Besides he had, before visiting the monastery, a strong prejudice against the institution of "elders," which he only knew of by hearsay and believed to be a pernicious innovation.
This Father Ferapont was that aged monk so devout in fasting and observing silence who has been mentioned already, as antagonistic to Father Zossima and the whole institution of "elders," which he regarded as a pernicious and frivolous innovation.
It is my private opinion that several different causes were simultaneously at work, one of which was the deeply-rooted hostility to the institution of elders as a pernicious innovation, an antipathy hidden deep in the hearts of many of the monks.
There are no more uses of "pernicious" in the book.
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By the 21st century, it had evolved into a pernicious lack of employment.