Nov 17, 2014

Fashion model killed herself after joining cult

Ruslana Korshunova who leapt to death from Manhattan building in 2008 was member of Rose of the World Cult

David Millwar
November 17, 2014

A supermodel’s suicide in Manhattan is being linked to her membership of the Rose of the World cult.

Ruslana Korshunova committed suicide in 2008, cutting through the construction mesh protecting an office building. The Kazakhstan-born model was only 20.

Although the New York Police department believed that she had committed suicide, Miss Korshunova’s family and friends could not believe she killed herself.

An investigation into her death by Peter Pomarentsev has now revealed that she was a member of a cult, called Rose of the World.

The daughter of wealthy businessman and former Red Army officer, Miss Korshunova’s blonde hair and piercing blue eyes made her a natural for the fashion scouts who scoured the former Soviet Union for talent.

Distraught at the end of a relationship to a wealthy tycoon, her personal and professional life unravelled.

In desperation she turned to the Moscow based cult, Rose of the World, reportedly paying $300 (£192) a day to take part in one of their courses.

She was not the only model to kill herself after becoming involved with the cult. Anastasia Drozdova leapt to her death in Ukraine in 2009.

Like Miss Korshunova, she had turned to the cult as her career began to wane.

As part of his investigation into the model’s death, Mr Pomarentsev spoke to former members of the cult and was told of the techniques it used.

The cult’s roots are with Lifespring, an American cult which went bankrupt in 1980 after being sued by a number of its former followers for mental damage as Participants were repeatedly harangued and demeaned by the coaches.

Asked about Miss Korshunova’s death, one coach said it was better to commit suicide than fail to change.

However, a member of the cult denied that either suicide was linked to Rose of the World.

He told Mr Pomerantsev: "Korshunova had what we call a 'rollback'. She felt a little strange. You'd find her wandering round town, unsure what she was doing there.

Maybe she'd cry at night. But she couldn't have killed herself. We cured her of any problems she might have.

“And Drozdova? She was messed up already. We tried to help her, we really tried. But she refused transformation.

“Blame modelling, maybe drugs, not us.”

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