Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Grinch Who Came to Dinner…

Grinch

Don’t forget… the Grinch came disguised as Santa Claus… the archetypical “good guy”… likewise; Jonas Paffhausen comes to us garbed as an ordinary Orthodox monastic… when he is truly a HOOMie in drag!

A friend of mine made a good suggestion… juxtapose some of the matters of public record concerning Jonas Paffhausen with his official bio. Well, it IS interesting, to say the least.

Firstly, it is claimed that he worked for Russki Palomnik (Russian Pilgrim) at the Publishing Department of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia. That is not completely the truth. Russki Palomnik was a publication of the renegade deposed priest Gleb Podmoshensky. I am informed by friends in Russia that there were no official links between the MP and Mr Podmoshensky. What “links” there were only coincidental… Podmoshensky had contact with some in the MP, nothing more. That is to say, Mr Paffhausen either worked for Podmoshensky’s Russki Palomnik or for the MP, but, not both. The former is more probable than the latter. This makes one of the claims in his official bio very tenuous, indeed.

James Paffhausen (later, Jonas Paffhausen in monasticism) was never a member of the brotherhood at Valaam Monastery, per informed sources. He was only a long-term resident there. This is not unusual in Orthodox practise. Many pious laity reside in monasteries for a longer or shorter period without embracing the monastic life per se (a good example being Admiral St Fyodor Ushakov). There are those who live in monasteries who shall never be admitted to the actual brotherhood, under any circumstance (such as Lyova the Fool at Jordanville).

There is no mention of his connection with the deposed clergyman Gleb Podmoshensky in his official bio. As it is well-known that Paffhausen spoke in favour of admitting the CSB/HOOMie lot en masse, this omission is puzzling and disquieting. Gleb Podmoshensky was suspended from the priesthood by the ROCOR Holy Synod on well-founded morals charges. Furthermore, Podmoshensky was later deposed from the clergy for defying this order of the ROCOR Holy Synod. The entire St Herman Brotherhood left Platina CA after the morals charges were laid, except for Damascene Christiansen and Gerasim Eliel, both of whom are closely connected with Jonas Paffhausen.

Ergo, Jonas Paffhausen has an obligation to disown and repudiate his connection with Gleb Podmoshensky and ask forgiveness of the Church. As he concealed his intimate working relationship with someone who was publicly known to all as a deposed clergyman prior to being elevated to high episcopal office, he has the obligation to resign and retire to his monastery to work his repentance (as an ordinary monk, not as the abbot of the house, it should be added).

We have not even got into the connection of Jonas Paffhausen with the HOOMies. There is no need, for the charges concerning his connections with Podmoshensky are serious enough to merit his resignation, or, lacking that, his removal. As for his connection to CSB/HOOM, that is attested to by Matushka Nina Stroyen, the widow of Fr Basil Stroyen and a member of the board at St Tikhon Seminary in South Canaan PA (she said such more than once to me in a recent telephone chat). Her word is sufficient… she is one of the “elders” of the Church, and has been around longer than most of us. If she sees danger in Jonas Paffhausen, we would be wise to listen to what she has to say.

If this man is not removed, we shall have “hell to pay”… literally. God help us.

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Albany NY

We Must All Stand Together

russian army female paratrooper 2

Don’t mess with the best! The HOOMies have a surprise or two awaiting them if they muck about with real Orthodox Christians and their friends…

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I had a nice chat with a lawyer, yesterday. She was pointing some things up for me, and I think I learned a great deal. Unlike some others I could mention I know that there are many things in this world that I don’t know squat-doodly about. One of those things is the law. So, I was “all ears”, as they say. To keep it simple, I should state whether things are matters of public record or my conjecture based on the public record. If I do this, I would be immune from legal harassment. It wouldn’t stop them from making my life miserable or airing my dirty laundry, for, like it or not, that’s not illegal… it’s immoral… but the law doesn’t deal in morals, it deals in legalities. All of us should keep that in mind. We can stop the OCA legal eagles from harassing us, but we can’t stop OCA clergy and their allies from issuing gossip, innuendoes, and personal attacks unless it strays into libel or slander… and my lawyer friend was quick to point up that these fellows rarely do that… most are brighter than Raymond Velencia (you’re more likely to deal with a Karlgut, Garklavs, or Burdikoff, who’re more sharp than that… give the devil his due).

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Bert and Harry Piels

Bert and Harry ask, “What’s the deal?”

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So, what’s a “matter of public record”? Well, here’s a partial list:

  1. Russki Palomnik wasn’t an official publication approved by any bishop. It was an unofficial production of Gleb Podmoshensky, produced after the date of his deposition, a fact known by James Paffhausen.
  2. Gleb Podmoshensky had been deposed by the ROCOR Holy Synod prior to James Paffhausen’s trip to Russia and such deposition was a matter of public record and duly publicised by the Synod. Therefore, James Paffhausen knew that Mr Podmoshensky was in a state of rebellion against the Church.
  3. The members of the brotherhood of the St Herman Monastery in Platina CA left, due to the morals charges brought against Mr Podmoshensky, except for Damascene Christiansen and Gerasim Eliel (both of whom are close to Jonas Paffhausen).
  4. James Paffhausen was only a long-term guest of Valaam Monastery; he was never an official novice or monk there.
  5. David Brum was received into the OCA at the chapel of Jonas Paffhausen’s monastery in Point Reyes CA in 1997. Mr Brum subsequently became Secretary to Metropolitans Feodosy Lazor and Herman Swaiko.
  6. Earlier this year, Jonas Paffhausen stated in Moscow that no one was left from the former administration except for a house-cleaner and some secretaries. Who was with him in Moscow? Leonid Kishkovsky… the head of the OCA DECR under Metropolitans Feodosy and Herman… and continued in that post by Jonas Paffhausen. Interesting assertion, nicht wahr?
  7. The funds for the Koumentakos case legal bills and the trips to Moscow and Georgia weren’t in the budget submitted for public scrutiny on oca.org.
  8. The CFO of SVS was named the Treasurer of the OCA. Is she going to hold both offices concurrently? A “search” for a new treasurer had been announced on oca.org. How many other candidates were interviewed? How’re the conflicts of interest going to be avoided?
  9. Alexey Karlgut attempted to get Kristine Koumentakos to sign legal papers dropping her lawsuit against the OCA.
  10. Igor Burdikoff resigned as Treasurer of the Diocese of NY and Washington (or NY/NJ) after questions were raised concerning 125,000 USD supposedly spent on the bishop’s residence.
  11. Igor Burdikoff was named Administrator of Holy Cross Monastery in Niagara Falls NY. Said monastery bolted the OCA for HOCNA. Were these two facts interrelated?
  12. Mr and Mrs Robert Kondratick named the OCA as defendant in a lawsuit… then, they pulled it… but, this suit hasn’t been withdrawn definitively…
  13. Robert Kondratick was deposed as a clergyman, then, rehired in lay status, at a salary higher than that earned by many priests.
  14. Raymond Velencia was named to the Metropolitan Council whilst he was still involved in litigation.
  15. Raymond Velencia directly sent an e-mail to the Metropolitan Council based on material derived from confidential counselling sessions and confessions.

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Iliff, Eric Xmas Tree

Eric Iliff (1981-2007). “They all had faces… they all had names…. nothing is forgottten… no one is forgotten”… Vechnaya yemu pamyat!

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One could go on. However, all of the above is a matter of record… all is attested (I also have no wish to bore you with a long laundry-list). There is more, but, it is either not attested, conjecture, or hearsay. If one repeats the last, one runs the risk of legal action by the OCA (this warning is VERY serious… PAY IT HEED!). The Iliff affair is a case in point. I would advise everyone to click here to go to the Pokrov website. Once there, type in “Iliff” in the search box. You’ll find it enlightening… reflect on the fact that Mr Iliff committed suicide whilst his litigation was pending… read the material and come to your own conclusion. I wish to state publicly that I’m not perfect. There are many sins on my plate. You see, the first tactic they use is, “See, look at what this person has done, therefore, they aren’t telling you the truth”. I’ve received no money from the Church, I’m receiving no money from the Church, and I anticipate receiving no money from the Church in future. Is this true of those issuing attacks on the common faithful? Hmm… In any case, those accusing us of being sinners are sinners themselves! However… I fully expect that if I don’t cease posting on the current Church situation, there’ll be those who shall air my every peccadillo and “secret”. Nevertheless, I must step forward… someone has to speak out. As Chukcha would say, “Chukcha says we all go on whale hunt… however… only one throws the harpoon”. Perhaps, my effort will be a failure… I’ve every confidence that others would step forward, in that case.

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Peter Monamy. The Sinking of HMS Victory on 4 October 1744. 1745

The Sinking of HMS Victory on 4 October 1744

Peter Monamy

1745

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The ship of the OCA is sinking, yet, the officers won’t let the crew go to the boats… reflect on that!

I fear that things are going to get worse as the Syossetites realise the pickle that they’re in. It’s a situation directly analogous to the one that broke out in 1918 and 1919, when Bishop Aleksandr Nemolovsky lost his head in the crisis surrounding the Russian Revolution. The funds dried up suddenly, so, properties were mortgaged and imprudent loans were made, resulting, in the end, of the loss of much real estate, leading to much confusion and bitterness  amongst the faithful and clergy in the Church. It took YEARS to repair the material damage (the spiritual and psychic damage was incalculable). The ship’s sinking. The Honesdale loan isn’t paid off, donations are down, and the economic downturn hasn’t helped matters. The “sinking” of the OCA is going to affect all of American Orthodoxy in one way or another. Yet, there’s nothing that our confrères can do to help matters. They can only help by picking up the survivors… for only those who wish to be helped can be helped. We must stand together in this… for the consequences of losing the OCA to the HOOMies shall set back Orthodoxy in this country for centuries, if not permanently.

God help us all.

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Albany NY

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