The Miviludes, a government-appointed watchdog for religious sects, has published a damning report highlighting the proliferation of unqualified therapists, some of whom are accused of acting as conmen for religious sects.
A government report warns that religious sects are on the increase in France, tripling in the last 15 years to reach at least 600 different movements across the country.
The report also denounces a huge increase in unqualified therapists, warning that sects are using the personality coaching and self-help trends to target impressionable people.
25 to 30 percent of psychotherapists in France are not certified practitioners. Some are charlatans, who use their practices to recruit the vulnerable. The Internet has also become a frequent tool for sect recruitment.
The Miviludes, a French religious sect watchdog, recommends setting tougher standards to control therapy practices, as well as drawing up an exhaustive list of all sect-like activity in France.