THE LEADER OF RUSSIAN 'NARCONON' LEAVES SCIENTOLOGY?
Today, June, 26, 2001, Vladimir Ivanov - the leader of Russian 'Narkonon', the president of scientological 'Foundation of Salvation of Children and Adolescents from Drugs' and the foundation 'Drug-Free Russia', and the tireless aggressive promoter of the Hubbardist organization - while speaking live on popular radio 'Ekho Moskvy', has unexpectedly announced that he had broken with the Scientology organization. Mr. Ivanov spoke about Scientology as a 'criminal cult' which has nothing to do with religion and which capitalizes cynically upon the sufferings and pain of other people. Those were not the strongest expressions Mr. Ivanov used in relation to Scientology. Ivanov said that he is no longer a 'Satanist' and he asked forgiveness from those numerous people whom he recruited into Scientology. He announced that from now on none of the organizations he directs will have anything to do with either Scientology or 'Narconon'.
At the same time, Mr. Ivanov also expressed an idea that technology used in 'Narconon' can be used effectively outside of Scientology and 'Narconon' itself. This announcement, while revealing that Mr. Ivanov had not fully freed himself from the bonds of Hubbardism, places him in the category of 'squirrel' - as Scientologists call people who "illegally" use Hubbardist technology outside of the organization, and naturally, without paying commission fees.
Today there appeared on the Russian site of 'Narconon' - www.narconon.ru - among praises of Hubbard and Scientology and viciously hysterical attacks upon the critics of the cult - the following brief message: 'The Church of Scientology, while pretending to be a religious non-profit organization, is in fact an aggressive commercial organization, which blatantly despises and violates human rights and the laws of the Russian Federation. More info today on radio 'Ekho Moskvy' at 14:00 and on radio 'Govorit Moskva' at 16:35.'
No doubt that the departure from the cult by one of its most visible, active, notorious, and oldest members (even recently Vladimir Ivanov bragged the it was he who first brought the ideas of Hubbard into Russia) is a first-rate sensation. Perhaps, Mr. Ivanov, who several times unsuccessfully tried to be elected to the legislative bodies, had finally understood that the scientology membership will only hinder him in his political ambitions. Perhaps also, he has at last realized that it is impossible to really fight drugs from within and together with Scientology organization.
Only the time will show what are the true reasons of this sensational event and how the whole situation will develop.
St. Irinaeus of Lyon Center
June 28, 2001
Apparently, Vladimir Ivanov intends to continue his anti-drug activity, but this time without Narconon.
The front page of www.narconon.ru says, "this site is closed," and links to Ivanov's new forum, Russia Without Drugs (www.rwd.ru). Ivanov claims that his new rehabilitation program is no less successful than Narconon. The site publishes Ivanov's open letter to Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia, where he denounces Scientology and asks for blessing and cooperation from the Russian Orthodox Church.
Excerpt from the open letter:
"Having thoroughly studied the theory and practice of Scientologists in Russia and abroad for the past ten years, I have come to realize that the certain practicality of the so-called technology is in full and complete contradiction with the purely commercial aspirations, hidden from the outsider's view, and has nothing in common (except for declarations) with the spiritual-religious goals.
"The so-called Church of Scientology flouts human rights and the rights of religious people in general by imposing a ban on a profession, by denying a person the right to defend his interests in the court of law, and by enslaving him with work for the benefit of its mercantile interests."
Russian Scientology News