Moscow - Krishnas collect 45,000 signatures supporting temple
Regnum.Ru, February 26, 2004
The capital city Krishnas delivered 45,000 signatures of Muscovites in favor of building a new Hindu temple on Leningrad Prospect to Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov. Among the signers of the petition were quite a few residents of the district where the Krishna temple is planned. In turn the people who signed the list knew the letter would be sent to the Moscow mayor and thus expressed their approval for the moral values spread by the Krishnas and their charitable activities.
As the director of the department for public relations of the Moscow Center for the Society of Krishna Consciousness, Igor Anikanov, said to an IA Regnum correspondent, among the signers of the petition were many well-known figures of science, culture and art, such as, for example RAEN member-correspondent Oleg Troitskiy, peoples artist of Russia Elena Obraztsova, stage artist Mikhail Evdokimov, singer Boris Grebenshchikov, meritorious artist of Russia Lev Shimelov, poet-satirist V. Vishnevskiy, meritorious artist of Russia, President of the Academy for Graphic Arts R. Tsitalashvili, well-known theatrical figure Roman Viktyuk, movie actor Dmitriy Kharatyan, doctor of arts N. Korinenko, acting member of the Ukraine Academy of the Arts Ada Rogovtseva, humorist Svyatoslav Yeshchenko and others.
"The collection of signatures is an unwilling measure in connection with a campaign to smear believers in certain mass media," announced president of the Moscow Society of Krishna Consciousness Sergei Andreyev. "In this campaign they've gotten 5,000 signatures, supposedly protesting against the temple. However, as the independent information agency "Blagovest-info" reported, those signatures were collected back in fall and winter of last year, in which connection the building residents were located kilometers away from the proposed site of the Hinduist temple. As is obvious from the list of signatures, it was proposed for the residents to express protest for a good many reasons - threat of clearing unique birch groves along Kuusinena St., building on the land of Chapayevsky Park and Khodynsky Field and others. At the end of the list the Krishna temple is mentioned. That's how votes were obtained against cutting down the birch grove, for example, or against commercial construction on Khodynsky Field, then those people protested against the Krishna temple, too."
"Unfortunately, as before in the mass media, rumors circulate about the future temple as if it were "the largest cult Hinduist structure outside of India," commented Sergei Zuyev, member of the managing council of the Center for Krishna Consciousness in Russia. "In reality, several projects are underway, out of which will be selected the most acceptable for the city. There are other myths about the placement of the future Krishna temple on the 'site of the Khodynsky tragedy.' The tragedy in this case happened in a different place, in the area of today's Botkinsky hospital. The temple of Reverend Sergiy Radonezhsky mentioned in the mass media was also located in a different spot."
Blogoveshchensk - Investigation reveals state money used for Scientology services
Interfax.Ru, February 24, 2004
In the Amur vicinity facts were revealed about a transfer of budgetary finances to profit the World Church of Scientology. In Amursky oblast (Far East) in the course of an investigation, conducted by the department to fight organized crime in the CID of oblast and commission control-auditing office of the RF Ministry of Finance, facts were uncovered indicating the transfer of funds from the budget of the Skovorodinsky district to the World Scientology Church.
As reported to "Interfax" on Tuesday by the acting duty commander of the oblast CID office to combat corruption in government agencies, Igor Shalmarov, district chief Boris Shalimov sent administration employees for training in OOO "Performiya" and "WISE CIS," which distribute the administrative technology developed by church founder Ron Hubbard. During this a sum of 646,000 rubles was transferred to the organization from the district's budget.
Igor Shalmarov remarked that at the present time investigation materials on the given facts were being prepared for review in the oblast prosecutor's office.
In their grounds against district administration chief Boris Shalimov is a possible cause for criminal case in accordance with st. 286 UK RF (exceeding empowered authority) with a possible fine of 300,000 rubles or confinement for seven years, reported the news agency.
related link as of 25 Feb 04 http://vn.vladnews.ru/News/upd25_2.HTM
Saint Petersburg - Scientologists release postage stamp with image of L.R. Hubbard
Newsru.Com, February 17, 2004
The Saint Petersburg social organization "Scientology Center" held a presentation of an advertising postage stamp with an image of Scientology founder L.R. Hubbard, the release of which was timed to coincide with the 300 year anniversary of Petersburg. The stamp was prepared through a proposal of the World Academy of Science, Art and Culture (VANIK), to highly rate the merits of L.R. Hubbard as a writer and humanist, fighter for peace and freedom of conscience. The postage stamp does not have a denomination and does not represent payment of postal funds, but presents itself as a unique production of an advertising character. It bears the inscription "World Academy of Science, Art and Culture" and a photograph of L.R. Hubbard with his words, "In that day when we can fully trust each other, peace will walk on Earth," reports "Blagovest-Info."
The person who developed the stamp is well-known Petersburg designer Evgeniy Egoro.
"The issue of such an advertising stamp was performed in Russia in the NEP (New Economic Politics) era and was renewed in recent times," said the director of Hubbard's public relations office in the CIS countries Marina Khivtsova. "The stamp is the first stamp with the image of L.R. Hubbard in the world, it puts a deposit into the improvement of society."
Moscow - Krishna parents accuse broadcaster of fomenting religious discord
Regnum.Ru, February 24, 2004
Activists of the social committee "Parents for Krishna" sent a letter of protest, naming general director Vladimir Zhelonkin of "Moskoviya" OAO TRVK (channel 3) in connection with the broadcasting of "Russkogo vzglyada."
As Igor Anikanov, manager of the public relations department of the Moscow center for the Society of Krishna Consciousness, reported to an IA Regnum correspondent, a letter that was signed by committee chairman Tatyana Petrik expressed profound concern from the parents of Russian Vaishnav-Krishnas for the fate of their children after the appearance on the station of a series of background shows that aroused animosity among the television audience toward the belief of this basic tradition of Hinduism. Members of the committee cited in their treatment of the event attacks on Krishna temples in other regions of Russia after the broadcast of similar coverage on television and after publication in the press. The main thing the committee members objected to was the showing of a prayer ceremony in a temple shot by the channel 3 camera team. The farewell of the Vaishnav-Krishnas from the recently deceased parishioner, 24-year-old Nikolai Lozoi, who, despite total blindness, went to the temple every day, "was broadcast with epithets like 'totalitarian sect,' 'destructive cult,' 'sect temple,' 'frenzied,' 'lying Krishnas' etc." Members of the parents committee asked the question, "How could the station be permitted to engage in clearly anti-constitutional activity?"
Moscow - Scientology's Volunteer Minister Crusade Campaign
St. Irinaeus of Lyon Center of Religious Research, February 22, 2004
Warning! This is an internal Scientology document, which clearly shows how Scientology intends, with the aid of lies and concealed information, to recruit people and gain the trust of government agencies. In it can be seen the aggressive character of the "Crusade campaign of the Scientology minister Cavalcade." This document is now being spread among Scientologists. By notifying friends and local administrations about the new spurt of Scientology expansion in Russia, you can protect yourself and your friends and relatives from importunate Scientology propaganda, and your family from tragedy.
Hello dear Scientologist!
Happy New Year to you!
We have good news!
The World Cavalcade of Volunteer Ministers starts the end of January. It will operate continuously each day off in various locations of Moscow and vicinity. The intent of this operation is as follows: "To bring real help, to restore honesty and spiritual values among the people of your region by means of the World Cavalcade of Volunteer Ministers."
In order to successfully conduct the Cavalcade, to acquaint thousands of people with the technology of L. Ron Hubbard and give them this technology your personal participation is necessary.
The most important thing now is the search for a place for the Cavalcade to be held.
Here are the easy to follow steps:
1. Look in your town or region for one or several places with a large group of people where one could set up a tend in an area of 90 m2.
2. Telephone the local administration and find out the name of the person the
application to conduct this public mass event needs to be submitted to. Also
find out this person's office title and hours. They may ask you, "What
kind of event are you planning to hold?" Answer in the following manner: "A
tent will be set up in which books to improve life will be sold, lectures read
and instructions given in simple methods of help in case problems or
difficulties in life arise (relations with other people, in education, between
spouses, at work, etc.).
If they ask for what organization, then you answer, "Scientology Church Moscow. Scientology is an applied religious philosophy which upholds methods of improving all areas of life."
3. Forward the information you receive to the following organization staff:
Antonina Anufrieva, Raisa Salakhetdinova, Aleksandr Shestov [contact info given]
or with personal meeting in SCM, or by letter to address [contact info given].
At the present time in SCM intensive preparations are being made to conduct the Cavalcade. Every Sunday at 11:30 a.m., after the Sunday service, lectures, training and seminars are held for volunteer ministers.
You are invited!
In this case, you can really help another. To learn about this you can go to the weekly event.
With great respect, secretaries for regional affairs operations
(c) 2004 Scientology Church Moscow. All rights reserved. Symbol Golden Age of Tech is a trade mark and service mark that belongs to the Religious Technology Center and is used with its permission. Printed in Russia.
During the carrying out of the Volunteer Ministers Cavalcade last year we also conducted a survey. Before, as people dropped in to the pavilion they were asked, "What do you think about Scientology?" The majority of them answered that they did not know about Scientology or what it did. After visiting the Volunteer Minister pavilion, they said they were very impressed and 64% of them wanted to receive additional information about Scientology and get Scientology services.
In connection with that - STAGGERING NEWS! In the near future every organization will hold its own Volunteer Minister Cavalcade, every day off it will operate on a new site.
Pavilions are now being prepared for all organizations and they will be sent to all organizations and they will arrive in the first half of January. This gives us a little time to prepare to hold the Cavalcade, in particular:
- to form our Volunteer Ministers team, which will operate in the pavilion;
- to fully instruct and train everyone who will be working in the tent;
- to designate the exact spot in the next 12 weeks, etc.
From you it's expected that you will take part in the preparations and work for the Volunteer Minister Cavalcade. Not only does the future of Russia depend on how actively you work on the 3rd dynamic especially now, but also your personal progress on The Bridge.
No advance requirements. This needs only your decision, that you will do this.
We invite you to take part in the most grandiose project for clearing than anything ever before.
Regardless of what you're involved in, as LRH said, each Scientologist needs to be a Volunteer Minister. You need to decide to dedicate part of your life in transferring this help to other people, and therefore we also begin this program for everyone to organize all areas of activity so that you operate together with other Scientologists and other volunteer ministers and use the exact model of action for disseminating to the public.
Go into the Scientology Church Moscow and say that you want to take part in the Volunteer Ministers Cavalcade.
See Aleksandr Shestov or Antonina Anufrieva.
With love, Tatyana Reshitnikova,
executive secretary in public operations SCM.
I want to give you information about how the Volunteer Minister Crusade campaign will be conducted in Moscow and Moscow Oblast. There is an operating plan and we intend to make this plan reality.
People today, in their daily lives, are desperately in need of help. They are constantly running into problems for which they have no working solution - difficulty with children, conflict and upset at work, problems in relationships with other people and many, many others.
If you confront the facts, then we have the solution for any problem. And only we can made this solution known and help a great number of people very quickly.
Here is a very simple and accurate comparison. You are in the middle of a desert, and people around you are dying of thirst. And only you know where water can be found. In this case, you possess a simply inexhaustible source of water right in your back pocket. And what do you need to do? Obviously, GIVE THIS WATER TO THE PEOPLE!
In this lies the essence of the Crusade campaign of Volunteer Ministers - to give all the people real help .
To speak frankly, the essence of Scientology is that to be a Scientologist consists of helping others. Therefore, regardless of what a person does in life, if he is a Scientologist, he is simply obliged to dedicate a certain amount of time to help the people around him. Exactly because of this each Scientologist is obliged to be a Volunteer Minister. This means in order to enter into the immediate society with other people, learn what hinders them most of all in life and right there, on that spot, apply the basic technology of Scientology, to immediately render them aid in solving the concrete problem that they are running into in life.
Recently a survey was held in many countries. To the question of what in their opinion clergy needed to do, 90% of those questioned responded, "Help. We need help."
The second question was answered in the following manner, "What help do you expect from clergy?" Most astonishing, but people said exactly that what a Volunteer Minister does. This seemed to be the right appeal with children, to act as though children were able to learn how to solve conflicts at work, improve relationships with neighbors, etc.
The results of other surveys showed that in the present time the belief in traditional religion is experiencing a serious decline. In other words, people know that they are not able to get solutions to their problems form them.
Yet another survey showed that people attach huge significance to religious and spiritual values and consider them very important.
In sum it turns out that people are in need of help, but do not know where such help is, so their personal attempt to speak about help, shows that they have no solution to this problem.
There is still time!
Ukraine - A sample of cults in the world
ProUA.com, February 18, 2004
The number of sects and cults in the modern world is not at all decreasing, on the contrary. And the things you find among them!
However, see for yourself ...
The Temple of the 'Insecure'
In 1997 officers of the Moscow police "hit" an apartment where members of a satanic sect had gathered. When the occupants of the dwelling were arranged on the ground in the traditional manner, before the gaze of dumbfounded guards appeared an improvised temple ... of phallus worshippers. Really, the "sect" turned out to be just a club of sexually insecure young people, who were indulging in - from the viewpoint of the law - innocent debauchery. All of them were let off the hook after a little friendly ridicule.
However, not every story about the secrets of cults ends so comically. Far more frequently they end with a shudder, and sometimes a whisper.
Victims of the Corn God
Many have seen the movie "Children of the Corn," based on a story by Stephen King. Even here the writer didn't pull the idea out of a hat - the corn god cult originated with the ancient Maya. In order to obtain a good crop, the Indians offered a sacrifice and sprinkled human blood on the rows of corn. It would seem, with the development of biotechnology and reclamation, all this would have vanished into the past. However the cult did not disappear. For some reason it took root among the modern farmers of Mexico and Texas.
In the most recent decade nearly 50 residents of the USA and Central America have become victims of the corn cultists. Most of them were seasonal workers who did not suspect for whom they were hired to work. According to admissions of the farmers, they were forced to murder them by the extreme need brought on by constant crop failures.
"Well, that wouldn't happen with us," you might say, and you would be wrong. In 1947 in Orlovsky Province two policemen were killed. The case would have been commonplace -- collective farmers embittered by crop failure, war taught active resistance to many ... But the bodies of the law officers were discovered dismembered and scattered around a small sheaf every which way with artifacts of ritual sacrifice.
Return of the Living Dead
Everybody knows the Buddhism prevails in Tibet, more exactly, Lamaism. Every hundred meters or so one can encounter a monastery there, full of bald Gautama adherents and their apprentices. By day this is a lively settlement, where they bang their gongs and chant mantras, but at night ... By night the monastic gates are hermetically sealed, and knocking at them to ask for a place to stay would be a waste of time. The thing about this is the Tibetans are afraid of the living dead, who allegedly wander about at night in search of fresh blood. Guiding these wandering zombies are the wizards of the Tszon-bon sect. Really, this sect doesn't exist, but the belief in its existence among the Tibetan people has already lasted more than 500 years.
"Pastimes" of African old men
Going from the high mountains of Tibet to the ravines of Africa, the Dark Continent is home to hundreds of religions and sects. According to information from UNESCO, every year another one or two local denominations emerge, and up to twenty cults. Basically, these are harmless communities, such as the hunters of the "Holy Spear" or a men's club that hides from women under the pretext of worshipping magical pumpkins. But if the wizards were to unite here, calamity would not be avoided. One of the favorite pastimes of the crafty old men is the transference of spirits. For example, they place the spirit of a disagreeable neighbor backwards into a crocodile.
Besides that, the sorcerer's guild takes on itself the responsibility of contact with dead ancestors. And, depending on the client's generosity, they can either coax the late granddad Ngoma out of complacency, or rile him up against a greedy grandson. Trickery? In several cases the enigmatic dead talked back.
In conclusion it is befitting to talk about an really awkward story. In Argentina a certain Jessimo Porta declared himself a god, gathered apostles and promised everyone they would soon ascend to heaven. Then they went out to deliver his word to the world. However, the world did not accept them, and the angry apostles avenged themselves on their "god". After a good thrashing, "Papa Jessimo" was tied down in the sun, and only the arrival of the police saved him from the perspective of "suffering for his sins."
Moscow - Orthodox citizens against construction of Krishna complex
Portal-Credo.Ru, February 12, 2004
A press conference on the theme of the "Orthodox community against the construction of a temple complex for the Krishnas at Khodynsky field" took place in the Journalists Center.
The organizers of the conference for journalists on the theme of the "Orthodox community against the construction of a temple complex for the Krishnas at Khodynsky field" were: "Radonezh" Orthodox Society, the Orthodox Citizens Union, the Center for Religious Research of St. Irineaus of Lyon and the Orthodox Youth Union.
For the record, the press conference was not at all held as part of the normal operating routine, but in the foyer of the Journalists Center. Journalist center employees, who were trying to "curtail" an unsanctioned action, asserted there was a problem with the organizers "relying too much on themselves," having not obtained the necessary, in this case, signature of the Union chairman, and consequently they were left without the space necessary to conduct a conference.
A different version, however, was to be heard from the side of the organizers. From their ranks could be heard the following remarks, among others: "It's known, who's behind this"; "Russia recently sold India a destroyer, and does not want to damage relations."
Be that as it may, against the background of the journalist center cloakroom and of home-made posters reading "Society for Krishna Consciousness - totalitarian sect" and "Don't allow desecration of sacred places by sectarians, crooks or killers," the participants of the press conference - E.K. Nikiforov, chairman of the Orthodox "Radonezh" Society; professor A.L. Dvorkin, manager of the St. Irinaeus Lyon Center for Religious Research; V.V. Lebedev, chairman of the Orthodox Citizens Union - explained to the assembled journalists what the Orthodox public would be facing.
A.L. Dvorkin's thesis, in essence, amounted to a scholarly religious lecture, the purpose of which was to refute the statement about the traditional character of the SKC. In part, he told about the Nazist disposition of India's leading party (BDP), the "Vishva Hindu Parishad" organization, that killed Christians in India and burned Christian churches: "However, here with us in Russian, the government chooses a lot for the construction of a Krishna complex, of a size comparable to the Christ the Savior Church! There's nothing like that in any other country in the world! For the sake of parity it wouldn't have been bad to build an Orthodox Church in Delhi first. There are more than a few Russian citizens in India, maybe more than there are Hindus in Moscow. Secondly, we are not against construction of a cult building for Hinduism on principle, but it should be within reason. And why could it have not been set on the land of the Hindu cultural center, for instance? And this should be a Hindu temple in particular, a temple of Ganesha or Lakshmi, goddesses of wisdom or fortune, deities which all Hindus honor."
Thus Aleksandr by no means changed his creed - the struggle with all cults on the whole - and did not switch, as could be evidenced, to the struggle with sects within the Russian Orthodox Church, as was also verified by a correspondent from "Portala-Credo.Ru" personally.
The representatives from the Orthodox Citizens Union more relied on the opinions of their Orthodox citizens, no less than 10,000 of whom signed a petition against construction, for which an impressive bundle of surveys was clear evidence.
From the official statement:
"As we have become aware, the Moscow government gave the 'Moscow Society for Krishna Consciousness" religious organization the use of over 1 hectare on Leningrad Prospect free of charge for construction of a cultic structure for utilization by its adherents. Russian and foreign mass media reported the planned construction to be 'the most grandiose and largest Hindu temple outside India.'
"We bring attention to the fact that the temple complex of the "Society for Krishna Consciousness" will be built on Khodynsky field in Moscow, the site of an all-Russian tragedy, which is marked with the blood of our Orthodox ancestors. Church prayer should be held there, not idolatry and sectarian ecstasy! It's even more painful that a destructive and totalitarian sect, the basic reason for such a tragedy, is erecting its complex on an ancient page of our history to gain support in active recruitment for new adepts. It's obvious that a sect with an extremely small number of members is planning the creation of such a grandiose structure "with room for growth," so that on the account of the Moscow government it can rid itself of the reputation of marginality and destructiveness and thus develop broad ranging missionary and commercial activity.
"It's still necessary to note that pseudo-Hindu cult, despite its advertising claims, is not part of traditional Hinduism, but is from the USA. We do not dispute the right of the Hindu community in Moscow to have its own prayer center. But first, this should be a temple of one of the traditional currents of Hinduism, and not a newly arrived totalitarian extremist sect. Secondly, it's necessary to observe the principle of proportionality - Hinduism is not a traditional religion for Russia and the Hindu cultic structure cannot be equivalent in dimensions with the cultic building of our traditional religions or superior to them. Thirdly, it would be well to observe the principle of parity, meaning to obtain from the Indian government permission to build an Orthodox Church in Delhi, after all, there are no fewer Russians living there than Hindus in Moscow.
"We consider that the Moscow authority erred and hope that once they receive full information, they will make a decision about the free use to the totalitarian sect of the "Society for Krishna Consciousness" of more than a hectare of Moscow land. The Constitution of the Russian Federation does not in any degree oblige local authorities to grant free land to totalitarian sects, even if they happen to possess state registration, due to imperfect Russian legislation and legal practices."
Moscow - Orthodox journalist pointedly refused at journalists center
Radonezh.Ru, February 12, 2004
The management of the Journalists Center, despite a request by the management of the Journalists Association, pointedly refused an Orthodox journalist permission to carry out a press conference about the construction of a Krishna temple at Khodynsky field in Moscow.
"This is undoubtedly an anti-Putin provocation," stated chairman of the "Radonezh" association Evgeniy Nikiforov, "So we were compelled to accuse the authority of irresponsibility. How much human spirit (and now human existence, too) need to be ruined before the Government responsibly deals with religious extremists and totalitarian sects? Remember that only after the attacks in the Tokyo subway were the activities of 'Aum Shinrikyo' prohibited in Russia. And here Islamic fanatics just blew up the train in the Moscow metro. And the authorities, like nothing had ever happened, select a parcel in the middle of Moscow for construction of a Krishna temple, which is superior in dimensions to the Christ the Savior Church."
According to some information, the parcel on Khodynsky field belongs not to the government of Moscow, but to the military department. Besides that, there was an article in the press about the Prime Minister of India dedicating the cornerstone of the Krishna temple. Among the Orthodox public there arises the legal suspicion that permission for the construction of the temple was connected with the "Admiral Gorshkov" naval cruiser deal in India. "If that's the deal the Government made with the Prime Minister of India, then it's getting the short end of the stick," declared the head of the Center for Religious Research, Professor A.L. Dvorkin. "The Krishnas have an extremely oblique connection with traditional Hinduism. These are not Hindus, but an American sect that was formed at the end of the 20th century and possesses all the earmarks of a totalitarian sect. There is a very small number of Hindu communities in Moscow, and of course they have the right to their temple, but this would be a traditional Hindu temple, not a "Society for Krishna Consciousness" temple.
As was emphasized in the improvised press conference in front of the Journalists Center by press secretary Kirill Frolov of the "Orthodox Citizens Union," the problem "for the Orthodox Citizens Union" connected with the construction of the Krishna temple, appears as a priority because the manner of its resolution allows many to talk about the real intentions of the authorities. Therefore, in the near future, the "Orthodox Citizens Union" plans to conduct a full conference on this issue. It will probably be Friday, February 20, at the conference hall of the "Danilovskaya" hotel.
Radio RADONEZH, Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchy.
Republic of Buryatia - more than 20 sect victims
Regions.Ru, February 13, 2004, Egor Chalin
More than twenty residents of Buryatia have become victims of sects that operate on the territory of the republic. This is according to the statistics from the Information-consultation center on issues of sectarianism at Holy Troitsky Monastery. For the current year the center here has provided consultation and assistance to relatives of people who have come under the influence of sectarians. The Center has been involved with pickets, and travel with lectures and consultation throughout Buryatia districts. At the current time, more than 170 religious organizations are registered in the republic, reported Radio Buryatia.
Tyumen - officials taking control of sects
Regions.Ru, February 11, 2004
In Tyumen control is intensifying against the activities of religious associations. An inter-departmental agreement is now in effect among all agency employees. Everything will be undertaken against the activities of non-traditional religious groups, starting with police on the beat to revenue agents and the FSB (Russian FBI).
There is no ban on such organizations propagating their religion. Various acts of fanaticism and blasphemy of a religious character are pursued by the legal route. These measures are introduced so that agencies will not duplicate each other's efforts in dealing with the so-called satanists. When in Tyumen a teenager was discovered hanged from a trees, specialists asserted that this was none other than a satanic ritual.
According to an expert in the oblast on religion, speaker of the "Znaniya" oblast association of the Tyumenski administration, Mikhail Yusupov, there are dozens of secretive denominations in recent times in Russia, including in Tyumen, as "Radio Zapadnoi Sibiri" MKh reported. A large number of them import American, South Korean and other foreign missionaries. In all of last year, more than 200 religious organizations of various currents were registered in south Tyumenski oblast.
RF - Appeal to protect youngsters from the cult of violence
Susanin.Info, February 9, 2004
The permanent commission of the state UR council passed a resolution to appeal to RF President Vladimir Putin and RF administration chairman Mikhail Kasynov. In this address, the deputies intend to ask about strengthening federal standards of legal action that make it possible to protect the younger generation from the growing influence of informational products that propagate violence. Without a doubt, this is a populist move, in as much as it's not possible to shield children from violence. But where the present position is going is still very worrying to the UR state commission. This, in turn, cannot make them too happy.
Moscow - Aleksandr Dvorkin talks about the risks of pseudo-Orthodox sect
Regions.Ru, February 3, 2004/Center for Religious Recearch
At a conference called "Totalitarian sects and methods of counteracting them," which took place in Moscow in the scope of the International Christmas educational lectures, the risks emanating from pseudo-Orthodox sects were discussed. The confernce was organized by the Center for Religious Research.
The president of the Center for Religious Research (CRR), professor Aleksandr Dvorkin, covered the activities of pseudo-Orthodox cult "Oprichnoe bratsvo," which was created by a man named Schedrin (Kozlov). Adherents of this cult refused Orthodox mysteries and insisted on canonizing Ivan the Terrible and Grigoriy Rasputin, who, they say, died in fight with a "satanic Jewish conspiracy", which still rules the world. A couple of years ago two members of the cult has killed four policemen.
CRR Executive director Yuriy Zudov mentioned that some Orthodox priests surrounded themselves with frenzied admirers, distorted the religious teachings and, in essence, created their own cults. And so he held in his hand an over hundred-page list of "mortal sins," which was adopted at one monastery in Ivanovo diocese. Among the offenses that led to hell, it listed "frequent and long baths" and "to work as a female hairdresser."
Other papers, presented at the conference described various cults, ranged from Russian healing cults of Nadezhda Antonenko and eco-villages organized by the followes of 'Anastasia - ringing cedars' cult to the Luciferians, pseudo-Buddhist cults and the commercial cults of multi-level-marketing.
At the end the conference adopted an address to the mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov protesting against his alotment of Moscow land for the construction of Hare Krishna Temple in Moscow.
The number of adherents of the various sects in Russian could, by some estimates, be nearly 800,000 people, reports Portal Kredo. In Russia there are about a hundred large totalitarian cults, in expert opinion, which present a definite threat to public mental and physical health, as well as to national security. The number of small cults is estimated in thousands.
"Sect recruiters are well aware that they can influence people at the moment they are under the stress that is caused by some sort of loss. People new to this practice are not informed about the character of the group they are joining," said Aleksandr Dvorkin. "As soon as anything critical appears in print about some sects, their leaders begin putting pressure on journalists: they threaten to take them to court."
At the conference it was mentioned that domestic mass media need not to give way to such pressure, but should regularly inform people about dangerous activities of sects.
Russia - has twice as many Muslims as Saudi Arabia
Izvestia.Ru, January 31, 2004, Ilshat Gainullin, Ufa
On Sunday all the Muslims of the world celebrate Kurban-bairam, a holy day noting the end of the Hajj at the sacred sites, the Kaaba Mosque and Arafat valley. The day before the feast, the chairman of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims (TsDUM) of Russia, Supreme Mufti of Russia Talgat Tajuddin spoke with "Izvestiya" correspondent Ilshat Gainullin about the problems of Muslims in the Russian world and about interrelations of its spiritual center with various international organizations.
- Recently at a plenum of TsDUM Russia you stated that you stopped polemicizing with chairman of Council of Muftis of Russia Ravil Gainutdin through the mass media. What is this in regard to? Doesn't your organization have uneasy interrelations with the Council of Muftis and its chairman?
- In December of last year, I was invited, as were other representatives of religious confessions in Russia, to a reception in the Kremlin for Constitution Day. Besides me, the chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, Ravil Gainutdin and chairman of the coordination center of Muslims of the North Caucuses Ismail Berdiev were participating in the reception. We had conversations about the interrelationships of different Muslim communities within Russia, about the inadmissibility of opposition and disunity among Muslims, and about normalization of relations among different spiritual centers of Muslims in Russia.
- What's the reason for disunity of Muslims in Russia?
- There never has been a split between Muslims in Russia. At the end of the 1980s and in the 1990s, yes even now there are attempts at invasion by various totalitarian sects and currents into the spiritual sphere of our country. Certain foreign "spiritual" centers, including Islamist, which had lost any prospect of turning into traditional spiritual centers of Muslims of Russia, have availed themselves of excessively liberal new legislation about religion and freedom of conscience, and started to create parallel structures for parishioners, although they never had communities before. Therefore one can say of these years that there was not a split among Muslims of Russia, but that Wahabism and religious extremism have spread into our country.
- Last year Vladimir Putin voiced an idea about the possibility of the entry of Russia into the Organization of Islamist Conferences (OIC). What's the real chance of this happening?
- The OIC is a sort of UN of the Islamic world. And the chances of Russia's entry into the OIC are considerable, too. Even back in the early 90s an attempt was ventured at entry into the OIC by single republics, specifically, Tatarstan and Baskortostan. And this was done with the assent of the USSR Internal Affair Ministry. But because the federal government was not at all represented in the given organizations, the attempt at entry did not meet with success.
- Many religious expert state that Russia has practically no chance for entry into the OIC, since two requisites are that the head of state is supposed to be a Muslim, and the majority of the population need to profess Islam.
- Twice as many Muslims live in Russia as live in Saudi Arabia, and this fact is impossible to ignore. And a country, part of whose population is Muslim, can be an observer-member of the OIC. Besides that, there is no requirement that the head of state be a Muslim.
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