In Response To Slander Of Elder Ephraim (Rostislav Mikhailovich Malleev-Pokrovsky, 2005)

Those of you who monitor the Indiana List may have noticed this link in discussion of Elder Ephraim and the Monastery of St. Antony in AZ:

While I am by no means an “ephraimite,” ie one who follows the Elder blindly and worships him as a living saint, a major part of my Orthodox formation was received at St. Antony’s and was thoroughly patristic and not tainted at all by the conspiracy theories and baiting that this fellow has brought up.

[NOTE: Rotislav showed up in the late 90’s and helped the outside Fathers plant palm trees].


  I would begin by saying that Mr. Smith has devoted his life to the study of Scripture and has made his decisions based on how he has understood it, some good, some bad. His approach has been diverse, based on RC bible study, friendships and contacts with Orthodox Jews and Rabbis, and a diverse association with Orthodox of all stripes. This is something for which he should be commended.

David (Nephon) Smith
David (Nephon) Smith

Now, I was there at St. Antony’s during the period in question and am well aware of Mr. Smith’s situation, as he was a friend of mine and a confidant. To begin with, Fr. Paisios told Mr. Smith to refrain from sexual relations after his CIVIL MARRIAGE at the Mesa Wedding Chapel UNTIL he was married in the Church. Fr. Paisios does not dissuade sex in marriage in regard to procreation, and his point of view mirrors that of St. Maximos the Confessor, the Kollyvades Fathers, and the best thought of Patristic Scholars of our day.

[NOTE: Under no circumstances does a Geronda give a blessing for any carnal unions that are not blessed through marriage in a canonical Orthodox Church. Furthermore, the rules and canons of the church forbid carnal unions before receiving Holy Communion and on fast days, thus Orthodox couples generally refrain from carnal unions during a large portion of the year (2x 40-day Lents, the Dormition Fast, Wednesdays and Fridays, etc.) Though it varies from Geronda to Geronda, and of course on the disposition of the spiritual child confessing, when a couple passes the child-rearing phase of their relationship, they are given the suggestion or advice that it might be better to cease having carnal relations. Of course, the general advice and suggestions of a spiritual father are essentially an obedience]

The Kollyvades Fathers of Mount Athos
The Kollyvades Fathers of Mount Athos

I never witnessed not one baptism at St. Antony’s. [NOTE: The baptisms at that time were done in secret, the church was locked, only the priest, the ecclesiastiko, godparent and person baptised were present. There was always a haste to empty the font afterwards and clean up the church so as not to raise suspicion. Hieromonk Gabriel and Father Hieronymos were two of the ekklesiastikoi at that time period. Because adult baptisms at the monasteries were forbidden by the Hierarchy during that time period—and priests were essentially at risk of being defrocked if caught—then it’s obvious that it wasn’t something for public spectacle. This problem was solved later on when a spiritual child of Geronda Paisios offered the creek on his property to be used for baptisms. In rare cases, one may be sent to Mount Athos to be baptized, in other cases, Mt. Athos is just a cover story to direct attention away from the monastery].

David Smith & Geronda Paisios
David Smith & Geronda Paisios

Mr. Smith kept on requesting to have his rule increased, not decreased. He frequently did things without the “blessings” he says he needed to obtain, such as getting married outside of the Church, quitting his job because he didn’t feel like working anymore and forcing his wife to do so, moving in with his mother in law, abandoning his apartment, abandoning his vocational training in carpentry and tile laying on the verge of making a career for himself, etc. These were all decisions Mr. Smith made AGAINST Elder Paisios’ advice and were quite the product of his own self-will. When his finances collapsed and his living situation worsened, HE SPECIFICALLY requested the aid of the monastery in Florence for himself and his wife, where they could “get things together living as BROTHER AND SISTER and UNTONSURED MONASTICS IN SEPARATE QUARTERS.” That didn’t seem to satisfy him, and he decided to move himself and his wife to FL to “avoid having his Nissan Pick Up repossessed, so that he could get some help from social services without having to work, and enjoy an occasional toke of marijuana.” Thereafter Mr. Smith disappeared.

[NOTE: As is the case with many a lay people that don’t follow the advice of their spiritual father—i.e. do blind obedience to everything he suggests or advises—when things start going wrong in their life it becomes a cautionary tale that can be used in homilies for other lay people, and in some cases, the monks. As it says in the Ladder: “It is possible to belittle those living in the world out of conceit; and it is also possible to disparage them behind their backs in order to avoid despair and to obtain hope.” The cautionary tales of lay peoples’ misfortunes and miseries are used as a tool to incite monastics to be more grateful that they are in a monastery and not in the world].

Geronda Ephraim and Geronda Paisios
Geronda Ephraim and Geronda Paisios

I worked planting trees at the monastery during the period in question. I worked almost daily with Elder Ephraim and had hours of contact with him. Fr. Paisios was at one time a spiritual director for me. What I was told to read by Elder Ephraim was St. John Cassian.

[NOTE: Elder Ephraim was outside with the tree fathers a lot and gave directions on where things would be planted. He even handed out Snowballs and other treats to the outside fathers; though this caused a conflict of conscience with some of the fathers as Geronda Paisios had forbidden his monks sugar and other sweets. This would also happen when Geronda Joseph—NY Abbot—would bring a cooler of Haagen Daaz bars for all the monks when Geronda Ephraim would give a talk in the Gerontikon].

Geronda Joseph, NY would bring a cooler of Haagen Daaz bars for all the monks when Geronda Ephraim would give a talk in the Gerontikon
Geronda Joseph, NY would bring a cooler of Haagen Daaz bars for all the monks when Geronda Ephraim would give a talk in the Gerontikon

He never spoke of “conspiracies”: his talks were wrote memory recitations on prayer, perseverence, love straight out of a Gerontikon. Yes, he did advise obedience, but he was quick to understand human failings and provide a word of love. His writings clearly reflect that, and what Mr. Smith has decontextualized is a travesty, for he is indicting Elder Ephraim for paraphrasing such luminaries as Pakhomios, St. John Klimakos, Abba Dorotheos, et al.

[NOTE: Elder Ephraim doesn’t really elaborate on conspiracies as he doesn’t spend a lot of time reading that kind of information. In the early days (70’s, etc.), those kind of books were quite common in Greece (i.e. Protocols, Zionism, Jewish conspiracy for world domination, Freemasonry, Antichrist, etc.). Almost the entire Holy Mountain has this mindset; it’s intertwined with their orthodox world-view.]

Geronda Ephraim (2003)

Moreover, I NEVER, NOT ONCE, saw Mr. Smith pick up a shovel to help planting a tree.

[NOTE: This was the common monastic insult for those monks and lay people who were lazy and tried to avoid planting trees. Some Sundays, even though it was a day of rest for the fathers, Elder Ephraim would come knocking on the fathers’ doors to plant trees and they asked lay people. Lay people don’t always want to help with the workload, though. Some monks and novices also tried to avoid this work by feigning illness. At that time, it became a standard for the monks that if they did not have a fever, they were ok and capable to work].

He NEVER had contact with the Elder. All of his “knowledge” of the Elder is SECOND HAND and STYLIZED.

[NOTE: Most knowledge of Elder Ephraim is second hand. Those who get a true glimpse of Elder Ephraim, are those he feels safe enough around to be himself and unwind—i.e. those who don’t scandalize easily and those who he allows to get somewhat close. This is usually his cell attendants, his monastic personal drivers, and some of the Gerondas and Gerondissas who are under him. Again, he also fragments the information he disseminates. Thus, he may say something to a Gerondissa. She may or may not share that with her nuns, or maybe just a couple. In turn she may share it with other monastics under Geronda Ephraim, or she may tell her nuns to keep it to themselves. If Elder Ephraim tells her not to mention what he said to anyone, it will remain with her to the grave, unless he says “until after I die.”].


Fr. Paisios never spoke politically with me.

[NOTE: Again, Rotislav is a lay person. Only monks really get to see Geronda Paisios shine when explaining how the Rothschilds seized the world economy, what the Masons or Zionists are doing, how chem-trails affect the monasteries, etc.  Amongst monks, Geronda Paisios is known “to have tomorrow’s news today.” During this time period, Geronda Paisios had a short wave radio and would listen to various conspiracy rants. He would reiterate the information in casual talks among the fathers in the kitchenette of the monks’ quarters (lay people were not allowed in this section). At that time, there were cassette holders in the hallways of the monks’ quarters. The amount of “conspiracy theory” homilies in Greek—especially those involving the Antichrist or Book of Revelations—are countless. As well, many times Geronda Paisios may bring DVDs with various conspiracy/political information to the monasteries he visits and will give it to the Abbot/Abbess. Then, it’s up to the head if they allow their monastics to view it, or if they choose to reiterate the information on it. Once again, random lay people are not privy to these things].

Most of the Abbots and Abbesses with some of the monks and nuns from various monasteries outside the katholikon of St. Anthony's Monastery.
Most of the Abbots and Abbesses with some of the monks and nuns from various monasteries outside the katholikon of St. Anthony’s Monastery.

He advised reading of the Philokalia, especially St. Hesykhios the Presbyter. The rule he customarily gives I received 3 ropes, not necessarily 300 knot–my rope was 150, to our Lord and one to the Panaghia. He adjusted prostrations accordingly and was flexible as far as the rule was concerned in regard to Holy Communion. Fr. Paisios was LENIENT in regard to attendance of church services and undrstood our human failings, eg allowing me to get to Matins by the Gospel, take rests during an Agripnia, etc. Nephon RECEIVED SUCH DISPENSATIONS. And this is TYPICAL OF FR PAISIOS’ METHODOLOGY. The commentary about the services and their length is quite interesting, as established Orthodox monasteries from Valaam to Trinity-St. Sergius to the Holy Mountain to St. Katherine’s to St. Savas to Jordanville, etc. FOLLOW THE SAME AND/OR SIMILAR order.

[NOTE: There is no catch all methodology for a spiritual father when dealing with lay people. There are common factors, and specific canons that have to be adhered to, but an elder is essentially dealing with numerous personalities and wills and in using the usual Church/Hospital—Spiritual Father/Doctor analogy, each illness requires a different treatment. A lay person cannot take their own personal experience and interactions with an elder and expect other people to have the exact same interactions and treatment. It really depends on the inner disposition of each person. This is the same with monastics to a certain degree].


I NEVER encountered ANY monk speaking of “murdering for the Elder,” but I did encounter how certain converts like Mr. Smith let themselves get carried away ON THEIR OWN.

[No monastic really talks about “murdering for the Elder,” but any serious monastic will attempt to cultivate an inner disposition of being willing to do anything whatsoever the Elder asks, no matter what it is, whether it is illogical, humiliating, even illegal. All the monasteries have their own stories of scandal cover-ups, white collar crime—which isn’t really considered a crime in the monasteries. It cannot be emphasized enough that when a monastic is given an obedience, the objective is not to question, examine, or judge the order given. A monastic must do this obedience unhesitatingly, with a good disposition, believing they will be judged on how they execute the obedience. A perfect example is Abraham. He never questioned God when ordered to sacrifice his son or the desert father who was ordered to throw his child into the river. Both were prevented before actually committing the murder. A monastic is to have this mindset—because the Elder may only be testing their obedience, loyalty and inner disposition. It should also be noted that an oral tradition and rule of the Holy Mountain is that the only time a monastic can be violent is if someone insults his Elder; a monastic is allowed to hit that person].

Sacrifice of Abraham
Sacrifice of Abraham; Blind Obedience.

Likewise, the odious and obvious baiting here used to slander the Elder by mentioning the “Protocols,” the “Serbs and other jurisdictions,” “other secret monasteries,” the “Birchers,” etc. is nothing but innuendo. Now, there are people who visit the monastery who mention these things just as there are in MOST Orthodox Monasteries. The rumor mill they propagate is NOT the orientation of the monastery just as a “homosexual Orthodox activist” or “matthewite” attending say the OCA Washington DC Cathedral and involving himself in their community is NOT the orientation of the Cathedral.

[Considering Geronda Ephraim mentions the Protocols in his 1974 book A Call from the Holy Mountain (translated into English in 1991) as well as some of his earlier Greek cassette homilies—a language Rotislav didn’t understand at that time—how can one claim that even though he said it, he didn’t mean it?]

Neither Elder Ephraim, nor Elder Paisios EVER talked about politics. They felt it was something profane. Elder Ephraim was even troubled by greetings and communiques from the deposed king of Greece and current Greek politicians FOR HE DID NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED.

 [NOTE: Elder Ephraim only talks politics in certain situations. Geronda Paisios was told by Geronda Ephraim to lay off on talking conspiracy theories and politics to lay people, especially after the KVOA incident. Nowadays, one will only really hear these kind of conversations if he is a monastic and hangs out with the Abbots at a monastery feast day. Lay people don’t have the same privileges as monastics. Novices do not have the same privileges as rassaphores. Rassaphores do not have the same privileges as hieromonks. There is a hierarchy of knowledge and it is impenetrable by outsiders, novices and rassaphores. If one is allowed into this circle of knowledge by the Abbot or Abbess (and their second-in-commands) then they will know; if not, then they could be in a monastery for years and be clueless. Sometimes there are older monks or nuns “in the know” who lack the self-control to control their tongue. They may leak information they shouldn’t to other monastics or lay people. If this gets back to the Abbot or Abbess (because they may not always confess their transgression), there are usually huge penances meted out].


The “Protocols” were NEVER mentioned. As a matter of fact, a close supporter of the monastery, A. LIKOS, routinely denounced them as “forgeries, not worth talking about” when VISITORS brought them up. He is a spiritual son of the Elder and extremely close to him.

[NOTE: Athanasios Likos has been a spiritual child of Geronda Ephraim for decades. Again, he is as close to Geronda Ephraim as the Elder allows him to be. During that earlier time period, the monastics also had instructions to be careful around him because “he scandalizes easily and he repeats everything he sees or hears.” Pilgrims that scandalize easily and also talk a lot about everything are treated with a special care. They’re usually not exposed to too much, and the information they are allowed to hear, even though it may seem important and special to them, is usually nothing too important and something that if it is leaked wouldn’t come back to harm or damage the monastery. The Abbot or Abbess will usually forewarn their monastics when these sort of pilgrims plan to come to the monastery so they can be on their guard, as many times they like to probe the monastics for information. Though they are potentially very harmful, these sorts of pilgrims many times are useful to the monasteries—either financially, or through the help they give, or through connections they have, thus they’re kept around and tolerated. It should be noted that many lay people have experiences tailor-made for their own individual needs and short comings].

Geronda Ephraim and Fr. Anthony Moschonas Sitting and Chatting
Geronda Ephraim and Fr. Anthony Moschonas Sitting and Chatting

Lastly, I have witnessed Fr. Paisios and Elder Ephraim address their Bishops on bended knee and in full humility and obedience. They are Constantinople loyalists, and it is here where I have found my issue. Mr. Smith had no access to the books of the monastery and his knowledge of budgets, etc. is dubious at best. The monastery and Fr. Paisios provided them with the support they could. St. Antony’s is our American Optina and must treasured as such.

[NOTE: At that time, almost the entire monastery was banned from the office. Even if they knocked on the door because they needed something, the monastic would not be allowed to enter if he was not one of the few fathers with a blessing. At that time, it was basically Geronda Paisios, Fr. Silouanos, Fr. Chrysostomos, Akakios, Nektarios and Fr. Ilarion who had access to the office, as well as Irakles/Fr. Epifanios who later went to New York. Thus, David Smith would not know much about budgets other than basic things of a cost of a palm tree multiplied by however many were planted, or if he overheard other  fathers talking about costs of certain projects].


In closing, Mr. Smith has issues, and I hope for him and his family he resolves them. He is gifted and could add to Orthodox learning. His biblical research into the Nazorite Vow, for instance, is astoundingly brilliant. He simply needs a rudder. Orthodoxy is not about joining civil rights movements and the like and their secular concerns. He needs to decide who he is once and for all and grow in that direction. Is he an Old Calendarist, an Antiochian, a Byzantine Catholic, a Hassidim wannabe, a Black Muslim sympathizer, a member of ROCOR , the Serbs, or the GOA?! “Yes” to the above question simply will not do. Such dissonant views definitely drive one to psychotropic drugs as mentioned when they are not reconciled. He is in need of our prayers, for he bears a heavy cross. I ask the forgiveness of all for bringing these things up and that people discount who am I in homage to the truth.

Pray for me, the unworthy sinner…

Rostislav Mikhailovich Malleev-Pokrovsky


PS Fr. Theologos is a friend of mine, and he is one of the most happy and ardent Orthodox Christians I have ever met. His ardour amongst Protestants would be seen AS LIVING A GODLY LIFE, but certain Orthodox and others use him to advance an agenda. At 18, he chose to become a monk. I wonder if certain people would be so alarmed at his ADULT life decision if he chose to be homosexual, become an atheist, or join a rock band. It is shameful what they are putting him through.

[Interestingly, Fr. Theologos returned home in 2007 right after the St. Anthony’s Monastery Feast Day. Instead of flying back to his monastery in Harvard, he had a ticket arranged to take him home to Tennessee. Now he is married with children. It should also be mentioned that in reality, monks don’t have “friends,” they’re suppose to be dead to the world. A monastic is required to show love to lay people, be polite, have a good disposition, speak respectively even if they have logismoi or character conflicts with the said individual. This does not mean, however, that the monastic is a “friend” or “buddy” of the lay person. Many times, a monastic will exhibit this behavior with lay people they don’t like—not that they’re suppose to have dispositions of dislike—but they force themselves to be nice and kind as it is their Christian duty. In some cases, an Abbot or Abbess may give an obedience to one of their monastics to work with a lay person or monastic whom they dislike or have thoughts against so they can overcome these passions and unchristian dispositions. A perfect example from this time period are the novices Athanasios (Fr. Makarios) and Ioannis (Hieromonk Ioannikios). Almost daily they were giving each other prostrationsduring Orthros and asking forgiveness for whatever they did or said to each other during their diakonimata. They had a character conflict].

Abba Sisoes

PPS Isn’t it strange of the environment of compromise inaugurated into ROCOR by the Lebedeff camarilla is now manifesting itself by having new insurgent voices and their kit like “Indiana List” manifest anti-monasticism, anti-traditionalism, a let’s be modernist as fast as we can attitude. This, my friends, is why the compromise ROCOR made is so fatal, for they opened up the floodgates and they can’t stop the bleeding now. Moreover, the whole policy of guilt by accusation and innuendo WITHOUT the other side getting as much as a hearing, well, I hope we can appreciate the gravity of the situation, for it’s rolling down hill now. It wasn’t so much what they did, as it was the way they manifested it–MORAL RELATIVISM. Just like his mentor who left the port of Odessa in the middle of the night, ABANDONING his parishoners to the bolsheviks, this is what the Lebedeff camarilla is doing to the legacy of ROCOR and they are too ignorant or apathetic to do anything about it.


Response to David Smith’s continued allegations of anti-Semitism (Seraphim Larson, 2006)

Outstanding Party Worker in State Award was accepted by the PCRC Chairman, Seraphim Larsen on behalf of Karen Wall.
Outstanding Party Worker in State Award was accepted by the PCRC Chairman, Seraphim Larsen on behalf of Karen Wall.

Seraphim Larsen is a convert to Orthodoxy and has been a pilgrim to St. Anthony’s Monastery pretty much since its beginning. Geronda Paisios is his spiritual father and also the priest who baptized him. Thus, as a lay person, he is in a very good position to refute accusations against the monastery as he knows more than the average person due to his unique relationship with the fathers there. In December 2012, he was elected chairman for the Pinal County Republican Party (Florence, AZ is a town in and the county seat of Pinal County). He was also the representative for Presidential Candidate Ron Paul the same year. He is currently a member of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots.

I am finding it difficult to give an adequate answer to David (Nephon) Smith’s latest webpage, where he addresses my earlier blog on Elder Ephraim’s supposed anti-Semitism.

Geronda Paisios and David Smith.
Geronda Paisios and David Smith.

The difficulty does not lie in answering Smith’s specific complaints; in fact, he really makes only one specific accusation, namely, that Elder Ephraim teaches anti-Semitism (which I have already refuted). Rather, the difficulty lies in the long and winding path by which Smith arrives at that one accusation. This is a path strewn with misconceptions, misunderstandings, innuendo, and petty nonsense. It is very time-consuming to attempt to address each of these twists and turns – requiring more time than I have at my disposal. Therefore, I will provide a sampling, which I hope will be sufficient to indicate to readers the strained character of Smith’s argumentation. Following this, I will address one or two concrete issues.

Smith begins his answer to my earlier posting with a perplexing statement – “I never said the monks were racists or anti-Semites. I said that Ephraim’s teachings are anti-Semitic.” What is the purpose of this hair-splitting? Is he trying to distinguish between the terms “anti-Semite” and “anti-Semitic”? What is the point here? Following the same online dictionary that Smith referenced (link, and especially link), one sees that these terms are essentially synonomous: an anti-Semite is one who promotes anti-Semitic teaching.

Is he then trying to distinguish between the teachings of the monks at Elder Ephraim’s monasteries, and the teachings of the Elder himself? This does not make sense either, as Smith repeatedly refers to “the Monastery’s network of people”, teachings “propagated by the Monastery”, “taught by the monks”, or by “the Elder’s followers”. He generally equates all of these things.

Perhaps Smith intended to communicate some nuance that escapes my notice; were it not for this possibility, I would be inclined to regard Smith’s statement as petty equivocation.

Continuing through Smith’s argument, he makes the following assertions.

(1) The Protocols are absolutely proven forgery.

My response: There are many reasonable people who would not make such a firm and absolute assertion, either for or against the Protocols. I will address this later on in this post.

This Greek translation of the Protocols, with the subtitle: "The evil plans of the Zionists that flourishes today," was sold for years in St. Anthony's bookstore.
This Greek translation of the Protocols, with the subtitle: “The evil plans of the Zionists that flourishes today,” was sold for years in St. Anthony’s bookstore.

(2) Smith demonstrates that Elder Ephraim’s disciples have expressed various opinions on the issue, some opposing the authenticity of the Protocols, and some supporting it. He quotes from several of these people.

Smith looks upon this variety of opinion as vacillation – people scrambling to downplay the Elder’s references to the Protocols. Smith describes this circumstance as “interesting”, insinuating that there is some attempt at a “cover-up”.

A much simpler explanation is that, in fact, the Elder’s spiritual children are ordinary people with their own reasonably considered opinions, some of them accepting the Protocols as valid, some denouncing them, and others never having heard of them at all. However, Smith cannot take this position, because he asserts that the Elder is running a cult, that the Elder’s spiritual children “aren’t allowed” to have any opinions of their own, and that the Elder is “pushing” the Protocols on his “followers”. The more rational explanation is much simpler.

(3) Smith provides a quote from Saint Ambrose of Milan, presenting it in a light that makes the Saint appear to be an anti-Semite.

Smith does not even refer to this Holy Father as a Saint, but refers to him simply as “Bishop Ambrose of Milan”, despite the fact that Saint Ambrose is universally regarded as one of the greatest fathers of the Western Church. One immediately suspects that the Saint has been quoted out of context, and upon reading the source of the quote, one finds that this is indeed the case.

Sts. John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo are the usual saints targeted for anti-Semitism accusations, not St. Ambrose.
Sts. John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo are the usual saints targeted for anti-Semitism accusations, not St. Ambrose.

Saint Ambrose is writing a letter to the Emperor Theodosius, asking for clemency for a village bishop and some other Christians who were accused of burning down a synagogue. Apparently the Emperor had already decreed a sentence in the matter, and Saint Ambrose reminds him that the accused bishop had not even been allowed to give a defense of himself. The Saint further reminds the Emperor that many Jews and pagans had recently destroyed a large number of basilicas and churches, and had received no punishment for their deeds. How, then, could the Emperor rightly mete out a strict punishment against these Christians, whose guilt had not even been proven? This would not only be unjust, but would also be showing partiality to those who deny Christ; by doing so, the Emperor would be making himself an enemy of Christ.

In the course of this epistle, one can find the passage quoted by Smith. Smith condemns the “hateful practice” of burning synagogues, insinuating that Saint Ambrose actually condones this, where this is not at all what Saint Ambrose is advocating. Saint Ambrose was writing in defense of a particular group of Christians in the case of a particular event, not at all trying to persuade people in general to rise up against civil order and burn down synagogues as a general practice. Saint Ambrose certainly uses strong language in his admonition of the Emperor, referring to several Old Testament passages that condemn the false religion practiced at times by the ancient Jews, but this language is not even as strong as that used by the Apostles themselves (cf. Rev. 3:9).

In my opinion, Smith has shown himself to be an unreliable patristic interpreter, spinning the Saint’s writings to fit his own purposes. He skews the evidence to support his pre-determined conclusion. He even dares to misrepresent a great father of the Church in this way.

(4) Smith finally makes a concrete accusation – “There is NO place in Christianity for the kind of statements about Jews (or anyone else) that Ephraim is making and encouraging his followers to make.”

However, Smith has very little to stand on. He refers to one or two obscure references to the Protocols in Elder Ephraim’s books, and based on this he claims the Elder is teaching anti-Semitism. Based on the writings of “a disciple of Fr. Paisios”, who provides a general characterization of Judaic spirituality, Smith assumes he learned these things from St. Anthony’s Monastery, and declares there is “NO place in Christianity” for opinions of this kind.

Smith imagines there is a concerted secret effort going on amongst Elder Ephraim’s spiritual children to incite prejudice against the Jews and get people to believe in the Protocols. But Smith himself demonstrates that the Elder’s spiritual children have expressed many different opinions on the matter.

I think it is fair to ask, who is really being prejudiced here? Who is really taking an extreme position and making a ridiculous argument?

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.

Now, to move on to Smith’s specific allegations. Smith continues to charge Elder Ephraim with teaching anti-Semitism, based solely on the Elder’s referring to the Protocols as though they were a genuine document. Smith cites many sources that purport to make the case that the Protocols are a forgery.

As I have already pointed out, it is quite possible for reasonable people to look at the evidence on both sides of the issue, and come to different conclusions. I personally believe that this happens because the issue is quite complex. People think differently and give different weight to the various points of evidence, thereby reaching different conclusions.

Smith, however, seems to think that the only way a person can assess the evidence and then conclude that the Protocols are genuine, is if the person is already predisposed by anti-Semitic prejudice. Of course, Smith’s approach precludes any rational discussion of the topic, since if a person takes the opposing point of view, Smith will denounce him as de facto anti-Semitic.

Smith therefore concludes that the Elder must teach (and therefore believe) anti-Semitism, because the Elder apparently teaches (and believes) that the Protocols are genuine.

I have already given substantial evidence to show that the Elder has absolutely no prejudice towards the Jews. But the only thing that seems to matter to David Smith is the Elder’s opinion of the Protocols; this is enough to convict the Elder of anti-Semitism. It doesn’t matter that many of the Elder’s spiritual children are Jews. It doesn’t matter that many of the monks and nuns in the Elder’s monasteries are Jews. It doesn’t matter that even the Elder’s personal physician is a Jew. It doesn’t matter to Smith that none of these people have ever complained of anti-Semitism from the Elder or from the monasteries, and that they have experienced no negative prejudice shown toward them. The only thing that seems to matter is this one allegation — that Smith believes the Protocols are a fraud — and anyone who disagrees with his opinion is anti-Semitic.

Which point of view is truly prejudiced?

Smith concludes his argument about anti-Semitism as follows: “The only reason to propagate the Protocols, like Ephraimites do, and like the Archdiocese allows the Ephraimites to, is if you honestly believe there is a conspiracy against Christianity by Zionists, which Ephraim certainly believes and it appears his followers do too.”

Surely Smith (and perhaps some other readers) will object that I have not yet come out and stated clearly whether the Elder actually does “honestly believe there is a conspiracy against Christianity by Zionists”, and so on.

It is true that I have not addressed the issue. I have many good reasons for this. Chiefly, this is a very serious topic that especially requires an appreciation and understanding of what the Holy Fathers have written about it. But in an atmosphere of innuendo, misunderstanding, and antipathy towards the Holy Fathers, to begin a discussion of these things in detail would surely only add to the confusion. This is why I have preferred to limit my current response, addressing only the disingenuous method of argumentation employed by David Smith.

If we are able to “clear the air” and discuss the issues forthrightly, with at least some deference shown toward the opinions of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church, and without knee-jerk accusations of anti-Semitism being flung about, then perhaps a discussion of the Protocols would be worthwhile. But in the current atmosphere, I doubt such a discussion would be profitable for anyone.


Geronda Paisios, abbot of St. Anthony's Monastery.
Geronda Paisios, abbot of St. Anthony’s Monastery.

Does Elder Ephraim teach anti-Semitism? (Seraphim Larson, 2005)

Seraphim Larsen is a convert to Orthodoxy and has been a pilgrim to St. Anthony’s Monastery pretty much since its beginning. Geronda Paisios is his spiritual father and also the priest who baptized him. Thus, as a lay person, he is in a very good position to refute accusations against the monastery as he knows more than the average person due to his unique relationship with the fathers there. In December 2012, he was elected chairman for the Pinal County Republican Party (Florence, AZ is a town in and the county seat of Pinal County). He was also the representative for Presidential Candidate Ron Paul the same year. He is currently a member of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots.

Seraphim Larsen's Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots Profile Pic.
Seraphim Larsen’s Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots Profile Pic.
As I mentioned earlier, I intend to address the issues raised by David Smith one-by-one.

The first issue he raises is anti-Semitism.  He accuses Elder Ephraim and the Fathers at Saint Anthony’s Monastery of being anti-Semites. Such a claim is absolutely unfounded.It is worth mentioning that the Elder’s own personal medical doctor in Phoenix is a Jew.  A lawyer that the Monastery uses is also a Jew.  In addition, there are a number of Monks who are from Jewish backgrounds, and at least one of the Orthodox Priests who regularly visits St. Anthony’s Monastery is a Jewish convert to Christianity.   I know two of these people quite well, and they have never complained of any anti-Semitic teaching coming from Elder Ephraim.

Fr. James Bernstein, Jewish convert to Orthodoxy.
Fr. James Bernstein, Jewish convert to Orthodoxy.

Smith provided some quotes from some of Elder Ephraim’s writings to try to prove that the Elder is anti-Semitic. For example:

One Sunday, a preacher delivered a sermon on “love your enemies.” On the Sunday after, he spoke against alcohol addiction – about the havoc it wrought among the Christian peoples. Incidentally, the infamous Zionists greatly boast about this in their notorious ‘Protocols.’

It is important to note, in the quotes cited by Smith, Elder Ephraim speaks against the Zionists, not Judaism or the Jewish people.

Zionism is not equivalent to Judaism — not at all. Zionism is “an international movement originally for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine, and later for the support of modern Israel” (Merriam-Webster). The ranks of the Zionists have included many who are not even Jewish — for example, many American Evangelicals identify themselves with the Zionist movement.

Many people of greatly varied political and religious views are opposed to Zionism for many different reasons, and it would be ridiculous to claim that all of them are anti-Semites. There are even Jewish people and organizations that oppose Zionism. Are they also anti-Semites? This is plainly ridiculous.

Thus, there is no foundation at all to the accusation that Elder Ephraim and/or the fathers at Saint Anthony’s Monastery are racists or anti-Semites.  This accusation simply has no basis.


christopher3rd said…
The part of this comment that is deemed offensive is not the reference to Zionists, but the reference to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which is a forged, anti-Semitic text that is not primarily concerned with Zionism. For background see:

This clarification should not, in any way, be taken as a denouncement of Elder Ephraim or his monasteries in the US. Ignorance concerning Elder Ephraim and Orthodox, Athonite monasticism has been the basis for much of the controversy surrounding Geronda Ephraim. The lack of clarity in this defense of Geronda’s comments concerning the Protocols simply adds to the confusion.

The Protocols of Zion are assumed to be fact in many quarters of the world, and perhaps this is the basis of Geronda’s comments. Then again, the reference to “the infamous Zionists” is not the focus of his comment but on the alcohol additiction “among the Christian peoples”. The reference to “the Zionists… in their notorius Protocols” can be taken in the same way that a reference to Hamlet, Zeus, Raskolnikov, or other literary and folk figures, helps to underline a point. Referencing Zeus or Apollo is not tantamount to admitting their historicity, nor is quoting “To be or not to be” an approval of Prince Hamlet’s murderous actions or of Shakespeare himself.

We should remember to put the best construction on second and third hand information such as this, taken out of context, and mixed with vague suspicions of impropriety. These tendencies toward gossip are the basis of many of the accusations against Geronda Ephraim, as well as those against other “secret organizations” such as the Masons, the United Nations, and the “Elders of Zion” which are demonized without actual proof. Uninformed, anti-monastic, gossip is not appropriate to Christians- nor is fixating on who may or may not be wielding worldly power when our Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world.

12/13/2005 10:24 AM
Anonymous said…
Since Arabs can also be Semites, we cannot use the term anti-Semitism to describe someone who hates Jews as a people. The correct term would be “anti-Jewism” or perhaps “Jewphobia”, as a Jewish scholar suggested recently.

Apart from that, even if one supports the theory of the Protocols, this speaks against Zionism, which, beyond national borders, if seen as the belief system that it really is (the supposed 1000-year Jewish dominion etc.) is evidently against the teachings of the Orthodox Church. (For example read here

Unfortunately, I did not manage to find an excellent link that provides a 1000-page analysis (!!) as evidence to the contrary of the hoax theory by a serious scholar who has been in contact with Cohen and the others. Nevertheless, I do recall that the analysis admitted that the results, seen by all sides, are inconclusive, so one cannot claim that they have proof of the validity of the Protocols. At the same time however one cannot claim that they have proof that it is parody. If I find the link, I will send it here. (Apologies for this — but it is true).

"Every one is striving to ensure the creation of one religion.  And it will be accomplished in such a way – by claiming that 'all religions are the same;' that 'we shall form a new religion'… This is being done by something they call Zionism. " St. Porphyrios  the Kapsokalivite
“Every one is striving to ensure the creation of one religion. And it will be accomplished in such a way – by claiming that ‘all religions are the same;’ that ‘we shall form a new religion’… This is being done by something they call Zionism. ” St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite

Freemasonry however is a different fruit. There are no mysteries there; not today. It has been officially forbidden for Orthodox Christians by a regulation of the State Church of Greece Continuous Local Synod on more than one occasion. Many enlightened elders have spoken against the spiritually destructive nature of that organization, including recently by Elder Porphyrios, as can be found in Conitsiotis’ well-known book (now the third edition also available in English).

Even if one just takes into consideration the fact that they (as they themselves admit) start their sessions by a common prayer “each to their god”, in true violation of the Orthodox ordinances that anathematise anyone who does this, one can see clearly that Orthodoxy and Freemasonry are incompatible.

The well-known and respected father of blessed memory archimandrite Vasilopoulos wrote about the para-religious cult-like form of Freemasonry in the past. Many reporters, right or left wing, Greek and English, have written on the subject, the world over. There is well-established literature that discusses the para-religious nature of Freemasonry. This of course is also admitted by the older freemasons who were whistling a different tune before they were unmasked. See for example Pythagoras Lodge’s magazine, edition 1, January, 1930 (in Greece).

Archimandrite Haralmabos Vasilopoulos wrote extensively about the Protocols and Zionism.
Archimandrite Haralmabos Vasilopoulos wrote extensively about the Protocols and Zionism.

Returning to the issue of anti-Semitism, however. I *do* wonder. Why is it that we do not hear anyone calling some Jews as anti-Hindo-European or something?

Even black people can be labeled as anti-white and white of course as racists. But Jews are never seen as being in a position to be racist.

Yet when a religious orthodox Jew reads the Zohar (11, 64B)
and “learns” that “the births of Christians must be reduced”, or when he opens up Makkoth (7B) to read that he is “innocent of crime if the purpose is the murder of a Christian”; please tell me: would I be an “anti-Semite” when I ask the above question?

According to the ADL, the film “The Passion of the Christ” was anti-Semitic because it showed the Jews as murderers! Of course, as an Orthodox I disagree with the portrayal of God in movies, but the point is that the use of the word “anti-Semite” is totally in the hands of the rich and powerful American Jewish lobbies and ADL to receive any absurd meaning they want it to receive.

The Passion of Christ is blessed for Geronda Ephraim's  monks and nuns. Some of the monks and nuns have this movie on their IPODs.
The Passion of Christ is blessed for Geronda Ephraim’s monks and nuns. Some of the monks and nuns have this movie on their IPODs.

Elder Ephraim, by being Orthodox, cannot by default BE anti-Jewish since our Christ according to the flesh was a Jew! And we are to love our enemies, even those of the Jews who openly oppose Orthodoxy.

When the US media (newspapers, channels and some major magazines) are all in Jewish hands, together with Hollywood, do you really expect anything different for the propaganda of the public opinion?

As for the existence or not of “conspiracies”. Well, certainly some MUST take place since we had 9/11 carefully orchestrated around our head.

Again, one-sided information was provided by the media in order that Jewish people do not get under the gun of suspicion. Yet very few people bothered to find out on their own that the Associated Press recorded that a short while before the explosions, Scotland Yard sent a telegram to the Israeli Secretary of Treasury Mr. Benjamin Netaniahu not to go to the hotel where he was going to give a speech but to stay at his hotel.

This is a fact; and yet, if one mentioned it today insinuating that certain Israeli groups (and in fact British groups) had foreknowledge of the attacks would most likely once again be labelled as an “anti-Semite”.

Well, I love all people, for all people are images of the Holy Trinity. And whatever they do wrong under the influence of the Devil is not a matter for hatred but sadness. “If God is with us, who is against us?”

However, I do not like to fall victim to the empty and well-known propaganda of “anti-Semitism”, in the same way I do not like any time of propaganda, whether of a sociopolitical or of a religious nature.

The Elder is not a racist, for that would undermine all he ever wanted to be. Religious Zionism, whether people like to hear it or not, is anti-Christian by default and in many ways similar to the ultra-nationalist Greek “Hellenists” that have recently emerged. In both cases phyletism is the underlying issue and phyletism has been FORMALLY condemned by the Orthodox Church.

The Elder has named his black pets, or pets with lots of black color, "Arapi", which is the Greek equivalent of 'Nigger.' Sometimes the monks Basilios, Mattheos, etc. are referred to as "Arapi" behind their backs.
The Elder has named his black pets, or pets with lots of black color, “Arapi”, which is the Greek equivalent of ‘Nigger.’ Sometimes the monks Basilios, Mattheos, etc. are referred to as “Arapi” behind their backs.

Thank you.

1/04/2006 3:29 PM
Anonymous said…
The link, as promised.

Myers is a serious and honest scholar who is however non-Christian. Nevertheless, he provides some significant pieces of information that refute some of the common arguments in favor of the “hoax story”. (dead link)

Of course, there is always the former Rabbi Benjamin Freedman’s explicit revelation, who, deeply knowledgeable in the Talmudic teachings being a professor, in 1954, after converting to Christianity, wrote an open letter to the arch-rabbi of Boston Dr. David Goldstein, LL. D, dated 10th October 1954. There, for the first time, Americans learnt the deep hatred that the Talmudist Jews hold for us. Iore Dea (148, 12H) for example, also quoted in that letter, remind us of the Pharisaical hypocrisy we meet in the Bible: “Hide your hatred against the Christians during their festivities.”

Orthodox Christians love and get on well with both Moslems and Judaizing Jews. However, both Islam and Supremacist Zionism as religious systems are against the spirit of the Orthodox Church.

For example, take St. Kosmas the Aetolos. Both Christians and Moslems in Greece (circa 1765) respected greatly this monk, but some Judaizing Jews hated him. Thus, the Jews of Ipiros in Greece slandered his name — that he was supposedly an instrument of the Russians and was preparing the revolution of the Greeks against the Ottoman Empire.

St. Kosmas Aitolos frequently refers to Jews as "children of the devil" in his sermons.
St. Kosmas Aitolos frequently refers to Jews as “children of the devil” in his sermons.

Thus, while he was preaching the word of God in the village of Kolikontasi of Beratius in Albania, he was arrested on 23 August 1779, by issue of Kurt Pasha, and the next day hanged by a tree by the river Apsus. His body was thrown to the river, from where it was eventually picked up by the village priest.

These are facts. Even if they may not be politically correct. The Elder speaks in love and humility, not with hatred. Christians are to love their enemies. That is the best defence against all the hatred we face. Amen.


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):



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.

In Defense of Monasticism By the Brotherhood of St. POIMEN the Great (2005)

In the past few months, there has been a renewed attack on traditional monasticism in America of the kind that has not been witnessed thus far.  A “self-proclaimed” ex-disciple of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese monasteries (and most specifically St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery) has unleashed a series of fabricated allegations and misconstrued impressions that have caused great sadness among several faithful, both in America and elsewhere.  This person has benefited greatly through his past association with the monasteries, both financially as well as spiritually (and as indicated by his own written statements and stories of just a year or so ago).  The reason for his current spite against the monastics is a mystery to many, yet it is strongly suspected that he is encouraged by others and is very likely serving the dark interests of a few special groups that have for a long time now considered monasticism their ‘enemy.’

Abba Poimen.
Abba Poimen.
This article is about David Smith, formerly Novice Nephon at St. Anthony's Monastery.
This article is about David Smith, formerly Novice Nephon at St. Anthony’s Monastery.

This person’s allegations / fabrications have been posted in various discussion forums and electronically disseminated by his supporters. It has also become apparent (through various e-mails that our Brotherhood has received) that any strong voices of support for the monastics and Elder Ephraim are being electronically squashed and pertinent posts mysteriously disappear. In the mean time, these same allegations / fabrications have since become the topic of discussion for many pseudo-orthodox groups, and pretentious laity individuals which have taken great joy to further attack that which they cannot possibly comprehend.

We have never hidden the fact that we are avid supporters of traditional, authentic Orthodox Monasticism of the type that Elder Ephraim has brought to America; we consider it an absolute blessing for our wonderful nation to have close to 20 monasteries that practice and teach true Orthodoxy, in spite of the continued vicious attacks by those who utilize Orthodoxy for their own self-motivated political or monetary gains

While we have been for the most part absent from the related discussion forums, we found it necessary to respond and uncover some very obvious lies and disgusting innuendos which this individual maintained as true.  Subsequently (or concurrently) others who have known this individual and his peculiar past have come forth to reveal some very specific facts which have completely destroyed this person’s credibility.  This course of events has once again established that the monastics (who remain silent and never defend themselves against any and all these vicious attacks) are on the right and this attack shall pass as well.

In an effort to shed some light on this entire dark affair and the various improper allegations, some laity individuals have taken it upon themselves to develop some small websites wherein some excellent information is provided to clarify any questions which the Orthodox faithful may have as it relates to the aforementioned innuendos and allegations.  We strongly recommend that our readers consider visiting and reviewing the material therein in detail.  It is absolutely refreshing to observe the utilization of our Holy Fathers’ writings to demonstrate the validity of the monastics’ teachings and position.  These websites are:

  1. Orthodox Patristic Wisdom


  1. J O Y F U L   L I G H T

Enjoy them — they are indeed excellent!