“Vissarion” — born Sergei Torop — began the Church of the Last Testament in 1989. But he’s been on the public’s radar for at least two decades, ever since word got out that he was brainwashing a bunch of people and taking their money. His cult requires everyone to adopt veganism and rejects all exchanges of money within their commune. “Everything is banned here,” said one happy follower. The only exception was falling in love.
But now he’s been arrested:
Helicopters and armed officers stormed communities run by Sergei Torop, known to his followers as Vissarion, and arrested him and two of his aides. Russia’s investigative committee said it would charge him with organising an illegal religious organisation, alleging that the cult extorted money from followers and subjected them to emotional abuse.