In both China and Russia, Alexander Novopashin (with FECRIS until March 2023) lends a helping hand to the murderous anti-Falun-Gong campaign
by Massimo Introvigne
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible.” As an Orthodox priest, Russian anti-cultist Alexander Novopashin, part of the European anti-cult federation FECRIS until March 2023, should be familiar with these word of the fifth chapter of Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.
Yet, there are things he prefers to “do in secret.” I am not talking of his name-calling against the Ukrainians, labeled as cultists, Nazis, and Satanists. This he does very openly, and has even placed a big Z “on his service church car, so that his position regarding the special military operation in Ukraine becomes immediately clear.”
An area where the anti-cult archpriest from Novosibirsk would prefer to be more discreet is his support of the murderous Chinese repression of Falun Gong and other “cults.” It is something the Chinese very much appreciate, as the United States and other countries censor them and sanction their officials for atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners, including the barbarian practice of organ harvesting, which has been declared as real and condemned by the European Parliament in 2022.
In July, “Bitter Winter” received from a confidential source and published a letter of invitation for Novopashin to go to China for a conference in August and publicly support the Chinese efforts to “counter the pseudo-religious Falun Gong cult.”
Novopashin has a website where he publicizes every lecture he offers, even to a few students in a remote village. He has been remarkably silent on his trip to China, and one could even have imagined that he had not accepted the invitation after it had been exposed by “Bitter Winter.”
Sometimes, however, it is our relatives that make us vulnerable. Novopashin happens to have a son called Kirill. He is a confused young fellow, who on August 17 posted on Facebook that his father’s invitation to visit China was made public by “the U.S. Department of State website Bitter Winter.” We are pleased to be occasionally quoted by documents of the U.S. Department of State—and by official reports from several other countries—but obviously this does not make us a “U.S. Department of State website.”
The naive Kirill, though, not only complains on Facebook that “the Anglo-Saxons, the enemies of our country and our friend, China, are doing everything to discredit those who oppose totalitarian cults.” He reveals that his father has indeed visited Harbin in China, where he has “met with the leaders of Chinese security agencies” and expressed his support for their fight against “the bloodthirsty cult Falun Gong.” Indeed, he “would like to learn from the Chinese how to combat cults at the state level.” There is not much Russia has to learn in the field of repressing religious liberty, but it can always import organ harvesting from China.
Novopashin came back from China very much emboldened in his determination to support the Chinese repression of Falun Gong. After a Falun Gong practitioner wrote to “New Siberia” protesting the archpriest’s tall tales slandering her spiritual movement, Novopashin answered that Falun Gong “is a dangerous and savage cult. The Chinese Consulate General in Russia has circulated a special memorandum on the true essence of this teaching. Suicides are described after these ‘health practices.’ A person believes that he will receive a benefit, but as a result he loses his property, health, and even life itself.”
If the Chinese Consulate General says so, we should certainly believe it.