Yoga and meditation are used to draw people into sects where they risk losing their savings, families and jobs, a government agency has warned.
Enthusiasts are lured to classes with “false promises” only to face “exorbitant costs” and eventual isolation from their networks, according to the French agency set up to combat the influence of sect movements.
Concern grew after a 44-year-old Parisian woman died last month on a retreat that offered water fasting. Guests were expected to consume nothing but water for up to 42 days. An investigation is underway to determine whether the woman’s death was linked to the fasting.
Inspectors have seen cases in which people lost contact with their families and wider society after taking up yoga and meditation, the agency