According an article in the 20 September edition of Izvestia, the Beslan Mothers are under the influence of Grigorii Grabovoi, a cult leader who claims to be Jesus Christ. Now forget the fact that Grabovoi’s (????????) name contains the Russian root “????”, which means “to grab or take.” Or the fact that the verb formed from this root, ???????, means “to rob”. No, let us forget that the fact that this guy is a total charlatan is embedded in his namesake. This isn’t the first time Grabovoi has been associated with the tragedy in Beslan. Shortly after the incident, he declared that for 39,000 rubles, about $10,000, he could resurrect the children from the dead. Um . . . okay.
Grabovoi sounds like your typical cult leader. He claims to be the second coming of Christ, and the Trinity. His followers believe that he can perform all the biblical miracles: heal the sick, predict the future, control world events, bring peace to the world, and, it seems, even raise the dead. One of his latest “predictions” is that he will become the next President of Russia in 2008. Grabovoi says that his first act will be to “promulgate a law to prohibit death in the entire country.” He’s even created a political party to facilitate this, the Voluntary Messengers of the Doctrines of Grigorii Grabovoi (DRUGG). In Russian this acronym means “friend” but English speakers are likely to get a good laugh out of it. DRUGG has held six congresses. The Beslan Mothers attended the most recent on September 16 where they declared themselves to be Grabovoi’s followers. Izvestia got an audio recording of this congress which features Susanna Dunieva, the leader of the Beslan Mothers, giving a speech:
“We related to the teachings of Grigorii Petrovich and understood that we have one road and one purpose—to save humanity. We believe in resurrection. We have now become followers of Grigorii Petrovich. I know that God has many miracles. I always read [biblical] stories to my children (cries), and I taught them to believe in them, to believe in God. And I believe that this miracle with happen. This maternal heart gives me maternal faith (cries). I and the women who are together with us, we go on this path to the end for the sake of our children. We will fight so that [the Beslan massacre] will never be repeated. All of the women, who arrived here believe in [Grabovoi’s] teachings. If you only knew the peace we felt in our soul on the day of the funeral. We stuck our already world famous Beslan with labels [it seems that these “labels” contain Grabovoi’s inspiration sayings or doctrines. I am not sure what these are—Sean] of the distant direction of Grigorii Grabovoi. Thanks to all these labels we were calm on the day of the funeral, and I think that now always and everywhere everything will be calm, harmony will be in the world. In Beslan we tried to work with people, and we told them about the teachings of Grigorii Grabovoi, and we said that only we ourselves can save ourselves and our children. People understood us.” (My translation).
A woman in the crowd then shouted, “Why didn’t [Grabovoi] help us on September 1?” and just before black suited men rushed out of the room she managed to shout “Charlatan!” After the woman was thrown out of the auditorium, Grabovoi explained to the crowd that he knew about the terrorist attack and for two weeks he called the MVD, and even offered them some of his teachings, but the “corrupt bureaucrats didn’t believe him.”
There is something to be said of how these desperate women, having lost their children in such a horrifying incident, would gravitate to someone like Grabovoi. People like him feed on such tragedies. He promises them the impossible. He reaches into the depths of their sorrow and gives them a way, however an unbelievable and impossible way, out. At the moment of complete psychological shock, vultures like Grabovoi feast on the mind’s shattered remains.
True to form, the Beslan Mothers view the recent media assault on their relationship with Grabovoi as merely a secret police plot to discredit their cries for full governmental disclosure. In a statement on the Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy, the Beslan Mothers said: “This trip is a provocation aimed at discrediting and getting rid of our movement. The liquidation plan has been planned by the intelligence agencies and the authorities.” Some of the Mothers claim that only ten members have fallen in with Grabovoi, even though the most visible mother, Susanna Dunieva is one of them.
There is nothing worse when such a horrible tragedy is turned into an utter farce.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how far this farce will go. Grabovoi predicts that by October 14 there will be a mass resurrection in Beslan. Get your popcorn ready . . .