September will see 1,356m UFOs flying over Almaty, according to the prophesy of the founder of the Alla-Ayat mystic and occult sect in Kazakhstan. The cult, which has been proscribed by the authorities, is now facing criminal proceedings on the grounds that its adherents carry out illegal medical practices and lead followers to suicide. In an interview with a Kazakh Commercial TV correspondent broadcast on 18th August, the leader of the sect, Farkhat Abdullayev, did not comment on reports that a 30-year old male follower of the sect had committed suicide in Almaty after hearing him preach.
"I do not believe in religion. There is no God for me. God is my son... There are no earthly laws for me," Farkhat Abdullayev, or Farkhat-ata as he is widely known, told the TV correspondent. "I gave you the light for you, the people. I govern the light." Apart from maintaining "that he is the Sun all the time", the correspondent went on, "he discourses rather chaotically on space, his teaching and the planet Icarus, which he has invented and where he promises to take his followers."
Farkhat-ata, a former bus driver, founded his sect 10 years ago "when he called himself the messiah", the report said. "The man virtually never parts with a cigarette, rejects all religions, laws and, above all, modern medicine and doctors." He is now studying at the centre for popular medicine in Almaty and "has taken out a licence for private medical practice". The TV correspondent went on: "As a rule, those who become Farkhat- ata's disciples are people whom he first undertakes to cure. Then the followers, who are turned into zombies, recruit others. He says himself that he communicates with them through the stars."
"Farkhat-ata gives me strength. I feel well... I need no medicines," a middle-aged woman follower told the correspondent. "Alla-Ayat followers celebrate the day of renewal of life on the first and 18th days of every month" when the sect's leader is full of energy and is said to be able to cure all diseases. People from all over Kazakhstan come for the ayat session, even from Russia, where the sect has a branch in Moscow, and from Israel, the correspondent said. "It is incomprehensible how this old man with his delirious and mystic fantasies controls hundreds of people," yet "those who have felt his influence say that he has hypnotic abilities", something which Abdullayev denies.
The correspondent added in conclusion that some of the residents of Chundzha village near Almaty, where Abdullayev lives, think he is a charlatan, but none of them dares to voice their opinions openly for fear he might "send curses down on them".