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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Orthodox Patristic Wisdom https://web.archive.org/web/20060402204356/http://orthodoxpatristicwisdom.blogspot.com/

and

  1. J O Y F U L   L I G H T https://web.archive.org/web/20060519133430/http://joyfullight.blogspot.com/

Enjoy them — they are indeed excellent!

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