Archpriest Alexander Novopashin is vice-president of Russia’s largest anti-cult organization, and still styles himself as a “corresponding member” of FECRIS.
By Massimo Introvigne
Bitter Winter (04.07.2022)- https://bit.ly/3aaZjly – A journalist friend of Bitter Winter received from the Diocese of Novosibirsk of the Russian Orthodox Church the text of an interview by Archpriest Alexander Novopashin published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda on June 24, and a CV explaining why Novopashin matters and the interview was important. He sent it to us, knowing we follow Novopashin with interest.
He is, as the CV (which is also published on the website of the missionary department of his diocese) explains, a “corresponding member” of FECRIS, the European Federation of Centers of Research and Information on Cults and Sects. The same web site emphasizes the role of Novopashin as vice-president of the Center for Religious Studies, the Russian anti-cult umbrella organization whose President is the FECRIS board member Alexander Dvorkin.
As Bitter Winter has reported, after the Russian aggression against Ukraine the Center for Religious Studies disappeared from the list of FECRIS member organizations on FECRIS’s web site, although no official statement or press release explained why. As far as we know, Dvorkin is still a member of FECRIS’ board. And if FECRIS does not consider Novopashin as a “corresponding member” any longer, it should say so clearly and take action against his website.
All this is of some interest in view of the “important” interview with Novopashin his diocese is advertising and has republished. We are accustomed to Russian propaganda, and to the fact that Russian FECRIS-connected anti-cultists such as Alexander Dvorkin accuse “the cults” of having worked with the American intelligence to create the democratic movement in Ukraine.
However, the FECRIS “corresponding member”’s interview is extreme even by Russian standards. The interviewer starts by telling Novopashin that, “There is a Z sign on your service church car. Your position regarding the special military operation in Ukraine becomes immediately clear.” The anti-cult leader answers that he “expressed [his] position on the very first day of the special operation, calling it anti-terrorist, by the way. Because the political regime of Ukraine is undoubtedly terrorist, extremist, misanthropic, Nazi. The Z sign means a world in which there is no place for Nazism and Satanism. For me, Nazism and Satanism are synonymous words.”
Novopashin reminisces that in the good old Soviet times Ukrainians felt they were not really separated from Russia. But then Ukraine rapidly went “downhill, according to the plans prepared by Western and American experts who are pretty well versed in destructive activities. The work to split our people has been carried out incessantly, especially intensively for the last thirty years, and, unfortunately, not without success. It took a lot of money to do this. But the work on the separation of Ukrainians and Russians reached its apogee after Euromaidan. Ukrainians seem to have been completely changed. They have become different. And this is understandable, because the pressure on their consciousness was unprecedented. And it continues for this purpose.” The West, Novopashin explains as an expert on “cults,” used the same “psychotechniques” used by “cults.” In fact, it used them in Ukraine by infiltrating or sponsoring “cults” there.
The aim of the dual conspiracy of the West and the “cults” in Ukraine, Novopashin explains, was to promote “Nazism.” “A significant part of the population of Ukraine is imbued with this ideology… but Ukrainian youth have suffered especially. Actually, the West was counting on it, the youth, initially.”
In fact, Novopashin explains, Ukrainians are so Nazi that even children in schools prepare dishes for the holidays and give them names “like ‘Blood of Russian babies’ and so on. Although, of course, Ukrainian school teachers helped them in coming up with the names. Children are made cannibals.”
They do not actually eat Russian human flesh or drink Russian blood in schools, but they become cannibals psychologically, Novopashin believes. When they grow up, they pass to “action.” For example, Novopashin says, “a seemingly prosperous Ukrainian girl writes in social networks that prisoners of war should be sold for organs. And she gets likes. The worst thing is that these are not just statements, they are a call to action.” Because of the Western and cultist “brainwashing,” in Ukraine now “the whole air is poisoned by Nazi ideology, Ukrainians are forced to breathe it. Of course, even in this case, not all become ukronazists or radical nationalists, but the others just turn a blind eye to what is happening… However, when they are given a machine gun in their hands and told to go and kill the Russians, they go and kill. Including civilians, children, pregnant women, the elderly. Maybe they are not neo-Nazis in spirit, but they are killing… Do you understand?”
One objection by the interviewer is that there are Russian-speaking Ukrainians fighting for Ukraine against Russia. Novopashin answers that they have been brainwashed and have become “Russian bastards.” “This is just about what can be done to a person, daily, hourly affecting her consciousness. Deprive her of critical thinking, remove the protective barrier—and then you can upload anything into a person’s head. And as a result, depending on the information with which she is fed, a person can mentally degrade. Russians, who have mentally degraded, cease to be Russians, they become ‘Russian bastards.’ Russian bastards hate everything Russian: faith, culture, history, literature. The Azov Regiment is made of Russian bastards. Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergey Yurievich Glazyev says that Russian bastards are worse than fascists, and declares that we, Russians, cannot have any dialogue with Russian bastards.”
How did the West operate? It understood, Novopashin explains, that it should destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, and it did it through the “cults.” “Cultist, primarily neo-Pentecostal, and neo-pagan organizations began to be created in Ukraine from the beginning of the 1990s, in which tens of thousands of Ukrainians were fraudulently involved. The neo-pagans showed themselves to be the most aggressive. They sawed down wayside crosses, set fire to Orthodox churches and chapels. But the neo-Pentecostals were not much better than them. They did not set fire to churches, but… It is well known that neo-Pentecostal missionaries were sent from Ukraine to Russia, whose goal was to ‘reform the consciousness of Russians on the basis of the Euromaidan values,’ spread the ‘theology of Maidan,’ create cultic communities in the form of sleeping cells on ‘enemy territory,’ that is, on our territory, which could be quickly awakened in case of any disturbances. Let me remind you that this was the case on the Maidan, when thousands of members of the cults came to the square in the center of Kiev.”
With the war, Novopashin insists, the cat is out of the bag and Ukrainian “cultists” show their true Satanist self. Many “members of the Ukrainian national security forces,” the anti-cultists explains, “perform Satanic rituals, paint their bodies not only with swastikas, but also with Satanic and occult symbols. In fact, these are cults… The Nazis declare themselves servants of Satan and challenge God.”
Novopashin admits that he has no evidence that the Ukraine military perform human sacrifices to Satan or cannibalism. “But if the Nazi Satanists, he asks, painted with occult and pagan signs, cut the prisoners’ throats, do not spare the elderly, rape, and then brutally kill women and children by carving swastikas on the dead bodies, is this not the same act of sacrifice to their pagan gods?”
But why should the West promote such horrors in Ukraine? The “FECRIS corresponding member” has the answer: “To destroy everything that connects Ukraine with the Greater Russia, the Russian civilization, with Russia, with the Russian world. Such an ideology is always destructive… The special operation of denazification is carried out not only to destroy the hydra in its lair, but to protect the whole Russian world.” However, Novopashin believes that destroying the hydra in Ukraine would not be enough. The West, he says, is already at work in other countries. “After an end will be put to Ukrainian Nazism, some other aggressor country will appear, through which the United States will begin to threaten Russia. A civilizational war cannot be avoided.”
These theories seem to suggest that the Archpriest is not operating with a full deck, but it is important to note that Novopashin is not a lonely madman. His interviews are reprinted nationwide, and advertised by his diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Maybe, but we do not know for sure, the membership of his organization in the FECRIS has been recently suspended, but he claims to be still with FECRIS as an individual. And Novopashin and Dvorkin did not develop these ideas overnight when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. Russian anti-cultists started making preposterous claims about “cultists” being used by the CIA to create a democratic anti-Russian movement in Ukraine at the time of the Orange Revolution in 2004, and continued in 2014 and beyond. During all these times, they were part of FECRIS and hailed by FECRIS as particularly effective members. It would be difficult now for FECRIS to claim it didn’t know what the positions of its Russian affiliates were about Ukraine.
Photo: Archpriest Alexander Novopashin. From VKontakte.
Massimo Introvigne (born June 14, 1955 in Rome) is an Italian sociologist of religions. He is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), an international network of scholars who study new religious movements. Introvigne is the author of some 70 books and more than 100 articles in the field of sociology of religion. He was the main author of the Enciclopedia delle religioni in Italia (Encyclopedia of Religions in Italy). He is a member of the editorial board for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion and of the executive board of University of California Press’ Nova Religio. From January 5 to December 31, 2011, he has served as the “Representative on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination, with a special focus on discrimination against Christians and members of other religions” of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). From 2012 to 2015 he served as chairperson of the Observatory of Religious Liberty, instituted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to monitor problems of religious liberty on a worldwide scale.