The Truth About St. Tsar Nicholas – an interview with Paul Gilbert


On the evening of 19th June 2021, I was interviewed on a popular Orthodox YouTube channel, in which I discuss the state of Russia at the time of St. Nicholas, his life and reign, along with refuting some of the common myths which exist to this day.

During this one hour interview, I answer the following questions – among others:

1) Who exactly is St. Tsar Nicholas? What was his personal and spiritual life like?

2) The idea that St. Nicholas was supposedly this inept ruler is the norm even amongst some Orthodox Christians, what kind of a ruler was St. Nicholas and was he actually good at being an emperor?

3) In your article “A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies”, you debunk four common myths about St. Nicholas: Him being not prepared for the throne, Russia being a poor and backwards country under him, The Tsar being a drunkard, the people met his death with indifference, implying that they didn’t like him. None of these are true, but they are still popular myths, why is that the case?

4) What do you think is the motivation behind the slander against the Tsar in the modern age. Is it due to academic laziness, or something more nefarious such as a political agenda which aims to denigrate monarchism?

5) Just like St. Nicholas, there’s a lot of divergent views on the person of Rasputin, some people claim he was a degenerate whereas some go as far as to say he was a Saint! What is the correct view on Rasputin?

6) St. Nicholas notoriously states: “All around me there is treachery, cowardice, and deceit.” Why did he say that?

7) What kind of a role did St. Nicholas see himself in relation to the Orthodox Church, that is, what was the ideal relationship between the Church and the State?

In addition, I briefly discuss my faith. I was born and raised in the Anglican Church, and now, after nearly 65 years, I am committed to entering the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s all in God’s hands.

© Paul Gilbert. 21 June 2021

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