Investigators said the members rented a house where they “conducted cult ceremonies, including illegal acts of alcoholic binge drinking, sexual practices and antisocial behavior.”
So far, 130 healers, including Fadkin, have passed the service’s voluntary testing program, which promoters in the government say can determine whether someone has the inherent ability to cure. The program is limited to Moscow, but a Russian lawmaker is pushing to extend it nationwide and make it mandatory.
Skeptics scoff at the notion that such testing is meaningful and criticize the government for lending credibility to people who claim paranormal powers.
He was put on the federal wanted list in the 1990s after it was determined that the sect’s ideology was “anti-social and anti-family, deliberately opposing itself to society in general.” The police operation was aimed at freeing several sect members, including an underage girl from Belarus.
“The defendant will not be responsible for the crimes he committed when mentally ill. The court has ordered compulsory treatment for him in a psychiatric ward,” Judge Maria Smyslova said.
The group, said to consist of a core of about 15 women aged 45-50, is headed by 52-year-old Alexander Zhukov, who calls himself Raphael.
Prosecutors Russian city of Murmansk say that a planned series of Jehovah’s Witnesses services in a stadium cannot go ahead, as they contravene a law on the use of sports facilities.
Meanwhile the Public Prosecutor of the small asbestos-mining town of Asbest in Sverdlovsk Region is pressing for a ban on Jehovah’s Witness literature, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. If Asbest Town Court — or any other Russian court — finds Jehovah’s Witness publications extremist, their addition to the Federal List of Extremist Materials would extend a ban on their distribution to the whole of Russia.
Jehovah’s Witnesses continuing to hand out the texts would risk a four-year prison term under Article 282 of the Criminal Code.
Deep in the heart of Siberia’s birch forests lies one of the largest and most remote religious communes of the planet. More than 5,000 people have left their families and their homes to move here and join the Church of the Last Testament, which has more than 10,000 followers worldwide. The church centers on one man. He is known simply as Vissarion, meaning “he who gives new life,” or simply as the teacher, and he claims that he is Jesus Christ.
A pastor who was jailed for failing to declare the bullets he carried into Russia for a frien’s antique, lever-action Winchester rifle has had his 3-year sentence cut.
A court in Russia’s Penza Region is expected to decide in late June whether the leader of a doomsday sect that spent half a year underground should be kept in a mental asylum, prosecutors said on Tuesday.