ST. PETERSBURG, July 10 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The St. Petersburg City Court has upheld detention of the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg leader Ivan Matsitsky, who stands charged with participation in an extremist organization, the Unified press service of St. Petersburg courts told RAPSI on Monday.
Matsitsky is also charged with illegal business, inciting hatred and enmity, and violation of human dignity.
According to investigators, Matsitsky was coordinating activities of the organization and cash distribution. From 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles (about $5 million) for rendering its services. However, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg has not been incorporated under the law, a representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB) said in court earlier.
In June, executive director of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg Galina Shurinova, chief of the official matters department Anastasia Terentyeva and chief accountant of the religious group Sakhib Aliyev were detained alongside Matsitsky until August 5. Terentyeva’s assistance Constance Yesaulkova was put under house arrest.
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.