In the wake of raids, Scientology's sneaky consulting front shrinks markedly in Russia - 2016-09-18
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology social media for us, and on Sundays he dives into the latest happenings with the organization's many front groups. This time, he's taking us to Russia, where things have taken a turn for the worse. Take it away, Rod...
The World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) will hold its 20th annual conference for Russian and Russian-speaking Scientologists in Moscow from September 28-30. The conference is at the Cosmos Hotel, the largest hotel in Russia, with over 1,700 rooms. Built in 1980 for the Summer Olympics, the hotel was re-dedicated in 2005 in honor of French General Charles de Gaulle to celebrate the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War, or World War II as it is known in Western countries. It's an impressive hotel, but Scientology is run on statistics, and WISE in Russia is "downstat" in that reserved seating for this year is behind the pace set in 2015.
Scientology in Russia is under pressure from the authorities, with orgs and missions being the target of police raids and seizure of documents. But WISE continues to do business, selling Scientology under the name of business consulting. Sea Org member Eugenia Sukhareva is the Commanding Officer WISE CIS and Baltic States, and the main organizer of the conference.