Dossier

Ausgabe 13

Quand le psychisme est objet de pouvoir.

La manipulation mentale comme rapport de force dans le cadre de la lutte contre les «sectes» en France

Seite 42
Arnaud Esquerre

Since the 1970s a new war against cults has emerged in France, this time based on the notion of «manipulation mentale» and totalitarianism and not on religious grounds. When people are recruited by a cult, critics consider that their consent is obtained by «manipulation mentale». After the year 2000, this fight, supported by associations for the defence of victims and by the government, led to the recognition of a new criminal offence: psychological subjection. another consequence of the introduction of the concept «manipulation mentale» was the struggle between professions within the field of psychology to regulate the use of the title «psychotherapist». The discussions linked to brainwashing, cults and psychotherapy led to new terminology to describe how power is exerted over someone: «psycho-power», for which the target is the psyche of the human being, emerged as a new interpretive concept.