Monday 16 July 2018

Logres, Britain, and the Betrayal of the Romanovs

The French astrologer and religious and political thinker Charles Ridoux (who I wrote about here in 2016) has just published a 64 page essay commemorating the massacre of Tsar Nicholas II and his family by the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg one hundred years ago on July 17th. It can be read (in French) here.

The martyrdom of the Romanovs formed the third and most devastating part of a trilogy, which began with the regicide of Charles I of England in 1649 and continued with the execution of the French king Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette in 1793. Each of these murders marks a step on the way in the dechristianisation of Europe, a process which appears very near to completion today. 

Ridoux argues that this slaughter would not have occurred had Britain not reneged on a promise to welcome the Tsar and his children as exiles. Permission was denied, not by the UK government - as previously thought - but by George V himself, the Tsar's own cousin. Ridoux quotes the Romanian esotericist Jean Parvulesco (1929-2010), who in his 2005 book Vladimir Poutine et l'Eurasie, claimed that the King's refusal leaves the British monarchy open to what he calls a 'choc en retour', in the same way as many in France came to see the death of Louis XVI as payback for the burning at the stake of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay at Philip IV's command in 1314.

One is reminded, reflecting on this exile that wasn't, of Dr. Dimble's reflection in C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength, on the battle for England's soul between the holy realm of Logres (or Albion) and the mercantile, rapacious global power known as Britain: 

'But in every way they (the Pendragons) and the little Logres which gathered round them have been the fingers which gave the tiny shove or the almost imperceptible pull, to push England out of the drunken sleep or to draw her back from the final outrage into which Britain tempted her.'

It would appear that on this occasion, unfortunately, Britain was too strong for Logres.


That Hideous Strength springs to mind again in Parvulesco's description of Lenin as a shell of a man, a walking zombie, wholly under the influence of malign occult powers: 'He became something increasingly inhuman, a being with a centre of gravity in a reality outside this world, totally subservient to and dependent on his non-human masters.'

This is exactly what happens to Wither, Frost and Straik in Lewis's novel, as the Bent Eldils subsume their personalities, leaving them desiccated automatons of the evil they chose to embrace when they were still capable of human responses like choice.

Even in the direst of situations, however, God will find a way for good to flourish, and the murder of the Tsar and his children is no exception. The life of Father Nicholas Gibbes (1876-1963) stands as a wonderful witness of the Divine capacity to respond creatively to evil and defy conventional expectations. Gibbes, the son of a Rotherham banker, was a spiritual seeker of seriousness and depth, who, after much wandering, found himself at the Imperial court in Russia, where he taught English to the Tsar's children. He became a close friend of the Royal Family and was deeply marked by his years in their presence, seeing them as exemplars of holiness, sacrifice and right living. 

After 1918, Gibbes travelled widely throughout the East, praying and reflecting on the meaning of his encounter with the Tsar and his family, until in 1934, at the age of 58,  he joined the Russian Orthodox Church, becoming successively monk, deacon and priest. He returned to England in 1937, and became the first English priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the founder of the first Orthodox church in Oxford. Many were struck by his piety and prayerfulness, and before he died in March 1963, an icon given him by the Imperial family was miraculously renewed and began to shine. So maybe Logres -  in that mysterious, unpredictable fashion so suggestive of God's hidden hand - proved stronger than Britain in the end!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips has written beautifully on the life of Fr. Nicholas Gibbes on his Orthodox England site here. I would urge as many of us as possible to read and reflect on this essay today, as an act of reparation, first and foremost, for the part played by this country in the death of the Romanovs, and also as a spiritual riposte to the dark powers who engineered that act of infamy and remain so active in our world, capturing and enslaving hearts and minds at an increasingly rapid rate. Without a Tsar on the Russian throne, as a living symbol of Christ the Universal King, their task becomes so much easier.

Holy martyrs of Russia, pray for us. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.


William Wildblood said...

Interesting piece, John. Is it far-fetched to think that Britain and Russia might have things in common, both being at the borders of Europe and therefore in it but not quite of it?

John Fitzgerald said...

Thanks, William. Yes, the've a tremendous amount in common. I wrote a piece on this blog on exactly this topic in October 2016 in fact. 'Albion and Russia', it's called. Such is the level of paranoia and muddled thinking about Russia here at the moment though, that people'll probably think I'm in the pay of the Kremlin. I can assure everyone that I'm not!

Wurmbrand said...

Can anyone cite a good article or book in English on this aspect of Lenin as figuratively or literally possessed? I'm not looking for something sensational, of course, but something sober and (if possible) solidly Christian. Thanks.

John Fitzgerald said...

Hi Wurmbrand,

Not that I'm aware of. Jean Parvulesco's an intuitive type of writer, not what you might call 'evidence based.' I just saw what he'd written on Lenin and it rang true in my mind and reminded me of That Hideous Strength. I've heard that Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Red Wheel is an outstanding account of the Russian Revolution. AS was a deep and serious Christian, of course, and very much aware of the role played by the demonic in modern times, so you might find something relevant there.

Moonsphere said...

In answer to Wurmbrand,

The book "Russian Spirituality and Other Essays" written by Valentin Tomberg in the 1930s might be of interest to readers here.

Below is an extract where Tomberg diagnoses the underlying malaise of Lenin and Bolshevism in general. Perhaps one might also call it a form of "possession".

"From the lower parts of the organism a powerful impulse shoots up, which is clothed by an appropriate 'truth' by the head. His rhythmic system has hardly any life left of its own - it is only a bridge between willing and thinking. Feeling has been expunged from the breast region, which is hardly an organ for this any longer. It has become a mere link between commanding will and obedient thinking.

From the above exposition, we can see Bolshevism's intentions, and that the question here is of the realisation of an ideal human being, stirring in the depths of the will. We have here a grandiose effort to radically transform human nature. The aim is to produce a new human being: a human being whose thinking reflects, not heaven, but the interior of the earth, and whose will is not disturbed and weakened by an individual life of feeling."

Those who are familiar with the writings of Rudolf Steiner will see that the "metabolic thinking" of Bolshevism as described here by Tomberg is an actual inversion of the normal, healthy human faculties of thinking, feeling and willing.

My thanks to all involved with the "Albion Awakening" blog - truly a spiritual oasis and very much appreciated!

Bruce Charlton said...


I tend to think that the Russian Revolution was the key malign event of the twentieth century (probably for 100s of years) - leading, as it did, either in emulation or in reaction - to Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, and to the other Communist dictators' - and the murder of the Tsar and his family was the decisive event of the Revolution.

Chiu ChunLing said...

"The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices."

I doubt we have the tools of historically inquiry to reliably establish, at this remove, what secretive meeting of political theorists was the real key event. But certainly the Communist Revolution in Russia was among its more potent fruits.

Preventing the Romanov family from escaping to the West was a key victory, they would have been a thorn in the side of the Soviets for years, and their eventual (and inevitable) assassinations would have fueled anti-communist feeling for years. But I don't see it as decisive...the decision had already been made.

Ultimately, the theoretical roots of Marxism were laid in the socialism of slavery, invented in America in the years leading up to the Civil War in an effort to prevent abolition. But that can hardly be claimed to be an event of the twentieth century at all (nor was it a singular event, many well-dressed men enjoying conversation with their social peers while partaking of the fruits of slave ownership participated in hundreds of informal gatherings to discuss their ideological justification for the 'peculiar institution').

And Marx's innovation was spectacular, invent a simplified and maliciously false version of the ideology to convince the slaves themselves that they would benefit from being enslaved. Make them dupes and useful idiots before enslaving them (and liquidating those to useless to keep even as slaves).

Adopted by the Democrat party a generation later and applied to the descendants of the obsolete system, it had great results indeed.

Howard Ramsey Sutherland said...

I’m a daily reader of Dr. Charlton's blogs, including this one, and a rare commenter. I find CCL's comments interesting, and appreciate them.
But I must dispute some of CCL's comment above. While I share his and Bruce's view that the murder of the Romanovs was one of the most vile - and consequential - crimes of the 20th century, whose malignity we still suffer 100 years on, I cannot agree about an American origin of European Socialism. Continentals were quite able to imagine that colossal misconception without Americans' help.
Marx concocted his prole-theory about workers in Great Britain and Germany, people whose lives were changed beyond measure by the Industrial Revolution. That, with its inherent falsity, helps explain why Marx's Communism was so utterly unsuited to a largely agrarian land such as Russia.
The Antebellum South was also agrarian. There was widespread slaveholding, as nobody will deny, but life for the section's white citizens (most small freeholders, not slaveholders) was anything but Socialist in inspiration or reality, and you will search the writings of Antebellum Southerners in vain for a call to Socialism. As it happens, slavery existed in each of the 13 Colonies in varying measure, and persisted for quite a while in all of the new States, not only the eleven that seceded in 1861. None of that excuses slavery.
The Democratic Party, despite the CultMarx horror it now is, was founded by Thomas Jefferson and others on principles very different from Socialism. Socialism and Communism are the evil spawn of the Enlightenment and French Revolution, with a dash of Renaissance and Reformation inspiration ("Voltaire's Bastards," Canadian writer John Ralston Saul called them). It is there, however unaware of it they may be, you must seek the genesis of those smooth-cheeked, white-collared quiet apparatchiks.
In his war effort against the Southern states, Abraham Lincoln injected a generous dose of European Socialism into America’s political bloodstream, by importing German Socialists - along with some earlier arrivals, fleeing the mess they made in 1848 - and commissioning them into the Union Army, several as general officers. They proved quite willingly repressive during Reconstruction as, aliens to the country, they had no sympathy for its people and had their equally alien social theories to guide them. Lincoln also encouraged Irish immigration during the War as a source of cannon-fodder. Not all those Irishmen fell for it, as the New York Draft Riots of 1863 - still the bloodiest riots in American history - attest.
Were the serf-holding estate gentry of Tsarist Russia Marx's inspiration? I think the answer is obvious. Still less was the American South, an agrarian-capitalist society for its citizens - admittedly dependent in varying degree (depending on where in the South one looks) on slaves. Marx manufactured his misconceptions, as he stewed in the British Library, based on what he knew of industrialising Western Europe. I'm not sure one need look further.
Current Democratic policy toward black Americans owes much to Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson [yes, I confess, a Southerner from my state of Texas; but doesn't change my point], the martyr-myth of Martin Luther King as totemic American saviour, Edward Kennedy's, et al., cynical use of black Americans as political pawns, Alinsky-style agitation in government thanks to such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama, and too many black Americans' seeming insistence on being perpetually aggrieved, whatever benefits we bestow.
Socialism and today’s Democratic Party owe nothing to Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis or any Democrat before Woodrow Wilson, at the earliest.
I thank Bruce Charlton, William Wildblood, and John Fitzgerald for such a superb selection of blog-sites, and CCL and others for such illuminating comments. Best regards to you all. HRS

Bruce Charlton said...

@HRS - I agree with you that socialism/ communism/ Fabianism etc originated in Britain (and had very little influence in the USA) - this Old Left was primarily economic.

It is only the post mid-1960s cultural New Leftism (nowadays, political correctness, or social justice) which came from the US and has been led by the US.

C.W. Bradley said...

According to her Wikipedia page, Jeanne Calment, famous for living 122 years (1875-1997), said that "She considered the most important historical event in her lifetime to have been the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the execution of the Russian imperial family."

It is quite significant that not only is the murder of the Romanovs seen as pivotal by those who look back and evaluate history but by someone who personally lived through most of the twentieth century and a quarter of the nineteenth.

Nils said...

Thanks for an interestng article!

I have to tell you about a peculiar incident, that occurred about a week after I had taken a special, yet private interest in the Romanov tragedy, a few years ago.

One day I was helping a troubled relative to a psychiatric clinic, and when we were outside it, a woman that I had never seen before approached me, grabbed my arm and said: "Why did you kill the Romanov family?"

She was obviously psychotic, so I just said "I didn't!", and we left in a hurry, somewhat startled.

Most people in Sweden never give the Romanovs any thought, and there was no TV-show or movie on the matter at that time, to spur any general interest.

A strange coincidence indeed.