To: Ethan Clive Osgoode; Agrarian
Thanks for this post. Hieromonk Jonah is an interesting character who certainly had the wool pulled over his eyes by the HOOM some years back, but this article is on the money. "Bill" is a prime example of someone suffering from what we call "crazy convert disease". I also note that it was written at a time when Orthodoxy in America was struggling with a certain cult-like disruptive monastic movement headed up by a Greek monk by the name of Ephraim. The GOA Synod has pretty much clipped that fellow's wings, but his monastic hives still exist, mostly attracting crazy converts like "Bill". Ephraim and his fellow travelers and sycophants have been barred from my Metropolitinate for many years, thank God.
posted on 05/15/2005 5:40:41 AM PDT
(Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
To: Kolokotronis; Ethan Clive Osgoode
As K. points out, this is a pretty old article, and it reflects some of the axes being ground at that time. I am unfamiliar with Fr. Jonah ever being a part of the HOOM, but that may very well be.
The HOOM certainly has a checkered past, but most of the people I've met who were part of that organization live pretty straightforward, serious, mainstream Orthodox lives.
From what I understand, Fr.Jonah runs a pretty sober monastery, and I've never heard scare stories coming out of there, so that's always a good sign. He has made a point of building close connections with Valaam monastery in Russia, understanding that any monastic institution in the US needs those connections if it is to be healthy. As K notes, not all monasteries can say that.
This article is also one that exaggerates quite a bit to make some serious points. While I've encountered bits and pieces of "Bill" in any number of people (including myself -- a bit of a "crazy convert" myself), I certainly have never encountered him all wrapped up into one caricature.
posted on 05/15/2005 3:08:31 PM PDT
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