Is the GOA the New Stasi?

According to our friends at Ortho Christian, Archbishop Elpidophoros has been tasked by His Intergalactidness to “report” on the activities of the American parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR in New Jersey, Elpidophoros’ bailiwick.  (  

This reeks of  “Stasi,” which is short for Ministerium fur Staatscherheit.  This was the organization that was tasked with spying on East German citizens.  It was essentially a reworked Gestaatspolizei (“Gestapo“), this time for East Germany instead of the Third Reich.  Instead of reporting on Communists, the Stasi reported on anti-communists. 

Like The Who song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” no one wants a “Meet the new boss/same as the old boss…” situation and we can’t help but wonder what precipitated all this.

Is Bartholomew working for the State Department again?  Which raises another question:  is it because the Russo-Ukrainian war is heating up, as in NATO getting its boots on the ground?  In other words, is a full-fledged war, one possibly involving tactical nukes, about to break out?

Or could the State Department be “casing the joint” so to speak, trying to find out which Orthodox are patriots as opposed to those who are Putinbots?  (This is not an idle musing, as we will soon be publishing some threatening letters that were sent to two ROCOR parishes in the South.)

Last month we found out how the FBI was caught trying to infiltrate TradCats who go out of their way to attend Latin Masses.  Because, you know, that’s a sign of “white supremacy” or some such nonsense.  Traditionalists of all stripes dodged a bullet this time but only because a whistleblower who worked for the FBI spilled the beans.  Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious to watch Merrick Garland get raked over the coals by Sen Josh Hawley this time.

We may not be so lucky next time.  

At any rate, we again call upon the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops to forthrightly condemn this action in no uncertain terms.  This is conduct unbecoming of an Orthodox bishop; if anything, Elpidophoros should have stopped acting like a typical byzantine lapdog and told Bartholomew that “that’s not the way we do things in America.”  And then he should turn to his “brother” bishops and issue an outright apology, with none of the customary phanariote weasel words that have long been the disgrace of Istanbul. 

Failing that, the ACOB should disband.  And possibly break communion with Archbishop Elpidophoros.

This is unacceptable.  What business is it of Bartholomew to want to know what goes on in jurisdictions that don’t belong to him?  After all, aren’t we all equally “Sister Churches” or is that the next thing that’s going to be jettisoned from our ecclesiology, like the whole primus inter pares paradigm?

And don’t give me anything about this is just a “study” to find out about the rubrics of churches associated only with Moscow and other such quaint arcana.  Let’s put the shoe on the other foot:  how would the GOA like it if ROCOR was tasked by Patriarch Kirill to “study” the rubrics of GOA parishes?

I’m pretty sure that that would go over like a lead balloon.  


  1. It seems highly unlikely that this is limited to New Jersey. Romfea presumably reports what they know, not what they don’t know. After all, what significance does New Jersey have by itself? Unless it perhaps has to do with the general dissatisfaction over this:

    • …although I think it highly unlikely that it has anything to do with the dissatisfaction over Met. Methodios’s removal. It is really difficult to discern any possible “good” reason for this desire to know more about activities among Russian parishes.

    • Johann Sebastian says

      Many of these parishes—if not all—were founded by Rusyns from western Ukraine (Galician Russophiles) who reverted to Orthodoxy from Uniatism around the time of St. Alexis (Toth). And they have a deep aversion to the Ukrainian idea…and a very long memory.

  2. I think from now on I’ll be referring to Bartholomew as Patriarch Palpatine, it seems exponentially more appropriate.

    I’d love to be proven wrong but at this point I won’t be holding my breath that the AOB will do anything.

    Also, why specifically NJ? That’s random. Is it bc it’s directly under Elpi?

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      A Byzantine chant rendition of the Imperial March would be totally trippy. The melody is in Phrygian mode, after all.

    • “First we take New Jersey.
      Then we take Berlin (sorry: Moscow)!”

  3. Gosh I’m in the south. This hits close to home.

  4. Sometimes the only peace to be had lies on the other side of war. That is the case in the Ukraine. The only atrocities I am aware of are Ukrainians executing those who cooperated with the Russians (in Bucha, for example), which often are blamed on the Russians but actually perpetrated by the Banderists.

    I pray for victory for the emperor (Putin) over the heathen (UkroNZ’s):

    O Lord, save Thy people,
    And bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victory to the emperor
    Over the barbarians,
    And by the power of Thy Cross
    Preserve Thy commonwealth.

  5. Mark E. Fisus says

    Regarding domestic surveillance, our law enforcement agencies haven’t always been above reproach. Just ask Black people today. James Comey has written that as FBI director he kept on his desk his predecessor J. Edgar Hoover’s order to surveil Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a reminder of what not to do.

    Regarding hate groups, our law enforcement agencies do not police words, but actions. But words that direct others to use violence or otherwise constitute coordination of violent acts are not and never have been protected speech — these are considered part of the violent act.

  6. “Is Bartholomew working for the State Department again?”

    When was he let go?

    This is probably “much ado”. I suppose we’re all free to report on each other. Interesting that Darth Varth is interested in the amount of interaction between Russian priests and Greeks. Could be paranoia. Could be intelligence gathering. I mean, State could have tasked him with spying on parishes of Russian extraction in the US. I could see that. Never forget the “Living Church” experience. C’pole will turn on the Russian Orthodox in a heartbeat. Ask the UOC.

    PS: My comment above ended up under the wrong article. May have been my fault. Not really important.

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      C’pole will turn on the Russian Orthodox in a heartbeat. Ask the UOC.

      But the UOC is not Russian, donchaknow. Metropolitan Onufriy would not appreciate your talking about his independent church like that.

      “Is Bartholomew working for the State Department again?”

      What evidence is there that that was ever the case? Don’t get me wrong, his papal pretensions are quite evident, but there’s a simple explanation for that — he’s a prideful human who has a high opinion of himself. There is no evidence that his papalism is part of some grand deep state conspiracy.

      There is one patriarch, actually two, who we know did work for the state. According to material from the Soviet archives, the person now known as Patriarch Kirill was a KGB agent, as was his predecessor Patriarch Alexei.

      • Google what “What Met. Onuphry & Jeremiah Denton Have in Common.”

      • I actually have little patience with the whole mess, Met. Onufry included. It’s all Russia as far as I’m concerned – Great Russia, Little Russia and White Russia.

        Read a book.

        They are all Eastern Slavs and until very recently all spoke Russian as a second language at a minimum, but mostly first. The Ukrainian language was resurrected for political purposes but is more of a frontier dialect mixed with Polish due to the Poles having ruled parts of it in the past.

        As to the Fanar, it is widely known to have been on the State Department payroll since the Truman Administration at the latest. They had a free choice. Russian clergy under the Soviets did not.

        • Jeff Moss says

          I spent the summer of 2000 in Kiev and hung out with young Ukrainians every day for 2 months. During that whole time I met 2 people (a teenager from a rural area, and an older man also from Western Ukraine) whose native language was Ukrainian. All the rest spoke Russian.

          I know things have changed since then, but still…

        • Johann Sebastian says

          In my family—who are from the area around Galicia and Transcarpathia—the difference between Russians and Ukrainians is this:

          Russians are Orthodox.
          Ukrainians are Catholic apostates who persist in their error and make excuses for our Polish and Austrian overlords.

          We’re Orthodox, therefore we’re Russians. “Ukrainian” as an ethnonym is like those funny pronouns people make up these days. It’s phony, and was made up to legitimize a political and religious agenda imposed by those who hate Rus’ and Orthodoxy.

          • Funny you should say this. It is similar
            to the situation that obtains in the UK.

            There are Scots, English, [Northern] Irish and Welsh. Then there are the British, whose identity was created by the overlords of the British State. These are the descendants of the “thirty thousand thieves who
            crossed the channel and stole England in 1066” [Tom Johnston],
            rooted out Orthodoxy and imposed Roman Catholicism.

          • Johann,

            There is a whole cultural historical dynamic lying behind the Transcarpathia thing. “Ukrainians” have persecuted Rusyns there on and off for quite some time. Thus the Rusyns have historically had more of a fondness for Russia (and vice versa) and often identified as such.

            That is the tragedy of the whole thing: This is about disloyal/traitorous Eastern Slavs identifying as “Ukrainians” siding with a dying empire located half a world away against their own people and mother civilization in a Rus’ civil war. Slavs (note: I’m Russian and Scandinavian on my mother’s side) are d*mn fierce in our intratribal conflicts but we reserve the worst venom for those who interdict in these family affairs. Putin has been out of step in this regard with respect to his policy of prosecuting the war in a reserved manner.

            This is why I believe, ultimately, that the “Little Russians” will reorient themselves in time toward Great Russia and unleash all the pent-up malice from the betrayal and lies that led to this sordid affair against the West.

            Unintended consequences.

            Consider the Chechens (not Slavs), also led down the primrose path by the West. They are now among the Russian military’s most fearsome shock troops. That dynamic may be stronger in the Ukraine.

        • Mark E. Fisus says

          It’s all Russia as far as I’m concerned

          Hey President Putin is that you?

          • I’m flattered. After all, Putin is dead on correct. If he has a weakness in the matter, it is over strategizing rather than going in hard and fast as he did with the Chechens. But I give him the benefit of the doubt. He is slowly destroying Western economies and creating a Better World Order.

            God save the Tsar!

  7. Joseph Lipper says

    This probably has to do with the Slavic Vicariate. As I understand it, there is a parish in New Jersey that had a lawsuit, I believe with ROCOR, over parish property taken by a priest who vanished. ROCOR wanted to shut the parish down, but instead the parish joined the Greek Archdiocese. Most likely, the EP is just trying to get some more clarity on the matter.

  8. That clarity, in the style of His Intergalactedness, may include a search for other parishes he can steal from ROCOR.

  9. Nate Trost says

    Worth noting that there is really no movement on the political or military front towards a direct NATO intervention in Ukraine. In either realm that involves a lot of effort that could never be kept under wraps. I simply don’t see it happening, short of Russia directly attacking a NATO country, which I also don’t see happening.

    It seems pretty likely that Gerasimov’s ‘winter offensive’ has largely culminated. At great cost, things are still largely where they were in December. I view Bakhmut as mostly separate from that effort, although my previous assumptions that Ukraine would ultimately have to cede the city may not come to pass. While capture is still absolutely possible, there are indications that the Russian assault on Bakhmut is running out of steam. It’s really another data point underlining how the Ukrainians really are running their own war. Plenty of barrels of ink spilled and recommendations made over whether it was time to withdraw, but Kyiv decided to reinforce and continue to make a stand.

    Generally speaking, I’m not expecting too much during peak mud season. The big question is how much did Russia degrade their future offensive potentialy (not to mention defense) running a premature campaign. Ukraine is absolutely going to run a spring campaign, the question is when, how and where. We know the high level goals for their force generation strategy, but it remains to be seen how well it has gone. Western militaries will have a general idea, but that isn’t being shared. If the past is any judge, Ukraine is playing their cards close to their chest and not even the US knows what the operation plan is.

    • Muh, Ukronazis have been defeated, Russia is winning, the Ukrainians are actually Polish mercenaries, Ukrainians are receiving Russians as liberators and throwing flowers at them, Bakhmut has been liberated, Zelensky is in Miami, Ukrainians are LGBTXQ+, Ukronazis have lost 500.000 soldiers, Putin will parade on Kiev tomorrow, its all part of Trump’s plan, he is still the president.

  10. Could it perhaps be that NJ parishes might be considering switching allegiances to MP/ROCOR due to Elpedes shenanigans? Just a thought.

    • Father,

      Both yours and Joseph’s comment above seem to be reasonable possibilities.

      But with regard to yours, I would think Antiochian parishes would provide more ‘natural’ a fit for disaffected members of the GOA. Their traditions are more similar and thus represent less of a ‘jarring’ change to traditional Greek piety – unless, I suppose, an Antiochian parish is dominated by Arabs who eschew the use of English.

      I write this as one who worships in the Russian tradition but has been in many places over the years.

  11. Fr Josiah Trenham on the persecutions going on in the Ukraine:

  12. Well, the real Stasi was frightening, forceful, and intimidating.

    The senior leadership of the GOA is none of the above.

    Their M.O. is very feminine-style, passive aggressive, pathetic attempts at shaming.

    Serious Orthodox Christian faithful have no problems ignoring the senior GOA/Istanbul leadership.

    The real Stasi would probably be insulted to be associated with them.

  13. Dr John Campbell watches his words…

    Vaccination v excess deaths, correlation study

    [Video – 14:51]

    Slam dunk?
    Slam dunk!

  14. Nonclinical Evaluation Report
    BNT162b2 [mRNA] COVID-19 vaccine

    Submission No: PM-2020-05461-1-2
    Sponsor: Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
    January 2021

    Dr John Campbell: TGA document revelations

    [Video – 21:18]

    ‘No data…not tested…don’t know…’

    And they knew they didn’t know
    when they authorised the jabs…