Scientologists in France
So the French want to disband the Church of Scientology (Feb. 29). Which of the other 172 “sects” on the French list will be next? The French action is a blatant human rights violation that is opposed by many religious and human rights groups. The French government claims the right to dissolve religious organizations that have never been charged with a crime and never provided with due process of law. Apparently the French want the government to protect them from “false” and “dangerous” religion.
I used to think that Europeans were cynical about politics and would not trust their politicians to tell them which religions were good or bad for them. Maybe times have changed.
ALAN J. REINACH, Director
Seventh-day Adventist Church
State Council, Westlake Village
As a Scientologist who left France 10 years ago because of my country’s totalitarian bent, I know that discrimination there against religions such as mine (not to mention Jews, Baptists, Mormons, Muslims and others) is fomented primarily by an irresponsible media. While I am fortunate enough to have a loving (non-Scientology) family whom I visit every year, many of my Scientology friends still living in France must constantly reassure their families that they are OK after the latest wild stories and preposterous accusations appear. And some have even lost their jobs simply because of their religion. These are real people--among the most decent I know--and this is real intolerance that is affecting every aspect of their lives. Religious discrimination and bigotry are alive and well in my country.