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Editor's choiceAnti-cult movement hunting pacifists for police in Russia: Back in the USSR

Anti-cult movement hunting pacifists for police in Russia: Back in the USSR

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Jan Leonid Bornstein
Jan Leonid Bornstein
Jan Leonid Bornstein is investigative reporter for The European Times. He has been investigating and writing about extremism since the beginning of our publication. His work has shed light on a variety of extremist groups and activities. He is a determined journalist who go after dangerous or controversial topics. His work has had a real-world impact in exposing situations with an out of the box thinking.

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At the European Times, we have covered the long-time association between the anticult movement, the Russian Orthodox Church and the warmongers in the Kremlin. The piece we publish today shows that in current times, the anti-sectarians, as they call themselves, are working hand in hand with the FSB and other Russian law enforcement agencies, to hunt those Russians who would dare to share messages of peace while the war is ravaging Ukraine.

Below is the full translation of a call that has been posted on the website antisekta.ru, which is the official website of the Centre of Religious Studies – Saratov, headed by Alexander Kuzmin, a Russian Orthodox Priest. This centre is a branch of another organization called Centre for Religious Studies in the name of Hieromartyr Irenaeus of Lyons, headed by Alexander Dvorkin, an Orthodox theologian who has been criticized in a 2020 report by USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) as a major architect of the crackdown on religious minorities in Russia.

Both centres are members of the FECRIS (European Federation of Centres for Research and Information on Sects and Cults), a French-based umbrella organization that gathers anticult associations all over Europe and beyond and is almost utterly funded by the French government.

The text that you will now read, by Alexander Kuzmin, is to be understood in the context of the new Russian law that can send any person in jail for up to 15 years for “discrediting the armed forces” or “spreading fake news about the military”, which includes saying that there is a war in Ukraine, when the Russian government forbade the use any other term than “special military operation”.

And here is the call, welcome back in the USSR:

Address to readers


Dear friends, and especially respected fathers who know and read me! Many of you are aware that when I am engaged in anti-sectarian activities, I often talk about the fact that sects have long been a tool of the Western secret services. This has become even more important these days, and I have to warn you all. The situation is more than serious!

In social networks and the messaging systems all of us, clerics and laymen, are the object of close attention from the participants of the information war against Russia. The West has long understood that we cannot be defeated at war on the battlefield, as we are able to fight and the whole world knows it, but we have often been losing the information wars, and there is now a growing split in civil society with the efforts of sectarian structures, especially of neo-pagan and pro-Nazi persuasion. The West has decided to rely on information attacks and now the focus of these attacks is on religion.

Through fan mailings, publications in the opposition media, as well as the increasingly brazen use of the individual approach (personal messages, correspondence in comments and even phone calls), many of us these days are convinced by supposedly “ordinary people”, supposedly “peaceful residents of Ukrainian cities” who are supposedly “parishioners of Ukrainian churches”, that suppose “Russia is the aggressor”, that suppose that on purpose “they bomb civilians” and that there are supposedly “mountains of dead conscript soldiers” on Ukrainian soil and so on and so forth in order to sow panic, indignation at the actions of our state authorities, to bring people out to the streets to protest and to induce them to sign various petitions and statements.

Thus, systematically and cynically, human behavioural stability is being undermined, people are being hooked by regularly viewing opposition mass media, and are filled with indignation and anti-Russian sentiments. In particular, our Church is being attacked, priests and laymen are being asked to “pray for the repose of the newly-departed conscripted soldiers,” people are being persuaded to re-post and leave angry comments about the government of our country. Enemies know that if a clergyman becomes the mouthpiece of their ideas, it will have more resonance than if it were a politician or a public figure. Neo-pagans also do this now, hating Christians and everything related to our Christian values, including our patriotism and desire for justice. They are playing on these very feelings.

Please check and recheck the information coming to you, do not give in to provocations, take care of each other and do not rely on emotions and hasty conclusions.

Please also help in monitoring the activities of such provocateurs. Please send screen shots, their designated data (names and surnames, phone numbers and e-mail addresses) for further analysis, which is conducted by our anti-sectarian organizations together with the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.

Contacts for anti-sectarian center:

Telegram: https://t.me/anticekta

Mail: [email protected]

You can see the original call in Russian here

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