France: Case of a Scientology school grinds on


Patron Meritorious
Translation of a French article posted on May 11, 2011 on the website of several daily newspapers, for example L'Est Républicain:
La justice sur les traces d'une école liée à la Scientologie
Case of a school linked to Scientology grinds on

May 11, 2011

After 13 years of legal procedures and eight investigating judges, the judicial system is about to complete its investigation concerning the Aubert de Vincennes Institute in Val-de-Marne, a private school suspected of applying Scientology precepts without the knowledge of the students' parents.

The Créteil prosecutor's office recently requested that four of the seven persons indicted in the case be put on trial, including two former officials of the Paris branch of the Church of Scientology, a motion which paves the way for the final procedural step, issuance of the trial order by the investigating judge. Considered a cult in France, Scientology has escaped prosecution only because of the expiration "of the reasonable time for a trial," writes the Créteil deputy prosecutor, Bernard Thouvenot, in his indictment.

It was in 1998 that the Aubert Institute, now closed, attracted the attention of judicial authorities. "There were consistent reports from parents who were concerned about certain practices," says a source in the entourage of Patrick Gérard, mayor of Vincennes at the time and today rector of the Paris Academy.

According to the indictment, this non-government funded establishment had for a year taught some fifty students Scientology-based precepts which were "carefully" concealed from parents who were not followers of the movement. One of them "was surprised to learn that his two children were performing cleaning chores or that their teacher had taught them how to relieve pain" by applying the "contact technique" invented by Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, writes prosecutor Thouvenot.

The teachers, most of them followers of the movement, did not have "appropriate degrees", according to the indictment, which also alleges that the school's management was actually "controlled" by the Paris branch of Scientology. The Aubert Institute "applied methods that are dangerous from a medical, pedagogical, and moral standpoint," concludes the prosecutor, who demands in particular that the establishment's director, Arlette Sanguinetti, be tried in correctional court for "fraud" and "concealed employment".

In the 1990s, Ms. Sanguinetti had already managed an establishment in Paris that was reputed to be close to Scientology, the École de l'éveil, which resulted in her being fined in 1997 for wrongfully claiming accreditation by the Ministry of National Education. "This is a form of religious persecution against Scientology. Arlette Sanguinetti is the scapegoat for something that is much larger," retorts her lawyer, Yann Streiff, in whose judgment the case concerning the Aubert Institute is "incomplete". "There are sealed documents on which the accusations are based and we were never able to see them," said the lawyer to AFP. He has counter-attacked by filing a motion with the Paris court of appeal to quash the case.

Alexis Gublin, the lawyer for another indicted person, declined to comment, as did the spokesman for the Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology of Paris.

"Education is one of the favorite targets for cults, but it is genuinely difficult to detect sectarian abuses in schools that are not government funded," explains Georges Fenech, head of the Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses (Miviludes).

Scientology is considered a religion in the United States and it claims 45,000 followers in France.

In a separate matter, the Paris branch will undergo an appeal trial for organized fraud at the end of the year in Paris.


Bitter defrocked apostate
Hubbardists just keep on pulling it in, don't they? They have never grasped that "what's true for you is true" might be acceptable within the community of consenting adults that want to play the 'Bridge to Total Freedom' science fantasy roleplaying game, but that it's utterly incompatible with the real world, where it runs up against awkward, 'suppressive' concepts like the truth, as sought in a court of law.

Scientology by stealth, worked upon children, is even more despicable than the usual celebration of Hubbardian mental illness, as found in the orgs. I am pleased to see that the French are wise to the scam.

Thanks for posting the translation.

:)eyeroll: Forty-five thousand members in France, my arse. :eyeroll:)