Greek Orthodox Christians of Chicago for Truth and Reform is comprised of members of the Metropolis of Chicago and other Metropolises. These members are concerned about the apparent schism that they believe is occurring in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. They are of the opinion that the cause can be traced to the Ephraimite Monasteries, Archdiocesan Priests who have Ephraimite spiritual fathers and the followers of this movement. This organization was founded to educate the Greek Orthodox Christians and others through its website gotruthreform.org about how this movement operates.
How We Chose to Publish
We have received queries asking us to identify the authors of the articles and comments posted on our website. Sadly, these requests were not raised in the spirit of promoting healthy debate on the issues raised. All of these requests for identification failed to address any of the issues raised by the content on our website. Others in the past who have raised such issues about the “Ephraimite Monasteries” and the failure to control them have found themselves under serious personal attack by some of his rabid followers. Although these requests attempt to divert attention away from the important issues, we will address the reason for remaining anonymous.
Publishing in such a fashion has been a value well documented by historians and well protected by the Supreme Court of the United States. The first amendment to the United States Constitution preserves the right to practice our religion and the right to freedom of speech, values which are normally embraced by citizens and immigrants alike but may not be appreciated or practiced by all. The decision to protect the anonymity of our contributors was made for several reasons. Gotruthreform.org is comprised of dozens of individuals who comprehend the implications of speaking out on sensitive issues regarding the future of the Greek Orthodox faith. The value and implications of speaking out were eloquently stated by Justice Stevens in the United States Supreme Court case of McIntyre v. Ohio:
Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind …The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be…. the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous…is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment…Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all…. an advocate may believe her ideas will be more persuasive if her readers are unaware of her identity. Anonymity thereby provides a way for a writer who may be personally unpopular to ensure that readers will not prejudge her message simply because they do not like its proponent. …Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation – and their ideas from suppression – at the hand of an intolerant society. McIntyre v. Ohio, 514 U.S. 334 (1995) (other citations omitted).
We applaud the contributors who have made courageous efforts to overcome the silence which has existed for too long on the impact of Elder Ephraim and his form of theology on the Greek Orthodox faithful and we will continue to protect their privacy. Finally, we urge you to visit the Facebook Group Concerned Orthodox Laity of America (C.O.L.A.) to view first hand how the organizers of that Facebrook group have been insulted, attacked and berated instead of responding to the issues they have raised that plague our Greek Orthodox faith as a result of the Ephraimite practices.
In order to foster productive and prolific discussion of the issues raised at Gotruthreform.org, at this time, we will continue to protect the identity of our contributors. We are not disgruntled Greek Orthodox Christians. We have not left the Greek Orthodox Church. We are concerned Greek Orthodox Christians. We are concerned over the future of our Church. We are concerned over the cult-like behavior of certain monasteries that is pulling our Church in a direction that is not supported by our Greek Orthodox Faith. We are concerned over unusual teachings of these certain monasteries that have little or no basis in our Greek Orthodox Faith.
And we are concerned enough to speak out.