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The GPU on Patriarch Tikhon, describing his "Tight Friendship" with the GPU

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    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.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2006
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      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."
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