Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 January 2012. Phanar Issues Craven and Mealy-Mouthed Statement on Igumen Ephrem

THIS is why the Phanar won’t protest the wanton arrest of Igumen Ephrem… it’d lose the money it gets from its Greek-American sugar-daddies, and that would sink Bart & Co… any questions?


Click here for a Greek-language statement from the Phanar on the situation surrounding Igumen Ephrem. Let’s cut to the chase and not fart around. The Phanar’s “avoiding involvement in the affair”… they expressed “sorrow over the situation”… they wouldn’t get involved as “they respect the independence of the judiciary”. However, the rubber hits the road here:

The Ecumenical Patriarchate, in connection with statements issuing from sister Orthodox Churches on the aforementioned matter, reminds everyone that the Holy Mountain is its canonical territory, even though there are Orthodox monks of various nationalities there; this fact doesn’t make it a place of all-Orthodox character {even though it does have monks from all over the Orthosphere… the Phanar isn’t denying that, it’s a statement about jurisdictional matters only: editor}, and it doesn’t allow any form of interference in its affairs by other Autocephalous Churches.

My, my, my… the Phanar’s caught between its US and Vatican paymasters on the one hand, and an angry Orthodox “street” on the other. Let’s keep this short and sweet. NONE OF THE POLITICIANS INVOLVED ARE IN THE SLAMMER. NONE OF THEM. The only person sitting in a nasty cell in the worst prison in Greece is a sickly Athonite cleric. A monk… a respected elder. The Phanar kisses the naked bum of Langley for all to see. They didn’t even protest that the politicians involved got off scot-free. You see, they were ND pals of the American rightwingers, which means that they can do as they please, with no consequence from the Phanar whatsoever. This smells like a bad rerun of Maximos Vaportzis. Don’t let the American special services muck with the Holy Mountain! How much do you wanna bet that George Stephanopoulos is involved with this? His sister IS involved with the ex-ROCOR schismatics, after all.


Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Albany NY


10 January 2012. There’s More than Just New Hampshire on the Political Landscape… Support the Recall in Wisconsin!


Don’t forget, Dropout Scott Walker came into office and dissipated a carefully-husbanded surplus from his Democratic predecessor. He gave it all away as boodle and tax breaks to his worthless predator bankster buddies. That sounds like GWB all over again, on a smaller scale, doesn’t it? There’s a recall petition going the rounds… support the good people of Wisconsin any way that you can.



Greek Advocate Cited Irregularities in Arrest of Igumen Ephrem


Greek Advocate* Spyros Bazinas stated that there were irregularities in the arrest of Igumen Ephrem, the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. In an article posted on the Friends of Vatopedi website, he wrote, “The procurator authorised the use of force by the police, who invaded and forcibly blocked all the roads on Holy Mount Athos without prior warning and without approval from the Holy Administration (Ιερά Επιστασία: Iera Epistasia) (executive body of Athos) in violation of the charters concerning [the Holy Mountain] and its self-government rights as protected by the Constitution”.

(*”Advocate” entered Russian usage in the Petrine era as a straight crib from the Swedish use.)

As reported in December 2011, a Greek court ordered Fr Ephrem’s arrest in connection with an investigation of real estate transactions between Vatopedi and the Greek state in 2008. Previously, influential Russian politicians, the MP, the RF MID, as well as the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called voiced support for Igumen Ephrem. This was in recognition of the fact that Abba Ephrem was part of the delegation from Vatopedi Monastery that brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia for a stay lasting from 20 October to 28 November, going to various cities throughout the country, where nearly 3 million people venerated the relic, including top political leaders.

According to Advocate Bazinas, the method of Igumen Ephrem’s arrest was a direct violation of Article 8 of the Charters of Mount Athos, which provides, “Judicial decisions are executed on the personal order of the Protos (Πρώτος) of the Holy Administration, under his authority and in the presence of one of members of the Holy Administration”. It was also a violation of Article 35 of the Charter, setting the conditions which the judicial authorities must comply with when opening an investigation of administrative or criminal offences on Mount Athos, “[The authorities shall] send an investigator, who shall promptly report to the Holy Administration of Mount Athos, and, according to custom, one of the members of the Holy Administration will be present and help with any investigation being conducted”. In addition, Bazinas continued, another article under the statutes provides, “… with respect to violations of general criminal law, except for minor violations, the criminal court of Thessaloniki has jurisdiction”, which, in turn, he said, “Raises the question of the lack of competence of the Court of Appeals in Athens to order a trial of a monk of the Holy Mountain”.

Bazinas pointed up that, according to an en banc decision of the Court of Appeals in Athens, they ordered Fr Ephrem taken into temporary custody so that the defendant wouldn’t commit any further crimes. As grounds for this decision, they mentioned the following:

  • Fr Ephrem used his status as an abbot of a monastery on Mount Athos to influence politicians
  • He repeatedly committed acts contrary to the monastic life and its spiritual mission
  • He committed damage to public property on a large scale.

Bazinas wrote, “However, these facts don’t justify such an extreme measure as pre-trial detention. On the contrary, the decision to arrest the defendant on the grounds that he’d continue to commit other crimes is unwarranted, because it hasn’t been proven in court that the elder committed any unlawful actions”. In addition, he wrote further, trying to influence politicians isn’t a criminal offence, and the judiciary and the criminal courts haven’t any right to judge violations of the monastic way of life on the Holy Mountain, as its spiritual control is the prerogative of the ruling bishop of the Holy Mountain, that is, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. At the same time, Bazinas stated that the charge stipulating that Fr Ephrem allegedly caused damage to the state “is illegal because it violates the presumption of innocence on the part of the accused”.

10 January 2012





Today, Langley fucked up royally. One of its usual reliable running-dog-lackeys, AsiaNews, a pro-American Neoliberal lickspittle media outlet (and part of the official papist press apparat) in the Vatican, gave the WRONG DATE for Igumen Ephrem’s arrest. Read it here.

Actually, Igumen Ephrem turned himself in to the authorities on Tuesday 27 December 2011, NOT Saturday 24 December 2011, as AsiaNews misreports (see Interfax report here). According to Interfax, a Greek court ordered Igumen Ephrem’s arrest on Friday 23 December 2011. On Saturday, 24 December 2011, Greek coppers went to the Mountain to nick the abbot. However, the doctors who accompanied John Law certified that Igumen Ephrem was unfit to travel, so, the abbot WAS NOT ARRESTED on 24 December… making the information in the AsiaNews report crank, crook, and incorrect. Igumen Ephrem turned himself over to the authorities, and left the Mountain in the company of the cops on Tuesday evening 27 December. All of this has had wide reportage in the Russian and Greek press.

WHY WOULD ASIANEWS LIE SO BLATANTLY? It’s easy to check, after all. I’ll tell you what… click here… those are all the stories that I’ve posted on the matter so far. This is unfeigned black propaganda of the worst and most noisome sort. Compare this to the white propaganda issued by Sophia Kishkovsky and Katrina vanden Heuvel. They issue lying pro-Western blather on Russia, but it’s usually “accurate”… that is, what’s reported is truthful, but it’s only a partial report; ergo, one reaches a false conclusion as one isn’t given the “rest of the story” (which is the intent of such a deception). In short, Foggy Bottom’s scared shitless because they couldn’t get any traction in Russian or Greek (or any Orthosphere) media outlets.

Lest you forget, US Vice President Biden was at the Phanar giving Bart his marching orders (see here for proof). As all know, the Phanar’s been under the thumb of the USA since the coup against Patriarch Maximos Vaportzis in 1948 (Athenagoras Spyrou did fly to Istanbul in the personal US Presidential aircraft, after all). Don’t fail to note that Biden’s main mentor in his youth was a Croat RC priest who defended the mass massacre of Serbian Orthodox people by the Ustaše. Both the US Republican and Democratic Parties endorse this genocide via their silence and support of the policies of the modern state of Croatia. Do also note that one of the loudest voices in the anti-MP ROCOR faction that left in 2007 was the sister of George Stephanopoulos. Is Mr Stephanopoulos a contact between Langley and the ROCOR dissidents (thus, promoting a schism for low political ends)? Perspirin’ minds wanna know… it’s no secret that everyone knows of the contacts of Agafangel Pashkovsky with the American special services.

Note well that AsiaNews was also silent on the official reaction of the Mountain. As I posted earlier:

The Holy Community (Ιερά Κοινότητα (Iera Kinotita)), the governing body of Mount Athos, which includes representatives from all its 20 ruling monasteries, expressed support for Archimandrite Ephrem, the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery. After their meeting, it issued an appeal, posted on the website of the Society of Friends of Vatopedi, stating, “When they insulted Archimandrite Ephrem, they insulted the entire Holy Mountain and Athonite monasticism in general”. This is the response of the ruling body of the Athonite monasteries to the persecution of Fr Ephrem.


AsiaNews attempts to paint Igumen Ephrem as a crook, and that the Centre has “expansionist” designs on the Mountain. What utter blather and rot! Also, notice that AsiaNews does NOT give you details on the nasty prison where Igumen Ephrem’s imprisoned. Here’s a description of that gaol:

Amnesty International and other human rights bodies such as the Committee for the Prevention of Torture have repeatedly expressed concern about the prison for its overcrowding and inhumane treatment of detainees. In 2007, a special committee composed of physicians of the Division of Health Inspections of the Prefecture of Piraeus and Piraeus Medical Association reported that the hospital and the mental clinic of the prison operate without even the minimum conditions of hygiene, with aging infrastructure and big shortages in medical and nursing staff.


Obviously, Foggy Bottom and Langley are feeling the heat. Keep up the pressure! TELL THE GREEK GOVERNMENT HOW YOU FEEL! Here’s some contact information:

Greek Embassy Washington DC:      


Send them your protests! To think that Washington thinks that it can push the Church around… show ‘em some “people power!”


Note to Orthodox Christians:

As of 14.45 EST Tuesday 10 January 2012, neither the OCA nor the ROCOR have ANYTHING up on their official websites in support of the MP’s defence of Igumen Ephrem… it testifies to the power wielded by Potapov and Lyonyo, doesn’t it?. It also testifies to the weakness of Paffhausen and Hilarion Kapral. Why didn’t they insist that we follow the lead of the Mother Church? This is disturbing, to say the least. It gives the false impression that the Church kisses the bum of the extreme rightwing of the US Republican Party, which just isn’t so. I apologise to all outsiders for the false impression that some extremist loudmouths give… the Church stands for Social Justice, as His Holiness has reiterated, time and again. Their espousal of rightwing populism’s a blot upon us and I apologise for the deliberate deception involved in it. The Church is better than that. It’s Christ’s Mercy Incarnate… not an apologist for wealth, war, and oppression.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Albany NY

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.