Miviludes received 4,020 referrals in 2021, an increase of 33.6% compared to the previous year and nearly 50% compared to 2015, according to the report, sent to the press.
Alongside “spirituality multinationals”, such as the Church of Scientology, Anthroposophy or Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are also prospering “gurus 2.0”, who find themselves at the head of “mobile, changing and impalpable” groups. characteristics of a sectarian phenomenon “in a gaseous state”, according to the public body.
“The abuses related to health are among the most worrying,” said AFP 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 referrals concerning health related to “unconventional care practices such as naturopathy, reiki, new Germanic medicine, etc.”, details the activity report of Miviludes.
The Miviludes report cites the case of two people suffering from cancer who died after following the precepts of a “naturopath”, who claimed to help them heal “through natural remedies such as cocktails of oils essential, a diet centered on fruit and vegetable juices, severe and prolonged fasts”.
This man, “who presented himself as + molecular doctor + holder of a doctorate and a post-doctorate”, was sentenced in 2021 to two years of suspended imprisonment for illegal practice of medicine, reports Miviludes. He appealed the decision.
Apart from health, abuses in the personal development sector (mainly coaching, 173 referrals in 2021) are also monitored.
“The Christian movement in the broad sense” (293 referrals including 106 on Catholicism and 168 on Protestantism) concerns the Interministerial Mission, which describes for example the influence exercised in religious communities such as La Famille, a group made up of eight Parisian families , or the originally Protestant movement of the Plymouth Brethren.
Among the other “subjects of concern” in 2021 are eco-villages – where “psychological or even physical or sexual violence” has been observed on people who have gathered in these community and autarkic places of life.
A movement like the French branch of the international association Mankind Project is also under the radar, in particular for the “radical changes in behavior” observed following “initiation courses in masculinity”.
In this context, “Assises of sectarian aberrations and conspiracy” will be organized “at the beginning of 2023” to bring together the actors in the fight against these phenomena and come up with a roadmap for the years to come, said Sonia Backès.
The health crisis is a blessing for conspiracy or survivalist gurus but also for New Age charlatans