Scientist from Canada accuses "spiritual centers" of telling lies
By Xenia Chubuk
2010-06-25 22:45

Our desire to “keep up with the Johns” shock foreigners. Diane Tyler, a PhD from Canada told journalists of “Gorozhanin” about her impressions considering new religious trends which we consider to be “American ones”.

Doctor Tyler tells that the problem of misusing the “freedoms and rights” is typical for the well-developed countries too:

- Not so long ago a destructive cult, called “Bountiful” appeared in Canada. Its pastor claimed that his parishioners should have plural marriage and used to organize orgies under the guise of “Christian spiritual center”. Yet, as soon as government found it out, it banned this organization despite the fact that pastor was threatening him with hell and insisted on their being innocent. Female victims of deceitful pastor brought a case against him to the court and sued him to paying a compensation for moral damage. The first case like that happened in the seventies with the “Family” cult. Its pastors were even more cynical, as they made their female parishioners earn money for the cult through prostitution and practiced underage seduction. Still, they were calling themselves Christians. Helping victims of these organizations and preventing cases like this are a part of CESO’s work, and I work as a volunteer advisor there.

- How do you estimate religious situation in Ukraine?

- I was very surprised when I saw big-boards advertising some event, which was meant to destroy curses and remove jinx. Our non-conventional religious organizations are small and rather isolated, and international cultic communities, like Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons aren’t that numerous either.

- Why, our pastors of power-evangelism churches claim that their religion is the most wide-spread in the North America.

- I have never met anyone worshipping something like this, though I do travel a lot.

Most Canadians are representatives of traditional Catholic and Anglican Church. They stick to a tradition of going to church on Sundays, which is really unlike our honest, yet, occasional obsessive prayers and confessions just as there’s something bad in our life. Obsessive advertising and spam is banned with law in their country. In our country no one feels like restricting religious organizations’ strive to advertise themselves regardless to the citizens’ opinion to it. As the result we get packs of invitations to some “miraculous healings”, to “anonymous bible–studying courses”, which are organized by Moonies or Jehovah Witnesses or to “free English courses”, organized by Mormons.

- I have visited the service of “Regeneration” organization, which took place on the Meteor stadium, - Diane Tyler told. – I am so surprised that people still believe in these pseudo-healings. People behaved as if they were insane: they screamed, moaned, wept and laughed. This looked like a mass madness. Some of these people were waving with white and blue flags. This combination symbolizes innocence and holiness. Besides, the sermon was interrupted with loud rhythmic music. So, this organization turned out to be very manipulative. These organizations dictate their doctrines using the ways which don’t let people understand them rationally.

- You spent some years in China; moreover, you stayed there right during the period when “Falun Dafa” organization was banned. Is it true that there were about 100 millions followers of this organization and that it was banned due to some ideological motives?

- The numbers are exaggerated a lot. And the organization was banned after the mass action on Tiananmen Square, as the participants had disobeyed police and refused to leave the square.

- Falun Dafa followers claim they are very popular in Canada too.

- It’s the first time I hear about it.