Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nightline covers religious group in Siberia

On June 23, ABC Nightline presented a portrait of what seems like a bizarre cult, “The Church of the Last Testament,” headed by the messianac Vissarion (Виссарион), actually Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop. He was born in 1961 and looks young for 48 in the show. He claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus.The group was founded in 1991, as the Soviet Union fell.

The reporters had to fly to Moscow and then to Akaban, and then rent a car and drive to the commune on the taiga in the Minusinsk Depression. The commune settlement is called Tiberkul. The scenery in the piece featured evergreens and seemed to be in a bowl surrounded by low mountains. The piece was filmed in summer, and the most important holiday is August 18.

The commune participants turn over their money and get an “allowance.” There is no fiat money in their system of life, which is seen as utopian and “end of days” .

The ABC reporter was Clarissa Ward.

I had reported on a show about a commune in New Mexico on April 23 2008 on this blog.

The Nightline segment also depicted the pod hotel accommodations in London, called the “Yotel” which will become a worldwide airport chain. The “roomettes” are based on what would be available in super first class flying or train.

Nighline also covered plans of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to appear together in Unity, NH.

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