FRANCE: MIVILUDES, a State institution, repeatedly condemned for defamation and stigmatization
Time for PM Edouard Philippe to re-examine the practices and question the usefulness of MIVILUDES
HRWF (14.05.2108) – On 20 April 2018, the Administrative Court of Paris stated that MIVILUDES, the Inter-ministerial Mission of Vigilance and Fight against Sectarian Deviances created in 2002, had damaged the reputation of the anthroposophic medicine by listing it in its brochure “Health and Cultic Deviances” (Santé et Dérives Sectaires) in 2012 as a potentially dangerous and harmful sectarian practice.
The anthroposophic medicine association CEP MEP SMA had vainly attempted to be removed from MIVILUDES brochure since its publication. The court esteemed unfounded the accusations against the anthroposophic medicine and decided to condemn the State represented by the Prime Minister to whose authority MIVILUDES is subjected
- to pay 2000 EUR to the CEP MEP SMA, the main association of anthroposophic physicians in France for the moral damage caused to them
- to release a press statement publicizing the court decision on MIVILUDES website and any means of communication used by the State to publish the litigious report
- to remove the anthroposophic medicine from the brochure “Health and Sectarian Deviances.”
The case had started with the sole complaint recorded by MIVILUDES in 2010 from the father of a girl who claimed she had been a victim of a dental surgeon using anthroposophic medicine.
This sort of medicine is exclusively practiced by medical doctors and is well established in 22 European countries, including in France.
Other court decisions against MIVILUDES
On 7 December 2017, the Administrative Court of Paris ruled that MIVILUDES had damaged the reputation of the national association of kinesitherapists practicing fasciatherapy and the group Point d’Appui which until 2012 was providing training in this therapy to osteopaths and other professionals.
MIVILUDES had listed fasciatherapy in its brochure “Health and cultic deviations” as a dangerous medical technique. The court ruled that MIVILUDES was to remove it from its report, to pay 1500 EUR to the plaintiffs as moral damage and to publicize the judgment on its website and beyond. Point d’Appui had to put an end to its activities after the controversial publication of MIVILUDES.
On 2 July 2015, the Court of Appeals in Paris upheld an earlier judgement that MIVILUDES be found guilty of defamation against the French Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). *
On 22 February 2013, the Council of State overruled the decision of the Administrative Court of Paris which prevented the French Federation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from accessing accusatory documents in possession of MIVILUDES which had justified the previous listing of that religious movement as a harmful sect/cult by the French State. It appeared that the accusations of MIVILUDES were unfounded.
Noteworthy is that the campaign of MIVILUDES and other state institutions in France led to disastrous consequences in the lives of French citizens because of their beliefs: slander, stigmatization broadcasts and articles in the media, victimization at work or at school, attacks on the reputation of ordinary persons, loss of employment or promotions, refusal or limitation of the right to visit or rejection of the right to custody in cases of divorce, impossibility of renting public or private spaces for religious ceremonies or meetings, denial of access to public posting boards, police supervision and interrogation, judicial complaints for supposed illegal practice of medicine, cases of temporary imprisonment, etc.
The publications of MIVILUDES about so-called dangerous cults have been repeatedly criticized by human rights NGOs at the UN, the CoE and the OSCE for defaming and stigmatizing non-traditional religious and other groups and their members.
Human Rights Without Frontiers calls upon PM Edouard Philippe to re-examine the practices and question the usefulness of MIVILUDES in its current mandate.
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HRWF database of news and information on over 70 countries: http://hrwf.eu/newsletters/forb/
List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: http://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/