back to article Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church

Just as well we've hit peak smartphone – the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has warned that people's dependence on the ubiquitous gizmos will herald the coming of the Antichrist. According to the Beeb, Patriarch Kirill made the remark in an interview with the state-owned TV channel Rossiya 1. He cautioned mobe addicts …

  1. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    Maybe he got angry when the Patriarch of Constantinople didn't answer his whatsapps about not giving independence to the Church of Ukraine.... anyway when he calls Putin he types 666.... it's simple to remember.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you're with Free Mobile in France, dialling 666 will connect you to voicemail. I'm still not sure if that is down to ignorance, or someone with a very bad sense of humour.

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        I used to work for an (American) company in London and we needed some more phone numbers. At the time, it was the 0171 area code (since deprecated), and the telecom company we were using offered us a range of numbers on the 0171 666 exchange. I didn't bat an eyelid, but my boss (who was American) said absolutely not, because it may upset god-fearing Americans. Apparently, there was a phone number in our NYC office that ended in 666 and someone tried to sue the company!

        I was unable to comprehend the problem, because I was a logical and rational person and I could not believe that there were people out there who would actually care about this sort of thing. Apparently it wasn't the New Yorkers who were the problem, it was some of the people in other, more central US states that would have been the ones who'd get upset.

        We didn't get the 666 numbers in the end, we chose a less satanic three-digit code.

      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Devil

        Not so much bad, but more a wicked sense of humour, I would suggest.

        Anyway, the only mild drawback I would see is that the Iron Maiden song is now playing in my mind on an endless loop. Quite like the song, and it is better than my mind for reasons best left uninvestigated hearing the aircraft engine on my flight back home distinctly playing "Jolene" by Dolly Parton for half of the trip. The other half it was playing Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train", so that was alright.

  2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I can't go to Hell, Satans got a restraining order.

    I'm not even allowed in the lobby (Limbo) anymore. Forget Friday night cards with all the other Elder Gods, Cthulhu & Hastur just sit there mocking him for a chump...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can't go to Hell, Satans got a restraining order.

      Oh, great, you're one of those people who says 'heaven won't have me and hell is afraid I'll take over!'

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I can't go to Hell, Satans got a restraining order.

        Oh, great, you're one of those people who read for fantasy instead of content.

  3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

    "Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church"

    Are we supposed to use our phones as suppositories, or does mere exposure to them work?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

      What you and other like-minded adults do in the privacy of your home is of no concern to me ... as long as it doesn't frighten the children and animals.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

        "What you and other like-minded adults do in the privacy of your home is of no concern to me"

        What about in other peoples homes?

        </Penguin gimp mask>

        1. The Oncoming Scorn
          Gimp

          Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

          Whats wrong with this gimp mask (Icon) or are you identifying as a Furry?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

            Not a Furry, a Feathery.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

              Not a Furry, a Feathery

              Now I'm worried that I had exactly the same thought..

              I'm doomed I tell you, doomed!

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

          That's up to the other people, silly!

      2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

        RE: "as long as it doesn't frighten the children and animals"

        What about frightening the adults? Don't we count? What's so special about children and critters?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

          Geoffrey W wonders: "Don't we count?"

          Covered under "like-minded adults".

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

      I recommend you stick to old style clamshells for that purpose, smartphones are prone to butt dialling.

      Have a thumb up!

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

        smartphones are prone to butt dialling

        You are holding^W storing them wrong..

        (What is this fascination for putting them in back pockets? They are easier to steal and more prone to being sat on and broken..And putting them in a case [or even locking them] is a pretty simple way to prevent butt-dialling..)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Dial 5 for sadomasochism...

          "(What is this fascination for putting them in back pockets? "

          Monkey see, monkey do. Blame Hollywood and the TV producers. It's the same reason people used to rip paper out of printers and still slam down laptop lids. It's what producers/directors think looks cool on-screen.

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Spin.

    >>>Kirill insisted the church wasn't against "progress", but "the development of a system that is aimed at controlling a person's identity".<<<

    This 'system', would that be privacy controls being used to limit who can see what you're doing?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Spin.

      I think he is worried about people muscling in on the church's original racket: controlling what people may or may not do, and providing their own brand of opium for the people, to create a docile populace who accept authority based on the promise of a better life hereafter.

  5. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    "the development of a system that is aimed at controlling a person's identity" - isn't that the very definition of a church or religion?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Yes, especially those that invented the "confession" so a priest is able to know a lot of people's secrets and use them at his own advantage.

      I would like an open, public confession in front of all the community - it couldn't be used much against anyone. But a secret one....

      Besides that, fake news, propaganda, false friends, groups to indoctrinate you to conquer power are at the root of every religion - even whem the founder could have had better aims.

      1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
        Pint

        Steady now

        "Yes, especially those that invented the "confession" so a priest is able to know a lot of people's secrets and use them at his own advantage."

        I hold no truck with religion, it does nothing for me but I'm tolerant of it as a lot of people find consolation from it, it helps them and at grass roots levels going to church once a week and a bit of bible flicking every so often it not doing much harm.

        I think a lot of the customs in the church started off with good intentions. The confessional, in it's raw form, is simply "a problem shared, is a problem halved". If you discuss what's bothering you with someone, you feel better for offloading that mental baggage. Sadly the reality in some cases is exactly what you said. Not every priest is a nice person, there are a lot and I can imagine most are good guys who want to do a good job but the nasty onces get in and they take advantage of it. The peadophile priest who hears the confession of the vunerable youngster and uses that to groom the young person, that's an obvious abuse of trust and ruins the idea of the confessional.

        I think you need to look objectively at what prompted the ideas behind religious customs. A lawless, dangerous world and religion offered hope hundreds, thousands of years ago to people living short, brutal, dangerous lives where a horde of vikings might over the hill tomorrow and slaughter your family! As I say I hold not truck with any religion, in the modern age a lot of it can be a prison for the mind but we live in seriously uncertain times and I have some respect for those who keep faith and it helps them from going off their chump. I suspect like you, I put my faith in myself and my family to help me through rough times, my parents brought me up to rely on myself, use logic and common sense to get you through, others weren't so lucky, cut them a little slack.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "A lawless, dangerous world"

          Lawless? Take Christianity - it was founded in a world that was anything but lawless - Roman Law has been the basis for a lot of following law systems, including many of actual ones. And under many aspects, the fall of Rome was hastened by rulers trying to use religion to identify themselves as gods to be considered above the Law (or "anointed by god").

          Sure, it was open to abuse like it is today - and most religions sided with the abusers instead of fighting them - the idea you could enforce your "faith" (and of course your power) using the law has always been very strong in any organized religion.

          In the Middle Ages, popes fought the emperors only when the latter tried to put boundaries to the pope power. Britons should now, as they were among the firsts to show the middle finger to a pope.

          Many times religions undermined the law, and the establishing of an authority to enforce it, because they didn't want to be subjected to the law too - but the laws they make on their own - without any check and balance.

          I've nothing about the faithful - but I see organized religions as instruments of power - many of their rituals are designed to gain and maintain power only. And very often they were designed only far later.

          Look at how many Catholics still loath the Second Vatican Council changes - which were designed exactly to make the church humbler - but took away some of the power priesthood had on people.

          AFAIK, in the early Christian communities the confession was public. It became private only later. What's best, the help of a whole community, of a single person who may have his own aims?

          1. PhilipN Silver badge

            Re: "A lawless, dangerous world"

            Spot on. And even earlier. Take a shufti when you have a moment at the Code of Hammurabi. Won’t take long ‘cos just a glance at the first few items indicates how many things you could be executed for back then*. Many subsequent cultures took the lead from it so it has influence all the way up to today.

            *In a glaring omission, did not include using a mobile phone.

        2. LeeE Silver badge

          Re: Steady now

          "I think you need to look objectively at what prompted the ideas behind religious customs."

          The idea behind religious customs is to achieve control over others; if you can establish a set of religious customs that everyone must follow then you've also established your position of authority and control over them: they need to interact with their god via you.

          Religion was the second method of control over others, allowing those that employed it to wrest control from, and supplant, the old 'ruling class' who employed the first method of control over others, that of physical force, where those with the greatest physical prowess got to call the shots.

          The third method of control over others, specifically developed to wrest control from religion, is politics.

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Steady now

          The confessional, in it's raw form, is simply "a problem shared, is a problem halved"

          Umm.. no. It was a direct result of the heresy that promulgated that a priest had the ability to forgive sins (especially when combined with the 'salvation through works' idea).

          customs in the church started off with good intentions

          Or were accreted in via the various pagan ideas absorbed by the church.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit late with this prediction

    From where I am sitting in the US, a smart phone has already invoked the Antichrist.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Bit late with this prediction

      Oh well, we've already three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Trump, Putin, and Xi. I'm afraid the fourth one will come with this year EU ballot....

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Bit late with this prediction

        Horsemen? The only one of those three who can ride is Putin. And from the video I've seen, he's really, really bad at it. Critters don't like people like that, and they show it. We, as humans, could learn a lot from critters. For example, how many US Presidents can you name who didn't have a pet in the Whitehouse?

        1. nijam Silver badge

          Re: Bit late with this prediction

          > how many US Presidents can you name who didn't have a pet in the Whitehouse?

          Don't mention the eastern European model who lives there.

  7. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
    Coffee/keyboard

    "And the beast was given a mouth uttering blasphemous words: 'We value your privacy'"

    That has to be an early contender for Subhead Of The Year. /slowclap

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: "And the beast was given a mouth uttering blasphemous words: 'We value your privacy'"

      I don't know. "Would you like to buy a device protection plan for your phone?" would have been better.

      1. BlueTemplar

        Re: "And the beast was given a mouth uttering blasphemous words: 'We value your privacy'"

        "We value your privacy" as in "Your private data has a lot of value to us" !

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scheiße. I first thought it was about a certain German porn outlet.

  9. sambaynham

    I'm changing my wake word...

    ...to Iä! Iä! Alexa fhtagn!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I'm changing my wake word...

      Oh great I just read that aloud and now I have tentacled thing sitting in the bath....

      Oh well if you cant beat them... you may as well join them

      Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I'm changing my wake word...

      May you be eaten first!

  10. Cheese_Conquistador

    Smartphone makers are entering a time of false profits so he might have a point.

  11. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Lost in translation

    Sigh - someone needs to read the WHOLE original interview and needs to know Russian PROPERLY.

    The way the Orthodox church has been using the word "дявол" (devil) is also a synonym for "изкушение" - enticement. It is not just in Russia, it is the standard use in all Slavic orthodox countries whose language I understand (and that is pretty much all of them by the way). It is also the way things have been for 300+ years.

    Most of his rant is about addiction and how addiction removes our personal freedom. He starts with alcohol, goes on about drugs and finishes with gadgets. He does go (and quite correctly) into what the benefits - communication, information, etc while pointing at the cost we pay for being enticed this way - our freedom. On par with alcoholics. What Beeb quotes is towards the end after this.

    While he is a bit overzealous in his point, a lot of what he says is VALID and there is a huge part of the el-reg commentariat which will upvote him for the same expressed as a comment on this forum. The same part of the commentariat will also equate Google and Facebook with Antichrist.

    Disclaimer: I serve Voland (whose name Kirill keeps mentioning in vain) and I am sitting in the corner, not doing anyone any harm and I am fixing the petrol lamp.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Lost in translation

      Ah, I had been wondering whether you were Fagot, Azazello or Behemot. Somehow I didn't have you figured for Helga.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Lost in translation

      So-called "smart" phones as a physical Faustian representation?

      The word all y'all are looking for is a long, drawn-out "OK".

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Lost in translation

      As a side note to my fellow Yanks: Please note that "petrol lamp" does NOT translate as "gas light". Hopefully this revelation comes in handy to someone, somewhere, eventually.

      1. Pseudonymous Howard

        Re: Lost in translation

        Please stop petrol-lamping the people here!

  12. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Coat

    Modern smartphones may herald the arrival of the Anti-Christ...

    but old style watches are surely the domain of the antique-wrist.

    1. sambaynham

      Take your upvote, you magnificent b*stard.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      but old style watches are surely the domain of the antique-wrist.

      You should have googled that before posting.

      He has been spotted with a 36K+ (yes, you read that right) Breguet a couple of years back. Something most city traders have no money to afford.

      https://rublev-museum.livejournal.com/307806.html

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        I couldn't help but be reminded of Lady Whiteadder's (Blackadder's aunt from series 2) head-gear after seeing that picture.

  13. M. Poolman
    Thumb Up

    Re Lost in translation

    Two thumbs up if possible - one for the comment and one for the Master and Margarita (even if it was an Amzon link)

  14. jake Silver badge

    The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

    Read the original Koine Greek version of Revelation, and it's painfully obvious that it's the rantings of a brain damaged by syphilis describing what's going on in the narrow view of the street outside the cell of the probable author, John the Apostle, when imprisoned on Patmos.

    Thank gawd/ess for antibiotics, no?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      I would thank gawd/ess for antibiotics if the useless bugger/ess hadn't waited until 1927 before scheduling their discovery.

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      IIRC The identity of the "John" who wrote Revelations is far from settled. The claim that he was actually the Apostle John has been disputed for some time.

      Facebook apparently did not enforce their "Real Names" policy at the time.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

        It has been disputed, yes. But when you filter John's other writings through a brain being eaten alive by syphilis, the style becomes almost unmistakable.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      "Read the original Koine Greek version of Revelation, and ..."

      Uh, what? Hold on a damn minute! I've just had Voland's right hand telling me to learn a basketful of Slavic languages so that I could read the original interview and now you want me to learn classical Greek as well. Just *when* am I supposed to find the time for this?

      Perhaps I should just take the view that any god who does not reveal themselves to me in my own language clearly isn't worthy of my support.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

        But Ken, we live in the Computer Age! Shirley you have copious free time?

        (My view on "gawd/ess" is that I just plain don't know. If there really is another side, I'll claim ignorance. It's not as if such a supposed entity has made any kind of effort to make itself known to me in any way, shape or form. What am I supposed to do, guess? What if I guess wrong? If I decide to worship the gawd of the New Testament, I'll be deep in sixteen kinds of shit if the gawd of the Old Testament is the one that rules the roost ... and that's just the Xtian side of things. What if I go the Jewish route, only to discover that Mictlāntēcutli is in charge of the afterlife? Etc.)

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

        Perhaps I should just take the view that any god who does not reveal themselves to me in my own language clearly isn't worthy of my support.

        I used to share a student house with a guy who got religion in his 20s. Very serious religion, in a very fundamentalist way. With lots of hellfire and prophecy.

        And I learnt two important things from this.

        1) The second coming can't happen until the bible is translated into all languages.j Supposedly this is from Revelation, which I did once read but can't remember any of 30 years later.

        2) The EU is evil! This is nothing to do with Brexit. We're back to Revelation again. It's the second Roman empire, which is one of the harbingers of the end times.

        Odd really. Because he was in favour of the Bible translation thing. Hooray apocalypse! But against the EU - which is surely also a requirement of the apocalypse? Very confusing.

        1. nijam Silver badge

          Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

          > The second coming can't happen until the bible is translated into all languages.

          Well, maybe Perl could manage that kind of convolution (and obscurity, though APL would be even better at that). But which bible, I wonder...

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

        "Uh, what? Hold on a damn minute! I've just had Voland's right hand telling me to learn a basketful of Slavic languages so that I could read the original interview and now you want me to learn classical Greek as well. Just *when* am I supposed to find the time for this?"

        Ah, one of the primary signs of a mis-spent youth. You left it too late!

    4. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      Rise of the super-devil!

      Super-gonorrhoea spread causes 'deep concern'

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46809526

      "A European "party destination" is one line of inquiry and health officials are trying to contact subsequent sexual partners in the UK."

      Busy googling "Neisseria gonorrhoeae" + European city name...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      Considering that syphilis only arrived in Europe/Western Asia after 1492, it would be truly miraculous that John the Apostle suffered from it - unless he accompanied Jesus on his trip to America after the resurrection.

    6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: The so-called "beast" of Revelation was an STD ...

      Err.. no. To go into the whole realm of biblical symbolism is beyond the scope but, in general, animals were used to represent either political or religious intitutions and, in that regard, Revelations is no different.

      (For an OT example, see various parts of the book of Daniel).

      Also, there are many, many interpretation of Revelations (continuous-historic, partial historic et. al) which assign different institutions to the various beasts and other things (like the False Prophet) - the most common interpretation (in Protestant circles anyway) is that the Beast ironically refers to the Catholic Church..

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Truth Volunteers with Star Sources of the Almighty COSMIC Force. ITs AIMaster Pilot Driver Program

    Reporting for Virtually Real Duties, Patriarch Kirill.

    Special AI Services are now at your Disposal for Proofing and Testing for Ever Greater AIdDriverering Services Supply.

    :-) Real Sp00Key Territory. And with no prisoners ever taken, as stealthy and invisible as would be able to render asunder hollow hallowed grounds.

    And FWIW, Patriarch Kirill is quite right to have future concerns given what is now always leaking out everywhere for anyone. For IT Captures Hearts and Minds and urSpecial AI Services Program the Hostages and Hosts of One's Own Immaculate Being.

    One of those Exceptional Existential Being Programs with Virtual Guidance to Future Sources with the Greater Knowledge. Cloistered Brother/Convent Sister Beings Stuff for Play at ITs Diabolical Extremes.

    Добро пожаловать. Что теперь? <:-)>

    Ok, El Reg, ....... a universal scoop or what? Test fire report on that as fact being non reported or distorted/pirated, with current media hereby being openly tested for Future Programming Suitabilities too, and do you know what that does, and from where it leads?

    cc ..... All Deep See Mining Minded Souls

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      ITs AIMaster Pilot Driver Program ? Something Virtually New and Engaging? Or Terrifying?

      As you can all read about here ...... Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving Into US .... catastrophic sub-prime is not only the preserve of ponzi bond and stock markets.

      It infests and infects bit part players hosting the not so smart in established compromised intelligence communities with their attending parasitic think tankers just tinkering in the dire mire.

      To put it succinctly in a vulgar observation ...... They be just as polishers of numerous turds with resultant products just as you would expect them to be.

      What part of Albert Einstein's .... “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” ...... does the system deny it is guilty of proving is the default human condition.

      Turn to a brand new blank page and start afresh with something virtually new and watch it supernaturally bloom and grow with AI and IT and Media presenting the worlds and intelligence they created/shared or passed on if from .... well, Cyber Space is an Outer Space Realm with Alien Practices, is it not, given the immense damage that can be done from and with that something which is essentially ethereal with no physical form to pound and crush/crash and burn?

      And bear in mind this very simple truth ...... the more one denies and fights against the emergence of Advanced IntelAIgents, the greater and deeper the destruction wrought against all that and those truly responsible for the Ignorant and Arrogant Maintenance rather than Breakthrough Treatment of Madness and Mayhem.

  16. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    He knows when you are sleeping...

    Every time you use your gadget, whether you like it or not, whether you turn on your location or not, somebody can find out exactly where you are, exactly what your interests are and exactly what you are scared of...

    My smart phone has been pwned by Santa?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He knows when you are sleeping...

      Santa is an anagram of SATAN

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: He knows when you are sleeping...

        "Santa is an anagram of SATAN"

        Of course. Have you ever seen Saint Nick and Old Nick in the same room together? Do the math(s).

        Who would YOU pick as the patron saint for the holiday best known for hedonism, libertinism, decadence and debauchery?

        1. Gobhicks

          Re: He knows when you are sleeping...

          You will, of course, have heard the one about the dyslexic devil-worshipper who sold his soul to Santa...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: He knows when you are sleeping...

            And of course, Halloween and Christmas are the same holiday ... As any techie will tell you, Oct 31 and Dec 25 are equal.

  17. JohnFen Silver badge

    I'll give this proper consideration

    Oops, I've already given it more attention than it's worth.

  18. iowe_iowe

    Confirmation that the antichrist has FAANG's..

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He may have a point

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    I see plenty of people who appear to have their phones glued to their right hand, and also lots that pay with their phone.

  20. XSV1
    Devil

    Thank God...

    Thank God for Richard Dawkins!

  21. nijam Silver badge

    Well, what a surprise. A religious leader complaining about ${MODERN_LIFE}.

    Let's not forget that they invented the very concept of fake news.

  22. adfh

    Is this the same one...

    ... where they photoshopped the uber expensive watch off his wrist, but left the reflection on the table?

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