Roman Silantyev insists that “Columbine Satanism” and MKU (Maniacs: Murder Cult) work for Ukraine in Russian territory. They do not exist, but the FSB arrests hundreds of alleged members anyway.
by Massimo Introvigne
Roman Silantyev is a bizarre Russian anti-cultist Bitter Winter readers are familiar with. He has invented a pseudo-science called “destructology,” which claims that “destructive cults” are part of a broader phenomenon of “destructive misanthropy.” The latter includes hundreds of “extremist” groups that pursue evil for the sake of evil. Coincidentally, are branded as “destructive” and “misanthropic” all groups that criticize the Putin regime and its war of aggression in Ukraine.
In Russia, real paranoids have real chairs in universities and government appointments. Silantyev got his own “Laboratory of Destructology” at Moscow State Linguistic University, and in 2009 was appointed as the deputy of Alexander Dvorkin, Russia’s most notorious anti-cultist, as head of the Expert Council on religion at the Russian Ministry of Justice.
One of Silantyev’s pet theories is the existence of a particularly destructive “cult” called “Columbine Satanism.” He takes the name from the high school massacre in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999. The massacre was unfortunately very much real but a broader “Columbine” cult exists only in Silantyev’s disturbed imagination.
“Columbine Satanism” is based, Silantyev says, on the ideas of the Church of Satan of Anton LaVey, and is responsible for the killings perpetrated in high schools in various countries by armed teenagers. In fact, Silantyev claims, it is the result of experiments in a new form of terrorism carried out by both the CIA and the Ukrainian intelligence, with the latter actively trying to export “Columbine Satanism” into Russia. Of course, there is not such a movement as “Columbine Satanism,” and there is no evidence that the authors of the Columbine or other shootings were inspired by LaVey’s Satanism, let alone the CIA or Ukraine.
One could have believed that Silantyev’s ramblings about the non-existent “Columbine Satanism” were just temporary propaganda and part of his competition of sort with Dvorkin to emerge as the most radical anti-cultist in Russia. This was not the case.
Silantyev has a new book on “Columbine Satanism” and he promoted it in a conference in Nizhny Novgorod attended by representatives of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation for Public Projects, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, the FSB, the Main Directorate for Combating Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, and Dvorkin’s deputy in their Russian anti-cult umbrella organization that had joined the European federation FECRIS, Alexander Novopashin, who moderated a session where “experts” discussed how to counter the ideology of “Columbine Satanism” (if only it existed).
Why the FSB pretends to take Silantyev’s strange ideas on “Columbine Satanism” seriously became clear when on September 6 according to its press releases it “carried out a large-scale operation against members of the Columbine movement banned in the Russian Federation and the radical Ukrainian group MKU. In 46 regions of the Russian Federation, operational-search activities and investigative actions were carried out against 187 Russian citizens, members of online communities of supporters of the ideology of mass murder, administered by the moderators of the Columbine terrorist movement and the Ukrainian radical group MKU (Maniacs: Murder Cult).”
The day before, Silantyev had given an interview explaining that “Columbine Satanists” and their MKU allies in Russia “kill 15-20 people and hundreds of cats and pigeons annually.” Concerned for the Russian cats and pigeons, in addition to the Russian patriots killed by these “cults,” Silantyev added that “taken together, the threat from such structures already noticeably exceeds the threat from Wahhabi terrorist organizations. And the main source of these threats was the center of information and psychological operations in Ukraine, which since 2015 has been actively provoking terrorism in Russia targeting children in particular.”
The MKU is another interesting organization, which has the advantage of having all the features of the stereotypical “cult” and only one disadvantage, it does not exist. It is an allegedly Ukrainian “cult” unknown in Ukraine, and an allegedly Satanic and Nazi organization unknown in the Ukrainian and European Satanic and Nazi milieus and to the scholars studying them.
The FSB started denouncing the MKU in 2021 and published the picture of its alleged founder and leader, a young Ukrainian called Yehor Krasnov, whom Russia put in the list of the Interpol’s most wanted, although reportedly he was in jail in Ukraine for having stabbed a man in the street. Apart from looking like a stereotypical Black Metal fan, it does not seem that Krasnov was ever famous or had a following in Ukraine. He may or may not have used MKU as the name of a group in the social media VKontakte that had some 13 participants before disappearing. If he did, a tiny Internet group was taken by the FSB as an opportunity to invent a non-existing global “cult.”
106 persons were arrested in Russia in December 2021, and more have been arrested now. It seems that among those arrested were supporters of dissident Alexei Navalny.
No independent evidence of the existence of MKU as an international organization extending from Ukraine to Russia and planning terrorist attacks or crimes has been found. Besides, have you ever heard of a murderous cult that would choose as its name “Murder Cult”?