Open letter to AARON RHODES, Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Vienna
18 Jun 2001
"roger gonnet" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Sir Rhodes,
Before having once again attacked the french positions, positions taken to put an end to criminal activities of some few movements violating their own members human rights [scientology criminal maffia being the first and foremost], I think you could have been well inspired to take a real look at such projects or bills.
Indeed, our own french associations of Human Rights like the French League for HRs have determined that there was no reason to think that this law could impede any human right, neither, that it was a reason to start attacking our government or legislators because of this project - which is now applicable anyway. It is obvious that the *faked* associations of "human rights" created by scientology have a different advice. It's their right, but they have just been 'slapped' writtenly by The League for HRs.
Only few religious respectable executives have had shy reactions about the law bill, since they were agitated since years by the scientology allies and accomplices, who were promising to every religion some form of cataclysmic effects from this law. The other ones having had strong reactions are criminal cults associates, like the dishonest attorney Introvigne, from the CESNUR.
I'm sure you can understand my viewpoint.
Moreover, it is very evident that if the Helsinki Federation, which is mainly an european affair, could stop to take some of its orders or opinions regarding human rights from a country which has just lost its representant on the United Nation Human Rights Committee, namely, the United States of America, it would indeed be better for european human rights. (Reminding: France got 98% positive votes at the same election).
Don't forget, Sir Rhodes, that USA still apply the death penalty, still refuse to admit any International Court of Justice, and still refuse to sign up (only ones to do so) the International Convention for Childrens Rights or the one about personal mines. Worse, they want to reinforce their nuclear or anti-nuclear weapons. And the scientology criminal system is indeed a bit too much mixing its own interests with those of some USA politicians, a domain where private and industrial sordid espionage is only linked to the sordid violation of our human rights to privacy.
And it certainly, as you said yourself, should stop being financed by organizations whose human rights behaviour is criminal, scientology being the worse.
(this letter follows that reaction from Rhodes against france):
AFP, via the Free Republic, via News Plus
Vienna, June 15, 2000 (AFP) - The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights hit back Thursday at accusations by a French anti-cult official that it had been infiltrated by the Church of Scientology.
The IHFHR denounced the charge, and repeated criticism of moves in France to introduce a law against cults.
Wednesday's edition of France's Le Figaro newspaper carried an interview with the government's leading anti- cult official Alain Vivien, in which he suggested the IHFHR had been compromised.
The IHFHR "seems today to have passed into the hands of Scientologists and perhaps other transnational organisations," said Vivien, who heads up France's Interministerial Committee for the Struggle against Cults (MILS).
"That explains the virulent criticism of France, (which is) accused of religious discrimination," he added.
In a letter to Vivien on Thursday, IHFHR executive director Aaron Rhodes declared his "astonishment" at the charge.
He was, he wrote, "embarrassed for you and your fellow French citizens by your recourse to methods of denunciations and insinuations that remind us of those sometimes used by totalitarain and backward regimes."
In his letter, Rhodes acknowledged that its Moscow office had received funding from Scientology to print a leaflet on religious freedom, but said the group had never sought to hide the source of the funding.
The Moscow office would have been better advised to have refused the funding, "to avoid abusive and insinuating responses such as your own," he added.
"Against non-traditional religions, Russia and France have an approach that contravenes their international obligations," the letter continued.
"We fear that the legislation that you are proposing could not easily be judged compatible with the notion of religious pluralism in a democratic society," Rhodes added.
That was why the IHFHR condemned the proposed law.
The text of the proposed law, which was passed by a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, will go before the full National Assembly next week.
The proposed law would give the courts -- and not just the government -- the power to break up cults that have been convicted at least twice in the courts.
Scientologists have been convicted in two separate trials in France in recent years: at a trial in 1996 in Lyon and another in Marseille in 1999.
In the letter, Rhodes described the proposals as repressive. "It goes to the heart of the right of freedom of association, expression, of religion and of was conscience."
It also endangered the right of minorities and embodied prejudices that were not compatible with respect for rights, he added.
The IHFHR is a non-governmental organisation uniting 39 Helsinki Committees.
Its mandate is to monitor compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Final Act on human rights, out which was formed the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
In the United States Wednesday, members of the Church of Scientology called on the US Congress to denounce what they claimed was religious discrimination targeting their church in several European countries.
Earlier this month, the president of the Church of Scientology International Heber Jetzsch condemned a raid by french police on the group's Paris headquarters as "flagrant retaliation" against its "pro-religious" activities.
Scientology has been listed as a cult in a number of French government reports.
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