Anti-cult pro-Russian activist arrested after attacking a synagogue and a Scientology church

The intriguing Randi Nord story sheds light on the domestic and global effects of bigotry.

Randi Nord was accused of racial intimidation and vandalism by Magistrate Donald Chisholm of the 44th Court District. Nord desecrated a synagogue by painting a Nazi insignia on its wall in the Detroit neighborhood of Royal Oak. She was apprehended on May 1 with the help of the FBI after painting swastikas on a baby stroller and a car that belonged to Jewish families.


Randi Nord is a woman with a captivating life story. She is in her 30s. She founded Geopolitics Alert Independent World News, according to media reports. The media agency has an ambitious name but a moderate footprint. Not one it made unfounded claims such as that Cuban healthcare is so advanced that it created a cancer vaccine. It frequently covers Yemen and publishes stories that are anti-Israel and pro-Venezuela. Additionally, Nord frequently republishes Chinese propaganda on a variety of topics and has mirrored Russian viewpoints on problems like Internet governance.

Randi Nord with Abbas Hamideh at the MECAWI rally in Detroit, January 4, 2020 (pre-COVID)

So, why attack Scientology and Judaism? Why these two?

Nord is an activist against cults. Her website posted an article that has since been removed that called Falun Gong a “Scientology-like cult” and said that it created the organ harvesting narrative to further its anti-Chinese agenda.

She paints in broad strokes. She says that “most Christian mega-churches are not that far off from the Church of Scientology—they are companies in the business of ripping people money based on fear. She also condemned “the criminal and cult-like features” of Scientology. Simply put, the mega-churches are just a little less cult-like.

Randi Nord’s inability to confine herself to writing is her problem. She not only talks but also does. Before attacking the synagogue in March 2023, she participated in an arson attack against the Farmington Hills Church of Scientology, a different Detroit suburb. Nord “was charged with two different felonies and given bond that included a tether” for the anti-Scientology attack, according to Farmington Hills police Chief Jeff King. She had cut her tether since.

There is more. On the synagogue wall in Royal Oak, she painted the word “Azov” with a swastika. The media’s initial interpretation was that she sought to elevate the Azov Battalion of Ukraine, which is frequently labeled as “neo-Nazi”. Given Nord’s political leanings, this seemed odd.

She then admitted to the police that it was the opposite. She sought to incite anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sentiment and hoped that her crimes would be blamed on pro-Ukrainian activists. The Royal Oaks detective who had access to her confession reported that “she said she planned to do as many hate crimes as possible and blame them on AZOV”.

She had recently returned from Serbia where she had spent the previous two years. Then she attempted to set fire to the Farmington Hills Church of Scientology. It is unknown what she did in Serbia, but there are undoubtedly many active pro-Russian organizations there, not least the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 2022, Nord deleted her Twitter account. In May 2022, she opened a new one, but it was empty except for an old Soviet billboard that reads, “Visit the USSR.”

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