Manipulation of Media and Government Agencies

The formation of the Interministerial Mission Against Sects (MILS), established in the office of the Prime Minister in France in October 1998, gave new powers to the anti-religious movement in France and their ability to manipulate governmental agencies and the media. The President of the now disbanded MILS was Alain Vivien, who also headed the private anti-religious organization known as CCMM (Center Against Mind Manipulation).

Mr. Vivien has an interesting history. In 1987, an article appeared in Minute, a French magazine, exposing a scandal involving huge amounts of government funds granted to an Association called, “Carrefour du Development,” which developed international relationships with African countries, and helped them train their future administrators. This money was then used for personal and political purposes. Although Vivien was never indicted for this, his name was prominently mentioned in the article as a key player involved. Other politicians involved in this scandal were indicted for fraud, embezzlement and receiving stolen money.

It was not smooth sailing for MILS. Six months after its formation, members of MILS criticized the mission for not getting anything done since its creation; and Vivien for his dictatorial approach in running the group. Vivien was even targeted by two prominently anti-religious MPs, Jacques Guyard and Jean-Pierre Brard, for taking actions without consulting the advisory council of MILS and for inefficiency.

Vivien was reportedly reprimanded for exceeding his mandate when he attempted to forcefully cause some eastern European countries to carry out anti-cult activities, under the threat that if they refused to comply then France would cut subsidies to these countries.

These members of MILS who had set out on a campaign to rid the country of “cults” had some problems of their own. Jacques Guyard, mayor of Evry, was charged for his involvement in illegal funding by the Socialist party. Jean-Pierre Brard, mayor of Montreuil, was been charged for abuse of power and mismanagement.