Québec Huffington Post – 23rd April 2018
Agnès Maltais wants to impose limits on the sectarian excesses of religions
She is calling for a parliamentary commission on religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Church of Scientology.
Quebec must examine the limits of freedom of religion in order to put an end to abuses that, in any other context, would be illegal.
The PQ spokesperson on secularism, Agnès Maltais, on Monday launched a petition to demand a parliamentary commission on religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Church of Scientology, including elements of indoctrination and codes of life are, in his opinion, prejudicial to their members.
“I do not attack religions,” defended Ms. Maltais from the outset.
“Religions, even sects, may exist,” she said, but it is more than time, she said, “to examine the possibility that, under the guise of religion, illegal actions may be taken. “.
“We have never examined the work of indoctrination of these sects from the angle we propose,” she said.
Taking for example the death of Eloise Dupuis, the 27-year-old Jehovah’s Witness who died in October 2016 while giving birth
to her child because she refused a blood transfusion, Agnès Maltais believes that it is time to look into the space given to religions who engage in what she describes as “sectarian drift” in the name of freedom of religion. worship.
Become a martyr or lose your paradise
The member was accompanied by ex-members of some of these organizations and relatives, including Eloise Dupuis’ aunt, Manon Boyer, who denounced the indoctrination and falsehoods of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
She recounted that during her last week of life, her niece “was literally kidnapped”, surrounded by “elders” (Jehovah’s Witnesses’ leaders) in her hospital room at all times who “forbade access to non – “and make sure she does not change her mind”.
“She was pressured day after day, arguing that she would be a model, an example, a martyrdom that would be mentioned in the pages of” Awake “(the review of the Witnesses). recalled that if she accepted blood, she would be rejected, she would lose her place in paradise. “
Agnès Maltais is not surprised by the reaction of the Minister of Health in this matter. “What Doctor (Gaétan) Barrette says, and I understand it, is that he does not want to touch free and informed consent,” she says, but her questioning is more about what underlies the decision. of Éloïse Dupuis.
“The value of consent must be questioned when there is indoctrination from the earliest years,” says the MP, a reflection that Manon Boyer, for her part, has already completed.
“Can anyone still claim that my niece’s refusal to health care was free and enlightened?” She says, adding, according to Coroner Luc Malouin’s report, “with a Blood transfusion, Eloise would be with us today, with a blood transfusion, his son would have a mother.
Mrs. Boyer recalls that her niece spent 25 of her 27 years of life under the influence of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose prohibition of blood transfusions is more “intellectual fraud” than religion.
Thus, she argued that Jehovah’s Witnesses authorities lie to their members about transfusion-related infection risks “on the basis of false statistics”, lend to blood substitutes “properties they do not have”, have believers “that doctors are manipulated by Satan” or even “that the personality of the donor is transferred to the person who receives blood”.
Elder Fraud and Child Abuse
Agnès Maltais also argued that the imposition of pressure on citizens, especially the elderly, to obtain money is considered fraud in any other circumstances.
“But sectarian groups are lobbying people of all ages to give money,” she said, “can we look at how much of it is extortion?”
She also recalled the sad saga of the Lev Tahor sect, whose practices had led the youth protection authorities of Quebec and Ontario to issue orders to take custody of children, a resounding failure when the members of the sect had had time to flee at every opportunity because of the authorities’ reluctance to intervene with a religious group.
“Lev Tahor, I still have it on my heart, dropped Mrs. Maltais, they let children go – they fled to Ontario and then to Central America – children who should have been protected by the protection of youth. “
The obsession of respect for beliefs
Well aware of the Charter right to freedom of religion, the member for Taschereau does not propose to ban any religion, but wants the legislator to seriously consider ways of intervening in the protection of children , the protection of seniors and the defense of the right to physical integrity of persons in these closed communities.
She also believes that the government has a responsibility to organize support for those seeking to leave these organizations and to provide them with access to justice, which is often necessary.
“These are wasted lives and it’s been several years trying to reintegrate into society,” said Michel Laflèche-Francoeur, a former member of the Mission of the Holy Spirit and the Church of Scientology.
Manon Boyer, however, did not hide a certain skepticism about the Couillard government which, according to her, “an obsession with the absolute respect of religious beliefs whatever they are”.
Agnès Maltais echoed this sentiment by commenting on the reaction of Premier Philippe Couillard to the death of Éloïse Dupuis: “The answer of Mr. Couillard is like everything that touches
to freedom of religion, it has become such a sacred concept that one can no longer question what that sometimes covers. “
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