Religion 26 January 2014 13 2096
Prophet or profiteer? From all over the former Soviet Union and beyond they came to a remote Siberian mountain to hear a message of brotherly love and spiritual unity. Many sold up their homes and adopted a vegan and pastoral life, following would-be messiah who calls himself “Vissarion”. Some say he leads his followers along a path of righteousness, or does he really lead them astray? RT meets members of the Church of the Last Testament as well as the charismatically reclusive man himself. He’s revered by many as a teacher but at least one former member thinks differently. She once embraced what she thought was an eco-village and left when she began to see Vissarion as a cult leader, and was devastated when her daughter and grandchild stayed behind.