Aleister Crowley’s “scientific” approach to yoga

Crowley Hat Aleister Crowleys scientific approach to yogaFirst associations with Aleister Crowley usually go between satanist and weird occultist, less people know him as one of fathers of modern magic and New Age, still less know that Crowley studied and practices yoga, and was one of first western practitioners who tried to do it rationally and methodologically.

When I first met this connection Crowley and yoga, I was surprised because we, religious studies, philosophy people usually don’t really care about all those occultists, magicians, and people like…

Crowley amused me with his Scientific or at least scientific-like approach to the discipline. (more…)

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Researcher of religion I.Kozlovskyi kidnapped by Russian terrorists in Donetsk

 Researcher of religion I.Kozlovskyi kidnapped by Russian terrorists in Donetsk

Igor Kozlovskyi, (photo from

A prominent researcher of religion Igor Kozlovskyi was kidnapped by Russian terrorists in Donetsk two days ago. After the kidnapping unknown people had broken into his appartment, stole his collection of antiques, computer, appliences and documents.

His wife Valentyna who had a telephone talk with those people was told that Kozlovskyi had been arrested for “wrong correspondence in Facebook”.

Later she found out that he was put into a MGB cellar.

MGB (a Donbas terrorist analogue of  KGB with similar methods) has not confirmed Kozlovskyi’s arrest.

The kidnapping of Igor Kozlovskyi took place after a demonstration against “sects” (all non-Moscow Patriarchy denominations and religions) and a night blowing up of Lenin monument in Donetsk. Some over people with possible pro-Ukrainian position were captured as well, a volunteer coordinator Maryna Cherenkova among them.

Igor Kozlovskyi (a honorary citizen of the Oklahoma State, by the way) is known scholar and public figure, author of many books and organizer of several public initiatives. After Russian invasion, Kozlovskyi was not able to leave Donetsk because he nursed his sick son.

The so-called “DNR (Donetsk Peoples Republic)” terrorist organization has not released any comments on the matter yet.

We all pray for Igor and ask for any help and information in his cause.

UPD 03.02.2016: today a Russian historian, phD V.Solovei has informed citing his private sources in Donetsk, that 60-year-old Kozlovskyi might be charged with the “creation of armed band for murder and robbery”.

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Neo-paganism and Russian Orthodoxy – an explosive mix of religion and ideology

32 Neo paganism and Russian Orthodoxy – an explosive mix of religion and ideologyXXIst century witnesses a strange phenomenon – Orthodox Christianity cooperating with its two thousand year old enemy – paganism. Though co-existence, symbiosis, and cooperation of Christianity with paganism seems theologically impossible, or, at least, contradicting to common sense and logic, it does develop in Russia, though the leaders of Moscow Patriarchy condemn and deny it ex cathedra.


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“Sacred dietetics” theories of Russian neopaganism

1395933781 1 Sacred dietetics theories of Russian neopaganism

Neo-pagan guru Vedaman Trehlebov is the founder of one of most hilarious “dietetics evolution” theories ever made

Esoteric and religious systems have always paid strong attention to sacred physiology, “thin level” body practices, and food regulations; New Age and neo-paganism are not exception, but rarely in the history of humanity had these disciplines achieved such burlesque and ugly forms as in modern Russian neo-paganism.

Historically, Russian sectarian movements have always been eager to all kinds of  self-mutilations like skoptsi or flagellants and other extreme body-damaging practices.

Modern Russian neo-paganas are as eager to body experiments as their ancestors have been two, three, or four centuries ago. Self-flagellation hurts and it has lost its charm after rationalism and communism eras; and with their pretensions for the Vedic heritage, and knowledge of Ultimate Truth derived from ancient Arians, Russian neo-pagans focus their body-experimentation vigor (thus providing unlimited number of lols for Internet community) in the sphere of sacred physiology and the achievement of healthy and happy life via food regulation and what can be called “sacred dietetics” – a number of “hypothesises” or “sacred truthes” on proper dietetics for spiritual growth.

The nineties have witnessed a thrive of all kinds of body cleaning (chistka) and “thin body cleaning” procedures, urinotherapy, hypnosis-from-TV healers and the like. Still, the real boom of sacred dietology has sprung in late 2000s. (more…)

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Russian Orthodox Extremism

img 54b6827cd247d Russian Orthodox Extremism

Unfortunately, it’s not a joke – there’s a strong movement in Russian Orthodoxy dreaming of the “holy Orthodox tsar”. Putin is the best candidate at the moment.

Russian-Ukrainian war is showing new mass manipulation tools and the most interesting among them for researchers of religion is Russian Orthodox Extremism (ROE) ideology. Mass media attention concentrates on Islamic extremism, and pays little attention to this new type of religious extremism, which is much more dangerous due to couple reasons:

  • Russians have nukes
  • Russians fight much better than Jihaddists

When in late 2000s the Russian Orthodox Church communities began creating military and patriotic groups providing youth with combat sports and martial arts education, no foreign observer could predict where this trend could lead.

To understand what this youth has being training for years we need to read the catechism of “Eurasian Youth Union”, which says: “we are the empire-builders of newest type, and we don’t agree for anything less than the power over the world”.

In their revanchism attempts Russian powers actively try to draw religious factor (more…)

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Russian Orthodox Army – a case of “Russian World” implementation

img 54ad2b6c9199e Russian Orthodox Army   a case of Russian World implementation

Church burning in Donbas

We have written about the rising phenomenon of Russian Orthodox Extremism already, and to illustrate its practical implementation here is a brief sketch of its most dreadful implementation – a band called Russian Orthodox Army (ROA) – savage heavily armed terrorist group operating in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine’s Donbas. This regiment is known (and feared in Donbas) for kidnappings, persecutions, killings, and tortures of believers of other than Russian Orthodoxy religions. Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholics, Greek-Catholics, and Protestants are in the top of ROA’s hit-list. (more…)

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ISCKON’s inculturation in the West and its epic fail

img 54aa5ea36536d ISCKONs inculturation in the West and its epic fail We cannot precisely tell if ISCKON is shrinking or growing because of India where everything is so difficult to count, and even if counted, is hardly worth relying. For the purposes of religious studies we assume the number of ISKCON devotees being either at standstill or slightly moving in any way. A problem of much greater interest is profound loss of ISKCON’s positions in the West, ISKCON’s failure to inculturate into Western civilization.

On one hand, it looks like ISKCON is slowly growing due to new converts flow in India and post-USSR countries and this growth is powerful enough to substitute the losses in USA and Europe.

Another thing we can say for sure — ISKCON hasn’t passed the test of inculturation into Western World. The Hare Krishna movement’s fast rise in USA and Europe was co-working great with the 60-s’ and 70-s thrive for spirituality and counterculture, but since that times lots of ISKCON temples in USA have been closed and many will soon transform into India’s cultural and religious centers, sometimes moving far from original ISKCON theology and organization.

Globally, after its popularity peak in early seventies Hare Krishna movement becomes more and more marginal, comprehended more like a bright and recognizable cultural phenomenon with current spiritual and religious influence on global society close, but not equal to zero. (more…)

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Aggressive neo-paganism of modern Russia and its threats

1414238420 konflikt v ukrane proizoshel ot fashizma Aggressive neo paganism of modern Russia and its threats

“Русь” = “Russia” in the reality of Stepan Komarov, a neo-pagan Russian marine, whose shooting in the Orthodox church of Yuzhno-Sahalinsk took two lives 

Russia’s attempts to establish neo-paganism and/or its blend with Russian Orthodox Christianity as a political religion constitutes a great danger for all Russia’s neighbors, both for post-USSR ones and, as the annexation of Crimea has shown, for European countries with great Russian-speaking population.

The signs that Russian powers had been building an aggressive ethnic-oriented pseudoreligion appeared in the early nineties.

Serious researchers didn’t pay attention to laughable ideology of imperial paganism (more…)

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Matrix and Skynet era

QuoteSkynetmatrix 300x209 Matrix and Skynet era I usually write about religion, psychology, and consciousness, but today I want to hit the problem of Internet’s evolution and its direction.  A recent survey has shown that more than 61% of Internet traffic is non human-generated. This number can be an underestimation. Around two-thirds of Internet traffic comes from all kinds of bots, crawlers, and automated software (sometimes malicious). This tendency grows every year, slowly pushing “originally human” activities to Internet’s margin.

Our “information sphere’s” complexity grows constantly and the top level market is in desperate need for specialists who understand and can effectively manage and control it. Every now and then we find out that humanity doesn’t know even the Internet’s basic facts for sure — we humans don’t even know the size of Internet we have created, and the pure theory tells us that whenever the complexity of any system grows to its critical point (more…)

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New Varshana – ISKCON eco-farm in Southern Ukraine

Image000311 New Varshana   ISKCON eco farm in Southern Ukraine

New Varshana — ISKCON eco-farm somewhere between Odesa and Vinnytsa, Ukraine

New Varshana, Hare Krishna nama hatta and farm community of ISKCON in Odesa region of Ukraine was established in 2010. decided to check out how this interesting project combining religion, agriculture, and eco-ideas develops in a remote region of Southern Ukraine.

After the ordeal by Ukrainian system of public transportation (Kyiv-Kotovsk-Balta-Evtodiiv), although there’s a simplier way, (which requires long walk and good orientation skill), we finally got to New Varshana in Karmalyukivka village.

We found 7 hats, several acres of land, 15 Hare Krishna people, living in the “eco-village” constantly and dozens who had come with a visit for a holiday and yagya. (more…)

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