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Uploaded on Jul 16, 2007
A Russian ex-policeman turned self-proclaimed messiah leads thousands of ardent followers in a remote religious community. He is known variously as Vissarion, The Teacher, and Jesus of Siberia and his followers believe that he really is the Messiah.
Born Sergei Torop, Vissarion leads a 5,000 strong settlement of devoted followers after he claims he had an "awakening" at the age of 29. Although not a regular churchgoer, Vissarion says he realised he was the son of God and embarked on his current way of life and setting up the Church of the Last Testament, near Petropavlovka.
The community he leads is a self-sufficient society, where modern ways of life are shunned; they have their own calendar, with each new year starting on January 14th, Vissarion's birthday; money is not used, wood from nearby forests is chopped down for building houses and his followers grow vegetables and bake their own bread.
But there are those in the local community who see the whole Vissarion cult as some big fraud.