Skip to main content
CNN EditionWorld
The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Offbeat News

Toilet-paper 'Rasputin' riles Lithuania

Media derides mystic's influence on president

President Rolandas Paksas, right, stands with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson in January 2001. Paksas was then prime minister.
President Rolandas Paksas, right, stands with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson in January 2001. Paksas was then prime minister.

Story Tools

start quoteThis is clearly the work of the devil.end quote
-- Cardinal Audrys Backis

VILNIUS, Lithuania (Reuters) -- Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas stirred up a media storm over his faith in a mystic who wraps people in toilet paper to cure their ills.

Paksas' claim to be a "believer" in mystic Lena Lolisvili has sparked uproar in the Catholic former Soviet country, which is sensitive about its image abroad after being invited to join the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Local media have dubbed Lolisvili Lithuania's "Rasputin," after the Siberian mystic who wielded influence over Russia's Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra in the early 1900s.

"Lithuania risks becoming the laughing stock of the world," its largest newspaper, Lietuvos Rytas, said Friday.

Lolisvili, an ethnic Georgian who claims God tells her the future and energizes toilet paper she then wraps around her patients, told Paksas in 1996 he would become president.

Paksas has said Lolisvili helped him when he was ill, but has never given details of his treatment.

She was a guest of honor at his inauguration last month, a move critics decried as a throwback to the dark ages.

"This is clearly the work of the devil," said Cardinal Audrys Backis.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
 
 
 
 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.