Magic and the Occult (St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite)

NOTE: In some of the monasteries, there is a belief that there exists a secret Himalayan organization of Satanists called the “Great White Lodge” or “Great White Brotherhood.” They are said to daily do black magic on Mount Athos and all monasteries in the world in an attempt to eliminate them and destroy the orthodox church. It is taught that Rasputin also belonged to this secret organization and his mission was to destroy Orthodox Tzarist Russia. Initially, it was also taught in the monasteries that the Tsar family could not be saints due to incest, the Tsaritsas involvement with Rasputin and the occult, and various issues in the life of Tsar Nicholas II. Their icons were not carried nor mounted for pilgrims. In the early 2000s, that started to change.

In the monasteries, it is also believed that organizations like The Church of Satan, do daily black masses that contain specific curses for various Orthodox hierarchs.

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In the monasteries, it is also taught that curses do not stick to clergymen but rather bounce back onto the one giving the curse. The monastics are not allowed to pray for those who are witches or dabble in the occult, etc. either in their own personal prayer or during the proskomide. It is taught that Elder Ephraim of Katounakia use to pray for them in his personal prayer and one day he received an invisible slap across the face and heard a voice, “Do not pray for these people.”

The monasteries encourage pilgrims not to buy fylakta from anywhere other than the monasteries, especially in Greece. This is because they claim many times witches mimic the fylakta of Orthodoxy (though the fylakta/talisman concept is a rural pagan tradition) and make cursed fylakta using black magic. The monasteries claim they know the people who make their fylakta, and also “bless them on the altar for 40 days” (blessing things like icons, etc. on the altar for 40 days is forbidden by the Canons and this practice is censured by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite). Though, those pilgrims who suspect they may have a cursed fylakta are to bring it to the monasteries so it can be disposed of properly.

There is also a story that circulated from monastery to monastery about a certain Greek Orthodox priest from Pennsylvania, the late Fr. Anthony. Apparently, he was a secret Satanist and would do his liturgies backwards and insert anti-Christian aspects into his services. It is rumored that the parishioners would see the roof of the church open up and angels flock in and have many wonderful visions and experiences. It turns out they were all demonic illusions and many of his parishioners became demon-possessed and started hallucinating outside of the church as well. Many of these parishioners went to the monasteries seeking exorcisms. The parishioners who were “baptized” by Fr. Anthony were also rebaptized in the monasteries as his priesthood status  and the sacraments he performed were considered invalid.

St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite.
St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite.

The following article is taken from The Rudder: