On the Babylon Road #15: RooshV meets Elder Ephraim

A few years ago, when I was working the graveyard shift, I came across some interesting websites. Most were on what I choose to call the “dissident right”. One of the most popular was called RooshV. Its purveyor was an Iranian-American named Daryush Valizadeh who wrote about “neomasculinity” and was devoted to the “Pick-Up Artist” (PUA) community. Roosh was basically the godfather of this movement.

That being said, he did have some very interesting scientific articles on masculinity and the depletion of testosterone in the modern male (I believe he is a molecular biologist). This corresponded to peculiarities that I was noticing as a pharmacist right around that time; namely that I was dispensing testosterone vials by the hundreds every month –literally.  Heck, it was basically flying off the shelves and doctors were treating men as young as twenty. It was quite a lucrative business because, in addition to the vials, we dispensed needles, syringes and alcohol prep-pads.

Then things really threw me for a loop when I started dispensing Viagra, Cialis and other ED drugs along with these supplies to many of the same men. Some of who were well on the younger side of forty.

I was in my fifties at the time and couldn’t wrap my head around this pathology –it just didn’t make sense. Clearly, something was wrong. Roosh, whatever else his faults, provided significant insights into the culture and the deteriorating relationships between men and women. To be honest, some of these insights were immature and mostly had to do with sating his own base appetites. And he certainly did not see that men, like him, were at least partially responsible for the resultant sexual anarchy.

Be that as it may, Roosh hosted a whole range of writers who waxed eloquently about economics, history, politics, and culture. These articles were very well-written for the most part and thought-provoking. And here’s the kicker: they were from a conservative, libertarian and even traditionalist point of view. Nobody could ever accuse Roosh of being politically correct. In fact, he pushed the envelope constantly to the right. In his heyday, his blog was massively popular.

One thing I noticed after a while was that he would also publish authors who were sympathetic to Eastern Orthodoxy. Some of these writers were extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Balkans, as well. Being Greek, I appreciated the fact that, because of the popularity of his website, many were now getting the other side of the story. I suppose I don’t have to tell you all how the Corporate Media is really good about suppressing our take on history. You know: “Kosovar/Albanians good, Serbs bad” –that sort of thing.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised because I assumed that Roosh (that’s short for Daryush, which is Farsi for Darius) was a Moslem. I couldn’t understand why he would write (or allow others to write) some rather glowing opinion pieces on the Orthodox Church. I mean, he basically came right out and said that in order for Western Civilization to survive, it has to embrace Orthodoxy. I of course agree. But then again, I’m Greek Orthodox so that’s to be expected. But Roosh? A Moslem?

Well, you know what they say about when you assume things: you make an ass of you and me. Roosh, you see, is only half Iranian. His mother is Armenian Orthodox. Imagine my surprise; it all started to make sense.

Anyway, I lost track of Roosh because he shut down his website; I believe he ran afoul of the speech nazis in Canada and was banned from certain European countries as well, because –you know–free speech isn’t on the liberals agenda anymore. Then he dropped his website and I kind of forgot about him. You could say that he “went to ground”.

So imagine my surprise when one of my correspondents sent me this short YouTube clip from Roosh. It seems that Roosh is undertaking a cross-country road trip from the West Coast to the East. It also seems that he has undergone some type of religious experience. In the clip below, he describes his trip to St Antony-of-the-Desert monastery in Arizona. It’s ironic but the person who sent it to me is not particularly enamored of the Elder Ephraim. In any event, I thank him for sending it to me.

Please skip to the 10-minute mark (unless you want to hear about his travels through the desert communities) and continue watching it for the next nine minutes. You’ll be surprised. I know I was.




  1. I was graced to listen to a brilliant sermon a Sunday ago. Fr Kevin Lien explained that there is a difference between the image and the likeness of God that all mankind were granted at Conception. It is the likeness of God which grows as a mustard seed to a mighty tree, bearing the God Pleasing fruits of the Holy Spirit. This likeness required to worship in Spirit and in Truth. I was thrilled to be privileged to learn and understand this. One Holy Scripture always puzzled me as to it’s meaning. He who has shall be given more, he who has not even that which he has shall be taken from him. It is now crystal clear to me, what exactly this scripture is referring to. He who has the likeness of God is given more, he who only has the image, even that will be taken from. These sorrowfully,shall perish.The understanding of the meaning of this scripture juut popped into my mind a day later. As the Holy God knew I always wanted to understand it.To he who has it shall be given, and I was sent further proof quickly.

  2. Alitheia1875 says

    The Armenian “Orthodox” are monophysites. It’s unusual, even in Orthodox monasteries, even on Mt. Athos, for non-Orthodox to be excluded from a service such as a vespers. Other Mysteries are open to them, with the exception of the Divine Liturgy and ordination which of course takes place during the Divine Liturgy. Although frequently left out, the deacon (or priest) recites a series of petitions immediately after the Gospel reading informing catecumens, and by extension, non-Orthodox, to leave the church. Today, however, it is unfortunately common to allow non-Orthodox to attend the Liturgy , even to the extent that some Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy and hierarchs have been allowed to recite the Lord’s Prayer or Creed.
    As for forms of grace, if it’s Grace, there’s only one form. I’m not aware there are “forms” of Grace. There are forms, or different experiences, of blessings but not of Grace.
    It was gratifying to learn, however, that he ultimately felt his visit was a blessing. I certainly considered my visit there a blessing several years ago.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I personally have never seen a non-Orthodox excluded from attendance at a liturgy or disallowed from reciting the Lord’s Prayer or the Creed. Obviously, they cannot commune.
      And I attended countless Orthodox liturgies in many places over the decades before I joined. I recited the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and a lot of other things as well.
      Do some places drag them out, or poke them with a stick, or what? This would not be a good method of evangelism, I should think….

      • Alitheia1875 says

        Again, non-Orthodox are not allowed to attend the Liturgy past the petitions immediately following the Gospel reading, petitions which make it very clear that non-Orthodox must leave. Then again, those petitions aren’t usually said so many Orthodox don’t even know about this. As for reciting the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc., of course you can, but quietly, not in an official way during the service.

      • Solitary Priest says

             While not agreeing with Alitheia1875’s letter of the law approach to non-Orthodox being present at the services, I need to take you to task for your last paragraph. Ukrainian schismatics are dragging out believers from the canonical churches. And they are using sticks, pruning shears, and more. It’s the methods of the Spanish Inquisition all over again. Not only is this hardly a good method of  evangelism, but IT HARDLY serves to convert devout believers to Ukrainianism. And that’s just what it is…another ism. 

        • George Michalopulos says

          SP, agreed. What also rings hollow is Cpole’s constant dragging out its “anti-ethnophyletic” stance. The Phanar can be very ethnophyletistic whenever it suits its purposes.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          I have no knowledge of these schismatic Ukrainian practices, and thus nothing to be taken to task for. If my ironic comments echoed such practices, it is purely a coincidence.
          I think that is obvious, though. I would call this a clear example of changing the subject.

          • Solitary Priest says

            It matters not, sir. Your Patriarch is at least somewhat to blame. And since we are not living in the Middle Ages, one can access things like this online. I grant that fake news and fake videos can be posted. I get information from those who’ve been there and seen it or talked with live witnesses. That’s good enough for me.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Frankly, Solitary Priest, I don’t know what you are talking about. My comment had absolutely nothing to do with that subject; it was an ironic response to the poster’s seemingly casual suggestion that it is somehow improper for Orthodox priests to allow non-Orthodox Christians to attend Divine Liturgy. No Orthodox church I have ever been in has forbidden  such a thing. 
              I don’t doubt what you have said about those practices but that doesn’t have anything at all to do with my post. I was completely unaware of them. Whatever your preoccupations are, they have no application to me.
              An, finally, I don’t have a Patriarch. I have a Church. And ‘to blame’ for what? Condoning non-Orthodox attending Divine Liturgy? Your responses have nothing to do with the subject of my reply to Alitheia.

              • I am equally confused, Tim!
                It seems that certain commands during the liturgy, such as those to stand (how can one stand if there are no pews to sit on to begin with?), and those bidding catechumens away, are vestiges of the past.

                • Michelle  in any traditional Orthodox church such as here in Bulgaria or even the St Sophia greek Bayswater, London Cathedral,  there are as in monasteries, Stasidia around the walls, that people can lean on, or pull down and sit on.  Hence the Stand order!!!  But what there never is, are rows of rigid chairs or pews blocking free movement in the body of the Church. Sadly the Church of Greece has in last 30 yrs filled it’s churches with pews and worse chairs, in rigid rows. Just another sign of decayed tradition. 

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Michelle, “…vestiges of the past”. That is a loaded and dangerous phrase (not that I think you are using it in that manner). It allows for the elimination of almost anything that is not “modern” .

                  Modernity is always under the sway of the false eschatology of the dialectic which eliminates God, any hierarchy of values and concludes that any change is “progress”. Thus the present, no matter how vacuous, destructive and evil is better than the past, no matter how full of substance, creativity and righteousness.

                  The philosophical assumptions that drive such “progress” are a mass of cognitive dissonance–an illogical stew of egalitarianism, individualism that is within an authoritarian, statist, tyranny. The whole thing is a vicious, evil lie.

                  As Nikos points out, again, traditional Orthodox Temples have always had at least some place to sit (unless there are so many people as to prevent sitting). Perhaps our minds and bodies are simply too restricted to appreciate the reality of things.

                  The prohibition against catechumens remaining through the entire Divine Liturgy has its source in several realities: 1. In the early legalized Church, that was the time for the catechumens to depart with an elder to receive further catechesis; and 2: prior to legalization, it was a test to see who was an actual friend and who a foe. It was not considered proper in any case to reveal the celebration of the mysteries to those who could not partake.

                  As a inquirer/catechumen, I remember very well my disappointment that I was not asked to leave.

                  It is the egalitarian ideas that are an unwarranted intrusion into the life of the Church and it is sad that we do not set aside time with an elder to learn while the celebration of the Divine Mysteries proceeds.

                  That is not to say there may not be some accretions to the service that could be discontinued, but neither of the two you mention seem to me to fall into that category. It is a perilous task to begin trimming “unnecessary” parts. As in life, each part is intertwined with other parts.

                  • Michael, I agree with you!; my apologies for being glib.

                    I haven’t had the opportunity to Thank You and George for your responses to my comment a few days ago. You gave me such a smile! Thank you as always for your thoughtful, sincere, warm response. I hope all is well 🙂

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Michelle, you’re very welcome. As always, I appreciate your literary entry onto this blog.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Michelle, all is well with me by the Grace of God.  He has blessed me in so many ways that I had no reason to expect or hope for, bit He does so anyway. 
                      May His mercy and Grace be abundant in your life, especially in times of challenge

                • Monk James Silver says

                  There are no commands in our liturgical services telling us to ‘Stand!’

                  The occasionally heard admonition of the deacon (_orthoi_ in Greek) is not a verb in jussive mood. It’s an adjective, fairly well (but not exactly) rendered by the Church Slavonic _prosti_.

                  In itself, this Greek word means ‘;straight, right. correct, proper, upright’.

                  As we can see in patristic uses of the word and in dictionaries, this is not to be taken literally, at least in the services, where it exhorts us to moral rectitude, straightness of thought, and seriousness.

                  This is reinforced by the fact that the liturgical admonition of _orthoi_ is not addressed to people who are assumed to be sitting.

                  The default setting for Orthodox Christians at worship is standing, occasionally kneeling and prostrating, but never sitting except during the homily and readings from the Old Testament at the Evening Service. The very locations of this word in the services demonstrates this clearly, and that’s why the monastic-style _stasidia_ are available in some churches.

                  Completely apart from this discussion, people who are physically unable to stand through have always been provided with seating. There are pregnant women, elderly and inform people, women with children, handicapped people, and all sorts of others who would rather come to the services and sit than not come to church at all.

                  Translating this word as ‘stand upright’ is a mistake. It would be better to render _orthoi_ as ‘upright’ — with all of its moral implications — than to limit it to a physical posture.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Curiously, Fr, my own father told us this several decades ago. That is the translation of the word orthoi. He will be glad that you agree with him on this issue as he has long been alone on this matter.

            • George Michalopulos says

              SP, the EP will have a lot to answer for.   None of this is going to end well.  Already, my prediction of seeing the CoG being torn asunder is coming to pass if the reports of the Old Calendar churches receiving an influx is any indication.  

  3. Monk James Silver says

    It was right for the monks to request that a heterodox Christian visitor remain in the narthex (vestibule) of the temple during services.  But that occurred at a monastery.
    It’s often been said that our services are a great missionary tool.  But how can we use this tool if our visitors are never allowed to see and hear how we worship God?
    So, while — as at weddings when we must explain to a young couple’s guests that they can’t chew gum in church —  visitors must be informed that they may not approach for Holy Communion, etc.,  Of course, we share what we can, including inviting non-Orthodox visitors to venerate the Lord’s cross and to receive a piece of antidoron .
    But we can’t do even that little if we exclude non-Orthodox visitors from our services altogether.
    People —  heterodox, Orthodox, and otherwise — who come to visit monasteries are under certain restrictions which can’t reasonably be applied in parishes, so let’s be kind and generous to our visitors.

  4. Roosh V is a great example of true and complete metanoia in the literal sense of the word. May the Lord continue to illumine his journey and lead him to the True Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Wasn’t is Someone Who said something about “a thousand angels leap for joy upon a sinner’s repentance”?

  5. And just in case you missed the LGBTQ Town Hall dumpster fire on CNN: 

  6. God Almighty 
    It looks like the Church of Greece has recognize the schismatics and has established communion 

    • If this is so it is a catastrophe and a disgusting act. If so may they receive what they reap , four fold.

  7. I hope his experience was sincere, but it seems a little narcissistic to make a video of yourself talking about your spiritual experience, especially the part where he says he’s receiving a lot of grace others don’t. If true, he should stay quiet about it rather than broadcast it.

  8. Austin Martin says

    Hi. Former writer for Roosh’s website ROK and Orthodox Christian. I wrote under the name Blair Naso from 2014-2015. I was probably the first weekly writer on the site who was overtly Christian. I still have my blog at blairnaso.wordpress.com.

    I don’t think Roosh ever claimed to be a “pick up artist”. I think that’s just a propaganda term, like “racist”. I’ve never heard of anyone claiming to be a PUA.
    Roosh was baptized in the Armenian Church as a child but, to my understanding, raised mostly secular. A few years ago he read the Bible all the way through and wrote a few blog posts about it.

    His website returnofkings.com was supposed to be a big tent where men could say whatever they want. It had no single ideology. He gave a voice to the voiceless.
    After years of searching for truth, he eventually came to the conclusion that the search always leads to.

    In the next decade, the Orthodox Church will be flooded with far right people. I am amazed at the number of otherwise secular people on the far right who have become sympathetic to it. There seems to be this idea that Orthodoxy is a bastion of tradition that keeps control of women. I’ve also found that a lot of secular people have become very anti homosexuality and anti abortion.

    When I started writing for ROK, I wasn’t sure I was allowed to say I’m a Christian and believe in conventional sexual morality. Within two years these kinds of articles became common.

    So Matthew Heimbach was just the beginning.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Austin, thank you for your insights. It certainly fills in a lot of the dots. (Also, I forgot what the title of Roosh’s blog was, thank you for reminding me.)

      If you guys want to get in touch with me, lemme know.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Austin, even though I am in sympathy with the freewheeling aspect of ROK and grateful that Roosh kept it going for as long as he did, I must take issue with you as to what you wrote regarding the ability of Orthodoxy “keep[ing] control of women”.

        That’s not what Orthodoxy is about. In a traditional, hierarchical and patriarchal society, women are not “controlled” but “protected”. In the Orthodox wedding service, the cantor reads from Ephesians and informs the bridegroom that he is head but he is to “lay down his life for his wife as Christ laid his life down for His Church”.

        In a properly ordered society, men would not lord it over their women but protect them and allow them to flower. And women would respect their men for the protection they provide.

        Anyway, I hope you don’t take offense. This is a brotherly correction. Keep up the good work.

        • Austin Martin says

          Oh, I’m not claiming that Orthodoxy “controls women” in the Amish or Muslim sense. I’m saying that that’s what a lot of these internet far right people believe Orthodoxy is.

          I warn them that everything that has ruined American protestantism and Catholicism is present in American Orthodoxy. The difference is in matter of degree. I had an OCA priest freeze my out of his parish because I said women shouldn’t pursue long term careers. (At least I assume that’s why, but he never bothered to have a conversation about it.)

          So no, Orthodoxy is not at all a bastion of tradition in any sense. Roosh wrote (satirically I think) that as president he would require all divorces to be approved by an Orthodox priest and that he would rain money down on the Orthodox Church, which I find laughable and naive. If that happens, we’d get a slightly less crappy version of the Catholic Church.

          My views on women are basically summarized in Titus 2. There are two sets of instructions, because there are two sets of roles that men and women should aspire to. Instead, our society and our Orthodox Church has a Judges 21:25 model of marriage.

          For what it’s worth, here’s the email I sent him a few months ago before he was totally in the open. I never knew him very well, but he always seemed like an honest person to me.


          • Michael Bauman says

            Austin, what, to you, does the word “homemaker” mean in Titus 2.

            • Austin Martin says

              The word in Greek is “home-watcher” (or “homeworker”, depending on your text). It’s not necessarily a sin for women to work, but women should not pursue long term careers. Women’s primary role is at home taking care of the family.
              One of the worst perversions of our society is that being a wage slave is empowering and so you should dump your kids off at daycare so that you can make $50,000 a year making PowerPoints.
              I understand that not everyone can afford a single income family, but it should be the ideal that young people plan their lives for.

              • George Michalopulos says

                What you describe Austin is ideal.  I’m not sure we’re going to see anything like this in my lifetime however.  It would happen if women demanded it be so.  

              • Michael Bauman says

                Austin, thank you for the clarification. I think part of the movement away from the home is the debasement of the work of women in and for the home. To make a home, is a difficult and deeply spiritual task.

                I will cherish the very brief time I got to spend in the home of a woman I know, a single mother of two daughters, one with developmental problems. She had a home that was full of peace and well ordered and efficiently run. It was clear that she was aware of the entire home that allowed for great flexibility while still maintaining its center.

                Yet she had significant activities outside the home as well.

                In Jewish tradition, I believe, the wife/mother is the keeper of the light in the home, in many ways the spiritual center. That is appropriate and fully within the Biblical direction of the hierarchy of God-man-woman.

                That hierarchy properly understood, absolutely prohibits any abuse or mistreatment of the woman BTW. Any suggestion or acts to the contrary reveal men who deficient as men–often with an attitude that is profoundly un-Godly.

                As much as feminism is, as George says, a product of a nihilism that seeks to destroy all that is good and holy, I have to ask: where have we men been. My experience since seeing Gloria Steinem give a vulgarity filled speech about feminism at Wichita State University in 1972 in which she promised that men would get more, easier and better sex without any responsibility if the signed onto the cause and allowed women to take over all the leadership roles, is that she was correct. Many of us bought it hook, line and sinker. We have abdicated our manhood in so many ways that even the slightest suggestion of anything in the other direction is often beaten down.

                The result is an increase in violence against women and children often as “sex workers” and the increasing displacement of men from central roles of authority. That displacement will continue to increase the violence of young males in our society.

                • Austin Martin says

                  The men and women in a society deserve each other. If one sex is degraded, then it will drag down the other too. The sexes do not exist in isolation of each other.
                  So, yes, women are poison, but women are also correct about how worthless men are. What most people don’t understand is the connection between the two. If most women are whores, then most men are probably cowards. Most women don’t deserve a good man anymore than most men don’t deserve a good woman.
                  What’s the solution? I don’t know. The people on ROK often talked about being the manliest man possible to raise up the women, but I think that’s naive. I think the solution is, like Noah, to just live with integrity and let the world burn. 

    • “In the next decade, the Orthodox Church will be flooded with far right people.”

      And the crazies will leave the minute they realize that being Orthodox Christian requires obedience, repentance, and frequent confession. Many/most American “far right” people are not keen on having any spiritual guides except themselves.

      “There seems to be this idea that Orthodoxy is a bastion of tradition that keeps control of women.”
      Orthodoxy maintains is faith and tradition in large part due to the steadfastness and faith of many Orthodox women over the centuries. Just ask the Russian grandmothers who kept the faith during the persecutions in the Soviet Union.

      I know plenty of Orthodox women who are more than prepared to tell these “far right” guys where to stick it if these “far right” guys’ attraction to our faith stems primarily from them trying to “control women.” Would they try to “control” the Mother of God?

      • As readers of this blog know, I am somewhat au fait with the far-right here in America and know a good number of guys that have come into the Orthodox Church through it.
        Despite my political leanings (which are always secondary to my faith, of course), I agree with Observer: a lot of these guys have created false idols that they think Orthodoxy supports, and they quickly get disenfranchised when they realize this. I’m thinking idols of race, male-female relations, etc.
        That being said, most of them are able to be transformed into good, upstanding Orthodox men once immersion in the faith grinds off any extreme tendencies they might have.

        • George Michalopulos says

          What is today considered “far right” was in reality normative just two generations ago.  The idea of abusive, “toxic” masculinity was largely a myth designed to invalidate what is normative.  

          We in the West have been doing this ever since the Renaissance when we were told that what transpired before were the “Dark Ages”.  Question:  how dark could they have been?  After all, it was during this same time period that the great cathedrals of Europe were built, that the scientific method was first promulgated and more productive farming techniques pioneered.  

          Then of course came the “Enlightenment” which implied that the Renaissance was backward, then the Modern Age, and so on.  Really, it’s an old trick.  To justify confiscating all the Church’s property in England, Henry VIII said that the monasteries were full of “corruption”.  Lenin said that the Tsar was incompetent/evil; etc.  

          • George Michalopulos says

            At any rate, what Michael B says about the normal sexual roles as understood by Orthodoxy is right on the money.  He speaks for me as well. 

      • Michael Bauman says

        Observer, how right you are. I say frequently that those who believe Orthodox women are controlled and subservient have never met any Orthodox women.  

    • Nerbo Maripa says

      Like my fellow nerd and webmaster, I got plenty of RooshV’s pick up books from Amazon

  9. TheFutureOfTheChurch says

    This guy comes off as a complete kook. In the first 10 seconds of the video he has some sort of momentary anxiety attack, he claims his beard tells him where to stop along the way, describes his hotel bed as “the matrimonial bed that only I use”, etc.
    I can’t really take anything he says seriously. He should get some help.

  10. Something is off here. No one is excluded from a Vesper service, or a Matins service, Hours, Compline etc. But, at one time(and today in some monasteries), catechumens and non-Orthodox left the Divine Liturgy just before the Cherubic Hymn when the deacon calls for catechumens to depart. The difference between the Divine Liturgy and the other services is obvious.The Awesome Holy Mysteries are consecrated and distributed to the faithful in the Divine Liturgy.
     The Monk Silver’s points are well taken-people are easily offended and might forever be lost to the Church, as we saw in the video. On the other hand, the non-Orthodox person’s desire to partake of the Holy Gifts might be increased by being separated  from the faithful when the bread and wine become the body and blood of our  Savior.

  11. Another thought: Maybe Roosh was at a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy which is kind of a vesper-liturgy. In that service the deacon does ask for catechumens to depart.

    • Linda Albert says

      No, it wasn’t a Pre-sanctified Liturgy. The tour dates, given below put Roosh at the monastery between the last of September and the first of October.
      September 27-28, 2019
      Talk + Meet & Greet: September 28 @ 4 p.m.Dinner: September 27 @ 7 p.m.on
      October 4-5, 2019
      Talk + Meet & Greet: October 5 @ 4 p.m.Dinner: October 4 @ 7 p.m
      Quite frankly, Roosh is a misogynist, either due to or the cause of his “career” of selling the pickup ‘game’ to men who would rather run a social scam on women rather than going through all the work of developing an honest relationship with them. They, and Roosh, objectify women as sex toys instead of seeing and relating to them as rational, emotional (no, those two are not mutually exclusive) and spiritual beings like themselves. Roosh  has particularly railed against all American and Western European women as predatory succubi  who will break a man’s heart, steal his children and drain his wallet. Good for nothing femi-Nazis who aren’t even that good in bed, despite they are all sluts of a thousand or more one night stands. They can’t or won’t cook or clean, are illiterate of classical works and can’t hold a discussion on any thing other than the latest smart phone or what the Kardashians are doing. I suspect the main attraction of this spiritual trip is another spin on how women have cost men their rightful heritage of inhabiting Paradise. And how women are redeemed through childbearing and staying home.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        November of 2003 I went to St. Anthonys for the first time and I, too, was told that I could not attend the service because I wasn’t Orthodox. Father Paisios found me in the narthex, sitting there in the dark, and asked me if I loved the Church. I said I did and then he told me to follow him into his office where he made me a catechumen so I could attend the Liturgy. – I don’t know if this was their normal practice. It could be he took an interest in me because I was a friend of someone who lived there for several years. In any case, those who are not Orthodox cannot attend Liturgy. – I don’t know Roosh from Adam but on this video clip he denounced his previous life. I don’t recall him saying he was there when they were doing a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy which is Wednesday and Friday before Lent, right? – I have never formally met Elder Ephraim but I’ve heard him described the exactly same way as Roosh did. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I think he got this one right. – Roosh didn’t say anything about women costing men their rightful heritage but I haven’t spent all that much time listening to him (as in ever) because I’ve never had the interest. That’s one good thing about living in this great country of ours: we don’t HAVE to pay attention to people we don’t like. We can just ignore them.

      • Linda, the man’s turned away from that, repented, and is in the process of rebuilding his life from the interior. No need to kick him when he’s trying to pick himself back up.
        Your screed was bitter and uncalled for. And before anyone suggests, I was never a fan of his and have never paid any attention to him or his old ‘movement.’ I can, however, appreciate someone who is turning their life around and trying to flee from sin.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basil I agree with you.

          If I may, the Bible gives us a template as to how a notorious sinner should repent: quietly and should speak out only after a period of three years (or so). I believe St Paul had to go into the Judean desert for three years before the other Apostles would even consider meeting with him.

          Having said that, the time (I believe) is quickening. If Roosh is truly repentant and given that we live in a mass-media age of instant, constant, 24/7 infotainment, then he may have a duty to “shout from the rooftops” his conversion experience. Therefore I would cut him some slack.

          Will he backslide? Will any of us? Being decades in the Church is no guarantee of constancy, we have seen for instance some mega-church pastors publicly apostatize. Now we have seen trained theologians who are bishops in the Church of Greece, one of the oldest Christian civilizations, sell their birthright for a mess of pottage. Even the bishops venerable See of Constantinople hunger for the applause of the marketplace. Who do these hireling bishops representing extinct dioceses pastor? They spend more time licking the boots of mega-wealthy oligarchs in America.

          Are these not examples of “backsliding”?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Linda, I can’t disagree with your characterization of “Game” (as Return of Kings) used to call it. And how it objectified women in the words that you describe. Though to be fair, not all writers of RoK had those opinions but that’s neither here nor there. The point however is that Roosh has now undergone a spiritual transformation and that’s what we should encourage, not disparage.

        If the angels can rejoice, so should we.

        • Linda Albert says

          Roosh is still selling his Game books, even though he says he had to clean up the first volume because it was ‘a bit’ pornographic. So he’s still making money off the objectification of women and ‘how to’ engage in fornification. Wouldn’t real metanoia / repentance involve the immediate recall and ceasing publishing those books? 
          Forgive me for sounding bitter. I greatly resented Roosh’s characterization of ALL women, especially American women from his experience of women he mostly met in bars. And now he whines about how the wasted years of his life are SOMEBODY else’s fault because nobody told him how sick he was. Plenty of commentators told him how sick and futile was his way of life, but he blew them off as religious, judgmental dogs in the manger. They couldn’t have all the sex they wanted, so they don’t want anyone else to have it either.
          Now as Roosh approaches late middle age and sees the rest of his life as lonely and bereft of the comforts and support of family, he’s looking for some one besides himself to blame. Personally, I can’t see his repentance as genuine until he realizes the blame lies entirely with him.  I do grieve for the delusion in which he has lived for so long and the other souls he set upon that same path.

          • TheFutureOfTheChurch says

            I agree. It would seem, for such an infamous person, true repentance would be a thorough break with his past. Yet, he still profits from his self-described “pornographic memoirs” and years of content on his Return of Kings website remains online (though there is no new content). If I were him I would remove all online content, stay out of public forums, and repent in silence for quite some time.

            • He was in the neighborhood of the Texas monastery yesterday and did not come to Liturgy today.  I really wanted to see him there.  Austin is a big temptation and his road tour talk there yesterday might have taken him elsewhere – Houston is next weekend.    This man’s very public rededication to Orthodoxy is a great encouragement for me to see as it doesn’t happen that we see this often, be it a superstar or a regular person like me.   His metanoia will affect those who hear about it.   What came to mind yesterday for me was the one similar of another superstar (not Orthodox) – Anne Rice, the vampire author, who came back to Christ after pulling millions astray (this is at least 10 years ago), hiring a RC priest to live on her property (huge megamansion out west), BUT she kicked him out a few years ago and swore off all organized religion…no further details needed here…   I hope this man Roosh can find it in himself to stay the course.  If his porn is still for sale, it is his income stream until he works something else out, perhaps.  Maybe this US tour is part of that income transition – that’s what I read out of it…I have come to my senses and will not make a road trip to hear him next week – monies well spent elsewhere; that’s for sure…

          • Austin Martin says

            Actually no. Half of his books he took off the market. A few he left on because there is some redeeming value.

            • I don’t know about “redeeming value.”  As much as I support his conversion and his travels across America in search of Truth, the material he continues to broadcast on his website paints the picture that he is a damaged predator.  To believe Roosh knows anything about women (or real men — he seems to me an ignorant, entitled city boy), to take his advice, would probably lead one to disaster.

  12. TheFutureOfTheChurch says

    Some more background on Roosh V

  13. Just read up on his wiki page and what I find important is that he took on Orthodoxy (Armenian) ONLY this year in March 2019. That alone says to me he has repented, and his tour might be to talk about what Orthodoxy means to him now.  Being that he has a long following of those who might not be Orthodox, or Christian of any flavor, this tour is going to say something about his spiritual condition right now.  And this tour coincides with his making sure he goes (rather went, since he is in Austin tonight, and Houston next week) to St. Anthony’s.  It is by God’s grace that the Elder blessed him personally, and I know that’s a major big deal, since Orthodox go to StA and wait for days to see the Elder, much less get a blessing from him.   The wiki on him says he’s retracted a lot of what he said in years past, so I’m ready to “follow” his writings and see what he writes about, expecting a change of heart to continue from his beginnings this last March.  Since he converted from his maternal side’s Orthodoxy, I sense he’s on his pathway to learning the variances in all the Orthodoxies (Armenian, Coptic, all the Balkans, Russian, and for sure Greek).  I’m more than willing to stay turned and even thinking of going to the Houston gig if tickets stay available.   He was sold out in Austin this morning…

    • TheFutureOfTheChurch says

      Heaven rejoices when people give up sinful lives and turn to God. However, if Roosh V has truly become a Christian and is repentant about his past life he should consider no longer selling his “pornographic memoirs” on his website and removing other inappropriate content. I personally would not give this guy any money by attending his events.

      • Honestly, part of me doesn’t want to be in such a polarized event (thinking his faithful past followers)…and will be a big effort to even get there…stay posted…the other part of me wants to be in a gathering that actually talks about Orthodoxy, as I think he will…if Austin was sold out, then Houston will pack ’em in…

    • George Michalopulos says

      Helen, please keep us posted.  Ask if he will allow videotaping.

      • George, Vladika Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory used to say (paraphrasing here) that newly Orthodox needed to be silent publicly and become marinated in Orthodoxy before writing, speaking, publishing publicly because the transition from the western Christian or secular to the Eastern Orthodox mindset is a profound one and takes much time.  A listening posture and study of the Holy Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints seemed harmonious with his pov.  To add public acclaim/fame to the newly Orthodox early in the process has proven a great impediment and temptation to the transitioning person.   May God heal and protect all newly Orthodox and send them wise spiritual counselors!  

  14. After watching the video and reading his fairly funny Wikipedia page, I say, Bravo, Roosh!

    I wonder why testosterone levels have dropped so significantly in American men. Is there anything we can do to help? How can individual women improve the neutering of men?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michelle, those who know me know that I have a sardonic streak a mile wide. The temptation to answer your question in a wry manner is very acute ;-). However, I have on my plate a serious piece on the loss of masculine virtue in the West which I intend to publish within a month. After my third installment on godly government. I pray that you all will be patient with me. My cup runneth over.

      • Now I am blushing!  🙂
        Thank You for all that you have given us, George!  I look forward to reading your piece.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Again, thank you Michelle for your readership.  I can’t tell you how much I treasure everybody who comments on this blog.  It’s truly an honor to think that there are devoted Orthodox Christians who take the time out from their day to read this blog then comment on it.
          I can’t help but think that we aren’t making a difference.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        On a more serious note, I think there is something women can do to bring up the testosterone levels of men.  Women can let men be men.

        I was telling you the other day about my grandparents.  My grandmother had a college degree which was unusual for someone born in Tombstone, AZ in 1888.  She worked but never worked outside the home.  As an example, she saw a little boy on the stoop of his house when he should have been in school.  He told her he couldn’t go to school because he was blind.  My grandmother taught herself brail so the could read his assignments to him and even went with him into his classrooms.  She stayed with him his entire life and read all his college books on tape when he went away to school.  She did this until he passed the bar in California and became an attorney.  She then began reading college texts for other kids, as well.    Her first priority, however, was keeping a nice home for my grandfather and she enjoyed it.  She’d shop for dinner every night to get the freshest food and was an amazing cook!  She was no scullery maid, however.  Our clothes were sent out to be washed and once a month she had a housekeeper who would come in and do a thorough cleaning.  She spent her days playing golf or bridge with her friends.  At 5:00 the neighbors would come in for cocktails.  I realize not everyone can live like that but the roles aren’t too difficult. He never complained and neither did she. 

        I’ve been told the men in my grandfather’s day had 3Xs the testosterone that men have today. My grandfather had so much testosterone he once chased one of my boyfriends down the street with a broom.  On another occasion, toward the end of his life, I was taking him to an oncology appointment and I parked a little too close to the car beside us.  An older man about my grandfather’s age got out of the car and said something derogatory about my driving skills.  My grandfather put up his fists and told the man to take it back.  The other old man put up his fists, as well.  I was afraid they’d kill one another because they were both so weak.  I stood between them and they dropped their fists.  If you’ve got that kind of testosterone in your 80s, you’re probably doing pretty well.

        My grandparent’s roles were clearly defined. My grandfather paid all the bills and my grandmother took care of the home. If we were more like our grandmothers, we might be able to turn this around.  We need to let men do what men do even when it’s a bad idea.  My grandfather once took their entire savings and dumped it into a silver mine in Mexico which was later annexed by the government.  Made my grandmother furious but she let him do it.  He also insisted on fixing electrical problems and almost burned the house down when he convinced me, then only 8 years old, to put an oversized plug into socket not designed for it.  He wasn’t perfect, but he was a man.  You wouldn’t see someone like my grandfather marching with a bunch of women decked out in pink “pussy hats.”  He wouldn’t even let me wear eyelet because it reminded him of what the whores in France wore during WWI.  But he was protective and gave my grandmother a household allowance that was large enough to buy CHANEL suits if she was so inclined.  She had what he laughingly referred to as her own “Swiss bank account” where she could do whatever she wanted with the money.  She never told him how much she squirreled away or how much she spent on her clothes, nor did he care.  They had clearly defined roles and it worked for them.          

        • Michael Bauman says

          Gail, your suggestion has merit.  My dear wife says frequently that one of the freedoms she has found in the Orthodox Church is that women are allowed to be women and men allowed to be men.  
          The existential template you describe is one that would be easy to pick apart, I think, but not too far from wrong.  One essential ingredient you point out is risk taking.   This applies to the raising of children too.  Father’s institutionally tend to allow for more risk taking with their children than many women are comfortable with.  It is a tough thing to balance.  Of course, there is the role of the father in socializing his son’s so that they do not run wild and giving a good icon of what a husband should be for their daughters.   Tough to do. 
          It takes a team of a man and a woman working together within God’s order (consciously or unconsciously) to make it work.   There is less and less societal acceptance and support for such natural synergy.  Less and less knowledge of it and fewer and fewer who can pass it along.   
          Your suggestion is a good place to start to rebuild it.    

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Michael, I believe most women would acknowledge (in their heart of hearts) that we need men. If a single being created in the image of God were enough, God wouldn’t have created two beings and whether you argue that it is a fact that Eve was created from Adam’s rib or just an allegory, men and women were meant to be compatible. The couples I’ve known who are the most content, are the ones who seemingly understand this. That’s not to say a man can’t do housework or a woman can’t bring home a paycheck. But between the man and the woman, there has to be an understanding of respective roles so they are to be compatible and not living in opposition to one another. The women you often hear complain, see their husbands as predators (dictators, abusers, etc.) or as children (lazy, demanding). The men I’ve known, and I’ve known many because I was one of those women who spent a good portion of my time in the workplace primarily working with men, complained that their wives were #$%%busters or too involved with the kids or their jobs to provide much companionship. Men need helpmates and they can’t be placed at the bottom of the woman’s list. When I hear the commercial that says, “the average American family spends 37 minutes quality time together per day” I just want to cringe. That’s an abysmal amount of time.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Gail, perhaps you can educate me. What is “quality time”? I have never known. There are times my wife and I are together doing quite separate things but all of a sudden, one or the other of us looks up and comments on how nice it is to have the other one there.

              We both long past the point where we have dependent children but my wife has a passel of grand-children and great-grandchildren spread all over the fruited plain. We both have jobs outside the home but we have the luxury of spending hours a day with each other. Only occasionally irritating each other.

              Most of that time is spent in indirect contact however. Does that count as “quality time”?

          • I just saw a photo of the former uk Pop group One Direction ‘ star Harry Styles, wearing what can only be described as a trouser – dress.  And his saying He is a little bit gay,  a little bit fluid!!   Sums it up.  For this young man it’s a cynical  game and a money making game at that. But not for those caught in it.   But we are now in a jungle where science is ignored, let alone human experience.    I just read an article attacking Hiliary C  saying she has ‘ problems ‘ over a female with a penis, testes and beard!!  Well for once I think we behind Hillary!!  I’m sure Bill would too!! 
            The fall out in society Terms from all this not long in coming. 
            Yes there are people caught between etc, and mentality ill  and confused, and for these we need Science,  understanding and love but this is not what discussed here.  Whst we have is a decadent SICKNESS WHICH WAS ALWAYS THERE, that is not the point, as not new

            . Just read about Prince Felix Yusupov  and others near to last Tsar including bishops of Russian church, pre 1917.  
            What has changed is that with the death of any even token Christian society (it’s DEAD IN WEST, DEAD), this being pushed mainstream as norm. 

            • 100%, Nikos.  Please Google “etymology of bad” and see what comes up.  

              • Michael Bauman says

                For those who are impatient:

                bad (adj.)

                c. 1300, “inadequate, unsatisfactory, worthless; unfortunate;” late 14c., “wicked, evil, vicious; counterfeit;” from 13c. in surnames (William Badde, Petri Badde, Asketinus Baddecheese, Rads Badinteheved). Rare before 1400, and evil was more common until c. 1700 as the ordinary antithesis of good. It has no apparent relatives in other languages.* Possibly from Old English derogatory term bæddel and its diminutive bædling “effeminate man, hermaphrodite, pederast,” which probably are related to bædan “to defile.”

                The orig. word, AS. bæddel, ME. baddel, on account of its sinister import, is scarcely found in literature, but, like other words of similar sense, it prob. flourished in vulgar speech as an indefinite term of abuse, and at length, divested of its original meaning, emerged in literary use as a mere adj., badde, equiv. to the older evil. [Century Dictionary, 1897]

                Comparable words in the other Indo-European languages tend to have grown from descriptions of specific qualities, such as “ugly,” “defective,” “weak,” “faithless,” “impudent,” “crooked,” “filthy” (such as Greek kakos, probably from the word for “excrement;” Russian plochoj, related to Old Church Slavonic plachu “wavering, timid;” Persian gast, Old Persian gasta-, related to gand “stench;” German schlecht, originally “level, straight, smooth,” whence “simple, ordinary,” then “bad”).

                Comparative and superlative forms badder, baddest were common 14c.-18c. and used as recently as Defoe (but not by Shakespeare), but yielded to comparative worse and superlative worst (which had belonged to evil and ill).

                Meaning “uncomfortable, sorry” is 1839, American English colloquial. To go bad “putrefy” is from 1884. Not bad “fairly good” is by 1771. Ironic use as a word of approval is said to be at least since 1890s orally, originally in African-American vernacular, emerging in print 1928 in a jazz context. It might have emerged from the ambivalence of expressions like bad nigger, used as a term of reproach by whites, but among blacks sometimes representing one who stood up to injustice, but in the U.S. West bad man also had a certain ambivalence:

                These are the men who do most of the killing in frontier communities, yet it is a noteworthy fact that the men who are killed generally deserve their fate. [Farmer & Henley]

                *Farsi has bad in more or less the same sense as the English word, but this is regarded by linguists as a coincidence. The forms of the words diverge as they are traced back in time (Farsi bad comes from Middle Persian vat), and such accidental convergences exist across many languages, given the vast number of words in each and the limited range of sounds humans can make to signify them. Among other coincidental matches with English are Korean mani “many,” Chinese pei “pay,” Nahuatl (Aztecan) huel “well,” Maya hol “hole.”

                From the On-line Etymological Dictionary http://etymonline.com/

          • .the real evil is in entertainment industry where ponography, anything but traditional Marriage, is considered the norm and if Marriage, as something to be disgarded as soon as ‘other interests’, come along with a twitter posting of ‘ we will always have eternal love’ . Don’t they feel totally phoney or are they long past that?

  15. Nathaniel Adams says

    I realize this is tangential to the subject matter of this post, so I apologize in advance, but a Greek Orthodox Christian on Youtube (in a comment thread) told me that Chrysostom taught that all Christians should be prepared for either marriage or monasticism, ideally from their youth.

    Is this true? If so, is this teaching maintained today in Orthodox parishes? I have my own opinions about this but I’d be interested in hearing from those with more knowledge of this matter.

    • Nathaniel, What’s the third way you have in mind?  Seems about right, obviously being a gigolo or serial monogamist or whatever is frowned upon the church.

      • Nathaniel Adams says

        I apologize if I gave the impression that there was a third option that Chrysostom should have considered. I actually agree with him but I also know that his prescription is not considered dogma. At least I think it isn’t. I don’t know.

        For Christians, I personally don’t think a third option is viable. Living a single life well into adulthood is appealing on its surface, given the freedom that seems to come with it. However, what I’ve noticed with older people who never marry is that, with few exceptions, they tend to become increasingly self-absorbed, eccentric and/or standoffish. Humans were not designed/did not evolve to be that isolated from everyone else. We need social networks to sustain ourselves through interdependence and hold us accountable for behavior that harms not only the community but also ourselves. I admit that this is an increasing challenge in our technologically advanced society but it’s one that must be met nonetheless.

        In today’s world, a growing number of these people don’t even strike out on their own. For whatever reason, they’re stuck working menial, low-wage jobs that don’t pay them enough to sustain themselves so they live with their parents well into adulthood. Some of them don’t even get a job because they’re so paralyzed by social anxiety and shame that they’re frightened to even leave the house and their parents, likely having coddled them since childhood, offer no constructive assistance. I firmly believe that the “incel” phenomenon we’ve been reading about in the news is a by-product of this. I also believe that if you’re floundering to this extent by your late 20s or well into your 30s, you should probably consider donning the habit, as it were. Yes, monasticism is a calling but we all know God works in mysterious ways.

        In any event, these are my own opinions and I certainly don’t claim to be authoritative on the subject. Seeing someone like Roosh at a desert monastery talking about Elder Ephraim (who I am surprised to learn is still alive!) in glowing terms prompted my query in the first place. Those who contribute regularly to this blog are far more knowledgeable about this than I am and can probably offer better insights.

        • Nathaniel,
          I think your comment is very insightful, especially this: “Humans were not designed/did not evolve to be that isolated from everyone else. We need social networks to sustain ourselves through interdependence and hold us accountable for behavior that harms not only the community but also ourselves.”  You’ve identified one of the most important points.
          The one other comment I would like to make is that I would not limit the phenomenon to people who end up in menial jobs.  Even highly educated young people who become involved in “elite” sectors of the work force can end up succumbing to the seductive appeals of personal and individual self-satisfaction made possible by significant income.

          • Nathaniel Adams says

            Thank you for your response. Concerning those who are more materially successful, I would agree that they can be worse because of having the resources to instantly satisfy their indulgent whims. As Paul says, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and the heart of the wealthy can grow cold.

            That said, those who are poor are statistically more likely to be socially isolated and suffer from mental illness brought on by the constant anxiety over making ends meet. They are also more likely to be callously mistreated by others. Fortunately, according to the New Testament, they tend to be those who embrace the gospel and faithfully serve the church, which is called by the Lord to serve them. Some end up like Dobri Dobrev, who lived in a monastery and donated all of what he obtained through begging to the church, whereas others unfortunately finish poorly, consumed by fear and addiction, seething with rage and jealousy at everyone who passes them by.

            • Nathaniel, the love of money can be an malady of the poor as well as the wealthy. Used properly, wealth is a blessing. Finally, the wealthy are just as likely to experience mental illness as the poor. In fact, suicide is more prevalent among the upper class than the poor.

        • Monk James Silver says

          A strictly binary model of either married life or monastic life can’t be supported by the scripturas, so it would be a bad idea to push the notion too far. Whatever path in life we choose , St Paul tells us that we must ‘work out our own salvation in fear and trembling’ (PHLP 2:12).

          But St Paul also recommends that people follow his example and stay single (1 COR 7:6-10). He tells people to marry if they must, and that they commit no sin in marrying. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself never married, and He tells us that marriage, will no longer exist in Heaven (MT 22:30). Like all the Christian Mysteries, including the Eucharist, Marriage is given us for this limited earthly life, not for ever. Once we are saved, the Mysteries are no longer necessary.

          These foundational principles must inform our thoughts on the subject. Divergent opinions, including those offered by the saints and fathers of The Church, must be weighed against the scriptures, contextualized and properly theologized. There is no ‘one size fits all’ way of life for Christians, and not even a ‘two sizes fit all’ possibility.

          At the same time, it’s helpful for us to remember that the very same qualities which would make for a successful marriage will serve well in monastic life, and the same characteristics which would ruin a monk or nun would also wreck a marriage.

        • Steven J. M. says

          A lot of young people today don’t have religious ancestors, aren’t baptised, don’t go to church, weren’t raised on mum’s milk, weren’t raised on mum’s milk up until the ages of 5 – 7, don’t have mum at home in the early years, start school too early, are subjected to TV much too soon, and in many cases don’t have dad around at all. This is really a disastrous start to life, if due weight is given to all of the above; and it says nothing of the problems that follow. No wonder so many ‘incel’ types exist today – they’re highly traumatised, if not out right brain damaged, and so would have trouble forming relationships. Nevertheless, I believe God not only has compassion on this state, but can eventually work wonders with it – especially when humility is key, and when being brain damaged (and the life you’d lead) could be very humbling.  

          • Steven J. M. says

            I should have put “…mum’s milk up until the ages of 3 – 5”

          • Monk James Silver says

            While I don’t understand what ‘incel types’ are, I am certain that the Lord’s justice is perfect, and that His mercy is infinite.

            We shouldn’t presume to test those parameters by asserting our own very limited human standards.

  16. Steven. J. M. says

    I wasn’t asserting anything of my own standards. I believe what the Church teaches, and said as much – in my own way  

    • Monk James Silver says

      If your own standards were not at work here, then please explain what you mean by‘incel types’.

      This expression hasn’t ever come up in my experience of the teachings of The Church, and I suspect that no one else has heard of it, either.

      • Steven. J. M. says

        Monk James, I don’t see what the big deal is. Neither am I interested to learn.  

      • ‘Incel’ or Involuntary Celibate is a neologism.

        For an observational introduction to the psychology, please see:
        1. An interview with a murderer:
        JCS – The Psychology of an Incel
        2. A narcissist’s autobiography (graphically revolting)
        Earl Hypernova
        I believe that it is a subset of autism, a phenomenologically broad set of behaviors generally prone to hyperspecific, energetic radicalization.  Anyone in the US under 40 has people recognizably like this in their schools and/or workplaces.

        • Monk James Silver says

          Many thanks to ‘Max D’ for the explanation. Now that it’s been described as the neologism it is, it reminds me greatlyof sovyet-style usages.

          As I suspected, this concept of ‘incel’ functions apart from Christianity, and has nothing to do with working out our salvation.

          While there are true mental illnesses, this doesn’t seem to me to be one of them. Rather, from the examples given here, it appears to be a psychological expression of a demonic delusion, a temptation which works against marriage, perhaps something like temptations to homosexuality.

          I hope that ‘Steven. J. M.’ is feeling better by now.

          • Steven J. M. says

            Yes thanks Monk James. 
            And apologies for being curt

          • Steven J. M. says

            Also, Monk James, I still don’t understand why a form of demonic possession couldn’t go towards our salvation. 
            You used the example of homosexuality. Say a man is afflicted by it, but he he takes up his cross and does well. Wouldn’t he get his reward?
            Moreover, didn’t St. Paul himself pray to be relieved of a touch of the demonic still in him, and yet God responded by leaving it there for St. Paul’s good; for his humility?
            As I see right now, it doesn’t matter what we call the affliction – whether a it be recognised mental illness, a physical one, or a form of demonic delusion – so long as it leads us to God and repentance and/or humility. 
            In that light, being an ‘incel’ could be the the ticket for some. 

            • George Michalopulos says

              Steven, you bring up some good points.  Because I’ve spent the last few decades working with young people, I have seen first hand the petering out of the sexual revolution. 

              So-called incels are one of the final symptons (victims?) of all this sexual “liberation” that my generation participated in.  The other victim group are all the young females who have uglified themselves.  

              As if some cosmic joke, young men today are depleted of testosterone and young women have it in abundance (hence their masculine-looking features).  Perhaps someday I’ll write about my perceptions with a little scientific lingo thrown in for good measure.  
              In any event, both victim groups can accept these maladies as a type of podvig I assume and perhaps draw closer to God.

              • Steven. J. M. says

                That’s as I see it too, George (about the podvig). And it should be a good read about how feminine men and masculine women are a product of the sexual revolution. 

              • George in many uk cities at a certain level of education one does not see Men. But large beefy females,  conversation therapy in reversed as my wife says. Sometimes a reedy male walking behind the push- chair, She smoking and the toddler enjoying  the chicken nuggets. I am not being  snobby,  JUST OBJECTIVE REPORTING OF COMMON SIGHT.  Southampton being the perfect city for this. 
                And have you noticed have everything is ‘She’ now?  Is this not just as sexist as refering to everything as ‘He???’.      Francis et al are syncretists.  Bartholomaios just wants cash and power dressed up in crap 
                elpidophoros just wants his job. 

                • Conversion therapy ( that i do not believe in) but that another story as psychologist that I have no intention to enter into. . 

            • Monk James Silver says

              Steven J. M. (October 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm)says:

              Also, Monk James, I still don’t understand why a form of demonic possession couldn’t go towards our salvation. 
              My responses are in bold-face.  I didn’t mention demonic possession here, but —  just for the record —  I’ll repeat something I wrote earlier, which is that the phenomenon closest to demonic possession which we’re likely to see is transsexualism, which I think we’re well warned about by Sirach 18:15.
              In no way can such experiences be helpful to working out our salvation.  They are to be rejected and expelled for the pure evil they truly are.

               You used the example of homosexuality. Say a man is afflicted by it, but he he takes up his cross and does well. Wouldn’t he get his reward?
              No.  I adduced the example of temptations to homosexuality, not homosexuality itself as a theoretical condition, and certainly not homosexual activity.  The PC police will disagree with me, I suppose, but I don’t abelieve that there is such a thing as homosexuals, merely people who are deceived and tormented by demonic temptations to engage in homosexual activity.   Sometimes they fall into sin, but they don’t have to do this, free as all of us are to reject temptations and rely on the love of God.

               Moreover, didn’t St. Paul himself pray to be relieved of a touch of the demonic still in him, and yet God responded by leaving it there for St. Paul’s good; for his humility?

              Yes, we just read this in church.  It is easy for us to think that this ‘messenger of Satan’, this ‘thorn in the flesh’ might describe a persistent sexual temptation, especially considering that ‘the flesh’ is often a metaphor for sexual desire.
              St Paul tells us, though, that the Lord didn’t relieve him of this ‘thorn’ for two reasons:  first, to keep St Paul humble, and second, to prove that human dependence on the strength of God will help us to resist any and all temptations, to overcome every ‘messenger of Satan’.

               As I see right now, it doesn’t matter what we call the affliction – whether a it be recognised mental illness, a physical one, or a form of demonic delusion – so long as it leads us to God and repentance and/or humility. 

              Probably not.  Physical illness of every kind, even physically defined mental imbalances, are never good.  It’s not for nothing that our Lord Jesus Christ is recorded as healing the infirmities of as many people as came or were brought to Him.  He often cautioned the people He healed to ‘go and sin no more’.  He didn’t establish a direct connection between people illness and their previous personal sins.  In fact, at one point He says just the opposite in the ninth chapter of St John’s version of the Gospel. 

              In our own time, we’ve learned how to medicate bi-polar disease and even schizophrenia, to a certain extent.  We can hope to make even greater progress in treating mental illness which have physical/chemical causes, but we’re still a long way from true psychotherapy, ‘healing the soul’.  This remains very much an area of healing reserved to divine grace.

               In that light, being an ‘incel’ could be the the ticket for some.
              Not very likely.  Remaining unmarried —  for whatever reason —  is not the same thing as deliberately remaining virginal or at least abstaining from sexual activity, so I am still hesitant to assign any moral valence at all to the idea of ‘incel’.

              On the other hand, if people voluntarily choose virginity or sexual abstinence for the sake of the Kingdom of God, whether in monastic life or other wise, of course they have an opportunity for the practice of virtue and the attainment of holiness —  but so do married people.

              • Steven J. M. says

                Monk James,
                Seeing as you previously likened ‘incel-ism’ to homosexuality, which in turn you attributed to demonic delusion, and have presently clarified homosexuality as temptations and not possession, I will assume your first and second paragraphs about demonic possession/transsexualism/Sirach 18:15 etc. are meant only as helpful reminders, and not to liken ‘incel-ism’ thereto. Please clarify, if you like.
                You have then written about how homosexuality saying it isn’t possession, but delusion, and that it isn’t a thing in itself, but a temptation thereto. I can go with that. Being more precise with my language, then, if a man is tempted to homosexuality, but struggles well, will he not get his reward? For now, I’ll take the answer as yes; and seeing as you’ve previously likened ‘incel-ism’ to the temptation to homosexuality (and not transsexualism/demonic possession), wouldn’t it follow that ‘incel-ism’ is also a temptation that a good fight could overcome? 
                I’d suggest the answer again is yes, and go one further by saying that not only is it not as dire as demonic possession/transsexualism, but could be good for working out salvation. For instance, your next topic was St. Paul and ‘the messenger of Satan’ and the ‘thorn in the flesh’, which again is decided to be a matter of temptation (not possession) and which was good for St. Paul’s humility. Of course, for temptation to homosexuality and ‘incel-ism’ to not be equated with the usefulness of St. Paul’s temptation, it would need to be established that physical illness of every kind, even physically mental imbalances, are never good – a diagnosis I will assume you’ve applied to the main topic at hand (‘incel-ism’). While I note that Christ of course healed the sick, I believe it’s also Church tradition to teach that God at least allows for illness at times, for the same reason given to St. Paul – humility – and irrespective of whether one is a tempted to lust, ‘incel-ism’ or whatever (providing of course it’s not out right demonic possession). 
                Chapter 9 of the Gospel of St. John does show that Christ did not attribute the man’s blindness to his or his parents’ sins, and yet Orthodoxy also teaches that the sins of the father will be punished up to something like 3 generations forward. Further, there’s the story of a paralytic who was forgiven by Christ and then healed. Seeing as the emphasis of this heeling was placed on Christ’s forgiveness, I believe the Church teaches that it was the paralytic’s sins that went towards his paralysis.
                At any rate, I’m not too sure why the idea of previous sins has come up. Perhaps it was because my first post mentioned something about people today not having orthodox ancestors. Whatever the case, the conclusion I’ve drawn in favour of ‘incel-ism’ being potentially useful for humility is able to stand without it, given that we’re not talking about the cause of ‘incel-ism’, but whether it could lead to humility.
                Indeed, the treatment of mental illness which has physical/chemical causes is progressing, and yet is still far from being healing for the soul. But again, I don’t yet understand why this has come up. 
                A person who deliberately remains virginal or at least abstains from sexual activity may get his reward for that. He that abstains involuntarily, while not being rewarded for his abstinence, could still be rewarded for something else. Take the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, for instance. The former wouldn’t have been married – and probably not by choice – and yet his lowly condition – probably also not by choice – led to humility and God’s favour.

                • Monk James Silver says

                  Please allow me to clarify just a couple of points, since too many words seem to obscure them.

                  I did not ever compare homosexuality to anything, especially not to the concept of ‘incel’, which is an expression, even an idea, I hadn’t known until you mentioned it here the other day.

                  Nor did I ever allow the possibility that the concept of ‘incel’ has moral content. Rather, I suggested that it is a psychological disorder, at least as far as I can tell from the examples provided her.

                  People always have the opportunity to resist temptations to sin, whether those temptations are to murder, theft, lying, or sex outside of marriage, with partners of the same or the opposite sex, or alone. The moral content here is in the choices we make: Will we be virtuous or sinful?

                  On the other hand, people experiencing ‘incel’ are not suffering temptations, but are exhibiting signs of social maladjustment.

                  Correcting ‘incel’ is not a spiritual matter, but an issue for physical medical care and/or (for lack of a more precise term) clinical psychotherapy.

                  Perhaps ‘incel’ can be treated something like obsessive-compulsive disorder, with intense active-directive therapy and a mild tranquilizer, as distinguished from bi-polar disorder which responds only to chemical adjustments.

                  In any event, ” don’t recognize ‘incel’ as any sort of opportunity for virtue. It’s just an example of social maladjustment, and should be treated and corrected like any other personality disorder.

                  • Nathaniel Adams says

                    Agreed. If you’ve ever perused incel content on the internet, whether on reddit, message boards or YouTube videos, you’ll discover that it can in no way be construed as some “thorn in the flesh” that cultivates spiritual discipline and growth. It is an evil and malignant way of life and thought in which the individual is consumed by pathological, narcissistic self-loathing and an intense hatred of women (and anyone else outside of their echo chamber) to the point of advocating all kinds of abuse, degradation and obscenity.

                    I’m not going to post any links to any of their web content. If you’re dead set on researching the matter for yourself and reading them in their own words, you are free to do so. I should warn you, though: that which is seen cannot be unseen.

                    • Steven J. M. says

                      Monk James and Nathaniel
                      That’s all fair enough. I can see what you’re both saying.

                  • Antiochene Son says

                    There are roots of truth in what incels say though. The social contract of monogamy inside marriage and chastity outside it has led to a small subset of men “having” the vast majority of women. Incels, involuntary celibates, are men who want to be in a relationship but cannot find a woman. 
                    Incels are neutral IMO. The really radical, angry ones tend to be more the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) types. These seem often to be young men who have been close to divorce, and may have seen their fathers left in shambles due to the gynocentric system of family law that almost always sides with mothers over fathers.
                    A psychological problem, for sure, because we are all dealt bad hands in life and have to learn to deal with them without going into furious “kill all thots” territory. But the Church also has to stand as a fortress in our crumbling culture, avoiding divorce and all these destructive institutions at all costs.

                    As an aside, I learned recently that MGTOW is actually heresy. One of the minor councils, I can’t recall which, has a canon stating that if a person remains celibate not for the sake of Christ, but out of hatred for marriage, they are anathema.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      AS, ah the vast weed and vine garden that surrounds marriage in our culture is truly mind boggling. Unfortunately the Church, in my experience does a bad job on being a fortress of any kind regarding marriage, chastity, child bearing and child rearing.

                      Oh, the doctrine and spiritual teaching is in the Church and quite deep, but it is rarely put into practice in a practical way, IMO.

                      Two parts of your post I have questions about: 1. your designation of the sexual paradigm of sex within marriage and chastity outside as a “social contract”. If it ever was that, it ceased to be that a long time ago and never really was for the elite. I would like you to expand on what you mean by that statement if you would please; and 2. Courts siding with mothers: In some ways this seems to be true but I have a difficulty with it as the divorces I am most familiar with have a common pattern: the divorce lawyers gang up on the soon to be ex-wife to strip her of as much dignity and money as possible.

                      A dear friend who’s ex-husband sexually abused his own daughters and was emotionally abusive to my friend, kept dragging her into court as often as he could paying his rotating bunch of minions with money he stole from a pension account that had a QUADRO (qualified domestic relations order) on it and lying to the depths of hell while constantly harassing her about visitation with the daughters he had raped**; my daughter in law who was left with a lot of debt by her abusive ex-husband as well as a continued refusal to live up to any financial obligations while ignoring restraining orders against her. Somehow, she had to take bankruptcy but he did not; my wife, who’s ex-husband plotted to kill her and managed, through lawyer collusion, to leave her with a rotting house and many debts while hiding significant property and ignoring his legal financial obligations with no consequences.

                      While I acknowledge the general understanding of men faring badly in divorce as more than just stereotypical rhetoric, there is more to the story, at least in my experience.

                      **the raped daughters were so young when the rapes occurred and the activity hidden through clever manipulation and outright intimidation, there was no way to prosecute for them or “prove” they happened.

  17. Monk James Silver says

    Steven J. M. (October 28, 2019 at 3:51 pm) says:

    Monk James and Nathaniel

    That’s all fair enough. I can see what you’re both saying.


    ‘Let us love one another so that, being identical in our understanding, we may profess the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, identical in essence and indivisible.’