History, traditions
Author`s name Ольга Савка

About Million Russians Involved in Sects

Totalitarian sects exist only for money and power

There are up to 500 various sects in Russia. The number of people involved in destructive religious organizations reaches one million. About 70 percent of them are young people of 18-27 years old.

RIA Novosti reports, such information was exposed in Moscow on Tuesday during the round table discussion devoted to sects. The discussion was called "Totalitarian Sects - Weapons of Mass Destruction." Psychologists and scientists, spokespeople for the Russian Orthodox Church, for the Russian Foreign Ministry and other state institutions took part in the discussion.

Alexander Dvorkin, president of the Religious Research Center, doctor of philosophy, said there were 600-800 thousand officially registered sect members in Russia. The scientist believes, "imported sects" run their activities in Russia as well: the church of Scientology, the Moon Sect, Jehovah's Witness and so on. According to Dvorkin, there are domestic sects too: the Blessed Virgin Center (Moscow), Ashram Shambaly (Novosibirsk), Vissarion's sect (the Krasnoyarsk region), Radasteya (Ural) and many others.

"The most powerful sect in Russia nowadays is the Neo50 movement, which embraces the Far East, Siberia and Ural. Jehovah's Witness and Mormons are growing too," Alexander Dvorkin said.

In other sects, the inflow of members is equal to their outflow. A sect uses its new members to the maximum and then it gets rid of them in several years.

According to experts' estimates, sects buy real estate, establish lobbies in governmental structures, initiate trials on allegedly violated laws of freedom of conscience, trying to settle firmly in the Russian society.

According to Dvorkin's definition, a totalitarian sect is an authoritarian organization that exists for money and power. To obtain money and power, a sect uses pseudo-religious, pseudo-cultural and other pseudo-methods. Numerous psycho-cults are also related to totalitarian sects.