A Kyrgyz citizen has been arrested in Kazakhstan and is expected to be deported for carrying out missionary work on behalf of the Church of Scientology. Scientology is not on the official list of organizations regarded as presenting a danger to society or the country’s security, but it has been denied official registration in the Kazakh capital, Astana. However, branch offices of the Dianetics organization have been registered in other cities in Kazakhstan. The following is an excerpt from an article by Zhazira Bukina “The fight for minds continues” published in the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper on 5 February; subheadings inserted editorially:
Arrest for missionary activities
On 1 February Astana’s [Kazakh capital] interdistrict special administrative court found Sergey Korzikov, the head of the legal department at Moscow’s Church of Scientology, guilty of violating an order on the stay and registration of foreigners in Kazakhstan. Korzikov, a Kyrgyz citizen, will spend three days under arrest and then will be deported from the country. The immigration police department has stated that Korzikov arrived in Kazakhstan on personal business but was involved in missionary activities, which is a violation of the letter of the law in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 34 of the Kazakh code on administrative offences. It is worth noting that Astana is the only city in Kazakhstan with a “no entry sign” for scientologists. The authorities have been denying official registration to Astana’s scientologists for several years already.
Scientology’s popularity in Kazakhstan
The fashionable science of Dianetics [Scientology] no longer surprises the Kazakhs, who have grown used to signs carrying this name. In our country the organization’s activists declare themselves to be representatives of a secular teaching on the nature of man, whereas worldwide they are officially described as a sect with all the features of totalitarianism. Dianetics appeared in Kazakhstan in the mid 1990s, and it came to Astana at the beginning of the 21st century. By that time branch offices of the organization had been officially registered in Pavlodar, Karaganda, Almaty and Semipalatinsk.
[Passage omitted: Scientology claims to help people attain peace and happiness, on payment of fees. Ronald Hubbard's sect regarded as "Satanic" by traditional church]
Serious experts have a different view on Scientology. At the Eurasian University [in Astana] Professor Shaizanda Zhanadilov, who has a doctorate in medical sciences, explained that there are four criteria defining a religion: belief in a single creator, worship of his prophets and of angels and the existence of holy writings (the Koran, Bible, Torah). All four of the above are missing in scientology. Therefore, scientology is not a religion, and anything that is not religion but claims to be is, the traditional church believes, a satanic tendency, the professor considers.
[Passage omitted: Scientology leaders went underground in USA]
Scientology not listed as socially dangerous organization
Experience testifies to the fact that one of the main aims of the Scientology movement is the accrual of wealth through the exploitation of people who have signed contracts with the organization. Considering the movement’s multimillion turnover, the method can be said to pay off. That is evidently the case in Kazakhstan as well, otherwise the organization’s branch offices would not be so widespread.
[Passage omitted: Most countries have declared the sect a danger to society]
The Kazakh law-enforcement authorities, with the support of members of parliament, have drawn up a list of organizations whose activity presents a danger to society and to the national security of the country. However, the Scientology movement is not on the above mentioned list; so Hubbard’s disciples are continuing to fight for the minds, hearts and, possibly, the souls of Kazakhs.