Talk:Seraphim Rose

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Regardless of the eventual canonization (or not) of Fr Seraphim, there are a couple of expressions here that are not consistent with Orthodox practice. There is no 'intermediate' step to canonization in the Orthodox Church, as is the case in the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church uses 'blessed' or 'beatus' as a first affirmation of sanctity, which may be 'upgraded' to full canonization later. The Orthodox Church has no such procedures, because it understands sanctity in a different way. For this reason, and as far as this point is concerned, taking no part in the question of the canonization of Fr Seraphim, we should use home-grown terminology and procedures, rather than Roman Catholic imports. The Orthodox Church sometimes uses the expression 'blessed' (or ιερός, as we find it in the tradition) in relation to people who are already canonized, such as St John Chrysostom, or St Augustine. To use it with a different meaning creates huge confusion.

The same may be said about the term glorification, although to a lesser extent. The implication here is that what the Church does is to recognize the sanctity of a person (however this may be defined), but not confer ir create it. The glorification, if any, has been done by God, long before itse recognition by the Church. What the Church does is to enter this person to the canon (of calendar, feasts, etc.). So, I am removing the reference to the "blessed" status, and I appeal to supporters and opponents of the cause of Fr Seraphim's sanctity alike: If he is to be recognized as a saint, let it be done on Orthodox terminology and procedures, and not by imports of badly digested Roman Catholic procedures. I believe that the argument "he is often referred to as 'Blessed'" in internet sites, does not help his cause, but rather takes it from church procedures and moves it to the lightness of cyber-being. In other words, it is too easy to show how internet groups that make uninformed use of Orthodox terminology should not be taken seriously.

Please note that this is not a polemic. If anyone has good reasons for reinstating the expression 'blessed' in the article, let him do so, but only by explaining why. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for kind and balanced post. I have to make some explanations though, being disagreed. I don't know who was the author of that addition about 'Blessed' but it reflects the real situation. It's really common, just google for that to get an evidence, so I believe it would be better to keep that phrase. Moreover, I saw a photo of a wall icon of 'Seraphim of Platina' taken in one of Russian churches. Elijah.B (talk) 19:06, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

This is true, but the use of 'Blessed' in this way is a new phenomenon in the Orthodox world, which is clearly against the tradition and the theology, and for this reason I think it weighs much more than postings of people who are not familiar with Orthodox theology. I do not refer to the veneration of a man before he is officially canonized, this has been going on for centuries, but to the use of the 'half-step', by introducing 'beatus', taken from the Latin tradition. Making an icon or people praying to him is not against tradition, even if it is not something that all Orthodox would like to do with Fr Seraphim. My comment was specifically about the use of the 'title' Blessed/Beatus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I removed the phrases "a cause for his canonization has been started. He awaits canonization by an Orthodox synod", the first because it is not referenced. Has a cause been formally opened in his case? I doubt this, because it is too early after his death. If anyone knows of such a cause - please, not an internet campaign, but a formal cause with an Orthodox church! - feel free to reinstate the phrase, by giving precise information. I erased the second phrase because it implies that the matter has been referred to a specific, upcoming synod, which has accepted to look into it. Again, if anyone knows that this is the case, they may reinstate the phrase. Otherwise, I think it is misleading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I see that the reference to the cause and the synod has been reinstated. I am not going to start an internet war here, but can anyone explain and give references as to where and when this cause was filed, and which synod they are talking about? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Loriendrew, you added the information about a "cause for canonization" and a forthcoming "synod" that will canonize him. Would you care to share the information you have? Who, when and with which bishop started such a cause (I presume we use the word "cause" in its formal, ecclesiastical meaning, and not just referring to internet postings, right?), and which synod do you have in mind? I think that to say something like that, the issue should be at least in the agenda of a forthcoming synod. Otherwise, if this is a personal wish or guess, one could equally say that a future synod may declare his ideas outside the boundaries of Orthodox doctrine. Since you added the information with such confidence, would you be able to explain yourself? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

General Editing Notes[edit]

Made a few changes. First, describing Fr Seraphim as single-handedly responsible for the spread of Orthodoxy in America is a trifle hyperbolic (SS Herman and Innocent, anyone?), so I toned that down a bit. Second, I changed his name to "Eugene" in all instances from his birth up to his monastic tonsure, to be consistent with standard hagiographic style.

It might be well to note in the article some more specific aspects of his writings. For example, that they tend to a more traditionalistic approach to Orthodoxy, that they are critical of modernism and ecumenism, etc. In fairness, we might also want to note that his writings are not universally accepted, with some Orthodox critics suggesting that they might be tinged with gnosticism.

Some mention of Father Herman/Gleb Podmoshensky might also be in order. JHCC 19:05, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Book mention[edit]

Perhaps there should be some mention of his extensive (exactly 1000 pages) biography by Hieromonk Damascene, Not of this World, from which I would guess most of the info in this article is taken? Tix 23:53, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely. There's an extensively revised version, too, entitled Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works.[1] ——Preost talk contribs 02:17, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
'Tis done. JHCC (talk) 04:45, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We may want to list both editions. The new one is substantially a different book. ——Preost talk contribs 12:09, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
Done. JHCC (talk) 19:30, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)


What is the source of the homosexuality material? Is it in the book of his letters? ——Preost talk contribs June 30, 2005 03:37 (UTC)

Take a look at the magazine article from Pomona College. JHCC (talk) 30 June 2005 13:46 (UTC)

That one doesn't seem to cite its own sources very well, unfortunately. Perhaps it's from the book of letters. ——Preost talk contribs June 30, 2005 15:59 (UTC)

I wonder about the statement "shed his identity as a gay man". The statement suggests he participated in a gay lifestyle or subculture (such as it was at the time) which he gradually abandonned. Fr. Damascene's bio merely hints at this aspect of his life, but I don't see much to indicate this was the case. Of course, homo- and bisexuality wasn't uncommon in the beat community, but that always sruck me as having more to do with the rejection of bourgeois middle-class values than an affirmation of homosexuality as such. That may have come about later as a development of beat thought, but I don't know that it was an explicit part of that movement. I could be wrong, of course. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:34, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

The homosexuality material is from the book Seraphim Rose: The True Story and Private Letters by his niece, Cathy Scott. Eugene made references to his homosexuality in letters to two different friends (who were straight, not gay). The original letters were given to his niece. Eugene's parents learned he was gay in 1956 upon learning of his sexual relationship for several years with Walter, a friend from high school. Also, Eugene's older brother, Franklin Rose, knew that Eugene was gay. Later, when Eugene lived in San Francisco, he and Jon Gregerson were gay partners and lived together for several years. Eugene met Gleb (Fr. Herman), who was also gay, and they eventually moved to Platina. Once Fr. Seraphim took a vow of celebacy, the sexual relationship with Gleb ended. Eugene only had friendships with women and not romances. In an interview with Fr. Damascene for the book Seraphim Rose, he told the author he knew about Eugene's homosexuality but chose not to write about it for fear Fr. Seraphim would not be sainted and that it would damage Fr. Seraphim's reputation. He asked the author not to include the homosexuality aspect of Eugene's life in Seraphim Rose. March 28, 2007 23:20 (Crscott)


It is odd to name this section "Ho-ty & spiritual search". Further, straightforward NPOV application makes such a title nonsense a bit. Are we talking about Christian ascetic or not? It is obvious that 'spiritual' _search_ presumes a problem (=sin) and the latter cannot be 'neutral' a priory. The section title shall mention 'sins' in general. Or, if you prefer NPOV, leave only 'Spritual search' at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by B7elijah (talkcontribs) 23:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I cleaned up the first sentence of the new paragraph in the Homosexuality section. However, this part:

"There are even some close persons to Fr. Seraphim that assert they do not believe in his previous-to-conversion homosexuality and they contest the authenticity of his homosexual letters. Even though others claim that Fr. Seraphim continued to be a homosexual, intending by this either to condemn him, either to justify homosexuality in Orthodox Faith, their pretensions are not supported in any way."

is extremely awkward and violates a couple of WP principles. First, it is completely unsourced (I've added {{citation needed}} tags) and thus vulnerable to summary deletion. Second, there is an implied opposition to the POV of those claiming that Fr. Seraphim was and/or continued to be a homosexual; this violates WP:NPOV.

I would ask the author of this paragraph to clarify the following:

  1. Who are the persons asserting non-belief in pre-conversion homosexuality and where have these assertions been documented? (See Wikipedia:Verifiability for guidelines.)
  2. What is meant by "continued to be a homosexual"? Does this mean "continued to feel sexual attraction for other men" or "continued to practice sexual intercourse with other men" or indeed something else?
  3. Who are the persons intending to condemn Fr Seraphim by asserting his homosexuality and where have these intentions and assertions been documented?
  4. Who are the persons intending "to justify homosexuality in Orthodox Faith" and where have these intentions been documented?
  5. What is meant by "to justify homosexuality in Orthodox Faith"? Does this mean "a claim that the Orthodox Church should tolerate or accept homosexuality because Fr Seraphim was homosexual", or does it mean "a claim that the Orthodox Church does tolerate or accept homosexuality, as evidenced by Fr Seraphim being both homosexual and venerated"?

The paragraph opens up a couple of interesting avenues of exploration, but the addition of the above information would improve it immensely. JHCC (talk) 16:03, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks to whoever added the attributions. I have added {{citation needed}} tags to these attributions; could you please supply this information, in the interest of verifiability? Thanks.
I have also removed the editorializing about the intentions of those who assert that Fr Seraphim remained a homosexual. Unless questions 4 & 5 above are properly answered, this language is inappropriate. JHCC (talk) 14:47, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
One thing that is interesting about all this is that at least according to canon law, a person who had homosexual experiences should not be ordained into the diaconate and the priesthood, even if these experiences had taken place a long time ago, and actually even if that person was the victim of abuse. This means either that Fr Seraphim was not forthcoming about his past when he was ordained, or (most likely) that economy was exercised in his case. Either way, it is an example of breaking (the strict application of) canon law. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Translation of the Church Fathers[edit]

The sentence:

"He is believed to be the first to translate much of the works of the church fathers' works into English."

looks wrong as is. He doesn't appear to have translated very much of the work of the church fathers' into English at all, and there are plenty of scholarly translations into English of these works that predate him. Now, of course these translations are the work of Catholic and Protestant scholars, but they certainly include works accepted as small-o orthodox by all groups. This line should probably be heavily revised or removed.Ekwos (talk) 22:51, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at how it reads now, and tell me what you think. - Ecjmartin (talk) 00:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Changes in Early life[edit]

I made a few changes, deletions of unsourced claims and author's opinions.

First, the claim that he had a genius level IQ. Since statistically very few people are actually on the "Genius" level, claiming he is one without a source is rather grandiose.

Second, from this sentence: "In addition to a remarkable gift for languages, he also had an acute sense of humor and wit, a quality that escaped both of his biographers"

I deleted the ridiculous last phrase. It is purely the authors opinion whether his biographer failed to capture his humor and/or wit, or not. Frankly, the bit about humor and wit seems rather shaky as well, but I decided to leave it.

Third, I added a "Who" tag to a place where, within quotation marks, the word "beatnik" is being used to describe him, implying that someone specific has called him that.

Finally, I deleted this silly opinion: " but he would better have been described as a polished, if impoverished, bohemian"

While its cute, I don't particularly care that some anonymous Wikipedia editor thinks he's more of a "polished, if impoverished bohemian" as opposed to a "beatnik".

--Pstanton (talk) 06:33, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Well ok then, in light of the silence and lack of sourcing, I will assume the "beatnik" characterization is nothing more the editorial opinion and remove it. --Pstanton (talk) 23:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Toll-House Theory[edit]

I reverted the recent changes to the paragraphs on the toll-house theory, because this is a biographical article on Fr. Seraphim, not an in-depth discussion of the Toll-House theory. For details and discussion of that theory, a separate article should be created, where the details of the doctrine (which, as a former Orthodox Christian who studied Fr. Seraphim, The Soul After Death and the Toll-House theory in some depth, I don't think was presented 100% accurately here, anyway), together with the alleged pros and cons as stated by this saint or that, can be presented. It does not belong here. What is needed here is a simple statement of Fr. Seraphim's position on the subject, together with the barest of descriptions of what the controversy was about. Deeper details should be confined to an article on that subject. I have changed the paragraph to indicate that Rose alleged that the fathers quoted in support of the tollhouses were in support, making this an allegation on his part, rather than a blanket encyclopedic statement of fact. - Ecjmartin (talk) 21:58, 6 August 2010 (UTC)


I am removing the information on Fr Seraphim's 'feast', because it implies that he is canonized. While several people believe him to be a saint, this has not been recognized by any Orthodox Church - at least not yet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Probably a good idea. It does imply his canonization, which hasn't happened as of yet, as you say. I concur. - Ecjmartin (talk) 22:33, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Homosexuality, Revisited[edit]

It is odd to name this section "Ho-ty & spiritual search". Further, straightforward NPOV application makes such a title nonsense a bit. Are we talking about Christian ascetic or not? It is obvious that 'spiritual' _search_ presumes a problem (=sin) and the latter cannot be 'neutral' a priory. The section title shall mention 'sins' in general. Or, if you prefer NPOV, leave only 'Spritual search' at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by B7elijah (talkcontribs) 23:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

It's not odd, at all. "Spiritual search" does not in any way imply sins or problems, only a person who is searching for some higher meaning or power in life. The fact is, that Rose was a homosexual man at this point in his life, who was also engaged in a spiritual search. Lots of homosexuals are spiritual people, regardless of whether certain categories of Christians and others of their ilk happen to think so. Since Rose's homosexuality and his spiritual search coincided during this particular point in his life, chronologically, it stands to reason that the title of this section should be "Spiritual search and homosexuality." This is a NPOV Wikipedia article on Seraphim Rose; if it's hagiography you wish to write or see, check out the Orthodox Wiki or some similar site. No hard feelings intended here, BTW. - Ecjmartin (talk) 00:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
"Spiritual search" does not in any way imply sins or problems, only a person who is searching for some higher meaning or power in life."
My respect for all, but we have to point out the logical shortcomings. This very sentence is self-controversial IMO. Why searching for smth if there is no problem? Statement of fact someone needs "..some higher meaning or power in life" proves the present life is of no (or little) meaning and/or it is powerless. It is what we call problem. - B7elijah 07:20, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely, positively, not. If a homosexual person (or a heterosexual one, for that matter) wishes to undertake some kind of spiritual search, in what conceivable way does this imply that "the present life (as you said) is of no (or little) meaning and/or it is powerless?" This is not implied at all, except perhaps to you. To that person, however, their life might be full of meaning, happy, fulfilled; they simply wish to search for something more. Fact is, Seraphim Rose was a homosexual person at this point in his life, who for whatever reasons (and I've read both of those 1000-page bios of him, BTW) chose to conduct a spiritual search. There is no logical inconsistency in this: he was homosexual, and engaged in a spiritual search. These two facts cannot be disputed, and they were both true of him at one and the same time during this point in his life, so where's the "logical inconsistency?" Again, no disrespect intended; I'm sure you're acting in good faith here, but I just don't see it. - Ecjmartin (talk) 12:18, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Sincere thanks you for the kindly explanation of your view. I'm not going to waste your time but since the matter is serious I feel obliged to try expressing my thought one more time. As a preamble: if you will not agree - no problem, I see you talking from the good-heart so there is no acute necessity to correct anything. But going back to <spiritual> facts (I mean Damascene's book mostly in this case) it can be seen that Father Seraphim's search came out from ..deep suffering and not a 'normal' 'wishing of something more'. Further, many religious lifestories I've read assures me this is rather a rule than accident. He was not a 'normal happy homosexual',- he felt into the problem/sin, called to Lord the God from that hell, and was given a salvation. Kind regards, Elijah. //my English is not very good, sorry// - B7elijah 19:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
  • It is quite questionable that homosexuality must be mentioned in the title. What for? Because somebody considers it very important? This is somebody's particular opinion. Why don't name it "Spiritual search and hard drinking"?

There is no one Wiki document imperatively directing to include homosexuality specifically into the section header. I believe you must provide the sound basis for your reverting. But please don't just appeal to the fact that it took place in the life of this person. It is the body of the article that must contain any facts, and it actually contains them. The section titles shall be NEUTRAL. For example, there is no section title containing any mention of the sexual activities in the Augustine of Hippo article - all these are mentioned in the text and not in the titles. This looks like just a homosexuality lobbing and is a violation of WP:NPOV in fact. Neutrality must be restored by giving the section "Study at Watt's Asian Institute" title for example. B7elijah (talk) 07:52, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

That's fine. I'll revert it, so long as the information itself remains. - Ecjmartin (talk) 13:10, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much, that's very kind of you. B7elijah (talk) 19:47, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Homosexuality Revisited—Again[edit]

I must be falling down on the job; I usually catch attempts to remove references to Fr. Seraphim's early homosexual experience from this article--but this time, I missed it (until today). I realize that many devotees of Fr. Seraphim dislike the fact that had an experience with homosexuality during his early days, but the fact is, he did. Trying to hide from it--or hide all mention of it from other readers--won't change history. This is an encyclopedia, not a hagiography. One's personal opinions on homosexuality, or Fr. Seraphim's experiences of it, have no place in determining what kind of content goes into an encyclopedic article, if said content is verified by reputable, acceptable sources (as this particular content is). Please stop removing this information, because I (or some other responsible editor) will simply reinsert it. Thank you. - Ecjmartin (talk) 22:34, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree. I also understand that some people will be uncomfortable or even scandalised by this aspect of his early life. But we do not whitewash articles of such facts on this basis. People become saints, they are not saints all of their lives. Think also of St Augustine of Hippo for instance. And also St Paul himself of course. There is a separate question as to whether someone's early life is notable information. In Rose's case it seems to have been an important factor in him subsequently becoming Orthodox. Unless it can be established that the information about his early life is false, or inadequately referenced (which it does not appear to be), then it should remain in the article and not removed just because some editors don't like it. Afterwriting (talk) 07:20, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree. As I said, this is an encyclopedia, not a hagiography. Many moons ago, when I was still in the Orthodox Church and still cared (very deeply, at the time!) about Seraphim and his life and reputation, we were taught that the first virtue of any saint is repentance. The Orthodox aren't ashamed to admit that Mary of Egypt was a prostitute in her earlier life, or that Moses the Black was once a murderer, rapist and thief—so what's the big problem, here? Sounds like someone out there needs to learn a little bit more about how the Orthodox define "saint," before coming on here and throwing around all kinds of wild accusations and innuendo, not to mention blatantly uncalled-for and unacceptable remarks like "gay fascist," etc. That's just my opinion; as I said, I quit caring about the cause for Rose's canonization, long ago (though I still admire his dedication to his faith, even if I don't share that faith, today). But I DO care about the truth, and like you, Afterwriting, I'll fight any attempt to whitewash it just to please the Seraphim-partisans out there. If Seraphim Rose is ever canonized, let it be because he was seen as deserving—even with all his alleged "flaws"—not because someone managed to cover up one seemingly unpalatable (to them; not to me) aspect of his life. - Ecjmartin (talk) 00:05, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Notice how in disputing the veracity of the content in the article, at no time did I mention anything regarding my personal beliefs about homosexuality, and indeed the question of whether on not this content should be excluded from the article (and I have argued that it ought to be) has nothing to do with how anyone feels about homosexuality per se, as it rightly shouldn't. So that isn't a problem for me, though it appears to be for others here, whose eagerness to associate Fr. Seraphim Rose with homosexual activity (as evidenced by the smug, hand-waving dismissals with which reasoned skepticism of scantily supported assertions is routinely met in this forum) strongly belies their stated commitment to neutrality and bespeaks a troubling concern for the propaganda value of the disputed content. That it indeed has propaganda value in the eyes of some is a demonstrable fact, not an opinion: Gay Studies anyone? According to advocates of this school of thought, many formally supposed intellectual and artistic luminaries of the past, from Michelangelo to Shakespeare and beyond, were actually practicing homosexuals, a claim which aims ostensibly to establish greater credibility for homosexual behavior by associating its practice with authoritative or otherwise impressive historical personages. I see evidence that many here who have persisted in reinserting the unsubstantiated references to Eugene Rose's supposed homosexuality in the absence of any further elaboration of the basis of their unquestioning acceptance of the single source from which they clearly derive, are strongly biased by virtue of their sympathy with the values, aims, and prejudices of such advocates, and that this bias makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a reasoned consensus on the matter through honest discussion in accordance with established WP policy. You accuse me of attempting to "whitewash" the history of Father Seraphim by suppressing the "truth" about him, but where is your evidence to back up this accusation? Thus far, I've presented a number of distinct arguments in this talk section against inclusion, none of which invoke anything remotely resembling moral objections to homosexuality, or of Eugene Roses's alleged participation in homosexual activity, or against the publishing of facts regarding homosexual activity on such grounds. In opposition to these arguments, we have yet to hear much beyond snide dismissals and the usual moralizing rhetoric regarding the inadmissibility of religious scruples as a basis for objecting to the contents of the article. This again, demonstrates bias on the part of my interlocutors, besides an unwillingness to view NPOV in any other terms than those which suit their own personal ideological tastes. Gay is in, and thus all who are charged with gayness, irrespective of the source of the charge and upon any and all grounds, are automatically deemed "guilty" until proven "innocent". Needless to say, this attitude flies in the face of the ideal of NPOV. The truth is that the burden of proof lies squarely with the one who is making the claim, and not the other way around. So far Cathy Scott has, at least by formal academic standards, failed to adequately meet this burden. The same can be said, a fortiori, of those who employ her as an authoritative source in attempting to furnish adequate reference for statements regarding the sexual activities of Eugene Rose, of which, in point of fact, literally nothing is known. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

'Fr. Seraphim Rose's alleged pre-conversion homosexuality is far from an established fact and the issue goes far beyond concerns over so-called "pious whitewashing".

On the contrary, at stake here is the responsible dissemination of the most relevant, best supported factual material on the subject at hand, and not anyone's private theological interpretation of the Eastern Orthodox Church's conception of sin, salvation, or sainthood. So far, those who've expressed serious reservations in this forum regarding the strenuously guarded pre-conversion homosexuality narrative have been uniformly maligned by a small yet vocal contingent of self-professed LGBT movement supporters (just have a look at the job description of the original author of the article on Fr. Seraphim or the various affiliations of the Wiki editors most prominently active in editing its content through the years) as vandals, pious hagiographers, and bowdlerizers, attempting to suppress the free flow of information for the sole purpose of concealing a truth unpalatable to their ideological or religious sensibilities. Unfortunately, the sweeping accusations of dishonesty made by such persons has served to create an atmosphere where the smug sanctimony of reverse bigots routinely prevails over the higher obligations of principled commitment to the imperatives of reasoned criticism and neutrality.

What is in fact dishonest is to suggest that there is even a scrap of integrity in the act of publishing scabrous assertions regarding the private personal details of a public person which appear nowhere in the major acknowledged biographical work on the subject, based on nothing but a single source, whose knowledge of her subject matter and credibility as an authority on Fr. Seraphim is highly questionable, to say the least. In the complete absence of any forthcoming corroboration of such claims in the form of publicly accessible source documents (the author of the work referenced in support of these allegations , crime writer Cathy Scott, bases here statements specifically on several letters in her possession alleged to have been written by then Eugene Rose to a friend, which she has refused to release in any form for further authentication by those whose acquaintance with Fr. Seraphim's handwriting derives from years of direct correspondence with the man himself), to insist that they are left to stand in their current form is unwarranted and smacks of bias. Simply publishing something in a book doesn't make it credible or true, or worthy of repetition by any putatively reputable source of information created for the purposes of public and academic reference.

Cathy Scott is a sensationalist crime writer, who just happens to have been Fr. Seraphim Rose's niece. Given the genre in which she plies her trade as a writer, and considering the wealth of published material on Fr. Seraphim already available prior to the appearance of her own work on the subject, there is ample reason to suggest a motivation for injecting a sensationalist element into the narrative apart from her own stated desire to "tell the whole story" about an uncle who by her own account, she barely even knew or interacted with while he was alive. The claims of Cathy Scott and the writer of the article upon whose book his own article relies exclusively for its alleged "revelations", should quite properly be considered hearsay and thus duly liable to the same sort of reasonable dissent which any rational person would be justified in expressing toward claims of a personally discrediting nature. Fr. Seraphim's renown being based solely on his reputation as an Orthodox writer and ascetic of distinction, all assertions redounding to serious personal discredit must arguably meet higher evidential standards than those implicit in the argument that "someone said it in a book somewhere and then a college journalist later picked it up and published it on the internet".

The uncritical publishing of unsubstantiated assertions of a severely damaging nature in the teeth of both fierce dissent and a conspicuous lack of an effort on the part of the accusing parties to resolve the difficulty by evidentiary means (in this case, disclosing the actual letters, rather than typed transcriptions) appears to differ little from what might be considered the literary equivalent of malicious gossip, and if such reasoning would obviously fail to pass intellectual muster at the Encyclopedia Britannica, then why should it be so welcomed at Wikipedia? Whether anyone likes it or not, it is a plain fact that homosexuality is a source of great shame and discredit within the Orthodox Church community (St. John Chrysostom declares it a crime worse than murder) a prominent association with which Fr. Seraphim derives his significance as a person of note.

The charge of pre-conversion homosexuality is clearly a disputed item in his life-narrative with no clear authoritative or other evidentiary support and which is also of a severely slanderous and discrediting nature. As such, it should not be allowed to remain by Wikipedia editors in its current form. The burden of proof, contra "EcjMartin" is on those who insist on uncritically regarding scandalous allegations as "facts" and who, on spurious grounds, hijack a public source of information in order to promulgate a tendentious religious viewpoint, as evidenced by his discussion of the case of Augustine of Hippo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

The late Father Lawrence Williams, formerly of Etna, CA, USA, a spiritual son of Father Seraphim Rose, a personal friend with whom he also corresponded regularly in the final years of the latter's life, took great exception to the claims Cathy Scott published in her Fr. Seraphim Rose, The True Story and Private Letters.

Many of the best known photographs of Fr. Seraphim in print, including the one used on the cover of the most recent publication of what is acknowledged to be standard biographical reference on his life by Hieromonk Damascene Christensen (a.k.a. John Christensen) were taken by Father Lawrence with his personal camera. I have personally corresponded with him in the past and his identity as a friend of Fr. Seraphim and association with the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina are easily verifiable through cursory research. In an archived post to the Father Seraphim Yahoo Group, he affirms the following:

(Original post available for viewing here: )

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by with QMQP; 31 Oct 2003 01:19:06 -0000

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Original Message From: "Nicholas Richard" savva70@... To: Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 1:59 PM Subject: RE: [father-seraphim] IPS Lazar Puhalo

Nicholas: This is not a put down on you. You did write the following and I feel I have to comment on it!

Indeed Eugene Rose was a homosexual, but he repented well before becoming Orthodox and of course long before he became Fr. Seraphim. I know people who really respect Fr. Seraphim, then find out about his scandalous past and can't forgive him for it.

Dear List members

We can not say that "Indeed Eugene Rose was a homosexual". Father Seraphim was my Spiritual Father and I must tell you that I never, never ever, saw or recognized that he was at one time a homosexual. I have corresponded with Cathy Scott, who was Father Seraphim's niece. She rarely spent any time around him before he became Orthodox and less after his conversion. Not to defame her, but she proved by her letters to me that she did not know the least thing about monasticism. This brings up my point.

Cathy Scott's book is pseudo-hagiography. It is False Holy Writing. It does not come from within the Church of Christ. Once again, nothing against Ms. Scott! She quotes supposed letters from the then Eugene Rose where he supposedly admits to being homosexual. I know Father Seraphim's handwriting and have asked to see originals of these letters. I am still waiting. This amounts to an alleged confession of homosexuality. If a clergyman is accused of a sexual sin his bishop must call the witnesses against him. These witnesses must be members of the Orthodox Church. If they are not Orthodox Christians the case is dropped. Once again, not to bash Ms. Scott, but, she is not Orthodox. Frank Schaeffer should have never published this book. He probably didn't know better. This book does not proceed from within the Church. True Hagiography does. This book is nothing that we can base our lives on. It was thrown together and published quickly. Many, many of the photographs in the book belong to the Hermitage or me personally. I was not even asked if they could be used. Everything about the book is suspect. Ms. Scott writes books about murdered Rap Stars. One of them is entitled The Murder of Biggie Smalls. Another one is entitled The Killing of Tupac Shakur. This is what Ms. Scott is good at, this is her writing skill. Because a person can write books does not make their books part of the Tradition of the Church. It almost makes me sick to go to Ms. Scott's Website and to see my Holy Father's photograph along with photographs of Rap Stars. Indeed, we can not say that Eugene Rose was a homosexual and I am here sitting at the Hermitage computer to prove it and tell you all this is so. Will the next step be to proclaim Blessed Seraphim the Patron Saint of Gays? I'm sorry folks - this book just doesn't work.

As for Lev (Lazar) Puhalo he should not even be discussed. He believes some things that the Orthodox Church has refuted and proclaimed false centuries ago. Our Father Seraphim was a holy man. The very fact that someone would be so against his teachings for so many years only proves where they are coming from. As far as his allegation of Father Seraphim's supposed homosexuality all I can say is that the thought had never entered his head until Ms. Scott's book was released.

Thank you for finally having the integrity to express your concerns instead of constantly removing the information. Your many very offensive comments about other editors' "agendas" have not helped your cause. I suggest that you now need to allow other editors to respond to your comments on this page. I consider your comments to be highly problematic. Apart from being very polemical in nature you have also made it clear that you are involved in Conflict of Interest (COI) editing issues as described at WP:COI. Anglicanus (talk) 16:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

My comments are only problematic when viewed through the blinders of the hypocritical façade of formalized editing patois people like you hide behind while systematically imposing your own partisan views through a calculated and condescending obfuscation that happily defines any fact which you happen not to like as "problematic" and "polemical". It is indeed staggering to note the complete absence of any similarly worded admonitions appended to the screamingly tendentious postings of Afterthought and Ecjmartin, where all talk of veracity, adequate reference, and all other evidentiary categories are eschewed in favor of callow theological polemics invoking the sordid misadventures of historic religious figures having nothing whatsoever to do with Fr. Seraphim, much less the resolution of questions relating to the proper observance of Wikipedia NPOV vis-a-vis content whose sources are problematic from a purely academic point of view of secular fact finding. If the concerns I raised about the nature and source of the claims in question are seen as representing a "conflict of interest" contra NPOV, then what exactly do you call a bunch of brazen theological ranting that, with grandiose sanctimony, waxes moralistic on the supposed need, and here I paraphrase, "to embrace the past lives of our saints"? If there is anyone who needs to keep their biased religious interpretations to themselves in adjudicating the appropriateness of the content in question and its adherence to the norms and standards prescribed by established Wikipedia etiquette, it is those editors who are putting forth a combination of bald assertions and their own personal theological opinions as a basis for imposing a dishonest, one sided view of the disputed information. Moreover, arguments which cite the supposed relevancy of Rose's alleged homosexuality to his entrance into the Orthodox Church or to his progress in developing the ascetic spiritual life for which he is famous among people of diverse churches and creeds are likewise misleading and irrelevant. The issue at hand is rather one of veracity and of the adequacy and credibility of the source in question. FACTS, not personal preferences, religious scruples, or opinions based on published assertions which, as I have shown, amount (at least in their present state of verification) to little more than the curious emanations of an aggressively trite form of unsubstantiated literary gossip that one might reasonably expect from the author of such classics of modern prose as The Millionaire's Wife: The True Story of a Real Estate Tycoon, his Beautiful Young Mistress, and a Marriage that Ended in Murder, Murder of a Mafia Daughter, and The Killing of Tupac Shakur.

Again, do any from among those Wikipedians who persist in beating the drum of Fr. Seraphim's purported homosexuality as an irrefragable "fact" which should appear boldly within the Wikipedia article describing his life and person, have anything of in the way of substance to lend support to such an argument, beyond the fact that the claim in question appears in a single book by a writer who, by any reasonable standard, is completely out of her professional element, whose "research" contradicts the affirmations of those who lived with and knew Fr. Seraphim, and who injects a novelty into his life-narrative which just happens to jibe with the sensationalist "expose" style of the literary genre whose trade she plies for a living and which is UTTERLY ABSENT from the published work of Damascene (John) Christensen, a work acknowledged as the major authoritative biography of Fr. Seraphim, a mammoth tome of over 1000pp covering every aspect of his life from his birth up until his very death?

The only other reference being cited in support of homosexuality claims is an article from a then college student at Pomona College, composed for publication in a collegian journal. Every bit of the material from that article cited in support of the veracity of these claims, and on the basis of which various Wikipedia editors have declared the disputed content as "adequately referenced", is drawn from none other than Cathy Scott. Cathy Scott is in fact the only source of these claims. I submit that this is not a sufficient basis to publish such assertions in the context of an ideologically neutral article that purports to present factual information about a notable person's life and activity for the purpose of expanding public knowledge. If Cathy Scott had written that her uncle had killed kittens and small puppies for sport prior to becoming an Orthodox monk, would the mere existence of such alleged factoids either floating around the web or recorded in a lurid, tell-all style paperback expose of modest length, also then qualify for publication under the aegis of established Wikipedia etiquette, on the bizarrely anti-intellectual logic tacitly endorsed by those supporting the uncritical inclusion of controversially charged, non-independently verified information of a similarly unsubstantiated nature in the present case? Obviously not. It is therefore clear that those intent on vigorously championing these unsupported claims as "established facts" by entering into editing wars with those who express reasonable concerns regarding their highly questionable veracity and sourcing are in violation of Wikipedia NPOV and are indeed pursuing an agenda, as stated previously.

The long and short of the matter is that until properly substantiated in accordance with established academic standards of peer-review and critical reflection, all references to the supposed pre-conversion homosexual lifestyle of Fr. Seraphim Rose should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

A compromise...[edit]

Okay, I've put what I think is an excellent compromise edit into the article on Seraphim Rose's homosexuality. It gives space to both sides in the dispute, and clearly indicates more than once the alleged nature of Cathy Scott's assertions. I would invite the other gentleman or lady involved in this dispute (or anyone else who's interested) to insert reference sources at the end of that paragraph to point readers to those (such as you indicated on the talk page) who have challenged Scott's assertions, so that they may read their arguments for themselves. I think this is a good way to word this section, one that could potentially satisfy both sides in this dispute and avoid any further edit warring on this topic. Take a look, folks, and tell me what you think. - Ecjmartin (talk) 01:42, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

I respectfully object to this revision. There is in fact no need for a "compromise" on the matter, since their is no sound basis for inclusion in the first place. Wikipedia is an Encyclopedia. It's aim is to serve as a public reference, no different than that of The World Book Encyclopedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica. No reputable published encyclopedia would reprint such assertions, particularly the names of alleged gay lovers and the specifics of their ethnic extraction. Who needs to know that Jon Gregerson (if he is indeed a real person and not a figment of Cathy Scott's literary imagination of a piece with the supposed high-level government conspiracy to kill rapper Tupac Shakur, the subject of one of her more notable essays in exploitative celebrity buncombe) was of Finnish extraction or the circumstances under which he allegedly met Fr. Seraphim Rose? On this logic, if Fr. Seraphim had been introduced to Orthodoxy by a homeless drug addict career criminal, would interested readers need to know the latter's nationality and personal details as well? This is a blatant attempt to infuse unsubstantiated assertions with an air of authority more readily associated with statements and claims qualified or embellished by the enumeration of trivial specifics where more general references would ostensibly serve to detract from inherent plausibility, and thus leave many readers unconvinced. As such, it reeks of propagandistic intent, a violation of WP:NPOV.

What has been cited as justification for this passage is an unsubstantiated and unsupported work of lurid sensationalist gossip akin to that routinely featured in celebrity tabloid journalism. Its only real source (from which all its present currency in internet circles derives) is a single celebrity tabloid writer who presents a picture of her subject significantly at variance with the authoritative biography of Damascene (John) Christensen, the acknowledged major work on Seraphim Rose, which should be accorded priority as a source of biographical details over a 200pp "expose" by a celebrity hack writer who had demonstrably less access than Christensen to relevant source materials and persons directly acquainted with Fr. Seraphim before and after his religious conversion. By her own account, Ms. Scott's mother Eileen Rose Busby, the older sister of Fr. Seraphim Rose was already married and living away from home while her brother was still a kid growing up in San Diego, and Cathy Scott barely knew her uncle before his conversion, and saw or knew even less of him after it. It has no place in any intellectually responsible discussion of the man and his works. Accordingly, the editors at the "OrthodoxWiki" entry for Fr. Seraphim Rose deleted the offending passage long ago. In the interests of neutrality and respect for academic standards of evidence I submit that Wikipedia should follow suit forthwith. (talk) 14:50, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Your comments are riddled with your own unsubstantiated and extremely polemical claims. And you are still continuing to make highly offensive and un-Christian personal comments about other editors' agendas. I strongly object to your behaviour. Anglicanus (talk) 14:57, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Vandal editor Anglicanus refuses to address or otherwise discuss the reasonable and highly relevant objections outlined against inclusion of the disputed passage and is pursuing an agenda driven, unilateral editing campaign in violation of WP: NPOV and WP:COI, as evidenced by his continued invocation of offensive and irrelevant theological rhetoric and related moral aspersions96.246.94.117 (talk)
Do you own a mirror? If so then I suggest that you look into it while repeating this vile diatribe but replace "Anglicanus" with your own name. Anglicanus (talk) 15:20, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Please desist from your unauthorized edit-warring and flagrant violation of WP:NPOV and WP:COI. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Please desist from your constant sinful words and actions. Anglicanus (talk) 15:28, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Note to WP Admin, it is impossible to reach a reasoned consensus on disputed issues with so many editors here pursuing their own transparent theological and personal agendas96.246.94.117 (talk)
And you, sir or madam, being first and foremost among them. I offered a reasonable compromise that clearly indicated Cathy Scott's allegations as strictly that: allegations. I equally indicated that other authors disagree with her analysis, and question her sources. That's as NPOV as you can get. As a person who spent ten years in the Orthodox Church (ROCOR and OCA), I am well aware of the desire many Americans and others have to see a "home-grown" American Orthodox convert canonized as a saint. And I would freely admit, even now, that Fr. Seraphim probably deserves it, based on his commitment to his faith and his many contributions and ascetic deeds (all of which I still admire and respect, even though I left Orthodoxy long ago). What I think is sad here is that you can't seem to admit that possibility that Fr. Seraphim might have done the things Ms. Scott said he did--but later changed his course in life and took a different road, one more agreeable to the Orthodox Christian viewpoints on homosexuality. And that is all that my proposed wording proposes to say. Totally irrelevant to this discussion is the issue of the kind of books Ms. Scott has written in the past, or how well she knew Fr. Seraphim as a youngster. Steven Spielberg is best known for making films like "Jaws," "E.T." and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but that didn't stop him from creating a masterwork in a completely different film genre with "Schindler's List." Nothing in Ms. Scott's resume automatically prevents her from writing serious history, nor does her resume automatically preclude the veracity of the letters she cites--and THAT is the real issue, here. If she has refused to release them for authentication, that would be something I would wonder about, myself (so I don't blame you for questioning why she hasn't), but even that doesn't automatically make them false. The bottom line here, I think, is your unwillingness to concede even the mention of this subject in the article. Articles about saints mention alleged miracles done by these men and women that have never been conclusively verified; yet nobody disputes their inclusion in the article unless the miracle is stated as a confirmed fact, when it isn't. In like manner, there is no reason for this article not to refer to Fr. Seraphim's alleged homosexuality, so long as it is presented as alleged, and not as fact. I freely admit on my own part that the original wording did not reflect this alleged nature, and that was a shortcoming on my part that I have now offered to remedy. I invite you to reconsider the wording proposed by myself and confirmed by other WP editors, as the best way to settle this contentious issue. - Ecjmartin (talk) 17:26, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Your arguments are misguided and lack relevancy. What I or anyone else thinks about the ultimate truth of the matter is of no account in the adjudication of the dispute at hand, much less are concerns over the impact of said truths on the outcome of Fr. Seraphim's allegedly impending canonization. In this regard, I can affirm together with you that I have no idea what the truth is about the actual nature and extent of Fr. Seraphim's pre-conversion sexual experiences. But the fact is that the issue that's relevant to our discussion here does not turn on anyone's opinion regarding the likelihood of whether what Ms. Scott alleges about Fr. Seraphim is true or false. What is at stake is the issue of warrant and professional standards of discourse in publishing controversial claims where independent verification is precluded. This has nothing to do with the standards of hagiographical discourse, which are a different matter altogether. This article is meant as an Encyclopedic reference, not a hagiography. As such, it must comply with accepted standards of academic discourse, including both etiquette and the proper selection and justification of source material. In view of the foregoing, and as I've argued below, the passages as currently written have no business being published in an Encyclopedia striving to present only the best corroborated and most relevant information about its subjects. (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 19:40, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

My arguments are neither misguided, nor lacking in relevancy. On the contrary, it would seem that you are having a hard time addressing the basic issue here, which is whether this article should contain information from a published source which you personally consider "offensive" (I believe I am quoting you correctly, there). It seems to offend you (from what you have said) to believe that Fr. Seraphim might have been homosexual; it offends your sense of what a saint or holy man should "be." That's your prerogative to be offended by that, but not to remove it from this article just because you don't like it. And when it's all said and done, THAT's what this edit war is ultimately all about. I conceded that the original wording of that paragraph (prior to the inception of this conflict between you and the three of us) needed to be changed to reflect the alleged nature of Scott's allegations. However, you have no right to demand that all mention of these allegations be censored from this article altogether, which is precisely what you are demanding. We have offered a compromise wording (which I have recently tightened up to make it even more reflective of the alleged nature of these allegations) which clearly indicates that the allegations are alleged and unproven, without censoring them altogether from the article. It may be hard for you to believe this, but I bear you no ill will--ten years ago, I was a Seraphim partisan just like yourself. But I have never believed in censoring stuff I don't like, and I'll fight against your attempt to do so here. Nothing personal; it's just the principal of the thing. I await the arrival of the Wiki-mediator, and I'll defer ultimate judgment to him/her/them. - Ecjmartin (talk) 00:38, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Your arguments are indeed very misguided, besides mistakenly construing my use of the word "offending" in describing the disputed material ("offending" as in, "transgressing some known law or principle", in this case, established standards of professional discourse and WP etiquette and policy), which you have falsely conflated with "offensive". "Offensive" and "offending" have distinct senses and are not merely variations of the same word. Nowhere have I stated anything remotely resembling an argument to remove said content based on personal feelings, religious scruples or a sense of repugnance or dislike of homosexuality. This is a rationale you continue to groundlessly impute to my posts here, and your persistence in ignoring the several carefully articulated arguments I've put forth in support of exclusion (not "censorship", a clearly demagogic term in this context) based on relevancy, neutrality, appropriateness, and sourcing credibility issues, suggests that the only glaring bias on display is your own.

More than once now you've raised the point of your past admiration of Fr. Seraphim Rose and subsequent apostasy from the Eastern Orthodox Church while accusing me, on little more than your own presumption, of being a "Fr. Seraphim Partisan" seeking to "censor" material I don't like, a practice which you say you find offensive. You then proceed in hysterical fashion to vow to "fight" me to prevent the changes I've proposed. Is this really what you call adherence to "principle"? If so, I'd like to remind you that in adopting such an approach to addressing disputes raised on this page, you stand in clear violation of WP:COI and WP:NPOV, which first and foremost stipulate adherence to WP protocol and policy, not personal tastes and convictions --mine or your own.

The fact is that my motives, alleged or otherwise, for pursuing a case in favor of excluding this specific material are totally irrelevant, and any requests for changes I've submitted thus far have been argue on purely critical grounds, and not upon religion or anything else. To this end I have gone to great lengths to clarify my position. You may choose to continue to studiously ignore what I have written in critical opposition to the recent formulations of this material and instead sideline the discussion with endless ad hominem attacks and obfuscations, but the fact remains that those demanding that accusations of homosexual practice by Seraphim Rose be included in an article about his life which is intended as a public resource on the basis of claims made by notorious hack authors and other non independently corroborated sources, need to come up with something more substantial than "we hate censorship and suspected religious people who appear to us to oppose or otherwise disdain homosexuality". Ill will does not enter in here. There is no "hate" of any kind. If and when Ms. Cathy Scott decides to furnish public scholarly access to the purported documents upon which she bases the novel claims presented in her book Seraphim Rose: The True Story and Private Letters, your current wording (minus the qualifier alleged) may very well prove acceptable. But until such time, and in the interest of neutrality and credibility, it must not remain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Obstacles to consensus on inclusion of the controversial assertions of Cathy Scott...[edit]

Users "Afterwriting" and others here are abusing their privileges as WP editors in order to take sides in a meaningful dispute over the inclusion of inappropriate material that, by any established professional standard, has no place in a reputable encyclopedic reference. The documentary support adduced in favor of this content by its intransigent advocates at the Talk page proceeds from demonstrably spurious sources, is salacious in nature, and is notably absent in the acknowledged authoritative biography of the subject by Damascene (John) Christensen. Moreover, a bloc of editors dissenting from the removal of the offending passages have posed a crippling obstacle to WP's required consensus by ignoring substantive issues necessary for resolving the dispute and instead resorting to a campaign of threats, accusations, and glib personal attacks, while persistently and flagrantly asserting their personal and theological biases (conspicuously on display in multiple Talk posts immediately visible to all) as a basis for blocking any such consensus. This is a clear violation of WP:NPOV and only serves to undermines the credibility of Wikipedia as a responsible and reliable public reference source. (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

And just how are myself and other editors expected to engage in any "meaningful dispute" when all you seem to want to do is to go on some irrelevant rant and make many highly uncivil personal attacks about our "gay agenda" and so? And for what it's worth I am not gay so it is a bit difficult for me to have a "gay agenda". Afterwriting (talk) 17:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
"Acknowledged authoritative biography???" You mean the one he had to write TWICE to remove a ton of scandalous allegations he made about ROCOR and it's hierarchs???? I read BOTH of them, not once but several times. - Ecjmartin (talk) 18:22, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Most of the information you speak of was never actually removed but rather given a more neutral exposition in subsequent editions. The few sections where Fr. Damascene did excise some material, he has stated in interviews and various articles (as well as the introduction to the revised edition) that he did so in a spirit of conciliation and out of concern for relevancy and of shifting the focus to more edifying elements of Fr. Seraphim Rose's personal piety and teachings. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of the edited material was removed or altered in order to correct fabrications of lies of any kind. That biography, incidentally, is the primary source of information we have on Fr. Seraphim and is based on years of research and the accumulated testimony of those who knew him and lived with him, unlike the later work of crime writer extraordinaire Cathy Scott, who, as we've already established, publishes celebrity buncombe for a living. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Tell that to someone who hasn't read both books, as many times as I have. And by the way, you might remember that according to "Lives of a Saint," Fr. Damascene admitted the truth of Scott's allegations about Seraphim's homosexuality, admitting also that he chose to ignore that basically because he didn't believe in focusing on the negative. Fine, if that's what he wants to do, but that fact ought to be stated here, especially since your present his biography as "the authoritative work" on his life.
You are invoking rank hearsay. The person that wrote the article you cite was a young undergraduate at the time whose research relied completely on secondary sources, and specifically on Cathy Scott's book which, for the reasons I've already expressed, suffers from serious credibility issues and certainly does not deserve to be accorded priority over the ten year long intensive labor of Damascene (John) Christensen. The source of this alleged "admission" of Christensen regarding knowledge of pre-conversion homosexual behavior by Eugene Rose is arguably Cathy Scott herself, who repeats these same allegations in a previous section of this WP talk page some years ago, when she appeared to make edits to the content currently under dispute. Therefore, if you seek to buttress Ms. Scott's assertions by citing the words of Fr. Seraphim's major biographer, then I would respectfully request a link or other reference pointing to some discussion or statement by Fr. Damascene in which such remarks appear. (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 02:46, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
You could try addressing some of the arguments rather than spewing rhetoric attacking my character and motives while scrupulously avoiding any of the numerous legitimate critical concerns I've raised regarding the problematic nature of the passages in question vis-à-vis established standards of academic discourse and WP etiquette. The exaggerated personal indignation of those who opt to abuse and exploit the niceties of WP protocol rather than justify their stated position with anything more than aggressive hand-waving and appeals to vague theological and moralistic glosses does not constitute any kind of a rational argument96.246.94.117 (talk)
And what you are doing is "rational argument"? If so then you must live in an alternative universe where "rational argument" is what is called "ranting" in this universe. Afterwriting (talk) 18:22, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I've made a cumulative argument against inclusion in the talk section along several logically independent lines, which you have either failed to properly comprehend or deliberately chosen to ignore, in preference to a strategy of defamation and abuse. I am justified in questioning the suitability of this content for Encyclopedic purposes in the form in which it currently appears. You are behaving dishonestly and violating WP norms. Please cease from your edit warring and from attempting to unilaterally impose your ideological prejudices on the WP community through a pattern of harassment and threats. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

This article has just been submitted for formal mediation to WP's mediation committee. We'll let WP's higher powers decide. And by the way, I invite you here and now to prove the "demonstratively spurious" nature of Ms. Scott's book and/or sources, especially in light of what I wrote in the previous section, above. - Ecjmartin (talk) 17:42, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

To which "previous section above" do you refer? Your objection has been comprehensively addressed in the preceding paragraphs. The claims Ms. Scott makes in her book are clearly of a private and salacious nature and notably contradict the picture of Fr. Seraphim's sexuality presented by the major biography of Fr. Seraphim, where it is implied by D. Christensen in multiple places that Eugene's sexual orientation in no way deviated from the heterosexual norm. In opposition to this, Scott purports to quote handwritten letters of Eugene to his friend in which confessions of homosexuality were made, yet no such letters have ever been made available for verification purposes in their original form. The late Father Lawrence Williams of Etna, CA, who was a student and friend of Fr. Seraphim from the 1970's till his death, has affirmed in the Yahoo Seraphim Rose Group post I quoted previously, that his requests to Ms. Scott to make copies of such documents available to him after a period of correspondence were flatly ignored.
To date, Ms. Scott has failed to disclose these allege letters in any form, when it would be quite easy to put the matter to rest by doing so. She has a professional website and could upload them in PDF format for all to see. Let her do so, and I will happily yield to others here in favor of a compromise that presents only the relevant information regarding this aspect of Fr. Seraphim's life which one would expect to see in a standard reference, minus the overtly salacious elements ostensibly included as a means of calling undue attention to peripheral aspects of his personal narrative as a vehicle for promoting propaganda.
In addition, it is the responsibility of those who purport to make novel claims that fly in the face of previous knowledge that bear the burden of proof in establishing the veracity of the notably obscure, hidden sources upon which such claims are based, and not the skeptics who doubt them. Should we just take her word for it? After all, Ms. Scott publishes outlandish buncombe for a living. This is the same person who claims in her book, The Killing of Tupac Shakur, that the rapper's assassination was part of a high level conspiracy within the U.S. Government, involving the FBI. Whatever one's opinion of the ultimate worth of such "literature", its clear that there are obvious credibility issues that need to be taken into account in assessing the credibility of claims regarding the existence of heretofore unknown personal letters of Eugene Rose disclosing previously unknown, private facts of a salacious and discrediting nature. In this connection, the utter lack of additional corroboration by independent sources is indeed troubling. If Eugene Rose was indeed "gay", then why does she, among those who spent years by his side in Platina (and who don't live in a bubble), seem to be the only person who knew about it?
In any event, even if true (and I see no compelling evidence to indicate that it is), Scott's published details regarding Fr. Seraphim's supposedly pre-conversion homosexual experiences have no business in an encyclopedic article composed for the purposes of education and public reference, and this is particular so in the case of the enumeration of specific names, dates, and circumstances surrounding his supposed gay love interests.
The argument according to which "it should be published here because it appears written in a book somewhere" is also hopelessly flawed. If you were writing a biographical article on Hillary Clinton for the Encyclopedia Britannica, would you, invoking this same rationale, reproduce in uncritical form the assertions of books like Barbara Olson's Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Of course you wouldn't. So why not extend to Wikipedia and Fr. Seraphim Rose the same basic academic courtesy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I would include it as being alleged, but not proven. Look, since the article has been submitted for outside mediation, why don't we all agree to wait for the mediator, and continue this discussion at that time? Seems to me we're at an impasse, here, and maybe a fresh set of eyes and ears might be helpful for everyone. - Ecjmartin (talk) 19:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

On hold...[edit]

It seems to me that there's a fundamental impasse here with regard to the paragraph on Fr. Seraphim's alleged homosexuality. I've said quite a bit in this discussion, and gotten a bit hot under the collar a few times while doing so--as is perhaps to be expected, when there is a subject like this on which people feel strongly, but where little or no compromise seems achievable. I bear no ill will whatsoever toward the other party in this dispute, and have invited him/her to put this issue in abeyance pending the arrival of a WP mediator. Of course, I have re-entered the discussion since then to answer further comments or issues he/she has raised, but my better judgment tells me it would be better to lay off this dispute until the mediator arrives--so that's what I'm going to do. I will still revert changes to the article, since I feel very strongly about the censorship issues involved (as I see them; I understand that the other editor sees it as an issue of source reliability instead, and I respect his/her viewpoint); however, I am going to avoid further discussions here until the mediator arrives--as I think one is definitely needed here, and I hope they can give us all a better way of looking at this. If you have been offended by anything I've said,, I do apologize as none of it was meant personally, against you. You feel strongly about your concerns, and I feel strongly about mine, but I still respect you as a person and a fellow Wikipedian. - Ecjmartin (talk)

Over to you. I've let my emotions get the better of me in this discussion, and that was my mistake. I do apologize for any misrepresentation (entirely unintentional, on my part) of your motives or intentions: I "called it the way I saw it," but I clearly saw it wrong, and for that I offer my mia culpa. You call me an "apostate," and such I am--and quite happy to be, by the way! I find that I don't care nearly as much anymore about this particular topic as I once did, so I'll leave it to you guys to sort out. Best of luck to you all. - Ecjmartin (talk) 03:33, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Most of the respondents here seem very eager to construe this as a dispute of an acrimonious personal nature, which it is not. It is a conflict over neutrality and the observance of proper norms in publishing information which adheres to the basic nature and intent of an Encyclopedic reference article. This means publishing only that material which can sufficiently meet critical standards of support, consisting of facts of a straightforward, independently verifiable, and clearly relevant nature. In this case, the alleged and unresolved character of his youthful sexual inclinations and behavior have arguably as much relevance to the life and work of Fr. Seraphim Rose the Eastern Orthodox monk and noted writer on religion and esoterica, as would a similarly reported profession at some earlier point in his life purporting to establish a one-time preference for peanut butter over ham and cheese. And what about Fr. Seraphim's notorious heavy drinking, smoking, and gourmandizing during the pre-Platina years? Should we also then include a precis of what I imagine were his many late night benders, his favorite night spots, or even choice of smokes as part of a reference article that purports to draw on his significance as an exponent of a particular religious tradition as a basis for inclusion as a topic of interest? How about his favorite brand of cereal and, wait...did he have a habit of washing his hands after using the toilet?--let's consult Cathy Scott, professional crime author and avid leading "East Coast-West Coast gangsta rap feud" conspiracy theorist. Needless to say, this simply cannot be sustained as an intelligent nor sound approach to producing Encyclopedic literature fit to meet professional standards of taste and scrutiny expected of any reputable public reference work. The point is that the passage in question does not entail straightforward facts about the subject's life, is of an obviously salacious and sensationalistic nature, is novel, lacks topical relevancy to all but those few readers who might favor its apparent propaganda value, and cannot be independently corroborated or supported by any other credible source, while being at odds with the acknowledged major biographical work on the subject, one which eminent religious scholar and Professor emeritus Houston Smith once called "one of the most important books of the last quarter century"
Whatever the ultimate truth of the matter may be, and that clearly remains to be determined, unsubstantiated assertions regarding personal and private sexual history have no place in a Wikipedia article, and the repeated and unilateral insertion of the same by those pursuing a patently agenda-driven editing war, stands in flagrant violation of established rules outlined under WP:NPOV and WP:COI, and must therefore cease forthwith. (talk) 00:38, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Classical library's self-declared conflict of interest[edit]

With this comment on the talk page, Classical_library has self-declared his conflict of interest regarding this article:

"Indeed, we can not say that Eugene Rose was a homosexual and I am here sitting at the Hermitage computer to prove it and tell you all this is so. Will the next step be to proclaim Blessed Seraphim the Patron Saint of Gays? I'm sorry folks - this book (Cathy Scott's) just doesn't work."

It doesn't get much more conflicting of interest than this. Afterwriting (talk) 11:55, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

This is an utterly false and baseless charge. The preceding isn't my comment all, a fact made crystal clear in the body of the message, which has been deliberately italicized to separate it out from the surrounding section, and which included all headers and source info demonstrating provenance of the message. The link to the website where it has been published and where it clearly appears under another name was also clearly provided.

This was a quotation taken from one of a number of online forum posts by a person named Lawrence Williams (formerly of Etna, CA, now deceased), who knew Seraphim Rose directly, and whose comments and personal knowledge of the subject are directly relevant to the the matter under dispute.

The COI tag attached to this article by Afterwriting reflects an obvious error and should therefore be removed immediatelyClassical library (talk) 16:18, 6 May 2015 (UTC)16:17, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Consensus is currently being blocked by several ideologically motivated users who've taken to imposing their own preferred revision while embarking on a campaign of threats, insults, frivolous user complaints, gratuitous edit-warring, and other behavior clearly intended to silence and intimidate those who disagree and who also provide clear and cogent reasons for their disagreement in talk (which they refuse to address on any meaningful, critical basis) I cannot see how anyone can look at the thousands of words published in support of the present revision at the article's TALK page and say that I have not sincerely pursued consensus through dialogue on the substantive matters of the disputeClassical library (talk) 16:58, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

The COI tag has been restored as I still consider it valid as mentioned on the edit warring noticeboard. Afterwriting (talk) 17:21, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
The comment in question can be verified as belonging to a deceased person, Fr. Lawrence Williams of Etna, CA, who's website called "Fr. Seraphim Hermitage" and previously linked as a source in a previous revision of the WP article on Fr. Seraphim, appeared at
Furthermore, there was an external link provided to the comment in question which shows that it was posted under the name of the preceding in 2003. (scroll down to message 14 or 22)
This COI tag should have been removed yesterday.
Kindly make the necessary revision forthwith.Classical library (talk) 17:35, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I will only say this once more, regardless of my incorrectly thinking that the other comment was a result of your frequent tinkering with old comments I still consider the COI tag to be justified on the basis of other comments of your own. Therefore there is no reason to remove it. Afterwriting (talk) 17:41, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Matters up for discussion[edit]

I believe it is appropriate to return the article to the last version before the most recent edit warring in line with WP:STATUSQUO. Unless there are any objections to this, or any suggestions for improvements, I will do this in around 24 hours from now. I believe it is also probably appropriate to remove the LGBT-related categories from the article. Whatever the truth or otherwise about Rose's alleged youthful sexuality, this does not seem to me to be notable enough for these categories to be associated with the article. So unless there is any objections or discussion in the next 24 hours I will remove these categories. As a gesture of good will and good faith I also intend to remove the COI tag, but it may be added again if an edit war resumes (which I very much hope it will not). Afterwriting (talk) 11:37, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

I'd like to go on record here that in actuality the entire section regarding alleged homosexuality should be scrapped as it constitutes unverified scuttlebut which appears nowhere in the acknowledged major biography of his life, besides bearing no relevance whatsoever to the intended subject matter, since Fr. Seraphim Rose plainly did not identify as homosexual during his life and the basis for his inclusion in Wikipedia has nothing whatsoever to do with anything relating to homosexuality. While a final agreement could not be reached in talk on this matter, a tentative compromise was previously struck wherein the claim would appear but would be tempered by the inclusion of a short countervailing statement. But to be clear, and for the reasons enumerated above, I favor the removal of these spurious, novel, irrelevant, and unsubstantiated allegations in their entirety, and plan to do so in the near future barring any cogent and compelling objections to the contrary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

The passage in question... "Other biographers and scholars have disputed Scott's assertion, questioning the authenticity of the sources she used in making it."
The matter is quite simple; clarify who these "biographers and scholars" are, source it, and present it for inclusion. Zaathras (talk) 20:48, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

This passage was included as part of a compromise reached since the claims of homosexuality are of questionable veracity and derive from a single source of dubious credibility. If you insist on removing the portion questioning the spurious and irrelevant claims regarding alleged sexual behavior, a compromise which has stood for five years, then the entire section alleging past homosexuality (which is sourced exclusively from an "expose" written by a notorious tabloid author) must also be removed, for all the reasons stated previously in talk.

User "C.Fred" has recently been engaging in an edit war to prevent the current revision excluding the disputed assertions from appearing at Wikipedia. He has proffered no cogent or compelling argument for doing so, other than the claim that no "multi-editor consensus" has been reached on the matter. But if that were the sufficient to block a particular revision of an article, then literally nothing could ever be published by Wikipedia, since such a plurality of consensus is notably lacking in all but a handful of articles appearing therein. "C.Fred" should recuse himself from any further editing of this article, since doing so involves him in blatant conflict of interest, as his user page indicates that he is a member of Phi Kappa Theta, a fraternal organization with direct ties to the Catholic Church, whereas Seraphim Rose is well known as a strident critic of the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings, with notable examples of his quite overt anti-Catholicism appearing prominently in numerous books and articles, including the widely read Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, St. Herman's Press, 1975. Continued editing of this article by user "C.Fred" therefore constitutes a blatant violation of Wikipedia rules, namely WP:COI and WP:NPOV.

The rationale for exclusion of the statements in question has been amply set forth. It is about neutrality and the observance of proper norms in publishing information which adheres to the basic nature and intent of an encyclopedic reference article. This means publishing only that material which can sufficiently meet critical standards of support, consisting of facts of a *straightforward, independently verifiable, and clearly relevant* nature. The allegations of past homosexuality clearly present a glaring novelty within the body of published work addressing the subject matter of Seraphim Rose and his life and work. They do not appear anywhere else except in one source, produced by a tabloid writer with serious credibility issues and a lack of direct access to first hand information on the subject. They contradict the acknowledged major work on Seraphim Rose, written by John Christensen, as well as the the testimony of others like the late Fr. Lawrence Williams of Etna, CA, who personally knew and regularly corresponded with Seraphim Rose. This is a sufficient basis for deeming these statements as disputed and unsuitable for publication as established "objective" facts about the subject's life appropriate for inclusion within what purports to be a neutral, unbiased reference article.

Needless to say, this simply cannot be sustained as an intelligent nor sound approach to producing encyclopedic literature fit to meet professional standards of taste and scrutiny expected of any reputable public reference work.

To sum up:

1) The disputed passages do not contain straightforward, established, and incontrovertible facts about the subject's life. Their inclusion thus compromises the neutrality of the article, violating WP:NPOV, making it a vehicle for the propagation of spurious scuttlebut, as opposed to objective facts about the subject.

2) The disputed passages are of an obviously salacious and sensationalistic nature, incongruent with the gist and tenor of the content appearing in rest of the article.

3) The disputed passages are novel, appearing nowhere else in the available body of writings addressing the subject's life and work.

4) The disputed passages lack topical relevancy, as Seraphim Rose never self-identified as a homosexual and the basis for inclusion of his person and writings as a subject of interest of sufficient public interest to merit an entry in an public reference work, bears no relation to anything remotely relevant to homosexual culture or, for that matter, sexuality of any kind. The claims themselves are based on nothing but uncorroborated hearsay. Dubious allegations of past sexual behavior simply do not belong in this article, any more than dubious allegations concerning other kinds of past behaviors or associations could be held to properly belong. To seize upon these particular claims, therefore, and to insist that they appear prominently in the life-narrative of the subject in the teeth of all reasonable objections, seems strikingly ad-hoc, arbitrary, and unjustified.

5) The claims contained in the passages proposed for exclusion in the latest revision cannot be independently corroborated or supported by any other source, are at odds with the facts presented in the acknowledged major biographical work on the subject, and are disputed. This article is meant as an encyclopedic reference. As such, it should comply with accepted standards of academic discourse, including both etiquette and the proper selection and justification of source material. In view of the foregoing, the disputed passages have no business being published in an encyclopedia striving to present only the best corroborated and most relevant information about its subjects. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:26, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

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