May 18. 2024. 9:29

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"Sects - Twisted Beliefs" - Book Review


"Whether we use the term sect or cult, the sects are difficult to define. But with its irrational control on humans, talking about sects is to refer to a human community whose members rigorously follow the same philosophical, religious or political doctrine, in competition with other groups. If we refer to the definition in the Larousse dictionary, it’s a group of people professing the same doctrine (philosophical, religious, etc.) for example: the sect of Epicurus. The term “sect” covers an association of philosophers just as much as any religion. “Christianity is a successful sect”, according to Ernest Renan, a French historian and philologist who played a major role in the birth of the “sciences of religions” in the 19th century. In fact, didn’t Christianity originate from a sect of the Jewish religion? In fact, there is no definition of “sect” in our law. It is therefore appropriate to use the notion of “sectarian drifts”.

The above paragraph, — writes Belgian writer André Lacroix, is from the Introduction of the new book "Sects — Twisted Beliefs" by the independent writer Albert Jacques. As a retired independent journalist/writer, Mr Jacques is dedicating part of his time to investigating and exposing fake beliefs and harmful cults. It is only through careful observation, analysis and proper legal actions that we, as a society, can hope to defeat those atrocious organizations.

So why would he write a book about a cult? His personal experience may give some answers: “First of all, it turned out that a member of my family became a follower of a cult and that from that moment, his behaviour changed. The most astonishing thing for me was his attitude towards his parents and his brother. He tried to enlist his brother to join the sect. Following her brother’s refusal, he became a stranger in her eyes. Since then when he says my brother, it is a member of the sect he is talking about. Finally, he disowned his parents, the sect becoming his only family. Some astonishing news stories where sects were involved caught my attention. A trip to the United States definitely pushed me to get involved by first doing a report, then a book. In Phoenix, I travelled a good kilometre where the churches followed one another on both sides of the road. In fact these were places of worship belonging to different sects, a term ignored in the United States. While here we are wary of these sects, some of which are even banned, in the United States no problem, they are well established.So when I embarked on writing this book, I knew that I was heading down a rocky path.The sects do not like people to take too close an interest in their prebends and will stop at nothing to keep them.”

“Unlike many, Mr Jacques was not afraid to vehemently express his findings about the excuse of freedom of faith to disguise harmful behaviours. In a society in which we preach freedom of belief, we often fail to realise how such freedom hides a dark reality of abuse.” Professor Hassan, a world-renowned anti-cult expert, writes in the Foreword of this book. He is the founder and director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, which helps people escape cult mind control.

How to write this book, the writer says:“All my information comes from many apostates who want to talk about the pressures they face in leaving the sect and from the testimonies and statements of influential people in ecclesiastical circles or other religions. Important figures from different religions do not recognise these sects as schisms but as movements outside the religion. I suffered denigration and pressure from people whose primary activity is to defend sects against all odds. On this theme, they oppose the Belgian and German authorities on the subject of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the South Korean government, the Taiwan authorities and more recently the authorities Japanese since the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They regularly and virulently attack organizations like MIVILUDE or FECRIS. These organizations monitor sects, ensuring that they do not cross the red line, and come to the aid of victims and parents of victims of these sects.”

The book comprehensively introduces the activities, organizational structure and methods of controlling believers of some well-known cults in the world. About the brainwashing and control of cults,Mr. André Lacroix:“The propagandists of the sects are quite clever; they know how to take advantage of the loss of spiritual reference points among many of our contemporaries as well as their historical-political ignorance to distil their message and collect enough financial resources to increase their audience. Their ability to present themselves as champions of religious freedom is particularly dangerous because it is likely to attract sympathy. ”

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Talking about how to reduce or prevent the temptation and persecution of ordinary people by cults? Both independent writers gave their own advice, with Albert Jacques saying: " The latest MIVILUDE report demonstrates a resurgence of sectarian abuses in France, which is why, in France, the National Assembly took its responsibilities and adopted the bill aimed at strengthening the fight against sectarian abuses and improving support for victims. The European Parliament should take inspiration from the actions of their French colleagues and act at the European level because the actions of these sects have no borders. European populations must be protected, especially since behind these occult facades of sects, some hide child criminal activities. And I will end with a warning to the European authorities because these sects organize intense lobbying with members of the European Parliament and institutions. They already have one foot in the house.”

In the end, Professor Hassan’s comments are very important: “It is with honour I am cited, discussed and explained in this book, I can only ask you, the reader, to guard those whom you cherish from falling prey to these manipulations. ”

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