Law enforcement agencies believe that sect branches could operate in other cities of Russia. Presumably, in the 54 regions of the Russian Federation there were sect branches, and the number of Russian citizens affected by the actions of sectarians could number thousands. It should be noted that the suffering people suffered enormous moral and psychological damage - being in the ranks of a destructive totalitarian sect leaves indelible traces in the human psyche and requires serious rehabilitation under the guidance of specialists. A criminal case was initiated on the fact that a destructive totalitarian sect was operating in Moscow under the article “Creating a non-profit organization that encroaches on the individual and the rights of citizens”. Alexander Dvorkin, a well-known Russian sectologist, professor at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Humanitarian University, said that “the sect operated in the remote underground through a network of dummy organizations. We have long warned law enforcement agencies that they are recruiting followers through social networks, inviting them to yoga courses ”(quoted on: http://rusnovosti.ru/posts/392003).
"Holy Pope". How to make a sect from the pharmacy
Recall that the Aum Shinrikyo sect was widely known in the 1990s. - Initially, she acted on the territory of the Russian Federation almost legally, in some cases even using the assistance of local authorities, but then, after the famous terrorist attack on the Tokyo metro, was prohibited. "Aum Shinrikyo" is one of the most famous and largest totalitarian sects in the world, which tried not only to manage their own flock, but also to move to aggressive actions against the "external" world. The path of a dangerous sect, which we describe below, began in Japan. It was here in 1984 that a young man named Chizuo Matsumoto created his own religious society, which later received worldwide fame under the pseudonym Shoko Asahara. By its origin, it belonged to the Ainu - an ancient nationality that once inhabited the northern islands of Japan, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, but now almost dissolved in the surrounding nations, primarily in the Japanese.
Tizuo Matsumoto was born 2 March 1955 was in Yatsushiro, in Kumamoto Prefecture. The family was low-income and having many children - the future “guru” had six brothers and sisters. My father was engaged in the manufacture of tatami and the proceeds were barely enough to feed a large offspring. Tizuo Matsumoto himself had been ill with glaucoma since childhood - he was completely blind in his left eye, and only partially in his right eye (this disease is related to Seko Asaharu and Andrei Popov, the leader of the Russian sect, better known as “god Kuzya”: Popov also has a visual disability since childhood ). Nevertheless, Chizuo Matsumoto managed not only to complete his studies at a special school for visually impaired children, but also to attend medical school. The son of a tatami maker perfectly mastered traditional medicine and pharmacology, after which in the city of Chiba he opened a private pharmacy in which he sold Chinese pharmaceutical preparations. However, Tizuo Matsumoto’s business was unlucky - in 1982, the police arrested him, accusing him of selling counterfeit goods, after which he was fined 200 with a yen and closed the pharmacy.
Even before the bankruptcy, Matsumoto was interested in mystical and religious teachings, and after he was forced to close his pharmacy, he finally decided to devote himself to the role of a religious teacher. In 1984, Tizuo Matsumoto changed his first and last name to Shoko Asahara and started creating a religious group called Aum Shinsen-no-kai, which later became known as Aum Shinrikyo. Recruiting supporters of Shoko Asahara began by extending invitations to yoga and traditional medicine sessions on the street. Gradually, among the members of his sect, young people from influential Japanese families also appeared, since the “guru” recruited his supporters among students from the most prestigious Japanese universities. In 1989, after five years of existence of a religious organization, it was registered at the official level. In many ways, the growth of influence of the sect was promoted by the patronage of a number of Japanese and foreign Buddhist figures, including Dalai Lama XIV himself, Tenzin Gyatso. It is known that Shoko Asahara met with the Dalai Lama, having organized and secured a meeting at his own expense. Of course, then the leader of Aum Shinrikyo still hid his totalitarian habits and radical views, therefore the Dalai Lama and his associates were sure that they deal only with the Neo-Buddhist movement, oriented towards the spread and popularization of Buddhism in the world and with modern methods. However, rather quickly, Tibetan Buddhists refused to cooperate with Aum Shinrikyo and declared that the sect’s activities had nothing to do with Buddhism, since the latter does not imply proselytizing activities, all the more so by aggressive methods. Time has shown that a real totalitarian sect acted under the sign of the neo-Buddhist movement. However, at the beginning of its existence, it was the image of a respectable organization cooperating with Buddhists from all over the world that contributed to the growth of activists, and an increase in the financial income of the organization, and the acquisition of a certain political influence on a part of the Japanese ruling elite (without the support of which the sect level at which it was in the middle of 1990's.).
After that, the number of the sect began to grow rapidly, and Shoko Asahara proclaimed himself "Tokyo Christ", "Holy Pope" and "Lamb of God." The newly appeared Messiah claimed that he came to earth with the goal of accepting the sins of all people and freeing humanity from all the evil that it faces. “Doomsday is close,” said Asahara and scared his followers with the imminent Third World War and the new Armageddon, which was to occur as a result of the use of nuclear weapons. The causes of universal evil Asahara saw in the global conspiracy, which is the fruit of the activities of the "secret world government", in which the leading role is played by world freemasonry, the British and Dutch royal families and the official Japanese religious organizations following in the interests of the "secret world government." Aum Shinrikyo was generally characterized by the active exploitation of theories of world conspiracy and anti-Semitic themes - it is obvious that the organization tried to act on the ideological field of Japanese neo-militarists and neo-fascists, combining its mystical teaching with ultra-nationalistic and imperialistic ideology. It is noteworthy that Asahara tried to give his sect a political character - he was going to turn the sect not only into a religious organization, but also into a political party claiming power in Japan. However, these attempts already in 1990 failed, after which Asahara finally “left” for political extremism. It was politicization that distinguished the sect from other religious organizations that operated in Japan and other states during the period under review and adhered to non-Buddhist teachings.
Structure and ideology of Aum Shinrikyo
At the beginning of the 1990's the sect was suspected of forcibly holding adherents, manipulating consciousness, forcing to pay large sums of money. Later, there were also suspicions of criminal activity. So, in November, 1989 was killed by lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who was preparing a lawsuit against the organization. In 1991, several sectarians were arrested in Kumamoto, accused of violating land use laws. In 1992, a prominent member of the Aum Kiehide sect Hayakawa wrote "The Laws of Civil Utopia," in which he declared war on the constitutional institutions of the Japanese state. For quite a short time, the sect has become a rigidly centralized hierarchical organization, built on harsh discipline and in fact reminiscent of a totalitarian state. In the sect were created their own ministries - finance, science and education, construction. This was done, among other things, with the aim of a promising replacement of the Japanese government by the government of the sect in the case of Armageddon. The internal structure of the organization was characterized by a developed system of conspiracy and observation of the loyalty of its members. The core of the sect remained the monks living in dormitories - “ashrams”, while the sect sympathetic lay people formed an “outer circle”, the duties of whose members were to attend weekly events and pay membership dues. Sectarians were also involved in working for the organization, primarily in numerous enterprises and stores created by members of the sect and bringing impressive incomes to Aum Shinrikyo. One of the pledges of advancement in the sect hierarchy was the abandonment of the house and the donation of its property to the organization. Moreover, the property could not be returned even if the sectarian later became disillusioned with the teaching and left the ranks of the organization. By the way, to leave the sect was also not easy. For some sectarians, an attempt to break off relations with a totalitarian organization ended in a tragic death at the hands of yesterday’s comrades. As for the sect ideology, it was an eclectic combination of elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, primarily characterized by the cultivation of ideas about the near end of the world. The cause of the “modern Armageddon”, according to Asahara, was to be a nuclear war, which Japan allegedly would launch with the United States of America in 1999-2003. After a nuclear war, the sect and planned to come to power in Japan, and then throughout the world. In an effort to protect themselves from a nuclear catastrophe, the sectarians dug an underground bunker and built a plant for the production of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
In parallel with political activities, the sect tried to increase its own income through the opening of commercial enterprises. Until now, despite the fact that Shoko Asahara is in prison and was long sentenced to death by hanging, he is considered the owner of an impressive network of small restaurants and cafeterias in Japanese cities. At one time, "catering" brought good income to the sect, as well as trade in Chinese pharmaceuticals, yoga teaching, the provision of paid medical services. The sect’s attempt to extend its activities to the territory of the Russian Federation also dates back to this time. Russia was interested in Japanese sectarians not only as a place of recruitment of new adepts, the benefit of the social situation in a country undergoing a political and economic crisis in 1991-1993. just had to the activities of totalitarian sects, but also as a source of possible receipt of weapons. It is known that Hayakawa tried to purchase automatic weapons and even combat helicopters in the Russian Federation, apparently with the goal of organizing an armed insurrection in Japan and the subsequent seizure of power by sectarians. In Japan itself, sectarians turned to the practice of murder on ideological grounds. Thus, sect adherents are suspected of the assassinations of Yoshinori Kobayashi, head of the Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai, director of the Institute for the Study of Human Happiness. But the sect was best known for its propensity to use chemical weapons, which made it somewhat unique even against the background of other totalitarian religious organizations. On the night of June 27, the 1994 sect used chemical weapons by organizing the release of sarin in the city of Matsumoto. As a result of the attack, 7 people died, 200 people suffered. But the worst year for the Japanese was 1995. In January 1995, residents of the village of Kamiku-Issiki reported to the police about strange smells that emanated from the territory of a local factory owned by the Aum Shinrikyo sect. Experts established that it was sarin poison gas, but the sectarians completely rejected any allegations of chemical weapons manufacturing. 28 February 1995 was kidnapped, and then killed 69-year-old notary Kiyoshi Kariya, whose sister wanted to leave the ranks of the sect and, obviously, turned to his brother for help. Sectarians burned the body of an elderly person in an incineration plant, and dumped the ashes into Lake Kawaguchi. 19 March 1995 Osaka police arrested three sectarians on suspicion of abducting a local university student.
Gas attack in the Tokyo subway
For March 1995, the police leadership planned to organize an expanded operation against sect branches throughout Japan, but the sectarians managed to outrun the police and carry out the attack before the police planned their operation. 20 March 1995. Ten sectarians sprayed poison gas sarin into the metro of the Japanese capital Tokyo. As a result of the gas attack, 12 people died, several dozen people were seriously poisoned. Thousands of people had visual impairment, and only tens of thousands of people felt the effects of the gas attack. Approximately 5-6 thousands of victims of the terrorist attack sect "Aum Shinrikyo" say the Russian and Japanese media. Meanwhile, already 21 in March, 1995, the leadership of Aum Shinrikyo, hastened to refute accusations of involvement in a gas attack in the Tokyo metro. But no one believed it. 22-23 March 1995. The Japanese police conducted two searches in the premises used by the sect, which resulted in not only small arms but also components of chemical and bacteriological weapons, including anthrax cells and Ebola virus, as well as a military helicopter Mi- 17. Later searches began in all branches of the sect in Japan.
The identity of key perpetrators of the attack was established. It is significant that they were very respectable people who definitely could have a completely secure and decent future if they did not get involved with a dubious organization. So, Ikuo Hayashi worked in the Ministry of Science and Technology, received a higher medical education, and after joining the sect, he took the post of "Minister of Healing" and chief physician Shoko Asahara. Hayashi served as the head of a clinic established by sectarians and treated using traditional oriental medicine methods. He also “cured” sect members suspected of disloyalty to the “guru”. At least two people became victims of the “treatment”, and 231 suffered various injuries. Since Hayashi cooperated with the investigation after being arrested for participating in a terrorist act, he was sentenced not to death penalty, but to life imprisonment. Tomomitsu Niimi, who worked as a personal driver for Hayashi, was sentenced to death by hanging. Kenichi Hirose, after graduating from university, worked in the field of applied physics and was considered the chief specialist in the development of chemical weapons. 20 in March was the man who pierced sarin packages at the Otianomizu metro station, which resulted in the death of 1 people and 358 received various injuries. He was sentenced to death by hanging, as was his driver Koichi Kitamura. Toyod Toru, also a physicist by profession, defended his thesis on applied physics before joining the sect. He also worked in the field of chemical weapons and was responsible for creating the sect’s chemical weapons. Toyoda pierced sarin bags between the Naka-Meguro and Ebisu metro stations. As a result of the criminal activities of Toyoda, 1 died, 532 suffered various injuries. Toyoda was sentenced to death. His driver, Katsui Takahashi, managed to escape and stay in an illegal situation for almost twenty years. Only 15 June 2012, more than seventeen years after the attack, Katsui was identified and arrested by the Japanese police while in the Internet center. Another physicist, Masato Yokoyama, graduated from Tokyo University and was involved in the development of his own automatic pistol in the sect. As a result of his actions at Yotsui station, about 250 people suffered. Masato was also sentenced to death, and his driver Kiyotak Tonozaki was sentenced to life imprisonment. Yasuo Hayashi studied at Kogakuin University and investigated the creation of artificial intelligence. During a trip to India, he became interested in yoga, and returning to his homeland, he joined the Aum Shinrikyo organization. At Akihabara station, he pierced three packages of sarin, causing 8 people to die and injuring 2 475 people. The “murder machine,” as Yasuo was nicknamed in the Japanese press, was sentenced to death by hanging, as was his assistant and driver, Shigeo Sugimoto.
In May, 1995 was arrested and the leader of the sect Seko Asahara. He was accused of organizing murders and abductions of 26 people. It was found that it was Shoko Asahara who ordered the spraying of toxic agents in the Tokyo subway with the clear aim to distract the Japanese police and special services from the search operation in all the Aum Shinrikyo structural units in the country in March. The trial of the head of Aum Shinrikyo lasted for eight years and only in 1995, the Tokyo District Court convicted Shoko Asahara of the incriminated acts and sentenced him to death by hanging. However, Asahara himself pleaded not guilty and refused to testify back in 2005. Currently, the conviction of the leader of the sect has not yet been carried out. It is known that, back in 1999, the Supreme Court of Japan rejected the last appeal of the leader of Aum Shinrikyo and, thus, finally approved the sentence passed earlier. But in June 2006, Asahara’s death penalty was postponed by order of the Ministry of Justice of Japan. The official reason for this strange at first glance decision is the incompleteness of trials of other activists of the Aum Shinrikyo sect. Shoko Asahara is still in a Japanese prison, and the organization he created continues to function both in and outside of Japan, as it turned out, including in the Russian Federation, which is still seen by sectarians as one of the most promising states for the development and strengthening of proselytizing activities.
It should be noted that in 1999 in Japan, a law was passed requiring the sect to report to the authorities every three months and provide the police with its premises for examination at any time. 1 December 1999 The sect leaders publicly apologized to the victims of the terrorist act in the Tokyo metro, and 21 December 1999 transferred about 48,5 million dollars received by the sect as a result of the sale of property. However, in 2000, the sect was ordered to pay 50 million more dollars, including 40 million dollars in aid to victims of a terrorist act, but Aum Shinrikyo was declared bankrupt, after which the Japanese government agreed to pay 60% of compensation to victims . Officially, "Aum Shinrikyo" ceased to exist, in fact renamed the organization "Aleph." The latter structure created a charitable foundation whose responsibilities include organizing the payment of compensation to all victims of the Aum Shinrikyo sect. The sect created by Fumihiro Jiyu, who spoke with the concept of “hiding the guru”, broke away from the “Alef” group. However, in 2002, Alef recognized Fumihiro Jouyu, also known as Maitreya Seitayshi, as head of the sect for the next three years. As noted by the Russian religious scholar EM. Sivakov, "there is a feeling that" Aleph "is trying in every way to justify itself in the eyes of public opinion. Having made official apologies for the terrorist action, representatives of the organization declared in 1999 that they would earn money to compensate its victims through the computer business they had created. According to management, “Alef” is a completely harmless religious organization, and since 1999, it allegedly paid 303,5 million yen as compensation to victims. It is also alleged that the organization helps 11 September 2001 victims of attacks on New York and Washington (quoted in: Sivakov EM The Aum Shinrikyo totalitarian sect and the religious security of Japan // Japan. Yearbook. No. 36 2007). However, it is possible that such activities of the heirs of Aum Shinrikyo are carried out to avert the eyes, and the followers of the sect continue to share their beliefs about the speedy Armageddon and wish for the release of their leader and his associates guilty of organizing a terrorist act.
By the time the terrorist attacks in the Tokyo subway, the number of sects in Japan reached about 9 000 people, and in the world - up to 40 000 people. The sect has developed an active proselytic activity in the territory of the Russian Federation. As mentioned above, the success of sectarian propaganda on the territory of Russia in 1990-. contributed to the overall socio-economic and spiritual and moral situation in the post-Soviet Russian society, experiencing a difficult period of its development. Many disappointed people sought consolation in the sect from "worldly" problems, not suspecting that this would entail very great risks for them, including the risk of dying at the hands of co-religionists or being implicated in criminal or terrorist activities in the country and abroad. When the terrorist attacks in the Tokyo subway occurred, the number of the sect began to rapidly decline. In 1998 in Japan, the number of sects was 5,5 thousand people, and in 2000 only 1650 people. In Russia, the number of sect adherents was reduced to 300 people, whereas previously the number went to thousands of adepts (at least, the media called the numbers in 10 000, and even in 30 000 people). In 2004, the number of sectarians in Japan did not exceed 1000 people, in Russia it fluctuated within a few hundred people in a number of cities in the country. In Russia, sectarians continued to gather in private apartments, despite the ban on the organization’s activities.
It is significant that the latest trial of the Aum Shinrikyo case in Japan took place exactly twenty years after the terrorist attacks in the Tokyo subway - 20 March 2015. After a month of trial, 30 on April 2015, the last person accused of organizing the terrorist attacks received a life sentence. This is 58-year-old Katsui Takahashi, who was the driver of Toyoda Toru, one of the direct perpetrators of the attack. Katsui was also accused of committing several murders and organizing an attempt to undermine the building of the Japanese government. As stated above, he was detained at 2012 in an internet club. It is noteworthy that under Katsui there was a portfolio in which sectarian literature and a portrait of the leader of the sect Seko Asahara were found. This fact allowed investigators to believe that, unlike many other sectarians, Katsui did not renounce dogma and continued to hide, remaining a staunch follower of Aum Shinrikyo. Therefore, the Japanese were lucky that a staunch sectarian did not commit any new terrorist acts in 17 years of "underground life". In June, 2014 was sentenced to five years in prison by Naoko Kikuchi, one of the leaders of the Aum Shinrikyo sect who was hiding from Japanese justice for more than 17 years. She was accused of organizing the shipment of explosives to the Tokyo City Hall in 1995, but because of the prescription of years the court did not have enough evidence that citizen Naoko Kikuchi was involved in the sect’s biggest crime - spraying poisonous substances in the Tokyo subway, so there was no charge under this item It was. Kikuchi managed to escape, although most sect leaders were detained, and it was not until 17 years after the attack that the Japanese police detained her. Earlier, in March 2014, Makoto Hirata, another high-ranking member of the sect, was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment. In 2011, he arrived at the police station. Hirata was accused of abducting a notary who investigated a sect in 1995, as well as an explosion in a residential building in Tokyo and arson at the sect headquarters.
Sect is a threat to Russia
In the Russian Federation, the spread of Asahara’s teachings began after the “guru” personally visited Moscow in the spring of 1992. By the way, the arrival of the teacher was widely covered by leading Russian-language media. Asahara spoke daily on the Mayak radio station, and once a week a half-hour training seminar of the sect was broadcast on television. To meet with Asahara, assembly halls of leading universities in the Russian capital were provided, including Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute and Moscow State Technical University. In 1993, Ikuo Hayashi arrived in Russia - one of the leaders of the sect that we wrote about above, who was considered to be responsible for medicine in the Aum Shinrikyo hierarchy. As it became known later, he tried to acquire weapons in Russia and instructions for its creation. It is known that the "Minister of Construction" of the Kiyohide Hayakawa sect, who was considered the de facto Prime Minister of the "shadow government" Aum Shinrikyo, during 1992-1995. managed to visit the Russian Federation 21 times. His interests primarily included military developments. The sectarians were very interested in Russian weapons, especially since in the early 1990s, given the general confusion in the country, getting some kind of weapon was quite simple. According to some media reports, for the sect’s militants, training sessions were even organized, Japanese sectarians were trained to drive armored personnel carriers and tanks - that is, the sect had relations with some security officials. The activities of Aum Shinrikyo in the Russian Federation were banned almost immediately after the terrorist attack in the Tokyo metro on March 20, 1995. However, back in 1994, the first lawsuits against the sect from individuals subjected to psychological violence began to arrive in the courts.
But, right up to the news of the Tokyo terrorist attack, the sect was able to act legally. Moreover, according to experts, in 1993-1994. she remained one of the most advertised religious organizations in Russia. Mass meditations were organized at Moscow stadiums, gathering thousands of participants. At least one million US dollars was invested in the propaganda of sect ideas on television and radio. Surprisingly, the administrative authorities gave permission for the sect to operate, and Russian special services and law enforcement agencies did not interfere with it either. As it turned out, even after the terrorist attacks in Japan and the prohibitions on the territory of Russia, the structures of the sect in our country continued to operate in a number of regions. According to experts, part of the sect's branches in Russia broke away from the general line and became independent religious organizations, some of which operated in the Vladimir region, in Vladivostok.
Back in 2000, a citizen who was suspected of trying to organize the release of his “guru” Shoko Asahara from a Japanese prison, was detained by officers of the Federal Security Service in Vladivostok. At the head of 15 sectarians the detainee was going to release the leader of the organization. Sectarians were suspected that they were going to use the territory of Russia for organizing terrorist acts in Japan. After a series of attacks released by Asahar on a private boat, they should have been transported to the territory of Russia - to the Primorsky Territory, where he was to be in an illegal situation. It is known that even while he was at liberty, Asahara acquired several apartments in Vladivostok and in the village of Slavyanka. In the case of advancing actions of law enforcement agencies, sectarians were going to organize the seizure of hostages in the territory of the Primorsky Territory and put forward their demands, supported by massacres. It became known that the Russian branch of the sect in Vladivostok received about 100 thousand dollars from the Japanese head unit Aum Shinrikyo and bought pistols, machine guns and explosives on them. In July, the 2000 sectarians planned to carry out a series of attacks in Tokyo, Aomori and Sapporo - just before the G8 leaders arrived in the country. However, two weeks before the planned start of the “terrorist war”, the sectarians were arrested. However, as we can see from the latest events related to the detention of sectarians in Moscow, Aum Shinrikyo continued to operate in disguised form in the Russian Federation. According to sektoveda Alexander Dvorkin, in the Moscow branch of the sect "there was a filter system, about" Aum Shinrikyo "was not immediately reported. That is, first there were yoga classes, then they were invited to more advanced classes, and somewhere through 7 or 8 steps were discovered, finally, that it was “Aum Shinrikyo”, which was allegedly slandered by the media and special services, and in fact very peaceful and good organization that helps to achieve enlightenment, as they said. But by that time, young people were already so brainwashed that they were unable to evaluate something, left the family and completely disappeared in the sect ”(quoted from: http://radiovesti.ru/article/show/ article_id / 180611).
Russian citizens should remember that no one ever invites people directly to a sect, most often they can hide the true name of the organization whose representative they are in contact with from the objects of proselytizing activity. Typically, sectarians recruit new supporters, luring them to foreign language courses or yoga, Vedic medicine or martial arts can be invited to work as sales representatives or couriers. Already in the process of human activity as an employee or student, his active involvement in the sect continues - first of all, psychological treatment with gradual incitement against society, abandonment of the usual circle of communication, friendship and family ties. Virtually all sects have significant financial resources, allowing them to rent rooms for events and even financially support (at first) their members, from which much larger sums will be squeezed out later. Of course, such activity of sects would have been impossible, provided that authorities, law enforcement agencies, public organizations, and ordinary citizens are more attentive to them. But if now the fight against destructive sects is really reaching a serious level, then in the 1990s, when Aum Shinrikyo received a lot in the Russian Federation, the situation looked in a completely different way. The then authorities were interested in the material incentives offered by sectarians. In addition, one should not exclude openly sabotage activities on the part of individual officials who carried out the orders of foreign organizations. What does it cost to provide sectarians for their sermons of stadiums or auditoriums of higher educational institutions, television and radio broadcasts and printed pages in newspapers, organizing meetings of high-ranking officials with sect leaders.
It turns out that the activities of Aum Shinrikyo met with support at the highest level in the country. Otherwise, no one would have allowed the sect of foreign origin to act so openly in the country and, moreover, to recruit new supporters with the help of the media. Now, after more than twenty years, it can be assumed that the teachings of Aum Shinrikyo, like other sects of Western and Eastern origin, were implanted in post-Soviet Russia purposefully to undermine the foundations of the spiritual security of Russian society, destroy traditional values and manipulate mass consciousness. Russian man in the street. All sorts of destructive cults and beliefs, psychics, soothsayers and sorcerers, hypnotists became widely known in the country precisely because of almost official promotion - they were provided with TV and radio, they were regularly published in the print media. Sects and cults filled the value-ideological vacuum in the minds of many Russians, formed by the destruction of the Soviet system of values and the lack of positive ideological orientations. How many human destinies were crippled in those “years of reform” not only by banditry, drug addiction, impoverishment, but also by the activities of totalitarian sects, we can only guess. The fact that the activities of Aum Shinrikyo and other similar associations have sharply intensified in Russia in recent years indicates that it is a component of the anti-Russian war being waged by foreign powers and international organizations interested in undermining the security of our country.