Daily Archives: July 31, 2017

Saint Petersburg Times Film Review: Tuesday 1 August 2017: A Review of the New Horror Film: ‘It Could Have Happened!’

‘It Could Have Happened!’ is the sensational new horror film that everyone in the Russian Empire is talking about, not just the film of the year, but the film of the decade. Released on 1 August 2017, it speculates on what might have happened one hundred years ago in 1917 if the ever-memorable Tsar Nicholas II had not arrested traitors and taken measures leading to victory in the Second Patriotic War (1914-1917). It suggests that a palace revolt, like that of October 1825, could have taken place in early 1917 at the hands of jealous and incompetent aristocratic traitors, so preventing the Great Victory. After this, an atheist ‘Communist’ regime, come to power with the indirect help of Great Britain (where various anti-Russian ‘revolutionaries’ had been harboured for years) and France, and financed from Germany and the United States, could have taken over the Empire with catastrophic results. This is a very dark film.

These would have included the loss of the war declared against the Empire by Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1914, the occupation of Poland and much of White Russia and Little Russia by the enemy, the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas and his family and servants in an unthinkable atrocity, the brutal slaying of millions of Orthodox believers in civil war, leading to the emigration of the elite, famine, epidemics and a vast network of death-camps in Siberia. With the Tsar overthrown and so the legitimate Christian centre gone and the political balance of the world lost, there would have been a bloody division in Europe between warring ‘Communism’ and an anti-Communist racist ideology called ‘Fascism’. Outside Europe, the loss of the Tsar as protector and guarantor of the Non-Western world would have led to ever more Western genocides in Africa, Asia and Latin America, like those that had preceded 1914.

The nightmare film does not stop there. A generation after 1917, in about 1942, a new invasion of the remaining Imperial territories by a humiliated Germany would have taken place, with tens of millions of deaths and horrifying new weapons. This would have become a ‘World War’ and later lead to tens of millions of deaths in China, Asia, Africa and worldwide. The treasonous clique running the new Tsarless Empire under an atheistic name would have collapsed only at the end of the twentieth century. It would then have become an US-style Capitalist-Consumerist colony together with the rest of Europe, which would have lost its way and lost its colonies in Africa and Asia. This fantastic nightmare scenario, the talk of subjects throughout the Empire, has been dismissed as an absurdity and scaremongering by many, but by others it has been reckoned as a real possibility one hundred years ago.

Many bishops have issued statements to advise the faithful. For example, Metropolitan Viktor of Helsinki issued a statement, pleading that children under 18 should not be allowed to see the horrifying film, which he said could traumatize them. Metropolitan Gregory of Lvov said that we should not forget that our history could have taken another path without prayer. Metropolitan Antony of Saint Petersburg said that believers should pay attention to the film because it showed that if people lost faith and began following what he called ‘the American way’, everything was possible and that the film should serve as a warning. Metropolitan Nestor of Manchuria said that we should not forget the hundreds of arrests which took place among aristocrats, politicians, lawyers, anti-patriotic newspaper-owners and even army generals in November 1916 which had prevented their treasonous plot against the Tsar being carried out.

Patriarch Tikhon II of Moscow has not commented, but his office is expected to release a statement today. The fact is that if it not been for the arrests of traitors to Tsar Nicholas, including traitors belonging to the House of Romanov itself, implicated in the coup being prepared by the British ambassador, anything was possible. If the traitors had succeeded, who knows what might have happened. At this point it would seem only just to recall real-life events and not the dark fantasy world portrayed in the film. As readers will remember, once Tsar Nicholas had taken command of the Imperial Army in August 1915, having dismissed the incompetent, anti-Semitic Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, who had asked to be removed from command and under whom so many ill-equipped troops had lost their lives or been taken prisoner in the first year of the war, the situation at the Front stabilized at once.

Then Tsar Nicholas prepared the victorious 1916 ‘Tsar’s offensive’, which used to be known in the West as ‘The Brusilov Offensive’, and rearmed his troops for the following year, at the same time imprisoning traitors, British spies and speculators in Saint Petersburg, so stabilizing the Home Front. This led to the upsurge of patriotism and the lightning victorious spring 1917 offensive, which brought about the liberation of Vienna within weeks in April. Here a million Russian troops held their huge Easter celebration outdoors. The collapse of ‘the prison of the peoples’, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was greeted with great rejoicing among all the Slav races especially. This was followed in October by the liberation of Berlin and the collapse of the Kaiser’s Second Reich Prussian Germany. No-one will forget the Russian Orthodox celebration of Easter 1918 at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, just as in Paris in 1814.

Just as his ancestor Tsar Nicholas I defeated that other European tyrant, Napoleon, who had also tried and failed to invade Russia and seen his exile, so Tsar Nicholas decided to exile Kaiser Wilhelm to Ekaterinburg, where he died in 1940. There followed the Saint Petersburg Peace Conference which opened in May 1918 where Russia, with France and Great Britain bankrupt, was able to impose fair terms on Europe, ensuring peace and security for generations to come. With US influence negligible, it was after this that Western, Central and Eastern Europe were reshaped, with Belgium being absorbed by France and the Netherlands, and new nations formed, notably, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia Finland, the Czech Lands, Slovakia, Carpatho-Russia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and new borders for France, Denmark, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Armenia and Greece, its capital transferred from provincial Athens to Constantinople.

No less significant was the partition of Germany into twelve separate kingdoms, including Saxony and Bavaria; never again would militarist Prussia, demilitarized in 1918, be allowed to dominate the German peoples, who once again returned to their great traditions of art, literature and music. It was thus that the Russian Empire came to set up the Confederation of Europe, sovereign and independent nations old and new co-operating with one another, following the implementation of Tsar Nicholas’ original plans for the Hague International Court. If only those plans had been accepted by the Western Powers in 1899 when they had been launched, then the three-year long Second Patriotic War of 1914-1917 would never have occurred. The Russian victory in Europe also led to great changes in the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, where the Russian Empire protected all Christians.

Not only in Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land, but also throughout the Near and Far East, with the new nations of Cyprus, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan being formed, the Russian Empire became the guarantor of sovereignty. In the Far East too, the Empire became the protector of Mongolia, China, Tibet and Afghanistan. A menacing Japan was disarmed and Western European colonial empires in Africa and Asia were dismantled. It was in 1956 that Tsar Nicholas II passed away peacefully at the age of 88, feted as the greatest and holiest Tsar in Russian history. He was followed by his beloved son Tsar Alexei II ‘the Just’, who reigned until 1981, when he passed away and was succeeded by his son, the present Tsar Nicholas III, whose 75th birthday was so joyfully celebrated last year. Under Tsar Nicholas III’s energetic reign the 600-million strong Russian Empire has become very prosperous indeed.

A global beacon of peace and the Christian Faith, the Empire has balanced out international tensions, working as an arbitrator. It has also supported the Orthodox Church all round the world, setting up new Local Orthodox Churches in Europe and Asia and Russian Orthodox Metropolias in Alaska and elsewhere. It leads the five-yearly Councils of all twenty Local Orthodox Churches held at the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow and the recent election of a Syrian Patriarch in Constantinople had been seen as the end of Greek provincialism there. The Imperial role in calling for justice for the nearly two million people interned in prisons and camps in the tyrannical Consumerist USA is well-known, as is its role in moderating the excesses of heterodox sectarians in Europe. Pleas for justice in Latin America and Africa have brought great respect for the Russian Church among those of all religions and none.

Breaking News

The following pastoral message addressed to the faithful flock of the Empire has been received from Patriarch Tikhon II, who is currently on an official visit to Lhasa at the invitation of Metropolitan Mitrofan of the Tibetan Orthodox Church. In thinking of this film, His Holiness said that we must be faithful to Christ in thought, in word and in deed. But what did these words mean? Here he asked us all to recall the last words of Tsar Nicholas II, whose canonization is now being prepared, to the distraught Colonel Kushelyov in July 1956: ‘Serve Russia as you have served me’. These words about serving Russia, he said, meant precisely serving not ideas, but the reality of the Church on earth, incarnate in the Christian Empire. This, he explained, was the most important thing we could do to serve Christ. It was the one way of ensuring that we would not fall into treasonous acts, as portrayed in the fictitious horror film.

After Crete: On the Ecclesiological Heresy of ‘Balkanism’

After the failure of last year’s US-backed meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete, representing less than 85% of the Orthodox faithful, the rejection of that meeting by many who were present yet whose signatures were on documents which they had not signed, and the general non-reception of those documents throughout the Church, where does the Church go now? After all, the essential lesson of the failed meeting was that the elderly bishops in their 70s and 80s, who had fixed the agenda, still thinking in terms of the old-fashioned, Vatican II-style 1960s, have still to learn about the reality of Church life. This is that they are to represent the bimillennial Faith, not private political agendas.

Those Orthodox bishops who in their old age are still marked by the decadent 1960s (they often studied in Catholic and Protestant Universities in Western Europe at that time) appear to be confused about the role of the Church. Some of them want Her to become a mere nationalist branch of the Vatican or become some Protestant sect, seeing Her as a depository for Balkan history and folklore and banning missionary work by refusing to accept other nationalities and heterodox into Her, especially in the Western world. We can call this peculiar, provincial view ‘Balkanism’. Clearly, in the global world in which we live, this is so old-fashioned and parochial as to be laughable.

However, more seriously, this is also a heresy. The heresy in question is ecclesiological: it is the refusal, inherent in Balkanism, to recognize the Church as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, but to see Her only as Divided, Secular, Separated from the Universal Church and without Apostolic Tradition. This heresy believes that the Church is divided into nationalistic institutions, each vying with one another to possess the highest Cathedral in the Balkans, controlled by US-appointed Patriarchs and puppet Balkan governments, that She can act in isolation from and without reference to the rest of the Church both in time and in space, and without reference to the Apostolic Tradition.

It seems to us that the time has come for the Patriarch of by far the biggest Local Church, the Russian Orthodox Church with 75% of the faithful and a thousand monasteries, to call a Council of the whole Church to condemn this heresy. Statements on the identity of the Church, One and not Divided, Holy and not Secular, Catholic and not Provincial, Apostolic and not Modernistic, would bring dogmatic and pastoral clarity to the issues raised by the Cretan farce and give elderly and confused bishops the opportunity to retire quietly or else be defrocked in disgrace. Now is the time for lucidity in order to reassure the faithful that they are represented by bishops who are Orthodox in faith.