From survivalist courses to new churches, via QAnon … A note from the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses (Miviludes) submitted to the government and consulted on Wednesday February 24 by Agence France-Presse (AFP) draws up a inventory of new trends in sectarian aberrations, some of which are thriving thanks to the health crisis.

Miviludes, which wrote this note with the gendarmerie and police services, received 3,008 reports in 2020 (against 2,800 in 2019), including 686 deemed serious. Twenty legal proceedings have been initiated against people who took advantage of the health crisis to develop sectarian influence in France, according to the Minister for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, in an interview with The Obs. She assures that she will strengthen Miviludes, attached since the summer of 2020 to the Ministry of the Interior, after having been in the bosom of Matignon.

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“Cults today are no longer or no longer just the Church of Scientology or the Solar Temple, but many small groups. There are 500 in France ”, explains the minister. In the ranks of these 500 “Small groups” There are 140,000 people, including 90,000 children and adolescents, she says. All social classes are concerned, but women, “More often in a precarious situation or victims of sexual predation, are particularly affected”.

Extreme fasting courses and crudivorism

About 40% of reports concern health or welfare issues. Reports in this area “Keep increasing” and “Affect the entire territory”. Among the new trends, the stages of extreme fasting, or crudivorism, a practice which consists in consuming raw foods.

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Responding to a growing demand for an existential quest, certain personalities do not hesitate to offer individualized care, often to “Exorbitant prices (up to 100,000 euros for individualized coaching)”, notes Miviludes in its note. Among these personalities, the note cites, among others, the Belgian Jean-Jacques Crèvecœur, installed in Quebec, who uses “The pandemic (…) to denounce a 5G plot which would be at the origin of the appearance of the virus “.

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While 25% of the reports concern religious movements, Miviludes considers that Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken advantage of the health crisis to “To proselytize excessively” to the population by letters and emails.

In addition, 383 reports concern Evangelical Churches, some of which “Develop thanks to foreign influences, which advocate contrary values [à celles] carried by the French Republic: refusal of gender equality, demonization of homosexuality, conversion therapy ”, raises the note.

The Universal Reception Center or Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, installed in some thirty French cities, is also closely monitored. One of the preachers argued that the Covid-19 only affected “Those who did not believe in God” and urged its followers to “Not respecting health restrictions”.

Conspiracy and neocommunities drifts

The note specifies that the conspiracy “Cannot be considered as a sectarian drift in its legal sense”, but that certain phenomena “Can meet the criteria of abuses and harmfulness”.

Among them, who came from the United States and appeared two years ago in France, the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy movement has been the subject of ten reports since 2020, which “Note the influence and indoctrination of relatives”. For Miviludes, “The increase in members and disseminators of this false information is worrying with regard to the next presidential election”.

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The note also returns to the death, in Morbihan, of Ulysse Tâm Hà Duong, at the age of 25, poisoned by a plant during a course offered by followers of survivalism. Among the latter, we find “Individuals politically anchored very to the right, but also from the ultra-left, in view of the omnipresent mistrust against the State and its institutions”.

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The World with AFP

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