Category Archives: The Saints

The Battle for the Holy Spirit

All who are hostile to the Orthodox Christian Faith, whatever label they may carry, including a superficial label of ‘Orthodox’, are hostile to the Holy Trinity, though in different ways.

Thus, Pagans reject God the Father, preferring instead to make idols of mere creation, so worshipping itself. Like the Hindus, in a multitude of gods and goddesses, a sun-god, a moon-god, an earth-god, a king-god, a wind-god, a sea-god, a river-god etc. As animists, they worship spirits, including their own bodies and minds, like the Buddhists, not understanding that any such spirits are fallen human spirits or else, worse still, the fallen spirits of the demons. The only Spirit we can know and worship is the Holy Spirit.

Thus, Heretics reject God the Son, rejecting either His Divinity, like the Jews, the Arians, the Nestorians and the Muslims, or else His humanity, like the Monophysites.

Thus, Western Secularists reject God the Holy Spirit, preferring the values of this world. Therefore they replace the Holy Spirit, Who is the Authority and the Power and the Spirit of the Church, with a Pope in Rome, then with any white man, including Stalin or Hitler, and finally with any human-being who thinks himself equal to the Holy Spirit according to his ‘human rights’. So the world turns full circle and reverts to Paganism, under the humanist delusion of being clever, it narcissistically worships itself.

Thus, lapsed Orthodox replace Him with worldliness, disguised either as a flag-waving nationalism, or as a post-Soviet, get-rich-quick culture which in all practical terms is atheist, or as a spiritually feeble imitation of Western culture, or as a mere right-wing conservative ideology of dictatorial power. All these reject the Revelation of the Holy Spirit.

In order to battle for the Holy Spirit, for nearly 50 years we have called on Christ, the Mother of God and on the Saints of all ages and lands. For though not of this world, the voices of the Saints are the bearers of the Holy Spirit in this world, and in all ages and in all lands, thus witnessing against Pagans, Heretics, Western Secularists and lapsed Orthodox.

On the Slaying of the Seven Fake Orthodoxies

Introduction

In nearly fifty years of association with Orthodoxy, I have seen how the devil can fake everything. This is because he is himself a fake: a fake god – though many still worship him. As ‘a liar and the father of lies’ (Jn 8, 44), he can most certainly fake every human activity, including faith. He can use faith to create fake faith. I have seen this in the seven types of fake Orthodoxy, the deviations which he creates and which I have observed. The first three are primitive deviations, the next two are psychological deviations and the last two belong to the more complex realm of delusional deviations. All of them have one thing in common: they provide no spiritual food at all and so the souls that follow these fakes die of the spiritual famine which they leave in their wake.

Three Primitive Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live fleshly lives, the life of the body with its material interests.

The first type of fake Orthodoxy is nationalistic. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of flag-waving and attachments to this world. Beware of churches which proudly display national flags of any sort. They worship not Christ, but the Caesar of their State. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it is ritualistic and superficial.

The next and second type of fake Orthodoxy is bureaucratic. This is linked to the first fake, inasmuch as it is political. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of paperwork and ‘protocols’, behind which the State bureaucrat with his Church title hides. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it is cowardly and gutless.

The next and third type of fake Orthodoxy is diplomatic. This is linked to the first and second fakes, inasmuch as it is also meanly political and insincere. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of lies and compromise and the seeking of some worldly advantage behind the camouflage of Christ. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it repeats the well-worn lie that all faiths are the same – which they are obviously not, for only one Faith comes from the Holy Spirit, Who comes forth from the Father.

Two Psychological Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live emotional lives, the life of the feelings and the interests of the ego.

The next and fourth type of fake Orthodoxy is psychological, at worst psychopathological. In any case, it has nothing to do with theology. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of conforming Him to the ways of the (Western) world, with its calendar and all its other compromised values. It is the easy way out, the way of self-justification, for it means living a more or less effortless, secular life behind the mask of Christ. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating a worldly, adaptationist, conformist Orthodoxy, a pseudo-Orthodoxy that swims with the secularist tide.

The next and fifth type of fake Orthodoxy is psychological, at worst psychopathological. In any case, it has nothing to do with theology. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of a personal psychological rebellion against the values with which those who confess it were brought up and then hating them. In this way it is also a form of self-hatred. Thus, it disobeys the commandment which tells us to love our neighbour AS OURSELF. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating an extremist, aggressive Orthodoxy of hatred that is a negative anti-everything and is therefore not a positive love of Orthodoxy.

Two Delusional Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live fantasy lives, the life of the brain and the interests of the fantasy.

The next and sixth type of fake Orthodoxy is an intellectual conceit. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of cold, bookish knowledge which is merely the arrogant delusion of the puffed-up mind, of ‘fleshly reasoning’, the pompous pretentiousness of those who can talk about everything, but know nothing and live by nothing. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating fantasist philosophies and is therefore not Orthodoxy.

The next and final and seventh type of fake Orthodoxy is a pietistic conceit. This is linked to the sixth inasmuch as it comes from the brain and the imagination. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of delusion through spiritual pride, of the pseudo-ascetic, of the depressed, of esoteric exotica, pretending to be ’spiritual’, pretending to be what they are not, with spiritual pride and imagined superiority, condemning others as ‘not spiritual’, being full of pretentiousness, foreign words, dressing up in black like monks or nuns, play-acting, pseudo-holiness, obsessively and self-flatteringly claiming charlatans and frauds who deceive and mislead the simple as their ‘spiritual fathers’. This delusional Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by pretending to be what it is not. It is therefore anti-spiritual, for the spiritual is always founded on the real, not on the imaginary.

Conclusion

If you are at any of the above stages or at any combination of them, you must renounce and kill this spiritual enslavement at once and move on to Freedom, to Real Orthodoxy, which is simple. It means loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves, living in and according to the Church, following the Lives of the Saints, of the real holiness of those who really lived, who were incarnate in life, in the real world. Real Orthodoxy is not Death, but is Life itself, it is living in the Creator of Life, living in Christ, but that Life is reached only by first slaying in yourself the dragon of all these seven fakes.

 

The Russian Orthodox Émigré Contribution to the Future World Orthodox Church

A few years ago the now Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov asked us the question: What distinctive contribution can the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) make to the Church inside Russia? Here is my answer to him in the light of the most recent events:

Our Orthodox Christian Faith is Trinitarian: God the Father, Who is the instinctive knowledge of the existence of God, God the Son, Who represents the Incarnation of the Faith in all human affairs on earth (as denied for a thousand years by the Western world), and God the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies all the nations who accept Him. This Trinitarian knowledge has always been expressed in the Russian Orthodox words: ‘For the Faith, For the Tsar, For Rus’. This motto was in turn expressed in recent history by the three ROCOR Saints, the Three Saints of the Emigration:

‘For the Faith’ was expressed by St Jonah of Hankou (+ 1925), the first ROCOR saint. Fleeing as a refugee with the White Russians and absolutely faithful to the fullness of Russian Orthodoxy, within a very short time of becoming a bishop at a very young age in Manchuria, he established an orphanage, a school, and a dining hall for the poor. Thus he combined the love of the Liturgy with practical love for our neighbour, as the Gospel calls us to do. This is indeed the essence of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

‘For the Faith and for the Tsar’ was expressed a generation later by St Seraphim of Boguchar (+ 1950). He expressed the values of Russian Orthodoxy in his writings and was also the great defender of Orthodoxy against both the heresies of the renovationist Paris School in the 1930s and ecumenism, notably at the Inter-Orthodox Council of Moscow in July 1948. He asked: What is the role of the Tsar? He answered that he is the incarnation of the Faith in the life of the State, in social, political and economic affairs. This is why we await the coming of the next Tsar, the White Tsar, whether he is a man of piety, or Christ Himself in His Second Coming.

‘For the Faith, for the Tsar and for Rus’ was then expressed by St John of Shanghai (+ 1966). The first ‘universal saint’, as he has been called, he lived all over the planet and celebrated the Liturgy and preached in many languages, extending the understanding and practice of ‘Rus’ worldwide far beyond East Slavdom, which stretches from Slovakia to the shores of the Pacific. Now we talk about American Rus, Australian Rus, English Rus, French Rus, German Rus, Irish Rus, Peruvian Rus, Swiss Rus. Wherever, worldwide, there is the uncorrupted Christian Faith of the Russian Orthodox world, there is Rus.

Some in Russia would say that this is what they have always believed. True, but the emigration expressed it with a refined purity and much extended significance, all of which became possible only after the catastrophe of the 1917 Revolution.  All three saints together, the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, completed their lives on three different continents: St Jonah in China in Asia; St Seraphim in Bulgaria in Europe and St John in San Francisco in North America.

It is this, the global reality of Rus, which the Church inside Russia is now learning from us. Once captive inside the mental borders of the Soviet Union, the multinational Russian Orthodox Church has recently established a Western European Exarchate and a South-East Asian Exarchate, becoming ever more deeply the Church of Eurasia. Now, with the long-expected apostasy of Greek Churches, far too weak to stand up to corrupting American pressure, there has appeared the possibility of setting up a Turkish Exarchate in Asia and solving the old calendarist schism in Greece in Europe.

Moreover, extending to a new Continent, it could set up an African Orthodox Church with local, not colonial, bishops. Beyond this there is the possibility of founding a real North American Orthodox Church, with the future merger of the healthy elements of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with ROCOR. And ROCOR in turn can, with canonical and practical support from inside Russia, help set up a Church of Oceania and a Church of South America. It is our hope that we shall yet see founded a church dedicated to the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, the Pillars of the Russian emigration of three different continents. The future begins now.

The Saints and the Bad Old Days

My interest in the saints deepened greatly in the 1970s and 1980s, once I had come into contact with the quite extraordinary spiritual and moral decadence of the Orthodox emigration of various nationalities. These immigrants included self-appointed ‘elders’, fraudulent gurus, so-called ‘Orthodox’ bishops who were not even Christians, bishops and priests who were simoniacs, criminals, perverts, bureaucrats, political appointees and who included the usual assortment of clerical narcissists. At least saints could provide positive models to counter the reality.

In those decadent days, and even much after, there were by and large four criteria for ordination to the priesthood if you were English (and indeed Western in general):

Be an adept of a sect or cult grouped around a bishop or priest (a self-appointed ‘starets’) with their various perversions, or else be an adept of some extremist sect based on a political ideology of left or right. Neither of these options had a future. Bishops and priests do not join political parties or tell people who to vote for (either publicly or privately), we only try to influence the course of events positively, in favour of the Church as the Body of Christ.

Be a freemason.

Be an Anglican vicar.

Be fluent in a foreign language e.g. Greek or Russian.

The first two criteria were spiritually and morally repugnant to me, the third not even conceivable, as I have never been an Anglican and have never had any desire to become one; Anglicanism is quite foreign to me as an Englishman, as it is to most Englishmen: there remained only the fourth criterion.

Hopefully, in the future, the criteria for ordination will become spiritual, that there is a group of Orthodox people in a certain place who put forward a man without canonical impediments who is not unwilling, and whose wife is not unwilling for him, to become a candidate for eventual ordination to the priesthood, once he has passed through all the necessary steps. The bad old days, when married men were excluded from consideration simply because they were married, or men were excluded from consideration because they had spiritual interests, as was the case in my youth, will be over. I thank all those who persecuted me; they made me more interested in the Lives of the Saints.

 

Towards a Map of Western European Holiness

By origin the word Europe means ‘the land of the sunset’, that is, the west, for it lies at the western tip of the 54.5 million square kilometres of the Eurasian Continent. Measuring 10.5 million square kilometres, only one fifth of the whole of Eurasia, Europe from a Church viewpoint can be divided into three parts. Over 50%, or 5.5 million square kilometres, 4.5 million square kilometres in Russia and just over 1 million in the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, is canonical Russian Orthodox territory. The second part covers 1.4 million square kilometres and is the territory of various Local Orthodox Churches, the Romanian, Serbian (whose territory includes all of ex-Yugoslavia), Greek, Bulgarian, Polish, Czecho-slovak, and Albanian. This is two-thirds of Europe. There remains the final third of 3.6 million square kilometres.

This may be called Western Europe, even though it includes Central Europe, Hungary and Finland. The name can be justified because this part of Europe has for nearly one thousand years been isolated from the Church. This was as a result of the spiritual delusions, and so intellectual and political disaffection, jealousy and hostility towards the Church, of the governing elite of Western Europe. In other words, this is ex-Catholic and ex-Protestant Europe. Going from west to east and north to south, this means the 25 countries of: Iceland, Ireland, the British Isles (the three countries of Wales, England and Scotland), Norway, Denmark (and the Faeroes), Sweden, Finland; the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany; France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary; Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, San Marino and Malta.

There exist many maps of this Western Europe. Some show the borders of the various states and the main cities; others show seas and lakes, hills and mountains; others show population density; others show the main roads and railways; others show the longevity of the population. And yet, although a millennium ago this Western Europe had a history of holiness, that is, of Orthodoxy, because this history has been forgotten, there is as yet no map showing the places hallowed by its saints who received the holiness brought to it from the east. If we drew up such a map of its saints, we would find huge variations. For example, in the very sparsely-populated Nordic countries, over one third of the area, we find little holiness, with no known native saints in Iceland and Finland and only a handful in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

However, in the rest of this Western Europe we find a very different situation. The centre of its holiness is what is now Italy (and San Marino), close to the source of the Faith in the East with the capital of Rome. From here holiness spread north to Gaul, now France, the second centre of holiness, to southern England and from there to the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and from there to Austria and Hungary. From Gaul holiness also spread east to Switzerland, south and west to Andorra, Spain and Portugal, and north to what is now Belgium and above all to the thebaid of saints in Ireland, converted by the monastic life brought to them from Egypt via Gaul. Their influence spread back to east and south, to all the Celtic lands, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany, and also to northern England, Belgium, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The first saints of this First Western Europe are of course the leading apostles, Peter and Paul, together with St James the Apostle in Galicia, as well as a huge number of internationally-venerated martyrs, especially in Rome, like St Pancras of Taormina (1st cent.),  St Clement (100), St Ignatius of Antioch (c. 107), Sts Sophia, Hope, Faith and Love (2nd cent.), St Tatiana (225), St Cecilia (230), St Hippolytus of Rome (c. 235), St Agatha (251), St Lawrence (258), St Eugenia (262), Sts Chrysanthus and Daria (283), Sts Sebastian and Comps (287), St Maurice of Agaunum and the Theban Legion (287), St Anastasia of Rome (304), St Lucy of Syracuse (304), Sts Agapia, Chionia and Irene (304), St Vincent of Spain (304), St Eulalia of Barcelona (304), St Januarius of Pozzuoli (c. 305), St Alban of Verulamium (c. 305), St Pancras (early 4th cent), St Agnes (c. 350).

It includes Church Fathers like St Justin Martyr (165),  St Irinei of Lyon (200), St Hilary of Poitiers (368), St Ambrose of Milan (387), St John Cassian (433), St Vincent of Lerins (445), Blessed Jerome of Stridon (c. 420), St Leo the Great (461), St Gregory the Great, called the Dialogist (604), St Maximus the Confessor (662). It includes pious bishops with Gallo-Romans like St Martial of Limoges (c. 250), St Saturninus of Toulouse (257), St Julian of Le Mans (Cenomansis) (3rd cent), St Paulinus of Nola (431), St Germanus of Auxerre (448), then later St Remigius (533), St Germanus of Paris (576), St Gregory of Tours (594), St Leander (601), St Valery (621), St Fulgentius (633), St Isidore of Seville (636), St Eligius (660), St Omer (670), St Amand (675), St Julian of Toledo (690), St Lambert (705), St Hubert (727), St Gregory of Utrecht (776).

It includes monastic founders like St Martin the Merciful of Tours (397), St Genevieve of Paris (500), St Benedict of Nursia (550), St Martin of Braga (580), St David of Wales (589), St Columba of Iona, Enlightener of Scotland (597), St Columban of Luxeuil (615), St Hilda of Whitby (680), St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (687), St Odile of Alsace (720). It includes confessors who evangelized whole stretches of this Europe, like the Roman-Britons St Ninian, Apostle of the Picts (450), St Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland (461), the English St Willibrord-Clement in the Netherlands (739) and St Boniface of Fulda, martyred in Frisia (754), St Anschar of Hamburg (865). It includes pious kings and queens, St Bathilde (545), St Oswald (642), St Clotilde (680), St Edmund of East Anglia (869), St Edward the Martyr (879), St Olaf of Sweden (950), St Olaf of Norway (1030).

The list of saints is immense. There are some ten thousand names of saints of Western Europe, martyrs and confessors, men and women, internationally-venerated and only locally-venerated, some with highly detailed lives, others little more than names. Forty-five years ago we began work on the Saints of England, despite the lack of any encouragement. Then thirty-five years ago we began work on the Saints of what is now France. However, that work was interrupted by the negativity of the then Exarchate in Paris and other concerns, one of which was work on the Saints of Iberia twenty-five years ago. That work helped lead to their recent adoption into a feast of the Diocese of Iberia under Archbishop Nestor. Now with a real Russian Exarchate for Western Europe in Paris, we will be turning our attention back to the Saints of what is now France.

Most of a Life

Foreword

I may live another twenty or thirty years, but equally my time on earth may come to an end tomorrow, next week, in a month’s time, or next year. No-one knows, but I have no illusions. Now that I am coming to an end, it is fitting to set down the three tasks of my destiny which have filled my unworthily lived days. It is my belief that others will more effectively continue these tasks after me, just as many others worked on them both before me and at the same time. And although, not always in positions of power, they worked far more efficiently and with far greater success than me, it has often felt as though I were totally abandoned in these tasks. I never chose them – they fell to my lot despite my clear manifold human weaknesses and equally clear unsuitability and unwillingness to fulfil them.

With the Saints

My first task has been the modest contribution to spreading the veneration of the Saints of Western Europe in the Church. This meant fixing them in locally-issued calendars, praying and writing their lives and compiling, collecting and celebrating their services and icons. This was a bitter battle and cost me enormously, for resistance from all sides without exception was very harsh. Isolation was my lot. There were – and are – so many who resist the saints. Altogether, above all by the reposed Monk Joseph (Lambertson) whom I much encouraged, services were compiled to nearly one hundred saints or groups of saints of Western Europe who did not yet have one. Victory came slowly and over forty years later several such saints were included in the official Russian Orthodox calendar, with more to follow.

Church Unity

My second task has been to help contribute to the restoration of the unity of the two parts of the Russian Church and to call others outside it, for example those who had fallen away in Paris, to unity with it. My part was very, very minor, of course, but it must have helped, for people told me it had. Having visited the Soviet Union twice in the 70s and seen the lamentable state of much of the Patriarchate in England and France, I could see that nothing could be done until the fall of the Soviet Union. Only that would bring the liberation of the hostage episcopate there. So it was only in 2000 that it repented for its compromises with the atheist government and so its failure to recognize the New Martyrs and Confessors earlier, as well as for its politically-motivated compromises with heterodox.

Equally, however, the Church Outside Russia would have to reject decades of the spiritual impurity of sectarian politicking with the treacherous and tragic Vlasov movement and its CIA backers, as well as its own embarrassing failure to canonize the New Martyrs until as late as 1981. Victory came only in 2007 with the Act of Canonical Communion, signed in the presence of thousands of us in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the Russian Patriarch and President and longsuffering clergy of both parts of the Church in attendance. That Cathedral had been built to commemorate the 19th century Orthodox victory over the French atheist Napoleon and rebuilt to commemorate the 20th century Orthodox victory over the German atheist Marx. Thus, the Cathedral became the place of a threefold victory.

A Life for the Tsar

My third task has been to help contribute to the restoration, now inevitable, of the Orthodox Empire, based in Russia under the coming Tsar, just as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied nearly 200 years ago. This has been and is, if anything, the hardest of all. This is because it involves the Incarnation, that is, the political, economic and social ramifications of our understanding of the Incarnate Christ. Resistance here is ferocious and mocking, for our struggle is with the Devil himself. Firstly, we must defend the holiness of Tsar Nicholas, both in life and in death. Secondly, we must defend all those faithful to him, many not yet canonized. Thirdly, we must promote his shining vision, which was a century ahead of its time but tragically interrupted for a blood-soaked century by ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’, as he described.

Afterword

Some might say that then all has been completed. This is not so. The task for Rus, to spread veneration for the Western saints of the first millennium Church is to develop much further. The task for Faith, to see the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe in a single Metropolia, the foundation of the future new Local Church, helping build up a little part of it in my native East of England, is nearing its conclusion, but is not complete. Finally, the task for the Tsar, to explain his holiness and defend his healing vision of justice and balance after a century of global injustice and wars, which resulted directly from his overthrow by internal traitors, so-called allies, Great Britain, the USA and France, and enemies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, and to implement that vision, so long delayed, has only just begun.

 

Suggestions for a Future Cathedral on the Site of the Martyrdom of the Imperial Family and their Faithful Servants

In my article of 9 July on the authenticity of the remains disinterred near Ekaterinburg in 1991 and 2007 and said to belong to the Russian Royal Family and their servants, I suggested that a great Cathedral be built on the site of the martyrdom of the seven members of the Imperial Family and their four faithful servants. I have been asked how I see this. Not in any way responsible for this and with no influence with the powers that be, I can only make humble suggestions, like anyone of the 164 million strong flock of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here they are:

Firstly, all four of the Imperial servants, the cook Ivan Kharitonov, the footman Alexei Trupp, the shy parlour-maid Anna Demidova, as well as the distinguished and learned Dr Evgeny Botkin, must be canonized by the whole Russian Orthodox Church, and not just the New Martyr Evgeny. Although canonized long ago by the Church Outside Russia in 1981, three of them still await canonization by the whole Church. Of them Alexei Trupp, a Roman Catholic, was considered by the Synod of Bishops of the Church Outside Russia, as explained to me by the late Archbishop Antony of Los Angeles, to have been baptised in his own blood (as so many of the early martyrs of the Church and those of the Old Testament). All four were faithful to the end to the Imperial Family, preferring to be martyred together with them than to run away. It seems strange to canonize one and not the three others.

Secondly, special geological and engineering surveys would have to be carried out before any building could begin. The area is marshy and mining has been carried out. Piles would have to be driven and other preparations made in order to avoid possible subsidence.

Thirdly, the Ekaterinburg area would have to be renamed and all other traces of Soviet-period commemoration of the monsters who carried out the martyrdom removed, through renaming and removal of statues.

Fourthly, in collaboration between Church and State, the State and local authorities would have to provide appropriate infrastructure, in particular roads to the site.

Given this, we can imagine a Cathedral with a central cupola for the Saviour, seven others around it for each of the five women and two males of the Imperial Family, and then a further ring of four cupolas symbolizing the faithful servants. That for Alexei Trupp would represent that part of the Western world which in penitence also bows before the feat of martyrdom of the Imperial Family. That for Anna Demidova would represent faithful womankind. That for Ivan Kharitonov would represent the faithfulness of those who labour with their hands. That for Evgeny Botkin would represent the faithfulness of those who labour with their minds. This Cathedral would be built on the contributions of the Orthodox faithful from all over the world and of all nationalities. It would be a ‘Universal’ Cathedral (Вселенский Собор), welcoming the penitent and pilgrims from all over the world. And alongside the Cathedral would grow up a pilgrimage centre, a monastery and a convent.

On the Martyrdom of St Gregory the New

The wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.

Daniel 12, 10

There exists over a century’s worth of ridiculous articles, books and films slandering the Orthodox elder, prophet and new martyr Gregory Rasputin. These hundreds of works are based on atrocious vilification and blatant lies, for the purposes of self-justification, which initially permitted the illegal seizure of power in Russia, and later of sexual titillation and lurid sensationalism in order to satisfy money-grubbing greed. As an example, one relatively recent work, claiming authority!, ‘The Last (sic) Word’, written by the Soviet playwright, Edvard Radzinsky and published in 2000 in this country, is just more pulp fiction mascarading as pseudo-scientific history. It too was duly translated into various Western languages to titillate those who want more salacious, tabloid-style stories and earn the publishers and author millions.

However, since 2000, serious works in Russian, the untranslated seven volumes by Sergey Fomin and the untranslated studies by Alexander Bokhanov, Yury Rassulin, Igor Evsin, Tatiana Mironova and Oleg Platonov, all serious historians and researchers, have disproved the conscious and unconscious slanders against Gregory Rasputin-Novy. The figure of St Gregory the New, venerated by the holy elder Nikolai (Guryanov), has now emerged and we are able to establish the details of his martyrdom. In this we have been helped, strangely enough, by two English writers, Andrew Cook (1), an investigative journalist, and Dr Richard Cullen, a former expert in forensics with the Metropolitan Police (2), who have both exposed the involvement of British spies in the torture and murder.

Although both non-Russian speakers and so both naively and ignorantly repeating the absurd background slanders against St Gregory, their interest has mainly been in official British involvement and the details of his appalling torture and murder, carried out by a ruthless British spy with the help of decadent Russian traitors. And that is new. Thanks to their investigations, we now know almost exactly how in the last hours of his life on earth Gregory Rasputin was tortured, who tortured and killed him and why. In reality, the first murder of the so-called ‘Russian Revolution’ was committed by a British secret agent. Let us sum up the still unchallenged and perhaps definitive findings of Cook and Cullen about Gregory’s last hours on earth in Petrograd, today’s Saint Petersburg.

According to eyewitnesses, Gregory was picked up from his flat at 64 Gorokhovaya Street in the then capital by the fabulously rich, Oxford-educated Prince Felix Yusupov around midnight on 16/29 – 17/30 December 1916. He left with him in a car driven by another plotter, the Polish Dr Stanislav Lazovert. He was taken to the Yusupov Moyka Place, having been enticed to a meeting in a basement dining room there, chosen as it was virtually soundproof and would muffle any noise. Apart from Prince Yusupov, a bisexual transvestite and occultist, also present were Grand Duke Dmitri Romanov, also a notorious and amoral loose liver (later known for a relationship with Coco Chanel), a vulgar, anti-Semitic politician called Vladimir Purishkevich, an army officer and friend of Yusupov called Sergey Sukhotin and a British spy called Oswald Rayner.

Rayner had been a close friend of Yusupov in Oxford in 1909. He had studied modern languages at Oriel College from 1907-10 and Yusupov had studied Fine Art for four years from 1909-1913 at nearby University College, where he had taken drugs. They may have been involved in a homosexual sex affair with each other, as is common in the British Establishment and is today the pride of its secret services (3). After Oxford Rayner was eventually to become one of four British spies working for the SIS (4) in Petrograd. The others were the head of the SIS in Petrograd, Samuel Hoare (later a discredited, Fascist-appeasing Conservative politician, who became known as Sir Samuel and Viscount Templewood), who was a friend of the equally unscrupulous Purishkevich, and two lesser British agents, John Scale and Stephen Alley, also involved in the plot to murder Gregory.

Once at the Yusupov Palace after midnight on Saturday 17/30 December, Gregory was given wine to drink and plied with cakes laced with tiny amounts of potassium cyanide. The dose was incompetently administered according to the study by Alexander Bokhanov and so weak that Gregory suffered at most a minor headache and stomach-ache. So he was tortured by the professional sadist Rayner, leading to ‘a slow, lingering and painful death’ (5) in the basement room. Firstly, he was attached with a garrotte around his neck, either seated or else spread-eagled against a wall (5). His face and body were then beaten with a cosh, with which his genitals were also crushed, which must have been agonizing. He was also knifed in the left side and at some point his right eyeball was gouged out, an injury probably caused by Yusupov’s shoe.

After these tortures, carried out at about 2.30 am and in any case not later than 4.00 am on Saturday 17/30 December, Gregory was shot three times. This was done at point blank range, from less than eight inches (20 cm). One shot went through his stomach and liver and the other was fired from behind the kidney. These were fired from two different weapons, possibly from a Browning by Yusupov and a Sauvage by Purishkevich (Grand Duke Dmitry swore an oath that he had not killed Gregory). These wounds did not stop Gregory from trying to make the sign of the cross (the fingers of his right hand were set in this pose) before a fatal third shot, from a .455 Webley, standard British issue, a smaller calibre weapon than those used for the first two shots, was fired at point blank range into his forehead. This killed the prophet Gregory outright. It was the feast day of the holy prophet Daniel, a quotation from whose book (Dan 5, 30) was later found in the house where the Tsar and his family and servants were martyred eighteen months later.

Gergory’s body was covered in a cloth, variously described as a curtain or a robe, the legs and arms tied with rope and then wrapped in Gregory’s beaver fur coat, which could not be disposed off otherwise. It was taken by the driver Lazovert, Rayner and probably other conspirators, either British spies or else Sukhotin, through the secluded rear entrance of the Palace and bundled into a car, no doubt the same one as before. This was driven to the nearby Bolshoy Petrovsky Bridge near Krestovsky island, where the body was thrown into a large ice hole, no doubt reconnoitred beforehand, in the Malaya Nevka river, which flows into the Gulf of Finland. On being thrown into the river, the body bounced off the fourth bridge support, which further injured the head, and an overshoe fell off onto the ice. The flow of the water should have carried the body away, ensuring that it disappeared for ever. It did not.

That it did not, that no weights were attached to the body and that human blood was found on the parapet of the bridge and an overshoe on the ice were all basic mistakes of the conspirators. In reality, thanks to the finding of the blood, the overshoe and the bad choice of site, the body was recovered by the river bank just two days later, on the morning of Monday 19 December 2016/1 January 2017, only some seventy yards from where it had been thrown in. In Western countries it was New Year’s Day 1917. Meanwhile, Purishkevich and Romanov stayed in the Palace, toasting one another, and cleared up the mess, also shooting a Palace dog. This was done so that the corpse of the dog would explain away the noise of the first three shots that had killed Gregory, in case they had been heard and any possible traces of blood. All the above is a reconstruction from the Russian autopsy and modern forensic investigation of evidence and photographs of the corpse.

All of this had been a carefully and cynically planned conspiracy, with everything being prepared beforehand over several weeks, if not months. After the murder, Yusupov and Purishkevich both lied about what had happened in their conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Both of them had prepared fictionalized and dramatized stories in self-justification. These fabrications were related soon after the events, carefully concealing any British involvement, which would have ruined relations between Great Britain and Russia. So why was Gregory murdered? The classic excuse was because Great Britain feared that Gregory was advising the Tsar to conclude a separate peace with Germany. This of course was pure propaganda in order to justify the British murder and later coup d’etat. Gregory had no political influence over the Tsar, who had totally ignored Gregory’s request not to enter into the War in 1914. And in any case, the Tsar had never had any intention of concluding such a peace, as the British full well knew.

The real reason for the murder was that Gregory stood in the way of the overthrow of the Tsar and his replacement by Anglophile traitors from the House of Romanov, like the Grand Duke Dmitry who as a Romanov guaranteed immunity from prosecution for the murder, supported by equally treacherous masonic politicians in the Duma. Great Britain’s interest in murdering Gregory was that with the Tsar at the head of the re-equipped and reinvigorated Russian Army, Russian victory was guaranteed in 1917. Such a victory, from a British viewpoint, had to be stopped. Triumphant Russian troops liberating Berlin and Vienna from tyrants, the consequent control of all Central and Eastern Europe freed from Prussian and Austro-Hungarian tyranny by Imperial Russia, the long-awaited restoration of Poland, once most of its territory had been freed from them, and the Russian liberation of Constantinople and control of the Dardanelles (as perfidious Britain had agreed to on paper), were not in British imperialist interests.

This is why Britain freed the evil Trotsky from a Canadian concentration camp in April 1917 (6) and sent him back to Russia, as later Germany sent back Lenin and others, and why the anti-Christian and pro-Bolshevik (7) British Prime Minister Lloyd George had openly greeted the overthrow of the Christian Emperor (6) as the attainment of ‘one of our war aims’. (It was similarly acclaimed in France and the USA, which, opportunistically seizing its chance, entered the War immediately after the coup d’etat in Russia, which US citizens had helped finance). Indeed, according to the French ambassador, Paleologue, and many others, the overthrow had been carefully plotted by aristocratic Russian traitors together with the British ambassador, Buchanan, at the British Embassy in Petrograd.

The conspirators all believed that if Gregory, the ‘Friend’ of the Tsar and Tsarina, could be removed, then they could persuade the Tsar to abdicate and Russian domination of the Continent could be prevented. This had been exactly prophesied by Gregory and of course it is exactly what happened, for two months later the Tsar was overthrown in a plot, orchestrated by cowardly generals, treacherous politicians and deceitful Romanovs. This would extend the bloodletting of the First World War from three years to four and a half, costing directly millions more lives, not to mention tens of millions of lives later under the Soviet Bolsheviks and the German Fascists, who would never have come to power without the coup d’etat against the Russian Emperor.

In reality, the liberation of Eastern and Central Europe was achieved not by the Christian Russian Empire in 1917, but in 1945 by the atheistic Soviet Union, the Frankenstein monster of Lenin and Stalin created by the meddling, anti-Christian West. The torture and murder of Gregory Rasputin-Novy and all that followed lies like an impermeable bloodstain on the British Establishment which ordered and carried out his execution, a crime only recently exposed and which has never been officially admitted, let alone expiated. In the Great Reckoning that is to come, it would be well if the British Establishment made a beginning to its repentance now.

Notes:

1. To Kill Rasputin, Andrew Cook, 2005

2. Rasputin, The Role of Britain’s Secret Service in His Torture and Murder by Richard Cullen, 2010

3. See for example: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mi5-named-uks-most-lgbt-friendly-employer-in-annual-stonewall-ranking-a6820261.html

4. The SIS (Special Intelligence Service is the British agency that does the dirty work (torture and murder) for MI5 and MI6. It still exists and is active. One of its ex-agents, a South African, told me in private conversation in 2012 that it commits up to 100 murders per year.

5. Cullen, P. 197

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Trotsky

7. See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lloyd_George#Prime_Minister_.281916.E2.80.931922.29

St Maria of Helsinki

‘All the tears that you have shed will glitter like diamonds on the robes of the Mother of God; for all your sufferings and trials God will especially bless you and reward you’.

Prophecy of the Holy Martyr Tsarina Alexandra (1)

There are a number of ancient Orthodox saints in Scandinavia: St Anschar (Oscar, + 865) in Demark; St Sunniva (c. 990), St Olaf (+ 1030) and St Hallvard of Oslo (+ 1043) in Norway: St Olaf (+ 1022), St Sigfrid (+ 1045) and St Anna of Novgorod (+ 1050) in Sweden. However, there is no ancient Orthodox saint in Finland as such, as it came to the Faith so late, already in Roman Catholic times, so it missed out on being in communion with the Church. However, in the renewal of Orthodoxy in modern times Finland does have a saint: Righteous Mother Maria of Helsinki.

Born on 16 July 1884 in Oranienbaum in Russia as Anna Alexandrovna Taneyeva into a family with Imperial connections, she was to become a lady-in-waiting and the closest friend of the Tsarina Alexandra. Snobbish and profoundly jealous aristocrats, rich but without nobility and imbued with selfish vanity and vulgarity, detested her. Typically for them, they dismissed here and slandered her as stout, unattractive, talkative, naive and unintelligent. However, children loved her and the pious Tsarina saw her pure, kind-hearted and childlike face and beautiful, tender eyes and valued her immense piety and generosity. Thus, the Tsarina befriended Anna, preferring her to the superficial and unspiritual court snobs, and in 1905, at the age of twenty, Anna was given a position at court. The three following years she went on holiday with the Romanovs.

In 1907 Anna Taneyeva married Alexander Vyrubov, an officer in the Imperial Chancellery. A few days before she had been warned by Gregory Rasputin that the marriage would be an unhappy one, but she had ignored him. The marriage remained unconsummated, for Anna’s husband did indeed turn out to be mentally deranged, having tried to kill her, and had to go for treatment in Switzerland. Within eighteen months the unconsummated marriage had been annulled. After the Revolution Anna’s mother told interrogators that her son-in-law had ‘proved to be completely impotent, with an extremely perverse sexual psychology that manifested itself in various sadistic episodes in which he inflicted moral suffering on her’.

Anna Vyrubova, as she had now become known, became one of Elder Gregory Rasputin’s followers and on orders from the Tsarina went to visit his home village of Pokrovskoe in Siberia in order to investigate rumours about him, which turned out to be baseless. Her importance grew at court and with the death of St John of Kronstadt Elder Gregory became more and more important to her. For some years she served as a go-between for the Tsarina and Elder Gregory at those times when his healing powers were needed. During World War I Anna trained as a Red Cross nurse and cared for soldiers along with the Tsarina and the Tsarina’s two older daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana. Her great generosity to the poor left her virtually penniless.

In January 1915 Anna was severely injured in a train accident between the capital and Tsarskoye Selo; the convalescent found herself crippled, but credited Gregory with saving her life through his prayers. In September 1916 she, Lili Dehn and Gregory went to Tobolsk to venerate St John of Tobolsk who had been canonized. Anna opened St Seraphim’s military hospital with the huge amount of 100,000 roubles she received from the railway company in compensation for her accident. She also planned to build a church dedicated to St Seraphim of Sarov on her property.

On the evening of 16 December 1916 Elder Gregory told Anna of a proposed visit to Prince Yusupov in order to meet his wife who was reportedly ill. The next morning Gregory’s disappearance was reported by his daughter to Anna. An investigation followed and the murderers Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri were placed under house arrest. Two days later Gregory’s brutalized body was found. On 21 December it was taken to be buried in a corner on Anna’s property adjacent to the Imperial Palace. The burial was attended by the Imperial couple with their daughters, Anna, her maid and a few of Gregory’s friends.

On 21 March 1917, very ill with the measles, the much slandered Anna Vyrubova was arrested for no reason by the masonic Kerensky dictatorship. Completely innocent, she underwent five months of harsh imprisonment in the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg that even included an unnecessary and humiliating medical examination to prove her virginity. The fifteen interrogations on her political role concluded that she was too morally upright, honest, sincere and childlike to have done anything wrong and she was released.

Anna’s memoirs describe her harsh treatment in the damp prison, her illness, the beatings, kickings, mockings and being spat upon, and her narrow escape from execution when, miraculously, she met several old friends of her father on a Saint Petersburg street who helped her to escape. This she attributed to St John of Kronstadt, who had already consoled her in a dream before her arrest. She endured much hardship and poverty avoiding the Bolsheviks, but only reluctantly escaped to Finland in early 1921.

Her memoirs, Memories of the Russian Court (2), published in Paris in 1922, provide rare and valuable descriptions of the home life of the Tsar and his family. No-one understood Gregory Rasputin and the Tsarina better than Anna. Condemned and slandered by the worldly as naïve and unintelligent, she had foreseen everything that would happen with the overthrow of the Tsar. The ‘intelligent’ politicians and aristocrats who had betrayed the Tsar had foreseen nothing.

In 1923 Anna became a nun at the monastery of Valaam under the name of Mother Maria. She lived under the spiritual direction of Valaam elders and lived in poverty as a pious Russian Orthodox nun. Unable to enter the convent of her choice due to her physical disabilities, she stayed in her own very modest house, living the strict monastic life of a secret nun. At first she lived with her mother and then, when she died in 1937, a loyal friend called Vera Zapevalova (+ 1984), poorly and reclusively.

Anna spent this second half of her life first in locations in Finland, then in Sweden and after the Second World War in Helsinki. For over forty years a nun, she died penniless aged 80 on 20 July 1964 in Helsinki, where her grave is located in the Orthodox section of the Hietaniemi cemetery. She had been born one day before the date of the martyrdom of the Imperial Family and reposed three days after it. In birth, as in death, she had been tied to them. So ended the life of one who was faithful to the end to the ideals of God, Tsar and Homeland.

‘In Finland you have a saint – Anna Vyrubova – said a hieromonk from the Trinity St Sergius Lavra. Turn to her in any need for help’. ‘Go to her grave in the Orthodox cemetery there, stand and pray. Feel how easy it is to pray there, how calm and peaceful your soul becomes’ (Bishop Arseny). (3)

‘May God help us all….to unite with one another in peace and love, offering our tears and ardent repentance to the Merciful God for our countless sins, committed before the Lord and the Tsar crowned by God…And only then will a great and mighty Russia rise up, for our joy and for the fear of our enemies’. (3)

Mother Maria

Notes:

1. P. 196 of ‘Vernye’ (The Faithful) by O. V. Chernova, Moscow 2009

2. http://www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt2006/chapter_I.html

3. P. 203 of ‘Vernye’ (The Faithful) by O. V. Chernova, Moscow 2009

From Fragments to Wholeness

Introduction

Three experiences and the great wonderment and many questions that they raised, all hinting at the existence of a much greater reality beyond the veil, have shaped and inspired my life. These experiences have all been of fragments and vestiges of the great Imperial Christian Civilization which was rejected over a period of between 1,000 and 100 years ago and has since been largely forgotten and lost. Although wholly rejected, derided and even unknown to most, this Civilization may yet, by Divine Providence and human repentance, be restored. That is our hope in our tiny corner of Eastern England.

My life has been spent in the task of fitting together these three experiences or pieces into a great whole, the big picture, where all these pieces belong. Only together as part of a whole do they have their full meaning. Alone they are just separate facts, tantalizing gleams and hints of some greater reality, keys to the great gates of a Kingdom that remains locked until you have all three of them and the daring to unlock them. With time, patience and prayer, by consulting many and reading the books of those whom I could not consult in life, with great effort, I have been able to put all the pieces together and found the big picture.

The Cottage of the People

The first experience came to me in childhood. In 1963, in a spot that I can take you to today, I sat with two nineteenth-century great-uncles, their caps respectfully removed, in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. A host of silent questions arose in my mind. Why did they, such humble representatives of the people show such respect here? Who was this St Edmund, that this town had been named after 1,000 years before? What was a saint? How did you become a saint? Why were there only ruins here now? And why were there no longer any saints? So many questions, so few answers and none able to answer them.

By the age of twelve St Edmund had led me to discover other local saints in my native Essex and Suffolk, Sts Botolph, Cedd, Albright, Audrey, Osyth and Felix. Places and churches were named after them, but no-one could tell me very much about them. Their names had become an empty ritual of sounds, without any meaning, divorced from spiritual reality. I became aware that further away there were other mysterious saints, but they were all only fragments. Thus, as a child, I was thwarted, unable and unequipped to put any of these little pieces together, into the great, but mysterious and mystifying whole.

The Altar of the Faith

From August 1968 on I began to discover that these saints, however important they had once been locally, belonged to a far greater whole, to a universal background and culture, a whole Civilization, the Civilization of the Saints. I discovered that, once in their context, they would stop being names and stories in dry and dusty books and that they would come alive again and I could speak to them as my companions. This was all part of the greater discovery that what had been presented to me as Christianity was not that at all, but a system of tedious, State-organized ethics devised to control the masses.

Then came the realization that through its inevitable degeneration this false Christianity had been responsible for the opposite of authentic Christianity, Secularism. Whether in its Protestant or its Roman Catholic form, it lay outside the real Christian Church, the Orthodox Church. Finally, in 1972 when I visited the Soviet Union, I realized that the essential and largest part of the Orthodox Church was there, so cruelly persecuted and its integrity damaged, bringing people at worst to superstitious ritualism, Sovietized fragmentization. Outside that, there were other smaller Churches, but even more nationalized and compromised.

The Throne of the Sovereign

Having by my thirty-third year pieced together the saintly Cottage of the People and the holy Altar of the Faith that I served in the so troubled and sadly divided emigration, I began to understand that both Cottage and Altar had to be completed by the sacred Throne, the Throne of the Sacral Christian Empire, which depended on the Cottage and the Altar, but which also protected them both. In the Kingdom of Heaven there was no need for it, but on earth this was the glue that kept everything together. The Throne had been overthrown on earth many decades before. But what was the hope that the Throne could be restored?

At that time there seemed to be virtually none, for the Throne lay in ruins. The Imperial reality had been reduced to fragments, each tiny part claiming to be the Empire! It had been reduced to freemasonry and corruption, to fallen compromises and flag-waving provincialism, to sterile intellectualism and private personality cults. It had been betrayed by disincarnate modernists who could not see the greater picture, as they lived in the bubble of their own egos; they could not see the great forest as a result of looking for too long at their own little saplings. Could it, by the grace of God and human repentance, be restored?

Conclusion

Thus through the saintly Cottage of the People I discovered the Kingdom of the Spirit, through the holy Altar of Faith the Kingdom of the Son, and through the sacred Throne of the Sovereign the Kingdom of the Father. I had discovered in the saints the spiritual essence of the People, in the Faith Orthodoxy and in the Throne Sovereignty. I had discovered Christian Civilization, the opposite of the anti-Civilization that I had been born into, with its world wars, death camps, atomic bombs, cult of mammon and ruthless exploitation and genocide of Non-Europeans. I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization.

Elitism despised and mocked the Cottage of the People; the Establishment falsified and compromised the Altar of the Faith; Secularism betrayed and scorned the Throne of the Sovereign. But I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization. It could be called Roma Nova, the Third Rome or Holy Rus, though to some those terms have nationalistic undertones, but it is simply the Sacral Christian Empire. That Empire began in York on 25 July 306 and ended in Ekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. However, has it ended? Or has it merely been interrupted by ‘treachery, cowardice and deceit’?