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How cults affect mental health, social relations and politics

▲2022 International Symposium on Cults, Heresies and Emerging Religions In Paris

▲How cults affect mental health, social relations and politics



On July 15, 2022, an internatonal group experts and researchers specializing in the study of religion and psychology held its annual academic researchers and experts to discuss various aspects of their work and exchange views. Participants discussed how religious cults affect mental health, social relations and politics.

The conference was opened by Didier Pachoud who presides the Group for the Study of Thought Movements for the Protection of the Individual (GEMPPI). Mr. Pachoud presented the activities of his group and discussed at length their efforts to help the victims of radical religious sects and their families and to prevent sectarian aberrations. Maxime Perrotin discussed his work on new religious movements in Asia-in South Korea and Japan. He focused his presentation on groups like the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, the Japan Games, the Reiyukai, the Ri Shoko Sekai and Soka Gakkai, more commonly called “Society for the Creation of Values”. Another presentation on Asian evil cult discussed the question of Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God (Eastern Lighting).

The speaker, Zoran Panics, discussed the destructive nature of both movements and exposed Falun Gong’s support for extreme-right groups in the United States. Professor Raphaëlle Auclert’s presentation centered The Order of the Solar Temple cult. The cult became tragically known in the 1990s, for five collective suicides in Switzerland and Canada. Dr. Konstantin Pokov discussed the psychological aspects of totalitarian sects influence and compared their influence to addiction. Olivier Rouot discussed the view of the Catholic Church on the rise of totalitarian sects and their impact on the institution of traditional family. Professor Roman Silantiev talked about the new applied science called “destructology” that studies destructive ideologies of both religious and secular nature.

The conference provided an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of cults and sects’ studies.

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