MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Internet could become an occult-free zone, if lawmakers backing a bill to restrict advertising of “magical” services have their way.
Under regulations outlined in a bill presented to the State Duma on Tuesday, online marketing of supernatural services would be subjected to blacklisting along with child porn and sites promoting suicide and illegal drugs.
Advertisement of psychic services on television will be deemed acceptable, but only between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. and if designated as entertainment, according to the bill, which has been made available for viewing on the State Duma’s website.
The bill states that Russia should also drop astrologists, fortune-tellers, mages and psychics from a state-approved list of economic activities.
The draft legislation was presented by Mikhail Serdyuk, a lawmaker with the A Just Russia party.
Serdyuk said he personally “does not deny the possibility of psychic powers,” according to a statement on his website.
But most self-proclaimed psychics are frauds, he said.
No up-to-date figures on the occult services industry in Russia are available, but lawmakers claimed in 2010 that it created 800,000 jobs and had an annual turnover of $2 billion.
About 20 percent of Russians have sought paranormal help at least once in their lives, according to a nationwide poll by the independent Levada Center in 2010.