is hypocrisy to say: "We don't touch religion! You are a religion. That is not our concern." And —

Paul Amar: You say "religion". A question was sent to us earlier: Is Scientology a religion or a cult? You say it's a religion.

Éric Roux: Of course, I say it's a religion. It's a religion in most countries. It's a religion according to experts who have studied Scientology. There is no question about this. So they say: "We don't judge religion." And then they say that religious practices, that are protected by the Declaration of Human Rights, which France ratified, that these religious practices should not be allowed. So religion is being judged and it was the only thing that was judged in this trial.

Paul Amar: Both of you can address my questions, but I also encourage you ... As I said earlier, this is indeed a first. This is the first time that the president of MIVILUDES has agreed to meet and debate — By the way, why did you accept this invitation, Georges Fenech?

Georges Fenech: I accepted because, first of all, it is in my nature. I dislike running away from difficulty and I don't consider today that this is a difficulty because I think it is my responsibility, as head of MIVILUDES, to meet with persons who can come under observation by MIVILUDES. I am profoundly — I didn't come here to debate or convince. I came to tell Mr. Éric Roux that MIVILUDES is not a clandestine or sectarian organization. We are also here to listen to what you have to say. We do not wage personal battles. I have never waged a personal battle, contrary to what you believe, even though as an investigating judge, I followed the investigation of this case. It has always been in the course of my duties. I simply say that it is important that you understand what the court has just said and how MIVILUDES views the functioning of your organization so that you might perhaps adapt — I don't know.

But do not say, under any circumstances, that the court has given you an endorsement, or said, "You must continue to operate." The court did not say this at all. The court condemned the functioning — listen carefully! It condemned the functioning of the organization: organized fraud, fraudulent maneuvers. The court said it would not resort to dissolution — In the first place, dissolution was no longer possible. The court makes reference to dissolution. It notes that the penalty of dissolution had disappeared. And it says that to prohibit would mean to prohibit what? To prohibit the sale of books by Ron Hubbard? This would be truly grotesque in a democracy. To prohibit the use of an e-meter? Why? Taken intrinsically, things like this should not be banned. We are in a democracy. It's these things as a whole. Why as a whole? Because they are used to rob individuals and their families of their money and their possessions. That is what the fraud is.

Paul Amar: Excuse me, here is a question. Will the victims of Scientology receive compensation?

Georges Fenech: Of course! The victims —

Mr. Roux, you must surely realize that your organization has been repeatedly convicted in France since 1978. This is the sixth conviction, including Ron Hubbard's conviction in 1978, the case in Lyon in which I was the investigating judge and which ended in the Court of Cassation, where the sentences were confirmed.

The big problem is that you are maniacs for money. Everything is — You say you are a religion. You say it is recognized as a religion everywhere in the world. I say that no country in the world recognizes you as a religion. Because what enables you to play on confusion is that you enjoy tax exemptions in certain states.

Why have you never applied for status in France as an association of worship, as defined by the 1905 law? Because you know very well that you have no chance of obtaining it, since you are outside of a doctrine, which I respect and do not condemn. Ron Hubbard's stories about galactic wars 75 million years ago, the Thetans deep in the craters of volcanoes ... That is your problem. I have no comment. What interests me is respect for the law. And when you control a person's mind with pseudo-scientific personality tests, when you put people in a sauna for 5 or 6 hours straight at 60 degrees C, and stuff them with vitamins and then accompany them to the bank to write checks and take out loans, I say that you are doing things that do not respect the law in France.

Éric Roux: Well, Mr. Fenech said many things. You must allow me time to respond to each point that he raised. First, you say that, in certain countries, it's a matter of declaration and of tax exemptions. I think you know these countries very poorly. And you should know that, in the United States, for example, obtaining religious recognition as Scientology currently has, required 10 years of investigation by the IRS, 10 years of investigation that enabled the IRS to evaluate 16 criteria that are certainly much more draconian than the French criteria, including no disturbance of public order, an absolutely charitable purpose, no personal enrichment, etc., etc. After 10 years, this religious recognition was obtained. In Spain, it was exactly the same thing. It took 10 years —

Georges Fenech: Let's suppose —

Éric Roux: Let me finish.

Georges Fenech: Mr. Roux, let's suppose you are right. Of what importance ...?

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, you spoke for a certain time. I will try —

Georges Fenech: Do you believe that a self-proclaimed religion —

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, let me answer your question —

Georges Fenech: — or a recognized religion is above the law?

Éric Roux: I think a religion like ours that has existed in our country for 50 years —

Georges Fenech: Don't you think that all religions, even a recognized religion, must obey the law?

Éric Roux: — that has 45,000 members in France today, —

Georges Fenech: 3,000.

Éric Roux: 12 million members worldwide —

Georges Fenech: 3,000. Those numbers are inflated.

Éric Roux: I think that, if what you advance were true, there would be queues of a thousand Scientologists lining up to complain. But despite very powerful lobbying by MIVILUDES, very powerful lobbying by UNADFI, the anti-cult association associated with you —

Georges Fenech: What does an e-meter cost, Mr. Roux?

Éric Roux: — trying to, trying to —

Georges Fenech: What does an e-meter cost?

Éric Roux: Let me finish — trying to —

Georges Fenech: No! Answer the right questions!

Éric Roux: — to create victims —

Georges Fenech: How much does the e-meter we see on the screen cost?

Éric Roux: — to justify their subsidies.

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell this e-meter?

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, you are upset.

Georges Fenech: You see? No debate is possible.

Éric Roux: You are upset because I am talking about subsidies.

Georges Fenech: This is the first time I accept a debate with you. At least have the courage to debate!

Éric Roux: Mr. Fenech, please let me speak.

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell this e-meter for 5,000 euros —

Éric Roux: I will answer you right afterward.

Georges Fenech: — while experts say it's worth at most 500 euros.

Éric Roux: The subsidies that you receive and that UNADFI receives, which are totally unwarranted, require that you find cases. Today you are lobbying to find some.

Georges Fenech: This is the first time I meet you for a debate. It's a pity.

Éric Roux: You managed to find 5 or 6 so-called "victims" that you turned around and used to attack Scientology and who either were expelled —

Paul Amar: Éric Roux, —

Éric Roux: I will finish in 2 seconds.

Georges Fenech: It's a pity.

Éric Roux: either expelled from Scientology or in a situation of weakness and today you have these victims and you push and you achieve your ends.

Paul Amar: A question from a viewer, pardon me. Pardon me.

Georges Fenech: It's a shame we don't have the answer about the price of the e-meter. This is important. Why do you sell it for 5,000 euros?

Éric Roux: Please ask the question. I had other things to say to Mr. Fenech on other points.

Georges Fenech: Would it embarrass you to answer?

Paul Amar: Can you give a number?

Georges Fenech: Why do you sell it for 5,000 euros?

Éric Roux: The price is 2,300 euros —

Paul Amar: 2,300 euros.

Éric Roux: — and if you had been at the trial, sir —

Georges Fenech: 2,300 euros?

Éric Roux: 2,300 euros.

Éric Roux: And if you had been at the trial —

Paul Amar: I'm not an auctioneer, so I won't raise the price.

Éric Roux: — experts testified that the price is perfectly normal, but you forget to say this.

Paul Amar: Question: Is it not hypocritical to convict Scientology of fraud without dissolving it?

Georges Fenech: But this was not possible, because the law had disappeared. However, as Olivier Morice, the lawyer representing the injured parties, said, this verdict, which is balanced and very shrewd, is telling you: "Caution! Today you are convicted because of your practices. Tomorrow, if this continues, if you start again, if you reoffend, "you are seriously risking dissolution."

There are also other trials to come. There is the case of Alain Stoffen, the Belgian pianist who spent all his money, was divorced, etc.

Éric Roux: Oh, really?

Georges Fenech: There is the case of Gloria Lopez, which is presently under investigation. This woman, a mother, who committed suicide by throwing herself under a train, because she had given you all her money without realizing it: 200,000 euros.

Éric Roux: That's not what the police told me, Mr. Fenech.

Georges Fenech: The family's possessions —

Éric Roux: Unless you have confidential information about the investigation

Georges Fenech: No, but these are well-known facts.

Éric Roux: — which would be very problematic.

Paul Amar: Gentlemen, I must conclude this exchange, which at least has the merit of having taken place.

Paul Amar: One final question, Mr. Roux.

Éric Roux: Yes.

Paul Amar: But as a journalist, really, as a journalist.

Éric Roux: Of course, yes.

Paul Amar: Will your methods — I am not passing judgment — Will your methods remain in place? Simply.

Éric Roux: Our methods are our religion and our religion will remain in place — of that I can assure you.

Paul Amar: Thank you.

Merci beaucoup ! Formidable !
 

Petey C

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thank you, great interview and good work on the transcript. "A serene judgment" indeed.
 
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