About experiments with mindfulness meditation workshops at school – Ligue des droits de l’Homme

Open letter from several organizations, including the LDH, to the attention of Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports

Paris, January 18, 2022


We alerted you in June 2021, as well as public opinion, to the project of initiation and experimentation within schools of a practice called ” mindfulness meditation »[1] (MPC) proposed by an esoteric lobby, and its risks on children, placed under the responsibility and protection of National Education.

If, following the protests expressed by the League of Human Rights (LDH) and the actors committed against sectarian phenomena, the project in its initial form was abandoned, we have been seized of its reappearance in a disguised way since September in several colleges with the proliferation of “relaxation workshops”, “breathing, meditation, body scanning” exercises, on the initiative of the same instigators. The press echoed that the scientific council of National Education would have been seized in order to validate an experiment of such workshops within French schools from January 2022.

What is labeled MPC, or “Mindfulness” in the United States and then introduced in Europe, is a very specific technique whose promotion and financing throughout the world are organized by the American esoteric think-tank Mind and life institutea consortium associating highly controversial movements such as anthroposophy. The stated inventor of the MPC, or MindfulnessJohn Kabat-Zinn, is also one of the current leaders of the Esalen Institute, a major pharmacy New Age, matrix of many psycho-sects that have flooded the planet since the 1970s.

In France, the offensive is mainly relayed by the private structure Initiative mindfulness France which mentions it in its local initiative activity reports in 2019, concerning 425 public and private establishments. It would thus be nearly 23,000 children who would have “benefited”, through them, from an MPC program, or ” full presence “. We can only worry about these interventions and that they could have been implemented without control from your ministry, as well as without precise information and the express agreement of the parents of the children concerned.

At the same time, from 2018 to 2020, the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses (Miviludes) was the subject of twelve referrals for problems related to the MPC concerning minors[2].

The practice on minor children of a method which can lead to a conditioning with loss of critical spirit and subjugation of the individual therefore generates significant risks which cannot be neglected.

Attached to the role of National Education in the promotion of freedom of conscience, in the prevention of sectarian phenomena and the protection of children placed under its responsibility, we renew our deepest concerns about these experiments, and ask you to intervene. to put an end to it without delay in order to refuse both the entryism of a most dubious esoteric influence group into National Education and of a technique, the MPC, with uncertain and potentially risky consequences on psychic development children.

Because of the importance of the stakes, you will understand that we are making this letter public.

Pending the follow-up that you will bring to this request, we ask you to receive, Minister, the expression of our most distinguished greetings.


The League for Human Rights (LDH);
The Association for Science and the Transmission of Critical Thinking (Astec);
The National Center for Family Support in the Face of Sectarian Influence (Caffes);
The National Council of Secular Family Associations (Cnafal);
The Federation of Education, Research and Culture of the General Confederation of Labor (Ferc-Cgt);
The National Federation of Free Thought (FNLP);
The Federation of Parents’ Councils (FCPE);
The Unitary Trade Union Federation (FSU);
The French;
The Group for the Study of Movements of Thought for the Protection of the Individual (Gemppi);
The Teaching League;
Shock meta;
The Central Office for School Cooperation (Occe);
The National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and Individual Victims of Sects (Unadfi);
National Union of Autonomous Education Unions (Unsa.E)

[1] According to the 2018-2020 report of the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes), “there is no commonly accepted definition of mindfulness meditation ». Studies have been carried out but part of the scientific community agrees that it is necessary to define and describe the type of mindfulness meditation used in the experiments carried out, in order to limit conceptual biases » (p.115)
In any event, Miviludes warns that “ reference to a school or type of meditation does not guarantee what is actually offered “and that the practices taught can be far away” the general idea that one can have of the method and its objectives (report p.114).
[2] Report cited above, p.113 to 116

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About experiments with mindfulness meditation workshops at school – Ligue des droits de l’Homme

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