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"The Last True Rebellion"... mentions Fr. Gerasim

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    (This article, which mentions Igumen Gerasim-Gordon Eliel, appeared on the Sretensky Monastery website today.) http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/55291.htm The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2012
      (This article, which mentions Igumen Gerasim-Gordon Eliel, appeared on the Sretensky Monastery website today.)

      http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/55291.htm

      The Last True Rebellion

      <table id="art55291" style="margin:20px;" border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0><tr><td style="font-family:Arial;font-size:13px;padding:30px 30px 20px 30px;border:1px solid #cccccc;background:#ffffff;"><a href="http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/55291.htm" style="color:black;text-decoration:none;border:none;" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.pravoslavie.ru/sas/image/100698/69833.t.jpg" border=0 align="left" style="margin:0px 10px 10px 0px;border:1px solid black;float:left;"><em style="display:block;color:#792e00;padding-bottom:2px;"></em><strong style="display:block;font-size:17px;text-transform:uppercase;text-decoration:underline;">The Last True Rebellion</strong><em style="display:block;padding:2px 0px 0px 0px;line-height:103%;font-size:15px;text-transform:none;"></em><span style="display:block;padding:5px 0px 10px 0px;">At a time when the press both within Russia and beyond is raking through the events surrounding a group of punk rock girls who
      gained a previously elusive notoriety by blaspheming on the solea of the Russia’s preeminent Christ the Savior Cathedral as if it were a stage, it seems appropriate to mention a group of punks in the U.S. who have found the answer to their angst in Orthodox Christianity.</a></span></td></tr></table>
        At a time when
      the press both within Russia and beyond is raking through the events surrounding
      a group of punk rock girls who gained a previously elusive notoriety by
      blaspheming on the solea of the Russia’s preeminent Christ the Savior Cathedral
      as if it were a stage, it seems appropriate to mention a group of punks in the
      U.S. who have found the answer to their angst in Orthodox Christianity. The punk
      movement in Russia was most certainly imported. How ironic it is that these
      American punks have found their “last true rebellion” in Orthodoxy, a religion
      brought to the U.S. from Russia.
      This article was taken from the website of the “Death to the World” ‘zine.

      In the wilderness of Northern California, Monks John and Damascene searched
      in hopes of finding a way to reach out to the Punk scene, which John had
      escaped. Seeing that the scene was full of kids that were sick of themselves and
      crippled by nihilism and despair, the Monks set out to give them the same hope
      that they found in Ancient Christianity. To do this, they decided to submit an
      article about Father Seraphim Rose in the popular magazine, Maximum Rock and
      Roll. When Father Damascene read over the magazine, he knew that they would
      never publish something like it. Struggling to show truth to the darkened
      subcultures, they tried again, but this time only placing an ad for Saint
      Hermans Brotherhood. They got a response from the editor, saying “What the @#*%
      is a Brotherhood?" and the Monks were told “We only run ads for music and
      'zines[1].” A light bulb went
      on and thus, Death to the World was born. The first issue was printed in the
      December of ’94 featuring a Monk holding a skull on cover. The hand-drawn bold
      letters across the top read “DEATH TO THE WORLD, The Last True Rebellion” and
      the back cover held the caption: “they hated me without a cause.” “These kids
      are sick of themselves," says Fr. Damascene, "and they feel out of place in this
      world. We try to open up to them the beauty of God's creation, and invite them
      to put to death ‘the passions,’ which is what we mean by ‘the world.’ God takes
      despair and turns it around to something positive. Selfish passions can then be
      redirected into love for God, as Mary Magdalene did. We talk about the idea of
      suffering because that is what the kids feel most strongly. We show that there
      can be meaning in suffering.”

      The first issue, decorated with ancient icons and lives of martyrs inside,
      was advertised in Maximum Rock and Roll and brought letters from all around the
      world. People from Japan, Lithuania, and Ireland wanted to get their hands on
      this new radical magazine. The mailing list grew and grew and the ‘zine was
      distributed at punks shows and underground hangouts. It was photocopied and
      passed around by hundreds who wanted to read about the radical lives of the
      lovers of truth and the mystery of monasticism. It was estimated that at one
      time, there were 50,000 in circulation. Father Paisius, who is a Monk at the
      monastery, said, "This subculture is raucous and deeply disturbed because of
      their own pain. They see life as worthless. We want to show them an ideal that
      is worth their life. These are marginalized youth who are wounded, and Death to
      the World is meant to touch with a healing hand that wound." Writing and putting
      together issues 1-12, the Monks lived in the forests of Northern California in
      the midst of deer, bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes, translating and
      publishing wisdom from the holy fathers and mothers of ages past. The Monks and
      friends of the monastery also went to rock concerts and festivals, distributing
      Death to the World 'zines and t-shirts, together with icons and other books that
      the monastery published. The Monks did not put out any issues after issue 12,
      but they continued to share and hand out back orders of Death to the World.

      Eight years later, in the gloomy cities of Southern California a group of
      kids, coming out of the remnants of a dying Protestant Punk scene were looking
      for some answers. Desiring something otherworldly, and seeing the efforts of
      Protestant bands crash in flames before them, they looked away from the churches
      they grew up in and were curious about the ascetic ways of their ancient
      Christian Fathers. In hope of finding answers, they looked to the Monks of Saint
      Herman Brotherhood. The monastery's Abbot, Father Gerasim, sent them copies of
      each issue of the 'zine that had inspired so many over the years, together with
      seven of the last copies of the book Youth of the Apocalypse. Reading through
      the pages of these ‘zines one by one, they found what they were looking for, a
      radical Christianity, one very different from what they grew up in. “Something
      had always kept me looking for the 'hardcore', no compromising Christianity,
      because I knew down inside that, if Jesus Christ is God, then Christianity had
      to be the most radical belief in the world.” All of a sudden a small Parish in
      the midst of Orange County was populated with punk-rockers adorned with tattoos
      and piercings. The Parish of Saint Barnabas quickly became known as a “repentant
      rock ‘n’ roll hospital.” John Valadez, a new writer, looking back explained, “We
      kept seeing more people come. People that we never thought would show up stood
      in line with us to receive Holy Baptism. We were greatly inspired by Death to
      the World. It was what we were missing, something far from the emptiness of the
      world, and it spoke to us on our level, in a way we could understand.” Making
      numerous pilgrimages to the wilderness of Northern California to live with the
      Monks for days at a time, the group would take back boxes of old ‘zines to pass
      out at punk shows and to give out to friends. On one of these pilgrimages Father
      Damascene, one of the original writers, said, “Maybe Saint Barnabas should start
      it up again.” On the drive back into Southern California, passing the billboards
      and skyscrapers, the need for a new Death to the World became more graphic in
      our minds. The punk scene, if anything, has gotten worse and the search for
      truth in these woeful times seems almost impossible. The group, in hopes of
      bringing back the truth to the youth of the apocalypse, compiled issue 13 and
      sent it back into the forest of Platina to be edited.

      With the blessing of Father Damascene and Abbot Gerasim, the new generation of Death to the World was born, and the first
      issue after 9 years was printed and sent out to people across the United States
      and Europe. To this day, we continue to write a ‘zine to inspire Truth-seeking
      and soul-searching amidst the modern age of nihilism and despair, promoting the
      ancient principles of the last true rebellion—being dead to this world and alive
      to the other world.
      05 / 08 / 2012
      [1] a zine is a small
      magazine cut and pasted together and handphotocopied on a black and white xerox
      machine.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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