Since I feel it’s just unfair not to mention Minas Christie, since it’s his stalking, harassing, and slanderous behavior that really started all this, but since I’ve gone this far, I may as well let it all hang out. Am I right?
My first encounter with Minas was unexpected. Apparently, as a catechumen, I met this guy in Miami (I still don’t remember him at all, as I met lots of people at the ROCOR parish in Miami), so he felt years later that he could anonymously introduce himself to my wife as “a dog, a big dog”.
No, I’m not kidding. He created a false Facebook profile as “I’m a Dog” and began sending messages to my wife saying “I know your husband”, and trying to talk to her. So I told her I knew no “internet dogs” and I attended somewhat infrequently at the ROCOR parish in Miami at the time, so outside of the priest’s family, I basically didn’t really know too many people. Regardless, I found the strange requests offensive, so I told her to block him, to which she happily complied.
How do I know this was Minas? Well, that’s the really amazing part.
He told me.
Yes, you read that right. See, this is where the part of the story gets interesting. See, in this interesting period of anonymous Facebook accounts, Minas was apparently embroiled in a fight in the Kimisis parish of the GOC-Kallinikos in Florida where he had been slandering the parish board– he referred to it in conversation with me as “the Kimisis mafia”– on (surprise!) anonymous Facebook accounts.
About a month after the dog incident, Minas became a frequent and commenter on NFTU, and wanted to reach out to me personally. When I put out a request for writers, an editor’s worst nightmare came true: Minas offered his services. Back when I was still new at being a cleric and I wanted to be the nicest guy ever, I took him on. He said he was unemployed at the time, and trying to find something to do, and be helpful.
Basically two problems came to the fore. The first was that, well, the man’s an awful writer. Read any of his comments if you don’t believe me. Mangled, misspelled blobs of utter confusion. It got to the point where if my wife said “Minas wrote something” I felt a twinge of despair inside. And it wasn’t just me doing rewrites. I was getting calls from friends noting how NFTU’s editorial quality had gone down the tubes.
The second was that Minas had a penchant for posting stories about “miraculous events in World Orthodoxy” (some of which are fraudulent, but none of which are of interest to True Orthodox, who are not in communion with them). As well, he continually posted World Orthodox news portraying them as uncritically as the usual World Orthodox press (that is to say, less as reporters and more as PR guys).
I then learned from other GOC friends about the Kimisis incidents, which finally led to a member of the parish to sue Minas. Still, as he had hinted about this already, and I had my handy TOC directory, I encouraged Minas to go to the Cyprianite parish nearby. (He seemed like he already had made up his mind to do so- I learned later his wife had reservations- and from my end going to a different parish would make things better.) So, as far as I was concerned, Minas was free of blame on my end, even if he was exactly what I didn’t need on NFTU.
And it was right about then that he told me about the dog.
Now, had I found out about this at the outset I would have told him to walk and not let the door hit him on the way out. But at this point I had invested time and energy. I was now involved. And torn as I was at the time between actual friends of mine and the enthusiasm of an unemployed father-to-be with nothing to do, I did what clergy do way more than they should…. I brushed it off and said “it’s ok, Minas”. What I should have realized at the time was what I was dealing with.
But it wouldn’t be long before I found out.
As calls to remove Minas increased, I discovered a new blog that was out for my head. Whereas the “ROCOR Refugees” (which at the time was basically Dan Everiss and Joanna Higginbotham, as well as a few unfortunate people who ended up working with them) had their own blog, much of their time was spent
bullying arguing with True Orthodox on NFTU to the point where True Orthodox posters were telling me they felt unwelcome.
Minas, unfortunately, joined their crowd. Made perfect sense, right? After all, they were all Cyprianites. But I was kind of hoping that he would have found a less… hostile crowd.
Unfortunately, he fit right in.
From there, it only gets worse. Minas wanted off NFTU. Publicly of course, I said “sad to see you go”, et cetera. But in my mind I heard this:
And that’s the story of how Minas became an obsessive ROCOR refugee, a cranky Yankee, a guy who personally slagged me with rumors and second hand information, and finally attacked a saintly elder with false accusations placed by an OCA bishop — and helps attack my bishop with lies and false assertions.
As I should have realized a long time ago, that’s just who he is.Have a beer on me, Minas. It’s all you tonight.