Leadership of St. Petersburg Scientology group imprisoned


by Mikhail Telekhov

RAPSI, 28 June 2017


A St. Petersburg city court left in force the decision about the detention of the executive director of the religious group "Scientology Church of St. Petersburg," Galina Shurinova, who is charged with participation in an extremist society, RAPSI was told on Wednesday in the United Press Service of St. Petersburg Courts.


Shurinova is accused of illegal business and arousing hatred and enmity, along with demeaning the human dignity of several members of the Scientology Church for whom so-called "ethical orders" were issued by which delinquent adherents were forbidden to participate in "auditing" (the most important spiritual practice in Scientology—RAPSI note).


According to information of the investigation, Shurinova is the chief administrator of the "church" and controls the flow of money earned by the Scientology society's provision of services, and also literature that has been ruled extremist and forbidden on the territory of the RF was seized during a search in the apartment of the accused.


According to a representative of the Investigation Service of the Russian F.S.B. Directorate for St. Petersburg and Leningrad province, from 2013 to 2016 the "Scientology Church of St. Petersburg," not having registration in the capacity of a legal entity, received more than 276 million rubles for providing its services in the form of lectures and educational seminars, which were transferred to controlled bank accounts.


Earlier, searches were conducted in the premises of the Scientology church and also residences of its members, within the context of investigation of a criminal case that was opened a year ago for incidents of illegal business, arousing hatred or enmity, demeaning human dignity, and also organizing an extremist society. Five members of the religious group were arrested.


Along with Shurinova, in early June the Nevsky district court of St. Petersburg placed in custody a leader of the religious organization, Ivan Matsitsky; the chief accountant of the religious group, Sakhib Aliev; and the director of the Department of Official Matters, Anastasia Terenteva; and her assistant Konstantsia Eaulkova was placed under house arrest.  (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2017)


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