Get Behind Me, Satan! (Ilya Repin, 1895)
The Koumentakos case points up something for us… the fact that the OCA (in particular) shall go to any length to “win”. This brings certain consequences to all who question the veracity of the current OCA party-line. Before we begin a discussion of this, please, click on the following link to read the article on practise in the Paris group, for its behaviour is identical to that of the OCA.
Read it? Good… Any of us who speak out or otherwise discomfit the Syosset/SVS cabal (the unity of these bodies was shown by the recent naming of the SVS CFO to be OCA Treasurer) shall find that these people do not hesitate to use the sacraments as weapons. Indeed, it has been done for many years, usually by denying someone communion under shaky pretence coupled with subtle (or not-so-subtle) pressure to leave the parish. If you find this statement “extreme”, please, click the link again to reread the above article. It is revelatory and there is not an idle word in it.
One reason why there has been no open retaliation as of present against whistle-blowers is that Jonas Paffhausen, Benjamin Peterson, their HOOMie allies (including Gerasim Eliel, the putative Bishop of Alaska), and the SVS lot are Godless California Positivists, not Orthodox Christians, in philosophy. That is, the first tactic of such people upon encountering opposition is to ignore it. “It shall go away”. It is part and parcel of “positive thinking”. If the opposition persists, if that does not work, a whispering campaign is launched against the poster. All sorts of juicy and “interesting” tit-bits concerning the opposition are aired, usually through third-parties such as the moderators of Internet fora such as the Orthodox-Forum (that is why the Velencia case is so interesting… he has been stupid enough to air such himself, directly… which has, no doubt, earned him the ire of Bobby K and the Syosset inner circle). If that does not work, it goes to the third level, which is not uncommon. Then, communion is withheld. There is always a “reason”, and do not forget that the OCA is now run according to the so-called “Brum Doctrine”, which states that all matters are to decided by the Central Authority (a fact that the OCA lawyers conveniently left out of their briefs).
This was not the practise in the old Metropolia; it was not advocated or used by decent people of merit such as Metropolitans Leonty Turkevich and Iriney Bekish, Archbishops John Shahovskoy and Kyprian Borisevich, or Fr Basil Stroyen (“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?”). As an older friend of mine said in relation to the Velencia case when I said, “What would the old Metropolia have done?” she relied, “They would’ve ripped his head off”. Who brought this cancer into the Church? The answer is contained in the article linked above… Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann brooked no opposition to his heretical notions. ANYTHING was allowed… “The end justifies the means”. Don’t forget that he started out by stabbing his mentor, Georgi Vasilyevich Florovsky, in the back in a manoeuvre to gain influence at SVS (which, at that time (in 1955), was nothing but a set of hired-rooms at the Reed House in Union Theological in Manhattan). It went downhill from there…
As the situation deteriorates, no doubt, Syosset shall send some of its most-trusted minions about the various parishes to “rally the troops” and to “shoot dissenters”. Mind you, I am certain that no physical coercion shall be used. Anyone who thinks that it shall be used is fevered and melodramatic and deserves a long rest in a home for the feeble-minded. In any case, physical intimidation was tried in Mayfield in the 80s… it not only didn’t work, it backfired so badly that it scared off the Syosset gang. That being said, there is no doubt that the Syosset commandoes shall do their best to make your life miserable. They prefer to air dirty laundry (we all have it, bar none), launch accusatory gossip, and, in general, engage in character assassination. They never engage the merits of what is raised by their opponents, for they are usually in the wrong, egregiously so in most cases. No one is going to face physical threats… nevertheless, one should be careful in dealing with clergy from outside of the area.
Be careful in sharing personal details with anyone, but, be especially wary if clergy or Syosset apparatchiki become curious. Never speak to them without having a lawyer present. These people are not nice; do not act as though they are. NEVER trust an OCA priest… the briefs filed in the Koumentakos case confirm that the OCA Central Authority does not believe in the sanctity of confessions and counselling… most priests are weak human-beings. I fear that most would throw a parishioner to the wolves to relieve pressure on them… THAT is the end-result of two disparate, but, related, trends. The first is Godless California Positivism… you can sniff this out by the fact that its practitioners do not believe in confession, they believe in “therapy” (and therapists, I have found, do not believe in confidentiality, as a rule). Reflect on the fact that Timothy Blumentritt was a “therapist” (thanks to “you-know-who” for the correction on the name!)… say a prayer for the soul of poor Eric Iliff! The second is the nihilism taught by the example of Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann. Taken together, what is a poor fellow to do? It requires courage to swim against the tide… and although many do so, there are many who do not.
There are some priests of whom you should be especially wary of. First, there is Alexey Karlgut… do not take my word for it, ask Kristine Koumentakos! She shall give you the “Full Monty” on this particular piece of work. He is known for being involved in pressuring people to sign settlements in legal cases. Never speak to this priest without having a lawyer at your side. If you choose to talk to him, at any time, on any topic… be forewarned, do so at your own risk. Another priest of this ilk is Alexander Garklavs, the present Chancellor of the OCA. He is of the same cloth as Karlgut… treat with him at your own risk. A third is Igor Burdikoff, who is, perhaps, the cleverest and most dangerous of the lot. He NEVER accuses people directly; he ALWAYS works through third-parties… this makes it particularly difficult to nail him down or to defend against him. A VERY smooth and unctuous sort, he has the widest insincere “sincere smile” in all of creation. Iggy was forced to resign as Treasurer of the Diocese of NY and Washington (or, was it NY and NJ… the legal name doesn’t matter… the facts DO matter)… there was a matter of some missing 125Gs… Oh, I can’t say that he pocketed it, but, there has been no real audit or investigation by independent and outside bodies, either. I would call these three the Unholy Trinity. Beware them all, but, beware Burdikoff most of all. He is the most lacking in scruples (ask the priest from Jersey that was attacked by him at the ’07 Diocesan Assembly!) of the lot and the most clever. He is singularly lacking in education and manners, but, don’t let that fool you. As a friend of mine said, “None of these fellows are nutters; they are too good at looking after Number One to be nutters”.
In short, we are in for “interesting times”, and the full import of that old Chinese curse is probably apparent to most of us by now. Reflect on the fact that the Unholy Trinity was in good odour under Herman Swaiko and that they are in good odour under Jonas Paffhausen… nothing has changed and we are fools, indeed, to think otherwise. Mix these opportunists together with the cultist Stepford Wife HOOMies and you have a heady combination… only don’t call it Orthodox, if you please!
Why did we deserve such? God help us all…
Tuesday 29 September 2009