Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer*
While the security forces tortured and released the shaman Alexander Gabyshev, someone's highest attention turned to another "messiah" - a handsome man with the appearance of a Hollywood hero, a certain "god" Vissarion.
In the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the head of the religious organization "Church of the Last Testament" Sergei Torop (his real name) was detained. For more than a quarter of a century, he called himself “the son of God” and “the new Christ”, inspired this to his disciples and threatened the end of the world. In fact, he built a state within a state in the taiga - with a tax system, security and loyal subjects.
As a child, Sergei was not religious. But at the age of six, his grandmother, who adhered to the Old Believers, took up the upbringing of the boy. She had a great influence on little Sergei. After school and the army, Torop worked in the patrol service, rising to the rank of sergeant.
In the late eighties, Sergei Torop became a member of the UFO club and actively traveled to various anomalous zones. Then he began to learn methods of influencing people. And in 1991, Sergei preached on television, calling himself Vissarion. At that time, he announced that Christ is watching all people from near-earth orbit. And Vissarion himself, they say, was the prophet Iethlei. Later, the founder of the sect declared that this is the second coming of Christ to Earth.
Here is what the journalist, political analyst and psychoanalyst Dmitry Zapolsky writes about him:
1994-th. Gloomy Kupchinsky cinema. Minimum light - lamps burned out. On stage there is a young dude, a Siberian dialect, a purple tunic, long curly hair, a beautiful beard. Schizophrenic speech. He is an incarnation of Jesus Christ. He really says - I am the son of God, I have come to give you the same path. It can be seen that he drags on his words, gets drunk, revels in the effect. But he's delirious. He clearly sees hallucinations, addresses the audience: look!
In 1991, Torop declares himself the son of God and comes to the local television in Abakan and Minusinsk. The fan group is expanding. A tour is organized for donations. New followers are popping up everywhere, eager to kiss the foot and send some money. First, they write a book. I read it. Qualitative textbook for psychiatrists-interns: "examples of autochthonous-pathological religious manifestations in the form of messianic delirium." But a different title was written on the cover of the book: "The Last Testament." This porridge of ideas of Roerich, Blavatsky, pieces of the Bible, Talmud, Koran, Bhagavad Gita and Tripitaka was thickly brewed on the ideas of Marx in Makarenko's optics.
The authorities of the Krasnoyarsk Territory enjoyed the new electorate - it was easy to agree with Torop - the commune voted unanimously in all elections for United Russia, Putin and the governors. For this, the authorities allocated land: hundreds of hectares of arable land. Normal Russian barter.
They took Vissarion yesterday as Kumarin - FSB special forces, helicopters, armored shields. Community searches. Weapons and ammunition were seized. Most likely hunting, it's hard in the village without a double-barreled gun ... Vissarion was arrested. They impose driving one communard to suicide, prohibiting the parents of a sick boy to go to doctors and take medicine".
I would not want to go into moralizing and seek out the "sins" of the head of the sect and the sectarians themselves. I'm interested in something completely different. Why did the organization, which existed for about thirty years and numbered from 5 to 10 thousand members, as well as representative offices in other countries, including Germany and the United States, for such a long time remained out of sight of the security forces, especially since, as we already know, it was not in opposition with the "party line". Simply put, we can directly state that it was a supervised organization that brought income to the state, of course, unofficial.
What happened, what caused the conflict? Apparently, the economic situation in Russia at the moment is such that the system requires more and more money from its vassals. And she began to slaughter the hens that laid the golden eggs. Which is a strategically disadvantageous step. Thus, the system itself intensifies its destabilization.
It doesn't matter who Vissarion thought he was. People in Russia are not only in an altered state of consciousness, but also in constant eschatological ecstasy. Thus, Vissarion is no different from the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church who serve the mass unconscious, namely the fear of death. Most likely, the state is rapidly narrowing the circle of its servants to a minimum that mistakenly seems to it to be more reliable. Whereas we know from history and literature that it is the close ones who are the most dangerous and first traitors.
I would like to give some opposition to Mr. Zapolsky, who considers Sergei Torop to be a schizophrenic. Schizophrenics are not able to manage an entire organization, earn a lot of money, and even more so, do it for years and systematically. Perhaps young Sergei had some kind of local nervous disorders. But reading books, knowing himself and realizing his own charisma as an opportunity to influence people, having great ambitions (in his youth, Sergei wrote that he wanted the whole world to know him), he went his existential path, creating a sect, and thereby, curing himself of some kind of mental illness, if any. By bringing his dream into reality, he actually proved the adequacy of his views to himself.
I am sure that this case should be interpreted as a political one, as a fight against dissent, no matter what criminal fantasies the dubious media may supply us with.
From the prosecution: “In order to implement the indicated criminal intent, Torop SA developed a plan, in accordance with which he decided: "Using the external image of "Jesus Christ" as "Savior" and "Son of God", as well as external similarity with him, calling himself the name Vissarion, to involve citizens in his teaching, and then provide them suggestive influence..."
This is an attempt to bring the case under a "thought crime". Another Orwellian-Kafkaesque story, of which, alas, in Russia there are more and more every day.
Such a struggle against this kind of religious "informals", despite the repressiveness of the national consciousness, will lead to a strictly opposite effect. Persecuted and tormented by the authorities have always been loved in Russia. Yesterday we watched the creation of the Tesak cult, which until recently seemed unthinkable. But if you can mold a cult out of a character like Martsinkevich, then you can create a real god from a charismatic handsome man who gives people hope (albeit an illusory one). Everything is possible in Russia.
* The opinions of the authors may differ from the editorial position and are published in a discussion order.