Former head scientologist and critic Roger Gonnet testifies in court....
Le témoignage accablant de l'ex-patron scientologue - Faits divers - 08/06/2009 - leParisien.fr
Source text also available in the WWP French thread on the same subject
Damning testimony by former Scientology head
Anne-Cécile Juillet | June 8, 2009, 21:42 | Updated: 21:59 [Paris time]
It was a trying morning for the representatives of the Church of Scientology, on trial for organized fraud since May 25. Monday morning, they faced two witnesses called by the civil parties before the 12th Chamber of the Paris Correctional Tribunal. In all, only two witnesses were questioned, but these were two longstanding opponents of a movement they do not hesitate to label a "sect": Jean-Pierre Brard, deputy for the Seine-Saint-Denis constituency and, in particular, Roger Gonnet, a former head of the Scientology center in Lyon.
They did not mince their words, accustomed as they are to lawsuits by Scientology and other movements.
Brard: "One of the most dangerous sects"
Called first to the stand, Jean-Pierre Brard has been on every parliamentary commission on the subject since 1995. "Scientology is one of the most dangerous, effective, and greedy sects," he asserted. Its two objectives, he said, are: "Power and money. Money to gain access to power and power to gain access to money." The presiding judge, Sophie-Hélène Château, asked for details, especially when the deputy asserted that Scientology builds opaqueness into its decision-making and financial channels: "It's like a drainage system," he explained, "You don't see all the little subterranean channels, but they function very well and water always goes to the right place," meaning by implication the American headquarters.
Gonnet: "The personality test is rigged"
The real details, however, were presented to the tribunal by the second witness. For eight years until the early 1990's, Roger Gonnet was head of the Scientology center in Lyon. A disagreement with its hierarchy drove him to a complete break with the organization. Since then, he has continued to study and track the abuses of his former movement, whose precepts he knows, whose regulations he has read, and whose developments he has analyzed. On the witness stand, quoting from a stack of documents, he systematically decoded the Scientology jargon and reviewed the key questions raised by the tribunal, in particular concerning the personality test, which is the first contact with Scientology for future recruits.
One of the plaintiffs, Aude-Claire Malton, took the "free" test concocted by Scientology and this is how she was recruited. "It's totally rigged," said the former follower, "the results are computed so that you have no chance that your test will not be criticized." The recommendation is always the same: to improve, one must take courses and, consequently, pay for them. "It's a major way to draw people," assured Roger Gonnet, demolishing the arguments of the accused who, last week, downplayed its impact.
Purification sessions: "There could have been deaths"
The tribunal's attention then turned to the purification sessions. This is one of the first steps to take for a future "clear", a state recognized by Scientology, and consists of an intensive cocktail of sauna sessions, exercise, and vitamins -- sold exclusively by a Scientology dispensary. Recalling the case of one follower who was allergic to the required products, the former Scientology head, who has no medical training, admitted: "I was unaware of the risks I was making people take. There could have been deaths..." The presiding judge asked probing questions about the fees charged, "called 'donations' to provide a religious flavor", according to Gonnet.
The electrometer: "A lifetime revenue stream"
The next subject was the electrometer, the tool used to detect, by electrical variations, the mental state of a follower, which is sold for about 5,000 Euros and which "is worth twenty times less, but guarantees a lifetime revenue stream because, every two years, each Scientologist, who must own one, sends it in for 800 Euros of maintenance charges."
Finally, on the remuneration of active members: "Their pay is calculated according to their results, which must improve continually. On occasion, some of the officials you see there (referring to Alain Rosenberg, current director of the Celebrity Center) do not report to the head office all the refund requests they receive, for a simple reason. For each refund, all active members are deprived of their salary for a certain period..."
Seated one beside the other, the seven [sic] accused from time to time raise their eyes upward, burst out laughing, or express indignation. The testimony of this "apostate" has little value in their eyes. On Tuesday, more witnesses will be called, this time by the defense. About thirty are expected.
Seated one beside the other, the seven [sic] accused from time to time raise their eyes upward, burst out laughing, or express indignation. The testimony of this "apostate" has little value in their eyes.
Is that any way to behave in court? Arrogant retarded fuckwits.
I remember a US TV talk show ages ago (should be archived on XenuTV) with I think Steve Hassan as guest and a large selection of the audience let out this stupid cackle of laughter when Steve told of the cults crimes/abuses. It was just so surreal and is clearly meant to intimidate but just makes them look fucking insane.
On Tuesday, more witnesses will be called, this time by the defense. About thirty are expected.
"About thirty"? Really? Can you say overkill?
Will this be like a live version of their letter writing campaigns where they all say slight variations on the same fucking theme?
Quantity =/= quality.