Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be
considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The
Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes
the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the
questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to
those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95
From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!xs4all!utopia.hacktic.nl!not-for-mail Mon Jul 10 17:01:30 1995
From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Subject: Big Suprise - France
Date: 7 Jul 1995 15:27:24 +0200
Organization: RePLaY aND CoMPaNY UnLimited
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European governments balk at anti-sect laws
Agence France Presse
October 06, 1994 17:34 GMT
European governments have balked at enacting anti-sect
legislation that could have prevented mass deaths like that of 48
members of a doomsday sect in Switzerland, despite pressure from
churches and other groups.
The dead were found Wednesday in a Swiss farmhouse in Cheiry and
in two remote chalets in Granges-sur-Salvan. It was a macabre
tragedy in the bucolic Swiss countryside that horrified local
people who had never heard of the sect known variously as the
Solar Tradition Order of the Order of the Solar Temple.
Thousands of miles away, two other bodies were found in Quebec,
in a house owned by the leader of the cult after the building was
destroyed by a fire.
Dozens of such groups operate quietly across Europe, often
without legal status or restraints on their activities. In
France, experts who document cults say there are about 200 sects
that have attracted some 100,000 members, mostly aged under 30.
The Order of the Solar Temple is among them, with several "clubs"
across the country.
Others, like the Church of Scientology and the Unification
Church, whose members are dubbed "Moonies," have had run-ins with
French courts, but are generally guaranteed freedom of expression
and allowed to recruit as they wish, provided they register as
In December 1993, the French National Consultative Commission on
Human Rights opposed passing specific legislation on sects,
saying common law already covered any infringement of human
This left laws on the corruption of minors as the only recourse
for those seeking to fight sects or their activities in court.
Belgium is estimated to have some 50 sects which also operate
legally under the status of non-profit organizations, according
to the Belgian Association for the Defense of Individuals and
That watchdog group, set up in 1976, said the sects
systematically "violate Belgian laws as well as the European
Convention on Human Rights and that on children's rights." But
they apparently have rarely been tested in court.
In Britain, a government-financed research group at the London
School of Economics called Inform was set up in 1988 to study the
problem, but has ushered in no legislation.
In Spain, about 200,000 people belong to sects, according to Jose
Rodriguez, an academic and author of two books on the subject.
However Spanish experts and anti-sect groups claim it would be
dangerous and ineffective to bring in special laws against them
and instead favour preventive monitoring of young people and
In Sweden, it is difficult to crack down on sects because freedom
of religion is enshrined in the constitution, a justice ministry
Police have intervened only three times in the past few years and
may do so only when crimes like rape and tax fraud are suspected.
Germany also has no laws against such groups, but police believe
that about 700 to 750 of them exist, with a total of some two
million members. The "Natural Law Party" -- which has branches in
other European countries and organizes levitation sessions at
news conferences -- is contesting the October 16 legislative
elections in Germany.
Police believe it to be a branch of the guru Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi's transcendental meditation movement, which is considered to
be a dangerous sect.