Our Foes

A certain runaway, monk Agapius Gontcharenko, residing not far from the city of Alameda in California, on a farm of his own, which he has named "Ukraina," occasionally makes the local population aware of his existence by volunteering most preposterous items of information concerning Russia and the Russian Government. He has been a contributor to the nihilistic paper "Progress," in which he published his autobiography; he still is a contributor to the Ukrainophil organ "Svoboda" (Liberty) and other papers hostile to Russia, both European and American. At one time he was very busy intriguing against our Orthodox Mission in San Francisco, especially during the episcopate of Bishop Ioannes, and, now, at the close of his days, he apparently is at his old tricks again. Thus he recently stated in the "Examiner," that Russian agents are persecuting him, that his life is in danger, that a price is set on his head, and other absurdities. Persons unfamiliar with our country might believe him; therefore we think it necessary to declare that not a soul in Russia takes the least interest in Gontcharenko, and that all that he tells about the persecution he suffers from Russian agents, is unmitigated nonsense – the drivelling of a half crazy old man. Russia will always be glad to make a present of such specimens to anybody that wants them, so as to be rid of the bother of dealing with them at home.

Orthodox American Messenger, No. 8, December 27, 1896, p. 140.