The Hitler Icon: How Mount Athos Honored the Führer

 

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An image of Adolf Hitler greeted visitors to Mount Athos in 1941 (Source: Mönchsland Athos)

NOTE: Political instability in Greece during the mid-20th century that affected Mount Athos included Nazi occupation from the Easter season of 1941 through late 1944, followed immediately by the Greek Civil War in a struggle where Communist efforts failed. The Battle of Greece was reported in Time Magazine [see the end of this article]. After the Nazi takeover of Greece, the Epistassia, Athos’s four-member executive committee, formally asked Hitler to place the Autonomous Monastic State under his personal protection, and Hitler agreed. Mount Athos survived World War II nearly untouched, and for the remainder of the war, the monks of Mount Athos referred to Adolf Hitler as “High Protector of the Holy Mountain” (German: Hoher Protektor des heiligen Berges).

In an attempt to defend and justify Mount Athos’ allegiance with Hitler during WWII, Greek Orthodox apologists state that it was simply a strategic measure to protect the mountain from Bulgarian occupation and de-hellenization.1 They criticize the jouranlists who write “negatively” about this incident in Athonite history as “slanderers” and “accusers” of the Church; purposely hiding this important information in an attempt to tarnish Mount Athos’ image. However, these Orthodox apologists fall into the same “sin of concealing facts.” The defenders of Athos fail to mention that in the time leading up to the war—especially during the 30s—the Hagiorites were consumed with fervor and anticipation for Constantinople’s liberation as foretold in spurious prophecies that are not officially accepted by the Orthodox Church or the Church Fathers. Yet, the majority of Athonite monks during the 30s not only believed in them, but felt that they were living through their fulfillment.

The Anonymous Prophesy of 1053,2 was a popular prophecy on everyone’s lips before and during the war. This prophecy was virtually unheard of in the Orthodox world until 1914.3 There was a belief that Germany would be the first country to become Orthodox after the “New European War.”4

A common belief of Athonite monks during the 30s, as conveyed in various publications by pilgrims of that era was:

“You know Germany is going to become Orthodox very soon. The Holy Fathers have prophesied it. It is said that there is now a great king ruling in Germany, who slaughters all the Jews and Bolsheviks. We love him for that. It is the beginning of the prophecy.”5

The Triple Occupation of Greece by the Axis Powers (1941-1944)
Germany (red), Italy (blue), Bulgaria (green).

THERE IS A PIOUS notion out there that organized religion, if practiced devoutly enough, can preserve human beings from immoral thoughts and actions, particularly those stemming from the seductions of supposedly secular political ideologies. The Protestants have their “mighty fortress” of Lutheran song and liturgy, the Catholics have their eternal Vatican, and the Greek Orthodox Church preserves its theological purity in the twenty monasteries of Mount Athos, “the Garden of the Virgins,” on a peninsula in northern Greece, where all females – including dogs and cats – are banished from the premises so as to protect the monks from any impure sensations.* However, even the most cursory glance at the historical record reveals that the devout are not only as likely as anyone else to fall for a totalitarian bill of goods, they may even be more susceptible than the average citizen.

Mount Athos can serve as a case in point. In the summer of 1941, just months after the German invasion and occupation of Greece, Professor Franz Dölger led an official Nazi expedition to the holy mountain.6 The journey, which focused on historical and theological issues, was officially sponsored by Alfred Rosenberg, Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and was generously supported by the Wehrmacht. Dölger himself was a distinguished professor of Byzantine studies at the University of Munich from 1931 until his retirement in 1958.

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The expedition report Mönchsland Athos (Athos, Land of Monks), published in 1942

Dölger and his companions, both academic and military, encountered a religious community that was more than willing to embrace Nazism. In fairness to the residents of Mount Athos, we should note that they had good reason to despise Hitler’s nemesis, communism: Stalin was busy confiscating the Russian Orthodox Church’s property and deporting its priests to the gulag, and he had also halted the previously reliable flow of Russian contributions to the monasteries’ upkeep. According to Time Magazine report from 1941, the remarkably naïve monks only knew of Hitler as “a great German king who slays the Bolsheviks and the Jews – a fulfillment of prophecy.” In this, they differed little from the bulk of Catholics and Protestants in Germany and many of the occupied countries. After the Nazi takeover of Greece, the Epistassia, Athos’s four-member executive committee, formally asked Hitler to place the Autonomous Monastic State under his personal protection, a request with which the Führer gladly complied. Mount Athos survived the war nearly untouched, which is more than can be said for the rest of Greece, which lost 11 percent of its population, including virtually all of its Jews.

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Wehrmacht soldiers posing with Greek Orthodox monks in Karyes, Athos Peninsula, Easter 1941

In gratitude for his protection, the monks displayed and revered Hitler images, including not only the one described further down but also a portrait hung directly in the center of a wall of paintings in the great reception room of St Panteleimon monastery, directly beneath a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II (see video clip below).

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Hitler in a place of honor at St. Panteleimon Monastery (1942)
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This picture is taken partner after the Second World War. The portrait of Hitler is Replaced by portraits of Queen Frederica (1917 – 1981) and beside her king Paul (1901 – 1964).

The following is my translation of an excerpt from Prof. Dölger’s account of his visit to Mount Athos as printed in the book Mönchsland Athos (Munich: 1942), the official report of his 1941 visit to the holy mountain:

At the monastery of Konstamonitou, at the place of honor in the reception room, we encountered the image of our Führer.  A monk had discovered a picture in an illustrated magazine and created a pencil drawing based on this model. Elsewhere too we could observe how strongly the personality of the Führer and the Greater German Reich impressed itself upon the imagination of the residents of Mount Athos, at least among those who had not entirely turned away from the world. Upon our arrival at several monasteries and, upon our departure from one (Dionisíu), when we sailed out onto the sea in our little ship, we were greeted by the swastika flag. The Führer is regarded by a great many monks as the “High Protector of the Holy Mountain” who will also hold his protecting hand over the Holy Mountain in the reordering of the world.

We had a delightful experience as we photographed a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. From the point of view of Athos, it represented an immense concession for us to receive permission to photograph the sacred icon, and monks even helped us in our preparations. One old monk who joined us observed these preparations, shaking his head. Turning to us, he said: “If you want to photograph the Panajía [Virgin Mary], then you will have little luck; for the Panajía has never yet allowed herself to be photographed.” – “But it could be,” he added in a trusting and good-natured manner, “that the Panajía may make an exception for you Germans and allow herself to be photographed, because you Germans, after all, are waging a holy war against Bolshevism, the enemy of God.”

*Banishing the opposite sex from the peninsula might sound like a recipe for boredom, but it appears that the monks knew how to keep busy. According to a Time Magazine article in April 1941, “[a]n alarming number of monks have taken to smoking, alcohol, even narcotics. And the immemorial escape from celibacy has threatened to become a fever sickening the whole ‘Great Academy of the Greek Clergy.’ The Greek press has stormed about the kidnapping of male children for the monks of Athos, and motorboats carrying male prostitutes are constantly reported chugging into the monastery harbors.”

Franz Dölger's Diamonitirion
On the recommendation of Georgios Tsolakoglou, 1st Greek Prime Minister of the occupation, Dölger received a special residence permit.

TWO ARTICLES FROM TIME MAGAZINE

MOUNT ATHOS: Failing Light

Monday, April 28, 1941
TIME Magazine

The Stukas swooped across the Aegean skies like dark, dreadful birds, but they dropped no bombs on the monks of Mount Athos. The motorized Nazi hordes rumbled across the Salonikan peninsula, but they did not invade its 40-mile-long eastern cape where the holy and historic Mount towers in misty beauty above monasteries perching like fabulous castles on crags above the sea. Surrounded by flower-scented glens and gorges, veiled with pine and cypress and chestnut, are great Lavra Monastery, Vatopédi, Simöpetra, bastioned Dionysiou (which proudly possesses the brain and right hand of Saint John the Baptist) and many others, each with its fusty library and gilded Byzantine church.

Last week Adolf Hitler gave no hint of what he proposed to do about this great religious prize which was his for the taking—the autonomous ecclesiastical republic of Mount Athos, 1,000-year-old capital of Greek Orthodoxy, governed by a council consisting of one monk from each of its 20 stony retreats.

The 5,000 bearded, black-robed Greek, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Rumanian monks who live on Mount Athos arrived there for many reasons—religion, disappointment in love, political conspiracy, seeking sanctuary against political or criminal punishment. They include several former Greek lunchroom proprietors who fled the clatter of U.S. civilization. They live in two kinds of monasteries: cenobite (communistic) and idiorrhythmic (allowing private property, which reverts to the monastery). Many of them lead a truly monkish life of prayer and Church scholarship, a shabby life without bathing or toothbrushing, with a meatless diet and only brief snatches of sleep, because “sleep inflames the body.” They live on contributions and on the making and selling of wine, farm products, religious paintings and trinkets. Some are so ignorant or unworldly that they have heard only vaguely of Adolf Hitler—”a great German king who slays the Bolsheviks and the Jews—a fulfillment of prophecy.”

But in recent years the world has been altogether too much with Mount Athos to please its pure in heart. For one thing, the world’s sad economy has impoverished the religious life even more than need be. Joseph Stalin has stopped the steady flow of Russian funds into Mount Athos, and war and world depression have sharply cut all other income. The ancient sins of luxury have been increasingly apparent both outside and inside the holy ground. Vigorous young monks are rare. “We need young men today more than ever,” one Athonite has said, “but they prefer to fatten their ephemeral bodies and clothe them in silk shirts and ties.”

On the Mount itself, one of the wealthier monasteries has permitted itself all manner of worldly indulgences—central plumbing, mirrors, electric lights, newspapers, motorboats, wine-pressing machinery (instead of the industrious barefoot method). An alarming number of monks have taken to smoking, alcohol, even narcotics. And the immemorial escape from celibacy has threatened to become a fever sickening the whole “Great Academy of the Greek Clergy.” The Greek press has stormed about the kidnapping of male children for the monks of Athos, and motorboats carrying male prostitutes are constantly reported chugging into the monastery harbors.

Today many Greek laymen regard Mount Athos as a senile, decadent, insufferable vestige of its past. If Adolf Hitler decides to dim this “Lighthouse of the Aegean,” this greatest of world monastic experiments, he may well be doing only what the Greek Government would presently have done itself.

The Tragos ('Magna Carta') of Athos opened for Dölger.
The Tragos (‘Magna Carta’) of Athos opened for Dölger.

GREECE: Flight from Mt. Athos

Monday, July 13, 1942
TIME Magazine

Peter the Athonite came first to Mount Athos in the 9th Century and lived there for 50 years, battling devils and beasts in a cave high above Homer’s wine-dark sea. Then came Euthemius and Joseph, who sought eternal bliss by moving about on their hands and knees eating grass. All this was centuries after Xerxes’ legions invaded Greece, and, of course, centuries before Nazi Panzer divisions.

From the time of Peter the Athonite to Adolf the paper hanger, the great rocky promontory of Athos, jutting into the Aegean like a prong of Poseidon’s three-forked scepter, has been a place of refuge -for men only. No woman has knowingly been allowed to desecrate by her presence the huge cluster of monasteries atop the Holy Mountain, where bearded, black-cowled priests withdraw from worldly pleasures in the spiritual home of the Greek Orthodox Church. Even female cats and dogs and beasts of the field are barred, “so that their mating may not furnish an outlandish spectacle to souls which detest all forms of indecency. . . .”

Last week, from three priests who fled to an even more ancient home of Christian religion, there came the first account of what Europe’s new barbarians had done to the cloistered life of Mount Athos. For some 90 days & nights the priests had navigated nearly 1,000 miles of island-cluttered seas, and at last beached their 15-ft. open boat on the sands near Haifa in Palestine. There they told how ruck-sacked Nazi youths in peacetime had accepted the monasteries’ humble hospitality and returned as soldiers to pillage and defile. Great iron bells that for centuries sounded matins and vespers had been carried away, to be melted down for the Nazi war machine. Priceless icons, illuminated manuscripts handed down from Byzantine emperors, and religious treasures* had been gathered as loot and shipped to Berlin. These things had driven them, sick at heart, from beloved mountain valleys thick with arbutus and carefully laid out for the husbanding of vineyards and olive groves within sight of the slopes of Mt. Olympus and the plains of Troy. At the islands where their boat touched, peasants fed them and gave them shelter.

Greek Orthodox Church officials, believing the perilous voyage of the priests was divinely guided, ordered that their fragile boat be taken overland and placed as a shrine in the waters of the river Jordan, a trumpet’s blow from Jericho.

But German bombs last week struck in Haifa and there was a clash of great armies in the land of Egypt.

Possibly these were omens that the new shrine might soon, in 1942, have no more power to stop warring men than had the words of Him who, some 1,900 years ago, had gone up from the multitude and proclaimed: “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”

Forced landing of the German plane 57 Juncker at the beach in front of the monastery of Aghios Pavlos
Forced landing of the German plane 57 Juncker at the beach in front of the monastery of Aghios Pavlos

During the occupation, a German plane Juncker damaged 57 landed on the beach in front of the St. Paul’s Monastery. Among the crew of the plane there was also a female soldier. To respect the rule of Avaton, the female German had to stay in an old fisherman’s hut on stilts near the beach of the plane, during the repair time. This cabin was then declared as not belonging to the monastic community. The German therefore have not touched the ground of Mount Athos, the rule of Avaton was respected even by the Germans during the war.

*Most famed of Mount Athos’ religious relics: the camel-hair girdle which legend says the Virgin gave to doubting Thomas; pieces of the True Cross; the skull of St. Basil the Great; the brains of St. John the Baptist; the three gifts of the Magi (gold, frankincense and myrrh).

German officers and soldiers on Mount Athos (1943)
German officers and soldiers on Mount Athos (1943)

NOTES

  1. See: Η επιστολή του Αγίου Όρους προς τον Χίτλερ
  2. The Anonymous Prophecy of 1054 is a manuscript found in the Library of Koutloumousiou Monastery, Mt. Athos.
  3. Archimandrite Neilos Sotiropoulos writes in his book, The Coming Two Edge Sword: “The prophecy texts preserved are found in Northern Epirus, Epirus, and western Macedonia. They were found and are located in the Holy Monastery of Naum, Ochrid. It was found in Northern Epirus by the priest-monk, Archimandrite Neophytos Kalofountis, who served there as a soldier in 1914 after the liberation of Ioannina.
  • The ever-memorable lay-preacher, Demetrios Panagopoulos recorded another copy in his book, Saints and Sages Concerning What Will Happen in the Future. The text is continuous and not divided into verses or enumerated. He mentions that “it is found at the Holy Monastery Kozani.” This copy of the prophecy is obviously by an uneducated writer [i.e. not Panagopoulos, but the prophecy text he used]; it inadvertently has spelling errors and variations in a few words, though without changing the meaning. It was found written on a papyrus. At the end of the text, it bears the timeline of being written in 1503 AD, while in the caption it states 1053 AD.
  • The Old Calendarist Bishop of Kalamata, Gregorios, records another copy of the prophecy text in his book, “What We and Our Children Will See.” It reports that it is found in the Holy Serbian Monastery, Kozani. The text has minimal differences from the previous in words and spelling errors without changing the meaning.
  • Another text is found in a village of the prefecture of Kozani and is also written on papyrus. In 1937, a Gendarme appeared at a village house to collect tax. An old woman, the only inhabitant of the house, told him she had paid the tax. The Gendarme asked for the receipt. The old lady, not knowing letters advised him to search the chest to find it. He emptied all the documents onto the floor. He found the receipt and congratulated the old woman. He also noticed an ancient document of prophecy amongst the papers. He took it, copied it and circulated it in many copies. In 1962, a Macedonian journalist published the text of this prophecy in a pamphlet with still more annotations. A Thessalonian gave me this booklet in 1972.
  • Also, the Hagiorite Monk, Nektarios Katsaros’ small booklet, “Prophecies Concerning Constantinople’s Liberation” also contains this prophecy. I bought this book in 1957 at Karyes, Mount Athos where I went and was tonsured a monk.”
  • Some books state that there is a copy of this prophecy in the Library at the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou, Mount Athos.
  1. The “New European War” is now considered to be a prophecy of World War II as it occurred after the “Great European War” which is considered to be a prophecy of World War I.
  2. Ralph H. Brewster, The 6,000 Beards of Athos, p.
  3. “In the spring of 1941 the Germans invaded and occupied Greece”, Father Maximos said to Bob Simon.
    They marched up the Acropolis, raised the swastika beside the Parthenon and were about to invade. The monks asked for a meeting with Nazi officers who told them to appeal to Hitler himself.
    The monks wrote Hitler a letter. “And in the letter, the monks identified themselves. They said, ‘This is who we are.’ And they asked Hitler to place the Holy Mountain under his personal protection,” Father Maximos said.
    When asked what kind of response they got, Father Maximos said, “It seems that Hitler liked the idea. He accepted the invitation to become the personal protector of the Holy Mountain.”
    Hitler sent a team of German academics to Mount Athos. They took 1,800 pictures of the mountain’s treasures, and it wasn’t because they enjoyed photography – Hitler wanted the monasteries’ riches in Berlin.
    “The professors were sent as an advance team to catalogue the treasures of the Holy Mountain so that a selection of things could be looted”, Father Maximos explained.
    But it didn’t happen that way and not a single item was taken.
    Father Maximos believes they have the Russians to thank for that: by the time the Nazi scholars completed their work, Hitler was bogged down in Russia and wasn’t thinking about icons.
  4. 1 August 1943, a helpful German soldier showing a copy of Signal in Greek to an orthodox resident of the ancient monastic state of Mount Athos.
    1 August 1943, a helpful German soldier showing a copy of Signal in Greek to an orthodox resident of the ancient monastic state of Mount Athos.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0tYWPPl4qE

The Top Conspiracy Theories Among Greeks

NOTE: The following article is taken from a now defunct website, Handling Greek Life.

In 2001/2002, the AZ monks  were passing around American Free Press newspapers explaining 9/11 as a Mossad/CIA psy-ops.
In 2001/2002, the AZ monks were passing around American Free Press newspapers explaining 9/11 as a Mossad/CIA psy-ops.

Greeks love them.  They live and breathe conspiracies.  The countless magazines on extra-terrestrial life, mysteries of life etc confirm the thirst of the Greeks for such subjects.  Not to mention TV shows such as those of Mr. Hardavela (not on any longer) and Mr. Liakopoulos.  Here’s a list of the most prominent conspiracies whose existence most Greeks take for granted:

“All Jews are rich and they control the world.”

Anti-Semitic Cartoon from Greek Newspaper
Anti-Semitic Cartoon from Greek Newspaper

This is one of many world-domination theories where the Jews are responsible for all things happening in the world.  The richest men in the world are Jews, they say, and even if they’re not, they are controlled by them.  They’re behind everything.  You name it:  wars, diseases, literature and art that the Orthodox Church does not approve of… it’s all their fault.  They’re trying to brainwash everyone.  I guess many Greeks imagine the most powerful Jews in the world getting together at meetings in order to determine what their next step will be towards world and religious domination.

Rothschild Cartoons. By North Utsire
Rothschild Cartoons. By North Utsire

[NOTE: In the monasteries, many monastics learn about “The Synagogue of Satan” and the secret history of “Jewish world domination” either directly from the superior and other monastics, or through the homilies they have on their iPods].

“Globalization – A New World Order”

Gary H. Kah's book made the rounds in the monasteries shortly after 9/11.
Gary H. Kah’s book made the rounds in the monasteries shortly after 9/11.

For some reason, the word “globalization” has very negative connotations among the common Greek.  For them, it means loss of national identity and, on a practical level, loss of job positions.  They get more imaginative than this, however.  Organizations such as the Masons and the Bilderburg Group push their agenda to powerful governments around the world, they say.  After all, the members of such groups are presidents of countries, tycoons, and media owners:  a mixture of people that can manipulate public opinion to serve their own interests.  The secrecy of such groups exert a kind of mysticism that’s enchanting to the average Greek.

Geronda Paisios would also talk about the Committee of 300 as a hidden hand in the New World Order.
Geronda Paisios would also talk about the Committee of 300 as a hidden hand in the New World Order.

[NOTE: Globalization/N.W.O. conspiracy theories are truth and not “theories” for many of the monastics as it falls in line with their worldview that the Jews will bring in the Antichrist as the one world leader 3 1/2 years before the world ends, i.e. the Second Coming. https://archive.org/details/EnRouteToGlobalOccupation]

“Everyone is after Greece.”

Demetrius-the-Mason

The Albanians, the Slavs in FYROM, and the Turks are all after pieces of land in Greece.  Some maps from Albania show the “Albanian Dream,” which is the extension of their country the whole way down to Preveza.  Skopia, on the other hand, give out maps where their country extends to include all of Macedonia down to Halkidiki and Thessaly.  Of course, the Turks are the lifelong enemy… who knows what they’re after.

[NOTE: Geronda Paisios has said that the Zionists revealed a map of what the future State of Israel will look like: It includes Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, etc. He also stated that the Israelis plant false Judaic artifacts in Cyprus so they can later “find” them in archeological digs and have a claim to Cyprus].

An excerpt from a speech made by H. Kissinger in 1974 keeps feeding the fire of this conspiracy until today:

kissinger

The Greek people are anarchic and difficult to tame. For this reason we must strike deep into their cultural roots: Perhaps then we can force them to conform. I mean, of course, to strike at their language, their religion, their cultural and historical reserves, so that we can neutralize their ability to develop, to distinguish themselves, or to prevail; thereby removing them as an obstacle to our strategically vital plans in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

Kissinger-and-Makarios-512x300

The leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church (as an institution), being a vital part of Greek history and conscience, feel that these “strikes” are directed towards them.  So, when there’s any talk or action towards the separation of state and church in this country, they start talking about conspiracies to break down the spirit of the average Greek and to annihilate this country’s history.  Therefore, several old-timers in Greece have linked the meddling of the Greek Church in state affairs with the survival of the Nation.

masonoi patriarxes

[NOTE: In the monasteries, many monastics learn about the long lineage of Ecumenical Patriarchs who were Freemasons, as well as other hierarchs and priests, especially here in America–i.e. Archbishop Iakovos, Metropolitan Evangelos, etc. Furthermore, there’s also AHEPA and other Greek masonic organizations that are frowned upon as working to destroy the Church from within. Kissinger is regarded as a war criminal, and his words are still repeated today in regards to Greece and “everything the dark powers are doing to cripple the nation.”].

“It’s in the air, the water… the fruits of the earth”

Chemtrail conspiracy theories are held as fact by many monastics.
Chemtrail conspiracy theories are held as fact by many monastics.

The masterminds of the world have decided to control us with chemicals that they inject in the water supply.  All of the fruit and vegetables are “poisoned” with pesticides that limit our intelligence and make us easy targets for a bombardment of propaganda.  Let’s not forget the white streaks in the air.  Haven’t you noticed airplanes spraying us with chemicals that leave long lines in the sky to make us dumber?  And all of those new viruses such as the swine flu and bird flu a few years ago… Everyone knows they were purposely released to reduce the earth’s population.

While the ring around Athos during Geronda Markellos' funeral was said to be a miracle by some, Geronda Paisios said it was a chemtrail because they knew all the monks would be gathered in one place.
While the ring around Athos during Geronda Markellos’ funeral was said to be a miracle by some, Geronda Paisios said it was a chemtrail because they knew all the monks would be gathered in one place.

Hmmm… to be honest, I believe, too, that the bird and swine flu scares are just ways to spread panic and for pharmaceuticals to make billions of dollars or euros.  Does that make me susceptible to conspiracies?  Or does it make me more open to the “truth”?  The view always differs, depending on where you’re standing.  “Truth, after all, wears a different face to everybody, and it would be too tedious to wait till all were agreed” (James Russell Lowell, American poet, critic, editor).

[NOTE: Many of the monks who fell ill with “Valley Fever” in Arizona had the reason explained thus: “The government purposely targets the monasteries with chemtrails. So, when the monks are digging in the desert, they dug up the chems/virus and made it airborne, breathed it in, and became sick.” This is one of the many ways the government has targeted the monasteries. The “dark powers do not want the monasteries here in America as they are a threat to the advancement of their plans. As well, thousands of people, who would of lost their souls if the monasteries weren’t here, are now being saved.”].

SOURCE: https://web.archive.org/web/20121220102356/http://www.allthegreeks.com/everyday-life/407-the-top-conspiracy-theories-among-greeks.html

A dark scene inside a Masonic Temple in Greece. The human sacrifice lays straddled as a five point star on the altar. (Archim. Vasiopoulou, Jewish Masonry Unmasked, p. 181)
A dark scene inside a Masonic Temple in Greece. The human sacrifice lays straddled as a five point star on the altar. (Archim. Vasiopoulou, Jewish Masonry Unmasked, p. 181)

Greek Orthodox Priests Bless Office of Increasingly Popular Racist Party (Matthew Feeney, 2012)

NOTE: This article is taken from Reason, October 29, 2012. In addition to the offices in Corinth, at least four dioceses (Chalkis Mesogaias, Korinthias, Patras) in towns such as Chalkis (9/25/2011), Loutsa (11/20/2011), Nemea (4/1/2012), Kato Axaya (4/29 / 2012) respectively received similar orthodox blessings too.

this38

The current economic situation in Greece has prompted a resurgence in nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric. Golden Dawn, the Greek neo-nazi party, has enjoyed electoral successes. In May 2012 the party won twenty-one seats. In the most recent election Golden Dawn lost three seats, meaning that they now have 18 seats less than a year after starting with none.

Since enjoying recent success Golden Dawn has done little to establish a professional reputation. Its members have assaulted political officials on TV, read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion aloud in parliament, held Greek-only food handouts, organized Greek-only blood banks, and demanded landmines on the borders.

psaras

Recent polling shows that Golden Dawn is enjoying 14 percent support, despite having only received almost seven percent of the national vote at the most recent election in June. This level of support makes Golden Dawn the third most popular party in Greece. Some of Golden Dawn’s popularity is a reflection of dissatisfaction with the current Greek government, with 81 percent of polled Greeks saying that the country is on the wrong track.

Some members of the Greek Orthodox church are now showing support, with priests blessing a new Golden Dawn office in Corinth.

Pegsus and Swastika, Silver Stater of Corinth c. 550-500 BC
Pegsus and Swastika, Silver Stater of Corinth c. 550-500 BC

http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/29/greek-orthodox-priests-bless-offices-of

Priest Blesses Golden Dawn Offices in Corinth:

Orthodox priests bless the new offices of Golden Dawn in the Greek city of Corinth. Present were four Golden Dawn MPs (Stathis Boukouras, Ilias Panagiotaros, Ilias Kasidaris and Michalis Arvanitis) and a few hundred party members, supporters and bystanders. The blessing took place on Ochi Day, when Greeks remember the entry of their country into the Second World War

Greek Metropolitan Bishop says neo-Nazis are the people’s hope (ROMEA, 2012)

NOTE: The following article is taken from ROMEA, October 29, 2012: 

Nikos Michaloliákos, leader of the Greek party Golden Dawn, now seated in parliament
Nikos Michaloliákos, leader of the Greek party Golden Dawn, now seated in parliament

A leading representative of the Greek Orthodox church, Metropolitan Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta, shocked the public yesterday by calling the neo-Nazis in the Golden Dawn party the “sweet hope” of the people. Online Greek news server newsit.gr called the statements of the clergyman symptoms of insanity.

Many other Greek news servers noticed that Ambrosios had praised the neo-Nazis for their recent violent disruption of a theater performance depicting Jesus Christ and his disciples as gay. In his view, the extremists had protected the pure name of Jesus with their violence.

Ambrosios also criticized the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), the largest opposition group in the Greek Parliament, for claiming the Metropolitan Bishop was enthusiastically preparing to bless a Golden Dawn office. He denied any such intention and charged SYRIZA with recruiting masked assailants for violent anti-government demonstrations who “plunged Athens into flames.” He did not forget to mention opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who was married through a civil ceremony only instead of holding a church wedding as is still the tradition in Greece, for the most part.

Bishop Amvrosios
Bishop Amvrosios

Greece now faces neo-Nazi demonstrations and support for them from various quarters. Justified concerns are growing that the police are linked to the neo-Nazis because authorities are doing little to intervene against their racist attacks, which are becoming increasingly daring.

The BBC’s online news server has reported that a Greek MP with the extremist party estimates that 50 – 60 % of police staff support Golden Dawn. “Greek society is prepared, even though no one likes it, for battle. This is a new kind of civil war,” Greek MP Ilias Panagiotaros has claimed. He otherwise makes a living selling personal security paraphernalia, including face masks and t-shirts glorifying football violence.

The BBC reports that similar opinions are widespread in the country and says Panagiotaros’s actions speak louder than his words. Last week it was he who led the demonstration that violently halted the theatrical performance of “Corpus Christi” by American playwright Terence McNally, who depicts Jesus and his apostles as gays in the drama. Panagiotaros was captured on camera shouting homophobic, racist slogans.

Ancient Greek gold disk with swastikas at Greece’s Otagon Museum dates to the 8th century B.C.
Ancient Greek gold disk with swastikas at Greece’s Otagon Museum dates to the 8th century B.C.

Director Vasilis Laertis called police for help, but they did not intervene. “This was the Greek Kristallnacht,” he said, referring to the Nazis’ anti-Jewish pogroms. He also said members of Golden Dawn had telephoned his mother and threatened to send her a package containing her son’s body in pieces. “I want to know whether we are living in a democracy or a dictatorship,” he said.

The BBC reports that similar activities by other ultra-right MPs have also been documented. One led a group against foreign-born stallkeepers in the Athens suburb of Rafin, while another rescued one of his arrested party colleagues from the custody of police officers.

Panagiotaros says Golden Dawn’s aim is to provoke the authorities to do their jobs. The name of the party is said to carry such weight that immigrants – who according to Panagiotaros are all in Greece illegally – reportedly leave town when they hear party members are heading their way. Police are also said to be prepared in places where there is a risk the neo-Nazis might turn up.

Since the last elections, in which Golden Dawn won 7 % of the vote, the numbers of those favoring the party have notably risen – allegedly as many as 12 % of the population support them, making them the country’s third-favorite party. Police alone allegedly favor the party to an even more marked degree. Panagiotaros claims that more than half of police officers are party adherents and also form an essential portion of his business clientele.

Amvrosios

Anarchists have been trying to face down Golden Dawn, which profiles itself as anti-leftist. During one confrontation between the two groups, police patrols on motorcycles intervened and arrested 15 people. Those detained were allegedly subjected to beatings and humiliation in police cells and threatened with further persecution by Golden Dawn. The authorities, however, deny any inhuman treatment has been committed by police and say proof of this is that no complaints have been filed against them.

Czech Press Agency, jab, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

http://www.romea.cz/en/news/greek-metropolitan-bishop-says-neo-nazis-are-the-people-s-hope

 

Church of Greece split over role of neofascist Golden Dawn party (Apostolos Lakasas, 2012)

NOTE: The following article is taken from Ekathimerini, November 8, 2012:

Archbishop Ieronymos
Archbishop Ieronymos

Archbishop Ieronymos faces a serious challenge as the leadership of the Church of Greece appears deeply split on a range of significant issues including the role of the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party and the debt-wracked country’s bailout agreement.

Some of Ieronymos’s decisions appear to have been influenced by pressure from other senior clerics, a number of whom like to portray him as an apologist for the so-called New World Order.

Sources close to Ieronymos say that some of his recent comments – such as his recent criticism of the memorandum when he said that Greeks are “victims of all-out usury” – have been the result of outside pressure.

Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta
Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta

Meanwhile, other leading clerics, spearheaded by Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta and Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, have made no secret of their support for Golden Dawn.

Seraphim has often spoken out in public against Jews and homosexuals. For his part, Amvrosios recently called on Golden Dawn officials to change their style so as to boost their ratings.

In the opposite corner are Bishop Pavlos of Siatista and Bishop Chrysostomos of Messinia, along with a number of other clerics. Pavlos was the main rapporteur of a Holy Synod circular that criticized the memorandum. He recently made the headlines by attacking Greece’s neofascist party in a speech where he stressed that the ideas of Golden Dawn and the teachings of the Gospel are “in direct contradiction and mutually exclusive.” Several bishops followed his example.

Observers say the mild-mannered Ieronymos will find it hard to find any middle ground between the two sides and at the same time administer Church finances which have been seriously dented by the declining value of National Bank shares and other assets.

Swastika on a Minoan pottery piece from Crete.
Swastika on a Minoan pottery piece from Crete.

“The archbishop has had to grapple with the beasts, which is out of character,” said an unnamed source, who added that many people wished he possessed the communication skills of the late Archbishop Christodoulos – if not his political ambitions.

“He knows that the more conservative albeit charismatic Bishop Nikolaos of Mesogaia is lurking around the corner. He wants to distance himself from the extremists, without engaging in direct confrontation with them. He is a low-key individual who despises conflict.”

Nevertheless, a section of Greece’s religious leaders want to stop Golden Dawn from using the Orthodox religion and popular religious sentiment as a means of extracting political capital from the electorate. Several are making steps to reinforce the Church’s social mission while a number of issues – such as ending state control over Church property that could be used to create a fund for weaker social groups – still remain unresolved.

Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus
Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_08/11/2012_469127

Nationalism in Greek Orthodoxy (Sir Steven Runciman, 1968)

NOTE: The following is an excerpt from the book, The Great Church in Captivity:

The Great Church in Captivity

In the East money making has never, as it was in the feudally minded West, been considered to be incompatible with aristocracy. A moneyed nobility began to emerge among the Greeks, closely knit by common aim and interests and by intermarriage, but open to newcomers. These rich families were ambitious. Authority among the Greeks was in the hands of the Patriarch. It therefore became their object to control the Patriarchate. Calling themselves “Archontes” of the Greek nation, they built their houses in the Phanar quarter of Constantinople, to be close to the Patriarchal buildings. They obtained for their sons positions in the Patriarchal court; and one by one the high offices of the Great Church passed into lay hands. Their members did not enter the Church itself. That was considered to be beneath their dignity. The bishops and the Patriarch himself continued to be drawn mainly from bright boys of humbler classes who had risen through intelligence and merit. But by the end of the seventeenth century the Phanariot families, as they were usually called, dominated the central organization of the Church…. But the Patriarchate could not do without them; for they were in a position both to pay its debt and to intrigue in its favor at the Sublime Porte. (Pgs. 361-362)

Sir Steven Runciman
Sir Steven Runciman

It was good for the Church to have to meet an intellectual challenge; but the challenge was too abrupt. The strength of the Byzantine Church had been the presence of a highly educated laity that was deeply interested in religion. Now the laity began to despise the traditions of the Church; and the traditional elements in the Church began to mistrust and dislike modern education, retreating to defend themselves into a thickening obscurantism. The cleavage between the intellectuals and the traditionalists, which had begun when Neo-Aristotelianism was introduced into the curriculum of the Patriarchal Academy, grew wider. Under Phanariot influence many of the higher ecclesiastics followed the modernist trend. In the old days Orthodoxy had preferred to concentrate on eternal things and modestly to refuse to clothe the faith in trappings of modish philosophy. The Phanariots in their desire to impress the West had no use for such old-fashioned notions. Instead, seeing the high prestige of ancient Greek learning, they wished to show that they were, by culture as well as by blood, the heirs of ancient Greece. Their sons, lively laymen educated in the new style, were now filling the administrative posts at the Patriarchal court. As a result the Patriarchate began to lose touch with the great body of the faithful, to whom faith meant more than philosophy and the Christian saints more than the sophist of pagan times.

Sir Steven Runciman Street in Sofia, Bulgaria
Sir Steven Runciman Street in Sofia, Bulgaria

Above all, the Phanariots needed the support of the Church in the pursuits of the ultimate political aim. It was no mean aim. The Megali Idea, the Great Idea of the Greeks, can be traced back to the days before the Turkish conquest…With the spread of the Renaissance a respect for the old Greek civilization had become general. It was natural that the Greeks, in the midst of their political disasters, should wish to benefit from it. They might be slaves now to the Turks, but they were of the great race that had civilized Europe. It must be their destiny to rise again. The Phanariots tried to combine the nationalistic forces of Hellenism in a passionate if illogical alliance with the ecumenical traditions of Byzantium and the Orthodox Church. They worked for a restored Byzantium, a New Rome that should be Greek, a new center of Greek civilization that should embrace the Orthodox world. The spirit behind the Great Idea was a mixture of neo-Byzantinism and an acute sense of race. But with the trend of the modern world the nationalism began to dominate the ecumenicity. George Scholarius Gennadius had perhaps unconsciously, foreseen the danger when he answered a question about his nationality by saying that he would not call himself a Hellene though he was a Hellene by race, not a Byzantine though he had been born at Byzantium, but, rather, a Christian, that is, an Orthodox. For, if the Orthodox Church was to retain its spiritual force, it must remain ecumenical. It must not become a purely Greek Church.

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The price paid by the Church for its subjection to the Phanariot benefactors was heavy. First, it meant that the Church was run more and more in the interests of the Greek people and not of Orthodoxy as a whole. The arrangement made between the Conquering Sultan and the Patriarch Gennadius had put all the Orthodox Church within the Ottoman Empire under the authority of the Patriarchate, which was inevitably controlled by Greeks. (Pgs. 377-379)

If any Orthodox Palestinian wished for advancement he had to learn Greek and entirely identify himself with Greek interests; and the Patriarch (of Jerusalem) himself spent much of his time at Constantinople or in the Principalities. The Greeks were not prepared to let this luscious plum fall into other hands. Yet it is doubtful whether in the long run the Greek nationalism that was being increasingly infused into the whole Orthodox organization was beneficial to Orthodoxy. It was not in the old Byzantine tradition. Though within the Empire itself a knowledge of Greek was necessary fro any official position, there had been no distinction of race; and the Byzantines had encouraged vernacular liturgies and had been cautious in trying to impose a Greek hierarchy upon other peoples. But the Great Idea encouraged the Greeks to think of themselves as a Chosen People; and chosen peoples are seldom popular, nor do they fit well into Christian life.

runciman02

This attempt to turn the Orthodox Church into an exclusively Greek Church was one of the outcomes of Phanariot policy. It lead also to a decline in spiritual values, by stressing Greek culture as against Orthodox traditions and seeking to turn the Church into a vehicle of nationalist feeling, genuine and democratic up to a point, but little concerned with the spiritual life. At the same time it place the Patriarchate on the horns of a moral dilemma. It involved the Church in politics, and subversive politics. Was it not the duty of the Church to render unto Caesar the things which were Caesar’s? Could a Patriarch justifiably jettison the agreement reached between the Sultan and his great predecessor Gennaidus? Could he abjure the oath that he had sworn to the Sultan when his election was confirmed? On a more practical level, had he the right to indulge in plots which if they failed would undoubtedly subject his flock to ghastly reprisals? The more thoughtful hierarchs could not lightly support revolutionary nationalism. Yet if they failed to join in the movement from a sense of honor or from prudence or from spiritually minded detachment, they would be branded as traitors to Hellenism. The Church would lose its hold over the livelier and more progressive elements of his congregation. The rebirth of Greece was to involve a gallows erected at the gate of the Patriarchate and a Patriarch’s corpse swinging thereon. (pp. 382-384)

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http://reasonradionetwork.com/programs/the-orthodox-nationalist
http://reasonradionetwork.com/programs/the-orthodox-nationalist