ABSTRACT Mária SABOLOVÁ
– President of the Board of Directors of the Slovak National Center for Human Rights, Nationalities and the Status of Women
Comments on the problem of cults in Slovakia from the point of view of an elected representative
- At the beginning, Mária Sabolová said that in her capacity as a politician and an elected representative, she was aware of the social problems caused by cults, and of the threats posed by them to families and individuals, as well as to the society itself.
- The speaker went on to reveal how she had personally come up against the sectarian phenomenon:
- first of all, she met members of the Sri Chinmoy cult (one of them was the daughter of a Slovak Member of Parliament) who tried, through a private visit to the Parliament, to involve the Members of Parliament in their actions
- then she met some Moonies who in detail informed the Members of Parliament of their activities and invited them to their mass marriage ceremonies – this invitation was declined;
- and finally, a friend of hers who had his own psychologist practice told her about the negative effects caused by cults, particularly as regards the mental health.
- Mária Sabolová then expressed her expectations as to her participation in this FECRIS conference: she hoped to contribute to the Slovak Parliament’s better understanding of cults and their destructive effects. The Parliament reflects Slovak society – relatively unaware and uninformed about cults. Up to the present, the Slovak Parliament has made no pronouncements on this subject.
Mária Sabolová would like to put these problems on the table in two parliamentary committees of the National Council of the Slovak Republic: the Committee of Public Health and the Committee of Human Rights, Nationalities and the Status of Women, of which she is a member.
The speeches were mainly centred around three themes:
- The shortcomings of the law in many countries regarding the attempts to convert State functionaries and similar people. In France, the status of civil servant does, however, lead to proceedings being brought in the event of proven active proselytising.
- The excessive number of authorised hospital visits granted by psychiatrists to cult members, in spite of opposition from the families of followers.
- The preparation of a dictionary aimed at the hearing-impaired: French law on patients’ rights raises issues that merit some reflection.