the _alf blog

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Meet Alain Vivien

Born on August 20th, 1938, Alain Vivien is a French politician - member of the French Socialist Party. Hobbies include oppressive coups to squash minority groups and spread the idea that freedom of religion is a bad thing.

Some of my favorite hits from him include (source):

"The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution of 1791 prohibits legislators from making laws on proselytization - while this should be the very field legislators should regulate! The fathers of the French Constitution adopted a different attitude in 1789 when they included in the Constitution, under Article 4 of the 1789 Declaration of Human Rights, that 'Freedom consists in doing what does not cause damage to another (...) and limits may only be determined by the law'".

And just to be fair, I'll include the rest of the track:

"That they may have revised the First Amendment is understandable because the first pioneers, who were persecuted in Europe for religious reasons, had the idea of securing religious peace. But today, vast and often very nefarious interests hide themselves behind an allegedly religious cultism. In this, we have a good fight to pick up with our U.S. friends!"

Hmm... "nefarious interests"...

Here's a real classic:

"It is obviously not a matter of the public powers to judge the doctrinal contents of a movement, but there are criteria - for example the respect of human rights, constitutional principles and the great fundamental liberties - which allow to us to know if a group is cultic or not."

It is interesting to note that the Church of Scientology, one of the oppressed groups, would mark extremely high in each of these categories. (human rights, fundamental liberties, constitutional principles).

Okay, let's skip to this track (source):

"The National Assembly instituted a "board of inquiry regarding cults" (commission d'enquĂȘte sure les sectes) headed by parliament members Alain Gest and Jacques Guyard which delivered in 1995 the Gest-Guyard report "Les sectes en France" (cults in France). The "Rapport Gest-Guyard" mentions the impossibility of a legal definition of cult and the imprecise use of the term in common language. It describes the cult problem as a very diverse phenomenon with multiple facets but lists also some practices which it considers as dangerous for individuals and/or society. It stresses the necessity of responding in proportion to the danger presented by a group and of suppressing the abuses of cultic groups while at the same time guaranteeing the freedom of conscience. It's recommendations are to get more information regarding cultic groups, to inform the general public, and to apply the existing laws, where they are violated by cultic groups."

Personally, I find this rather humorous. You have a French government with a physical supreme control over their people, and a rising crime rate (reference), an increasing drug problem (reference), and you've had (he resigned from his key position in 2002) Alain Vivien explaining how we've got to regulate and control and oppress all the activities of organizations (the Church of Scientology included as one of the main religions targeted).

Let's be real here - the fact of the matter is that the rights delivered to American religions under the First Amendment and other parts of the Constitution do not exist as an arbitrary decision, but rather as a natural consequence following the abuse of power by governments and government figures. The same kind of government figures as described here.

History oft repeats itself.

Some other resources to check out on this: - State of Religious Freedom in France
Article from (Scientology being one of the so called "cult" religions)
Scientology - Human Rights France
Documentation of Human Rights Violations in France


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