In Response To Slander Of Elder Ephraim

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Kollyvas
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In Response To Slander Of Elder Ephraim

Postby Kollyvas » Mon 26 September 2005 10:12 pm

Those of you who monitor the Indiana List may have noticed this link in discussion of Elder Ephraim and the Monastery of St. Antony in AZ:

http://gerondaephraim.tripod.com

While I am by no means an "ephraimite," ie one who follows the Elder blindly and worships him as a living saint, a major part of my Orthodox formation was received at St. Antony's and was thoroughly patristic and not tainted at all by the conspiracy theories and baiting that this fellow has brought up.

I would begin by saying that Mr. Smith has devoted his life to the study of Scripture and has made his decisions based on how he has understood it, some good, some bad. His approach has been diverse, based on RC bible study, friendships and contacts with Orthodox Jews and Rabbis, and a diverse association with Orthodox of all stripes. This is something for which he should be commended.

Now, I was there at St. Antony's during the period in question and am well aware of Mr. Smith's situation, as he was a friend of mine and a confidant. To begin with, Fr. Paisios told Mr. Smith to refrain from sexual relations after his CIVIL MARRIAGE at the Mesa Wedding Chapel UNTIL he was married in the Church. Fr. Paisios does not dissuade sex in marriage in regard to procreation, and his point of view mirrors that of St. Maximos the Confessor, the Kollyvades Fathers, and the best thought of Patristic Scholars of our day. I never witnessed not one baptism at St. Antony's. Mr. Smith kept on requesting to have his rule increased, not decreased. He frequently did things without the "blessings" he says he needed to obtain, such as getting married outside of the Church, quitting his job because he didn't feel like working anymore and forcing his wife to do so, moving in with his mother in law, abandoning his apartment, abandoning his vocational training in carpentry and tile laying on the verge of making a career for himself, etc. These were all decisions Mr. Smith made AGAINST Elder Paisios' advice and were quite the product of his own self-will. When his finances collapsed and his living situation worsened, HE SPECIFICALLY requested the aid of the monastery in Florence for himself and his wife, where they could "get things together living as BROTHER AND SISTER and UNTONSURED MONASTICS IN SEPARATE QUARTERS." That didn't seem to satisfy him, and he decided to move himself and his wife to FL to "avoid having his Nissan Pick Up repossessed, so that he could get some help from social services without having to work, and enjoy an occasional toke of marijuana." Thereafter Mr. Smith disappeared.

I worked planting trees at the monastery during the period in question. I worked almost daily with Elder Ephraim and had hours of contact with him. Fr. Paisios was at one time a spiritual director for me. What I was told to read by Elder Ephraim was St. John Cassian. He never spoke of "conspiracies": his talks were wrote memory recitations on prayer, perseverence, love straight out of a Gerontikon. Yes, he did advise obedience, but he was quick to understand human failings and provide a word of love. His writings clearly reflect that, and what Mr. Smith has decontextualized is a travesty, for he is indicting Elder Ephraim for paraphrasing such luminaries as Pakhomios, St. John Klimakos, Abba Dorotheos, et al. Moreover, I NEVER, NOT ONCE, saw Mr. Smith pick up a shovel to help planting a tree. He NEVER had contact with the Elder. All of his "knowledge" of the Elder is SECOND HAND and STYLIZED. Fr. Paisios never spoke politically with me. He advised reading of the Philokalia, especially St. Hesykhios the Presbyter. The rule he customarily gives I received 3 ropes, not necessarily 300 knot--my rope was 150, to our Lord and one to the Panaghia. He adjusted prostrations accordingly and was flexible as far as the rule was concerned in regard to Holy Communion. Fr. Paisios was LENIENT in regard to attendance of church services and undrstood our human failings, eg allowing me to get to Matins by the Gospel, take rests during an Agripnia, etc. Nephon RECEIVED SUCH DISPENSATIONS. And this is TYPICAL OF FR PAISIOS' METHODOLOGY. The commentary about the services and their length is quite interesting, as established Orthodox monasteries from Valaam to Trinity-St. Sergius to the Holy Mountain to St. Katherine's to St. Savas to Jordanville, etc. FOLLOW THE SAME AND/OR SIMILAR order.

I NEVER encountered ANY monk speaking of "murdering for the Elder," but I did encounter how certain converts like Mr. Smith let themselves get carried away ON THEIR OWN. Likewise, the odious and obvious baiting here used to slander the Elder by mentioning the "Protocols," the "Serbs and other jurisdictions," "other secret monasteries," the "Birchers," etc. is nothing but innuendo. Now, there are people who visit the monastery who mention these things just as there are in MOST Orthodox Monasteries. The rumor mill they propagate is NOT the orientation of the monastery just as a "homosexual Orthodox activist" or "matthewite" attending say the OCA Washington DC Cathedral and involving himself in their community is NOT the orientation of the Cathedral. Neither Elder Ephraim, nor Elder Paisios EVER talked about politics. They felt it was something profane. Elder Ephraim was even troubled by greetings and communiques from the deposed king of Greece and current Greek politicians FOR HE DID NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED. The "Protocols" were NEVER mentioned. As a matter of fact, a close supporter of the monastery, A. LIKOS, routinely denounced them as "forgeries, not worth talking about" when VISITORS brought them up. He is a spiritual son of the Elder and extremely close to him. Lastly, I have witnessed Fr. Paisios and Elder Ephraim address their Bishops on bended knee and in full humility and obedience. They are Constantinople loyalists, and it is here where I have found my issue.

Mr. Smith had no access to the books of the monastery and his knowledge of budgets, etc. is dubious at best. The monastery and Fr. Paisios provided them with the support they could. St. Antony's is our American Optina and must treasured as such.

In closing, Mr. Smith has issues, and I hope for him and his family he resolves them. He is gifted and could add to Orthodox learning. His biblical research into the Nazorite Vow, for instance, is astoundingly brilliant. He simply needs a rudder. Orthodoxy is not about joining civil rights movements and the like and their secular concerns. He needs to decide who he is once and for all and grow in that direction. Is he an Old Calendarist, an Antiochian, a Byzantine Catholic, a Hassidim wannabe, a Black Muslim sympathizer, a member of ROCOR , the Serbs, or the GOA?! "Yes" to the above question simply will not do. Such dissonant views definitely drive one to psychotropic drugs as mentioned when they are not reconciled. He is in need of our prayers, for he bears a heavy cross. I ask the forgiveness of all for bringing these things up and that people discount who am I in homage to the truth.

Pray for me, the unworthy sinner...
Rostislav Mikhailovich Malleev-Pokrovsky

PS Fr. Theologos is a friend of mine, and he is one of the most happy and ardent Orthodox Christians I have ever met. His ardour amongst Protestants would be seen AS LIVING A GODLY LIFE, but certain Orthodox and others use him to advance an agenda. At 18, he chose to become a monk. I wonder if certain people would be so alarmed at his ADULT life decision if he chose to be homosexual, become an atheist, or join a rock band. It is shameful what they are putting him through.

PPS Isn't it strange of the environment of compromise inaugurated into ROCOR by the Lebedeff camarilla is now manifesting itself by having new insurgent voices and their kit like "Indiana List" manifest anti-monasticism, anti-traditionalism, a let's be modernist as fast as we can attitude. This, my friends, is why the compromise ROCOR made is so fatal, for they opened up the floodgates and they can't stop the bleeding now. Moreover, the whole policy of guilt by accusation and innuendo WITHOUT the other side getting as much as a hearing, well, I hope we can appreciate the gravity of the situation, for it's rolling down hill now. It wasn't so much what they did, as it was the way they manifested it--MORAL RELATIVISM. Just like his mentor who left the port of Odessa in the middle of the night, ABANDONING his parishoners to the bolsheviks, this is what the Lebedeff camarilla is doing to the legacy of ROCOR and they are too ignorant or apathetic to do anything about it.

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Postby Priest Siluan » Tue 27 September 2005 8:16 pm

Thank you, Rostislav, to illuminate us about that "testimony" against Elder Ephraim. Also for your point about the "new way" of ROCOR.

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Monasteries of Fr. EPhraim

Postby costaswright » Thu 29 September 2005 12:00 am

Not all but a lot of what David reports is the same that I have heard from followers of Fr. Ephraim... and it is frightening.

The fact is, reports of the questionable teachings and practices of Fr. Ephraim are not isolated. They come from many people in many places. Dr. Maureen Girard testified to her first-hand experience with a woman traumatized by these unwarranted and inappropriate intrusion of clergy, and especially monastics, into the private intimacy of a couple's sex life. Someone wrote me offlist and related the following incident:

"A 70-yr old Greek woman innocently attended services at an Ephramite monastery with a group thinking they were making a pilgrimage. The group was urged to confess to the local "geronda." This woman did so to her great regret. This young "geronda" of 30+ yrs immediately probed the elderly woman's sex life--all the way back to her youth. She admitted to one sin in her whole life, one occurence of fornication at the age of 19, which she repented of very soon at that time, and never repeated it. She had confessed it 50+ years ago in Greece. This neo-geronda placed her under an epitimia or a penance not to commune for several
years, saying that the confessor to whom she confessed at age 19 did not impose sufficient penalty on her for paying the debt of her sin. The woman returned home in great confusion and turmoil."

There are many other examples of *many* people - including clergy of the Greek Archdiocese and other Local Orthodox Churches - having serious concerns with the idiosyncratic teachings of Fr. Ephriam. There are too many to list here, but see the archives of the Indiana Orthodox List:

http://listserv.indiana.edu/archives/orthodox.html

In Concern for Christ's Holy Orthodox Church,
Rd. David-Constantine

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| Personal Website: http://constans_wright.tripod.com |
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| St. Athanasius the Great, *On the Incarnation* |
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Kollyvas
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Readers! Do Not Accede To Defamation & Guilt By Accusat

Postby Kollyvas » Thu 29 September 2005 1:30 am

It seems that an inquisition is in full force. The casual reader is asked to transpose my original post and reply to Mr. Smith on the Reader Constantine's BIG LIE methodology and presentation. His knowledge, moreover, IS ADMITTEDLY SECOND HAND. He expects us to legitimate the biased approach of the Indiana List and admit it as FACT?! Has the Indiana List even bothered to substantiate any claims OR EVEN ALLOWED THE OTHER SIDE A VOICE?! Many of us here know that by its methodology and that of the Lebedeff camarilla that only the contrary is true. Mr. Smith--he admits it--was a confidant of mine and my knowledge of the Monastery and the Elder is FIRSTHAND. Until the RDR Constantine can say he HEARD THESE THINGS FROM THE ELDER's OR THE ACCUSEDS' LIPS or witnessed them with his own eyes, his denunciations are a second hand smear with an ADMITTED LACK OF SUBSTANTIATION. I rest on what I have presented by the literal sweat of my brow.

Orthodoxia I Thanatos!
R M Malleev-Pokrovsky

PS I put forward the following link on "Eldership" for the casual reader's edification, stressing the Orthodox institution others are indicting in a SECTARIAN manner and impressing it upon others that Eldership is a HOLY thing:

http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.c ... mpson3.htm

PPS This smacks ridiculously of the Rather assertion that Burket's word processor memos were based on the originals and, hence, are impeachable as sources. The standard is a rather hateful and AGENDIZED faith. If this slander wasn't such a serious thing, such quack buffoonery would be admitted to the asylum of untenable fringe agendas and left at that.

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In a word:

Postby CGW » Thu 29 September 2005 3:35 am

Balderdash.

As far as Elder Ephraim himself is concerned, it has been established to reasonable standards of proof that he does believe the Protocols, and that he does direct others to them in his book. You may grant him an indulgence on this point, but I do not, and I hold that nobody else should either.

And as for St. Anthony's: Mr. Smith's is not the only story we are hearing, and when it comes to him and the others against your word, well, frankly, I'd have to go with his.

The BIG scandal here is that people see "Elder" and "Athonite" and they become credulous, letting the devil waltz right in. And then, when people get burned and have the audacity to warn others, people like you help evil right along, because the stupid politics of traditionalism are more important than actual damage to people's souls.

edited to add a title
Last edited by CGW on Thu 29 September 2005 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Anastasios » Thu 29 September 2005 4:11 am

CGW,

Please refer to Orthodox clearly by their title, such as "Fr."

As far as the content is concerned, I think you point out some real pitfalls that we must be aware of.

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Kollyvas
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Balderdash?

Postby Kollyvas » Thu 29 September 2005 5:02 am

Where has it been proved? Who are these other people? Show us some proof, and not Indiana List legerdemain. MY KNOWLEDGE IS FIRSTHAND, and yours is?! And have you bothered to ascertain the other side?! I guess it's not necessary, right?! The modernist sanhedrin has spoken. Senator McCarthy, people are not guilty by mere accusation. And the only balderdash here is the FACT that the norms of SECULAR HUMANISM are being used as the vehicle for attacking Orthodox Eldership. Do you even believe in holiness, deification? This is precisely how Optina was liquidated--by the SAME unclean spirit. The only naivette and credulity here is that there is no Mystery of Iniquity at work and that somehow those who reflect the relativist and anti-Orthodox views of the "modern" world somehow seem to be objective; whereas, others who are not affable to ones unconverted biases are dismissed as "credulous." Such critical thinking skills. That you may disagree with Elder Ephraim's Eldership or TRADITIONAL ORTHOPRAXIA simply indicts your bias as the intrusion of something in thought and practice which is other than Orthodox.

Orthodoxia I Thanatos!
Rostislav Mikhailovich Malleev-Pokrovsky

PS As far the question Elder Ephraim's credentials are concerned. Let use simply the Evangelical dictum, "And ye shall know them by their fruits." I would merely have to mention the role played in the resuscitation of Athonite monasticism by Elder Ephraim and his role in the renewal of at least 4 of 19 Athonite monasteries. Are we going to put Athonite monasticism on trial as well Eldership now?! Where does this stop?! Until we are nailing theses to the doors of our churches? And how is it that the Athonites and Elders seem to have been the vehicles of sanctity in the Orthodox Church since St. John the Baptist?! Are we prepared to discount the Tradition of Orthodox holiness because it offends certain secularist humanist and antiChristian biases? Shall we be assaulting weeping icons next? Putting Holy Relics in antireligious museums?! Please be aware that the other side is flirting with unclean spirits which have already been seen in Russia. The spiritual catastrophe their path brings is just as tried and proved as the holy path to union with Christ which Elder Ephraim puts forward. Elder Ephraim has no need of putting forward credentials--he just has to say, as he does, that the Panaghia and Holy Spirit have guided me in what I have done. If it is not of Christ, it cannot stand, but if it be then none can stand against it. From all I have read, lived, believed as an Orthodox Christian and what has been handed to me by my forefathers, if Elder Ephraim be not Orthodox, then there is no Orthodoxy, and that is a blasphemy. What are the fruits of the other side? Where are their relics, their links to the Tradition of the Church? Which Fathers do they stand with, do they quote? No, innuendo is a matter of propaganda, but they are ultimately AND ADMITTEDLY DEVOID of any interest in Truth.


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