International Conference in Novosibirsk: "Totalitarian Sects and the
From 9 to 11 November 2004 the international conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State" is being held with the blessing of the Blessed Patriarch and All Russia Aleksiy II in Novosibirsk. The official opening ceremony took place in the Railroad-worker's Cultural Center. Attending the opening were Russian Federation Plenipotentiary for Siberian Federal District A.V. Kvashnin, Novosibirsk regional governor V.A. Tolokonsky, and Novosibirsk mayor V.F. Gorodetskiy. Welcoming the conference guests and participants were the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksiy II, and the opening speech was given with the appearance of the Archbishop of Novosibirsk and Berdsk Tikhon.
What are the boundaries of religious freedom? What organizations can be regarded as religious? Is freedom of conscience an individual or a corporate right? Do religious organizations bear responsibility for the promises given to their new members? What sort of actions need to be prosecuted under the law? For what reasons can a religious organization be disbanded? Is the word "sect" or the phrase "totalitarian sect" legally legitimate? What can a state do to protect its citizens from exploitation and abuse in organizations that label themselves "religious"? Can criminal liability be applied for manipulation of consciousness? These and other questions will be examined during the course of the conference by religious specialists, attorneys, clerics, state figures and law enforcement personnel. People who have been invited to the conference include leading European politicians who are involved in issues of sectarianism, along with prominent international experts in the field of sectology, reports the "Russkaya Liniya" information agency.
Foreign guests taking part in the conference represent Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Canada, Poland, the USA, the Ukraine, France, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Russian participants hail from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Ufa, Yaroslav, Omsk, Sakha Yakutiya, Altai, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, Saratov, Novgorod, Sakhalin, and others.
Source: Regions.Ru, 10.11.04
International Conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State."
On 9 November with the blessing of the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksiy II the international conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State" began its work in Novosibirsk.
Representatives from ten countries took part in the work of the conference - France, Germany, Austria, USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Kazakhstan - as did clerics from 22 dioceses, Russian specialists on matters of sectarianism, lawyers, representatives from the areas of law enforcement, education, and local and federal security agencies. After the public prayer, the Right Reverend Tikhon, Archbishop of Novosibirsk and Berdsk welcomed the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksiy II, after which he gave his opening speech.
The high-level clergyman expressed his wishes that all the conference participants have a wise and productive discussion of the complex problem: "Let your thoughts and words be inspired by profound faith, hope and thoughtful love for Russia, for our people and for all our fellow creatures. Blessed God is indeed with all of you in the common review and discussion of the questions associated with the activities of totalitarian sects on the territory of a democratic state."
Also coming forward to greet conference participants were the general consul of Bulgaria in Novosibirsk and the general consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Novosibirsk.
More words of welcome came from Russian Federation Plenipotentiary for Siberian Federal District A.V. Kvashnin, Novosibirsk regional governor V.A. Tolokonsky, and Novosibirsk mayor V.F. Gorodetskiy.
"The Russian Orthodox Church has always followed the principles of charitable spiritual and social service," wrote the governor, "and this forum attests to the indefatigable concern that the Church displays in its dealings."
Speakers at the conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State"
In his greeting the mayor of Novosibirsk said that a large part of the new religious and, for Russia, non-traditional trends emerged only recently. Many of them operate on city territory without being registered, and appear under the names of cultural, educational and other organizations.
But at the same time they turn up as religious associations. The spiritual path in this type of organization occasionally leads to a terrible end. It's enough to recall the tragedy in the Tokyo subway. During the introductory speech it was also said that to neutralize the destructive operations of these organizations it was necessary to improve the legal basis, using the experience of other countries. These experiences are being shared at the conference by: Gilles Bottine, Secretary General of Mission Interministérielle de Vigilance et de Lutte Contre les Dérives Sectaires (MIVILUDES); Antje Blumenthal, expert on cults and sects for the CDU/CSU Bundestag faction (Germany); Friedrich Griess, vice president of the European Federation of Centers for Research and Information on Sectarianism (FECRIS, Austria), Jacques Richard, honorary president FECRIS; Joseph Cisar, American writer; Thomas Gandow, representative for problems of sects of the Berlin-Brandenburg Lutheran Church; Gerald Armstrong, writer and expert on the Scientology sect.
Speeches were heard from Russian specialists in the area of sectarianism: the president of the St. Irenaeus Center for Religious Research, professor Alexander Dvorkin; director of the Information-consultation center on issues of sectarianism (speech: totalitarian sects and state); senior priest of the Holy Prince St. Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral Alexander Novopashin (speech: Sects of the Novosibirsk area); representative of the missionary department of Ufa diocese M.V. Stepanenko, and other Russian sectologists.
The conference will conclude its work on Thursday, 11 November.
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.11.04
Greetings from the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Aleksiy II To the
participants and guests of the International Scientific-Practical Conference "Totalitarian
Sects and the Democratic State". Your Eminence, honored fathers, esteemed
ladies and gentlemen, dear brothers and sisters!
I cordially welcome all of you who have gathered today in the city of Novosibirsk to participate in the work of the International Scientific-Practical Conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State." It is extremely gratifying that the present conference, held at the initiative of the secular and clerical leaders of the Novosibirsk region, is being attended by people who are not indifferent to the problem of the spiritual/moral state of our society, who think about the present and the future of our homeland and endeavor to make a contribution to the structure and defense of the spiritual strength, economic stability and moral health of the State of Russia.
I believe that the conference begins with fitting testimony about the productively developing cooperation between Russian society, the Church and other traditional confessions, and summons a joint effort in preserving our social, historical, spiritual and cultural legacy. This is a special day in our time, when every possible sort of false prophet and missionary is coming into Russia, under the plausible pretext of wanting to nurture, while in fact dividing, our people with symbols of religion.
The activity of totalitarian sects undermines people's traditional principles, and has a destructive impact on individuals, family and state. Therefore our common effort includes the creation of a legal and social mechanism that decreases the possibilities of abuse in the religious sphere.
It is hoped that this conference will be successful in that regard and make a ponderable contribution in examining and comprehending the theme at hand.
May God's help be with you all in the work that lies ahead of you!
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Aleksiy II
(Not an official English translation.)
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.11.04
Opening message from Archbishop of Novosibirsk and Berdsk Tikhon to the
participants of the International Conference "Totalitarian Sects and the
Democratic State" 9 - 11 November 2004 in Novosibirsk.
I cordially welcome you, the participants of the conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State." Conferences like this one today have been held on more than one occasion in our country: 1994 in Moscow, 1999 in Belokurikh Altai Krai, 2001 in Nizhny Novgorod and 2002 in Yekaterinburg. At these international fora, which are held under the aegis of the corresponding bishop, gather ministers of traditional religions, deputies of legislative assemblies, religious studies experts, theologians, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers from schools and colleges, journalists, attorneys, staff from the Internal Affairs Ministry, the FSB, local and federal administrative agencies, including ministries for health, education and law, other government departments, social organizations and centers of information about destructive cults. Sharing experiences with their Russian colleagues are guests from abroad - Metropolitan of Cydonia Irenaeus (Ecumenical Patriarchy), French Minister Alain Vivien, representative for issues of sects and worldview of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Berlin-Brandenburg Pastor Thomas Gandow, Danish Royal University professor emeritus Johannes Aargaard and many others, who I thank for their work, which is so important. Summaries of the conference's work will be sent to the President, the Federal Assembly, the State Duma and administrative executive organs of the Russian Federation.
Holding a conference invariably results in motivating the mass media, government, church and social organizations in the matter of comprehending and surmounting the problems associated with the destructive activities of totalitarian sects.
The importance of attaining and distributing to the people of Russia reliable knowledge about the sort of spiritual and social evil that destructive sects pose was underscored in the Decision of the Russian Orthodox Church's Archbishop's Council of 1994 "On pseudoChristian sects, neo-heathenism and occultism." The Council appealed for full "robustness in the church in opposing pseudomissionary and sectarianism by means of educational and apologetic activity, elucidating work among parishes and a wide section of society.
The operations of totalitarian sects undermine many centuries of tradition and the foundation of the people, and have a destructive impact on personality, family and state. As citizens of our country we have to bring attention of citizens to the problem of totalitarian destructive sects whose leaders speculate on the theme of religious freedom and, unhindered, continue to tear people away from society. We have to make a common endeavor to create a sort of legal and social mechanism to control the activity of religious organizations that would decrease the chances of abuse in the religious sphere and would make possible the reduction or even do away with the existence of totalitarian sects. Bringing to mind the words of the Decision of the anniversary Archbishop's Council in 2000 "On matters of internal existence and external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church", "The Council expressed concern about the rise in Satanism, Occultism and "New Religious Movements" of a destructive character that pose a danger for personality and society, and appeal to all sound public forces and state structures to unify their efforts in eradicating them."
The topic to which the conference at hand is dedicated is very relevant today. We live in a young democratic nation in which the real sovereignty of the people is still forming. Many matters have yet to be decided; many problems are still complicated with the matter of putting them in motion along a chosen path. It is thought that a real democracy is not possible without the emergence of a civil society, without the awareness of each citizen for being responsible for what goes on around him or her, without at attempt by the people to defend their viewpoints and fight for their rights. But in equal measure a democracy is also not possible without the wish of state agencies to heed the legally expressed opinion of citizens and take them into account in making a decision. In the past year we observed the results of two situations of conflict associated with the spread of totalitarian sects in our country. This has to do with the events in Saratov and in Moscow. In Saratov the authorities heeded public opinion and put a stop to the construction of a religious center for Mormons. In Moscow many city residents and social organizations appealed to the authorities in protest against the free use of a lot in the center of Moscow for the construction of a colossal temple complex for the "Society of Krishna Consciousness." Not one European capital city administration has granted the Krishnas land in the central part of the city for the construction of a similar sized edifice. We hope that the Moscow authorities will follow the example of their Saratov colleagues and respond to the will of Muscovites.
Also this year a court procedure finished up in Moscow; it lasted for six years and the prosecutor ended up disbanding the "Jehovahs Witnesses" sect. The court's regular decision also was an important milestone and a civilized way of opposing destructive organizations that are destructive of not only social institutions but society on the whole.
Today we all welcome our foreign conference participants who can communicate the experiences of European democracies which have already become aware of the social threat of sectarianism and have created certain mechanisms for its removal. It is particularly gratifying that taking part in the conference with the Orthodox participants are Christians of the traditional Churches of the West. The Anniversary Archbishop's Council of 2000 emphasized that "Christians of diverse confessions must appear together against the ongoing secularization of society, the spread of atheism, the propagation of violence and depravity, the onslaught of sects and "new religious movements." I wish all participants of the conference a wise and productive discussion of the complex problems that lie ahead of us today. Let your thoughts and words be inspired by profound faith, hope and thoughtful love for Russia, for our people and for all our fellow creatures.
Blessed God is indeed with all of you in the common review and discussion of the questions associated with the activities of totalitarian sects on the territory of a democratic state."
Archbishop of Novosibirsk and Berdsk Tikhon
(Not an official English translation.)
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.11.04
Anatoliy Vasilevich Kvashnin, Russian Federation Plenipotentiary for the
Siberian Federal District, welcomes participants to the conference "Totalitarian
Sects and the Democratic State".
Esteemed organizers and participants of the conference!
I am happy to welcome all those who assembled to participate in the international conference.
In its historical past and at the contemporary stages of development, Siberia has consolidated many cultures. It is symbolic that today's forum is happening in Siberia, where representatives of diverse nationalities and religions have lived for a span of centuries.
Today's traditional confessions formulate their relationship with others on the basis of cooperating in the interest of resolving common goals that are benevolent, as stated on the interconfessional accord in the Russian Federation.
It is essential to rely on the centuries of experience of people and religious practices collaborating and cooperating. Preserving this tradition is one of the key goals of our society.
It is certain that only through the common endeavors of state, traditional religion and civil society can a barrier be erected against the forces that are covered with religious slogans, but inflict spiritual shock upon the citizen's individuality and security.
I wish the conference success and everything good for all its participants. I am confident it will be an important step in strengthening all the constructive forces in the matter for the good of the country.
Anatoliy Vasilevich Kvashnin, Russian Federation Plenipotentiary for the Siberian Federal District
(Not an official English translation.)
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.12.04
Viktor Aleksandrovich Tolokonsky, governor of the Novosibirsk region,
welcomes the participants to the conference "Totalitarian sects and the
You Eminence, Right Reverend Tikhon!
Esteemed organizers, participants and guests of the conference!
First, I welcome your work at this impressive forum, dedicated to a problem which today concerns our entire society.
We live in a dynamically developing world. These impetuous times are testing the strength of all social institutions and values. And the spiritual life of society is not foremost in the minds of those making these cardinal changes.
It's not easy for people today to choose the right spiritual-moral reference point in the flurry of everyday concerns and in the torrent of diverse information. It's no coincidence that we see many have lost confidence in their own powers or their peace of mind in the search for answers to questions that develop in their lives. These circumstances underscore the particular importance of the protection in society of the dignified service to mankind's best ideals: the business of peace, good, justice, tolerance and compassion
Traditional world religions develop a reliable ability to preserve and enhance these virtues. We need to welcome those who aspire to enable the establishment of a sound moral climate, of social accord, those who set an example of a wise and thoughtful approach toward the resolution of difficult problems, which arise on the path of spiritual-moral improvement of people and society.
The Russian Orthodox Church has always performed on the principle of human, spiritual and social service. And this forum corroborates that vigilant concern displayed by the Church for its compatriots.
I am most confident that the atmosphere of the forum will be filled with spiritual collaboration and cooperation, that it will serve as a reliable basis for a successful resolution to the tasks formulated by the conference.
Viktor Aleksandrovich Tolokonsky, governor of the Novosibirsk region
(Not an official English translation.)
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.12.04
Words of welcome from Novosibirsk City Mayor
Vladimir Filippovich Gorodetsky for the participants of the international
conference "Totalitarian Sects and the Democratic State".
Esteemed conference participants!
Permit me to welcome all those assembled in this auditorium.
Today the international scientific-practical conference on the theme of "Totalitarian sects and the democratic state" is being held here. The theme at hand is significant and contemporary. The issue about new religious movements holds a place in society as critical this year as it did last. It is discussed in scientific circles, among political studies and religious studies experts, psychologists, lawyers, has gotten the attention of the staff of law enforcement agencies, organs of executive administration and church ministers. One way or another the argument about new religious movements is being conducted in search of an answer to questions: what is the legal status of these movements in Russia; would they have the right to engage in their activity?
The mayor's office of the city of Novosibirsk as an organ of local self-government in its work with religious organizations is guided by federal legislation and international acts. The basic law that guarantees the right of citizens in the Russian Federation to freedom of conscience is the Constitution, and another important legislative act is the federal law "On freedom of conscience and on religious associations."
Today there are nearly 100 religious associations in the city of Novosibirsk registered with the Justice Department of Novosibirsk region. Associated with the religious organizations are over 20 charitable organizations.
The one that takes the prevalent position in the number of religious associations, cult buildings and corresponding number of parishioners is the Russian Orthodox Church. Orthodox monasteries and spiritual instructional establishments are opening, while renovation and construction is being carried out on churches.
Construction of an old-rite church has been completed in the city. The Islamic community had built a mosque. The Jewish community continues with construction of a synagogue. Religious organizations cooperate closely with the mayor's office on matters of selecting and laying out land parcels for the construction of cult buildings, on land use, on rendering charitable aid to children's institutions, hospitals and on carrying out religious and cultural actions.
Taking into account that nearly a dozen Siberian regional centers of diverse confessions are located in Novosibirsk, the mayor's office has set up business contact with the management of all communities that have historically existed on the Siberian territory. Along with that, interrelations with so-called new religious formations happen occasionally, and are sometimes of a complex nature. The reason for this is that the 1990 law "On freedom of practice of belief" gave rise to a certain difficulty and expense in the religious situation.
On a level with the revival of confessions that have traditionally existed in Russia, a large number of new religious trends have sprung up. So, of the entire number of associations registered in the city, perhaps nearly half are something new. There are about as many that operate without registering, but appear under the names of cultural, educational or other organizations, even though they are religious organizations. This does not permit us to compile exact information about new religious movements or to have the statistical information that accurately reflects the matter. The situation is complicated by the fact that in today's day and age there is still inadequate information in the mass media about the operations of individual religious organizations. Unfortunately, now and then the spiritual path in such organizations has a frightful end, such as the tragedy in Jonestown, the Tokyo subway, etc.
To neutralize the destructive operations of this sort of organization, from our viewpoint, it is necessary to improve the legal base, to train qualified personnel and to use the positive experience of those abroad.
I am confident that today's conference of such a high level will permit representatives of state structures, establishments in the social sphere, and the public of our city to more clearly recognize the impact of pseudoreligions that are leveled against individuals, family and society.
I would like to thank the representative from abroad and the guests from other cities of Russia for their participation in the conference.
I hope that the conference's work will be productive for all participants.
Mayor of the City of Novosibirsk, Vladimir Filippovich Gorodetsky
(Not an official English translation.)
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.12.04
Protopriest Alexander Novopashin, senior priest of the Alexander Nevskiy
Cathedral, director of the Information-consultation center on issues of
sectarianism for the city of Novosibirsk.
"Sects of the Novosibirsk Region".
It should be recognized that today's Russia is confronted with a serious problem, the active operation on its territory of totalitarian sects (destructive cults). Present in this auditorium today are specialists on sectarianism from European countries, who perhaps understand better than anybody what today's topic is about. Totalitarian sects are a malignant tumor that without exception affect all strata of the population of civilized states.
Protopriest Alexander Novopashin.
The operations of totalitarian sects, which are disposed toward open expansion, inflict irreparable harm upon healthy people and pose a threat to family, society and state.
Totalitarian sects form as authoritarian organizations whose leaders strive for power over their adherents and for their exploitation, they avail themselves of religious, political-religious, psychotherapeutic, health, educational, scientific-cognitive, cultural and other fronts.
The West has understood about the necessity to fight totalitarian sects for a long time, and today in the legislation a number of countries have laws about limiting the operations of one or another totalitarian sect on the territory of those states.
The spread of sectarianism in today's Russia is connected with crisis in the spiritual life of society, the vacuum in ideology and the absence of a nation-wide politic on the matter. For this reason the attitude toward the issue of sectarianism in our country up to this point has been complex - from total indifference to categorical rejection of this phenomenon as such. The real force, which actively opposes the expansion of totalitarian sects on the territory of Russia is the Orthodox Church. Fortunately, in Russia there are quite a few sound-minded and spiritually literate people, including people who are involved enough in high positions of state structures who understand well what outcome the uncontrolled operations by totalitarian sects can have. Thanks to their support, we have the opportunity to more effectively withstand destructive cults.
The Information-Consultation Center.
The Information-consultation center on issues of sectarianism was created with the goal of counteracting destructive cults in many dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Novosibirsk diocese this sort of center was organized in 1994 with the Cathedral of the Great Prince and Holy Saint Alexander Nevsky. What is the concrete outcome of our opposition to sects? Most of all, in our work we are guided by the principle of "forewarned means forearmed." We compile information on all the sects that operate on the territory of the region, district and country, as well as overseas, in so far as that is where the majority of sects that come here are from.
In its ten years of operation the Center has prepared several hundred publications about the activities of totalitarian sects. There have been three releases of the reference book "Religions and Sects in Contemporary Russia." For the last four years the Center, in collaboration with diocesan departments, local administrations and information centers on sects of other districts, has taken part in large, international scientific-practical conferences (Altai, Nizhny Novgorod, Aliartos (Greece), Yekaterinburg, Barcelona (Spain), Marseilles (France) and Poland. In 2002 the Center became a member-correspondent of FECRIS (Federation of European Centers for Research and Information on Sects) - an official consultant of the Council of Europe. The Center's staff have been commended with awards from the Russian Orthodox Church and its work is highly rated by various state institutions, including law enforcement agencies.
Every day the Information-consultation center gets calls and visits from relatives of people who have gone into sects. Sect members themselves also call who would like to get out of the sect, but are not able to overcome the strong psychological pressure put upon them; journalists call with requests for information about one or another crime committed by adepts of totalitarian sects, and naturally there are calls from police officers to the extent that they, too, run into sectarians who have left a trail of generally suspicious circumstances behind them.
Now a group has been created in the state department of Internal affairs of Novosibirsk region for liaison with agencies of state power and social associations. One of the trends of their activity is work with totalitarian sects. Police officers recognize that a part of the socio-political organizations and associations which have built "bridges" to the mayor's office and the regional administration are themselves front groups for certain destructive cults.
Today many people will talk about the large totalitarian sects whose operations are distributed around the entire world. One can indisputably include in this number the "Church of Scientology" (in Novosibirsk this sect is represented by the "Dianetics" center), the "Jehovah's Witnesses," Mormons, neo-charismatics, Krishnas and so forth. Therefore in my speech I will only refer in passing to the activities of these sects in our region, and for the most part I will cover "domestic" sects.
The biggest operations in Novosibirsk are carried out by a neo-Pentecostal sect, an occult organization whose adepts like to call themselves Christian, Protestants of a traditional denomination, under cover of the Holy Scriptures. Second place is held by the fanatical sect of "Jehovah's Witnesses" which, as is known, forbids its adepts to have blood transfusions. Third place are the Mormons who, like the neo-Pentecostals, present themselves as a Christian organization even though they are a totalitarian occult-heathen sect.
The neo-Pentecostals have become all the more dangerous. In Novosibirsk they organize centers to rehabilitate drug addicts, for which they use the method of reprogramming a narcotic dependence into a psychological one; people become dependent on the sect so they can't live without it any more than they could live without the drug beforehand. Some people say that the dependence on the sect is better than on the narcotic substance, with which health deteriorates very rapidly and leads the drug addict to death. However people's health suffers no less in sects.
Per Swartling, former health minister of Sweden) and his wife Gudrun, medical psychiatrists from Sweden, have told me that they have managed to investigate the state of mental health of several dozen people who are adepts of the totalitarian neo-charismatic sect "Movement of Faith" (Also known as the "Word of Life," "School of the Bible," and with us they are registered under the name "Russian unified alliance of Christians of Evangelical Faith). The scholars found that 93 percent of the sectarians experience panic attacks, 86 percent suffer sleep disturbances, 88 percent experience a sense of devastation, 75 percent have difficulty concentrating, 77 percent are afraid of losing their mind, and 60 percent noted a feeling of loss of individuality in themselves. Every fourth respondent had made a serious attempt at suicide, and most of the rest of them had started to think about it.
Now about the "Jehovah's Witnesses." In Moscow the "Jehovah's Witnesses" organization was dissolved by the Golovinsky district court on 26 March 2004. The "Witnesses" appealed to the Moscow City Court, but that court upheld the judgment of the Golovinsky court with its decision of 16 July 2004. Evidently the sectarians are now concentrating their forces on Siberia. In Kuibyshev (Novosibirsk regional city) the "Witnesses" managed to get land for the construction of a "Kingdom Hall." In Novosibirsk, they are demanding from the mayor's office a parcel of land near the center of the city for construction of another "Kingdom Hall."
At the present time the so-called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been newly activated. The heathen-Mormons, who do not have any connection to Christianity, have even held a conspirative conference in our city. Representatives of the local religious organization of Mormons distributed among the residents of the city invitations for a free course on the English language, the main point of which was to recruit people into the sect. The recruiters are extremely busy because now in much of Russia jobs require that a person have a knowledge of languages, a result of which is that we have a high demand for teachers of the English and German languages. While those courses require payment, the Mormons offer training absolutely free. And people voluntarily go themselves and bring their children into one of the most cruel totalitarian sects.
The Mun Sect.
Young people preach on the streets of Novosibirsk that "San Myung Mun is the true messiah, the true parent." The only hope is for the "new messiah who has been sent by God." That means by Mun himself. After all, as he himself said, he would not repeat someone else's mistake: so he founded the family, thus miraculously curing human nature of Satanic influence. Since Christ was not able to create the "true family" while he was alive, Mun supposedly married him with one old Korean woman, "for which Jesus was very thankful." Accordingly, only the followers of the "true pope" Mun will be in Paradise after they die, while entrance will be refused to others. Young people study the course of a young soldier in the form of lectures and seminars, and while they are still freshly brainwashed, set out on the streets to sell Munist trinkets. Then, as a rule, they are sent to a different city where they obediently work for the new "father." They forget about school, but actively propagate the teachings; they engage in fundraising by pestering people for money and selling booklets and newspapers for the Munist church. It's been amply shown that management selects a person's spouse to set up the "true family" and have them go through the "blessing" ritual, during which time they receive the holy wine with Mun's blood in it, recognize him as the true father and Korea -- as the true homeland.
Boys and girls are enticed into Mun's family with an innocent looking peddler, one who uses Mun's ideas. They prefer not to call themselves representatives of the Unification Church (Mun's church), instead they conceal this. Young preachers, who go into schools and colleges, present themselves as volunteers of the International Education Foundation, the Interreligious International Federation for World Peace, the Youth Initiative Group, the Federation of Families for World Peace, sometimes the Religious Youth Service, etc., etc.
Mun, the soul buyer, who is over 80 years old, has claimed [back-translated] "People are ready and hungry. The situation is right, it's time to act. Russia is a huge productive land. It presents a golden opportunity."
Adepts of a sect that comes from America, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKon), are acting aggressively in Novosibirsk. In the middle of town they push their literature on passersby, and demand money for this. And when diocesan youth department director Andrei Romashmo, who was passing by, stopped to tell people about the ruinous Krishna doctrine, he heard a threat in reply. It should be recalled that not long before that the Russian mass media ran a report about the brutal murder by a Krishna of hieromonk Grigory in the Evekinsk city castle. The sectarian beheaded the clergyman while he was still alive. At that time representatives of ISKon stated that the Krishnas themselves "would not execute the threat against this person," that they knew "how to work with the Orthodox clergy," and that they "would not act like that."
Still fresh in the memory of Novosibirians is the story of the non-commercial organization "Project Aid Siberia," which involved the allocation of humanitarian aid in Siberia, Novosibirsk in particular. "Project Aid Siberia" was giving away groceries in connection with the US department of agriculture. The basic recipients of humanitarian aid included hospitals, children's homes, seniors' homes, and public maintenance establishments. However, the general director of that organization was Faith Fisher, one of the leaders of the "Family," an amoral totalitarian sect in Novosibirsk. She is the daughter of sect founder David Berg, who claimed he was the prophet Moses. Adepts of this sect indulged in homosexuality, pedophilia, prostitution, and actively advocated sex between parents and children. A member of the board of directors and consultant to "Project Aid Siberia" was a businessman well-known in Novosibirsk, Erik Shogren, who was then owner of a large chain of the "New York Pizza" fast-food restaurants in Novosibirsk. After a number of articles exposing the "Family" sect were published, Faith Fisher had to hurry back to the USA, and the "Project Aid Siberia" organization disappeared from view with no fanfare or simply changed the sign on its door.
At one time the "Self-Knowledge" regional social organization actively advertised in Novosibirsk newspapers. But behind the name "Self-Knowledge" lurked the Sahaja Yoga totalitarian sect, a most dangerous fanatical cult with elements of Hinduist Tantraism that practices a method of eastern meditation. The sect has an unpredictable effect on its adepts' psyches and gives them a sense of alienation from the world that surrounds them. In 1994 in Berdsk an adherent of the sect committed a murder ceremony on her one-and-a-half year old daughter. After the "purifying" ritual the possessed woman first tried to strangle her daughter with a cord, but then dealt her 46 (!) mortal blows with a scalpel in the area of her heart, and desecrated the body. In Novosibirsk there is also a well-known case of attempted murder of a husband by his wife, a practitioner of Sahaja Yoga. One and a half years after the attempt she was in treatment at one of the Novosibirsk psychiatric hospitals. It is interesting that a sect, which showing full obscurantism in medicine, conducts "medical" training seminars. It offers, for example, to treat tuberculosis, epilepsy, cancer and schizophrenia - by taking baths in salt water, and disease of the spine by rubbing kerosene into the skin. (Sahaja Yoga. Recommendation by elimination of blocks in elements of a slim body.)
"Mother of God" Center
Representatives of the "Mother of God" center (new name "Orthodox Church upholding the Mother of God") have made themselves more conspicuous in Novosibirsk, too. Adepts of the sect constantly imitate Orthodox clergy and monks, they wear garments similar to ours, they infiltrate state institutions and hospitals, including children's and psychiatric, and perform their "divine services" there; they baptize children. To get into the sect, the novice has to repeat many times, "I don't have a mind, conscience, body or will" ("Rytsar Very No 1/15, 1994). "Every other woman is a witch," "The earthly mother is the prototype of the devil and the early father is the prototype of satan," sect leader Bereslavsky (Benjamin Yankelman, who calls himself "archbishop" John) admonishes believers.
"Crusade" on schools
The situation intensified beyond that of the old "veteran" sects when emissaries of sects less well-known in Russia periodically appeared in Novosibirsk. In early April several Novosibirsk academics received a letter of invitation to meet with American "teachers" representing the "International School Project" (ISP). The selection of these particular Novosibirsk academics was no accident. Back in 1993, all of them took part in a conference the ISP held in our city. The goal of the meetings was to discuss the problems of education associated with the development of basic moral behavior and preparing pupils for the life that lie ahead of them. However, it became clear to everyone at the first meeting that the educational program that sent the American "teachers" to Russia was just a front for a missionary operation. Their lectures were peppered with very peculiar interpretations of sacred scripture. The sheer number of quotes and commentaries on sacred scriptural text was enough to make a person's head spin. But it was nice to spot the moments which you would say were not spent fomenting interreligious discord. In particular, the audience was given to understand that the Orthodox tradition, the Orthodox culture and the Orthodox Church were all not only not needed, but represented an impediment to people's aspirations to God. It became clear that the entire organization had bypassed the Education Department to make our academics into volunteers for various sectarian structures and effectively infiltrate the Russian educational establishment. From our viewpoint government officials should use great caution in dealing with the Project, for which they offer to organize foreign social, non-commercial, educational and other organizations.
Sectarians have a huge overall interest in schools. In Moscow, October 16-17 of this year, the "Jehovah's Witnesses" held a congress in which the "witnesses" told about an attempt to infiltrate into the educational establishment. One of the congress participants related how she works with young people, and helped in the library, schools and clubs. "I set off for the school, they told me I needed to bring my papers, but the guard said that I was on personal business. In the conversation with the director of studies, the topic of overcoming drug dependence (a hobbyhorse of neo-Pentecostals and Scientologists!) should be brought up. Usually school staff cite the lack of free time and the shortage of methodical literature. In those cases 'very good magazines' should be offered - "Watchtower" and "Awaken", which give recommendations about the fight with drug addiction. In the woman's words, over a period of several years she delivered these magazines to one of the schools, and excerpts of them were broadcast over school radio."
We have the so-called academic sects, which impose occult-magic and amoral ideas and practices of various sorts of pseudo-scientific disciplines upon students in schools, boarding schools and universities. We are also talking about the so-called "psychocults," the ones that have sect-tinged pseudo-psychological training, like "Life Spring," "Violet," neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) groups the Tolgat Akbashev sect, the "Shchetinin" school, the V.M. Bronnikov sect, valeology, which pretends to be a science about health, although on that matter is well-covered by occult knowledge of "Agnia Yoga" and others, various pseudo-psychological studies, etc. Some time ago the Center of Practical Psychology was also activated, which operates on the SINTON program of Moscow psychologist N.I. Kozlov. Koslov's followers tried to introduce this program into a number of schools in Novosibirsk and other large cities in Russia. N.I. Koslov's teachings are misanthropic. And it could be worse, if, as its author profoundly stated, that "morality operates like hypnosis of mass defeat in a dictatorial regime," that "the unprintably obscene is a living language that has not been castrated by censorship ..." and "a homosexual relationship between teachers and students creates a most lively affection."
And here, unfortunately, they give such fanatics rooms in our schools, the cultural center and even kindergarten to conduct lectures and seminars. Here is a small list of sects who are operating or until recently operated on the premises of educational establishments and of many state or municipal establishments:
Jehovah's Witnesses, the Sri Ravi Shankar sect "Art of Life," "Living Ethics" International Association, Shri Chimnoy, which meditates to music and practices self-exposure, the Novosibirsk Center of Vedic Culture (Vedic method of perceiving reality, the "Sait Mat sect of Takar Singha, pseudo-Buddhist sect of Ole Nidala, and Rushel Blavo. One time I asked a director of a cultural center (he will remain unnamed,) about why he was giving rooms to the sectarians when he knew they were from a totalitarian sect and were not assembling in the center for a beneficial cause. And you know what he told me? He said, "Here I only open the children's community center for those who pay me money!" How could be bring himself to say such a thing ...
Evidently "exotic" cults of the oriental persuasion have been activated, the Reiki esoteric pseudo-medical cult in particular. The "Novosibirsk regional department of the Professional psychotherapeutic league of Russia" is now actively operating in Novosibirsk. We can see Reiki masters among the League's members There are a considerable number of specialists in neuro-linguistic programming, "modeling process of correct dying," and pseudo-tantrists. The latter literally fell upon the residents of Novosibirsk with their "seminars on sex - tantra." Distinguished among them is Peter Ostrikov, who says he is a member of the professional psychotherapeutic league of Russia. This is a follower of the well-known sex-guru Andrei Lapin, who limits his seminars to resolving his sexual problems and uses people who have infinite trust in him for sexual pleasure. The participants of the pseudo-tantric seminars are either something like Lapin or Ostrikov or ignorant people who are taken in by the Lapin-Ostrikov tricks. They want to ask the creator of the "Professional psychotherapeutic league" what all these people were doing in this building. Or how did they organize this league which turned into a roof for sectarians of all kinds to take refuge under the names of well respected doctors.
The totalitarian occult anti-Christian sect of Rerikh also feels at home in Novosibirsk. The sectarians now have at their disposal a building in the very center of the city in which they have their "Museum of Rerikh." The Rerikhists actively distribute their occult literature in Novosibirsk, as well as occult-religious articles that are intended for carrying out occult rituals.
If earlier totalitarian sects were perceived in Russia as something alien coming from abroad, then today the number of sects coming from abroad is similar or equal to those which originate here. The home-bred sects (to economize on time only a few of them are listed) include:
- the pseudo-medical sect "Ayat" of Farkhat Ata,
- "Academy Way to Happiness" (same thing as "Ashram Shambala") of Konstantin Rudnev (he calls himself the Great Shaman of Divine Altai Wisdom ), who recently was arrested for the second time by the police, but was let go after signing a statement that he would stay in the area.
- "Academy of Frontal problems" of Boris Zolotov,
- "Center of experimental parapsychology and non-traditional medicine school of Lzhasa Sheol Temple" of Alexander Chervonenko, who is also the "Tai Pang" medicine man,
- "Anatasiya" Megre (Puzakova) actively operates in the Ordynsky district,
- "Radasteya" of Dusa Marchenko, and
There are "family contract" sects:
- "Strana Anura" of the Serebryannokov couple,
- "Interregional Experimental Center of Cosmological Development", which used to have another name "Amata-Sirius."
The "Strana Anura" sect of the Serbryannikov couple should be regarded as home-bred. This is a religious organization which presents a syncretic mixture of oriental and Christian teachings. The organization's adepts believe that they are descendants of people who lived on Venus. One of the special features of their teachings is the assertion that the "prophetic knowledge from the cosmos" has been revealed to them. In that sect they do not eat meat, take medication or read books, since their health and knowledge supposedly "comes from cosmic reason." The children of the sectarians are often sick, malnourished and deprived of sleep. Several years ago in one of the Kuzbass town a child died, ill with sugar diabetes. The Anuran parents had treated him with "cosmic rays." This frightful case was reported two years ago in the Kuzbass "Frant" newspaper.
In connection with activity from Mushichi-Gromyko our Center made an inquiry to the V.P. Serbsky State scientific center of social and forensic psychiatry. Their response arrived 16 July 2004. The head expert of the V.P. Serbsiy State scientific center of social and forensic psychiatry, professor Fedor Victorovich Kondratev said, and I quote:
"A study of the print and video materials received on the Novosibirsk city social organization (NCSO) "Amata-Sirius" gives a basis to consider this a religious organization (Amata-Sirius temp with student-novices and its mystic doctrine).
The instruction in school of Cosmology (NCSO "Amata-Sirius") is for a fee and provides diplomas, specifically, for the specialty of "Specialist in informational work with the Znakova System of Cosmic Hierarchy, and has the right to work as a healer-practitioner." Offering the practice of healing is based on a pseudo-scientific position toward a compilation of mystic-occult teachings, along with meditations sessions that have to be regarded as illegal medical treatment.
The acknowledgment by the creator of the new teachings, Vyacheslav Mushich that "the eye 'burnt out' from contact with information of the Sign..., emerged feeling spheres 'pressing upon each other' in his head, a transitory loss of orientation in space and a latent message about revelations from Maitrei creating Amatus...", about "voices" and so forth, that appeared as a basis "to synthesize gods," and also unmistakable para-logicalness of a number of the author's reasons, calls forth an assumption about definite psychic disturbances with the founder of the 'Amata-Sirius,' who calls himself Rasha-Ji. The active spread of these teachings (including the seminars for which a fee is charged), as well as the books being sold and the video, could induce a person to experience a sense of spiritual vacuum, creating an existential psychological problem."
Up to this point the active "academic sect" of Tolgat Akbashev, groups of the pseudo-healers Rushel Khaimova-Blavo, Irina Vasileva, Grigoriy Grabvy, Norbekov, Alexander Sviyash, the Moscow pseudo-healers of Nadezhda Antonenko, call them the "Legion."
Now they've begun to create a group following the "clairvoyance" of Lyubova Panova, who wrote a series of books "Revelations from Guardian Angles," in which she heaps abuse on the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"Catacombniks" (pseudo-Orthodox sect)
The pseudo-Orthodox heathen and occult groups, which have increased all the more recently, are a separate topic. For example, the "Old Russian Ingliinstic Church of Orthodox Old-Belief-Inglings." People think that this is the same thing as the Old Believers (Old Rite Church), but as a matter of fact it is a heathen fascist organization which was banned in Omsk by court decision for inciting international strife.
I was recently asked what position the Orthodox Church takes to the "Catacomb Church of True Orthodox Christians (old and new rites)". A structure really exists by that name, but it is an entirely occultic fascist organization which has no connection to Orthodoxy. Here, for example, are several quotes from documents named "Definition of the sacred council of the Catacomb Church" of 31 May 1999 and from 4 June 2001: "God originally created the First Adam as a white man of the Nordic sort," "The White race (in the morphological sense) was originally chosen, all other (races) are the consequence of sin and degeneracy." "God sometimes chooses someone and sends Himself to help us. Now and then He establishes someone outside His Church, ... like Adolf Hitler, as if it were Him.
"9) The Lord God declared Holy war against the enemy of the Gods, overthrowing Dennits from his thrown of glory, and his War from that point is waged and continued between the forces of light, i.e. the Church of God, and the forces of darkness, i.e. the church of the Satan-anti-Christ, and we, the ministers of God, take part in this War on the side of God. Therefore in regards to today's particularly profane arms-bearers of the devil (like Jews, Masons and Muslims) the Holy Cathedral recognizes all God-loving Christians who are ready to bring about their ruthless destruction, consonant with the commandment of the Lord God, along with their descendants, all of their religious monuments (idols), cult buildings, and do anything to undermine them in every possible way, including terrorism, in order to uproot any memory of them from living history.
At this point the "Unity" national party of world freedom should be brought to mind, the one that participated in the 7 December 2003 Russian Duma deputy election. It was headed by retired general Konstantin Pavlovich Petrov, for which reason party representatives are called "Petrovites."
According to a conclusion made by the last international scientific-practical interconfessional conference, this party has become one of the most dangerous totalitarian sects, one of the main goals of which is the "physical destruction of the Orthodox Church." This quote is from the party's book "Dead Liberty": "The Bible sows kaleidoscopic idiocy in society ..." ("Dead Liberty" vol. 1. "Euro-American conglomerate and block in the global historical process: trends of development.")
Another quote worked out by the Petrovites in "Concepts of a secure society in the global historical process," "... The Bible in human culture is like a virus in a computer system: ... it spiritually enslaves everyone who accepts this petty self-tyranny in exchange for revelations from above." And from the same one: "The Christian Church is the path to degradation." ("Concepts of a secure society in the global historical process," 4 December 1994).
And here a member of the "Unity" Conceptual Party, Valeria Georgievicha Pronkina, talks about the Bible in the 2 January 2003 issue of the party paper, "Step for step." "This book (that is the Bible), which is called 'sacred' by the Russian Orthodox Church, reflects the immoral tyranny of satanic conceptual power." And finally, in "Matters of the Hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church our sacred object, the cross is outright decried. I quote, "The Cross has part of the Masonic star." "All dark forces work under the sign of the Masonic star." The author of the doctrine goes as far as open blasphemy, which asserts that the God, who led Old Testament Israel is satan himself.
That global party goal consists of the "building on planet Earth its own world order." What's more, as the Petrovites say, the measure of bloodshed in future events in Russia will be determined by the measure of mastering by all strata of our society of that knowledge which they bring the people," which is that knowledge which is contained in "Dead Liberty." In other words, those who do not accept their knowledge will be the ones destroyed.
Sects lead to delusion.
It should be noted that sects interpret the distribution of truthful information about them as undermining of their business reputation, fomenting of interreligious discord and interfering with their right to freedom of practicing a belief. There are well known cases of sects bringing press, television and radio broadcasters to court, not to mention ordinary journalists and correspondents who write about the activities of totalitarian sects.
But after all we are not categorically against the right to believe that Sai Baba is the "great teacher," that Ron Hubbard is the "creator of the world," or that Konnie Rudnev is the "Great Shaman of Altai." If certain citizens want the "all-curing HerbalLife" or think the leader of the "White Brotherhood" is god incarnate, that is their personal business, a personal right and a personal problem. God Himself granted people the freedom to choose, and what a person does with this freedom is a matter of conscience and responsibility before the Lord. But nobody has the right to deprive these people of these freedoms or to restrict them, the way this is done in sects.
And after all, sects don't tell the entire truth about themselves! To attract young members they resort to deceit, omission of facts, importunate propaganda, filtering the information their members have access to; they resort to other unethical means of control over personality, to psychological pressure, intimidation and other forms of retaining members in the organization. In this way, totalitarian sects infringe on the human right to freedom to an informed choice in worldview and lifestyle.
In any case both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Russia, as well as those of other countries, guarantee the right of people to information. Sects seek censorship. They believe that, like the deceased, if people can't say anything good about them, then they shouldn't say anything at all.
And when under the influence of coercion a person is convinced to start committing a crime, to cause damage to society, morals, health and the psyches of other citizens in society, then the question arises of protecting theses people's rights. Naturally, in this case, the operations of representatives of sects, or of all sects on the whole should be restricted. This is not mentioned only in international human rights acts, but also in the Constitution of Russia.
We are dealing with a mechanism of full suppression of human freedom. Today this mechanism is still being perfected on individual personalities. But still the tendency of them being applied at the national level is there. Edmund Berk said, "Every triumph of evil is due to many good people not doing anything." I hope that in our country there are enough good people left who are ready to act. To act for the sake of the freedom of our children, for the sake of the freedom of our society from the new brown plague presented by totalitarians sects. Whether Russia will be a democratic state today depends on us.
Averting the active social danger of the activities of sects in society is possible only if all the resources of law enforcement organs, various state and social structures and the religions traditional to Russia are used. It's necessary to work out complex theoretical and practical measures to implement legislation for the Russian Federation, to determine the form of cooperation of the individual law enforcement operations between these and other state organizations, to create a unified system of measures to prevent socially dangerous forms of sectarianism, detection, notification, and punishment of crimes committed by sect adepts, including criminal system institutions, which they have also infiltrated successfully, using charitable goals or personal trusts.
On 22 June 1999, the Council of Europe declared the necessity to create in each country, represented in the Council, a government organization to help victims of destructive sects and their family members. The Council of Europe stressed that it was particularly appropriate to support the creation of such organizations in the countries of eastern Europe. This decision was passed unanimously at an Assembly of the Council of Europe. Besides that, deputies of the Council of Europe talked about the necessity of keeping the people well informed about the activities of various religious, esoteric and spiritist groups. This information should protect people from uninvited encroachments into their lives with unconscientious manipulation, indoctrination and brainwashing.
For the successful organization of practical work by state institutions on preventing high-risk activities by religious, pseudo-religious, and secular (meaning ecological, social, medical, cultural and so forth) sects, it is necessary to create in the state law enforcement agencies an effectively operating subdivision that is directly involved with the problem at hand, like the uncontrolled expansion of sectarianism in all spheres of social relations that create a real threat to the national (spiritual, economic, political, military and ecological) security of Russia.
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.13.04
Yuri Kondratev, psychologist, Saint Petersburg
"Levels of initiation in the Mormon sect"
It is well known that no one ever gets into a sect by himself. People are misled there through concealment of information in the initial stages of recruitment, through unconscientious advertising, etc. We will see how this happens in the example of the Mormon sect.
As with any totalitarian sect, it's possible to observe with the Mormons a sharp shift between doctrine for internal and external use, which means some aspects of the beliefs are deliberately concealed or held back during recruiting. Of course, this is done simply for the purpose of not frightening or appalling the victim.
In our view, three basic levels of initiation into the Mormon organization can be discerned.
I. Initial stage (until baptism)
In the first (initial) stage of recruitment, which means until the person joins the Mormons (until baptism) not many of the specific items of the teachings will be mentioned. What's more, familiarization with the Mormon doctrines always begins with the Book of Mormon, but the Teachings and Testaments and other Mormon sources are practically never used. Why is this? Most of all, the Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith back when his views were not far off from "near-Protestants," and this is shown in that not a large part of the Book of Mormon is devoted to the non-Christian teachings that are typical of the Mormon belief. Mormon missionaries ring your doorbell and say, "We have new testimony about Jesus Christ." Ostensibly they want to talk about recently revealed "testimony" about Jesus Christ. In offering the potential new convert the Book of Mormon, the Mormons understand that the majority of people are familiar with the concepts of Christianity and have heard about the Bible. It's possible they had never even had a Bible in their hands (the Mormons prey mainly on those), or did not have an in-depth understanding of its teachings. By offering the Book of Mormon to read, the LDS church knows that the reader is looking for thing there that are relatively familiar. He will find almost nothing there about the Mormon doctrine, he will only read only about things he's heard about before. Through ignorance he will connect the visible teachings with the Mormon organization and consider it to be Christianity, and does not even suspect that the true face of the Mormon faith is something else entirely.
At this stage there is the potential for some "talk" with Mormon missionaries. During recruiting, the missionaries make use of the so-called "Guidance for missionaries" issued for internal use. Looking in the illustrated guidebook, I'll turn to a section called "Preparing the listener to sense the impact of the Spirit."
This "preparing" (more like processing) consists of a number of successive steps:
- establishment of consistent relations;
- help the person to feel and discern the influence of the Spirit;
- presenting the message;
- elucidate the extent of understanding.
Doubts can emerge in the "processing" procedure, therefore the guidance for missionaries has a special section called "Dispel doubt," by which missionaries endeavor to disassemble all the doubts of their audience and quell these doubts.
We'll briefly go over the instructions given to the Mormon missionary. The instruction of consistent relations assumes initial familiarity. Mormon missionaries never begin right away by talking about their teachings of belief, but have to talk at length about themselves, and show pictures of their families. The presenter is questioned about his life, his likes or preferences, etc. During this, compliments are paid. For instance, if any sort of awards (such as a sports trophy) is on display in the residence of the one being recruited, there is no doubt that the missionary will admire them (as instructed in the guidance) and will have to begin asking questions about these awards. This aids in winning people over, and also begins (with the aid of compliments and flattery) to evoke that pleasant feeling, which afterwards will be called the "influence of the Holy Spirit." However, this is not restricted to flattery alone. Mormon missionaries also have "to build cooperation on the basis of common views," which means stressing that the views of the presenter and those of the audience coincide, while glossing over the differences. For instance, if the listener tells the Mormon missionary that he believes that everyone needs to be baptized, including children, Mormons are not supposed to argue the correctness of this, but to say something along the lines of "I like talking with people who believe that Baptism is so important. We also believe we have the opportunity to return to the Heavenly Father and live with Him. The Savior presented us the example of Baptism. He was baptized in the Jordan River, etc."
By choosing a method of prescribed behavior, Mormon missionaries just deceive people and escape being asked questions that are difficult for the Mormons themselves to discuss. And the final step of "establishing consistent relations" is a "display of sympathy," the goal of which is to show that the person being recruited is important. After being processed like this a person gets a pleasant (on the egotistical plane) and warm feeling. Then the missionaries resort to the following tactic. They ask the person what he felt while they were talking. He'll mention one feeling or another that was created by artificial means. Upon hearing that, the missionaries say, "This is you feeling the influence of the Holy Spirit. This verifies that our message is true." This is following their guidebook, which says, "Ask the listener to explain to you his feeling after you tell him that he felt the influence of the Spirit" (p. 81).
In this way, real favorite feeling and emotion are misinterpreted during the conversation by the Mormons as "feeling the Holy Spirit."
Not until after this has happened will the teachings be explained for a few moments, and in case any sort of debatable questions come up, it is suggested to the listeners that they get verification "from the Holy Spirit," so any argument of a sound mind against Mormonism can and must be ignored, because it could limit their reasons, etc., and they do indeed have "verification from God!"
II. The stage of the newly converted Mormon.
Not until after joining the sect by Baptism, when the person has developed the stereotype of ignoring any reasonable argument against the sect, is the new convert told about certain specifics of the Mormon teachings. At this stage the person is given the Doctrine and Testament from Precious Pearls (sometimes this is issued sooner, but only if the person has showed him or herself to be absolutely obedient). Here are some of the specific non-Christian doctrine of Mormonism, which are both contained in the issued book and simply told to the new convert:
- the existence of many gods;
- that God was the first man according to Mormon teachings;
- that God is not a spirit, but that He supposedly has a flesh-and-bone body;
- that a person can become a god, etc.
III. Mormon Temple stage.
However, not even that which was mentioned above is the final level of initiation. The true occult-heathen face of the Mormon theology is made known to the adept only at an initiation at the Mormon temple, where he goes through the Mormon Temple ritual. It should be remembered that this ceremony can be performed only with people who are baptized Mormon, and who have shown themselves to be devoted and obedient to the leaders. It is not until after the temple initiation that the person will have the full idea about the sect's doctrine of faith. By that time, though, the organization will already have total control over him.
If every person, before joining the Mormon organization, knew about the occult, Masonic, heathen and other roots of the Mormon temple ceremony and about Mormonism in general, then there would be far fewer Mormons. Anyone who wants to have information about this should have the opportunity to get this information in advance.
Source: A. Nevskiy Cathedral, Novosibirsk, Russia, 10.13.04
Joseph Cisar, writer, USA,
"US Cult Proliferation: Using Freedom of Speech to compromise democratic institutions" (revised 2/2005)
Decades ago, the USA was the world's leading prosecutor of today's multi-national cults. Today the USA is actively proliferating multi-national cults in strategic points throughout the world. The tide has not been turned through democratic process, but through a series of partially opportunistic and partially deliberate circumstances. This paper spotlights some key points in the progress of cults in compromising basic democratic institutions of government, the media, fundamental religions and scholars in the English-speaking world.
The American author is not affiliated with an organization, but has a personal background in cult indoctrination, an academic background in the mass media, and is familiar with US, German and Russian media eports on cults. In this paper he gives a personal account of selected events that may be significant in how cults have advanced over the course of the past two decades in the United States.
This paper is faced with the problem of accurately describing an unscientific action -- how cults use the mass media to achieve a desired effect upon a democracy. In a sense this cult action is a mixture of both art - using anything that serves a purpose, no matter what its cause, to achieve an effect - and science, which amounts to the technology by which this art is produced.
Destructive cults use methods that are conducive to uninformed judgment. Destructive cults use public relations methods to seek to avoid recognition by the mass media. Over the course of the past two decades, these actions have had effects upon the policies of the United States of America. One such effect has been the collaboration, or merely the public perception of collaboration, on key points with cults by churches, educational institutions, the government and business worlds, including the media.
Potentially significant events.
1. Libel laws favor rich, litigious accusers.
In the US legal system, accusers do not by default have to pay costs if they are not successful in libel suits. With regard to publishers defending themselves against cult accusations of libel, this means legal expenses are a primary concern for publishers whose articles contain certain words that are easily recognizable to the public and critical of cults, such as "cult," "destructive" or "totalitarian." For example, when Time magazine was sued for a 1991 article entitled "Scientology: the cult of greed," the magazine's publisher reportedly spent millions of dollars defending itself. Besides that, representatives of Scientology did not exhaust that organization's legal alternatives for over a decade.  Even though the court ruled primarily against Scientology and in favor of "Time" magazine, the magazine spent so much money and so many years in court defending itself against the "cult of power" that other publishers apparently will not willingly undergo the risk of referring to Scientology in terms of a "cult" (even though the word "cult" itself is not necessarily the basis for a lawsuit). This, in combination with reasons cited below, can be considered a major factor in the absence of the word "cult" in the American media in reference to cults that actively operate in the USA.
As a contemporary illustration, as the late Margaret Singer, author of "Cults in Our Midst," wrote in her introduction, she was unable, for reasons of libel litigation mentioned above, to name the organizations she was referring to when writing her book. The choice was explicit. If she, as an author, named the organizations she wrote about as cults, she likely would not have gotten her book published. While this may seem minor because it is not a particularly spectacular event, academic literature does serve as a basis for legislation and for administrative policy. 
2. Fear of prosecution exploited.
A less spectacular interaction with cults happened at the level of the American justice system. One of the cultic organization leaders who went to prison was Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. Moon apparently succeeded in gaining sympathy from certain evangelists. Specifically, if the government could send Moon to prison, it could be easily pictured in the era of 1984 that non-mainstream, fundamentalist Christians could also be sent to prison for their beliefs. Reverend Jerry Falwell is one figure who has been mentioned in this regard . Thus Moon turned his punishment to his own advantage in gaining a sympathizer who is important in terms of the media. The fear of prosecution appears to be an important bond in today's cult-fundamentalist alliance in both the USA and Europe, France in particular.
3. Asserting freedom from government interference.
A different group of fundamentalists that has demonstrated support for cults along PR lines is the highly respected and influential Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Its founder, Pat Robertson, was a presidential candidate in the 1980s. While Robertson did and still does publicly voice opposition to certain cults, the heir to his media empire has not always differentiated between the Christian Broadcast Network and those publicly sympathetic to his demands for more rights for religious organizations. While the CBN does not necessarily support specific cults, it has published material opposing a French law under which the French had the option to prosecute manipulative organizations . Thus an organizational lack of trust in the government, combined with a heightened organizational fear of investigation and prosecution, may have been more a factor in CBN's opposition to French law than actual wrongdoing. The most outspoken opponent to that particular French law, Scientology, by contrast, has a history of legal problems and/or wrongdoing, and not just in France. It should be noted that many other mainstream religions support new laws in the US that give religious corporations added advantages over both individuals and other corporations.
4. Forsaking values to gain members.
Other religious corporations support the cult recruitment tactics they opposed twenty years ago. For instance, prospective members may be told to base an important decision, such as whether to quit their job and work for the group for free, on something other than information. A typical basis for a decision, instead of information, consists of fasting, then staying up all night praying. Religious corporations typically present this as a survival tactic by which people who otherwise have no place else to go can be part of a healthy, social, religious community.
5. Using government recognition as a religion to assert control.
In a move that potentially strengthened the bond between cults and religions from a monetary perspective, the leader of the Scientology Church, David Miscavige, gained an advantage for dozens of Scientology corporations that no other religious corporation in the USA, fundamental or otherwise, has. Miscavige managed to gain tax-exemption for Scientology counseling. He did this by means kept secret to protect the corporation's privacy. This was in spite of the fact that Scientology's goods and services are sold in the form of packaged commercial merchandise. This feat was accomplished in 1993, about a decade after eleven of Scientology's leading members went to prison for burglarizing government buildings and illegal surveillance of the government, including the IRS. From that moment in time, Scientology could and did promote itself to the rest of the world as being officially recognized as a genuine religion by the government of the United States of America.
6. The US State Department's annual Religious Freedom Report.
An important bond was forged between cults, churches and state in 1998, when the US Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act. The primary purpose of this act was to help people around the world who were being unjustly persecuted because of their religion. As one of the initiators of the act, US Senator Arlen Specter, wrote this author on September 12, 2000 in response to an inquiry, "The great untold human rights tragedy of this decade is that Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Jews and other religious minorities are persecuted in great numbers around the world. Killings rape, imprisonment, torture and abduction are commonplace for many religious believers in many countries."
For the worst violators, the Senator continued, the bill imposes limited, targeted trade sanctions. It is significant to the topic of this paper that the bill was originally written in response to physical abuse of people, and not in response to group sensitivity in being called "cult" or "sect," which is more a function of freedom of speech than it is of criminal activity. In the process of getting the legislation passed, however, language was introduced into the bill that permitted a self-designated religious group, even one that employed destructive organizational technology, to report to the US embassy a wide range of incidents in countries outside the US as a limitation to the practice of religion. As a result, in the annual US State Department report on Religious Freedom and Human rights, various countries are monitored as to whether they use the word "cult" or "sect" in describing American cults. There is nothing illegal in or out of the US about calling a cult a "cult," but the State Department has said this practice "stigmatizes" "minority religions." The administration, which was originally concerned about killing and torture on the basis of religious membership, is instead concerned about the words "cult" or sect" being used to describe a group a person belongs to. This notion does not have the force of law behind it, but it does have the force of threatened sanctions by the USA.
7. How the word "cult" became politically incorrect.
In spreading this concept of identifying the use of the word "cult" with stigmatization of minority religions, it is likely that for justification the US State Department relied to a degree on academic literature provided by English-speaking scholars. For the past twenty years, certain scholars have provided an abundance of conclusions that could only be useful to cults which strive to avoid recognition and detection in the area of perception and mental manipulation.
For instance, more than one scholar has used the Branch Davidian cult conflagration in Waco, Texas as an example of a "moral panic"  in an effort to illustrate that the word "cult" diminishes responsibility among the public and the police. Namely, for the several months the Branch Davidians were under siege in their compound in Texas, the media constantly referred to them as a "cult." On the practical side, one reason for using the word "cult" is that it a word that most people understand easily; also, "cult" fits nicely into the short headline that is so vital to the information industry. This is not a phenomenon that happens only with cults. According to this academic literature, however, when the public saw the word "cult," people became unduly enraged, and demanded prompt decisive action from the authorities. The FBI, under this seething pressure, supposedly had no choice but to make the fateful raid upon the Branch Davidians. This shifting of priority was the basis for the conclusion that the use of the word "cult" was a positive factor in senseless loss of human life.
This reasoning was used in the specific case of Waco, but apparently did not explain the next big mass suicide, which occurred in San Diego, California, by "Heavens Gate," which was not prominently referred to as a "cult" in the mainstream media prior to that catastrophe. Nor does it explain why the cult adherents of entertainment cults that are also referred to in a derogatory manner, such as those of Star Trek, Elvis Presley, the Hobbit and numerous others, are not only alive, but plentiful, and successful. With regard to these movements, being described as a "cult" can even be considered a measure of success, and worthy of imitation.
Despite this contradiction, organizations especially sensitive to the power of the written word continue to provide testimony that use of the word "cult" has a deleterious effect upon their members. Combined with Scientology's lawsuit against Time magazine, this word preference has, comparatively speaking, removed the word "cult" from the US media, even in the increasingly rare event that an actively operating, manipulative or destructive cult is reported upon.
8. How cults view former members.
Another conclusion drawn by English-speaking scholars that has been helpful to cults has been the "Satanic Cult Scare." The author  of that highly generalized theory communicated that former cult members were not credible by citing a Satanist who lied about his former cult. From that point on, when former cult members testified about their former cults, references to the "great Satanic scare" or similarly fictitious literature have been used to reinforce the generalization that "apostates," i.e., those who have deserted cults, are relatively unreliable. The context of this broad generalization made it equally valuable to traditional 19th century American cults and new 20th century cults alike, and thus formed a bond between those two groups in the academic sphere.
There may be a grain of truth in the idea that apostates are not reliable, but it may be more accurate to say that informants, in general, are notoriously unreliable, regardless of whether they belonged to a cult or not. On the positive side, it is probably safe to say that former members know more about their cult than non-members, even if to a limited degree.
9. Businesses use covert technology to increase sales.
An example of laying the groundwork for deceptive and potentially harmful cult technology is illustrated in the idea of "undercover marketing." Undercover marketing, as it relates to cults, can be illustrated by emphasizing the difference between an entertainment cult and a deceptive cult.
In promoting uninformed judgment, besides suppressing communication and discrediting or controlling sources of dissent, it may be said that deceptive cults strive to blur the lines of definition between themselves and their audience. This is done as a survival tactic, namely to avoid perception, recognition and identification. In an entertainment cult, by contrast, the line between the performers and the audience is normally clearly defined by a stage or a screen, for example. Deceptive cults, however, send their actors out among the audience. The audience may not be aware that they are being targeted. The actors, rather than openly portraying reality as actors from a stage, operate as audience members to alter the audience's perception of what reality is.
In US business practice, this practice has been called "undercover marketing." Under this job description an actor is paid to lavish positive public attention upon the company's product (a new electronic gadget or a recently published book, for example) as if he or she were not an actor being paid to do so. The immediate purpose, of course, is to create word-of-mouth support for the company, and the long-term purpose is to create more profit.
10. Contracting as a means of avoiding responsibility.
In the previous example, the operator-actor is functioning not as a member of the a respectable company, but as an independent contractor. It is not at all unusual for a respectable corporation to contact out parts of its operation that are potentially illegal or, in any case, morally unacceptable. This would include the collection of names, personal information and telephone numbers for telemarketing purposes. Telemarketing, like cults, can be a useful medium, but has been abused so much over the years that telemarketers in general have gotten a bad reputation.
11. The media are becoming less selective.
Due in part to shrinking budget and increased competition, the media can also be taken advantage of in the business sense by omission of information. In this case, when a company publishes an information bulletin about itself and an information agency reports it as news, the public may not be aware that they are reading a highly prejudicial self-account of a company's product, but rather regard the article as responsible, objective and balanced reporting. A good example of this are the repeated reports by the Raelians about cloning human babies.
Conclusion. (revised 2/2005)
Deceptive cults continue to use the mass media to dissimulate their true intentions through dubious public relations methods. Part of these efforts to control the people is to represent themselves as operating for the people. Cults, however, do not represent a democracy by and for the people. These are cults trying to represent themselves through the people and their democratic institutions.
 "Court passes on Scientology libel case," 1 October 2001, Associated Press
 Michael Burleigh, "Germany turns Eastwards", Cambridge Press 1988, Pan Books 2002.
 e.g., September 30, 1994, Washington City Paper.
 "Under Suspicion: Faith in France," George Thomas, 19 June 2002, Christian Broadcasting Network, http://cbn.org/CBNNews/News/020619a.asp
 Stuart A. Wright. Media Coverage of Unconventional Religion: Any "Good News" for Minority Faiths?, Review of Religious Research, 39(2), 101-115, Dec 1997.
Also, Robert Bartholomew. Title of article: Collective delusions: A skeptic's guide, The Skeptical Inquirer, 21(3), 23-33, May/Jun 1997.
 David G. Bromley. The Satanic Cult Scare. Culture and Society, 28(4) 55-66, May/Jun 1991.
Summary declaration of the conference "Totalitarian sects and the democratic state" at Novosibirsk, 9-11 November 2004
We, the participants of the International scientific-practical conference "Totalitarian sects and the democratic state," which was organized by the Novosibirsk diocese of the ROC -- religion specialists, theologians, clergy, experts on the problems of sects and cults, psychologists, psychiatrists, journalists, lawyers, representatives of public and state organizations and of centers for information about destructive cults, and ministers of traditional religion -- citizens of various countries, people of various nationalities, convictions and beliefs, have ascertained that Russia and other countries are under a threat to human rights and to democratic freedom. One of the main sources of this threat is totalitarian destructive cults and certain states as well as international extremist organizations that stand behind them. Uncontrolled activity by totalitarian destructive cults has the character of unmasked expansion, inflicts irreparable harm to public health, violates fundamental human rights, and creates a threat to family, society and state.
Totalitarian sects are defined as groups that put themselves forward as religious, political-religious, psychological, health, educational, cultural or other associations that:
- are operated in an authoritarian way by leaders whose base of authority is attributed to mystic power and ability and whose real goal is power over their adherents and their exploitation;
- strive to completely control their members by means of manipulating their minds and by regulating all aspects of their lives, along with assorted measures that violate their rights, as well as the rights of people who come into contact with such groups.
- with their organizations, ideology and subculture, oppose all other views of society and mankind on the whole, and all differing worldviews and cultures.
It should be noted that these characteristics may be inherent to different groups in various degrees.
In the opinion of the participants of the Conference, the danger from totalitarian cults includes the following:
Their structures and extremist methods challenge the appeal of generally accepted democratic values. The claim of the leaders of this sort of group to absolute correctness, in combination with the requirement for unconditional subordination from their adepts to the organization and/or its leader permits the subjugation of people who seek support in complicated life situations, and who are trying to find a more suitable worldview.
The negative consequence of membership in these sects can lead to serious changes in personality for adherents, and their loss of perception of reality, which can lead to conflict with family members and close friends. Outside of that, as a result of too sudden a change in worldview and values, and in connection with the use by totalitarians sects of methods destructive to the human psyche, socio-psychological problems often arise, among which should be mentioned the alienation of sect members from the outside world, forced acceptance of less qualified work, termination of career and/or educational work, isolation, aggressiveness and fanaticism in defending their ideology, along with rejection of critical and rational thought.
For some, the personality changes conducive to dependence, absence of self-determination and seclusion in these groups due to their totalitarian character, is often even more pronounced. Deception by means of covert methods of mind manipulation and psychological coercion, as well as the penetration of totalitarian cults into the sphere of politics and economics, are indicative of the danger from this sort of organization.
The use of psychological coercion upon adepts, their emotional and sometimes sexual exploitation, the exploitation of the labor force, social isolation, and severely limited personal liberties by employing methods of mind manipulation and control, these inflict damage upon psyche and health. A number of fatal incidents have led to the incontrovertible conclusion that the operations of totalitarian cults systematically violate the Universal declaration of human rights, specifically:
Article 3, which reads: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
Article 4. "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." While totalitarian cults actually participate in the criminal trafficking of people (certain totalitarian sects), some also often effect slavery conditions for their adepts.
Article 5. "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Article 12. "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence ..."
Article 16, paragraphs 2) "Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses;" and 3) "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."
Article 17, paragraph 2) "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property." (Violation of this position is the genuine goal for the creation of most destructive sects, which use psychological methods of manipulation and pressure of a refined character.)
Totalitarian sects resort to omission of facts, obtrusive propaganda and deceit to attract new members, and they resort to other unethical methods of controlling personality, to psychological pressure, to intimidation and other methods to retain members in the organization. Thus, totalitarian cults violate art. 18 -- "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief ...", art. 19 -- "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and _expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media ...", and also para. 2 of article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (resolution 36/55 of the UN General Assembly) -- "No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice."
The application of psychological pressure during recruitment compels ascertainment of a violation of art. 20, para (2) "No one may be compelled to belong to an association."
The social isolation of adepts and their exclusion from social processes, as practiced by a number of sects, violates art. 21 -- "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives," and also article 29 -- "Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible."
The strict regulation of conduct, the use of uncompensated or barely compensated labor and the use of psychological coercion violates art. 23 -- "(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment, (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work, (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection," and also articles 24 and 25.
Article 26 -- "Everyone has the right to education," is violated by a number of totalitarian cults that effectively practice deprivation of that right with adepts and their children.
Violations of Article 27 is characteristic for the majority of totalitarian sects -- "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."
The practice of illegally attracting minors is a direct violation of art. 5 para 2 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, "Every child shall enjoy the right to have access to education in the matter of religion or belief in accordance with the wishes of his parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, and shall not be compelled to receive teaching on religion or belief against the wishes of his parents or legal guardians, the best interests of the child being the guiding principle," and paragraph 5 of the same article, " Practices of a religion or beliefs in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or to his full development ..."
Totalitarian cult activity also violates a number of other international acts and positions of the national legislatures of the Russian Federation and other countries, which are not cited in this Summary declaration.
The foregoing became cause for an active public and legislative politic by European countries and the Council of Europe, directed at defending the rights of citizens from the menace of totalitarian cults. Having become aware (it was especially clear after the suicide-murders of "Solar Temple" adherents in 1994, 1996 and 1997) that democratic principles were under a new threat in many ways similar, according to German researchers, to Nazism, Europe passed a series of measures to restrict the destructive activity of socially dangerous cults. Besides legislative initiatives and tangible measures implemented by individual European countries, the following decisions by general European structures should be mentioned: the unanimous decision by the Assembly of the Council of Europe about creating organizations to aid the victims of destructive sects of 22 June 1999, the recommendation of the European Parliamentary assembly No. 1178 of 1992 "Sects and new religious movements," the decision by the cabinet of ministers of the Council of Europe of 1994, the decision of the European Parliament of 12 February 1996, and the decision of the cabinet of ministers of the Council of Europe No. 9220 of 19 September 2001.
In connection with this and with the population of western Europe now being more informed about the topic, the epicenter of cultist activity has shifted to the countries of eastern Europe. In Russia and a number of other eastern European countries a widespread (and mistaken) stereotype exists that any group that calls itself a religion is good because "it supports a belief in something better." As a result of this expansion of a number of destructive sects is much greater there than in countries of the European Union.
We hold that the position of the Council of Europe is accurate, that the "realization of the right to freedom of conscience should not exist at the cost of other human rights" and in connection with the aforementioned, appeal to the President, the Federal Assembly, the state Duma and organs of executive authority of the Russian Federation with the following initiatives, in the framework of implementing the decision of the Assembly of the Council of Europe of 22 June 1999, and of other international acts and measures intended to protect human rights:
1. Unfortunately, traditional culturally formative confessions, having born the brunt of social services and contributions in stabilizing state-confessional relations, have been compelled to take responsibility for countering operations by destructive cults, which became the source of aggression for all the people of Russia. We consider that the state structures should take an active part in this work, both on the federal and regional levels.
2. We realize that any change in legislation is an extremely complex, labor-intensive and long process, nonetheless we consider it necessary to enact Russian legislation and take legal measures in accordance with the example set by European countries (France, Belgium and Germany) on limiting the destructive operations of totalitarian cults.
3. We call attention to the extreme urgency for the organs of justice to immediately develop comprehensive scholarly expertise (which includes legal, medical, psychological, social and religious aspects) during the registration and re-registration of religious organizations and groups. The same sort of expertise needs to be developed with regard to religious and quasi-religious associations that register their structures as social, charitable and/or educational.
4. It's necessary to begin the creation of a data bank for qualified experts in the organs of justice, which should use the material produced by the information centers and missionary structures of traditional confessions, foreign organizations and form under the justice ministry an expert council from a number of specialists in the appropriate scholarly fields, of staff from the health ministry, internal affairs ministry (MVD) , education ministry, the federal security service (FSB), lawyers and delegated representatives of traditional religions. The criteria for selecting members of the expert council should be public; the members of the expert council should work on a professional basis.
5. In legal practice article 239 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (RFCC) is practically never used, in which connection we propose adding a correspondingly more clearly defined amendment to the Penal Code of the RF. We consider it absolutely essential to place before the offices of the state prosecutor and of the law enforcement agencies, along with the court this issue about corresponding judicial criteria between people who have committed actual crime and the involvement the organizations of which they are members or adherents. We recommend installing a general legal practice on religious affairs and members of religious organizations and groups with regard to the circumstances under which a crime was committed. It's also necessary to build a system of proof for such a practice.
6. With the goal of counteracting illicit, anti-government and extremist activities of totalitarian cults, in accordance with the example set by countries such as France, Germany, Poland, etc., create a special structural subdivision of the general prosecutor, the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
7. With the goal of suppressing the so prevalent illegal penetration of destructive cults, into the state education system to form within the education ministry and the corresponding regional structures an inspection board to control the illegal influence on minors, and also to adapt a program of prevention for the negative social-psychological influence on minors.
8. We propose commissioning an organ of state authority with developing a program of social, psychological and medical rehabilitation for victims of destructive cult operations.
9. Numerous criminal incidents, organized or initiated by totalitarian cults and their adepts, as a rule, are not classified as such by law enforcement agencies. The state system of classification of this sort of crime does not exist which makes unfeasible the analysis of the situation in the sphere of the activity of totalitarian cults. With regard to this we propose introducing an appropriate system of collection of the information and classification in the law enforcement agencies.
10. A similar situation exists in the field to account for incidents of negative influence by destructive cults on the public health and psyche that go up to the point of initiating serious illness or even lethal consequences. With regard to this we propose that a system of accounting be introduced in the health structures to track incidents of refusing medical treatment on sectarian grounds (with an instruction for subsequent similar refusals), and incidents causing injury to health as a result of destructive cult practices. A special attention must be given to the cases of people who have been subject to incidents of psychic upset, induced by their presence in totalitarian sects or by their practices.
We also call upon the mass media to honestly notify people of the dangers of totalitarian cults, as well as to give them reliably information which can do a lot in protecting them from deceit and psychological coercion. We consider more complete coverage of dangerous sects, including of their methods of psychological manipulation and consciousness control, by the print and broadcast media to be essential.
We hope for constructive cooperation in resolving this acute social problem, which is of interest to all public organizations of good will.
Conference participants appreciate the assistance rendered in making the conference possible by: the apparatus of the Plenipotentiary representative of the RF President in the Siberian federal district, the provincial administration, the Mayors office of the city of Novosibirsk, the FSB for SFO RF and MVD departments, the departments of state control for the RF Siberian Federal district, as well as other state structures and public organizations.
Unanimously accepted 11 November 2004 by the 612 Conference participants; citizens of Russia, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Kazakhstan, Canada, Ukraine and France; representatives of 22 dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.