A view into the Destruction of Families by the Ephraimites (part one)

By dogcatcher on December 20th, 2013
  The editors receive many emails from people throughout the United States and Canada relating their experiences with Ephraimites. Universally they all share a common theme, “our lives have changed”. We reach out to many of these people and try to give them hope, resources and to help right a wrong. Often however nothing can be done to fix their issue. Many seek the help of our Hierarchy, still others suffer in silence. In order to expand the collective intelligence of our Laity we believe it is necessary to give a voice to these victims. We try to balance their privacy with the need to disclose as much factual content as possible in order to protect future victims of the Ephraimites lest they remain uninformed and thereby suffer a similar fate as those who have suffered, as related in the letters below. In the first account below, the daughter of the Ephraimite follower reaches deeply into her past and explains the path her Mother placed herself upon on the way to dismantling the family the daughter cherished. This will be the first of a series of articles that illustrate the damage being done to our Faithful. We will use as much of their personal accounts as possible and will try to minimize our editing. First Eyewitness Account: The following is a picture of how my mother traveled a path from devout Orthodox woman to an island of sanctimonious isolation. She was always emotionally unstable, but she was bearable because she did have kindness and love toward others. After my father passed and she dedicated herself to the faith, we would say to each other that at least it’s not alcohol or gambling. But the intensity of her devotion made her so judgmental, that we feared revealing any truths about our lives. My father was a janitor and she was an assembly line worker in a factory. They saved much of their income; had some investments and she had her profit-sharing account, which was a prized accomplishment. She still owns her home, but her accounts have been depleted, she continuously issues large checks to the Monasteries in Harvard, Illinois, Arizona and Greece. She’s defensive and spiteful so I cannot get straight answers from her about her involvement. She resists any questions as the work of the devil. Before my father’s passing: • My mother attended all vespers, pre-sanctified, Saturdays of Souls, Feast days and Sunday liturgies from Orthros to the end. • She only fasted during Holy Week and on Fridays. • She expected me to attend all services with her, which I did to the best of my ability, even as a married woman. • She dabbled in making Prosphora. • She never prostrated in Church. • She knew who the Priests were or at least which church they served, but was not familiar with them personally. • She wore a typical gold cross on a gold chain, not usually exposed. Then my father, an Alzheimer’s patient, who also had brain atrophy, committed suicide. • Our Parish Priest absolved him from his sin and said that my father was mentally unstable and performed the sacrament of burial. She was obligated to him. • She began volunteering, cleaning the Parish, helping with baptisms and weddings, and baking Prosphora. • She started to bake Prosphora weekly, but I was not allowed to enter her home when she prepared Prosphora due to my “uncleanliness”. Eventually, the same applied to my daughters. She believed that a woman in her menstrual cycle would pollute the purity of the Prosphora. • She joined a group of people from the church on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and later then on a trip to the monastery in Arizona. • She began communicating with monks in Arizona and Mount Athos and Agia Lavra. • She started selling the prayer bracelets (Komboskini), collecting money for the Monasteries and prostrating during Church services. • She wore her gold cross, but started wearing a large woven cross on the outside of all her clothes. • She tried to get heavily involved at the women’s Monastery in Wisconsin to the point where she asked to become a nun, they didn’t accept her and she was furious. • In the meantime, she was blessed by the Bishop and allowed to enter the altar so she could clean. • She retired from her job and began to work feverishly at our Parish. Due to her newly found “theology”, which we all commonly call the theology of the “Ephraimites” she changed drastically. She was asked to leave her work at the Parish because she became pedantic and a rule enforcer during sacraments. I don’t think a young mother wants to hear how she purchased the wrong oil for her child’s baptism and should be made to feel ashamed of herself. She angered the wrong people one time too many. • She immersed herself at the male Monastery in Harvard Illinois and began a close relationship with the Priest leader of the Ephraimites in the Metropolis of Chicago. Her intensity grew, as she followed the leader of the cult. • We had to help her bake for hours to sell at the Monastery. • She insisted that my daughters and I wear scarves and were told to prostrate. I refused. • Nothing mattered to her but fasting and the Monastery. • Priests and Monks visited her home, to bless her home and administer confession, and they left with a hefty tip. I never knew what tool of the Ephraimite movement would appear on her doorstep. In our Metropolis there are many such “tools”. • She criticized our children’s involvement in secular activities. She was very disappointed in them that they were not asked to spend Holy Week at the women’s Monastery with the more pious girls. • She never attended a recital, graduation or celebratory event that wasn’t related to church. • She fasted continuously despite her doctor’s requests that her diet be modified to ease her diabetic highs and lows. She fired a fantastic Greek doctor because she wasn’t supportive of my mother’s devotion. • She loves her life as martyr, critical of every step we or anyone made that was not in the method of her chosen path. • Every time we had a family issue she would consult her Spiritual Father, a known Ephraimite, who always told her that we were directed by the devil and we were testing her faith. We were the persecutors and she was the victim. • She strongly criticizes my mother-in-law’s activities in Philoptochos as frivolous and ostentatious. • Her paranoia has grown exponentially. She declared the end of the world and predicts how soon the end will come. She interprets every communication with others as a persecution. She has completely lost her compassion and empathy for others. • She revels in gossip about the minor sins of others. • She openly criticizes our Parish Priest, even after the great favor he did for her. By the way, the same Parish Priest lives down the block from her. • Now, her relationship with her granddaughters has dissolved, and her relationship with me is cursory. I only call every few days to see if she is alive. In this reflection, I see how she has descended into an evil spirit rather than be lifted by her Faith. It’s become a weapon of destruction leaving no safe place around her. Her racism has grown; she dismisses all people who do not obey as well she does. She doesn’t attend any events because they’re frivolous and she would rather send the money to her “spiritual fathers”. We teach children to avoid cults; I never thought we should have also instructed adults. My Family will never be the same. My husband who served on the Parish Council and our family has been so turned off by the issues above that we hardly attend Church. We are sickened by the state of the Church in our Metropolis.