The Church of Scientology is set to go on trial in France, accused of organised fraud.The case centres on a complaint by a woman who says she was pressured into paying large sums of money after being offered a free personality test.
The woman at the centre of the case says she was approached by church members in Paris and offered a free personality test, but she ended up spending all her savings on books, medicines and the electronic metre that is part of the paraphernalia of Scientology.
The latest case centres on a complaint made in 1998 by a 33-year-old woman who said she was approached by a group of people outside a Paris metro station who offered her a free personality test and a later meeting to interpret the results. Over the following months, she said she paid 140,000 francs (£17,000) to the Scientologists for courses, books, medication, and “purification packs”.
Found out about this institute via the Horizon programme about decision making.
The main “scientist”, Dean Randin , has been Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences since 2001. His initial career as a concert violinist diverted into science after earning a Masters degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories; for over two decades he has focused on consciousness research at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and three Silicon Valley think-tanks, including SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government. At the institute of noetic sciences he was carrying out experiments that were suggesting that we subconsciously predict what will happen next: that we have precognition and therefore allows us to make intuitive decisions. This theory was highlighted via an experiment that used a slideshow that randomly selected positive and negative imagery. By attaching GSR sensors to the respondents, the anticipation that each slide would be an emotionally charged or non emotionally charged created varying results. These results were interpreted as being the key moment of precognition.
More about Paul randin and The Institute of Noetic Sciences
Gavin Pretor-Pinney of The Cloud Appreciation Society came to visit us at college the other day to tell us all about clouds. He was absolutely fabulous and inspirational, a complete eccentric. I really enjoyed the way he presented himself. So much passion. At the end of his talk he not only discussed his obsession with cloud surfing and finding a bloody huge cloud called the Morning Glory but he was also kind enough to present to us his CAS manifesto…just brilliant:
We believe that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.
We think that they are Nature’s poetry,and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.
We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up atcloudless monotony day after day.
We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of a person’s countenance.
Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked. They are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save on psychoanalysis bills.
And so we say to all who’ll listen: Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and live life with your head in the clouds!
Along my journey of research into different cults and sects and societies i have been introduced to the aetheist UFO religion called the Raelians who were founded in the seventies and focus on on the social ideas of sexual self-determination, individualism, and humanitarianism in the spirit of sharing and responsibility. Such supporters are they of individual non judgemental thought and freedom that there is even a Rael’s Girls website that gives support to those who want to work in the sex industry. They even have their own Rael Radio.