Voices from Russia

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The Western Press has Drunk the Kool-Aid… Patriarch Kirill is NOT Meeting with the Pope of Rome in Cyprus Next Month

Alfeyev missed his calling… he would have made a wonderful junk bond salesman… if there was ever was “a man without a chest”, that man would be Hilarion Alfeyev


Here’s another howler…


There’s NO speculation whatsoever in the Russian press on this. NONE. I read the Russian press daily; I should know. The only mention of any communiqué to the Pope of Rome was the official MP handout that was publicised by the main agencies (Interfax, INTER-TASS, RIA-Novosoti). That said nothing new. Well, the Mouth from Bolshaya Ordynka (the Boy Blunder) is really going to be taken out to the woodshed this time (shall KMG do it in public or shall he do it privately, as he’s done so far?). So, he handed a boilerplate greeting from KMG to Benedict… big deal, that proves nothing.

You can’t hide something as big as a meeting between the most important Orthodox prelate in the world and the Pope of Rome. Trust me, the Curia has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese… there’d be all kinds of interesting rumour floating about if His Holiness were truly planning a palaver with the Pope of Rome… and that hasn’t happened. If KMG was actually going to meet the Pope of Rome in Cyprus, there’d be tons of interesting rumour floating about the Orthodox cybersphere, and that hasn’t happened either (I read kuraev.ru, please, I know). In short, the Western journalists were taken in by the Boy Wonder, once again. He’s a photogenic little weasel, isn’t he?

Don’t forget that the only time that HA was given a real task, dealing with a real problem in the real world, he muffed it. His actions during the Osborne Crisis only exacerbated the situation, Fr Mikhail Dudko had to clean up his mess, and the Boy Blunder was withdrawn from the English scene. He seemed such a good fit, for he spoke excellent English and had studied at an English university. However, it wasn’t to be… his American admirers like Jacobses should attend to this. I believe that his incompetence and practical ineptness in the Osborne Affair led to KMG not giving him a diocese (usually, the head of the DECR is a ruling bishop). He’s opening up his mouth too much on this trip… I think that he’s lost some bureaucratic battles in Moscow and that he’s trying to prove to all comers that he’s a force to be reckoned with. I’d say it’s not working…

His American admirers also don’t know the tempest that his Der Spiegel interview stirred up amongst Russian-speaking Orthodox. His positively syncretistic and indifferentist statements on the papists caused a veritable firestorm. A friend tells me that KMG took him privately to the woodshed in Predelkino over this. In short, Amerikantsy konvertsy are willing suckers taken in by the Boy Wonder’s excellent command of the English language. He isn’t a ruling bishop; he’s nothing but a patriarchal vicar, one of a raft of them in Moscow. He has a fancy title, that’s all. You want to see a bishop with REAL power… try Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov, the Patriarchal Vicar for Moscow (yes, sir, he’s KMG’s unsinkable satrap, just as he was for Aleksei). Remember when Metropolitan Yuvenaly came to serve at Vladyki Laurus’ funeral in Jordanville? He banned all OCA clergy from serving, AND HE MADE IT STICK. It was, “Yes, sir; yes, sir; three bags full… how much do you want and what colour do you want it in?”

Do look at what the article related on the Cypriot First Hierarch’s remarks:

He said that the visit posed “not even the slightest danger to our faith”, and rumours that he would sign a theological agreement with the Pope were untrue.

In short, the Western press is drinking the Kool-Aid that Kaspar’s handing out. Kaspar appears to be either senile or incompetent… he takes the Boy Wonder at face value (never a wise move). Of course, an RC friend said to me that he might be simply repeating what Benedict wants to hear… always a possibility for an apparatchik… I know the sort, we have ‘em too. If anything comes out about a possible meeting with Ratzinger, and the ultimate source is the Boy Wonder… ignore it. Sit up and take a look if it comes from Vsevolod Chaplin or Mark Golovkov. Don’t hold your breath waiting for such… it’s not only unhealthy, it’s undignified, and it’s funny as all hell to all those about you.

Do note that all of the sources printing such twaddle and fairy tales are heterodox… they wouldn’t know true Orthodoxy if it bit ’em on the bum. I’d tell all good Orthodox Christians that they should rest easy… nothing is going to happen of this. It’s just Alfeyev flapping his empty gums again. Sigh… The only thing that ever happens is that good honest Orthodox people are scandalised (we should take Alfeyev, Behr, Vassa Larina, Psaryov, and Paffhausen and sent them to Antarctica. God willing, the polar bears would take care of ’em for us…)

It’s NEVER boring covering Russian Orthodoxy

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 20 May 2010

Albany NY


A Book About the HOOMies

Filed under: Christian,cultural,intellectual,Orthodox life,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Of course, JP is screaming, “Here’s Orthodoxy!” Well, let’s define a “Potemkin Village”: “Something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance”. That is the very description of the present OCA… and of Jonas Paffhausen.

A friend of mine sent me the following. This is “read and heed” stuff. Thanks a lot, dear, I’ll keep you anonymous. The OCA Renovationists were bad juju big-time to begin with, but with HOOMie cultists like Beery and Tate running loose without supervision… that means I have to be doubly careful with my correspondents… and I shall.



What are your opinions on the following book? I know it is the only book on the subject, I found it on Amazon for a good price:

The Odyssey of a New Religion: The Holy Order of MANS From New Age to Orthodoxy

By Philip Charles Lucas

Given the fact that HOOM/CSB has taken over the OCA, this seems like a good title to have on the ol’ bookshelf…One guy who reviewed it on Amazon said:

Please don’t use my name or where I live.(a reader is fine) These people still scare the hell out of me. I could not have gotten through this book, if it’s subject wasn’t about my life. I was a member of a Christian Community for ten years. This book is way too into sociological studies for my taste, but it was interesting to find the middle of the story. Someone should write a book about the the individuals this organization really destroyed. Everyone of these stories is about a real infinitely precious human being, a real family, a real life. Here is a man who had real power–spiritual whatever(what was it and where did it come from?)–and created an organization giving spiritual power to street people and sent them out to prey on other people as a way of life. Someone should write the story from the people who are still hiding out who watched their lives destroyed emotionally, spiritually, financially. The people at the top of the heap are generally the people with the highest body count. How they did this and why and where it came from is something I live with everyday. This book is nowhere near the definitive answer but it does prove the old adage absolute power corrupts absolutely. Please someone write another book!”

Very telling, no?

I have followed this blog for years; written by the people who were monks/nuns at St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood in the 80’s-90’s and left due to the spiritual and other abuses there. These are some fragile, damaged individuals, including, ironically enough, the original people who started “Death to the World”, they were the real victims who had their youth and naiveté taken advantage of by the “monks” at Platina, it is a sobering, disturbing read. You can hear and feel the pain and confusion…very sad:



Reflect on the fact that JP has always been an apologist for this bunch. Birds of a feather do flock together. In any case, I think that people are studying their options right now… the internet stats say that, at the least.

It’s not gonna be easy or painless… but is any new birth ever without pain or fuss? Something to think on, no?


A dear friend sent me this, it needs no commentary. I thank the Good Lord daily for so many of you, you say things that I couldn’t think of myself or jog my mind in ways that I couldn’t do on my own…

Some time ago I stumbled upon a blog called Logismoi. Its moderator declared himself a member of ROCOR. I would not have been interested in his blatherings (all about poetry and literature of the most un-Orthodox kind,  with the pretence to find an Orthodox meaning in them and to be “a Refuge for the Weary and the Oppressed, and a Treasury of Good Counsel and Wise Lore”) had I not noticed a subtle but persistent push in the direction of “Sophianism”. I commented anonymously on a post regarding the “Pre-Raphaelites” (endorsed enthusiastically in advance by a priest of OCA in Baton Rouge) on the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites upon Vladimir Soloviov, Bulgakov, Berdiaev, the Paris School (and through Schmemmandorff upon OCA-SVS), underlining the Rosicrucian/Masonic undercurrent. The person in question was very flustered and declared that he would continue to post “appreciations of writers, artists, and philosophers who are not Orthodox and whose work may contain disturbing or even anti-Christian elements”, to extract the “good” in them (taking as a shield St Basil the Great and his “appreciation” of pagan culture)! If I “can’t live with this, then…stay off the internet altogether and read the Holy Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints”, the typical put-down of the “fundamentalists” by the cultured modernists (the guy, of course, wrote a Master’s thesis on “this topic”).

Now, are we seeing the HOOMies infiltrating the ROCOR after their takeover of the OCA? Should we not slap them hard to bring them back to their senses? They are very young, after all, although they are crude, they are highly intelligent. Is there hope that, properly guided, they could be “saved?”

Zenit News Sticks Its Foot in a Cowpie… Open Mouth, Insert Foot!

To put one’s foot in one’s mouth is the same as stepping in it. Watch out where Alfeyev goes, and don’t you eat that yellow snow!

First, read this:


Here’s why the papists are all drooling with joy over the prospect of an imminent union with us. The Boy Blunder has really opened his mouth too far this time. Did you read how “indispensable” he is? He’s an “accomplished composer!” Look, anyone with brains has figured out that he has a ringer at the Gnessin who does all the scut work for him such as arrangement and orchestration. His music, in any case, isn’t top shelf; it hasn’t entered the concert repertoire.

However, HA said nothing new and Ms Villa is ignorant and a boob. I’ll tell you what… let me interview the Boy Wonder! I’d bring in the Der Spiegel guys as backup and I’d channel the spirit of the late great Mike Royko. I’ll repeat it; Alfeyev is a master of saying nothing with a maximum expenditure of verbiage. Kaspar has hit the Mousecatel again… obviously, Benedict has a serious fixation with unity with the Orthodox, and his minions are feeding it.

Alfeyev committed himself to NOTHING. By God, he proved himself more “Byzantine” in expression than a Greek, and that’s saying a lot. All good Orthodox people can go to bed securely… this scheming little weasel can’t hurt us or commit us to anything. It will cause a kafuffle amongst the usual cast of suspects, that’s all.

Zenit… for shame. You should know better about this honey-toned used car salesman by now. The only thing that counts is the official news release from the MP (which was issued by Vladimir Legoida, who’s a pro and who knows which end is up), which Interfax posted earlier today. The stupidity of this is beyond words and all that it’s going to accomplish is to scandalise perplexed Orthodox faithful. Don’t worry… nothing is going to happen. KMG didn’t take most of the DECR away from the Boy Wonder for nothing.


Cookie the Bookie Sez, “It’s Time to Put Yer Cards on the Table. Pay Up or Go Home”…

If you put or lay your cards on the table, you deal with a situation by speaking openly about your feelings, ideas, or plans. Hmm… Jonas Paffhausen never does that, does he?


Some of my friends have told me of a loudmouthed Renovationist nuisance on the web who appears to enjoy attacking me… All right, let’s be objective and see who’s naughty and who’s nice using scientific criteria. The following is from Qunatcast.com. Let’s conceal my smarmy friend’s identity… just because they’re a bezkulturny lout doesn’t mean that I have the right to do the same thing to them (there’s such a thing as integrity…). Let’s call them the “Angel”… no… their name does not begin with “A” (it’s something I just picked out of thin air, actually…).


Monthly readership, Voices from Russia


My news site (Voices from Russia) reaches 10,000 discrete people a month, and has an average daily readership of 618. My pleasant little interlocutor runs a website that reaches 527 discrete people a month and has an average daily readership of 51. “Readership” is not “hits”… it’s the number of “cookies” counted per period (I normally run 60-75,000 hits per month). Nevertheless, 527 is not 10,000, and 51 is not 618. There appears to be a slight discrepancy in my favour. To add a little detail to the pot, Angel has 427 US and 100 foreign people per month, and an average daily readership of 45 in the US and 6 abroad. In comparison, my site has 5,200 US and 4,800 foreign readers per month. My average daily readership is 374 in the US and 244 aboard. Am I being catty if I point up that my average daily readership exceeds Angel’s monthly figure? Furthermore, Angel’s daily readership figure is 9.7 percent of the monthly figure, whereas on my site, the corresponding figure is 6.2 percent. The lower this figure is, the lower the proportion of addicts/regulars on a site. Keep this in mind; it’ll be of importance later. The higher this figure is, the greater the chance that its readership is a self-satisfied, self-contained, and smug little coterie. Apparently, Angel’s site has only been around since November ’09, it started with 360 monthly people, with a high point of 550, down to the current figure of 527. It’s a typical reverse-S curve, for those familiar with statistical graphs. Let’s be fair… how did my site fare after six months of operation? Look at the graph below.


Monthly readership, Voices from Russia, from its inception in 11/07


On my site, at the end of six months, in May 2008, I had an average of 4,000 people per month. As for traffic frequency, 1 percent of Angel’s audience are addicts, accounting for 36 percent of hits; 37 percent are regulars, accounting for 47 percent of hits; and 62 percent are passers-by accounting for 17 percent of hits. In comparison, for my site, look at the graph below:



You’ll note that I have more “passers-by” and fewer “addicts” and “regulars”. An addict logs on to a site at least once daily and a regular does so at least once a week. A passer-by, quite logically, is someone who logs on less frequently, often, only once. The higher your proportion of addicts and regulars, the more likely you are talking to a small coterie of like-minded fanatics. 38 percent of Angel’s audience are addicts/regulars, accounting for 83 percent of hits; that is, 200 individuals account for 83 percent of their hits. On the other hand, 21 percent of my audience are addicts/regulars, meaning that 2,100 individuals account for 51 percent of my hits. Another way of looking at this is that 327 passers-by came to Angel’s site and 7,900 came to mine. All things being equal, if one can “convert” 1 percent of passers-by into regulars, it’s obvious that my site has a greater chance of growth than Angel’s does.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve noticed that a critic was reaching only a minuscule set of like-minded individuals. However, as Angel is free in their criticisms… well, why is their site so unpopular, if I can put it so baldly? By the way, there was a reason I didn’t post the Quantcast graphs for Angel’s site here. Firstly, it would’ve robbed Angel of anonymity and confidentiality… that is, I would’ve been a thief of their privacy… decent people don’t do that. Secondly, and just as important, it’s my policy not to give airtime to fanatics, fools, and true believers; therefore, I chose to do this in such a way as to not give access to their site. Thirdly, and most importantly, it removes any ad hominem taint to my comments. The nasty and personal nature of the attacks launched by the Angels of this world on the ‘Net sicken me to no end… I’ll not do so… no, not even the most vicious attack by a troll allows you to do that. Simple decency and good manners forbids it… you don’t even have to drag in Christianity. However, we must tell those such as Angel that the decent majority opposes their nasty little tactics, though.

Let’s look at comparisons of my site with some other personal sites. Of some of the “better-known” sites run by konvertsy, orrologion.blogspot.com, frederica.com, and ochlophobist.blogspot.com, all had no traffic figures available. That means that they have fewer “hits” than my site does. There were figures available for Fr Andrew Phillip’s Orthodox England. He has 5,000 US people, but there aren’t any figures available for foreign hits or for daily readership. That is to say, his audience in the USA (at least) is the same size as mine. I’d argue that our sites are complimentary… mine is feisty, ornery, and journalistic… Batiushka Andrew’s is theological and learned. It’s a good boilermaker… a pint of honest ale followed by a shot of good whiskey. It’s good for what ails ya… and, yes, Fr Andrew and I correspond with one another. I have a sneaking suspicion that our readership more or less overlaps.  Here’s a graph of his site’s performance over the past year:

Monthly readership, Orthodox England


Let’s do some comparison with some of the official sites. For a starter, let’s look at oca.org. They have 22,500 US readers monthly, there are no foreign figures available. Their daily readership is 4,900. This brings a daily/monthly readership ratio of 21.8 percent… that means that there is a VERY high proportion of addicts/regulars. In short, oca.org is preaching to the choir. My US monthly readership is 22.1 percent of oca.org… I won’t add my foreign readers because no figures are available for oca.org’s foreign readership; it’s a bogus comparison, unfortunately, the Angels of this world love to engage in such, do they not?

Here are graphs of their performance over the past year:

Monthly readership, oca.org


Monthly visits, oca.org


Generally, this site is trending downwards in people and upwards in visits. Hmm… that means that the true believers are getting jittery.

All right, how is the AOCANA doing? The Antiochians do make a great deal of noise, do they not? Their site has 17,400 US readers per month, there are no foreign figures available. My monthly US readership is 29.9 percent of the Antiochian site, not bad, eh? The daily readership figure given is 873, which doesn’t seem right at all. However, when one looks at the graph for monthly hits (not monthly people), one sees such volatility that only a fool would dare to try to pluck a synthesis out of them. INTERESTING. Look at the AOCANA graphs below.

Monthly readership, antiochian.org


Monthly visits, antiochian.org


It’s almost as though the AOCANA had no substantial solidity to it whatsoever. Don’t forget that Again magazine had 3,000 subscribers in the late 80s… and the same figure some twenty years later. In short, the vaunted “growth” of this body may only be puffery given life by Saliba. Don’t be fooled by the antics of Reardon, Gillquist, Honeycutt, et al. It may be nothing but an Internet House of Cards… and we’ve all seen those, haven’t we?

Now, let’s look at the ROCOR’s site. They have 16,700 monthly US people, and a daily readership of 1,200, which gives us a monthly/daily readership ratio of 7.2 percent. This is much lower than the OCA figure, and only slightly higher than mine is, which argues for growth in this site. Indeed, it appears as though OCA people are jumping ship and checking out both the AOCANA and ROCOR. In fact, it appears as though the former has been investigated and rejected, whilst the latter is under active consideration at present. This figure is almost as many as that for the AOCANA site (96.0 percent to be exact), and it’s 74.2 percent of the OCA figure, given that the ROCOR is only some 20 percent (estimated) the size of the OCA. My US monthly readership is 31.1 percent of the ROCOR website figure, no mean feat for a personal website.

Monthly readership, ROCOR website


Monthly hits, ROCOR website


Look for big things from the Jordanville folks… Hilarion Kapral is a sly and cunning Ukie… he knows how to keep his mouth shut. Don’t be fooled by his shy and placid smile… there’s some real peasant cunning and grit behind it all… just like Laurus Skurla (remember him? HK is his protégé, after all). Do notice that when he is uncomfortable with a person or situation, he plants a wide and beaming insincere “sincere smile” on his face (I don’t think that I’m the only one to have noticed this). He smiled in that way when he met Paffhausen, Saliba, and Gabriel. When he is comfortable and happy, he has a quiet and unassuming peasant smile (indeed, it’s rather touching… I don’t think that it’s an affectation). You see that in his photos with his beloved Australian flock and the snaps taken of his recent trip to the Ukraine.

Lastly, amongst the official sites, let’s look at the Greeks. Is it any surprise that they have the largest number of monthly people? They have 37,700 monthly people, with 2,200 daily readers. That gives a ratio of 5.8 percent, lower (and better) than mine. This site is showing an upward trend. My site has a US readership 13.8 percent of the GOA figure, which isn’t bad at all.

Monthly readership, goarch.org


Monthly visits, goarch.org


Let’s turn our attention to two Renovationist sites that think very highly of themselves. The first is Mark Stokoe’s so-called Orthodox Christians for Accountability. Have you noticed how he muted all of his rhetoric after he was given a seat on the Protestant-inspired “Metropolitan Council?” His interview with Paffhausen was a joke… “fluff” would be overgenerous as an estimation. Mr Stokoe is a rabid Renovationist and radical autocephalist, and his posts reflect that. He believes in Schmemann’s heresy that people can “excommunicate themselves”, when everyone knows that such requires a hearing before a bishop (the Renovationists do everything possible to strip the bishops of any real power, you see). That being said, his figures look good at first glance, 11,700 monthly US readers, and 3,400 daily US readers. Let’s look at the graphs.

Monthly readership, ocanews.org


Monthly visits, ocanews.org



People are way up since March 2010, but the number of visits is only 25 percent that of its peak in September 2009 and still falling. That means that people signed on to see if Stokoe said anything about Paffhausen’s failure to discipline Velencia (the Koumentakos case). This site looks like it’s headed for implosion.

Finally, let’s take a long look at a site that thinks very highly of itself… the so-called Orthodox Forum. You’d think it was a major venue with all the caterwauling of Harry Coin… well, let’s look at objective figures. It reaches 975 monthly readers (606 in the US, 369 foreign). Less than a thousand! Whew… it looks like Harry Coin is the original “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain” guy! I was rolling on the ground laughing at this… this group thinks SO highly of itself, yet it has an audience only 9.75 percent of mine (or, to put it another way, my site has 10.2 times more readers). Betcha that Rod Dreher is a member… it wouldn’t surprise me. Its daily readership is 93 (69 US 24 foreign), giving a ratio of 9.5 percent… almost the same as Angel’s. I’ll bet you that all of Angel’s readers are in this group, and vice versa. Birds of a feather do flock together.


Here’s a graph for this Grand Fenwickian site:


Monthly readership, Orthodox Forum:


The traffic stats seem to indicate a static and inbred group. There are some good people here (of whom I must mention Bob Czech, a most wonderful fellow), but a clique of twenty loud Renovationists, led by Harry Coin, rule the site. Like all Renovationists, they use intimidation and personal smears to put their point across (one of the worst has the username of “Hank Leaf”). Caveat lector.

Without a doubt, all of this is interesting. It tells you “who” is actually reading “what”. I’ll tell you why folks come to my site:

  • I try to give an accurate reading of the news with no censorship or guff
  • I use interesting images
  • I don’t waste your time… if I do that, I’m showing you disrespect, for I’m stealing your God-given life

You do have to feel sorry for the Angels of this world. When they’re thwarted, like toddlers, they fling poo. Decent people don’t do that. God willing, Angel will grow up someday. In the meantime, consider the source…

If you wish a ton of laughs, JP gave an “interview” to Ancient Faith Radio with… with Eric Tosi, the dweeb who told us, “The records simply don’t exist”. For those of you who wish to pointlessly flagellate themselves and waste some time, here’s the URL:


I’ll tell you what… let’s set up a REAL interview! We should have the Der Spiegel guys who beat up the Boy Blunder interview Paffhausen, and I’d brief them beforehand on Podmoshensky, Bobby K, Eric Iliff (may his memory be eternal!), Feodosy’s explicit exploits in the Village, and the HOOMies. Then, I’d step aside and let Mel and Cappy give ‘em “the rest of the story”. Trust me, that posing and preening California New Age Hippie would bitch and moan… “They’re not being fair! They’re persecuting me…” THAT would be an interview to read, wouldn’t it?

The truth will set you free… but only if you let it. Lay your cards on the table… Paffhausen, pay up or go home…









Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 20 May 2010

Albany NY

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