March 25, 2002
The court hearings resumed at 10 a.m. at the Golovinsky Court. Representing the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, Lyubov Nikolayevna Vinogradova testified as a specialist for the defense. She explained to the court that the scientific community is of the opinion that religious beliefs cannot cause psychological disorders, and that in each case a number of factors influencing the formation of and the changes of an individual’s personality have to be examined.
During the hearing, the court considered research conducted under Professor Kagan’s direction investigating the hypothesis that the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses influences people’s psychological health. Ms. Vinogradova explained that the tests met all requirements for such research, which is shown by the fact that the experiment can be reproduced and the achieved results can be verified. It was discovered that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a positive influence on its members and that this group of people does not have any pronounced differences from the norm. The general level of psychological disorders within the group made up only 2%, while amongst the country’s general population it is approximately 30%.
The hearings will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m.