Voices from Russia

Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Other Koresh

01 Baptist nutter


This Friday, 19 April, marks the 20th anniversary of the fire that ended the Waco siege, after a 50-day-long standoff between David Koresh and his followers, and the FBI. Seventy-six people died in the inferno, and the name “Koresh” is forever infamous as a result. What most people don’t know is that a century earlier, there was another Koresh… also American, and just as messianic, if less randy.

Cyrus Teed was born in 1839 in New York State. This was a time of great religious ferment in America, and utopians, prophets, and saviours roamed the land, founding sects and communes, and awaiting the arrival of paradise on Earth. These groups fascinated Teed, an army medic by training, which led him to pay his first visit in 1873 to the Harmonists, a communist sect awaiting the return of Christ. The Harmonists were interesting, but he joined another group… the Shakers. The Shakers were a big deal in the 1870s; during Teed’s time, there were 58 settlements dotted across the USA. Founded by a female Christ-figure, who went by the name of Mother Ann, the Shakers weren’t only communists, but also celibate, with a tendency to release sexual tension during sacred worship by trembling, shaking, writhing, and jumping up and down.

Teed liked the celibacy and communism, but he was developing his own ideas about salvation. He went into private medical practice and treated his patients with something he called “electro-alchemy”. Meanwhile, his updated version of this mediaeval science led him to make great discoveries. In 1869, he not only discovered how to transmute base metal into gold (allegedly), but also experienced a revelation regarding the nature of reality. What had he discovered? That the Earth is a concave sphere and that we live inside it, on the inner edge; that God is half female; that reincarnation is a cosmic law; that the Bible is a symbolic text which requires a prophet to interpret it correctly and… that Cyrus Teed was that prophet (or messiah, if you will). Teed also learned a few other things – that money is evil, heaven and hell are within us, communism is awesome, etc…

Thus, in the early 1880s, ”Koreshanity” was born. He derived the name from his own… Cyrus is the English form of Koresh, the Persian king who released the Jews from Babylonian captivity, thus, being acclaimed by the Israelites as a “messiah”. Cyrus-Koresh now founded his own celibate commune in a third-floor New York City apartment, where he lived with four women. Nevertheless, for the next 16 years, the sect was a dismal failure, until the day Teed received an invitation to lecture in Chicago. For some reason, many middle-class ladies in that city liked his message. Soon, he was living with 126 (mostly female) followers on a pleasant country estate, apparently in celibate bliss, although rumours swirled about his attachment to Mrs Annie G Ordway.

However, Teed had bigger plans. The Spirit sent him to Florida, where he persuaded an old German immigrant that not only was the Earth concave, but that he should sell Teed 300 acres of prime real estate for 200 dollars. Teed summoned 24 Koreshans from Chicago to Florida, where they commenced building the “Guiding Star City” in anticipation of the arrival of 10 million converts. Things were looking up. The Koreshans had their own post office, sexually-segregated dining halls, and a bunch of nice houses. They even had time to conduct experiments that apparently proved Copernicus wrong, and that the Earth really is hollow. However, then, alas, it all went awry… although it had nothing do with guns, underage sex, or the FBI. Koresh/Teed got involved in local politics, and this unnerved his neighbours as a couple of hundred Koreshans could affect the outcome of elections in so sparsely-populated an area. In 1906, a street fight broke out between the Messiah and a man named Colonel Sellers. Teed received a drubbing, suffering nerve damage, and afterward was often in excruciating pain. In 1908, he died.

The Koreshans believed in reincarnation, but Teed proclaimed that he’d resurrect himself without having to go through all that time-consuming malarkey. The faithful duly waited for three days, by the end of which Teed was rapidly decomposing. Therefore, the Koreshans planted him in the ground, had a schism or two, and then limped on into the 1960s, at which point the last handful of surviving Koreshans gifted their property to the state of Florida. It’s a feeble story, really. This Koresh had no guns, he committed no crimes, he just died, and, then, the community he’d founded slowly petered out. Of course, this is a much more common fate for messianic groups than the fiery annihilation of his namesake’s organization in 1993. A charismatic leader persuades a few people for a little while… then, it all just vanishes. It’s better that way. Look… the people of Florida even got a nice park out of their Koresh.

To learn more about the Koreshans, read David Standish’s fun book Hollow Earth (Da Capo Press, 2006)

17 April 2013

Daniel Kalder





Orthodox Christians and Catholics: One Lung or Two (I Thought that Formula Died with JP2… Well, Live n’ Learn)



Editor’s Foreword:

It’s important for us as aware Orthodox Christians to be cognizant of what’s going on around us. Ergo, I chose three pieces that I found informative as all get-out, but crank in their assumptions. This is what our opposition truly thinks… we do ourselves a disservice if we forget that. Keep your eyes and ears open, keep your mind clear and focused, but always remember… the wolf always remains a wolf… even if he dons lamb’s clothing…



Christendom has two lungs, Eastern and Western, and to be healthy, it must learn to breathe with both of them. Russian religious philosophers of the late Tsarist era first used that metaphor … Catholicism fascinated thinkers like Vladimir Solovyov, who felt that eastern Christians could learn from the Western church’s relatively-active presence in the world. Pope John Paul II Wojtyła took up the image again. It’ll certainly be an arresting, and perhaps disturbing, idea for Pope Francisco Bergoglio, who quite literally has only one functioning lung; he lost one during a childhood illness.

On the face of things, the Christian world has moved a bit closer, over the past 24 hours, to acquiring a fully-operative respiratory system. Bartholomew Archontonis, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople New Rome, therefore, “first among equals” in the Orthodox hierarchy {my, my, my… the old “Orthodox pope” shibboleth… don’t they ever learn?: editor}, attended yesterday’s inaugural mass for the new pontiff. The Istanbul-based cleric pointed out that he was the first Orthodox Patriarch to be present at such an event since the formal east-west split of 1054, when a papal legate rudely excommunicated his predecessor. Today, the new pope received Patriarch Bartholomew and they exchanged warm words about the need to work for full reconciliation.

Also present for the Rome festivities was another Orthodox bigwig, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev who heads the powerful external-relations arm of the Moscow Patriarchate {note the obtuse STUPIDITY of this commentator… the Blunder lost two-thirds of the former DECR and is the most-despised hierarch in the MP. It shows the dense thoughtlessness of the overeducated credentialised Western clerisy, doesn’t it?: editor}. Reports said that Pope Francisco addressed Patriarch Bartholomew… absent-mindedly or otherwise… as Andrea, signalling his respect for the Apostle Andrew, who is traditionally the guardian of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (as well as being the patron saint of Scotland and the Russian Navy). In what some will see as another subtle compliment, the pontiff’s inaugural address yesterday put particular emphasis on care for the environment, which has been a hallmark of Patriarch Bartholomew’s teaching.

Both Orthodox grandees who went to Rome belong to the relatively Western-friendly end of the Orthodox Christian spectrum. Both faced criticism from their ethnic kin (Greek and Russian respectively) for being too accommodating in their dealings with Western Christians, and, therefore, insufficiently-vigilant in their defence of Orthodox doctrine. Two years ago, Patriarch Bartholomew issued a strong rebuttal of this charge, saying truth should have no fear of dialogue. For different reasons, both hierarchs feel comfortable in Italy. The Constantinople patriarch, who grew up on the Turkish island of Gökçeada or Imbros, is a fine linguist who studied in Italy and mastered Italian as well as his native Greek and Turkish. Metropolitan Hilarion is an accomplished composer (sic) who has been to Italy for gala performances of his works {Hilarion loves Italy, for he gets the recognition there that he lacks in Russia. He’s only a minor composer mostly unknown in larger musical circles… he’s never broken into the “big-time”… he’s pumped up by his papist allies, that’s the only reason this present author knows that at all: editor}.

Therefore, if personal chemistry were the only thing required to get Orthodox and Catholics breathing in sync, the way ahead might be clear. Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple. For one thing, intra-Orthodox quarrels have overshadowed several recent meetings between Orthodox and Catholic theologians. For another, the burden of history is heavy. Some Orthodox Christians root their suspicion of Rome in the events of 1204, when an army of Latin crusaders sacked Constantinople. The Orthodox also cherish the memory of St Mark of Ephesus, a lone voice in defence of Orthodox doctrine at the Council of Florence in 1439, when many of his fellow bishops were (as the Orthodox memory has it) bamboozled into a theological surrender to the West.

For better or for worse, the Orthodox Christians of Byzantium (sic) refused in the end to make doctrinal compromises with the West, which might have won them military support against the advancing Turks, and this made the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, in 1453, inevitable. This left Orthodox with an enduring suspicion that, at critical moments, the West will refuse to either help at all, or, offer help only on unacceptably harsh terms. That is also how some Greek-Cypriots feel about their country’s current financial agonies.

20 March 2013


The Economist


Editor’s Afterword:

I thought that the “Two Lungs” formula was dated and dead (it does have the stale whiff of the ‘80s about it, doesn’t it?), buried with JP2. Although Erasmus shows themselves ignorant of Orthodox affairs, it’s clear that this commentator isn’t a papist cheerleader. Yet, it shows how the premises of the Western clerisy are flawed to the point of incoherency. That will doom their project of global hegemony. History has not come to an end… Fukuyama was wrong… should we hold a wienie roast using his books as the fuel? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…


The New Pope and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: From the “Economist”… Not Spot-On at All, but it’s a “Read n’ Heed”


This is a typical Galician Uniate nutter… can you truly take such sorts seriously? After all, they DID collaborate quite willingly with the Nazis


Editor’s Foreword:

Here’s another piece to read n’ heed… its wrong, but it tells you the viewpoint of the papists and the Anglosphere élite, and that’s a good thing to know. Caveat lector



Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, recently expressed hope that the new pope, Francisco Bergoglio, will continue the policy of rapprochement with the Orthodox Church and that he won’t support, what [Hilarion] calls the expansion of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics, saying, “The Unia is the most painful topic in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, in relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics. If the pope supports the Unia, then, of course, it’d bring no good”. The metropolitan is worried… it’s said that the new pope has an affinity for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). So much so, that one Russian commentator claimed that in Francisco, “we have a Ukrainian pope”. This may worsen relations between Orthodox and Catholics.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church confuses most outsiders; it’s an Eastern rite church in communion with the Vatican. Drawing on the Christian legacy of medieval Kievan-Rus‘, it was officially founded through the 1596 Union of Brest (hence, the church’s other widespread name, Uniate). “Greek” was added later to distinguish it from the Roman Catholic Church. Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the UGCC, said that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the new pope, had a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest as his mentor, and is familiar with the Church’s rites, says . Previously, Major Archbishop Shevchuk served in Buenos Aires and got to know the future pope there. Many in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church hope that Francisco would elevate it to a patriarchate, from its status as a Major Archiepiscopate. Today, Greek Catholics make up about 15 percent of the Ukrainian population. Most of them live in the west of the country, including the city of Lvov, and they have a strong presence in the Ukrainian diaspora. After almost half a century of persecution under Soviet rule, the Church resurfaced as one of the pillars of national identity in the Western Ukraine. It’s an influential force here, although it has kept its distance from politics.

Someone once quipped, “In the rest of the Ukraine, religious people go to church; in Lvov, everyone goes to church”. The city is famous for its panoply of churches, most of them now Greek Catholic, although it still has both a Roman Catholic and an Armenian cathedral. Up until 1941, Lvov was also an important centre of the Jewish religion. In the mornings, the sound of the liturgy, sung in Ukrainian, spills out into the cobbled streets. Lvov Business School, part of the Ukrainian Catholic University, affiliated with the [Ukrainian Greek Catholic] Church, combines business education with ethics. Sophia Opatska, the School’s chief executive, said that they try to encourage “trust, openness, and ethics” in the new generation of business leaders, to help change negative trends in the Ukraine. She added that this is especially important in the Ukraine, where “business often takes on social and economic responsibilities that belong to government in democratic countries”.

On 7 April, crowds of Greek Catholics joined a procession through Lvov representing the Way of the Cross, slowing down  traffic. The Church’s leaders have already invited Pope Francisco to visit the Ukraine. The new pope himself has made no special mention of the Ukraine since his election as the Ukrainian media pointed up. All the same, many of Ukraine’s Greek Catholics eagerly await the visit of Pope Francisco, the closest they’ve had to a Ukrainian pope.

12 April 2013

The Economist


Editor’s Afterword:

The Galician Uniates are the Great White Hope of not only the papists, but of the American rightwing. Indeed, they wish to separate Orthodox in the Ukraine from the MP and entice them into the Western-dominated Unia. Such is their project; it’s clear to all concerned. I’ll predict that its only result will be a strengthening of Orthodoxy and a rededication to our opposition of the Unia and all its works. The Westerners and righties will regret having stirred up this pot… they’ll have woken up a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve. Thus always to tyrants and their machinations…

Oh, one last thing… do note the deafening silence by the author on the Orthodox clergy killed and the churches stolen or destroyed by Western-financed Uniate mobs… in the West’s eyes, some people ARE “more  human” than others are. None dare call it what it is… after all, the West doesn’t engage in such things, dontcha know (their media tells us so daily, doesn’t it?)…


20 April 2013. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… THIS is Why We Need a New USSR… AND SOON

00 Beggars outside church in Krasnoyarsk. RUSSIA. 14.04.13


This image shows beggars outside of an Orthodox church in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. Such wasn’t common in Sov times… to be sure, no one lived in the lap of luxury, but what was there, was shared more equally (of course, there were people with blat… that obtains in every society known to mankind). Indeed, before the time of Slobberin’ Ronnie and Haggie Maggie, things were more equitable in the Anglosphere, too. In both Russia and the West, the oligarchs steal the people’s patrimony… and call themselves respectable! If that isn’t EVIL, then, I’ll check myself into Bedlam with Mr Scrooge

VVP is bringing back the good things of the USSR and of Tsarist Russia… and moving away from the oligarchs. May God preserve him…


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