After big spring’s history with the closing of the primary organization of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Russia and recognition of its extremist activities, the subject of “religious extremism” and “sects” and “destructive cults” has again come to the forefront in the information space: this time the investigators came to the offices of the “Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg”.
On the morning of June 6 in St. Petersburg FSB announced that the Agency carried out searches at the office of the “Church of Scientology” grandma on the street and in living rooms of members of the “Church.”
In a press-service of Department has specified that the purpose of such events — “the detection of objects and documents confirming the criminal nature of the activities of this religious group”.
Criminal proceedings were instituted under article “illegal entrepreneurship”, “inciting hatred or enmity” and also “the organization of extremist community”.
The investigation is made by investigative Department of regional Department of the FSB. It is also known that already installed the key defendants in the case against them, “the question on election of a preventive measure”.
More detailed comments in the security agencies have so far refused, citing the fact that investigations are still ongoing.
In March of this year field investigators have carried out searches at one of the structures of Russian Scientologists in the town Losino-Petrovskiy — the control Center of the dissemination of Dianetics and Scientology.
In that case, as reported by the media, were also talking about the investigation into illegal business activities of persons acting on behalf of the group “Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg”.
Even earlier, in 2015, opened a criminal case against a resident of the Northern capital, businesswoman Catherine Zaborsky. The woman collected money from people for the construction of a large apartment building in which they could get a house and then the money disappeared.
According to the investigation, 130 million rubles received from the shareholders of the St. Petersburg LCD, Zaborsky donated to the followers of Ron Hubbard.
Scientologists in Russia
Dianetics and Scientology ─ religious-philosophical trend founded in the USA in the early 1950-ies a science fiction writer, traveler Lafayette Ron Hubbard.
Under the Charter of Scientologists, all the words of Hubbard are Sacred Scripture, the absolute truth and binding.
They called their doctrine the new world religion. On the website of the liquidated Church of Scientology of Moscow Scientology is defined as “the study of spirit and work with him in relationship to itself, universes and other life.”
Data on the number of followers of Scientology in Russia are different: if the organization declare approximately 90 thousand members, then, for example, the Association of Russian centers for study of religions and sects (RACERS) provides information about the fact that the total number of Scientologists in the country does not exceed 4 thousand followers.
However, those are at least partly familiar with Scientology and ever was in the organization, according to this — much more.
“Through the sect were very many people, — told RIA Novosti renowned religious scholar, President RACERS Alexander Dvorkin.
— They already came out of them completely squeezed everything possible, and now they are already out of the sect-torn and devastated”.
Currently in Russia, according to RACERS, there are “several dozen” of Scientology organizations, which operate as community organizations, religious groups, educational or educational organizations, rehabilitation centers, business seminars.
In June last year, Russia’s Supreme court upheld the elimination of one of these organizations — the Moscow Church of Scientology. After check of the Ministry of justice revealed that its actual operation did not conform to the forms and methods of work, information about the basic beliefs stated in its registration.
In March of this year in the Russian mass media there were publications, according to which the Scientologists over the last three years could bring in the United States about 3 billion rubles in the form of “donations”.
“All of these institutions are members of the Scientology cult, Scientology in a single structure with the center in Los Angeles and is directly subordinated to him. The so-called Scientology Church is the only “religious” Department of Scientology sect.
They are all with different names: this may be a “Center of Dianetics”, can be “Center of Scientology” may be “citizens Commission on human rights or Youth for human rights” can be “Narconon” or “criminal” may be “Applied education” is the language of the school or firm, togusa kitchens — we do not have enough space to list them all,” says Dvorkin.
Despite the fact that all these enterprises are registered as different organizations, to actually prove their involvement in Scientology, according to the expert, is very simple. Even in internal publications of Scientology.
As suggested by antisectarian expert, activities of all Scientology organizations should draw the attention of relevant law enforcement agencies.
“There is no doubt that the founder of the sect Ron Hubbard excites the hatred of a number of citizens on the basis of the relationship to Scientology, says Dvorkin.
— According to the teachings of Hubbard, the population is “suppressing personalities” — those people who do not accept Scientology or criticize it.
These people are incurable, and they need to discriminate, they need to be deprived of property, they need to be destroyed physically, this is literally his words. And, accordingly, Scientology declares war on all these people. And for the war all means are good.
But if the organization preaches hatred and actually murder, robbery, harassment and theft in relation to a defined population, it is, I think, is the real extremism.”
In 2012, the decision of the Moscow regional court some books Hubbard had already been included in the Federal list of extremist materials banned for distribution in Russia.
According to Dworkin, this practice should continue, keeping in mind writings of a modern successor and the teachings of Hubbard, a variety of audio and video materials, which “very a lot: some names of thousands.”
“There will be new figures of the”
Director of the human rights center of world Russian people’s Council (WRPC), religious expert Roman Silantyev connects the recent actions against the Scientologists and Jehovah’s witnesses, the main religious and administrative centers of which are located abroad, “a normal reaction to the international political environment”.
As suggested by Silant’ev, for each of the organizations is quite long ago, there was rapid development, and it could well start at about the same time.
“When the Americans straight text declared Russia the main enemy, and it happens almost regularly, to the religious organizations that are based in the territory of a potential enemy — even, frankly, are not potential, but actual, do-something is changing,” said RIA Novosti Silantyev.
Especially, the expert added, “when there are interesting moments on the financial turnover on the money that are imported or exported from the country, — the question arises, can such an organization to be a cover for intelligence activities of our unfriendly countries.”
ARNS the human rights activist believes that in the future there will be new “helpers” such cases, in addition to the Scientologists and “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
Meanwhile, the struggle with sects in Russia today is carried out in conditions of imperfect legal base that already recognized by the legislators themselves.
That is why in February of this year in the Federation Council it was decided to establish a working group to draft amendments to the law on the protection of Russians from the actions of destructive cults.
Until the end of autumn, the working group must submit a coordinated draft law in this area.
According to expert estimates, in Russia today there are about 500 of destructive sects. While many people in the country had suffered or still suffer from their fraudulent actions, it is impossible to calculate.
In April, the Supreme court declared extremist the head office of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Russia — “administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. This decision has not yet entered into force.
According to the head of the working group, members of the Federation Council Elena Mizulina, the situation is complicated by the fact that in the Russian legislation as such, the term “sect”, especially “destructive sect” does not exist. So sect disguised as various organizations are conducting NLP practitioner course, workshops on leadership development. And to be leaders, of course, many want.