Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

3 April 2012. Gleanings From My Mailbag…

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Editor’s Foreword:

I’m in plain type; my interlocutors are in italics…

BMD

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That’s why I don’t care for konvertsy… “swims with the tide”… “that doesn’t prevent him licking up to the Greeks when he wants to”. You just described the typical Angliochian to a tee. I know why they support Renovationism… that’s what passes for “traditional” amongst a certain set of academic Anglicans. What we mean by Tradition, and what prideful former Anglican academics mean by “tradition” are two diametrically opposite things.

You see, if you already “know”, you won’t learn. They’re all “scholars”, dontcha know! As for me, I’ve learnt tons since I started my site. It requires research, and that means that one learns, especially, if one is on the track of the truth. If all that you’re doing is mouthing your oddbod opinion and pious platitudes, you sink deeper into prelest with each post. Sad, ain’t it? They’re on the hell-bound train, and not only do they not know it, they insist that we join them! Note this well… all of the American Angliochians have ties to Gleb Podmoshensky one way or another (often through his disciples Paffhausen and Freddie M-G). They hate sodomy (supposedly)… and their guru’s a sodomite… a known and notorious one at that!

Live and learn, eh?

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I don’t know how some folks can skip over the Cross and just have the empty tomb. Seems like you’re missing something awfully important! Another place where the “evangelicals” went off the road…

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Isn’t there ENOUGH scandal with a priest suing another priest in the first week of the Lent? The fact that the jerk sued me too isn’t as important as his having the brass balls to drag another priest to court… during the first week of the Lent! Bozhe! If he did that in Hunkie PA… he’d get a visit from a delegation. “Father… withdraw the suit… what’s that? You won’t? It’s your life”. When the court opened, the miners would be there in force to testify against him, to tell the judge how this hard-headed priest wouldn’t listen to reason… that’s the po-nashemu way.

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Only TWO versions of the Holy Bible, if back-translated into Hebrew and Greek are so accurate that the back-translation will be identical to the Original. What two versions are they?

The latter is so accurate that, despite its Orthodox scholarship and origins, Russian Baptists, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals all consider it the only acceptable translation. This is so despite the more-Protestant versions available to them (from US Bible Thumper translators, natch!).

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Look… if Iggy gets to me, I just walk out into the narthex. That’s all. I was taught that one didn’t make a “scene” at services. You see, the Church is open to EVERYONE, as His Holiness says. One of the biggest gay activists in Russia is also a communing Orthodox Christian, and that’s the way it is. There’s all sorts in the Church in the homeland… so, if it’s good there, it’s good here, too. We probably disagree on all sorts of things, but that’s not where it’s at for me. I’m Orthodox… you’re Orthodox… and that’s what’s on the table at present. As for anything else, if we end in agreement, that’s good. If not, them’s the breaks. We do have SOMETHING in common, dear, and it’s NOT “small beer”. As they say in England, “Keep your pecker (nose) up!” Hmm… that DOES have a somewhat different meaning in American English, doesn’t it? Be good, and keep your wits about you…

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In the days before they started to use hotels, when the bishop came for a pastoral visit, he’d stay at the priest’s house. Bishop John of Cleveland liked to play cards and he liked to smoke cigars.

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I attend services every 2 to 3 weeks, partly because the priest’s a prick, partly my Nicky has an odd work schedule (he’s in healthcare). However, we NEVER miss Easter. FULL STOP. That’s what’s Christianity’s all about. “The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath”. Take heart, Reardon et al aren’t with us for the long haul. They don’t have the soul and heart of a blokadnik… and that’s what’s needed to get through this rough patch that we’re in. Be good.

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When his wife died, whilst he was serving as a priest in McAdoo PA, Metropolitan Iriney walked all around the small town in the rain until the small hours.

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I’ve been covering Romney’s flop to the Far Right. All the European observers are seeing an Obama blow-out this fall. That is, the GOP crash will make ‘64 look pale. Interestingly enough, the only “real” Republican in the race, Ron Paul, has no chance (he’s an old-style Bob Taft Republican). The oligarchs are getting ready for a kamikaze mission… what do they know that we don’t? There is such a thing as a “death ride”… and there’s no way the GOP can win this year (not after Limbaugh insulted all women). We’ll win… but at what cost? The oligarchs CAN wreck the economy after the election…

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Then, I realised that a large number of the konvertsy priests I know or know of are simply lacking in manners. “Please” and “thank you”, especially to parishioners who devote much of their time (let alone cash) to the parish, isn’t said. They’re haughty, too. They think that their seminary educations put them into a different sphere… although this mostly comes from SVS grads. Most of the ethnic priests I know (even if they graduated from SVS in the Schmemann era), even if only ordained in the past several years, aren’t above doing whatever’s needed around the parish, fixing a plumbing problem, cutting the grass, etc.

They also often remind me of Romney… unable to “relate” to the average parishioner. If your service attendance isn’t exemplary (the Church doesn’t keep track as schools or employers do!), you’re worse than the heathen. They don’t consider non-9-5 work schedules, family responsibilities, etc. If you’re not at every Presanctified, your soul’s lost (I exaggerate some, but not much!). My priest suggests people come to one, if they can. The Christian life consists of more than just being in church for every single service and sacrificing family life to that! Simple human kindness does a great deal. That’s lost on so many of the konvertsy (priests and laity) who think nothing of banging people over the head with how holy they are.

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I’ve found SERIOUS flaws with this study {a statistical study just released by the so-called “Episcopal Assembly” praised to the skies by the OCA: editor}. It’s an EP-financed piece of shit. I’m going to post on its inaccuracies. For instance, there’s only one scholar involved, and it was based on self-reportage, with no checking using controls or objective markers (such as circulation of church newspapers). Here’s a teaser… supposedly, the OCA’s lost 40 percent of its membership in less than 10 years, and the GOAA’s gained 40 percent. Also, it gives a figure for Alaska that’s only 40 percent of a figure given in a respected American academic survey of nine years ago. Again, this was based on reports of clergy, NOT baptismal or parish records. In short, it’s GIGO.

Do tell X that this is utter BS and NOT to be trusted. It’s the sort of goofy shit that Dickie Wood ran up whilst he was in Moscow (remember how he claimed that he earned a kandidatura in a year?). It’s part of the EP’s war on the MP. It comes out of the bootless “Episcopal Assemblies”, which are nothing more than a vehicle for the dissemination of the EP’s claim to the entire diaspora. You may pooh-pooh that, but I’ve seen how the EP (and its rightwing US political puppeteers) uses these phoney “Assemblies”. Be good… and don’t accept the coin until you bite it!

I’m not accepting any coins… not being offered any either! What’s interesting is that the OCA keeps going down, even below 90,000. Will that be on their site? The Episcopal Assemblies are useful to us because we can completely counter and stop the EP there. Remember it must be consensus. We now have power that we didn’t have before… and it works! The thing is what happens to the CIA-run EP after Bartholomew. Emmanuel’s even worse.

The OCA figure’s utterly inaccurate. It’s an EP fantasy. I’d say that the OCA is about a little less than its last accurate count of 115,000… perhaps, it’s at 100,000… there’s been a loss, but not as bad as the crank EP figures indicate. The last accurate GOAA estimate was 340,000… it didn’t gain 136,000 (40 percent) in five years! Also, Orthodox in Alaska aren’t 12,000 people, but 30,000 according to an objective American academic survey (the figure in the present study came from carpetbagger konvertsy clergy). This is a lie any way you look at it, and, no, I’m not optimistic about ANYTHING that the EP’s involved in. They’re TROUBLE… they still haven’t named a successor for Metr Nicholas of ACROD… they expect the fall of the OCA, and expect that the two ex-ACROD bishops in the OCA will allow it to fall into their hands.

You’re a pessimist. We can defeat the EP. That’s one of the reasons that we’re getting two new bishops a week. We’re going to swamp them.

That’s not the way it is in the USA. Yes, we’ll win overall, but shall we win HERE? That’s what matters to me, personally.

That’s not the way it is in the USA, precisely because the whole situation’s ruined by the OCA. That’s why we need a united Russian Church. My latest test for converts is whether they like Putin or not. The US-manipulated EP hates him because he makes Russia stronger. Whatever the corruption around him, he’s still better than anyone else is.

Yes… I agree on Putin. If they can wrap their heads around that, they’re on the road to seeing that the Church does NOT bless the West and its hubristical greed (“personal responsibility”). As for the OCA… that goes back to Schmemanndorff. We’re still paying for their sins. Most of us had nothing to do with it, but we’re paying for not nipping it in the bud, as the Mother Church did. Don’t forget, Meyendorff was the “brains”, the Edgar Bergen. Schmemann was only a “rainmaker”, his Charlie McCarthy. Ivan Feofilovich was colourless, but he was the Lenin of the OCA. Aleksandr Dmitrievich was a colourful Trotsky, and as irrelevant in the end. They were both quasi-Marxists, after all, more so than the contemporary KPRF. We have a fight here. The EP is the GOAA… the GOAA is the EP. The Phanar itself is NOTHING… but they have Langley behind them. No wonder that Aleksei and Kirill cooperated with the (intelligence branch) of the KGB… it was the only way to preserve the REAL Church. I can’t say that one too loudly, can I?

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It’s a rum go, isn’t it? I’ve not seen the like. Truly… Schmemann was a boastful liar, Meyendorff was a scheming academic, Herman was a po-nashemu power-broker, but none of them truly plumbed the depths that we’re seeing now. JP’s an out n’ out liar. Yet, since he’s a salesman in a riassa, he fools the superficial. What I’ve heard is that there are factions at the Centre ready to pull the plug. If JP missteps, it’s off the cliff time, folks.

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I aims to please… and I pass on whatever I think may be useful. We’re all in this together, and none of us is an “island” (you can always tell the “loners”… there’s always something oddbod in ‘em, isn’t there?). Hmm…. when the Renovationists start questioning Renovationism… now, that’s something to write home about. The OCA’s a ripe persimmon, ready to fall, but to whom?

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You know, something else I’ve noticed is that konvertsy priests are very impatient with those with non-9-5 M-F work schedules. I’ve heard stories of people being told offhandedly to get different jobs… in this economy! I have friends who were nurses and the regular day shift was something for people with lots of seniority. Everyone else got nights and weekends!

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Yes… equating “clergy” with “Church”. Yet, the Church can survive without priests, but it can’t survive without babas! I’m going to be 58 on 8 April, does that make me a “young baba?” Remember, no priest messes with the babas.

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Today, I was chatting with a friend after church. Her family “came to their senses” and left a crazy convert parish, complete with WASP konvertsy priest, and are now investigating my “normal” parish. It essentially boils down to nothing more than a difference of opinion on something very minor. Essentials of the faith aren’t in question. Are konvertsy priests so insecure that they can’t tolerate a difference of opinion on ANYTHING? She asked about various things and was admittedly surprised when I told her how things work in a “normal” Orthodox parish.

Your occasional comment about not having to be friends with people to agree on something really hit home with this friend’s situation. When did people become unable to maintain a friendship if they disagreed about something? When did rudeness become more common than politeness? I was at a funeral this past week and was astonished when I saw the way some young people were behaving! It’s all about themselves, and if something wasn’t to their liking, they thought nothing of making a public fool of themselves with a temper tantrum.

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I’m a socially-conservative One Nation (that is, Disraeli, please, not Gladstone) socialist… so, all the rightwingers take pot-shots. It comes with the territory. Fuck ’em all and have a smile, I say. As X said, “Pay them no mind… I don’t”. A little perspective and a shot of Bushmills work wonders. You’re as bad as I am! Join the club… the Church is no different from the outside world… full of rotters and drones, oddbods and squiffs, quite a few ordinary dogsbodies, and a few saints (these NEVER look “holy” and are persecuted by the rotters and oddbods). Pass the jug…

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We live in “interesting times”… ergo, take a care, ask questions, and take the least-objectionable alternative. You won’t find “perfection” anywhere… full stop. It looks as though the present edifice’s ready to collapse, but I mean that in historical terms. It could stumble on for a bit, like the old Ottoman Empire, propped up by the self-interested. Keep your wits, know when to laugh and when to crack open the jug, otherwise, you’ll get pissed off and leave. It’s one of those “interesting” periods in the history books. Remember the old saying, “Happy is the land that has no history”. Keep the Bushmills handy… when a priest does something crazy, cross yourself, pour a shot, and you’ll feel better. If needed, repeat… but not too often, now. Be good and love life… God IS going to ask you what you did with HIS gift…

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BMD

3 April 2012

Albany NY

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27 March 2012. Are John and Denise Jillions Putting Cabins out to Lease in the Adirondacks?

Do they own ‘em free n’ clear, or, are they mortgaged up to their eyeballs? It’s no small beer… and a matter of “transparency”.

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It looks like John and Denise Jillions have several irons in the fire to generate revenue. The OCA website still references 613 692-6278 as Jillions’ home phone. This phone rings at the Jillions residence located at 2290 Shanegal Crescent, Ottawa ON K1V 9P2. This number, along with an e-mail address belonging to Denise Jillions is the contact information on this website. Hey, let’s all have a big Renovationist Retreat at Alice’s Cabin in the Adirondacks! Maybe we could invite Jillions’ Galician Uniate colleagues and Bob Taft to make it really inter-confessional. Fathausen could be retreat master… it’s never dull is it? Whatever happened to “transparency?” Did Fathausen lose it on his peregrinations between Dallas, the District, and the Island? Perspirin’ minds wanna know!

BMD

Friday, 29 July 2011

29 July 2011. “Josephus Flavius” of “Byzantine Texas” Offers Crook Intel on Dickie Wood

“Josephus Flavius” is chock fulla beans. Dickie’s rustication wasn’t “an odd turn of events”. He was NEVER a serious episcopal candidate; rather, he was a rabid self-promoter all the way. For one thing, he didn’t graduate from college or seminary. Archbishop Job Osacky had him complete the correspondence course that the AOCANA had for deacons, I think it’s called the St Stephen‘s Course. He also took a few courses at some minor RC college called Rosary College or something like that. No one, anywhere, could ever consider him a serious candidate for the episcopate due to his lack of any type of academic credentials. Furthermore, he was “tight” with the entire HOOMie crowd, and tried to legitimate them at the Centre. On top of it all, he was far too close to Feodosy Lazor of Neon Chicken fame. This Uniate character doesn’t know very much of anything concerning insider info on the goings-on in Orthodox Churches, no matter what he says.

Reflect on this… the konvertsy are gaga over this schmidiot and his crank site. He hangs around Bob Taft, that’s it. I’ve noticed that most of the sites favoured by the newbies stall out at about 5,000 readers, a very few have as many as 8,000 readers (Stokoe is the exception that proves the rule, with 14,700 monthly readers). However, the readership, although ingrown, is quite fanatic… with a heavy proportion of “addicts” who log on every day. For instance, 58 percent of Mark Stokoe’s readership of 14,700 are “addicts”… that is, people who log on at least once a day, they account for 94 percent of the total hits. That’s 8,526 people all told, if they logged in at once a day, it’d account for 255,780 hits, just from addicts. That’s 94 percent of the total hits, the adjusted total number of hits would be 272,106. That sounds impressive, but he’s preaching to the choir! 94 percent of his hits go to addicts (only 5 percent goes to “regulars” and 1 percent to “passers-by”). On VFR, only 2 percent of my hits go to addicts, 40 percent to “regulars”, and 58 percent to “passers-by”. A healthy site attracts passers-by, then, you have a chance to “convert” some of them to “regulars”.

“Josephus Flavius’” site only attracts 4,600 monthly readers, which is some 22 percent of my readership. One reason is that he has no reliable insider intel on what’s going on in Orthodoxy. He’s NOT Orthodox, kids, so, it’s plain to see that he’s an outsider looking in, a poseur. That’s why Orthodox are comfortable with real RCs, but Uniates are something else altogether. RCs are what they are… and that’s that. They’re no threat to us, or we to them. Uniates are impostors… they try to look Orthodox to fool the unwary. They’re really RCs… they have to accept the full banana on RC theology, including their infallible pope. Indeed, they’re often far more rabid on papal infallibility than the average RC (especially happy life-affirming guineas, who’re particularly cynical and sceptical regarding the infallibility of this or that pope… you should hear ‘em talk about Pio Nono). Trust me… if the Uniates didn’t exist, relations between us and the RCs would be FAR better. Hell, we’re comfortable with one another, as any fool can see.

Again, this Uniate is passing on crook news, sorry to say. It’s a fallen world… and do pass me the jug…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 29 July 2011

Albany NY    

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Who’s NOT There is as Important as Who IS There

Here’s a member of the “Orthodox” delegation to the Orientale Lumen conference… there’s no one from the grounded Church who is going, save for a fairly-low-level Moscow archimandrite, who, no doubt, is KMG’s spy. We shouldn’t be going to such trumpery…

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Before we deal with the question posed by the title, one of the things that I’ve dealt with, not only in the last few days, but over the long haul as well, is the accusation that I’m being unfair to the person and ideas of Jonas Paffhausen. Am I being such? Firstly, didn’t Mr Paffhausen say at his election, “It’s all over?” Apparently, he meant that the secrecy and high-handedness of the Swaiko administration were over. Were they? Certainly, there was a change in the attitude towards the faithful… the administration became twice as secretive and twice as evasive. For instance, no information was released on the recent Holy Synod meeting in Colorado on oca.org (beyond a bare mention of its meeting); there wasn’t even a mention of the topics under discussion. In short, nothing was told to the faithful and Mark Stokoe just smiled an idiot’s smile. Would he have done so if Herman had been half as secretive? Recently, Terrence Mattingly (another self-appointed konvertsy “expert”) gushed all over Stokoe, and attacked all the rest of us, saying that we did no original work. Mr Mattingly… I challenge you. I translate from the Russian press weekly, therefore, are you saying that I am an “uninformed commentator?” I’d argue that I’ve access to Orthodox material that you don’t even know about because of your lack of facility in Russian. Interesting, no? Well… let’s move on to the nub of the submission…

However, I was looking at the items on oca.org, and one did catch my eye. This is disturbing in the extreme. Indeed, when one combines this with Paffhausen’s syncretistic pact with the TEC via Nashotah House and Behr’s embrace of the heretical “hierarch” Rowan Williams, it can mean only one thing. The OCA‘s signalling to the entire world that the boundaries of the Church mean nothing to it. We’ll return to this, but first, let’s look at an error in fact in the above post. One of the speakers, according to the OCA handout, is “Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun, Director of Religious Education, Moscow”. Does it surprise you that they didn’t get it right? Kirill Nikolaevich Govorun (no Russian source uses the incorrect dialectical “Hovorun”) holds a rather more modest office in Moscow… he’s First Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee of the MP. MUCH less than what the OCA handout implies… let’s not be too harsh, of course, it’s probably just a consequence of the utter incompetence of Belonick and Matusiak. Oh, another little wrinkle that’s not in the article due to the boobishness of Matusiak and Belonick… Kirill Nikolaevich IS the head of the DECR for the UOC/MP… I believe that he’s a lower-horsepower stand-in for the Boy Wonder, who’s sitting this one out (after the der Spiegel débâcle, he’s laying low, no doubt). Indeed, no MP bishop is on the agenda. THAT is interesting in the extreme. Bart is strutting his stuff and NO MP bishop is involved. Note well that Fr Kirill’s the highest-ranking MP figure in this ecumaniac love feast. In fact, he’s the ONLY MP figure named, save for Vassa Larina, who is from the ROCOR, which is a constituent part of the MP.

Also, note that the only ROCOR personality involved is Vassa Larin. Her academic and personal ties to Bob Taft are well known, and I don’t need to attack them… all of the Church knows of them, and very few (save for a few pseudo-academic poseurs) support her dalliance with this Uniate Jesuit charlatan (I believe that she’s doing so to “further her academic career”). So, look at who’s there, and who isn’t there. The Boy Wonder isn’t there. He’s not moving from Moscow, thank you very much (or he’s sticking close to KMG). That means that his errors over the past year have caught up with him, and he’s repairing his fences. No major figure from the MDA or SPDA or PSTGU is there. There’s no one from Jordanville, either from the monastery or the seminary. None of the major MP department heads is there, not even the layman Vladimir Legoida. NO MP bishop is there. Now, if Fr Vsevolod Chaplin or Prof Natalia Narochnitskaya were there, I’d sit up and take NOTICE. I’d truly take a second (and long) look if the name of Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov cropped up. Truly, none of the real big-name players in the MP is involved in this EP/papal farce.

All too many newcomers in the Church are unaware of the factional fight that is going on right now for the soul of the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s why the decent people in the MP wanted the ROCOR back into the fold so badly… they’d be valuable allies against such dangerous and mendacious poseurs as SVS, New Skete, and St Sergius (Paris). As I said, note who isn’t there… Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev isn’t there… Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral isn’t there… no MP or ROCOR bishop is there… no one from any major MP or ROCOR seminary or higher institution is there. The only MP figure named is a low-octane substitute for the Boy Wonder… who’s not going to be there either! The only ROCOR figure named has unwisely (and publicly) kissed the bum of a Jesuit Uniate phony (I hasten to add that every ROCOR voice I’ve heard on this (save for the pseudo-academic poseur Psaryov) condemns her actions in re Taft unreservedly). It’s not wise for ANY OCA figure to be there, under such circumstances, as Moscow is their sole canonical lifeline.

What is this, after all? It’s a papist meeting called to further a papist agenda in a papist venue. Excuse me whilst I hurl. To my Catholic friends I’d say, “It’s one thing to be polite to one’s neighbour and to show kindness to the people about one. That’s only right and proper. However, I draw the line at actions that transgress the boundaries of the Church… for that’s spitting on Our Lord Christ Himself”. Somehow, I don’t think that I’d get an argument from the Mark Sheas of this world… we’d agree to disagree, and we’d move on to things that we could share. We wouldn’t hold such a conference, though… it’s demeaning to both parties. Jonas Paffhausen and SVS have told all of us what they think of Christ by this action. If the Church is Christ’s Body, then, anything that we do concerning the Church concerns Christ. If one follows my chain of logic by starting with the stipulation, “JP and SVS are disregarding the boundaries of the Church”, I think that it’s obvious where that syllogism leads. Yes… JP, you were right. “Everything has changed”… yes, it most certainly has… not for the better.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 8 May 2010

Albany NY

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