Jean-Pierre Jougla

UNADFI

 

Cultist lobbying Part II.

                                    

There are two possible ways of approaching cultist lobbying: 

A first analytical approach, considering cultist infiltration by branch of industry – education health, humanitarian aid, personal development, the pseudo religious field…; it is a lobbying of the "traditional" type comparable roughly speaking with business lobbying:  it concerns the representation and the defence of  the rights or interests of the cultist groups or groups with cultist tendencies, through the use of information which varies from influence to intoxication, aimed at private or public organisations likely to take decisions affecting the interests or rights of the aforementioned cults. It is this approach that was treated in the quarterly review of UNADFI, Bulles N° 88, of December 2005  to which I refer you.

 

 

Beyond the classically notorious snares to which the lobbyists are exposed (I will mention here the recent charges of an 82 million $ fraud, conspiracy and fraudulent transfer of capital which weigh on a professional lobbyist in Washington), lobbying questions the very base of our societies. This lobbying constitutes in itself a danger to our political structures, just as is traditional lobbying exerted at economic level, insofar as political structures tend more and more to seek the base of their legitimacy in processes of influences or pressures rather than in the expression of the electoral vote, which is truly a regression in comparison with modern democratic operation. 

 

Another approach to cultist lobbying can be envisaged under the concept of a change of paradigm. [1]

 

It is on this second approach that we will concentrate because, on the one hand all cults have  this change of paradigm as a common objective and use this project as a federating element, in a concerted way since 1980 precisely, the date of the publication of this book seen as the root of New Age beliefs "The Aquarian Conspiracy "[2] by Marilyn Ferguson and on the other hand because the very nature of this approach is likely to make us aware of our shortcomings  in our desire to defend cult victims. 

 

Over the last few years, the essence of aggressiveness promoting cultist ideas has centred on this aspect of change of paradigm and not only on the publicity in which one or other cultist group shrouds itself with the help of certain obliging media. This paradigmatic speech goes hand in hand with the development of the general address claiming the advantage of it’s being a minority, the relativity of its values etc. 

Every aspect of public life is concerned with this effort made by cults to give an allegedly new direction to ideas; everything becomes a target as in commercial jargon in the new cultist market of values.

 

Herewith some examples they:

contest the very basics of modern medicine (I am not just speaking of the New Germanic medicine of Mr. Hamer, but about the enormous wave carrying  “the energies”  which rides in the wake of those medicines abusively named “soft”),

contest the basic principles of education (Steiner schools, indigo children, etc),

contest entrepreneurial management through the organisation of multiple training schemes…

 

The examples could be multiplied. What interests us, however, is to clarify the fact that behind each one of these concrete activities there is a theoretical base which is used as a basis which hopes to operate a change in our society by modifying its paradigms.  The question for me is not to draw you into a conspiracy thesis, but expose the clearly expressed ambitions by “The Aquarian Conspiracy” as Marilyn Ferguson herself called them. 

 

Cultist paradigms interest us at the highest level because they are the cement of cultist cohesion on two levels:

 

firstly they act as the cement which causes the followers to adhere to the doctrines which logically are at the base of cultist influence, influence built on the shared paradigms;

furthermore the change of paradigm preached by the cults interests us because it also constitutes, this time at group level, the engine of cultist lobbying and the ultimate form of this lobbying insofar as the cultist project is of a political nature requiring the installation of a power relationship within the group whose vocation is to be exported into secular society.

 

Power relationship which exists, on the one hand, between the group and the guru, power relationship on the other hand, as an operational social model to be replicated in the outside world.

 

The approach, seen from the victim’s point of view, of the cultist phenomenon which is ours, has enabled us to understand that the subordination of the follower by the requirements of the guru constitutes one of the principal dangers of a cultist affiliation but this constraint can only be effective if there is adhesion to the doctrines, the influence of which are the stronger when they are underlain by a paradigmatic change.

 

If the doctrine does not carry the project of a change of paradigm, it has no chance of lasting.

 

More than traditional penetration into the structures of civil society, the objective pursued by modern cults is to change the way of thinking of our contemporaries because the vulgarisation of cultist doctrinal contents through literature or various "nonreligious" supports prepares our contemporaries to become permeable to the doctrines conveyed by the multitude of these deviant groups.  It is enough to read the “people” press and some so called publications claiming to be psychological, to be convinced. This will to change the paradigms is difficult to resist because these changes in world vision occur without our noticing them.  These changes are however full of consequence because they mean to sap the very bases of our modern societies and by doing this to attack humans rights. An obvious illustration of this process was the migration East of Western cultist groups which followed the collapse of the USSR to take possession of "new deserted spiritual grounds", the old paradigm having disintegrated. This impregnation of collective thought by what is perceived as a self evident "new" paradigm is the new insidious form of cultist lobbying which should challenge our associations on the level of an awareness and on the level of a concerted and coherent reaction. 

 

Cultist lobbying, though it is insidious, manifests itself in recent years with ever increasing arrogance. It is thus more visible, precisely because its protagonists are convinced that they are successful in imposing their change of paradigm.

 

To illustrate the cultist aspiration to this change of paradigm, let us briefly explain what is allegedly envisaged by a new cultist paradigm. The cultist mixture presents itself as if wrapped around some lines of action wrongly described as "new" whereas they are simply dressing old tricks in new trappings, which deny both rationalism and the philosophical heritage of enlightenment. Once the imposture of the new paradigm exposed, there remains  (as components of cultist paradigms) the exaltation of the feeling of oceanic fusion, the belief in a world populated by spirits crisscrossed by spiritual energies, the certainty of the all pervading power of the spirit, the belief in a holistic design, the illusion according to which the real objective can be replaced by a fantasised project, the tribal dependence on the total power of an auto-proclaimed leader who wants his followers to believe in the release of their individual determinisms, etc.

 

III. Countervailing powers to cultist lobbying

 

Our action in favour of the victims of cults is obviously countered by the lobbying activities of cults. May I simply recall the case brought by certain members of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe against the recognition of FECRIS as an INGO. I’ll also remind you of “smear campaigns” exerted in our own countries against our national associations and even against the authorities.

 

But in our associations we are confronted daily by the damage to the followers caused by the implementation of cultist paradigms. This conclusion makes it necessary for us to carry out continuous analyses of cultist strategies.

 

We cannot remain passive and we too are now faced with the need to react as a system of counter-lobbying.

 

The countervailing force that our associations can represent implies that they should be able to give fertile (counter) information and it is from this point of view that I have insisted on the question of the change of paradigm.

 

A countervailing force means that we have to develop a clear idea particularly on the level of what our own values imply, i.e. on the level of our own paradigms. It is not up to me describe them, but I think that our associations must make an efforts to work out a common axis in the years to come.

 

Once the common denominators of our action identified, we will need to identify  lobbying  targets which could be:

                                               Government Departments

                                               The Administrations

                                               Parliament

                                               Jurisdictional authorities.

 

The media: both to communicate information on the cultist phenomenon and to explain the errors which they sometimes make.

 

We will need to select the sectors of action:  health, justice, education, training, firms…

 

FECRIS should give itself the means of presenting its expertise to legitimate its competence as regards the analysis of the sectarian phenomenon and assist the victims of cults, with the aim of defending the objectives contained in its statutes, through rigorous verifiable and shared information with private or public organisations likely to take decisions linking with these objectives.

 

To this end, each one of us should attempt to analyse and to understand the paradigms on which human rights and fundamental freedoms rest, in order to explain to those who hold the normative power about the attacks of which European fundamental values are victim by cultist groups of influence. 

 

Lobbying corresponds to a certain form of management dominated by strategy. We must therefore review our paradigms which must be clearly defined and we must go ahead and explain to the local, regional, national and international authorities, what cultist lobbying signifies and what is hiding behind the cults’ objective of a change in paradigms.

 


[1] Definition given by Marilyn Ferguson:  "a paradigm is a kind of intellectual structure allowing comprehension and the explanation of certain aspects of reality… A change of paradigm is, unambiguous, a new way of thinking the old problems ".

In philosophy, it is about a return to the Platonic objective according to which the world of ideas would be the prototype of the world of senses in which we live.

[2] "The Aquarian Conspiracy" Marilyn FERGUSON, 1980, « Les Enfants du Verseau, Pour un nouveau paradigme », French edition Calman-Lévy, 1981.