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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Putin Takes Over Independent Polling Center

by Christopher A. Ferrara

It is a sad state of affairs for Catholics when organs of Catholic opinion such as EWTN and the Blue Army hide the truth about the current state of Russia, and we must consult secular news sources such as the New York Times in order to learn the truth: Russia has not been “miraculously transformed” since the ineffectual consecration ceremony of 1984, which mentioned everything but Russia — in disregard of Our Lady’s request for the consecration of that nation and none other.

Month after month, this column has brought to your attention news items proving beyond any doubt that Vladimir (the “practicing Christian”) Putin is no democrat, but rather a reconstituted Soviet-style dictator, who is methodically consolidating the Kremlin’s iron grip on Russian society. From his seizure of all independent media outlets, to his curious silence in the face of the series of murders and “traffic accidents” claiming one member of the political opposition after another, to the suspiciously well-timed charges of “tax evasion” against the few remaining political opponents with any clout, to the legislation virtually outlawing the formation of grassroots political parties in opposition to the reigning communists, “ex-communists” and sort-of communists who comprise the Russian parliament, to the Kremlin’s ever-growing persecution of the Catholic Church (which even the Vatican has protested, however weakly), the “Practicing Christian” is showing himself to be nothing other than Brezhnev with a better tailor.

And now, in an editorial by Soviet analyst Vladimir Shlapentokh, the Times reports yet another sign of the “Practicing Christian’s” burgeoning dictatorship: the Kremlin takeover of the All-Soviet Center for Public Opinion Studies. The Center was founded by Yuri Levada in 1985 to conduct independent political polling. Shlapentokh calls the founding of the Center a “miracle”. But like the rest of Russia’s “miraculous transformation” since 1984, the miracle has quickly turned to ashes. Shlapentokh reports that after a series of polls showing a growing public discontent with the rule of the “Practicing Christian”, the Kremlin has announced that it will place its own representatives on the Center’s board of directors and that the Center will be "privatized" through the issuance of stock. Oh — and all the stock will be owned by the Kremlin. With that kind of “privatization”, who needs socialism?

Shlapentokh observes that “antidemocratic developments in Russia have reached a new stage. As in Brezhnev’s time, the authorities have decided to replace respected sociologists with those they can control.” So what else is new? Yet another “liberalization” of Russia is being followed by yet another repression of Russian society. And yet again the West — including the “Fatima is finished” gang of dupes in the neo-Catholic establishment — were taken in by the appearance of change.

Sandra Miesel, of the neo-Catholic magazine Crisis, laughs at the claim of traditionalist Catholics who say, with a view to the unfulfilled message of Fatima, that “Russia is as Red as ever.” But who’s laughing now, Sandra? Welcome to year 19 of the “conversion of Russia”.