The following story happened in the late 1990s or early 2000s, when in Moscow on Tverskaya Street and in the surrounding neighborhoods, strange girls approached student youth with one unexpected question.
Everyone who passed through Tverskaya Street met on his difficult way of walking pleasure lively guys and girls who with gracious smiles approached and spoke memorized formulas of communication. I study next to Tverskaya, so I often walk along this street with a bottle of beer and a good mood. Nothing prevents me from enjoying the sun, the crowds, and the civilized metropolitan everyday life. And once again, a lovely girl comes up to me. “Hello, can I contact you?” she asks, forgetting that yesterday and the day before she came up to me and tried to find an approach. Those times I took her as a beggar con and shrugged off communication, which could be very unpleasant.
But now I stopped, quite dazed by the sun and beer, noting in my drunken mind - well, she looks not bad... And then she asks me one delicate question: “How do you feel about sex before marriage?” I grin broadly and nod all parts of the body: “Well surely positive, yes, yes.” I'm getting like that Georgian whose foot a Frenchwoman stepped on and apologized, “Pardon”, and he exclaimed, “Of course I want!” But the unexpected thing happens - the girl says “I’m sorry” (in Russian, surely) and goes away into a crowd of people. There was some mystery in all this.
“So you can’t leave the case,” I said and acted differently. On Saturday morning, I drank beer for courage, sat in the passage, which is on the Okhotny Ryad, and began to wait for the prey. I did not have to wait long. The girl, not as pretty as yesterday, with many blackheads on her cheeks, jumped out of the crowd. But she acted just like everyone else. To the expected question, I immediately answered that I was categorically against sex before marriage. “Would you like to listen to a lecture on a healthy family?” I agreed, and she led me by the yards hell knows where. All the short way I was busy with thoughts about killer maniacs who choose people with features - well, someone urgently needed to catch virgins.
She brought me to the office, which turned out to be in the very center wherein a benevolent atmosphere, I still calmed down. The office was with European-quality repair, soft lighting and lots of little halls. At first, they showed me photographs from the life of some obscure youth society that looked like a wall newspaper of Timurovtsy (i.e. Young Pioneers who helped elderly people and invalids) - work in kindergartens, Subotnicks in parks, and so on. This was not the end of the matter, they began to talk about some Korean man who is involved in charity work, opens international centers and wants to unite all religions, issues training courses in natural sciences and other rubbish.
After the songs, they took the whole group of the chosen ones to the lecture hall, where the girl, by her appearance, very exemplary and notorious, spoke about the need to create a strong family, chastity, and upbringing. After that, I had to go to the second lecture. I could hardly restrain myself so as not to fall asleep in a nice and sweet environment. I tried so hard not to fall asleep, that the lecturer was constantly looking at me as if I were interested. He said, in my opinion, the same things, but with the use of technology - an image projector. The lecturer was about twenty-five years old and resembled a hard-core army warrant officer who carried out educational work. True, this ensign turned out to be trained in the Western manner of Protestant pastors who wave their hands, laughably pull their lips into a tube and smile happily when they read their sermons.
After the second lecture, the ensign suggested drinking tea and discussing the problem of the immaculate family. The conversation did not go on - around me sat life-beaten guys and frightened girls who, apparently, quite sincerely answered the question of the recruiters. Everything here was somehow unclean - I understood this even in a drunken state. Both the ensign and the lecturer were assertive, their eyes cunningly running from side to side. And then I remembered that someone was telling me about the Moon sect and its obscure activities. “But are you related to Moon?” I asked the ensign directly, admiring my memory even when very drunk.
The ensign had been alerted but quickly replied that their teacher was Reverend Moon. And then I was inspired; I asked why this Moon teaches chastity and has not weaned his son from drugs and alcohol, why to create a new religion, why to call his adherents to work in Korean factories and plantations, why... The ensign squinted and clenched his fists, but cooled quickly. Calmly began to deny and skillfully evade. How I left this office, I don’t know, but nobody seemed to kick me out - not a single bruise in the morning...
You can walk around Moscow endlessly. I often use good sunny days to enjoy the city. It looks like a huge termite mound, where everyone is busy with his own business. Residents of Moscow are characterized by continuous activity. You walk the streets and feel like a grain of sand on the beach. The most interesting thing is to watch the youth. It is its representatives that are the bearers of progress in culture, sports, and fashion. To be the most “advanced”, they are ready to do a lot. And they do. Moscow’s social groups are very colorful, their life is eventful, it is mobile and changeable, like the wind. My best friend belongs to one of these communities. She told me so much about her “brothers” and “sisters” that I tried joining the youth movement.
Having asked my friend to take me to the next meeting, I received a warm reply. It was a modern sect with the most typical name, such as “Children of Christ”. The X-youth was hanging out there (together with God, they preached art and sport). Honestly, going there was a little scary, because they often say bad things about sects. At the last moment I already wanted to refuse, but, looking at the girlfriend’s joyful in anticipation face, I still decided to go. She made me a warning along the way: modesty and tact in everything, no matter what happens. To my question, what awaits me there, even so, she said that the “Children” build their life according to the commandments of the Bible, and they are trying to direct the lost on the true path and to accustom beginners to a righteous life. Then came the solemn tirade in honor of the clever and enlightened “like-minded people”.
At this place, the laughter began to dismantle me. Finally, we reached the goal and entered a small white building near which shiny expensive cars stood. Probably, modern preachers should look accordingly, to better influence their followers. It was with these machines that the surprises began. As soon as we crossed the threshold of the hall, they attacked us from all sides and after a few minutes, I froze, literally licked from head to toe. Twenty people considered it their duty to kiss me at least once each. Then everything developed dynamically. They approached me with meticulous questions of a very different nature: from interest, who my parents are, to how much I eat in the morning. I did not expect such attention to my person.
Stunned, at first I tried to answer honestly and modestly, but then I realized that it was useless, and I became silent, also modestly and in good faith. My girlfriend was kissing with everyone, but obviously with much greater pleasure (the enthusiasm with which these people talked and jumped at each other would have been more fruitful, for sure, applicable to useful and meaningful activities). Gradually, everyone flowed into the huge hall without chairs, where they lit candles brought with them, and, as if on command, they calmed down. On the scene appeared... Christian Ray. I was in shock. On his face, the half-surprised bliss of a child born two hours ago poured. Dark gray eyes gleamed on a swarthy face framed by black hair. A handsome one, I will forgive such a man a lot of things, and I was ready to forgive, remembering also that he had a wonderful voice. But as soon as he began to read pieces from the Old Testament in his own slightly slang manner, I felt uneasy.
The entire first part of the program consisted of Christian Ray's sayings. In the second part, a young guy and a girl appeared on the stage and told with tears in their eyes they used to swear and quarrel, lead a dissolute life, and now they don’t even kiss, their feelings are as pure as the eyes of a child, they completely forgot about sex and started instead to read prayers every day, thanking the savior for giving them life. Let's face it, they did not look righteous. During these outpourings, I looked around: on the faces of the listeners was written a full agreement with the speakers and gratitude for their words. All this was like the medieval mass described by Charles de Coster.
The most amazing thing was that all those present took what was happening seriously, and they longed for a continuation. And then, in the third part, the “Metro” and “X-Mission” groups came out. The guys that you usually see on the blue screen energetic and active here seemed to be gray shadows that came from the kingdom come to tell about the horrors of hell. It was fashionable to believe in God and shout about it in every corner. Both groups were pessimistic and caused a feeling of terrible yearning. Having seen enough celebrities, I ran away from there, not finding a girlfriend. The impression left after visiting a fashionable youth party remained negative. I won’t go there anymore.