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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") is a French government agency, with responsibility for monitoring groups perceived to constitute a threat to public order or that violate French law, coordinating the government response, informing the public about potential risks, and assisting victims. The agency was created in 2002.
The mission of MIVILUDES involves analysing "the phenomenon of movements with a cultic character whose actions affront the rights of man and fundamental liberties, or which constitute a threat to public order or which are contrary to the laws and regulations".
MIVILUDES provides information related to "cultic deviances" to the media, the French government, and individual members of the public. It recommends contacts and other organizations, and produces and archives documentation and discussion papers on groups considered cults.
The French authorities created MIVILUDES as the successor to MILS (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les sectes; English: "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. These organisations were in charge of co-ordinating government monitoring of cults.
In February 1998, MILS, headed by Alain Vivien, released its annual report on their monitoring of cults in France. The operations of MILS, and Alain Vivien's background as the head of an anti-cult organization (he had served as President of the Centre Roger Ikor from 1997 to 1998), had occasionally received criticism from several human-rights organizations, such as the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, as well as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a US government agency. (See also About-Picard law#Reactions). In January 1999 Vivien requested and received police protection following threats and the burglary of his home. Vivien resigned in June 2002 under criticism.
MIVILUDES was created by a presidential decree on 28 November 2002. Jean-Louis Langlais, a senior civil-servant at the Ministry of the Interior, served as its president from 2002 to 2005. Announcing the formation of MIVILUDES, the French government acknowledged the criticism that MILS had received from outside France for certain activities that could be considered in violation of religious freedom. The decree establishing MIVILUDES referred to MILS only indirectly in announcing the abrogation (in Article 8) of the decree establishing MILS.
In an interview in March 2003, Langlais categorised the fight as not against "sects", but against "sectarian deviances". He stated that current French law lacks a definition for a "sect" and, therefore "the law cannot define sectarian deviances". Nevertheless, he portrayed the role of MIVILUDES as contributing to "defining what could simply be an administrative jurisprudence".
A 2004 report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom concluded with an assessment that the restructuring of the main French agency concerned with this issue — referring to MILS being replaced by MIVILUDES — had improved religious freedoms in France.
- From the Journal Officiel of 28 November 2002, quoted in Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires : Sa mission est définie officiellement (dans le Journal Officiel du 28 novembre 2002) comme étant d'analyser « le phénomène des mouvements à caractère sectaire dont les agissements sont attentatoires aux droits de l'homme et aux libertés fondamentales ou constituent une menace à l'ordre public ou sont contraires aux lois et règlements ».
- Mission Interministérielle de VIgilance et de LUtte contre les DÉrives Sectaires Archived 2007-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
- "Centre de documentation, d'éducation et d'action Contre les Manipulations Mentales". Archived from the original on 2007-01-27.
- "Open Letter to Alain Vivien about Religious Freedom in France". June 15, 2000. Archived from the original on May 4, 2005.
- L'Humanité, January 14, 1999; "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-04-30. Retrieved 2005-09-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Alain Vivien Resigns from President of the French Anti-Cult Mission
- Mission Interministérielle de VIgilance et de LUtte contre les DÉrives Sectaires Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
- Mission Interministérielle de VIgilance et de LUtte contre les DÉrives Sectaires Archived 2007-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
- 'France and "cults": a new orientation' - Interview with Jean-Louis Langlais, by Willy Fautré. Compass Direct, 5 April 2003. Available online; retrieved 2007-01-28
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Archived 2005-10-08 at the Wayback Machine
- Historique Archived 2011-05-07 at the Wayback Machine//La MIVILUDES