Russian Official Jailed for Forcing Subordinates to Study Scientology

Moscow, Russia - A former Russian MP, a local education chief, has been jailed for embezzlement and abuse of authority — he made his subordinates study scientology and used budget money to pay for their studies.

Boris Shalimov of the Skovorodinsk region in Russia’s Far East has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzlement and abuse of authority, the website of Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office reports.

In October 2002 Shalimov became a member of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. To get promoted in the organization, he forced his subordinates to study the works of the philosopher L. Ron Hubbard.

Moreover, he used budget money to pay for evaluation of their progress in the subject. The newly converted scientologists had to pass tests that were sent to Moscow at the state’s expense.

In all, Shalimov embezzled more than 600,000 rubles of public money — some $20,000.

Besides investing in his religious interests, Shalimov also embezzled 151,000 rubles for private needs.