Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Crystal Balls Weigh In on Poll Outcome

The outcome of this fall's regional elections in Russia will be influenced by everything from basic falsification to geopathogenic zones, with a bit of help from Michael Jackson.

This, at any rate, was the collective message issued at a roundtable Tuesday which united a sociologist, a couple of astrologers, one sorceress and an activist from the Communist-backed Spiritual Heritage political movement.

Nikolai Zarochentsev, of Spiritual Heritage, claimed at the Tuesday meeting that any real discussion was meaningless, since "All results will depend entirely on the fact how strongly the current [pro-Yeltsin] governor holds his position."

Zarochentsev insisted that the results of the summer's presidential elections were heavily forged, adding that by now the technique was so finely tuned that any elections were merely pro forma.

Vladimir Rimsky, a sociologist from Indem, a Moscow think tank, maintained that, on the contrary, the power of the federal government is so weak these days that it would be only the initiative and personal qualities of local candidates that would affect the final decisions of voters.

On the other end of the analytical spectrum, Madame Deya, Mistress of Magic, claimed that all results might be affected by so-called geopathogenic zones, which happened to be concentrated in regions where the elections would take place.

Madame Deya also warned that the self-proclaimed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, would play an important, but negative role in Russian politics in next couple of years. "This will not be terribly good," she said.

Madame Deya classed the singer with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, as persons "who exist in more then just one normal earth dimension." She declined to specify what harm the pop star could possibly do to Russia, claiming that it will involve disclosure of some rather personal facts about Jackson's life.

Following the Jackson theme, Madame Deya pointed out that according to Russian custom, giving somebody a sword or saber is bad luck. Michael Jackson was presented with a saber by Alexander Korzhakov, Boris Yeltsin's former bodyguard.

She refused to comment on the suggestion that a clairvoyant Korzhakov gave the saber in his effort to prevent Jackson's future bad influence on Russia.

The participants also said President Boris Yeltsin will survive his heart troubles. "There is still some time left for him," said Madame Deya.

Tatyana Kornilovskaya, an astrologist who writes the weekly Prognosis column for Moskovsky Komsomolets daily, however, said that while Yeltsin might live, he would not be able to continue as president. According to Kornilovskaya, a new political crisis would hit the country as soon as the beginning of the next year.

But Kornilovskaya also said all prognoses should be, if not forbidden, then at least kept quiet, as they only prevent people from taking decisions in their own hands and having control over their lives.