Oleg Viktorovich Maltsev

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Oleg Viktorovich Maltsev
Oleg Viktorovich Maltsev.jpg
Born (1975-04-17) April 17, 1975 (age 43)
Odessa, Ukraine
Known for Founder of the Applied Sciences Association

Oleg Viktorovich Maltsev (born on April 17, 1975 in Odessa, Ukraine) is a Ukrainian psychologist, who teaches a variation of the Fate Analysis method developed by Hungarian psychoanalyst Leopold Szondi through his organization called Applied Sciences Association. He is also a teacher of martial arts and has published extensively on European mysticism.[1] Exponents of the anti-cult movement in Russia and Ukraine have criticized his association as a cult.[2]

Biography[edit]

Oleg V. Maltsev was born in Odessa, Ukraine, on April 17, 1975, into a Jewish family that moved to Sevastopol in the same year 1975.[3] He prepared for the military career at the school of Moscow Cadet Corps (Russia),[4] where he learned the basic of several martial arts, and had as a mentor Viktor Pavlovič Svetlov (pseud. of Avraam Michelssohn, 1919–1998), whose ideas and techniques of self-improvement had a long-lasting influence on Maltsev.[5] At the same time he studied law, and was admitted to practice as a lawyer first in Russia and then in Ukraine.[6] Svetlov was the heir of a Soviet tradition of the study of memory, and Maltsev developed an interest in psychology, later encountering the theories of Leopold Szondi, which eventually became "one of the pillars" of Maltsev' worldview.[7]

Initially in cooperation with Svetlov, who however died in Moscow in a car accident on April 27, 1998,[8] and then with a small number of disciples, Maltsev established several organizations, particularly after moving back from Sevastopol to his native city of Odessa in 2014, shortly before the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. These include The International Schicksalsanalys [Fate Analysis] Community Research Institute, The Scientific Research Memory Institute, and The Scientific Research Institute of World Martial Arts Traditions Study and Criminalistic Research on Weapon Handling, with the Applied Science Association serving as an umbrella organization for all three institutes, all following the theories of Maltsev, who obtained his PhD in Psychological Sciences at Odessa State University on June 26, 2017.[9]

Maltsev is a prolific author and lecturer, and thousands have attended the lectures and seminars he offers in several countries and online.[10] As of June 2018, an annotated bibliography compiled by scholars associated with the Italian center for the study of new religious movements CESNUR listed 40 books, 23 translation of martial arts and fencing treatises from Italian, Spanish, German, and English, and 38 documentary videos and movies, most of the latter the result of "expeditions" Maltsev organizes to various countries in search of archival and historical materials.[11]

Fate Analysis and the Legacy of Szondi[edit]

Maltsev's work in the field of psychology follows both the studies of memory by Soviet academics Grigory Semenovich Popov and Alexei Samuilovich Yakovlev[12] and the tradition of Leopold Szondi, which represents a minority trend within psychoanalysis with respect to the majority schools of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, both of whom befriended Szondi and held him in high esteem.[13] Szondi's core theory was that, in addition to Freud's individual unconscious and Jung's collective unconscious, a "family unconscious," which represents the presence of our near and remote ancestors in our psychic field, has a crucial importance in determining our choices, i.e. our "fate."[14] When we become aware of our family unconscious, we become able to transcend our "compulsive fate" and operate more freely in making our life's most important choices.[15]

Maltsev teaches an original version of Szondi's system, which is largely focused on analyzing the "blocks" in our memory, where the family unconscious is also at work, and on techniques to explore and interact with the memory blocks, developing our skills.[16] This combines Szondi's Fate Analysis with a doctrine originally developed by Svetlov and known as "pedestal" (pastament), a "science of task implementation" guiding us to select the most effective solutions to problems we encounter in life.[17]

Maltsev also believes that Szondi's Fate Analysis may be usefully applied to a variety of fields, including historical investigation. For example, Italian psychologist Raffaella Di Marzio has analyzed how Maltsev uses Fate Analysis in his documentary movie on Sicilian bandit, Salvatore Giuliano, No Fear No Regret. The movie, according to Di Marzio, "tests Fate Analysis against Salvatore Giuliano" and shows how Szondi's method "may actually help disentangling the real Giuliano from the mythological one." The movie, Di Marzio claims, insists that "the mythological Giuliano exhibits traits that are not compatible with a Sicilian family unconscious and are typically American," and declares the "Sicilian" traits genuine and the "American" ones spurious.[18]

Mysticism[edit]

Maltsev's work goes beyond psychology, as he argues that by studying memory we are necessarily confronted with the question of God.[19] In fact, Maltsev claims, there are three different Gods. We are all born with only one representation of God, which is present in our memory as an innate notion of "justice, compassion, and truth," while we create with our imagination a second image of God, an entity "up in the sky" who rewards and punishes, and life teaches us a third notion of a "Ship God," the captain of the ship we call society and a model replicated in innumerable social organizations.[20]

In European history, Maltsev claims, three systems are at work, which he calls Athos, Rhine, and Venetian. The Athos system, named after the Greek Mount Athos monastic center, uses the "sky God" to keep humans in a state of submission and fear. The Rhine systems, which deals with the Ship God, constantly reacts against the Athos system, but both were created by the Venetian system, the only one who knows the existence of the three Gods and deals with the Memory God.[21]

Mysticism was the spirituality of the European ruling classes, also known as "Truth." It is a lost and secret teaching but, Maltsev claims, it can be restored through an initiation process progressing through stages that are part of a Minor Lodge and a Grand Lodge. Some scholars have called this part of Maltsev's system "esoteric," although he believes that esotericism is only a part of mysticism, and perhaps not the most important one.[22] In 2018, the newsletter of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, in reviewing scholarly articles about the issues, reported approvingly that "although Maltsev himself would deny that his teachings are part of 'esotericism,' outside observers may have reasons to conclude that they are included in the larger notion of the 'esoteric paradigm.'"[23]

In Maltsev's system, the Grand Lodge degrees are connected with the interaction between the "request objects," sixty-four mysterious characters who are part of our ancestral unconscious. In the words of Italian scholar Massimo Introvigne, Maltsev teaches that "we can learn the secret names and keys to interact with the 64 request objects in the ancestral unconscious. These request objects are invisible and do not understand human language. However, we can derive significant knowledge about them, learn about access mechanisms to the request objects, and even find their names, by carefully analyzing the books of the Bible's Ancient Testament," as well as certain degrees and rituals of Freemasonry.[24]

Martial Arts and Criminal Traditions[edit]

Maltsev believes that a number of truths about European mysticism are conserved in the world's criminal traditions, including the Sicilian Mafia: when a certain knowledge was lost in mainstream society, parts of it survived in criminal societies.[25] The mysticism of European chivalry was also expressed in techniques of weapon handling, fencing, and martial arts, which, according to Maltsev, have a deep spiritual component.[26] Maltsev has devoted considerable time to exploring both the criminal traditions of several countries and ancient treatises of fencing and weapon handling, translating a number of classics, particularly Spanish and Italian, into Russian.[27]

Illustrative of Maltsev's work in this field is its exploration of The Numbers Gang and other South African criminal organizations, focusing both on their weapon handling techniques and their "religious-philosopical worldview" based on the divinization of Mzuzephi Mathebula, known as Nongoloza, the founder of the Umkosi Wezintaba movement that present-day gangs regard as their ancestor.[28] A summary of Maltsev's work on South African gangs was published in the Russian edition of the National Geographic in 2018.[29] Maltsev has devoted similar studies to Russian criminal organizations, the so called Russian mafia (a label he regards as inaccurate), concluding that it is "a criminal system that had been forming in the course of 11 historical periods," and that "tradition" describes this milieu, which has its own language, folklore, rituals, and even "unified religious beliefs of an unconventional nature," better than the commonly used expression "subculture."[30] In addition to Mafia in Sicily, Maltsev has also explored its counterpart in Calabria, 'Ndrangheta, emphasizing that the Calabrian criminal subculture is different from the Sicilian, and claiming that both its "culture" and weapon handling techniques were influenced by German and Spanish chivalry and even by the spirituality of the Franciscans.[31]

In the field of martial arts, Maltsev, as reported in an article in the Russian edition of National Geographic, is mostly known for his study and teaching of the Spanish tradition of fencing knowns as Destreza, in both its Spanish and Sicilian incarnations, and the translation into Russian of works of Spanish fencing luminaries such as Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza and Luis Pacheco de Narváez.[32] In 2018, he offered a course in Neapolitan fencing and weapon handling in Palermo, Sicily, a city that was once an important center of these techniques.[33]

Maltsev maintains that, through various channels, the psychological and mystical principles governing traditional fencing were inherited by certain techniques of modern boxing, as evidenced by the activities of legendary American coach Cus D'Amato, the manager of Mike Tyson, to whom Maltsev devoted two books Non-compromised Pendulum and Lighting rod that strikes faster than lightning itself and three documentary movies.[34]

Controversies[edit]

As Italian sociologist PierLuigi Zoccatelli noted, "Martial arts and the teaching of weapon handling techniques are highly competitive fields, and competitors have tried to use the accusation that Maltsev operates a 'cult' in order to warn students from enrolling in his courses. Interminable quarrels about his credentials in the field of weapon handling followed, with some accusing him of being a parvenu without a credible pedigree, while luminaries in the field such as Jon Rister endorsed Maltsev and even co-authored books with him."[35] Lloyd De Jongh, an expert of South African criminal traditions,[36] also co-authored a book with Maltsev.[37]

In fact, competitors in the field of martial arts used criticism against Maltsev as a "cult leader" that was developed by exponents of the anti-cult movement in Ukraine and Russia since 2012.[38] According to the reconstruction of Willy Fautré, director of the NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers, the "discontent of a lady in Odessa called Maria Kapar about the content of Maltsev's classes that she attended in the Applied Sciences Association" led her to contact the Russian affiliate organization of the European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism (FECRIS), led by Russian anti-cult activist Alexander Dvorkin. The anti-cultists in turn contacted Ukrainian media, and a campaign was launched criticizing Maltsev as the leader of a "dangerous cult," using brainwashing to control his followers. The controversy reached its climax in 2015–2016 and declined thereafter, due to the effective resistance by Maltsev and his lawyers – Maltsev is himself a partner in the Redut law firm, which is part of the Applied Science Association network.[39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Introvigne (2018a).
  2. ^ Fautré (2016); Fautré (2018).
  3. ^ Introvigne (2018b), p. 14.
  4. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), p. 4,
  5. ^ Introvigne (2018b), p. 17.
  6. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), p. 4.
  7. ^ Di Marzio (2018), p. 40.
  8. ^ Introvigne (2018a).
  9. ^ Introvigne (2018b), pp. 15-16.
  10. ^ Introvigne (2018a).
  11. ^ CESNUR (2018).
  12. ^ Introvigne (2018b), pp. 18-19.
  13. ^ Hughes (1992).
  14. ^ Szondi (1953).
  15. ^ Szondi (1953), pp. 15-34.
  16. ^ Introvigne (2018b), pp. 18-19.
  17. ^ Introvigne (2018a).
  18. ^ Di Marzio (2018), p. 41.
  19. ^ Maltsev (2015); Maltsev (2016).
  20. ^ Maltsev (2015); Introvigne (2018b), pp. 22-23.
  21. ^ Maltsev (2016); for an analysis, see Introvigne (2018b), pp. 24-26.
  22. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), pp. 10-11.
  23. ^ European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (2018), 3.
  24. ^ Introvigne (2018b), p. 32.
  25. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), p. 5.
  26. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), p. 5.
  27. ^ CESNUR (2018), pp. 87-97.
  28. ^ Pechersky (2018).
  29. ^ Maltsev (2018).
  30. ^ Engelmann (2018).
  31. ^ La Voce di New York (2018).
  32. ^ National Geographic Russia (2018).
  33. ^ Bonfardino (2018).
  34. ^ See CESNUR (2018), pp. 85 and 107-108. For reviews of the books by specialized boxing websites, see World Boxing News (2017a), World Boxing News (2017b), World Boxing News (2017c), World Boxing News (2018), Asociación Española de Boxeo (2017), Doran (2018). For a review in the sports page of a Ukrainian daily, see Telegraf (2018).
  35. ^ Zoccatelli (2018), p. 5; see Maltsev and Rister (2017).
  36. ^ See e.g. De Jongh (2017).
  37. ^ CESNUR (2018), p. 75.
  38. ^ Fautré (2016).
  39. ^ Fautré (2018), pp. 59-62.

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