Paris 3, 2000 Testimony#9
Framboise’s chiidren were taken away when she divorced and she Iost a 12-year engineering position.
Trouble began when I decided to divorce the father of my two youngest chiidren. Because I joined Rel as we were separating, he had not known of my new religion. We had taken one mutual lawyer to make the divorce go more amicably. But when he discovered I had joined Raël, he began using the anti-cuit group ADFI’s lawyer.
My ex-husband factually kidnapped our chiidren. I received a summons via a provisional order to go to the Civil First Instance Court of Nanterre in three days. For 40 days, (the duration of the proceedings) I did not see my children. I had no news from my husband, nor ADFI’s attorney of their whereabouts, safety, schooling, or states of health.
I have now won the right to keep my chiidren, but only after a psychological and social investigation verified that, even though I had changed my religion, I still really deserve to be a mother. I had to fight tooth and nail to prove my fitness as a parent. I had to provide written attestations from our family doctor, the children’s schoolteachers, friends and relatives that I was completely capable of bringing up my children and was in fact doing so responsibly.
That social investigation was extremely biased, giving undue weight to the extremely partial testimonies of my husband’s parents. To vilify us in the courts and newspapers, ADFI and its lawyer purposefully manipulated and misinterpreted quotes from Raa’s texts. The children’s father lied repeatedly, fabricating stories that never occurred to wrest our children from my care. The bulk of the file he provided consisted of no more than a few press clippings.
After leaving my husband, I lived in a beautiful house, I had excellent income, as did my boyfriend. The children could not have been in better surroundings. During the proceedings of June 1995, I won the right to keep the chiidren. Their father has generous visitation rights.
Before my divorce and joining Raël, I had been employed for 12 years as a commercial engineer in an American company. The children’s father went to see my boss and told him I was a dangerous person, that I was in a cuit, and that this was a black mark on the company’s reputation. My boss fired me in January 1996 using a trumped-up pretext of poor production. I began proceedings with the Conciliation Board and was awarded 350,000 francs damages for abusive firing. It was clear to ail that I had been fired for being a member of a minority religion.
Even though I won the right to keep my chiidren, I initiated an appeal because one clause was unbearable: Although I retained the right to remain in the Re1 religion, my chiidren were not permitted to be in the presence of others in my religion. To ensure compliance, I would have to ask the religion of every visitor, in fact of every person, every shopkeeper
we visit. But France’s Supreme Court bas confirmed this religious discrimination. The newspaper Le Monde wrote, « The Supreme Court determined Tuesday, February 22, that justice could forbid a family mother from putting her children in contact with members of the Rad movement without interfering with the right to a private life and religious freedom. »
I insist upon having my rights respected at the level of the European Court of Human Rights. Beyond losing my job and being forced to battle courts and attorneys for the right to keep my children, I have lost many friends. After my former husband visited them, showing slanderous press articles, they now ignore me.
Paris 3, 2000 Testimony#11
Patrick and his wife were forced out of business and their children were harassed.
My husband Patrick and I own and mn a management and recruitment company. We do not do the recruiting ourselves; we give clients practical tools they can use to find and recruit the people they need. Clients are normally extremely pleased with our services.
My husband is an active Scientologist who often speaks out for human rights. He has been seen on television and in newspapers several times on the subject.
The press often attacks us because we have been Scientologists for about 15 years. In Paris Match magazine my husband was « accused » of being a Scientologist. Repeated slander campaigns have forced us to fight non-stop to recover clients and prospects the media has scared off.
As a mother, I must constantly explain things to and work with my children because they are forced to answer question alter question about our religion at school. All of us must constantly justify and defend our religions beliefs. People begin conversations with the assumption that we are guilty of something. We lose friends and relationships.
We have been forced to close two very successful companies and dismiss 10 staff. Such continuai persecution and suspicion wears down the spirit and makes life extremely trying on every front.
Paris 3, 2000 Testimony#12
Jacques, a Celtic priest, and his parishioners have seen their lives ruined and cannot obtain justice in French courts.
« Arc-en-Ciel » centers have existed in Brittany for 25 years. In these centers, one can practice yoga, sophrology [a therapy based on relaxation and hypnosis techniques,] and meditation. We are therapists, energy practitioners, and phytotherapists [herbal medicine.] We also sell nutritional products. Like myself, some who attend are religious. I am a Celtic orthodox priest.
Our centers had no probiems prior to the October 1994 publication of an article in Paris- Match magazine that misrepresented « Arc-en-Ciel » as the Brittany branch of the Order of the Solar Temple (OTS). Because the article cited documents supposedly from the Renseignements Généraux, I visited this government agency’s offices in Rennes. I asked if there was anything we could be accused of even though I had no idea what such a thing could be. Everyone I spoke to in Renseignements Généraux explicitly assured me there was nothing against us.
We lodged a complaint against Paris-Match and a court case followed. Paris-Match’s socalled « Renseignements Généraux » documents were exposed as fabrications. We learned the Rennes anti-cuit group ADFI was behind it all. At the magistrate’s court, Paris-Match was sentenced to pay one million francs damages to the « Arc-en-Ciel » association.
Paris-Match appealed this verdict and soon introduced false testimony of someone who had frequented our center. That person’s perjury—given in writing to ADFI and by ADFI to Paris-Match—accused me of being a personal friend of Luc Jouret, leader of the Order of the Solar Temple. The allegations said I had studied naturopathy with Jouret in Switzerland. I am not a naturopath, and have never once been in Switzerland.
The perjurer also gave Jeanine Tavernier (president of UNADFI, the headquarters of ADFI) other documents that were obviously fake and were declared inadmissible during the appeal. Even so, the appeal reduced the judgment against Paris-Match down to 120,000 francs.
I lodged a complaint for false testimony and the Rennes SRPJ (judicial police) investigated for a year and a half. They concluded that « Arc-en-Ciel » has never had any contact with Solar Temple.
As the Paris-Match/ADFI appeal occurred just before the infamous parliamentary report, « Arc-en-Ciel » is not listed as a cuit. But the small religious association of which I am the head clergyman is listed as a cuit. Though our prayer services have only 20 attendees, we are misrepresented as a sprawling and dangerous association with 500 members. I have visited the Rennes Archdiocese and they do not understand at all what happened.
My purpose is to ensure that certain truths be re-established. Because the perjury
proceedings were stalled, last year I lodged a complaint for slanderous denunciation against X [action against person unknown] and against ADFI’s Jeanine Tavernier, with the dean of the investigation magistrate of Paris. My complaint has been accepted and the investigation is ongoing with Judge Stephan in Paris.
Since 1994, « Arc-en-Ciel » has been afflicted with this huge, slanderous bail and chain of erroneous accusations that falsely associate us with OTS. Practically all the centers are financially ruined and no longer operate. Some have nothing left.
Nothing can be done at the associative level in Rennes. I have visited the Prefecture; they regret the situation, but can do nothing. We have written letter alter letter. But all official French doors remain closed.
The artistic and creative work by members of the Iso-Zen movement has been stifled. Here is Thierry’s testimony:
I am a musician and graphie artist. My religious movement embraces many other artists, musicians, dancers, and designers. As occurred to a number of other groups, media attacks on us began after the alleged « collective suicide » in Guyana. Spiritual communities or research groups that were in any way original or unusual were suddenly under suspicion.
As a group, we have always been cognizant of the huge difference between our ideal, our aspirations, our personal life experiences versus the media’s hallucinations based on rumors, idiotie interpretations, and people whose only motives are to hurt others.
We have been accused of the craziest rumors: arms and drug trafficking, prostitution, on and on—acts totally contrary to our beliefs and to what we daily portray in our artistic works. Those outside France cannot imagine the horrifie fantasies that are projected onto anyone who tries to have a slightly original and different life here.
Because of France’s suffocating intellectual and artistic climate, and because we had always dreamed about a safe desert island, we relocated to Polynesia. For most of us this experience was extraordinary. As we began to grow and build an international following, managing it from the Pacifie became difficult. But as soon as we returned to France in 1989, we ran into the anti-spiritual inquisition climate that has become an integral part of French life.
In April 1996, a few months after the slaughter of the Order of the Solar Temple and the French parliamentary report on cuits, a woman who had embezzled money from our group published an anti-cuit book. Though many publishers refused her manuscript, one of them sought to capitalize on the media frenzy against minority religions.
Some 12 years earlier, this woman had joined our group and made off with a large sum of money from our members. She had corne to Polynesia where we had formed up teams and crews to buy ships. Each crew was to finance its own ship. She and her companion volunteered to buy and bring back a boat from South America for her crew. She disappeared with their hard-earned money. The court sentenced her companion but we have never seen her again.
Even so, ADFI welcomed her with open arms and, from ail evidence, helped her write « her » book. In it, her experiences with our group are entirely misinterpreted through the dark glasses of ADFI. She and ADFI completely ignore the many and highly positive testimonials published in interviews or books by creators and authors participating in our activities.
ADFI’s larger campaign has been a textbook model of a media lynching: dozens of
articles, radio and TV shows with no effort at ail to find the truth, and to which we have
no way to respond or correct for the public. We participated in two stories which, by some strange coincidence, have been constantly delayed and never broadcast.
One day I was at my parents’ home during the afternoon news. The woman who had stolen our money was on the air with a caption describing us as « the most dangerous cuit in France, » even though we were not well known and had no problems with the law. Without basis in fact or documentation, her every word was designed to instill fear and incite mistrust of our group. It was clear she hoped to be sued and gain more publicity. We refused to play that game. Given the media and political context of the times, what chance was there to have the truth heard?
Most recently, the embezzler has organized her own anti-cuit organization and is seeking government grants.
This repeated history of maiicious media persecution clearly demonstrates that it is impossible, in today’s France, to lead a creative life in a spiritual field.