Time: Cult Control - European Governments search for ways to contain the growing influence of religious sects without endangering freedome of belief (The article mentions the conviction of Jean-Jacques Mazier for involuntary manslaughter in the Patrice Vic case.)
The founder and former head of the Church of Scientology in Lyons was convicted of fraud and involuntary homicide today in the death of a church member who committed suicide after going heavily into debt to pay the sect for counseling sessions. A French tribunal sentenced the defendant, Jean-Jacques Mazier, to serve 18 months in prison, with an additional 18 months suspended, and fined him $100,000. The eight-day trial, in the first week of October, also examined charges of fraud, attempted fraud or aiding and abetting fraud against 22 other church officials or supporters involved in its activities in France.
French campaigners against cults are hoping for legislation against "mental manipulation" if the country's scientology leader is found guilty today of the involuntary manslaughter of a follower who died after jumping from a 12th floor window. After a 10-day trial, a court in Lyon will decide whether Jean-Jacques Mazier had a role in the 31-year-old disciple's suicide in 1988. It will also rule on fraud charges against 23 other leading members of the organisation.