Alleged member of St. Petersburg Church of Scientology detained in extremism case
ST. PETERSBURG June 7 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The Nevsky District Court of St. Petersburg on Wednesday ordered the detention of the alleged member of Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg Anastasia Terentyeva, who stands charged with participating in an extremist organization, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
Defense asked the court to place Terentyeva under house arrest, or release her on a 1-million-ruble bail ($17,600) or travel restrictions. The defendant said in turn that detention is an excessive measure, and expressed her willingness to cooperate with investigators.
On Tuesday, the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) officers raided the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg as part of investigation into illegal business operations, incitement of hatred and enmity, and organization of an extremist community.
According to investigation, from 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles ($4.9 million) for rendering its services. Terentyeva was authorized to control cash receipts, an investigator said in court.
Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.
The scientific community never recognized it as science.
A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.
The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.