Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

15 May 2012. The People at Monomakhos Should Learn to Read Before Commenting…

Filed under: internet — 01varvara @ 00.00
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A smarkach on Monomakhos with the “username” Nikos attacked me for naming Perich instead of Jannakos as DC Dean… actually, I reported Jannakos as the prospective Dean first, then, received reports that Perich was going there “to prepare the way” for him. Obviously, “Nikos”, whoever they really are, didn’t read the first post that I put up! This gives all and sundry a good indication of the level of sophistication, care, and assiduousness of the posters on this questionable (at best, and speaking charitably) site. Actually, I think that the “Nikos” wanted to make a personal snide comment about me… in which case, the fact that they hid behind a username was cowardly and “below the salt”. This submission, like all of mine, goes out over my initials (or full name).

There be plenty of poseurs and gaping jackanapes out there. If they hide behind usernames, what does that tell you about them? I needn’t go any further, need I? Have a cleansing laugh, cross yourself, and pass the jug. There’s no shortage of arseholes out there… and it’s not going to get any better in the short term. Be good, kids… and, frankly, why trust a site that’s nothing but a bunch of opinionated blozos (they do NONE of the serious reporting that’s done here)? In any case, Monomakhos only attracts less than 5 percent of my readership… for good reason, there’s NEVER anything of substance there. There be boogeymen out there… they’re not dangerous, but they DO make much noise. Do bite the coin…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Albany NY


Thursday, 3 May 2012

3 May 2012. Of Cabbages and Kings… Of “Helga” and “Diogenes”… Of Reality and Internet Will o’ the Wisps…


Some kind friends have kept me informed of what’s going on over at the loopy Monomakhos blog. It’s par for the course, sadly enough… ignorant, unfocused, and poorly-centred… the usual dreary slog (which is why I normally avoid it… I’ve little enough time to follow the legit Russian press and Church, thank you very much). However, it’s time to speak of a thing or two in order to keep OURSELVES focused and on-track (I hasten to tell my Kitchen Cabinet members, “Do keep me informed of what goes on in places like Monomakhos, for I don’t have the time to monitor them”).

Firstly, don’t forget that the internet’s a megaphone. Small groups, if they use the ‘net skilfully, can make themselves seem much larger than they are in reality. According to Qunatcast, the audience for Monomakhos is so small that they can’t estimate it with any accuracy. What that normally means is the readership is below 2,000 “people” per month. This isn’t “hits”… this isn’t “page views”… this isn’t “cookies”… rather, it means actual people. For instance, a blog with an “addicted” readership (over 50 percent of all readers logging in more than once daily) will accumulate quite a few page-views and hits on a small readership base. It’s simple for such a site to record over 100,000 hits a month. If there are 30 days per month, multiply that by 2,000 (readers), and you get 60,000 just there. If there’s a hot thread going on, an addict could very well “log in” several times a day. Therefore, sites such as Monomakhos and Byzantine Texas aren’t as important as they claim to be. As for this site, 74 percent of my hits come from one-timers, “passers-by” in jargonese. Therefore, 26 percent are from “regulars” and “addicts” (and addicts are a small percentage of my readership). That’s more typical of the average “mature” site (I’m in my fifth year of operation).

Just how many people do the Monomakhos crowd represent? If we’re talking the konvertsy cohort as a whole, they’re a minority of Russian Orthodox in this country indeed, probably far less than 10 percent of the total. My SWAG (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess) on the number of US Russian Orthodox is 125,000 in total. Do NOT rely on the crank figures in the latest survey from the “Episcopal Assembly” (much touted by oca.org)… it’s nothing but unsupported self-reportage (mucho opportunity for cooking the books, no?). My guess is based on ARDA figures (click here for the table) for 2010, which are more accurate than the “soft” Krindatch study (he was just following orders, no doubt). Very few of the Monomakhos lot come from ROCOR or MP/US parishes, who’re some 40,000 of the US Russian Orthodox total (about a third of all US Russian Orthodox believers). I’ll go so far as to say that the number of Monomakhos-minded konvertsy in the OCA’s less than 10 percent. In my experience, and from what people report to me, the average konvertsy conventicle, as compared to a normal parish, has less than 100 attendees in all. The absolute outside figure for konvertsy, therefore, can’t be more than 7,500 individuals, who, however, may be scattered in over 100 miniscule “congregationlets” (which is to a congregation what a statelet is to a state). That’s to say, they’re “over-clergied” and “over-parished”, having more parishes and clergy than their numbers would normally warrant.

Remember, we’re talking about the “blind leading the blind”. Most of the konvertsy clergy have no Orthodox formation, and, what’s worse, they DO have a heterodox formation (Patrick Henry Reardon being an all-too-typical example). What I’m talking about isn’t minor or picayune. It means that many of the neophytes are being led by those just as “green” as they are, meaning that there’s no one about to correct missteps and outright errors. Formation is, in not only my opinion, but of all clergy that I’ve asked, the MOST critical thing in priestly background. Ergo, a man with a heterodox formation is stunted and deformed in Orthodox terms. Yet, this is what one finds in the “average” konvertsy conventicle. What people have told me of what goes on in these establishments! It’s enough to curl your toes and frizz out your hair… no need to go into all the gory detail. Therefore, don’t be alarmed at what the sorts like “Helga” post… they’re such punks that they won’t sign their legal names. I DO. As for Eric Wheeler denying that he’s “Diogenes”, Kitchen Cabinet members advise me that “Diogenes” has a habit of posting what Mr Wheeler holds in private. Of course… that’s NOT conclusive, but it sure does point that way, nicht wahr?

Illegitimi non carborundum! Pass me the jug and take a hit yourself. Don’t let the yahoos get you down… for all that’s holy, don’t argue with them, all that does is to encourage them… SHEESH!

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 3 May 2012

Albany NY

Friday, 9 December 2011

9 December 2011. Monomakhos Allows “Username” Posting… That DESTROYS Its Credibility

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


People are telling me about a website called Monomakhos. I’ll simply say that it allows “username” posting. This destroys the cred of the entire operation. If someone posts under their real-world name, that’s one thing, but any “anonymous” post is only fit to be shit-canned, and that’s that. I’ve seen that Tikhon Fitzgerald and James Silver post under their own names… and they post the same sort of rubbish that they post on Indiana and the Forum (not the faults of the respective moderators, I’m sure). For instance, a nameless “Jacob” tossed darts at Garklavs… and insinuated that Garklavs and his family had accepted a dacha as swag from the Russian government. I’m all ears… but what’s their source? If there’s really a dacha… let’s have a photo! Most dachas are just izbas with a hook-up to the electricity, that’s all. I think that Garklavs is a Renovationist screwball (with ties to Waffen-SS Baltic Legion crud), but that doesn’t make him corrupt or dishonest. Everyone knows about the Tikhvin icon’s return in ’04… it sat in a bank vault for nearly sixty years (click here for an image of an 19th century copy). Bishop John Garklavs nicked it during the confusion in the final days of World War II… but he didn’t profit from it. He could’ve sold it, you know, but he didn’t. In short, it’s far less serious than than some pump it up to be. In fact, it’s far less serious than many of the nasty situations Syosset solved by using “confidential settlements”. Now, that’s something that I’d like to know… how many “confidential settlements” have they made over the years? A putative dacha is mere piffle compared to that.

Keep a simple rule in mind… ALWAYS listen to all those who sign their real-world names, even if they’re wrong-headed. They’re standing up and being counted… that’s always respectable and I’ll even pass ’em the jug for a friendly jolt or two. NEVER listen to cowardly pond scum who post under “usernames”… and that goes double to lousy sneaks like Fester and Dreher who’ve been caught out at it (which torpedoes the whole lot at OCA Truth, doesn’t it?). I ALWAYS sign my name or post my initials. I’m not ashamed of what I write, and I’ll stand up for my beliefs any day of the week. If I tell you that His Holiness speaks against the Free Market, I’ll give you a source to check, I see to that. “Hey, ‘Jacob!’ … or whatever the hell you’re calling yourself now… as they say in Oz, ‘Get rooted!’ It may even put a smile on your face (for the first time in your life)…”

It DOES take ALL kinds… do pass me the jug, and take a hit yourself…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 9 December 2011

Albany NY

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

26 October 2011. As of 21.45 EDT, Monomakhos and OrthoWiki Back Up… For Now, At Least

Now, you see them; now, you don’t… Monomakhos and OrthoWiki are back up… for now. I’d love to know their excuse… it’s probably a good one. Smile and pass the jug… the world’s not stopped being crank. Just what Orthodox Web Services needed, an obvious failure right before the Sobor.


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