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PiracyOfTheHead

St Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery, Now Im On Psych Meds

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For anybody that has read my posts, I now have documented evidence of the mind bending that went on with my life, all after doing a simple Google search.

 

It seems that I was involved with a cult that has not only gained National attention but Global, extending especially back to Greece itself, Mt Athos in particular.

 

I was 6 months in residence at the monastery when I left, I decided not to become a novice despite the attempts of my Hieromonk and elder monks to convince me to leave the world, not because I didnt believe their doctrine, I was about as convinced as anyone there of the beliefs, but because I wanted to marry, I wasnt being healed of my depression or physical pain and because I think some deep part of me knew to run.

 

This is a video I found of St Anthony's as they were being investigated, I knew Fr Nikos from seeing him around a lot but I was friends with and worked side by side with Fr Paul (Pavlos) who was conveniently re-named, while I was there, apparently the same time as a lot of inquiries were taking place, I did not know of the controversy nor the inquiries at the time, I believed we called him Father although he was not yet tonsured since he was so in step with the monastery, like an honorary title, when he was tonsured he was given a different name, as is custom, but I know it is to further the disassociation with the self in hindsight...On to the video, it is cut into two parts and i included the link to a webpage because it also exposes the monastery as a cult and was my initial source for the video...... http://pseudo-prophet.tripod.com/

 

Fr Paul, I decline to state his new name out of respect for his adult decision to become a Monk at St Anthony's, became a quick friend to me due to his sincerity, his friendliness and the fact that before I became involved in the Eastern Orthodox Church I was training to become a Navy SEAL, and Fr Paul had asked for a discharge from the Navy while preparing to do the same thing, he had been a medal winning Swimmer in his high school and I think joined the Navy right afterwards....so we had common ground and that sparked many discussions as we labored in the blazing Arizona sun, planting trees for jesus, intermittenly reciting the Unceasing Prayer, Kyrie Iesou Xpiste Eleisov Me (Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy On Me).

 

The other monk I do not know by face as its not fully bearded nor partly covered with a cassock in the picture shown, nor by name as that would have been changed (maybe I missed something)....I have my assumptions though, yet another close friend during my stay.

 

This is just an insight into my definition of cult mentality when I refer to myself on the forum here, I WAS THERE!!!!!! I lived the life.

 

I am going to continue to post as I find new information, as for know I would like to get the ball rolling.

 

This is tragic, truly tragic to learn, although the truth is what I want, and need.

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For the record, I too had face to face with Fr Paisios and was instructed by him and numerous others to use "The cane" as it became known, beating the inner thigh with a cane or heavy wooden stick when Pirasmoi (Sinful thoughts) would not relent, I was told the Elder Ephraim was taught this by his spiritual Fr on Mt Athos, Father Joseph (Papou Josef) and that one time Fr Ephraim had been plagued with pride and was found beating himself mercilessly with "the cane" in his cell, or a small church on the mountain. The story goes that he was heard to be confessing his sinful pride, beating the shit out of himself while at the same time screaming at himself to "Stop...STOP", he continued on and was purged of pride and it has never returned to him to this day.

 

I began to use this practice of caning myself while at the monastery, I continued with it a short while after returning home.

 

I was also told that martyrdom would be my only salvation unless I was a baptized Orthodox Christian following the standards perfectly, eventhen I was told martyrdom most likely awaited all of us Orthodox....and that the monks and nuns would be the first to be eradicated by the government and so on. And even then, after death I would be taken to 20 toll booths where I could still fall and be dragged to hell by demons. St john Climacus created an icon depicting the saints ascending the ladder to heaven, while being surrounded by flying demonic presences, being pulled down at different points by failing.

 

One story that haunted me mercilessly was that of a monk who had died, passed 19 of the tolls and when he had done this looked at Satan and exclaimed "I beat you, you were defeated by me" which resulted in his being cast into the lake of fire for failing the test of the 20th toll, the test of "Pride".

 

A MONK!!!!!! WHo had devoted his life to Christ and left the world, living a damned near sinless life and working out his salvation to the extreme, wasnt even safe after death...which by the way, isnt pretty either, at death your soul is ripped and cut from your body by angels or demons, a myth is that it is so horrible the virgin Mary prayed to her son that she be spared this torment and so was granted to be taken to heaven by Jesus himself as he fended off the harvesting angels (demons).

 

These are the thoughts I deal with daily, to remove them from their etched position in my mind and heart......years and years of this stuff and i am about 5 weeks out of the box, 5 weeks into deconversion.

 

I wonder if any of you had gone this far into your cult? If so please leave a testimony on this thread.

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And even then, after death I would be taken to 20 toll booths where I could still fall and be dragged to hell by demons.

20 bonus levels! :D It's like "Doom" or something.

doom_pcboxboxart_160w.jpg

p.s.

I forgot to say,that this is ridiculous bullshit,that even has no connection with the Bible. Besides,how da f-k the story about the guy,who couldn't defeat the last boss on level 20 could even theoretically be considered a story? I mean,who would tell the tale?

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I had no idea that even Greek Orthodox churches could be so perverted. I'm now glad I dumped my Greek Orthodox boyfriend this Summer as I didn't have the nerve to tell him I'm atheist, and also the guy wanted me to move to Greece with him after I finish school.

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I'm a little downhearted that I only got this many replies after learning such shocking things.

 

Is there anybody out there??

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PoTH,

 

I watched one of the news videos, and they said there were "improper teachings" in the monastery, but I didn't really get what they were referring to. Do you know what they meant with it?

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PoTH,

 

I watched one of the news videos, and they said there were "improper teachings" in the monastery, but I didn't really get what they were referring to. Do you know what they meant with it?

 

There are so many...let me add a few I was taught off the top of my head,

 

You're abbott has become Christ for you, if you follow the abbott to the letter you fullfill your requirements as a Christian, if you have done anything wrong under the abbott's guidance you will not be judged, he will

 

If you disobey the abbott it is the same as disobeying god.

 

The more you dedicate your life to Christ, the more acountable you are for your sins, thereby raising the bar hourly of whether you will make it into heaven

 

Married couples should live as brother and sister, only engaging in sexual intercourse for the purpose of conception, and having to confess the sexual act nevertheless as a "weakness of the flesh"

 

The Aerial Toll Houses, after death you are ripped from your body to the astral plane and are questioned by demons for 2 days each at 20 levels, although this is a conceptual image of a spiritual teaching, it is basically 40 days worth of judgement, the 20 levels being the 7 deadly sins plus 13 extra variations. At anytime you may fail and be cast into the lake of fire.you DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THE ORTHODOX LAKE OF FIRE....its the revelation of St peter but worse. Therefore the Orthodox pray for 40-42 days after the death of a baptized Orthodox Christian to assist them in their ascent through the aerial toll houses. Many monks even are said to fail these judgements and be thrown to perdition.

 

The Elder can levitate

 

The Elder can read your thoughts

 

The Elder has reached Theoria and already been perfected, he walks as Christ on the earth (this is gleaned but not actually said)

 

The Elder can bi-locate in order to check on his monasteries in different parts of the world

 

The Elder's prayers can pretty much guarantee you entrance into heaven

 

You must confess your thoughts. Whereas most Xtian teachings condemn behavior and make mention of lustful thoughts and prideful thoughts....at the monastery you are to confess your every thought, good or bad.

 

I was taught that the day the Roman Catholic Church was allowed to hold mass in Constantinople, the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) who had been protecting the city from the Turkish invasion, left and that is why Constantinople fell.

 

I was also taught that within the walls of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, where this occurred, there was a secret Liturgy going on hidden inside the walls, Turkish soldiers stormed in and as the sword was abot to pierce the presiding Priest time was frozen in such a manner that special Orthodox who are completey gifted with the holy spirit have spiritually visited this room and seen over the cenuries that there is a slight movement of the sword towards the priest, we were taught that when the sword strikes the priest time will unfreeze, this will be like the last martyr and this announces the reign of the Antichrist.

 

Demons are everywhere, especially at the monasteries, since the world is already run by the devil.

 

I was told of a 3 month exorcism that took place and met the man who this was done to. I do not know if he was severely mentally disturbed during this time and brought back to sanity or what the hell happened becaus everybody backs up what they saw and heard, I am at a loss with this one, this was a biggie when I was there.

 

I was taught that during this exorcism, many saints including Paul and Michael the Archangel joined in the exorcism fighting the demons within this man, but that the Elder's Elder, from Mt Athos weilded the most power (no shit hah?)

 

Priests were "worldy" if they trimmed their beards

 

Women should be avoided as they caused the fall

 

Women are blessed by the theotokos as she brought the Savior into the world

 

Mirrors are forbidden

 

Orthodox chanting and Classical music are only allowed (thank the lord I brought my Bach and Wagner)

 

Wake up is at 12 AM, you are to pray and meditate performing prostrations and.or work until the morning service begins at 3AM, Liturgy follows immediately lasting until 7-8 AM then there is breakfast and work, lunch (trapeza) is around noon, then work, there is church again at 3 or 4 until dinner around 630 then compline service until approx 730, 8PM-12AM is quiet time.

 

Thats about all I care to remember for now, I have to watch the video again, I thought it and the website offered more info.

 

TBH, there is so much in Orthodoxy that most ExCs here wouldnt even know due to lack of exposure that I am probably passing over what are considered to be small scale erroneous teachings to them but outrageous to a protestant or Catholic in the first place.....let me find some links and I will post them as I can, believe me when I say the followers of Elder Ephraim do a lot within the church to stop members of the Orthodox Church from speaking agains him, and not many non-orthodox know anything about him or the monasteries.

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As an ex-Christian from a much more moderate sect, I'm shocked at what you've been through, but since I have never heard of a modern experience like this, it is hard for me to understand or even to know what to say. I certainly understand that you've been through a severe form of indoctrination, and I hope your search for the truth is going well and that you're able to find some distance from these things.

 

I'd definitely be interested in hearing more, if you're interested in sharing.

 

But as hard as it might be, I also think that you should focus on moving forward and not continuing to live in the past. With experiences as terrible as yours, it would be easy to become very obsessed and bitter toward your former cult. You were once the same as they and you know that it was easy to be misled.

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Women should be avoided as they caused the fall

 

Women are blessed by the theotokos as she brought the Savior into the world

 

Uh...Don't these two kinda contradict one another?

 

:scratch:

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As an ex-Christian from a much more moderate sect, I'm shocked at what you've been through, but since I have never heard of a modern experience like this, it is hard for me to understand or even to know what to say. I certainly understand that you've been through a severe form of indoctrination, and I hope your search for the truth is going well and that you're able to find some distance from these things.

 

I'd definitely be interested in hearing more, if you're interested in sharing.

 

But as hard as it might be, I also think that you should focus on moving forward and not continuing to live in the past. With experiences as terrible as yours, it would be easy to become very obsessed and bitter toward your former cult. You were once the same as they and you know that it was easy to be misled.

As an ex-Christian from a much more moderate sect, I'm shocked at what you've been through, but since I have never heard of a modern experience like this, it is hard for me to understand or even to know what to say. I certainly understand that you've been through a severe form of indoctrination, and I hope your search for the truth is going well and that you're able to find some distance from these things.

 

I'd definitely be interested in hearing more, if you're interested in sharing.

 

But as hard as it might be, I also think that you should focus on moving forward and not continuing to live in the past. With experiences as terrible as yours, it would be easy to become very obsessed and bitter toward your former cult. You were once the same as they and you know that it was easy to be misled.

 

 

Thanks, what do you want to know?? I appreciate your interest and the nice things you said.

 

I believe I am doing both, moving forward and facing the past. I know my first few weeks of deconversion, right when I started here on ExC I was verybitter and enraged, confused, frightened full of hatred and blame. I took a few days off fom even talking about it, I think almost a week, which for me these days is a long time. I tried to find some peace, make some sense and decided to look towards solutions more than looking at the problems, I think I am doing well in widening the gap between the two. I also am finding moments where I feel a peace, just for a moment and I remember what life was like before Xtianity. And at other times I feel a sense of "now" that I can live with, it is my hope I can experience these moments for a longer duration. When I am in them I feel a distance from what I can only describe as living in a nightmare, and in those moments I feel the nightmare may be ending. Im only a handful of weeks into the deprogramming state and its been a rough battle finding the proper information out there to help me as a guide, when you've thought one way about everythign for so long, there's nothign really to revert to, so I need a lot of outside stimuli.

 

So as far as leaving it all behind, I can not learn from what I have been through and undo the thinking patterns I was taught, nor get out of it if i dont know what I am getting "out of", thus the search, the questions, the confusion.

 

I dont hate the people at the monastery, in fact I have more love in myh eat for the monks than anything, I dont believe they know what is happening to them at all, and the ones that do realize or see what is going on are the ones stepping forward. I dont want to blame them I want to see them for who they really are and the things they teach for what they really are.

 

They are of the nicest, caring, loveable humans I have ever met, and there is definitely a "prescence" of some sort there at the monastery, its a very peaceful feeling, a loving feeling, its quite tangible, I dont know how to describe it other than to say when I got there, I believed that to be "God", and now that I dont believe the same things I am hard pressed to define it, but whatever it is it is beautiful and they are a part of it.

 

Perhaps by a power or just the workings of nature they are rewarded for being such kind and loving people in spite of what they believe I do not know.

 

They have a leader and this leader was raised in Greece in a strong Orthodox home, I believe he went to live on the mountain of Monks at 19 and came to America in the early '90s, he's like 78 or so now, so he probably spent 40 years as an Athonite Monk, and they really have no outside influence except the select few daily visitors (all male) which are restrained by regulations not to discuss certain things anyway...so the man knows only this life, its like he's in spiritual Flatland. He probably believes and practices what he preaches to the bone, but i am giving him the benefit of the doubt. The Orthodox Church has a pretty rigid hierarchy and he has people to answer to.

 

The abbott of the monastery is a different story, I felt he was very political rather than spiritual to be honest and he is one sharp tack so I wasnt impressed by his evasice answers or his snobbery when I was in confession, but he did me no harm personally ever....that I know of.

 

I guess what I am working through here is that I believe you are correct in that they are just as lost as I was, except the possibility of a couple of the elders, they are mostly all True Believers IMHO. So that is why these things need to be discussed and talked about, the controversies surrounding the monastery are also vehicles to bring these matters to the attention of the spiritual leaders of the Monastery and thus the "innocence" begins to wane and they become more and more accountable for their actions, so far there has been no change in the workings of the place, the last I heard while I was there was that when the Elder hears of people who denounce him or accuse him he claims that Christ will "Give me more crowns"....perhaps he is absolutely convinced and yet another pawn of this Religious structure......

 

Sorry for being so "long winded", I have to really work through these things when I write of them and I want to be as accurate and open minded as possible because I want the truth and I share a responsibility to others reading this that I will not deceive them as well concerning these matters.

 

As for the positive things I took from the Monastery, the Byzantine Chanting is friggin awesome...the head Cantor was handpicked by the Elder and he is a master of sound, I used to refer to his singing as being "Not of this world" and I meant it, I would love to be able to find my St Anthony's Vigil CD that they sell at the bookstore, its all in Ancient Greek, the words are written in English and Greek inside the jacket and if you dont know Greek, it wont indoctrinate you =)

 

BTW, here is what you get when you try to leave, or if you dont believe the whole kit and kaboodle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5ueYTFfpwA...feature=related

 

Mind you this man is speaking for the entire Orthodox Church and he is not of the cloth, this isnt Protestantism, this is the Orthodox Church, they go by the book, not going before the unbelievers, they try to keep everything "In-house"....I just found this youtube series and will be watching it and posting according to what I know, I know it will be a healthy way to seperate the wheat from the chaff =) in my head

 

 

This may give you some insight into the "Dont think, just follow" mindset of Orthodoxy, as far as I know they are the strongest proponents in Christianity concerning blind obedience to the Clergy, I've never seen anything like it in Christianity.

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Okay. It sounds like they have a lot of weird and crazy beliefs, but why are those beliefs "improper?" In what sense are they improper? I'm not sure if you understand my question here, but lets say I claim that my neighbor does something improper, it means that he's doing something that is not approved off, like illegal drugs, sexual abuse, etc. Christians teach we all are sinners, is that anymore or any less improper than teaching than women are the cause of sin? It doesn't sound like they're any more improper than most Christian churches. If they drug up, rape, abuse people, I'd say it's very improper, but how can some weird teachings be "improper?" (Regardless of how crazy they sound.) My hang-up is mostly off the use of the word by the reporter, it doesn't seem to be a correct word for what's going on. For something to be "improper teaching", there must be a "proper teaching." So what is the proper teachings of Jesus? Could it be that the Roman Catholic Church, or maybe Southern Baptists, are the only true followers of Jesus? I mean, I can figure out what they mean!

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Women should be avoided as they caused the fall

 

Women are blessed by the theotokos as she brought the Savior into the world

 

Uh...Don't these two kinda contradict one another?

 

:scratch:

 

 

I hope you'r not trying to put me down with sarcasm, I put those two next to eachother BECAUSE they contradict eachother....not because Im making it up.

 

I apologize for not explaining this when I wrote it, I forget most people have no way of knowing the Orthodox viewpoint on Mary

 

Women have very strict dress codes in many of the churches, depending on the Priest or the Abbott if its a Monastery and i've kinda seen them treated as "necessary functions" in the human race, instead of well...women.

 

I was told by the Abbott of St Anthony's Monastery that marriae was only necessary in order to create a way for mennot to sin, absolutely bewildered by what I was hearing I said "If nobody had sex, the human race would end, in fact it would have ended before Christ could be born..IN FACT Christ's mother wouldnt have been born in order to bear Jesus, so I dont understand"...I was told that the necessity for sexual relations occurred at the fall, when I asked "Then how could Adam and Eve be fruitful and multiply?" I was told that it would have been done without sexual intercourse. I said "How?" and I was kinda scoffed at and told "God is God, He can make a way for life to be reproduced without sexual relations, dontt ask me how, I dont know how because we never made it that far so we have no way of knowing"......

 

I was like ....UHHHHHHH????

 

The Orthodox, like the Catholic Church allow no women to be clergy, only the exception of female monastics in higher ranks than the common nun, in any other case they are forbidden to teach.

 

Im sure there are exceptions as this is a worldwide organization but this is the general rule.

 

Men are over women, as Paul stated, they go by the book on that one.

 

And they are treated with respect, mind you, but there is a lot of unspoken rules and regulations concerning this, but here in America it pretty much remains unspoken, but the general answer you will get when asking about a woman's status is that she is less than the man and that Woman brought sin upon the man.

 

Now the reason I put the statement about the Theotokos in Juxta-position to that is going to be something unkown to you unless you had been in these circles, so I apologize again for not being clear, like I said, I was in this so long I sometimes forget what is and isnt "normal' in mainline Xtianity.

 

Besides God, the Theotokos is THE MOST VENERATED SAINT, but they claim so much more knowledge and revelation about her...to be honest, this is the one part of discussing this that makes me uneasy, I always have and still do have love for the idea of Mary, and my daughter who passed away was named after her because of the love I was given for her while Catholic (Never confirmed, only went through Catechism partially), and then more so in Orthodoxy, she is probably the most overwhelming Archetype for me due to personal reasons.

 

In Orthodox Iconostasis you will always find Jesus, the Saint the building or site is named after and an icon of the Theotokos. And the emphasis about her is due, considering the belief that God brought salvation into the world through a human mother...they go into great detail about her life and how she was THE ONLY WOMAN who could have bore the Christ child, so in that sense you would get the impression that they see women as equals or even as greater like we see in some cultures and religious practices, but you dont get that, you get the dirty, sinful, necessity of the woman in order to produce children.

 

I have never seen women treated cruelly though, its just an underlying atmosphere of women being less than men, and some off the wall shit from certain people that make them look like they almost shouldnt exist....I'm guessing the Abbott had somehting in mind like that movie where Arnold was pregnant....CREEPY.

 

Hope that clears that up...yes it is a contradiction.

 

I also saw in many cases where women were respected very much so its all about whos doing the teaching and what church you are in...its not written in stone exactly, its one of those things you pick up when you're amongst them.

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Okay. It sounds like they have a lot of weird and crazy beliefs, but why are those beliefs "improper?" In what sense are they improper? I'm not sure if you understand my question here, but lets say I claim that my neighbor does something improper, it means that he's doing something that is not approved off, like illegal drugs, sexual abuse, etc. Christians teach we all are sinners, is that anymore or any less improper than teaching than women are the cause of sin? It doesn't sound like they're any more improper than most Christian churches. If they drug up, rape, abuse people, I'd say it's very improper, but how can some weird teachings be "improper?" (Regardless of how crazy they sound.) My hang-up is mostly off the use of the word by the reporter, it doesn't seem to be a correct word for what's going on. For something to be "improper teaching", there must be a "proper teaching." So what is the proper teachings of Jesus? Could it be that the Roman Catholic Church, or maybe Southern Baptists, are the only true followers of Jesus? I mean, I can figure out what they mean!

 

I am going to have to do this in chunks Han,

 

I am trying to undertsand your question and answer it to the best of my ability, so please bear with me.

 

I'm tryin to remember learning Orthodoxy itself in order to remember what you may or may not know.

 

Orthodoxy is not like Protestantism and is in many ways different than the Roman Church. So you have to understand you cant just believe whatever you want to believe, or teach whatever you want to teach.....to be Orthodox is to swear allegiance to what the Orthodox Church considers truth and what the church considers heresy, there are a few grey areas but those are still scrutinized.

 

So unlike a "Bible believing" Xtian, you are an Orthodox believing Xtian, you are told what the bible means, you dont get a choice on interpretation as far as concerns ANYTHING the Church declares its judgement upon.

 

We're talking about the Greek Orthodox Church here, which is one of 5 patriarchates, so you have the Patriarch, the Bishops, the Archbishops, the Metropolitans, the Priest-monks the Abbotts, the regular Priesthood, the Deacons....you get the idea.

 

The Patriarch is under obligation to oversee the entire Greek Orthodox Church and the power is distributed from there.

 

 

The Orthodox Church is not like Protestant Churches where they can just make up their own creed and choose their own confession, they

 

1) MUST follow the Nicene Creed and it is required to be memorized during catechesis

 

2) MUST follow Canon Law, an Orthodox Parish or Monastery or Skete has to work within the Churches guidelines or you are considered heretical, your church/monastery or skete will be stripped of its power and the clergy in quetion will be examined, you will not be allowed communion until you are found innocent or until you repent and follow your penance through, while you are not in communion you are not allowed inside the church and must stay in the Narthex

 

3) MUST meet the standards of Orthodoxy as declared by your superior.

 

Again, you get the general picture.

 

So if a Monastery is teaching that you have to believe in the doctrine of the Aerial Toll-Houses and the Hierarchy has declared this heresy, you are teaching improper beliefs, they are improper because the Church is built of members who have sworn faithfulness to follow whatever the Church teaches as they believe the Holy Spirit is acting fully and completely through the Orthodox Church, BTW It was the Orthodox Bishops in 325 that decided on the bible we once read, Constantine had his yes man, a Bishop to compile the Canon of Scripture and when it met his approval, well, you know the rest.

 

When you swear to uphold the teachings of the Apostles, the Church fathers and your superiors, you enter the arena of being able to believe in "improper" teachings

 

Many of the "improper" teachings associated with St Anthonys are things like telling non-monastics that if they dobt live like brother and sister with their wives, that they are in sin, or somehow less than.

 

Telling children to obey the teachings of their priest or confessor over their parents, OBEY YOR FATHER AND MOTHER trumps that, so ST Anthony's is being improper

 

Teaching believers that they should follow one church calendar or another, and if not they are not true Orthodox, I believe St Anthonys was lenient in this area but whispers of Old calendar over the New were known to float about.

 

Teaching things about the government and about other religions that are personal opinion, such as saying that the Jews are running a plot to destroy the Orthodox Monasteries in America, or that the government has a secret list of Green light Orthodox and Red light. the Latter I believe were marked for Extermination as the New World Order began

 

I was told that it was the highest calling to be a martyr, because that ensured me aplace in heaven, since it was a "Baptism in blood", the highest baptism one could receive, basically they are telling people that they need to have the mindset that they are eager to die for their faith. THAT IN ITSELF HOLDS FRIGHTENING IMPLICATIONS and is extremely improper to teach

 

Teaching that certain Saints arent really saints because the Monastery has their own code of righteousness

 

Teaching that certain people are ALREADY saints before the rest of the Church has canonized them

 

I could go on but this should be enough to give you a general clue that it is

 

1) Improper within Orthodox Christianity as a self governing body, and,

 

2) Improper as concerns the safety of fellow human beings, to teach newcomers, passer-bys, catechumens or baptized believers things like Martyr Mentality, because Orthodox Xtians do go to war, they do fight and kill other Orthodox, Muslims, Turks, Arabs etc, over the faith.....these people believing they will be granted a ticket to paradise if they die for the faith are going to be more inclined to do something drastic than those who are taught what the Orthodox church believes as a whole.

 

3) Improper as concerns constitutional rights of parent to make decisions concerning their minor children, there are allegations and many testimonies of minors being coerced behind the backs of their parents for months or years to either become a monastic with their parents consent as a minor, or to build up the desire to do so and become a novice upon reaching legal age.

 

4) Improper as concerns constitutional rights of the parents of minor children to censor and control what there children are being taught, when a minor goes into confession at the monastery and they are told "improper" things even just concerning their faith and their parents, because they are using the cloak of Confession as secrecy, this becomes improper as it concerns the parents ability to raise their child in their own way, not to have priest-monks teaching them secrets behind closed doors

 

As for now I hope that is enough, feel free to keep asking away, Ive got nothing but time today...LOL...not by choice.

 

Sorry if its fuzzy, I really forget how much stuff I was indoctrinated with that I didnt know as a Protestant or while in RCIA

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Hmm...

 

I'm not sure if I can explain it better. I just think that when a report use the word "improper" of something, than they assume there is a proper way. In other words, the reporter indirectly said that they didn't teach the "True Gospel™." And the True Gospel™ would be the Gospel she personally believe in.

 

Put it this way, there are 30,000 or more denominations of Christianity. All of them have a different twist on the Gospel. Which ones have the "proper" teachings and which ones have the "improper" ones? Can a reporter really make that judgment?

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Hmm...

 

I'm not sure if I can explain it better. I just think that when a report use the word "improper" of something, than they assume there is a proper way. In other words, the reporter indirectly said that they didn't teach the "True Gospel." And the True Gospel would be the Gospel she personally believe in. Or if I put it another way, she pretty much were displaying disdain against anything or anyone not agreeing with her belief. I think that's improper of a reporter!

 

 

Thats what I was trying to get across, In Orthodoxy you dont get personal opinions on the true gospel, you join the Orthodox Church only if you swear to adhere to the teachigns of the church, if you dont believ their version of it then you dont become a member, so I am guessing that you can have two improper views this way

 

An improper view within Orthodoxy being contradicted by the Monastery and Improper according to a personal belief of anybody that doesnt believe the gospel according to the Monastery, but what is in question amongst the Orthodox who are saying this is former, the monastery is deviating from what the Orthodox church teaches, therefore if the Lady is orthodox, she has it within her stance as a baptized member of the Church to cite Canon law against the techings of anybody within the church, in this case the Monastery.

 

Does that clear it up??

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So the reporter in the Eyewitness News is part of the proper Orthodox belief then? How else can she claim this Greek Orthodox offspring church is improper in it's teachings? I just don't get it? How can she claim such a thing in public TV? What she really meant is probably to say they teach weird, strange, and cult-like things, but to say it's improper is to take a stance in regards what is proper Christianity and what is not. And we wouldn't have 30,000 versions if there was some "right" way of teaching it.

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As for the positive things I took from the Monastery, the Byzantine Chanting is friggin awesome...the head Cantor was handpicked by the Elder and he is a master of sound, I used to refer to his singing as being "Not of this world" and I meant it, I would love to be able to find my St Anthony's Vigil CD that they sell at the bookstore, its all in Ancient Greek, the words are written in English and Greek inside the jacket and if you dont know Greek, it wont indoctrinate you =)

 

POH, I am glad you did find some positive things from the Monastery. I agree with you about the chanting and would like to know what CD you are referring to, if you can find the time to look it up. I have several Orthodox CDs of liturgies, they are absoultely otherworldy and awesome.

 

Because of the aesthetic beauty of Orthodoxy I investigated it. I read The Philokalia and got a copy of the Orthodox Bible. I read some writings of monks. I attended Russian and Greek Orthodox services. I am familiar with the Toll House doctrine that you mention.

 

I decided that as long as as a person was willing to entirely park their brain at the curb, so to speak, Orthodoxy was a beautiful thing. Unfortuantely it is tradition bound, authoritarian and, as you know so well, as judgmental as any other Chrisitian sect. Its all about sin and judgment. I found I was unable to get past that with this or any other branch of Christianity.

 

Sorry to hear what happened to you in the Monastery. I agree with the advice to try to put it behind you, knowing that it will take time and is not easy.

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So the reporter in the Eyewitness News is part of the proper Orthodox belief then? How else can she claim this Greek Orthodox offspring church is improper in it's teachings? I just don't get it? How can she claim such a thing in public TV? What she really meant is probably to say they teach weird, strange, and cult-like things, but to say it's improper is to take a stance in regards what is proper Christianity and what is not. And we wouldn't have 30,000 versions if there was some "right" way of teaching it.

 

 

Come on, how precise do I have to get, I'm not being condascending when I ask this, are you messing with me? I've gone out of my way to make it understandable.

 

I worked really hard at trying to explain as much as possible, I put a lot of time into clarifying and re-writing things to make sure they had all the information necessary, Im going to try and answer this bit by bit so nothing is missed.

 

So the reporter in the Eyewitness news is part of the proper Orthodox belief then? How else can she claim this Greek Orthodox offspring church is improper in its teachings? I just dont get it?

 

I will quote the Eyewitness news reporter "For the past 8 months, the Eyewitness News 4 nvestigators have been documenting several families claims of brainwashing and inapropriate teachings at St Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery....." So no Han, she is not claiming to be Orthodox, she's reporting on THE DOCUMENTATION OF SEVERAL FAMILIES CLAIMS OF BRAINWASHING AND INAPROPRIATE TEACHINGS AT ST ANTHONY'S GREEK ORTHODOX MONASTERY.

 

I dont know the reason you're asking how can she claim such a thing on tv? Shes not claiming anything and shes speaking because shes the spokesperson for the Eyewitness News Channel's Investigative team, she's reporting on the claims of the 3 families.

 

She later stated that 3 families had come to them, 2 of which are Greek Orthodox, this would be the families of Nikos Pantanizopoulos and Paul Aleck.

 

The Orthodox families are part of the Church proper, so they can state that the teachings of the Monastery are inapropriate in both ways, any way that is dehumanizing to their child, and in the realest sense, inapropriate as determined by Orthodox Canon Law. The reporter never spoke for her own opinions, she is speaking on their behalf, and speaking OF THEM.

 

The other father, the non-Orthodox can certainly find out what Orthodox proper teaches and ascertain that his son is being taught inapropriate teachings according to the Orthodox church simply by speaking with clergy on the matter, and again, his son is beating the shit out of his thigh with a wooden stick for having imperfect thoughts, believing in the aerial toll houses where the demons are judging the souls of baptized Orthodox Xtians, being taught that the Elders of Sion are plotting against the Monastery and the Orthodox Church etc., etc.

 

Again, she isnt taking a stance, shes speaking on behalf of the families....Also, inapropriate isnt judged by 30,000 denominations, the Orthodox Church doesnt even consider Protestants to be Xtians, they consider them heretics, schimatics, a Protestant must go through Catechism and baptism, including an exorcism before becoming Orthodox, they believe that only the Orthodox Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ due to their sole claim of Apostolic Succesion and their belief that the Holy Spirit doesn't bless the Communion of the schismatic Roman Church, in their eyes the Protestants are completely lost and know nothing of the Gospel and need to find true salvation theough the Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholics were a Patriarchate until 1054 AD when the final blow, the Filioque clause was added to the Nicene Creed and thee Patriarch of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople Ex-communicated eachother, later the land of Rus was brought in to create the missing 5th Patriarchate and in their eyes Rome is worse than being a Protestant.

 

They dont care about any gospel but the Orthodox gospel, anything they deem as inapropriate is deemed so by looking into their own Tradition and Teachings collected over the past 2000 years and if it is out of whack then it is labeled heresy and is worthy of ex-communication.

 

They are so strict and rigid for a reason, they are in no way like the Protestants who have now come up with 30,000 sects in 450 years. They dont believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, they believe in the inerrancy of the Orthodox Church, in their eyes, the Xtians wrote the gospels and epistles, passed them through Apostolic succesion until the council of Nicea and the Orthodox Church voted on the Canon of scripture, the Orthodox Church preserved it through the ages by copying manuscripts, spreading the gospel and by shedding the blood of the martyrs to preserve the faith, right on through the Great Schism with Rome in 1054, through the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, right up to this very day....There is no Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide, there is Ortodoxon Xristianon.

 

 

BTW I just realized who Scott Nevins is, the non-Orthodox convert.

 

I was at the Monastery when he came back from Mt Athos,thats when I met him. He was made a novice while I was there...holy shit..we sat for hours on end telling stories about the Xtian life and about becoming monks, he lost so much weight it was frightening during the 49 days of fasting in Lent, thats why they make special mention of his photographs. He took on this real brooding appearance, began to walk in a hunched posturing for humility or something, barely ate, shit he cut out tomatoes, potatoes and peppers because the man that was supposedly exorcised there for 3 months said that since those food belong to the nightshade family they are neuro-toxins, which they are, AT TRACE LEVELS, so he had to eat even less of the little food allowed for thos entering the novitiate or the rest of the monks AND it was during Great Lent with all the food regulations, he got real pale and gaunt, he was dragging his boots as he walked, none of us knew he was entering the novitiate, he kept that to himself, out of humility I guess....I never understood why he thought that. Then one day he was a Man In Black.

 

 

Feel free to visit anytime, just call ahead to reserve a cell, ask for Pater Markellos, he'll do you right up

 

Kyrie Iesou Xpiste Eleisov Me

Eper Ayia Theotoke Soson Emas.

 

Click on the little doo wah ditty button on the left for a sample of their chanting, the best thing to come out of that place.......

http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/index.php

Tais tov tha criov sou roes....

 

Evloyisov,

Nikos

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As for the positive things I took from the Monastery, the Byzantine Chanting is friggin awesome...the head Cantor was handpicked by the Elder and he is a master of sound, I used to refer to his singing as being "Not of this world" and I meant it, I would love to be able to find my St Anthony's Vigil CD that they sell at the bookstore, its all in Ancient Greek, the words are written in English and Greek inside the jacket and if you dont know Greek, it wont indoctrinate you =)

 

POH, I am glad you did find some positive things from the Monastery. I agree with you about the chanting and would like to know what CD you are referring to, if you can find the time to look it up. I have several Orthodox CDs of liturgies, they are absoultely otherworldy and awesome.

 

Because of the aesthetic beauty of Orthodoxy I investigated it. I read The Philokalia and got a copy of the Orthodox Bible. I read some writings of monks. I attended Russian and Greek Orthodox services. I am familiar with the Toll House doctrine that you mention.

 

I decided that as long as as a person was willing to entirely park their brain at the curb, so to speak, Orthodoxy was a beautiful thing. Unfortuantely it is tradition bound, authoritarian and, as you know so well, as judgmental as any other Chrisitian sect. Its all about sin and judgment. I found I was unable to get past that with this or any other branch of Christianity.

 

Sorry to hear what happened to you in the Monastery. I agree with the advice to try to put it behind you, knowing that it will take time and is not easy.

 

Ahhhhhh ROCOR?? Did you do all your homework on Fr Seraphim Rose while in the Russian aena?? I was given the book written about him by Father Damascene, I read the whole bleeding thing, it was like a 10 pound book.

 

Did you get the New Testament only version or the OT and NT, it hadnt been released when I got mine, my Hiero-monk gave me the NT one, the pages where the daily prayers are became absolutely worn and tattered....no time to actually read the bible with all the services, praying the hours, reading the Philokalia, the Divine Ladder of Ascent, the lives of the saints, the feast days readings, even at the home parish when I came back from the monastery, it was so much jesus.....

 

Did you read Athonite monks?? Those doods were very very simple people for the most part, a lot of the stories were absolutely tragic and sad. they live like the homeless on this rock in the boonies of Greece and they do nothing but talk to an invisible man like 20 hours of the day, IF they get that much sleep......

 

Here is Father Ephraim, the younger at St Ant......http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html

 

And of you go to their link on my previous post, that is the St Anthony hymn, the Vigil can be purchased throughthe bookstore page on their website...tell Fr MarkellosNikos from Southern California told you to say hi, he will probably charge you double.....heh

 

Im not surprised you were so interested in the Church,its amazing how I never heard of it until I was mid twenties, then you see its everywhere and it has so many facets to delveinto, I thought I had finally "come home" when I entered St Andrew in Riverside for the first time, too bad....just too bad.

 

 

Take care, talk at you again soon

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Look, she said: "For the past 8 months, the Eyewitness News 4 nvestigators have been documenting several families claims of brainwashing and inapropriate teachings at St Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery....."

 

First of all, I'm not making a judgment here of the church, if it's right or wrong, a cult or not.

 

Secondly, my issue was with the lady, the reporter, because she used a judgmental way of expressing herself, and using a word that is usually only used for: child molestation, rape, incest, or child porn.

 

But from your answers, the church didn't do child molestation, rape, incest, or child porn. So my conclusion now is: the church wasn't (and isn't) inappropriate in its behavior, it's just very crazy, cultish, and very much similar to Roman Orthodox or Russian Orthodox or Pentecostal, or the rest of the Christian churches.

 

So understand me right here, I'm not criticizing you, and I'm not removing the fact that this church is a cult, I'm just putting in question if "child molestation, rape, incest, and child porn," was part of the teachings.

 

You see, to me, inappropriate is not about when someone teaches that Jesus wore boots instead of sandals, to me, inappropriate is when someone do something that is very inappropriate in general society. Like we don't kick a drunk on the street, or beat up a homeless with a bat, those are inappropriate behaviors. So in the end, I think the reporter use the word inappropriately. She could have said: "unorthodox teachings," and it would have made more sense, because that could be true, but if they don't teach how to behavior immoral, then I just can see (even if they're totally crazy in their teachings) how it can be "inappropriate."

 

And also, don't take my question so personally. It's not about you! It's about what kind of child molestation and rape the church was doing. Which seems like they weren't doing. But that was the message the reporter gave. She basically, indirectly, hinted that it's a sex slave trade operation in that church. So is it? It doesn't seem like it.

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Ahhhhhh ROCOR?? Did you do all your homework on Fr Seraphim Rose while in the Russian aena?? I was given the book written about him by Father Damascene, I read the whole bleeding thing, it was like a 10 pound book.

 

I seem to remember the name, but that is all. I don't remember reading anything substantial on Fr. Rose. It has been probably 7, 8 years since I did my investigation.

 

Did you get the New Testament only version or the OT and NT, it hadnt been released when I got mine

 

It is the Orthodox Study Bible New Testament and Psalms.

 

Did you read Athonite monks?? Those doods were very very simple people for the most part, a lot of the stories were absolutely tragic and sad. they live like the homeless on this rock in the boonies of Greece and they do nothing but talk to an invisible man like 20 hours of the day, IF they get that much sleep......

 

My reading list included:

 

St. Isaac of Nineveh - "On the Ascetical Life"

St. Symeon the New Theologian - "On the Mystical Life"

St. Athanasius "On the Incarnation"

and

St. John Chrysostom

St. Gregory of Nyssa

The Spiritual Counsels of Father (can't remember name) of Kronstadt

Jaraslav Pelikans series of books-The Christian Tradition

 

Im not surprised you were so interested in the Church,its amazing how I never heard of it until I was mid twenties, then you see its everywhere and it has so many facets to delveinto, I thought I had finally "come home" when I entered St Andrew in Riverside for the first time, too bad....just too bad.

 

Yes, there were a lot of things about the Orthodox Church that appealed to me, but I couldn't get past the sin/confession, guilt trip part. Also at one service everyone was kissing the hand of the priest. I was in line for a blessing, since I could not take communion, but since everyone else was doing it I felt I was put in the position of doing it as well. I did, but it really put me off, and after that I never attended another orthodox service.

 

Thanks for pointing out the link to the CD. I missed it before.

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HanSolo,

 

If I seem to ave taken anything personally it is for two reasons.

 

1) I lived at St Anthonys, and,

2) I personally know all three monks whos families are concerned,I figured out who the third monk was by pausing the youtube video...I was living there when he came to the Monastery after visiting Mt Athos, we had numerous discussions regarding the Xtian life and monasticism, he became a novice shortly before I left, I watched him go from 6'3 or 6'4 and 185 lbs to like 155 within a couple months, its disconcerting to say the least, there is a pesonal involvement, so?

 

I am unsure why the use of the reporters word inappropriate has become the hang up, if you dont like that it was used or was confused by it, you had every right to ask for clarification, I did so, now that Ive clarified it you've stated that you feel it should be used in a certain way.

 

What issue remains? We were told what the problems of the families were in the interview, so we know what they have a beef about...you simply disagree with the word the reporter used.

 

I would just like to go on and discuss what is happening at the monastery, maybe hear an encouraging word or two, gain a new perspective on what I was taught, thats all...I did the best I could to explain the things you asked about, I spent a large chunk of time trying to word it properly as well since you were not Orthodox.

 

Im looking at your signature quote and kinda scratching my head.

 

I dont know what else to say.....I hope I was able to present accurate information in the best way possible, Im still getting the hang of this.

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Here's an UPDATE to my original FREAK-OUT page from when I first joined...

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?act=...&pid=416710

 

For everybody that has been concerned.

 

Thank you so much everybody.

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Guest POEM
For anybody that has read my posts, I now have documented evidence of the mind bending that went on with my life, all after doing a simple Google search.

 

It seems that I was involved with a cult that has not only gained National attention but Global, extending especially back to Greece itself, Mt Athos in particular.

 

I was 6 months in residence at the monastery when I left, I decided not to become a novice despite the attempts of my Hieromonk and elder monks to convince me to leave the world, not because I didnt believe their doctrine, I was about as convinced as anyone there of the beliefs, but because I wanted to marry, I wasnt being healed of my depression or physical pain and because I think some deep part of me knew to run.

 

This is a video I found of St Anthony's as they were being investigated, I knew Fr Nikos from seeing him around a lot but I was friends with and worked side by side with Fr Paul (Pavlos) who was conveniently re-named, while I was there, apparently the same time as a lot of inquiries were taking place, I did not know of the controversy nor the inquiries at the time, I believed we called him Father although he was not yet tonsured since he was so in step with the monastery, like an honorary title, when he was tonsured he was given a different name, as is custom, but I know it is to further the disassociation with the self in hindsight...On to the video, it is cut into two parts and i included the link to a webpage because it also exposes the monastery as a cult and was my initial source for the video...... http://pseudo-prophet.tripod.com/

 

Fr Paul, I decline to state his new name out of respect for his adult decision to become a Monk at St Anthony's, became a quick friend to me due to his sincerity, his friendliness and the fact that before I became involved in the Eastern Orthodox Church I was training to become a Navy SEAL, and Fr Paul had asked for a discharge from the Navy while preparing to do the same thing, he had been a medal winning Swimmer in his high school and I think joined the Navy right afterwards....so we had common ground and that sparked many discussions as we labored in the blazing Arizona sun, planting trees for jesus, intermittenly reciting the Unceasing Prayer, Kyrie Iesou Xpiste Eleisov Me (Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy On Me).

 

The other monk I do not know by face as its not fully bearded nor partly covered with a cassock in the picture shown, nor by name as that would have been changed (maybe I missed something)....I have my assumptions though, yet another close friend during my stay.

 

This is just an insight into my definition of cult mentality when I refer to myself on the forum here, I WAS THERE!!!!!! I lived the life.

 

I am going to continue to post as I find new information, as for know I would like to get the ball rolling.

 

This is tragic, truly tragic to learn, although the truth is what I want, and need.

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POEM...I see this was your first post and your GODS section is making me scratch my head....

 

Try again, you didnt say anything, it may have to do with your editing the TAGS

 

_________________

 

Still nothing...somebody from the Monastery checking up on me??? Odd, to sign up with no info but the little statement about the elder and no more activity, where did you go POEM??

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