Nevins Demand Letter Part 2b: Statement of Facts (2005-2010)

From September of2005 to December 20 I 0, Scott told his parents the following:
• In a September 15, 2005 letter, Scott told his parents that when Archimandrite Ephraim first came to America he was confronted by the devil and stabbed with Satan’s big pitchfork tail. Although he was wounded, the Archimandrite defeated the devil. “The Elder” has a scar where the devil stabbed him with his forked tail.
• Scott tells his parents on December 5, 2005, that he had been given permission to visit with them at the monastery, although he could not spend more than two hours with them.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona.

• After the KYOA report mentioned Archimandrite Ephraim’s books, and after Ashley started a website called POEM (Parents of Ephraim Monastics) questioning the teaching contained in those books and the practices at the monasteries, Scott told his parents by letter and on the phone that the Archimandrite had told him that there were inaccuracies in them that had never been corrected, including what was written about the “Protocols of Zion.”
• On March 26, 2006, Scott said that he could not talk with the family as he had in the past.
• Scott was informed by his family in October of2006 that his beloved grandmother was terminally ill and that she was on hospice care. Later, Scott said he never received the page of the letter telling him of his grandmother’s condition. When Ashley asked Scott why someone at the monastery would read his private correspondence and censor it, he replied, “The monks have no secrets between them.” Apparently, it was not the only time this had happened. His father asked Scott if Scott could read Archimandrite Ephraim’s mail. The young man replied, “No he cannot because he is the Elder.” Scott also asked for his parents Social Security Numbers so he could apply for a new visa. They refused since he did not need that information to get a visa. Scott also told his family that he could not leave the monastery to visit his grandmother or go to her funeral because Abbot Paisios would not allow it.

Dr. Bradley Nassif is an Orthodox Christian, scholar, and trusted spokesperson for Orthodoxy, known especially for his ecumenical involvement and active role in Orthodox evangelism.
Dr. Bradley Nassif is an Orthodox Christian, scholar, and trusted spokesperson for Orthodoxy, known especially for his ecumenical involvement and active role in Orthodox evangelism.

• In a January 8, 2007 Christmas card from Scott he talks about a Russian monk named Sam Seidel who left the monastery and married, and how this man was helping him write letters to an Orthodox theologian (Or. Bradley Nassif) who had started a correspondence with Scott. Nassif was opposed to Archimandrite Ephraim’s teachings, and also spoke out in the KVOA television report regarding his concerns over the financial transparency of the monastery.

• In a letter to his grandparents dated January 22, 2007, Scott wrote that he had joined St. Anthony’s because a man who had been a Zen Buddhist had been possessed by devils until he was successfully exorcised by Archimandrite Ephraim. According to Scott, no other priest had been able to help the man.
• In April of 2008, Scott told his parents about the many trips he had made to a physician’s office and emergency room due to a leg length discrepancy and an infected skin lesion that needed to be lanced. After these brief trips away from the monastery, Scott would be more animated, able to carry on a conversation and joke a bit. He seemed more like his old self.
• In October of 2008, Scott sent a letter to stating he was at St. Anthony’s to be with “the Elder” in “100% Obedience,” and that he is offered other books by other people but always prefers and goes back to “Geronda Ephraim’s” books. He also related that he would no longer be corresponding with Nassif.

Scott at St. Anthony's as a novice monk named Ioannis.
Scott at St. Anthony’s as a novice monk named Ioannis.

• Scott was 6’3″ tall and weighed approximately 220 pounds when he entered the monastery. A year later his weight had dropped to 150 pounds. During the month of December, 2008, Scott told the Nevins in a phone conversation about another trip to the emergency room due to a pro-biotic tea he had ingested that had dehydrated him. It took several additional trips to the ER to complete his treatment. He also said that he had gained 30 pounds, and now weighed 180 pounds. He sounded more upbeat, was speaking in his regular tone of voice, and even made jokes and laughed. It was the most ‘normal’ he had sounded since entering the monastery four years before.
• In January, 2009, in a telephone conversation with his parents, Scott asked if the United States was under Marshall Law now that Barack Obama was president. He said he had heard that at the monastery.
• Scott wrote in a November II , 2009, letter that this would be his last letter to them for a long while, and that there were to be no more phone calls either. Scott was never the same after this. His subsequent phone calls and letters revealed a growing paranoia.
• In a February 25, 2010, letter Scott told his grandfather that he was still a novice. He also wrote that there was ” plot” in Modesto to kill him because:

1. “I stole their girl” (He did not mention who the girl was or from whom she was stolen.);
2. He had enraged a high school wrestling coach in Modesto by being a Christian;
3. A number of Satanists in Modesto who belonged to a karate school had it out for him (he did not say why); and concluding
4. “So, I do have some pretty good reasons to stay.” He reported that he didn’t have to worry about these things as long as he stayed at the monastery. At St. Anthony’s “there’s protection from that sort of thing,” “especially being a disciple of the holy Elder,” but if he was to come out he “wouldn’t go back to Modesto.”

Modesto_ArchAshley and Diane did not learn of the February 25th letter until later. But in an August, 2010, phone call from Scott he asked his parents if they had heard of the 5 year plot in Modesto to kill him. His father tried to get Scott to explain more about this plot, but he was evasive, suggesting the plot came either from a karate school where he had once taken classes, or from the sons of the pastor of a local church to which he had belonged. Scott spoke in a monotone voice that was barely understandable.

Ashley and Diane tried without success to get Scott to tell them why he believed these two different sets of people who did not know each other were out to kill him and where he had heard this. Scott became angry and hung the phone up as they asked rational questions and tried to reason with him. The Nevins became extremely worried, but Scott had told them he would accept no more phone calls or letters. It was also obvious to the couple that no one in a leadership position at the monastery or in the church hierarchy would assist them.
In December of 20I0 Diane called Scott at the monastery to see if he would still refuse her call. After he accepted, his mother carefully asked Scott about the “plot.” Scott told her it wasn’t a 5 year plot to kill him, but instead, it was a 10 year plot to kill him by the karate school in Modesto. He also stated that the wrestling coaches at his high school had sexually abused students, and that two local Modesto pastors known to the Nevins family had raped their sons. Continuing, he insisted that he was treated differently in high school because he was left handed, and that his grandmother was evil because she belonged to a church that believed in infant baptism. The Greek Orthodox practice infant baptism.