CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

MILS replaced by MIVILUDES - but what does it mean?

by Massimo Introvigne

By decree no. 20002-1392 of November 28, 2002 the old French MILS (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les sectes, Governmental Mission to Fight Cults) has been abolished. In its place the new French government has established MIVILUDES (Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires, Governmental Mission to Watch and Fight Cultic Deviances). The change in name, as announced before, should correspond to a more moderate attitude, and the decree specifies that the Mission should operate "within the respect of public liberties". It is also important that the Mission, according to the Decree, should no longer develop its own independent international activities but participate to activities in its field initiated and directed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (which was often critical of the old Mission).
There will no longer be "members" of the Mission, except the president and the secretary general, appointed by the Prime Minister. An "executive committee" will include representatives of the different branches of the French administration (i.e., apparently, not anti-cultists). A "consultative committee" should include experts (i.e., probably, anti-cultists in addition, hopefully, to experts from other quarters), but should offer only "evaluations" of the Mission's work and "orientation".
The general impression is that the Mission's previous bureaucracy is being reduced, if not dismantled, and its international missionary anti-cult activities placed under control, if not abolished. However, who is appointed to the various positions will clarify what the change really means.

Full text of Decree 2002-1392 of November 28, 2002 (in French)

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