Book 6. The Family Book (2002)
They defamed our forebears too
One day on my computer I opened up an Internet search engine, which lists all the various websites containing any key word you type in. I typed in the word Anastasia. And the monitor immediately lit up with an impressive list: 246 Russian-language sites, together with links to their web addresses.
Still not believing that they all related to the Siberian Anastasia, I began following the links and familiarising myself with the content of these pages. It turned out that the vast majority of them did in fact discuss at varying length the Siberian Anastasia. Her ideas were treated favourably on many of the sites. At first I was delighted by this, but as I delved deeper into the volume of information available on the Internet, I began coming up against an even more incredible phenomenon. Several of the sites offered a selection of articles from the press, along with anonymous messages, claiming that the movement associated with Anastasia was a sect, and all the readers of the books were categorised as sec-tarians. One of the sites featured a list (either full or partial) of the existing sects in Russia, and the list included Anastasia’ and her supporters. There was no mention of the basis for such a conclusion or of who was spreading such rumours — they were simply set forth as though they were a given fact that apparently everybody had known about for a long time.
The articles and brief comments from various national and regional publications posted on different websites were very similar to each other, and they always came to the same conclusion: that the Ringing Cedars of Russia movement was either a sect or a business. The Anastasia movement was lumped in with such sectarian organisations as Амт Shinrikyo8 and classified as a ‘totalitarian sect’. They even used words like ‘bigots’ and ‘destructivism’. No concrete facts were cited, just the conclusion, and that was it.
Not knowing the exact definition of the word totalitarianism, I looked it up in my Great Encyclopedic Dictionary and read the following:
Totalitarianism is one of the forms of domination, characterised by its complete control over all spheres of a society’s life along with the virtual liquidation of constitutional rights and freedoms, also by repression of political opposition and dissenters (for example, the various forms of totalitarianism in Fascist Germany and Italy or the Communist regime in the USSR).
Now that’s pretty steep! What they’re saying in effect is that I or Anastasia have been in control of some flashy totalitarian sect ready to overthrow authority, abolish constitutional freedoms and institute a fascist regime. But I categorically deny that I have had any governing role in any kind of organisation, all the more so in the case of Anastasia. Throughout the past six years I have been working exclusively on my books, and once or twice a year I give talks at readers’ conferences which are open to anyone who wishes to attend. My talks have been recorded on tape, and anybody can have access to them.
But why, for what purpose and by whom is this bald-faced lie being spread abroad? In one of the newspaper articles, this one in the Vladimir-region supplement to Komsomol’skaya pravda, it says that in the Anastasia books readers are encouraged to give up their city apartments and go off into the woods.
How can that be? I thought. After all, Anastasia says the exact opposite. Here are her direct words: “There is no need to go live in the forest. You need to clean up the place you have been polluting first.” And she calls upon people to build their family domains near big cities, and gradually change their lifestyle to one more civilised and more favourable to one’s soul and physical health.
Not having the opportunity to personally review the tre-mendous amount of information, let alone analyse it, I turned to several well-known experts in political science to examine the situation independently of each other and draw their conclusions. Each of them asked considerable compensation for their work, given that they had to read through all five books plus the huge amount of information connected with the books which had been posted on the Internet. I had no choice but to accept their terms.
Three months later I received the first expert’s conclusions and, not long afterward, the remaining reports. Even though they expressed their findings in different words, since they did not know each other and were working independently, they came to pretty much the same conclusions. I shall cite a few typical excerpts from one of the reports:
There is a whole targeted, clearly formulated campaign directed against the Ringing Cedars of Russia series of books, with the aim of preventing the spread of these books among the population at large...
The pivotal ideas of the books are the strengthening of the state, the achievement of the greatest possible unanimity in the various social strata of the population through the well-being of each individual family. This condition of well-being is achieved by virtue of each willing family being allotted no less than one hectare of land for lifetime use. In the context of the books this idea is the most persuasive and takes precedence over all others. Consequently, the series’ opponents, whatever the arguments they put forward, are in fact denouncing this particular idea.
The next question raised by the Ringing Cedars of Russia series — the Divine nature of Man, his spiritual origin — may provoke animosity on the part of many religious denominations. The book’s main heroine declares that Man’s existence in Paradise should be built here on the Earth and by Man himself. Man is eternal, only changing his fleshly form from one century to the next. Our whole natural environment is created by God and comprises His living thoughts. It is only by making contact with Nature that Man can comprehend what God has programmed and the substance of His purpose for Man on the Earth...
This whole concept, the reasoning behind it and its extreme persuasiveness cannot fail to provoke opposition, especially among religious fanatics who believe that the end of the world is inevitable and that some people will be transported into a Paradise beyond the clouds while others are sent to hell. Such a concept is favourable to many people who have been unable to make their own life happy during their existence here on the Earth.
The opposition to the ideas of the series’ main heroine (Anastasia) is being effected by the circulation, through the mass media, of rumours that its readers, who have taken the initiative to put a number of the projects suggested by the books into practice, belong to some sort of totalitarian sect.
This approach is quite deliberate, inasmuch as it serves to distance the authorities from contacts with enterprising readers and from examining their specific proposals, as well as from discussing the problems raised in the books in the mass media. It also serves to interfere with the circulation of the books and the ideas put forward in them. It should be pointed out that the opposition has achieved their aim. According to reports on hand, claims about the readers belonging to a sect are being circulated in many government agencies.
The specific objectives of the opposition are not clearly presented — they remain quite enigmatic.
As a rule, when candidates competing for office use dirty tricks in their campaigns, it is easy to guess who is instigating them. Similarly in the economic sphere, when individual firms are competing for business, it is not difficult to determine who is behind a smear campaign and why The goal is always clear — to knock off or weaken the competition.
Anastasia talks about a new consciousness for Man, a new way of life, establishing the state on a more perfect foundation.
Who would oppose an aspiration like that? Only forces interested in the destruction of individual families, states and society as a whole. The existence of such forces can be traced through their conspicuous opposition — in this case, in launching actions directed at Anastasia herself and her ideas, as well as against the readers of the Ringing Cedars of Russia series. To all appearances they are acting through agencies either directly or indirectly under their jurisdiction, as well as through individuals.
elusions, in the hope that the situation portrayed would somehow move her or rouse her into taking corrective action.
But Anastasia continued sitting quietly beside me on her chair, her hands resting on her knees, her face showing absolutely no concern. On the contrary it even betrayed a little smile.
“What are you smiling for, Anastasia?” I enquired. “Doesn’t it bother you at all that they are slandering your readers? The fact that they are blocking their initiatives to obtain land for the family domains?”
“I am delighted, Vladimir, by the inspired impulse on the part of so many people, by their understanding of the essence and significance of what they are undertaking. See how thoughtfully they are setting forth their thoughts and drawing up plans for the future. And the appeal to the President is better than the one you formulated in your earlier book. As well as their making plans to hold a conference with that wonderful title: Choose your future!11 It is very good when people start reflecting on their future.”
“They certainly are making plans, Anastasia. But don’t you see how their plans are being thwarted? What a tricky move someone thought up — to call them all sectarians, striking fear into the population and discouraging administrative bodies from contact with them? Don’t you see that?”
“I see it. But there is nothing new or sophisticated in such opposition. The same approach was used to destroy the culture, lifestyle and knowledge of our forebears. And now the dark forces are using the old methods again. And they will even come up with provocations, and then spread frightening rumours. This has happened before, Vladimir.”12
nThe conference later took place in February 2002 in Moscow’s Palace of Youth (Dvorets molodiozhi) and was attended by hundreds of readers from all over Russia and abroad. The conference’s Proceedings, including presentations on economics, law, ecology, public policy and other subjects were subsequently published as a separate volume.
“Exactly — this happened before. And they won. Tou said yourself — they destroyed the culture of our forebears. They distorted history That means that now, too, using a tested method, they’ll win again. If they haven’t won already Hey, just a simple question like granting every willing family a hectare of land — it’s been impossible to solve for a year now.
It would have been okay if they’d asked for that hectare for something obscene. But it’s impossible to get land for the purpose of organising one’s family domain, for normal living conditions and a supply of food. Those refugees that have been living in tent cities for more than three years now13 — if they — at least the ones who wanted it — had each been given a hectare of land, by now they could have turned it into a decent human place to live. I’ve thought quite a bit, Anastasia, about what colossal changes could take place in our country, if only the authorities would not oppose but help people aspiring to create their own domains. But such a simple little question regarding the allocation of land is not being solved.”