Secular Book About ROCOR

New book:

by Konstantine Preobrazhensky

Paul M. Joyal Director, P.S.S at National Strategies, Inc.
(Former Director of Security for U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence):

“This book addresses one of the unforeseen developments of the consolidation within the Russian Orthodox Churches that can have significant counterintelligence implications for the United States and the Western world.” 

“It is not incredible to contemplate how Russian intelligence can very cynically use even Russian Priests to implement its intelligence agenda.” 

Novoe Russkoe Slovo
Russian Language Daily in New York

“Preobrazhensky’s book can be called a work of an investigative journalist who has studied the  development of a church takeover with his own eyes, and comments on it – all this emanating from his own work experience in the KGB. For those who lived under the Soviet regime, it is difficult to doubt Mr. Preobrazhensky’s deductions”. 

This book is published by GERARD GROUP INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Available  from St. John Kronstadt Press click here.


Joanna Higginbotham said...

700 copies of this book have already sold. We only had 2000 copies printed. At this rate, it looks like we will need a second printing.

Joanna Higginbotham said...

From: Archbishop Chrysostomos
Evlogeite. Evlogia Kyriou.
Blagoslovite. Gospod' Blagoslovit.

Please find attached an excellent review by Bishop Ambrose of Methone, Director of Missions for the Holy Synod, of a recent book by Konstantin Preobrazhensky,
(The review will appear in the first issue of "Orthodox Tradition" for 2008.)

This book has made its way through the traditionalist Orthodox communities in the West and has certainly been the source of some lively discussion. It has likewise sparked controversy and everything from naive and uncritical advocacy of its claims to equally nonobjective and choleric rejections thereof.

His Grace, Bishop Ambrose, like several of our Bishops, is a polyglot, which has given him access to the Orthodox world, including the Slavic Churches, that few have. Access to his brother, who lives in Great Britain and who is an expert on Russia, has also contributed to his knowledge of the Russian Church in particular.

I should note, in addition, that His Grace has been instrumental in guiding our parishes in South Ossetia and Georgia, giving him more than an incidental knowledge of Russian influences and activities in these former Soviet satellites. Thus, his comments about Preobrazhensky's book, by way of an inimitable ability to synopsize complex materials, struck me as exceptionally informative, balanced, and fair.

Russian Descent. North Billerica, MA: Gerard Group Publishing, 2008.
Pp. 234.

The author of this book was an officer of the KGB and its “post-Soviet” offspring, the FSB, which he abandoned in disgust to follow journalism. His criticism of the Putin regime led to overt persecution, and finally his flight to the United States in 2003. He is an Orthodox Christian who has publicly repented of his past associations, something which, sadly, renders him almost unique.

The book, despite its unwieldy title, in fact deals with two disparate, if related, themes: the intelligence background to the submission of the Russian Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate and the strangulation of press freedom in Putin’s Russia. The latter phenomenon, particularly following the murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko, is quite well-known in the West, though it is interesting to read the author’s personal account of his own and his friends’ misadventures. The former, however, remains mysterious, and it is the virtue of this account that it gives one an insight into the abstruse and uncouth mentality of the Russian intelligence services, which are to a large extent inherited from their Soviet predecessor; indeed, many of the leading personalities remain the same. One finally begins to understand why the Russian government, and not least Putin himself, were so concerned with the union of the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate, a matter which, to the casual observer, might simply seem to be a minor question of ecclesiastical administration. Of course, in this twilight world of rumor, innuendo and secrets, conjecture must play a considerable part, and this reviewer can personally refute a number of those in this book. However, a basis of fact remains which helps us to understand the otherwise inexplicable volte-face of the leadership of the Russian Church Abroad over the few years leading to the union of May 2007. It is not a pretty story, and, though there were certainly many innocent victims who were blissfully unaware of the machinations underway, there were certainly those who were not.

On the negative side, the book is in gross need of editing; and meanwhile the very nature of the subject dictates that it is mostly based on hearsay and anonymous sources, meaning that it will inevitably be relegated by its detractors to the world of spy-fiction. But however critically one approaches it, there is a disturbing residue of facts, quite enough to make any reasonable person wonder about the real motives for the union and, tragically, to observe how Putin’s Russia is returning to many of the Soviet norms.
Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina
Phyle (Athens), Greece