An epidemic of pseudo-morals [241], all-permissiveness and the vulgar "mass-culture" daily destroys, or mutilates human souls. Everything around us promotes vulgarization of evil and acceptance of falsehood and ugliness. Vulgarity has taken hold of all countries. It has become a global phenomenon, a sign of our times. Banality is not only a stupefying materialization of life, or an absence of interest in its spiritual aspect. It is a loss of high ideals, of yearning for eternal life of the future. Banality is the anti-ideal which kills the will to be saved and the quest for Faith, Hope and Love in their incipiency. One may say that the "devil is vulgar" when observing his deeds.

Infernal noise and malicious laughter haunt man everywhere, not as much trying to entertain, as to divert him from the "remembrance of death" [242], the tears of repentance and prayer. "The devil has already appeared in the world with his masque off" (N.V. Gogol, "Bright Sunday"). We shall try to illustrate this idea by an excerpt from "Mystery of Iniquity", from which we quoted before:

"Listen you, the Legion of the Black Serpent, and obey! Provide people with as many impressions as possible, with the most manifold ones, captivating their attention by ceaseless change of the novelty of inventions and discoveries; the seething change occurring every minute, every second -- endlessly, tirelessly; forever new, enticing, striking and absorbing one's attention. First of all give them means for a speedy, momentary shifting of will, of thought, of wish -- of their entire being. Make it possible for them to see, to hear, to exchange ideas at a distance -- unprecedented, gigantic, striking distance... Bring people close together, bunch them into one crowd -- do away with isolation, with individuality by means of provoking their curiosity for the brilliance of novelty and an exceptional growth of intellectual inventiveness. Provide them with the means of conveyance by steam: railroads, steamboats, steam-ships -- with all the noise of trains, quick, lightning-like travel blurring one's thoughts; give them noise, clanging, whistling, immense terminals full of the same ceaseless noise and hubbub, change of faces, terrain and situations -- dangerous, daring to the point of impudence and dizziness, to the point of destruction of entire trains with their human cargo... Give them telegraphs, telephones, cranes, flying machines, balloons, give them phonographs, gramophones.. electric motors, electric street-cars, electric lighting. All the power is concentrated in the hands of man and in the strength of his intellect -- of man the king, the master of nature which he subjugated to himself... The inspired art does not exist, it is contained in prints, in photographs, in oleographs, in photography, in speedy mechanical reproduction of countless pictures... Typewriters, printing presses, sewing machines, seeding machines, threshing machines, flour-mills and bakeries; playing machines, singing and speaking machines, live cinemas... Away with hands! Away with manual work!.. The reason is triumphant! The reason is the king, the master; the reason is the pride of man. They will begin to worship it, to deify it. The man will raise his head in pride and will acquire the knowledge of freedom... What does he need the power over himself for when he wields power over everything? Why should he submit to someone, when the powers of nature have submitted themselves to him? The man will then acquire our wisdom, the wisdom of our Black Serpent, about the fulfillment of its prophecy to the obedient woman: "you will know everything, ye shall be as gods".

The man will raise his head and challenge Heaven which had tormented him by trying his patience, and he will take up arms against meekness and subordination to law, against humility, and innocence, and chastity. He will ridicule them as weakness, cowardice and servility, and he will turn them into freedom of elemental arbitrariness, and the sweetness of sensual pleasures will adorn this freedom...

Life, this ceaseless, tireless movement accompanied by constant changes of impressions will flow like an all-embracing current allowing no time, not one single moment for remembrance of God, of His Holiness, of life in peace, in love and in striving for the Light, which is His Source and fulfillment of the covenant. Nothing Sacred and Divine will satisfy and calm people and their voice of conscience will die away. They will flee it and their fear will be like death pangs, and they will look for crowds and fear isolation, lest the voice of their conscience should become audible to them. Thus, we will replace this tender and childlike purity and holiness which they call spiritual acquisition and perfection, as they were taught by the Lamb, with our culture, our progress of intellectual glory and pride... There is no need for this hateful order, for this subordination to law, for this unifying power which restrains the insatiable thirst of passions, and the rapturous enjoyment of all the pleasures of sensual shamelessly attractive life. Promote the idea that everyone has the right to fully enjoy a carefree moment of sensual life, of ardent passion, to enjoy it to the very end, the very bottom of pleasures.

Listen you, the Legion of the Black Serpent and Mammon! Listen and obey! When people's natural life will become artificial, when it will turn into a mass production by machines, manual work will not be needed; people's hands will become free, untied, while their desire to live irrepressibly, feverishly, with all the nerves, all the fibers of the body will grow. Their desire to live with all the impressions of the moment, with the cupful of passionate enjoyment of the pleasures and benefits of our, yes, already our culture sweeping like a passionate all-overpowering wave, will also grow and increase in insuperable desire to empty this cup of life to the bottom, to the very death, to the agony of enjoyment; everyone should drink of this cup, to experience, to enjoy, because there will be no more faith, hope and love, there will be nothing apart from sensual enjoyments. People themselves will laugh, as we, the free children of hell, are now laughing at faith, hope and love, these sisters of the naive human fantasy... Ha... ha... ha...!! Laugh at them, you, the Legion of the Black Serpent!.. Laugh, old Moloch!.. Just look, look and rejoice at the madness of people!.. " [243]

The life of contemporary people is at times more frightful than many horror films. "Stony insensibility" remains undisturbed even by the most terrible deeds: everything is permitted. It is permissible to cut out the eyes of a homeless Brazilian, Mexican, Russian child, or to skin a live person, to tear out his kidneys and heart and transplant them into "decent and respectable" gentlemen who wear ties, or into bejeweled ladies, to ensure their serene continuation of life... According to predictions, demons themselves will be amazed at the cruelty of people (St. Nilus the Myrrh-bearer). Many of our contemporaries have become not animals, no, this comparison would be unjust and insulting for the most ferocious animals who know God, -- they have become fiends [244].

They will not listen to reason, nor will any sorrows be capable of awakening their soul, dead in their lifetime. Thus a Sodomite infected with AIDS could have turned to the All-merciful God in his last sufferings and, having repented of his mortal sin, could have found His forgiveness and eternal grace. Instead, however, this unrepentant seducer gives interviews (spiritually infecting his listeners), and shares his plans of suicide (at the same time advertising this most grave mortal sin), arousing sympathy and... respect.

There are evil deeds to which society reacts with indignation, but there are even more serious ones -- the evil deeds which are directed against church life and which provoke encouragement and sympathy amongst those who count themselves amongst the faithful. The very last, the fiercest struggle of the enemy of mankind is directed not so much against the world (which consciously or unconsciously has already submitted itself to him), as against the Church of Christ. The abomination of desolation openly and impudently triumphs in holy places. The rejection of the Holy Tradition is undoubtedly one of the primary objectives of ecumenism.

The God- and Christ-defying tendencies, are most obviously manifest in the ecumenist aspiration to introduce new "liturgical styles". Thus, they permit, and sometimes even welcome, ultramodern orchestral, jazz and rock music to accompany "church services" alleging that such music is necessary to "revive" worshippers, particularly young people. A youth journal Risk, published by the World Council of Churches in Geneva, advocates a "live liturgical style". Blasphemous familiarity of this "church" journal knows no bounds. Thus, one of its pages displayed a scandalous anti-Christian idea printed in big crooked letters "The incarnation has not yet taken place" [245]. The same Risk maintains that "drum beating is just as good as ringing of church bells" [246].

Ecumenists accompany their own "services", not only with orchestral music, but also with dances, and most varied at that... including "evangelical", or "Christian" rock-n-roll. One cannot fail to remark that calling a dance which has become an ominous phenomenon of our times and is closely bound with satan worship [241], a "liturgical" dance is a blatant absurdity and the devil's mockery of the glad tidings of Christ the Savior.

Rock-n-roll, or "rock" which has become the planetary destiny of young people in all countries, has been passing on its message from hell, in order to cripple, to corrupt, or destroy altogether the largest possible number of young and emotionally defenseless people.

Ecumenists love all kinds of amusements and diversions (here it is, then, the "all-mocking hades" which is mentioned in an Orthodox prayer!). They love all kinds of dances -- even the Lord's prayer "Our Father" is danced by ecumenists. This scandalous activity is described, without a shade of embarrassment, in the above-mentioned ecumenical journal. It recalls that during the "eucharist" its celebrant, an ecumenical pastor Ronni Sequiera from India, danced the prayer "Our Father". The accompanying photo demonstrates "dance as the means of liturgical expression", this also being the dissertation topic of the dancer [248].

On the 3rd of July 1994 there appeared a new "ecumenical body": The National Council of Churches in Australia representing 13 confessions, including also "Orthodox" jurisdictions of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch and Rumania.

The service to mark the establishment of this new organization took place in the Catholic Cathedral of St. Christopher in Canberra. Amongst its participants, along with the other members of the NCCA, there were also "Orthodox" bishops and priests. Apart from the joint ecumenical prayers and heretical manifestations which took place at this "service", those deserving particular attention are certain moments of the "program" flagrantly antichristian in character.

Thus, the beginning of the service was performed by three non-Christian young aboriginal girls, indecently dressed (with indecent movements), who together with young aboriginal men, presented their show. In front of the Cathedral's altar they demonstrated dances of their cult, accompanied by pagan rites of purification/redemption with smoke and leaves. This show was even more provocative than similar performances organized during the Seventh General Assembly of the WCC three years earlier in the selfsame Canberra.

Beside the show, another doubtful "performance" with a specific symbolism and dances also took place before the altar.

The Entrance with the Gospel (also accompanied by dances) was performed by three indecently clad young aboriginal girls [249].

Noise and laughter are already bursting into the Lord's churches in Russia as well. A well-known Renovationist of the 1920-ies, Antonin Granovsky, had attempted to realize "the widest democratization of Heaven, the widest access to the bosom of the heavenly Father" [250].

Theoretician and practitioner of the "Orthodox" modernism of Moscow Patriarchate, Alexander Borisov, continues the work begun by Antonin Granovsky (Borisov calls his teacher a "brave reformer"). Spiritual delusion of today's Renovationists, "priests" A. Borisov, G. Kochetkov and their companions, is a separate topic to which we shall yet return. At this point, however, we shall only point at some of the innovations which A. Borisov fights for in his notorious book "Pobelevshie nivy" (The Ripened Fields), Moscow, 1994.

"Father" Alexander [251a], apparently complying with A. Granovsky's wish to "democratize Heaven", proposes the removal of iconostases from churches, alleging that for many centuries they have been "fencing people off" (pp. 175-176). For the convenience of worshippers he recommends installation of benches. Besides, Borisov stands for the introduction of organs and harmoniums (p. 177) in Orthodox Churches. Dances in exotic costumes, like those organized by Borisov's and Kochetkov's colleagues abroad, is all that is needed for the analogy with theatre to be obvious!

Hegumen Innocent (Pavlov) writes a lot against the "unjustifiable discomfort of religious practice" of the Orthodox Church. "A superfluous protracting of a communal service (...) contributes little", as he says "to a prayerful concentration", and probably this is the reason why "a practicing priest", as this pseudo-monk calls himself, is busy figuring out the percentage of "women... of fertile age", instead of praying [251b] .

"Be afraid of the apostasy from faith as the beginning of all evil", -- said Anthony the Great [252].

Not many people in the Moscow Patriarchate today would be surprised to learn that priests enjoying, so to say, exotic reputation, are either occupying high official posts, or enjoying almost world-wide popularity. This is true, for instance, of Hegumen Ioann Economtsev, Assistant Manager of the Affairs of the MP, Assistant to the Chairman of the Educational Committee, Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy and also -- a well-known prose-writer, poet, essayist, author of erotic novels with characteristic titles, such as "Mystery of the Eighth Day", or "Notes of a Provincial Priest". He speaks plainly about all this in his interview given to the well-known journalist A. Nezhny (Pensée Russe, Paris, 27 July 1994).

Hieromonk Roman (Matyushin) has become famous in a different genre. His romances, often with an erotic nuance, are circulated world-wide in records and cassettes. While accompanying his plaintive singing with a guitar, he does not miss any opportunity to spread slander on the Church Abroad: rhymed lie is easier to remember. He and his brothers do not forget the French saying: "Calomniez, calomniez, il reste toujours quelque chose!"

Having lost the sense of measure, popularizers of this monk with a guitar, compare him with, neither more nor less than, the Prophet and King David, St. John of Damascus, and St. Roman the Melodist, and his guitar -- with the "psaltery, the strings of the 20th century" [253].

Abba John Kolov was once asked: "What does being a monk mean?" He answered: "Forcing oneself to obey any commandment of God" [254].

The "all-mocking Hades" rejoices at the openly displayed secret abominations of those who are called to abide in an angelic rank. There is something truly demonic in the temptations of this apocalyptic clergy, who are "the plaything of evil spirits", according to a holy elder [255].

A great deal of evil has been sown by these apostates in cassocks who have become related to demons, and are participating in their infernalization of life. But God's judgment is awaiting them.

Fortunately there are also unobtrusive strugglers who are great in the eyes of God. It is possible that due to the prayers of these inconspicuous righteous men our world is still standing despite the fact that with its sins and evil deeds it has surpassed Sodom and Babylon. "But where sin abounded grace did much more abound" (Rom. 5,20). Our contemporary holy struggler John (Maximovitch), canonized in 1994 by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, manifests the monastic ideal and instills hope in the hearts of the faithful. Holy life also characterized the great theologians of our time -- Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) and Archimandrite Justin (Popovich).

As to the impudent, blasphemous innovations which the apostates, with all their power, try to introduce, they are put to shame by the beauty of the Orthodox church and its divine service which wins hearts. The ugly modernism proves to be incompatible with Orthodox understanding of church service, of church singing in particular. God's saints have always looked upon church singing as means of kindling the prayerful, repentant mood of worshippers, uplifting them into the incorrupt world of the Holy Spirit. The benefit of church singing of prayers is that it helps our soul to approach God. The Orthodox church service opens to worshippers another, higher, world; it helps them to perceive the Divine Liturgy as a heavenly service celebrated here on earth. According to St. John Chrysostom, "In heaven, the angelic hosts give glory; on earth, the faithful, forming choirs in the churches, emulate this same glorification of the angels. In heaven, the seraphim cry out the thrice-holy hymn; on earth, a multitude of people offer up the same hymn. A common celebration of celestial and earthly beings is formed: a single thanksgiving, a single ecstasy, a single chorus of joy. It is occasioned by the ineffable condescension of the Lord; it is given form by the Holy Spirit. The harmony of its sounds is in concord with benevolence of the Father" [257].

From the Holy Scripture we know that towards the end of the earthly history God will permit evil to rule the world as never before. And although now the hell and its master are impudently mocking at everything that is holy, are scoffing at mankind, and quite successfully for the time being, Christians, in their reliance on God, are firmly convinced that hell will not celebrate its final victory. "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (Hosea 13,14; 1 Cor. 15,55). Our Redeemer's sacrifice on the cross brought disgrace upon hell: "When Thou, the Redeemer of all, wast laid for the sake of all in a new tomb, hell was brought to scorn and, seeing Thee, drew back in fear. The bars were broken and the gates were shattered, the tombs were opened and the dead arose. Then Adam in thanksgiving and rejoicing cried to Thee: Glory to Thyself-abasement, O Thou who lovest mankind." (Sticherion on the Holy and Great Friday).

Bishop Antonin Granovsky.

Bishop Antonin Granovsky.

[241] This ersatz of morality which according to Nietzsche by word is "beyond the Good and Evil", but actually -- almost always on the side of Evil.

[242] According to patristic tradition, Orthodox monastics and laity in their daily prayers ask the Lord to grant them "remembrance of death" (the prayer of St. John Chrysostom "for the hours of day and night"). This remembrance of the impending end, and of the answer to be given on the Day of Judgment for all one has done helps man to have a more serious and responsible attitude to his actions and to his life during which he must manifest himself for eternity.

[243] "The Mystery of Iniquity. Two Revelations of 1909". Printed by Monastery Press 75 E. 93rd St., New York, N.Y. 10128, USA; 8011 Champagneur Ave., Montreal, Que. H3N 2K4, Canada, 1994, pp. 7-9.

[244] We will illustrate this thought with an excerpt from the Statement of the Social Committee "For the Moral Renaissance of our Fatherland". It states that on the 7th January 1996, the feast of the Nativity of Christ, television program "hogi" in Russia showed a woman in childbirth which was intentionally stimulated two months before the normal term. "As a preliminary, this -- neither mother, nor woman (in our human understanding) -- agreed in writing that the child born of her will be killed in such a skilful manner that the organs cut out from its body and the preparations obtained could enhance the physical health of those who would wish to prolong their life by means of this kind of cannibalism". The television viewers saw the newborn infant move his arms and legs and rub his eye with the little hand. Then the hands of the so-called "medical personnel" wrapped the infant in cellophane and placed him into a freezer (...). Following the demonstration of the infant's birth and its immediate death the viewers were shown the session of the Collegium of the Health Department where the Minister for Health announced that he will suppress any attempts to stop the activity of this institution sanctioned by him (International Institute of Biological Medicine).

<<The American doctor who has developed this technology of the new type of cannibalism told us that only in Russia and nowhere else was he given permission by the government for the realization of this "promising" -- as he called it -- scientific activity". The authors of the "Statement..." note that such phenomenon was to be expected in the country "where motherhood is desecrated and virginity ridiculed, where in the course of several years the mass media with the connivance of the government has conducted a wide campaign aiming at the destruction of morality">>. (The Statement of the Social Committee "For the Moral Renaissance of the Fatherland". See Orthodox Russia, Jordanville, USA, No. 4, 1996, p. 11)

[245] Risk, vol. 5, Nos. 3/4, Geneva, 1969, p. 46.

[246] Ibid. p. 4.

[247] Jean-Paul Regimbal, "Le rock-n-roll. Viol de la conscience par les messages subliminaux", Les editions Saint-Raphael Inc. Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, 1983; John O'Connor O.P., "Hell's war against our children". Saint-Raphael' Publications, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, 1991.

[248] Risk, vol. 5, No. 1, 1969, pp. 4, 13.

[249] The journal EPS, no. 16, 94.07.13: "New Australian Church Council Embraces 13 Denominations"; the journal MECC News Report v. 7/10, July-Oct. 1994, p. 16; "Ecumenews", journal One World, No. 193, Mar. 1994, p. 16-17, and also the video-film taken by the ABC telecompany which we saw.

[250] Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov' 988-1988 (Russian Orthodox Church 9881988), No. 2, Moscow, 1988, p. 27.
In his time A. Granovsky, who attended religious-philosophical meetings in St. Petersburg (see Ch. 9), was nicknamed "Leviathan" by V.V. Rozanov. Those who encountered Granovsky "were struck by his enormous stature, by his demonic face, penetrating eyes and pitch-black, not very thick beard". But no less striking were "the incomprehensibly frank and bluntly cynical utterances of this priest. The main topic of his discourse was sex relations..." (Alexander Benua, "My Recollections". Moscow, 1990, book 4 and 5, p. 291).

[251a] Borisov may be called "Father" only conditionally and in quotation marks, particularly in view of his mocking attitude to Eucharist. Besides, he himself insists on reexamination of titles and addresses traditionally used in the Orthodox Church: "Why couldn't we call one another... brothers?"( "The Ripened Fields", pp. 178-179).

[251b] See "The Nets of Renewed Orthodoxy", in Russkii Vestnik, Moscow, 1995, p. 115.

[252] "Otechnik." Izbrannyia izrecheniia sviatykh inokov i povesti iz zhizni ikh, sobrannyia Episkopom Ignatiem Brianchaninovym). /..Paterik. Selected expressions of the holy monastics and episodes from their lives compiled by Bishop Ignaty (Brianchaninov). 4th ed., St.Petersburg, 1903, p. 428.

[253] Melchisedek, Archbishop of Yekaterinburg and Kurgan. Annotation to the record "Songs of Hieromonk Roman", Leningrad Recording Studio, 1991.

[254] "Otechnik", p. 290.

[255] Ibid., p. 428.

[256] And Lucifer briefed his legions for the attack. "First of all seduce the servants of the Church of the Pre-Eternal God by your suggestions. Show them the power over the souls of those who seek salvation, over rulers and kings, by the beauty of women and an opportunity of their easy conquest; show them the benefits of the world, wealth and external attractiveness of circumstances, splendor, luxury and means of seizing them... Make the holy tidings of the Resurrected One the instruments in their hands hidden from those seeking salvation, so that it would not reveal their criminality before men. Go carefully and gradually about perverting them... People's faith will waver, because they will think that if the servants and teachers of the Church are of such a kind, then the faith which they preach does not lead to salvation, but to perdition, and they are lying (...) But having perceived the servants of His Church such as you have made them, they once and for all, will be tempted to mistrust God, and they will join you and will acknowledge only our elemental culture and our freedom as true progress ("Mystery of Iniquity", pp. 7-8).

[257] St. John Chrysostom, "Discourses on the Words of the Holy Prophet Isaiah" (in Russian). Discourse 1, para. 1, Works, vol. 6, book 1, St. Petersburg, 1900, p. 380.