The Solzhenitsyn Files: Intro

A few years ago in a book store in Missouri I picked up Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago I-II.  Being a Russophile at the time, I had to pick it up.  I got about 80 pages into it before the rest of life happened.  It sat on my book shelf for a few years.   I picked it back up yesterday.

It’s standard criticism to say Obama is a tyrant.  Of course he is.  The more astute will point out that FEMA is a soft version of the GULAG (a prototype?).  An even deeper analysis will see Obama’s private armies analogous to the Cheka (yes, I am aware of the factchecker’s response. All FactChecker does is say that it isn’t meant to be the Gestapo.  Obama’s own words say security force).  What is not talked about, not in depth anyway, is the nature of “shock” engineering on society to create these desired effects.   Solzhenitsyn saw it clearly, even if he didn’t call it by that.

A Russian Prophecy for America?

Yesterday I offered an olive branch to the Orthodox.  They have many astute social thinkers who have not bowed the knee to the Regime.  Seraphim Rose is one.

fr-seraphim-rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must quote Fr Damascene’s account in full detail.

In 1978 Fr. Seraphim contemplated the possibility of such a global system…Never has there been more talk of ‘peace and security’ than today. One of the chief organs of the United Nations is the Security Council and organizations for world peace are everywhere. If men do achieve finally a semblance of peace and security, it would seem to contemporary man to be a state like heaven on earth…The practical way to do this is to unite all governments under one. For the first time in world history such an idea becomes a possible goal in practical politics–a world ruler is conceivable now. For the first time, the Antichrist becomes an historical possibility” (Damascene, 697).

What Fr Seraphim is saying is nothing new. People used to laugh at those who said, “You know, world leaders really do want power. These guys really are corrupt. Maybe they do want world government.” People would laugh and say, “Oh that could never happen. What are you, a kook? World leaders do not really want that.”

Except that when you ask the elitists what they want, they say exactly that:

Admiral Charles Ward, former member of the Council on Foreign Relations, “The most powerful cliques in these elitist groups have an objective in common–they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States .  A second clique of international members in the CFR…comprises the Wall Street International bankers and their key agents. Primarily, they want the world banking monopoly from whatever power ends up in the control of global government” (Rear Admiral Chester Ward, Review of the News, April 9, 1980, pp37-38, quoted in Fr Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, 697-698).

Fr Damascene goes on to mention,

With the establishment of the European Union, the creation of the Euro currency, the control of former Eastern-bloc countries by Western financial interests, the advances towards a cashless society, the formation of an international criminal tribunal by the United Nations and NATO, we see what appear to be the forerunners of such a one-world system. Some of these developments are not necessarily evil by themselves. Taken together, however, they help to set up a global apparatus which can make way for the rising religion of the future. Such was the expectation of Alice Bailey, who in 1940 wrote, The expressed aims and efforts of the United Nations will be eventually brought to fruition, and a new church of God, gathered out of all religions and spiritual groups, will unitedly bring an end to the great heresy of separatedness’ (cf. Alice Bailey, The Destiny of the Nations, p.52, quoted in Fr Seraphim Rose, 698). Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, expressed the same belief on the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations in 1995: ‘At the beginning the United Nations was only a hope. Today it is a political reality. Tomorrow it will be the world’s religion’ (Fr Seraphim Rose, 698).

It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.  Further, I am not yet quoting the remarks by David Rockefeller who is quite open on the need for a supranational body.  While this is the domain of conspiracy-theorist kooks, there is nothing secret about it.  These remarks have been in the open for almost half a century, and have been actively pursued for about a generation on the political level.

Back to Solzhenitsyn

Damascene writes,

When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago came out in 1974, Seraphim not only read it, he studied it as a textbook…he [Rose] wrote…Communism as such is incidental to the terrible events described in this book; the villains of this book do not act the way they do because they are Communists, but because they are victims of an ideology far deeper and more deadly than Communism” (Damascene 651).

Rose identifies the ideology as nihilism.  I’ll take it a step further:  Luciferianism.  In any case, it’s important not to reduce it to Communism.  Communism is a Satanic evil.  One we must hate with all of our being, but by reducing all of the problems to Communism we implicitly excuse the current Regime from culpability, since they can legitimately claim they are not communists (yet).

Well, if Communism is so evil, does this mean the West or Hitler was right to oppose it?  The question is misplaced.  Rose gives an insightful answer:

The actions of those temporarily opposed to Bolshevism temporarily out of envy (Hitler) or hypocrisy (the Western Allies) are only historical episodes [of the Spirit of Revolution]” (652).

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Orthodox Eschatology and the Problem of Putin

In a fascinating article by Vladimir Moss, we have a capable discussion of the Orthodox political theorist Alexander Dugin, particularly his relation to Vladimir Putin. Moss’s article is important because it is written by a conservative Orthodox scholar who hates globalism, modernist Orthodoxy, yet has suspicions about Putin’s conservative Christianity. Putin’s annexation of Crimea and his twice-humiliating Obama (e.g., Syria and Ukraine) have forced conservatives to reevaluate their Russophobia and the future of international conservative thought.

I want to build upon Moss’s analysis, with which I mostly agree. My goal is to show tensions in Russian history that Moss doesn’t note and ponder the implications for Orthodox engagement today.

Who is Dugin?

Back in my Russophilic days I was watching Dugin’s career really take off.  Dugin had abandoned the National Bolshevism Party (!!) and started his own Party.  Eventually, he saw that Russia’s future was with Putin and cast his lot there.  My Orthodox friends were emailing me pdfs of Dugin’s books long before they were in print.  I was leaving any form of Orthodoxy at that point so I really wasn’t interested.

Leaving aside Dugin’s own political views, Moss highlights his “eschatological ecclesiology.”  Moss rightly notes that Dugin’s views cannot be understood apart from his Old Ritualist beliefs.  The Old Ritualists separated from the Moscow Patriarch NIKON in the 1660s because they saw Nikon modifying the liturgy (and they were correct–this has huge and embarrassing implications for semper ubique and an always united church).

Old Ritualists see the world as corrupt and expect a future, purifying catastrophe (a common theme among many Christian sects), even sacrificing themselves in the fire.  I hope you make the connection between their own suicidal deaths by fire and Dugin’s call for nuclear war.  It is not accidental.

Dugin’s own analysis of Revelation is bizarre (yet no more arbitrary and subjective than Reformed amillennialism) and while entertaining, largely beyond the scope of this essay. However, it does break down Christian history into three phases: Pre-Constantinian, Constantinian (and later Muscovite) and post-1660 Muscovite.  The middle period is the Millennial Reign and the Third Period is the Age of Antichrist.  This means, as Moss notes, that little good can be seen in the post-1660 Orthodox Church (which argument by the Old Ritualists is one reason I never joined).

Dugin’s analysis is strained when he comes to the Soviet era.  He can’t simply defend it because of its atheism, but he does give it moderate praise.  He sees God’s exercising a strange power through the Soviet world, but that doesn’t bother Dugin since he’s already identified America as the Antichrist (which is odd, given his dating of 1666 as the beginning of Antichrist).

Contra Moss, Dugin is correct to note that the “spiritual conformism” of the Nikonite patriarchs is no less revolutionary than the Sovietism of the Church. With exception of Fr. Raphael Johnson, very few American Orthodox have owned up to this problem.  Dugin sees the future Philadelphian Church as a combination of the Old Ritualists, the Moscow Patriarchate, and the ROCA church.  This is problematic, to say the least, since all of these churches have condemned each other for “schisming from the true faith” (this is a huge psychological problem for convertskii).

Dugin’s eschatology allows him to see Putin in a new, monarchical role, especially in opposing America.  There are many aspects of American liberalism that should be rightly opposed, but one gets nervous in reading the nuclear overtones of Dugin’s proposal! The rest of the article is an analysis of Orthodox and Dispensationalist eschatologies, which do not concern us here.

Orthodoxy Today

So what do converts to Orthodoxy say about Dugin’s analysis?  Few likely have heard of them and that’s expected.  However, everyone in America has to face up to Putin’s Russia, whether good or bad.  Some convertskii have pointed out many goods of Putin’s Russia: it refuses to tolerate sodomy and speaks out for oppressed Christians in the Middle East, much to the anger of the Beltway Alliance.

I suspect American Orthodox will break down in several lines on this question. The hard-core convertskii will understandably praise Putin(and by extension Dugin).  They will see Russia as the last bulwark against the New World Order.  The more moderate convertskii, those perhaps enamored with Schmemann, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and Ancient Faith Radio, might find Dugin’s analysis embarrassing.  Yet he can’t simply be dismissed:  if you accept Putin as a normative figure you have to account for Dugin’s influence on him.

Is Putin King Arthur Redivivus?

I used to think he was.  I like him better than Obama, to be sure, but I do not think the future belongs to Russia, no matter if it is secular, Orthodox, or Communist.  Putin divorced his wife and has taken up with a young and attractive gymnast.  Hardly the actions of the leader of conservative Christendom. While Russia’s own situation has improved since the 1990s, it’s future is far from certain.  The abortion, suicide, divorce, and prostitution rates in Russia are abysmal.  Civilizations have been destroyed for far less (Boer Afrika had its problems, but they didn’t have the decadence of today’s Russia, either, yet they were destroyed by the Marxist torturer Nelson Mandela.  Maybe South Africa did sin.  She was formally covenanted to God).

I thought about doing a sociological analysis on Russia’s birth-rate and related variables. I used to have the info for that, but those days are long gone.  I will give a snapshot analysis:

  • While Russia’s energy reserves are formidable, she needs markets. While she has Western Europe by the balls, energetically speaking, her economy is fragile and severe enough sanctions could tip the scale.
  • Even though her birth rate has improved, much of it is from Central Asian Muslims, not white Orthodox Christians.
  • Most importantly–religiously–she does not appear to have the “want-to” to survive.  Though Bulgakov and Dostoevsky could speak in eschatological veins, Orthodox theology is more inward, mystical, and onto-focused; overcoming estrangement. I realize I am speaking in generalities, but history’s bears it out.  Where is the “Protestant” work-ethic–so famous and so maligned–among the Slavic lands?  It was the Protestant understanding of the Covenant and the law of God that allowed them dominion in Europe and the New World.
  • Finally,and I realize few will share my analysis, God doesn’t reward the worship of images.  Civilizations that are built on language and communications are healthier than those built on fetishism.

A Contrast

Even the best of civilizations fall.  If the criteria of success is longetivity, then few will last.  However, we can analyze the nature of their lasting and the religious impulses within it.

Covenanteroes

While I reject as naive those narratives that say the Covenanters produced modern republicanism, the impulses which drove the English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians did create a New World.  Jock Purves writes,

The United States of America, too, is a great result of the further development of the Reformation in the orderings of the most High.  It might have been settled by the Spanish or Portugese, and therefore, now been as South America, Romish, backward and dark. But in genius and constitution, in its strong depths and grand heights, it is a Protestant land.  This is because of a people, such a people, in moral and spiritual stature incomparable, the finest expositors of Scripture ever known, the English Puritans (42).

Whatever else you say about Protestantism, ask why all of the economic and political developments for the common good in the modern world happened in historically Protestant lands? Whenever there is a crop shortage in Russia, why does it always turn into a catastrophe?  Even under the decimating reigns of the Clintons and Obamas, America hasn’t had that.

I can only wonder what would have happened if King James I hadn’t murdered Sir Walter Raleigh at the behest of the Spanish Ambassador. Raleigh was talking of settling Latin America.

Only religion can bring life to a land.  I hope and pray that Orthodoxy in Russia stops women becoming Prostitutes and aborting their babies.  But it will take more than 10% of the population.

 

ROCOR, OCA, and Schism from a True Church

This just shows how messy ecclesiology is.  I look with suspicion on any claim that “we have always continued unchanged.”  Some considerations on Ecumenism and Truth.

Setting the stage:

Since the Bolshevik coup and civil war among Russians after World War I, the Russian Orthodox Church has been split into several groups. The two primary ones were the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, subsumed under the Marxist regime, and the free part of the church, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), founded first in northern Serbia under the guidance of Metropolitan +ANTONY, later moving to its present headquarters on the east side of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the relations with the later Orthodox Church in America (founded and financed by the YMCA and the World Council of Churches) have been hostile, with most hostility coming from the OCA’s side…

What is the relation between this movement, on the one hand, and the other branch of the “Russian Orthodox Church,” the OCA, on the other? It has been well known for some time that the OCA has been continually lying about their membership; that they have been threatened by Moscow to have their already tainted �autocephalicity� revoked; it is alleged that their former (but still living) Metropolitan THEODOSIUS is a homosexual and was paying hush-money concerning this (Archbishop +JOHN of the Milan Synod states this is a “well-known fact”); that the OCA is, in many respects, the religious arm of the Archer Daniels Midland Corporation; and that grant money coming into the OCA was being diverted for purposes that are less than honorable. For many, these unfortunate facts are well known. In no manner, however, do these immoral irregularities affect many of her faithful, who maintain at least the aspects of the tradition they are able without proper leadership…

One question that no one has asked is why was the OCA being funded by the arch-leftist; globalist and anti-Christian Archer-Daniel-Midland corporation? What is the connection, and what is ADM’s interest here? ADM is long been involved in ecumenical activities in their drive for global agro-financial domination, and the OCA, in short, was very useful in this regard. Ecumenism, that is, theological liberalism and dogmatic indifferentism, can be understood best when one follows the money–as the old saying goes–and this situation is no different.

The ADM money was going into a discretionary account, one secretly controlled by Theodosius and was used, as some say, to pay off people who could squawk too loudly about Theodosius� irregularities. Once it became clear that this account was going to be audited (as there are many good people in the OCA), Theodosius loudly claimed he has some heretofore unknown abstract “right” to have such an account, and resisted all attempts to look into what this money was actually for (cf. http://www.ocanews.org for some more details).

Not only this, but that the OCA was in fact an in-house organ of the ADM corporation, as this horrific pimp of the New World Order was providing their pet church with nearly $1 million over the last few years; the OCA was hiding this by listing themselves under their old name of the “Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church” in the public lists of ADM’s grantees. All ADM money was being deposited in a secret account. Of course, whether or not this all was a very well thought out attempt to break into the Russian agricultural market is a matter of speculation, but a financial interest is clearly obvious…

Archer Daniels Midland is one of the most corrupt companies in the world. They actively promote abortion and the elimination of nearly 90% of the world�s population as a means to “conserve the environment.” This initiative to eliminate most of humanity was announced by the elite-backed conference entitled “Toward a New Civilization: Launching a Global Initiative,” financed partially by ADM. The elimination of 90% of humanity though forced abortions and mandatory sterilization is an important plank in many radical environmentalists�s programs, and most recently advocated by the semi-psychotic TV star Jacques Cousteau. They have also financed “One World” type conferences the world over through numerous front groups…

There is an immediate connection between the rapprochement, of the ROCOR and the Patriarchate, and the recent exposure of the OCA�s irregularities. The OCA, even without the recent scandals which threaten to dissolve her, is an anomaly–a theological eccentricity. She is now isolated, with her former patron in Moscow largely turning their backs on their naughty step-child in America. Had the fallen metropolitan of the OCA merely come clean, confessed his sins and promised to amend his life, he would have been forgiven, as all of us are sinners and victims of modernity and its false promises. Had he retired to a monastery to struggle against his desires, he would have become an example for many of us to follow, rather than an embarrassment.

 

A Triadic Look at Ethnos and the State

The following is taken from Fr. Raphael Johnson’s fine essay, “National Anarchism and the Old Faith

Old Russia was and is represented by the Old Faith and the Cossack uprisings under Bulavin and Pugachev. In short, their programs were identical: a popular monarchy, the free peasant commune and the Old Faith: the three ancient pillars of justice. In opposition is the “Egyptian” rule of technology, centralization and oligarchy, the three pillars of injustice. Such as view is echoed in early medieval Ireland and medieval Serbia. Society was divided up into self governing communes, who elected their clergy and were loyal to local custom. Local monastics offered spiritual guidance and sainthood, not to mention education and social welfare. The state, if it can be called such, was represented by a monarch with a tiny retinue of supporters. His role was purely to defend the faith from outside influences, as he had little role in the functioning of the mir or rod.

(emphasis mine).  I mean to contrast this (in the future) with the American “dialectic of opposition.”

Implications of the Hypostatic Union

From Meyendorff’s Byzantium and the Rise of Russia. This is in the context of monasticism as a unifying factor in the Eastern social mind, with obvious references to the Hesychast controversy.

Hypostatic Union and the patristic doctrine of deification implies that divine life becomes accessible through the human flesh of Christ and of the saints. The innumerable references of Palamas to such texts as the homily of the Transfiguration of St John of Damascus–the great defender of matter as a legitimate channel of grace during the icnoclastic controversy– or to the Christology of St Maximus the Confessor, clearly indicate a basic unity of theological inspiration.