The Anti-Cult Movement

The French Anti-Cult Law

Precedents

U.S. Deprogramming Law

The kind of laws that was passed in France aren't entirely new. In the 1980's already, anti-cultists tried to pass similar laws in the States of  New York, Kansas, New Jersey, and Nebraska. These laws would have allowed anti-cultists to use police force to seize cult members and subject them to forcible deprogramming. The proposed law sometimes passed all stages of the legislation process except for the very last.

Crime of Plagio

The Italian Penal Code also had a unique provision, enacted in its article 603 under Mussolini, for the "crime of plagio", which was the offence of "subjecting another person to one's own power in a manner which reduces him to a total state of subjection". It carried a maximum penalty of fifteen years' imprisonment. On 28 November 1969, a lecturer in philosophy, Signor Also BRAIBANTI, challenged in the Rome Appeal Court a sentence of nine years' imprisonment for 'totally enslaving' two young students (The Times, 29 November 1969). His conviction was upheld but the court reduced his sentence to five years; though at the time this was being written a further appeal was pending.4 The law was declared unconstitutional in 1981 and stricken from the Criminal code by the Constitutional Court as being "imprecise, lacking coherence and liable to arbitrary application".5