Polish state towards sects and psycho-manipulation

The main problem one is facing while researching on the phenomenon of sects is the need of its precise description. One the one hand, everybody knows what sects are. On the other hand, the definitions vary greatly. What causes such divergences? To put it simply: the branch of science one represents, his or her area of study, conscious and life experience. Quite often we face the situation, and this is not only the case of analysis of sects, when manner, methods and research tools are invented only to meet a thesis formulated in advance. Why is that? Well, everybody must live on something. The pharmacologists and pharmacians living on illness and the sick profit from the sell of medicaments, the detectives live on crime and criminals whereas the historians of religion profit from research on various religious phenomena. Every emerging religious group and its ideas instantly become the study case. Sometimes one can be impressed that historians of religion and sociologists of religion act as if they were fighting for «the last slice of bread». Can one still make a brilliant scientific career researching on one of the well known religions? Not any more. One can even assume that the description of sects, and the dark sides of their activities in particular, can cause lots of problems to numerous sociologists, psychologists and historians of religion. They can be easily disposed of the subject of their studies and the opportunity to carve out their own careers based on modern exoticism of beliefs and other emerging ideas, referring to broadly comprehended religion. Revealing the appearance of acts and deeds only attributed with religious character, repeatedly impair the sense of their study. Their insistence on exposing only the aspects of religiosity can, in some cases, be recognized as misleading public opinion. Presentation of the dark sides of sectarian character formations cause attacks on those, who does not want to retreat from the problem.

Religious freedoms in Poland are not unlimited. Their borders are delineated by public safety, public order, health, morals, parental power, basic rights and liberties of other individuals. Neither Polish constitution, nor law restricts the right of the state to interfere only in the cases when sects’ leaders or members commit crimes. Both constitution and law allow the state to interfere when sects, their leaders, members, sympathizers, hidden sponsors offense the laws protecting such values as public safety, order, health, morals, parental power, rights and freedoms of other individuals. Violation of such rights does not necessary acquire a form of a crime. It can be e.g. deceitful persuasion of an adolescent for leaving his or her home to join a sect. This is an evident infringement of parental rights, but is it a crime?

The statement that crimes should be punished regardless of whether they are committed by the sects’ members or not, is only partially correct. One can not isolate the fact of committing a forbidden deed from its circumstances. The fact, that the phenomena of sects is not easy to comprehend for its character and complexity does not imply that it should be omitted in distinctive and detecting measures carried out by respective institutions. Criminogenity factor, appearing in various circles, situations and circumstances, should become the subject of detection, even if only for the sake of broadly comprehend prevention.

Some sects and new religious movements can, through their doctrine and activity, become dangerous not only for the individuals, but also for the state. The negative effects of the dangerous groups’ activity include: family disintegration, removing children from their parents, neglecting school obligation by the youth, degradation of an individual, theft, prostitution, fraud, illegal trade of weapons. The most drastic aspect of their destructive activity can be mass suicides of sects members or murders motivated by membership in a sect.

The debate on the position of the new religious movements and sects in the society started in Poland for good in the 90’s. Both sides of the conflict, which grew up rapidly, settled down their positions only to attack the enemy, quite often without any sense of measure. No doubt, there was and there still is a lack of a quiet and thoughtful discussion on the religious movements role in democratic Poland.

Considering the attitude of the state towards the sects one should pay attention to the following measures undertaken in Poland in the nineties.

On the ground of the Order no 78, of August 25, 1997, (MP no 54, pos.513) by The President of The Cabinet, The Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements has been created as an advising and opinion giving body. Its tasks included analysis of current threats from some new religious movements and their influence on individuals, family and society, as well as elaboration effective methods of counteracting such threats and means of leveling effects of destructive activities of sects. Moreover, the Team dealt with monitoring of new religious movements activity in Poland, projection of strategies for state authorities, including legislation motions on both functioning of the Team and diagnosing the state of social threats resulting from activities of some new religious movements.

The Team has been composed of the representatives of The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, The Ministry of Justice, The Ministry of National Education, The Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Ministry of National Security. The Team has been chaired by Under-Secretary of State of in The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Zbigniew Cieњlak (replaced in December 1998 by Piotr Stachaсczyk). On the chairman’s invitation the Team has been joined by representatives of the chief police commander and the governmental plenipotentiary to the family affairs. The Team cooperated also with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) which deal with help to the sects’ victims and their families, and with highly specialized scientific centers. Working contacts with Polish Episcopal Secretary, Polish Ecumenical Council and The Seventh-day Adventist Church have also been established.

It should be stressed that the Team’s activities - in terms of monitoring of new religious movements - has not produced any danger to the freedom of religion. On the contrary - the created mechanism guarded religious freedom and has only been used to reveal cases of abuse and breaking those rights by groups and individuals using religion for goals different then declared. The methods used by the Team were in total convergence with Polish law and with international human rights standards. State services engaged in monitoring new religious movements activities were by no means interested in religious beliefs of particular members of the groups, but solely in the examples of abuse and criminal acts committed in the sake of religious freedom. The state has the right to interfere where the borders of conscious and religion are crossed, that is when infringement of rules protecting public safety, order, health, morals, parental power and rights and freedom of other individuals, occur.

After completing initial analysis on the situation of sects in Poland, The Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements decided on preparing a report on that issue (entitled Report on Certain Phenomena Connected to the Activity of Sects in Poland). The report was finally adopted on the sitting on May the 15th 2000. It was the first attempt of comprehensive formulation of the problem of sects in Poland. To be sure, in the Report on National Safety published by The National Security Bureau in 1995, one chapter has been devoted to sects and some religious associations, yet the document should be treated as an important call for proper approach to the issue.

The Report of the year 2000 was a kind of an introductory response to that call. For its thematic scope and applied methods of analysis the Report contributed greatly to public debate on threats from some sects. Its basic aim was the presentation of the most crucial social phenomena connected to the activities of the groups called sects. It analyzed such phenomena from the point of view of citizen’s rights and freedoms that are threaten and often infringed by sects, as well as from the point of view of the state and its services responsible for the compliance with law and public order. Thus, the Report’s aim was not presentation and condemnation of the activities of particular sects and respective threats, but it focused on revealing social, psychological and legal mechanisms causing sects’ development; showing their structure as an exemplification of a social group, presenting motivations for joining sects and the effects of such decisions. The Report presented in details the reasons for sects’ attractiveness free activity as well as methods of activity they apply. Special attention has also been paid to some social pathologies connected with the sects’ activities (in both individual and group sense) including the revealed cases of infringement of the law.

The report did not fully exploit such a complex phenomenon as sects. First of all, the document lacks in estimation of sects number present in Poland and the scale of threats they create. This is due to the fact that the scope of the subjective phenomena has not been up to these days precisely delineated, hence it is impossible to qualify particular groups into category of sects and carrying out respective research. As a consequence, the current knowledge does not allow to give precise number of sects active in Poland (according to the definition used in the report in question)

The Report enjoyed live response within the society and received large coverage in media. It should be noticed that, in general, the Report has been well accepted by information centers, circles and social organizations dealing with help to the sect’s victims and by the Catholic Church. Numerous stipulations and questions to the agenda were placed, however, by minor Churches and religious associations active in Poland. It is also worth of stressing that the document has been unequivocally adopted by the parliamentary Commission for Family Affairs.

Among critical voices special attention should be paid to the opinion given by The Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights, mostly for its position, prestige and recognition among minor religious associations. Unfortunately, many remarks submitted by the Foundation, were hard to accept. For example, in spite of the statement from Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights, the Report precisely defined a sect stating that «A sect refers to every group that possesses a highly developed structure of power, that is characterized at the same time by differences between declared aims and realized aims, and by the concealing of norms that essentially members’ lives. It violates basic human rights and principles of normal social intercourse. Its influence on members, sympathizers, families and society has a destructive character». That was the concept of a sect used throughout the report in question. An attentive lecture of the proposed definition shows clearly that is does not stigmatize any of religious movements, neither new or old one. The definition does not even read words of «religion» or «religious movement».

After publication of the Report the social debate on sects in Poland reached yet another level of quality. The document’s authors and people responsible for its content were well aware, that it did not fully fulfill expectations any of the sides of the conflict concerning the presence of sects in contemporary Poland. Pro-sect circles supported by influential media accused the Report of lack of scientific approach and dissemination of religious intolerance, whereas anti-sect circles expected condemnation of particular sects and their leaders. It seemed obvious that a next report should be worked out, much larger and more precise, with much larger contribution from scientists. A report similar to German, French or Belgian ones. It has also become obvious that the present organizational formula of the Team has been exploited, and a new structure should be called up to response to the current needs.

According to that spirit, new, important organizational decisions were undertaken. By order no 15 of March 16, 2001, The President of The Cabinet called into being The Inter-Ministerial Team for Psycho-manipulative Groups as his advising and opinion giving body. The Team replaced The Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements, that has been suppressed on the ground of the Order no 18 of March 22, 2001, by The President of The Cabinet

This change was the result of the analytical research carried up to that day, which proved that threads and pathologies observed in the activities of some new religious movement are of much larger character and go far beyond of that movements or, broadly speaking, Churches and other religious associations. Restricting the threats and pathologies solely to the new religious movements created danger of identification of each of them with destructive, psycho-manipulative groups, what could lead to the violation of conscious and religious freedoms on the one hand and to disregard of the problem of psycho-manipulation in other fields like health protection, education, charity, business and others.

The aims of the Inter-Resort Team For Psycho-manipulative Groups (according to the order) included elaboration of analysis, evaluation and formulation of opinions on the phenomena connected to psycho-manipulative groups in Poland, diagnosing and analyzing threats and their influence on an individual, family, society and state. Moreover the Team was supposed to look for both effective methods of counteracting such threats, and means of liquidation of causes and negative results of psycho-manipulative groups’ activities.

That psycho-manipulation is a serious problem for state administration shows the Order of Ministry Council of August the 20th 1996 concerning organization and running activities in the scope of promotion of psychic health and preventing mental disorder. It bounds governmental and territorial self-governmental units, public health units, social care units, schools, academic schools, prisons, correcting units, military units to subjective activity, allowing at the same time for participation in such activities various associations and other social organizations, foundations, self-governments of professions, Churches and other religious associations, as well as self-help groups of patients and their families, and other civil and legal individuals. (§1). § 2 of the Order in question describes the catalogs of activities in the scope of promotion of psychic health and preventing mental disorder, where the following were listed: dissemination within the society the knowledge and skill that a human being needs for self-realization and self- development, coping with stress and expectations of the environment and strengthening control over one’s psychic health and , later on, initialization of psycho-educative programs and development of skills needed for human being in shaping interpersonal relations at the workplace.

One might assume that all the listed activities arise solely from laudable goals and health prevention foundations. If, however, one look at the problem of preventing psycho-manipulation referring to foreign parliamentary commissions for sects or psycho-group, Polish and foreign social organizations informing of threats coming from sects and similar groups, as well as governmental reports on sects of other European countries one might be impressed that the Order in question have been created purposely to legalize the psycho-manipulative activities run by the groups in question in the sake of promotion of psychic health and preventing mental disorder. Such a conviction results from the fact that, on the one hand, there is a lack of legal definitions of «self-development» and «self-realization», and so it is difficult to delineate their factual scope. The document does not normalize character and scope of psychological and sociological influenced by applied methods and techniques , as well as professional qualifications of people applying such methods and techniques. On the other hand, the concepts of «self-development», «self-realization» and so forth can be quite often find in the titles of various courses and trainings organized by the most dangerous international psycho-manipulative groups. It is well known, that the declared goals and ambitious ideas which quite often are just catchy slogans, like e.g.: «in a couple of week you will learn a foreign language, or a self-curing and you will never again will have to see a doctor», can conceal under such an «umbrella» the use of dangerous to health techniques or their use can lead to subjection and exploitation of an individual.

One should not be surprised by such legal regulations concerning psychic health since from 1995 in the light of the law among professions recognized by the state are m.in.: psychotronics, astrologists, bioenergotherapists and fortune-tellers who are allowed to organize into self-governments of professions like, e.g. guilds. These professions have been numbered on the list attached to the Order of the Ministry of Work and Social Policy of April 1995 concerning professions and specializations’ (Dz.U. nr 48, poz. 253) classification for the need of the work-market and on the list attached to the next Order of December 10, 2002 (Dz.U. nr 222, poz. 1861) by the same minister. On that ground Chief Central Statistical Office prepared descriptions of particular jobs. According to such a description a Bioenergotherapist is entitled to «cleaning and energizing human energetic centers (czakr) that would set on the balanced level the exchange of energy with the environment, harmonization and strengthening of aura, energetic protection of organism, strengthening the aura, sealing and strengthening of energetic protection of organism». Bioenergotherapeutist can also «additionally apply methodology and unconventional techniques like, astrology, numerology, chiromancy and of branches of psychotronics». Even more interesting is the scope of services provided by an astrologist who can elaborate «forecasts in the range of selected matters, problems, predispositions and events referring either to an individual or to the population, in the present moment, present year or age, can advise on particular questions like health, choice of a partner in love , marriage or business, advantageous time for completing a deal use of one’s skills and professional abilities advice on individual self-development. The fortune-tellers, for a change, «consciously using inhabited skills for acting in the sphere of PSI phenomena, inspects past and future events by means of shaped by tradition, various forms of fore-telling like cards, cabala, I-cing, chiromancy, fore-telling of the future with mirror or crystal». A particular kind of anxiety evokes an approval by the authority of the state authorization for judging on «patient’s» health by people without proper qualifications. This causes protest by both medical circles and by ordinary people who were misleaded and deceived by spurious health-givers.

Despite of the calling up The Inter-Resort Team for Psycho-manipulative Groups its has not been constituted and has not carried out any activity. It was largely due to the changing political situation in the country. The political parties that constituted government at that time were busy with election campaign, so many current affairs concerning state administering receded into the background. As a result of the lost parliamentary election in 2001 the power was gained by SLD-UP-PSL coalition which was not any longer interested in Team’s work, although the idea of creating and calling up the Team goes back to the years 1993-1997, that is when the present coalition was in power.

The order for calling into being The Inter-Resort Team for Psycho-manipulative Groups has been annulated and lost its power of January 1, 2002, on the ground of an order by The President of The Cabinet of December 29, 2001, concerning annulations of some unpublished orders by The President of The Cabinet.

The dissolution of The Inter-Ministerial Team for Psycho-Manipulative Groups undoubtedly stopped works on objective recognition of sects phenomena in Poland and preparation of indispensable remedial measures. The lack of organizational cooperation prevented preparation of the next report allowing for comparison of the situation in Poland with regards to sects, after a couple of year since the last report has been completed.

Along with the works of Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements, a governmental body, large activity on sects showed Polish Parliament in its third term of office. The parliamentary Commission for Family Affairs devoted its whole sitting on May 18, 1999, to the psycho-manipulative sects which, apart from the representatives of the particular resorts, attended non -governmental organizations helping sect’s victims and scientists specializing in this field. It was during that sitting that the parliament members decided on calling up a Special Sub-Commission for Psycho-manipulative Groups composed of five members of parliament. Sub-Commission’s Chairman become Tadeusz Cywiсski (AWS).

The Sub-Commission existed for nearly two years, till April 2001, and in this time they had eight sittings of Sub-Commission and, additionally, two special sittings of the Commission for Family Affairs devoted to sects. Evaluation of Sub-Commission’s work shows clearly the attitude of the political elites of that time to that matter. So, the image of Sub-Commission’s work composed of a mixture of good will, shear intentions and lots of caution. It is symbolic, in some sense, that during the first few sittings that Sub-Commission considered the definition of the issue it was supposed to deal with i.e. they tried to find an answer to the question of what psycho-manipulative groups really are. One should know that when the Sub-Commission was still under the process of creation an idea of calling up a Sub-Commission for sects was rejected so not to hurt religious feelings of some groups members. The political correctness thus triumphed and instead of dealing with sects phenomenon, the parliament members decided to work on psycho-manipulative groups. However a question arisen at the very outset: what these groups really are? To agree upon the subject of Sub-Commission ‘s work a set of expertise had been commissioned from the scientists and practitioners in the field. On the basis of their opinions, and after long debates, the members of parliament agreed on a working definition of psycho-manipulative groups «A psycho-manipulative group refers to a team of individuals of totalitarian character, violating basic human rights or principles of normal human relations which, by applying psychological and sociological techniques, by physical, psychic and material exploitation causes subordination of an individual to the team or its leader and its influence on an individual, family or society has a destructive character» . As it is easy to notice the definition is very similar to the one proposed by the Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements. This was due to the fact that the Team and The Sub-Commission worked simultaneously and quite often the very same experts advised to both bodies, hence such a large convergence of opinions. The definition in question dismissed possible accusation on new religious movements discrimination as it did not at all apply religious criteria in the description of psycho-manipulative groups.

Having settled the subject of its interest The Special Sub-Commission for Psycho-manipulative Groups started analyzing legal possibilities concerning state’s reaction to the threats of psycho-manipulation. The Sub-Commission’s members commissioned opinions from a circle of experts that included also Prof. Tadeusz Hanausek, Head of The Crime Detection Chair at the Jagiellonian University. Prof. T. Hanausek suggested adding to the 196a article of the penal code the following fragment: «Who abuse freedoms of conscious and religion by creation without required legal permission a religious association or organization or, by acting in such an association is liable to a fine, limitation of freedom or can be disposed of freedom up to 2 years. If goals or forms of activity of an association or organization, mentioned in § 1, consists in behaviors violating the law - an individual creating such an association or organization, or performing managing functions is liable to the penalty of freedom’s disposition up to 5 years». According to prof. T. Hanausek arguments, Polish penal law lacks in norm oriented towards penality of not only restricting the freedom of conscious, but also of abuse of that freedom, what is recognizable in activity of psycho-manipulative groups. Prof. Tadeusz Hanausek’s proposition aroused large interest among specialists. During the sitting of the Sub-Commission augmented that by «abuse of conscious and religion freedom» should be understand as crossing border of conscious and religion freedoms. Religion freedoms are not unlimited and do not have an absolute character. The borders of conscious and religion are described in art. 53, ust.5 of Constitution, according to which freedom of religious belief expression can be restricted only by law, and only when it is necessary for prevention of state security, public order, health, morals or freedoms and rights of other individuals. Similarly, the borders of conscious and religion freedoms are described in art 27, ust.1 (Law on guaranteed freedoms of conscious and religion) Church or other religious association crossing in its activity can not be registered (art, 33, ust.2 of the Law on guaranteed freedoms of conscious and religion) and the one already registered would be taken off the register (art. 36a of the Law in question). Special attention has been paid to the fact that such proposition could be regarded as contradictory to the article 25 of the Constitution. Under the present legal regime it is impossible to penalize the act of creation a religious association without required permission. Religious law does not require from the religious association founders notification any of authorities about such a fact. (on the contrary to a «regular» associations which, under the name of «association» can not act without registration in the Country Court Register). It is accepted that there exists a category of religious associations without legalized status and acting under the form of a «citizens’ activity» They have the right, but no obligation to register such an association. A similar opinion has been presented by The office of Legislation at the Parliamentary Secretary. Prof. T. Hanusek’s project met even more serious accusation. At one of the Sub - Commission’s sittings , prof. Lech Pieprzycki, the President of the Supreme Court National Chamber expressed his disbelief such a renowned legal authority could have extended a proposal of that type.

The opinion concerning penalization of psycho-manipulation has also been submitted by the Ministry of Justice. Resort generally decided that hardships of fight with the negative influences of sects and similar groups, stays beyond the material sphere of penal law and are not consequences of the lack of proper regulations Under such circumstances the Ministry of Justice did not proposed any changes to the current regulations.

Apart from the project of change in the penal code, the parliamentary Commission for Family Affairs resolved a desiderate to the Cabinet concerning counteracting psycho-manipulative groups. Desiderate no 15 was resolved by the commission on May the 26th 2000 and included many postulates: calling up and information center on psycho-manipulative groups, elaboration by the Ministry of National Education training programs for psychologists, pedagogues and teachers on sects, psycho-manipulation ect. Voting of the desiderate coincided with the acceptance by Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements The Report on Certain…, of which final conclusions agreed in general with the majority of Sub-Commissions postulates. The answer, on behalf of the President of the Cabinet, has been given by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration, Marek Biernacki. He informed the members of parliament on measure undertaken so far by the government and promised that the activities will be continued in the future.

While summarizing the works of the parliamentary Commission for Family Affairs and The Special Sub-Commission for Psycho-Manipulative Groups one should notice that for the very first time in the history of Polish Parliament, they dealt with the problem in a highly organized manner. It was certainly due to the philosophy of life of majority of parliament members coming down from the circles close to the Solidarity, and catholic pro-family organizations like Polish Federation of Life Protection Movements, Catholic Association of Educators or Association of Catholic Families. Despite of that, the members of parliament have not decided on declaring war to all the sects active in Poland, set for a more difficult and longer journey that was counteracting all kinds of psycho-manipulation, including, obviously, psycho-manipulation by sects. Such a formulation of the subject certainly influenced the Sub-Commission’s works and its results which numbered the project of change to the article 191§1 of the penal code, desiderate, and experts’ opinions gathered during works. This certainly has not been satisfactory for these circles, that showed greater expectations towards the Sub-Commission’s works. One should notice, however, that the members of parliament of the party ruling at that time (AWS) were conscious of the fact that an open fight given to sects, as any other ideological conflict (it was seen that way by the liberal and left-wing circles), would not enlarge the number of their followers but would rather have a negative influence on their image within the society. That is why the works of Sub-Commission were cautious and discrete - the members of parliament have not been claiming too often that they were its members. One may say that they were «between hammer and the anvil», between expectations of their tough, right-wing electorate and the opportunities given by the authorities of the Parliamentary Club of AWS.

Unfortunately, the prevailing majority of postulates towards the government expressed by the Commission for Family Affairs have never been realized and stayed on the paper only. It seems that on the one hand, there was a lack of will to counteract sects in the practical manner but, on the other hand, there was also a lack of financial possibilities, especially in the light of emerging problems with public founds. One can assume that the lack of will resulted - most probably - for fear of accusations from liberal and left-wing circles on discrimination in public life religious minorities, which numbered also new religious movements and sects.

To be sure it should also be added that in the years 2001-2002 in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration existed Department for Psycho-manipulative Groups which was often miscalled The Department of Sects. In this case there were lots of questions and interpellations by members of parliament fearing if creation of such a unit would not thread the freedom of conscious and religion in Poland.

The Department has been resolved in April 2002.

It is worth of stressing that up-to-date activities of Polish authorities towards new religious movements were fully coherent with the recommendation of the Council of Europe of June 22 1999 on illegal activities of sects.

In the light of terrorist attacks on the USA of September the 11th 2001 and Spain of March the 11th 2004 the new meaning acquires the need of recognition of threats from various extremists groups, including religious extremists, fanatic and fundamental religious groups. The data gathered up to date prove the presence of such groups also in Poland and create potential threat to the safety of the state, public order and human rights.

Democracy can not accept anarchy, and tolerance can not be applied for threatening activity, and for criminal deeds in particular. The reason for the present state are also politicians fears, who does not want to be criticized by the, so called human rights defenders, who are strived after by sects to lobby for them. It is interesting that the same human rights defenders who fights for possibly the largest scope of rights for the new religious movements, disregard, at the same time, human dramas of sects’ victims. This is a paradox.

The sects itself, using slogans of freedom slogans, use them to fight with those they find their enemies. They do not accept any criticism, they go so far as to depose groundless accusations, slander and to interfere into private life of people informing on the threats from sects. They do not even fail to criticize both social and governmental institutions that take measures to prevent threats coming from destructive organizations. Unless any action would be taken by the circles responsible for broadly understand peace and safety, the threat will deepen.

Happily enough, more and more people, institutions, states, their governments and parliaments notice the threats and recognize the real image of the sects’ phenomena. This brings general knowledge and conscious to the higher level, resulting in undertaking more and more effective measures. It has neither to do with unleashing modern religious wars or persecutions for that reasons, as the process is occasionally presented by the sects involved, and their defenders from various influential circles. Nor it is connected to any false privileging of this or that, traditional and influential Church in a particular country or with fighting, with the help of state authority, the competition on contemporary, religious market. This is a primitive evaluation. European countries enjoy very different legal systems - strictly secular states. States with independent, but cooperating with the state, Churches, religious states with the State Churches. All these systems, however, are situated in democratic rules of conscious and religion freedoms protection. In all these countries the Churches, religious associations, small or large, old and new have guaranteed freedom of activity. They must comply, however, with basic human rights such as right to freedom and privacy. They can neither bring pressure, including psychic pressure, nor threats or other «deadly toys» to subordinate pious believers. They can not also threat public order or otherwise they put themselves over the limits of conscious and religion freedom. Reaction of the states are adequate to the threats and apt in terms of measures undertaken. Poland also has to establish its own model of counteracting harmful sects’ activity. It can not be a mere copy of a French or Austrian model. It has to be Polish model for our situation is unique. Poland already has certain achievements in the field. As one of the first European countries started monitoring of new religious movements. Started and, unfortunately, stopped it without offering anything in exchange.
Grzegorz Mikrut
Academy of Physical Education in
Katowice, Doctor of laws - Department
of Education for Security
Wiktor Krzysztof
Lawyer & sociologist of family
Ex-officers of The Ministry of Internal
Affairs and Administration;
Secretary of The Inter-Ministerial Team
for New Religious Movements and
The Department of Psycho-Manipulation

Повернутися до збірника матеріалів міжнародної науково-практичної конференції «Профілактика психологічного насильства і маніпулювання свідомістю та розвиток критичного мислення в молодіжному середовищі»
3 января 2009


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  • Considerations about Austrian governmental cult related activities