Ken Hite retweeted this out…
The #Bolsheviks' Occult War – fascinatingly bizarre account of #Soviet secret police occultism…https://t.co/JDR9sjxqLV
— Mark Galeotti (@MarkGaleotti) April 16, 2016
…and the link is, indeed, ‘fascinatingly bizarre.’ Total conspiracy thinking, of course – but it’s post-Soviet Russian conspiracy thinking, which means that it’s mainlining on the more esoteric Russian Orthodoxy fringe beliefs. I hope somebody has written, or is going to write, a good, accessible account of exactly what was going on with Christianity in the Soviet Union: the churches seem to have weathered the Commie years quite ably.
Anyhoo… if you wanted to mine this for material for an occult spy RPG campaign – and why wouldn’t you want to do that? It’s an awesome concept – I suggest that you check out Tim Power’s book Declare and the Russian film Night Watch. Not that Night Watch is particularly ‘occult spy,’ but it’s a good, solid ‘post-Soviet occult secret history’ flick, and nobody’s done a movie or TV version of Declare yet. And dear GOD but I wish that somebody would.
*I was going to add “…until they start talking about the Jews:” but that’s a common problem in conspiracy theories. And theorists. Besides, there was nothing about the Jews in this article anyway so the link is at least safe (I haven’t looked at the rest of the site).
5 thoughts on “Tweet of the Day, Post-Soviet Occultism Can Be Freaky-Interesting* edition.”
I am challenging your TOTD. Check your email.
Can’t watch the YT, dude: haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t want to spoil it. I understand that it’s got a lot of emotional punching going on inside of it, so I want to have a more stress-free life going on first. 🙂
Wait, what are you talking about? I have honestly sent you many emails that you have never responded to.
The one about the Pixar flick about emotions.
I would recommend “God’s Smuggler”. It’s the memoir of a man who spent much of the Cold War smuggling Bibles to areas behind the Iron Curtain. It’s got a lot of good information about how churches worked under the oppression, what happened at checkpoints and borders, and what the secret police of the various Warsaw Pact countries were doing in their fight against religion. (It likely won’t surprise you that the Stazi were the most effective, and that some of their tactics have since become endemic across the West.)
I’d love to know more about the Oprichinina. Even though they were officially disbanded after only about a decade, it seems to my limited perspective that the dissolution strongly resembles the way the secret police in Russia have changed names, insignia, and public tactics multiple times last century, with very little change in personnel. Institutional memory is a powerful thing… (And the Oprichinina were certainly awash in occult imagery.)
Imagine for a moment, a xenophobic esoteric cult has sat at the center of Russia’s power for five and a half centuries. (Except for a short period during Peter’s reign.) And that the current dictator is certainly initiated into. It’s too bad any information is in a foreign language, and has been deliberately sanitized numerous times…
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