The essential basis of reflection and action of the member associations of FECRIS is listening to the victims of abusive or presumed abusive activities. The objectives and the methods of this research and analysis are particularly valuable because of the direct contact with affected individuals. Sectarian deviations are not static phenomena. Their outward signs are constantly evolving. We base our arguments on verified and up-to-date material. Our analysis is based on the evidence derived from the behaviour of organisations. It is important to resist the pressure to place cultic behaviour on the safe ground of belief and religion. The discussion is a false one based on a superficial approach to the issues and incompatible with scientific analysis. We focus on a cult or a guru when the organisation or the individual “trades” in beliefs and in destructive techniques with mind control as a tool. Our conclusions are considered and prudent. They take into account possible misrepresentations and the sorrow and destruction of the victims and their families. We denounce the uninformed enrolment of individuals into certain thought reform systems and the potentially damaging results to our social, democratic and family structures. This essential concept having been highlighted, the members of FECRIS agree to co-operate according to the following principles:
- Respect of religious, philosophical and political pluralism;
- Objectivity and pragmatism whilst keeping in mind the complexity of situations.
- Discretion, respect of the professional secrecy.
- Continually question. Never forget that the sectarian phenomenon is constantly evolving.
FECRIS organised a European Conference in Paris on 23 and 24 April 1999 which brought together 250 participants representing 17 countries. The associations present produced a common declaration on measures which they considered should be taken.