President of the
Centre of Information on sects and cults (CISK) (Croatia)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for giving me the possibility of announcing the creation of our non-profit association, CISK which I set up in Croatia. It is the first association in Croatia which tries to mobilise the public and the State in accordance with European law. I am Croatian (by birth) and also Belgian and have been living in Brussels for 20 years. Professionally I am a piano teacher.
My mother (85 years old) was follower of Transcendental Meditation in Croatia, extremely naively, during 17 years. Both my sister and I suspected this group of not very clear activities. We did everything in our power to withdraw our mother from the influence of TM. Since then, the leader of TM, his followers and sympathisers – amongst them a lawyer – have shown their true face, whilst acting in an exceptionally aggressive way with surprising determination and fanaticism. They chose to launch a smear campaign against all her family in the institutions and media — denigrate our reputation and destabilise our family and professional life.
In spite of our efforts, we could not find any organisation (governmental or other) which could help us in Croatia. I have, however, found two academics who study this phenomenon: PhD Mijo Nikić, both a psychologist and a Jesuit and PhD Josip Blažević, a Franciscan Convent monk.
In particular, I had contacted the association Contacts et Informations Groupes Sectaires (CIGS) in Brussels which opened the way towards the Centre d’Informations et d’Avis sur les Organisations Sectaries Nuisibles, (C.I.A.O.S.N.) in Brussels and FECRIS. Thanks to them I contacted the C.A.S. – Center for Anthropological Studies, in Belgrade, AGPF – Aktion für Geistige und Psychische Freiheit e.V., Germany, and Mr. Conny Larsson etc.
Thanks to the daily newspaper Novi List in Croatia, several articles appeared in the press and also an interview with Mr. Friedrich Griess, the president of FECRIS; we also organised a Round Table on March 1, 2008. The following Croatian lecturers gave presentations (PhD Berislav Pavišić, professor of penal law of the University of Rijeka, two psychiatrists Dr. Roman Nikolić and Dr. Branko Petris, Mrs. Sonja Klarić, psychologist, pt. Ivan Grubišić, sociologist and PhD Mijo Nikić ) as well as Mr. Friedrich Griess the president of FECRIS and Mr. Henri-Pierre Debord on behalf of MIVILUDES. Mr. Zoran Luković, the president of C.A.S of Belgrade gave a long interview in Novi List, by presenting the sectarian situation in Serbia, which is very similar to that in our country. The interest of the media (TV Kanal RI, NIT, TV Nova, HRT, RA in Rijeka and in Bosnia-Herzegovina RTRS) in the cult question was aroused.
According to my investigations in Croatia which counts 4,750,000 inhabitants, there are about 80 sectarian groups of various alleged sources: religious, esoteric, satanic and others. After the fall of Communism where the religion was pushed back, Croatia turned the page to the other extreme; the Croatian government voted a new law in 2002 which liberates the exercise of religion but ignores the existence of possible harmful sectarian groups. Between 2002 and 2007, 42 new religious groups were recorded. Satanic groups were discovered in the country by Mr. Nebojša Buđanovac, a social pedagogue who deals with problematic teenagers; he discovered that suicide attempts of young people between 14 and 17 years had been influenced by these groups.
CISK wishes to work in a transparent way and in agreement with what is done in Europe. We would like to request your support for our action. That of FECRIS, of the Council of Europe and of the competent authorities of the European Union. CISK would like to stimulate the awareness of the Croatian State to the existence cultic problems. Your support would certainly contribute to our credibility and strengthen our project. Can the Croatian State ignore the Resolution of the European Parliament of 1996, the existence of FECRIS or the French law About-Picard? It is the mission that our association has given itself to keep informed and stimulate an awakening to the existence of these problems in Croatia. Thank you for your attention and collaboration.
 FECRIS correspondent