"I’ve come to the conclusion that he (Yuri) is a very good psychologist," reflected Kostya.
"He is good at implementing his ideas through speech. He was very good at picking out the moments where you have to pressure a fighter or give him a helping hand. He was very good at maintaining those relations."
Yuri also had a knack for subliminal messages.
"We’d meet up before the training; he says the same thing all over again, five times in a row, then again after training, the same thing again. I was getting brainwashed every time."
This article is long, but it is well worth the time needed to read it.
A victim’s tale of MMA and mind control
by Karim Zidan Aug. 20, 2015
Corboy note: One of the most important techniques used by "Yuri" was to alienate his targets from their families and friends.
Yuri and his family then became the targeted person's family -- conning the athletes to believe their success depended on remaining with Yuri's family.
Slowly but surely, Yuri weaved Kostya into his occultist embroidery. He placed the fighter in a debt of gratitude, slowly separated him from his past, and thus cemented Kostya’s unfaltering allegiance.
Kostya’s dad was the first to be cut off. He, after all, controlled the finances.
"At first it was difficult for the trainer to steal all the money because I had a good relationship with my dad. He was my main sponsor, so all his money went to him and we split it amongst ourselves. It was very difficult for the trainer to take all the money."
Ironically, Kostya’s dad initially saw Yuri as a blessing for his son. After all, Kostya was an undefeated fighter with numerous accolades to his name. He was thankful for Yuri’s presence in Kostya’s life.
"My dad was very happy at the beginning for me, because he saw that his son wanted to train a lot and was doing very good for himself. He was successful at fighting."
Yet once the father took too much of an interest in his son’s profession, Yuri’s defenses kicked in and he marked his territory.
"My dad was trying to get involved in the training process. He asked questions about how the training was going? How his son was doing? So Yuri pushed him off and said that it was none of his business. He told him to stay out of it."
Determined to be a part of his son’s life, he backed off and watched in despair as Yuri’s influence slowly devoured his son.
"As my dad said later, that he just missed the moment when I got sucked into all this. He understood that I got sucked into the coach’s family and understood that if he had tried to give his advice to get me out of it, he would be sent away."
By 2005, Gluhov, now 10-0 in his kickboxing career with several more titles to his name, suffered the first loss of his professional career. It came against Eduard Voznovich, whom he had beaten the previous year en route to the inaugural Drake European Championships tournament title.
A chink had finally appeared in Kostya’s armor, and his coach was not pleased about it. Concerned that he may lose his main investment, Yuri plotted to separate Kostya from his family entirely.
Kostya could no longer have any connection to his past.
"Yuri said that, ‘If you are going to continue living with your parents you are not going to be a good fighter,’" Kostya explained. "Not good fighter, not good person"
The following year, Kostya was spending a month at a time away from his biological family. While he expected the change to appease his coach, who had pressured him for years to separate from his family, Yuri viewed it instead as an opportunity to convince Kosyta to sever ties entirely.
Yuri made himself indispensable to Kostya, while simultaneously convincing the heavyweight that everyone else around him was the exact opposite. He presented himself as Kostya’s sure chance at becoming an elite fighter. All he had to do was prove his commitment.
Pressure from Yuri and his family to do drugs.
Yuri’s experimentation did not end with psychedelic substances. He, along with his sons, enjoyed the effects of cannabis. It helped relax the mind and allowed them to comfortably enter a state of shamanism. This was applicable to training sessions as well, as Kostya was pressured often to try out its effects before a workout.
"Yuri’s son used to smoke marijuana and hashish a lot. So a couple of times, he got me to smoke weed before. It just shuts your brain off."
It seemed as though Yuri wanted to use cannabis consumption to allow a fighter to limit his ability to think — to create a machine-like competitor who reacts only to his coach’s immediate commands, both during training as well as the actual fight. And of course, more typically, there’s the fact that many fighters constantly suffer from anxiety, which leads to an overworked mind — not exactly the ideal state to be in before a professional fight, according to Kostya.
"The main idea is for me not to think."
Yet his troubles did not end with marijuana. Conveniently labeled a gateway drug, Yuri was determined to use cannabis as a stepping-stone to other substances that could transform Kostya into what he believed would be a ferocious specimen.
He (Kostya) felt constant pressure from Yuri and his sons. He tried to play dumb and ignore their pleas. Sometimes it was merely pure luck and circumstance that saved him.
"A couple of times they tried to make me do drugs before the fight but I got lucky and it didn’t happen. They basically wanted me to use cocaine as well, but it didn’t work out for some reason."
"He trained four people before me. He did the same thing with those people.
"They were — how you say — hypnotized."
Less than 30 seconds into the conversation, we had already touched on the topic of brainwashing.
"They fell under his influence. Two of those guys are dead now. One of the guys got shot in the 90s during some kind of gang-related stuff. The trainer was also involved in some criminal activities in the 90s, and the student who got shot was involved with that, too, with the trainer. The second guy died because of alcoholism. He was under pressure, just like I was, and he just gave up.
"Two of the other guys who are still alive, one escaped to Canada and the second one is an alcoholic." Gluhov smiles sadly remembering the former cult members.