For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight’. (Matt. 3, 3)
Introduction: Fake History
The textbooks of official history are like old ‘newspapers’ filled with interpretations, not facts. This is to justify the biased beliefs of their writers or, much more often, of those who pay their writers. This can be seen clearly if you compare a history book from 100 years ago with a modern one: the two versions are very different. This bias is not least true when it comes to the fake history about the last Russian Emperor. For the attitudes of most towards Tsar Nicholas II are still dictated by that fake history, first spread by the traitors who overthrew him in March 1917. This fake history actually asserts, for example, that the Tsar was ‘weak’, ‘cowardly’ and ‘stupid’ and that therefore he deserved to be replaced (by those who wrote, or else paid for the textbooks).
Such lies were promulgated inside Russia by jealous and power-hungry revolutionaries before the Revolution and in the West which aided and abetted them. It was reinforced by Paris Russian emigres who had overthrown the Tsar (and were then overthrown in their turn for their crass incompetence). As for the very Bolsheviks, who overthrew them in November 1917, they simply repeated the lie. In other words, there was no concern with the truth anywhere, only with self-justification. And later Western historians, in self-justification, have only reinforced it. All justified themselves with yet another lie: that the Tsar had abdicated. This myth, promulgated by émigrés and Soviets alike, is still repeated today and also presented as ‘history’!
Today, we know that for several years before 1917 the aristocratic conspirators who wanted power for themselves had worked sytematically with spies (‘diplomats’) in Western embassies, using foreign-controlled media and hired agitators to discredit and slander the Tsar. And they were successful; many jealous Romanovs, power-seeking aristocrats, politicians, professionals, the half-baked ‘intelligentsia’, clergy, industrial workers and even peasants believed their lies, especially about Gregory Rasputin, alleged to be a base drunkard and revolting debauchee, who controlled everything that the Tsar did. The fact that so many believed these disgusting lies proves only the loss of faith leading to spiritual blindness of huge numbers at that time.
When on 16 December 1916 debauchees and atheists murdered the in fact righteous Orthodox healer and prophet Gregory Rasputin, there was actually rejoicing. A few weeks later later, on 1 March 1917, as the Tsar was being held prisoner by his generals on the royal train in Pskov between the Front and Saint Petersburg, an attempt was made on his life, not for the first time, by arranging a train crash. Threats were also made to the lives of the Tsarina and the royal children. On 2 March the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, the Tsar’s foul-mouthed uncle and incompetent and so sacked former commander of the Western Front, also gave allegiance to the traitors. A document of abdication was drawn up, signed in pencil with the forged signature of the Tsar.
Some of the other main traitors were politicians like Guchkov, an agent of the Anglo-German imperialist Lord Alfred Milner, and the President of the decadent Duma, Rodzianko, a puppet of the British ambassador, Buchanan. But virtually all the military commanders were also traitors, from Alekseyev, Ruzsky, Kornilov, Brusilov, Kolchak, Evert, Nepenin, Sakharov to Bonch-Bruyevich, who in Pskov imprisoned the Tsar on the royal train. Like the others, they all broke their oaths of loyalty to the Tsar and his Dynasty. Lacking a living Orthodox Faith, the Tsar’s own brother, the Grand Duke Michael, and even his Danish mother were disloyal. And Romanov relatives, the Grand Dukes Nikolai, Sergei and Alexander Mikhailovich, were among his most virulent critics.
In the Church there were also unprincipled clerical careerists, who betrayed the Tsar. Just as the disciple Peter betrayed Christ (though then repented, unlike Judas), so too there were so-called ‘churchmen’ who initially betrayed the Tsar. Once the pious metropolitans of Saint Petersburg and Moscow had been removed by the ‘Provisional Government’ which treated the Church as a mere Department of State, the traitors broke their oaths of allegiance to the Lord’s Anointed, under the pretext that the Tsar had abdicated! They had signed their own death warrants. These traitors, consciously or unconsciously, were all acting for Western spies, German or Allied, the enemies of Russian Orthodoxy. Their only desire was that Orthodoxy would not win the War.
However, those who betrayed the Tsar all paid for their crime in the Bolshevik Revolution and Civil War, or in bitter exile, or when they were repressed by the Soviet State, or in the Fascist invasion of 1941. However, those who even today continue to spread the lies of the revolutionaries about a ‘weak and stupid Tsar’ and ‘an abdication’ are also guilty. Almost all the Romanov relatives, aristocrats, generals, politicians, professionals, senior clergy and intellectuals, all the elitist plotters, were guilty. The fact that they tried to justify themselves in émigré memoirs proves it. When they wrote: ‘We were right and we suffered because of the mistakes of the Tsar and the Tsarina’, all were repeating the same lie. And today their spiritual heirs only repeat it.
We have the Old Testament which the Tsar read in his Gethsemane on the royal train. In the book of Leviticus 26, 14-36, he made notes which make it clear that the Tsar understood prophetically the deep apostasy of his people: ‘But if you will not hearken to me and do all these commandments…I will appoint over you terror, consumption and a burning fever that shall consume your eyes and torment your hearts: and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you… and I will make your heaven as iron and your earth as brass…And I will bring a sword on you that shall avenge your quarrel with my testament…And I will make your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries into desolation…And I will scatter you among the heathen…
Conclusion: The Warning to the West
Tsar Nicholas knew about his future, including his sacrificial martyrdom, long before they came. However, this did not stop him from doing what he had to do, making the Russian Empire into a Great Power, only a little behind Great Britain and Germany and catching up ever faster with the USA. The nearly 50 million increase in population in his reign proves it and as for the technological developments, we know that the Second World War was won by the men trained and the equipment in development already in his reign. After the Great Betrayal, Marxism came to power, delivered by special train from Germany. After destroying much that had been achieved, they took up the development of what remained of the Russian Empire, but with one vital difference.
The Bolsheviks thought that they could create heaven on earth by atheism, a ‘bright future’ without belief in heaven and a way of life that takes heaven as its model. As a result they created hell on earth, an earth in which souls are not saved. Tsar Nicholas wanted to create earthly prosperity, but only in proportion as spiritual prosperity could be created, which is why he also tried to do much for the spiritual and moral welfare of his peoples. This is the knowledge that Russian Orthodox have today and warn the West of: If you organize worldly life without attention to spiritual life, if you make the same mistake as the Soviet Union, you will end up like the Soviet Union: spiritually, morally and economically bankrupt. But the West appears to be deaf…
‘Tell the people: Although I have died, I am alive.’
St John of Shanghai
Foreword: The War
Forty-five years ago I was told by one who could have known better that, as I had been waiting for years to join the Orthodox Church, I now faced a choice: I could either join the Greek Church of Constantinople or the Church of Russia; it was all the same. But only to him was it all the same, as, in spite of, or rather because of, his great intellect, he was spiritually confused. He lived in an alien compromise, washing his hands before the critical choice. I joined the Russian Church because, since the age of twelve, I had known through revelations to my soul that my destiny was most definitely in the Russian Orthodox Church. However crippled it may have been after 1917, I was destined to share in that agony, indeed, although it seemed foolishness to the Jews and to the Greeks alike, only by sharing in that agony could I hope to find my own salvation. I sensed even then that what he had told me was somehow untrue. At best it could only have been a delusion. It was not all the same – and recent very sad events have shown this to all absolutely clearly. Let me explain:
The Church is not to be found in a people who believe that it is a chosen people. Many Hebrews believed that they were the chosen people, but they stoned the prophets and crucified the Son of God. To this day many of their descendants reject Christ, some considering themselves superior to the rest of humanity. Then the Western European elite came to believe in their ‘exceptionalism’ (that is, their claim that they too were above God) too, all in order to justify their organized barbaric aggression. So a thousand years after Christ, they too fell away from the Church, rejecting the Holy Spirit and seizing control of the Church in the West in order to justify their conquistador power-grab. So, like pirates, they began persecuting us ordinary Christians and conquering the rest of the world by fire and the sword. Then their secularist descendants, in turn the Portuguese, Spanish, French, British, German and finally American elites, did exactly the same, demanding world hegemony (‘globalism’), also rejecting Christ because they consider themselves superior to the rest of humanity. (Hence their anti-Semitism: the other ‘chosen people’, the Jews, were rivals to them, therefore they had to be eliminated). In the Church there has now come the turn of certain Greeks, telling us that only they are Christians, that God speaks only Greek, and, as one very well-known Cypriot archimandrite told me, even that their pagan ancestors had prepared the way for Christ! Many Russians fell victim to the same delusion, in the same way believing in themselves instead of believing in God, taking communion only once a year. So they lost everything and overthrew the God-appointed Christian Emperor in 1917. Only through the blood of the New Martyrs and the tears and sweat of the New Confessors did repentance eventually begin to come to them.
All these ‘chosen peoples’ failed to understand that salvation comes only from the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ through the Mercy of God and the Holy Spirit – not from some earthly ‘Jewish Rome’ of some mythical ‘chosen people’. For this reason, once I had chosen the Russian Church, I was to spend the rest of my life at war, in tireless battles, in unceasing strife, in the trenches, on the Western Front, fighting for real Christianity, for the real Russian Orthodox Church, together, of course, with many others. We all fought against the narrow-minded, nationalist delusions and impurities of those who had lost the big picture, who could not see the wood for the trees. They told us that only Russians could be Orthodox, that only their own exclusive little fragments of the great Imperial Orthodoxy, which had not undergone the blood, tears and sweat of others, could be right, that God’s Church needed ‘saving’ or ‘reforming’ (naturally, by themselves!). Some of them even persecuted and took to court as a common criminal the greatest saint among them all, St John of Shanghai. Little wonder that the Lord sent me to a military Church. I never sought any of this; it was all imposed on me. My soul would have died had I not taken part in this spiritual warfare. My life has been unceasing warfare in four battles, all fought beneath the Protecting Veil, which my patron-saint saw and which is the only reason why I am still alive.
My first battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora in England, which was dependent on Moscow, from spiritual impurity. After nine years, by 1983, I realized that I would fail in this. It was a task quite beyond me, with my very feeble abilities and from my modest, provincial, rural background; the enemies were invested with the strength of a personality cult, with all the authority of men and their city establishments, they had no time for a ploughman’s grandson. I was knocking my head against brick walls. So I left into exile, seeing my limitations. I understood that it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before this battle could be won (I did not know then that this would mean twenty-four years). Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could in time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.
My second battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on Constantinople (Rue Daru), from spiritual impurity. I fought in Paris and thought that this battle was winnable. It was – almost. However, after six years in 1988 there came a turning-point when I saw that I would fail in this battle too. The intrigues of freemasons in high places meant that I could not help win this battle – all my friends were in low places. I knew then that this Paris group would eventually (I did not know then that this would mean thirty years) disappear into spiritual irrelevance. Those who had betrayed the Tsar and made him and his Family into martyrs had also betrayed the Church. So I left, having understood that here too it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before the battle to bring even a part of this group home to the Russian Church could be won. Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could with time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.
My third battle from the first day of 1989 onwards was to take part in the struggle to help free that part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on New York (ROCOR), from spiritual impurity. Here there was a much greater chance of success, for the contaminating Protestant disease of ‘super-correctness’ (as another disciple of St John of Shanghai called it), with its ignorance, phariseeism, extremism, sectarianism, old calendarism, psychological (not theological) deviations of convertitis and Cold War money, had many opponents in the USA itself and even more in Western Europe where I was fighting on the Front. And above all, my Diocesan Archbishop supported me and I supported him. The ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, a spiritual son of and the European successor to St John of Shanghai, was in effect the first real Orthodox bishop I had met. We had an identical understanding of the Church. By myself I could do nothing, but now I was far from being alone; I was simply one of very many, a little cog in a large machine. I did not know then that this struggle would take eighteen years, for only in 2007 did the Church win the day. I was taking part in our first victory, together with millions of others, in the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, to which I had always belonged in spirit. Only geography had ever divided us.
After the Three Battles
Once this battle, in which I had played only a tiny role, eventually from my provincial home-town, had been won by the many, especially by the bishops who had been inspired by the grace of God, I knew that the two other houses of cards where I had earlier lost the day would fall in their turn. I just did not know that it would take another twelve years. Between 2007 and today, in 2019, I have seen both these first lost battles won. History won them. What I knew in the past, that they would be won only in God’s own time, has come to pass. What we have fought long and hard for has been obtained. Thus, we now at last have for our Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland a bishop, pleaded for during over four decades. He is Orthodox, understanding the local language and people, not phyletist, venerating the local saints and not denying them, missionary-minded like us, encouraging us and not destroying us, not under the control of laypeople, in good health, and who will be resident here in just a few weeks from now.
Secondly, the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of Western Europe, awaited for over three decades, was at last established in Paris only a few weeks ago. This means that our House will be built on rock, not on sand, and that the ‘Euro-Orthodox’ fantasy of the Paris Brotherhood is now dead. The future Local Church of Western Europe will be authentically Orthodox. For what we have sought for and fought for since 1988 now is. There is now a real Orthodox Exarchate for Western Europe, with many regional dioceses and young bishops, hundreds of parishes and several monasteries, venerating the local saints and not denying them, the foundation of the new Local Church. Led by Metropolitan John in Paris, who bears the name of our missionary father in Christ, St John of (Shanghai and) Western Europe and so continues in the tradition of Archbishop Antony of Geneva, it will of course need much more time to develop. It consists of the generally newer Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, in many dioceses and with many bishops. However, alongside it and complementing it, also stand the two (Western European and German) dioceses of ROCOR, with their five bishops, two of them younger and active. This consists of the generally older, more integrated, Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, a few of them until recently under Constantinople, but now at last come home. The two parts need each other and hopefully their bishops will meet regularly in order to help each other in their own joint Synod.
However, in this Year of the Lord, 2019, there is the last mystical battle (last for me) in the series of mystical battles in this Hundred Years’ War, which for a century has so deformed Church structures in the Diaspora. This battle is also against spiritual impurity, against masonic ecumenist and modernist intrigues. However, this last battle is the battle inside the Russian Lands, inside historic Rus’; it is therefore not a local battle for English, French and American Rus’ in London, Paris and New York, for part of the small Russian Diaspora, it is a general battle which concerns the whole Church. This is taking place today in the Ukraine, but it affects all. For the Church is the mystical centre of the world and it is the Ukraine which is now the mystical centre of the Church. And this is why we have come here now, sent to fight from the Western Front to the Eastern Front. All will stand or fall by their attitude to what is happening in the Ukraine today, to this battle between Christ and Satan. Whose side are you on?
The Fourth Battle
The internal administrative centre of the false Orthodoxy against which I fought in all our four battles, was formed in Istanbul a century ago. It came into being only because of the long-planned overthrow of the restraining protection of Imperial Tsardom. However, the Western disease which had overthrown the Christian Emperor and so the Christian Empire and then brought that centre into being had already infected Russia and elsewhere before that. For the disease contaminated all nationalities, including many in the Russian Lands and from there in the Diaspora. The disease came to be called renovationism and the renovationists were keenly supported from Istanbul. Today it has become crystal clear that the whole of the supposed Orthodox world has now to side either with real Orthodoxy or else against real Orthodoxy. The time of reckoning has come; the time of compromise is over. No-one can stand by any longer with the indifference and conceit of Pilate. Even though this battle is of exactly the same nature as the series of three battles which we fought in the Diaspora before this one, now it is not the Diaspora, but the Ukraine which is the sword that divides. The battlefield has changed to the Ukraine, but the battle is the same one; it is the battle for spiritual purity, for canonicity, for real Orthodoxy.
Gradually, over the last two months, one Local Church after another has decided to side with spiritual purity, canonicity and real Orthodoxy and so support Metr Onufry and the Church of God of the Ukraine. The rest of the Russian Church with ROCOR was the first to support him wholeheartedly. The Local Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Antioch, Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Cyprus, and unofficial but spiritually free (= non-political) voices in the Churches of Greece, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Georgia, followed. So far, thirteen out of eighteen Athonite monasteries have joined us. And a few days ago the episcopate of the basically Carpatho-Russian OCA (Orthodox Church in America), which had dithered for several weeks and where some had for years even been threatening to desert the Church for Istanbul, decided the same. This is their spiritual victory and our very great comfort after decades of spiritual slumber, of wandering far from the Church with American phyletist delusions. It means that the little OCA is maturing, at last deciding to accept its destiny, abandoning its eccentric spiritual isolation and so finding its positive identity by returning to its roots under St Tikhon. Inspired by the breath of new life, it can at last begin to play a significant and fulfilling role as one of the component parts of the future, united, much larger, multinational Russian Orthodox Churches of the three continents of the New World, of the Americas and Oceania.
This leaves the episcopates of only two Local Churches, the large Romanian and the tiny Albanian, not politically free and sitting on the fence, paralysed like Pontius Pilate ‘for fear of the Jews’. They are silent, neither supporting nor rejecting, awaiting instructions from above on whether to support the petty nationalism of the phyletist schism of Constantinople or not. The false church in the Ukraine, founded by the US-backed separatists in Kiev, is officially under a certain Sergei Dumenko. He is actually a Vatican- and US-approved puppet-layman, therefore both pro-Uniat and pro-LGBT, and not a metropolitan, His false church has been seen to be without grace, without sacraments, without the Holy Spirit. His church is that of ‘the Ukrainian god’, as one Ukrainian minister has put it. His enthronement in Kiev six days ago was ignored by all the Local Churches. His so-called ‘Church’ is only a regime-manipulated charade of empty rituals, just another small ultra-nationalist organization – an absurd anachronism in this global world. It is supported by teams of police-backed Nazi bandits who intimidate and beat up Christians, because Nazis have no concept of the meaning of the word ‘Christian’. And these anti-Christian men of violence are directly supported by an alien and corrupt political regime in Kiev, supported by alien and corrupt regimes elsewhere, and, to their eternal shame, by Greek ‘bishops’ in Istanbul.
Afterword: The Victory
The decadent, self-appointed, Paris-School ‘theologians’ from the past slip away one by one. With them their secularizing ideologies from the past, Ecumenism (anti-Orthodoxy; against the Father), Modernism (anti-Sovereignty; against the Son) and Liberalism (anti-People; against the Holy Spirit), slip away into spiritual irrelevance. Their books of intellectual fantasy-philosophy are ready for the dust of forgotten library shelves. Those who frustrated, wasted, impeded and persecuted us for so many decades are leaving the stage and we are beginning to see the future clearly now. For the New Orthodox World (N.O.W.) is taking shape. The New Orthodox World (NOW) is led not by anachronisms, relics from the past in cities of empires which have not existed for centuries, but by vibrant and missionary multinational Local Churches, Autonomous Churches and Exarchates worldwide. These are not narrow and corrupted nationalist museums for State rituals, flag-waving and cultural nostalgia or the playthings of disincarnate but very aggressive, politicized and politically correct, liberal intellectuals, but living organisms, cleansed to prepare us all to meet the King before He returns in all His glory. And in the New Orthodox World, NOW, there is the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ, awaiting Him and resisting the Enemy of Mankind, who comes before Christ in order to create disunity, disorder and distress among us.
The death-threat which I received three years ago, sent me because the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, did not stop me or deter me for a single second. In a dream, come to me after receiving that death-threat, I opened my front door and saw an agent on my doorstep. He at once fired his revolver at me, but the bullet rebounded off my priest’s cross, killing him instead of me. He fell to the ground and his corpse was dragged away to a waiting car by his colleague, who in fear and astonishment uttered powerless curses. I left and hid in a secret and remote place where I could not be found. I was rescued by the prayers of one who long, long ago had also taken refuge in such a place and I was taken to a faraway land. I have never paid any attention to dreams, especially such dramatic ones, but I remembered this one. However, I only really understood its meaning and symbolism on my first day here. It means that, like all of us, I will die when God decides, not when men decide, for though man proposes, God disposes. It means that the bullet rebounds, for if men want to kill the truth, they kill only themselves (exactly as they have done for the last one hundred and five years, with their atheist wars, one after another). And those who try to kill the Church in the Ukraine are committing spiritual suicide; indeed, their death-bearing bullet has already lethally rebounded onto themselves.
Victory has been ours in the Diaspora, because we have been willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies have not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. Victory is ours in the Ukraine, because we are willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies are not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. This is why we shall win this last battle now – because we do not fear death, for we believe and we know that Christ is the Life-Giving God, Who rose from the dead and freed the captives in hell. They, however, have only heard of the Risen Christ as a theory and symbolic myth for their heads. They believe it not in their hearts. Therefore their heads, like their lives, are full of the philosophies and works of death. But we do believe and we know and we tremble in awe before the Living God, Who is the Great God, Who works wonders and Who is with us, so that none is against us. Let the dead bury the dead. As for us, we shall not die, but live, and we shall declare the works of the Lord. The Lord is our Enlightenment and our Saviour, whom then shall we fear?
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Kiev, 1-8 February 2019
This is a common modern objection. Yes, of course, Tsar Nicholas II was a heavy smoker, probably about forty a day. Some today are scandalized by this, forgetting that at that time virtually all men smoked and it was considered unhealthy not to smoke. Indeed, the more you smoked the better. In the early part of the century women also smoked, but in private. After the evening meal, well-off men would retire to a purpose-made ‘smoking room’ in order to smoke – this was normal, the way of life of the time. And some well-known clergy, including bishops, smoked in that period.
Later film stars and politicians (Churchill’s cigars) all smoked. Soldiers in both World Wars were issued with a generous daily ration of cigarettes – they were expected to smoke. Those who did not smoke were considered to be abnormal. I can remember the old generations of clergy (both those born before 1917 and those born in the emigration in the 20s and 30s) smoking quite openly. We have to consider the fashions of the time. No-one then knew about the links between smoking and cancer and heart disease; indeed right up until the 1950s Western doctors were still advertising smoking as ‘good for you’. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
This is a common accusation, both from the past and from the present, but without foundation.
Anyone who has read the history of the 1905 troubles (Tsar Nicholas never called them a Revolution) and how he suppressed the terrorism of that time through military means and field courts that issued the death sentence within 48 hours will know that he could be very tough. He had to be – in order to protect his more than one hundred and fifty million subjects from a few thousand ruthless foreign-financed terrorists and amoral anarchists. Soviet historians called the Tsar cruel and bloodthirsty for so doing: now we have the opposite extreme of criticism – he is said to have been not harsh enough! But why did he not do the same in 1917 as he did in 1905?
In fact, he did try to do in 1917 as in 1905, but this time the military elite refused to obey him, committing treason. It was the betrayal of the generals which meant that Tsar Nicholas’ orders to put down terrorism in Saint Petersburg were not obeyed, so guaranteeing the success of the bloodthirsty terrorists. Without the loyalty of the generals Tsar Nicholas was lost. This explains why a relatively small revolt led by a few thousand activists in the capital lost the whole Empire. It also explains why Tsar Nicholas’ family was murdered with him – none of them ever thought that the elite would show such ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’. It was all unforeseen.
Here again, hindsight tells us that Tsar Nicholas underestimated the scale of the treason of the elite, above all, of virtually the whole elite of his beloved Army. Here we should remember that hardly anybody, including the Kerenskyites and the Bolsheviks, thought that a Revolution would be successful in 1917, let alone that the Empire would collapse into chaos so swiftly. Here too is another reproach that the worldly-minded make: Tsar Nicholas should have known and forestalled the Revolution, arresting all the traitors. This reproach is on the same level as those who blasphemously say that Christ should have known that the pharisees would arrest Him and crucify Him, that He should have called on the legions of angels – therefore Christ Himself was to blame for His own crucifixion.
The Kerenskyites, well-off professors, lawyers, pseudo-intellectuals, aristocrats, bourgeois Duma politicians, freemasons and generals, who all betrayed the Tsar, soon discovered after their Revolution that if they had escaped death from the Reds, they were to find themselves in unexpected and melancholy exile and often great poverty. This exile was their self-inflicted punishment, though, tragically, only a few of them showed repentance for it. Instead, they blamed the innocent Tsar for their misfortune by claiming, for example, that through weakness of character and indecisiveness he had not been tough enough on the revolutionaries (i.e themselves!). This was all hypocritical self-justification for their own betrayal.
The punishment for this betrayal was shared by the Great Powers of Europe. The mystical history of Europe shows us that the betrayal of the Tsar in 1917 led to the collapse of the seven Western Empires, first the German and the Austro-Hungarian, and then a catastrophic Second War which led to the collapse of Mussolini’s fantasies and Hitler’s racist Reich, and then that of the British, French, Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese colonial Empires. All were punished by history. After 1917 there followed in Western Europe a century of Americanization and vassalization, as seen by the entry of US forces into Europe in 1917 and their occupation of Europe since 1942-1945. This contributed to the 1914 suicide of European culture and the degeneration of Europe into its state of loss of spiritual and moral being, the loss of national identity and culture, futile decadence and powerlessness, the EU.
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.
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.
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.
This historic event will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth and 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.
Five speakers including Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert, Archpriest Andrew Philips, Nikolai Krasnov, authors Frances Welch and Marilyn Swezey, will deliver seven lectures on Nicholas II.
The Conference will take place in St John’s Orthodox Church in Colchester, England on Saturday, 27th October, between 10 am – 4 pm.
Tickets are £25 per person, and include all the lectures + refreshments. Parking is available.
The BBC ‘Beyond Belief’ religious affairs programme will discuss attitudes to Tsar Nicholas II on BBC Radio 4 at 4.30 pm on Monday 20th August, with a contribution from myself, defending the Christian viewpoint against the secularist viewpoint. It will be available on the BBC iplayer. See:
In four weeks’ time we will mark the hundredth anniversary of the massacre of Imperial Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II and his Family. On 17 July 1918 their foreign-organized captors herded the family into a basement of a house in Ekaterinburg, at the meeting point between Europe and Asia. Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra, their daughters Olga (22) Tatiana (21), Maria (19), Anastasia (17) and Alexei (13) fell under a hail of bullets. In a ritual of evil the family’s corpses and those of three loyal servants and the family doctor were then stripped naked, mutilated, disfigured, burned with petrol and acid and secretly buried. So fell Christian Russia, which had for over 900 years resisted both the Mongol-Tartar hordes from the East and the Catholic-Protestant hordes from the West, keeping the balance in the world from these extremists.
Throughout the ‘Heartland’, from Kaliningrad to the Bering Straits, stretching nearly half-way around the northern third of the world to three Continents, and beyond that in oases of Holy Rus outside the Russian Lands, Russian Orthodox Christians this year celebrate. We celebrate the martyrdom of the last Christian Emperor and regret the fall of the Christian Empire after 1600 years. With Church services and conferences, monuments and museums, art galleries and films, it will be hard to forget the tragedy – except in the atheist West. Perhaps the lack of interest is due to being anti-Christian and so being Russophobic, since the essence of Russophobia is hatred for Christianity? After all, atheism is always negative, since it starts with a negation.
The so-called Russian Revolution was a coup similar to most other Western-engineered ‘regime changes’ before and since. Jacob Schiff, (1847-1920), the Wall Street banker who had financed Japan during the Japanese War against Russia (1904-1905), publicly boasted of his success in bringing about the coup, with the help of mainly aristocratic Russian traitors and apostates. Imperial Christian gold reserves weighed 1,311 tonnes: they went to the West and not to the people. In 1911 the St. Louis Dispatch had published a cartoon by Bolshevik insider Robert Minor. His published cartoon portrays Karl Marx with a book entitled Socialism under his arm, standing amid a cheering crowd on Wall Street.
Gathered around and greeting him with enthusiastic handshakes are characters identified as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, Morgan partner George W. Perkins and Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party. Western corporations moved in for the kill; Ford, General Electric, International Harvester, Caterpillar etc. Gulag slaves, whom Trotsky-Bronstein dubbed White Negroes, worked harder and cost less than those employed in the West. Over 1,000 Gulag camps were scattered across the bankster colony. The United States and Britain invested heavily in the blood-soaked Soviet regime.
The Romanov Dynasty was primarily made up of Europe’s royal houses. The blood of the martyrs was that of England, Denmark, Greece, Germany, Romania, Serbia and the Habsburgs, as well as that of Russia. The martyred Romanovs could lay claim to being of the essence of Europe’s royal houses, not so much a Russian as a European dynasty. There were 53 Romanovs living in Russia when Tsar Nicholas II was removed from his throne on 15 March 1917. Eighteen of them were slaughtered in heart-wrenching circumstances. 100 years on we now await the coming Tsar, the next Christian Emperor from the Romanov family, who alone can through Christ restore sanity in this world gone mad.
On Saturday 19th May the Orthodox Community of the Royal Martyrs in Ashford, Kent, like many others all over the world, commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsar Nicholas II. Soon we shall be on pilgrimage in Ekaterinburg to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his martyrdom and that of his Family and Servants, following which the world went insane.
All this comes against the background of the temptation which the Patriarchate of Constantinople is now undergoing: to appoint a new Metropolitan of Kiev and grant his Metropolia autocephaly, as they already in part did in Estonia. By thus invading the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church yet again, the Patriarchate of Constantinople will fall away from communion with the Orthodox Church. Bribed by US dollars, this schismatic activity will be a fatal mistake for it. It will be supported by few; the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Polish Orthodox Church have already raised their voices against its intended schism. Others will follow.
Tsar Nicholas II and his Family were taken out of this world because this world was unworthy of him. They now pray for the restitution and resurrection of Orthodox Russia and of the whole Orthodox world against such petty nationalism of schismatics in Constantinople, the Ukraine and elsewhere. The multinational Russian Orthodox Church, of over 70 different nationalities, prays to them for restoration. We pray that the ageing authorities in Istanbul may yet step back from the brink of their insanity before it is too late.
Summary. In this article the author, Dr Vladimir de Beer, depicts the establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church in South Africa. It is preceded by a sketch of the historical background, including the participation of Russian volunteers in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Recognition for their sacrifice in the service of Boer independence came more than a century later with the dedication of a new chapel on the premises of the Russian Orthodox Church in Midrand.
Key words: South Africa; Afrikaners; Boers; Anglo-Boer War; Russian volunteers; Russian Orthodox
The Christian religion (albeit in its Protestant form) was brought to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch, German and French settlers who arrived at the southern tip of Africa from 1652 onwards. This new Dutch-ruled colony was established to provide a replenishment station for cargo ships and other vessels sailing between Western Europe and South-east Asia. In this way the future city of Cape Town, the Afrikaner people and the Afrikaans language gradually came into being. Among these early European settlers there was a Moscow-born Russian named Johannes Swellengrebel, whose son Hendrik in 1739 became the first Cape-born governor of the new colony . Towards the end of the Dutch colonial era in South, Africa, in 1798, a Russian cellist named Gerasim Lebedev gave a number of well-attended concerts in Cape Town before returning to St Petersburg [2, pp 11-12].
In 1806 the Cape colony was annexed by Britain during its wars against Napoleonic France. Among notable Russians whose accounts of their visits to the Cape during its early British-ruled era became popular were the naval officer Vassili Golovnin, the novelist Ivan Goncharov and the artist Alexei Vysheslavtsov [2, pp 13-16]. However, the most famous Russian to visit the Cape colony during the nineteenth century was Grand Duke Alexei, son of Tsar Alexander II. His first visit occurred in 1872 when the Cape parliament formally welcomed the Russian dignitary, and the second visit took place in 1874 as commander of the frigate Svetlana. Moreover, in 1886 a remarkable letter was sent by the Pondo1 chief
1 A Xhosa tribe living in the Eastern Cape.
Faku to Tsar Alexander III, requesting Russian protection against the British annexation of his land [2, pp 18-20].
Many of the Afrikaners were not content to live under British rule, and therefore during the 1830’s several thousand men, women and children migrated in ox wagons northwards across the Orange and Vaal Rivers. This Great Trek, as it came to be known, gave rise to the establishment of the Boer republics of the Orange Free State, the Transvaal and Natal, although the latter was swiftly annexed by the British. The Transvaal and Free State republics, in contrast, had their independence recognised by the British government in 1852 and 1854 respectively. However, this peaceful situation only lasted until the discovery of the world’s richest gold-bearing strata in the southern Transvaal in 1886. This development brought substantial wealth and growing international recognition to the Transvaal, which was officially known as the South African Republic. Given the global ambitions of the imperialist rulers in London, as well as the influential diamond magnate Cecil John Rhodes’ vision of a British-ruled Africa stretching from Cape Town to Cairo, it was only a matter of time before the Transvaal became their next victim. The resultant escalating tensions between the British and the fiercely independent Boers (as the northern Afrikaners were called, the word meaning ‘farmers’ in Dutch and Afrikaans) eventually led to the outbreak of war in October 1899, in which the Transvaal and the Free State (with a combined Boer population of less than a million) were allied against the might of the British Empire.
In the ensuing three years of conflict the Boer farmers-turned-soldiers astonished the world by their military prowess in the face of overwhelming odds, facing around half a million well-trained soldiers from the British Isles, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) eventually became Britain’s longest and costliest war in the century between the Napoleonic Wars and World War One, prompting the well-known author Rudyard Kipling to declare that the Boers had taught the British ‘no end of a lesson’. The Boer republics enjoyed the sympathy of many European nations, including Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Russia [3, p 46]. Although none of these countries dared to openly provide military assistance to the Boers, thousands of volunteers risked life and limb travelling to the South African fields in order to fight on the Boer side. A notable contingent came from Ireland, which at that time was under British rule, and consequently the Irish pro-Boer volunteers were viewed as traitors by the British and treated accordingly when captured. It is with this groundswell of support for the Boer cause in Europe that Russian Orthodoxy made its entry into South Africa.
Enter the Russians
The Boer republics enjoyed the moral support of Tsar Nicholas II (later to be venerated as St Nicholas the Royal Martyr) and of the celebrated author Leo Tolstoy. Confiding in his sister Xenia, the Tsar wrote “I am wholly preoccupied with the war between England and the Transvaal; every day I read the news in the English newspapers from the first to the last line, and then share my impressions with the others at the table… I can not conceal my joy at the confirmation of yesterday’s news that during General White’s sally two full English battalions and a mountain battery have been captured by the Boers!” In a similar vein Tolstoy admitted, during the early months of the war when the British suffered a series of humiliating defeats by the Boer forces, that even as a well-known pacifist he rejoiced at the victories of the Boers [2, pp 26-27].
Around 225 Russian volunteers came to South Africa to assist the Boers in their freedom struggle against the mightiest empire up to that point in recorded history [1, p 45]. Their number included a unit of Scouts containing many Cossacks, such as Prince Bagration of Tiflis and Count Alexis de Ganetzky [3, p 47]. There was also a Russian-Dutch ambulance service active in the Transvaal and the Free State during the war, as well as medical staff from the Russian Red Cross [2, pp 27-28]. Such was the Russian enthusiasm for the Boer republics that a folk song ‘Transvaal, Transvaal, my country’ became quite popular throughout Russia in the early years of the twentieth century. It was still being sung at the time of the Great Patriotic War, while famous Soviet writers such as Anna Akhmatova and Ilya Ehrenburg also paid tribute to the Boers [2, pp 25, 29].
Among the Russian volunteers who fought in the Boer armies, the most famous was Colonel Evgeny Maximov, who initially served as second-in-command of the International Corps [3, p 47]. Renowned among the Boers as an excellent shot and horse-rider, Maximov was also an adviser to the Boer presidents Kruger and Steyn [2, pp 68, 73]. He was eventually appointed commander of the Dutch Corps, in which capacity he was severely injured during the battle of Thaba Nchu on 30 April 1900. A month later he left the Transvaal (as did the afore-mentioned ambulance service) when the conventional phase of the war came to end with the British capture of Pretoria [2, pp 77, 81]. To the chagrin of the British, this was followed by two years of highly effective guerilla warfare by the Boer commandos (to which Winston Churchill would later pay tribute when he designated the British special forces during World War Two as commandos). The British military responded by destroying more than 90 percent of the farms in the Boer republics, as well as herding most of their women and children into concentration camps erected on the open field, where around 30 000 were to die from malnutrition and disease. Prompted by these devastating losses of their families and farms while remaining undefeated in the field, the Boer leaders signed the Treaty of Vereeniging with the British in Pretoria on 31 May 1902, thereby ending the war and bringing the former republics into the Empire.
Another prominent Russian volunteer in South Africa was Lieutenant Yevgeny Augustov, whose memoirs of the war were published in Russia in 1902 [2, pp 24-25, 30-33]. With some of his countrymen he had fought in the Battle of Spioenkop in January 1900 (which was vividly described by Augustov), during which the British suffered one of the worst defeats of their imperial history. Captain Leo Pokrovsky was killed while leading a commando raid on the British garrison at Utrecht in December 1900, later receiving a memorial plaque in that Natal town in 1938. Captain Alexander Shulzhenko fought in the commando of the legendary Boer leader General De Wet, until he was captured by the British in April 1901 [1, pp 42-43]. Alexander Guchkov was wounded in July 1900 and remained paralysed for the rest of his life. However, this setback did not prevent him from later becoming chairman of the Russian Duma and eventually War Minister in the Provisional Government, following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II [1, p 64]. Another volunteer, Vladimir Semionov, designed the opera and ballet theatre in Yekaterinoslav shortly after the war, and had by the 1930’s become a prominent architect and academic in Moscow [1, pp 57-58]. Remarkably, even some opponents of the Tsarist government volunteered for military service with the Boers. Among them were Ivan Zabolotny, a member of the first State Duma in 1905; Alexander Essen, who became a leading Soviet economist in the 1920’s; and Prince Mikhail Yengalychev, who in 1907 attempted to form a republican organisation in Russia [1, pp 65-67].
It is interesting to note that when Russia sent its Baltic fleet around Africa towards the end of 1904 in order to fight the Japanese with whom they were at war, the British government issued strict orders that no Russian ships would be allowed to enter British-controlled ports anywhere in the world, which at the time included the South African ports. This armada included the cruiser Aurora, which would later become legendary for signalling the start of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. Tragically, most of the Russian sailors in the armada sailing past the Cape of Good Hope never returned to their homes, having died in the disastrous naval battle of Tsushima in 1905 [2, pp 30-31].
During the first two decades of the twentieth century a variety of economic, cultural and academic ties were developing between Russia and South Africa. The economic link was centred on the mining industry, which is not surprising given the abundance of minerals found in both countries. In addition, the years before the outbreak of the First World War saw both the Transvaal and the Cape province import timber, textiles and railway rails from Russia. The academic link, overlapping with agriculture, included co-operation in locust control and irrigation. And in the cultural sphere the novels of the South African author Olive Schreiner became highly popular in Russia from the 1890’s onward, being published in most of the Russian popular magazines and literary journals. One of her publishers was Maxim Gorky, who like many Russians found resonance with Schreiner’s socialist views [2).
However, by the early 1920’s relations between the newly formed Soviet Union and South Africa practically came to an end, as was the case with all of the British dominions [2, p 38]. Although the two countries were Allies during the Second World War, Soviet-South Africans relations deteriorated further during the second half of the century. The South African Communist Party (SACP) was declared illegal by the Afrikaner nationalist government in 1950 and then formed a strategic alliance with the African National Congress (ANC), which continues to this day. Moreover, from the early 1960s until the late 1980s the Soviet Union actively supported the black guerilla movements fighting white rule in South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South-west Africa (now Namibia). The Soviets and South Africans also clashed in Angola during the period 1975 to 1988, backing the Moscow-aligned MPLA government and the pro-Western rebel movement UNITA, respectively.2 However, with the transfer of power from the Afrikaner nationalists to the ANC in 1994, the SACP became an integral component of the new South African government. This surely has to count as one of the greatest ironies of recent history, since by that time the Communist era in Russia had already ended.
Russian Orthodoxy is established
Only in the 1990’s would diplomatic, economic and cultural relations be restored between the post-Soviet Russian Federation and post-apartheid South Africa. An office of the South African diamond mining giant, De Beers, was opened in Russia in 1992 [2, p 34]. Another beneficiary of the renewed links between Russia and South Africa was the Russian Orthodox Church, which founded a parish in Midrand (situated halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria) in 1998. Named after St Sergius of Radonezh, this became the first Russian Orthodox parish in sub-Saharan Africa. The first rector of the new parish was Father Sergius Rasskazovsky, who was also a professor at the St Petersburg Theological Academy.3 Under a new rector, Father Philaret Bulekov, a church began to be built for the parish towards the end of 2001. Funded by the Russian engineering construction company Stroytransgaz and supported by the Russian embassy in South Africa, the newly built church was consecrated early in 2003 by Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk, who later became the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ . With beautiful golden domes placed atop the building in 2004, the Russian Orthodox Church of St Sergius of Radonezh makes a striking appearance not far from the N1 motorway between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
The Russian volunteers who had fought and died in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century finally received recognition from the Church that most of them were
members of in 2013, when a chapel commemorating them was built on the premises of the Midrand church [4 & 5]. The new chapel is dedicated to St Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, thus affirming a significant link between Russian Orthodoxy and the South African population, particularly the Afrikaners. The current rector of the Russian Orthodox parish of St Sergius of Radonezh in Midrand is Father Daniel Lugovoy, who also travels to Cape Town periodically to serve the Slavonic liturgy in a newly built chapel there. In addition to services every weekend and on major feast days, the parish conducts an active Sunday school for children and an Orthodox study group for adults. It also has a well-stocked library with over a thousand titles in Russian and English . May God grant the Russian Orthodox Church in South Africa many years!
Dr. Vladimir de Beer
30 November 2016