Porfiry Ivanov

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Porfiry Korneyevich Ivanov (Russian: Порфирий Корнеевич Иванов) (February 20, 1898 – April 10, 1983) was a Russian mystic whose beliefs have attained a cult status, with followers estimated in the tens of thousands.[1] He was a self-proclaimed doctor, although he had no formal certification. The Russian Orthodox Church has considered his teachings to be heretical, and calls the cult "Ivanovites".[2] Ivanov was imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital.[3]

Porfiri Ivanov's sect has its own hymn, written by Ivanov himself. The rhythm of the hymn was adopted from the French national anthem La Marseillaise.[4] Ivanov promoted Detka, a health system that included dousing. He based this system on the belief that it was healthy to remove one's clothing while outdoors in cold weather, in order to become closer to nature.[5] Ivanov also advocated swimming in icy water, a belief that has been applied to the practice of ice swimming.[6]


  1. Shnirelman, V., "Neo-paganism and Ethnic Nationalism in Eastern Europe" in Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, Bron Taylor, ed. London: Thoemmes Pres, 2005
  2. Interfax, Argumenty i fakty, 29 January 1999
  3. Titova, Irina, "'Walruses' Find Their Winter Chill Out." The St. Petersburg Times January 28, 2003
  4. Cultological News
  5. Satter, David. Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-08705-5, 2001, p. 338
  6. Pawlak, Nicholas, "Ice Swimmers Brace Themselves for The Thaw." The St. Petersburg Times April 4, 2006

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