This story happened to me on the third day after the death of my friend Boris.
Boris died in my work room at night, between the 4th to the 5th of December in 1993, between midnight and 1 a.m.
Before those events my friend Boris, doctor of science and geology, who came from Liyvov, and I drank non-stop for one month and 10 days. On the third day in the evening I started having some sound hallucinations. At first I began hearing some music in the other room. It seemed that the music was coming either from the electric wiring or from the water heating pipes.
At first there were some pop hits. And after that the music of the society of “Krishna’s consciousness” began. The point is that my two elder suns and my wife Svetlana, who I divorced, joint this society. I left them and this decision I will regret for the rest of my life.
By midnight the music inside my head increased very much. I thought that my head would explode.That night a college friend of mine was staying at my house. But he couldn’t hear any music. I got up and began swallowing all the medicine that I had near me. The music began getting quieter and finally disappeared. I fell asleep.
In the morning, before the sun rose, while I was sleeping, almost waking up, a strong wave of music hit my brains. I physically felt a music box, playing in my head.
Bright, clear pictures with intensifying red, blue, yellow and other colors blazed up. Like a TV show which hales songs and dances of “Krishna’s consciousness”. After that a speech of advocacy, directed to me, began in the background.
I thought: “Could my wife have done this? Could such an influence from a distance on a sleeping person be possible?” A shown power of “Krishna’s consciousness” was to confirm its reality and to make me join this society.
After that singing and dancing people started stepping on me, surrounded me and disappeared, constantly repeating and singing to the guitar, electro guitar: clean, unclean, clean, and unclean.
In the background of this “devil sabbath” a man’s voice, who I thought was a guru, persistently kept repeating some texts from Ved. The main point was that they were not understandable and dark, like every devil thing. My wife Svetlana appeared. Persistently with her voice and tone she began persuading me to join “Krishna’s consciousness”.
I had a thought: “What about Ilya, my elder sun? Could he have done such a thing to me?” At that moment Ilya appears and also begins persuading me to join them. Every thought, which was born in my mind, was read by them right away. Then I thought: “ What about Misha? My second sun? Show me Misha?” They had a hitch. But they shouted at once: He loves Misha! Finally, Misha appeared, squeaked something and disappeared.
After that a guru of a second level, as it seemed to me, began performing, persuading me to join my wife and sons, that I didn’t have to leave them and that I had to join their society. Men’s and women’s voices were shouting: “He understands nothing! He understands nothing!” Seeing that I wasn’t reacting to the onslaught, suppressing it all, a powerful voice of a dark and unclear guru of the third level began performing.
All this played out in some sort of sky space: bright, colorful, and strong. I stayed calm, watching this movie. They needed an answer, or to tell you the truth, they wanted me to join their society. And I, giving up, said: “Ok! Give me your book. I will look them over at first. The point is, is that I don’t like your biological form and an absence of holiness!” As a painter, I see, what kind of spiritual form comes out of their hands, showing their knowledge of “Krishna’s consciousness”. This isn’t a spiritual form, its a biological one. This is a cardiogram of a heart, which shows exactly, what kind of spirit it is.
My request to see the books was received with flying colors and a great pleasure. And at this time a screen brightly blazes up to the left of me, showed a church service at the head of a bishop dressed in brocade. Orthodox choir began playing some kind of public prayer, I couldn’t make out which one it was. And I, pointing at a choir, said to the Krishna’s people: “I’m here.” After that the Krishna’s people began shouting, howling (like real devils), threatening, calling names and swearing: “Betrayer! You are here and there! We shall kill you!” At this moment I physically felt darkness and breath, the coldness of hell to the right of me. It was moving towards me. Different horrifying sounds were heard from there. Moreover I felt waves of coldness and dampness. A real skirmish between orthodoxies and Krishna’s people began. There was an incredible noise. Cacophony (after that I understood, the devil cacophony). I thought: “Could they have been fighting for my soul?” They answered to me yes, that there was a war. Almost at the same time orthodoxies with bright, clear and calm voices began telling me not to be afraid. And someone asked me to repeat after them some kind of prayer, which I didn’t know (it didn’t look like a Jesus prayer). That’s why I couldn’t repeat it. If I knew the words, maybe I would be able to repeat it.
A woman’s voice told me not to be afraid, that she would protect me. I thought that it could be a voice of a Blessed Virgin. I was told that there was a war for every soul. Later the men’s clear, bright and calm voices began telling me not to be afraid of them. At this moment the Krishna’s people began swearing and shouting at me, what caused an aversion and contempt. The name, the son, my, the clearest person hit me. He suddenly began swearing at me, promising that he would kill me, blaming me for my betrayal. I answered the krishna’s people: “I’m not a betrayaler. You all are betrayalers! You betrayed your earth given by God. You betrayed the Christian earth, prayed by sacred. You refused to protect your fathers and grandfathers. You refused to bear your cross, which saved you. You don’t believed in your God. Isn’t that a betrayal?”
At this moment Boris, who died three days ago in my work room, in a grey mass was walking from hell, passing by the Krishna’s people, to my bed, where I was lying. He came over to me, bent forward to me and moved off. I lay quietly, but when he bent forward to me, I had a dread. I ask him:”Boris, who are you with?” He answered: “I am with neither. I told him: “You might not be a believer, but you are an orthodox, you were baptized as an orthodox, you must be with the orthodoxies. Go to them.” And he left. (The main point is that he was baptized twice; at first his grandmother baptized him in the Orthodox Church and the second time his mother did it in the Catholic Church).
A woman’s voice, who I thought was a Blessed Virgin, told me cryingly that she would protect me and that she loved me. At this time the Krishna’s people were chased away by someone. They left swearing viciously, throwing different threats and damnations at me. An Orthodox choir is rattling in increasing strength. And I start to hear angel choruses coming closer, at first silently, then closer and louder. I was calm, but I felt grace in my soul because of the sweet sensation of beauty, the beauty of the angel choruses. Here is the real beauty! There is nothing like it in the world. Now I know what the angel chorus is (not notionally, but physically). Listening attentively to the words I begin to understand that they are singing to me about me. They are singing that they love me. I’m amazed how easily they can express what they want to say by singing in verses. The syllable is easy, it’s the Pushkin one. I’m amazed how easily they can interpret they verses into the songs. They speak in verses. I regret that I don’t know the musical letter, because beautiful and simple musical themes were varied by them easily. And they could be easily remembered and taken down. All is the same as on the Earth, but a hundred times better.
In the background some female and masculine voices are telling me something. But I don’t remember what. There are two female and three masculine voices. I begin to understand that probably someone from the Supreme divine ranks is speaking to me, because I was transparent like a piece lass to them. Any movement of my thought was read.
And a thunderous voice rang out sonorously, aggressively and powerfully. It was athe voice of thunder. This way the thunder roars in clear sky. It was freely, rolling and more like the sound of waterfalls (I’ve never thought or heard anything like the sound of that voice). It was an aggressive power. “Follow me! Return to the Temple! Return to your children! And the voice began to move away, giving some orders to somebody who was to follow him. Only Jesus could have such a voice. (I have time to think about it in passing). I’ve heard the noise of waterfalls in Pamir, yet the fact that the rolling voice, like the noise of waterfalls ,belongs to God later in “Spiritual Brotherhood”. And after, in the formed pause, rings out loudly, clearly, without any interference, like from a strong loud-speaker, clear, strong female voice of an announcer with cleanly Moscow pronunciation: “Jesus said: follow me!” “Jesus said: return to the Temple!” “Jesus said: return to your children!”? “return to your first wife, to your family, to your children!” And I thought: whether it was the Blessed Virgin? (This addition was probably the reaction of my unconscious bewilderment, because just before all these events I registed my marriage with her again, but without living with her). They are in Solyanka, and I’m in my studio.
At this time, probably after these words, I don’t remember, the voice of a man began to tell me not to exchange my studio, my basement. He said that the studio is well protected and no one would take it away from me. (The thing is that I had spoken with my friends about the exchanging my studio for any other, preferably with daylight), because it is impossible to stay in the studio. It is littered with all sorts of evil spirits and the second death because of the alcohol had already happened there. In 1988 on the same sofa my cousin Oleg died. He was a theater producer, with the same diagnosis of heart failure. This voice began to congratulate me on that I have assimilated to something good, but I didn’t understand of what. The other forceful voice began to tell me about the high pace, about my future. Not everything was clear to me, but the thing I kept in mind is that my future is hieratic iconostasis. A high mission was prepared for me. At the end of my life I would be called to the very Throne of a God like artist. I will be the number one artist in the whole Europe and in the whole world. (It was spoken by two different voices. Now as I understand that all the time after kind words of one voice there was repetition and alteration of the meaning by the other voice. They were the pure spirit and the evil one). And if I do something wrong, the Calvary is waiting for me (as I understand now this and other threats were coming from the evil spirit).
In my opinion, then the female voice told me to go to the grave of my mother. She told me, that my Mom was waiting for me. (I hadn’t been there for 6 years). They kept telling me to go to the grave of my mother in Volgograd. “She is waiting for you”.
Then I was told to drive the Moslem Gusein away from my studio. I studied with him at the university and nowadays he is homeless, because he had divorced. And that I should be friends and maintain relationships with my best friends Valera Bashenin and Nikita Medvedev and he never let anybody else in the studio.
And again about the future, in a high pace (I understood after some time that it was the demon syllable and style). They told me that I would be given a “Chief” to help me as an artist. (Then I was really given a leader. To my question: what is your name: she answered: “Genius”).
There were lots of promises and all sorts of seductions to which my soul didn’t react at all. And because of that, the text of those promises was a lot darker.
I was lying still with my eyes closed. Angel choruses vanished, went away and smash hits began to appear from different sides with texts “innocent – evil”, repeating over and over again, mixing with hymns, ceremonial song of USSR. Then it was rock-n-roll and twist of the 50th (i.e. all the collection I knew).
At last the music began to calm down.
I finally woke up, just opened my eyes and astonishingly thought about what I had seen. The feeling of serenity and grace didn’t leave me all day long. I was occupied with the organization of the funeral. I went to morgue, sent a telegram to mother of Boris to Lvov town, made calls to friends, raised money for the funeral and etc. Those days, especially at night, those forces arranged me such wild shows that it gave the impression that they had nothing in common with holiness.
Once before dinner I began to tell beads “Our Father…” “They”, i.e. invisible voices, at that time were exchanging remarks in the room, where Boris had died, and I don’t know why, but in the corner brocade cross hangs that was once presented to me. All this was happening in the background of merry pop-rock music. And suddenly they said: “He doesn’t believe in God” “He doesn’t love Jesus!” and all of sudden I realized with horror that my soul was empty, there was no love, no warmth! I entered that room, knelt and began to repent. (I am still sure that the impending of God is talking to me). Then I fell on the floor and began to repent strenuously (two or three that I knew). Everything calmed down around me. I repented for a long time. At last, they began to talk to each other: “He will soon wake up, he will soon wake up”. I tried to provoke “tear charisma”, but nothing resulted. I continued repenting an hour or two more. I felt someone’s presence, someone bending over me, trying to look in my eyes. I heard the noise “fr-r-r”, like someone flying over me. Someone passed by me, while I was lying; the floor bended under him. I felt that my sins are not forgiven, that I am dying. My will left me. I stood up and passed to another room and knelt in front of the icon of saint Sergy Radonezsky. I repented and prayed. I prayed for a long time. At last tears broke through. At that time I saw a figure sitting on the chair. I saw a hand distinctly. I saw how he changed the position on his body. I saw how a second figure lay on the chair and looked into my eyes. On the left I felt the presence of the third figure. I thought that it was the presence of evil forces in the form of human that watched me silently. But when I peered into those places there was nothing in there. And when I returned my look to the icon all of them were in their places. The morning was approximating. I had the feeling that they came for me. I couldn’t move. I was desperately saying that a Human is weak and infirm, that I looked for truth all my life and just now at the end of my life I began to draw near it. I sacrificed everything in my life, refused all goods, thinking that timeserving is the meanest deed. All my life I carried a war with KGB. I considered communists to be an embodiment of meanness. I was among the first who demanded the exit visa in four cities in 1961-65. And after all I was the participant of the origin and creation of hieratic art, in which the spiritual principle of art is coming back. The materialization of the spirit in the form of sighs, in contrast to official mental art and unspiritual (the modern worldwide, technicistical) art and Beauty which is the category of Saint Spirit. And that in the basis of any substance lies the Divine Spiritual Force. And only at the end of my life thanks to my life-work I came to God.
Finally, when I was exhausted and didn’t feel forgiveness, I said: “Well, what about it? Take away my spirit”. “Thank her (the Blessed Virgin?) “She’s taken your part. Thank Her”. (And whom, they didn’t say).
Amid all cares about the funeral or, rather, after it, I began to paint, inspired by these events and paint rather good. During these six days and nights, I didn’t sleep at all but felt physically good. “They” didn’t give me this chance, repeating over and over again: “to be, - not to be, - to be”.
“Chief” that was promised to me also appeared; when I began to paint one more voice joined others: a female voice. It was heartfelt and sincere, that piercing the soul and the heart. There was no strength in this voice. “She” softly whispered to me: “Tolechka, Tolechka, Tolechka I love you, I love you and etc.” Only then you realize what is a mermaid's novitiate. When I began to paint and mix colors, she was telling me: not that, not that, not that”. When I was trying to find a shape, - the same thing repeated. When I finally hit the mark, this voice was telling me: “It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok.” To my question “Who is she?”, she said: “Genius.” Then, finally I drove her away by having said to the spirits: paint yourselves.
So, about the soul. When I said: “Ok, take away my spirit” That was the time of frightening and threats. I should also add that all voices have their personal qualities. Age-specific qualities, individual, qualities differ in timbre and strength. Some speak as on radio-waves, with fast reiteration of the same thing. Others intensify by mechanical movement, alarm clock ticking, noise of water running in pipes, rain, by passing cars, planes, electric wiring buzzing. All these things are used by evil spirits for their voice intensification: that are strong, weak, high, very quick. Their mass is solved in the air and there is an infinite number of them. I certify this, because I realized it, heard it. All this cacophony was cast on me the next night, frightening and tempting me. A multitude of voices were repeating over and over again in various ways: “You’ll die, you’ll die”. They were bleating with animal voices. Were mumbling with crocodile’s jaws: “Death, death for you…” etc. Air spirits were threatening: “we‘ll certainly kill you…” And woman’s voice, that sounds not like radio-waves, but simply – like we speak, - said: “Nothing will happen!” I was exhausted. And around me broke out such a merry Sabbath, such whirling – that I can’t retell. (A real devilish blizzard, as I now realize). In this atmosphere I lost count of time. And all in all I spent six days and nights.
I started to realize that they were not who I thought they were and who they pretend to be.
I forgot to mention that, when all these threats and frightenings started, I responded to their threats (You’ll die, Death for you): “This is a God’s will for all”. They answered me that there was no God! And bursted out laughing at these words and told them: “How can it be? There is no God but you are?” At first they were confused, quieted down, and then cheered up even worse: “He (God) doesn’t forgive you and that’s why you will die.” I told them that they can’t know about it, that only God knows when someone will die.
On the whole, during all this time so many things happened that it can’t be retold.
At last I began to suspect that there were not spirits, but extraterrestrial creatures. My conjecture proved to be true when at a certain time, at 9 p.m. flew this (let’s call it a creature), settled in a corner and started to call or just to name numbers during twenty minutes: 86,12,6,726,798, etc. “Others present” talked to each other in different places throughout the studio. As I was observing all that I was beginning to accept more and more that they were extraterrestrial creatures: “So mechanistic they are!”
I’ve forgotten once again, that at that time when I told them that only God knows a person’s death time, that I repent of being one of little faith, repent that I seldom go to temple, that all my efforts were bent to getting the Truth, that my occupation strengthen and glorify the Holy Spirit, that my life-work is not finished, that this conception is formulated and incarnated in the work and that all in all I’m an innocent person (the depth of my peccancy I realized in succeeding days), that there were no signs for my faith strengthening. Finally, they worried me to death.
That female voice that told me that she loved me, now was telling the opposite, that she had stopped loving me and that she had an axe lying over there and that somebody would take this axe and behead me.
Here, I stood up, went by the axe, and I went outside undressed. And they called ou to me : “We’ll find you everywhere”. I left the studio opened. I went to my friend. It was about three a.m. My friend was quite surprised. I told him that something bad was going on in my studio. Some extraterrestrial creatures had settled in it. He knowingly looked at me and poured out a glassful of vodka. I told him that I hadn’t been drinking for five days. But he persuaded me and poured out a cupful of borsch. I told him that I was afraid of coming back there alone, supposed that we go together. But he refused. Glassful of vodka, that I drank, had done its part. I’d become fearless. I came back to the studio. It was slightly snowing and everything was ok. As I entered into the studio, I told to his company, gathered here, where to get off. And feeling free to use any expressions, I began to drive them out there with abuse. Strangely enough they became silent, and with it all that Sabbath had came to the end. I went to bed.
As I woke up the next day, I got into the bath. “This impudent public” continued their concerts the same way. They were squealing from different, but certain points. These points were definite places in the walls, on the ceiling, in the corners, in all three rooms. But when I neared to a certain distance – they started to calm down, or in the field of vision – they also became silent.
I recalled a story of one painter when the KGB (State Security Committee) installed taps in his studio, drilling the walls and putting microphones there. And when I heard numbers counting once again, I came to a final conclusion, that they were not creatures, but it was the KGB’s doing.
I got out of the bath, went to the room, burned with anger and all of a sudden reviled them! At the height of resentment! What! How dare they do it to peaceful, honest and mere citizens with such a machine?! There is an unconcealed brigandage in the country, stealing and murdering thrives at full speed, all human meanness has flushed! What? Don’t they have anything to do? Moreover, you are getting into the brain! that breaks all legal regulations! That psychotropic weapon is banned by all conventions, of all counties. That you are murderers! There is an endless trail of blood that remains after you. You, kill all the best in the country! In front of you a person is nude and isn’t protected at all! You are criminals!”
At first they were taken aback and became silent. All of a sudden they fell on me. A man’s voice of such a squabbler was squealing, and mimicking: “Criminals! criminals! Criminals! He’s called us criminals!” “Hush, hush, hush! Oh, how angry he is! How do you like that, how angry you are!”
After that, apparently, their “Chief” joined in the talk by his channel, and started to read, like it was a leading article, who was the criminal. It was typical of his voice that it was absolutely incomprehensible. It was a purely devilish delegation, that was suspicious and vague and that hadn’t got…Until he pulled out an idea from my head, that a criminal is the one who violates the law. And expressed it to me! “So you violate the law!” – I answered him. But in response he told me: “And what about diamonds, gold? This is a defense raw material, isn’t it?” (Now I understand that he read my mind.)
The point is that Boris was a Doctor of Geological Science. He was one of three specialist in diamonds in the (Soviet) Union. He had several kimberlite pipes discoveries in Yakutia and Arkhangelsk region under his belt. As he told, he had tramped all the North, where he had been living for the past 25 years. But he retired. He divorced with unfaithful wife, quarreled in the academic council and leave for Lvov.
On the 24th of November he visited me. He also was on his business trip. Boris had to take Ukrainian cosmo-pictures to make an ecological forecast, structural forecast and diamond forecast. By his hypothesis there could have been diamond fields at the border with Poland. And he also received the pension for several months, which we drunk away. He rarely went somewhere and met someone. We didn’t speak about the diamonds at all.
One day we were sitting and drinking vodka. The telephone rang. He spoke to someone on the phone and told me: “The 10 thousand karat diamond lot is being prepared in Yakutia”. Then he spoke over the telephone with someone in Yakutia and told that this lot was preparing to be transported to Poland and they ought to undertake something or change the situation. That’s all I could remember, because I was drunk at that time. Probably he had something on his mind but I didn’t inquire him about his plans.
So, “the chief” reminded me of this and said that they, I mean the KGB, were standing guard over the state interests that’s why they were keeping an eye on Boris. They knew he was my friend and he called me often from Lvov. That’s why they installed the tracking equipment in my studio.
I said: “Then it makes a vast difference. But Boris is dead. So tell me why have you arranged this sabbath? You reveled yourselves”. They answered that I had to tell everything I knew about the diamonds. They reeled off in every possible way: “Think, think, you’ll die”. I said: “Ok. But you’ll have to explain me why I’m bugged, and why don’t you take off the tracking equipment in my studio. What are you about to do with me? You don’t need living witness of your criminal methods, do you?” They kept silence for a long time but I kept asking them emphatically. Finally “the chief” said: “We’ll talk about it later”. “Ok, – I answered, - Then listen to me. I have already told you everything I know about the diamonds. Speaking of the other information, you’ve got such great equipment that can hear, see everything and can even read person’s thoughts. Why are you asking me? It’s easy, find previously made telephone calls, all the conversations are taped and you can easily listen to Boris’s calls from Moscow and the calls addressed to Boris from Yakutia. And that’s the solution to your problem!”
After that conversation “the chief” didn’t contact me at all. I didn’t hear from him though I was appealing to him desperately.
Then Boris’s mother came. I had to meet her and decide where the funeral repast should take place. At Boris’s sister place? But she had a baby and her room was so tiny. It didn’t work out. We were thinking about renting a café, but it was too expensive. And when Boris’s mother and his sister’s husband visited my studio they suggested carrying out the funeral repast at my place. We decided it was the best idea. I had to clean up my studio, set the tables. The next day I had to go to Sergiev Posad to see the confessor Alexander to place an order for the public prayer and the requiem. I intended to ask Boris’s mother to go with me, but I couldn’t let her know about it, because she took Boris’s telephone book with her. And there was Boris’s sister phone number in that telephone book. I needed it as his mother stayed at his sister’s house. So, I couldn’t contact them. The next day I went to Sergiev Posad and came back only late in the evening. A friend of mine told me that Boris’s mother had been looking for me and she worried about the funeral repast and she was looking for other ways to carry it out.
That night I was sleepless too. And then came the time of the funeral that was to take place on the 11th of November. They were frightening me all night long. I blamed them for the guile, lie and men actions (I was sure that those with whom I had dealings were the members of the KGB). I blamed them for not keeping their word, for not having a conversation with me, as they had promised. I told that they were just threatening me with the death even without explaining the verdict. I could hardly clean up the studio and began to threaten them that I would say to all Boris’s friends (Geologists and experts in diamond. Some of them were the Lelin’s Prize winners, and the National Prize winners.) that they couldn’t come to my place because it was bugged by the KGB. In response “the chief” burst out the threatening speech. I understood little from his speech; it was a devil sheer nonsense. I realized that the only thing, that it was obligatory to organize the funeral repast at my place. Otherwise I would be heavily punished by them. Then I told them: “Ok. Give me Boris’s sister phone number. I want to let Boris’s sister and mother know that I’m fine. Otherwise they could find another place for the funeral repast”. “They”, I mean the KGB, lingered. Then they gave me Boris’s sister telephone number. I called her but it was too late. They have already left. The meeting was scheduled for 12 o’clock on the 11th of November. We agreed to meet nearby the morgue on Gospitalnayia St, and Boris’s sister was living almost nearby the Sheremet’evo. They were sure to leave.
I was late but nevertheless I cut it fine. So we went to the Hovankovskoe cemetery. I was driving with my friend in his car and was thinking over what I was supposed to do. I didn’t tell him anything. I just wrote a note on the piece of paper. That note said that my studio was bugged by the KGB and that I was sentenced to death as a witness, so I was doomed. I planed to give that note to Boris’s friend during the funeral repast with the pack of cigarettes “Stolichnie” where I put it. On the way I was checking if someone was following us. It seemed to me that there was someone. And that car was on the cemetery.
After the funeral we went to my studio where we all got acquainted. We prayed for Boris and I decided not to bring these pour people to grips with my notes. “What happens will happen!” And I gave up on this matter. I decided not to give that note to anyone. I didn’t talk to anyone that day because I understood that our brains were being checked. Then I accompanied the mother to the underground. I don’t remember what happened after that.
When I woke up the next day I remembered about the pack of cigarettes with the note in it at once. It was nowhere to be seen. But I couldn’t think of giving it to anyone.
Before the funeral repast I spoke to “Them” in high words and told that if they killed me the letter in which I was writing about their businesses would be sent to UNO and the EU countries. I also mentioned that “the chief” wouldn’t be treated with indulgence for that and he would be degraded. And it would be great for him if he just be superannuated. Because the international scandal would break out as they were using such terrible weapon that made the person defenseless and bare. And I told that “the chief” would have only one way out - to set hopes upon God.
I found out that “They” were always expecting my awakening, and I automatically gave them the thoughts they were expecting from me. So, when I woke up my first thought was: “Where’s the letter?” They read my mind at once and surrounded me and clamored: “Package, package, package! Letter, letter, letter!” The new coil of affliction had begun. They’d been stabbing me for two days. The letter was my only trump to keep them from action. They threatened to beat me to death, that I’d be killed tomorrow, that I’d die a fearful death and so on . I told them that they embodied all the meanness of human nature, that the blackness, ignorance of primitive man was raised to the pedestal, that the elementary reflex psychology of cattle was valued highly as a paragon of virtue.
Overall till the 21st of December i.e. from the 11th till the 21st of December I was fighting against “Them” alone. It’s hard to remember everything that had been talked over in ten days. I got some rest only when someone visited me. I had an impression that “They” had organized the headquarters in my studio. I didn’t think of them being the demons. I was absolutely sure that all that was happening to me was the KGB’s doings. They were talking about the things that had nothing to do with me. I thought that “the machine” was installed in the first-floor flat, above my studio. My studio was situated in a basement.
As I was thinking at that time, the agents were called out by regular timing of the numeral row and then they were given orders. I was pressed on, “They” pressed on my honesty, my decency. I didn’t trust them. After all, I used cunning and told them that I would say where the letter was. I should say that it was extremely hard to talk about the letter and try not to think where exactly it was. It was so hard not to allow even one thought. I was trying not to give myself away, during saying my prayers. But the thought involuntary came up, as it was drawn out of me.
This battle between myself and I and battle with “them” exhausted me. There was nowhere to run. I thought it useless. And after all I had to put an end to it. So I said “OK, I will tell you where the letter is”, on one condition that they will tell me what is going to happen to me and my studio full of equipment (once they threw me out: get out and don’t come back!). I need to know because I am giving them my last protection. Actually, when I went out to buy some bread and cigarettes I wanted to get cunning and tell tem that the letter is at my wife’s house at Solyanka. Go to Solyanka, lock yourself in a closet and rewrite the same note and bring it them back.
I was ready to cooperate, so broken was I, but only truthfully and with clear thoughts. I thought that they wouldn’t let me go anyway in fear that somewhere, somehow I will tell this story. Realizing that I was their prisoner and being absolutely worn off I offered this condition. “They” accepted it and ordered to go right away at night to Solyanka. I answered that I’ll go in the morning otherwise my wife won’t let me in. When? I said 10-30 am. They left me alone. In the morning I went to Solyanka, but my wife’s apartment was locked and I did not have the key. So I came back to my studio trying not to give away my plan. I said I’ll go at 1-30 pm.
The battle inside of me reached its climax. And when it was time to go, I went into the room and confessed. That there was no letter but a note which disappeared at the wake with the pack of cigarettes. But where? I don’t know and I don’t remember. I suggested going through their videos (I was confident that the wake was filmed and that those videos exist) and find out where did the pack of “Stolichnie” cigarettes go. Silence fell. All this time they were telling me “think, think, you’ll die”. I was lying forceless and longed for their answer. There was a melancholic pause. Again I heard a female voice whispering that it’s going to be OK. By the evening a man’s voice confirmed that. But no one was going to answer my questions that were brought up in the beginning. In the studio the atmosphere was friendly. I fell into hysterical lightness. I was praising the wise “chief” mingling it with curses addressing the whole team. In this mood I went on night promenade at “Chistie Prudi”.
When I came back it was different. They met me with cries “bastard”, “siksot”, “you’ll die”. I started to vindicate that I had never been a bastard or siksot. “Give me some proof! Where is it? You lied to me again! You deceived me!” And here the last fight began. “They” screamed “You’ll die today at midnight”, “You’ll definitely die!” By I told them: “There’s God’s way to everything”. “You destroy the best in the society and leave only dirt and filth, encourage the killers. You create the world of zombies. This is unnatural! This world is doomed! Give me “your” accusation? What do you accuse me of?” the one I was asking talked to me intensified through the ticking of the clock. He abused me as he wanted. He called me an arsehole, a jerk, a turkman. I wondered why turkman? He answered tajik (the thing is I was born in evacuation camp in Middle Asia, in Dushanbe. And they know it!) But he switched to turkman again and kept calling me this until the end. I told him: “You don’t have any prosecution. You kill without prosecution.” And here he shot: “what about Afghan?” I was stunned: “What Afghan?” I had no idea what was he talking about. I have never been there. And he replied: “You said it yourself, said it yourself…” And here I remembered and burst out laughing. In 1961 I spent a year and a half in the Pamirs and 18 km from the Afghan border. But we never even thought of crossing it. He dropped the subject at once and demanded me to come up to him (the clock) and face it. It was close to midnight. I replied that I didn’t believe him and will not react to his demands. He kept yelling and yelling and then switched to saying: “take off your clothes and go to bed!” I thought they could exhale some energy from the clock or something. The clock was standing exactly in front of the sofa that I sleep on. An absolute certainty that I will die today arose inside me. I took the prayer book and started reading out loud the soul’s departure (because I didn’t know), beginning prayers and final prayers (I knew them by heart). All voices disappeared and rarely revealed their presence by remarks.
This loud ticking clock, through which the chief (as I assumed) spoke to me, terrified me. I made an attempt to leave the studio. But he cried: “Lock it, lock it, lock it…” The specificity of this conversation through the clock – is a constant repetition. I went up the stairs, but when I saw a car near the entrance and two men sitting in it calmly, went back down. I had no doubt these people were waiting for me. I locked the doors from the inside and propped them up with planking. The threats continued. “You’ll die today at midnight”. I started screaming out of the window to my neighbour-blacksmith and others, but no one answered.
With full confidence that today I will die I started writing notes and throwing them outside. Rear passers-by stepped away – it was Sunday. But one lady picked up one note. I asked her to give it to the addressee, because I was in mortal danger. The “chief” was worried and said: “Leave it, leave it, go to sleep!” I quit reading the soul’s departure prayer. Suddenly I was overruled by weird determination. I knew where the wick part in the window. At this moment the “chief” fell silent. There was an unusual silence in the studio. It seemed to me that someone’s coming to deal with me. Here I broke the window with a metal stick. Two female voices cried: “You will be killed!” I answered “What’s the difference either way I’m going to get killed”. I took an axe, my coat and got out. The street was quiet and deserted. I headed towards the Swiss embassy. But it was closed at midnight and no one answered. I decided to sleep over in some entrance. I got lucky, the first one the basement was open, and so I sat there all night. I was sitting there surprised that the KGB bugged this building through electric wiring and water heating.
In the morning by 10 a.m. I was at the door of the embassy with and axe tucked in my pants. For some reason I thought it was the Swedish embassy. I asked for political asylum. But I was denied on the basis of Switzerland being neutral country. I got out, dropped these thoughts and went to our mutual acquaintance priestess Mara. The KGB won’t find me there – and then we’ll see! I didn’t even think I wouldn’t be able to find her. I’ve been to her place only once! It was night me and Victor Grachev were drunk and didn’t remember a thing. But I was confident going there and the opened the door (later I realized what a miracle was it). I told her I was pursued by KGB and I couldn’t stay in my studio and whether it was possible to stay at her place. Next day she took me to the “All Saints on Kulishky” church to Father Martitii for cleansing. Father Martirii said that the next cleansing is only on the 1st of January. So me and Mara started attending every morning and night the “Fedor Stratilat” church on Telegraphnii avenue. My every visit was followed by death threatening. But as time passed they weakened. From 21 to 28th of December I had been to the communion five times, when finally the Father told me that I need to receive the blessing. At first I could barely stay through the whole service but later I couldn’t do without church. At that time I learned many prayers by heart. Then I wished to go to “Sergiev Posad”. The voice would not leave me: I kept on receiving threats through the electrical wiring and the fridge. Meanwhile my studio with a broken window was there seemed usual. And no one had broken into it during these five days. Later I went there with Mara and friends to nail the window, take documents and other necessary things. There were no voices.
On the 28th of December I went to “Sergiev Pasad” to my school friends Slava Sablin and Father Aleksander. I needed an advice and the blessing for an obedience for a year in some temple for “bread and salt”. I wanted to write icons and murals, and do any work as long as spiritual preceptor is next to me, attending all services in the church and following all directions and fasts. I told my story to the father Aleksander in full confidence that I’m being followed by KGB. He explained it as the attack of “dark forces”, that demons tried to demolish my soul. I doubted. The Fathers Naum and German from the Lavra were not there and I went to Khomyakovo, the village forty minutes away from Sergiev Pasad. There I had been working on the reconstruction of the temple for ten days. But there were neither services nor spiritual preceptor there. The “Voice” kept on telling me to go back to Moscow and work.
On my way back to Moscow I met father Aleksander again. Simply and clearly he told me that I’ve been suffering temptations. Suddenly I felt calmed and at peace. It came to me that they were not the KGB, but demons. I cheered up. Slava Sablin decided that I’m going to go to father Mikhail to Staraya Ladoga. When I came back from “Sergiev Posad” the demons were still in my studio. While I was writing this confession, the clock called me “bastard” and “Siksot”.
This bringing-to-reason-war ended on Easter of 1994.