Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson is getting married...

frankpax

Pigeon
Orthodox
Note: I have no clue who Dr. Johnson is. I was curious on why he was "defrocked" so I had to look for his side of the story on what happened. I found this interesting post about a talk by Dr. Johnson on what happened. Apologies for derailing the thread - it help to clear the "defrocked" questions.

Matthew Raphael Johnson “Deposed” from the Orthodox Metropolia​


There is an audio of Dr. Johnson's talk at the below link.
This seems to be old, from like right before Trump. The essence of the issue was that Johnson helped convert the young Matthew Heimbach, leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, into Orthodoxy. When it became known that Heimbach was into pro white activism, the church leadership demanded that Johnson denounce Heimbach, appealing to the usual PR lines, plus to the argument of Phyletism. Johnson refused, not only on theological grounds, but on legal grounds. I read all his letters on the subject, they are (or were) posted on his site rusjournal.org.

It was clear to me that that church yielded to pressure from one particular individual who seemed to me the resident mason. In the process I learned, through Johnson, that the doctrine of Phyletism was never approved by the majority of the church, including the Russian church, but was a political tool created on the spot (late 19th century) by Constantinople to keep the Bulgarians subject to them. So next time you hear that argument, keep this in mind (Wikipedia won't mention it). He documents so much of the low points around the EP, created by the fact of their subjection to the Turks, that you get to understand why the Greek churches are today where they are.

PS: Heimbach, like the majority of white-nationalists, ended up being a double agent. He crashed his own movement and likely sold out his followers. Johnson never mentioned him anymore anywhere.
 

OrthoSerb

Robin
Orthodox
This seems to be old, from like right before Trump. The essence of the issue was that Johnson helped convert the young Matthew Heimbach, leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, into Orthodoxy. When it became known that Heimbach was into pro white activism, the church leadership demanded that Johnson denounce Heimbach, appealing to the usual PR lines, plus to the argument of Phyletism. Johnson refused, not only on theological grounds, but on legal grounds. I read all his letters on the subject, they are (or were) posted on his site rusjournal.org.

It's a nuanced topic but describing Heimbach as being into "pro white activism" doesn't adequately describe the full scope of the baggage that his world view encompassed. There's a difference between recognising racial differences or supporting/defending your people and making race the central principle around which you build your identity. Lots of America First people would probably fall into the former camp, and that's not the same as the latter camp, which elevates secular "racial consciousness" above any spiritual reality and cannot subordinate itself to Christ or the Gospel. From my experience white nationalists consider genetics as superceding everything else including spiritual beliefs and moral values. There is no higher binding organising principle or value to them. You can be an atheist, pagan or cultural Christian, and none of this really matters because your racial similarity somehow trumps everything else. That ideology has nothing to say about the spiritual reality of sin, the only absolute sin is betraying the highest principle - your race. Most of what is written about Heimbach is obviously not objective or fair-minded so that should be taken into account. From what I can tell, Heimbach seems to have gone through an evolution in his views, so I'm not going to condemn or judge him on his current beliefs. I have read an interview where he discusses his faith, in which I couldn't really disagree with anything he said. However I do also remember seeing documentaries further back in the past where he was basically playing the role of a Hollywood neo-Nazi e.g. organising a gathering selling Nazi paraphernalia, photographs in front of swastikas etc.

The other aspect I'd comment on is the Church's handling of the situation. On the one hand, you can understand that the hierarchy is not going to want to be associated with Heimbach's earlier activities. But you could argue that he was singled out unfairly in so far as people on the other end of the spectrum are not forced to publically renounce their past (or in many cases their present) e.g. the response to Peter “Giacomo” Sanfilippo seems to be to stay silent rather than to ask him to publically renounce his current views and desist from his actions under threat of excommunication. So there is an inconsistency there if we're being fair. And that inconsistency seems to stem from the pressure applied by the wider secular culture/authorities and the desire to appease them in order to be left alone. It's not commendable to, on the one hand, demand people in one case to publically announce views to appease the other side, but then to treat the opposite side as individual pastoral cases. This is the crux of the matter for me and the main reason I commented at all.

It was clear to me that that church yielded to pressure from one particular individual who seemed to me the resident mason. In the process I learned, through Johnson, that the doctrine of Phyletism was never approved by the majority of the church, including the Russian church, but was a political tool created on the spot (late 19th century) by Constantinople to keep the Bulgarians subject to them. So next time you hear that argument, keep this in mind (Wikipedia won't mention it). He documents so much of the low points around the EP, created by the fact of their subjection to the Turks, that you get to understand why the Greek churches are today where they are.

PS: Heimbach, like the majority of white-nationalists, ended up being a double agent. He crashed his own movement and likely sold out his followers. Johnson never mentioned him anymore anywhere.
It should be said that, to my knowledge, Johnson was not a priest of a canonical jurisdiction. If he helped convert Heimbach, then it was to the old calendarist jurisdiction he was a part of. I assume it must have been at some point after that when Heimbach approached canonical jurisdictions. You mentioned elsewhere that Johnson was an Old Believer. I don't believe that to be the case. I know he produced some material that praised them, but I don't think he was ever an Old Believer himself.
 

frankpax

Pigeon
Orthodox
It's a nuanced topic but describing Heimbach as being into "pro white activism" doesn't adequately describe the full scope of the baggage that his world view encompassed. There's a difference between recognising racial differences or supporting/defending your people and making race the central principle around which you build your identity. Lots of America First people would probably fall into the former camp, and that's not the same as the latter camp, which elevates secular "racial consciousness" above any spiritual reality and cannot subordinate itself to Christ or the Gospel. From my experience white nationalists consider genetics as superceding everything else including spiritual beliefs and moral values. There is no higher binding organising principle or value to them. You can be an atheist, pagan or cultural Christian, and none of this really matters because your racial similarity somehow trumps everything else. That ideology has nothing to say about the spiritual reality of sin, the only absolute sin is betraying the highest principle - your race. Most of what is written about Heimbach is obviously not objective or fair-minded so that should be taken into account. From what I can tell, Heimbach seems to have gone through an evolution in his views, so I'm not going to condemn or judge him on his current beliefs. I have read an interview where he discusses his faith, in which I couldn't really disagree with anything he said. However I do also remember seeing documentaries further back in the past where he was basically playing the role of a Hollywood neo-Nazi e.g. organising a gathering selling Nazi paraphernalia, photographs in front of swastikas etc.

The other aspect I'd comment on is the Church's handling of the situation. On the one hand, you can understand that the hierarchy is not going to want to be associated with Heimbach's earlier activities. But you could argue that he was singled out unfairly in so far as people on the other end of the spectrum are not forced to publically renounce their past (or in many cases their present) e.g. the response to Peter “Giacomo” Sanfilippo seems to be to stay silent rather than to ask him to publically renounce his current views and desist from his actions under threat of excommunication. So there is an inconsistency there if we're being fair. And that inconsistency seems to stem from the pressure applied by the wider secular culture/authorities and the desire to appease them in order to be left alone. It's not commendable to, on the one hand, demand people in one case to publically announce views to appease the other side, but then to treat the opposite side as individual pastoral cases. This is the crux of the matter for me and the main reason I commented at all.


It should be said that, to my knowledge, Johnson was not a priest of a canonical jurisdiction. If he helped convert Heimbach, then it was to the old calendarist jurisdiction he was a part of. I assume it must have been at some point after that when Heimbach approached canonical jurisdictions. You mentioned elsewhere that Johnson was an Old Believer. I don't believe that to be the case. I know he produced some material that praised them, but I don't think he was ever an Old Believer himself.
I based my opinion on Heimbach not on what the media says of him, which is the standard anti-white diatribe, but on his bad optics actions, and in the history of many endorsing white rights in America. Since this post is on MR Johnson I will not expand.

I agree with all you say about race and spirituality. Subordination to Christ takes precedence and anything less than that is doomed to failure.

Glory be to Him!
 

frankpax

Pigeon
Orthodox
Below is one of the articles that caused his deposing
The Heresy that Never Was: The “Ethnophyletism” Hoax, Usury and Historical Illiteracy

Here are the minutes of the council where the deposing took place:
The Spiritual Court concerning the case of Fr Raphael Johnson

M.R. Johnson had published a few of the letters he wrote to his superiors. They made quite an interesting reading. The minutes above do nothing to counter his arguments. I cannot find those letters, it seems he may have unpublished them. I'll will try to find them and post them here.
 
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