I. Foreword

Submitted for your consideration is this collection of published documents associated with one of the most sensational court proceedings in post-reconstruction Russia -- a lawsuit by former orthodox priest and former prisoner of conscience G.P. Yakunin, and a number of totalitarian cults, against former political emigree A.L. Dvorkin and the Department of Religious Education and Catechism of the Moscow Patriarchy (Russian Orthodox Church, ROC).

These court proceeding set a legal precedent in Russia: for the first time a Russian court examined the question of activities by totalitarian cults and the opposition by public health authorities to their expansion. As of this date jurists study the decision by the Khoroshevsk court of Moscow and cite it in other court proceedings subsequent to this first one.

At the same time, the wide-reaching and extremely interesting decision by the Khoroshevsk court has not, until now, been published, but was in the possession of only a small circle of specialists. It was neither published nor documented, but lay in the principle court decision. We finally eliminate this dearth with the release of the present collection of texts.

Due to technical circumstances, preparation of this book for print took a long time. So much so that the sectarians, having far greater material and human resources than the St. Irenaeus-of-Lyon Center, have already had time to hire defense attorneys and release two books on the results of the proceedings [1] in which they justified their defeat in court, asserting that it was non-objective, paid for, and politically motivated. They also published some documents presented by them in court, and arranged excerpts from witness testimony to polish their image. Some press responses to the hearings were presented -- "naturally," they were from the plaintiffs' well-wishers.

In connection with the publication of this book, appropriate alterations were made to a number of items in the current collection. Because of the enormous volume of material from the seven-week hearing, we decided, in general, not to publish

--- [1] Ivanenko, S.I., Krishnanty v Rossii. Pravda i vymysel. M.: "Filosofskaya kniga", 998; Krylova G.A. Svoboda sovesti na vesakh pravosudiya. M.: Olimp, 1998. Retsenziyu na poslednyuyu iz etikh knig sm. na s. 712 nastoyashchego sbornika.


testimony from witnesses. Into the collection went documents cited in the decision of the court, and the key speeches of its participants. Nothing cut from the speeches -- the principle reason we stayed away from the majority of them. Let the reader draw his own conclusion. Lost, unfortunately, was the last audio tape with the concluding speech by the representative of the Committee for Salvage of Youth, M. V. Gerasimova and with the speeches by the replying parties. Apart from this -- unintentional -- deletion, which caused an annoying, inadvertent, and insignificant gap in the record, along with technical equipment trouble, there is no large omission in any speech.

Originally we planned to give the complete spectrum of press reaction to the legal proceedings (both "for" and "against" each side), but as long as half of the spectrum has already been published by the losing side, we did what was necessary to reproduce only the as yet unseen half, and thus were able to somewhat reduce the volume and cost of such an already extensive collection.

All comments on the material were reduced to an absolute bare minimum -- they are of only an explanatory character. We think that the documents that were accepted by the court for consideration and support of the case speak for themselves. We do not thrust our point of view upon the reader -- let the readers decide for themselves how much substance the suit that was brought by the plaintiff had, how correct were the disputed statements made by the defendants and how impartial was the court in accepting the collection publications for its decision.

We cite the decision of the Moscow Municipal Court, a conclusion fully supported in an ordinary hearing, as it was applied.

We express sincere appreciation to the Right Reverend Tikhon, Bishop* of Bronnitsko, vicar of the Moscow diocese, the chief editor of the Moscow Patriarchy Publishing House, who, with the blessings of the Holy Patriach, entered into the legal proceedings in the capacity of one-third party of the defending side, and who provided us with both material and moral support. We thank all Orthodox Christians in Russia and abroad who showed us support in those difficult times, by care or by prayer, which we sensed literally every minute during those infinitely long seven weeks.

-- the publishers

* now archbishop -- ed.