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  • The sketch of the Archangelist underground shelter from Vadul-Leca, Moldova

    The image contains the sketch of the underground shelter built by Archangelist leaders, Alexandru and Grigore Culiac, and by their followers in Vadul-Leca village, Moldova. The sketch was produced by the Soviet state security service in 1945 after a police raid of the Archangelist community on the 3rd of February. The sketch contains technical details regarding the dimensions of the underground space and about the hiding techniques used by Archangelists to protect their leaders. The shelter was built four meters deep under an orchard, and its entrance was hidden by a shed. The underground spa
  • Photo-icon of Alexandru Culeac as the Archangel Michael Bessarabia

    The three images presented here all show variants of the same photo-icon of Alexandru Culeac portrayed as the Archangel Michael. In the first image he appears alone; in the second image, his photograph appears next to that of Inochentie of Balta, and the third image is a reproduction of the photo-icon that appears inside the front cover of a booklet containing Alexandru Culeac's visions entitled "A vision that appeared in 1920". The presence of multiple examples of this photo-icon in the same file reflects the importance of this devotional image to the Archangelist community. Archangelism fo
  • Confiscated images of Archangelist women Moldova

    These photographs were confiscated by the secret police of the Moldavian SSR from a community of Archangelists in 1952. Archangelism inherited the iconographic tradition of Eastern Christianity and developed them creatively using modern techniques of photograph, photocopying, collage and multiplication. The first image was produced using the technique of photo collage. The creator of the image has utilised a copy of an Orthodox icon showing a female saint replacing the face of the saint with a photograph of the face of Elena Culiac, venerated by Archangelists as the embodiment of Virgin Mary o
  • Confiscated photographs of Archangelists Moldova

    These confiscated photographs come from a 1938 Military Court file from Romanian Bessarabia (today’s Republic of Moldova). On the 25th August 1938, a house search was conducted of the home of Vladimir Draguțan in the village of Recea, county Lăpușna. Amongst the items “used for Inochentist propaganda” discovered at Vlademir’s home were a number of religious booklets, devotional images of Alexandru Culeac, the founder of the movement, and Inochentie of Balta, a number of small crosses and several photographs of the community. The first image shows three women one of whom is named in the case f
  • Inventory and confiscated items from a house search of an Archangelist-Inochentist Romania

    The images show an inventory and confiscated photographs included in a case file forwarded to the Romanian 3rd Army Military Court on 2nd December 1938. The first image shows the inventory of items found in the house, which was located in Fălciu county. The officer lists the following Inochentist "propaganda" materials: "1. A brochure entitled 'The Deeds of the Archangel Michael', 2. a small icon of saint Paraschiva, 3. a cross sculpted from wood, 4. three photographs of Culeac dressed in white with a cross on his chest, 5. a photograph of Culeac dressed in vestments." The second image shows o
  • Confiscated photographs of Archangelist women Moldova

    This page from an MGB investigation file from 1947 from Soviet Moldavia shows three images of women preachers from the Archangelist movement, a branch of Inochentism. The first image portrays the women holding crosses in their right hand, facing the camera and cut off at waist height. The composition and symbolism of this image reproduce the visual language of icons. Images of this kind could offend the sensibilities of Orthodox believers. The two lower images carry the same imagery but in a less obvious way. The women are dressed conservatively in dark clothes that are inspired by monastic dr
  • Archangelist Staged Ritual Moldova

    This photograph which was taken by Soviet secret police officers appears to capture a ritual performed by Archangelists (a branch of the Inochentist movement) in one of their underground chapels. On closer inspection, however, it is evident that this is not a surveillance photograph but rather a staged reenactment performed for the camera. The framing, camera angle, lighting and mood of the photograph were all determined by the secret police photographer with the intention of creating a powerful image for use by the regime. Indeed, the two Archangelists, shown wearing ritual clothing and holdi