October 25, 2001
Below is a brief, eyewitness account of what happened at the Synod Headquarters on October 24, 2001, as personally related by Ludmilla Rosniansky, who was directly involved:

"Sometime in the afternoon, [Bishop] Michael came with Bishop Hilarion and [Bishop] Kyrill and they wanted to talk to Vladika [Vitaly], so I left. A couple of minutes later, Vladika calls me. He says there is some kind of a lawyer there and I’m to be with him, and we went to the main…, you know, where the bishops met. And there was Michael, Hilarion, Kyrill, [Priest] Andrew Sommer, the lawyer and myself. The lawyer had in front of him a whole stack of folders that Vladika was supposed to sign over his belongings in Canada to Michael and the Diocese. Vladika said "no." The two, Vladika Hilarion and Kyrill, they were pitiful, because, you know, they watched, they knew that Vladika is being destroyed. And they just sat there like pumpkins. But what came down, Vladika said "no," he isn’t going to sign anything, that he’s going to leave everything in his will to Synod. And Hilarion and Kyrill piped in and said, "this is great, this is the way it should be." Michael was like a piece of stone. He didn’t get what he wanted at that moment.

"The conversation continued as we sat there while Bishop Hilarion prepared what would have been a document which Vladika would have signed leaving everything to Synod and they would have witnessed it. In the meantime I got my "ear pierced" by this lawyer, who interestingly enough speaks French, a Synodal lawyer, but speaks French, starts asking Vladika questions, obviously trying to interrogate his ability to think. And I said to Vladika, "Vladika, be careful. This man is trying to test you, to see how well you are functioning." Because he asked the question "when is your birthday?" I turned around to him and said, "What has that got to do with anything? Why do you need to know when his birthday is?" And he said, "Well, I’m just trying to carry on a conversation. Are there any questions I’m allowed…" Meanwhile, Michael screams, "Write that down!" to Hilarion, "Write that down, write that down!" And I said, "Yes, Vladika, write that down, write that down." And with this Michael stomps out of the room and never came back.

"I guess this should have been the clue, I should have done something at that moment, but you know, you don’t think how vicious people can be. On we went our merry way, Vladika and I had tea, and Vladika went to rest. As he went to rest, I went downstairs, as usual, to see what was going on, to see what papers I had…..I came out and between the elevator door and my door stood Ohotin with an envelope in his hand. And he hands me the envelope and says "this is for you," and I said, "OK, fine," and I put it with my other stuff and I’m trying to get to the elevator and he stands in my way and he says, "No, read it now." I read it and it says ‘you are no longer an employee of Synod’ and whatever else it says and with this I noticed shadows forming a circle around me. There was Ohotin, there was Andrew Sommer, there was Dimitry Kaminin [last name not clear], there was some other guy, there was the lawyer and a security guard. All these…were around me now and they are easing me out toward the phone [the front desk] and they are telling me, "you are leaving right this very minute." I said, "leaving?" I am standing in my slippers! I said, "I want to talk to Vladika, I want to talk to Synod."
"No, you can’t do that, hand over the keys, you are leaving right this very minute." I said, "Well, at least give me my shoes and my purse. OK?" At this I gave my keys and Sommer went upstairs to get my purse and what came down was my purse, my wallet, with about half the contents of my purse missing, because they had emptied it out. They had taken Vladika’s passport, they took one wallet of Vladika’s, they took out another wallet which contained a whopping amount of money, because Vladika, instead of putting the money in the account thought we should keep this money out as cash…..All this was gone. I got showed out to a vehicle and driven to my daughter’s house. Vladika had no say. They said, "We’ll take care of him."… They do not know what to give him
medication-wise. I got hold of Kyrill, finally, he’s …..he’s afraid…he’s not going to do anything. And so now they have him in their hands.

"My daughter convinced me that I should go to the police right now. So "------" drove to my house in Jackson, picks me up, we drove back to New York and I contacted a couple of people here,… who joined us and we went to the police station. At first we were going to have to wait until 8 o’clock in the morning because the detectives weren’t in, but the sergeant at the station was nice enough to fill out our report. So this morning we are going to go with two policemen to see first of all, Vladika, see what shape he’s in, because he’s not being taken care properly, no matter what they say…"

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