Conspiracy Theories Gone Awry

By dogcatcher on February 14th, 2018
Many in our community are generally prone to see a conspiracy in everything, especially in those things that are a little complicated or not completely transparent. Now we see another new example of this malady that affects our community. A new Metropolitan has been elected to lead the Chicago Metropolis; he is Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides. This election, which will hopefully break the cycle of dysfunction, fulfills one of the goals of the Editors of this website, see However, the fight for transparency and for the need to come to grips with the many problems facing the Greek Orthodox Church in America goes on. A new Shepherd and his administration, along with a fresh start usually means that most people interested in the issue will provide their initial support. They do so with a hope that fresh thinking may address the many problems, well documented by any of the previous articles you will find posted on this website and in the archives. They will support a new leader, at least until they get better sense of his attributes, because they believe this is a move toward a better and more united body of the Church. Even if one had reservations, it is customary to give someone in a new position the benefit of the doubt at least until such time as you had more relevant information from the words and actions of the new leader. If you thought that this would be a generally accepted feeling, you would be wrong. After a long period (since June of 2017) of active searching and evaluation, the decision was made to find the best candidate for the Chicago Metropolis. This individual will be entrusted to address the many serious problems caused by years of inattention and mismanagement. Without missing a beat, and literally within minutes of the informal announcement of the elevation of Archimandrite Symeonides to the position of Metropolitan, the naysayers and Ephraimite bloggers had already brought out their sharp tongues (if not knives) to lambast the decision taken by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew. As a case in point, we direct you to the blog site of one of these pro Ephraimite bloggers, who has posted a blog by one “Fay”, in which they already and vehemently find the newly named Metropolitan wanting and unworthy. The blog post intimates, without any material evidence to back up the claims, that Archimandrite Symeonides was chosen as a result of a cabal of some influential people, e.g., the Leadership 100, the Jaharis family, et al. See the link: Because we understand that some of our readers are not fluent in Greek, and because it is so important to understand fully the implications of the opinions found in this blog post, we have provided it as an appendix at the end of this article. Additionally there is a full English language translation. The post is titled “The Competitors Got the Metropolitan Nathanael Symeonides.” It is followed by the opening line suggesting a second title as being more correct: “The Dirty War of the Ecumenists Against the Elder Ephraim of Arizona Behind the New Metropolitan in Chicago.” Just in these two lines the two themes of this article, Conspiracy and the Enemy mentality, become apparent. Instead of striving for united and harmonious relations within the Mother Church as a whole, the blog post of “Fay” takes to task the “competitors,” or the “ecumenists.” These terms are defined as, we presume, all those people in the Greek Orthodox Church who do not blindly follow the Ephraimite party line. Dividing the faithful into “us” and “them” camp is a favored tactic of the Ephraimites, indeed, of most cult groups. The gist of the blog post is that the enemy camp, the “Ecumenists,” have “got” (implied – “stolen”) the seat of the Chicago Metropolitan by byzantine machinations of a group of “multi-millionaires” in a conspiracy to thwart the will of the “true believers,” that is, the opposite team, Ephraimites. In the next line, Fay advises that she has been following in the past with interest the newly elected Metropolitan and always had the opinion that he was destined for greater things. But she hints that perhaps had she proposed that view in the past, she would have been viewed as a fantasist and as a conspiracy theorist. The fear of being so viewed, however, fails to deter Fay from proposing the fantastic conspiracy theory she weaves around the election of the new Metropolitan. Conspiracy theories are well known for taking discrete and seemingly unconnected allegations or assumed facts and loosely tying them together to reach a conclusion that, at least in the mind of the theorist, can be explained only by a hidden conspiracy. In that vein, Fay sets forth a number of “facts” which even if true, do not logically result in the conspiracy she proposes. To paraphrase the “factual” basis of the conspiracy, Fay relies on the following observations: 1. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides was found in the company of one Elizabeth Prodromou at a Council on Foreign Relations conference regarding the results of the Great and Holy Synod held in Crete in 2016. Ms. Prodromou apparently also is known to Fay, has espoused in 2007 the need for a Great and Holy Synod in a linked webpage. (Editor’s note: A picture of the council is inserted, showing in the foreground a number of obviously Catholic priests in attendance. The disposition of Patriarch Bartholomew, who has attempted to get closer to other Christian faiths in an effort to bring the Churches together in an ecumenical spirit, is highly suspicious to Ephraimites.) Please keep in mind that Ms. Prodromou has received her Ph.D. from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), she has Master’s Degrees from both Tufts University and MIT. She is currently at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. In other words, she is an extremely well qualified and respected academic who is now the target of the Ephraimite “Talibanist” tactics we have come to view as commonplace in the world of the Ephraimites. 2. That Patriarch Bartholomew proposed to Archbishop Demetrios the names of three people who should be elevated to bishop, one of whom was Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides. 3. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, held the post of Director of the Office of the Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, again a mark against him because of the “interreligious relations” angle. As part of his duties in that post, Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides implemented a scholarship program at the UN, which program was supported by a $2.6 million grant to the Archdiocese of America by Leadership 100 (another “suspect group”). 4. One member of this suspect Leadership 100 organization is Elaine Jaharis, who wrote a “deplorable” opinion piece against the Elder Ephraim and the monastery movement he founded. 5. Ms. Jaharis is the daughter in law of the late Michael Jaharis, who was a founder of the Leadership 100 and the Faith Endowment. (Editor’s note: Before his death, Mr. Jaharis noted improprieties, well documented in other articles on this site and advocated an internal GOA investigation of the Elder Ephraim’s monasteries to determine the sources and disposition of funds raised and many other areas of great concern. Although the GOA formed an investigative body, the Monastery Review Committee (“MRC”), no reports [although many were generated] or any other real investigation was ever disclosed to the Laity from this Committee. Elaine Jaharis, Jerry Dimitriou, Cathy Walsh, George Matthews, Bill George Stotis, Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Fr. Demetrios Kangelaris and Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey were the people that comprised the MRC. Therefore, when Elaine Jaharis, Bill George Stotis or Jerry Dimitriou say something publicly about the most serious issue affecting the Church, we should all listen and give it the weight that it deserves. We have been told by numerous sources that are familiar with the work of the MRC that these three individuals have the most intimate knowledge of the truth and the extensive investigation.) 6. Fay concludes by stating that it is obvious to the eye that all of these “multi-millionaires” have taken over the GOA and have bought the consciences of the faithful and are attacking the “fundamentalism” of the Ephraimites. The conclusion reached is so obvious, scoffs Fay, because these are the same people of influence who have advocated that the economic scandals of the Elder Ephraim’s monasteries be investigated. Another attribute of conspiracy theorists is that the “facts” set forth in their argument supporting the conspiracy theory, as well as the conspiracy conclusions reached, are so obvious that anyone who follows their purported argument cannot be but convinced of the truth of the conspiracy. Without going into great detail, logically it does not follow that the facts even if shown to have real substance, lead to the conclusion of a conspiracy as advocated. The Editors of this website know many of the “conspirators” and have a much different opinion of them. The implied criticism of both Patriarch Bartholomew and of Archbishop Demetrios in making the choice of Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides as Chicago Metropolitan is not well take, for both of these hierarchs are beyond question seeking the betterment of the Church. To imply otherwise, and to impugn their name because they are “Ecumenists” does not help bring the Church together, but is a tactic to divide the Church into separate factions. This is not a Christian thing to do. The Church martyrs and saints always tried to bring the Church into a unified whole. That is what we see both Patriarch Bartholomew and of Archbishop Demetrios as doing. No one who knew Mr. Michael Jaharis, and who is not a follower of the Elder Ephraim, can think that Mr. Jaharis had any intention but the betterment of the Greek Orthodox Church, both in America and worldwide. To the Editors’ personal knowledge, Mr. Jaharis contributed selflessly of his time, abilities, knowledge and, yes, funds to keep the Church functioning in all of its ministries. This was done sometimes by sacrificing from his business and other charitable interests. Since his untimely death, Ms. Elaine Jaharis has picked up the mantle and has continued to work on behalf of the Church, without compensation, on many Church projects to keep the next generations close to our Church. To intimate that these Church members are in any way using their money and influence toward any aim that is part of a cabal desire to destroy the Ephraimite monastery movement is to turn a blind eye to the truth. A desire for transparency of what is behind Elder Ephraim’s monastery movement is a goal that the MRC and many others, including all of the Editors of this website, have espoused. Seeking information and the truth should not be viewed as a desire to destroy. Rather it is a desire to determine the underlying reasons for the many problems, both spiritual and financial, besetting the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The attitude of the Ephraimites to resist and fight any effort to bring light to the situation is truly detrimental. If the Elder Ephraim’s Monastery movement is so pure and holy, why are leaders of that movement resisting the truth. What do they have to hide? If we are looking for conspiracies, perhaps we should start with that question.



Της Φαίης
Μήπως τελικά δικαιώνεται αυτός το τίτλος; «Βρώμικος πόλεμος των οικουμενιστών εναντίον του Γέροντα Εφραίμ της Αριζόνας πίσω από την εκλογή του νέου Μητροπολίτου στο Σικάγο

Μαθαίνουμε από το ότι «η Ιερά Σύνοδος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου εξέλεξε πριν λίγα λεπτά της ώρας τον Αρχιμανδρίτη Ναθαναήλ Συμεωνίδη Μητροπολίτη Σικάγου».

Με τον Αρχιμανδρίτη Ναθαναήλ Συμεωνίδη έχω ασχοληθεί και στο παρελθόν. Ομολογώ ότι κάθε φορά που διάβαζα για τις δραστηριότητές του μια φωνούλα μου έλεγε μέσα μου ότι αυτόν τον άνθρωπο τον περιμένει μια«λαμπρή σταδιοδρομία»!! Πού να το έλεγα όμως τότε; Θα με περνούσαν για φαντασιόπληκτη και συνωμοσιολόγα.

Υπενθυμίζω στους αναγνώστες ότι λίγο μετά την ολοκλήρωση της ψευδοσυνόδου στην Κρήτη, ο τότε Αρχιμανδρίτης Ναθαναήλ Συμεωνίδης -τώρα Μητροπολίτης Σικάγου- βρέθηκε μαζί με την Ελισάβετ Προδρόμου στο Συμβούλιο Εξωτερικών Σχέσεων για την αποτίμησή της. Ο τίτλος της συνάντησης εκείνης ήταν: «Σύγκλησις Συνεδρίου Θρησκεία και Εξωτερική Πολιτική: Οι Επιπτώσεις της Αγίας και Μεγάλης Συνόδου της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας του 2016».

Γνωρίζουμε επίσης ότι ο πρώην Αρχιμανδρίτης και τώρα Επίσκοπος Ναθαναήλ Συμεωνίδης, ήταν ένα από τα τρία πρόσωπα που είχε προτείνει ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο προς επισκοποίηση.

Υπενθυμίζω επίσης ότι ο Ναθανιήλ Συμεωνίδης μέσα από τη θέση του ως διευθυντή του Γραφείου Διορθοδόξων, Οικουμενικών και Διαθρησκειακών Σχέσεων της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής της Αμερικής, υλοποίησε ένα πρόγραμμα υποτροφιών στον ΟΗΕ. Τα χρήματα για αυτό το πρόγραμμα αντλήθηκαν από το ποσό των 2.6 εκατομ. δολ. που δώρισε στην Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής ο οργανισμός Leadership 100.

Υπενθυμίζω επίσης στους αναγνώστες ότι η Elaine Jaharis, η οποία έγραψε την γνωστή κατάπτυστη επιστολή εναντίον του Γέροντα Εφραίμ, είναι μέλος αυτής της ‘εταιρείας κεφαλαίων’ Leadership 100 (Ηγεσία 100), ενώ ο εκατομμυριούχος αποθανών πεθερός της Michael Jaharis [Μάικλ Τζαχάρης] ήταν ιδρυτής της. Και εδώ να μην ξεχάσουμε επίσης μία άλλη πιο πρόσφατη επιστολή εναντίον του Γέροντα Εφραίμ που ζητά να μπει το μικροσκόπιο στην Μητρόπολη του Σικάγο και επικαλείται τα χρήματα και τις απόψεις του Michael Jaharis για να γίνει κάτι με αυτόν τον «φονταμενταλισμό» των Μοναστηριών του Γέροντα Εφραίμ που «διώχνει» τους πιστούς από τους ναούς και αιμορραγεί οικονομικά τις ενορίες!! Εδώ βέβαια να σχολιάσουμε αυτό το προφανές που μας βγάζει το μάτι, ότι όλοι αυτοί οι εκατομμυριούχοι που πληρώνουν αβέρτα για να αλώνουν και να εξαγοράζουν Ορθόδοξες συνειδήσεις, είναι οι ίδιοι που αναζητούν ‘οικονομικά σκάνδαλα’ στα Μοναστήρια του Γέροντα Εφραίμ!!

Αφού λοιπόν τα υπενθύμισα όλα αυτά, υπενθυμίζω το τελευταίο και το πιο σημαντικό: «αλλού τα κακαρίσματα και αλλού γεννάν οι κότες». Οι συριζαίοι και οι οικουμενιστές μας κάνουν καλό. Είναι ένας τρόπος για να μας παιδαγωγήσει ο Θεός. Ο διάβολος γενικώς είναι ο καλύτερος υπηρέτης του Θεού. Είδαμε που κατέληξε ο φασισμός των συριζαίων στα συλλαλητήρια για την Μακεδονία μας. Πλησιάζει αυτή η άγια ώρα και για την Εκκλησία μας.
By Fay

Is perhaps this title finally justified? "Dirty War of the Ecumenists Against Elder Efraim of Arizona is Behind the Election of New Metropolitan in Chicago? »

We learn from that "the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonidis Metropolitan of Chicago a few minutes ago."

I have followed Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonidis also in the past. I admit that every time I read about his activities, a small voice within me told me that a "brilliant career" awaits this man!! But to whom could I have said this then? They would have taken me for a fantasist and engaging in conspiratorial theories.

I remind the readers that shortly after the pseudo-synod in Crete, the then Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonidis - now Metropolitan of Chicago - was found with Elizabeth Prodromou
in the Foreign Relations Council for her assessment. The title of that meeting was: "Congressional Congress Religion and Foreign Policy: Implications of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church of 2016". (Editor’s note: Here is a picture of the council, showing in the foreground a number of obviously Catholic priests in attendance.)

We also know that the former Archimandrite, and now Bishop Nathanael Symeonidis, was one of the three persons proposed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Demetrios for elevation to bishop.

I also recall that Nathanael Symeonidis, through his post as Director of the Office of the Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has implemented a scholarship program at the UN . The money for this program came from the $ 2.6 million donated to the Archdiocese of America by the Leadership 100.

I also remind readers that Elaine Jaharis, who wrote the well-known deplorable letter against Elder Efraim, is a member of this “capital organization” Leadership 100 (Ηγεσία 100), while Michael Jaharis, the late multi-millionaire [Μάικλ Τζαχάρης] was a founder of this organization. And here we also do not forget, another more recent letter against Elder Efraim asking the Metropolis of Chicago to be examined under a microscope and invoking the money and views of Michael Jaharis so something can be done regarding this "fundamentalism" of the Monasteries of Elder Efraim, which "drives away" the faithful from the local Churches and financially bleeds the parishes!! Here, of course, it is necessary to comment on the point, that is obvious to the eye, that all these millionaires who pay continuously to take over and buy Orthodox consciences, are the same ones who seek "economic scandals" in the Eternal Monasteries of Elder Ephraim!!

Having said all these things, I remind all of the last and most significant: "elsewhere do hens cackle and elsewhere do hens lay eggs" (Translator’s note: The real intent is to divert attention from the important to the unimportant). The followers of Syriza and ecumenists do us good. It is a way for God to teach us. The devil is generally the best servant of God. We have seen where the fascism of the Syriza led to the rallies for our Macedonia. This holy hour is getting closer and for our Church too.