Text of report by Russia TV on 11 March
[Presenter] The Dianetics Centre has been banned in Bashkortostan. The Orthodox Church regards dianetics and scientologists as sects, but in most of the Russian regions it has already despaired of being able to fight against them: they are too pedantic, and their lawyers too good.
[Correspondent, over video of young man seated in front of a gauging device, pinching the finger of a young woman who is holding a round object wired up to the gauge] The follower of the Church of Scientology regularly has to pinch the parishioners, that is how the audit, the scientology confession, starts. The mountains of church literature and video messages from the late founder of the church, Ron Hubbard, are supposed to make life better and more joyful, but the life of the Ufa branch of the church will not get any better: the Bashkortostan Supreme Court has ordered the Dianetics Centre here to close.
[Tatyana Ovchinnikova, captioned as senior assistant prosecutor of Leninskiy district of Ufa city] An inspection showed that the activities of the Dianetics Centre public organization are being carried out in violation of the current constitution and federal laws and, in addition, educational activities were being carried out there without the appropriate licence.
The persecution of the scientologists started after the prosecutor’s office received several complaints all at once from relatives of church parishioners, asserting that the parishioners were not only being pinched, but were being quietly sent out of their minds. Psychiatric tests which were carried out confirmed that people were indeed out of their minds, and well and truly.
[Rustam Badretdinov, captioned as psychiatrist at Ufa psychiatric and neurological clinic] We came to the conclusion that there were elements of psychiatric intervention into people’s mental state leading to certain specific psychiatric disturbances which could be described as destabilization of the individual’s mental health.
[Correspondent] Now a bailiff is going to have to pinch himself to check what is going on. Despite the court decision, the centre is continuing to operate. The Bashkortostan scientologists have submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. They say their activities are not subject to licensing and they have not given anybody education or treatment. And if somebody has gone out of their mind, that is their own personal affair.
[Yelena Korzikova, spokeswoman of the Dianetics Centre] Scientology cannot harm anybody. Psychiatric deviations are innate, and they start in early childhood.
[Correspondent] Speaking of childhood, the main scientology office in Moscow is located in the building of a former kindergarten. Four years ago attempts were made to close this office, too, the office was even raided and searched. But nothing came of it, Moscow City Court did not allow it to be closed. They don’t talk much about the Ufa case, but they point quite clearly to their main enemies.
[Nina de Castro, not further identified, presumably connected with Moscow scientology] There are some people, psychiatrists, I could say all of them, who have an interest in making sure that people do not improve themselves and the world, so that they can control them.
[Presenter] Psychiatrists are the enemy not only of scientologists but also of paranoiacs, schizophrenics and all manner of maniacs. However, none of these has tried to defend himself in the European Court of Human Rights. The scientologists, however, are already preparing the relevant documents just in case the Russian Supreme Court backs the decision of its Bashkortostan colleagues.