The GPU on Patriarch Tikhon, describing his "Tight Friendship" with the GPU
- More from the Archives of the FSB on Patriarch Tikhon.
An extract from the report of the Director of the 6th Section of the
Secret Department of the OGPU E. A. Tuchkov to the Vice Director of
the Department V. R. Menzhinsky, dated February 27, 1924:
THE FREEING OF TIKHON AND BICKERING AMONG THE CHURCHNIKS
"But here Tikhon, who is now under arrest in the Donskoy Monastery
and about whom the whole white emigration and the whole "Black
Hundred" world writes and speaks of as the only person who would
never compromise with the monsters of the human race -- the
bolsheviks--, but stands firmly for the faith of Christ -- undergoing
all sorts of suffering and so on -- remains a "martyr."
"So, before us arose the task of working Tikhon over, so that he
would not only ask forgiveness before the Soviet power, but would
also repent of his crimes and, so doing, would put the monarchists
into a foolish position.
"In truth, we must admit, that here it was necessary to do a great
deal of work with Tikhon; he understood perfectly well that the
matter would not end with repentance, that afterwards, as well, he
would have obey and act according to the directives of the GPU, which
depressed him more than anything, but thanks to the situation created
for Tikhon and the conditions where he was being held under arrest,
and also the correct approach taken with him, it was possible to
persuade Tikhon and he wrote the repentance with his own hand, which,
of course, could not but astound his friends, who considered him
three days before to be an adamant and fearless person.
"In the beginning the white press for a long time did not believe
that this was written by Tikhon himself, and later when it became
clear--there was nothing that they could do except to praise Tikhon
for his tact and farsightedness (the latest news), which he, they
claim, he demonstrated with that act, thus saving the Church from
schism when he returned to its direction.
"In their hidden corridors they deliberated completely differently;
they said they just hoped that this old man would not kick off
something even worse, and the more they found out about the tight
friendship of Tikhon (and the bishops closely associated with him)
with the GPU, then more and more doubts would creep into their minds
and they would become concerned about the activities of the latter;
they started even to try to find out about the reasons for such a
friendship, and with this goal they would send people to him on more
than one occasion, asking him the same questions: "Why did he repent
and why is he friends with the completely inimical to the Church
Lubyanka?" [the Headquarters of the Cheka/GPU/NKVD/KGB - A.L.].
"As a result of all of this a departure from Tikhon has occurred
among the most Black Guardist people, who consider him to be weak and
unstable, and capable of being a dangerous administrator of the
Church, and some of his bishops they are outright calling agents of
the GPU, even describing the amounts of the salary that is being paid
to them by it. In such a way, Tikhon, in the eyes of this
constituency, is losing his previous high authority."