Short Descriptions of major FECRIS representatives along the years

For anybody who wants to find out more about FECRIS and their key spokespersons, knowing about this organization’s Presidents and Vice-Presidents and who they are, could be of some interest.

So let us cover them from the beginning to nowadays.

Jacques Richard – a French medical doctor and father of a child who joined a movement named “The Family” (later named “The Children of God” and now “The Family International”) – thereafter founded an ADFI section in the city of Le Mans, France. He so became the first President of FECRIS from 1994 to 1999. He died mid November 2017.

Jean Nokin (born in 1933 in Grivegnée, Belgium), was formerly President of GEMPPI (namely “Groupe d’Etude des Mouvements de Pensée en Vue de la Protection de l’Individu” or “Study Group on Worldviews for the Protection of the Individual”) and later the became President of FECRIS from 1999 to 2004. He had relations with the Vice-President of the American Family Foundation, a well-known “anti-cult” organization in the U.S. In 2000, they co-organized a colloquium on “Cults and the Millennium”. At that time, many anti-sect activists were thinking that millenarian religious groups would commit suicide around the turn of the millennium and they had managed to convince journalists who then contributed to create social panic on this issue. A prediction that eventually turned out to be completely untrustworthy.

Friedrich GriessFriedrich Griess (born in 1932 in Vienna, Austria). This retired engineer was the third President of FECRIS (2005–2009). He is a zealous Catholic, active in his parish in Austria. His daughter joined a Protestant group named “Smith’s friends”, of Norwegian origin. Its founder converted to Protestantism in 1898 and gathered around himself people who experienced the “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” It expanded into a network of local groups with a Pentecostal orientation. The growth of the movement was slow: in 1998, one century later, there were only 8,000 members distributed over about 30 countries. The group claims not to give any guidelines on the lifestyle of its members (such as Sabbath, education of children, women’s work, and so on). Griess’s daughter, Wiltrud Griess, claimed on a blog that she was sexually abused for years by one of her brothers, which resulted in lasting psychological trauma. After that, she joined the “Smith’s friends”. Her father does not seem to have ever accepted her conversion. From that time on, he started his fight against this Protestant movement and then against sects, then joined the GSK (namely the "Association against the Dangers of Sects and Cults"). On May 27th, 1999, Wiltrud Griess went to a notary in Vienna to register her testimony about her childhood and the way she had found peace of mind in the movement of “Smith’s friends”. She denied the allegations of her father against this movement. In fact, Friedrich Griess was convicted several times in courts on the grounds of defamation against the “Smith’s friends”. See also http://www.fecris.net/some-background-fecris-member-groups-versus-courts-law-all-over-europe.

Thomas SackvilleThomas Sackville (born in 1950 in London, UK), is the current president of FECRIS. He is a former British conservative politician. He was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1997, including Health and later Home Office Minister (until 1 May 1997). In 1985, he started the "All-Party Committee Against Cults". In 2005, he was elected Vice-President of FECRIS. On October 20th, 2000, he became the first chairman of the British anti-sect organization FAIR which he transformed into “Family Survival Trust” in November 2007 (see also http://www.fecris.net/some-background-fecris-member-groups-versus-courts-law-all-over-europe). His mandate as President of FECRIS began in May 2009. In August 2001, the Times published an article about three men who died allegedly after being followers of Sai Baba (Indian guru, still alive then). Thomas Sackville then urged the British Government to take decisive action to warn teachers and pilgrims of not becoming involved with the Sai Baba movement. On May 29th, 2004, Thomas Sackville published a letter in The Spectator, a weekly magazine focused on political and current events, in which he slammed INFORM – the Information Network on Religious Movements, an independent charity that was founded in 1988 with the support of the British Home Office and the mainstream Churches with the aim of obtaining and making available objective and up-to-date information about new religious movements or ‘cults’ – and professor Eileen Barker, its President, for allegedly refusing to criticize the worst excesses of cult leaders. He also congratulated the Archbishop of Canterbury – who financially supports INFORM – for allegedly declining to become a Patron of INFORM. Sometime later, professor Barker sent a reply letter to the newspaper, in which she stated that Sackville’s allegations were unfounded.

Alexander Dvorkin face photoAlexander Dvorkin (born in Russia in 1955). He has been the Vice-President of FECRIS to Thomas Sackville since 2009. He emigrated to the U.S. during the Cold War and went back to Moscow as a clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church after the collapse of Communism. He was offered the mission to protect the Orthodox Church against “sects”. In 1993, blessed by Patriarch Alexy II, he set up the first anti-cult organization, now called RATsIRS (namely the "Russian Association of Centres for the Study of Religions and Sects"). Since then, he has been extremely active in the fight against non-Orthodox religious movements in the Russian media, through his books, his conferences and his DVDs, in particular the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, Falun Gong (a movement that in the last years has been undergoing violent persecution in China), Hare Krishna, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, and others. Dvorkin can count on the support of the Russian Minister of Justice, Alexander Konovalov, who was once his student at the Orthodox St Tikhon University, and conveys his hate speech through the Orthodox Churches of the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and so on) as well as in Orthodox parishes in European countries. He is not a government official, he is not an academic in religion either, but he is called “a sect scholar” teaching at the chair of “sect studies” of St Tikhon University. Yet there is record of certified mental disorder in his youth (see http://www.fecris.net/alexander-dvorkin-aleksandr-leonidovich-dvorkin).