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Scientology is still a fraud in France, but it gets some revenge against anti-cult group there

[For Scientology’s Paris spokesman, Eric Roux, it was a good day.]

Here’s the latest report from our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen…

In 2013, France’s highest court upheld a ruling that Scientology, in that country at least, is a fraud. And key to that court decision, as well as the one it upheld, was an anti-cult organization named UNADFI that had acted as a plaintiff in both trials and had made sure judges heard damaging information about the American organization.

Now, Scientology has managed to get a bit of revenge. Although its status as a fraud is unchanged, Scientology learned that fines levied against UNADFI will be upheld as the same high court has ruled that the anti-cult group never should have been a part of those trials.

The Cour de Cassation rejected a bid by UNADFI to overturn an appeal court ruling that it had taken part in the trial when it knew it had no standing as plaintiff.

Throughout the trial, Scientology’s lawyers had protested that UNADFI had no right to a voice in court as their statutes did not qualify them for plaintiff status. But at both the original trial and the trial on appeal, the court reserved its decision on the question until the end of proceedings before accepting Scientology’s arguments. That meant that UNADFI’s lawyer, Olivier Morice, was able to put his knowledge of Scientology to good use during the trial, before those rulings were delivered.

Morice played a key role in both the original 2009 trial and the 2013 appeal that led to the conviction of the church for organized fraud here. He used his knowledge of Scientology texts to cross-examine defense witnesses to great effect, frequently clashing with the defense lawyers protesting his presence.

The January 12 ruling by the Cour de Cassation vindicates Scientology’s protests and confirms the fines imposed by the lower court in November 2015. The appeal court convicted the association of having abused the justice system and ordered it to pay the three plaintiffs 3,000 euros each. All three of the plaintiffs — two individuals and one Scientology association — were among those convicted of organized fraud in the earlier trials.

Eric Roux, Scientology’s president in France, welcomed the judgment in a statement posted on his website. “This is an important decision, not just for the Church of Scientology — which thus sees the supreme court confirm the fact that UNADFI has been the source of an influence which was as undue as it was illegal in the trial in question — but for justice in general, as from now on one will have to think twice before illegitimately and in bad faith making oneself a plaintiff in a trial,” he wrote.

“UNADFI must now draw the lessons from this resounding defeat,” he added — “and the government bodies who funded UNADFI should realize that they too had been complicit in the group’s illegal actions.”

One commentator has already raised the question as to whether this ruling meant that Scientology could try to use this ruling to overturn its fraud convictions. Under French law it is possible to ask the Cour de Cassation to ask for a revision of a conviction, but this only happens in exceptional circumstances.

Eric Roux, contacted by this website, could not say if Scientology would attempt any such action. But Maître Olivier Morice was quick to dismiss the possibility.

“There is no risk that this decision will lead the Church of Scientology to review its trial to the extent that it is completely independent,” he told the Bunker.

The convictions of two Scientology organizations for organized fraud was itself confirmed by the Cour de Cassation in October 2014. Five Scientologists were also convicted on a range of charges, but it was significant for being the first time the movement itself had been convicted in France. A second such conviction could open the way to the movement being dissolved.

In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed Scientology’s bid to challenge the French fraud convictions there. The same court has on several occasions ruled in favor of Scientology, notably in cases it has brought against Russia.

UNADFI has now changed its statutes to meet the requirements of plaintiff status, so there is every chance of seeing it represented at future trials involving Scientology.

 
— Jonny Jacobsen

 
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Miscavige did his thing for the Kiwis

 
Photos and reports are still trickling in, but in general this appears to be another rather underwhelming turnout for David Miscavige as he anointed a new Ideal Org in Auckland earlier today. Our correspondent on the scene, a Kiwi, told us he heard nothing but Australian accents, suggesting that much of the crowd was flown over for the occasion. (And here’s a report from local reporter Kim Vinnell which is quite good.)

Well, New Zealand, you have your own Ideal Org now. We’ll check back with you in a few months to see if it becomes an empty shell like the others, populated only by these freaky dolls.

 

 
Another creepy doll…

 



 
New blood!

 

 
Official Scientology video from Auckland…

 

 
Heeeeeere’s Dave!

 

 
Oh my, they’re really claiming “thousands”….

 

 
But here’s the overhead shot, let’s get an accurate count…

 

 
More Dave!

 

 
——————–

June will be here before you know it

 

 
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.

[Thank you, Observer.]

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 21, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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