Voices from Russia

Saturday, 15 June 2013

15 June 2013. Midwest Calming Down After Booting Out Moriak

00 Lil Bub the Internet Cat. God Bless Us. 15.06


Got this from one of the Cabinet:

It’s sure been quiet in the OCA Midwest. I can’t tell you how welcome that is. I don’t know what’s going on, but the diocesan website hasn’t had an update since the end of Lent. From all accounts, Golitzin’s taking care of some things neglected during the Moriak mess. The OCA parishes I know are in the midst of the usual summer rounds of weddings, outdoor work days, and parish picnic planning. No drama, unless it’s from a bride when something goes wrong. Some things don’t change and I’m very grateful for that.

That’s GOOD NEWS, kids… it means that Golitzin is doing things the Old School Metropolia way, the way they’ve always done things in those parts. He’s not ordering people about or issuing bombastic ukases… no! He’s takin’ care of business the old-fashioned way… something that’s good to see. The OCA took a wrong turn under Schmemann and Meyendorff… now, it’s time to go back to the old true path and go home. This could be an earnest of that. Good on Alexander Golitzin.

If there’s good news, I’ll report it, and gladly. I’ll NOT cheerlead, but I’ll report the good as well as the bad. In short, I’ll never kiss ass, but I’ll be there to give out an attaboy, if it’s deserved. It’s deserved in this case. As I said, good on Bishop Alexander. May all the others get the hint…



Monday, 30 April 2012

30 April 2012. Konvertsy “Experts” at OrthoWiki Delete St Serafim Vyritsky From Their Site… How Dare They… He’s One of the Greatest Saints of the Soviet Period

St Serafim Vyritsky (1866- 1949)… He prayed on a rock for the victory of the USSR in the VOV… no lie… is that why the konvertsy snub him?


I was looking for quotes from St Serafim Vyritsky today, so, I Googled his name, using several different formats (those familiar with Russian transliteration know what I mean). Well, guess what the konvertsy “experts and scholars” at OrthoWiki did? They deleted the article on him! Fancy that! One of the greatest saints of the Soviet period, and they shitcanned him… they have tons on squiffy Renovationist creepozoids like Aleksandr Schmemann, John Meyendorff, and Aleksandr Men… but a true saint of the Church? Down the slop chute with him! This was on the page: This article has been marked for deletion. This could be for a number of reasons, including OrthodoxWiki policy. See further information on its talk page (click here for the page in question).

Here are their criteria for deletion:

An article may be deleted from OrthodoxWiki by a sysop for any of the following reasons (non-exclusive):

  • Its sole purpose is vandalism (obscenity, nonsense, etc.).
  • It has no content (may include only headers or external links).
  • It is not encyclopaedic (may be an essay, personal opinion, polemic, directory, etc.)
  • It is not directly relevant to the Orthodox Church.
  • It is non-notable (i.e., not important enough to history to be included in an encyclopaedia).
  • It duplicates an existing article.
  • It is in a user’s personal userspace who has requested deletion.
  • There is a consensus of editors and sysops that the article is inappropriate or unnecessary.


Well, firstly, St Serafim Vyritsky IS an acknowledged saint of the Church. Therefore, he IS directly relevant to the Orthodox Church and he IS notable, and if there IS a “consensus of editors and sysops that the article is inappropriate or unnecessary”, it only proves the belief held by many that OrthoWiki’s somewhat “soft” as a source… as a priest-friend of mine said, “Most of it’s convert rubbish”. For instance, they don’t have an article on Antony Bartoshevich, one of the most notable ROCOR bishops of the 60s and 70s.

It DOES take all kinds. To give St Serafim, who prayed on a rock during the entire Great Patriotic War for the victory of the Red Army and the deliverance of the Russian people from the Fascist aggressors, short shrift whilst trumpeting the Renovationist lies of the SVS crowd is just unconscionable. However, you know the sort… they lurk behind usernames on Monomakhos and OCATruth (they don’t have the guts to sign their names to their screeds). There’s no need to go “off”… this is just another proof that the konvertsy not only aren’t of us… they never were, and are utterly incapable of being such. Sad, ain’t it?

As for me, I DO honour St Serafim Vyritsky… and, no doubt, so do you. Light a candle and pray to God… that’s all that we can do until these loopy sorts leave us…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 30 April 2012

Albany NY 

Just Got This Department: 

One of the Kitchen Cabinet sent this: 

The OrthodoxWiki article on St Serafim of Vyritsa is here. The deletion page is for the URL with the spelling “Viritsa”, which doesn’t comply with their transliteration standards. That said, OrthodoxWiki entries must be taken with a grain of salt. I personally know clueless young housewives and ignorant basement-dwellers who create articles like it’s their job. Also, people like Whiteford spend an inordinate amount of time editing articles there for the sake of propaganda. So, caveat emptor.

I knew that if I threw this into the pond, something would come up. This was the only entry on the search results page from OrthoWiki, Google’s caught with its nicks around its ankles yet again.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tyotya Vara Says, “Conspiracy Theories are For the Birds… Why Drag in Non-Existent Bogeymen When Plain Ol’ Hutsky-Klutsky Explains it ALL?”

The bogeyman doesn’t even go bump in the night (it’s nothing but a “monster under the bed”)… do fear ignorant enthusiasts and self-interested “operators”… they CAN do you harm…


A great hue-and-cry has issued forth in response to Matt Moriak canning Mark Stokoe from the MC and the Archdiocesan Council. Firstly, Mark is a known member of Lyonyo’s faction, so, if a toady of JP (and JP’s Bobby’s sock-puppet) became Bishop of the Midwest, it shouldn’t have surprised him that such happened to him. Actually, if I were in Mark’s shoes, I’d have resigned before Moriak kicked me out, forcing Matt and JP’s party to recalibrate… and since they’re not overly bright, it would’ve screwed them up for a month, at least. There’s nothing funnier (or more satisfying) than to force a foe to punch empty air… there are few pleasures so deep and gratifying (your enemy looks like one of the Three Stooges, whilst you look like Einstein explaining the Unified Field Theory).

This is a good time to talk about the LACK of a conspiracy in the higher reaches of the OCA. Trust me… it’s been this hutsky-klutsky from the beginning, but since Lyonyo had complete editorial and production control at TOC (assisted by his loyal Sancho Panza, Connie Tarasar), that meant that he kept any competing “narratives” from circulating. Especially, in the salad days of the early 70s and early 80s, the propaganda line was that the OCA was the “coming thing”, and Lyonyo allowed no one to disseminate an alternative version (remember the noise about “six million Orthodox Christians in the USA” and “Orthodoxy, the fourth major religion in America?” … I haven’t heard either of those old whoppers in years). This was easy to do in pre-Internet and pre-PC (personal computer, that is) days. There was NO conspiracy involved at all. Simply put, printing was expensive, which meant that only an organisation could issue official-looking documents. In fact, if you’ve seen some of the original printed official OCA (and ROCOR) documents or publications from that period, many look unusually shoddy and second-rate, because Lyonyo had to produce much of it on the cheap (using stapled-together poor-quality newsprint, with ordinary paper covers), as the OCA (or the ROCOR) never had any serious money, and white elephant prestige items such as the Syosset mansion and SVS ate up what little money they had. Then, once you’d produced your material, you then had the problem of distributing it… there was no e-mail, everything had to move in hard-copy form via snail mail. In short, if a determined group of individuals wished to control information, they could… with no need of “conspiring”.

Ever since Metropolitan Leonty’s passing in ’65, a coterie of about 100-200 interrelated individuals centred on Syosset and SVS ran the OCA/Metropolia (some of them are relatives in the literal sense, hence the title, “First Families”). Frankly, they were the only people at any OCA institution with any serious money at their disposal (and that was little enough, the OCA has always been a hand-to-mouth organisation). If “money talks and bullshit walks”… you get the picture. ADS ran the show from the mid-sixties until his death in ’83. He wasn’t the brains of the outfit (Ivan Feofilovich von Meyendorff was twice as intelligent, and four times as prudent)… but he was something a great deal more indefinable… and far more necessary to the success of the project. Aleksandr Dmitrievich was a “rainmaker”… he could make people “believe” in Autocephaly, even though anyone could see that it was nothing but a transparent phantasm ginned up by Rotov at the Centre. Objectively speaking, ADS wasn’t an original scholar nor was he free of his problematic mentor’s (Bulgakov) hobby-horses. He had something far more important in human affairs… whether one called it mana, or charisma, or élan vital, or numen… an indescribable, yet very real, ability to “manufacture” luck and to “convince” others of his notional plans. That’s to say, ADS possessed what Weber called “charismatic authority”… and no one else did… not at all.

Before we leave the topic of ADS’ charisma and his undoubted charismata (in the psychological, not religious sense of the word), do consider the following. This doesn’t apply fully to ADS… a unique and charismatic (although deeply-flawed and fatally-myopic) character, but parts of it do adhere to him, and his “successors” were fully in the mould described below. An egotistical leader (again, in the psychological, not vernacular sense), gathers around themselves compliant and reliant sorts to reinforce their behaviour. Almost inevitably, this leads to the organisation deteriorating over time. Egotists may assert institutional loyalty outwardly, but they’re only committed to their own agendas; thus, their decisions centre on their own interests rather than the interests of the group as a whole or the standards of the larger outside society. As a result, a certain kind of charismatic leader can run an organisation on thoroughly-injurious principles for a time, but people DO wake up from their pleasant dream sooner or later. In short, ADS was a successful moonshiner; he convinced people that his potent cheap spiritual vodka was New Wine… but when he died, there was NO one to replace him, and there was no one who could produce the requisite soma.

You can’t teach someone charisma, least of all in an academic setting. You can’t find charisma in books, scholarly journals, or weighty dissertations. That’s a fool’s errand… what’s more, you can’t allocate charismata per a TO&E schedule. Therefore, when ADS croaked, it killed the OCA. You see, ADS WAS the OCA; he WAS the “Autocephaly Project” incarnate. He was never able to articulate his vision adequately, probably, because he himself wasn’t clear on what he wanted or meant. When ADS died (with no replacement), in essence, his followers treated him like Lenin in the Red Square mausoleum. Interestingly enough, the role of post-mortem totem would’ve horrified both Vladimir Ilyich and Aleksandr Dmitrievich… both were personally modest (which was a cardinal factor in their success, by the way), neither one had grandiose personal delusions (actually, both men were only concerned with essential means and actual authority… the trappings and “rewards” of power interested them not in the least).

There’s no conspiracy in the OCA… there’s a community of interest in maintaining a crook narrative, which isn’t the same thing at all. That’s why so many untutored and poorly-catechised converts have been ordained. They buy into the mythos, as they don’t have contact with Living Orthodoxy. Of course, such a “community” looks like a conspiracy, but the distinction is, I’d say, that the conspirator actually wishes to do evil. On the other hand, the deluded think that they’re doing good… and the cynical don’t bloody care one way or the other, so long as they benefit from the situation. To be evil, you have to know that you’re transgressing the moral law, and that you don’t care tuppence for it. In any case, most mischief comes amongst us not from premeditated malevolence but from ignorant hutsky-klutsky or self-interested manoeuvring.

For instance, Mark Stokoe is both a deluded autocephalist fanatic and a self-interested former Syosset drone. Truly, he believes that only he and his “band of brothers” (Hunchak, Hopko fils, and Wheeler) can steer the Church correctly. Does he see how Lyonyo uses him and his pals? That, no one knows. Matthias Moriak is a petty dictator (did he jump from the ACROD out of ambition or was he tossed out… or was it a bit of both?)… he’s trying to insert his son as rector of a parish that’s “above his weight” and he slapped down a deacon high-handedly, not just Mark. Abuse of power isn’t evil… it’s simply bad business and it isn’t according to the institutional culture of the OCA Diocese of the Midwest (Moriak’s in for a rude awakening). Rather, evil is Ray Velencia blabbing personal intimacies of a parishioner to the OCA MC… oh, I forgot… “We admit no wrongdoing”… how silly of me! It’s also Paffhausen’s guru-disciple relationship with the sodomite Gleb Podmoshensky (Podmoshensky was a guru to Freddie M-G and Dreher, as well)… JP refuses to repent of it.

The OCA has been living on its accumulated capital, both actual (monetary) and spiritual (ideological), since the death of ADS. Today, the cupboard’s bare… all of Kishkovsky’s horses and all of Stokoe’s men won’t be able to put Syosset back together again (as for the ROCOR, that’s not germane here… the reason for their decline is intrinsically different from that of the OCA, and it deserves separate treatment). They’re demented children dancing about a decaying and putrid corpse. Won’t anyone give this cadaver decent burial? That’s one of the acts of Christian mercy, isn’t it?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Albany NY

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