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18308Re: The Vanishing Russians Parts I-III: What Responsibility Has the MP Taken?

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  • Mike Woodson
    Oct 31 7:49 PM
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      I would take the opposite approach. Read the reports and then cross
      check the factual representations with other sources. I did that. By
      the comments that immediately came out of the usual corners, I could
      tell that they were not made having carefully read the reports or
      checked on the data referred to in them.

      It is convenient to try to discredit the source of reports by "who
      they are," such as Fr. John Shaw did, before reading. That's how the
      entire Russian government and MP operate: by sticking their heads in
      the sand and hoping the Russian population goes away without
      scrutinizing them. They're going away alright.

      Fr. John Shaw suggested that because the woman reporter who wrote the
      LA Times series was named "Kim Murphy" that was somehow suspicious. He
      also assumed that because she was not Orthodox, she might not know
      anything about the Church. Well, you don't have to know much about the
      Church to report on the realities in Russia. It is easy enough for the
      reader to read other information about the MP and make the connection
      between its leadership, power access, and emphases and the status quo
      in Russia reported on by such as Kim Murphy. Sound Irish, do you think
      she might be named for a Celtic Orthodox saint?

      Here are data sources that I checked for consistency or inconsistency
      with the LA Times articles' facts, which, by the way, checked out:

      (1) Rand study which uses Russian data for its demographic analysis
      and historical study of USSR and now Russian demographics. I linked to
      and excerpted that study in previous posts here.

      (2) CIA Factbook data on Russia updated this month, including vital
      demographic stats.

      (3) State Department Country Report 2003, Russia, cited and linked to
      in my post.

      (4) Statements by MP Archbishop Clement of Kaluga and Borovsk, a
      leader of external affairs for the Patriarchate of Moscow, related to
      Episcopal Church in a NY visit in 1998 about the state of the Russian
      Church and Russia, and what it planned to build. Reproduced and cited
      here. Now, where are all the rebuilded hospitals since 1992? He noted
      that the Orthodox hospitals had been destroyed by the Bolsheviks and
      had to be rebuilt. Have they been? How many? Where are they?

      (5) Time Magazine recent report on the murder of the journalists in
      Russia and other sources on same topic.

      (6) Johnson's Russia report.

      (7) Yahoo News! / AP / ITAR-TASS / Pravda / Novaya Gazeta / WSJ / The
      Economist . . .

      (8) Conversations with visitors returning from Russia.

      And what some people here seem to be saying is that these reports are
      just part of one big Russophobic conspiracy to destroy Russia.

      My answer to that is, no one could do a better job at destroying
      Russia than the Russian regime and the MP in how they have neglected
      the Russian people while handling the transition, fully cognizant of
      Russia's problems. Perhaps the leadership just snapped, seeing the
      enormity of the job ahead; the elites of state decided to party and
      finance friends in exchange for favors; and the elites of the Moscow
      Patriarchate decided to store up for themselves the things that moth
      and rust can destroy.

      Was it overwhelming to take on that task? Surely it was, however, the
      time for asserting control for the transition was at the beginning,
      letting off as the Russian people and economy made the adjustment. Now
      what is needed is investment, or else not all of the control in the
      world will stop the catasrophe that must follow because a lack of
      investment in the Russian people, their infrastructure and their
      health. True spirituality at the helm of the Moscow Patriarchy would
      make the authoritarian controls by Putin's administration unnecessary.

      Now, instead of the USSR financing the worldwide communist revolution,
      the RF state and Church leadership have been financing the elite and
      themselves, as Sebastian Smith of Time pointed out. Who suffers? The
      good, brilliant, kind and innately spiritual Russian people. One of
      the greatest resources for the rest of the world gets knocked off with
      democide by the most ruthless and greedy among them who seek power
      dishonestly while they wait to be led honestly. It confirms that the
      devil is truly in control of the world and the flesh.

      The Russian people have been conditioned to just "go along to get
      along." It was beat into them. And more recently, they're just not up
      to protesting because so many of them are sick and dying or scrambling
      to make a living.

      I can speak for myself: I speak out to save Russian lives. I know that
      if Russian lives are saved, and survival times go up, more Russians
      will be able to get baptized, go to Church and live an Orthodox life
      before they die. That's priority one. If they do that, the sooner St.
      Seraphim of Sarov's prophecy about Russia's true spiritual greatness
      comes true. And I'd like to be alive to benefit from that or see my
      children benefit from Holy Russia on her feet again. Not another USSR

      Then, I also know that the Orthodox Christian culture will survive as
      Russian birthrates increase again with heavy investment in the medical
      infrastructure to get it turned around. This will insure that the
      second largest nuclear, biological and chemical arsenal in the world
      does not fall into the hands of a Muslim Russia halfway through this
      next century. As I see it, Muslim Russia is an oxymoron. And the
      people who are insuring that oxymoron for the future are just plain


      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "V. Boitchenko"
      <tompkins440@...> wrote:
      > Mike,
      > All three articles come from the same source and are written by the
      same author. Before even reading the articles, do we know the author?
      Do we know what her experience is? Do we know that she is not just
      another Russophobe who hates Russia, and see everything only in dark
      colors? My main question is how reliable is the source?
      > viatcheslav
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Mike Woodson
      > To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 9:48 PM
      > Subject: [orthodox-synod] The Vanishing Russians Parts I-III: What
      Responsibility Has the MP Taken?
      > This discussion hinges on the facts reported in the following articles
      > published in the L.A. Times earlier this month, and what they tell us
      > about the true colors of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian
      > Federation regime.
      > A Dying Population
      > 05.story?coll=la-home-headlines>
      > For the Sick, No Place to Turn
      > 57312.story?coll=la-home-headlines>
      > The Future Looks a Lot More Diverse
      > 1059.story?coll=la-home-headlines>
      > In a Battered City, Gravestones Tell the Story of a New Russia
      > 118.story?coll=la-home-headlines>
      > Reading the above articles is prerequisite to discussing the merits of
      > the following arguments that I make from the facts reported:
      > 1. The Moscow Patriarchate and the Patriarch in power for the past 15
      > years have not pushed for the building of hospitals affiliated
      with the
      > Orthodox Church, but have rather accepted government funds for the
      > building of beautiful and ornate churches. True religion is taking
      > of the orphan and widow, however, buildings and literature have
      > that at MP HQ. Therefore, the Moscow Patriarchate has been
      complicit in
      > a regime of systematic neglect and ill-conceived transition from
      > communism to a democratic republic, favoring its own title to
      > rather than obtaining government land grants for the purpose of
      > developing religious and spiritually centered health care
      facilities to
      > treat the Russian people, care for the needs of the poor, and love the
      > neighbor. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you
      > care. That goes for giving literature to hungry families and building
      > buildings for dying people who will likely not be able to come to them
      > as they get sicker and sicker without help. The very rich will come,
      > because they can afford health care in Russia. And frankly, their
      > attention has been the Moscow Patriarchate's focus. Bring the big
      > to Church. Has anyone seen this subtle attitude operational in their
      > parishes? Does money go to poor Russian emigres first, and then to the
      > building fund? Or is it the opposite? Let every soul with that
      > answer that one for themselves and then ask: what are we doing? Is it
      > right?
      > 2. The Russian Federation government of Vladimir Putin, who has
      put his
      > personal stamp on Russian government and law, has criminally neglected
      > health care and agricultural development spending and reforms that
      > have made the transition from communism to a democratic republic
      with a
      > quasi-free market more orderly and beneficial. Instead, a fully-free
      > gangster economy, such as the kind the U.S. corrected in its own
      > history, took off. Not only Yeltsin, but Putin, and Putin's "partners"
      > among Russian parties, organizations, and business, have collectively
      > fed their own political and business interests in said environment
      > rather than tending to the needs of the Russian majority in true
      > Orthodox Christian fashion. Only just this past month, the Putin
      > has suddenly (!) discovered the aweful state of health care in Russia
      > and its republics, and has announced oil profits to be spent on that
      > system.
      > 3. If we have seen a spiritual revival in Russia, why has health care
      > for the people of Russia, most of whom make up the backbone of the
      > Church in Russia, been so neglected. And, why has clean-up of
      > industrially toxic and radiation stained lands been neglected? Do the
      > people not rate highly enough? Or, should they, in obeisance to their
      > hierarchical leaders, just shut up and not protest. Well, those who
      > suffer the consequences of these disastrous priorities are too weak,
      > sick and tired to protest -- or, drunk on whatever form of alcohol or
      > alcohol substitute they can get their hands on to anesthesize
      > And so, while the MP trumpets opposition to the sins of secularism in
      > other countries, it does not preach about its own materialism which
      > takes place in neglect of the dire needs of the Russian people.
      > 4. Nor does the MP preach, at risk to itself, against the criminal
      > neglect of the Putin regime, because it has a conflict of interest
      > receiving building funds and properties from the regime. The MP is not
      > using those resources to care for the basic human needs of the
      people of
      > Russia as it could. It prefers buildings to people. The Lord said, "As
      > you do to the least of these, so you do also unto me." That is the
      > bottom line for true religion in Christ if the Bible is relevant
      to the
      > MP. Is the Holy Bible still relevant to governing the MP in
      conduct and
      > not just in all of the pious sounding things it announces?
      > Below I reproduce two key paragraphs buttressing my arguments of
      > neglect, and specifically, because the paragraphs discussed conditions
      > of 3 years ago, versus the LA Times report now, I argue that the
      > Patriarchate, acting as the social policy arm of the government, has
      > been partially responsible for these status quos. At the time of the
      > below report excerpts from a 2003 US State Department Country Report
      > <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27861.htm> , Patriarch
      > Alexei II who had been asserting that there had been a spiritual
      > in Russia back in 2003, had been in office for twelve years (12) when
      > the below statistics about the MP's government power, and about
      > children came out. What is said, and what is done, is yet again
      > different. The virtous thing is written or said, and the reality is
      > something else. See how this applied to children in 2003:
      > The status of many children has deteriorated since the collapse of
      > communism because of falling living standards, an increase in the
      > of broken homes, and domestic violence. Authorities cited 253,000
      > parents in 2001 for leaving children on the street unattended, up from
      > 248,000 in 2000. In Moscow, approximately 6,000 children per year were
      > brought to the Center of Temporary Isolation of Minor Delinquents
      > (COVINA). These children stayed in COVINA for no more than 30 days.
      > During this period, the child's case was investigated, and his or her
      > guardian was located; however, in 90 to 95 percent of these cases, the
      > police simply returned the children to their families or to the
      > institution from which the children ran away. Many officials
      > domestic problems private affairs and preferred not to interfere.
      > Trafficking in children was a problem (see Section 6.f.)."
      > Figures for homeless children were unreliable. According to the
      > of Labor, there were estimates from 100,000 to 5 million neglected
      > children in Russia. In 2002, about 681,000 vagrant children were
      > detained by law enforcement agencies, 2.5 times the 2001 rate. About
      > 50,000 adolescents were on the local and federal wanted lists in 2002,
      > 13.5 percent more than in 2001. The Russian Children's Fund
      estimated in
      > 2001 that there were approximately 2.5 million children living on the
      > street, although other estimates reached as high as 4 million;
      > scientific studies used differing methodologies to count street
      > children. During the year, Moscow authorities indicated that 40,000
      > working street children lived in the capital but claimed 80
      percent were
      > from places other than Moscow. In addition, there were approximately
      > 3,000 young persons ageed 18 to 24 in Leningrad Oblast, most of them
      > discharged from state institutions and given state housing, who had
      > difficulty maintaining a residence and adapting to non-institutional
      > life in general. Homeless children often engaged in criminal
      > received no education, and were vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse.
      > Some young girls on the street turned, to or were forced into,
      > prostitution in order to survive.
      > And here is the report on the Moscow Patriarchate's true
      relationship to
      > the Russian government, indicating its influential, yet apparently
      > ineffectual and neglectful role during these years:
      > Many religious minority groups and NGOs complained of what they
      > was collusion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state.
      > the Constitution nor the 1997 law accords explicit privileges or
      > advantages to "traditional religions;" however, many politicians and
      > public figures argued for closer cooperation with them, above all with
      > the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow Patriarchate. Public
      statements by
      > some government officials, including President Putin, and anecdotal
      > evidence from religious minority groups, suggested that the Russian
      > Orthodox Church increasingly enjoyed a status that approached
      > The Church has entered into a number of agreements with government
      > ministries giving it special access to institutions such as schools,
      > hospitals, prisons, the police, the FSB, and the army. The Russian
      > Orthodox Church appears to have had greater success reclaiming
      > pre-revolutionary property than other groups, and many religious
      > believed that the Russian Orthodox Church played a role in the
      > cancellation of visas held by non-Orthodox foreign religious workers.
      > The child neglect problem was actually worsening 11 years into
      > Alexei II's reign over the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. Same
      > the broken family problem. And if you consider health care part of
      > Christian ministry, as I do, there were apparently very few if any
      > attempts by the MP to spearhead reforms in on that front for the past
      > fifteen (15) years.
      > Neglect kills people just as sure as abortion does. St. Paul said, "He
      > who knows to do good, but does not do it, to him that is a sin."
      > It is this Moscow Patriarchate that the ROCOR stands to legitimize by
      > lifting the suspension on communion. The suspension was never
      > the same communion between those members of the Russian Church in
      > and Outside of Russia. It was always for the purpose of bringing
      the MP
      > to repentance and Russia to freedom. The information on record shows a
      > stunning bankruptcy in ethics at the MP for allowing its conflict of
      > interest and cronyism with the Kremlin to numb it to the need to
      > out and be the conscience and the moral leadership in getting the
      > government and business to act to improve the health, welfare and
      > development of Russia-at-Large.
      > Is the Moscow Patriarchate that has still not repented of these
      > really what the ROCOR wants to legitimize with the lift on the
      > suspension of communion planned for 2007, given what we know of
      the MP's
      > unrepentant priorities over these past 15 to 20 years?
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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