Friedrich Griess, President of FECRIS, Gesellschaft gegen Sekten- und Kultgefahren, Austria
While many European countries are still busy recovering from the damages they experienced in the past century by totalitarian powers who promised paradise but instead brought hell, new totalitarian powers are inundating our continent with the same promises and very likely with the same results. They especially but not exclusively aim at young people who do not have the memory of the past, and they hope that with them they can build up their empires where human rights will be largely unknown. They operate globally while, unfortunately, those countries who have at last understood the danger of new totalitarianism often try to create their own local solution without taking notice what is done elsewhere. Global cooperation is needed alongside those who want to prevent such damages and help those who have already fallen victim of this new totalitarianism. That is what FECRIS stands for. Typical in Europe, this work is largely based on the cooperation of four pillars: volunteers, scientists, public authorities and serious religious communities. Therefore I am glad to see representatives of those four pillars from 23 countries united here today to ponder about what is happening in this field, and to try to find common ways to solve the problems.
I want especially to thank our host, the State University of St. Petersburg, to have offered its premises and to have contributed in such a generous way to cover the expenses or this conference.
I also thank the French government for its financial support.
I thank all speakers who have spent their efforts on the subject.
I thank all the scientists who have come.
I thank all the representatives of democratic parliaments and governments and last but not least, all priests and bishops who support this work and well distinguish it from their respectable primary call to promote faith.
And finally… I thank you all who came to listen, to discuss and to get to know each other.