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Author Topic: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood: A NEW AGE CULT?  (Read 6441 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: April 08, 2005, 02:00:42 AM »

There are sites on the internet which accuse Fr. Seraphim Rose's monastery of being a new age cult:

http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/hoom.html

What the heck is the deal?

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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 02:42:02 AM »

There are sites on the internet which accuse Fr. Seraphim Rose's monastery of being a new age cult:

http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/hoom.html

What the heck is the deal?



M777,
That site is WAY out of date.  Pokrov, while having good intentions, goes way over the top and borders on obsession and a vendetta.
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 10:28:53 AM »

Yes, the site is a little out of date.  HOWEVER, even though members of Holy order of Mans (BKA HOOM) have been accepted into the Holy Orthodox church. They are still working on shedding thier "cult" baggage and working on being Orthodox.  Members of HOOM were baptized and recieved sometime around the late 1990s which when you think about it is not long enough to fully deprogram.

Overall, ex HOOM are not dangerous. Wierd,insular and many are "not quite there" yes,  dangerous no. The city I live in currently has an ex HOOM parish that has a wonderful bookstore and coffeehouse.

From what I understand, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood and HOOM were two different groups existing at the same time  in California during the 1960s-80s. St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood was ROCOR and HOOM was nowhere near being orthodox during Fr. Seraphim's lifetime. I'm basing this from memory and past research, I will correct this later if I find that I'm incorrect. (or someone else can correct me)

Also, I have read some of your other posts about Fr. Seraphim Rose, what other Orthodox writers have you read? Your scope seems to be somewhat narrow in focus, ie you are basing everything you believe on what Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote.





« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 10:30:05 AM by PhosZoe » Logged
Matthew777
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2005, 11:18:26 AM »

When it comes to the patristic doctrine on Creation, I have read St. Basil's commentary on the Hexaemeron and Fr. Rose' use of the church fathers with his patristic quotations and commentary.
This is not the only Orthodox theology I am into, but this is what I have read concerning the traditional understanding of Genesis.

In one of Fr. Rose' letters in Genesis Creation and Early Man, he mentions how some have accused him of being a Theosophist but without explaining the situation.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2005, 11:56:02 AM »

Also, I have read some of your other posts about Fr. Seraphim Rose, what other Orthodox writers have you read? Your scope seems to be somewhat narrow in focus, ie you are basing everything you believe on what Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote.

Me?  My scope?  While I'm not necessarily a Fr. Serpahim apologist and realize that his views are just his Theologuemena for the most part, I think that he's probably correct on the majority - even if he errs on the side of being "too conservative".

M777,
AFAIK, HOOM and CSB merged a while back.  Those HOOMers who did not merge never really became Orthodox at all.  Those who did (those with the ROCOR/St. Herman of Alaska/Fr. Seraphim Rose connection), were only officially received in the Church around 2001 or so.  Some of them went under the OCA, some with the Bulgarians and probably most of them with the Serbs.  Unless they (and I'm using 'they' on the basis of individual persons) were received back before the defrocking of Met. Pangratios, they weren't Orthodox up until recnetly.  Platina/St. Herman Monastery is under the Omophorion of His Grace Bishop Longin of the Serbian Orthodox Archdioces of America.  Yes, of course many of them still are overyly insular with a lot of their cult baggage.  It's not something that goes away instantly, but they are relaxing.  There are even people from the former EOC/AEOM that haven't completely shed their cult-like baggage (I wouldn't go as far as say that they were a cult, but they flirted with it many a time).  Matt, I'm not quite sure about the HOOM/CSB/St. Herman timeline, but I'll try and remember to ask a certain parishoner from my (OCA) parish who actually was the former director of the HOOM at one point (or was it CSB?  Can never remember).
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 12:08:17 PM »



Me? My scope? While I'm not necessarily a Fr. Serpahim apologist and realize that his views are just his Theologuemena for the most part, I think that he's probably correct on the majority - even if he errs on the side of being "too conservative".

.

I was referring to Matthew777 not you.
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2005, 12:31:01 PM »



I was referring to Matthew777 not you.

Just realized.  You people and your same avatars!
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Matthew777
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2005, 12:34:38 PM »


 Platina/St. Herman Monastery is under the Omophorion of His Grace Bishop Longin of the Serbian Orthodox Archdioces of America.

I thought it was under the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2005, 04:41:19 PM »



I thought it was under the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

I think that was about 20 years ago...and 'life happened' since then.  M777, have you every read Again Magazine put out by Conciliar Press?  Fr. Jonah Paffhausen, the Abbot of the OCA Monastery of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco wrote an article about the CSB/St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood/HOOM/whatever (I'm confused myself) finally coming into the church in an issue of again a few years ago, although many thought he was too nice and charitable (kinda white washing the journey).  (Incidentally, "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Peter Gillquist is rather whitewashed as well, but that's another topic and one I don't really want to touch.)  The controversy happened long after Fr. Seraphim's conversion by ROCOR, after he "fled" to Platina and through his association with Fr. Herman.  Again, try googling it or just wait a few days.  I'll try and ask a few people this weekend. IIRC, I think most of the recent "bad stuff" (to REALLY generalize) happened after Fr. Seraphim's repose - probably from the mid 80's up until the late 90's.  During this time (after Fr. S's repose), they became disconnected from ROCOR somehow, got hooked up with a defrocked bishop named Met. Pangratios and Fr. Herman (Fr. S's body from a ways back) became the defacto ruler from his ivory tower in Platina.  At the present, Fr. Herman from what I hear, resides at Wildwood (the women's monastery further up the road from Platina) but does not perform any priestly duties.  Fr. Damascene is the Abbot.  I really don't know any more at this time.  If I'm mistaken on any of this, someone else here please correct me.
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2005, 05:17:42 PM »

St. Herman's monastery still publishes Fr. Seraphim Rose' books.
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2005, 05:41:35 PM »

St. Herman's monastery still publishes Fr. Seraphim Rose' books.

And your point is?  If you go to www.sainthermanpress.com, you'll see that they're under the Serbs (and I was mistaken, the Abbot is Fr. Gerasim not Damascene).

Now, I'm extremely hesitant, but there is a history of HOOM/CSB at the pokrov website.  While it may be factually correct for the most part, it is probably rather biased.  Take it with a small salt lick.
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2005, 05:58:19 PM »

This is by far the wierdest Orthodox-related stuff I have ever seen.
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2005, 07:15:26 PM »

This is by far the wierdest Orthodox-related stuff I have ever seen.

1) Pretty weird stuff can happen by people with a vendetta/agenda

2) Pretty weird stuff happens to the non-Orthodox - remember, most of them weren't really Orthodox for many of those years (canonically speaking at the very least).
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Matthew777
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2005, 08:59:54 PM »

Good point
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006, 12:16:13 AM »

As an estranged member of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood I feel I must speak in their defense.  I have been to Monasteries all over this country, and the Platina monastery was by far one of the most authentic images of old world monasticism I have ever seen.  The St, Michael's Skete, Spruce Island, Alaska is the most ascetic communities I have ever witnessed (I must say that I have not experienced monasticism abroad).  
Now, that being said, yes they have a shady past.  They were originally a cult called the Holy Order of Mans who converted en-masse back in the seventies, after struggling for decades--and in many ways taken advantage of by the aggressiveness of the various jurisdictions.  It was only recently (2002ish) that we finally were taken under a truly canonical umbrella--The Brotherhood then split into three main parts, all the monastics are now under the Serbian Patriarch, and the parishes either went under Bulgaria (such as myself) or w/ the OCA (there were a few splinters that went Antiochian and Greek).  Now as far as the shady past is concerned, what can I say, we're American converts.  We aren't coming from the old world with a thousand years of tradition that has become almost genetic memories (not literally), to us this all completely new and we have a two-thousand years worth of knowledge that we must know relearn--and we are not working with clean slates either, there is a lot of spiritual renovation that must be done.
Anyway, if you bypass they weak metaphors and run-on sentences I believe you'll see my point.  We might not have been right before, but we are now--Kill the fatted calf, y'all!
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2006, 02:59:08 AM »

Fr. Herman (Fr. S's body from a ways back) became the defacto ruler from his ivory tower in Platina.  At the present, Fr. Herman from what I hear, resides at Wildwood (the women's monastery further up the road from Platina) but does not perform any priestly duties.

Wow. I'm reading "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works" right now, but I don't see Fr. Herman doing anything un-Orthodox. Do you have any more info about this?
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2006, 10:05:19 AM »

It is due to mainly to petty juristictional disputes--If these accusors could site actual dogmatic diiferences then they would be just, but otherwise their just attacks are based on nothing more than old world versus new world problem--You can term them extreme, sure, but we are a religion that has a tradition os Stylites, man, that is extreme
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2006, 10:09:03 AM »

yes, Fr. Herman, as I was informed by Fr. Paisuis in Alaska, is accused of sexual misconduct w/ underlings.  HFr. Herman has been spending his time either in reclusion at the Wildwood Skete or on in Latvia, his homeland.  He is no longer affiliated with the St. Herman Bro.
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2006, 10:27:23 AM »

Ah, Metropolitan Pangratios.  He is an interesting character.  He tried to play the role of Greek Old Calendarist for some time but he was never accepted.  At one point he did have a rather large diocese but his peadophilic predilections came strong again and he was jailed.  Amazingly, he is still a "bishop" in his "Cathedral."  I saw him once in person at a Greek festival last year.  Indicative of his self-established status, the priest in charge at the festival only shook his hand.

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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2006, 11:46:50 AM »

Wow. I'm reading "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works" right now, but I don't see Fr. Herman doing anything un-Orthodox. Do you have any more info about this?

Why would it be in "...His Life and Works"?  From what I heard from former HoM members, the Fr. Herman despotism happened mainly after the death of Fr. Seraphim.  Just because general praxis and theology may sound perfectly Orthodox and Traditional doesn't mean individual leaders can't act like cult leaders.  To a lesser extent, the "cult leader" persona affected many former EOC/AEOM leaders until the past several years.  There is that "discernment" thing that we are supposed to acquire and exercise - we should not be so naive as to think "cult of personality" of individuals never exists but should not be so paranoid as to think any group that may have been known in the past to have those characteristics to be completely infected with the disease at this present day.
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2006, 12:18:33 PM »

Not to stoke up the embers here but remembered knowing Gleb Podmoshensky very well as a friend in Monterey in 1964 while at DLI and attending St Seraphims ROCOR church.  I knew he was "old calendarist" which was not unusual at that time, we all were.  And I was not surprised to later her he became a monk. But I also realized that the ROCOR in the US was nothing like it was in Germany where I belonged to several parishes while a soldier there.  Gleb used to have me on a mailing list for the publication and by then they were supporting Old Calendar Greeks in the US.  Sorry to hear he went so far astray.
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2006, 12:44:46 PM »

Quote
Gleb used to have me on a mailing list for the publication and by then they were supporting Old Calendar Greeks in the US.  Sorry to hear he went so far astray.

LOL. Yeah, I'm sorry he went astray too--Fr Seraphim and he supported the real Greek Old Calendarists but after Fr Seraphim's death Fr Herman began supporting the fake ones (i.e. Pangratios). Wink

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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2006, 12:50:47 AM »

There are sites on the internet which accuse Fr. Seraphim Rose's monastery of being a new age cult:

http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/hoom.html

What the heck is the deal?



It's definatley not a new age cult. A lot of people dislike Fr. Seraphim Rose for many reasons, reasons against him that may not even be true! There dislike of this wonderful monk leads them to bash what he was a part of, the monastic life. Therefore, his monastery is suddenly a new 'age cult'. Not true!
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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2006, 12:52:19 AM »

Wow. I'm reading "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works" right now, but I don't see Fr. Herman doing anything un-Orthodox. Do you have any more info about this?

I've read that book, aweseome stuff. Perhaps my favorite book, and i'm never going to forget it, infact i reccomend it to everyone! I myself don't recall anything un-Orthodox occuring in the book either.
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2006, 09:03:56 PM »

I've read that book, aweseome stuff. Perhaps my favorite book, and i'm never going to forget it, infact i reccomend it to everyone! I myself don't recall anything un-Orthodox occuring in the book either.

I used to think that Fr. Seraphim and the ROCOR had followed after the Donatist heresy by refusing to recognize sacramental grace in the non-Orthodox churches.  I changed my mind after reading this book (together with some other 'Traditionalist' writings on Orthodox ecclesiology).

See, for being the 'Fr. Schmemann fan' many on this forum know me to be, I respect Fr. Seraphim Rose just about as much.  I hope to eventually see both glorified as saints.  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2006, 11:13:30 PM »

I used to think that Fr. Seraphim and the ROCOR had followed after the Donatist heresy by refusing to recognize sacramental grace in the non-Orthodox churches.  I changed my mind after reading this book (together with some other 'Traditionalist' writings on Orthodox ecclesiology).

See, for being the 'Fr. Schmemann fan' many on this forum know me to be, I respect Fr. Seraphim Rose just about as much.  I hope to eventually see both glorified as saints.  Grin

I'm glad your perception changed on him after reading the book. Oh, and i think he may become a Saint in the near future, what do you think?
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« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2006, 11:29:19 PM »



Here's a picture of Fr. Seraphim Rose, just for fun.  

Take a look at that beard! Shocked
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