Punks turned Monks
это заголовок статьи про деятельность нынешних насельников Платины, после о.Серафима Роуза. интересно, конечно.
а дальше я помещаю письмо одного американского сумасшедшего, который предупреждает весь православный мир об опасности, исходящей от моего, якобы, заговора с Бостонским о.Пантелеимоном. но мне это письмо отчасти дорого: в продолжение письма Мосса, который сравнивал меня с Байроном, этот последователь Моссовских идей сравнивает меня прямо с Сидом Вишесом. это уже признание!!! )))
by Frederica Mathewes-Green
Originally published in re:generation Quarterly
High in a Russian Orthodox monastery in the California mountains,
Father Damascene and Father John had a problem. They wanted to place
an ad in Maximum Rock and Roll, "the most hardcore" of all the punk
magazines, but were having trouble getting it past the editor.
If this sounds like the beginning of an interesting story, just
The story actually began a few years earlier. Four years ago, John
Marler arrived at the St. Herman of Alaska monastery in Platina,
California, weary of life. Though only nineteen, he had already been
guitarist in two successful punk-rock bands, Sleep and Paxton
Quiggly. Once he found faith in Christ and a home in Orthodoxy, the
new monk wanted to bring the same hope to the punk subculture he had
just escaped, a community of kids crippled by nihilism and despair.
The St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (which sponsors the Platina
abbey and several other monasteries) had already begun attracting
some kids from the nearby town of Chico, and Mother Neonilla--
previously a "serious punker" herself--encouraged Fr. John to reach
out to them. The first idea called for fellow-monk Fr. Damascene
Christensen, who had recently completed the book Not of this World:
The Life and Teaching of Fr. Seraphim Rose, to write an article
about Fr. Seraphim for publication in Maximum Rock and Roll. "But as
I read over the magazine, I realized there was no way they'd publish
something like this," Fr. Damascene recalls.
Next, they decided to try to place an ad, but the editor's response--
"What the @#*% is a Brotherhood?"--tipped them off that this wasn't
going to fly either. The monks were told, "We only run ads for music
and 'zines." (For the uninitiated, a 'zine is a rough, homemade-
looking magazine, scissored and pasted and photocopied, and offered
cheap or free on the streets.)
"We need a 'zine," the monks told each other, and thus appeared one
of the oddest of the punk-style publications, Death to the World.
The cover of the first issue shows a white-bearded monk holding a
skull, and the inaugural essay begins, "The last true rebellion is
death to the world. To be crucified to the world and the world to
us." The back cover shows the figure on the Shroud of Turin, with
this caption: they hated me without a cause.
"These kids are sick of themselves," says Fr. Damascene, "and they
feel out of place in this world. We try to open up to them the
beauty of God's creation, and invite them to put to death 'the
passions,' which is what we mean by 'the world.' God takes despair
and turns it around to something positive. Selfish passions can then
be redirected into love for God, as Mary Magdalene did. We talk
about the idea of suffering because that is what the kids feel most
strongly. We show that there can be meaning in suffering."
The first issue, published in December 1994, was advertised in
Maximum Rock and Roll and brought letters from "all over the world--
Japan, Lithuania, Ireland." Copies of that issue were mailed to an
ever-growing list, distributed at punk shows, and photocopied and
passed along by others. Fr. Damascene estimates that more than
50,000 copies are now in circulation.
"Kids were writing to us and we realized they needed more personal
contact," says Fr. Damascene, so the Brotherhood began turning
bookstores and restaurants into coffeehouses, or "mystical
hangouts." There are now fourteen of these across the country and in
Europe and Australia, with flagship examples in Boston and Santa
A typical flyer, handed out to street kids, reads: "Desert Wisdom
Kaffe House, Kansas City's most mystical hangout. Drink Ethiopian
coffee & espresso. Hear ancient otherworldly chants. Smell rare
middle-eastern incense. Discover the ancient African & Eastern
superheroes." Of course the chants are Orthodox-style Christian
hymns, the incense is borrowed from liturgical use, and
the "superheroes" are saints of the Bible and church history. A
poster used at some coffeehouses shows a young monk holding open a
wooden box of bones and a skull. The caption reads, "Death to the
tyranny of fashion!"
Pretty sophisticated marketing strategy; we can well imagine this
reaching kids who will tune out anything less as manipulative and
sugar-coated. But like any good evangelism, it gets its power from
love for the lost. Father Paisius, also at the monastery,
explains, "This subculture is raucous and deeply disturbed because
of their own pain. It's demonic; they're living in hell, overdosing
on drugs, or maybe going into a rage and killing someone. They see
life as worthless. We want to show them an ideal that is worth their
life. These are marginalized youth who are wounded, and Death to the
World is meant to touch with a healing hand that wound."
A successful 'zine and chain of coffeehouses is an especially
impressive accomplishment considering how simply the monks live. The
California mountaintop monastery of St. Herman of Alaska has no
electricity, phone, or running water, and "the monks live in the
midst of rattlesnakes, scorpions, and peacocks, translating and
publishing wisdom from the holy fathers and mothers of ages past."
Another twelve miles up the mountain is a sister monastery for
women, St. Xenia Skete, also without phones, water, or electricity.
The nuns live in log cells they construct themselves; they "till the
garden, chop wood, and also work on publishing." It was not possible
to speak with Fr. John for this article, as he lives in a similar
monastery on an island off the Alaska coast where getting to a phone
requires prior notice by mail.
The Brotherhood's St. Paisius Abbey, however, has a few modern
conveniences, and the monks and nuns there are glad to fill orders
and answer questions.
Back copies of Death to the World (which has just published its
eleventh issue) can be ordered for $1.00 each from Death to the
World, 7777 Martinelli Road, Forestville, CA 95436; phone
707.887.9740. The community also offers a tape of original songs by
Fr. John, and a book, Youth of the Apocalypse, written by Fr. John
and Fr. Andrew Wermuth (these two describe themselves as "punks
A friend in Charlottesville, Virginia, Deacon Michael Furry, has set
up a web page for Death to the World, and past issues can be
reviewed there: http://www.stinnocent.com/seraphim
ну вот. а теперь письмо американского бывшего монаха, нынешнего то ли по-, то ли о-слушника (и, во всяком случае, как я смог понять из описаний, параноидного шизофреника -- но стать церковным ньюс-мейкером такие особенности психики только помогают; в списке только персональных адресатов этого письма едва ли не вся номинально православная Америка):
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Brother Nathaniel <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 03:12:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brother Nathaniel <email@example.com>
Subject: Fwd: From Russia With 'Punk'
To: Metropolitan Ephraim <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Metropolitan Makarios <email@example.com>,
Bishop Sergios Black <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Priestmonk Theodore <email@example.com>,
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firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Father Tikhon <email@example.com>
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Brother Nathaniel <email@example.com> wrote:
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 02:14:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brother Nathaniel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: From Russia With 'Punk'
To: Orthodox Tradition <email@example.com>
Dear Paradosis Members,
I am about to inform all of you of a very great peril that is about to
insinuate itself into the Church. And this peril is about to moor
within our own American shores.
Russia's Fr. Gregory Lurye of recent ROAC defrocking news, is a 'punk'
enthusiast. 'Punk' ideology is the very essence of who Fr. Gregory
Lurye is and what he wishes to invade the Orthodox Church with
-namely, his 'punk'-self, and his 'punk'-philosophy.
All of Fr. Lurye's theories like "Name worshiping," and "Christ's
Voluntary Death as Suicide," are only smoke and mirrors for his real
agenda: *To root himself* & *punk-orthodoxy* into the Apostolic
succession of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Fr. Panteleimon [Htm/Hocna] made his first 'Tour Guide' to Russia this
past September 4th to September 25th, 2005. The 'pilgrims' were sent
home after 10 days, but Fr. Panteleimon stayed on.
Fr. Panteleimon's 'Pilgrimage' then took on a more clandestine aspect:
secret talks with punk-proponent Fr. Gregory Lurye.
Fr. Lurye is now confederate with Fr. Panteleimon and is planning with
Fr. Panteleimon to be secretly-ordained to the episcopacy by 2 of
Fr.Panteleimon's bishops, [most likely Met. Moses and the ailing and
unsuspecting Met. Ephraim] this November 2005 at Fr. Panteleimon's
Holy Apostles' Skete in Maine.
For Fr. Panteleimon, a take-over of ROAC in the USA --- with a Fr.
Lurye takeover of ROAC in Russia --- would be an "I'm okay, you're
Fr. Lurye made it quite clear in his response to Vladimir Moss' "First
Open Letter to Gregory Lurye' "[emphasis on "First"], that he will
force ROAC Met. Valentine into retirement, and he
[Lurye] does not at all recognize his [Lurye's] defrocking.
Oh yeah? We 'recognize' you now, don't we, 'punk-proponent' Fr.
Gregory Lurye with your co-conspirator, Fr. Panteleimon of HTM/HOCNA?
Your secret plan is all out in the open now isn't it?
And we know, yes we know, that like Arius, Stalin and Sid Vicious, all
the enemies of Christ and His Holy Church, shall be confounded and
clothed with shame.
Nathaniel Kapner/Psalm 143:1
October 5/22 2005
26 Martyrs of Zogoprou [он хотел написать Zographou] Monastery
UPDATE а вот сегодня от Владимира Мосса продолжение пришло. насчет Сида Вишеса он опять не понял юмора, да и вообще много кое-чего не понял, но всё равно письмо хорошее:
Dear Nathanael Nathanaelov (I like that!),
Your news is interesting. So the Scribes and Pharisees are trying to ban you from their lists, and Met. Ephraim tells Azkoul that there's no truth in the story about a link-up with Lourie. But the former punks are contacting you, showing interest in the story and giving it some credence...
A lively discussion of my article, and of your "From Russia with Punk", is going on in Lourie's Live Journal (in Russian). Lourie liked my comparison of him to Lord Byron, but he is tickled pink by yours to Sid Vicious - I think he's really flattered! But he still calls you a paranoid schizophrenic, a disobedient novice, etc...
I've also got various psychological problems, according to them... And they're speculating about who the person "behind" me and my strange behaviour is. Lourie thinks it's my wife! Olga will be happy! After all, as the saying goes, the husband's the head, but the wife's the neck!
This kind of thing is their stock-in-trade. Usually it's much more vicious. I remember early in 2001 receiving e-mails from four or five of them on one day, accusing poor Anton, whom I hardly knew at that time, of serious mental illness. It was obviously a concerted attempt to "trash" him in my eyes, to prevent the friendship that grew up between us - after those e-mails. They forgot that I've also studied psychology, and can make up my own mind about his mental state. But more importantly, they forgot that this approach to a fellow Christian plainly demonstrates that they are not Christian. Okay, supposing Anton was wrong about something. Why not simply explain his error - to him first of all, and then to me if it's really necessary. But this kind of character assassination proves nothing about him - but a lot about them.
Lourie considers he always has logic on his side, so those who disagree with him must be psychos of some kind. Their line of thought must be propelled by some psychological trauma or other... Actually, this is an attempt to avoid logical argument. Lourie, for all his "logicality", is constantly employing psychological methods of warfare against his opponents. In this, as in many other ways, he is a child of his time, of the age of Freud and of the government departments of psychological operations (on both sides of the Atlantic)..
I think this contains a lesson for us, too. We mustn't call him mad. Not only because trading insults gets us nowhere. But because he's not in fact mad. And if his opinions might seem to indicate psychotic symptoms, we mustn't be deceived: "there's a method in this madness", as Hamlet said. He's like Stavrogin in "The Devils", who's not mad himself, but acts as a catalyst for the self-destruction of the society around him. The people who follow him are propelling themselves like swine over the cliff. It's a judgement on them, and God has allowed this arch-deceiver into our midst in order to test our hearts. "There must be heresies among you, so that those who are approved may be revealed..."
Lourie's first reaction to my article was rather enigmatic. He thinks that he can use my article as a "weapon against Atlanticism" (and thinks he'll now get a job in the Russian ministry of defence, where the pay is better). This is an interesing comment, and I think we should think hard what the coded message means. An alliance with Panteleimon, an American, could be seen as "Atlanticism". So my article a reason for not allying with Panteleimon? I don't think so.
Perhaps the man himself will help us on this. He's so generous in posting all my postings on his Live Journal. Perhaps he'll give us another clue to his real intentions. He likes playing with smoke and mirrors. And if he shuts up and says nothing, that also tells us something...
I agree with you that while we may have prevented any public ordination of Lourie by HOCNA in the near future, they may well go ahead with a private one - and then proclaim it in public a few months later. So we still have a lot of work to do. Our aim: if we cannot prevent the ordination, to get as many people as possible to break with the new jurisdiction HOCNA/Lourie.
with love in Christ,