Alexander Dvorkin

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Alexander Leonidovich Dvorkin (Russian: Александр Леонидович Дворкин; born 20 August 1955 in Moscow) is a Russian anti-cult activist, former clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church,[1] president of the Saint Ireneus of Lyons Informational Consultative Center,[2] an anti-cult organisation affiliated to the Russian Orthodox Church[3] and since 2009 Vice-President of European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism (FECRIS), umbrella organization for anti-cult groups in Europe.[1] Dvorkin graduated Bachelor of Art in Rissian Literature in 1980 at Hunter College (City University of New York) , Master of Divinity in 1983 at the Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, and Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval studies in 1988 at Fordham University (thesis "Ivan the Terrible as a Religious Type"; mentor — John Meyendorff). He has appeared on Russian television.[4]

In 1993 with blessing of Patriarch Alexy II he established Russian anti-cult organization currently called Association of Centres for the Study of Religions and Sects (RATsIRS). From that time on he is extremely active in opposing non-Orthodox religions and movements through his publications.[1]

Dvorkin is a critic of Scientology, which he regards as a dangerous cult. Church of Scientology-affiliated organizations describe him as an "anti-religious extremist," and compile negative information about him on their websites. In 1997, Scientology and several other new religious movements sued Dvorkin and the Russian Orthodox Church for defamation, but their case was dismissed.[5]

Dvorkin claimed that the followers of Nikolai Rerikh and the religious communities of Yakov Krotov and Grigori Kochetkov are “totalitarian sects”.[6] "When a psychiatrist-academician (Dmitrieva, Sidorov) or an expert-psychologist of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences rely on the works by Dvorkin and Hassan, which do not belong to science, it is a symptom of degradation," said Yuri Savenko, the President of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia.[7]

Alexander Leonidovich Dvorkin initiated the Bhagavad Gita trial in Russia, seeking to ban ISKCON's edition of the Bhagavad Gita. On March 21, 2012, the Russian appeals court rejected Dvorkin's petition and also upheld the decision of the lower court,.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c Regis Dericquebourg, A Case Study: FECRIS, Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews, 2012/2, p.188–189, ISBN 978-3-643-99894-1
  2. ^ Steinberg, Mark D.; Catherine Wanner (2008). Religion, morality, and community in post-Soviet societies. Indiana University Press. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-253-22038-7. 
  3. ^ Lucas, Phillip Charles; Thomas Robbins (2004). New religious movements in the twenty-first century: legal, political, and social challenges in global perspective. Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-415-96577-4. 
  4. ^ For example his appearance in TV-program "National Interest" Archived 19 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Côté, Pauline (2001). Chercheurs de dieux dans l'espace public. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-2-7603-0535-9. 
  6. ^ Савенко, Юрий (2009). Открытое письмо Президенту Российской Федерации Д.А. Медведеву. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (in Russian) (№ 2): 5–6. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Савенко, Юрий (2004). Отчетный доклад о деятельности НПА России за 2000-2003 гг.. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal (in Russian) (№ 2). ISSN 1028-8554. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Russian court dismisses plea seeking ban on Gita". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Prosecutors won't contest court refusal to declare 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is' extremist". Russian Legal Information Agency. RIA Novosti. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

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