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A French Government report on sect deviance has denounced what it calls excessive sect activity in international institutions. Scientology and other groups are in its sights, and these groups are putting up fierce resistance.
France has a government agency called the Miviludes, unique in Western countries, whose job it is to track and counter those religious and other groups it considers as being sects. Miviludes is an acronym of the French phrase ‘Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires, i.e. ‘Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviancy.’ A sect is defined here as being any religious organisation which can be characterised as employing any of the following methods;
Mental destabilisation, exorbitant financial demands, a rupture with members’ original environment, power in the hands of one person, the invasion of a person’s physical integrity, the recruitment of children, antisocial preaching and troubling public order, activities which lead it to be tried in a court of law, using parallel economic structures, attempts to infiltrate the workplace, schools, and public powers.