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This is about time! This may work to deal with RSE as well. Doubt it would pass here, but it's a start.
Proposed new Belgian Law to deal with Scientology human rights abuse is model for abuse law in other countries too!
Recently it was Germany that voted to ban Scientology. Now Belgium is acting with a proposed new Fraudulent Abuse law to combat the world’s most dangerous cult and its abusive behavior.
We ask that cult victims write to the US State department or the proper officials in the country they abide in and ask them to support this new fraudulent abuse law idea from Belgium Also, let them know you support the German action to ban the Scientology cult because of its 50 year history of ongoing, increasing human rights abuse.
We now invite you to read about this new Belgian law proposal that will help to punish cults and organizations that use mind control and other deceptive and coercive means to abuse and defraud their victims.
Summer, 2007: A Universal Prototype Law Arrives From Belgium in French and Flemish
My carefully considered and Americanized translation of the law reveals that its purpose is to prohibit fraudulent abuse of persons in a variety of vulnerable positions or states. The law elaborates policy for combating illegal practices of cults and their danger for society, for individuals, and especially for minors. It resulted from and is based upon research and insights of a special study and inquiry committee of parliament.
In describing the bill further, Laurette Onkelinx, the Minister of Justice of Belgium, elaborated that the bill makes illegal the fraudulent abuse of a state of ignorance or of a situation of weakness of a person in order to influence them to perform, or neglect to perform, an action, or actions, thereby adversely affecting their safety, physical or mental health, or property. The Minister remarked further that this new bill would find a place in the penal law under “Crimes and Misdemeanors Against Persons.”
The Minister recalled prior serious events when a notorious atrocity cult demonstrated its grip on persons and caused Parliament to create the study and inquiry committee. That committee’s report resulted in the present bill making it an offense to abuse the state of ignorance or weakness either of a minor or of a person particularly vulnerable because of age, illness, infirmity, physical or mental deficiency, illegal or precarious administrative situation, precarious social situation, or state of pregnancy, and resulting in that person’s completion or omission of an action that would adversely affect his or her safety, physical or mental health, or property. Thus the threats, intimidation, deception, or moral pressure deliberately committed on a vulnerable person to get from him positive or negative reactions would be culpable.
This bill aims to crack down on reprehensible behavior committed by anyone, not just those committed to the managerial framework of cultic organizations. Any setting of such fraudulent abuse is culpable if rights such as freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, or freedom of association are attacked or if grave damages result.. The Minister then emphasized that the curbing of destructive acts on the rights of individuals, should not, in any way, be considered restrictive of fundamental liberties and rights. The proposed incrimination is likewise meant to be precise enough to respect the principal of lawfulness in penal matters, a principal that commands that penal law be formulated in sufficiently precise terms to permit anyone to know at the time at which he adopts a behavior whether it is punishable or not.
Following observations of the Council of State, the present bill expressly specifies that this abuse must be fraudulent. Such an abuse necessarily implies specific intention in the mind of the perpetrator in order to be punishable. This specific intention demands on the one hand that the state of ignorance or the situation of weakness be known to the perpetrator and that on the other hand he knows that the behavior to which he is leading the victim is damaging to the victim’s physical or mental integrity or to his property.
Fraudulent abuse of ignorance or weakness targeted by the proposed bill implies the use of stratagems that lead the victim to adopt a behavior that he or she would not have otherwise adopted. Such abuse can operate thanks to recourse to several techniques, particularly the techniques of mental manipulation utilized in order to destabilize a person with the idea of subjecting him to domination. These stratagems might involve the completion of tests revealing flaws or faults of the person tested, thus pushing him to improve by following the course prescribed by an organization, or by more brutal methods such as enfeeblement of the individual by the deprivation of nourishment or sleep, or by the reduction of his critical thinking by forcing him to do actions or repetitive prayers to obtain complete obedience, or even by applying relaxation techniques which can attain profound hypnosis, or by procedures involving the dispensing of street, quack, or illegal prescription, especially psychotropic, drugs.
The Council of State noted that the accusation will have to prove that the victim found himself in one of the situations of weakness or states of ignorance mentioned, and that the fact of being in one of these situations or states had rendered him ignorant, weak, or otherwise vulnerable. Therefore there is not a presumption of a situation of weakness.
To be culpable, fraudulent abuse must lead the person concerned to acts or abstentions gravely damaging to his physical integrity, physical or mental health, or property. It was proper to so specify the harm suffered in order to avoid that the incrimination be vague and thereby ignore the principal of legality.
This clause should apply particularly in the case of death resulting from refusal of treatment by an individual if it appears that he made the decision not to have the appropriate medical treatment following the abuse of his state of ignorance or his situation of weakness. The above clause would also apply when, following refusal of treatment, a weakened person is lead to divest himself of his possessions to the profit of his abuser.
The present Belgian bill anticipates a penalty of imprisonment of three months to three years and a fine of 250 to 20,000 euros. These fines were felt sufficient to be dissuasive. In particular, the magnitude of the maximum fine is justified by the fact that the offence anticipated by the present bill might often be carried out in the context of organizations or legal entities that dispose of considerable resources.
If the act or abstention of a minor or a particularly vulnerable person caused death, it is foreseen to be an aggravating circumstance which permits the punishment of the guilty with an imprisonment of six months or five years and a fine of 500 to 40,000 euros. This aggravating circumstance can, for example, be judged in the case in which the victim is driven to commit suicide because of the abuse.
In order to assure the prevention of future infractions, the court will additionally have the possibility of ordering publication of its judgment or its summary at the expense of the condemned person through the means of a newspaper or any other manner.
Special note: I have omitted some technical sections but possess the complete bill in both the original French and Flemish, as well as a more precisely literal English translation. Please contact Edward Lottick at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information if you have a professional interest or questions. I think every one of our states needs such law.
Excellent idea, protection for the "weak" at least, from exploitation and abuse by cults "to their detriment, physically, psychologically or financially" from those who KNOWINGLY prey on them...
The problem will arise, in Belgium, or in the U.S., with establishing the "weakness", the "detriment", and the "knowledge" on the part of the person or group who allegedly victimized the alleged weak person.
I say alleged not because I am doubtful about the fact that there are weak or vulnerable people, on either a temporary or a permanent basis, who are being victimized, by individuals or groups who have full knowledge of what they are about, but because I know how the law works, and I worry that it would be extremely difficult to apply such a law or win such a case.
That being said, the Court of Public Opinion might be influenced by the fact that such a law had been passed, regardless of the outcomes of individual cases.
And cult leaders might be somewhat deterred, if such a case could be successfully pressed against such a group. (as in the case of Maharishi)
It's about time and good to see at least some nations cracking down on these anti-human, New Age freaks and their macabre "sciences".
L. Ron Hubbard was a decent writer but an absolute con-man. I have no doubt he is receiving his just rewards for his perfidy. As apparently his followers now will in Belgium, at least.
This is welcome news.