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MIVILUDES (an acronym for the French-language phrase Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires, i.e. "Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combatting Cultic Deviances"), a controversial French government agency established by presidential decree on 28 November 2002, monitors groups considered dangerous cults by the French state.

Headed by Jean-Louis Langlais, a senior civil servant at the Ministry of the Interior, MIVILUDES has the task of observing and analyzing movements that constitute a threat to public order or that violate French law, coordinating the appropriate response, informing the public about potential risks, and helping victims to receive aid. In its announcement of the formation of MIVILUDES, the Government acknowledged that its predecessor, MILS, had been criticized for certain actions abroad that could have been perceived as contrary to religious freedom. In an interview[citation needed] given in March 2003, Langlais emphasized that the issue at stake is not to fight "sects" as such but merely "deviances" these might have. However, he also admitted the difficulty of defining the concept of "deviances".


[edit] Chronology

The French authorities set up MIVILUDES as the successor to MILS (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les sectes or "Interministerial Mission in the Fight Against Cults"), which itself functioned from 7 October 1998 as the successor to the Observatoire interministériel sur les sectes established on 9 May 1996.

The "Interministerial Mission in the Fight Against Cults" (MILS) headed by Alain Vivien, formed in 1998 to coordinate government monitoring of sectes (name given to cults in France). In February 1998 MILS released its annual report on the monitoring of sects. The activities of the MILS and Alain Vivien's background as the head of an anti-cult organization raised serious concerns and critiques from several human-rights organizations and government bodies (See also About-Picard law#Reactions). In 1999, Vivien was put under police protection following threats and the burglary of his home.<ref> L'Humanité, January 14, 1999; http://www.humanite.fr/journal/1999-01-14/1999-01-14-441385 </ref>

Vivien resigned in June 2002 under criticism. The Church of Scientology, for instance, alleged that MILS under Vivien's management had wasted taxpayers' money on trips around the world.<ref> http://www.freedommag.org/french/EL32/page02.htm </ref>

On 27 May 2005 (just before he left office), the then Prime Minister of France, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, issued a circulaire on cultic activities in France, called for increased vigilance and activity from public servants and indicated that the list of cults published on the parliamentary report is no longer pertinent, and that it should be replaced by specific criteria set by MIVILUDES.

Cette vigilance doit s'exercer en tenant compte de l'évolution du phénomène sectaire, qui rend la liste de mouvements annexée au rapport parlementaire de 1995 de moins en moins pertinente. On constate en effet la formation de petites structures, diffuses, mouvantes et moins aisément identifiables, qui tirent en particulier parti des possibilités de diffusion offertes par l'internet. [Translation: We must exercise this vigilance in taking account of the evolution of the cult-phenomenon, which makes the list of movements attached to the Parliamentary Report of 1995 less and less pertinent. Indeed, one can observe the formation of small groups, scattered, mobile and less-easily identifiable, and which make use in particular of the possibilities of spreading offered by the Internet.] [...] et le recours à des listes de groupements sera évité au profit del'utilisation de faisceaux de critères. (Translation: the the list of groups should not be used and should be replaced by the ulitization of specific criteria)<ref> Circulaire du 27 mai 2005 relative à la lutte contre les dérives sectaires (Circulaire of 27 May 2005 concerning the struggle against cultic manifestations) </ref>)

[edit] See also

[edit] References

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[edit] External links

fr:Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires


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