Since 2015, reports have increased by nearly 80%, reaching a rate of more than 4,000 per year in 2021.
In its activity report published on November 3, the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes), recently placed under the control of the Ministry of the Interior after a significant drop in resources, warns of the explosion of reports of sectarian aberrations.
Miviludes, survivor of an attempt to dissolve with minimal means
The fight against sectarian aberrations in France was born of parliamentary initiatives. Since the 1990s, parliamentarians of all persuasions have led commissions of inquiry and written reports on various sectarian movements active on French soil.
Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anthroposophists were among the first movements to receive this attention. It was the collective suicide of the Order of the Solar Temple that brought the subject to the forefront and led to the creation of the ancestor of the Miviludes in 1998.
Since then, suspicions of obstruction of the actions of Miviludes have regularly been issued.
With the proliferation of Islamist attacks on French soil, and the political focus on the subject, the attention paid to sectarian movements is taking a back seat. The Mission’s budget decreases, falling to €500,000 per year in 2018, before the Mission is almost dissolved within the Ministry of the Interior in 2020.
During the same year 2018, Serge Blisko, discreet president of the Mission since 2012, retired. He will only be replaced two years later, as part of the merger of Miviludes with other bodies, responsible in particular for the fight against Islamism.
The Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, known for her links with anthroposophy, would have, it seems, added during this latency period a government censorship of the reports of Miviludes to the problem of its restructuring.
After going so far as to cut the telephone links of Miviludes, the government is backpedaling in 2021, faced with the significant resurgence of sectarian aberrations during the pandemic. Marlène Schiappa announced in April a sharp increase in the resources of the mission, which notably has a head of service in the person of the magistrate Hanène Romdhane.
After obtaining these reinforcements, the organization chart of Miviludes has 12 names, head of service included, to process more than 4,000 reports per year, without the power to investigate.
The pandemic, fertile ground for alternative medicine
In what is its first annual report since the attempted dissolution that hit Miviludes, it raises questions about the multiplication of sectarian phenomena in France.
A good number of them push to give up conventional medicine to move towards different so-called “alternative” medicines, representing real dangers for the lives of people under the influence and manipulated by these sectarian movements.
Miviludes warns of the good reputation enjoyed by “alternative medicine” in France. According to a Harris poll in 2019, 86% of French people have a good image of “alternative medicine” and nearly 10% consider them effective even for serious conditions. On this maintained background of sympathy or even faith in these practices, the pseudo health professionals without any academic training – “therapists”, “counsellors”, “coaches”, “psychosomatotherapists” – are multiplying.
Some practices lead to serious risks for patients. The Hamer doctrine or “new Germanic medicine” thus claims to treat cancers only through psychotherapy.
These pseudo medicines benefit from relays who perfectly master social networks, such as the naturopath Thierry Casasnovas, with more than 80M views on his YouTube videos, who is the subject of more than 50 reports for having pushed his patients to stop their treatments. and to feed exclusively on fruit.
Some fashionable practices clearly play with the boundary between spirituality and pseudo-medicine. Mindfulness meditation, without being inherently sectarian, is attracting the attention of Miviludes. Neo-shamanism, particularly in its incitement to the use of narcotics or to passing into a daze in sweat lodges, worries the administration.
With the wave of conspiracy around vaccination that marked the period of the pandemic, these pseudo medicines, which grew out of the rejection of the scientific method and conventional medicine, seem to have gained ground.
Growing “spiritual multinationals”
The “multinationals of spirituality”, which are, in the words of Miviludes, the Church of Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses worry the administration. The new headquarters of Scientology in Saint Denis will be a huge showcase for this sectarian movement during the Olympic Games.
Miviludes is also worried about a “large-scale reconquest strategy” initiated by the sectarian movement. The laxity of the government regarding the establishment of its new headquarters also raises questions about the will to really fight against this organization.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, a movement based on the belief that Armageddon is near and that it is the duty of every member of the sect to warn his neighbor, are the subject of many concerns. In health matters, their beliefs endanger their members, for example by prohibiting them from resorting to blood transfusion. In judicial matters, the administration is concerned about an organization that seems to have its own religious court of justice (the “Elders”), its own laws and its own sanctions.
Anthroposophy, a counter-society from school to pharmacies
Anthroposophy, the spiritual doctrine of Steiner, an Austrian occultist who sat prominently in Himmler’s library, established his societies in France without any apparent challenge.
There are about twenty Steiner-Waldorf schools to date in France, educating children in “a kind of permanent incestual atmosphere that can quickly make everyone lose their heads” according to the testimony of Grégoire Perra, a former anthroposophist teacher.
Anthroposophical medicine benefits from the coverage of the multinational Weleda, a group of 23 companies in which the Anthroposophical Society is the majority shareholder.
If the company has suffered from the happy delisting of homeopathy since 2020, it still generates hundreds of millions of euros in turnover, relying in particular on a network of practitioners claiming to cure all kinds of diseases (including cancer) by injections of white mistletoe extract.
“Manhood courses” in the forest leading to domestic violence
While Miviludes denounces the emergence of masculinism, a fundamentally violent and reactionary theory claiming that men should defend themselves in a society henceforth dominated by women, the administration considers that it does not fall, in the most general case, its field of action.
Certain forms of action could, however, combine masculinism and sectarian aberrations.
In the sights of Miviludes, the ManKind Project (MKP), which organizes courses in the forest “initiation to masculinity”, from which the participants, deprived of all contact with the outside world, forced to make public confessions, deprived of sleep, food, clothing, return, according to the reports of several women around them, with a desire to control everything and a sudden disappearance of empathy towards spouses and children.
Faced with sectarian aberrations, build social progress, promote scientific culture
In such a situation of crisis of capitalism, the annual alert of an interministerial mission is as necessary as it is infinitely insufficient. The bourgeois state is in a strange position when it seems to worry about seeing the worst aspects of the exploitation and social disintegration that it is responsible for protecting grow.
Faced with the incessant revival of sects, of anti-science, of the most reactionary mass manipulations, the immediate task is the construction of an alternative society, socialism, which can only overcome sects by proposing to the entire working class to go rationally to conquer a better world on Earth, here and now.