These are articles from the Russian about the Vissarion cult. Since they are from Siberia, we visited a Siberian site in Novosibirsk, the Alexander Nevskiy web site. It turns out that the Vissarion cult, or versions of it, has also spread to European countries, including Germany.

Doomsday cult on the Taiga

The son of God came with a German license plate

Spiegel Online
November 6, 2003
by Alexander Schwabe

Sergei Torop was an alert traffic policeman. That is, until the day in May 1990 when it suddenly became clear to him that he was the son of God. Since then he's attracted thousands of believers to the harsh living conditions of the Russian taiga. Vissarion's disciples include Germans, too. Sect critics are apprehensive about mass suicide.

The heart of the Earth can be found in Siberia, and in the Taiga lies salvation. Because here is where the "Master of Live" lives. Each one of his words and each of his glances is permeated with love and the light of truth. Here, so he says, is the Earth still undisturbed from emotional chaos that flickers of the planet like a gray haze.

If in the near future the Earth were to be struck by a large comet which lays waste to most of its surface, if the atomic warheads start to spontaneously explose in the deserts of Nevada, or if a new virus were to devastate the unbelievers of mankind, then the disciples of the Master will be rewarded for their years of efforts and sacrifice. This community in the forests of Russia can best withstand great upheavals, because it has a deep understanding of cosmic connections.

With his long brown hair, he strides from the blue waters of the Tiberkul over the hill by the lake wearing a velvet purple robe. He smiles. "Putting it simply: Yes. I am Jesus Christ." As the 42-year-old son of God, Sergei Torop is building the man of the future, the "sixth race."

About 5,000 people, according to the sect's information, have flocked to Vissarion, as Torop calls himself. They live in 40 small villages in an area half as big as Switzerland nearly 4,000 kilometers east of Moscow, south of Krasnoyarsk.

Most of the religious seekers of happiness are Russian. They include many intellectuals, musicians, actors and former officers of the Red Army. Most of them had found themselves in a vacuum devoid of meaning after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They made their way out of the chaos of the cities and prescribed for themselves the new love-communism in the Taiga. But since then Vissarion also has found adherents in Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy, Australia, the USA and Germany.

A small adult fake Jesus

Stuttgart am Neckar, Zuffenhausen district in the summer of 2001. The Messiah was touring Germany to cast his net for humans. The son of God came in a camper with a German license plate. Of all places he had rented a building from the Catholic Church for his mission accommodations. Their fellow Christians, the Protestants, had warned them about the guru though, so he had to move a few meters away to a forest inn.

In the offices a good 20 people had assembled to listen to the Ambassador of the "Last Testament." As Vissarion and his secretary appeared in cowls and began to sing hymns to his honor, a few visitors became irritated. They had wanted to learn something about his eco-project in the Taiga. They had wanted to entertain themselves with models of alternative social life and criticism of technique, they had wanted to learn more about effective farming and a life in harmony with nature. Instead of that they got a small adult Jesus-player who said as good as nothing, outside of it being really great of them to be there with him.

"It was like an electric shock, like a peal of a bell."

The self-named Christ manages to put people under his spell, those who sect commissioners would like to have called unstable dreamers. Hermann, an engineer shortly before retirement age, reports ebulliently of his calling, "Unbelievable love emanated from him." When the Bavarian met Vissarion, it was "like an electrical shock, like the peal of a bell," said the technician.

Vissarion has also cause a tremor in David Tanner's life (name changed). People close to him had followed the guru to Siberia. When they didn't come back, Tanner set off on the 6,000 kilometer journey to try to get them to return.

From Abakan Tanner, after a long ride over "rocks and blocks" he reached the villages of Petroravlovka, Tscheremtschanka, Guleivka and Scharovsk. He met the first believers on the Kasyr River, some in cheap shacks and others in somewhat more comfortable block huts.

Insect hell in the sect Paradise

The daily routine in the harsh living conditions of the Taiga, in houses without electricity and with running water, is rather dreary, especially for Westerners. In winters it frequently reaches 40 below and the summers are unbearably hot. Because of the heat people can hardly heave their shacks; they protects themselves from the millions of biting insects with gloves. In this insect hell they farm vegetables and live mainly from buckwheat. Meat and milk products are taboo. Wash basins stand at the ready in the huts of the sect Paradise for bodily care; their daily needs are served by bio-toilets. On the edge of the settlements are large dumps filled with man-made trash.

"There are no fat people" in the realm of the Siberian Christ, Tanner finds out. This is a consequence of Vissarion's "nutrition recommendations." But the hard life in the Taiga doesn't toughen everybody by far. Relatives of a sect member reported in the "Berliner Dialog" of emaciated, undernourished people who he met on Tiberkul Lake, of meningitis and of people sick with tuberculosis. Many children were said to be suffering from rickets.

Tanner planned to be in the Sun City in eleven days. He hoped to be allowed to voice his concerns to the "Teacher of Truth." Packed into an air-polluting Unimog, he traveled deeper and deeper into the forest over an unsurfaced road full of mud puddles. "Nobody would get through there in the rain," reported the pilgrim.

But the military vehicle was only good for the first hour. With two knapsacks full of food and gifts Tanner set off on foot for another two hours through the forest until he finally reached the holy village. He who want to clear his mind to reach the new kingdom, as the pious swamp dwellers put it, has to be able to navigate his own body.

The three-leveled Sun City

The end-times visionaries chosen by Vissarion are moving the holy village - called Ekopolis or Sun City - up the Suchaya Mountain ("Holy Mountain") in three stages. At the lower plateau, the "residence of daybreak," live about 60 families in wood shacks and yurts.

Here they've planted beeches and cedars on a plot of peat bog. The eco-system has to blossom for the "Ekopolis eco-settlement." In order to build a little house, a person needs 100 stout trees and at least 150 young trees for the fence and a barn. A total of 14 star-shaped routes have arisen with names like "Milk Street," "Happy Rain," or "Singing Mountain."

The residents of Sun City have given up all material goods for the community. "In order to accept me, people must give up everything they own," Vissarion requires. Money is rejected, as well as bartering. Vissarion disciples present each other with gifts. "The rich have a very difficult time getting into the realm of heaven, very difficult," the new son of God grasps a logion of the historical Jesus.

Above the "Residence of Daybreak" rises the "Divine Residence." That is where the reincarnated Christ lives with his wife and six children. His high priest is a former colonel in the Russian missile corps, an "angel," as he calls his closest confidante.

Still higher and still closer to heaven stands the Temple of the "Altar of the Earth." The Taiga-Jesus has his second residence in an adjacent building. A little wooden house has been put up for his mother. She is honored as the "Christ mother."

After a half-hour climb up there every morning the loyal disciples of the "Bearer of Truth" celebrate their liturgy at 8 o'clock. Afterwards Vissarion stands on the mountainside and speaks down from the heights to his faithful, like Jesus of Nazareth is said to have done with the Beatitudes in the sermon on the mount by the Sea of Galilee.

How a policeman became the son of God

On the way from Vissarion's house to the temple at the summit is Fern Valley. This is where the sacred ritual of Fusion is performed every day. The Master sets himself down and opens his spirit. Anywhere in the world where there are Vissarionists, they also sit down at the same time for meditation, trying to pick up the positive energy from his photograph before them, which emanates from Vissarion.

Sergi Torop used to be an ordinary traffic cop in Minusinsk, with nine commendations. Before that he served two years in the Red Army and worked for three years as a metal-worker. But in May of 1990, the 29-year-old saw his calling through an "improbable enlightening of inner spiritual energy." Since then he's been building a Torop's Ark in the remotest nook of the world.

His adherents claim that Vissarion's recollection goes 2,000 years back. His phenomenal recall reveals things that Bible researchers have yet to uncover. For instance, only Vissarion knows that he, as Jesus, loved peaches, that Jesus was a painter who moved through the land and held flowers and birds, and that he made various little things which he gave to the Roman soldiers.

Warning of massacre in the taiga

Tanner was received "very amicably and cordially" into Sun City. The dwellings of those in Sun City were Spartan, the way the huts of the common folk were. Here and there among the autarkists you can find a little bit of Maggi-spice. The religious head of the village has Harry Potter on his bookshelf, along with Tolstoy and Disney videos in Russian. It is said that Vissarion has a chocolate colored Labrador, although dogs aren't generally allowed elsewhere in his realm.

The next day, when Tanner was to bring his concerns before Vissarion, he had to make do with the village chief. He case was discussed, and for him it had a happy ending. He was to travel with his people back to Germany.

Tanner is relieved. He's not aware that he has possibly saved their lives. He doesn't share the feelings of the cultfighters of the Russian Orthodox Church. They warn of a possible massacre in the Taiga, like happened with the disciples of Jim Jones over 25 years ago in Guyana. 914 people of the Peoples Temple cult died there. Or like what happened with David Koresh's doomsday cult ten years ago in Waco, Texas, when 85 people were killed at the "Ranch Apocalypse."

Church of the Last Testament (Vissarion cult)

Also known as: Community of Unified Faith.

Description: Pseudo-Christian totalitarian cult led by a "new messiah" -- Vissarion.

Connections: According to some sources, at the present time the adherents of Vissarion are working closely with adepts of the White Brotherhood.

Specific objectives of operation: Construction of cult settlement in the Krasnoyarski territory, where all adepts will live with the "messiah" at their head.

Cult history: The founder and head of the Church of the Last Testament and its supreme spiritual person is Sergei Anatolevich Torop, born 1961, former employee of the police of Minusinsk city, Krasnoyarski territory, widely known under the cult name of Vissarion. S. Torop asserts that in January 1991 he was baptized by the heavenly Father, by which he received a new name - Vissarion, and a "blessing" for the creation of a common unified faith, which presents itself as the incarnation of all existing religion.

He organized the cult in approximately August 1991. Believing in his teachings, several thousand people sold their apartments in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other cities, delivered considerable sums of cash to the organization and moved to the Krasnoyarski territory. In June 1994 they joined the "Community of Unified Faith," and in 1995 they registered as the "Church of the Last Testament."

In the latter half of 1994 an action committee of Vissarion's followers appeared with a proposal to create an "experimental ecological settlement" in Kuraginski district, Krasnoyarski territory. For construction of the settlement the territory administration selected 250 hectares of wooded reserves. The project plan is calculated at the current time is for settlement of 120 families.

According to cultists' assertions, their community adheres to a code of "ethical and philosophical principles", strict vegetarianism, and they keep a daily diet which includes only products of vegetable origin. In reality they practice an "aggressive" diet, during which pregnant women and children are deprived of necessary nutritional substances, and nursing mothers are even prohibited from giving their children natural milk. According to doctors' testimony, there have been some cases of emaciation in the fanatical adherents of Vissarion. Childbirth is practiced in water (in ordinary barrels), the children are not allowed to be vaccinated, they have to run for medications in case they get sick. Cult founder S. Torop confirmed the fact of suicides among his adherents as a nevertheless completely acceptable manner, from his point of view, of departing this life. In expert opinion, with respect to the insolvency of the Vissarion project to form a town of the chosen, and to the impossibility of members of the cult to return to their former residences, it's possible a mass suicide could occur. They've also created some "commandments" of Vissarion ("Do not condemn the deceased") which justify suicide as a precondition to such an outcome.

One of the directions of activity considered most important in the cult is the publication and distribution of cult literature, and video and audio cassettes with lectures by Vissarion, by which means new conversion of new adepts is accomplished.

According the the information of leaders of the "church," they have nearly 50,000 followers in 83 population points in the RF and abroad. The real number of adepts is nearly 10,000 people, half of which reside in the Krasnoyarski territory, and the others are engaged in proselytism in many cities in Russia.

Doctrine: Vissarion composed his "Last testament" to accomplish the "Great Holy Reunion" of all existing religions. The actual doctrine of Vissarion is a blend of cosmology, Christianity and yoga. In putting Christianity in the leading role, he actually perverts it.

Vissarion advances five basic postulates. The creator of the material universe (Absolute) in which there is neither good nor bad. The creator of the human soul - Heavenly Father - creator of good, source of the Spirit of Life, which joins with the energy of Heart of Mother-Earth, to generate the Son of God. Hell also exists, and paradise. From Hinduism, teachings are taken about the migration of souls. Souls develop spiritually in fulfilling their predestination, being in paradise. The inability to spiritually develop leads to hell. A person is incarnated on earth for ten times and each time gets the chance to spiritually develop. There's an evil virus, which lives only on Earth and only among people. That's what the devil has, too. The devil generates the sinful intentions in people. People's thoughts are material, they don't die anywhere, and evil thoughts generate evil spirits.

Vissarion forbids going to other churches, asserting that the true Revelation is supported only in his teachings. In recent times, cult members have been actively trying to penetrate into government structures.

The commune of Vissarion. For happiness or for death?

Into our country they sent a flood of foreign and domestic "preachers", "teachers", and "messiahs" for their various activities. Novosibirsk differed little from other cities in this scheme, except by the large scope and the impertinence of activity here by different cults.

Quite recently Novosibirsk was reminded about the existence of the followers of one of the domestic "Jesus Christs" - Vissarion (Sergei Torop in the real world), who founded the "community of Unified faith" (also called the "Church of the Last Testament") in the south of Krasnoyarski territory. For thirteen years Vissarion was highly successful in his missionary activity; according to the latest information, nearly 5,000 of his followers now live in the main commune, which is still a model for all the rest of the country. Vissarion and his immediate circle were pleased to have found an unusual manner of recruiting new adepts. They do not approach passersby on the street, they do not invite people to attend "spiritual" seminars, they just arrange "free" concerts with sermons by teachers. The greatest boost Vissarion got was when Mariya Karpinskaya, well-known journalist, showed up in the community. With her help, Vissarion began his foreign "tour."

One such concert took place Sunday, March 30, in DK Radga. Having heard about this "charity" show, I went, armed with pen and note pad, in anticipation of a "hot one."

Upon reaching the DK, I realized I had not been mistaken. The entrance to the building was being picketed by members of the "Orthodox Brotherhood" from the cathedral of Alexandr Nevskiy, whose picket signs said things like, "The 'Church of the Last Testament' may be hazardous to your spiritual health!" I told one of them I was interested in what was taking place inside the auditorium, and having received the essential explanation, went inside to find out where this hazard might lie. It should be noted that there are not really that many adherents of Vissarion in Novosibirsk, I managed to count only about 30 people sitting in the hall; most likely of all those only three were newcomers. The contingent assembled was very diverse, not all of them were homeless (and really, what can they get from them?). The rest of the curiosity-seekers, apparently, were brought to reason by the clergymen.

Unfortunately, the "Messiah" himself was not there, filling in for him was his faithful apostle Vadim Redkin, former artist and member of the Bari Alibasova troupe.

The activities on stage consisted of two parts, the proper concert and a "press conference."

Both the music and the gutsy sounds that were issued by those appearing resembled a shaman's rituals done to an old Russian song, and brought the audience in the hall into a wild rapture. However, we dwelled in detail on the post-concert "press conference." In it Vadim Redkin - and he was the one leading the troupe - talked about "heavenly existence" in the "ecologically pure settlement" and answered the few questions from the "curious." It turned out that all the residents of the community were vegetarians. Striving to be worthy of future heavenly existence, these "self outcast" people refused not only meat, but also sugar, salt, tea and coffee. Even the babies didn't get milk. Really, in recent times the regimen of feeding was relaxed, children were allowed to have sour milk products. At the same time the "Teacher" himself did not refuse the pleasure of a well-cooked meal.

" ... From an interview with Mariya Karpinski with journalist Igor Monetkin: ... But she had a habit - this was simply outside the limit of my understanding. A woman arrived with a child and someone else; she sat in their waiting room to have a talk with them. He sat in his chair. There was a huge dish with peaches, apricots, pistachio nuts, delicacies in general, which there in the commune, you know, nobody had. And he is sitting and in their presence is all this food ..."

The situation with poor food intensified more and the community lacked professional medical services, which were just forbidden. People here are "treated" with strange shaman rituals, brews and extracts, but frequently just get "aesthetitherapy" (with morning walks, admiring the beauty of Siberia and the countryside). And the children get no vaccinations whatsoever.

People are treated in the hospital only in the most severe cases and for severe trauma.

In connection with this there was recorded a high rate of death in the community from emaciation, including deaths of children. How many of these were deaths were through negligence is not known. One time residents of the community were even forbidden to drink water; it was said it carried dirt that bore the death of all humanity and therefore people could drink only juice.

"From Igor Monetkin's interview:
... Ostensibly one is not allowed to drink water, but juice is OK. That some sort of harmful algae has been discovered in water, and me, who drinks water - am doomed to be wiped out, because through water Earth relays the code for the self-destruction of humanity. And Vissarion gave the instruction that drinking water was prohibited, that people could drink only juice, and since he could only drink juice and since he drank his fill, that didn't leave enough over, and the rest suffered from thirst ... "

Another one of my acquaintances stayed in the community just for several months. Her relatives and friends managed to get her out with great difficulty. It was awful to look at the girl. She was 22 years old and weighed only 25 kilograms. Most frightening though, not even a professional psychologist managed to free the girl mentally, she had to be kept under observation to keep her from going back to the community. Every believer is obligated to visit the "Promised Land," but for people to come into the commune, it's necessary to sell all their belongings to keep from having to give money to the city. They were needed for "construction of houses and acquisition of land." In most of these cases, your money goes to the commune's treasury. (see: Vissarion's pocket).

"Money is not needed. It's not worth saving. Return everything you have. Many are now saying "return," but I say "forget." (from a "sermon" of Vissarion).

The question of money in the community is highly essential, in as much as Sergei Torop has as much as he wants.

M. Karpinskaya:
" ... He said to his mother, Nadezhda, she told me, 'You, there, don't worry, time passes quickly -- you will have very very much money.' He said this in the very beginning, when he would have stooped to this. At the same time he said to me, 'You, don't worry, time passes quickly, and you will have so much money, so much money!'... "

As this always happens where a lot of fast and easy money is, Vissarion also had very close connections with the Krasnoyarski criminal authorities. Into the secret "security service" entered specialists, former officers of the law organs. This secret service was so organized that even many local yokels were afraid to do any sort of business with the commune.

M. Karpinskaya:
" ... She walked to the local mafia, to the leader. She asked him to teach Vissarion a lesson. And when she talked with them, he said, 'The mafia that guards him and his house, they're tough, so sorry, nothing can be done.'"

Deputy State Duma first rank Savitskiy, who knew about the Vissarion cult, conducted his own deputy inquiry, and got ready to promulgate his findings, which were not very comforting for the commune, in the regular session of Parliament. He was paid back for that. Savitskiy never got to Moscow, he was hit in a car accident.

There's more than that. This power was a concealed power, making it more effective. Here one must return to Sergei Torop. This man, according to a number of people's reports, actually possesses the ability to demonstrate enormous telepathic influence upon his surroundings. This is most likely explained in that there's never been a large rebellion in the commune, although many have quit it. And how money and power were always present, how ever much was theirs theirs or someone else's, it began to be not enough. Therefore Sergei Torop and his accomplices set off on a tour through the country to urge new people to come to his "heavenly" abode.

As to the question of how many "Teachers" went for the bottle (or the drug of choice), in those moments they're overwhelmed with enlightenment?", Redkin answered that Vissarion never drank anything, and he even had a certificate from a drug dispensary. On that very case, shortly before then, how Vissarion, Sergei Torop, was spared from the police for drunkenness and conflicts with fellow employees.

We come back to the hazard to spiritual health, which is born in the teachings themselves of Sergei Torop. Suicide in the commune was recognized as something was completely permissible, it goes without saying. ("Do not condemn the departed"). Already now numerous departees from the commune adepts have testified about numerous cases of murder and suicide.

"From Mariya Karpinskaya interview:
... Igor: Do you know the story about Katerin Vartamova? Whose psychically ill son chopped things to pieces?
Mariya: Yes, I met with her.
Igor: She just distributed a photograph of her son, to pray to it. She suffered a long time - to take the son out of the mental hospital or not to take him out. She talked to everybody, so that she consulted with the Teachers on this sort of serious question. And Vissarion advised to take the son out. And approximately six months later the son chopped his mother to pieces.

According to the latest information from the judicial organ, in the commune in 2003 is preparing for the end of the world, which needs to be completed in 2015. There is every indication that the cult will end "Solar Temple" style in Switzerland - mass suicide. History shows that people, like Sergei Torop, do not depart life alone.

Novosibirsk, Nikolai Komarov
"Moment istnny" No. 12(14), April 14, 2003
A legal socio-political newspaper

Operation "B", or the new adventures of Vissarion - Torop in Novosibirsk.

On September 25 a protest action was conducted in Novosibirsk by members of the brotherhood of Holy Orthodox Prince Aleksandr Nevskiy against the "salutary" arrangement of the Krasnoyarski pseudo-messiah Vissarion. As a result, a reception with Vissarion in the assembly hall of the institute of economics and management on Karl Marx street did not take place. Neither did a Vissarion reception take place in the DK "Raduga", where it had been proposed to conduct an assembly under his responsibility. But the "messiah" did not dare take such responsibility upon his divine shoulders. And he saw fit to conduct his sermon right on the street, behind the DK, not far from the rubbish heap.

But who is this Vissarion? Why do some call him a god, but others call hem a pseudo-messiah and pseudo-christ? And what brings him personally to Novosibirsk?

Vissarion is the head of the cult "Church of the Last Testament," (also known as the "Community of Unified Faith"), which he formed in 1991. Really his doctrine is a blend of cosmology, Christianity and yoga, but he gives Christianity a central role in this virtual perversion of his. Before he was the "christ of the second coming", Vissarion was simply Sergei Torop, former employee of the police of the city of Minusinsk, Krasnoyarski territory.

Strange as it seems, several thousand people believed in the doctrine of Torop at first. People sold their apartments in Moscow and St. Petersburg, gave all their money in cash to the cult, and left for Krasnoyarski territory, to doom themselves to a half-starved existence.

In the commune of Torop they adhere "strictly" to vegetarianism, which is compulsory for all adepts, even for pregnant women and for children. The women give birth in water (in barrels of water), the children are not allowed to have vaccinations, they resort to medicinal help, etc. In a word, all the things happen that occur in any other particularly dangerous totalitarian cult.

The "specific dangers" should be emphasized. It just so happens that these attributes were given at the International Science-practical Conference "Totalitarian cults - threat of the 21st century," which was held a year ago in Nizhny Novgorod.

But how can it happen that a former policeman suddenly created a whole "church" (which currently, according to statements of adherents, numbers at ten thousand adepts, some of whom live in the Krasnoyarski commune, and others who actively engage in recruitment in many cities in Russia, including Novosibirsk), into which flock not just country dwellers and residents of small Siberian villages, but Moscovites and residents of St. Petersburg too, along with residents of other large cities?

Who told them about the policeman from Minusinsk, and especially, tried to suggest that this was a "new messiah" who had come to save the world?

This gives the impression that Sergei Torop (he is Vissarion) is anything but the head of a "church", everything's set up as an operation by chairman Funt, who diligently makes money for his boss, who stays safe in the shadows. When something goes right, Torop gets the credit, not the true cult member.

How true this is remains to be seen, but one thing is clear for now. People who are now adherents of the cult have walked past the Orthodox Church in search of the meaning of life, simply bought whatever the pseudo-christ in the gateway told them, and irrevocably gave him all their earnings.

So what brought the new "christ" to Novosibirsk? It seems that Sergei Torop is getting ready to go to Germany, from where he received a call, to all appearances, from his adepts (or bosses?). The arrival of Sergei (Vissarion) into Novosibirsk occurred in a white jeep with a Krasnoyarski license plate. While the German consulate documents were being prepared, and Sergei decided (or it was decided for him?) to lead an advertising company himself. To this end, Sergei had an entire staff of managers from organizations, a personal "evangelist," Vadim, along with an administrative pool of ten people.

However, the first advertising operation was frustrated by members of the brotherhood of Holy Orthodox Prince Alexander of Nevskiy, which organized a picket, the goal of which was to explain to people what they were subjecting themselves to with Vissarion, along with his vile god doctrine. It could be that the Vissarionites expected something of this nature, because upon becoming aware of their defeat, one of the managers stated to his colleagues, "OK, we'll go to plan B ... "

Plan B turned out to be a performance by Vissarion in DK "Raduga," which also, fortunately, failed. Eyewitnesses related that Vissarion showed up greatly embarrassed, and was anxious in general in the DK and hid behind the curtains for the most part, so that the audience was not graced by his presence. To the question by one of the correspondents about an interview, he only shrugged his shoulders uncertainly and said the managers told him that there would be one in the future, but he himself would not decide this. Upon arriving, the managers decided that an interview could be given.

In general, eyewitnesses, having some idea about how things go in show business, noted that all the work for the "celebrated" Vissarion was accomplished very competently. Each one of his retinue knew what he needed to do, where to go and what to say.

These people who obsequiously wander around the notorious "messiah", suddenly were able to give him strict orders, which Vissarion had to carry out there. From one perspective it can be said that the head of this show was Vissarion, but on closer examination it was apparent that Vissarion could only obey the invisible hand of an unseen director.

But he didn't manage to appear in the DK, either. The director proposed that Torop appear "under his responsibility", but "christ" was afraid of such responsibility. Therefore he was answering questions on the street.

Everybody was waiting for him to say something like, "How do you do, I am Christ!", but that did not come about. He never even introduced himself. When the manager was asked the question of who, once and for all, was Vissarion, wasn't he Christ?, the manager answered that this "was the same individual that you read about in the New Testament."

Neither did Vissarion try to hide that he was the "messiah." However his accounts were intended for those who did not know the Word of God. Because the Lord himself said that when He arrives, all the people on Earth would instantly know about this at the same time. But the Lord still announced that in the final times, pseudo-teachers and pseudo-prophets would show up, who would do their best to entice even the chosen people! Well, why not Vissarion?

Vissarion was asked, If you are Christ, then what does that make your mama and papa? Vissarion smiled sadly and made a sorrowful face, he lowered his head, showing how sorry he was that unhappy people had asked this question, However, those around him remarked that he blushed, and his face even broke out with perspiration. Was it embarrassment, or fear?

There was a well-known case of suicide in the Vissarion commune. Psychologists have spoken about the possible connection of suicides with infringements upon the mind, worsened by a strict diet. How did the head of the commune himself regard all this? Vissarion answered that, unfortunately, there were mentally ill people at his commune; they had entered that way. The way he talked about it gave the impression that similar cases might take place in the future. Why he - "messiah", for whom opportunities ought to be unlimited, was allowed to ruin to the spirits of the unfortunate (in Orthodoxy, for example, suicide is a mortal sin) is incomprehensible. Yes and Torop himself had nothing comprehensible to say on this occasion.

Ron Hubbard, the head of the Scientology "church" cult, said that if a person wanted to make a million dollars, he needed to create his own religion. For unscrupulous people, this sounds like they are the ones personally being spoken to. As a result, cults have begun to pop up like mushrooms after a rain in recent times. Involved in the cultists' network, unhappy people lose their heads and give all their money to the cult, and turn into mindless slaves. But sponsors of the cult only calculate profits, shamelessly getting rich on their "spiritual offspring."

Here Torop also told very many people about Mammon. He likes to stress that wealth is evil. "I teach people not to be unfair with wealth," he said in one of his interviews. "But aren't you yourself unfair with it?, the correspondent asked him suddenly. And Torop melted away, his eyes lowered, he grinned crookedly and ... announced that he preferred not to answer questions about himself.

Dmitri Kokoylin

In Krasnodar Krai the leader of the religious "Liberation" community took his own life
August 29, 2003

During the night of August 26 in the regional center of Aban in Krasnodar Krai one of the leaders of the "Liberation" syncretic community, Svyatoslav Minor, took his own life under mysterious circumstances. His body was found in the early morning of August 27 in one of the buildings owned by the community in a remote village, reported the "Blagovest-info" agency.

In the words of the deputy chief of the local ROVD Nikolai Stepanov, the death of the activist was being handled as a criminal case.

Svyatoslav Minor joined the "Liberation" movement in Spring of 2002. Earlier he had belonged to the Church of the Last Testament of Vissarion, had tried to be reborn in Krasnodar Krai in the defeated structure of the "White Brotherhood," and was a parishioner of the Truly-Orthodox Church. Having joined the "Liberation" community, Svyatoslav Minor began to conduct active missionary activities.

The community's management associated the death of Svyatoslav Minor with the government's increased pressure on the community.

The "Liberation" movement appeared in Krasnodar Krai in 2001. For the time being there is still a small network of the community led by Stepan Vitalyev, whom the movement's adepts call "Liberator." The missionary center of this new religious movement (NRM) is located in Krasnodar. The exact number of adepts is unknown, but, as the Novosibirsk "Novoe Vremya" newspaper reported, there are no fewer than a thousand active members.

The "Liberation's" core of beliefs contain the "revelations" of Stepan Vitalyev, blended with a medley of Buddhist and shamanistic beliefs. The community performs active missionary work among the inhabitants of Siberia, in particular, among people for whom shamanism serves as part of the national culture.

A researcher of new cults with a Master of Science in history, Vyacheslav Plesin from the Novosibirsk Center for the study of new social phenomena, believes that the "Liberation" NRM is a "typical post-modern cult founded on the personal charisma of a leader." According to his information, the first community appeared in the fall of 2001, after more than 200 people attended a "Breath of Freedom" seminar in Birsk. After a number of appearance in several regional centers in the south of Krasnodar Krai, "Liberation" gradually formed a community network.

It is known that Stepan Vitalyev met with leaders of the "Zvenyashchie Kerdy of Russia," and also with Vissarion.

Vissarion celebrates birthday in Kazakhstan
January 17, 2001

A celebration for the 40-year-old Vissarion (Sergei Torop), founder and leader of the Church of the Last Testament, was held in the Alma-Atinsky community of "Vissarionites", reported the "Blagovest-Info" agency. The spiritual center of the Church of the Last Testament is located in the Kuraginski district of Krasnodar Krai, where several thousand of Vissarion's followers reside in almost 30 villages.

The Alma-Atinsky "Vissarionites" marked one of the basic holidays of its Church in the rather small lodgings of one of its faithful. First they prayed before a photo portrait of Vissarion. The prayer, the adepts believe, was a time for symbolic fusion with their favorite teacher. At the end of the "fusion" was held a viewing of a video recording about the blessing and placement of a bell on the "Holy Mount" in Kuraginski district.

The recording was made a year ago during the celebration of the 39th anniversary of the day of Vissarion's birth. It commemorates the 15 kilometer trip made by the communal group in 35 C. degree heat to transport the 660 kilogram bell up the hill to Vissarion's residence.

Thirteen people, lined up single file, dragged the sledge with the bell, and four more pushed from behind. The raising of the bell to the beam of the belfry was guided by Church of the Last Testament priest Sergei Chevlakov, who used to be a Muscovite and a colonel of strategic missile forces.

Minusinsk policeman Sergei Torop began to preach under the name of Vissarion in 1991. By his summons several thousand people sold their apartments in different city in Russia and settled in the remote country of Krasnodar Krai, where they engage in rural work.

The Last Testament, teaches Vissarion, is supposed to unite all religions in the world. The Devil caused human thought and can be only be defeated by it. This is what the "Vissarionites" are busy with, concentrating their thought exclusively on good and keeping a strict diet. They consider Vissarion to be a new incarnation of Jesus Christ.