Staunton, September 30 – A year ago, Moscow Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, publicly complained that “pagan views have become popular among [Russian] military officers and especially among those who work in special operations where there is a constant risk of life” (ria.ru/20180606/1522169513.html).
At the time, this was dismissed as one of Kirill’s hyperbolic comments; but Ruslan Gorevoy of Versiya says that Kirill was pointing to a genuine phenomenon, albeit mislabeled, that arose among senior Russian intelligence types as the result of the work of a close aide to Boris Yeltsin (versia.ru/pochemu-nashi-siloviki-predpochitayut-pravoslaviyu-netradicionnye-kulty).
Russian intelligence officers then and now, Gorevoy says, were not interested in paganism but rather in the occult, two distinct phenomena which many people confuse; and he adds that their interest arose less from their life experiences than from the efforts of former KGB general Georgy Rogozin who served as deputy head of Yeltsin’s personal security service.
The general believed that Moscow had to come up with a new ideology to replace Marxism-Leninism especially as a guide to action among senior intelligence and the military personnel. Orthodox Christianity of the Russian tradition could provide no such set of beliefs but that occult ideas very much could.
Rogozin first became attracted to the occult in the mid-1980s while serving in the Primorsky Kray offices of the KGB in Vladivostok, the Versiya commentator continues. And as he rose in the ranks at the same time the Soviet Union collapsed, he became ever more intrigued and ever more in a position to influence others, both colleagues and especially subordinates.
He was rumored to have been behind the flight of adventurist Grigory Graboy; and Academcian Eduard Kruglyakov put them both in the same grouping: “In Yeltin’s entourage,” the former head of the Academy of Sciences’ commission to counter pseudo-science, “there ruled a horrific bacchanalia of obscurantism and a new Rasputin-like atmosphere.”
In the mid-1990s, Rogozin was at the center of this as first deputy head of Yeltsin’s security service and as Aleksandr Korzhakov’s number to reportedly had enormous influence on the first Russian president. And those below him in the table of ranks saw that being involved in mysticism and the occult could help their careers.
According to Gorevoy, Ragozin was particularly attracted to the mystical ideas of Soviet philosopher Daniil Andreyev and had a pamphlet prepared on the basis of the latter’s occult work, The Rose of the World. That short book, written by Vasilyy Golovachyov, was soon on the tables of senior security officers, many of whom remain in place to this day.
As a result, Rogozin’s attraction to the occult cast a shadow on the thinking of the upper reaches of the Russian security services long after he and Korzhakov were pushed out of the Kremlin in 1996.