Jalil Javed and Henry Kincaid
The death of Allan Chumak may be of little significance to younger Russians, but to people who were alive during the height of Gorbachev’s perestroika, his death may be more noteworthy. Nearing the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chumak, who has passed at the age of 83, maintained a successful career as a popular TV ‘faith healer’.
Millions of Soviet citizens watched as Chumak performed his tricks on the USSR’s state television. It was once considered to be one of the most popular shows in the communist state, drawing in large numbers as Chumak performed hand movements intended to ‘realign the body’s internal harmony’.
In 1993, the Ministry of Health banned Chumak’s performance on the basis of promoting pseudoscience, bringing his career to a close.
While his life in the spotlight was not long, his influence within that half-decade was comparable to that of the Western rock bands of the 1960s, complete with massively diverse crowds of fans gathering around him at all times, and rooms full of people eager to watch his performances.
Chumak’s son, Dmitry Chumak, announced his father’s death but did not mention the cause.
Featured Image Credits: Sputnik/Alexander Makarov