Healthcare and sectarian movements: dangerous relationships

The health field is a field of influence for sectarian organizations. This is one of the lessons of the 2021 Activity Report of the Interministerial Mission for Supervision and Fighting Sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes), published on 3 November. “The health crisis, of unprecedented magnitude, has favored the emergence of new movements and individuals eager to take advantage of people who are isolated, sick or who are losing their bearings. This is demonstrated by the worrying increase in the number of reports received by Miviludes in 2021, in line with those registered in 2020 ”, warns Hanène Romdhane, head of mission, in the introduction to the document.

In 2021 Miviludes was registered 4,020 times, an increase of 86% compared to 2015. Of these reports, 1,011 were sent to the Health division. Of the 744 treated by the agents, 70% concerned unconventional care practices. 148 other postponements are also linked to the conspiracy and the anti-vaccine movement.

Suckers and karma

The text highlights, for example, the “wet hijama”, a practice linked to oriental medicine which consists in making superficial incisions of the epidermis in specific points of the body and in applying suckers to extract the “bad blood”. . “CNOM reminds us that skin invasion is reserved for doctors only”, underline the authors.

Among the movements that arouse Miviludes’ vigilance, the Church of Scientology considers psychiatry a farce, and has conducted smear campaigns against French hospitals in recent years. “The organization, highlighting its struggle for the dignity of interned patients and its support for relatives, will seek above all to recruit new followers”, estimates the text.

In the anthroposophical approach, developed by Rudolf Steiner and his followers, the disease results from a “karmic fate”, linked to the patient’s mistakes in his previous lives: karma must therefore be placed at the center of the healing process. This conception can “lead to dangerous treatments for patients or even to the refusal of treatment to let the” karma “express itself”, further warn the speakers.

To weaken bodies and minds

If Miviludes recalls that “any therapeutic drift or any unconventional practice is not sectarian”, he underlines that “the multiplication of pseudo-healers” is a public health problem. And to mention, in particular, the new Germanic medicine of Dr. Hamer (now deceased, but whose influence persists), who believes that tumors are caused by psychological shock and rejects conventional therapies in favor of an exclusively psychotherapeutic one.

Therapeutic fasting also presents serious risks of drift: “By depriving the individual of food, he may find himself particularly vulnerable due to the weakening of his body and therefore of his mind,” the report notes. More generally, Miviludes warns of “slipper” strategies, which weaken their victims by rejecting conventional medicine.

The mission explains that it is developing partnerships, in the form of agreements, with professional associations and organizations recognized in the fight against cancer, in order to strengthen general vigilance on these potential abuses. “The medical desertification of the French countryside is no stranger to this phenomenon (of unconventional therapies) which is assuming worrying proportions and contributes to creating health insecurity”, however, believe the authors of the report.

Lisette Gries

Consult the 2021 activity report of the inter-ministerial mission for supervision and fight against sectarian aberrations (Miviludes)


Favier A.-L., “Sectarian aberrations: when the threat weighs on health” in L’infirmièr.en ° 022 of 01/07/2022

Renaud A., “When seven and health go hand in hand”, in L’infirmièr.en ° 9 of 01/06/2021

Martin L., “Beware of“ therapeutic gurus ””, on on 23/12/2016

Di Montalembert L., “Nurse in the face of sectarian aberrations”, on on 09/30/2015

Colau H., “Alternative medicine, a dangerous trend? », In The Nurse Magazine n ° 394 of 06/01/2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *