Similarities between Guruism and Gerontolatry Part II

The second part of this study is based on a chapter in Dionysios Farasiotis’ book, The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios (Οι Γκουρού ο νέος και ο Γέροντας Παΐσιος,  Greek Edition). This chapter is called Karma Yoga: A Method of Enslaving People. It is only found in the Greek edition, pp. 438-444. For some reason, the translator Fr. Alexis Trader (who is also a spiritual child of Geronda Ephraim and is a monk at one of his Athonite monasteries, Karakallou) decided to omit this chapter from the English edition. The Greek original is 512 pages, the English translation is 247 pages and the last portion of Appendixes isn’t even in the Greek book. So, 512 pages essentially became 200 pages and this translation was carefully curated for the English-speaking audience. Most of the negative references concerning blind obedience, brainwashing and mind manipulation–material that in essence could be used against Elder Ephraim–was omitted. (Table of contents from both books are listed at the end of this article). John Sanidopoulos mentions he will translate 22 of the 172 pages that were omitted by Fr. Alexis.

Fr. Alexis Trader, hieromonk of Karakallou Monastery. Before leaving for Greece, Fr. Alexis was a professor at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
Fr. Alexis Trader, hieromonk of Karakallou Monastery. Before leaving for Greece, Fr. Alexis was a professor at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

As soon as the Greek edition was published in 2001, there was a lot of hype that an Athonite monk was translating it into English because it was “such an important and crucial book” that the English-speaking world needed. After a few years, the hype died down and no one was talking about the translation anymore. So, when pilgrims travelled to Mt. Athos, they started to inquire at the monastery and they were told, “The devil is really warring against the monk translating it.” On this side of the world, some lay people interpreted it as the monk must’ve fallen ill, some monastics understood it as the monk was probably going to leave the monastery or had left and the translation stopped. Whatever the case may have been, it took over seven years to translate and publish and a large portion of the book was omitted from the English edition. Primarily the chapters that explain gurus, ashrams, blind obedience, manipulation, brain washing , etc. These are the same chapters that if you essentially replaced the word guru with Elder Ephraim and ashram with monastery it would sound like an orthodox monastic text (of course, you’d have to replace the Hindu spiritual terms with orthodox ones but the reader should get the point). 

One should ask why an English translation from one of Elder Ephraim’s monasteries has omitted all the information that would validate peoples’ concerns about the destructive cult-like nature of his monasteries in America.

The omitted chapters  essentially say that the regime used by Elder Ephraim in his monasteries (primarily the obligation of blind obedience and everything that results from that foundation of handing over total control to another individual) are manipulative and seriously dangerous to the mental and physical well-being of individuals. These cultic techniques and methods have led individuals into serious mental illness, sometimes resulting in suicides at the ashrams, etc.

The only “defence” the monasteries could use is, “Well Orthodoxy is the only truth and this is the God-inspired path laid out by the Fathers. The other religions have no grace so when they practice these things they give the devil more control whereas an orthodox monk will receive more grace; i.e. all the rest are energized by the devil, orthodox is energized by the Holy Spirit”. 

As in the first part, the following are excerpts from the photocopies that were distributed by St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY. The similarities are interpolated within the text in brackets […].

The Greek edition contains many passages that are omitted in the English edition; passages that indirectly critique monastic blind obedience, etc.
The Greek edition contains many passages that are omitted in the English edition; passages that indirectly critique monastic blind obedience, etc.

Karma Yoga: A Method of Enslaving People

*After they first persuade people about the correctness of their views, they then can guide and command them more easily.

[This is the first stage of recruitment. The pilgrim will have lots of questions about orthodoxy, the spiritual life, Elder Ephraim, etc. The monastics relay this info back to their abbot/abbess and now this individual may have landed on their “watch list” which usually includes special treatment, encouragement to think about becoming a monk or nun and the revealing of “secret” knowledge; generally miracle stories of the elder, the uniqueness of their monasteries and spirituality as compared to monasteries in other jurisdictions and parishes in the world, personal stories of the monastics, etc. In cases where the individual is not interested in the monastic life but might be useful either in doing work around the monastery or donating large sums of money–or at least giving alms consistently–the same treatment is shown but the language isn’t as heavily loaded with criticism of the worldly life, marriage, etc. 

Fr. Stefanos at St. Nektarios Monastery reading to the dining hall. Monks hear readings at both lunch and supper and have no blessing to talk during meals.
Fr. Stefanos at St. Nektarios Monastery reading to the dining hall. Monks hear readings at both lunch and supper and have no blessing to talk during meals.

*But what is the theory that is propounded by nearly all the New Ager organizations in order to subdue their followers and convert them to workers receiving no pay? It’s an ancient theory of Hinduism, the theory of Karma Yoga.

[Karma is a concept totally foreign to Orthodox theology and is not taught in the monasteries.

Most of Elder Ephraim’s spiritual children will do work without compensation when they visit his monasteries. The “pay” is usually their name read during the Liturgy (i.e. Proskomede) or, if they are really self-less and slavishly devoted, they may earn a spot on the Elder’s koboskini prayers.

Sometimes, pilgrims may not be in the mood for work but they can be easily guilt-tripped about their “selfishness and ungratefulness” so that they finally submit and do “their” diakonima. Thus, technically they aren’t forced to “obey the suggestion” of their Elder, they just needed their conscience tweaked in a certain way; usually talk about God’s abandonment and loss of grace suffice. Elders know all the psychological and emotional weaknesses of their devotees since they expose their entire secret inner world during confession.

Blind obedience to an elder is what converts many monks into workers receiving no pay. The work conditions would make a labour inspector cringe: monastics generally have inadequate training in the work they perform, inadequate protective gear, monastics are constantly put into extremely dangerous work environments in an effort to cut costs for the monastery, the lack of sleep and food also can contribute to being less alert which has led to numerous accidents at all of the Elder’s monasteries, including some amputations (the injured are usually accused of not saying the Jesus Prayer and “reassured” that if they had been saying it, they wouldn’t have hurt themselves). There are no “workers’ rights”. There is no physical compensation in this life except for “consolation food” and the latest technological gadgets to listen to spiritual mp3s about renunciation of the world and blind obedience (i.e. generally items that monastics aren’t suppose to eat: soy burgers, Tofurky, Oreo cookies, Pink Snowballs, Häagen-Dazs® Ice Cream Bars, BK Fish Sandwich, Red Lobster, Olive GardenDairy Queen, etc. When a monastic ascends through the ranks to the inner circle of their superior, then sometimes they can go on trips to see various tourist attractions like Sea World, or movie theaters to watch The Passion of Christ, etc.) All rewards are expected in the next life as long as the work is not done begrudgingly and instructions followed to the minutest detail; any minor disobedience will rob the monastic of their afterlife payment. Interestingly, one of Geronda Ephraim’s former nuns attempted to sue her monastery for 14 years of back pay. She lost her case].

Ivantchenko, et al. v. The Sisters of Saint Kosmas

Can a Nun Sue to Recover Damages for Unpaid Work Performed in a Monastery?
Nun took a vow of poverty – but is suing for pay
• Nun suing monastery says sisters harrassed her, killed her cats
Ivantchenko, et al. v. The Sisters of Saint Kosmas 

Bells & Nuns at St. Kosmas Monastery, Bolton, Canada.
Bells & Nuns at St. Kosmas Monastery, Bolton, Canada.

*The theory of Karma is used with success in India and today they’re undertaking to impose it throughout the world in order to acquire power and money by means of it. Listen how. Karma Yoga is considered one of the most basic forms of Yoga. It is the Yoga of the selfless servants. Every person has their ‘karma’; that is the total of all the good and evil acts of all their ‘previous lives’. This determines the circumstance of their present-day life. A good karma means that the person will be born rich, comfortable, with many opportunities for spiritual progress. On the contrary, a bad karma can mean poverty, want, affliction, pain and ignorance. If your karma is really bad, this means that you could be born as an animal in the next life.

[So far, there is not much similarity other than the selfless servant aspect other than the pilgrims who work for hours, sometimes in harsh conditions, as a form of alms and the monastics’ blind obedience to their superiors.

The closest thing to karma theory in Elder Ephraim’s monasteries is the disciple’s fear and belief that they will be punished in some way if they do the minutest disobedience. Elder Ephraim cultivates and fosters this fear during his sermons with stories such as the nun who became demon-possessed because she ate a vegetable from the garden while a demon was sitting on it; the perfectly obedient and virtuous nun who lost her soul because of one secret thought she was too ashamed to tell her Gerondissa, etc. So, when bad things happen to a monastic, they accept it as a just punishment God has allowed because of their sins and disobedience. This is not exactly karma in the Hindu sense but has a similar basis of thought because these “just desserts” will also help erase sins so that they have a better judgement after death.].

Elderly Novice Monk Gardening at St. Nektarios Monastery, Roscoe, NY
Elderly Novice Monk Gardening at St. Nektarios Monastery, Roscoe, NY

*Generally, the Yogis try to be liberated from the iron law of karma which even oppresses their ‘gods’. Still, they try to completely destroy their karma in order to escape from the cycle of reincarnation.

[All Christians struggle to be liberated from the passions which can take on the form of second nature; or rather transform them into the corresponding virtues; including the Abbot and Abbesses. Also, all Christians struggle to be liberated from the “iron law” of death. i.e. the second death after physical death, which is the loss of their soul].

*The way for someone to destroy his karma, or at least to lighten its heavy load, is by selfless services to his fellow suffering man, to humanity and to God. Up to this point, we’re dealing with a polite, ideal display of love towards suffering neighbors. Rather yet, this is beautiful bait that will help us to catch the death-bearing fish hook.

[Selfless service to their fellow man, humanity and God is a basic expectation for an Orthodox Christian. This expectation extends to monastery pilgrims because they should show their gratefulness for all the spiritual struggle and prayers that are done on their behalf.

Selfless service and putting oneself below every other human being is also the monastic way. Blind obedience to an elder is a form of selfless service as the aim of the monastic is to no longer have a will of their own but to completely acquire the elder’s will. This in turn, will enable them to fulfill all of God’s commandments, so they believe.].

In the monasteries it is taught that the most ideal way for someone to practice Orthodoxy is through blind obedience to a Geronda (or Gerondissa).
In the monasteries it is taught that the most ideal way for someone to practice Orthodoxy is through blind obedience to a Geronda (or Gerondissa).

*So, after we accept the theory of Karma (Karma-yoga) as something beneficial for our spiritual progress – and after we have ‘elevated to a higher spiritual level’ (that is when they ascertain that we are ready), then they tell us, “the most ideal way for someone to practice Karma-yoga is to serve the guru”. These services that we offer have great ‘spiritual returns’, since the guru, as the almighty and all compassionate ‘god’ that he is, is able to reciprocate and destroy all our previous karma, and thus, he liberates us spiritually after our death.

[In some cases, this would be the point where a pilgrim yearning for the monastic life is informed they have a blessing to become a monk. In other cases, it might be when a lay person receives a blessing to practice prayer of the heart with the breathing techniques. Prayer of the Heart techniques are usually only allowed for monastics but sometimes blessings are given to laymen whether they’re planning to be monastics or not. This shouldn’t be confused with the prayer rope that is given out during confession with obediences to say a set number of  the Jesus Prayer and prayers to the Thetokos everyday. These are the breathing and sitting techniques described in the Philokalia. There has been debates over the years about the possible Indian origins of these techniques that resemble meditation with mantras.

In the monasteries it is taught that the most ideal way for someone to practice Orthodoxy is through blind obedience to a Geronda (or Gerondissa). Blind obedience has great spiritual returns for the unquestioning subordinate: illumination, dispassion and theosis. The Geronda is an “icon of Christ” and whatever you do to him you do to God Himself: i.e. your respect, veneration, and obedience is as though doing it to God Himself, just as the opposite actions. If one has obedience, he has his Geronda’s prayers after death to make it through the toll-houses. If he doesn’t have obedience, he doesn’t have his Geronda’s prayers after death and loses his salvation].

ΚΑΛΟΓΕΡΟΣ.,.,
*Of course, as an exchange, our present-day life is demanded to be dedicated to work without pay. In order for this reasoning to work, the person must have faith in two basic metaphysical and religious deceptions and delusions:

i) In the theory of reincarnation from which arises the theory of ‘the law of karma’
ii) That his guru is a superman with formidable spiritual powers; a living ‘god’

[In the monastery, the rest of the monk’s life will be work without pay—at least in this life. They are taught they are exchanging monetary pay for spiritual pay in the next life. The monks do not believe in reincarnation but rather the Resurrection of the Dead. The monks and nuns do believe Geronda Ephraim is a sort of superman with formidable spiritual powers: “He is the holiest saint in the history of our church;” “His gifts are immeasurable, after he dies there will be no other like him;” “He’s not omnipresent like God, but he’s almost. He sees and knows everything that goes on in his monasteries. He’s always watching us;” “He’s the closest thing to Christ on earth! If you want to imagine what Christ would be like when he was on earth, just look at Geronda Ephraim;” “He talks to the Father during his vigil;” “One rarely surpasses their teacher, he surpassed Pappou Joseph.” These are some of the numerous things Geronda Ephraim’s monks and nuns (including Abbots and Abbesses) have said over the years.

An obvious clue that anthropocentric Geronda worship in American monasteries has replaced the Christ-centric worship of Orthodoxy is the fact that every monastic’s cell, as well as all of Elder Ephraim’s monasteries, have more photos and icons of both Geronda Joseph and Ephraim than Christ and the Panagia. Elder Ephraim has a higher place in his monastics’ hearts than God and Christ and the way his monastics talk, it’s sometimes hard to discern if they’ve conflated Christ and Ephraim into one. An orthodox Christian is commanded to love God even above parents. A monastic is commanded to love their Elder even above parents. Is it healthy for a disciple to love their Elder more than Christ and see their Elder as Christ Himself (not just an icon of Christ?)].

That his guru is a superman with formidable spiritual powers; a living ‘god’.
That his guru is a superman with formidable spiritual powers; a living ‘god’.

*Only after a person has accepted those two terrible deceptions deep inside, will they start to put him in deeper and they will slowly start to tell him about Karma-Yoga. For this reason, all of the Hindu and New Age organizations insist and project their leader or guru as a superhuman ‘god’ and they legislate his worship while he is still alive. A person more easily submits to a ‘god’ than to a human being.

[Once an Orthodox Christian accepts the Resurrection of the Dead and begins to accept that Geronda Ephraim is the holiest man alive on earth and the greatest saint in the history of the Church, then Geronda’s disciples start accepting them more and revealing more to them about the gift of blind obedience and the miracles it works.

All of Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries in North America and Greece work in the same manner: from the superiors down to the last monk, they all vouchsafe and validate Geronda Ephraim as a super saint, beyond all other saints in the history of orthodoxy. They all vouchsafe that Geronda’s monasteries are the most authentic centres of orthodox spirituality in the world. At times, they borderline promising salvation if one is a spiritual child of the Elder. 

Apparently, it is very important, even if only once in a lifetime, for someone to meet him and get his blessing. Thus, many times before one even meets Geronda Ephraim, he or she has been exposed to the love bombing of the monastery, and all the hype about his miracle working powers. After this elevation to “celebrity” status, an individual is often “starstruck” upon meeting the Elder.].

All of Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries in America and Greece work in the same manner: they all vouchsafe and validate Geronda Ephraim as a super saint, beyond all other saints in the history of orthodoxy.
All of Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries in America and Greece work in the same manner: they all vouchsafe and validate Geronda Ephraim as a super saint, beyond all other saints in the history of orthodoxy.

*Thus, the practical indifference and carelessness at the first level and religious deceptions are converted into persuasive instruments of spiritual compulsion or necessity and submission of individuals with daily catastrophic consequences. Many followers of gurus work hard at their ashrams without having any demands for recompense, insurance, pharmaceuticals, nursing or even the least bit of pocket money. Indeed, they are made to feel that the guru makes them spiritual reprieves which they will receive if they serve him.

[People are led to believe that it’s a huge gift from God just to be able to take Geronda Ephraim’s blessing, and an even greater gift if he accepts you as a spiritual child. Thus, a feeling of elitism of belonging to the “elect” is created and cultivated. Of course, all orthodox believe they are the elect of God, but this is supposed to be something more special.

Many of Geronda Ephraim’s followers—monastics and laymen—work hard at his monasteries doing whatever task they are asked or ordered to do. They do this believing they are offering it as alms to the saint of the monastery, alms to Geronda Ephraim as well as receiving a recompense of invisible golden crowns that they will be able to offer to the aerial demons when their soul has to pass through the toll-houses. Also, because they are taught that he is the icon of Christ on earth (all spiritual fathers have this title, but Ephraim’s role takes on more of an infallible pope-like status).

The monasteries do have access to medical means when necessary because Geronda Ephraim wants his monastics to be healthy and strong so they can work (a sick and weak monastic who can’t help out tends to be a burden on the monastery, not to mention they take other able-bodied monastics away from their work when they need to be taken care of). Most of the monasteries have pilgrims who are doctors who agree to see the monastics pro bono and in some cases the monastics are doctors. St. Anthony’s, St. Kosmas and St. Nektarios all have monastics who are Dentists, etc.].

...They do this believing they are receiving a recompense of invisible golden crowns that they will be able to offer to the aerial demons when their soul has to pass through the toll-houses.
…They do this believing they are receiving a recompense of invisible golden crowns that they will be able to offer to the aerial demons when their soul has to pass through the toll-houses.

*The Karma-Yogis are usually young people that go to some ashram in a foreign country in order to cut themselves off from friends and relatives that could help them at some crucial moment.

[Many of the monks are young when they join. Geronda Ephraim says it’s better to become a monk when you’re young because the passions haven’t had the years in the world to become rooted as second nature and the mind is easier to mould. Think of the “cradle to grave” aspect of marketing.

Mount Athos is forbidden to women and thus no mothers or sisters can go there to “disturb” their relatives that become monks, though a number of fathers and brothers have gone through there over the centuries looking for missing relatives. It’s a large peninsula and when can easily make themselves disappear there and the monasteries generally have a code of silence, especially when angry relatives are exploring and asking questions. 

American monasteries have similar codes of conduct. Monastics don’t reveal anything to nosy parents asking questions. A superior will have the monastic working far from the main buildings or sent out for errands in the world on the days relatives are coming to visit. Monastics are forbidden to reveal any problems or negativity that occur in the monastery. Every response as to resemble, “It’s the most beautiful life.” Letters are opened and screened by the superior before given to a monastic and in some cases, if there is bad news or blasphemous content, the superior will throw the letter in the garbage. If somehow the disciple learns about the mail they never received and ask their superior the response will either be a honest explanation of why it was thrown out or a lie stating they never received any mail. Disciples are generally not allowed to write or call their relatives, especially as a novice, because they’re suppose to be dead to the world. However, after the increase of cult accusations and negative public media exposure there is a little more economia in the monasteries but overall, it’s still very limited.

Ironically, some abbesses and abbots have obediences to call one of their parents every forty days. Elder Ephraim’s brother was a frequent visitor of St. Anthony’s Monastery. Abbot Paisios’ mother is a frequent visitor of St. Anthony’s Monastery. Geronda Dositheos’ parents are frequent visitors of Holy Archangel’s Monastery. The higher up in ranks one becomes in Elder Ephraim’s monasteries, the less obligated they are to monastic traditions and canons out of “economia”, of course.]

Geronda Ephraim says it’s better to become a monk when you’re young because the passions haven’t had the years in the world to become rooted as second nature and the mind is easier to mould.
Geronda Ephraim says it’s better to become a monk when you’re young because the passions haven’t had the years in the world to become rooted as second nature and the mind is easier to mould.

*Of course, there are enough aged Karma-Yogis that have indeed given all their wealth to the guru and ashram in order to make quicker spiritual progress.

[Most people joining the monasteries give the remainder of their possessions and money to the monastery as alms. This is part of the “sell everything you own and give it to the poor” clause in the New Testament. The things that are useful – money, vehicles, etc. – are given to the monastery. Useless things can be distributed as seen fit unless a specific obedience is given. Rich laymen, i.e. those who have no desire to become monastics, are encouraged to regularly give alms to the monasteries and are constantly counselled about greed and selfishness. In some cases, Elder Ephraim may give the spiritual child an obedience of how much to give and how frequently. This often occurs when an individual goes to more than one monastery, say the male and female monasteries in Texas, and they feel conflicted of where to send their money. The Elder may say, “The nuns need more money, give them $5,000 a month”. And that’s that. There have been cases where parents have left more money to the monasteries than to their children because they believed this was a more beneficial gift to their offspring; i.e. alms on their behalf so that their names will remain on the prayer lists].

*I know a few people like this. Thus, they are reduced to unsalaried workers, usually in foreign countries without friends, family, money or information (except the news censured by the ashram).

[An orthodox monk is to become dead to the world, thus no relatives, friends, etc. Though in some cases, when relatives offer useful services to the monastery and are needed, there is some leeway given to interpersonal dynamics. In other cases, if the relatives prove to be annoyances and interfering with the monastic’s life at the monastery, they’ll be relocated to another monastery either within America or abroad in Greece (out of obedience, of course). They are unsalaried workers in a monetary sense, but believe they will be recompensed in the afterlife (only if they do perfect and complete obedience; all other works are rendered vain if they don’t do obedience). All news is censured by the monastery superior. There is no news of the outside world unless one is exposed during an excursion out of the monastery, or the superior decides to tell them. All information is disseminated exactly how the superior wants, and the disciples are expected to accept it the way it is delivered. In some cases, conspiracy theory publications and other fake news is permitted so that the disciples understand that these truly are the last times and that the Antichrist will be here soon, i.e. the One World Leader of the One World Government; N.W.O.]

*They are immediately dependent upon the ashram for food, shelter and clothes.

[The monastics are dependent upon the monastery for everything (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) And the superior can decide to refuse any of these things and in many cases does out of the spirit of discipline, ascesis or self-denial].

Archimandrite Panteleimon  Metropoulos who was a member of Elder Joseph the Hesychast’s synodia. Geronda Ephraim calls him a spiritual brother in a homily.
Archimandrite Panteleimon Metropoulos who was a member of Elder Joseph the Hesychast’s synodia. Geronda Ephraim calls him a spiritual brother in a homily.

*I ask myself, ‘when a person is found in such a powerless position, is he not an easy victim of sexual (or whatever other kind of) exploitation?

[Though there is no documented instances of a superior sexually abusing a subordinate in Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries, it is interesting to note that Fr. Panteleimon (who was a member of Elder Joseph the Hesychast’s synodia and whom Geronda Ephraim calls his spiritual brother in a homily) has been involved in numerous homosexual sex scandals with his subordinates over the years at his Brookline, MA monastery. As well, a few years back, allegations against Geronda Joseph of Vatopaidi, another spiritual brother of Geronda Ephraim, also surfaced but seem to have been repudiated].

Thus, don’t you think that it would be more correct to speak about ‘karma-slaves’ instead of karma-yogis?. Monasticism is recognized as voluntary slavery in the Patristic writings: “you who are hastening to sign a pledge that you are voluntarily surrendering yourself to slavery, and in return want freedom written to your account.” (Ladder 4:5).

CHAPTER LAYOUT OF THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION

FOREWORD by Monk Arsenios (Vliangoftis)
PREFACE
To the Reader
A Biographical Note about Elder Paisios


CHAPTER ONE—Pushed towards Evil: Experiences in the World of Hypnotism, Witchcraft, and the Occult


Roots
Ares the Hypnotist
The Signs
Alexandra
Demetrios
Struck by an Invisible Entity
A Bizarre Dream

CHAPTER TWO—Divine Help: Elder Paisios Enters My Life

A Visit to the Holy Mountain
An Encounter with Elder Paisios
“You Don’t Have Any Right to Interfere with My Life”
The Fragrance of the Cross
First Trials in the Spiritual Life
The Elder’s Lesser Gifts
Accounts Given by Acquaintances
The Elder’s Teaching Method
A Great Blessing
The Guardian Angel
The Elder’s Generosity
Unconditional Love

CHAPTER THREE—On the Brink: Between Two Spiritual Traditions

My Meeting with Swami Yogamougananda
Silva Mind Control
A Visit to the Holy Mountain by the Scruff of My Neck
The Theotokos Who Keeps the Gate: Portaitissa
A Spiritual Helmet
A Decision

CHAPTER FOUR—Inside the Ashrams of India

Some Introductory Remarks about India
A Meeting at Benares
Our Trip to Babaji, “God in the Flesh”
In the Himalayas at the Ashram of the Teacher of Teachers
At the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo in New Delhi
At the Ashram of Guru Satyananda in Munger
Some of the People in the Ashram
My Second Encounter with Babaji, at Allahabad
The Worship of Idols
Demon Possession
The Temptation of Power
Mystical Experiences and Revelations at the Ashram of Satyananda
The Seizure
The Light
Ida, Pingala, Sushumna
The Spiritual Atmosphere
Being Seized and Being Visited
The Library
Satsang
A Final Attack
The Testimony of Eldress Gavrilia
Back at the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo

CHAPTER FIVE—Home at Last

A Visit to the Holy Mountain after My Escapades in India
A Demon, an Angel, and the Most Pure Virgin
The Healing of a Brain Injury
A Shaking Tree on a Breezeless Day
The Choice between Light and Darkness
A Spiritual Operation
Uncle Elijah
The Radiance of Uncle Elijah
“Thou Shalt Not Tempt the Lord Thy God”
Consolation from Elder Porphyrios
Elder Paisios in the Light of the Transfiguration
Spiritual Warfare in the Army
A Blessing from Elder Porphyrios
Another Encounter with Demetrios
The Jesus Prayer and the Hindu Mantra
Spiritual War
Holy Communion and the Centrality of Christ
The Christian Mysteries and Magic
An Experience of God, “Who is Everywhere Present and Fills All Things”

EPILOGUE

A Final Word

APPENDIX ONE—Testimonies from Greek Orthodox Spiritual Fathers

From Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, Cyprus
From Archimandrite Theoklitos of the Holy Monastery of Saint Arsenios, Northern Greece
From Hieromonk Euthymios of Mount Athos

APPENDIX TWO—Suggestions for Further Reading

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain
Orthodoxy and Orthodox Spirituality
The Holy Mountain of Athos
Footnotes
Back cover text and photo

CHAPTER LAYOUT OF THE GREEK ORIGINAL

These are the chapters in the Greek original. Notice that the pamphlets St. Nektarios Monastery use to hand out to pilgrims have not been translated into English. The entire last section, Part 6 – “I think…therefore I am”, severely criticizes the ethics and morality of the techniques used by these destructive cults as well as shows the severe emotional, psychological and physical harm they cause to their practitioners. Many of the techniques mentioned are utilized in Elder Ephraim’s monasteries.

Περιεχόμενα

Προς τον αναγνώστη
Βιογραφική αναφορά 13

ΜΕΡΟΣ 1ο. ΠΡΙΝ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΑΓΙΟΝ ΟΡΟΣ
Οι ρίζες μου 18, Άρης ο υπνωτιστής 21, Αλεξάνδρα 31, Κάτι αόρατο με δέρνει 35, Ένα περίεργο όνειρο 36, Δημοσθένης ο μασόνος 40

ΜΕΡΟΣ 2ο. Η ΘΕΙΑ ΒΟΗΘΕΙΑ. Ο ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ ΠΑΪΣΙΟΣ ΜΠΑΙΝΕΙ ΣΤΗ ΖΩΗ ΜΟΥ
Η πρώτη επίσκεψη στο Άγιον Όρος 46, Η συνάντησή μου με το Γέροντα Παΐσιο 51, Με ποιο δικαίωμα επεμβαίνεις στη ζωή μου; 57, Ο Σταυρός ευωδιάζει 58, Το όραμα 61, Οι πρώτες μου «πνευματικές» δοκιμές 64, Τα «μικρά» χαρίσματα του Γέροντα 73, Η «μέθοδος» διδασκαλίας του Γέροντα – Άγιο Πνεύμα 80, Η μεγάλη ευλογία 85, Ο φύλακας άγγελος 88, Η αγάπη του 89

ΜΕΡΟΣ 3ο. ΜΕΤΑΞΥ ΔΥΟ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΙΚΩΝ ΠΑΡΑΔΟΣΕΩΝ
Η συνάντηση με τη Σουάμι Γιογκαμουγκανάντα 98, Η μέθοδος Σίλβα – MindControl 107, Από τα «μαλλιά» στο Άγιον Όρος 118, Η Πορταΐτισσα 119, «Το πνευματικό κράνος» 127, Επεξήγηση 132

ΜΕΡΟΣ 4ο. Η ΖΩΗ ΜΟΥ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΝΔΙΑ
Ινδία 136, Η συνάντηση στο Μπεναρές (Varanassi) 140, Το ταξίδι προς τον Babaji το σαρκωμένο «θεό» 149, Ιμαλάια: Στο άσραμ του δασκάλου των δασκάλων 157, Στο Νέο Δελχί στο άσραμ του Σρι Αουρομπίντο 172, Μουνγκυρ: Το άσραμ του Σατυανάντα 174, Αλαχαμπάντ: Η δεύτερη συνάντηση με τον Babaji 194, Τα πνευματικά γεγονότα 210, Η μαρτυρία της Γερόντισσας Γαβριηλίας 228, Τι ανακάλυψα στη βιβλιοθήκη τους 232, Ξανά στο άσραμ του Σρι Αουρομπίντο 237

ΜΕΡΟΣ 5ο. ΠΙΣΩ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ ΜΕΤΑ ΤΗΝ ΙΝΔΙΑ
Στο Άγιον Όρος μετά την Ινδία 242, Φως ή Σκοτάδι 247, Το δαιμόνιο, ο άγγελος και η Παναγία 254, Η «εγχείρηση» 265, Ο μπαρμπα Ηλίας – ο διά Χριστόν σαλός 272, «Ουκ εκπειράσεις Κύριον τον Θεόν σου» 276, Ο θάμνος 280, Ο Γέροντας αστράφτει 282, Η θεραπεία του εγκεφάλου 288, Στρατός 291, Ο Γέροντας Πορφύριος 299, Η ευχή και το μαντρά 309, Η θεία ευχαριστία 323, Διαφορά χριστιανικού Μυστηρίου και μαγικής πράξης 328, Εμπειρία Θεού 328, Μία διευκρίνιση 337

ΜΕΡΟΣ 6ο. ΣΚΕΦΤΟΜΑΙ… ΑΡΑ ΥΠΑΡΧΩ
Η βασική άγνοια 340, Κοινωνικές αντιλήψεις και πρακτικές των Ινδουϊστών 345, Γιόγκα: Θρησκεία ή επιστήμη; 364, «Αρμονική ζωή» ή η τέχνη της παραπλάνησης; 371, Μετεμψύχωση ή Ανάσταση; 376, Η επίδραση της Γιόγκα στο σώμα και στο νου 381, Οι «θεοί» του ινδουϊσμού 394, «Τα είδωλα των εθνών δαιμόνια» 416, Από την Παλαιά Διαθήκη 436, Το ψάρεμα 438, Κάρμα Γιόγκα. Μία μέθοδος δουλοποίησης ανθρώπων 445, Διαλογισμός και αυτοΰπνωση 453, Η στάση της προσευχής και η στάση του διαλογισμού 482, Το ψήφισμα του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου 486, Η πίστη 492, Επίλογος 506

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