Union nationale des associations de défense des familles et de l'individu

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The Union nationale des associations de défense des familles et de l'individu (UNADFI) is a French anti-cult association founded in 1974, recognized as a public utility association by a decree of 30 April 1996,[1] and directly subsidized by the French State. It gathers and coordinates the Associations de Défense des Familles et de l'Individu (ADFI), whose purpose is to acquire information on the cult phenomenon, with prevention and assistance for its victims.

In 1992, Janine Tavernier was the president of the association. But, in 2001 she resigned and began to criticize it.[2] She was first replaced by Bernard Le Heritte, then in 2004 by Socialist deputy Catherine Picard.[3] As of 31 December 2004, UNADFI was composed of 26 ADFI associations and totaled 1,520 member families. The association is currently member of the Union nationale des associations familiales (UNAF).,[4] as well as the FECRIS, an international anti-cult organization.

The association is sponsored by various ministries, including the ministry of Youth and sport and by social affaires, as well as by various communes and departments totalling 450 000 euros in 2002, over 80% of its budget.[5]

The association publishes a magazine named BULLES, which criticizes a large number of groups, including those which were listed in the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France report, and many others (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[6] Community of the Beatitudes[7]).

Criticism[edit]

The UNADFI as well as associated groups has been criticised by psychologists and religious specialists as well as from targeted groups. Associations created to defend New Religious Movements such as the CAP LC (Coordination des associations de particuliers pour la liberté de conscience) and the CICNS (Le Centre d’information et de conseil des nouvelles spiritualités) publish testimonies of the victims of the ADFI member groups.

Criticism of ideological bias[edit]

The association has been criticised of defending conservative values and favorizing the Catholic religion, to which the majority of the member organizations belong.

The Sociologist Bruno Étienne notes that "the only beneficiary is a system which is clearly ideologically positioned", "The concepts of "family" and "of the individual" are not any more neutral than the notion of brainwashing".[8]

Religious Historian Anne Morelli estimated in 1997 that the methods of anti-cult groups are "the same everywhere: to discredit all the religious groups outside of the large classic religions and to seed disinformation about them. The "cult of the anti-cult" squeezes the media and politics in particular, but doesn't neglect the university research sector either. In France two associations share this "market", corresponding to the two fundamental options in French society: one is secular (the CCMM), and the other is catholic (The UNADFI).

[9][10]

Since her resignation from the movement in 2002, Janine Tavernier, president from 1993 to 2002, has levelled the same kind of criticisms towards her former employer.

The association was founded by persons of Catholic faith, but open about it. I wanted to go towards more openness. Little by little a lot of Freemasons have entered the UNADFI, giving it a shade it hadn't had originally.

—Janine Tavernier, [11]

Today I worry when I hear the president of the UNADFI, Catherine Picard criticise without distinction at the reunion of "evangelical churches".

—Janine Tavernier

Janine Tavernier explains that she resigned because a "witch hunt" had taken place.

Associations critical of the UNADFI reproach the association of involving itself in divorce proceedings, where an abusive use of the word "cult" would result in winning guardianship over children.[12] and that it had intervened in certain matters where its information had proved false [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Décrets du 30 avril 1996 portant reconnaissance d'associations comme établissement d'utilité publique" (in French). Legifrance. 1996. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Joseph Veillard (November 2007). "Chasse aux sorcières?". Technikart. La Balise de paix. Archived from the original on 23 August 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  3. ^ François Koch (26 March 2004). "Catherine Picard — Une militante contre les sectes". L'Express (in French). L'Express. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "Union Nationale des Associations pour la Défense des Familles et de l’Individu" (in French). Union nationale des associations familiales. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Une entreprise militante soutenue par l'État, an investigation of the "Coordination des associations de particuliers pour la liberté de conscience". The 2006 report of the MIVILUDES confirms the sources.
  6. ^ "Les mormons".
  7. ^ "Familles victimes des dérives de la Communauté des Béatitudes.
  8. ^ Bruno Étienne, La France face aux sectes, Hachette littératures, 2002, 318 p. (ISBN 2-01-235569-2).
  9. ^ Morelli, Anne (1997). Lettre ouverte à la secte des adversaires des sectes. Bruxelles: Labor. p. 96. ISBN 2-8040-1246-8. 
  10. ^ Open brief aan de sekte van de sektetegenstanders (in Dutch). Berchem: EPO. 1997. p. 124. ISBN 90-6445-052-8. .
  11. ^ Xavier Ternisien, « Janine Tavernier : « Il faut distinguer les mouvements religieux des vraies sectes » », in Le Monde, 17 november 2006.
  12. ^ « Le spectre de la secte dans les jugements de divorce », on the site of the CICNS.
  13. ^ " “La Famille” (ex Enfants de Dieu) gagne son procès en France : Une “catastrophe” pour l'ADFI et pour la Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les sectes », on the site of the CESNUR :

    In this case the authorities were attentive to the accusations made to the ADFI. During several years it has accused The Family of illegal activities and child abuse. The authorities had been working with the ADFI (government funded organization) and the court has chosen a psychiatrist sympathetic with the ADFI to interrogate the children. Even though they were isolated and far from their parents, the children denied that any abuse had happened to them (...) six years after the police raid (...) all the accused have been found not guilty and acquitted.

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