Blog: (VIDEO) Scientology in Russia - It's 1984 All Over Again - 2016-06-30
Scientology has operated in Russia for over 20 years and in all likelihood, will continue operating there in one form or another for many more years to come. However, recent developments have caused me to look more deeply into what is going on there and how the Russian government has chosen to deal with what they clearly consider the Scientology threat. Watching a somewhat totalitarian government regime deal with an authoritarian destructive cult should be entertaining, but unfortunately that is not the case. The way things are going in Russia now, it appears they are falling right back into Stalinist thought policing which will only mean more trouble for everyone.
Let's look at how this began. When the Iron Curtain came down due to events throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990, Russia's borders opened up and new religious movements and destructive cults flooded in, including the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Unification Church as well as Scientology.
They were aided in this in 1990 when Mikhail Gorbachov signed the "Law of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on Freedom of Worship. " This new law stated that freedom of worship "...shall include the right of each and every citizen to freely select, possess, and disseminate religious and atheist beliefs, to confess any faith or no faith, and to act in accordance with his or her beliefs, while observing the laws of the state." This was much needed in Russia to allow for freedom of religious belief, but with that freedom also comes the freedom to be deceived and cheated by those who use religion for their own nefarious ends. Unfortunately, when you open the door to the good, you can also let the bad slip in too.