Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Russian to judgment?

Note: I've made some changes and additions to the "Anastasia" segment since I first published this post.
~CC, 24 September 2009

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, and I have to own up to my tendency to be entirely too judgmental at times, in the sense that when I read about New-Wagers, I am entirely too willing to judge them for being a bit mental. I know I really need to be more open-minded about this stuff, especially since we're about to enter a new era of humankind and so forth, and some of the nutjobs visionaries I've snarked about could very well be the wayshowers who will lead us into the new era. I've been thinking more deeply* about these issues since I wrote my Russia-themed post the other day. Say what you will about Russia, in recent years there have been tons of remarkable things happening there, spirituality-wise. I mentioned some of these in passing in my previous post, and I've written about one of them extensively in a couple of other posts, but I think they all deserve a closer and more reverent look.**

"I smell dead people..."
Consider, for instance,
Pyotr Kuznetzov, a former engineer who until fairly recently was the head of a dynamic though smallish underground movement, and when I say "underground," I mean it literally. Pyotr was able to persuade a group of about thirty-five souls, mostly women and a few children, to abandon their homes and most of their material possessions and, in November of 2007, to move into an underground cave about 600 kilometers (375 miles) southeast of Moscow. Actually it was a tunnel, complete with bedrooms and a ventilation system, that Pyotr designed and constructed under the roots of a tree.

Why would he do such a thing? It was that menacing Apocalypse, you see, which Pyotr informed his disciples was set to occur in May of 2008, at which time the Devil would finally get his due. The alarming thing, according to Pyotr, was that in the months leading up to the big event, the human race was going to be overtaken by waves of cannibalism and a desire to have frequent sex, though he didn't say how or if these two phenomena would intersect. Pyotr told his followers that they'd better get themselves underground to avoid those horrors. And so they did, proclaiming themselves to be the True Russian Orthodox Church. They apparently lived mainly on honey and jam, and were forbidden to watch TV, which probably didn't matter so much, considering that the reception down there might not be so great anyway. They were also forbidden to listen to the radio or handle money, and plastic was verboten as well; Church members believed, as did their leader, that credit cards and the bar codes on food packaging were Satanic. (In regard to credit cards, I have to say that I can almost see their point.)

Interestingly enough, Pyotr, or Father Pyotr, as he was known to his followers, did not join them underground. My first thought when I read this was that he stayed on the surface so he could minister to some of those sex-mad women who would be swarming the streets on their way to the Apocalypse – a ministry that was certainly a noble calling, and someone had to have the courage to do it. But that is just wild speculation on my part, and you know how unreliable I can be. Others have speculated that, being a structural engineer by training, Father Pyotr was aware that a cave built under the roots of a tree might not be the most structurally sound place to be. But Pyotr merely said that God had given him "different tasks." At any rate, the Russian authorities, as well as friends and relatives of the cave dwellers, and even a Russian priest who specialized in the Apocalypse, repeatedly tried to get Pyotr's disciples to come out of the cave. But their efforts were met with gunshots, and the cave people threatened to blow themselves up. Now, we know how that would have ended if this had happened in the United States, but the Russian authorities chose to just let them be, more or less, though they didn't give up in their efforts to persuade them to resurface or, lacking that, at least to let the little children go. For their part, and despite being called "cult members," the cave dwellers considered themselves to be Orthodox Christians who were simply saving themselves from the evils that were to come to all who remained on the surface.

The weather grew colder, but the hardy followers braved the bitter winter. The following spring, however, as the snows began to melt, the roof of the True Russian Orthodox Church people's underground world started to cave in, as local geologists had been warning it would probably do. This frightened some of the cave dwellers enough to convince them to emerge from their shelter. Pyotr was apparently upset that his Church was falling apart (literally) and his vision sullied, and, more importantly, that the Apocalypse was not coming to pass as he had predicted it would. Even the boldest leaders sometimes have moments of agonizing self-doubt and true dark nights of the soul, and Father Pyotr was no exception. It seems he attempted suicide by repeatedly hitting himself on the head with a log after his followers began coming to the surface. Other reports said he was attacked by some female cult members who hit him with a log. What seems clear is that he had an unfortunate run-in with a log, and ended up in the hospital as a result. No one ever said that being a visionary spiritual leader is easy.

The Russian authorities and numerous friends and relatives of the cave people continued in their efforts to get them all to come out. Finally, in mid-May of 2008, the authorities, friends, and relatives got their wish as the remaining members of the True Russian Orthodox Church returned to the surface. Apparently, however, it wasn't because the Church members were disillusioned by the realization that May was halfway over and there were indications that their leader had, after all, been wrong. No, they left because the stench of two of their cave mates who had died a while back – one from severe fasting for Lent, and the other from cancer – finally became unbearable. So bad was the smell that it was even noticeable above ground, so you can imagine how it must have been to the cave dwellers. And so, six months after they had descended, the last keepers of Pyotr's bold vision broke the faith and came out of their hiding place.

As for poor Father Pyotr, he was declared to be suffering from schizophrenia and was held in a psychiatric hospital for treatment. Isn't that often the case with visionary leaders? Sigh...the secular world just does not understand.

Rus' Resurrecting: Putin a new face on worship
While it seems that the era of Father Pyotr's True Russian Orthodox Church has passed (although I don't think we should take anything for granted, given the general spiritual milieu in Mother Russia), other mystical movements are alive and well in that strange and vast land of ice and fire. For one group, Russia's former president and current Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, is The Chosen One. The Putin worshipers perform daily devotions to a "Presidential icon" (or would it now be a "Prime Ministerial icon?") that mysteriously appeared to them one day. They believe that Putin is the reincarnation of both the Apostle Paul and King Solomon.

The "Mother Superior" of the sect is Svetlana Frolova, aka "Mother Photinia," who says that she and her followers didn't choose Putin; God did. When Boris Yeltsin named Putin as his successor, Mother Photinia's soul just exploded with joy. And the rest is history, or heresy, depending upon your point of view.

As for Mother Photinia, she apparently did some prison time for fraud back in the 1990s. But that was then, and this is now. I'm sure that serial scammer health and nutrition crusader Kevin Trudeau could tell you that a little bit of time in the pen is utterly irrelevant when it comes to spreading The Truth.

In the Year of Our Lord, 49...
Though my Jewish friends currently observing Rosh Hashanah
are welcoming in the year 5770, and it is 2009 according to the Gregorian calendar, for a growing group of devotees in Russia it is only the year 49. That is because their leader, an ex-cop named Sergei Torop, now known as Vissarion, has convinced thousands of people that he is Jesus H. Christ Himself. And for followers of this Jesus of Siberia, this Messiah of the Steppes, time is measured by the life of Vissarion.

He says he realised that God had sent him to Earth to teach mankind about the evils of war and the havoc we were wreaking on the environment.

With Christmas abolished his followers mark the day of his first sermon on August 18 as their special feast day.

Time in the community is measured by Vissarion’s life and so as he is 48 years old his Church is now living in year 49.

His followers, who have given up their lives to follow him, are strict vegans and are banned from smoking and drinking or handling money.

Around 300 of them live in wooden huts in the village that has grown up around his church and which does not appear on any maps.

Many thousands more have made their homes in the small villages that surround Petropavlovka and survive the vicious Siberian winters so that they can be close to their Messiah.

Hmmm....banned from handling money.... shades of Pater Pyotr?

For Russians to whom Vissarion doesn't appeal, there are many more Jesuses to choose from, as blogger Andy Hume writes on Jewcy.com.

(Is it just me, or does the old woman in the pic above bear a remarkable resemblance to Monty Python's Eric Idle?)

Anastasia: real because thousands say she is
"In general, it is impossible to stop the Ringing Cedars movement, just as it is impossible to stop the sun from rising, as it is impossible to stop the moon from rising. But it's possible to fight the movement, to slander it, to speak badly of it, cast suspicion on it. And perhaps there are some forces that somehow, for some reason, are acting in this way."
~ Vladimir Megré, perpetrator of the Anastasia/Ringing Cedars phenomenon


Finally, when I'm wrong, Dear Ones, I'm not afraid to admit it, and I was wrong, wrong, wrong when I suggested, back in April of 2007, that in order to get the greatest mileage out of his New-Wage scheme, Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Megré should have invented a disembodied or Ascended imaginary friend (a la Abraham-Hicks) rather than a supposedly living one like Anastasia. I speculated that hordes of folks would be traveling to the remote Russian forest where Megré's lovely blonde babe is allegedly holed up, in order to see for themselves if she really exists. I imagined that Vlad might eventually have some serious credibility issues because he gave too many details about Anastasia, details that, in theory, could be subject to intense scrutiny.

Well, I was wrong, at least regarding my speculation that credibility issues would be in any way deleterious to the Anastasia myth. The truth about Anastasia's existence is this: It. Does. Not. Matter. Whether she literally "exists" or not is completely irrelevant, because the Anastasia movement, originally inspired by Megré's series of books on the flaxen-haired recluse, has torn like a wildfire across Russia, some parts of Europe and, more recently, North America as well. Vlad's made-up gal pal has become not only the basis for a growing sustainable-living movement, but also for a bona fide religion, complete with rituals and practices, such as, in some cases, smearing oneself with mud, to symbolize the sanctity of Mother Earth. Part New-Age, part environmentalist, the Ansastasian movement is kind of like the Findhorn movement (which originated in Scotland), but it seems to be growing much more rapidly. It has even made its mark on Russian politics.

Stateside, devotees in Ashland, Oregon and Mt. Shasta, California have been busily engaged for the past couple of years in setting up an Anastasia-inspired eco-village (or Kin's Domain, in Anastasian parlance). The challenges in the beginning were daunting:

Here in Oregon we are working on a plan to create a Kin’s Domain on several hundred acres of land. The logistical challenges around doing this are extraordinary, but by the grace of Anastasia we will succeed! Some of the biggest challenges seems to be dealing with local and state zoning ordinances, urban growth boundries [sic] and money.

"By the grace of Anastasia"?!? See what I mean about the religion bit?

Logistics aside, nothing can stop a movement whose time has come, and in September of 2007, one of the leaders of the project wrote:

The wave has finally hit Ashland. The hundreth monkey has been realized here. After our meeting last night and the inspiration and information that was downloaded I am now confident that everyone in Ashland / Mt. Shasta will know about Anastasia. Our work has shifted to a new gear now and we can start to focus more energy onto implementing her ideas.

On 15 May, 2008, there came this "breaking news" (all-caps theirs):

THE ANASTASIA ECO-SETTLEMENT PROJECT HAS FOUND ITS HOME IN NORTH AMERICA ON SACRED MOTHERLAND!!! MANY GREAT THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS SUCCESS AND TO MANY WHO HAVE SUPPORTED THIS DREAM AND VISION WITH YOUR LOVE FROM NEAR & FAR. SHAMBHALA-SHASTA COMMUNITY HAS TAKEN BACK 466 ACRES OF PRISTINE MOTHERLAND. FREE AND CLEAR. NO DEBT. NO ENCUMBRANCES. NO LIENS. FREE AND CLEAR!!!

In case you're interested in joining the community, here's their Settler Sign-up Form.

I have to tell you that some things have shifted a bit since I first reported about 'Stasia and Vlad in Spring of 2007. F'rinstance, in my zeal to appeal to the lowest common denominator, I made a big deal out of Anastasia being nude or nearly nude. And, indeed, she was portrayed as a scantily dressed nymphet on the rather cheesy covers of the original English-language editions of the books. Now, however, the nekkid bit is being de-emphasized. And the books have been given more modern-looking, artsy covers, apparently in an effort to appeal to a broader market, make the books look less like either children's books or fantasy novels, and avoid offending the easily offended – although nudity does not seem to be the main offensive factor, judging from the way it was 'splained on the FAQ page of the Ringing Cedars Books web site:

Why did the publisher change the covers?
The first edition covers were not commissioned works. The artist (an entomologist specializing in the study of butterflies) was inspired to produce these images after reading the books in Russian. The publisher—Dr Leonid Sharashkin—selected these images for their authenticity of feeling—especially the artist's obvious reverence for Nature.

Many people judge a book by its cover. Many have judged these to be children's books or fantasy novels. The image of a "white" woman in a short dress was found to be offensive to some nationalities. Major international wholesalers said they would not distribute books with such covers because the "Russian look and feel" suggested a story not necessarily appealing or applicable to Western readers. The list goes on…

In summary, since the books contain such important and valuable information, relevant to readers everywhere in the world, the publisher has released the second revised edition in "new clothes", with the hope that many more people will be able to enjoy these books.

Regarding Ana's alleged nekkidity, even Mt. Shasta Anastasians seem drawn to the more modestly attired "Anastasia in a dress," who looks for all the world like a chaste teenager on her way to the local Renaissance Festival.

But, getting back to the original issue: even though it really doesn't matter (and, many would argue, shouldn't matter) whether or not Anastasia is "real," her existence apparently remains a matter of concern for some. This is so despite the clear implication, in this copy from the Ringing Cedars Press web site, that more than one other person has actually seen her:

She consistently displays the most developed psychic and mental powers including remote viewing and healing, mind reading and seemingly perfect memory. When challenged to solve some of society's most complex social, health and environmental problems, after only a few minutes lying on her back on the ground, with eyes closed and just her fingertips twitching, she has provided answers in such incredible detail, that witnesses have been left flabbergasted.

She says these powers are natural to Mankind and in these books she describes exactly how they may be regained by any one of us.

Granted, the copy doesn't specify exactly who the flabbergasted witnesses are, but I am sure they are very reliable, or they wouldn't be mentioned on the Ringing Cedars Press web site. For those who still might be in doubt, Dr. Leonid Sharaskin, aka "Dr. Leo," Vlad Megré's translator and the founder of Ringing Cedars Press, conducts $300.00 workshops in which, among other things, he discusses the matter of Anastasia's existence:

Session 8. The Return of Anastasia

  • This is Dr. Leonid Sharashkin's awe–instilling one–and–a–half–hour–long answer to the question as to whether Anastasia really exists.
  • Learn from Leonid's years of scrupulous scholarly research of the Anastasia phenomenon and expand your understanding of who she is well beyond anything you can read in the Ringing Cedars books.

You might be wondering why it takes a whole hour and a half for Dr. Leo to answer a simple question. I wondered the same thing. But maybe it's a far more complicated matter than our puny and limited consciousnesses are able to fathom.

In an article published in 2005 (a few years before the Anastasian eco-villages had caught the fancy of some Russian politicos), Megré attempted to 'splain why Anastasia hadn't proven her existence by, for example, appearing on television. "What TV station would be willing to give her air time?" he asks, by way of explanation. And he answers his own question:

Not one, I can assure you. You can try to speak with the television networks yourselves. Another question: Would you want to watch Anastasia's appearances mixed in with commercials for diapers, orbits, and beer?

Would the networks allow Anastasia to speak if she would say that the products being advertised are harmful to people?

What do you think the reviews of Anastasia's appearance would be like? Judging by the organized persecution that occurs in the press, it is clear what they would be.

Vlad also wrote that after two of the Anastasia books had been written, various female preachers emerged and claimed to be Anastasia. At least one was bad-mouthing him, claiming that Vlad had stolen her thoughts and was now writing books based on her ideas. The nerve of some people. Anyway, if you still harbor doubts of your own about whether or not Anastasia is real, you simply must read Vlad's article, which will erase your doubts entirely.

Or maybe it won't. In fact, I am sorry to tell you that even some passionate fans of the Anastasia books question whether the books are fiction or nonfiction. For example, take a look at this discussion on the Ringing Cedars forum. The person initiating the thread was feeling duped after reading a December 2007 interview in which Megré seemed to be explaining the real inspiration for his Anastasia fantasy.

MEGRE: I used to be a businessman. In general, I'm like that by nature. Then I had the good fortune to meet people like Agafia Lykova, who live in the taiga, far from any cities. Agafia herself was taken by force from her squatter's holding. She became ill. And went back. Where she continues to live peacefully. People like this interested me very much. But I noticed that everyone, including Vasiliy Peskov, wrote about the difficulties of their way of life. I, on the other hand, decided to write about their philosophy. This excited me so much that I gave up my entire business. I sat down for a year and wrote Anastasia.

Another participant had this to say to the disillusioned originator of the thread:

As if she is real or not we will probably never know. Even if it was all made up you need to ask yourself why you would be so upset if it was just a story. Granted no one likes to be told they are reading a true story only to find out later it was all made up. But if for any reason's [sic] it does upset you, you really need to ask yourself why? What was it from the story you needed to be true? Why would you put a story, real or unreal, ahead of yourself?

I would comment on that comment, but I think it pretty much speaks for itself. At any rate, the participants seem to be fairly evenly divided between believing Anastasia is real and thinking she may be a figment of Vlad's imagination. Several, however, say that they don't care either way, because they enjoy the books anyway and believe in the ideals discussed therein.*** It kind of reminds me of the endless arguments among fans of pop singer Clay Aiken before and after he officially came out and admitted he is gay. Before his self-outing, opinions on the fan boards were divided among those who thought he might be gay; those who indignantly insisted he isn't (because he's a good Christian, and besides, on numerous occasions he publicly SAID he's not gay); and those who said they didn't care either way because Clay is such a talented and good person who truly wants to make a difference. After he finally admitted his gayness to People Magazine, fans were divided between those who were outraged and grievously disappointed, and those who said they didn't care either way because Clay is such a talented and good person who truly wants to make a difference. But I digress.

For those who remain curious about Vlad Megré himself, good luck finding anything substantial about his earlier life, of which "little is known," as they say, leading one to wonder if even Vlad himself is ignorant of his past. There are, however, several lengthy "interviews" with Megré in which he expresses his thoughts on the Anastasia phenomenon and on his own troubles with detractors. Actually, these "interviews" are conversations between Megré and one of his admirers, psychotherapist/physical therapist/"Master Executive Coach" Regina Jensen, Ph.D. It appears that all of these exchanges were expressly produced for Ringing Cedars' online publication, The EARTH Newspaper, which means, of course, that they are an unimpeachable source of truth. (If the language sounds a bit stilted and awkward in places, that is no doubt due to the fact that it is a translation; Vlad, we're told, only speaks and reads Russian.)

Among other issues, Vlad and Regina discussed the Big One, Anastasia's existence, in a conversation that took place at a Ringing Cedars conference in Turkey in 2008. You can see how Regina is enabling Vlad's perpetuation of the Anastasia fantasy...er...I mean, how she is helping Vlad clarify his policies regarding Anastasia:

Regina Jensen: Vladimir Nikolayevich, I personally hope that Anastasia does not make herself available to the curious public any more than she already has. Carl Gustav Jung, a celebrated author, analyst and psychologist said a long time ago that "people can die from mass-projection," such as people of great fame who are exposed to the masses of images which others project upon them day and night. While Anastasia, more than anyone on this planet, can protect herself from such onslaughts very well, don't you agree we need not burden her any more than we already have with unnecessary demands?

Vladimir Megre: I don't think she is afraid of these onslaughts, after all, she herself said, "Evil of the world, leave your works, rush to me, try, I am alone before you, conquer for the sake of conquering, everyone fall on me, there will be battles without battles," and so on, and so forth. She is not afraid of this.

As far as "making herself available" goes, I think that it is impossible for her to make herself available to the public more than she already has. Judge for yourself, a person emerges onto the public stage and says, "Look, it's me." He stands before the people, everyone looks at him. "So you've emerged, you're standing here, and now what?" People see some person in front of them, they don't know his thoughts, what his personality is like, what he has on his mind, what he has planned, they see only the body before them! What does this give them? Nothing, of course.

Here in Europe, Canada, America, Russia, the countries of the CIS, the Baltic states, and Israel, so many different people all around the world have begun to understand each other without knowing each other's language only by saying the word "Anastasia." She is not making herself available, she has not become a "goddess" - she has become a friend, simply a friend.

So, how much more can she really make herself available? Come out of the kitchen peeling potatoes? Or emerge in such a way that everything around her is illuminated by her radiant thought? I believe that she has made herself available. And what's more, I believe that she will make herself available to each man, but in the image of the woman he loves. And that will really be a masterful entrance!

One point brought out in another 2008 conversation between Vlad and Dr. Jensen is that in the years since the Anastasia books emerged on the scene and started getting more popular, Vlad has had his share of detractors and people who spread awful rumors about him (including, I suppose, those renegade female preachers mentioned above). As he tells Dr. Jensen:

Negative rumors have been circulating about me for as long as ten years. In all this, the mass media have been exploited in the most active manner. I live in Russia. Once, when I was sitting in my garden beneath an apple tree and working on my next book, a neighbor comes up to me in the garden with a newspaper in his hands and says, "Vladimir, you're sitting here, but the newspaper writes that you live in an Egyptian palace surrounded by Mafia gunmen and that you operate a totalitarian sect, and the readers of your books are going out of their minds."

I didn't have to explain anything to my neighbor, he saw with his own eyes that the newspaper was printing a lie. But after only several days, this same article was reprinted by a number of newspapers, including one Canadian newspaper. The Russian District Court told my lawyers that the newspaper had said nothing insulting, the journalist had simply expressed his opinion, and he had the right to do so. But this journalist had not even met with me. The editor of the Canadian newspaper, after Canadian readers appealed to him, and without the intervention of a court, made public apologies.****

Regarding the sharing of this special material, there seems to be an overt, concerted effort not to permit society to discuss the ideas and suggestions set out in the books regarding modern man's urgent need to improve their way of living. The libelous publications never earnestly discuss the issues raised in the books, but speak in uninformed generalities and degrading terms about me and my readers.

Dr. Jensen and Vlad both go on to say that the criticism is the result of people in power not wanting the rest of us to know the truth. Vlad explains to Dr. Jensen:

... the spreading of all sorts of rumors about me are ultimately futile subterfuges to distract people away from the main issues at hand. Moreover even in the first book I disclosed about myself that I am not a saint, that I drank, smoked, flirted with women, and was involved in business. But now I don't. Yes, the blood of the businessman can still begin to rush, only now it is not like before. I am very proud that, with the help of my daughter and son-in-law, I have been able to set up the production of cedar oil according to Anastasia's technology. And I think there are not many products in the world equal to it.

For a long time I was unable to bring it up to the quality of Anastasia's oil, even though the modern technology of a medicinal compounds plant was used. But it soon became clear that it was impossible to obtain the required quality in the city, and it then became necessary to transfer the production to a village in the taiga 100 km from the city...and it worked out. With regard to Anastasia, she is always with me, in my heart, in my soul.

And for untold numbers of passionate devotees, Anastasia's presence in Vlad's heart and soul, not to mention in the pages of his books, is more than enough. I would say that this is pretty darned impressive for what started out as little more than a middle-aged man's wet dream.

* * * * *

Well, Dear Ones, I hope you've enjoyed our Whirledwind tour of Russian mysticism. I know I have, and I know too that I shouldn't have been so snide in writing about Russia the other day, seeing as how the place is so obviously a center of open-minded, openhearted spirituality. Once again I find myself wading in my shallow pool of snark, my tiny voice all but drowned out by the roar of the waves on the deep and endless ocean of outrageous gullibility passionate belief. And in the wake of this stunning realization, I am left, not for the first time, with but one thought: I've gotta find me a scam.

* "Deep" in the sense of my usual profoundly shallow mulling on these matters.
** Okay, so I managed the "closer" look, but you will, I fear, have to search elsewhere for "more reverent." One out of two ain't bad, though.
*** Regarding the fiction v. nonfiction issue, it's also noteworthy that James Redfield's very clumsily written but wildly successful 1993 spiritual novel, The Celestine Prophecy, was marketed from the beginning as fiction. Redfield never claimed it was anything but fiction. Granted, the cover of the trade edition was kind of cagey, bearing the tag line, "An adventure," rather than "A novel." And the blurb above the title was similarly ambiguous. The fact that the story was framed in nine supposedly profound "insights" about life also may have led many readers to treat it as nonfiction. But the cover blurbs were created by the publisher; Redfield himself was pretty straightforward about Celestine being a work of fiction, albeit fiction with a message. In any case, the New-Agey concepts and principles discovered and discussed by the characters in the novel struck a deep and resonant chord in thousands of readers, and The Celestine Prophecy became a major bestseller, spawning a sequel, numerous auxiliary materials, and hundreds of workshops, study groups, meet-ups, and so on (and even, in 2006, a bad movie). A generation before Redfield, Carlos Castaneda captivated spiritual hipsters and even some academicians with his Don Juan wisdom books, which were originally marketed as nonfiction but later revealed to be mostly fiction – not that it mattered to those who believed Castaneda's books contained profound truths. My point is that the categories of "fiction" and "nonfiction" are all but irrelevant when people are so desperately hungry for what they believe to be Greater Truths.
**** Vlad doesn't specify which Canadian newspaper published the original "lies" about him and subsequently made the apologies, nor does he specify how they apologized, and I can't seem to find anything else on the Internet about it. But I'm sure that Vlad wouldn't lie to us. I suppose that like Anastasia's existence, the bit about the Canadian newspaper is just something we'll have to accept on faith.

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47 Comments:

Anonymous disillusioned said...

Mouldering Joe Stalin has also been spotted gadding about the Metro in recent times, quite a cult forming around these sightings, with clear allusions to the Arthur myth; he's back to save us in our time of need.
I haven't figured out the money angle on this one yet--but I'm sure it's lurking there somewhere.

Putin, while unlikely to buy into his own deification, is no slouch politician and is making noises about a mild rehab of Uncle Joe's profile to cash in on the groundswell of nostalgia for the old brute and his terrifying record of silencing dissenting voices, undesirables or just people living in the 'wrong' place.
Do you suppose that Anastasia can lie down on her back for a few moments and come up with the simple answer to that little problem?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, Disillusioned, where there are mysterious sightings and cults, there is *always* a money angle.

Any type of nostalgia for Stalin is shudder-worthy, since by most accounts (including that of the pro-gun bloggers linked to below) he was more evil and bloodthirsty than Hitler.

http://benandbawbsblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/stalin-beating-hitlers-body-countor.html

Of course there are those who would disagree:
http://www.plp.org/cd_sup/ukfam4.html

I'm sure Vlad Megré or his translator/editor/ghostwriter could come up with some Anastasian take on the growing problem of neo-Stalinism, but I doubt it would be a *simple* answer. More than likely it would be a long and convoluted chapter, or perhaps even a new book. Or maybe they've already covered the issues of totalitarianism and politix; I haven't read the books myself.

(As for the other Josef I wrote about in my previous Russia post, he would probably just advise Russians to ignore the mainstream media and read his books, watch his DVDs, etc. After all, LOA says you attract what you focus on.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Top notch exploration of those unsnarked areas of the world. I think the change works very well, do you have your eye on any other lands?

I did like what Vissarion said-

"It's all very complicated," he told a Guardian reporter who went to interview him, "but to keep things simple, yes, I am Jesus Christ."

I don't know about you, but complicated explanations for miraculous happenings make my head spin and a nice easy to grasp summation helps tremendously.

I give you an 'A' for this work, and await your TV series.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

And by the way, did you notice on the picture on the shambhala shasta site the eagle carrying aloft the infant?
Does that mean your kids are going to be eagle breakfast, or is it some sort of symbolism?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, HHH, it's good to see you here. I've long been fascinated with Russia but don't have any particular plans right now to focus on any other countries, though that could change tomorrow.

I like Vissarion's gift of simplification too. And you gotta admit he has the Jesus H. Christ look (at least as JC is most often visualized by Western artists).

TV series? Hmmm. Maybe YouTube, if I ever get that ambitious...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 6:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, re that Shambhala/Shasta poster: It is kind of unsettling to see the infant in the eagle's talons, but no less so than to gaze upon those innocent golden-haired toddlers sitting in the green meadow, unaware that they are being stalked by both a grizzly bear and a large grey wolf. Scary stuff, all around.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 6:42:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

And that squirrel looks hungry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

To anyone else who might have popped in: The Shambhala-Shasta poster HHH and I were discussing is at
http://www.shambhala-shasta.org/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:40:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

I think the wolf and bear mofif is supposed to symbolise all god's creatures living together in harmony--a sort of newage lion laying down with the lamb.

I watched Hertzog's Grizzlyman documentary last night, poor Timothy Treadwell had much the same delusion regarding grizzlies and got himself and his girlfriend eaten as a result--reality's seamy underbelly just will not be denied.
Hertzog signed off with the observation that throughout the making of the doc he had tried to see the spirituality of the grizzlies that so moved and motivated Treadwell but could only see an indifferent boredom waiting for the next meal to present itself. Could also apply to most hustledorks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hhh said...

"And that squirrel looks hungry."

But maybe it's one of those friendly squirrels that brings food to humans. After all, Anastasia eats nuts right out of the mouths of the squirrels in her woods.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:44:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

She does? Christ on a bike!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:51:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

But really CC, this poster looks a lot like the jehova's witnesses leaflets- pastel colours, wild animals mingling with happy people.
Do you think shambhala shasta is actually jehova's heavenly abode?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:37:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

This all reminds me of the famous Woody Allen "biblical" quotation, which I now repeat (from memory, so it might not be exact):

"The lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won't get much sleep."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:22:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Back to the shamb-shast picture, that looks to me like Jesus floating in space on the bottom right but who is his buddy, is that Merlin? Is Merlin involved in this Anastasia number? Then surely King Arthur must be involved too, and Guinevere. You don't think Anastasia and Guinevere are one and the same do you? It's a well known fact that the Russian and British royal families are related, could this be a sign that Anastasia is THE Anastasia, or maybe a descendent? Perhaps being of the ancient royal bloodline accounts for her mystic powers. That must be the Jesus and Merlin connection- Anastasia is of the bloodline of Mary Magdalene and King Arthur.

And what are the whales and dolphins doing floating in space? Surely they would need some serious radiation shielding at that altitude, or are they within the van Allen belts? If Anastasia goes around putting whales in space, isn't there a danger of mutations due to cosmic radiation? I'm not sure if that's a responsible thing to do with a whale, what if it mutated laser beam eyes or something? Is that what they are trying to do with the money from all that cedar oil, launch whales into space? Is it a Russian military thing- the next step in space biowarfare, orbiting lazer eyed space whales targeting NATO installations, funded by hippies and cedar oil sales?
Perhaps it's an illuminati thing, they do say that they give secret messages of their plans for world domination, just to laugh at us. Could this all signify a plot by the ancient illuminati Pendragon/Magdalene bloodline to control the world with lazer eyed space whales? This Anastasia thing seems darker and darker the more I think about it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 7:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Disillusioned and Mojo, I'm sure the intent of the Shambhala/Shasta poster was indeed to depict a "peaceable kingdom," but it seems to me that a bit more care could have been taken with proportioning and blending the various photo-objects.

Dis, I've seen that documentary about "Grizzly man" Tim Treadwell too. It was tragic and, yeah, grisly. I guess old Tim just didn't have Anastasia's gift for animal-taming.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, you bring up some intriguing points re possible connections between Anastasia and Jesus H. Christ/Mary Mag, the Arthurian mysteries, the Illuminati, etc. It gets even more intriguing when you add the Vedic element to it. According to information on the Ringing Cedars Press web site:

"Anastasia is considered to be a surviving member of an ancient Vedic culture, whose powers and knowledge far exceed anything known today."
http://www.ringingcedars.com/more/

The laser-eyed space cetaceans are a truly unsettling element, though. I think you're on to something, HHH.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Is there some sort of New Age rule that says your spiritual development must be in direct inverse proportion to your PhotoShopping skills? That bodes ill for me, I'm afraid.

I'm usually not a huge fan of Zippy the Pinhead, but this one from the other day was featured on another site and I thought it eerily appropriate:

http://tinyurl.com/m9626z

Clearly the Universe is trying to tell me something....if only Bill Griffith's PhotoShopping was suckier!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

That's a great Zippy strip, Mojo, and more than appropriate, I'd say.

My guess is that the Shambhala poster was done by someone new to Photoshop (or similar program) and/or to photo objects, the latter of which were once billed as "the new generation of clip art." I myself went wild ten years ago or so when I first started playing with CorelDraw's low-res photo objects, creating numerous silly composites just for the heck of it. But I didn't try to pass any of my creations off as bearing some deep spiritual message.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 9:32:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

C O S M I C
1 2 3 4 5 6

C O N N I E
1 2 3 4 5 6

A B C D E F
1 2 3 4 5 6

COSMIC=6

CONNIE=6

C+C = 6

Just ruminating, no need to read too much into it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ooo, HHH, don't get me started on numbers. I find them strangely compelling, even though I'm a word person by nature.

OK, not really...neither numbers nor numerology have ever really interested me all that much. Recently, however, I was reading a blog post by Steve Pavlina, one of the guys I featured in a recent post on my own blog:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2009/07/it-would-be-tragic-if-they-all-got-lost.html

Back in February of this year, Steve wrote about the 11:11 obsession that has overtaken some of the New-Wagers.
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2009/02/1111/

He went on about how even some skeptics and doubters are going to increasingly find that the number 11 pops up in their lives in strange ways. It’s something the Universe is sending people as a sign of the Great Awakening that is to come, kind of like a numerical “People Get Ready.”

(Steve, by the way, dismisses all of the "skeptical" arguments about confirmation bias and such, implying (with just a hint of condescension?) that of course the die-hard skeptics will use logic to debunk 11:11, because it's all they're capable of doing at this point in their development, etc.)

I snarked briefly about the 11:11 phenomenon back in 2006:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2006/11/and-on-eleventy-first-day.html
But up until reading Steve P's blog post I had never really paid much attention to 11-ism beyond that brief snark. After reading his post, though, I confess I went DIGGING for 11-ish phenomena in my life. None came to mind immediately, however.

F'rinstance... whenever I have chanced to glance at one of the digital clocks around our house, I have NEVER, to my recollection, done so when the clock read, "11:11." My phone numbers and addresses, on first glance, have never seemed particularly 11-worthy. It is true that I was eleven years old at one time, but so was everyone else in the world who has ever lived to the age of eleven or older.

All of this 11-less-ness led me to fear that, after all, I am one of those unenlightened souls being snubbed by the Universe. I couldn't even find 11-ish phenomena when I went out looking for them.

Then I did a little more thinking and digging. And I was amazed. Some things were right in front of my nose, but I hadn't been able to see them in the beginning:

1. For most of my life, my telephone area code has been 713. 7+1+3=11.
2. The numbers in my current nine-digit ZIP code add up to 47. 4+7=11.
3. And most astonishing of all: I had a major email crash late last year. Although I’ve downloaded a program to recover those emails – many of which contain deep dark secret fodder for my blog – I’ve yet to do it. Yesterday, when contemplating finally taking the time to perform the recovery, I was looking at my backup files and I saw the date of the original crash: 11-11-2008.

Spooky, eh?

As Steve P. himself wrote at the conclusion of his 11:11 post:
"I apologize in advance if this ends up breaking your reality. If that happens, you’ll probably want to kill me in a month, question me in a year, and hug me in a decade. I’ll hold out for the hug."

Not that it would probably be wise to hug someone like moi, seeing as how I've got that 666 thing going on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 1:43:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Wow, amazing!

Some would say a complete lack of elevens is as significant as a glut of them, too. Well, possibly. I haven't actually heard anyone say that, but it's the kind of thing that people could say. Some people anyway. People who think outside the box, in a quantum sort of way, or perhaps outside of some sort of container. Maybe even a container that is less square, more polygonal. I think that's it- if I was to make a quantum leap thought outside the polygonal container, I might think your significant lack of elevens was some sort of significant thing. Or something, which it no doubt is.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Or perhaps it isn't.

I've always been a fan of octagons myself, and this was so even before I'd heard of feng shui and such. Surely there is some significance in that as well.

Unless, of course, there isn't.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

From the oneness foundation- beautiful women and a demon rat!

http://www.kenpage.com/endoftime/eotchapter9.html

Thursday, September 24, 2009 7:44:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Oo!, your google ad links to a whole load of pretty Anastasia's.
Did Josef bring any back with him?

Friday, September 25, 2009 1:43:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Did you know that hippos are the closest relatives to whales, sharing a common ancestor?

Friday, September 25, 2009 1:56:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

But anyway, before you remark on those essential comments, did you know that well preserved dolphin and whale carcasses have been found in the tundra along with mammoth carcasses?
Even more hair raising is the fragment of an Egyptian mural that shows one of the first pharoahs bowing to a winged dolphin on a throne, but which was stolen from the museum in Cairo in the 1930's.
All of which raises some very interesting questions about the true cause of the Tunguska fireball.

Friday, September 25, 2009 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hhh said...

"Oo!, your google ad links to a whole load of pretty Anastasia's.
Did Josef bring any back with him?"

Darn it, I missed the Google ad for the pretty Anastasia's...was it a Russian mail-order bride site? When I checked just a minute ago, the ad was for hotels in St. Petersburg.

hhh said...

"Did you know that hippos are the closest relatives to whales, sharing a common ancestor?"

I thought Rush Limbaugh... never mind.

Winged dolphins...hmmm. Wonder if Anastasia knows anything about that.

Friday, September 25, 2009 3:19:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Oh yes, Russian brides indeed.

Friday, September 25, 2009 3:27:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Like this, see?
http://www.anastasiaromance.com/?afid=14260

Friday, September 25, 2009 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, my, I just had another "eleven" experience this A.M. when I clicked onto Google. They had altered their logo and inserted an extra "l" before the last letter, with the double "l" intending to be an "11" -- to signify Google's ELEVENTH anniversary. Ooo, spooky... or maybe just a wake-up call for the entire Internet!

Sunday, September 27, 2009 1:18:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

11!

Monday, September 28, 2009 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

It gets even more intriguing when you add the Vedic element to it. According to information on the Ringing Cedars Press web site:

"Anastasia is considered to be a surviving member of an ancient Vedic culture, whose powers and knowledge far exceed anything known today."

So does this mean that cedar oil is the famous soma of the ancient Aryans? That would solve a much debated controversy- it's not cannabis, or magic mushrooms, it's cedar oil.

Did you know that the ancient Siberian shamans would gather at a point on the Russia's arctic coast and wait for migrating whales to pass by? The shamans would pour cedar oil onto the water, and the whales would surface and get coated in the stuff. Cedar oil is apparently a very strong anti-mutagen, which is interesting when seen in the light of the hidden in plain sight clues given by the Magdelene/Pendragon branch of the Illuminati in the shambhala graphic.
My intuition is that it is a portent of the Earth changes to come. I think that when the arctic ice melts the whales are going to find new migration routes, and of course without their yearly coating of cedar oil soma the chances of strange mutations increase exponentially.
My god, how cunning.
Obviously in this way the Illuminati seek to use their materialistic earth destroying left brain science to defeat the shamanic earth medicine that has helped sustain the Earth's natural balance for millenia, and destroy us with lazer eyed mutant space whales.
And the dolphins are in on it too, except that dolphins are on the side of the earth and will do battle with the whales- which is the true significance of 11 and why it resonates so deeply with the collective unconscious because you see a whale and a dolphin side by side, locked in psychic lazer combat, resembles the number 11. It's like an echo from the future, a fractal portent of things already written in the book of destiny.
How does google fit into this?
It's all to do with numerology. Google's eleventh birthday coincided with the date that the internet electricity consumption reached 11% of the US total, and also indicates the passing of the 11th hour of carbon emissions- the point of no return after which global warming will inevitably melt the ice cap thus bringing about whale Armageddon.
That is Armageddon for most, but perhaps not for the Google faithful like Cosmic '666' Connie.

Sunday, October 04, 2009 8:40:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

There I was, clearing house in preparation for the End Times, and it turns out its all about whales.

Monday, October 05, 2009 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH,I knew you would figure it out. Thanks for shedding much-needed light on some of life's deepest mysteries.

Monday, October 05, 2009 3:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

disillusioned said...

"There I was, clearing house in preparation for the End Times, and it turns out its all about whales."

Or is it?

Could it be that, after all, it's all about Wales?

Consider: For several years I had my heart set on getting a Welsh Corgi. Years of having dachshunds led me to a love of long dogs with short legs. And Corgis are just so darned cute.

Yet as I read more about them, I decided that maybe a Corgi would not be the best choice, since we keep our dogs indoors most of the time, and Corgis are reportedly terrible shedders. We already have an Aussie shepherd mix who sheds enough fur to make five or six additional dogs. We don't need any more.

Reluctantly, I let go my dream of sharing my life with a Welsh Corgi.

But Wales entered my life in another way. In recent months Ron and I have taken to walking around the ranch every day to check on the general well-being of the horses owned and boarded by the ranch owner's daughter. One of the horses whose beauty captivated me, and with whom I've formed a special friendship, turned out to be not a horse at all but a large pony. What kind of pony? you may ask.

Well, I'll tell you.

Are you ready for this?

A WELSH COBB.

Spooky, eh?

(And don't I write HYPNOTICALLY?)

On the other hand, it really could be that the Big Mystery is not about whales, and not about Wales, but rather about The Wailers, as in the late Bob Marley's group. We have to consider all possibilities.

No matter what the answer is, though, I'm sure it has something to do with the number 11.

That is, unless it doesn't.

Monday, October 05, 2009 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Of COURSE it's about Wales, where do you think the Pendragon bloodline comes from? Where do you think Merlin comes from? Where do you think Whales come from. Where do you think Jesus comes from.... OK, maybe not, but Tom Jones does!

Monday, October 05, 2009 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH wrote:
"...OK, maybe not, but Tom Jones does!"

Not to mention Catherine Zeta-Jones.

It's all starting to come together now...

Monday, October 05, 2009 5:23:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

And what do you think the Green Green Grass of Home is? You think it's a field near Cardiff? You think it's the Rugby field?
No.
It's a deadly toxic plant used to lull people into an easily manipulated trance by the Illuminati pushed onto the world by the Primus Illuminatus, Tomas Pendragon, otherwise known as Tom Jones.
While the population of Earth is nodding off to the hypnotic strains of Illuminati psy-op music and narcotics, Babylon burns.

Monday, October 05, 2009 5:29:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Zeta Jones?
Zeta Reticulae Jones, you mean?

Monday, October 05, 2009 5:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

It's all starting to make more and more sense. "Babylon burns," as HHH wisely points out, and, as we know, Bob Marley and The WAILERS were always going on and on about Babylon dis an' Babylon dat.

And that Catherine Z-J...yeah, she's definitely a Gray.

Monday, October 05, 2009 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

And who did Zeta Reticulae Jones of the Welsh illuminati Pendragon bloodline marry? Michael Douglas- who's jewish ancestors come from the old Russian empire, but really originate in the holy land of Jesus. The connection between these dots is drawn in big thick inky lines, I'm sure you will agree. Another piece of the puzzle slides into place. The baby being carried aloft is of course the spawn of the Jones/Douglas=Pendragon/Magdalene bloodline carried aloft by the Russian eagle, back to the true home in the Zeta Reticulae system- thus completing a cosmic cycle.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 12:59:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

But you are right, Bob Marley and the Wailers. Or Bob Marley and the Whalers as they were originally known- but of course the Illuminati own all the big record companies.
"You wanna be famous Bob, and we can help you, but this attitude you have about the whales- we need to talk about that first."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 1:05:00 AM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

Call me Ishmael, said Bob.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ooo. More Illuminati/Satanic stuff... Today (October 7), instead of the usual Google logo, there's a BARCODE on Google's home page.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

That barcode is gonna be on your forehead this time next year, CC, and no you can't have it in green.
By the way, Obama got his NPP at 11 o'clock, which means only one thing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 6:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I don't want it in green. I want it in blue, to go with the color scheme on this blog.

And yes...yet more 11's in our life...

Sunday, October 11, 2009 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

To the person going by the name "Term Papers": While I always appreciate favorable comments, even generic-sounding ones, I do not appreciate spam, and I am sure my readers do not either. Therefore I rejected your latest comment, and deleted one that I had inadvertently published previously.

Monday, January 04, 2010 9:04:00 AM  

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