Universal White Brotherhood
The Universal White Brotherhood is a New Age-oriented new religious movement founded in Bulgaria in the early 20th century by Peter Deunov and established in France in 1947 by Mihail Ivanov (1900–1986), one of his followers, then renamed Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. The group proposes a Christian esoterism characterized by a number of practices, including prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga of nutrition and paneurhythmy. A person can be both member of the group and of another religion. In France, the group achieved notability in the media in 1971. It has two centers located in Sèvres and Fréjus and 2,000 followers in France, and is present in many countries, including Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. The 1995 and 1999 reports established by the Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France, as well as the 1997 reports issued by the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission in Belgium listed the group as a cult. The main criticisms by anti-cult associations are the alleged harmful effects of the doctrine on the psyche of some followers, the diet that can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and the authoritarian nature of education.
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