A team from the program “Vrai ou fake” from franceinfo went to two events devoted to health and esotericism, where meditation workshops rubbed shoulders with antivax and “antisystem” speeches.
There is sometimes only a step between the questioning of medicine and the radical rejection of society. This is evidenced by certain speeches made by participants in two recent events that brought together supporters of unconventional care practices, anti-vaccines, covid-skeptics, even conspiratorial figures and members of the far right. First there was the meeting, on May 18 and 19 in Saintes (Charente-Maritime), of the “Independent Scientific Council”, a group bringing together personalities questioning the medical consensus on Covid-19, formed in response the creation of the Scientific Council responsible for informing government decisions during the epidemic crisis. There was then a “well-being” fair, “Tomorrow is today”, from May 19 to 21 in Montpellier (Hérault). A team from the program “Vrai ou fake” from franceinfo went to these gatherings to understand how these links are woven between antivax and “antisystem”.
One of the headliners of the Montpellier “well-being” fair, Jean-Pierre Willem, advocates “natural medicine” and recommends essential oils to protect against, or even treat, certain serious illnesses, such as cancers, AIDS or more recently Covid-19. The 85-year-old former surgeon was struck off the order of doctors in 1987, and quoted in a report by the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes) in 2010. His method has not proven effective and has not undergone clinical trials. It can even be harmful for the patient, by delaying real medical treatment. Asked about his methods, the ex-doctor said he was persecuted. “There are plenty of doctors who have had to leave France. You can no longer call me ‘doctor'”he denounces, considering that he was struck off because he is “dangerous” and that he has “three million followers” on social networks.
“We can no longer live together”
Not far from this speech, many visitors to the fair simply came to attend workshops or conferences on well-being and relaxation. Here, a “geobiology” workshop, a form of meditation centered on the energies of trees; there, a course of Thai massage. Many visitors say they are hurt by being called “conspirators” by the press. Most of these workshops and conferences are not based on scientific evidence: the esotericism, the interest in “energies” are of the order of the “invisible”, of belief. No danger as long as these practices do not claim to replace medicine and do not promise healing.
But alongside these debates, several speakers distil “anti-system” remarks. This is the case of Jean-Christophe Dumas, who claims to have revolutionized the laws of thermodynamics with a technique that would produce much more energy than it would consume. Its effectiveness is more than disputed, as explained The Obs. The goal ? Feeding communities that would live in autarky. “I have one foot in the system, I have one foot out. So I continue to follow my planexplains the “inventor”. Until we manage to organize autonomous micro-societies. And we will. If it is not in France, it will be elsewhere. We will do it, because we can no longer live together, it is no longer possible.”
The era of Aquarius with identity sauce
This type of more political discourse is also held by sulphurous guests: members of the former far-right musical group Les Brigandes. In the repertoire of these identity singers, pieces with evocative titles: The Great Replacement, Dream of reconquest, When we see migrants arriving… The group announced its dissolution in October 2021, but the community that surrounds it lives on. Antoine Duvivier, former “secretary” of the Brigandes, who became editor-in-chief of an esoteric review, came to give his course on “Age of Aquarius”period of the Zodiac which would explain, among other things, “the abolition of borders, the problem of sexual identity”. His solution: get away from society.
Antoine Duvivier assures that he no longer has any link with the ex-Brigandes, whose political discourse has no connection with his coming to this event. However, he made this link at the launch of his magazine: “The spiritual and esoteric aspect offered by our magazine Uranus is found in certain songs of Les Brigandes. (…) We expect nothing from the abominable system that is in place, no reform; we only want it to collapse”he asserted in May 2021 to Eurolibertés, a “reinformation” website appreciated by the far right.
The pandemic instrumentalized by the far right
Among the targets of the “anti-system” discourse: the media. This is the subject of the conference by Pierre Barnérias, director of the documentary Heist (2020), which spread false information about the pandemic. It is also one of the themes of the second event to which the team of “Vrai ou fake” went: the meeting of the “Independent Scientific Council” in Saintes.
At the table, Xavier Azalbert, the director of the blog France Soir, who misinformed about the health crisis, booed the “mainstream” media. The star journalist of Sud Radio, André Bercoff, mocks the “fact-checkers”, as does the sovereignist Florian Philippot, president of the Les Patriotes party. In fact, the far right is overrepresented at this event, which brings together a large audience in a former nightclub. Jean-Frédéric Poisson, supporting Eric Zemmour, and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan complete the table, followed by MEP from the National Rally Virginie Joron. “Our two means, really, are the elections, and it is the re-information”summarizes the chosen one.
By relaying covid-skeptical speeches on the so-called dangers and the supposed ineffectiveness of vaccines, the far right has attracted the attention of a public sensitive to these theses. She is very interested in these themes of unconventional “medicine” and rushes into events related to well-being. With two avowed goals: to disseminate an “anti-system” discourse and to recruit support.
Source: France TV Info