Met. Hilarion's Nice Words

After the Eastern-American Diocese Annual Meeting and Pastoral Conference, Met. Hilarion said some nice things in his statement about those of us who didn't go along with union with the MP. I don't know him well, but he seems like a good-hearted person and usually says something nice about us in his official statements. It's appreciated, but as they say, brother, save thyself! You might think you're independent, but your church is stuck in the web of the MP and you will have to go along with what they say. This so-called "All-Orthodox Council" that the Constantinople and Moscow Patriarchs are cooking up may lead to more changes away from traditional Orthodoxy and ROCOR-MP will have to go along.
You already have to cozy up to the OCA and other jurisdictions, and slowly but surely, your message will change and get weak. Joanna Higginbotham, who runs this blog, digs up all kinds of excellent statements from the past. Read the one Archbishop Anthony of Geneva wrote about the OCA. It's short, sweet, to the point, and clear as crystal why our church should not have anything to do with them. The usual answer is, that was then and things are different now. Unfortunately, that's just not true. The truth remains eternal and all the excuses from the ROCOR-MP bishops and clergy about why they deviated from it doesn't change anything.
They talk about us "schismatics" and how we "broke away from the church." Sorry, we never went anywhere! We're still here, holding on to the teachings of the church and celebrating! Staying true to the church throughout all the name-calling and having to start from scratch is a gift from God. It gets you back to the basics of faith, instead of being distracted by beautiful vestments, choirs, and golden domes. It reminds you what your priorities should be and brings you closer to God.
How do we know ROCOR-MP is the one who broke away? Because they turned their back on the main principle of the Church Abroad, stay away from the poison that is the MP until there is real change over there. The founding metropolitans were monks with great spiritual insight. They knew we are all sinners and it's pride that makes you think you can change the heart of another sinner. You can help the other person, but only if that person allows God into his heart, can it be changed. Until then, you pray for them and for us and you stay away to avoid becoming infected by the sinner. The MP talks and talks and makes all kinds of empty promises, but the same bishops are in charge and nothing really changes, no matter how many churches they build.
All this talk from ROCOR-MP about "working from within to bring change" is delusion and a product of the prideful times we live in. Instead of being humble before God, we think we are some superstars and if we just engage the enemy, we can make them see the light. Usually, such people just end up getting used by the enemy.

Kursk Mother of God Icon

Attention ROCOR-MP members!

If the Kursk Mother of God icon is important to you, try to see it as often as you can. You never know how much longer it'll be in America. Just a little while ago, a delegation of priests from the city of Kursk arrived in New York to visit the icon. They covered that up by going to a few other churches, Jordanville, etc. Then the ROCOR-MP website announced the icon was going on a visit soon to Moscow and Kursk. Then the ROCOR-MP site also showed the priests in Kursk blessing the cupolas on a brand new church in the Kursk compound. Is the MP going to spend all that money on a new church just to show you a copy of the icon? I don't think so. It'll come back from this trip, but my guess is one day it'll be announced with great hoopla that it is being presented as a gift to the God-fearing people of Kursk as a symbol of the love between Russians worldwide and the homeland, blah-blah, etc, etc.

Remember, during several visits of Met. Laurus in Moscow, the website listed the Bishop of Kursk as one of the clergy serving that day. Why him and not the Bishop of Vladimir or Kazan or some other city? Oh yeah, because they have their original Mother of God icons! Don't think the fact that it is the most important icon of the Church Abroad is going to stop anyone. The MP has grabbed everything else of value, why not this. After all, as they see it, it was stolen from the homeland by a bunch of traitors anyway. They stayed and fought the Germans and dealed with the Soviet government, while the weak ones ran away to other countries.

Also, all the things grabbed by the MP from ROCOR is for business reasons anyway. They put on a good show about the religious significance, but it's for making money. It's all about people coming to Kursk to see the origional icon, or Bari, or anywhere else. It's about building hotels for these people, selling icons, oils, what have you. When the country of Jordan gave a chunk of land on the Jordan River to Putin as a gift, the first thing out of his mouth was building a hotel. It's all about the money.

Another Horror From St. Vladimir's

OCA Denies Virgin Birth

On the Virgin Birth and the New Teaching of St. Vladimir's Seminary

Orthodox Christians must not confuse the virginal conception with the virgin birth of our Lord. The Church commemorates the first on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, and the second nine months later, on December 25. Like all conceptions and births, they are two separate events.

The Scriptures, the Creeds, the liturgical texts, the Holy Fathers, and all of Holy Tradition witnesses to the fact that our Lord had a virgin birth, i.e., no blood, no afterbirth, no breaking of the seal. This is what the Orthodox Church means by "virgin birth." It does not refer to the conception without a man, but refers precisely to the birth itself.
For without seed He took flesh of a Virgin and rose from the tomb, without breaking the seal of either.
-Akathist Hymn to Our Lord Jesus Christ
Having kept the seals intact, O Christ, Thou didst arise from the tomb, O Thou Who didst not break the seal of the virgin by Thy birth; and Thou hast opened unto us the gates of Paradise.
-Sixth Ode of the Paschal Canon
These are but two texts of many that could be quoted. One wonders, then, at the new teaching coming forth from the Dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, my former professor, Fr. Thomas Hopko:
...Although the Church insists that Mary remains forever a virgin, the only miracle in regard to the Lord's birth is the virginal conception. There is no teaching of any other sort of miracle in regard to His birth; certainly no idea that he came forth from His mother without opening her womb.
-Winter Pascha, by Thomas Hopko, St. Vladimir 's Seminary Press, p. 1 75
What are we to make of the Akathist Hymn: Without breaking seal of either (womb or tomb), and of the Paschal Canon: Having kept the seals intact (of womb and tomb), and of all the other liturgical and patristic texts which witness to this truth?

Is it not true that "Orthodox" theologians through their involvement in the ecumenical movement have begun to think like the non-Orthodox? Of course, most [of those] involved in this movement do not accept the Virgin Birth, and the few who do accept it equate it precisely with the virginal conception, without distinguishing it from the Virgin Birth. Consequently, even Orthodox are talking about the Virgin Birth when what they really mean is the virginal conception.

Those who use the icon of the Nativity which portrays the washing of the infant as a proof that there is "... certainly no idea that He came forth from His mother without opening her womb" forget our Lord’s baptism at the hands of John: Suffer it to be so now, or thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him (Matt. 3:15). Without the need to be washed in baptism, so was our Lord washed, "Who didst not break the seal of the Virgin by Thy birth."

May He Who did not break the seal of either the womb or the tomb grant you a Blessed Nativity and a Joyous New Year!

Least worthy of priests,
Father David Belden


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Jordanville's Destruction

By G.M. Soldatow

If you’re driving from the village of Jordanville, the road traverses a small valley with hills on either side as it crosses a knoll.  On the top of the hill on the right side, one sees an old small cemetery, and the bottom of the hill is overgrown with a forest through which winds the country road.  At the woods'  border begin the monastery fields. 

On the left side of the road is a high hill, at the top of which stands a large cross, down from which and to the sides, are fields planted with grain.  Below the hill are woods and apple orchards.

At the top of the knoll, through which the road passes, is an Orthodox cemetery on both sides of the road.

The valley filled with wild flowers, gardens, beautiful forests and lakes turns the pilgrims’ thoughts to our Lord, in gratitude for having witnessed this miracle of nature, convinced that this wonderful place has been destined for the glorification of His Name.  Looking around at the miracles of nature surrounding him, the pilgrim unwittingly becomes filled with faith in the Afterlife, and so it is not surprising that thousands have felt compelled to visit this Holy Shrine in this valley again and again and to venerate its many relics.

This valley houses the Holy Trinity Monastery, which for many years was the spiritual center of ROCOR, of the entire Diaspora.  Here, future generations of young priests and Church workers were raised and spiritually perfected;  they were sent here from all  Dioceses of the free world.  The monastery became a breeding ground for Orthodox piety, a pillar and strengthener of Truth and this haven became a Lavra,  a holy place for the whole world.  Those who lived or were educated in the monastery, have forever remained in their hearts “Jordanvillers” and the monastery, no matter where life has thrown them, remained their home.

This haven performed a great Orthodox Russian deed – the realization of the legacy of  Holy Righteous Job, the Abbot and Miracle Worker of Pochaev – from here could be heard appeals to the faithful of all the countries of Russians Abroad .  It was here that Archimandrite Vitaly of the famous Pochaev Lavra, bringing with him its best traditions, headed the Holy Trinity Monastery, and appealed for the preservation of the faith of our forefathers, to remember God’s Temple, and to be faithful children of the Church of Christ, to always remember our suffering Homeland and our native tongue, and to not  forget or disperse our spiritual inheritance among foreigners. 

On the left side of the road, there were two apiaries with hundreds of beehives, gigantic vegetable gardens, roomy cellars in which vegetables were preserved for the winter, a raspberry patch, rows of strawberries, and on and on.  In the distance by the woods were the lakes, one of which served as a holding tank for barrels filled with pickles and other vegetables for storage.  The lakes contained fish, the woods – mushrooms.
On the fields on both sides of the road, where no grain  or potatoes or vegetables were grown, cows then  grazed there, almost a hundred.  Behind the monastery barns was a chicken coop.

To gain an understanding of the magnitude of the field work, one needs to understand that it was necessary to feed the monks, the seminarians, and the numerous pilgrims who flocked to the monastery regularly, and especially on major holy days.  Therefore, one could see archimandrites and abbots together with novices and seminarians  laboring side by side in the fields, or on six wheelers, or on the caterpillar tractor.  The monastery had its own combine, its own mower, grainer,  hay baler,  ploughs, harrows, seeders, special machines to plant potatoes and corn, conveyors for loading corn into the silos, a few trucks and other agricultural equipment.  Former field workers visiting the monastery for the first time would comment that the monastery  had more machinery than any large cooperative farm in the Soviet Union.

The period between 1946 and 1985 could be called the golden era when the churches were built, and also the four storey dormitory, the Seminary and library buildings, a building for the third Sobor Abroad, and the  bell tower with an entrance gate, the building for the icon painting workshop, etc.  Work in the monastery continued nonstop after the arrival from Europe of a group of young monks and novices under the leadership of the rector Archbishop Vitaly, Archimandrites Panteleimon, Joseph, Kiprian and others. 

In those years, many of the professors who taught in the Seminary, knew multiple foreign languages and had several higher degrees in different areas.  So, I. M. Andreev, who taught Apologetics and Russian Literature, was a graduate of a Medical, as well as Theological and Literary Institutes in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  I. .I. and I. A. Sikorsky, who carried their audiences away into space, toward the stars and the planets, were known to the entire community of Russians Abroad, the icon painter Archimandrite Kiprian taught Church Arts, and the Architect V. G. Glinin – Church Architecture.  Theology for Priests and Literature were taught by Archimandrite Konstantin who, in China and in Europe, was a Professor.  The Dean of the Seminary was the former Captain of the 1st Rank, N. N. Alexandroff.  N. Talberg and S. Ivanov, who taught History and Church Law, graduated from Law School.  Among other professors should be mentioned Archbishop Averky, Abbot (now Archbishop) Alypii, Abbot (now Metropolitan) Laurus, Protopresbyter M. Pomazansky, Archimandrite Joseph, Archimandrite Sergii, Archimandrite Vladimir, Arch. N. Stepanov, Abbot Arsenii, Hieromonks Nikodim and Ignatiy, Prof. I. Konzevich and F. Balabanov.  Under their influence, the Seminary instilled in its future monks and priests  the spirit of Russian piety which is  foreign in anti-church modernism.  The monks in their prayers constantly and humbly prayed for the suffering Russian land and for its faithful Orthodox children, which devotion they passed on to their future brethren.

All life in the monastery flowed by a strictly established regimen.  At  certain hours were performed the prescribed services,  the obediences of the multitude of jobs,  the meals, and  the midday break. The inhabitants were bound into one family unified by prayer, labor and the wish to perfect oneself for the Afterlife.  It is touching to recollect how if someone became ill, how many volunteers offered to bring him his meals, or to read to him, or to pray together with him.

Church services in the monastery were performed strictly according to the church rules, without omission or abbreviation, without haste, but distinctly and clearly;  the monastery choir differing markedly from the typical parish singing, created a truly prayerful mood in the faithful.  The services differed especially during the Great Lent.

After morning prayers there were the lessons until noon for the seminarians and the obediences for monks::  working the land, irrigating the fields from the lakes, working in the fruit orchard, the vegetable garden, the apiary, the cattle farm with its milk production , work in the cemetery, cement projects, car and other machinery repairs, work in the flower beds,  pickling the produce, chicken coop duty, work in the bakery, the kitchen, the office, cleaning duty, library, printing press and the publishing jobs, ambulatory services, icon painting, bookbinding, the furniture-making workshop, and many other obediences.

The day began with prayer and ended with prayer when, having received the blessing from the Rector and having kissed all the relics, everyone dispersed to their own cells until the following day.  Only on the second floor of the monastery building burned a lamp until a late hour, where in the office worked Abbots Vladimir and Laurus, and in the neighboring cell Father Konstantin who prepared the next issue of the ROCOR periodical “Orthodox Russia.”

Each inhabitant and seminarian, according to a schedule or voluntarily, took on an obedience.  Many monks performed the work of two or three people, infecting others with their energetic activity.  The vow of obedience was the moving force behind all of the monastery life, and not one of the inhabitants was free from duties.

The monastery was built with great hardship.  Fathers Panteleimon and Joseph, having no financial resources, worked as laborers in the factory of  I. Sikorsky.  When the land was purchased in 1930, on it stood a well and a two-room house without windows.  It was surrounded by a dense forest and to make tea, water had to be boiled in front of the “house” between three rocks.  One cow and two horses were purchased, which permitted the monks to begin working the land.  They built a barn for the animals and the hay.  By 1935 they had built the monastery campus with a church and 16 cells but during a fire, everything perished except for the icons.  From the fire the monastery rose again.  In 1946 14 people of a monastic brotherhood arrived from Ladomirovo (presently in Slovakia) and were soon followed by other monks and novices. The  Synod placed Bishop Serafim in charge of the monastery, however, he was soon transferred to Mahopac, N. Y. and then to the Chicago-Detroit Diocese.

Unfortunately, in time, the founders of the monastery and the young monks and novices aged or were sent to serve in other dioceses and the numbers of workers in the monastery diminished.  There are less and less knowledgeable gardeners for work in the fields, where now almost no potatoes or vegetables are grown, the apiary now has only 47 bee hives,  the remaining work in the workshops has slowed down, and the young generation of seminarians works less and less on work beneficial  for the monastery.  As a result, work has  slowed or ceased.  The first victims were the beautiful apple orchards, growing wild after no one was left to tend  them.  In the past, up to six train cars of apples were shipped off for sale.  Then the chicken coop was boarded up.  The vegetable gardens were drastically reduced.  Slowly the cows were sold off, so there was  no more need for field work to feed the cattle.  The silos were leased out, as well as part of the monastery’s machinery. 

With the arrival of new professors and lecturers from the Russian Federation (RF ) and the acceptance of teaching staff from the Orthodox Church of America (OCA), the Seminary  teaching texts were changed;  for instance they began using books from the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) on Church Law (V. Zipin), Dogmatic Theology,  History and other subjects in which there is no mention of the ruinous “Declaration” of Metropolitan Sergei, but  praises are sung to doubtful spiritual persons from the former USSR, etc.  Service books published by the MP began to be used..  Even the non-Orthodox Catechism, which had been prohibited by the Synod and the Spiritual Sobor of the monastery, came into use.   The monastery bookstore now sells almost exclusively the publications of the MP containing subtle and not so subtle patriarchal-ecumenical propaganda.  Under the influence of ecumenism (in 1983 the Sobor of ROCOR pronounced anathema to it)  the monastery began giving Holy Communion to New-Stylers from the OCA and from the Serbian Patriarchate.  They began welcoming bishops who do not accept ROCOR as canonical,  for instance, Bishop Artemii who was received with bell ringing and orletzy (Eagles that are laid under the feet of a Bishop).  Teachers in the seminary began to refer to the MP, as the “Mother Church”, whereas previously  “Orthodox Russia” used to refer to the MP as a “false (or pseudo) Church”, “Satan’s Church, “an organization of Satan”,  and “the congregation of the evil-doers”.  It was forgotten that Metropolitan Anastasy had left his testament for us not to have “any canonical, prayer, or even everyday relationships”  with the MP.  Metropolitan Filaret admonished that we cannot have any dialogue with heretics, only a monologue, since the MP, as everyone knows, has sunk deeply into the heresies of Sergyanism and Ecumenism.  In this way, into the minds of the  future spiritual leaders of the ROCOR doubts were  planted regarding the correctness of the historical path of the Church and the testaments of her Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy, Filaret and Vitaly.  Accepting the MP as the Mother-Church, a betrayal is committed, akin to the one committed by Metropolitan Sergy against Russia’s New Martyrs and Confessors who considered the MP lacking Grace, for which they suffered and died accepting the Martyr’s Crown, many of whom had been added to the list of Saints of ROCOR.

In the past, not only the monastery, but also her individual inhabitants provided aid outside the walls of the monastery.  Fr. Archimandrite Panteleimon, for example, from the sale of the books that he published, and for proceeds received from rehabilitating houses in Jordanville was able to provide sizeable financial aid to the St. Serge High School next to the Synod in New York City, as well as to monasteries on Mt. Athos.  Archimandrite Vladimir and S. M. Ivanov sent aid to Russian students attending American Universities, etc.

The booming monastery, which supported not only itself, but also helped support the Novo Diveevo Convent in Spring Valley, NY,  the Synod, and some parishes,  suddenly began to need financial support itself.  Suddenly funds were needed for the Seminary.  The monastery used to be self-sustaining, and now its main source of income has become the  donations and bequests of the deceased faithful.  With the financial condition of the monastery, the question arose of closing the Seminary, in which case, the future priests of ROCOR would be educated in foreign institutions of learning, without any ties to monastic life and without learning the correct way of performing church services.

For those who knew it in its heyday, it is very sad to see the present fall of the pride of the Russian Émigré community – the Holy Trinity Monastery and its Seminary.  But God’s will is in everything and we don’t lose hope that He and the Holy Mother of God will provide aid to the monastery and the seminary –by sending  new selfless hard workers for the continuation of prayers for Rus Abroad, who will understand that only in ROCOR and in her spiritual center, The Holy Trinity Monastery,  has true Orthodoxy been preserved, and that it was not a Jurisdiction, but Christ’s True Russian Church, containing all the characteristics of this great name, having its own canonical Episcopate with the fullness of the apostolic inheritance.  All the years that the Church, having received the blessing of St. Patriarch Tikhon, under the leadership of its four Metropolitans, preserved its piety which is now being threatened by the union with the MP,  which is just another government department, and is so confusing to the faithful.
                                                                  Translated by M.N. Nekludoff

. . . With the arrival of new professors and lecturers from the Russian Federation (RF ) and the acceptance of teaching staff from the Orthodox Church of America (OCA), the Seminary teaching texts were changed; for instance they began using books from the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) on Church Law (V. Zipin), Dogmatic Theology, History and other subjects in which there is no mention of the ruinous “Declaration” of Metropolitan Sergei, but praises are sung to doubtful spiritual persons from the former USSR, etc. Service books published by the MP began to be used.. Even the non-Orthodox Catechism, which had been prohibited by the Synod and the Spiritual Sobor of the monastery, came into use. The monastery bookstore now sells almost exclusively the publications of the MP containing subtle and not so subtle patriarchal-ecumenical propaganda. Under the influence of ecumenism the monastery began giving Holy Communion to New-Stylers from the OCA . . .

Maxim observed this very thing in his ROCOR(MP) priest who was a recent Jordanville seminary graduate.

It Is Not About Numbers

Orthodox, Orthodoxy, and the Lord’s Vindication of a Courageous Simple Monk Who ‘Faced Down’ the “Slick Orthodox Goliath” of His Day

by †Fr. Dr. Photios (W)

But you say– they are many and we may be few, so few… Remember the Saviour’s words: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Numbers are irrelevant. Is it possible for the vast majority to be wrong? Certainly. Let us recall such an era where one of the greatest Orthodox Saints was persecuted by all five of the ancient patriarchate sees. He faced their hierarchical armada alone as a monk not even entitled to celebrate the Holy Mysteries. That great Saint was St. Maximus the Confessor (+21 January 662).

All the ancient patriarchal sees of the East had acceded to a compromise confession of our Lord’s Incarnation put forward by the Monothelites that also confessed His divine and human natures had but one will, the divine– simply, a variant of the heresy of Monophysitism. Maximus, a simple monk, not even ordained as a hieromonk, meaning he could not celebrate the Mysteries, refused to ‘go along with’ this compromise, to enter into communion with the “official church hierarchy”. The exact details of his encounters with his tormentors and torturers are too extensive to give here. We will concentrate on his courage and conviction, his ‘stand and deliver’ in the face of fire and his staunch upholding of Holy Orthodoxy no matter what… His is the highest example of true Orthodoxy. Christ expects no less of all of us. Will we measure up?

St.Maximus the Confessor:

The official hierarchy sent a delegation to interrogate him announcing they had been sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople. They reminded Maximus that Byzantium (Constantinople), Rome, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem were all in unity on this compromise issue. What ecclesiastical power! All five patriarchates including the Mother Church of Jerusalem. How could their ecclesiastical decisions on this issue be ‘wrong’? How could one simple monk be right as opposed to them? (And yet he was.)

St. Maximus refused to change his position maintaining that their confession must adhere to the “true and saving confession of the Faith” for which Christ called Peter blessed and declared He would found His Church upon it. Apparently, they had misrepresented Rome’s position. It was maintaining Orthodoxy.

The Saint was saying that their strength in unity needed to correspond to the “true and saving confession of the faith” - it had to be divine Truth!

Some time later during his last interrogation by the Byzantine authorities, the Saint still refused to enter into communion with the Throne of Constantinople. It is fitting we close this discussion with it:

...they have excommunicated themselves from the Church many times over and accused each other of erroneous thinking. In addition to having excommunicated themselves from the Church, they have been deposed and deprived of the priesthood at the local council which took place recently in Rome. What Mysteries, then, can they perform? Or what spirit will descend upon those who are ordained by them?

“Then you alone will be saved, and all others will perish?” they objected.

To this the Saint replied,

When all the people in Babylon were worshipping the golden idol, the Three Holy Children did not condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves with the doings of others, but took care only for themselves, lest they should fall away from true piety. In precisely the same way, when Daniel was cast away into the lion’s den, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not wish to pray to God, but he kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. God forbid that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved! However, I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.

“But what will you do,” inquired the envoys, “when the Romans are united to the Byzantines? Yesterday, indeed, two delegates arrived from Rome and tomorrow, the Lord’s day, they will communicate the Holy Mysteries with the Patriarch.”

The Saint replied,

Even if the whole universe holds communion with the Patriarch, I will not communicate with him. For I know from the writings of the holy Apostle Paul: the Holy Spirit declares that even the angels would be anathema if they should begin to preach another Gospel, introducing some new teaching.

The Apostle Paul to the Galatians:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Holy Orthodoxy demonstrated that this simple unordained monk was the Orthodox one:

When the Sixth Ecumenical Council was finally convened, among those condemned for heresy were four Patriarchs of Constantinople, one Pope of Rome, one Patriarch of Alexandria, two Patriarchs of Antioch and a multitude of other Metropolitans, Archbishops and Bishops.

During all those years, that one simple monk was right, and all those notable bishops were wrong.”

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

source has footnotes:

The Kremlin's virtual squad

The Kremlin's virtual squad


Political forums on the internet are relatively new for the Russian public. They're today's "universal kitchen", where public opinion is "cooked up". Users report that before 1999 such forums were fairly homogenous sociologically. 70-80% of the audience consisted of like-minded people of liberal and democratic convictions, representatives of the Russian middle class and Russian-speaking émigrés. 
However, in a mere four years this has all changed. Suddenly, totalitarian opinion makes up 60-80% of all posts on Russian political forums! This dramatic increase does not correspond to the spectrum of public opinion. It diverges significantly from data of internet voting on key problems of modern Russian life. 
For example, today 80% of participants on all web forums criticize the USA aggressively and monotonously. But on sites where you can only vote once from one computer, 84% of Russian speaking internet users support the USA...You find the same with attitudes to the Chechen war, support/criticism of the Kremlin policies etc. Wherever voting is protected, wherever it is not possible to vote several times, surveys come to exactly the opposite conclusions from those on sites that are "unprotected" from repeat voting. 
On liberal and neutral public political forums of there has been a dramatic increase in activity among users with very similar views. They're the backbone of any forum. Their activity is so characteristic and unusual, so methodologically and ideologically similar, that it has begun to attract the attention of regular visitors to forums. They represent people of different professions, they write their posts from different cities and countries, and supposedly belong to different social and age groups. But after watching them for a while you find that they share a range of quite specific features which differentiate them from other participants in such forums. 
The conservative and aggressive or totalitarian ideology propagated by these people is not the main feature they have in common. Some even try and appear relatively liberal. But apart from the "statist" ideology that any sane person is sick of (along with the usual xenophobia, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and intolerance of dissent), what distinguishes these people is the harshness of their views, their corporate mentality, shared information pool, behaviour "tics" and very particular approach to polemic. Whatever the forum, their method of manipulating mass consciousness involves the same systematic, deliberate lies, slander and misinformation. 
Let's call them ‘the G team'. Let's try and list the features which enable us to identify whether a forum participant belongs to this G team. 
24-hourpresence on forums. 
Some stalwarts of the G team are online all the time, always ready to repel any "attack" by a dissident liberal. Day and night, there is never a moment when you can have a discussion on a forum without these "curators". Whatever the topic, your discussion will inevitably be interrupted by someone from the "G team". They are omnipresent on significant forums, day and night, moving from one to another with their homogenised materials and statements. 
"Flexibility"of their own ideology, which always coincides with state ideology. 
The "G team" invariably purveys an eclectic array of views and values which correspond to the latest directions of state PR, the ideology and policies of the Russian leadership. Any change in state thinking leads to a dramatic change in the views of all members of the "G team". 
If for some other reason the tone of state propaganda suddenly changes towards the USA, for example, or towards Mayor Luzhkov, then without even bothering to change their user name, the same person from the "G team" will dump yesterday's views and start peddling something he despised yesterday... And vice versa! And his praise today is as overheated as his abuse was yesterday. This behaviour is absolutely inconsistent and lacks any common sense or concern for their own reputation... 
Discussions of the Kuril Islands issue is a good example. Before Putin held talks with the Japanese government, the members of the "G team" were saying in unison: "not an inch of native land to the cursed Japanese". As soon as these closed talks were over, the same authors, without even changing their user names, started to imagine that it might be possible to hand over the islands, at a price, or in exchange for vast Japanese investment. They even started enthusiastically pointing out the many advantages of this course of action. 
Another example: while the bill on the burial of radioactive waste on the territory of Russia was being discussed in the State Duma, the members ofthe "G team" zealously assured readers of the "undoubted advantage, benefit, profit and safety" of turning Russia into an international nuclear dump. The people who advocated this called themselves "private individuals and patriotic emigres", but they were clearly all drawing on information from the press service of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy. 
Unlimited devotion to the Head of state and his circle.
Membersof the "G team", under user names well-known on many forums, invariably express their boundless love for the President. They are prepared to physically "destroy" anyone who expresses the slightest doubt about his merits. The smallest piece of criticism will have them threatening their opponents with the law, flogging, reprisals and murder - not only of them, but of their relatives too. And this is not just a once-off. It happens on all the political web forums. 
Sometimes, members of the "G team" are very up-front about the purpose of their visits to forums. For example: Let us support the first President to have tried, over the last 11 years, to change the course of our long-suffering Motherland's history. May he be judged by his actions, and not by the gossip ofthe scandal-mongering media. Let us make constructive proposals here, so that even if the KGB (ha ha) is present, Putin gets a folder placed on his table where he will find not vulgar chat, but the "voice of the people", discussing today's problems and tomorrow's solutions in a civilised way. 
This appeal is interesting for its frankness. It's a straight exposition of the tasks of the "G team". The only odd thing is the bit about the hypothetical print-outs "placed on Putin's table" in the form of proposals, reasoned, but uncritical, so as not to spoil the president's mood. 
Respect and reverence for the Cheka-KGB-FSB. 
The "G team" bursting with love and respect for the FSB in all its historical forms, starting with the Cheka. The "G team" calls all the "reincarnations" of the hawks the "neo-nobility", "law enforcement" and "state-forming patriotic" bodies, whose activities, including the GULAG, should be something to be proud of for Russians! 
Anyone taking part in online discussions who does not show sufficient respect for the Cheka-FSB will be declared by the "G team" to be an "enemy of Russia, Russophobe and betrayer of the motherland". The team constantly stresses the "honesty, heroism and selflessness" of the Chekists, "the devotion of their service to the state and the Motherland", the"lack of corruption" among the ranks of state security bodies, unlike other state structures. 
They are endlessly saying on the forums: "The special services have always existed, and they have always been present in all democratic states of the West". Or "The FSB is the same kind of special service as the FBI in the USA, Mossad in Israel or MI-6 in Great Britain." 
Any discussion of the activity of the KGB-FSB arouses genuinely strong emotions. For example, the following excerpt is addressed to a reader who expressed insufficient respect for the KGB-FSB (we apologize for the language used, but this is how it was in the original): EVERY NIT DREAMS OF BECOMING A LOUSE. EVERY NIT ON THE FORUM DREAMS OF BEING NOTICED BY THE KGB. He yells, writhes and prays: "Notice me, I'm the biggest nit" - but the KGB couldn't give a shit about you, they have NO INTEREST in nits. If you grow to the size of lice, then maybe you bastards will get noticed." 
The "G team" has recently started distinguishing the FSB from all its previous "reincarnations" and portraying it as an organization that is not the direct descendent of the Cheka-NKVD etc. (as it is portrayed on all its official symbols) but a kind of "Aphrodite born from the waves", appeared from nowhere. 
The phrase that always drives members of the "G team" crazy and forces them to show their true colours is the "lustration of KGB officers". They just can't bear the thought of former party bosses and KGB officers being subject to peaceful, legal restrictions. Usually, even after the most measured, innocent mention of "lustration", the "G team" starts shouting in unison about "bloody repressions of democratic murderers" and "witch hunts", after which they just lapse into obscene hysteria. 
Main "G team" propaganda lines. 
Their propaganda on all the Russian language forums is anti-liberal, anti-American,anti-Chechen, anti-Semitic and anti-Western. They back up their slogans and theories with arbitrary interpretations of facts and events, often completely false, forcing their opponent to search for links that refute them... This method is convenient and effective: it distracts attention away from topical discussions that are inconvenient for the authorities. They quote extensively from official and semi-official Russian state propaganda, such as the web publication or the revamped newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda ( Sometimes they use old ideological tools, like Yakovlev's book CIA Target -  USSR, which is very popular with the "G team". They also draw strongly on odious texts, suchas Protocols of the Elders of Zion or Mein Kampf. They regularly quote A Short History Course of the All Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (published during the lifetime of "Comrade Stalin"), but without mentioning the source. 
The mythology and the main ideological values of the G team include: 
1. The whitewashing of Stalinism and the rehabilitation of Stalin and his imperial idea of the great Russian people. The cult of Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka. Underestimating the number of victims ofthe Leninist-Stalinist repressions;
2. A ban on the discussion of the lustration and crimes of the Cheka-NKVD-KGB.The absolute sanctity of this organization from the day of its founding to the present day;
3. Unremitting Judophobia;
4. Loyalty to the present authorities, the cult of Putin, stories about the economic and social prosperity of Russia under his leadership;
5. Promoting the Chechen war "down to the last Chechen". Stories of "perfidious Chechnya attacking poor Russia". Mythological tales of the "hundreds of thousands of Russians" killed by Chechens in the early 1990s, before the start of the first war. Two years ago they gave a figure of 20,000 Russians killed - today that figure is already a million;
6. Xenophobia, racism, justifying the actions of skinheads, and pogroms;
7. Savage hatred of deserters and traitors from the ranks of the KGB;
8. Anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism reminiscent of the time of the cold war in its intensity;
9. Nostalgia for the USSR as a totalitarian empire and a great power feared by the whole world;
10. Restoration of Soviet historical concepts and propaganda clichés, excluding only internationalism;
11. Hatred of the intelligentsia, particularly emigrants, seen by the "G team" as "traitors to the motherland";
12. Hatred of dissidents and human rights advocates, political prisoners and journalists, from both Soviet times and the present day;
13. Hatred of perestroika, its ideology, its personalities and events. Hatred of the time of Yeltsin and Yeltsin himself;
14. The new element in the "G team" ideological arsenal is that all dissidents (or simply dissenters) are accused of "Russophobia". This is now the equivalent of "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda", which was the 70th article of the Criminal Code during Brezhnev's time. 
G team ideological enemies 
The main enemies of the G team are democrats ("dermocrats" [from the word dermo = shit]), liberal westernizers, Chechens, Europeans, Americans, Jews... Special hatred is reserved for the Russian liberal intelligentsia, former dissidents, independent journalists and the human rights movement. Certain individuals are particularly loathed: Sergei KovalyovYelena BonnerAndrei Babitsky, A. Politkovskaya, Grigory PaskoV.ShenderovichValeria Novodvorskaya and others known for their critical attitude to the current regime. 
Members of the "G team" always use "the higher interests of the state" to justify restricting freedom of speech or introducing strict censorship, up to and including arrests of dissident intellectuals, human rights advocates and journalists. For them the journalist and ecologist Grigory Pasko is consistently a "spy and traitor to the motherland". The sadistic murderer Colonel Yury Budanov, on the other hand, is an innocent victim of the war (injuries,nervous breakdown, corrupt generals, liberal journalists, the corrupt justice system etc.), or alternatively "a true patriot", "a genuine Russian officer","a true son of the Fatherland", and even "the pride and hero of Russia". 
Paradoxically many liberal authors whose articles are discussed on forums are also listed among the enemies of the "G team". In other words, the members of the "G team", portraying themselves as honest citizens and private individuals, take part day after day and year after year in forums of publications which they dislike, discussing authors they hate. Stranger even than that, the editorial boards of these publications take no measures against people who insult their authors, while acting decisively against their opponents who support liberal journalists. For example, Viktor Shenderovich wrote a short article about a theatre studio in the paper Moskovskie Novosti. Readers posted their views on the site, but the administration (obviously pressurized by the G team) removed the positive statements, leaving only a comment that the author "had already licked Gusinsky's ass, and was now having oral sex with Berezovsky"... 
Attitude to the USSR 
The attitude to the Soviet past among the "G team" is usually positive, although not always. There is a certain divergence of opinion here. Many members of the "G team" have warm memories of the USSR and idealize the Soviet past with all its attributes, from everyday life to the legal (often in the language of the Short History Course of the Communist Party, even if the writer is supposed to be a very young person who has lived in the West from early childhood). They dream openly of the restoration of the USSR with its former borders, or even better with expanded borders. 
At the same time there is active discussion of Communist leaders, such as Lenin, Stalin, Beria, Brezhnev, Andropov, and of Soviet totalitarian ideas. Only internationalism is ruled out completely and replaced by "national patriotism". At the same time the concept of the Motherland is associated exclusively with power, and the Fatherland with the ruling regime. Devotion to leaders and totalitarian organizations like the KGB is interpreted as patriotism, and statements against the regime are considered to be treason and Russophobia. The G team constantly tries to portray the entire Soviet period in a rosy light, using propaganda clichés of the Soviet era. They knowingly underestimate the number of victims of repressions, attribute guilt for all the misdeeds of the Bolsheviks to Jews or enemies abroad, and glorify the imperial nature of the Soviet Union. 
Low cultural level and characteristic language. 
Despite the seeming diversity of members of the G team, the cultural level of the majority is very low. Most of them have a poor command of their "native" Russian language. They make huge numbers of characteristic stylistic, lexical and grammatical errors, so it is very hard for them to hide behind different user names. At the same time, many of them have an excellent grasp of all ideological clichés from Soviet times to the present day. Comrade Zhdanov's (now 50-year-old) aphorism "Whose mill is he pouring water on?" sounds very strange on the internet in the third millennium, but the G team use it frequently and seriously, without any hint of parody.... 
G team members clearly have problems with their sense of humour: lavatory jokes and barrack humour are connected exclusively with defecation,homosexuality, prostitution and pornography. A typical example of G team"humour" addressed to a female opponent would be: "Toska, make your skirt longer, or we'll see your balls!" 
Many G team members use words incorrectly on liberal web forums. This is not done for irony, it merely shows the level of their knowledge of Russian! The constant flow of obscenities, the distorted words and phrases are very different from the language of the majority of internet users and clear evidenceof the G team's cultural and educational level. 
"Foreigners" in the G team. 
Many members of the G team say on forums that they live abroad permanently or frequently visit: the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic etc. For the G team this is always an excuse to talk about the "horrors of life in the West and the advantages of Putin's Russia". On some sites the computer's IP address makes possible the identification of the internet providers. Strangely enough, it is these "foreigners" who are the most aggressive and consistent members of the G team, zealous supporters of the USSR, the KGB and Putin. They like to report on the poverty and oppression in "their" countries, the violations of human rights and the contrasting magnificent realities in Putin's Russia. They always avoid mentioning the positive sides of western life and frequently lie. For example, there were rather amusing disputes about the price of goods and services in a city where a"foreigner" from the G team and a "liberal" both lived. One gets the impression that these people not only live in different cities, but on different planets. 
Individual work with opponents 
As soon as a dissident liberal, clearly an "ideological enemy", appears on the forum,he is immediately taken up for "active processing" by the entire G team. The opponent is usually insulted without provocation, or faced with a killer argument which an ordinary person might well find difficult to refute. The liberal either replies rudely, causes a scandal and is branded as rude by the entire G team, or he starts to offer counter-arguments to their obviously ridiculous point of view. His opponents ignore this, ridiculing him and coming up with other similar arguments. One member of the G team writes, for instance, about the ideological inaccuracy and mistakes of the new user, a second writes obscenities about the dissident, a third accuses the liberal of insanity, a fourth threatens to beat him up or kill him etc. The fifth complains to the administration of the site about any outbursts the persecuted user may have made, completely ignoring the fact that these are only caused by collective persecution. It would seem that the G team's aim is to drive away the new liberal immediately, robbing him of any desire to take part in this forum. If the liberal is stubborn and does not leave, then a whole arsenal of methods is used against him: collective complaints by the entire G team to the site administration, or even putting pressure on the administration behind the scenes, with the goal of blocking the dissident's access to the forum. At this point the stubborn liberal's computer may experience mass virus attacks. 
Accusing opponents of working for the "enemies of Russia" 
When opponents of the team criticize Putin on the forums, condemn the suppression of freedom of speech and democracy in Russia, call for an end to the war in Chechnya, or show disloyalty to the state security bodies, the G team immediately starts to accuse them of working for money for: Boris Berezovsky, the CIA, Mossad, Saudi Arabia, the Zionists, the Masons, Movladi Udugov etc. 
Members of the team portray things in such a way that any critic of the FSB or Russian policy in Chechnya is an enemy of the state, a "Russophobe", and the only reason he takes part in political discussions is to receive money from enemies. Another way of discrediting an opponent is the monotonous angry invectives by the G team addressed to "emigrant betrayers of the motherland, who lecture true Russian patriots from abroad for dirty money". According tothis "logic", the whole of mankind is possessed with such a fierce (and most importantly platonic!) love for the Cheka-FSB and the Putin regime that people can only suppress these feelings for huge sums of money. Logic is actually rarely encountered in the G team texts. The constant accusations that their opponents are being paid says more about the members of the G team themselvesand their motives for going online among a cultured public that is alien to them and on liberal forums that they find disgusting. 
Frequent change of pseudonyms (user names) 
Members of the G team tend to change their pseudonyms (user names) frequently. The same "authors" write on the forum under numerous pseudonyms, imitating dialogue with themselves, expressing support of themselves and showing that their opinion is shared by a large amount of people. When the author changes his user name, he calls himself a different person, sometimes even of the opposite sex, despite the identical vocabulary, phraseology, level of command of Russian, ideological position and arguments. From the low level of culture and tendency to use clichés, it is not difficult to tell that several "team user names" belong to the same author. 
Information noise and faking user names 
On forums with weak moderation or no moderation at all, the G team uses the method of destroying topical political discussions that are uncomfortable for the authorities by posting huge amounts of meaningless texts on other subjects, known as a"flood". These texts are frequently of a pornographic or anti-Semitic nature,and repeated dozens or hundreds of times in a row. Sometimes the G team writes insulting and obscene texts, using the name of an opponent with a liberal reputation, under his user name and address. On the forum, this practice is called "cloning", and fake texts are called "clones". It should be noted that this method is almost never used against the G team itself, i.e. the liberal opponents do not stoop to using fake names and addresses. 
The political spectrum of the G team - the fine comb principle Regular members of the G team on any popular web forum are supporters of a party or movement that is distributed across the entire Russian political spectrum, except the liberal part. On each forum there will always be an anti-Semitic nationalist, a communist, a representative of United Russia, and several users who say they voted for Yavlinsky, but became disappointed in him because of his insufficient loyalty to Putin. Others will always include someone on the extreme left, who condemns the West, the USA and capitalism, but never criticizes Putin and his regime (completely illogical for an ordinary "lefty").The views of the members of the G team supposedly diverge on unimportant tactical issues, but they are all unanimous on key and base issues - absolute loyalty to Putin and the FSB, the "prosperity" of Russia under his rule and the other tenets of their ideology listed above. 
One could call the political positioning of the G team the fine comb principle. Any person, of any political persuasion,who happens to wander in to the forum will fall between the teeth of this comb i.e. the members of the team. Each team member with views that are close to the new user's will declare that their outlook is fairly similar, but will inevitably correct him on the unshakeable values of the G team. 
Anyone who criticizes Putin, the FSB or the Chechen war risks receiving unpleasant reprimands from the G team, from both the "right" and "left", from a user who is a "simple fascist close to the criminal classes" to a user who is a "refined patriot and former Yabloko supporter"... A communist, a moderate liberal who believes in a strong state, a supporter of Yavlinsky, a person with a "difficult past" who has reviewed his beliefs, a modest and sensible mother from Florida (always loyal to the Russian authorities, for some reason), a simple man of the people with a criminal background, an anti-Semite, an intellectual, a "former dissident from Siberia" who now dreams of hanging human rights advocates from the nearest lamp post -these are the types the G team uses on web forums. But they always respect Putin and the FSB and unquestioningly support all the authorities' "active measures". On the remaining issues, the members of the G team have minimal divergences of opinion, which provide the basis for an imitation of a "discussion" among themselves. If an opponent continues to assert his convictions, then the G team will collectively apply more elaborate methods of influence. 
OD Russia translated the version of the article published on in May 2008. It can be also found at other Russian websites such as and (web site of Democratic Union Party of Valeria Novodvorskaya)

From Joanna's Notepad 27March2009:

These goons descended full force on the RRBlog the day Dr. Magerovsky died. It was like the RRBlog inherited the goons from his blog. Back then the RRBlog allowed comments from anyone. Within hours of the notice of Dr.Magerovsky's repose, I had to change the blog settings so that I could screen comments before they were published. Then for the next 2 months I tried to show these (MP Zealots) that they were not welcomed on the RRBlog. That they are unwelcomed phased them not at all.  They soon figured out that I was not going to publish their comments, so they started addressing their comments directly to me, knowing that I had to read their comments in order to moderate them.

RRBlog did not get the full gamut of a whole GTeam. We got a scaled down version. I saved copies of the comments in a file hoping to someday study their characteristics and tactics. But, this LaRussophobe article has done a beautiful job of that, and then some. Saves me the grief, and I'm truly grateful.

Before reading this LaRussophobe article, I referred to the GTeam commentators as MP Zealots, hecklers, and sometimes I called them goons. But goons did not seem to be a perfect fit since goons terrorize their targets. I did not feel terrorized. But I was more than annoyed. Heckled was a better description. But it was a menacing heckle. To boo and hiss is one thing, these MP Zealots have a quality of hatred that stands out above the normal capacity of a human being for hatred.

Their hatred was the first thing I noticed. This is their salient characteristic. They hate all of ROCOR. They laugh hatefully at the stupid part of ROCOR that fell for the union.  They venomously despise the part of ROCOR that got away. They hate the R-splits, too.

To my great grief, some of the goons harassing the ROCOR Refugees blog appear to be members of ROCOR(MP). It was not long ago that such a menacing spirit was easily found in MP, but not in ROCOR. That has changed. It is very sad to see.

Other things I noticed:

-whenever I made a post, they had some kind of inane comment within hours. 

-their comments would be made anytime, during times when everyone else was in Church. Even the first week of Lent did not slow them down a bit. 
(Even the Lebedev/Whiteford/Shaw team took a break for Church. And at this point I want to note that LaRussophobe knows nothing about the Lebedev/Whiteford/Shaw team which shares many of the G Team characteristics)

-Immediately after Dr. Magerovsky's repose, a goon descended on RRBlog with comments showing no respect for the dead or for the bereaved. Showing no fear of death. What horror for a human soul!

-I could really only discern maybe 4 different personalities from the supposedly several authors.

-Some of the psychological manipulation techniques were rather advanced. As if the goons could have been trained. Whether it is formal training or just demonic assistance, is hard to say. Demons are masters at psychological manipulation.

-The goons were desperate to get me to look at their blog. Often the comments contained a link to their blog or a link to a post in their blog. This was even after they knew I was not going to publish their comments. They sent me emails with links right in the subject line. (I say "sent" past tense because now I have their emails blocked. If they still send it, I do not know.)

Their blog was RocorUnity or RocorUnited, it has been abandoned, it was just a propaganda blog, a fan club for the MP union.  The owner[s] was "Artyom" previously aka Pegasus - anonymous.  a real sicko.

Before I changed the settings on the blog so that only team members could comment, I did an experiment. I posted a post saying that a post was soon coming. Guess what? The goon, within a few hours, commented on that!


The LaRussophobe article is worthy of some study. There are clues in it that point to witchcraft. Some people say hypnosis instead of witchcraft. Hypnosis is similar to witchcraft. Both involve demons controlling a person's thinking and behavior.

The Goons are under hypnosis or under a spell. There are clues in the article. The biggest clue is this:

The goons go berzerk when anybody says anything bad about the KGB. It DRIVES them crazy and FORCES them to show their true colors. Compare this with Mrs. Molotov who would not say or could not bear to hear anything bad said against Stalin. (see "The Death Of Sinners Is Evil" February 27, 2009 ROCOR Refugees Blog)

There is a spell that does this. It prohibits the victim from being able to speak unflatteringly, truth or lie, of the subject and to not be able to bear even hearing anything unflattering spoken about the subject. I do not know the name of the spell. I have seen this spell at work on two people in my life. So, for me, because I have seen it at work, this is a first clue. Someone who has not seen what I have seen might not list this clue as the number one indication that the goons are under witchcraft/hypnosis.

A big part of this clue is the objective observation from an outsider that the goon-victim is compelled against his will. "It drives them..." "It forces them..." Something characteristic of witchcraft is that it can compel a person against their will. How successful how soon depends on the strength of the victim's will. Ordinary everyday demons that we "invite" into our lives can not make us do something we don't want to do.

Other Clues:

√ Notice how many times the word "hate" or "hatred" is used in this article to describe the goons. Hatred is the motivation of demons. This hatred has an inhuman quality to it. "Savage hatred." This goes beyond the usual influence demons can have over a person.

√ Notice words like "strange" or "unusual" when goon behavior does not make human sense. Why do the goons not care about their reputations? Why do the goons love what they hate? 

√ "Usually, even after the most measured, innocent mention of 'lustration', the 'G team' starts shouting in unison about 'bloody repressions of democratic murderers' and 'witch hunts', after which they just lapse into obscene hysteria."

If it is so unbearable, why don't they just turn off the computer and go read a book or something instead? Not one of them copes with the unbearableness by just leaving. It's because they do not have the option to leave. They MUST stop the mouth from saying what they can not bear to hear. Even if it means "lapsing into obscene hysteria" at which point the person who was speaking just gives up.

"The wave of evil roaring out of a dark sea upon mankind is beyond human power to stop. The best Christians can hope for is avoidance. So not attempt to stop it with your weak hand. Avoid it, protect yourself from it, and that is enough for you. Get to know the spirit of the times, study it so that you can avoid its influence whenever possible." (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov †)

EMail EXHANGE WITH RocorMP priest Whiteford of the Lebedeff/Whiteford/Shaw goon team.  He saw this post and had to bully his way:

Subject:  Goons?
From:  "Fr. John Whiteford"
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 4:31 am
To:  "Joanna Higginbotham"

Christ is risen!

Hello Joanna,

I just saw this comment on your blog:

"(Even the Lebedev/Whiteford/Shaw team took a break for Church. And at this point I want to note that LaRussophobe knows nothing about the Lebedev/Whiteford/Shaw team which shares many of the G Team characteristics)"

Now, in what way do I fit the description you found in the anti-Russian web site "LaRussophobe"? (and it is an anti-Russian site, hence the name).

Do you believe it is Christian for you to bear false witness against your neighbor with such slander?

Fr. John Whiteford 
St. Jonah Orthodox Church
Parish Home Page:
ROCOR Discussion Group:
Parish News:


goon characteristicsFriday, May 15, 2009 3:34 PM
From: "cyn38ia"
St. Athanasius

Dear Fr. John,

Not all, but many characteristics, and the same purpose behind it.  Your team did/(does?) not give anti-unionites a chance to have any productive conversations of their own.  One or more of the team would always jump in and steer things to the way of the unionite thinking.   Anyone with doubts had better be expressing them as one who knows they need to be corrected.  The brush-offs and canned party line answers had huge periods at the end - like END OF DISCUSSION PERIOD.  The team always squeezed out any objections.  I read very little of it, I found it sickening.  I saw enough, though, to see how the team controlled any opposition.

There are also many characteristics of the G-Teams that your team did not have.  One is that your team took breaks to go to Church.  Another is your team did (does?) not show the raw hatred that can be seen in the G-Teams.  But I have seen cases where people were belittled for having doubts, there is one example on the ROCOR Refugees blog somewhere - I think maybe search the blog for "Vladimir Kozyreff".   Or a post about priests being replaced.

As a member of the 'team' what your other 'team members' do is associated with you too.  Again I'll ask you not to take things too personally.  But, you know that it is a fact that you yourself have worked hard to bring about this terrible union.  I get emails from so many broken confused (and frightened) people trying to understand and explain their spiritual fathers' betrayal not just of them personally, but also of the ROCOR.  Sometimes I wonder if the priests know the power they have...  

You should be happy.  It's over now, right?  You have your New Church.  You won.

The LaRussophobe has their own explanation for what their name means.  I forget what they said, but I remember it is not what we all assume (anti-Russian).

Truly He is risen.


From Joanna's Notepad 
re: my 15May2009 response to Whiteford:

√   I made a mistake, I should have said Vladimir "Koltypin" instead of "Kozyreff."  But let him figure that out.  If he finds the post I've got him dead to rights:  
I hope he does not write back.  

√  If he finds the Kyrill Flip Flop post he will see Fr. Andrew Kencis says his team "insults and assaults"
Would he also accuse Fr. Andrew Kencis of "slander"?