Ralph Martin’s surprising Vladimir Putin video

You have perhaps read my theory that, as the demographic sink-hole continues to gobble up Catholic who are falling away.   I believe that, eventually, there will be left three groups, traditionalists (no matter what the cruel hierarchy tries to do to them), charismatics, and converts from evangelical Protestantism.  These groups will have to work and fit together, because they will be all that’s left.  There will be frictions, but it will happen.

Along these lines, I pay good attention Ralph Martin, who for many years has been aligned with the charismatic trend.

This video was thought provoking in a particular way.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. redneckpride4ever says:

    I know we’ll hear all the arguments of Putin not practicing what he preaches.

    But it takes nothing away from the speech itself being truthful.

  2. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @ redneckpride4ever: Greetings and blessings.
    Any viable arguments now days for Putin not practicing what he preaches would only be applicable to his personal life and not to his running of the country. And if Padre posted a video zeroing in on Marxism and its variants (finally , we get to use the word properly), that’s where my personal focus would be.

    As far as running the country is concerned, they are wayyy more pro life in Russia than our government here in Canada is. Mr. Putin and his ex wife are a part of that pro life initiative for some years now. They realized that Russians were dying out because of abortion (for those who prefer the sophists’ spin, it’s known as negative population growth). Whatever the term, the life trend in Russia was leaning toward a gradual self-annihilation due in large part to abortion. There is a concerted governmental effort to correct that.

    Meanwhile, here in Canada, we have a pro-abortion prime minister who insists no one can be a member of his Liberal caucus unless that person is pro-abortion.

    I’m not saying that Russia is a nation of saints, (and Ukrainians could tell us some horror stories I’m sure) but generally, governments over there are kicking some serious pro-life butt:

    People are encouraged and actually supported to have larger families . Back in 2013, Mr. Putin, “called for the large family to become ‘symbol of Russia.'”

    Here’s a news clip from the media outlet of our brothers and sisters whom we pray will come all the way home saying that last year Russia relaunched its pro-family policy. . . and Mr. Putin is again at the helm of that initiative. He understands that Russia is still facing a “worrying birth problem.”

    Our Lady’s patronage under the title of The Mother of God of Kazan still rings deep in Russian hearts.

    I had a chance to personally greet Ralph Martin very briefly when he spoke up here at a FIRE (Catholic Alliance of Faith, Intercession, Repentance and Evangelism) rally a little more than 20 years ago . . . a pretty amazing guy. But now days, I can’t say I personally see Mr. Putin as a “surprising source,” simply because he is wishing to warn us about making mistakes similar to those he had seen made in his lifetime. As far as communist Marxism goes, Mr. Putin epitomizes “been there done that.” Too bad our leaders won’t learn from him

    But maybe we’ll get lucky this time in the combox and no one will dis, Mr. Putin.

    Maybe they’re just missing a little PR. I hear that Moscow is a really nice place to have a parade these days.

  3. Grumpy Beggar says:

    (Sorry guys, that very last link I posted doesn’t appear to be working. I’ll try a different source):

    Maybe they’re just missing a little PR. I hear that Moscow is a really nice place to have a parade these days.

  4. MB says:

    Too little. Too late. The Catholic Church takes a ton of money from the government for their social programs. “Look at all the good we’re doing!” It’s unlikely that the Church will ever oppose the source of that funding in any substantial way.

    And Ralph Martin … **sigh** I also chased him down the rabbit hole quite a while before I found myself completely lost and had to turn back. [I don’t think you quite understand where he is coming from now.] I’d love to buy into the charismatic movement, but I just can’t. Take for example, the sacred cow of the charismatic movement ‘speaking in tongues.’ Fr. Ripperger pointed out that any legitimate manifestation of this gift hinges on understanding; either being able to speak to a person in a language you don’t know, or them being able to understand a language that they didn’t previously know. Either way understanding is the key. According to Fr. Ripperger, babbling incoherently in a way no one understands, not the listeners, and not the speakers, is not a charism. I was so relieved to hear him explain it this way, and I think he’s right. I realize that as Christians we should be charitable, especially to our own Catholic brothers and sisters, but I have yet to encounter any legitimate spiritual gifts in the “charismatic movement.” I don’t think they’re going to be much of an ally in a fight like this given that they’re not able to see the falsehood in their own movement.

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting video. There are other passages in ex-KGB Vladimir Putin’s speech that should give pause though to “Grumpy Beggar” and “redneckpride4ever” above. Putin is an autocrat in his third decade, and there is abundant reporting on Russian aggression in, for example, the Baltics, Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia, cyberspace, assassinations of politicians, defectors and journalists, and nuclear bomber intrusions.

    Fr. Z makes a good point that lukewarm, paganizing and socialist Catholics are likely to further stray. The future is likely to be Charismatic-aligned such as Ralph Martin, the growing (despite Pachamama Vatican persecution) TLM community and hard-identity Protestant converts.

    As for Integralism, it is morally and intellectually bankrupt. Three recent examples: the problematic “Pater Edmund” of Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Austria (which has had an anti-Semitic problem since at least the 19th century) defended on social media last week the ghettoization of Jews; in Britain, Elena Attfield occasionally quotes approvingly from the Unabomber manifesto; in the U.S. Pecknold and Ahmari have a penchant for repeating ChiCom propaganda and, along with others such as Vermeule and Deneen, bad faith arguments.

    In our current predicament undisciplined and uninformed outbursts, deceptive “Christian” political projects, flirting with violence and a political Strongman are all fundamentally unsound. Politics are certainly important, but quick-fix “exciting and new” political “solutions” merely avoid addressing what ails the culture: a decline of faith, virtue and self-discipline in all of us. As Fr. Sirico once advised First Things editor Reno (who flirts with socialism and integralism) several years ago at the close of a debate during which Reno fixated on political authority: “First Things should get back to first things.”

    The two commenters above are fascinated by a single data point. It’s an interesting data point- one segment of one speech- but they should look closer at the actions of the Putin regime before admiring Putin the man. Putin is for Putin and for Russia. True, finding an area of understanding is helpful- Putin and Russia need not be viewed as an enemy. But Putinism and its belligerence is not the way forward.

  6. Kerry says:

    MB, you may find some treasure in Father J.P. De Caussade’s small book, Self Abandonment to Divine Providence. From Baronius press at about $24. Or read at archive(dot)org.
    “In reality, holiness may be reduced to one point only: fidelity to the Order of God. Now this fidelity is equally within the capacity of all, whether in its active practice or its passive exercise. The practice of active fidelity consists in the accomplishment of the duties imposed on us by the general laws of God and the Church and by the particular state of life which we have embraced. Passive fidelity consists in the loving acceptance of all that God sends us at each instant.”

  7. JonPatrick says:

    I have to wonder though how much Russia’s push for larger families is a pragmatic response to the negative population growth as opposed to a growing sense of the sanctity of human life. After all even the Chinese have pragmatically backed off of their one child policy due to the tendency for female children to be aborted thus resulting in a young population that is predominantly male, and we know they aren’t motivated by the sanctity of life, far from it.

    In this country we are using a different approach for dealing with the demographic collapse, allowing millions of illegal immigrants to enter the country which not only solves the birthrate problem but keeps wages down and is hoped to move the country politically more to the left. The elites have to have their low paid gardeners and nannies after all.

  8. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @ MB : Greetings and blessings.
    I’ve never been able to comfortably fit into the charismatic movement’s celebrations either (gave it a try for 7 consecutive sessions at the request of a deacon friend about 20 years ago – but definitely not my cup of tea . . . and it was this ‘talking in tongues’ that grated on me the hardest). Thanks for letting me know that according to Fr. Ripperger, it might not all be me.

    Just to clarify: At that FIRE rally I attended, they all spoke English ( . . . no ‘tongues‘ – not even any mumbling).

    Among the speakers at the rally was Fr. Michael Scanlan (RIP) – former rector, president, chancellor, professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville. He was big on Adoration chapels, and there was this one sentence he said at that rally which still remains with me – even more than 20 years later:

    The most natural thing a Catholic can do, is to talk to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

  9. acardnal says:

    In recent years, Ralph Martin has become very, very concerned about the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls. Just read his books!

    “A Church in Crisis”

    “Will Many Be Saved”

  10. redneckpride4ever says:

    I never said I admired Putin. I simply pointed out that people will attempt to negate the content of the speech by pointing out his life.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    redneckpride4ever: “I never said I admired Putin.”

    I never said you used the word “admire.” Consider how you presented yourself here, then your preemptive dismissal of any context (i.e. Putin’s behavior).

    “I simply pointed out that people will attempt to negate the content of the speech by pointing out his life.”

    “Attempt” is in the eye of the beholder. Providing context is not identical with “negating.” As for “content of the speech” note the difference between the content of the highlighted segment and the content of the speech in its entirety. One can reasonably hold a different opinion on the segment and on the speech- make distinctions. Also note that behavior most certainly matters when evaluating the content of a single speech from a belligerent autocrat (Putin is not the only belligerent autocrat around these days).

    “But it takes nothing away from the speech itself being truthful.”

    Several possibilities, here are two: you have not read the entire speech and are conflating the segment with the speech, or you find the entire speech including each and every peculiarity “truthful.” Regardless, take a closer look.

    Also, here is ex-KGB Putin in 2005:

    “First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.”

    There are numerous problems with that statement, the 1917 Bolshevik Coup, the Gulag, the Cheka and its successors, the Holodomor, destruction of churches, the Great Terror and Purge, Molotov-Ribbentrop, the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall being obvious starting points. The suggestion is that you be cautious when widely dispensing your personal label of “truth.” Cheers.

    MB: “I’d love to buy into the charismatic movement, but I just can’t.”

    Ok, but one can recognize value without buying in. Cheers.

  12. MB says:

    Thank you very much for the recommendation Kerry. It was very kind of you to offer a suggestion. Sadly, I am already familiar with Fr. de Caussade. I guess when you’ve got things like divorce, rape and suicide of a family member on your plate, abandonment to divine providence just doesn’t seem to be enough. Every Sunday we’re told to seek to cultivate a deep relationship with God. But, it seems no one knows how to really do that. Receive the sacraments, pray daily, say the rosary, read the books. Yes, I do all of that. But, at the end of the day I still end up praying prayers like, “Lord, just help me to know that you exist.” People say, well you need to heal. Yes, I know that. But how?

    Thank you Grumpy Beggar! I loved your post, and no I don’t think it is you! I am no expert, but Fr. Ripperger’s words on the topic just rang true to me. I really wanted the charismatic movement to be that answer to how you cultivate a deep relationship with God, but I did not find it to be helpful either. Not my cup of tea, as you said. I spend a fair amount of time in adoration, but it is very difficult for me. I guess the closest comparison I can make is it’s like sitting in a dark room and hoping that the light will come on. The longer you sit there hoping, the more you end up just feeling stupid. And, it’s that much harder to go back, and hope again. But, I am so so happy that you find comfort in front of the Blessed Sacrament. People like you encourage me to keep trying, even if I do feel stupid!

    And thank you Semper Gumby. I have no objection to the charismatic movement. But, if Fr. Ripperger is right, and it’s just people deceiving themselves and others, it might be better to let the truth come out, so that we don’t waste time chasing shadows when we could have been doing things that are more productive.

    And thank you Fr. Z. You’re right, I read The Fulfillment of All Desire quite some time ago. I’ve not kept up with Ralph Martin at all since then. I guess maybe I regret reading books like his because I ended with such high expectations; expectations that are out of my reach by a laughable margin! Thanks again all. May God bless you!

  13. prayfatima says:

    This video is interesting. Valdimer Putin is smart, strong and influential. It would be good if he could help conservatives to end the liberal agendas in the west.
    MB, you have my prayers. As to if God exists, it may seem He does not especially with that amount of heartache in your life. How can God allow such things to happen to good people? I would encourage you to read the lives of the Saints, to spend time thinking about the creation of the world and to tell God that you want to know Him and tell Him in your mind or out loud all the things that you struggle with. God knows you better than you know yourself and even your attempts at seeking Him in adoration were first planted in you by Him. He’s hide and seeking you. It’s a maddening game especially because God gets to know everything and we often are left in the dark about so many things that He puts us through. Don’t give up though, because it’s a game that we are designed to win at. We are designed to know our maker, the creator of the world, the One who formed us in our mother’s womb and authored the exact moment of our birth. He can change your heartache story into joy, but He needs to hear from you a lot. So be annoying to Him and tell Him you are done playing hide and seek and He better start showing Himself to you!! God bless you!

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    acardnal: Thank you for the book suggestions.

    MB: Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, Fr. Ripperger’s perspective on this is reasonable, though his is not the final word.

    “But, at the end of the day I still end up praying prayers like, “Lord, just help me to know that you exist.” People say, well you need to heal. Yes, I know that. But how?”

    Sometimes, God is silent to us for our own benefit. The sense of being in a spiritual desert is unpleasant, it can seem endless. Over time, though, it helps us focus less on ourselves, see more clearly the people and world around us, and slowly guide us to the rediscovery of living water. God bless.

  15. MB says:

    Thank you prayfatima and Semper Gumby. God bless you too.

  16. matt from az says:

    Putin is a modern Constantine. He may not be the most faithful Christian himself, but he is the only world leader doing good for Christians. What has any Catholic politician done for Catholics? What has this Pope done for Catholics?
    Nada. In fact both have done grave harm to Catholics worldwide.

    I’d take Putin over Biden all day any day. A center right wing autocrat is light years better than the far left oligarchy we have running the USA.

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    prayfatima: Good observations. If I could expand a bit.

    “Vladimer Putin is smart, strong and influential.”

    Yes, he is smart. Sometimes he applies his intellect to wise policymaking and sometimes to deviousness and belligerence.

    Two examples of Putin’s unhelpfulness. First, his repeated violations of the Open Skies Treaty. Open Skies permits overflights of reconnaissance aircraft to reduce the likelihood of war. Open Skies was first proposed by Pres. Eisenhower and rejected by the Soviets. In 1992 (pre-Putin) the treaty was signed and went into effect in 2002. After years of violations by Putin, Pres. Trump in May 2020 withdrew the U.S. from Open Skies. Putin’s state controlled media (such as RT) of course blames the West, and Putin in January 2021 signalled withdraw from the Treaty. In May Biden said the U.S. would not re-enter Open Skies (agreeing with Pres. Trump on Putin’s violations), and Putin in June formally withdrew from Open Skies.

    Second, the dictator of Belarus (ruling since 1994) is essentially a Putin proxy, he is now seeking Russian Iskander missiles which can be armed with conventional, nuclear and EMP warheads. Iskander are short range, capable of reaching targets only in the Ukraine, Baltics and Eastern Europe. Recall, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s in exchange for territorial integrity. However, in 2014 Putin invaded the Ukraine (he previously invaded Georgia in 2008) and annexed the Crimea.

    As for “strong and influential” that may only be a byproduct of autocracy.

    “It would be good if he could help conservatives to end the liberal agendas in the west.”

    That would be great, despite Putin’s at times hostile agenda there is room for cooperation.

    JonPatrick above wrote something regarding Putin and pragmatism:

    “I have to wonder though how much Russia’s push for larger families is a pragmatic response to the negative population growth as opposed to a growing sense of the sanctity of human life. After all even the Chinese have pragmatically backed off of their one child policy…”

    Pragmatism is related to opportunism.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    matt from az:

    “Putin is a modern Constantine.”

    That’s a topic worthy of a bottle of scotch and cigars. I’d like to stir the pot by suggesting that Putin would not “In hoc signo vinces,” rather he’d conquer in the name of Putin, Mother Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church.

    “He may not be the most faithful Christian himself, but he is the only world leader doing good for Christians.”

    Debatable. One example, at the moment Russia and Belarus are making trouble on the Polish (Catholic) border. Perhaps Jack Posobiec is doing the Lord’s work by handing out Polish flags and pierogis all around, and encouraging the regimes in Minsk and Moscow to relax and get a good night’s sleep with a MyPillow. Now that’s asymmetric warfare to give the Rooskies something to think about.

    “I’d take Putin over Biden all day any day. A center right wing autocrat is light years better than the far left oligarchy we have running the USA.”

    It’s not clear at all Putin is “center right wing” given his blend of statism, socialism and globalism, though like Biden he has a habit of locking up political opponents (also see “assassinations” in my comment above). Note in his speech “Global Shake-up” last month (from which Ralph Martin got his segment) the global warming and Wuhan Virus remarks which assist those who have a Great Reset agenda. See also Putin and Klaus Schwab at Davos. But, Putin is also a nationalist.

    Here’s a few quotes from Putin’s “Global Shake-up” speech:

    “Humanity entered into a new era about three decades ago…”

    Here we go again.

    “…those who felt like the winners after the end of the Cold War (we have also spoken about this many times) and thought they climbed Mount Olympus…”

    Yep, ex-KGB Putin is still ticked off about the collapse of the Evil Empire.

    “The fact that society and young people in many countries have overreacted in a harsh and even aggressive manner to measures to combat the coronavirus…”

    Putin is an autocrat and a statist, generally speaking he doesn’t care if a teacher tapes a mask to a kid’s face and he dislikes the public protests against mandates- Putin is not really a fan of liberty. In the last several months Putin stated he was against vaccine mandates, then demanded that vaccinations be accelerated.

    One more:

    “Of course, the social and cultural shocks that are taking place in the United States and Western Europe are none of our business; we are keeping out of this.”

    *chuckle* Well, that’s President Vladimir Putin, a real “Hagan lio” kind of guy.

  19. gepmcd says:

    In reponse to MB on ‘speaking in tongues.’. A young Jewish man was invited to come along to a Charismatic prayer meeting and during the meeting a woman spoke out in tongues, then there was an interpretation given. The young Jewish man nudged his friend and asked who was the person speaking in Hebrew. The friend replied that it was a local woman from the parish. Then he asked who was the person giving the interpretation, and was told it was just a local man with the gift of prophecy. The Jewish man replied that it was perfect Hebrew and a word for word correct translation.

  20. gepmcd says:

    It was in the early eighties, the place was Sunderland England. It was a Thursday night and I was at a charismatic prayer meeting in the Holy Rosary parish church hall. In those days there may have been somewhere around three hundred people present. It started off like any normal prayer meeting; we were simply having a time of praising the Lord. During this time I noticed my brother Fr.Ciaran (1947-2012 RIP) come in (at that time he was the local curate) he took his seat and after the time of praise, he stood up to give a teaching. His first words were, ‘as I came through the doors of the hall tonight, the Lord spoke to me and told me not to give the talk that has taken me all week to prepare. And just as I was about to stand up here, I heard him say the same word. So I am not going to give the talk that I’ve prepared for tonight’. He just talked about the love of God. I went home that night and never gave it any more thought until the next Thursday night, whenever Fr. Ciaran stood and he said ‘the talk that I am going to share with you tonight, is the talk that I had prepared for you last week; but before I do, I would like to share with you what happened at the end of last week’s meeting’. So he went on to share that as he was mingling among the congregation this elderly man came over to him and asked if he could have a word in private with him. So he took him into an adjacent room away from the crowd and the man told him that as a result of a family argument some fifty years ago, he had never darkened the doors of a church until this night. The last time he was anywhere near a church was when he was fourteen years old. He went on to tell Fr. Ciaran that after his talk on God’s love, which was something he had never heard before, he wanted to know if God would forgive him after all this time. He wanted to make his peace with God.
    Fr. Ciaran then shared how the man had made his peace with God and had made a good and sincere confession and went home that night like a new man with a love, a peace, and a joy that he had never experienced before. Then Fr. Ciaran spoke the words that have remained with me ever since. “I buried that man this morning”

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    Ryhor Azaronak, Belarus State TV (CTV):

    “…Did you [Poland] learn anything from 1939?…But we don’t want a destroyed Warsaw…Anyway you don’t even have a chance…Then strategic airplanes Tu-22 M3, the military space forces of the Russian Federation, will bring you to your senses. You can throw away your NATO junk planes. Run away Poles!”


    On the night of 29-30 October 1937 Stalin’s NKVD executed over 100 poets, scientists and writers outside Minsk at Kurapaty. Beginning in 2017 a memorial of the Night of Executed Poets was held at Kurapaty. Last month it was not held at Kurapaty due to threats of arrests, instead it was held at various cities around the world and online. A brief video of Ryhor Azaronak harassing foreign diplomats laying flowers at a previous memorial (“Do you like the monument? Who are the flowers for?”):


  22. Semper Gumby says:

    Nov. 12, 2021: “US warns Europe that Russia may invade Ukraine”

    “Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the movement by Russia was “unusual in its size and scope.”

    “”We urge Russia to be clear about their intentions and to abide by their Minsk agreements,” he said, referring to agreements to try to halt the fighting inside Ukraine.

    “The comments followed a rare visit to Moscow last week by the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, who spoke on the phone with President Vladimir Putin.”


    In 2014 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) dispatched a Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

    “OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Daily Report 267/2021 issued on 13 November 2021”

    “In Donetsk region, the SMM recorded 723 ceasefire violations, including 172 explosions. In the previous reporting period [12 Nov.], it recorded 722 ceasefire violations in the region.”


    OSCE Mini UAV [drone] Imagery, 14 Sep 21, “4 self-propelled howitzers within the 25km withdrawal line”


  23. Semper Gumby says:

    The Prime Ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering invoking NATO Article IV: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”

    From the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw: “NATO-U.S. Military Presence in Poland”


    U.S. troops are in Latvia on a regularly scheduled rotation:


    Latvia announced Sunday that 3,000 Latvian troops will conduct a month-long exercise near the Belarus border.

    Britain dispatched a small unit of Royal Engineers to the Polish border three days ago. A larger force including Special Forces is on standby in Britain.

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  25. nycdreamr says:

    Embracing authoritarianism is hardly a sign of winning the battle of ideas or cultural war. It is not just Putin’s personal morality that is bankrupt. He has fundamentally failed both democracy and Christianity by using rhetoric and incendiary propaganda to gain allegiances while plundering the country and jailing, torturing and even killing political opponents. If that’s what traditional Christianity needs to survive (and it sure seems to be a trend in many countries that have historically identified as “Christian”) then it is already dead. True Christianity will survive and eventually emerge from the embers. Only then will many come to realize they’ve been defrauded by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  26. Semper Gumby says:

    A reasonable place to start for background reading on Russia and Putin is with Chicago-born David Satter, foreign correspondent in Moscow for the Financial Times of London beginning in the late 1970s then the Wall Street Journal. Satter was expelled from Russia in 2013.

    Satter, WSJ, June 12, 2017: “From Russia With Chaos: Vladimir Putin doesn’t support Donald Trump. He supports American political paralysis.”

    “As U.S politicians plunge into the hall of mirrors that is Russian intelligence, they are assuming that Russians think as they do – a perfect way to misunderstand Moscow’s real intentions.

    “Portions of the “resistance” to President Trump are convinced he colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. But the known facts do not support a Russia-Trump plot to defeat Hillary Clinton. Russia’s actions are consistent instead with an attempt to turn Americans against each other and sow distrust between the president and the American intelligence services.”

    Among Satter’s books is the 2003 “Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State” which examines the “authoritarian kleptoctacry” of the 1990s (Putin became president in 1999) from the Kursk and Ryazan incidents to the MMM scheme, reformers, organized crime and the Uralmash gang, and Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk and the value of human life.

  27. Augustin56 says:

    I’ve never been a real fan of the Charismatic movement. I think, among other things, it opens one up to spiritual gluttony, always looking for the interior consolation. That’s not where you make the most spiritual gain.
    That being said, my wife is a fan, so I tolerate it. I tease her, though, by calling her a charismaniac. Lol

  28. Semper Gumby says:

    Another helpful David Satter book is his more recent “The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin.”

    I’m not familiar with this Twitter account, but this photo of Putin and caption is insightful:


    Here’s a video of President Putin being President Putin. The ambitious Putin- a billionaire who assassinates and jails political opponents and whistleblowers, invades and annexes his neighbor’s territory, and uses electricity and natural gas as a weapon during cold winters among other things- here calls factory owners (who probably were up to no good) “cockroaches, ambitious and greedy.”


    Also worth reading is Alexander Solzhenitsyn (though he drifts away sometimes into the anthropomorphic fallacy with his “Russian soul” musings) and historian Richard Pipes (who participated in the 1970s “Team B” CIA analytical exercise and served on Reagan’s NSC).

    Paul Kengor on Richard Pipes: “Pipes’ most lasting contribution to the Reagan team was his hand in writing one of the most critical documents in the take-down strategy against the USSR: NSDD-75. Released on January 17, 1983, it became probably the most important document in Cold War strategy under Reagan’s and Bill Clark’s NSC. As Pipes put it, the nine-page directive “said our goal was no longer to coexist with the Soviet Union but to change the Soviet system.” [Kengor wrote a biography of the Catholic Bill Clark, “The Judge.”]

    Over the last two decades Putin has been referred to variously by the New York Post, the old Weekly Standard, the New York Times and think tanks as a Typical Dictator, a Czar, and a Soviet Chairman. There’s likely a bit of truth to all those characterizations, along with the descriptions of Russia’s current government as simply “Putinism.”

    As JonPatrick points out above, pragmatism is part of the picture, so is chaos and opportunism.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    The KGB codename of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexy II (d. 2008) was “Drozdov.” He was involved with the World Council of Churches.

    The current Primate since 2009 is Primate Kirill “Mikhailov.” He was tonsured in 1969 by Metropolitan Nikodim “Adamant,” active in the WCC and reportedly very wealthy.

    An introduction to the WCC:


    While his influence on President Putin directly can certainly be overstated, see Alexsandr Dugin.

  30. Semper Gumby says:

    President Putin gave a speech yesterday at the “Expanded meeting of the Foreign Ministry Board” (addressing Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian diplomats). From the Kremlin’s translation:

    “I would like to welcome everyone here to the expanded meeting of the Foreign Ministry Board. Today, our agenda is focused on the implementation of Russia’s foreign policy and priority tasks for the future, taking into account the adopted amendments to the Constitution, which also concern foreign policy.”

    Last year Putin amended the Russian constitution to remain in power until 2036.

    “Importantly, our Fundamental Law has now sealed such basic ideas and values…respect for… traditions of our predecessors. This is everything that unites our people around common ideals…”

    In May at a WW II Victory Day military parade at Red Square Putin claimed the Soviet Union “alone” defeated National Socialist Germany. No mention was made by Putin of the August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which led to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invading Poland in September which began the Second World War, or of the many Allied countries that fought the Nazis and Fascist Italy (e.g. besieged Britain in 1940) while also providing aid and supplies to the Soviet Union after it was invaded in 1941.

    “So, Russia [i.e. Putin] calls for establishing actual cooperation in fighting this insidious disease [COVID] on an equal and fair basis…the role of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is increasing. Its work should be supported in every way.”

    No mention of China and the origins of the Wuhan Virus, or of deception, misinformation and inhibiting investigation into the causes and effects.

    “Another growing challenge is climate change. Russia is addressing it, proposing out-of-the-box initiatives.”

    No mention of the world’s largest polluter, China. No mention by Putin of his using control of natural gas and electricity as a weapon against his neighbors.

    “Our diplomacy should be more active in countering attempts by the European Union and the United States to assume the right to dictate the climate agenda single-handedly…”

    Instead of Putin recognizing natural policy disagreements between countries, his mentions in this speech of the European Union and the United States are instead unfounded accusations and misinformed, aggrieved complaints. Putin’s mentions in this speech of the U.N., which is certainly involved in the “climate agenda,” are uniformly positive.

    “We will continue strengthening ties with our good neighbours and friends in the People’s Republic of China.”

    This remark is in line with the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

    “Of course, Russia is interested in maintaining neighbourly and constructive ties with the European countries, but everything depends on our partners’ willingness to establish and maintain equal and respectful cooperation.”

    Putin’s words differ from his actions. If he is actually interested in “respectful cooperation” then he could, for starters, cease his assassinations of Russian dissidents on British territory and elsewhere, cease his nuclear bomber intrusions against numerous NATO countries, and cease invading his neighbors and annexing their territory. Furthermore, NATO ships frequently exercise Freedom of Navigation per international law.

    “A similar, if not more depressing, situation prevails in our relations with NATO which has adopted a markedly confrontational stance and is stubbornly and demonstratively bringing its military infrastructure closer to our borders, as I mentioned earlier.”

    Putin’s behavior continues to provide justification for prudent actions by NATO countries. Furthermore, his belligerent actions for years makes it unclear what Putin considers to be “borders.”

    “[Embassy staffs have been cut] These are the consequences of the provocative policy pursued by US authorities, which began to practice large-scale bans and restrictions for Russian diplomats five years ago.”

    There are consequences to Putin’s belligerent behavior, and legitimate well-founded reasons for those restrictions on Russian “diplomats.”

    “However, I would like to say this again, we are open to contact and an exchange of views, to a constructive dialogue.”

    Yes. A “constructive dialogue” that acknowledges both honest disagreement and actual facts is welcome, and would benefit everyone.

  31. Semper Gumby says:

    nycdreamr: Good comment.

    “Embracing authoritarianism is hardly a sign of winning the battle of ideas or cultural war. [An excellent teachable moment for the authoritarian pro-ChiCom Integralists (see above) who attempt to hide behind their recent rebrandings as “common good constitutionalists” and “political catholics.”] It is not just Putin’s personal morality that is bankrupt. He has fundamentally failed both democracy and Christianity by using rhetoric and incendiary propaganda to gain allegiances while plundering the country and jailing, torturing and even killing political opponents.”

    In contrast to nycdreamr’s insightful comment, here is Integralist and “catholic theologian” CC Pecknold writing in 2015- after years of Putin’s invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, and assassinations and jailings of dissidents and political opponents- the following uninformed conclusion:

    “Putin’s aiming for a Christian nation”

    Not in the manner Pecknold naively assumes, see “Potemkin village.” Here is the Christian Post in 2017:

    “Russia’s Persecution of Christians Intensifies; Putin Can’t Be Trusted”

    “[p]erceptions that Russia is a defender of Christendom in an increasingly secular world are not based in reality.”


    In March 2020 Pecknold again:

    “Russia’s Putin wants traditional marriage and God in constitution”

    Time will tell if Integralist Pecknold will grow out of his naivete and political-religion (Integralism) to mature to the point that he grasps the meaning of pragmatism and Putin’s recognition of the Russian Orthodox Church as a cohesive force to buttress his dictatorship. Pecknold should also note that Putin amended the Russian constitution in April 2020 so that he, Putin, will remain in power until 2036.

    Like everyone else on the planet, Christians can be tempted by intellectual laziness, authoritarianism, political-religion and the Strongman. Over the last half-century in the Middle East we have seen the problems created by two Christians (Greek Orthodox Michel Aflaq and Catholic Tariq Aziz- but there are others) that led to the persecution of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Yazidis and others.

    As for Alexsandr Dugin (see above), YouTube commenters such as Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone…


    …and Jack Murphy provide him a platform in the West (Murphy has Dugin scheduled again next month).

    Jesus Christ suggested we read the signs of the times. That’s good advice.

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    A few notes.

    – Pollsters estimate about 75% of the Russian population are Russian Orthodox. Only seven percent of Russians attend a Russian Orthodox church service once or more a month.

    – In 2019 in Yekaterinburg there were widespread public protests against building a Russian Orthodox church in a large park in the city. A local referendum was held, President Putin said he would abide by the results, and the site was moved when over seventy percent voted against building a church in the park.

    – The fastest growing religion in Russia might be Islam, or maybe Hinduism. Hinduism is probably under one percent, but has received growing interest.

    Times of India, 2007, discovery of Vishnu idol in the Volga region:


    The archaeology site of Arkaim, from Wikipedia:

    “Russia’s president Vladimir Putin visited the site in 2005, meeting in person with the chief archaeologist Gennady Zdanovich. The visit received much attention from Russian media. They presented Arkaim as the “homeland of the majority of contemporary people in Asia, and, partly, Europe”. Nationalists called Arkaim the “city of Russian glory” and the “most ancient Slavic-Aryan town”. Zdanovich reportedly presented Arkaim to the president as a possible “national idea of Russia”, a new idea of civilisation which Shnirelman calls the “Russian idea”.”

    Old Russian is an Indo-European language. Various scholars and observers note similarities between the pre-Christian Slavic paganism of Russia and the ancient Hinduism or Vedicism of the Eurasian steppes.

    – Putin, Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and the Catholic Church. Earlier this month Daniel Ortega (Sandanistas 1980s) was “re-elected.” Ortega and Putin have close ties, both recall the resistance of St. John Paul II (and his Western allies and in Eastern Europe Catholic clergy and laity such as Cardinal Mindszenty and Cardinal Wyszynski) against the Soviet Union. In Nicaragua during the 2018 civil unrest Ortega took a hardline against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. Bishop Silvio Baez, active in resisting Ortega, was transferred to Rome by the Vatican in 2019.

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