Man Who Claims To Be Jesus Arrested! Many Of His Followers Had Died.
Religion is a thing that is sacred to its followers who believe in the faith as well as the diety that they are worshipping. Yet throughout history, there have been plenty of people who wanted to take advantage of people’s believes by claiming that they are a reincarnation of their God and this is especially something that has touched the Christian/Catholic faith, with several cases of people claiming to be either God or Jesus Christ and one man in Russia had even managed to build an entire community around his claims that he was the second coming of Christ. Who was the man in question and just how did he create the Church of the Last Testament? What did their living conditions look like? And why did the authorities get involved? Read on to find out the truth about the man who has been dubbed as Russian Jesus.
Who Is ‘Russian Jesus’?
Before we talk about the man’s settlement in Siberia and how he did that, let’s look at his life before. The man who by many has been dubbed as Russian Jesus was born Sergey Anatolyevich Torop who was born in 1961 in Krasnodar. When he was 18 he began his compulsory military service, enlisting in the Red Army, where he worked as a Sargent. He then spent three years as a factory metal worker in Minusinsk, Siberia. Afterward, he stayed in the town but worked as a patrol officer until 1989 when he lost his job. And it was the following year that the man allegedly had gone through a life change. What exactly happened? Read on to find out.
Vissarion Is Born!
It was a year after he lost his job that Torop first claimed to have been “reborn” as Vissarion, which means “he who gives new life” and thus claiming to be a returned Jesus Christ and with he wardrobe choices of wearing long, flowing robes as well as long hair, he matched the part too. However, in his religious system, he does not believe that this makes him God, but instead the word of God. And so the man had started to recruit his followers and in 1991, he founded the Church of the Last Testament in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, just before the fall of the USSR. The religion was based on 18 volumes of the last testament that were written by the man himself and combined elements of the Russian Orthodox Church, with Buddhism, collectivism, some ecological values as well as apocalypticism as the man predicted the imminent end of the world with only his followers being saved.
Creating A Community
In order to start his community the man and his team, which consisted of several followers, traveled to the Siberian Taiga near lake Tiberkul, which is located around 300 miles from the western Mongolian border. There the members of the church, which became known as Ecopolis Tiberkul established their settlement in 1994 on top of 620 acres, which also expanded to several nearby villages, such as those of Petropavlovka and Cheremshanka. One of the first followers and settlers was Illitana who was only 17 when she met Vissarion. Appearing in a BBC documentary about the religion, she said that she and her husband were one of the first people to travel with Topor to the settlement to help create what it is today. When they first arrived, they had lived in a ‘large military tent made out of the canvas, made for 8 people’. According to the woman, that is how they spent the winter. But what does life in the community look like and is there a dark side to it? Read on to find out.
Life For The Church Members
According to the statistics available, there had been roughly around 4,000 followers living in the church’s settlement, with many more around the world. Those converts living on-site included regular people as well as famous musicians, doctors, teachers, Red Army colonels, an ex-minister of Belarus, as well as pilgrims from other parts of the world such as Cuba, Australia, and Germany, to name a few. They all have one thing in common, they follow Vissarion’s teachings and share the core belief that a great flood is approaching and when it comes, only those who belong to their religion will survive and that they will emerge from the Promise Land. But this community also must follow some rules. They all live in harmony with nature, agriculture being cultivated without any modern technology. Their lives are minimalistic, without money. All followers must also abstain from eating meat, some dairy products are okay, as well as there is a strict policy against, smoking, drinking alcohol, and swearing.
The Darker Side Of The Sect
Though of course there is a darker history associated with this religion. Back in the 1990s, there had been reports in Russian media about some of Vissarion’s devotees who had died. Their cause of death was never attributed to a single thing as it was claimed their deaths were a result of either suicide or a result of harsh living conditions, it was Siberia after all, as well as lack of medical care. The Times had reported that the man who believed he was the second coming of Jesus Christ claimed to possess an ability to heal cancer and AIDS with a touch from his hands and while that has not been confirmed, some former members of the church, who lived in the City of The Sun (which is what their settlement was called) had revealed that the man’s belief outlawed medical intervention if someone was ill or injured. Elena Melnikova who spoke to the BBC about Vissarion had said that many children and adults had lost their lives due to one of the man’s teachings that the body would heal itself and if it didn’t, it was punishment for failing to keep the body one with nature. But did his actions go unpunished? Read on to find out!
Despite the criticism against him, Vissarion and his followers would live in the settlement in Siberia for many years, with more people joining their religion as time went on, some even selling all of their possessions and giving their money to the church. Torop was previously married but he rejected his first wife and married a 19-year-old girl who had been living with him since she was 7, though it was unknown how old he was at the time of marriage. From his two marriages, the man has six children. Though his life as the ‘Word of God’ came to an end on September 22nd, 2020 when he was apprehended by the Russian federal security service FSB and the police. He was taken to Novosibirsk central district court along with his two aides, Vadim Redkin and Vladimir Vedernikov. He was faced with charges of running an illegal religious organization, possible physical harm to others, and extortion. In January 2021 the Central District Court in the city of Novosibirsk had prolonged the man’s pre-trial detention until April 15th, however, since then there have been no updates in his case.
Not The Only Jesus?
Throughout history, there had been plenty of people who were claiming to have been the second coming of Christ, or even God himself. One of the most notable people who had convinced a number of their followers that they were the reincarnation of Jesus was none other than Charles Manson who did so with a combination of drugs and charisma. The phrase ‘messiah complex’ or ‘Christ complex’ has been used to describe a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief that they are destined to become a savior either today or in the near future. And while at times it is difficult to know whether someone truly believes that or they have an ulterior motive such as gaining power over a group of people, or extorting their money from them some former followers of The Church of the Last Testament had believed that Vissarion was the latter kind of person. But what motives does an Australian man who believes he is Jesus and married to Mary Magdalene have? Read on to find out.
Man From Australia Claims To Be Jesus
As we mentioned, there had been plenty of cases throughout history, where people have claimed to be Jesus as is the case of Alan Miller from Kingaroy near Brisbane who claims to be Jesus Christ and is sure of his identity because he has memories of his life 2,000 years ago. However, he does not believe he is a reincarnation of Jesus but rather someone who has existed for thousands of years, with his wife explaining it as “one continuous life on earth in the spirit world and back on earth again”. The former computer engineer said he realized he is the Messiah after his first marriage ended in 1997 and he began having reoccurring memories of his life in the first century.
His Wife Is Mary Magdalene
The man has since remarried to a woman named Mary Luck, a woman who claims to be Mary Magdalene and who not long after meeting Alan began having memories in full force. She revealed that her family decided none of this was true and that she was being manipulated by her husband but added that she has since distanced herself from them. The couple host seminars, teaching their spiritual movement of Divine Truth which promises a personal relationship with God, which Miller claims has both masculine and feminine characteristics. Because of this, some had dubbed Alan a cult leader but that is something that he denied, saying that out of the 20,000 people that have listened to his teachings, 1,000 do so regularly and 100 of them donate to his group.
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