Russia continues to wallow in extraordinary ignorance, making its superstitious citizens easy prey for American haters and con artists who eagerly exploit them. The latest huckster to sucker Russian rubes is exorcist Bob Larson.

It seems Russia is in the throes of messianic mania, which Vladimir Putin is gleefully using to distract the masses from their real problems (like his dictatorship). Here is another recent example of Russians falling off the deep end:

From morning all through the night, tens of thousands of Russians have been lining up since Saturday in the cold with just one aim: to kiss a glass-covered reliquary that they believe holds the Virgin Mary’s belt. They shuffle along, waiting for up to 12 hours without complaint in a line that stretches for miles. Within a few days, the organizers say, the wait could reach 24 hours. At any given time there are about 25,000 people, according to news media estimates, and as of Wednesday morning, 285,000 true believers had earned their moment before the belt, said the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which organized the tour.

Unfortunately, the rise of stupidity and superstition has made LGBT people the targets of mobs and neo-Nazis. According to a new BBC report:

There is evidence of that attitude in a series of shocking videos posted online by a Russian vigilante group. In one, a man is being forced to drink urine to “cure him” of being a homosexual.

Then a metal bucket is placed over the man’s head and hit with what looks like a baseball bat and a police truncheon.

Attacks like this, filmed and posted online, are being carried out across Russia by an ultra-nationalist group. It claims its objective is to name, shame and punish suspected paedophiles.rusgayvictim

But from the tone of the videos the encounters come across as homophobic attacks. In another online clip, a woman armed with a gun and dressed in camouflage jokes that she’s “out on safari” hunting for paedophiles and gays. She starts shooting towards an imaginary “rainbow target”.

The woman’s name is Yekaterina. We track her down in St Petersburg, where she heads the local branch of the vigilante group “Occupy Paedophilia”.

“Our priority is uncovering cases of paedophilia,” Yekaterina explains to me. “But we’re also against the promotion of homosexuality. And if – along the way – we encounter people of non-traditional sexual orientation, we can kill two birds with one stone.”

Meanwhile, American hate-mongering evangelist and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively wrote a letter to Putin thanking him for his anti-gay crackdown:

“Dear President Putin, On behalf of millions of Americans and Canadians who are concerned about the seemingly unstoppable spread of homosexuality in our countries and internationally, I wish to respectfully express my heartfelt gratitude that your nation has take a firm and unequivocal stand against this scourge by banning homosexualist propaganda in Russia. You have set an example of moral leadership that has shamed the governments of Western Europe and North America and inspired the peoples of the world. Already Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary and the Ukraine have begun to follow your principled example, and you have engendered real hope in the international pro-family movement that this destructive and degrading sexual agenda might finally begin to be brought to a halt across the globe.”  nyet_surrender

Thankfully, we have a United States President, Barack Obama who is standing up to the vile hatred from a nation that has seemingly gone bezerk. Instead of meeting with Russia’s dictator, he is taking time out of his St Petersburg trip for the G20 summit to meet with LGBT advocates:

Following his cancellation of a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama may infuriate the Kremlin further by meeting Russian human rights activists, including LGBT rights groups, during his upcoming trip to St Petersburg for the G20 summit. Four Russian non-governmental organizations told BuzzFeed Monday they had been invited to the meeting, scheduled for this Thursday at St. Petersburg’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. The groups include veteran human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva, legal aid NGO director Pavel Chikov, and Coming Out, a St. Petersburg-based LGBT organization. Another local LGBT group, the LGBT Network, is believed to be attending, though director Igor Kochetkov declined to comment to BuzzFeed, saying that he had been “asked not to say anything.”

Aside from LGBT issues, there will be continuing confrontations with Russia. You can’t have this many profoundly ignorant, superstitious fools careening towards total dictatorship and armed to the teeth without profound worldwide consequences. It’s only a matter of time before the situation deteriorates.

[h/t Joe My God]