A little bird sent to Bitter Winter an interesting document. Reportedly, the leading Russian anti-cultist is going to China in August to support the repression of Falun Gong.
by Massimo Introvigne
Readers of “Bitter Winter” are familiar with Alexander Novopashin, an Orthodox archpriest from Novosibirsk and the Vice President of RATsIRS, the Russian national organization that was affiliated with the European anti-cult federation FECRIS until March 2023, whose President is the notorious Russian anti-cultist Alexander Dvorkin.
RATsIRS and Novopashin have emerged among the most fanatic supporters of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. They contribute to the Kremlin’s propaganda the argument that Ukraine and its government are controlled by “cults,” including Satanists, “Nazi neo-pagans,” Scientologists, CIA-sponsored Evangelicals, and even “cannibals.” In turn, “cults” such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the ubiquitous “Satanists,” and several Evangelical churches are accused of infiltrating Russia, destabilizing the country and even conducting acts of sabotage on behalf of the Ukrainian intelligence. In short, RATsIRS and Novopashin are engaged in justifying the slaughter of thousands of Ukrainian men, women, and children with false and obnoxious religious arguments.
China in turn is persecuting religious minorities it labels as “xie jiao” (“heterodox teachings,” less accurately translated as “evil cults”), and has waged a horrific war of extermination against Falun Gong, which includes the use of torture, extra-judicial killing, and even organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
Dark birds of a feather often end up flying together. Speaking of flying animals, a little bird sent to “Bitter Winter” an interesting document. We publish it as it looks authentic to us, but will be of course glad to correct ourselves in case Archpriest Novopashin would deny its content.
An English translation of its essential parts is as follows:
“Invitation letter to participate in the Second Sino-Russian Conference on cultural exchange and counteraction against the pseudo-religious Falun Gong cult.
Dear Mr. Alexander Vladimirovich Novopashin:
The Second Sino-Russian Conference on cultural exchange and counteraction against the pseudo-religious Falun Gong cult will be held under the organization of the Chinese Cultural and Art Federation, during which events will be held on the topic of exchange and study between China and Russia in the field of culture and countering the pseudo-religious Falun Gong cult.
We sincerely invite you to visit the city of Harbin from August 5 to August 7, 2023, to take part in our conference.
We hereby ask the embassy (consulate) of the People’s Republic of China in the Russian Federation to provide you with a visa.”
We are told that this is not the first visit of Novopashin to China and certainly his co-conspirator Dvorkin lectured there against “cults.” Western European FECRIS anti-cultists also went to China and supported the repression of Falun Gong. However, this is a special moment, with Novopashin working almost full-time for the Russian anti-Ukrainian propaganda and China hit by new accusations of organ harvesting on Falun Gong prisoners.
The hotel has been reserved, and Archpriest Novopashin can prepare for the trip. We assume he is eager to share his experience of justifying the massacre of Ukrainians, which perhaps may come out handy to the Chinese to justify their own massacre of Falun Gong practitioners, not to mention Uyghurs, Tibetans, and many others. In turn, Novopashin is always looking for new ideas. Perhaps he will come back and import organ harvesting into Russian-occupied Ukraine.