From: "Berliner Morgenpost"
April 26, 1998
The American organization has discovered Russia's business elite as a customer base
by Jens Hartmann
BM Moscow - The American psycho-sect, Scientology, has mobilized in Russia and now holds more key positions in businesses as well as state administrations. Even the new Russian Minister President, the 35-year old Sergei Kirijenko, is said to have had contacts with Scientology, according to the statements of Russian sect experts.
Kirijenko admits, while he was the director of the Garantia Bank in Nishnij Novgorod, to having sent "10 to 15" of his staff to one of the so-called Hubbard Colleges, which have sprouted up all over Russia. He, himself, is said to not be entrusted with the totalitarian teachings of the sect founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
The several thousand dollar courses in the Hubbard Colleges, which bear titles such as "Team Spirit and Repsonsibility-Sharing on the Management Level", are favored by the new business elite of Russia, and amount to, if one believes the sect commissioner of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexander Dvorkin, joining the Scientology organization.
Someone who has participated in the so-called auditing, a brainwashing by psychoanalysis, can be exposed to blackmail, states Dvorkin. "For this reason, Kirijenko must tell," demanded the sect expert, "what he has done in Scientology."
Scientology is expanding in Russia faster than anywhere else in the world. The headquarters in Moscow, with a staff of 150, is the largest world-wide. Altogether there are 54 centers which are named after Hubbard's doctine [Scientology]. In the near future, 50 more of these bases are to be established in other GUS states such as Uzbekistan and Kazachistan. Add the Hubbard colleges to that, and Scientology is located in about 300 places in Russia.
Near the metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Scientologists have shown a high interest in areas where gigantic military/industrial complexes exist or where they are advancing. This is the case in the Ural cities of Perm, Jekaterinburg, and in Nishnij Novgorod on the Volga, where numerous armament factories exist, as well as in oil areas such as Tiumen, where strong contingents of Scientologist have arisen.
Scientology has had marked success in the Ural city of Perm. Ex-mayor Vladimir Fil wanted the entire city administration indoctrinated in the Hubbardian style of leadership within one year. "In numerous, very secret armament companies in the Urals," reports Dvorkin, "Hubbard Colleges are opening." Nobody knows, how much secret information the Scientologists have been able to gather there.
In Nishnij Novgorod all the lead administrators have taken part in Scientology seminars. The city administration ended the cooperation [with Scientology] in March, 1997. The officials had to take down the portraits of Hubbard from the office walls. [Note: from walls where Lenin's portrait used to hang.]
Scientology has also found adherents in the highest circles. The former Chief of Secret Service and current Minister of the Interior, Sergei Stepashin, had warm words for the psycho-sect. Also Michail Teodorowitsh, Advisor to the First Premier, Boris Nemzow, is, according to Dvorkin, a "confirmed Hubbardist."
The rise of Scientology in Russia, where a total of 6,000 sects with five million members fill the vacuum left by the Soviet superpower, was closely tied to the drug de-toxification program, "Narconon." In 1994, Scientology received permission from the Ministry of Health to conduct drug withdrawals in their own way - hours-long perspiration in the sauna was the main feature. Hundreds of alcoholic or drug-addicted Russians experienced this dangerous torture.
In 1996, the Health Ministry prohibited the Scientology methods for reasons of health. Even if the sect still participates in prohibited medical treatment, they have won a significant honor in the academic circles of the capitol city. The Dean of the Journalistic Faculty of Moscow University has posthumously awarded the sect founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986, an honorary doctorate.