On September 30, Vladimir Putin officially proclaimed the annexation of a part of Ukraine into the Russian Federation. An interesting part of his speech included Putin’s first public use of the rhetoric, usually promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian anti-cult movement, presenting the aggression war in Ukraine as a fight against Satanism, which allegedly inspires both the Ukrainian and the Western governments.
In his September 30 speech, Putin said that countries opposing Russia have now renounced “traditional faiths and values” and are dominated by “a religion on the contrary—outright Satanism.”
Putin’s reference throws a new light both on the September FSB raids where political opponents have been arrested by claiming they are members of “Satanic cults” directed by the American and the Ukrainian intelligence and preparing sabotage and terrorist attacks on behalf of Ukraine, and on conferences and lectures where leading Russian anti-cultists present the aggression against Ukraine as a crusade against Satanism.
In addition to previous speeches we covered in Bitter Winter, Archpriest Alexander Novopashin, the Vice President of the Russian national anti-cult umbrella organization Russian Association of Centers for Religious and Cultic Studies (РАЦИРС/RATsIRS), later shortened as “Center for Religious Studies,” which has been for years a Russian affiliate of the European anti-cult federation FECRIS, delivered a new lecture on the Ukrainian war on September 28, to the students of the Novosibirsk State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering.
Novopashin said that “in Ukraine, with the support of the United States, a Nazi regime was established.” He also discussed the incident in Izhevsk, where on September 26 a mentally disturbed 34-year-old man killed seventeen students and teachers in a school shooting. Novopashin insisted the man was “a follower of Columbine Satanism,” a non-existing “cult” invented by Russian anti-cultist Roman Silantyev. Novopashin and Silantyev claim that “Columbine Satanism” is a joint project of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, the CIA, and Ukrainian intelligence, to create through psychological techniques criminal Satanists, particularly in Russia. The Russian FSB has arrested political opponents of the Putin regime claiming they are members of the elusive “Columbine Satanism.”
Why is Satanism allegedly spreading in Russia? “Our eternal geopolitical opponents, primarily the United States, answered Novopashin, are interested in spreading extremist ideologies in Russia among young people. Not only do they imposed destructive ideas destroying the psyche of their adherents, but these people also commit murders and severe beatings, causing panic and horror in the population. And the more unstable the state of Russian society, the better for our enemies. That is why, at the behest of their overseas masters, in order to maximally destabilize the situation in Russia, the Centers for Information and Psychological Operations of Ukraine (CIPSO) take an active part in planting these savage ideologies.”
The only way of fighting Satanism, the anti-cultist said, is to continue the special military operation until complete “denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.”
While there is always the risk to regard anti-cultists in Russia as more important than they really are, they do supply the “cults” and “Satanism” argument that is liberally used by the Russian propaganda. It seems now that Vladimir Putin himself is not ashamed of making use of it.