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The New Heretics of FranceMinority Religions, la Republique, and the Government-Sponsored ''War on Sects''$
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Susan Palmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735211

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735211.001.0001

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Alternative Healing or the Illegal Practice of Medicine

(p.128) 5 Horus
The New Heretics of France

Susan J. Palmer

Oxford University Press

The antisecte movement in the late 20th century has taken up the banner of reason against obscurantisme in its efforts to expose fake healers. It is perhaps significant that some of the most controversial spiritual healers of the post-OTS era have not been foreign invaders, but have been men and women steeped in the old folk medicine traditions of Europe. Among these we find Breton spiritual healers, French psychologists and psychoanalysts, and a Basque herbalist, whose controversial careers are discussed. We will begin our story of the social control of healing cults in the French Sect Wars with the singular case of Horus, a New Age farming community near the tiny village of La Coucourde, in the Dr ôme region of France. Horus was placed on the Guyard list of sects in 1995, and in 1997, the Belgian parliamentary commission followed suit by publishing a list of 189 sectarian movements that included Horus (although Horus had no presence in Belgium). Horus's controversial status dates back to 1991, soon after its founder Maïte began to broadcast her research findings. She claimed that fertilizer and pesticides were unnecessary since the advent of ondes de forme. In news reports on Horus, she was labeled as a gourelle (a quaint franco-feminization of the Sanskrit word for spiritual teacher). The first police raid on Horus followed, in 1991.

Keywords:   French Sect Wars, anticult movement, religious movements, alternative medicine, antisecte movement, spiritual healers, social control

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