Scientologists protest at the National Magistrates School
by Geoffrey Le Guilcher and Clara Tellier Savary
May 2, 2012Photo caption:
In front of the Paris branch of the National Magistrates School today, about fifty Scientologists demonstrated their hostility toward a training session aimed at judges on the subject of cults.
At noon today on the Quai aux Fleurs
, outside the Paris branch of the National Magistrates School (ENM), at least fifty black and white picket signs were raised in unison and the persons holding them up hammered slogans like "No to the indoctrination of judges" or "MIVILUDES, hands off my justice system." The demonstrators were Scientologists and they were there to protest against an annual training session for judges that begins today.
"Judges are subjected to conditioning by people who are hostile to the Church of Scientology," said Éric Roux, spokesman for the organization. The "people" in question are members of UNADFI (National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and the Individual, which defends victims of cults) and MIVILUDES (Interministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Sectarian Abuses). These two organizations provide a three-day training session on "cults" to young magistrates who are ready to graduate.
A man perched on stilts came with a placard that said "National Magistrates School" and it was suspended under a wooden cross like a string puppet. Others tried to hand out fliers to the motorists who slowed down as they drove by.
For the Church of Scientology, the problem is that UNDAFI constantly seeks registration as a civil party in the trials brought against Scientology, even though it trains the judges, and this, according to the church "infringes the separation of (judicial and executive) powers." At the most recent Scientology trial, UNADFI was denied status as a civil party, but the church was convicted by the court of appeal on February 2 and fined 600,000 euros for organized fraud and illegal practice of pharmacy."What would you think if there was a training session about Jews?"
What irritates the Scientologists is being "targeted by this training as a movement," said Éric Roux.
"What would you think – I'm intentionally choosing a provocative example – if there was a training session about Jews? We've kept a low profile for a long time, but today we are publicly stating that we are sick and tired of being stigmatized. We want this to stop and we want Scientology to become a religion like any other."
On the road, the M6 television network anchorman Bernard La Villardière interrupted traffic with his two cameramen. He is currently preparing a documentary about Scientology and he tried several times to record his famous program introduction in the street. Followers of his show Enquête exclusive
will be interested to learn that he needs several takes to make it a wrap.
There were no police to monitor the protesters, only four men – who did not wish to speak – guarding the entrance of the National Magistrates School. This Scientology demonstration had the look of a "flash mob." Éric Roux corrected us: "We would call it a 'flash raid,' as Anonymous says against us."