“Religious cults: forgotten children”: lives marked forever

Prisoners of a way of life imposed by closed religious groups established in Quebec, many children are subjected to abuse and do not receive an adequate education. All this in the purest anonymity. With the documentary “Religious cults: forgotten children”, available Thursday on Club illico, Marie-Claude Barrette looks at this disturbing problem.

Troubling Confidences

Thanks to the moving testimonies of resilient people who have chosen to extricate themselves from an unhealthy environment, we receive like a slap in the face the information that toddlers, young people and adolescents are growing up within sects, groups or under the grip of a guru without lifting a finger for them.

However, today, far from this “other planet”, some “have agreed to open up, to open wounds”, as Marie-Claude Barrette explains.

“They don’t do it for them; they do it for the thousands of children who are in closed religious cults. There are several who suffer some abuse. And to see that they do it for those who arrive afterwards, I find that very touching. “

If their strength is obvious, we can see that they have lived through years of suffering and that they would have given anything to have a helping hand.

“We can feel their distress,” says director Patricia Beaulieu. These people need to be supported, to be enveloped. Many have experienced post-traumatic shock. They are medicated, have a hard time living in society, trusting others. ”

Whether they’ve been out of hell for a few years or a longer period doesn’t change the unease lurking deep inside them.

“Very gradually, I saw how I was out of the world. When you leave a sect, the sect did not leave you. That’s a long time, ”confirms it in the documentary Myriam Keyzer, born in Belgium, but parachuted in Quebec, in a sect, when she was only a baby.

COURTESY PHOTO / Club illico

Need to understand

If, in the light of the meetings, the team wanted to know more about the reasons for the absence of hordes of children in the state registers, they wanted to avoid “a dialogue of the deaf” with the leading heads of the closed religious communities.

On the other hand, she would have liked to get some answers from those who run our province.

“We went to look for those who have already had power, who have already had to make decisions, who wanted to shake things up, but we make documentaries in times of pandemic and it is not easy to join the government” , explains Patricia Beaulieu.

COURTESY PHOTO / Club illico


Despite answers and statistics that still do not come, Marie-Claude Barrette sees a glimmer of hope.

“Everything we have just experienced, for almost the last year, makes us understand what it is to be confined. You can understand a little what goes on in a closed and isolated community. ”

“I hope that this documentary will raise awareness and that the government will ensure that all children in Quebec have access to the same security, that we are there for them. When governments do not listen, we must not forget that as citizens, we can exert pressure. ”

  • The two-part documentary “Religious Cults: Forgotten Children” will be tabled tomorrow, Thursday, on Club illico.

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