Even in the authoritarian era of Vladimir Putin, the arrest of Mikhail Romanov, a reporter for the Yakutsk Vecherniy, was notable. Romanov has been accused of “controlling minds” by merely referencing George Orwell’s novel “1984.”
Romanov was prosecuted under a law that punishes media for publishing information “containing hidden insertions affecting the human subconscious.” It is a perfectly Orwellian crime based on references to Orwell.
Romanov has refused to testify on the basis that he has “limited eyesight and inability to read text,” but the police mocked him by saying that his disability “hasn’t kept him from working at a computer.”
Fines for crime range between 2,000 rubles ($31) and 50,000 rubles ($785).
Of course, this is not the first time a Romanov has been accused of dabbling in mind-controlling activities. Grigori Rasputin was believed to have entranced the Tsar and his Romanov family (particularly the Tsarina) with his Russian mystic teachings and alleged powers. He was viewed as a threat in his controlling of the Tsar and his family that Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich conspired to murder him to save the Russian Empire.