Sects: health “subject of major concern” of excesses

Two years after the start of the health crisis, sectarian aberrations are the subject of a “significant increase” in referrals, according to the Interministerial Mission responsible for combating these phenomena (Miviludes), for which health remains “a subject of major concern”.

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The Miviludes received 4,020 referrals in 2021an increase of 33.6% compared to the previous year and nearly 50% compared to 2015, according to this organization which published, this Wednesday, November 2, its annual report.

Next to “multinationals of spirituality”such as the Church of Scientology, Anthroposophy or Jehovah’s Witnesses, “2.0 gurus” also thrivewho are at the head of groups “Mobile, changing and impalpable”characteristics of a sectarian phenomenon “in gaseous state”according to her.

“The excesses related to health are among the most worrying”affirms the Secretary of State for Citizenship, Sonia Backès, in charge of these subjects. In 2021, 744 referrals concerned this subject.

“When you ask someone not to follow their treatment by selling them an alternative treatment instead, you can put that person’s life in danger”she continued.

Nearly 70% of health referrals related to “unconventional healing practices such as naturopathy, reiki, new Germanic medicine, etc. »details the Miviludes activity report.

“A public health issue”

These practices have continued to develop during the health crisis, which has also resulted in a growing rejection of conventional medicine.

They constitute today “a public health issue” and their cost to society “may prove to be considerable”believes Miviludes.

The report cites the case of two people suffering from cancer who died after following the precepts of a “naturopath”, who claimed to help them recover “thanks to natural remedies such as cocktails of essential oils, a diet centered on fruit and vegetable juices, severe and prolonged fasts”.

That man, “who introduced himself as a ‘molecular doctor’ with a doctorate and a post-doctorate”, was sentenced in 2021 by the Paris Criminal Court to a two-year suspended prison sentence for the illegal practice of medicine, reports Miviludes. He appealed the decision.

Recalling that “any therapeutic drift or any unconventional practice is not sectarian”, Miviludes is concerned, however, about the mental influence exercised by certain “slippers” (portmanteau word created by Miviludes and formed from the words “dérapage” and “therapist”) on people “out of control”.

As in 2020, the Interministerial Mission is alarmed by the influence of the claimed naturopath Thierry Casasnovas, a fervent defender of fasting and raw food (a diet that consists of eating exclusively raw foods), on several followers, who have notably “give up their medical treatment”. It was the subject of 54 referrals.

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Sects: health “subject of major concern” of excesses