In 2011, deployments of armed forces against peaceful groups are still going on
On February 22, 2011, in Nyons in the Drôme area, 70 gendarmes, assisted by the Assistance and Intervention Unit for Sectarian Abuses (CAIMADES), a specialized police created at the request of Miviludes, invaded a personal improvement center. What evidence do they have against the “Teaching Center of Biodynamism”? Nothing, except suspicions: “a potentially sectarian activity,” according to the warrant from a judge of instruction of Valence, and “that they asked to pay money for courses”, wrote the daily Dauphiné libéré, which looks all but unusual for a teaching center. Results of the raid: four people put under police custody.
In this foul climate, suspicions serve as evidence and Miviludes doesn’t hide it. Hervé Machi, general secretary for Miviludes, declares: “According to elements gathered in 2009, the creator of the center seemed to exert a mental hold on trainees, with members breaking off from families and professions.”
This is not the first raid orchestrated by Miviludes in a workplace or in a spiritual community: the ecumenical monastery of Moulin des Vallées in October 2009, the Chardenoux Center, publisher of the magazine Terre du Ciel, in January 2010, among others, went through this bitter experience. Religious experts are concerned about the growing practice by Miviludes of a form of intellectual terrorism, with impunity.
The decree founding Miviludes states that the Mission is in charge of observing and analysing groups “of which actions are violating human rights and fundamental liberties or constitute a threat to public order”. G. Fenech, president of Miviludes, has since long abandoned the restraint of r the necessity of gathering evidence of such actions, when announcing the creation of a referential (a list of suspect groups) on the basis of single “reports”—that is, letters of complaint.
On February 22, 2011, Miviludes obviously crossed a new line. It does not even require that anyone complains about anything—mere suspicions are enough to launch 70 gendarmes against a Center of Biodynamism or to justify new forms of censorship.
In the Well-Being Show (Salon du Bien-être) in Paris in January 2011, a note was distributed by the organizers to all exhibitors, advising them, following guidelines from Miviludes, to proscribe all “therapeutics allegations”. The note states: “They [Miviludes] will come to the Show to observe the stands and listen to what is said.” What next? Will the gendarmes and the CAIMADES be equipped with flippers to plan a raid against centers of thalassotherapy*, to inspect whether the guidelines issued by Miviludes are strictly adhered to, and persist in their futile efforts to decide for individuals?
*thalassotherapy is the medical use of seawater as a means of therapy.