Thursday, 11 September 2014

Re: France: Scientologists to be investigated for workplace harassment

According to the French newspaper Libération, the police investigation into the Arcadia case began on Thursday, September 11, 2014.

Here, with English subtitles, is a September 11, 2014 French TV news report about Scientology's infiltration of Arcadia.

At 1:31, the head of the company, Frédéric Langlois, admits he is a Scientologist but denies that he imported it into the workplace. At 2:00, his son Sébastien, one of the plaintiffs, says that he feels lost his parents because Scientology stripped them of their humanity and emotions.

Building firm infiltrated by Scientology in France
cross posted from mnql1 on esmb:

France: Scientologists to be investigated for workplace harassment

  1. Translation of a French article published on Thursday, September 11, 2014 in the daily newspaper Libération:
    Arcadia: A company infiltrated by Scientology

    The cult allegedly looted a prosperous firm and is now being sued by company employees for "psychological harassment". Police conducting first hearing today.

    by Emmanuel Fansten
    September 11, 2014

    For a long time, he believed that everything would eventually work out, that his passion for his work would suffice to compensate for the daily vexations and the increasingly strange exercises imposed by his superiors. Then, a few months later, everything snapped. At the age of 36, François (a pseudonym) is now suddenly unemployed, with two children to support. With dark circles under his blue eyes and a haggard look, he says he has nightmares every night when he thinks of "them". Just mentioning "them" is enough to cause his leg to twitch nervously. "Them" are the Scientologists who little by little took possession of his company. Every day since he left his job, the former manager feels guilty, regrets not having blown the whistle sooner, and tries to understand exactly when everything turned upside down. Until last spring, François had an important position at Arcadia, a company based in Voisins-le-Bretonneux in the Yvelines department. Arcadia specializes in extensions of houses and conversions of attic space. It was a prosperous business with about a hundred employees and up to ten million euros in yearly sales.

    On August 14, after weeks of open crisis, Arcadia went into receivership. Former manager François had been sidelined for refusing to follow the bidding of the Scientologists, and now he was branded as a "black spirit" by those who repudiated him. Along with eleven other employees, he filed a complaint for "psychological harassment" and "abuse of weakness". The public prosecutor's office in Versailles opened an investigation and assigned it to the police officers in the CAIMADES unit, the Assistance and Intervention Unit for Sectarian Abuses, which specializes in cult-related cases. The first hearing takes place today. Never before has Scientology had to face such retaliation. "We've collected damning evidence and we're going to see this through," warns François. "How can the government allow a cult to sink a company in the midst of an economic crisis?"

    The Arcadia affair began nearly fifteen years ago, when the head of the company, Frédéric Langlois, brutally lost his daughter. Devastated, he turned to Scientology, which is sadly notorious for exploiting this kind of psychological frailty. Arcadia's employees knew about the organization's nefarious reputation, but no one dared broach the subject frankly. After all, their boss seemed to be coping better, and he wasn't proselytizing in any way. Though "monsieur Langlois" began saying strange things and prominently displaying on his desk a copy of Dianetics, the Scientologists' bible, this idiosyncrasy of his didn't yet have any impact on the running of the company.

    For a long time, this coexistence went on without a hitch. But after several years of frequent visits to the Celebrity Centre in Paris, Frédéric Langlois had a social circle that consisted entirely of Scientologists. From 2006 onward, more and more Scientologists became closely interested in his activities.

    For Scientology, this conscientious devotee had the ideal profile: unstinting loyalty to L. Ron Hubbard's theories and, above all, an extremely prosperous business. From the cult's ranks, one man stepped forward to take charge. Eric Ianna is a well-known figure among Scientology's membership in France. It was he, a few years earlier, who had introduced Frédéric Langlois to the intricacies of Dianetics. He taught his new protégé how to apply these precepts to the operation of a business. In addition to developing a "science of mental health", L. Ron Hubbard also wrote dozens of tracts on management and marketing. Eric Ianna is the head of Certitude, a coaching firm created in 1992 and, for many years, he has been teaching these techniques to managers and business leaders with total impunity. He is also affiliated with WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises), a U.S. based Scientology offshoot whose members each pledge to pay it back a portion of their income.

    With Frédéric Langlois' approval, the consultant began having Arcadia's employees undergo "skill assessments". The results, presented on graphs, invariably show that the test subjects are in a "danger zone". The remedy is an invitation to take the courses provided by Scientology. But even worse, sales representatives are also required to perform exercises called "TRs" ("training routines"), which are very dear to Scientologists. The first one is "TR0", in which two employees sit facing one another for two hours and are forbidden to speak or blink. In "TR bullbait", the same employees, again sitting face to face, have to take turns insulting one another.

    As the cult was infiltrating the company little by little, day by day, another Scientologist appeared at Arcadia. Cyrille Pincanon is also one of the movement's prominent members. He was a character witness at the last Scientology trial, which ended in a conviction for organized fraud in 2009. Frédéric Langlois met him in 2007 at the Celebrity Centre. The two of them hit it off immediately. Aside from Dianetics, both found another passion they share: construction, a sector in which Pincanon worked for a long time before he set out as a consultant. Since Langlois was on a spiritual quest, Pincanon had another major quality: he is a "clear". In Scientology jargon, this term means "the optimum state of an individual who, through Scientology, has been freed of all neuroses". For less advanced devotees, this status confers a special aura upon its holder.

    On Pincanon's advice, Frédéric Langlois agreed to reorganize his company according to the seven-division organization chart cherished by Scientologists. This mini-revolution was orchestrated with the help of another eminent Scientologist, Marc Arrighi, who figured in a similar case in the 1990s. But it was primarily Cyrille Pincanon who became omnipresent at Arcadia. In 2012, his firm, CYP Conseil, performed an audit that propounded "an overall change in behaviors". The consultant then ordered an audit of division 3 (treasury) and assigned it to Pascal Maffre, another Scientologist. The first measure put forward to cover the debts that were starting to weigh down the company was to halt all payments to URSSAF, which collects social security and family allowance contributions. From that point forward, things began to accelerate.

    After gradually tightening their grip, the Scientologist consultants joined the company in February 2013 and seized key positions. Pascal Maffre, the man whose advice was to defraud URSSAF, was appointed head of the "treasury" division. Cyrille Pincanon took over division 5 ("qualifications"). The employees witnessed this putsch powerlessly as Pincanon became their de facto manager. Meanwhile, Pincanon's firm continued to charge money from Arcadia. In just over a year, nearly 450,000 euros were paid to CYP Conseil, as proven by the many documents that Libération was able to consult.

    The atmosphere at Arcadia became noxious. Books, pamphlets, and DVDs published by the cult flooded the halls and meeting rooms. Internally, Cyrille Pincanon implemented a system of "deficiency reports" that obliged employees to report on the failings of other employees. Moreover, each employee was requested not to speak to any colleagues during working hours.

    From then on, communication took place exclusively through memos issued to the appropriate division. Every message was centralized and monitored. For those who refused to play along, sanctions varied from simple blame or cancelation of bonuses to outright termination, not to mention those that fell into deep depression and were placed on sick leave. In just one year, more than thirty employees left the company.

    None of the protagonists involved in the investigation replied to our requests. Contacted by telephone, Scientology spokesman Eric Roux says he is totally unconnected with this matter: "We have nothing to do with this company. This is an affair that was completely fabricated to do us harm."
    Last edited by mnql1; 14th September 2014 at 11:35 PM.
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