We have seen a lot in our journalistic reporting, ranging from high-profile corruption scandals at the highest levels of power to investigations of targeted killings of our fellow journalists. For the most part, it is clear from the beginning how are the forces aligned on a chessboard. Motives of crimes, goals, objectives are also conceivable, potentially interested parties are known, thus it is simple enough to choose the tactics of investigative journalism. Against this background, the case which was introduced to us by colleagues from Russia, doesn’t resemble to what we have seen before. The reason for this, is not just the fact that main subjects are representatives of academic community, but also the scale of the precedent itself, which took off in the early 90s and is still continuing. It appears that, in modern Russia, not only it is possible to steal million tons of oil, but even a sound scientific heritage of one of the most mysterious and influential scientists of the 20th century in the field of psychology and psychiatry – Leopold Szondi.

Initiation of an investigation

In early April 2019, one of my colleagues, namely Yury Kremenev who has become famous in the investigation of Beslan massacre and had to leave Russia in 2009, got a message from his Russian friends. The gist of letter was about St. Petersburg group of young scientists facing a scam in academic community, which is striking in its extent and impudence. Besides, letter concerned that hardy anyone would be interested in this investigation in Russia, as local reporters mostly write about politics, so there is no time for this kind of “minutiae”, as an unprecedented theft of Leopold Szondi’s intellectual assets. It has to be said that until the middle of the month, Yuriy didn’t have time to deal with this issue either. He has been residing in London for more than 8 years, and after Brexit there were a lot of pressing social, political and financial issues. It was only in May of 2019 when we were able to discuss the signal from Russia. Just for the record, this investigation might become a global precedent and led to an entire series of articles, which we together with Yury, might turn into a best-selling book, perhaps someday.

Who is Mr. Szondi?

On the one hand, there is not much information out there about Leopold Szondi, but on the other hand, his biography alone is sufficient for understanding that he is one of the fathers of modern psychology, and that his Szondi test is a unique tool not only for scientists, but also for criminologists, detectives, security managers of large holdings and financial institutions. For a better acquaintance with the phenomenal scholar you may use English or German Wikipedia: you will find amply described Szondi’s biography, scientific activities, Szondi Institute in Zurich, that should be the center of world fate analysis according to him. That aside, it turned out that there are people in Russia who managed not only to steal Szondi’s legacy, but also make a good fortune on their scam. And the worst part is about several generations of psychologists in the CIS being fooled and obfuscated, other than losing money, they never became fate analysts. Who is behind this fantastic scam? Two names are known at the moment, that are connected with these events, and are likely to be brought before before the judge sooner or later for commited crimes: Vladimir Djos and Igor Tsyganok.

Who is Mr. Djos?

Vladimir Djos styles himself a fate analyst, central figure of fate-analytic community in Russia, full-fledged member of the International Szondi Society. However, this information is meant for the general public, because on invitation-only workshops held by Djos, he sincerely claims to be nothing but Leopold Szondi’s reincarnation. Based on reports of Yury Nikiforov, Irina Pryadko and Evgeny Zvantsev, young Russian scientists who attended Vladimir Djos’ closed workshops three times, when Djos talks about Szondi’s reincarnation, he is absolutely serious in his arguments that he is so much accustomed with Leopold Szondi, that you would never notice the difference from the founder of fate analysis. Vladimir Djos makes this twist in the beginning to mislead low-skilled audience. One of the objectives of the twist is to sell translations of several Szondi’s books, which Djos allegedly translated from German. As you can understand, Djos makes money and does not pay any fees to owners of this intellectual asset.

Oddities and contradictions

All works of Leopold Szondi were published in German, but, neither Vladimir Djos nor Igor Tsyganok speak or read German. They do not know German language, but they sell Russian versions of Szondi’s books. How is this possible? This would be possible only if someone professionally translated Szondi’s works into Russian, and then Vladimir Djos took over books and copyrights. Indeed, translator of the book: Experimental diagnostics of drives is V.I. Nikolaev. Meanwhile, Djos is actively engaged in selling Szondi’s books in Russia.

We have already mentioned “Szondi reincarnation” trick. The most important thing in here is the scale of the scam. Russia is a wonderful country where people are happy to believe in otherworldly forces and mysticism, remember Anatoly Kashpirovsky and Alan Chumak, who used to “charge water through TV”, many of their followers and paranormalist, as well as financial fraudsters who since the days of Mavrodi and his “MMM” company, successfully rob people in the post-Soviet space. The mystique and credulity of the population is one of the key differences in the mentality of Russia and west, which is why even young scientists believe in the transcendental relationship between Djos and Szondi. In a nutshell, there kinds of tricks in Russia did really work and are still working.

Vladimir Djos also claims to be candidate of psychological sciences. However, inquiries of scholars in Russia and Moldova ( Djos is from Moldova), got nowhere. Government authorities do not confirm that Vladimir Djos earned a diploma of candidate of science. During seminars and workshops, Djos tries to avoid these types of questions and refuses to prove anything and demonstrate his diploma, while demonstrating unstable emotional behavior.

Theft of intellectual assets?

Financial fraud is a fairly serious criminal article in EU and such crimes are doomed to resonance. In this case, it is the sale of books by Leopold Szondi that is a grave matter that could result in a series of criminal cases. As far as we know from the publisher of the book “Experimental diagnostics of drives”, nothing else but sales of this book brought Vladimir Djos more than 200 thousand dollars of profit. Moreover, on the first pages of this textbook it says that the book is printed with the permission of the Szondi Institute in Zurich. If this information will be verified, then one fact alone, will be the reason for criminal investigation.

Defamation of fate-analysis

Based on reports from Russia, currently there are more than 200 specialists who received diplomas and certificates from Vladimir Djos. This said, the number of such certified specialists in the homeland of Djos, in Moldova is unknown. Certainly, all these specialists paid money to get certificates and to have an opportunity to practice therapy in their cities and regional centers. At the same time, we must notice an important moment. Vladimir Djos has been teaching fate analysis for the past 30 years on the basis of the first, second and third volumes of Leopold Szondi’s works, but, at the same time, he distributes certificates of “specialists in the field of fate analysis”. Although during his lifetime, Szondi released 5 major volumes. However, Vladimir Djos did not bother to translate the fourth and fifth volumes. Under such circumstances, how come Djos has been able to teach fate analysis and “issue certificates” to people in the course of 30 years? Thus, in the course of the third of a century, fate analysis was discredited in the CIS: hundreds of certified specialists with endorsements of Vladimir Djos, who bought translated books and certificates for money, without knowing all works of Leopold Szondi, somehow engaged in patient therapy. How many fates and lives have been crippled because of “graduates” of Vladimir Djos… we can only guess. Apparently, it is about hundreds of thousands of people who were disillusioned with the therapy, which was disguised by Vladimir Djos as the fate therapy of Leopold Szondi.

Investigative lead

First of all, in the near future we will appeal to the Szondi Institute in Zurich. We have too many questions about activities of Vladimir Djos and Igor Tsyganyuk, that have signs of criminal infringement of law. With the help of our colleagues from Russian media, we will conduct a series of interviews with persons who took part in the translation of books. We are certain that we will find out lots of useful information about the essence of Vladimir Djos’ and Igor Tsyganyuk’s activities. With the help of our German colleagues, we will analyze the quality of the translation of books published by Vladimir Djos, as there are some sources that state about significant distortions in the meaning of Leopold Szondi writings. We will also analyze the signals that have appeared in the Russian information space regarding the victims of Djos and Tsyganyuk in Russian Federation. For instance, according to the missionary department of the Novosibirsk Diocese, there are at least 12 victims who are gathering documents for law enforcement agencies of Russia because of the fact that Vladimir Djos, taking advantage of his position at the consultations, was retrieving personal and commercial information from patients, and then selling it to interested persons. Also, some women wrote about sexual perversions of Vladimir Djos, which they had to observe during psychotherapy sessions, about fraud and even driving his clients to suicide. Official website of the missionary center of Novosibirsk diocese: http://www.ansobor.ru/news.php?news_id=8944