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.

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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.

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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

Ecumenism without a Mask (Archimandrite Haralambos Vaislopoulos d. 1982)

The late Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos was quite a prolific writer while he was alive. He was responsible for writing the Live of the Saints series—that set of little booklets with bright colored covers, some of which can be found in most Greek households. These books are still sold in the monasteries, however, his conspiracy books are no longer sold.

Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos wrote extensively about the Protocols, Zionism and Freemasonry.
Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos wrote extensively about the Protocols, Zionism and Freemasonry.

Besides his famous The Apocalypse Interpreted—which explains the connection between the Protocols, Zionism, Freemasonry, etc. and the coming of the Antichrist—he also wrote a series of booklets “unveiling” the secret conspiracies of the “dark powers” that war against the Orthodox Church:
• The Protocols of the Wise of Zion
• The Illuminati Unmasked
• The Unmasking of Freemasonry
• The Unmasking of Jewish Masonry
• The Unmasking of Theosophy
• The Unmasking of the Rotary Club
• The Unmasking of the Chiliasts
• Does Magic Exist?
• The 52 Demons in a Deck of Cards
• Spiritism-Hypnotism
• Monsters of the Dark Powers
• The Espionage of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
• Against the Antichrist
• Ecumenism without a Mask

https://web.archive.org/web/20150911035800/http://www.orthodoxostypos.gr/Documents/Pricelist.html

http://books.orthodoxostypos.gr/shop/%CE%BA%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B1-%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B9%CF%87%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CF%89%CE%BD/

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.

Most of the above-mentioned books were sold at one time or another in various monastery bookstores. But one of the most popular books on that list was Ecumenism without a Mask, written in 1972. The book is 285 pages. Here is a brief overview of what it contains:

THE FIRST CHAPTER

In the 1st chapter of History of Ecumenism, there is a subsection entitled, Zionist Ecumenism, which also has two subsections, Freemasonry and Chiliasm. This section states that Ecumenism serves the Zionist plans for both the religious and political domination of the world. It quotes the following verses from the Protocols:

  • King of the Jews will be the real Pope of the Universe, the patriarch of the international church (#17)
  • What do they want with an angelic spirit in a king? What they have to see in him is the personification of force and power. The supreme lord who will replace all now existing rulers, dragging in their existence among societies demoralized by us… This Chosen One of God is chosen from above to demolish the senseless forces moved by instinct and not reason, by brutishness and not humanness…These forces have overthrown all forms of social order to erect on the ruins the throne of the King of the Jews… In the person of the king who with unbending will is master of himself and of humanity all will discern as it were fate with its mysterious ways. The prop of humanity in the person of the supreme lord of all the world of the holy seed of David must sacrifice to his people all personal inclinations. (#23, 24)

SERGEI NILUS

Here there is a two page footnote explaining the history of the Protocols. It also refers to them as the plans of Zionsim for Jewish world domination and the destruction of Christianity; which are being fulfilled. Sergei Aleksandrovich Nilus, a Russian religious writer and self-described mystic states that the texts of the protocols were given to him in 1901 by Alexis Nikolajevich Souchotin, who died some years later as vice-governor of the Government of Stavropol. Sergei was responsible for publishing for the first time “in full” The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Russia in 1905. It appeared as the final chapter of his book The Great within the Small and Antichrist, an Imminent Political Possibility. Notes of an Orthodox Believer, about the coming of the Antichrist. Sergei Nilus also published the famous tract: A Wonderful Revelation to the World: the Conversation of St. Seraphim with Nicholas Alexandrovich Motovilov on the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. This manuscript would become one of the most oft-read Orthodox texts of modern times.

Sergei Nilus was a Russian religious writer and self-described mystic who was the first to publish the Protocols in full (1905).
Sergei Nilus was a Russian religious writer and self-described mystic who was the first to publish the Protocols in full (1905).

IN THE NEXT SUBSECTION ON FREEMASONRY

Fr. Haralambos quotes Protocol 15: “We shall create and multiply free masonic lodges in all the countries of the world, absorb into them all who may become or who are prominent in public activity, for these lodges we shall find our principal intelligence office and means of influence. All these lodges we shall bring under one central administration, known to us alone and to all others absolutely unknown, which will be composed of our learned elders. The lodges will have their representatives who will serve to screen the above-mentioned administration of MASONRY and from whom will issue the watchword and program.” He then write, “See, the Zionists themselves say the freemasonry is Zionist creation in order to hide their aims.”

He subsequently goes on to explain what is “hidden” behind the YMCA, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, WCC, etc. He takes quote from many Masonic publications talking about destroying the Church and Christianity. He then proceeds to quote The Prayer of the Freemasons to Satan, found in Leo Taxil’s 1890’s book, The Mysteries of the Masons. Leo later admitted it was a hoax, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxil_hoax, though in Christian circles, it is taught that he was threatened and pressured to say that, but it really wasn’t a hoax: http://www.freedom-ministries.com/catalog/confession-leo-taxilm-and-albert-pike.html

Cover of Leo Taxil's book.
Cover of Leo Taxil’s book.

ON PAGE 90

Fr. Haralambos explains The Role of the Jews in the Russian Revolution, stating, “It is proven that the Russian Revolution was the work of the Jews and Freemasons. Karl Marx, founder of Communism, was a German Jew. Lenin was the son of a Jew and a 33rd degree Mason. Kerensky was an Israelite. Out of the 22 ministers in the first Soviet government, only 3 were Russian and 17 were Jews. In 1917 , of 554 senior leaders , it is known that at least 447 were Jewish. The numbers speak for themselves about the dark role of Jewish Masonry for the eradication of Christian Empires…”

The rest of the book is full of conspiracy theories, Protocols, quotes, etc. Chapter 4 examines the WCC meetings that had occurred up to that point. He quotes from Metropolitan Vitaly of Montreal (ROCOR) concerning Ecumenism, WCC and Freemasonry. He quotes from Justin Popvitch’s The Coming 8th Ecumenical Council, etc.

Poster advertising the work of Leo Taxil.
Poster advertising the work of Leo Taxil.

He explains secularism in the Churches, modernism, hippies, Batman, Charles Manson, Anton LeVay, homosexual marriages, etc. as all part of this Ecumenist antichrist spirit, all created by the Zionists and Freemasons.

Fr. Haralambos writes: "Satan is presented as a protector (or patron) of small children. He has become the 'guardian angel' of many Americans." p. 191
Fr. Haralambos writes: “Satan is presented as a protector (or patron) of small children. He has become the ‘guardian angel’ of many Americans.” p. 191

CHAPTER SEVEN

The 7th chapter describes the Jewish creations over the last 2,000 years used in attempts to destroy the Church:

  • Crucifying Christ in 33AD.
  • Julian the Apostate’s attempt to rebuild the Temple of Solomon in 363 AD.
  • Fr. Haralambos claims that Islam was a Jewish creation orchestrated by the invisible Sanhedrin. He states that Mohammed was illiterate and born of a Jewish mother. Three of his women were Jews, one being possessed. His entire surroundings comprised of “Jewish Satanists (magicians, astrologers, occultists).” He then proceeds to explain how this conspiracy happened.
  • Communism was a Jewish creation as explained above.
  • Fr. Haralambos states that, “The Zionist Jews created one more antichrist monster, Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a half-Jew. His surroundings were all Jews, as well as, magicians, Satanists and occultists.” He talks about secret meetings of Hitler with a Jewish banker, Kurt von Schroeder, etc. Fr. Haralambos also has a photocopy of an English article, Who Put Hitler in Power?, published by Women’s Voice in 1956. Women’s Voice was a neo-Nazi publication with ties to George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party.

( https://books.google.ca/books?id=B7JZoQuU3eMC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false see notes on Page 234).

THE LAST CHAPTER

The final chapter deals with the Uniates as the Pope’s Trojan Horse against eastern Orthodoxy. It details persecutions and martyrdoms in Orthodox countries; primarily the slaughter of 800,000 Serbian Orthodox by the Catholic Croatians during WWII.

CONCLUSIONS

In the beginning years of the monasteries, especially at St. Anthony’s bookstore, the monks would screen the books before selling them in the bookstore. This was done so nothing unorthodox or heretical would be sold by mistake. The fathers felt they needed to be thorough in this task because “lay people pretty much know nothing about their faith” or “lay people are simple and easily confused when it comes to doctrine,” etc. Thus, selling Fr. Haralambos Vasilopoulos’ books was not an oversight. They were systematically ordered because the monastery felt that they contained truths that were beneficial for the faithful to know and understand. His books “presented the Orthodox world-view” on how things worked in the world behind the scenes.

In 2005, after the KVOA news story broke, Geronda Ephraim gave the obedience to his monasteries to pull these and other similar books from the bookstores (i.e. about Zionism or Protocols). And from that point on, the monasteries’ response to any accusations was essentially, “We don’t believe in conspiracy theories, the Protocols, etc.” David Smith’s accusations were passed off as slander by a deluded and jaded ex-monk who was being used as a mouthpiece of the devil to unjustly attack Geronda Ephraim. This was the demons’ revenge and jealousy because so many thousands of people are benefitting from the monasteries and being saved.

Below is an English translation of The Rotary Club Unmasked

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.

SOURCE: https://web.archive.org/web/20070412034836/http://joyfullight.blogspot.com/2005/12/does-elder-ephraim-teach-anti-semitism.html

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. http://phoenixteaparty.ning.com/profile/SeraphimLarsen
Seraphim Larsen’s Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots Profile Pic. http://phoenixteaparty.ning.com/profile/SeraphimLarsen
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.

3 Comments:

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:

http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/
The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion

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
http://www.eastern-orthodoxy.com/zionism.htm)

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”.

http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/hiding.html (dead link)

https://web.archive.org/web/20010714000646/http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/hiding.html

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.

http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/Father-Kosmas-Apostle-of-the-Poor.pdf

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.

SOURCE

https://web.archive.org/web/20070412034836/http://joyfullight.blogspot.com/2005/12/does-elder-ephraim-teach-anti-semitism.html

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

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

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

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

Bishop Hilarion.
Bishop Hilarion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Nevins Demand Letter Part 2b: Statement of Facts (2005 continued–Meeting with Metropolitan Gerasimos Michaleas))

Since 1995, Fr. Andrew Barakos has been the priest of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is currently, the vicar of the southwestern region of the Metropolis of San Francisco. Fr. Andrew is a board member of the Trustees, Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the Metropolis Council of San Francisco and the Commission on Missions and Evangelism.
Since 1995, Fr. Andrew Barakos has been the priest of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is currently, the vicar of the southwestern region of the Metropolis of San Francisco. Fr. Andrew is a board member of the Trustees, Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the Metropolis Council of San Francisco and the Commission on Missions and Evangelism.

In late August 2005, Ashley and Diane were approached by Reverend Andrew Barakos, who is the priest at a Greek Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. Barakos told the couple that he was preparing a report for Metropolitan Gerasimos on the practices at the Ephraimite monasteries. Barakos interviewed the Nevins, as well as other concerned individuals and parents, by phone. When Ashley asked the priest what he thought was going on, Barakos replied, ‘”‘I believe we are dealing with a cult here.”
In subsequent emails between Ashley and Barakos, the priest wondered “how this will unfold as the report goes to the Bishop,” and “how bishop Gerasimos is going to exercise his authority.” Barakos was “hopeful because of a conversation I had with him earlier this year, he shared concerns about this particular style of monasticism and its possible dangers.”

In early September, 2005, Barakos warned that if “things blow up in the media before the Metropolitan can do something concerning your son, he could be sent off the Mount Athos without you ever knowing it..” “Please give working through the Bishop a chance it is your only hope, please give this some time.” Ashley asked Barakos whether Archimandrite Ephraim was truly accountable to anyone within the church hierarchy. Not long after Scott died Ashley called Barakos and requested a copy of his report. The priest denied that there was a report, could not explain what it was, contrary to what Ashley and the others inte rviewed were told at the time.

In October 2005, five months after they first requested a meeting, Ashley and Diane finally met with Metropolitan Gerasimos and his chancellor, Father Paul Schroeder, in San Francisco. Schroeder has since been laicized (Complete removal of ordained status).
During this meeting:

Metropolitan Gerasimos  is the author of a number of articles published in periodicals in the area of psychology, and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).
Metropolitan Gerasimos is the author of a number of articles published in periodicals in the area of psychology, and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).

• Ashley began by telling how their son became involved with St. Anthony’s. This was a recap of what the couple had told the Metropolitan in their letter.
• The Nevins emphasized to both the metropolitan and his chancellor the troubling changes in Scott’s behavior which occurred after he became involved with the monastery. That is, their son isolated himself, said contradictory things, answered questions dishonestly, and hid things from them. The couple also made it very clear that they were deeply concerned over the physical safety and emotional well-being of their son. Although Metropolitan Gerasimos and Schroeder did not want to accept it, the Nevins gave them information on identifying groups which engage in thought reform and on the dangers of such groups.
• For the first time, the couple also relayed their concerns about Michael Fowler to the metropolitan. The chancellor responded that he knew who Fowler was, and that he found the man “emotionally immature.”
• The Metropolitan and Schroeder both stressed that every religion had those who strayed from generally accepted practices. Metropolitan Gerasimos told the Nevins, “You really can’t do much about them.” The couple did not accept this statement, and instead challenged the Metropolitan, “What are you going to do about this group?” Contradicting his previous statement, the Metropolitan then announced that they were working on a policy.
• The discussion moved on to the Nevins’ concerns that there were no guidelines for screening teenagers and new converts before they entered the monastery. They wondered why the Modesto priest and the hierarchy did not know that Scott had become a novice until long after he did. The Metropolitan and Chancellor simply replied that they were developing policies that would address this issue. The couple then asked how this would help their son.
• The Nevins also brought up the fact that their son had been rebaptized on Mt. Athos, contrary to church policy, without any instruction in Orthodoxy and without any time as a catechumen in an Orthodox parish. However, neither the Metropolitan nor Chancellor seemed particularly concerned about those omissions.
• As the Nevins disagreed with and challenged the Metropolitan and Chancellor, the meeting became more and more tense. Metropolitan Gerasimos became particularly frustrated with Diane, and bellowed at her, “Madam!” He did not like that fact that Diane did not “keep her place,” and he told the couple that.
• The meeting then took a bizarre turn as the Chancellor asked the Nevins if they believed Scott was a homosexual , and if this is why he wanted to become a monastic. The couple was taken aback, since to the best of their knowledge their son was heterosexual. Schroeder continued with this line of questioning until Diane asked what his point was. However, both the chancellor and the Metropolitan declined to elaborate.

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This document is believed to be a legitimate Zionist blueprint for world domination by most contemporary Athonite Fathers & was sold in the bookstore up until the 2006 KVOA exposé.
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This document is believed to be a legitimate Zionist blueprint for world domination by most contemporary Athonite Fathers & was sold in the bookstore up until the 2006 KVOA exposé.

• As the Nevins pointed to Archimandrite Ephraim’s books to show that some of the monastery’s teachings, such as the ” Protocols of Zion,” did not conform to the tenets of the Greek faith, Metropolitan Gerasimos stated that he had not read either of the Archimandrite’s books, so he could not comment on whether this outlandish conspiracy theory was a harmful teachings or not. The couple was shocked. As the Nevins tried to elaborate, the Metropolitan refused to look at the books and told the couple to put them away. As had by now become apparent to the Nevins, whenever the Metropolitan did not want to deal with something he would become irritated and then would shut down that topic.
• Subsequently, Metropolitan Gerasimos tried to tell the Nevins that he had only heard about problems with the Ephraimite monasteries during the past year and a half. The Nevins countered with older information, both public and private. The Metropolitan responded, “Oh, well, but the problems were sporadic at the time.” The couple pressed the point, telling the bishop that they were facing the same issues others had faced, so these problems were clearly not sporadic. Again, the Metropolitan was not pleased to be contradicted.
• Metropolitan Gerasimos and Schroeder then recommended that the Nevins read a book called The Desert Fathers, in which parents who were upset with their child becoming a monastic eventually came to realize that it was a good decision. The couple responded that they wanted the Metropolitan to provide a concrete solution to the very real problem of their son’s physical and mental deterioration. As they saw it, the problem was the destructive practices employed by the monastery leadership. Reading a book about a monastery that may not have employed such harmful methodology did not address this issue.
• In the same vein the Metropolitan then told the Nevins a story of young two sisters who lived in his village in Greece who entered the local monastery. When the family learned of the girls ‘ decision, their cries woke the whole neighborhood. Metropolitan Gerasimos told the couple that it all worked out later because the family forgave the girls, and this is what the Nevins should do too. The couple was appalled. Obviously, the Metropolitan had no intention of working with them to find a solution to their problem. He wanted the Nevins to forgive, forget, and go away.

Father Paul Schroeder, proistámenos (head pastor) of  Aghía Triás in Portland, Oregon.
Father Paul Schroeder, proistámenos (head pastor) of Aghía Triás in Portland, Oregon.

• Metropolitan Gerasimos and Schroeder then stated that there were three things they planned to do to address issues at the Ephraimite monasteries:
1. The preliminary investigation by Barakos would be expanded and guidelines developed, but any resulting policy would not be retroactive and so would not apply to Scott’s case. Diane responded pointedly, ‘Then you can’t help us;”
2. 17 Articles of Monastery Regulation had been developed by the Archdiocese. The Articles outlined the requirements for accepting a person into the monastery, but again these requirements were not retroactive. The Metropolitan, over his Chancellor’s objections, gave the Nevins a copy of the Articles.
3. Novices would no longer be allowed to enter the monastery without Metropolitan Gerasimos’ express permission. Moreover, he would meet personally with each candidate to determine if this decision represented the candidate’s free will.

• The Metropolitan then said he planned to meet with Scott in the future to determine if he had entered the monastery freely. The Nevins objected, saying that Scott had been subjected to the unethical practices of the monastery for a year, and would tell him whatever he needed to hear. Metropolitan Gerasimos did not believe the Nevins when they laid out their concerns for the physical safety and emotional health of their son. He would not agree to remove Scott from the monastery. Despite the fact that the Metropolitan appeared to realize what happened to Scott should not have happened, he would not lift a finger to help the Nevins.
• The Metropolitan then absolutely stunned the Nevins. He asked them in a sarcastic and condescending tone, “Whom am I to believe that Scott had been coerced into the monastery, the parents?”
• The meeting ended after one hour and fifteen minutes. Nothing had been resolved. The Metropolitan and Chancellor appeared to be angry at the Nevins for not meekly accepting what they were offered.

POKROV Immediately after this meeting the Nevins went to the home of Cappy Larson to discuss the meeting with her. Cappy, along with Melanie Sadoka, is a co-founder of Pokrov.org. After Scott’s death, Cappy wrote an open letter to Metropolitan Gerasiamos. In it she discusses what Ashley and Diane Nevins told her about this meeting, the questions she raised with the Metropolitan, what her own treatment by the diocese has been, and how the followers of the Archimandrite Ephraim address people who disagree with them.
In June, 2005 Scott began to sign his letters either Scott, Skot, or John (his rebaptized name), and informed his parents not to send him any letter, document, etc. to him unless he asked for it as, “it has to be blessed first” by one of his superiors.
In August 2005 Scott wrote a response letter to his grandmother (now deceased) in response to a letter she had written him where he mentioned that she had forgotten to include all the pages in the letter she had mailed him. She wrote back and informed him that she had included all the pages. This was not the last time pages from a letter sent to Scott went missing.

Fr. Anthony Moschona's grave at St. Anthony's Monastery. He died 8/13/2011.
Fr. Anthony Moschona’s grave at St. Anthony’s Monastery. He died 8/13/2011.

In 2006 KVOA Channel 5 News in Tucson, Arizona, aired a two-part report on St. Anthony’s Monastery. Metropolitan Gerasimos refused to be interviewed by the television station. He did send a written statement to KOV A. In his statement, Metropolitan Gerasimos denied most of what the report had brought to light.
Archimandrites Ephraim and Paisios also declined to speak to the reporter. Father Anthony Moschonas, a retired priest from Tucson, Arizona, represented the monastery on camera in the KYOA report. Among the many things discussed, he explained his viewpoint on the financial transparency of the monastery. (Moschonas was later sued for sexual abuse by a 19 year old woman. The suit resulted in a settlement.)

Monastery Mystery Promo (2013) - St. Anthony's Monastery, Florence, Arizona
Monastery Mystery Promo (2013) – St. Anthony’s Monastery, Florence, Arizona