Ijov’s Blog

January 18, 2009

Masons behind drive around Da Vinci Code

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Interview with professor Andrey Kurayev

A. Kurayev

A. Kurayev

Standing behind the stormy campaign around the Da Vinci Code are Masons whose aim is to marginalize the Christian Church

Deacon Andrey Kurayev, professor at Moscow Theological Academy and well-known Orthodox theologian, sought to dispel some of the myths underlying and referred to in the Da Vinci Code novel, in an interview to Interfax-Religion.

– The stormy campaign around the Da Vinci Code, unexpected but also intriguing for many, has unwittingly put in one’s head the thought about its possible instigators. Simply speaking, qui prodest – who benefits from it?

– The Da Vinci Code is a typical conspiracy work with the principal aim to say that the world is ruled by secret lodges. There is too much fantasy in Brown’s novel. But the very story of its promotion proves the truth of its principal affirmation. Indeed, artistically Mr. Brown’s novel is a clear nil: the cartoon-like protagonists lacking any inner depth and credibility unfold through the plot to fit ultimately in a put-up puzzle. Every action is a cliché adapted to a certain super-goal of propaganda nature. The more so as the book has no academic value.

However, the campaign that advertised first the book and then the film points to very serious funds and resources invested in this project.

The development around the novel can be described as nothing else than another volley fired in ages-old cold war between the Masons and the Catholic Church. It was a real Masonic structure acting in our world that revealed itself in the advertising campaign around Mr. Brown’s book.

I am not one of those who maintain that all that happens around us is linked with the Masons, but I believe it idiotism to ignore the presence of these closed elite structures in the fabric of society beginning from the 18th century to this day. There are open Masonic editions in which they commend themselves and there are openly existing recruit club such as Rotary Club and Lyons Club.

And now we see the ways in which one of the Masonic main goals is realized, and they do not conceal it. It is marginalization of the traditional Christian Church. The apologists of the Da Vinci Code have used all possible places including the Cannes Film Festival stair carpet to try to assure everyone that the book is a mere light fiction.

If it is a fiction, everyone is free to fantasize at will. But the Da Vinci Code commends itself from the first page as a research work. Already the third paragraph on the first page maintains that ‘all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate’.

But opening the page with a description of Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks, we read: ‘Mary was holding one hand high above the head of infant John and making a decidedly threatening gesture – her fingers looking like eagle’s talons…’ How can it be an objective and credible description of Leonardo’s painting? It is enough to look at the bright Image of Mary on this canvas to realize she was not going to ‘threaten’ anybody with ‘talons’.

By the way, Brown (perhaps following the tradition of Mexican soup-operas) confused the babies: Mary’s hand is hanging in a protective gesture over the head of Jesus. This baby is clearly smaller than the one embraced by Mary, as Jesus was junior to John by half a year, and the London’s version of the same painting features a tall cross-like staff in the hand of the Precursor, pointing clearly who is where. Langdon therefore is wrong to wonder why Da Vinci’s ‘baby John was blessing Jesus… and Jesus was submitting to his authority’.

Equally biased is the description of the Last Supper. In the original, Peter’s hand simply lies on John’s shoulder in an encouraging gesture. In the Code, John is identified with Mary Magdalene.

– And what about the description of documents?

– The ‘Grail’ of the novel represents ‘thousands of ancient documents as scientific evidence that the New Testament is false testimony’. We read on, ‘the Bible represents a fundamental guidepost for millions of people on the planet, in much the same way the Koran, Torah, and Pali Canon offer guidance to people of other religions’. Let us forgive him a popular amateurish mistake of opposing the Bible and the Torah. But what is this holy Pali Canon? Pali is the language in which some of the Buddhist texts are written. Brown’s protagonists are skilled in identifying and interpreting allegories. But in spite of their Gnostic statement that ‘religious allegory has become a part of the fabric of reality’, they are inclined to understand ‘Jesus’ kisses’ more than literally.

The funniest thing in Brown’s book from the point of view of a religious researcher is an attempt to present early Christian heretics (Gnostics), who wrote the ‘Gospels’ he refers to as those who look benevolently at the world, flesh, marriage, sex, woman. In reality the Gnostics just as neo-Platonic heathens were ashamed of their corporal nature. The key affirmation of the ‘Gospel of Judas’ so much boosted by the ‘Priory of Sion’ is that ‘cosmos is hell’. We read in the ‘Gospel of Thomas’: ‘He who has found the world has found a corpse’.

A similar garbling is used by this author when he alleges that Gnostics and their apocrypha asserted the human nature of Christ, contrary to the orthodox who deified Christ. Quite the contrary, the Gnostic ‘Gospels’ say almost nothing about the earthly life of Christ (not all the apocrypha are written by Gnostics; some, exactly those which give more biographical details, have their origin in folklore). The principal affirmation made by the Da Vinci Code in religious research is that Christianity has borrowed all its ideas and symbols from heathenism. This idea was very much in fashion in the 19th century, but modern religious research, including secular studies, no longer believes that. The principal idea of Christianity is that the One Pre-Eternal God, the Creator of the Universe, became Man precisely freely, for His love of human beings, not for the sake of solving some inner problems and intrigues, and He sacrificed Himself for the sake of human beings.

Another typical educational Masonic idea, which was long rejected even by atheistic religious studies, is that the entire evolution of religion is realization of the will to power, and that the clergy elaborate a doctrine in their own self-interest. Here again we arrive at a contradiction. If everything in Christianity has been borrowed from heathenism so bright and feministic, why then Christianity has come out so ‘dark’? Is it possible that heathen sages and priests pursued their own self-interests when they created their ‘symbols of the feminine principle’?

A lot of affirmations in the Da Vinci Code are easily refuted by an address to primary sources and academic publications.

Brown maintains that for the three centuries of hunting witches the Inquisition burnt five millions women, including midwives. With these quantities it is strange that there is anybody at all remaining in Western Europe.

Another Brown’s ‘credible’ allegation is that the First Ecumenical Council decided which Gospels were to be considered authentic and which imaginary. But no sources of the 4th century mentioned anything to this effect. Nor any of the 5th century sources mentioned that.

The version that it was the Council of Nicea that established the biblical canon was first voiced in Lebellus synodicus published in 1601 by John Pappus, a theologian in Strasbourg. It is evident from this that he was in no way a contemporary of the 325 Council. The work of Mr. Brown abounds with strained arguments of this kind – the fact that does not allow of taking it as scientifically correct in the least. But the publicity around the Code is built on the kaleidoscope of mutually exclusive assurances. Thus, at one point it is said all of a sudden that the book is ‘a pure fiction, so do not scold us’, but a moment later the same advertising agents begin to pontificate that Brown has finally established the great truth and we now know the truth about Christianity.

– Your greatest surprise when reading the novel?

– The absence of the Masonic fable about a Church council that was allegedly held in antiquity to discuss with all the seriousness whether woman should be considered to be human being or not and to adopt by a one-vote majority the presence of soul in ‘old women’ as well. It is the favorite Masonic feministic fable. Strangely, Brown did not play with it. Perhaps he is yet an apprentice. He is lacking erudition or saving this trump card for his next novel.

I was also surprised at the somewhat childish codes. As I was reading the book I found four clues on my own, while Langdon was still toiling over them.

– What reaction to the story of the Da Vinci Code you think would be the most adequate and successful?

– A scientific analysis of some pages from Brown would be quite relevant and it is not difficult to make it. An analysis will show immediately that before us is a poor fiction which set itself the task to insult the faith of millions of people in the world. And this is exactly the falsehood of the so-called fiction. Picket lines at movie theatres will not be helpful. Those who have decided to stand in them will do it anyway. The picket lines will rather attract those who are indifferent. It would be better to commission an analysis of Brown’s book to religious researchers and theologians and to publish a leaflet, or even better a parody, and to distribute their copies at movie theatre entrances. I would suggest this title for the leaflet: ‘Brown-anti-duping Aid’.

– Is it a sin to see the film?

– No, it is not a sin, what is sinful is killing time, like playing cards. One can see a lot of things. The question is how one relates to what one has seen.



January 1, 2009

Interview with professor Alexei Osipov

According to INTERFAX Agency, 407 people have been killed in Moscow in the past several years as a result of terrorist acts. The tragedy in Beslan took away between 338 and 450 lives, including children’s, casualties in Northern Osetia total 1221 people. Not to mention the number of lives wrecked by the tragedies , tears shed and hopes lost. One cannot measure all the pain in the souls of those who have lost their family and friends forever.

Witnessing the events and meeting the participants we often hear: ‘Why?’ or ‘What did my nine-year-old do to deserve it? Why did I have to collect her body in pieces after the explosion of the metro car? I have never been interested in dirty political games, black market or oil wars. I love my job. I worshipped my wife and daughter who I have lost…Why?’

Today we talk to Alexei Osipov, the Professor of Moscow Theological Academy, a famous scientist, theologian and public commentator.

– Professor, the first question is in the air today, the question of those who probably have more faith than cynicism. One rural school teacher voiced it after the capture of hostage and death of children in Beslan. What is happening?

– The question is simple and original. But similar events happen throughout human history, even when you could count existing people on one hand. Even back then, Cain killed Abel.

Christians among us can clearly see that the state of the soul of the modern man and the state of the society is deeply unhealthy, otherwise there would be no war. If you think of it, what does mankind strive for throughout its history? – for happiness, peace, justice, harmony and love…What is our history filled with? Wars, violence, slavery and cruelty.

Admittedly once people used to think that human imperfection is to blame, and that humans would grow and get better and better, and that time would come – 18th, 19th, 20th century at the latest, when mankind would reach the peak of its development. But the amount of violence and blood shed in the 20th century exceeded the cruelty of all the preceding ages. Christianity alerts us to this fact, this reality, but it also reminds us that each of us has good and evil within us, i.e. healthy and unhealthy nature. Which of them we would grow and nourish depends only on us. The sum of individual personalities make up the spiritual heart of a nation, country and all humankind. There is an immutable law – spirit creates a form for itself.

It is just amazing, how in our contemporary world things are actively put, planted, forced into human souls. Have you ever thought why, figuratively speaking, there is 99% of filth and only 1% of good things on TV? What is the reason for that? Who wants it? Don’t we understand, where the spreading of immorality, violence and cruelty would lead to? Nonetheless, this is the reality of life not only in Russia, but in the rest of the civilized world.

– Is it because of the character of human desires and values?

– Well yes, but if, for example, a referendum was held, then I am sure more than two thirds of any country population would speak against the predominance of the evil in any mass media. By the way, that would be a democratic principle and the voice of the majority. Nevertheless, all this filth is in somebody’s interest.

– Certain individuals’ interest? Many talk and write about secret societies, about how they ‘‘play chess” with entire nations on their world chess-board.

– Perhaps such people exist. They got together and created secret societies. But what for? What would they gain?

– Maybe, they are fighting for the general principle of power, which goes together with the crown jewels and all the paraphernalia of the world dominion?

– The thing is that throughout the human history two natures are fighting, I would call them religious and antireligious – satanic.

Christianity gave the world a standard of life not known by the ancients. A god of the ancient world was fair at best and a personification of cruelty and immorality at worst. Christianity announced that God, that is the Absolute Law of Being – is Love. The humankind hadn’t known that. Christianity revealed the essence of our nature. But also through that, it revealed the opposite in its fullness and brightness as well, the opposite which destroys a man. So throughout our history we witness the struggle of religion and its opposite – anti-religion or Satanism, and this fight gets more and more severe. The way a society develops depends on the extent of its subordination to one of the directions.

– When estimating what is happening today, can you say that all the leading religions are being exterminated?

– All the religions which carry the moral core are being exterminated. Look what is happening. The New Testament says in black and white what sodomy is, however, today a number of Churches already openly justify this phenomenon. There already exist lots of translations of the Holy Scripture into western languages, where these places, for instance, extracts of Apostle Paul’s writings, are either omitted or translated in the opposite way. There is a religious justification of natures directly opposite to those which are the foundation of the human life.

Regard the recent events in the light of this idea. We are horrified by the catastrophe in Beslan without trying to see the origin of the tragedy. You can hear shouts: “This is Islam!’ Sorry, what about Crusades, were they Islamic as well? In what faith can’t we find people who are ready to pervert the teaching, who are spreading something opposite to the religion they profess?

Here is an example from the pre-revolutionary Russian history. It happened during the First World War. The Germans captured several thousands Russian Muslims, and Emperor Wilhelm ordered that they all be sent to an exemplary camp. Marvellous! They even constructed a mosque for them. When everything was finished, a court dignitary arrived to have a look at the job. He was quite please with what he saw. The soldiers were pleased as well, and there were mullahs among them. But the most interesting thing was that they responded to his request to sing a prayer for him. Do you know what they sang? ‘God Save the Tsar’.

Even when the dignitary flailed his hands in indignation, they interpreted his gesture in their own way and fell to their knees, and then sang it three times like that! So, Muslim soldiers always served in the Orthodox Russian Army, and there was no antagonism at all. Really, we can see people living side by side without any hatred.

What is done nowadays? Hatred is kindled, through television, through newspapers. Thus, Beslan works as one of the powerful provocations, so that everyone would rise – ‘let’s go and beat the Muslims’. They count on that.

– Professor, could you suggest who is behind the the conflict?

– To make this kind of suggestions is a politicians’ lot, we can see only the surface, not knowing what goes on behind closed doors, we are unlikely to be allowed in….That is why I don’t want to read the tea leaves: who did it and how. But bear in mind that an equally powerful provocation took place in America on September 11. And who is accused? Muslims. But when the same America devastates Serbia, intrudes in Iraq, when women and children are killed in much greater numbers – it is all right.

Divide and rule – the ancient principle. Christianity is a powerful religion, Islam is a powerful religion…What if we cause a collision between them? Do you remember a story where one tailor won a victory over two giants? Those who have an absolutely different outlook on life are fighting with religion. We cannot believe that Satanism is not just playing games of some young people. Satanism is ideology, I don’t know whose, but there is no doubt that people who have colossal opportunities in this world are infected by this ideology. You can’t explain the facts, like the terrorists in Beslan wouldn’t put forward any demands, they didn’t have any. Why, what is the reason? Nobody answers. The provocation is obvious.

Satanists could be among any nations, any races. As it is known, there is a black sheep in every flock.

– Thus, in this case, oil, money and power are just a mechanism, which supports something much more significant, which never would be mentioned in the news?

– It is not a matter of material gain. Is it profitable for a sadist when he tortures his victim? Ask him – why, he will just smirk. Passion is a horrible thing. We still have no idea what stands behind the term ‘Satanism’. It is evil, and God forbid witnessing the limitlessness of this evil. And this evil, this malice is looking to express itself somehow. Satanism is a force, an acting force. Now even a psychologist could explain some of the formulas of perverse pleasures of our fallen nature , only would portray everything in graver tones. Where is the common sense? Why anyone would like sufferings, blood, and tortures? I can’t find any other explanation from a Christian point of view.

– Professor, if we look at the mechanics of what is happening, we can say that a systematic instigation of war is carried out. Is it a war for extermination?

– It is appears that yes. The first reason is worldly, six billion people – it is a lot. Secondly, religious ideals sicken somebody and are in the way of something. Still too many people at least to a small extent are familiar with an inner idea of ‘wrong’. Hence – divide and rule, and if you can cause to clash nations, a war is unavoidable.

Why does the New Testament speak with such fear about Antichrist and the end of the world, about what people would be like and what awaits them? Because the freedom of evil would be opened. At present a restraining force still exists, there are still many people who haven’t lost their conscience, who fight for the truth and justice, who preach love.

– Is it easy to realise that?

It is very important to show what the meaning of freedom is. Where the true freedom is, and where there is the freedom of arbitrariness.

Genuine freedom is when a man can control himself, he is not at the whim of his passions, and his soul by its nature strives after God-Truth, and this thirst is infinite. The opportunity to “freely” get thrilled in passions brings people down to the level of beasts and results in what we watch in the news, shuddering. We should remember that man by his nature is finer than a beast, and is capable of falling to the devil’s level.

Professor Alexei Osipov was interviewed by Petr Pivkin
Source: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/7191.htm

More about Prof. Osipov:

http://aosipov.ru/video/18_video_lektsii_a_i_osipova_english.html – Lectures of Osipov with English subtitles

http://www.aosipov.ru/texts/POSTHUMOUS.doc – Life after death. Book of Osipov in English.

http://www.aosipov.ru/ -official website of Prof Osipov (in Russian)
http://orthomedia.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=16&Itemid=46 – video lectures by Prof. Osipov (in Russian)
http://www.predanie.ru/mp3/Lekcii_professora_Alekseja_Ilicha_Osipova/ -audio lectures of Alexei Osipov in Russian

November 30, 2007

Letters of St Ambrose of Optina

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Letters of St Ambrose

Saint Ambrosius of Optina

Saint Ambrosius of Optina

From letters of St Ambrose of Optina to different persons, translation from Russian (Prepodobnyj Amvrosiy Optinskiy. Umudryaysya is Smiryaysia. Pisma o dukhovnoy zhizni. M.: Sretenskiy monastery publ. house, 2006). More on Saint Ambrose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Ambrose_of_Optina

“I can see from your letters, that you are getting suspectful, saying that no one can convince you. This is not good. After all you will say: and it is not needed that soomeone would reconvince me. This means that you are very much sure in infallability of your views and conclusions. And this is not good trait, this is sign of big pride. You always ask that God would grant you humility. But Lord does not give it out for free. Lord is ready to help man in acquiring humility as in all good but it is needed that man himself took care for himself. Holy Fathers say: “give blood and receive spirit”. This means work hard til shedding of blood and you will receive spiritual gift. But you are looking for spiritual gifts and ask for that; but to shed blood you regret, that is you want that nobody would touch you, not worry you. And in peaceful life how is it possible to acquire humility? Since humility consists in that when human sees himself worst of all, not only of people, but of mute animals, and even the spirits of evil themselves. And so when people disturb you, you see, that you can not stand this, and you get angry at people, so after all you will view yourself as bad. Or for example: to judge, to suspect others, again after all you will consider yourself as bad. And if you will regret about your badness and wrongness and repremand yourself in uncorrectness, then only you are on the path of humility. One thing seems here not good: what is painful and troubleful is unpleasant. This is true, but it is useful for the soul. And I will say you, waht seems to us: and for soul it is useless. Everything this happens to you eacuse you do not understand spiritual life. But God called the way to Heavenly Kingdom the narrow way. And if none will disturb you and you would be in peace, how would you would be able to get conscious of your shortcomings? You wuld not be able to consider yourself wrong, but sooner you would consider yourself as righteous and perhaps, you would come to the point of going out of your mind, as there were many similar cases even on our eyes. You are sad after you noticed that all try to humiliate you. If they try to humiliate you they want to humble you and you yourself are praying to God for humility. Why then do you get sad at people? You complain about unjustice of people that surround you in relation to you. But if you aiming at to be in Kingdom with Christ Lord, look at Him, how he dealed with enemies surrounded Him: Judas, Annah, Caiaphas, bookers and pharisees, that demanded His death. It seems He did not complain to anyone that His enemies dela with Him unjustly, but in all the horrible sorrows that he received from His enemies, He saw only the will of His Heavenly Father, which He determined Himself to follow and followed until His last breath, despite the fact that those who were the instruments of fulfilling Father´s will were the most iniquitous people. He saw, that they acted blind, in ignorance, and that is why He did not hate them but prayed: Father, forgive them: because they do not know waht they do”.

Do not step in consideration of deeds of people, do not judge, do not say: why is it so, why this? Better say yourself: “What is my business to them? I will not answer for them at the Frightening Judgement of God”. Detract your thought as much as you can from judgements of human deeds, but pray with heart to Lord so that He Himself help you in that; because without God´s help we can not do anything good, as Lord Himself said: Without Me you can not do anything (John 15:5). Stay away from suspectfullness as from fire, because the enemy of human race catches by this humans in his net, that tries to present everything in perverted view: white as black and black as white, same way he dealt with our protofathers Adam and Eve in paradise.”

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