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The Armageddon in Kiev: Tragedy or Farce? - Alexander Dvorkin

A new religion, made in post-Soviet Russia, created furor in Kiev in November last year.


The end of the world and the last judgement has been postponed, according to the leader of a new cult, the Great White Brotherhood, Yury Krivonov. Krivonov, alias Yuoann Svami, John the Baptist, John the Theologian, and Adam the Sun was arrested by Kiev police on November 10 and taken into custody. The end will not come about, said Mr. Krivonov, before the “Lord God”, Maria Devi Khristos (the Christ) will be killed and raised to life again.

Meanwhile, the Lord God Maria Devi Khristos, also in Kiev police custody, was identified by her former husband and son as Maria Tsvigun, a former Komsomol (Communist Youth League) functionary who left her family in 1990. “Get thee behind me, Satan,” shouted Mrs. Tsvigun at her 10 year old son as he identified her.

Unfortunately, it is not clear whether the words of Krivonov were heard by thousands of members of the Great White Brotherhood, who had gathered in Kiev in order to witness the crucifixion of Mrs. Tsvigun and – three days later, on November 24 – to meet the end of the world.

The cult became widely known about a year ago, when there appeared in the Moscow Metro groups of young men and women, distributing the leaflets, selling a newspaper with the weird name Yusmalos, and preaching that God had come to Earth again.

About the same time the walls and light poles in virtually all Russian cities were covered with posters, depicting a young woman dressed in vaguely oriental white garments and holding in her hand a type of pharaonic sceptre. The posters said that the Living God Maria Devi Khristos – formerly a journalist – died in 1990. After three and a half hours in heaven the new spiritual entity was returned to Earth and implanted into Marina Tsvigun’s body. Hence, she is both the Mother of God and God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the creator of the universe. He (sic) is to spend three and one half years on earth in order to gather the faithful remnant 144 thousand members of the new race YUSMALOS (which stands for YUoann Svami MAria LOgoS). At the end of his earthly ministry he will be crucified, but in three days will raise again. All the evil world will perish in flames, while the faithful Great White Brotherhood of the Yusmalians will be transfigured into the new life. As mentioned, the date for these events was set for November 24, 1993.

Some of the posters were signed by Maria Devi Khristos herself while most of them were signed by the Prophet of the Lord Yuoann Svami, whose soul reportedly went through a series of reincarnations (St. John the Baptist, king Tuthankamen, Prince Vladimir, Prophet Elijah, Noah, Barsudevah, Jacob, etc), before it finally has settled on the present body.

The teaching of the prophet who modestly called himself the “Luminary of the Lord” was a rather illiterate pseudo-scientific mixture of oriental religions, occultism and esoterism of the Rörich-Blavatsky type.

More and more teenagers were disappearing into the new cult, and as the time of the apocalypse was drew nearer, they were turning more and more violent. They broke into the Orthodox churches and tried to force their way onto the altar to take over the services. Several priests and parishoners were seriously hurt. It seemed that the White Brothers were actively seeking and even provoking martyrdom. Fortunately, nothing of the sort has happened and the White brothers were escorted out of the churches, suffering no more than a few bruises.

Acoording to the police information, Yuoann Svami’s real name was Yury Krivonov. He had a Ph.D. in physics and for a while he worked in a top secret Soviet laboratory in Kiev, developing some type of psychological-magnetic weapons. Police warned that the man was quite dangerous, because in his lab he had mastered the techniques of powerful hypnosis and could easily influence many people around him. His activity was banned in Ukraine, and the warrant for his arrest was signed. He went into hiding together with Mrs. Tsvigun and directed the activity of the cult from underground.

As the appointed date was getting closer, the tone of the leaflets was getting more and more hysterical. The White Brothers were called to damn everybody who hesitated to convert. The damned ones were supposed to lose a vital living force, fokhat and to catch all diseases at once and to die in terrible suffering; if any doctor would dare to try help the damned, they lose their own fokhat and will die themselves. At the same time death was glorified: those yusmalians who will endure to the end will have to suffer martyrdom at the hands of the sinners, and those who will lose faith will be worse than the damned. In fact, everything around was damned: the parents who did not understand their children, the evil rulers of Russia and the Ukraine who did not believe in the Living God, the leaders of the countries of the world who supported their Russian colleagues, the television and computers which were instruments of Immanuel the Antichrist, who was robotizing the entire planet. Naturally, only Maria Devi could save from robotisation and set one free. The worst of all was the Orthodox Church, which (according to the claim fo Yusmalos) did not recognize her Master. The amount of leaflets was quite impressive: there were millions upon millions of them. It would be very interesting to learn who sponsored them.

In September word was passed on that all the yusmalians should gather in Kiev, the mother of Russian cities, and meet the end of the world there. There the Living God would be crucified together with his faithful prophet by the evil authorities. Then they would rise from the dead and the world will perish. That was a serious claim that easily could result in mass suicide, and it seems that the Ukrainian and Russian authorities took it in all serousness.

Yusmalians arrived in Kiev en masse. They began to stage violent demonstrations, disrupt public order, and break into churches. At the same time many grief-stricken parents came to Kiev, hoping to find their children. The police were on the alert, and found and conficated over 9 tons of cultist literature. Over 1100 White brothers and sisters were arrested, and many declared a hunger strike. Those who were identified by their parents were sent home, the others remained in custody.

On November 10 about 60 yusmalians broke into St. Sophia Cathedral, the oldest standing church in the East Slavic lands. As they tried to vandlize the Cathedral, the police arrived. After a fight in which several people on both sides were hurt, the cultists were arrested. Both Krivonov and Tsvigun were among this group, and they were shown on Russian TV.

“I have prepared the scenario,” said Mrs. Tsvigun to the policemen. “That is why I am here. You do just as I have planned.”

“I, Prophet Yuoann Svami, confirm every word of God Maria Devi Khristos, and promise that it will come true,” continued Mr. Krivonov.

While Mrs. Tsvigun leaves the impression of a very seriously mentally disturbed person. Mr. Krivonogov seems to be quite in control of his faculties. He was officially charged with incitement of public disorder, with propagating suicides, and with harming the health of adolescents. It seems that he will have to spend a while behind bars. It is most likely that Mrs. Tsvigun will be released after a while.

As I write these lines, the day of the end of the world has not come. It seems that now, with God’s help, we were able to escape tragedy. Will we be as fortunate next time?