Georgian stylite Fr. Maxime

Father Maxime

A Daily Mail article for Sept. 5, 2013 summarizes the efforts of Father Maxime to become a stylite atop a 100-foot rock outcrop in the Republic of  Georgia, the first since the end of Turkish occupation 600 years ago.  (This article updates two previous entries on this blog:

Article headline and byline:

“Getting closer to God: Meet the monk who lives a life of virtual solitude on top of a 131ft pillar and has to have food winched up to him by his followers”

  • Maxime, a 59-year-old monk, lives on top of Katshki Pillar in Georgia
  • He has to scale a 131ft ladder if he wants to come down
  • Followers winch supplies up to him because he only leaves the pillar twice a week
  • Maxime decided to make a change in his life after a stint in prison

Spectacular photos and a link to the trailer of a documentary film, “Upon This Rock.”


Siberian wilderness hermit

The Itar-Tass news agency reports on discovery of a “wild child” (now 20 years old) identified in Siberia. The Sept. 2013 article is titled: “Hermit found in Altai Krai, Siberia: 20-year-old lived all his life in forest.” The hut image below is presumably one of the dwellings mentioned in the article. The text of the article is printed below.

Siberian hermit hut

Citizens of a resort town Belokurikha found a young man living in the forest who apparently lived there from his birth and never had contact with the outside world, said the city’s Prosecutor Roman Fomin

The prosecution have looked into the citizens’ report. It was determined that the young man, whose name has not been made public, “was born in 1993 without obstetric care near Kaytanak village located in Ust-Koksinsk region of Altai Republic. He was not educated, he was no social skills or any idea of the world outside of the forest,” the prosecutor explained.

Young man’s parents are also hermits. Since 1997 they have moved into a mud hut located in the forest approximately three kilometers from Ulyanovsk village of Altai Krai. In spring of 2013 they have moved, leaving their son fend for himself.

Fomin emphasized that the young hermit “has no official papers proving his birth; this prevents him from receiving identification documents in order to benefiting from rights and support guaranteed by the government.”

The prosecution has contacted the court in order to establish his birth; social protection services were contacted as well.


Welsh hermit Emma Orbach

A December 2012 Daily Mail (UK) article describes the hermit life of Emma Orbach. The title and bylines:

Meet Mrs Bilbo Baggins: Oxford graduate quits society to live a hobbit-style existence in a mud roundhouse in Welsh hills.

  • Emma Orbach, 58, has shunned society, living in a mudhut she built herself
  • The Oxford graduate named her home Tir Ysbrydol, which means ‘spirit land’ in Welsh, where she has banned technology
  • She fetches water from a stream and keeps three goats, seven chickens and two horses

Emma Orbach's hobbit house

More from the article:

Nestled in the mountains of West Wales, she named her home Tir Ysbrydol, which means ‘spirit land’ in Welsh.

When her children, who are in their 20s and 30s and live in London, Bristol and Brighton, visit, they, like all guests at the roundhouse, are banned from bringing technology such as phones or laptops with them.

It is all a far cry from the conventional trappings of Mrs Orbach’s background. Her father was a violinist and her mother a librarian.

After graduating from Oxford with a degree in Chinese, she married architectural historian Julian Orbach.

The article includes video and photos.