15 Feb 2011

Russia bans Satanic sect that indoctrinated and abused secondary school students

Interfax  -  Russia    February 8, 2011

Satan sect first banned in Russia

Moscow, February 8, Interfax - Supreme Court of Mordovia recognized as extremist and banned the sect Noble Order of the Devil that worked in Mordovia, in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, the Ulyanovsk Region, the Penza Region and the Tula Region and positioned itself as regional branch of the Church of the Dark.

"Organizer and head of the sect is Alexander Kazakov was born in 1984, he is a resident of Mordovia and a six-year student of the medical institute at the republican state university," court officials told Interfax-Religion.

It was cleared out that over 75 students and secondary school pupils were attracted to the order headed by Kazakov in 2004-2009.

According to the court information, the sect cell in Ulyanovsk was administered by Denis Danshin, born in 1987, registered in Inza town, the Ulyanovsk Region, a staff member of security guards company.

"According to the investigation data, these people in frames of the sect organized regular occult and Satan rites applying physical violence against certain sect members, practiced group sex, in particular with the underaged," the interviewee of the agency said.

As was mentioned in the court resolution, Kazakov and Danshin imposed on sect members occult postulates as the only true views on life, religion, state, convincing them that Satanism is the only true religion. Kazakov instructed Danshin to physically punish those who did not share Satanism ideology.

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  1. Russians on trial in exorcism killing of daughter


    MOSCOW - A Russian couple went on trial Tuesday accused of disembowelling their 26-year-old daughter then trampling her to death in a gruesome Christmas eve exorcism.

    Investigatoirs said Sergei Koshimbetov, a 49-year-old taxi driver, and 50-year-old Elena Antonova, a teacher, of the central Russian city of Voronezh, tortured their daughter for several hours before killing her on the night of January 7 when Orthodox Russia celebrates Christmas.

    On the pretext of "exorcising demons" they first beat up their daughter and tried to force-feed her five litres (11 pints) of what they claimed was "holy water."

    "After that, Antonova ripped a part of her daughter's intestine out with her hands," investigators from the Voronezh region said in a statement. "After that the husband and wife trampled her body until she died."

    The parents, who deny the killing, were ordered to stand trial despite being deemed mentally ill by psychiatrists, the investigators said. They were expected to be committed to a mental institution.

    "I absolutely did not kill her," Antonova said on television. "What I did, I did to her body."

    Investigators said the couple insisted they wanted to save her from evil.

    "The mother and father believed they were helping their daughter to stop loving her husband, believing him to be Satan," investigator Murat Suroyev said in televised remarks.

    When their daughter Alexander stopped breathing, her parents wrapped her in a blanket telling relatives she would be resurrected in three days, state-controlled NTV channel said.

    The next day their younger daughter called an ambulance. Medics said they were shocked by the scene.

    "The woman was lying in some kind of a crucifix position," paramedic Irina Semirod said.

    Citing the findings from the Serbsky psychiatric hospital, investigators said the parents were mentally ill and needed to undergo treatment.

    Arriving at the hearing with a Bible, Antonova said she did not understand why she had to be committed.

    "How can they send me to a madhouse?" she said. "I feel fine."


  2. Muslim sect members charged with abuse

    (AP) – August 8, 2012

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian prosecutors have brought child abuse charges against members of a reclusive Muslim sect accused of keeping some of their children in underground cells for over 10 years.

    Russia's Vesti television reported Wednesday that prosecutors in Kazan, the capital of the predominantly Muslim central province of Tatarstan, have also charged Faizrakhman Satarov, the sect's 83-year-old founder, with negligence.

    It said Satarov declared himself a prophet — a claim that contradicts the principles of Islam — and ordered some 70 of his followers to stop contact with the outside world and live in underground cells they dug under a house outside Kazan in the early 2000s.

    Vesti quotes prosecutors saying some 20 children, aged between 1 and 17, lived there for years, some of whom have never seen daylight.


  3. Underground sect charged with child abuse

    CTV News The Associated Press August 8, 2012

    MOSCOW -- A self-proclaimed prophet had a vision from God: He would build an Islamic caliphate under the earth.

    The digging began and 70 followers soon moved into an 8-story honeycomb of cramped cells with no light, heating or ventilation.

    Children were born. They, too, lived in the cold underground cells. Until authorities raided the compound last week and freed the 27 sons and daughters of the sect -- who rarely saw the light of day.

    Aged between 1 and 17, the children had never left the property, attended school or been seen by a doctor, officials said Wednesday. Their parents were charged with child abuse.

    The sect's 83-year-old founder, Faizrakhman Satarov, who declared himself a prophet in contradiction with the principles of Islam, has also been charged with negligence, said Irina Petrova, deputy prosecutor in the provincial capital of Kazan.

    No members of the sect, who call themselves "muammin" after the Arabic term that means "believers," have been arrested, she said. Under Russian law, child abuse charges do not necessarily lead to arrest or a prison sentence.

    The children were discovered last week when police searched the sect grounds as part of an investigation into the recent killing of a top Tatarstan Muslim cleric, an attack local officials blame on radical Islamist groups that have mushroomed in the oil-rich, Volga River province of Tatarstan.

    Satarov, a former top imam in the neighbouring province of Bashkortostan, ordered some 70 followers to live in cells they dug under the three-story building topped by a small minaret with a tin crescent moon. Only a few sect members were allowed to leave the premises to work as traders at a local market, Russian media reported.

    The children were examined in local hospitals and will temporarily live in an orphanage, pediatrician Tatyana Moroz said. "They looked nourished, but dirty, so we had to wash them," she said in televised remarks.

    Their parents voiced concern about the children's medical treatment.

    Doctors "can do anything to them," Fana Sayanova, a woman with a veiled face and clad in a long white dress, told local television.

    The cramped cells, without ventilation, heating or a regular electricity supply, form eight levels under the decrepit three-story brick house on a 700-square-metre plot of land. The house was built illegally and will be demolished, Tatarstan police told local media.

    "They will come with bulldozers and guns, but they will have to demolish this house over our dead bodies!" sect member Gumer Ganiyev said on the Vesti television channel. The ailing Satarov appointed Ganiyev as his deputy "prophet," according to local media.

    Satarov had followers in several other cities in Tatarstan and other Volga River provinces, local media reported.

    In a 2008 interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, Satarov said that he fell out with other clerics and authorities in the Communist era, when he said the KGB sent him to Muslim nations with stories about religious freedom in the officially atheist Soviet Union. Government-approved Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Jewish clerics routinely travelled abroad on Soviet publicity trips.

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    "That's how I became Satan's servant, a traitor," the white-bearded and turbaned man was quoted as saying. "When I understood that, I repented and started preaching."

    Muslim leaders in Tatarstan said Satarov's views contradict their dogma.

    "Islam postulates that there are no other prophets after Mohammad," Kazan-based theologian Rais Suleimanov told the Gazeta.ru online publication Tuesday. "The teachings of Sattarov, who declared himself a prophet, have been rejected by traditional Muslims."

    The sect members stopped accepting new members and are "only dangerous to themselves and their children," Suleimanov was quoted as saying.

    Police raided Satarov's house last Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into the killing of Valiulla Yakupov, Tatarstan's deputy chief mufti, who was gunned down in mid-July as he left his house in Kazan. Minutes later, chief mufti Ildus Faizov was wounded in the legs after an explosive device ripped through his car in central Kazan.

    Both clerics were known as critics of radical Islamist groups that advocate a strict and puritan version of Islam known as Salafism.
    The emergence of Salafist groups in Tatarstan and other Volga River provinces with a sizable Muslim population has been fueled by the influx of jihadists and clerics from Chechnya and other provinces of Russia's Caucasus region, where Islamic insurgency has been raging for years.

    Last year, Doku Umarov, the leader of the embattled Chechen separatists, issued a religious decree calling on radical Islamists from the Caucasus to move to the densely-populated Volga River region that includes Tatarstan.

    Prosecutors have named two suspects in the cleric's killing who remain at large and arrested five others in the case. Islamist youth groups have staged rallies in Kazan demanding the detainees' release.

    More than half of Tatarstan's 4 million people are Sunni Muslims. Tatars converted to Islam more than a thousand years ago, and the province became an important centre of Muslim learning and culture under Tatar-Mongol rulers who controlled Russia and parts of Eastern Europe.

    Islamic radicals from the Caucasus have called for the establishment of a caliphate, an independent Islamic state under Shariah law that includes the Caucasus, Tatarstan and other parts of Russia that were once part of the Golden Horde -- a medieval Muslim state ruled by a Tatar-Mongol dynasty.


  5. Visit to Russian underground sect reveals few signs of horrors trumpeted by authorities

    By Mansur Mirovalev, The Associated Press
    Vancouver Sun  August 14, 2012

    KAZAN, Russia - Authorities spoke of a creepy cult living in an "eight-level ant house" dug deep into the ground, where children were kept in unheated cells and starved of daylight. A visit to the compound suggests a more ordinary reality.

    A brief visit inside the compound, which provided shocking headlines around the world when police raided it and seized the children, revealed none of the elaborate underground design described by prosecutors. Nor does a police video showing rooms inside. The father of a cult member, who originally disapproved of his daughter joining the group, said he was able to visit freely and has no complaints about how members live or treat their children.

    The conflicting portrayals raise questions about whether authorities may have exaggerated the eccentricity of the sect, perhaps in an effort to show they are cracking down on radical Islamic groups. The spokeswoman for Kazan prosecutors did not answer repeated calls to her office and cellphones on Monday.

    Police stumbled upon the bizarre sect in early August as they investigated what they described as a terrorist attack that killed a top cleric in oil-rich Tatarstan, a central Russian province where the population is about 60 per cent Muslim. Officials blamed the attack on the radical Islamic groups proliferating in the region.

    Police seized the 20 children living in the compound and put them in orphanages. Their parents were charged with child abuse, which prosecutors said could deprive them of custody for up to two years. Prosecutors allege that the children, who did not attend public schools, lived in conditions "unfit for humans," in small, dark and unventilated cells dug into the earth. Health officials said the children rarely saw the light of day.

    Relatives of cult members disputed that. Madganur Ziganshin, whose daughter, Ralifa Ibragimova, joined the cult over his objections, said the room where she lived with her husband and four children was not underground and had normal windows.

    He also disputed claims that the children rarely saw sunshine and were not allowed to leave the property, saying they had visited both sets of grandparents and gone to summer camp, and that he visited frequently for up to three days at a time.

    "They pray. They are religious. But they are not junkies, drunks or bandits," Ziganshin said in his home in the village of Bailyangar, 200 kilometres (120 miles) away. "They never abuse the kids, never beat them."

    Neighbours, however, said the children were raised to look upon others with disdain and would curse and throw stones from inside their compound.

    "They consider themselves a higher race, while other people are garbage," said Ildar Khusainov, 42, who lives in a nearby wooden house.

    It was not possible to determine from a short visit to the compound or from the video taken by police the day of the raid how much, if any, of the living space lies underground.

    The compound's main, three-story house is built into the side of a steep hill. A covered passageway leads down the hill to another house, with doors on both sides. At street level, a wooden minaret topped by a tin crescent moon rises above a 2-meter (7-foot) fence. Power was cut off years ago when the sect stopped paying its utility bills. The sect now gets water from a well and uses wood and propane gas for heat.

    The sect, whose members call themselves "Muammin" — Arabic for "believers" — had thousands of followers in the 1990s. But they began to drift away after the founder, Faizrakhman Satarov, declared himself the "messenger of God" and his sect to be the world's only true Muslims. When police raided about 60 people, including the children, were living in the compound.

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    Ibragimova's husband accused authorities of seizing the children and filing abuse charges as a pretext for closing down the sect. Police have not reported finding weapons or any other evidence that sect members were involved in violence.

    "They want to frighten us so that we leave by ourselves, so that we disappear," said Shamil Ibragimov, a lean 30-year-old with a thin beard. "This is immoral. This is lawlessness."

    Ibragimov was at the compound on Sunday packing his possessions. His wife suffered a miscarriage the day after the children were seized, and on Friday he sent her to her parents' home in Bailyangar. He was preparing to join her there and hoped they would soon regain custody of their children, aged 18 months to 9 years.

    He said it took him five days to locate the children in an orphanage outside Kazan. They seemed happy but "did not realize they might lose their parents forever," their father said.
    The fate of the sect's property remains unclear.

    Police, accompanied by social workers and construction experts, conducted a third search last week to further assess the living conditions and decide whether the haphazardly built structures should be demolished or allowed to stand.

    In many ways, conditions at the compound are typical for rural Russia. Ziganshin's wooden house in Bailyangar, for example, has low ceilings and creaky floors, with a wood-burning stove in the kitchen for heat and cooking.

    Sect leaders are enraged over the seizure of the children and the police action against their holy project, and vowed to triumph.

    "Allah will punish you," Gumer Ganiyev, the sect leader's deputy, yelled at police officers. "You will all die tomorrow."
    Andrey Bulay in Kazan contributed to this story.


  7. Putin urges tougher control over mushrooming cults

    Russia Today October 25, 2012

    The Russian government should toughen its laws governing the activities of the totalitarian cults cropping up across the country, President Vladimir Putin said during a Thursday meeting in the southeastern region of Samara.

    Totalitarian religious groups pose a threat to the society and people, he said: “It’s a hunt not only for souls, but also people’s property.”

    One of the participants at the meeting called on Putin to step up pressure on these sects. They also suggested creating a database of such groups, which would be made available to regional education ministries and schools.

    Earlier this year, a reclusive Muslim sect was discovered in Russia’s Tatarstan. Over 70 people, including 27 children, spent a decade in an eight-level catacomb without access to education, healthcare and daylight.

    In 2007, a similar story was uncovered in Russia’s Penza region, shocking the entire country: Nearly 30 cultists dug a shelter, stocked it with food and spent several months waiting for the apocalypse, which they expected to happen in May 2008.

    Putin noted that he often hears similar complaints about cults during his visits to Russia’s various regions.

    “All sort of huts where various unclear rituals are performed are mushrooming. Or people are being forced under the ground. It’s a problem, I agree with you,” he said, adding that he vowed to tackle the issue