In Memory of Friedrich Griess
It is with profound sadness that we learnt the passing of FECRIS’ fourth President, Friedrich Griess, on 17 September 2023, aged 91.
In 1987 impacted by a cult problem in his family he become a member of the Austrian NGO GSK (Gesellschaft gegen Sekten- und Kultgefahren) in Vienna, where he worked diligently to promote awareness and understanding of cults and sects and sought to foster dialogue, educate the public, and protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation.
GSK in 1994 was one of the founding members of the European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on cults/sects where Friedrich Griess became the fourth President from 2005 to 2009.
An engineer by profession and a great linguist he gave tirelessly of his time to promote our action.
He was an esteemed personality and friend and will be sorely missed.
FECRIS formulates thoughts and sympathy to his children and their families.
Tribute to Mathieu Cossu
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Mathieu Cossu on 27 March 2023, in his 89th year.
Very close to UNADFI, to which he always remained loyal, Mathieu took over the prevensectes.com website in 1998, subtitled “Pour ne se laisser pas piéger par les sectes” (created by Mickaël Tussier in 1996). He was its webmaster until 2009, making the site a key reference point for information on cults. He published articles, dossiers, reports, testimonials (and the occasional mood piece!).
He also responded to people who contacted him via this site, listening and giving advice, and gathering information on cultic movements. In particular, he played a key role in exposing the abuse within the “Churches of Christ”, present in several French towns in the 1990s and very active among young people.
In January 2007, he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by Prefect Jean-Michel Roulet, Chairman of MIVILUDES, at a ceremony at UNADFI headquarters attended by many of those involved in the fight against cults.
His skill and dedication will live on in the memories of all those who knew him and shared his commitment to combating cultic abuse and helping victims. Everyone remembers with emotion his humanism, his kindness, his smile and his humour…
FECRIS joins UNADFI in extending its sincere and warmest condolences to his wife and all his family.
Tribute to Jacques Richard
The Board of Directors, members and correspondents of FECRIS have the immense sadness to announce the death of Dr. Jacques Richard, their founding President. We salute here his courage, his tenacity, his commitment to defend the victims of destructive cults. He will remain a model for all of us.
Tribute to Jacques Richard by Suzanne Nokin, wife of the late Jean Nokin, President of FECRIS from 1999 to 2005.
Jacques Richard was one of the last surviving pioneers of UNADFI, created in 1982 by a handful of families whose children or spouses were victims at that time of a swarm of sects from around the world, India in particular via the United States mainly. His tenacity, his perseverance, the strength of his convictions, the line he had traced out bore fruit.
A doctor at Le Mans, he had created an ADFI antenna at Le Mans. He was one of the pillars of UNADFI, headquartered in Paris. He was a valuable contributor to the editorial board of UNADFI’s BULLES information magazine.
His integrity, the ethics and scope with which he apprehended the delicate problem of cultic movements and the addiction they arouse were exemplary.
The creation of FECRIS was decided in Barcelona in 1993 at an international symposium on cultic movements organized by the Spanish association A.I.S.
Jacques Richard had agreed to take charge of the “construction” of this European federation. For a year he took his pilgrim’s staff and visited every country likely to join this cause. It was a huge task because at the time the subject was still taboo, and cultic movements were powerful.
FECRIS was therefore officially created in France in 1994, in Paris. Jacques took the chair. It was then composed of 7 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom). Today there are associations of 30 countries that are members or correspondents – including 5 on other continents.
With very limited financial means, he managed to establish this federation, to structure it and to put in trust the members who, by joining the federation, were able to strengthen their reputation in their respective countries.
FECRIS’ base being very solid, it became an INGO with participative status of the Council of Europe in 2005, an NGO with special consultative status of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2009 and participant status of the Platform of Fundamental Rights (FRP) of the European Union in 2010.