Wednesday, November 22, 2023

What the Spirit of His Dead Aunt Said to Saint Iakovos Tsalikes

Saint Iakovos Tsalikes said:

"Since I was a child, I go to the cemetery every day and think about death. All my relatives have died. Anyway, I commemorate an aunt of mine. I saw the aunt and she told me:

'Ah, my nephew Iakovos, thank you for what you are sending me. You send me a lot, but you know there are other people who are unfortunate and hungry and have no one in the world to think of them, to care for them.'

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Feigning Demonic Possession For Profit

In Canon 60 of the Penthekte Synod in Constantinople which was held in 692, we read the following:
Since the Apostle exclaims that he who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit with Him, it is clear that he who is intimate with His enemy becomes one by his affinity with him. Therefore, those who pretend they are possessed by a devil and by their depravity of manners feign to manifest their form and appearance; it seems good by all means that they should be punished and that they should be subjected to afflictions and hardships of the same kind as those to which they who are truly demonically possessed are justly subjected with the intent of delivering them from the energies of the devil.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

G.K. Chesterton's Defense of Scary Stories from a Christian Perspective

G.K. Chesterton was a mystery writer, literary critic, and revered Catholic theologian. On October 16th 1909, he wrote an article for The Daily News titled "The Nightmare", which is a work of literary criticism regarding why scary stories are so delightful, but also their potential dangers. Unlike later reactionary Christians, Chesterton is fully on board with the telling and enjoying of scary stories, so long as we remember that they are nothing more than "toys".

Many Christians believe scary stories are evil in themselves, because they associate anything scary with what they interpret as bad feelings as opposed to what they interpret is good, but there is no such thing as an evil story, unless the person hearing the story is evil and when hearing it abandons any sense of Christian hope that lies in his heart. A story changes perspective depending on one's beliefs and disposition, and when a true Christian hears a scary story it will always be with a Christian perspective, and as long as the temptation to judge it as merely evil or demonic is avoided, it can be beneficial if the story contains even a kernel of benefit, and usually scary stories do (for example, in scary stories evil is usually viewed as bad and the audience is usually encouraged to root for the good). It is the same as reading the Bible, where one's interpretation of it first and foremost depends on their personal beliefs and disposition - to some it can inspire piety and holiness while to others it could inspire unimaginable horrors, rebellion and even murder.

You can read "The Nightmare" here, though he does touch more on this subject in other writings of his as well. Below is an excerpt:

Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Georgian Orthodox Church Issues a Bizarre Statement on Halloween

UOP Flyer: Halloween – Pagan-Satanist “Holiday”

In 2008, several young Georgians organized an open air Halloween party in downtown Tbilisi. Hundreds attended and a special performance was staged. Everything was going well until a different group of people appeared. Several men lead by a bishop got on the stage, destroyed the DJ equipment and got in a fight with attendees. Later on police intervened and the event was over. Check out a video story by Internews Georgia (here) that contains footage from the party.

The group that crashed the party proclaimed itself as the Union of Orthodox Parents (UOP) and since then they refused to allow any kind of celebration of Halloween in Georgia. According to the Union, it was a party of drug-addicted satanists and these kind of events are bad for Georgia, as if Halloween is what made them alleged drug-addicted satanists.

Friday, October 27, 2023

The Kursi Monastery Where Jesus Healed the Gadarene Demoniacs at the Sea of Galilee

Kursi (Κυρσοί) is located near the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee on the bank of a wadi, Nahal Samakh, descending from the Golan Heights. It is an archaeological site containing the ruins of a Byzantine monastery and identified by tradition as the site where Jesus cast out demons from two men which then went on to possess local pigs which cast themselves into the sea (Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28–34, Luke 8:26-39). The events take place in the land of either the Gerasenes, Gadarenes or Gergesenes (Mark 5:1, Matthew 8:28, Luke 8:26). Part of the archaeological site is now an Israeli national park. Kursi takes its name from the Talmudic site. A marble slab with Aramaic text discovered in December 2015 seems to indicate that the settlement had, as of ca. 500 AD, a Jewish or Judeo-Christian population.

Monday, October 23, 2023

A Critical Examination of an Announcement on Halloween by Orthodox Christians in Greece

The Metropolis of Kifissia, Amaroussion and Oropos and the Metropolis of Piraeus are metropolises under the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece located in the vicinity of Athens. In these Metropolises, like some of the Metropolises in Greece, it has what is called an "Office on Heresies", in which a priest or theologian is designated to make official statements on behalf of the Metropolis regarding various heresies that it sees as posing a threat to its Christian flock. Among these is what they call "An Announcement on Halloween", and this announcement has been making the rounds on Greek websites.
Since what is presented below is often misunderstood by Orthodox Christians and they are mislead by the common misrepresentations presented in this article and others like it, I will make some corrections below the announcement (which I translated into English).

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

What Some Modern Orthodox Elders and Saints Said About Extraterrestrial Life or Life on Other Planets

The phenomenon of UFO's and alien life, in the opinion of many Athonite fathers as well as other spiritual persons, is that all of these are demonic manifestations and belong to the signs that Christ foretold, when He was asked about the end of the world, "and great signs shall there be from heaven" (Luke 21:11). It is a topic usually spoken of in the context of the End Times. Below are a few specific quotes on the topic:

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Question from Professor Z.S.: What can you tell us about the cosmos beyond the earth? Can you tell us whether aliens exist?

Response of Elder Thaddeus: Yes, there are... Only they are the energy of thoughts. It is not material energy as we humans know it. Such creatures as we humans do not exist in the universe. Why? Because only the human race is blessed to "fill" God's earth as the Lord said. "And God blessed them, saying: increase and multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28).

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The Demon and the Prayer Rope

By St. Paisios the Athonite

Once, there was a monk from the Monastery of Saint Paul who had gone to the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos on the island of Kefallonia. During the Divine Liturgy, he stood in the Altar and was praying with his prayer rope - he would noetically say the prayer Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us - while outside they were chanting. They had also brought a possessed person into the church to be cured by Saint Gerasimos. While the monk was saying the prayer in the Altar, the demon was being seared outside and was shouting:

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Church of Saint Paraskevi of the Dragon in Arta of Epirus


The Church of Saint Paraskevi of the Dragon is located 11 kilometers north of Arta in Epirus, above the settlement of Ampelia Ammotopou and 2 kilometers approximately northeast of the provincial road Artas-Hanopoulos-Ammotopou. Isolated in the southern area of Xirovouni, on the smooth slopes of Gelperina, it connects its establishment with the adjacent cave or "dragon hole" as the locals call it.

The legend of the building of the temple, as well as the nickname "of the dragon", is based on the well-known and particularly popular theme of dragon slaying which symbolizes the victory over evil, most popularly associated with Saint George.

According to folk tradition, a dragon lived in the cave, which once a year appeared at the village festival and grabbed the most beautiful maiden. The inhabitants begged Saint Paraskevi to free them from this evil, so the Saint clashed with the monster and killed it. In her honor, the residents erected the small church.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Saint Christina and the Reptiles of the Magicians

Julian, the governor of the city of Tyre, wanting to defeat the young maiden Christina, the invincible Martyr of Christ, at any cost, called magicians and sorcerers, who knew how to bewitch all kinds of reptiles, and ordered them to use their spells to gather a multitude of snakes, vipers and scorpions, and to hurl them all at the Martyr to tire her out with their poisonous bites. When they released the reptiles on the Saint, not a single one hurt her, even though they crawled around her and wrapped themselves around her body. In the immediate vicinity stood a senior witch doctor who, with his incantations and spells, enticed the reptiles to bite the virgin. However, all the reptiles, according to God's order, attacked that soothsayer, bit him and he died at that moment. And the Saint said to the reptiles: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you reptiles: snakes, adders and scorpions, go each to your place, without hurting anyone!"

Monday, April 24, 2023

Saint Eumenios Saridakis, the Demon Possessed Girl and the Miraculous Icon of Saint George

One afternoon in the year 2005, a girl and her father from Larissa visited the Koudouma Monastery in southern Crete, asking to visit the Church of the Panagia.

Entering the church, the girl could not offer veneration, because something prevented her. The father explained to the Abbot that his daughter was suffering from demonic influence and the late Elder Eumenios from the village of Ethia in Crete appeared to her in a vision before this time (they had never heard of him) and urged her persistently to come to his tomb and he would heal her, because, as he told her, He had suffered the same from demons, "only I suffered from pride, while you from blasphemy."

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Gruesome Copper Tripods of Emperor Trajan That Flowed With Grace

When the emperor Trajan reigned [98-117 AD], he not only killed Christians on a daily basis who confessed Christ, but the cursed man threw their holy relics into dishonorable and impure places. At that time there were five nuns [Agalida, Apollinaria, Daria, Mamthusa and Thais] who lived as ascetics in a hermitage and kept the commandments of God. In addition to other virtues, this was also their indispensable labor: collecting the honorable bodies of holy martyrs, anointing them with perfumes, wrapping them in shrouds, and burying them in their hermitage.

Learning of this, Drosis, the daughter of the emperor Trajan, sneaked out of the court one night, and went to these nuns, carrying with her expensive coverings, and asked them to go together and collect some relics of the martyrs.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Documentary Trailer: "Satan Wants You" (2023) Explores the Roots of the Satanic Panic of the 1980's

Premiering at SXSW, Satan Wants You is a new documentary from directors Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams that’s set to explore the infamous “Satanic Panic” wave of the 1980s.

Satan Wants You tells the untold story of how the Satanic Panic of the 1980s was ignited by “Michelle Remembers,” a lurid memoir by psychiatrist Larry Pazder and his patient Michelle Smith. Supported by the Catholic Church, the bestselling book relied on recovered-memory therapy to uncover Michelle’s childhood abduction by baby-stealing Satanists.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

A Linguistic Analysis of How "Mediums" Lie

How does Tyler Henry, the "Hollywood Medium", perform his “psychic readings”? Which linguistic and psychological strategies are involved? This language analysis gives a scientific explanation of Tyler’s self-proclaimed abilities. The video zooms in on Tyler’s reading of Hoda Kotb on The Today Show and makes relevant comparisons to other “psychic mediums” like Long Island Medium and John Edward.
Links to previous analyses of self-proclaimed mediums: