The Cult in my Grandmother's House – Sandermoen Publishing – книжное издательство в Швейцарии
The Cult in my Grandmother's House

The Cult in my Grandmother's House

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When eight-year-old Ania is sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer holidays, she finds a house full of strangers and a grandmother who pretends not to know her. Ania only returns home six years later.

This autobiography is about childhood in an illegal cult in the USSR, involving the scientific and creative elite of the Soviet Union.

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The cult's leader, V. D. Stolbun, claimed to be raising a breed of superhuman immune to any physical or mental illness.

Any totalitarian cult is built on a strict hierarchy and is controlled entirely by its leader, whose only motive is power.

This is a book about adults betraying the children in their care.

It warns us to be wary of anyone who claims to be "saving the world", and contains tools to identify a cult before it is too late.

The author managed to free herself from the puppetmaster's grip, but his appalling activities continue to this day.

1. Before the cult
2. Brainwashing
3. I'm a pioneer. I've been chosen. I'm happy
4. I'm a superhuman. Life in the underground
5. The clinic in Leningrad
6. Breaking point
7. I was not to be a superhuman after all
P.S. Aunt Katya's story

The Book in Russian Секта в доме моей бабушки

The Book in German Die Sekte im Hause meiner Grossmutter


Translation from Russian to English: Stephanie Droop
Book text: 
Formats: Paperback or PDF, EPUB, MOBI (in one ZIP file)
Design and layout: Varvara Shalito, Evgeniya Kornienko

Copyright: Sandermoen Publishing © 2021

ISBN: Paperback 978-3-907131-51-0, PDF 978-3-907131-52-7
EPUB 978-3-907131-53-4

Publication date: May 1st, 2021

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews

I could not stop reading your book. Just simply could not put it down and I could finish it in the early hours of the night!
From the bottom of my heart: thank you for sharing your story with me — and so many others. Your honesty and openness coupled with your compelling way to tell the truth as it is — in all its horror and without caveats — goes straight into the soul.

One of my favorite books is Ljusbärarna (Eng. The carriers of light) by Anita Goldman. It is about people who overcome unfathomable experiences but have it within them to carry a light and thereby create meaning in their lives and inspire and lead others to see light and love instead of the evil that has been imposed on them. I kept thinking of that book as I read.

That is what you are: a carrier of light!

I will always carry the story with me and I will share your book with my two daughters.


I finished your book and thanks a lot for this special insight. It takes courage to let people read so much about you and your experiences in the past.
Maybe for me as a shrink it is even more special to read it because I can imagine what the described situations mean for the development of a personality.

I admire your strength and your ability to survive and also how you were able to describe all that without getting overwhelmed by hate and anger. That’s why it is good to read your story.

Loved the book

I read this books in just a couple of days. I was completely absorbed. As someone who was also born in USSR and now living in a different country, Canada, although a few years younger than the author, I could really relate to the story. I heard about Stolbun’s cult before, but reading a book from an eye witness account was absolutely incredible. I also loved that the author was able to find happiness and find out that there are different, healthy ways to approach relationships and life in general. I also found my happiness in a different country, Canada so I can really relate. Highly recommend it!

Lena Antipina, Artist

So, I've read this book not long time ago and I really want to share you like with you. Its called "The Cult in my grandmother's house".
But most importantly, what it made me think of is this social tendency to blame the victim. Or not believing the victim.
You know, when all the sexual abuse scandals, which happened like in the 70s, and now the victims are coming out with their stories, telling the world about these abusive people who died many years ago? "This person who is a celebrity, he/she/they abused me"
And you know like there's always criticism. People speculate that one's being abused make it all up to get attention and publicity. "You just want to get into papers, because it's the only way for you to get noticed"
Seriously guys, just think of the one, one thing. Think how difficult it is for people to live all these years with their trauma, confusion, shame and self blame. All these doubts affecting their lives. Think of the courage needed to face it! And the courage to speak up and talk about it! And to inspire other people to speak up.
But some people don't listen. "Oh, you just want to be famous by association!"
Where's the compassion? Where the fuck is these people's compassion?

Stephanie Droop
Gripping memoirs with a universal message

This is a wild ride, a warning of passive collusion letting powerful men run away with power.

Shocking rawness, but also beautiful descriptive scenes the average western reader has never imagined.

I enjoyed the "local colour" most. Rousing patriotic ceremonies, working on rat-infested farms, hitchhiking through central Asian truckstops, burning dung on dried-up seas. The conditions of poverty are leavened with deadpan humour.

This book shows a different side from the usual tropes found in English-language books on the USSR. Real life is rich and ambiguous so despite the poverty there is recognisable pride in aspects of Soviet life like its operas or its frontier-style natural resource culture, its dinosaur bones. Through Anna's eyes we share the pride of going on a geological expedition or being sworn into a youth organisation.

The cult's methods are all the more chilling because they are built on a kernel of real science like IQ tests. The ensuing abuse and total neglect is all the more disturbing because it started with respected academics.

Full disclosure: I'm the translator of the English edition but these views are my own. I know that every word of this book is true. That the author has attained such wisdom, compassion and success in her life is testament to her resilience and spirit. Her insight shines out of this book to illuminate important issues around family and society. Read it and you might get closer to healing your own wounds too.