Fancy Bear & the EP. . .

Sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, right? I do think there’s some kind of story here so George said, “Go ahead and write it.” I’d write it if I had any idea where it was going. I’m afraid it might turn out like one of those Grimms’ Fairy Tales where the EP gets caught in the Russian woods because he left too many breadcrumbs.

It just seems weird to me that these high-level hackers who purportedly have the where-with-all to hack into our elections would be interested in our EP in the same way they are interested in our defense contractors or intelligence workers. Is it because…

1. Fancy Bear is working with the CIA?
2. Patriarch Kirill is the head of Fancy Bear?
3. The EP poked the Russian Bear and now they’re mad?
4. The EP is fixing to start WWIII?

Why are they (whoever “they” are) spying on our Church? Is there really something called “soft power” and if so, do we have it? If that is indeed the case, then we’ve got to be a lot more careful about who runs around claiming he’s the “representative and spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.”

The EP keeps putting himself in situations that jeopardize the Church, e.g. buddying up with Pope Francis, dictating to the Great and Holy Council, involving himself in world politics and causing friction in volatile parts of the world. Are those closest to him involved in nefarious activities? The bishops have tried to ignore him but every time they turn their backs, he’s involved in some kind of drama. Now Fancy Bear is interested in him! This can’t be good.

I have a feeling this story is going to be full of twists and turns and may not end well. My biggest concern is that this is all a ruse by globalists to weaken our witness by making it seem that traditionalist Orthodox are working in tandem with alleged Russian hackers. When all is said and done, people will equate the Orthodox Church with Russia which people in the West have demonized.

–Gail Sheppard


  1. I think it’s all pretty straightforward. What you say will come to pass but it’s all out in the open and no conspiracy. You can’t stop elements within Russia and elsewhere from caring about the Church. Some of those people will inevitably use or misuse private, corporate, and state power on behalf of what they perceive to be the Church’s interests. Meanwhile many Orthodox Christians (seemingly including His All-Holiness, but also some even within Russia) want both to be Orthodox and to be part of the utterly Satanic Western order (the US Government, EU, UN, NATO, etc., cheered on by the Whore of Babylon aka the Roman Church) because they covet its worldly riches and tire of the fight. So there is a conflict in the church, mirroring the conflict we find in ourselves between the death of sin and the glory of salvation. Ultimately we have to choose between God and Mammon, but like giving up our sins this often plays out over a lifetime.

    The West will ruthlessly exploit that, like they do every division and schism, to try to discredit us from the outside and destroy us from the inside. It’s just what me and my Anglo ancestors like to call business. It is up to us in response to dwell in love of our neighbor, the peace of Christ, and the unity of the Church, as it ever has been, praying for mercy. The drama of the end times will continue on schedule.

    Having used our Protestant forebears to defeat the bitter fruits of Romanism, Fascism and Communism, God is giving the prodigal sons of America a chance to repent and come home now. The most important thing we Orthodox can do here is win souls for Christ and His Church.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Gail, first of all, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Second, thanks for writing it all down in black and white.

    There’s a lot to unpack here. What worries me is the final analysis, which is that if one is concerned about some new initiative by Cpole and/or sees more Orthopraxia in churches such as Athos or Russia, then he will be tarred as a fundie or worse.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Of course the most egregious error is that except for you and a few others, we didn’t sound the alarm last year when the Robber Council was coming out with its catchall mission/we’re right/you’re wrong/statement.

      I chose to ignore it because as in was following the CRC in real-time, it looked to be a nonstarter. That it will in due time come to be remembered as such in no way mitigates the very real dangers it presents to the Faith however.

      I dropped the ball. I suppose many others did as well. Now we just have to take our medicine and hope for the best.

  3. Johannes,
    So well said. Envy is our sin. So many of our leaders have forgotten what really matters. They have been led astray by vanity, and greed. Led astray by the glory of man, instead of the Glory of Christ. Many of us struggle with this, I do, but I’m not a spiritual leader of millions.

    Many of our Orthodox leaders seem to have forgotten that their role is a Holy one. One that must be at least fervently and faithfully attempted by example, the example of our saints, and Savior Jesus Christ.

    As we are new Jerusalem, and just like Jerusalem of old, it seems many of our well robed, and crowned, have set well and high their money, and political favors exchange tables, while the flock are given a different set of virtues to follow.

    Yes The Church is Unbreakable, but why do we want to continue to break It, into little pieces? Why do we ignore the falling away of our faithful, on Sundays? Are we witnessing the falling away, before the son of perdition? Don’t know, but what if? How will the masses know which leaders of Orthodoxy to trust in great schism to come, and worse to come?

    In light to what we witness now, and in the past with the Roman Catholic Church. Instead of envy,simulation, and unia; IMHO, we must now learn from, and turn and run the opposite direction. Orthodoxy must remain united, and prepare to defend Truth, when the true falling away occurs, and the son of perdition comes confuses, and sways many.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I agree with Dino. Johannes, you did a wonderful job summing it all up.

      Years ago, the globalists harped on the importance of inclusiveness and frightened our Protestant brothers and sisters into thinking if they didn’t allow homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. they would no longer be relevant. Out of fear, they capitulated. Even taking one step away from the Truth weakens you and they took many. May God forgive them.

      And now we see what is happening to the Catholic Church. For so long they have been a stabilizing presence in the world. This is no more. Their secrets have been spilled.

      The powers-that-be won’t be happy until they either undermine or control every single entity claiming to be Christian in the world. They seek to populate them with leaders who share their globalist views. There are far too many of them in the Orthodox Church and unfortunately, they’re in positions of authority.

      Ultimately, what they’re going to find (and I’m speaking from a convert’s POV), that those who have made the transition to the Church are not likely to give it up. And by “it” I mean the way the Church is. We won’t go away. They will not be successful in bringing down our Faith. We will be a constant thorn in their side. This recent development of equating perceived Russian aggression with the Church will probably hurt our ability to witness in this country but it will not keep us from being Orthodox.

      Interestingly, the United States is the one country that could be leveraged to help protect the Faith. We have 18 monasteries. We have really solid priests. There is no immediate threat of war. With God’s help, we could become a stable Orthodox presence in the world during the difficult years to come. Why did God allow Orthodoxy to take root in this country if He didn’t intend to use it to strengthen His Church? Maybe the implosion of the GOA was providential. (Although I would certainly not wish this on them, as there are many, many good people in the GOA.)

      God willing, Patriarchs John and Kirill, as well as the monks on Mt. Athos, are thinking the same thing and they will help us to bring the jurisdictions together so we can present a strong, united front. This would solve the problem for the good people in the GOA, too, because our home would become their home, minus the EP, of course.

      All it’s going to take is some solid leadership. I remember something Father Josiah told me a decade or so ago when I was going through that ordeal with Metropolitan Philip. He said (I’m paraphrasing), “God allows bad things to happen so good men will stand up.” I’m looking for those good men to stand up. I know they’re out there.

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    I’d like to say one more thing. I ask that all of you pray for Archbishop Demetrios. I don’t dispute he made some mistakes but he has created a firewall around us to give us time to regroup. If he retired and the EP replaced him with someone like Metropolitan Emmanual of France, Humpty-Dumpty would be put back together again in a heartbeat. They have their own game plan now and they’re ready to hit the ground running.

    Thank you, Your Eminence, for standing between us and them. I know your stance comes at a price. This last year must have been the most difficult of your life and yet you continue to stand strong. I believe you love the Church and it is God, Himself, who sustains you. May He continue to bless you, if not in this life, in the world to come.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Indeed. We should pray for Arb Demetrios. Since the OCA threw away its credibility when it did what it did to Met Jonah, the only thing standing between the modernist/globalist stranglehold of the Phanar and an authentic, indigenous American Orthodoxy Demterios.

      • Pere LaChaise says

        George, I have been a a student and personal friend of Metr. Jonah for two decades. I served under his omiphore. I believe in his personal integrity and goodness and have received Sacraments at his hand many times. Yet I know for a fact that his leadership was ultimately not good for the OCA because his judgement, as well-intended as it is, put the Archdiocese in jeopardy on several fronts. Not least of which was his willingness to cede the Tomos and rejoin the Moscow Patriarchate.
        If you hold out any hopes that Orthodox churches in this country can maintain legitimacy, you cannot believe the OCA becoming an archdiocese of the Moscow Patriarchate would look good to Americans.
        I seriously doubt you know a single member of the OCA Synod on a personal working basis. I love and revere Metr. Jonah, but I do not rue his departure, because his judgement was skewed and resulted in confusion and division. The primacy of Metr. Tikhon has proven to be the opposite and the resultant peace has resulted in very positive indications all across the OCA, the decline of the Rust Belt and its aging ethnic communities notwithstanding.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Pere, I myself was unalterably opposed to any consideration of the OCA ceding its tomos of autocephaly to anyone. I actually told His Beatitude that to his face. Unfortunately, there are a few higher-ups at Syosset who are more than willing to entertain the ceding of autocephaly to Cpole.

          While the tenure of Met Tikhon has been quiescent, one cannot say that it has been exciting. Under Met Jonah, the OCA was put on the map and HB was the rock star of American Orthodoxy. Perhaps I’m naive but I believe that any questions or concerns that the Synod had with Jonah’s Russophilia could have been addressed privately. Instead, they acted in such a ham-fisted manner that it caused nothing but scandal.

  5. It’s all moving on schedule. Many will fall away toward the end times and Orthodox sanity will be labelled insane. God rules and is pruning the dead matter from His Church. Pat. Bartholomew is like a backhoe in this regard. He will take an unholy bite, all in futility. And the Church will be better off. I warned everyone as best I could leading up to and during the Robber Council, but to little response. It would not have mattered anyway. It was all in black and white for everyone to read since the Primates meeting that prior February. Just let the drama play out.

  6. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the OCL website.

    By Nick Stamatakis

    • George Michalopulos says

      I agree. Gail and Mr Stamatakis are correct: Arb Demetrios Trakatellis must remain as primate of the GOA.

      Even though I believe that the GOA is not able to be salvaged at this point (that is unless St Nicholas Shrine is cut loose), Demetrios as a figurehead has the goodwill of the other American jurisdictions to forge a broader autocephalous American Orthodox Church.

      Please note that I did not say that it would be a pretty picture or that it would be smooth sailing. Those dioceses of the GOA headed by metropolitans (e.g. Gerasimos, Evangelos, Savvas, et al) who are on board with the modernist program would remain allied with Istanbul.

      It wouldn’t be ideal in that there would be two parallel mega-jurisdictions in the US but an autocephalous American Orthodox Church that was more or less aligned (but not under) with Moscow/Athos might possibly be the best we could hope for. What would be unacceptable IMHO would be the continuation of the present EAUSA scenario in which the presidency (in the person of the GOA primate) would be a compromised man in the pocket of the EP. (The fact that Lambrianides is scheduled to be the next EP is a scandal in and of itself. But that’s a story for another day.)

  7. M. Stankovich says

    Of that day and hour, no one knows [οὐδεὶς οἶδεν], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only [εἰ μὴ ὁ πατὴρ μου μόνος]. (Matt. 24:36)

    At times, judging by the literature, I question the wisdom of being awake while the world sleeps – its negative neurological impact on hormonal “cycles” and the process of rejuvenation, restoration, and healing. But there is the amazing silence and the many, many metaphors of the darkness – the unknown, the hidden, the frightening, the vulnerability, the irrational. But ultimately, the darkness slowly, initially even imperceptibly, begins to dissipate as the light overtakes the darkness. And proportionally, the metaphor – what is so disconcerting about the night – should you take the opportunity to think about it – is repeated, tediously and predictably by our God on each and every day we spend on this earth, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31)

    What you present in this thread is a luscious garden of what the Psalmist referred to as the “terror that comes by night,” [φόβου νυκτερινοῦ] (Ps. 90:5) so terrible that it is characterized by a “panic that causes one to literally flee.” Nevertheless, while the entire 24th Chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew speaks of a destruction to come that is so overpoweringly devastating that not a single brick of the Temple will remain standing, the Lord tells us directly how we will be saved, to conclude this chapter, and and to conclude Chapter 25 and the parable of separating the sheep from the goats, as well:

    His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things [ὀλίγα], I will make you ruler over many things [πολλῶν]: enter you into the joy of your lord. (Matt. 25:21)

    I cannot speak for all the concerns and “issues” you all so eloquently, and so repeatedly, carry on in this and similar threads, but I beg our God every single day to just help me be faithful over a few things, just today. And I just can’t do it. But I try. Sorry, Gail.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Michael, I’m not panicking but the latest turn of events suggests there will be a schism at the minimum and quite possibly a war. It’s good to hear that you pray every single day. Perhaps you could pray that God in his mercy protects the EP and Russia from the fallout of their inability to reach a solution. If the 12,000+ MP parishes are confiscated, there will almost certainly be bloodshed. We will be pulled into the war and there will be losses on all sides. Pray the casualties will be few and the fighting over quickly.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Gail, perhaps our canonical brethren in the Ukraine should take a page out of the Gandhi/MLK civil disobedience textbook?

        By this I mean everybody –bishops, priests and laity–showing up en masse at every one of those churches and holding services such as canons of supplication and then when they are done, remaining there and forcing the Kievan army to forcibly remove them.

        Say if 100 people showed up at every one of those churches, that’s 120,000 people. They could encamp themselves for 24 hrs shifts and then replaced by another 100 or so, to be repeated again the next day. It doesn’t have to be 100 people, it can be fifty or twenty. Force Poroshenko’s forces to forcibly remove them.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          George, I’m afraid Poroshenko, et al., would just mow them down. I don’t trust any parliament that has the audacity to dictate to the Church and I don’t trust any Hierarch who would capitulate. Since when are matters of autocephaly VOTED ON by members of a parliament?! We live in interesting times.

      • M. Stankovich says


        This is truly one of the saddest responses I have ever received on this site. Don’t do it again.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          To ask for your prayers?!!!! You’ve got to be kidding.

          • Estonian Slovak says

            For what it’s worth, I pray daily for all the people here whom I have offended. That would include you, George, and Dr. Stankovich.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              And I very much appreciate it, ES, although I can’t recall a time when you’ve offended me. I pray for all of you, as well. We’d BETTER pray for each other. We may be the last ones standing.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Estonian Slovak,

              Sorry, I missed this. For the record, you have never offended me. Unlike anyone else on this site, that I am aware, I am happy to credit your account. Likewise, I am honoured & grateful for your prayers. At this point, you may or may not hear bells from your speakers. Regardless, it is merely my invitation for you to refer to me as, “Michael.” I’m glad you’re back.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dr S, what are you talking about? What’s wrong with asking for prayers?

    • Constantinos says

      Dr. Stankovich,
      I was reading an interesting book by Dr.Brant Pitre called The Case for Jesus. He specifically mentions not one stone would be left standing in the Temple was fulfilled in AD 70 by the Romans. He says that’s one of the reasons the higher critics date the Gospels later than they should. He believes that Gospels were written much earlier than the higher critics suppose, and for compelling reasons. As far as Mathew chapter is concerned, isn’t the consensus that our Lord is talking about two different events? In Mathew chapter 24, He’s talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, and in Mathew 25, He is talking about His second coming. Makes sense to me.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Costa, you’re completely right. The so-called higher critics have long put out this meme that the Gospels post-date AD 70 simply because they are materialists/rationalists and they can’t abide the fact that Jesus was a prophet. Just admitting that possibility raises further uncomfortable questions in their mind.

        For what it’s worth, there’s no doubt anymore in my mind that the Synoptic Gospels (esp “Q” and Proto-Mark) were written within 15 years of the Resurrection.

        • Brant Petre’s books are actually pretty interesting, for a Catholic. Regarding the dating of the Gospels, I highly recommend Eyewitness to Jesus by Carston Peter Thiede and Matthew D’Ancona. It looks at some important fragments from Qumran cave six that can only be from the canonical Gospels. The cave was sealed in the late 60s Anno Domini, so it puts the whole late Gospels theory to bed,

          • Pitre’s “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” was one of the books that led me to Orthodoxy. No reason for any Orthodox Christian to read this or any other heterodox book but it’s a very solid “general Christian” title so to speak.

            I appreciate the supportive comments on my earlier post. I am actually torn between the perspective expressed there and the more resigned view that we should simply dwell in Orthodox unity and let the Bishops politic as they think they need to. If Ukrainian Orthodoxy goes into the West maybe it will free some captives from hell. I do hope it stays with Russia though. Whatever happens we should remember that these things historically sometimes take centuries to work out. Be not afraid.

  8. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on The Moscow Times website.

    Sept. 03 2018 – 13:09

    The Rising Tide of Orthodox Christian Politics (Op-ed) Moscow and Kiev are locked in a religious dispute with political overtones.

  9. One story said that they were able to follow what the hackers were doing because they left certain accounts public. Were they just sloppy or were they deliberately leaving a trail to be followed?

  10. Gail Sheppard says

    GLFarrmer, I suspect hackers of the Fancy Bear ilk are rarely sloppy.