A Call from the Holy Mountain (Elder Ephraim of Philotheou)

Elder Ephraim’s joining ROCOR brought about one of the first translations of his work into English; thus making his teachings available to the English-speaking world of the West. Though the translation was done by someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language, this book was a best seller.

One can find a free pdf copy of this classic here:

In 1991, the year Elder Ephraim joined ROCOR, A Call From the Holy Mountain was translated into English by St. Sarov Press, Blanco, TX (this Monastery would later shut down due to a huge sex scandal; the abbot later committed suicide in jail). The first page states, “Printed with the blessing of His Grace Bishop HILARION, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.”

Bishop Hilarion.
Bishop Hilarion.

The original text is a 1974 publication which the Elder wrote shortly after transplanting his synodeia to Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos. It was written as an invitation for people to become monastics. At the end, Geronda Ephraim talks about the Antichrist, Ecumenism, Zionism and the Protocols. This would come to bite him later:

“…This pan-heretical alchemy [i.e. Ecumenism] is being inspired through the so-called World Council of Churches. We think that the term is not true to the fact, for it does not concern a World Council of Churches but a World Council of Will Worship. The only god to demand a tribute of worship there will be the fallen Beelzebub who through his representative amongst men, the Antichrist, will try to substitute his own will for the faith and worship of the true God. For in Ecumenism there is no personal God; for consistent ecumenists the doctrine of the Trinitarian God is utterly rejectable.

It is well known that the devil-instigated Zionism is coordinating two insidious operations both within and without the Church aspiring to one and the same end; to destroy the fortress known as Orthodoxy.

The cover of Arch. Haralambos Vasilopoulos'
The cover of Arch. Haralambos Vasilopoulos’ “Jewish Masonry Unmasked.” This book was also removed from monastery bookstores after the KVOA news story.

Papists, Protestants, Jehovah Witnesses, Freemasons, Unionists, Ecumenists and any other “root of bitterness” — all these have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (pp. 42-44).

Of course, though the book itself is not about Zionism, the Elder does speak of the Protocols as a legitimate document, something that was very common among Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical writers and preachers during the 70’s, especially on Mount Athos . Geronda Ephraim’s statement is almost a direct quote from the writings of Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos who wrote extensively about Zionism, the Protocols, Freemasonry, the Vatican, Ecumenism and the Antichrist:

Geronda Ephraim has recanted his belief in the Protocols as a legitimate document.
Geronda Ephraim has recanted his belief in the Protocols as a legitimate document.

During the first few years of St. Anthony’s Monastery, when Vladimir/Fr. Symeon worked in the bookstore, A Call from the Holy Mountain was on the bookshelves. Most of Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries sold this book as well, at least until Counsels from the Holy Mountain was published. Around that time, St. Anthony’s stopped selling the book and Fr. Symeon stated that Geronda Paisios didn’t want it in the bookstore because Geronda Ephraim never gave a blessing for it to be translated. Keep in mind, though, that when this book was translated, Geronda Ephraim was in ROCOR and his Bishop was Hilarion, whom he was in obedience to as his hierarch. This same Bishop Hilarion, who didn’t need a blessing from his subordinate (Geronda Ephraim) gave his blessing for the book to be translated. Furthermore, the Greek edition had been out of print for years, and there were only so many copies published. Where did the Bishop get a copy of this rare booklet?

So while St. Anthony’s boycotted this book, the other monasteries still sold it. In 1999, a huge sex scandal of homosexual child molestation at the ROCOR monastery in Blanco, TX was made public, they also had a fake weeping icon that the monks rigged. After this, it looked really bad that Geronda Ephraim’s name was on a booklet published by this monastery. Some of the other monasteries sold photocopies of this booklet afterwards, but most distanced themselves from the association.

Now after the KVOA news story broke, Fr. Markellos was working in the bookstore, and the story changed to “Geronda Ephraim never even wrote the book.” However, he did, the writing style is the same and there was only one abbot named Ephraim at Philotheou who was a disciple of Elder Joseph the Cave-dweller.

Fr. Markellos worked in St. Anthony's Bookstore in the mid-2000s.
Fr. Markellos worked in St. Anthony’s Bookstore in the mid-2000s.

After the KVOA scandal, Geronda Ephraim sent an obedience to all his monasteries to pull any books that speak about Zionsim or the Protocols from their bookstores. And this was done. The obedience was given to all monks and nuns to respond with, “We don’t believe those kind of things” (i.e. Protocols, conspiracy theories, new world order, etc.), if asked by pilgrims. David Smith was explained off as someone with a lot of psychological problems who didn’t do obedience and became deluded and now the demons were using him to attack Geronda.

Ecumenism without a Mask. A 1972 book which explains the Protocols as the blueprint for destroying the Orthodox Church and the Zionist plan for Jewish world domination. This book was removed from the monasteries' bookstores after the KVOA expose.
Ecumenism without a Mask. A 1972 book which explains the Protocols as the blueprint for destroying the Orthodox Church and the Zionist plan for Jewish world domination. This book was removed from the monasteries’ bookstores after the KVOA expose.

It is said that at the New York monastery, Geronda Joseph made his monks pull all the garbage bags from the bin and go through each one carefully to look for a piece of paper that could potentially vindicate Geronda Paisios. Apparently, David Smith and written an apology but had sent it to St. Nektarios Monastery. Geronda Joseph didn’t know David Smith and threw it out thinking it was meaningless. The paper was never found.

NOTE: Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos wrote many books on conspiracy theories. He wrote about the Protocols being a legitimate document. He wrote that blood libel was true. He wrote that the “age old dream of the Jews was world domination.” He wrote that Zionists created Masonry, Theosophy, Chiliasm, Ecumenism, etc., as instruments to destroy the Church and help them obtain a world government to lord it over the nations. His books, though written in Greek, would contain photocopies of neo-Nazi literature in English (publications from The Cross and the Flag, Women’s Voice, etc.).One such book, Theosophy Unveiled, has been translated into English:

Also, though most of the books have been removed from the bookshelves, one can still order mp3s containing similar content about the Protocols being a legitimate blueprint for Jewish world domination and the destruction of Christianity, etc. from St. Anthony’s (as well as other monasteries).

The following are excerpts from the A12 Commentary on the Apocalypse by Fr. Athanasios Mitilinaios. It can be purchased in mp3 or book format from St. Anthony’s Monastery (as well as most of Elder Ephraim’s monasteries):

DVD: http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/ccp7/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=1AM01

Book: http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/ccp7/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=3HOMILIES_ON_REVEL

Rev. 2:9 – I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

“…Since these Jews failed to believe in Christ and became witnesses of the great advancement of the Christian nations, while they seemed to abide under a certain curse, they became extremely jealous and vindictive against the Christian nations.

The Lord prophesies this jealousy in the Parable of the Prodigal Son with the attitude, or psychology, of the older son. This older son represents the Jews who became very jealous when they saw the younger son welcomed, embraced and justified by the Father. The Prodigal Son represents the nations that distanced themselves from the true God and were losing the salvation of their souls—the great inheritance—to sin and idolatry. Now, God calls the nations.

Remember the historical evidence of this when Paul spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem and told them God sent him to the nations. As soon as the word ‘nations’ came out of his mouth, they were demonized, throwing soil in the air, ripping their clothes, and yelling to the Roman centurions, “Kill him!”…

The older son’s psychology towards the younger continues to work itself out in history. We see this in the lives of the Apostles. The Jews persecuted Paul everywhere he went. They conspired to kill him. These are the deeds of the unbelieving Jews, full of spite, guile, and murderous attempts…

Do you see the mindset of the Jews back then? In reality, they were demonized against the church; they were possessed by a murderous jealousy against the Christians…

The Jews created the Zionist Movement in order to deal with this frustration [i.e. that their Messiah has not come], which is nothing more than an attempt to take back their rights, punish the nations under the foot of which they were humbled as Hebrews of the diaspora, to hold their heads over the nations and to dominate all these nations…

This is a terrible reality. This is a very dark power with many tentacles which have spread out and embraces the entire world with the sole purpose to subdue and infiltrate the Christian nations mainly. My friends, these are not myths, this is not anti-Semitism, and we are not being prejudiced here…

Let us not forget that Chiliasm (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Freemasonry and Ecumenism are the works of Zionism and they are on their way to grip the entire world…

The Zionists have succeeded in fighting the Christians from within, to turn the Christians against one another, their faith and their own countries, etc.

The fact is, these people infiltrate the political systems of every nation and attempt to hold the economy of these nations in their hands—the stock markets, the government, the press and mass communications… The greatest newspapers of the world are in the hands of the Jews and they offer the news exactly how they want. This is the way they lord it over the nations and this can be seen very clearly in the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, a book published last century. By reading the content of the Protocols, one can easily see that their objectives and schemes against the nations have been fully revealed and met.

The Synagogue of Satan is the most appropriate description of these people because Satan is the one behind this synagogue. If one goes along with Satan, he becomes Satan.”

NOTE: The entire Apocalypse Series by Fr. Athansios is filled with many homilies that speak about International Zionism, Jewish Conspiracies, Blood Libel, Freemasonry, New World Order, and conspiracy theories in general. Though many Greek Orthodox Christians do not share these views, and some official leaders have spoken out publicly against such views (i.e. in the case of Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus’ anti-Semitic tirade in 2010, or in 2011/12 when Greek Orthodox priests were blessing the offices of the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn), the views expressed above are held by many contemporary Greek and Athonite Elders and subsequently passed on to their disciples, both monastics and lay persons. Fr. Athansios Mitilinaios is considered the ‘New Chrysostom’ in both the spiritual and monastic circles of Greece. He is hailed as the most Patristic-minded and accurate commentator on scripture of the 20th century.

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