The interview of a childhood friend of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès in the magazine Point of view has brought to light the affair which has haunted France for more than ten years. It was in 2011 that the bodies of five people were found in Nantes: the four children of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès and his wife Agnès. It misses the father of this family who seemed, from afar, a model. Bruno de Stabenrath, author of the book The Impossible Friend, confided in this man with whom he shared happy moments and who is today accused of the worst. He notably evokes his family like his mother and his beloved sister, two controversial women.
Close to Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès whom he met in high school at Versailles, Bruno de Stabenrath knew his whole family, and in particular the influence of his mother Geneviève, leader of a prayer group, Philadelphia, considered a sect: “I did not immediately identify as a sect. In our Catholic circles, the visions, the voices, we are used to it.“For him, there were two Xaviers, the adorable friend and his mother’s son. his financial problems, the death of his father and the infidelity of his wife.
In the complex family of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, there is also his sister, Christine, who took over from her mother at the head of the Philadelphia religious group. In Point of view, it is described as an extremist formation. Geneviève and Christine Dupont de Ligonnès were targeted by this investigation opened by the Versailles prosecutor’s office for “abuse of weakness in a state of psychological subjection aimed at a movement of Catholic, traditionalist, radical and apocalyptic inspiration” in 2019. In 2011 in particular, the Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes) had already received several reports in Philadelphia, indicating the risk of sectarian aberrations based in particular on apocalyptic-type messages. The main association of victims of sects, Unadfi, evoked at the time a “delusional doctrine“.
West France developed the charges against the two women. At the origin of the investigations, a report sent last year to Miviludes, which in turn alerted the justice system. In Alsace, two brothers, whose mother died, suspect the prayer group of having relieved their parents, whom they believed to have been under the influence of Philadelphia for twenty years, of 250,000 euros, corresponding to the sale of real estate. For Maître Stéphane Goldenstein, lawyer for Geneviève and Christine Dupont de Ligonnès, it is not a question of sect and abuse of weakness but rather a family conflict between the two brothers and their father, with whom his clients have no no link.
In interview on RTL in 2022the lawyer had also spoken of the hypotheses of those he defends concerning the famous disappeared: “Christine is not only convinced that her brother is alive but she is also convinced that we do not know the reality of the material technical findings“He explained that the sister of the alleged murderer passed”two years” at “examine the criminal case in detail“. For his friend Bruno de Stabenrath, he expressed his thesis in Point of view : “Seven years ago he was seen in the USA…I’m sure he’s still there. (…) Xavier can bounce back. He left with a lot of money, emptying his wife’s accounts. He is very clever, very attractive. He speaks perfect English and Spanish, he can give French and math lessons, seduce a woman…“
Find the full interview in the magazine Point of view from August 10, 2022
The Impossible Friend by Bruno de Stabenrath, now published by Poche, Folio Gallimard