Sectarian abuses: referrals to Miviludes reach a new record, according to a report

According to a new report by Miviludes, referrals to the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses reached a new record in 2021, reaching the number of 4,020, an increase of 33.6% over one year. A large part of the referrals concern forms of alternative medicine or promises of well-being and spirituality, which attract people who are wary of conventional medicine. Miviludes considers that it is “undeniable” that the Covid-19 has “destabilized many people who lost their bearings”.

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More than 1,000 referrals for therapeutic abuses

Covid-19 has led to a “upturn in activity” of the health pole, explains Miviludes. 1,011 referrals were made to it. They target therapeutic drifts, unconventional care practices, such as naturopathy, new Germanic medicine, ventousotherapy, mindful meditation, the effectiveness of which has never been proven, or even fasting and raw food. Thus, Thierry Casasnovas, raw-food and conspiracy YouTuber with more than 80 million views, was the subject of 54 referrals alone. Like antivax Jean-Jacques Crèvecoeur, it is suspected of having a mental hold on his followersto enlist their children, to push them to break with their environment and to have financial demands “exorbitant”. Like them, Miviludes notes that pseudo-healers are more and more numerous.

The Miviludes alert on the excesses of neo-shamanismmindfulness meditation but also on the commodification of well-being and self-worship through coaching and personal development. “Sectarian groups have been able to fuel fears and exploit promises of a better world, eternal, or at least happy, life and self-transformation”highlights the report about personal development that promises to achieve “best version of yourself”. All the stages of mental influence are there, explains Miviludes: the phase of seduction, deconstruction through an initiatory process, reconstruction and consolidation.

In detail, 744 referrals concern health in general, 148 conspiracy and antivax, 173 personal development, including coaching, 159 spiritualities, shamanism and psycho-spiritualities, 116 meditation and yoga and 35 nicknames -science. Miviludes believes that it is “undeniable” that the Covid-19 has “destabilized many people losing their bearings” and that the reports she has received are the “reflecting a real social crisis tinged with isolation, questions, anger and fears”.

The excesses of the “sacred feminine” and masculinism

Miviludes also warns against the excesses of “sacred feminine”, “presented as a feminist movement” but who in reality “essentializes women by reducing them to genitals or reproductive faculties”. Under cover of“empowerment” (taking power, in French)the “sacred feminine” explains for example that, if a woman has painful periods, it is because she is not “in accordance with her deep nature as a woman”.

Several reports also concern masculinism, virilism and anti-feminist movements, which notably organize “masculinity courses”” with a “particularly strong and violent ideological corpus“, conducive to install a mental hold on the participants.

Intensification of religious or spiritual proselytism

The Interministerial Mission considers that the “context of loss of social landmarks caused by the health crisis” has also had consequences in the intensification of religious or spiritual proselytism, which has replaced door-to-doorr effective communication on social networks. Thus 293 referrals concern Christian movements, 99 Jehovah’s Witnesses, 33 the Church of Scientology, 31 anthroposophy, 27 ecology and eco-villages, 26 Buddhist movements, and a few dozen Hindu and Muslim movements. and Jews.

20 reports to justice

Of the 4,020 referrals received by Miviludes in 2021, 20 gave rise to reports to the courts, under article 40 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires any constituted authority to notify the public prosecutor s he has knowledge of an offence. 391 files were sent to the competent services, such as the Regional Health Agencies or the Directorate General for Competition. Of the 396 situations concerning minors, five were forwarded to departmental councils.

“We must carry out awareness-raising and reporting work”

Interviewed on franceinfo
on sectarian aberrations at the beginning of October, the Secretary of State in charge of Citizenship, Sonia Backès had assured that “the state [avait] did a lot of things to have a number of parallel organizations closed down, to have a number of leaders convicted for serious offences”. She heard accelerating the dissolution of cults and raising awareness online and facilitate reporting. “We must carry out awareness-raising and reporting work, whether to the State or between the people who are around”she pointed out. “When you have a colleague who you see is taking a worrying path, a friend, a neighbor […]do not hesitate to report it on the Miviludes website, the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses” had recalled, Sonia Backès, whose mother had been a member of the Church of Scientology.

Sectarian abuses: referrals to Miviludes reach a new record, according to a report