Neo-shamanism, “Indigo Child”, “channeling”… The health crisis confirms the great return of New Age excesses

In fact, MIVILUDES points out that “The health crisis had an immediate impact, observable through referrals, more than a hundred of which relate to situations related to the subject. » Coaches, “traditional doctors”, and other gurus of all kinds have proved to be particularly skilled in exploiting the vulnerability of part of the population, adjusting their discourse and their practices to particularly anxiety-provoking health and economic contexts. According to the report, their extremely lucrative business is now deployed both through “traditional” channels (books, “shows”, training institutes) and on the internet, via YouTube channels, portal sites, blogs and other forums. of discussing… “A huge market has developednote the authors of the report (…) based on three strong ideas: 1/ the medical approach does not take into account the human in all its dimension (holistic medicine) 2/ public health is in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry; 3/ all the solutions are in nature or to be found “in oneself”. »

The great return of the New Age

Thanks to the crisis, certain movements are experiencing a particular return of hype. If MIVILUDES thus observes a very clear drop in referrals to the psycho-spiritual movements in vogue in the 1990s, it notes on the other hand a shift in enthusiasm for so-called alternative medicine and spirituality towards New Age theories and the neo- shamanism, who sign their great return to France after having slightly disappeared from the radar.

Operating according to a logic of “quilting” typical of the new spiritualities that appeared with the decline of Christianity in the West, the esoteric current says new-age »which arose in the 1960s, is, for Martin Geoffroya sociologist at the University of Manitoba, “the primary manifestation of a “new social form of religion” which (…) is characterized by a multitude of religious conceptions relating more to the private life of individuals than to an already established Church. » Hence the need for the Interministerial Mission, to equip itself with methodological safeguards, insofar as many personalities and small groups designated as such are, for the most part, part of “on the margins of the majority currents”, “tinkering with a discourse and practices based on beliefs, traditions or various methods. »

By way of example, the personalities or sectarian groups reported as belonging to “neo-shamanism” – which were the subject of 96 referrals between 2018 and 2020 – can be defined as “magnetizer, soul healer, hypnotherapist, reiki master, energy coach or tantrism practitioner” … Making it all the more difficult to identify major trends to facilitate the study and the fight against possible abuses related to these practices.

Based on the testimonies collected during referrals, MIVILUDES has nevertheless managed to draw up an inventory of the main forms of New Age sectarianism experiencing a resurgence in popularity since 2018. The most worrying thing is probably that, in 40% of cases , minors are the main targets of these various forms of psychological control.

A dangerous alternative to a classic psychological follow-up

The report points in particular to the strong comeback of the so-called “Indigo Child” theory. Coming from the American Kryon movement formalized by Lee Carroll, a pseudo-scientist himself affiliated with New Age philosophy, this theory offers an educational doctrine for children with a particular “aura” of indigo blue color, which would make them supermen predestined to the accomplishment of high missions, starting with the management of the “great planetary transition”… Long confined to Anglo-Saxon countries – in the United States, the theory is not considered as a sectarian drift – it is now gaining ground in France. MIVILUDES received 30 referrals on this subject between 2018 and 2020.

The gurus of this increasingly lucrative theory feed on the vulnerability of parents confronted with the psychic disorders of their children: hyperactivity, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder… As the psychoanalyst Norbert Bon writes, quoted by Renaud Evrard and Pascal Le Maléfan“it is not new for parents to seize on a signifier that positively connotes the difficulties of their child and, in this respect, these authors [les tenants du syndrome indigo] do not fail to castigate, rightly, the inflation of pejorative diagnoses of ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (hyperactivity), which freeze the child’s difficulties in a neurobiological dysfunction. »

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Neo-shamanism, “Indigo Child”, “channeling”… The health crisis confirms the great return of New Age excesses

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