A Quebec man who belongs to a religious sect that believes the world will end in 2012 is being investigated by France for allegedly inciting people over the internet to commit suicide.
The man, who has not been charged with a crime, is a member of a New Age religion that believes the world will end in 2012, according to French police.
A few months ago, a French internet user became worried after noticing exchanges between a Quebec man and a group of French followers on several sites discussing the sect.
The Quebec man invited what he called his "divine children" towards "ascension," according to the Mission interministérielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les dérives sectaires (the Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combatting Cultic Deviances), a French government agency .
"In New Age language, that means ending your days on Earth to reach another universe," said the organization's secretary-general, Hervé Machi.
The agency's latest report reveals that several people under the man's influence consulted a notary and even began funeral arrangements.
French judicial authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into provoking suicide, Machi said.
The man also wrote on the web that his followers were ready to take off and move towards a vessel of light before a certain date.
French authorities met the potential victims before the date listed to ensure they were safe.
They also notified Canadian police forces about the case, although authorities in Quebec refused to comment and would not confirm whether an investigation had been opened.