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Court orders Montreal religious group to provide names citing schooling concerns

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Quebec Superior Court has ordered a Montreal religious group to turn over the names of its members’ children to the province’s Education Department, citing concerns that some may not be enrolled in school.

An injunction this week ordered the Mission de l’Esprit-Saint to provide the information within 24 hours, noting a sense of urgency because the school year is well underway.

The Mission de l’Esprit-Saint was founded in 1913 by Eugène Richer, also known as Laflèche, a former Montreal policeman. Recent estimates suggest it has several hundred members in the province, many of them given names that honour the group’s founder, such as Eugenie, Richere and Fléchette.

According to court documents, inspectors from the Education Department visited the group’s premises twice this fall, following a news report by TVA that suggested the group was operating schools on its premises.

During those visits, two inspectors found classrooms and desks, as well as school calendars and supplies. They were told between 50 and 70 elementary and high school-aged children used the classrooms to receive support and follow-up related to home-schooling.

However, when they verified a list of nine names found in one of the classrooms, only one was enrolled with the province as a home-schooled student.

Court documents say the inspectors learned some of the group’s children were home-schooled or attended public schools, but others “were registered neither in a public school, nor a private establishment, nor in home-schooling.”

More here.



The group was linked the measles outbreak in 2015


The cases are centred around one religious group from the region, La Mission de L’Esprit-Saint.

Dr. Muriel Lafarge, who heads the local health authority, said one student attended school on the last day before spring break and was still contagious.

Measles is highly contagious and causes fever, a distinctive red rash and a runny nose.


And a sexual abuse case in 2018



The Laval Police Service is currently looking for victims of a man who was a member of The Mission of the Holy Spirit, a religious group founded in 1913 by police officer Eugène Richer dit La Flèche (1871-1925).

Antoine Trudeau, 73, was arrested on June 27 for sexual assault. The accused appeared yesterday Wednesday at the Laval Courthouse and will return to court on November 7, 2018. "He was released with conditions to respect," says one.

According to the police, the crimes committed by Antoine Trudeau were reported to have occurred in the early 1960s and lasted more than 20 years. "The targeted victims were mainly young miners gravitating around," says the notice of research released this morning by the Police Department of Laval.

At that time, Antoine Trudeau was called Laflèche Trudeau, it says. Children born at the Mission of the Holy Spirit often receive names related to the founder, such as Eugène, Richer, Laflèche, Richère, Eugénie and Fléchane.

"Investigators in the Major Crime Division have reason to believe that the accused could have made other victims and encouraged them to file a complaint," says the research note that was broadcast this morning on social media.

"Anyone who has been a victim of this man is invited to contact us to file a formal complaint on our Line-Info 450-662-INFO (4636) or by dialing 911, mentioning the file LVL-170406-046" advise the police.

Attached to the offices of The Mission of the Holy Spirit in Lanaudière, Lise David Francoeur, the wife of the engineer Gilles Francoeur (1927-2013) who founded the post of Saint-Paul-de-Joliette in 1974, repeated that the names of Antoine or Lafleche Trudeau were totally unknown to him. "I do not know that. There were a lot of people in the Mission at that time. Today, we are 100, 200, it's more like family, "she says.


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Seahorse Wrangler

Very much.  They have very little education and girls are being married off at 16. Shunning people who leave. No documentation.





"I do not want to judge, I do not want to denounce, but simply share my story to show that a lack of development in a child can have a big impact," said the 28-year-old. The latter chose to leave the Mission of the Holy Spirit at the age of 13 and it was when she returned to society that she became aware of the shortcomings in her development. .

"It's really two different worlds. It took me years to rebuild and believe in myself. I had to find my identity, because I had been dictating my conduct all my life and I had never thought to oppose. I had never learned that I could affirm myself and say what I think. It is at 25 that I understood this and today, I still learn to communicate, it's crazy. "

Alycia mentions that the movement goes against the norms of society and that she was told that every bad thing that happened to her was caused by a fault she had committed. "People from outside are seen as satanic, that's why people do not go out, everything is based on fear and isolation because we do not really have contact with people outside. . "

She added that this may have changed over the years, but when she was in the Mission, women were downgraded and submissive. "From the age of 14, you have to get married and have children, you do not have the right to use contraceptives. This environment has had major impacts on her, but it is mainly her lack of education that has had a negative impact on her development.

"I did not exist for the Ministry of Education"

Alycia attended the Laflêche Institute, which was closed in 2007 by the Quebec Superior Court. She had courses in French and mathematics, but no history or geography and the students did not have diplomas. "When I left, I went to high school at the Flight Training Center. At the age of 18, I was ranked in sixth grade. "

Moreover, the movement inculcated false facts, for example that the earth is pear-shaped. "I had no way of knowing that it was not true. When I left the Mission, I did not believe anything, even what was scientifically proven. It has been a big job on trust and esteem. "

Thanks to her motivation, she completed all her high school in just 13 months. However, entering Cégep was a big shock for her since she had never learned to socialize or do teamwork. She stopped everything after only four months. At the age of 24, she had the courage to retry the experience. "I was lucky because I met good people who supported me a lot."




After spending 25 years in the Mission of the Holy Spirit of Montreal North, Christelle Bérubé slammed the door in 2011, taking with her six children. She has recently changed the rather unusual names of these, to the Director of Civil Status.

Exit Eugène Emmanuël, Eugénie, Fléchère, Laflèche-Raphaël, Richer and Richère. Here are Emmanuel, Maeva, Maelly, Raphael, James and Megane. New first names should be approved during the summer.

In the Mission of the Holy Spirit, which presents itself on its website as a "peaceful and evolving movement", all the names of the children are derived from the founder, Eugène Richer dit La Flèche, who founded the Mission in 1913 before to die 12 years later. The Mission of the Holy Spirit of Montreal North was born in the late 1970s.

If no course of action is absolutely mandatory in the Mission, it is strongly recommended to follow the main axes, under penalty of suffering the judgment of other members, says Christelle Bérubé.

"We do not bend our arms. These are personal choices, but everything is psychological. "

These include the non-use of alcohol and drugs, childbirth at home, marrying young and, for women, not working to care for children.

And there is the question of first names, which serve as publicity to the Mission.

"I was told" if you understand why you're here, you'll give these names to your children to advertise for us, "she recalls.

Leave the sect
Married to 16, Ms. Bérubé gives birth to her first child at 18 years old. Seven years after his union, his relationship breaks out. Seeing that no one was helping her at the Mission and that people were judging her to have made the decision to separate, she decided to leave the Mission.

"I left because it was out of the question for me to raise my children in there. We're not supposed to separate, but in life it can happen. "

Leaving the Mission opens new horizons for Christelle and her children.

"The most beautiful thing of childhood is having friends and discovering things. Here they go to school, they have friends in the neighborhood. I did not want my children to stay [confined] in their yard and they do not see anything. I wanted them to flourish, to live adventures. I think that's how we grow up. "

A brainwashing?
Christelle does not hesitate to admit that the Mission is brainwashing children.

Up to five times a week, members get together and children can listen to "gurus" teach them the values of the sect for hours.
Being divorced at age 25, single parent with six children, no work and no diploma, she admits to having found her new life difficult at first.

Since then, the young woman has found a job in housekeeping. She even operates her own business.

The Mission remains silent
Contacted by TC Media to learn more about the Mission of the Holy Spirit of Montreal North, one of the directors, Eugène Lafleur, refused to answer our questions, claiming that for several years, the media have been saying bad things about the 'organization.

"We made the decision to stop interviewing any media," says Lafleur.

He added that members can leave the Mission as they wish and that it is their choice, without wanting to elaborate further.


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From a news site in Canada, translated: https://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2019/09/19/un-lieu-de-culte-illegal-de-la-mission-de-lesprit-saint-demasque-grace-a-je. [Note I don't have lots of experience with Canadian news, so I don't know how reliable of a source it is]

{Earlier in September, they (La Mission de L'esprit Saint)  were asked to leave a building in Joliette, Quebec. They were registered as a social club, but then said to local inspectors they were a religious group. But due to zoning problems, they could not stay. 

Ex members said that children were educated in the building during the week, even though they were registered as homeschooled. 

"It's shocking," said the Education minister...who promised to send inspectors to the building at Saint Paul. "It's not normal that in 2019 someone would teach children that the Earth is not round."

The education minister suspended the school permit because the school did not respect the law about private education. 

They told us that 15 students were education, but there were more than 60! There were not enough qualified teachers and the community did not have enough financial resources," he explained. 

The spokesperson for the movement affirmed "We do not understand...we succeeded in offering an adequate education to our youth. We do not want to send them to public school, so they will go to school at home. We are in mourning for our school."

Former members said... "It must cease! They teach girls that they must be submissive and their role on earth is to make babies. Me, I left at 25 with my 6 children [probably the woman quoted above], with no education, I never had work!" recounted Chistelle Berube, a former disciple from the Mission of North Montreal. }



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@teacherjane I would say TVA is reliable. They have a bit of a populist tendency and their editorial line is really into ''scandals!! BREAKING NEWS!1!!!'', but they aren't fake news if that is what you mean. It is a generalist news outlet, albeit a bit more populist than the state-owned CBC/Radio-Canada.

And the Mission de l'Esprit-Saint is totally a cult. They have been on the media radar since the Measles outbreak in 2015. I'm glad the government is trying to investigate. But at the same time, when governments try to put pressure on religious cults, it only intensify their martyr complex.

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