On October 8-10 2002, in Vinnitsa (Ukraine) the International scientific and practical conference «Totalitarian sects - a threat to the human rights in the Eastern Europe» was held. The conference was organized by the Vinnitsa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the All-Ukraine center of help to victims of destructive sects «Dialogue». In its work psychologists, psychotherapists, lawyers, theologians, sectariologists, officials of the Ministry of internal affairs of Ukraine and Ministry of health of Ukraine, of some other state institutions, high schools, public organizations, antisectarian centers and attendants of the traditional religious organizations (in particular the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Judaic community of Ukraine etc.) - citizens of different countries, people of different nationalities and confessions took part.
At the Conference the following reports were delivered:
- the report of Alexander Leonidovich Dvorkin, doctor of philosophy, candidate of theology, vice-president of the international institute «Dialogue-Centre», the head of the faculty of sectariology of the Orthodox theological institute of saint Tikhon, head of Iriney Lionskiy Informational and consulting centre of Iriney Lionskiy at Moscow patriarchy.
- the report of Pavel Pavlovich Broyde, the president of the All-Ukraine center «Dialogue», coordinator of the Association of protection against psychological violence.
- the report of Andrey Hvylya-Olinter, candidate of jurisprudence, the retired colonel of the Ministry of internal affairs, an official of analytical sector of the Missionary department of the Moscow patriarchy, an expert on problems of totalitarian sects, the deacon.
- the report of Anna Leonidovna Mulyun, the vice-president of the All-Ukraine Centre «Dialogue», the chairman of parental association «Poryatunok» («Rescue»), a former state prosecutor in connection with the prosecution of «White brotherhood».
- the report of Boris Vladimirovich Mikhailov, the leading psychoterapeutist of the Ministry of health of Ukraine, the head of the chair of psychotherapy of Kharkov medical academy of the post-graduate education, doctor of medical science, professor.
- the report of Jury Alekseevich Narizhniy, candidate of jurisprudence, lieutenant colonel of the Ministry of internal affairs, head of a chair of the Dnepropetrovsk law academy.
- the report of Mikhail Ivanovich Sokur, candidate of medical science, regional psychoterapeutist of the Department of health in Vinnitsa regional state administration.
- the report of Igor Leonidovich Kuperberg, an expert on Judaic science, assistant of the chairman of the Association of the Jewish communities and organizations of Ukraine, director of the Jewish antisectarian organization «League «Magen» and others.
The participants of the Conference have expressed an extreme concern about a threat to the human rights and democratic freedom, which has hung over some countries of Eastern Europe, Ukraine in particular. They consider the totalitarian sects (the destructive cults) to be one of the principal causes of this problem. Uncontrolled activity of totalitarian sects (destructive cults) has a character of barefaced expansion, harming irreparably people’s health, violating fundamental human rights, creates a threat to family, society and state.
The totalitarian sects are defined as the special authoritative organizations, the leaders of which, striving for authority above their followers and exploitation of them, hide their intentions under religious, political, psychotherapeutic, health-restoring, educational, scientific and cognitive, cultural and other covers.
The totalitarian sects resort to deceit, pretermition and obtrusive propaganda to attract new members. They use censorship of the information that their members receive, they resort to other unethical ways of control of personality, to psychological pressure, intimidation and other forms of keeping members in the organization. Thus, totalitarian sects break human rights to free informed choice of ideology and mode of life.
Besides this, an association is considere to be a sectarian one, if it denies the whole culture beyond its own limits.
The participants of the Conference established that the practice of psychological violence, labour and financial exploitation of adherents, their social isolation and total restriction of personal freedom through the methods of manipulation and mind control, mentality and health impairment, a number of deaths lead to the conclusion: totalitarian sects in their activity regularly break Common Declaration of Human Rights, other international legal acts and theses of national legislations.
All this caused active public and governmental policy of the European countries and the Council of Europe, directed on protection of the civil rights against the threat of totalitarian sects. Having realized that the democratic principles are threatened with the new danger, which is in many respects similar to Nazism (according to comparison of German sectariologists), Europe has accepted a number of measures limiting the destructive activity of sects.
In this connection and also in connection with a higher level of competence of the population of Western Europe, an epicenter of sectarian activity moved to the countries of Eastern Europe.
That is why, on the basis of the decision of the Assembly of the Council of Europe dated from 22.06.1999, which proclaims the necessity of creation of the European organization for observation over groups of religious, esoteric or spiritual direction (that would considerably facilitate information exchange between appropriate centers of states-members) and also that the Council of Europe should also undertake measures for encouragement of creating information centers in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Conference determined:
it is high time to begin coordinated interaction of the East European organizations. Such consolidation would allow us to exchange experience, information, scientific researches more productively and to cooperate with national authorities, with the Council of Europe and other international organizations to solve the problem of dominance of totalitarian sects in Eastern Europe. The participants of the Conference put forward the initiative of creation of the confederate East European organization, and suggest the colleagues in the countries of Eastern Europe to join this initiative.
As a result of the Conference the East-European law-protective center of family and personality «Dialogue» was founded for the purpose of protection of Human Rights, interests of family and society from destructive influence of totalitarian sects. For the present the activity of the created Center will cover five countries of Eastern Europe. It is expected the further expansion of territory for the Center activity. The conference confirmed presidium of the Center: Professor Alexander Dvorkin was elected the president of the East-European center «Dialogue», Pavel Broyde was elected the executive director.