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Le groupe Helsinki de Moscou alerte la Présidente de l'APCE sur le sujet de la liberté de religion
Le célèbre Groupe Helsinki de Moscou, par la voix de sa co-fondatrice Lyudmila Alexeyeva, combattante de la liberté bien connue depuis les années 70 en Union soviétique, a écrit à Mme Anne Brasseur, présidente de l'Assemblée Parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe, pour l'alerter sur un rapport rédigé par M. Rudy Salles, membre de la délégation française, qui devrait être voté le 10 avril 2014 en assemblée plénière. Traduction française EIFRF

(Le Groupe Helsinki de Moscou est la plus ancienne organisation de défense des Droits de l’Homme opérant actuellement en Russie. Le GHM a été fondé le 12 Mai 1976 avec pour but d’exercer une surveillance sur l’activité du gouvernement soviétique dans la sphère des droits humains pour prévenir ses tentatives d’amoindrir la liberté des individus. En ces années très difficiles de totalitarisme, c’était un groupe restreint de gens très courageux, qui osèrent élever leurs voix contre le gouvernement et le pouvoir absolu du parti communiste. Ils proclamèrent l’immense valeur des droits de chaque individu, la liberté de pensée et de mouvement, l’illégalité de l’arbitraire officiel de l’Etat. Il a été nommé Groupe Helsinki de Moscou pour rappeler à l’Etat soviétique que, le 1er Août 1975, les chefs de l’URSS, ayant signé l’Accord final de la Conférence sur la Sécurité et la Coopération en Europe tenue à Helsinki, prenaient l’engagement de se conformer aux normes internationales sur les droits humains. Normes qu’ils semblèrent ensuite avoir oubliées lorsqu’elles les incommodaient et qui avaient besoin d’être rappelées et contrôlées par quelqu’un.)

Madame Anne Brasseur 

President 

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council 
of Europe
Palais de l’Europe 

67075 Strasbourg Cedex
 
Moscou, le 15 mars 2014
 

Madame la Présidente,
 
Le Groupe Helsinki de Moscou a une longue histoire de défense de droits de l'homme et une expertise assez importante dans ce domaine.
 
Nous tenons à attirer votre attention sur le rapport rédigé par M. Rudy Salles, membre français de l'Assemblée et le projet de résolution et les recommandations qui vont être votées lors de la deuxième partie de la session plénière de 2014, "La protection des mineurs contre les dérives sectaires".
 
Ce rapport, de notre point de vue, pose d'énormes problèmes au regard des normes internationales fondamentales dans le domaine des Droits de l’Homme.
 
La protection des enfants est un sujet très important, et tous les efforts en ce sens devraient être soutenus. Toutefois, la résolution et la recommandation contenues dans le rapport vont faire exactement le contraire.
 
Le droit des parents à éduquer leurs enfants en conformité avec leurs propres convictions est un droit fondamental protégé par la Convention Européenne des Droits de l'Homme, de même que le droit de choisir sa propre religion. Aucune distinction ne devrait être faite entre les religions « traditionnelles » et les religions « non-traditionnelles » et l'étiquetage d'un groupe en tant que « secte » est évidemment une tentative d'établir une distinction entre les « bonnes » et « mauvaises » religions.
 
Dans ce rapport, il est clair que ce qui est appelé une « secte » est en fait une minorité religieuse, par opposition à une religion «traditionnelle». Voir l'illustration de ceci dans le point 43 : « En matière de prévention et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires, certains Etats membres du Conseil de l’Europe laissent une grande marge de manœuvre à la société civile et aux Eglises « traditionnelles » (catholique, orthodoxe et protestante). Il est alors important d’accorder suffisamment de moyens financiers à ces acteurs pour qu’ils puissent accomplir efficacement leurs tâches en matière de conseil et d’assistance aux victimes des dérives sectaires et à leurs proches. »
 
Ceci conduira à une discrimination pure et simple où les « Eglises traditionnelles » recevront de l'argent des États dans le but de discriminer les minorités religieuses, comme c'est déjà le cas en Russie. Cela a même conduit à envoyer des enfants dans des camps « de réforme » psychiatriques, comme ce fut le cas au temps de l'Union Soviétique.
 
Lorsque cette voie est suivie, c'est le concept de la liberté elle-même qui est en cause.

De plus dans  la « Directive pour une révision de la législation en ce qui concerne la religion ou les convictions », écrite par le  Bureau des Institutions Démocratiques et des Droits de l'Homme de l'OSCE et la Commission de Venise (1), il est écrit: 
 
« La législation comporte souvent des tentatives compréhensibles pour définir la « religion » ou des termes connexes (« sectes », « cultes », « religion traditionnelle », etc.). Il n’existe pas de définition généralement acceptée de ces termes en droit international, et de nombreux États se sont heurtés à des difficultés pour les définir. On a fait valoir que ces termes ne peuvent pas être définis juridiquement en raison de l'ambiguïté inhérente à la notion de religion. Une erreur de définition commune est d'exiger que la croyance en Dieu soit nécessaire pour que quelque chose soit considéré comme une religion. Les contre-exemples les plus évidents sont le bouddhisme classique, qui n'est pas théiste, et l'hindouisme, qui est polythéiste. En outre, des termes comme « secte» sont fréquemment employés d’une manière péjorative plutôt que façon analytique. Dans la mesure où la législation comprend des définitions, le texte devrait être examiné avec soin afin de s'assurer qu'elles ne sont pas discriminatoires et qu'elles ne préjugent pas certaines religions ou convictions fondamentales au détriment des autres. »
 
Ensuite le point 6.7 de la résolution: « adopter ou renforcer, si nécessaire, des dispositions législatives réprimant l’abus de faiblesse psychologique et/ou physique de la personne », ne peut résister à un examen critique. Ce point fait référence à la loi française sur « la sujétion psychologique ». Il n'existe aucune preuve scientifique qui pourrait soutenir l'idée de « sujétion psychologique », qui est un synonyme de « lavage de cerveau », par des groupes religieux, ou alors cela pourrait être appliqué à toute religion, y compris les traditionnelles. Comme pour le mot « secte », il n'existe pas de définition juridique de « sujétion psychologique » ce qui permettra à un groupe majoritaire d'attaquer les minorités religieuses, comme les hindous, les musulmans, ou même les juifs ou les chrétiens non-traditionnels ainsi que les nouvelles religions, en prétendant que les disciples sont sous « sujétion psychologique », même s'ils disent qu'ils pratiquent librement leur religion. En fait, c'est ce qui se produit déjà, mais ce sera renforcé par la présente résolution.
 
La Cour Européenne des Droits de l'Homme a déjà exprimé en 2010 dans le cas de TÉMOINS DE JÉHOVAH DE MOSCOU ET AUTRES c. RUSSIE (2) « qu'il n'y a pas de définition généralement acceptée et scientifique de ce qui constitue le « contrôle mental » (point 129).
 
En Russie, la FECRIS (la FECRIS semble être le principal informateur partial de M. Rudy Salles pour le rapport) est principalement constituée d'organisations liées à l'Eglise orthodoxe traditionnelle, et cible toutes les confessions non orthodoxes comme étant des « sectes » : les musulmans, les hindous, les chrétiens évangéliques, les nouveaux mouvements religieux. Leur compétence et leur sincérité sont très discutables. Ils bénéficient d'une position forte légalement, constitutionnellement, législativement et économiquement, et ne peuvent être considérés comme impartiaux puisqu'ils prononcent régulièrement des discours extrémistes.
 
Nous croyons fermement que cette résolution et cette recommandation vont créer plus de mal qu'elles ne protégeront d’enfants. Elles devraient être revues ou rejetées, et nous espérons que l'Assemblée n’approuvera pas une telle voie dangereuse pour les enfants des minorités religieuses, un chemin de violations des droits humains contre les parents et contre la plus vulnérable des populations : les enfants.
 
Chaleureuses salutations,
 
Lyudmila Alexeyeva 

1 http://www.osce.org/odihr/13993 
 

Rédigé par EIFRF le Saturday, March 22nd 2014 | Comments (0)

Freedom of Religion as a Human Right: The Council of Europe’s Upcoming Vote on Establishing “Sect Observatories” (via World Religion News)

For Americans accustomed to the (at least theoretical) separation of church and state implicit in the First Amendment of the Constitution, it may come as a shock that many nations in the world have no such separation. Within Europe, for example, numerous…

FREEDOM OF RELIGION AS A HUMAN RIGHT: THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE’S UPCOMING VOTE ON ESTABLISHING “SECT OBSERVATORIES”

Rédigé par World Religions News le Saturday, March 22nd 2014 | Comments (0)

After the complaint sent by FOREF to Secretary General of PACE in November against Mr Rudy Salles for violations of the Code of Conduct for Rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly, it is now another NGO, CAPLC, which filed a complaint for violation of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Parliamentary Assembly, including a suspicion of conflict of interests while drafting his report “The Protection of Minors against Excesses of Sects”. Here is this new complaint:


Second complaint against French MP Rudy Salles at PACE
Source

Dear Mrs. Brasseur,
 
On 7 November 2013, FOREF (Forum for Religious Freedom Europe) submitted a letter to the Secretary General of the Assembly to draw his attention to unequivocal evidence demonstrating that Mr. Rudy Salles, French MP and Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs Report on “The Protection of Minors Against Sectarian Influence”has acted in a manner that is neither neutral, nor impartial in breach of Rules 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.4 of the Code of Conduct for Rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly. I attach herewith a copy of FOREF’s letter for your information.
 
Despite his lack of neutrality, on March 3, 2014, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights adopted Mr. Salles’Report entitled “The Protection of Minors against Excesses of Sects”with a recommendation and a resolution included in it. This Report is scheduled to be voted on during the next plenary session in April 2014.
 
I am writing not only to support FOREF’s complaint against Mr. Salles but to alert you to newly discovered facts that provide further proof that Mr. Salles is in breach of the PACE rules requiring objectivity and neutrality for Rapporteurs. In October 2012, the newspaper Nice Martin interviewed Mr. Salles and reported he had been appointed to the Board of MIVILUDES in October 2012. A copy of that news article dated 22 October 2012 is attached. Given MIVILUDES position and policies on the subject, this, in and of itself, constitutes a serious breach not only of the Code of Conduct for Rapporteurs but also of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Parliamentary Assembly. Mr. Salles should, at the very least, have removed himself as Rapporteur upon acceptance of this appointment.
 
Reading the Report, it becomes obvious that what was denounced in the FOREF letter is unquestionably true. Indeed, MIVILUDES predetermined the findings and recommendations in the Report even before Mr. Salles started to work on it, as its former President, Mr. Fenech, announced: “[Mr. Fenech] also stated in the article that one of the purposes of the report would be: ‘the creation of a European Observatory on sects’.” Mr. Fenech added in his book that he obtained from the then Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of PACE the appointment of a “pioneer of the anti-sect fight in France”, Mr. Salles, as Rapporteur and “had no problem to convince him to work on the Report as a matter of emergency”.
 
The breaches of the Code for Members of the Parliamentary Assembly include violation of the General principles of Behaviour:
 
While performing their mandate as members of the Parliamentary Assembly, members shall:
(...)
5.2. take decisions solely in the public interest, without being bound by any instructions that would jeopardise members' ability to respect the present code;
And:
8. Members shall avoid conflicts between any actual or potential economic, commercial, financial or other interests on a professional, personal or family level on the one hand, and the public interest in the work of the Assembly on the other, by resolving any conflict in favour of public interest; if the member is unable to avoid such a conflict of interests, it shall be disclosed.
(...)
11. Members shall not request or accept any fee, compensation or reward intended to affect their conduct as members, particularly in their decision to support or oppose any motion, report, amendment, written declaration, recommendation, resolution or opinion. Members shall avoid any situation that could appear to be a conflict of interests or accept an inappropriate payment or gift.
12. Members shall not use their position as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly to further their own or another person’s or entity's interests in a manner incompatible with this code of conduct.
 
Mr. Salle’s appointment as representative of the French National Assembly at the Board of MIVILUDES at the very least constitutes a conflict of interest while undertaking the Report he was in charge of. Indeed, MIVILUDES stated that they were the ones who instigated the Report in order to export the French model to other countries of Europe, and they have been the main source of “information” for Mr. Salles as evidenced by the numerous references to MIVILUDES in the Report presenting it as a “unique” Institution in Europe. This, added to the facts already revealed by FOREF in their original letter, shows clearly that Mr. Salles purpose is to further another entity’s policies and programs, an entity that he was bound to serve due to his position as a member of the Board in violation of the Rules of the Assembly.
 
MIVILUDES is an internationally discredited organization that has pushed through a series of measures in the area of education and children that seriously jeopardize the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their religious beliefs, a right protected by Article 2 of Protocol N° 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
 
Even the French Ministry of Interior, which is in charge of religious matters, had to distance itself from MIVILUDES, as stated by the Director of the Central Office of Worship (“Bureau Central des Cultes”) at the Ministry in 2006: “The Ministry of Interior is sometimes accused of underestimating the disturbance of public order that would generate by nature, certain movements focused on by the MIVILUDES. I mean some movements that have decades, even centuries of existence and come from great spiritual currents or attach as "Plymouth Brethren", a branch of Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses and in the past few months even the Lubavitch which are the expression of an old tradition of Hasidic Jew. In the Central office of worship we believe we should address issues of public policy with the utmost rigor and focus on facts rather than rumours.”
 
Olivier Bobineau, a sociologist of religions in charge of the Sociology Department at the College of Economical and Social Sciences of the Catholic Institute of Paris, resigned in 2005 from his position as scientific advisor at MIVILUDES. In January 2006 he started as scientific associate of the Director of the Central Office of Worship. Based on his experience at MIVILUDES, Mr. Bobineau declared in an interview given on 9 June 20092 “MIVILUDES plays the role of administrative police of the mind, which searches for scapegoats and stigmatizes certain groups.”
 
The evidence unequivocally demonstrates that Mr. Salles is in breach of Code of Conduct for Members of the Parliamentary Assembly. These breaches are serious and will tarnish the reputation of the Assembly if not remedied promptly.
 
We respectfully ask you to apply points 17 and 183 of the Code of Conduct and carry out an investigation in order to decide what measures should be taken per the Code for Members of the Parliamentary Assembly in such situation.
 
Yours Sincerely,

Thierry Bécourt
President
 
Cc: Mr. Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General of PACE
Mr. Pedro Agramunt, Chairman of the EPP group at the Parliamentary Assembly
 

Rédigé par EIFRF le Friday, March 21st 2014 | Comments (0)

The famous Moscow Helsinki Group, by the voice of its co-founder Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a very well known freedom fighter since the 70s in the Soviet Union, wrote to Mrs Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to alert her about a report drafted by the member of the French delegation Mr Rudy Salles, which should be voted on April 10, 2014 by the Assembly.


Moscow Helsinki Group alerts PACE President about Religious Freedom issue
Madame Anne Brasseur
President
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe - Palais de l’Europe
67075 Strasbourg Cedex 
 
Moscow, the 15th of March 2014
 
 
 
Dear Madam President,
 
The Moscow Helsinki Group has a longstanding history of defending Human Rights and a quite important expertise in that field.
 
We would like to draw your attention on the report written by Mr Rudy Salles, French member of the Assembly, and the draft resolution and recommendations that are going to be voted upon at the second part of the plenary session 2014, “The protection of minors against excesses of sects“.
 
This report in our views poses tremendous problems against basic international standards with regards to human rights.
 
Protecting children is a very important matter, and every effort in that direction should be supported. However, the resolution and recommendation contained in the report will do exactly the opposite.
 
The right of parents to educate children accordingly to their own belief is a fundamental right protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the right to choose one’s own religion. No distinction should be made between “traditional” religions and “non-traditional” religions and labelling a group as a “sect” is obviously an effort to make a distinction between “good” and “bad” religions.
 
In that report, it is clear that what is called a “sect” is a religious minority as opposed to a “traditional” religion. See the illustration of this in point 43: “When it comes to preventing and combating excesses of sects, some Council of Europe member states grant significant leeway to civil society and the “traditional” churches (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant). In this case, it is necessary to provide these stakeholders with sufficient resources for effectively performing their tasks in terms of advising and assisting the victims of such excesses and their relatives.”
 
This will lead to mere discrimination where “traditional Churches” will receive money by the States with the purpose to discriminate against religious minorities as it has already happened in Russia. This has even led to children sent to “reform” psychiatric camps has it was the case under the Soviet Union. When that path is followed, it is the concept of freedom itself that is at stake.
 
Moreover, in OSCE/ODHIR/Venice Commission Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief(1), it’s written:
 
2. The definition of “religion.” Legislation often includes the understandable attempt to define “religion” or related terms (“sects”, “cults”, “traditional religion”, etc.). There is no generally accepted definition for such terms in international law, and many States have had difficulty defining these terms. It has been argued that such terms cannot be defined in a legal sense because of the inherent ambiguity of the concept of religion. A common definitional mistake is to require that a belief in God be necessary for some- thing to be considered a religion. The most obvious counterexamples are classical Buddhism, which is not theistic, and Hinduism, which is polytheistic. In addition, terms such as “sect” and “cult” are frequently employed in a pejorative rather than analytic way. To the extent that legislation includes definitions, the text should be reviewed carefully to ensure that they are not discriminatory and that they do not prejudge some religions or fundamental beliefs at the expense of others.
 
Then point 6.7 of the resolution: “to adopt or strengthen, if necessary, legislative provisions punishing the abuse of psychological and/or physical weakness”, cannot stand any critical assessment. This refers to the French law on “psychological subjugation”. There is no scientific evidence that could support the idea of “psychological subjugation”, which is a synonym to “brainwashing”, by religious groups, or it could be applied to any religion, including mainstream ones. As for the word “sect”, there is no legal definition of “psychological subjugation” which will allow any mainstream group to attack religious minorities, like Hindus, Muslims, or even Jewish or non-mainstream Christians as well as new religions, pretending that the followers are under “psychological subjugation” even if they say that they practice their religion freely. Actually this is what happens already, but this will be reinforced by this resolution.
 
The European Court of human Rights has already expressed this in 2010 in the CASE OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES OF MOSCOW AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (2) “that there is no generally accepted and scientific definition of what constitutes ”mind control”” (point 129).
 
In Russia, FECRIS (FECRIS seems to be the main biased informer of Mr Rudy Salles for the report) is mainly made up of mainstream Orthodox Church linked organizations, and are targeting every non-orthodox faiths as “sects”: Muslims, Hindus, Evangelical Christians, new religious movements. Their competence and fairness is very questionable. They benefit of a strong position in the law, constitutionally, legislatively and economically, and cannot be considered as impartial as they utter extremist speech regularly.
 
We strongly believe that this resolution and this recommendation will create more harm that they will protect any child. It should be reviewed or rejected, and we hope that the Assembly will not endorse such a dangerous path for children of religious minorities, a path of violations of human rights against parents and the more vulnerable population: children.
 
Warm regards,
 
Lyudmila Alexeyeva


Rédigé par Moscow Helsinki Group le Thursday, March 20th 2014 | Comments (0)

The Evropress Club of Journalist, in Bulgaria, sent a letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to protest against a report drafted by French MP Rudy Salles, deemed to violate basic human rights standards and to be "very counter-productive for the eastern-European countries as well as for all Europe".


Bulgaria - Council of Europe, the Evropress Club of Journalists defends Freedom of Religion or Belief
Madame Anne Brasseur
President of the Parliamentary 
Assembly of the Council of Europe
Palais de l’Europe
67075 Strasbourg Cedex 
 
Plovdiv, the 13th of March 2014
 
 
 
Dear Madame,
 
The Evropress Club of Journalists is a professional organization of journalists from the city of Plovdiv, members of the Union of the Bulgarian Journalists, with more than 10 years of history, with members of various religious backgrounds: Eastern-Orthodox, Roman-Catholic, Muslim, Humanist, etc.
 
We have read with attention the report “The protection of minors against excesses of sects”, by French rapporteur Rudy Salles. It appears to us that this report and the resolution and recommendation that will be voted at the next plenary session in April, are very counter-productive for the eastern-European countries as well as for all Europe.
 
First of all, in Bulgaria, Roma children, mostly evangelical Christians or also orthodox or heterodox Muslims mixing their religious rituals with some pagan beliefs and practices, while the mainstream religion is the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, were placed in special schools reserved for children with disabilities, as stated in the concluding observations of the 23 March 2009 by the UN Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination. And many cases of lost of custody of children by parents belonging to religious minorities (mostly protestants and evangelical Christians) have happened in the past.
 
This is the kind of things that happen when you try to use the denomination “sect” or try to oppose traditional Churches to non-traditional Churches. This does not protect children, but it puts them at risk. 
 
This report, this resolution and this recommendation, if voted by the Assembly, are going to serve as a justification, for the people who are already pushing an agenda of intolerance against religious minorities, for exerting violations of human rights against children of religious minorities. This is of course not the purpose of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 
 
In the Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief  laid out by the expert panel on religious freedom of the ODIHR and the Venice Commission, it’s stated: 
 
2. The definition of “religion.” Legislation often includes the understandable attempt to define “religion” or related terms (“sects”, “cults”, “traditional religion”, etc.). There is no generally accepted definition for such terms in international law, and many States have had difficulty defining these terms. It has been argued that such terms cannot be defined in a legal sense because of the inherent ambiguity of the concept of religion. A common definitional mistake is to require that a belief in God be necessary for some- thing to be considered a religion. The most obvious counterexamples are classical Buddhism, which is not theistic, and Hinduism, which is polytheistic. In addition, terms such as “sect” and “cult” are frequently employed in a pejorative rather than analytic way. To the extent that legislation includes definitions, the text should be reviewed carefully to ensure that they are not discriminatory and that they do not prejudge some religions or fundamental beliefs at the expense of others. 
 
Unfortunately, this is exactly the contrary which is done by the French Rapporteur of the report, Mr Rudy Salles. 
 
We would like to express our wish that this report be rejected or utterly reviewed to respect the international law standards as regards Freedom of Religion or Belief.
 
Faithfully yours,

Dr Georgi Naydenov PhD

Copy of the original letter:

Rédigé par EIFRF le Tuesday, March 18th 2014 | Comments (0)

Article by Camillo Maffia - Agenzia Radicale. Translation from italian by EIFRF.


Saluzzo or the 120 days of Sodom
Source in italian

A recent episode of the TV show “Mystery” makes us think over the possible forms of looting taking place on the background of the controversial issue of “Satanic cults” and, more generally, of “religious cults”. 
 
I already covered the Saluzzo case, a sad story of suicides committed by teenagers, seemingly related in some way (but this will have to be ascertained through judicial proceedings) with a professor who allegedly entertained sentimental relationships with some of his female students.
 
In the sensationalistic attempt to fit this incident in, at all costs, to some mysterious “Satanic cults”, just because of the fact that some students were passionate readers of Anton La Vey, founder, in 1966, of the legally established Church of Satan of San Francisco, “Mystery”, attempts to shows based on no actual information the e-traits of one of the girls who committed suicide, and then turns to a medium that tries to get in touch with the soul of the deceased girl.
 
The show is guaranteed, and the suffering of the relatives – forced to swallow these forms of speculation on the suicide of their young daughter, sister or cousin – is a price that one must be ready to pay, because the shameful show offered by the mass media speculation on the delicate issue of “cults”, must go on, and, often, at the expense of innocent people.
 
After the grounded controversies on the usefulness and even the constitutionality of the Anti-Cult Squad of the State Police, Senator Alberti Casellati tabled, as first signatory, a parliamentary interrogation in which she proposes the creation of an Italian MIVILUDES (a controversial French governmental body accused by several NGOs of violations of fundamental human rights, promoter of a politics that cost France three convictions by the Court of Strasbourg), aimed at even stricter control on so called “cultic deviances”.
As of today, it is not yet clear what the “sectarian deviances” are they are talking about: not a single judiciary proceedings has ever lead, in the history of Republic, to the confirmation of the existence of one of the “psycho-cults” so imaginatively represented by the information at large. There have been, on the contrary, conspicuous compensations, like that granted to Marco Dimitri (Children of Satan) for the 400 days of illegal imprisonment he suffered, or judgments explicitly demolishing the “psycho-cult” theory, like in the case of Arkeon, because these cases of bad justice not only have a human cost, but also a financial one, and they add up to the millions of backlogged legal proceedings that should be extinguished with an amnesty which cannot be delayed any longer.
 
But instead of thinking of extinguishing the offenses to solve the emergency that exists in the Italian prisons, new ones are being created, launching anew the “crime of mental manipulation”; and concurrently with somebody advocating such restrictive measures against cults in Italy, in Paris, Rudy Salles, collaborator of George Fenech, member of FECRIS, even seems to be aspiring to the creation of a European MIVILUDES, in the report he submitted to the Council of Europe, already rebutted in different areas, and related to the protection of minors from sectarian deviances.
 
FECRIS, to which also the main anti-cult groups in Italy belongs, is the French association that arouses international concern, due to the danger it would represent to the rights of religious minorities in trying to establish a boundary line between religion and “cult”, with the purpose to fight the latter, and supporting the successful aim, also pursued by our domestic anti-cultists, to get passed in France an updated version of the crime of plagio, created by the Fascist regime to persecute the dissidents, never applied up to the Braibanti case and that, after the solitary fight of Marco Pannella and the protests of intellectuals such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia, Mauro Mellini and Elsa Morante, was abolished by the Constitutional Court in 1981, due to its manifest unconstitutionality.
 
The French pattern has been exported to Belgium, where, among the “dangerous cults” we also find the Sant’Egidio Community: a sort of religious McCarthyism where one can easily end up, therefore, in the “black list” of the “cultic groups”, that some would like to also apply in our country, without realizing that a greater secularism is not achieved through the stigmatization of religious groups, but through an activity of reform that first of all provides an adequate legislative framework, avoiding false secularisms and equalizing the rights and duties of religious, spiritual, non-believers or atheist groups.
 
The human cost of anti-cult politics has already been raised at both OSCE/ODIHR and in places where religious minorities, like Damanhur, tells stories of deep sufferings caused by blitz and raids that, since 1991, have never found this community guilty of any possession of drugs, weapons or other illegal materials, and of legal proceeding that were concluded with the acquittal of the defendants.
 
Even more striking levels have been reached with the Ananda Assisi case, whose members have been acquitted of the charges of enslavement, circumvention of incapable people, fraud and usury, after four years of media campaigns, the seizure of 20,000 euros and the arrest of 11 members. Without taking into account that the “fight against cults” has already brought with it actual martyrs, unfortunately, as demonstrated by the dramatic story of Don Giorgio Govoni, acquitted after 15 years from the charge of alleged Satanic practices, but deceased before seeing his name rehabilitated.
 
But if the human cost is clear, and should suggest to the anti-cultist companions a change of course rather than a reinforcement of their attitude, the financial cost, instead, still has to be quantified, for the fact that, despite the relevant cutbacks suffered by the police forces and three parliamentary interrogations, no government has yet told us how much does it cost and what’s the usefulness  of an anti-cult squad in a country where the cases related to “cults” indeed ended up in serious incidents of unfair justice which not only should be considered on the basis on the sufferings of the involved people, but also as a wrong answer to the fair request of safeguarding the individual against possible fraud, abuse or to facilitate the reintroduction in society of an individual after a long experience of isolation in a religious community.
 
Moreover, the democratic implications of the materials published by www.liberocredo.org (http://www.liberocredo.org) should be kept in consideration. This is a series of intercepted dispatches put on the net concerning a worrying intrigue between police forces and private citizens, allegedly aimed to trigger on the one hand, “anti-cult campaigns” and on the other to shut up any dissident, like it appears scrolling the worrying “behind the scene” reconstruction of the Di Marzio case.
 
This scholar was accused of being the “guru” of the “psycho-cult” Arkeon, because on her web site she had opened a space (then closed down by the Digos police) in which, being a supporter of an approach based on dialogue, she was enabling a confrontation between members and former members of the Arkeon community, this being after she had publicly reached the conclusion herself that Arkeon did not have the characteristics of a cultic group. The complaint lodged against this scholar was eventually shelved and the court demonstrated that Arkeon was not a psycho-cult.
 
Is what exposed by Libero Credo true? We cannot say, but certainly we can quantify the costs of the various judiciary operations that were prompted using the “cult” theorem and systematically culminated in the acquittal of the innocent individuals after long ordeals:  thirty years of ungrounded cases and the continued suffering by the victims of an approach that, on balance, has proven detrimental, should be sufficient not only to take a step back with regards the request to open a new MIVILUDES in Italy, but also to reconsider the course of action and the existence of the Anti-Cults Squad itself.
 
In an illiberal view, but not necessarily an illiberal one, which takes no account of the failures of a security approach on problems of social nature, it would be understandable that a police squad takes care of the abuses taking place in the religious sphere, once having clarified the costs in proportion to the results: but considering that in this area the greater concern is aroused by the scandal of pedophile priests in the Vatican, upon which the specific requirements of the United Nations hang, and considering also that the failure of passing over to justice the offending priests may still result in new sexual harassments of minors, it appears difficult to justify a law enforcement department that instead only deals with “cults”, to punish crime, without stepping on the feet of the great organized religions. 
 
Moreover, the Anti-Cults Squad has as its main contact a Catholic priest, don Aldo Buonaiuto, that Radicals should remember as one of the first to assail Beppe Englaro, under the banner of a concept of secular state that poorly suits to the referent of a police department in a democratic country. Bonaiuto himself, additionally, was under investigation in 2003 for sexual violence allegedly committed on a five years old child, case shelved in 2004;  at that time Bonaiuto was surrounded by a sane sense of civil rights protection that later on, however, decided not to note what Buonaiuto, in his capacity of consultant on the so called “cults cases”, was declaring to the press about the existence of children sacrificed in the name of Satan that never existed even in the preliminary investigation.
 
The conferences on “cults” with Buonaiuto as a protagonist, finally, take place in the Ateneo Regina Apostulorom of the Legionaries of Christ, the movement founded by Father Maciel that sparked one of the most serious cases of child abuse that ever occurred in the religious sphere. It’s therefore obvious that to “fight the cultic deviances”, performed at the expense of the secular State itself, indicates per se, a possible element at the basis of the outcome of such an action.
 
Don Aldo Buonaiuto, on the Velino of last 8th February, harshly criticized the UN Committee on the Rights of Child concerning the Holy See, not to mention perhaps that child victims of abuse by Catholic priests should be protected just as the child victims of abuse of different religious and spiritual movements, if such abuses were substantiated.
 
This is said reiterating that if one would ever hypothetically decide to draw a line of demarcation that sees the Catholic Church ending up, in virtue of this, along with Scientology or Sant’Egidio Community on a list of “dangerous cults”, this would occur exclusively at the expense of individual pastors who have never practiced sexual harassments, without causing, by the way, much of a benefit to the victims of abuses.
 
Buonaiuto is also one of the promoters of the “March for Life against Abortion”. In those days we learnt about the case of Valentina Magnanti, 28 years old, suffering from a serious genetic disease and thus forced to terminate her pregnancy in the fifth month, who was abandoned in a hospital bath to give birth to a dead fetus, because of too many objecting medical doctors, a problem that caused Italy to be condemned by the European Union for having violated the law on abortion and women’s rights. The protagonist of this avoidable tragedy said: “While I was there, overwhelmed with grief, anti-abortion activists entered with gospels in hand and with menacing voices”.
 
Behold, I believe that the companions of the anti-cultists, should step back and reflect on this. We share the fact that any form of religious fundamentalism is done at the expense of the fundamental rights of the person, regardless of the group pursuing it. One wonders then, how is it possible to reconcile the protection from the so-called “cults” (illiberal and fundamentalist religious movements, closed to the outside world) with the endorsement of forms of clerical extremism, both incompatible with the rule of law to lead Italy in a condition of flagrancy of crime.
 
In any case, if the State police turns to a priest of any denomination to assess the level of danger of members of other religious or spiritual groups, this cannot happen at the expense of secularism and religious equality. 
 
With the right focus on child protection, the risk is yet that of proceeding to a further erosion of the rule of the law, of taking a further step in the direction of the prevalence of the reason of State that, by its nature, has the outcome of unconditioned arbitrariness of itself: the orgy of power.
 
The “small Saluzzo” already shaken by questionable manipulations, would become authentic “Pasolini’s Salò” where the anal-sadistic impulse of the regime, chanting fascist nostalgia for the penal code, would end up giving vent on the weak ones that would be, overnight, defined “cult” and thus dead in the eyes of the world, stripped, subjected to raids, penal proceedings, media pillory, punished for every religious act.
 
The small religious community would forcedly become a nest in which the cuckoo would settle so as to establish his personal asylum where every detail has to be controlled, where any form of mental or spiritual diversity constitutes a deviance, where initiative becomes madness, where the inner revolt becomes “mental manipulation”.
 
The inadequacy of the French model was already made clear by the terrible story of Richard Grey, separated from his son because of his belonging to the Jewish Orthodox faith, covered by the media in April last year. 
 
No less serious is the case of the doctor tackled by an anti-cult association because he was a member of a Hindu group, and thus, of a “dangerous cult”, whose smear campaign found credit in institutions, so minded because indeed influenced by a model which is very dangerous to import, and who inevitably adopted the violence of such accusations, generating in the person such a suffering that lead him to commit an avoidable suicide.
 
But we could also mention the emblematic case, that occurred in 2003, of parents under investigation because they were targeted as members of a “cult”, were then forced to defend themselves to avoid their young daughters to be taken away from them, all while the eldest son was in hospital suffering from leukemia. They were eventually acquitted but not until after the child was already dead.
 
In Italy, though fortunately institutional measures comparable to those in France have not yet been adopted, we have already witnessed serious events, such as the libelous letters mailed to the school attended by the children of Vito Moccia, unfairly portrayed as the “guru” of the Arkeon “cult”, or the Osho Campus raid in 2007, affecting five defendants, acquitted after the torment of Rignano Flaminio. One can go back to the abduction, for purposes of deprogramming, of Scientologist Alessandra Pesce, this was raised in Parliament by Mauro Mellini in ’88, up to the recent incident of the pregnant girl accused of being a member of the Satanic cult  “Angels of Sodom” in 2002, and then acquitted after suffering during pregnancy.
 
The danger here is to go from non-existent “Angels of Sodom”, to the all-too-realistic “Days of Sodom”, because cases of ill-justice are not, when summed up, simple path errors, but alarm bells that should induce the anti-cult associations to reflect, in our view, saving for themselves the need of secularism and the need to protect the victims of abuse or violence, but without giving in to those justicialist and illiberal temptations that often corrupt the best intentions. 
 
Otherwise, with the end of the Era of Mania in the first fifteen years (’83 – ’89), when the work of the first anti-cult groups – ARIS and GRIS – made us witness cases like that of Pesce and Dimitri at the beginning of their fight for the reintroduction of the crime of plagio and the dissemination of the first waves of moral panic on the subject; and concluding with the next Era (’97-2013), in which a police department was born under a strong “smell” of unconstitutionality and certainly not secular, as it is  coordinated by a Catholic priest, while dramatic and ungrounded events summed up in Courts, flanked by actual media pillories; the risk is now, 2014,  that of joining, with the hypothesis of an Italian MIVILUDES, the Era of Blood. 
 
One cannot ignore the assessment of the results of the SAS before one can even consider the idea of a special inter-ministerial government agency; neither we can continue to ignore the weight of the documents published by Libero Credo, especially with regards to the treatment reserved to critical voices. Would the ominous scenario of connivance and pressures outlined by this unspoken Wikileaks be proven realistic, it is legitimate to assume that, would one decide to create an inter-ministerial body or legislate on a crime of mental manipulation (plagio), it would also be up to us too, then, and to all the dissidents, the irregular ones, the stubborn ones, the “eternally opposed” ones, to wear the famous blue ribbon of Pier Paolo Pasolini, along with Scientologists, Damanhurians, Satanists, Jehovah’s Witnesses (the latter already accustomed to wear identification marks from the Holocaust era), and who would be left with the eternal question to shout before the martyrdom: “My God, why hast thou forsaken us”?
 
 

Rédigé par EIFRF le Tuesday, March 18th 2014 | Comments (0)

Saluzzo o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma - Agenzia Radicale

Source Agenzia Radicale

Un recente episodio della trasmissione “Mistero” ci fa riflettere sulle possibili forme di sciacallaggio che si consumano sullo sfondo della controversa questione delle “sette sataniche” e, più in generale, delle “sette religiose”. Ho già parlato del caso di Saluzzo, una triste vicenda di suicidi in età adolescenziale che sembra in qualche modo collegata (ma questo lo stabilirà l’iter giudiziario) con un professore che avrebbe intrecciato relazioni sentimentali con alcune studentesse.
 
Nel tentativo sensazionalistico d’infilare a tutti i costi in questa vicenda misteriose “sette sataniche”, in virtù del fatto che alcuni studenti sarebbero accaniti lettori di Anton La Vey, fondatore nel 1966 della legale e legalitaria Chiesa di Satana di San Francisco, la trasmissione “Mistero”, mostrando in modo insistente dati e tratti di una delle ragazze suicide, si rivolge a una sensitiva che cerca di entrare in contatto con l’anima della defunta.
 
Lo show è garantito, e la sofferenza dei familiari, costretti a ingurgitare queste forme di speculazione sul suicidio della loro giovane figlia, sorella o cugina, è un prezzo che bisogna essere pronti a pagare, perché lo spettacolo vergognoso che offre la irresponsabile speculazione mediatica sulla delicata questione delle “sette” deve continuare, e spesso ai danni degli innocenti.
 
Dopo le fondate polemiche sulla utilità e perfino sulla costituzionalità della Squadra Anti-sette della Polizia di Stato, la senatrice Alberti Casellati ha presentato come prima firmataria un’interrogazione parlamentare in cui propone la creazione di una MIVILUDES italiana (controverso organismo governativo francese accusato da varie ONG di violare i diritti umani fondamentali, fautore di una politica che è costata alla Francia tre condanne dalla Corte di Strasburgo), con lo scopo di un controllo ancora maggiore sulle cosiddette “derive settarie”.
 
Di quali “derive settarie” si parli a tutt’oggi non è chiaro: non un solo procedimento in tribunale ha mai portato, nella storia della Repubblica, a certificare l’esistenza di una delle “psico-sette” rappresentate con tanta fantasia dalla informazione generalista. Ci sono stati semmai cospicui risarcimenti, come quello di centomila euro elargito a Marco Dimitri (Bambini di Satana) per i quattrocento giorni di ingiusta detenzione, o sentenze che hanno smontato esplicitamente il teorema della “psico-setta”, come nel caso Arkeon, perché i casi di malagiustizia hanno un costo non solo umano, ma anche economico, e si vanno a sommare ai milioni di processi arretrati che si dovrebbe quanto prima estinguere con una irrimandabile amnistia.
 
Ma anziché pensare a come estinguere i reati per risolvere l’emergenza carceraria, se ne propongono di nuovi, rilanciando il “reato di manipolazione mentale”; e negli stessi giorni in cui qualcuno invoca queste leggi restrittive contro le sette in Italia, a Parigi Rudy Salles, collaboratore di Georges Fenech, esponente della FECRIS, sembra puntare addirittura a una MIVILUDES europea, presentando al Consiglio d’Europa un rapporto, già confutato in varie sedi, sulla protezione dei minori dalle derive settarie.
 
La FECRIS, a cui appartengono anche i principali gruppi anti-sette italiani, è l’associazione francese che ha suscitato preoccupazione a livello internazionale per via del pericolo che rappresenterebbe per i diritti delle minoranze religiose, stabilendo una linea di demarcazione arbitraria tra religione e “setta” con lo scopo di combattere queste ultime, e che ha sostenuto il riuscito obiettivo, perseguito anche dagli anti-sette nostrani, di far approvare in Francia una versione aggiornata del reato di plagio ideato dal regime fascista per perseguitare i dissidenti, mai applicato fino al caso Braibanti, che dopo la lotta solitaria di Marco Pannella e le proteste di intellettuali come Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia, Mauro Mellini ed Elsa Morante fu abolito nel 1981 per via della sua palese incostituzionalità dalla Corte Costituzionale.
 
Il modello francese è stato esportato in Belgio, dove tra le “sette pericolose” figura laComunità di Sant’Egidio: una sorta di maccartismo religioso in cui si finisce facilmente, dunque, nella “black list” dei “gruppi settari”, e che qualcuno vorrebbe applicare anche da noi, senza rendersi conto che una maggiore laicità non si ottiene attraverso la stigmatizzazione dei gruppi religiosi, ma mediante un’azione riformatrice che fornisca innanzitutto un quadro legislativo adeguato, evitando falsi laicismi, equiparando diritti e doveri dei gruppi religiosi, spirituali, non credenti e atei.(...)
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Rédigé par EIFRF le Wednesday, March 12th 2014 | Comments (0)

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