Voices from Russia

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Investigators Open a Criminal Case in Chelyabinsk Against the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Filed under: church/state,legal,religious,Russian,sects — 01varvara @ 00.00

Proselytising Radical Proddies are pain in the bum… if they get nicked by John Law, in most cases, they ask for it. Here’s a smile… “Let’s talk about Chee-ses”. Cheers!

Detectives from the RF SKP in Chelyabinsk Oblast opened a criminal investigation of the illegal activities of a local branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. A case was opened under Part 2 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code (actions by an organised group aimed at inciting hatred, hostility, or prejudice against a person or group of persons on the grounds of gender, race, or nationality), the regional SU of the RF SKP reported on Thursday. According to investigators, several local residents instigated activities of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Chelyabinsk in 2003. “During 2009-10, at meetings at the Kirovets cinema hall, they gave public sermons, during which they issued remarks aimed at inciting hatred and enmity, as well as humiliating the human dignity of a group of persons on the grounds of religion”, the head investigator said. In addition, the Witnesses actively disseminated several books, What Does the Bible Really Teach?; A Book for All People; and What Is the Purpose of Life? How You Can Find It? Sources from the investigation told us that these publications are on the federal list of extremist materials. At present, the suspects charged are under interrogation and are being held in preventive custody.

13 May 2010




Gleanings From My Mailbag… 13 May 2010

Filed under: intellectual,internet — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Here are some things I’d like to share from my correspondence. They are all “anonymous”… and I have removed any “tell-tales” from them. WHO said them is not important… WHAT they say is worth attending to. The snippets are in italics; my comments (if any) are in regular type. Let’s take a romp through it all to stimulate our thought…



That’s why I have compassion for those who are victimised by the powerful of this world. I’ve felt the nails in my hands. It hurts… and I won’t tell you it’s pleasant or that I liked it. The only reason that I don’t hate is that I’m a Christian. God knows, that’s hard enough at times.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo


“Strong-willed?” … Absolutely. “Resolute” and “not-easily-swayed” … goes without saying, for anyone who has been paying attention at all. But your devotion to the Church and to Christ I would not question for a moment, and your fairness and compassion for those who are most vulnerable, over those who are most powerful, will put me squarely in your corner at the toughest of times.

This is from one of the kindest people I know… we don’t always agree… no, we don’t. But I know a good heart when I see it… Love ya!


If it wasn’t for you guys… I’d have no good ideas.

Reflect on THAT. That’s what humility really means… it’s not pouring buckets of shit over your head to show how “meek n’ ‘umble” you are.

This is me… it needs no commentary, wot?


Don’t let the haters get you down. Think of what our Lord, the glorious Creator of everything seen and unseen, all the material and spiritual universe, had to endure at human hands during that time we commemorate this week:  betrayal by one of those closest to Him, betrayal by the most outstanding citizens of His own nation, and suffering the death of the lowest kind of criminal. A few comments or messages from some insipid ass-hats is nothing.

THIS is truth. Thank you… I needed this at the time, and it’s still good now. The Good Lord sure has His ways of teaching humility…


The trouble is that homosexuality is rife within Episcopalianism, especially among the clergy. So, the OCA should be very careful about who it receives. Not all of them are coming for good reasons… some of them have things to run away from and the Episcopalians are only too glad to get rid of them. The problem is that there are elements in the OCA, and not only ex-Episcopalians, who rather welcome the undesirables because they have their own agenda… The OCA risks staining the good name of Orthodoxy by accepting just anyone, that is, those who bring their problems with them and spread them.

This is from a clergyman…


However, nothing matches the vitriol that is unleashed when I mention that the OCA has never told the truth about its membership figures. I’ve heard the “good of the Church” so many times that I wish to hurl. Either we stand for the truth, that is, for Christ, or, we stand for falsehood, which is Satan‘s. I find that simple.

This is me. The OCA refuses to tell the truth on its membership figures… ergo, how much of the rest of their public pronouncements are truthful?


“For the good of the Church”, this is the same as “raison d’etat” which justifies assassination and torture by the state. One of the things about these people is that they hate the Truth and people who are trying to tell it as it is. That’s why they like censorship.


Breck is a typical New England pastor, Protestant to the core, loves money. His wife is heavily into feminism and “relationship therapy”. In other words, typical liberal wimpish WASPS, without an ounce of Orthodoxy between them. They remind me of the WASP couple in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.


I feel sorry for Behr. His dad, now dead, was Fr Nicholas Behr, an arch-renovationist, “let’s do away with iconostases”, who walked out on his wife after 25 years, disappeared, and gave up the priesthood, crisis of faith or something. The son became a typical secular academic (second-rate academic at that, despite all the blather about Oxford), as cynical as they come.


Taft pulled a fast one on her. She was doing original and exciting work on the canons, and Taft wanted to stop her. So, he billed and cooed at her, and she fell for it. Gotta hand it to Taft, he pulled off a hat trick:

  1. He diverted Vassa Larina from her work on the canons (which showed the utter fatuousness of the papist position, BTW)
  2. He got voices within the ROCOR to openly parrot the papist line on Uniatism
  3. He sowed confusion and disunity in our ranks.

Not bad, eh? He’s our opponent, but he’s not stupid, and it doesn’t pay to think otherwise.

This is my comment on the relationship between the Jesuit Taft and Vassa Larina.


The OCA fanatics are now claiming that KMG PERSONALLY invited JP to Russia for the 15th Anniversary of the OCA Representation. Truly… that IS a bit much, sir. KMG’s day is filled top to bottom with all sorts of affairs major and minor and he personally invited JP to Russia… I’m going to retire to Bedlam with Mr Scrooge, and I’m certain that the Jabberwocky is keeping the water for the brew-up hot for us.

This is my comment on the OCA justification for JP’s trip to Moscow late last year. That trip made no sense then… and looking at it some six months later, it makes even less sense now.


As for HA:

Moscow: -25

Bangkok: +25

He obviously wants a place in the sun.

This is from a waggish priest in the MP, on why Alfeyev took off for Thailand soon after the Der Spiegel fiasco.


That is, Interfax gets another Big Green Weenie Award. Oh… the Big Green Weenie was an inflatable “mascot” of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. It was brought out to “spook” opposing players and the most raucous fans would raise a clamour from the bleachers. Can you believe that one of the other fun things that they do at Pirates home games is a “Pierogie Race”… I kid you not!

This is me on the origin of the “Big Green Weenie”…


Speaking of mail, here’s a little cartoon I shared privately in ’09:

ну, теперь скажи хо, хо, хо!

Ded Moroz: Well… NOW say “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Не имеете права! Я гражданин США!

Santa Claus: You can’t do this! I’m an American!


Yes… I do have a sick and twisted sense of humour… gotta love me!


Yes, the USA in Orthodox terms is the provinces (what a revelation to the ethnocentric American nationalist converts from the Antiochians and the OCA!). America is where Moscow sends people it does not want, though it made an exception with Archbp Merkury, after he finally got his act together.

This is from an MP priest.


Good to see you using proper terminology for New Rome. We really have to root out the usage “Byzantine”… it’s papist and it’s wrong. We Orthodox cleansed our theology of Western accretions in the early 20th century… now, it’s time to cleanse our historical writing. Ave Caesar! You bet… he’s ours.

By the way, it’s interesting to note our different approaches… I’m much more… yes, JOURNALISTIC. Of all the writing on Orthodoxy on the Net, there is little actual journalism, in the sense of reportage and commentary based on that reportage. I do NOT write hagiography… I’ve more the “devil takes the hindmost” attitude found in much of the Greek press… and I’m talking the PRO-CHURCH press… they hold the feet of the clergy to the fire! Gotta give the Greek priests credit… they fire back and they don’t sulk and call the reporters “sinners” and “disrespectful” as some American priests do (some are in ROCOR… I think you know who I mean). Indeed, I find hyper-clericalism as noisome as anti-clericalism. Priests are people, too… that’s a dandy top title for a post, isn’t it?

This is me speaking…


Your point about “fellow-travellers” is very well taken, down to the characterisation of their annoying bandying about of patristic texts. To me, the epitome of this is Mr John Mack, formerly a priest of the OCA and the Antiochians, whose ghastly manual on marriage marshals patristic proof texts like nobody’s business to support a wholly un-Orthodox view of marriage, and who received many accolades on this account. Well, Mr Mack went and made himself a Uniate apostate, which is where he belonged from the beginning, as one can tell from his writings. Your situation reminds me of what a Russian lady from the OCA in New Jersey once told me about their former Bishop of sorry memory, “We’re waiting for the Frenchman to die”. That’s the Orthodox way: outlive the SOBs, and you win in the end.

Here is another friend who came through when I needed it…


Well, Bishop Maxim “inherited” the HOOMies from Bishop Jovan Mladenović, formerly of Western America and now of Šumadija. Bishop Jovan received their monasteries, along with some of their parishes out West, into the Serbian Church back in 2000. He did so, of course, without so much as a passing glance at the dark history of that group, and without catechesis. His modus operandi was in this case methodologically indistinguishable from that of the OCA, but this should come as no surprise: Bishop Jovan is, after all, a Renovationist, like others of his ilk in the Serbian Church (both at home and abroad), he mimics whatever he sees the Schmemann crowd do. He suspended clergymen *during Holy Week and Easter* because they refused to serve according to the liturgics cooked up at SVS. People, of course, took to the streets. Now, Bishop Maxim isn’t all that much different from Bishop Jovan, except that he is a young hotshot with a doctorate and academic airs. This is to say that he is Schmemann in the ‘50s or Hopko in the early ‘80s. His connection with the HOOMies is that they’re in his diocese and he gives them free rein… while at the same time keeping them ignorant of what’s really going on in the Serbian Church at home. It’s all a disaster.

From a correspondent amongst the Serbs…


There are times when I believe that I am under assault by 1,000 lunatic and grinning pygmies… it’s not pleasant in the least. I’m NOT whining… one does keep one’s head. My staritsa told me that the rate of nasty comments in proportion to hits is less than 1 percent. Indeed, once, she traced down a series of disturbing e-mails posted and found that they emanated from a single sick individual using an ISP in So Cal (it’s not the “land of fruits and nuts” for nothing) (her obedience is in IT, after all). Sometimes, the only thing that you can do is to have a Bernard Manning moment. You scream out:


Then, you feel 100% better, you realise that shouldn’t be put into writing, and you’re able to carry on. Things are happening quickly now (in historical terms, that is)… the Church of ten years from now is NOT going to be what we see today. Do you have a working crystal ball?

This is me.


So… it’s an “absolute **** of a day”, as they say in Oz (do catch the allusion to Kevin Bloody Wilson). It’s not easy bein’ green… Thanks for listening, fellows. I know there’s more to come… I’m not jumping on the Hate Express or the Renovation Celebration Machine (with Beelzebub as engine driver and Vvedensky and Schmemann as his stokers)… I’m on the Pravoslavny Flyer (you know who the engine driver is… need I tell you?)… are you guys comin’ too?

This is me, at a low point…


Well… that’s from two years worth of correspondence… some of the best of the lot. I find all of it has “aged” well, and some just got better! It’s rather more involved than the picture given you on oca.org, or the Orthodox Forum, or from Stokoe…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 13 May 2010

Albany NY

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