George Haralambopoulos
1425 S. Mariposa Ave, #205
Los Angeles, CA 90006

June 22, 1998

TO: Executive members of GOAL

Dear Members:

I happen to have in my possession, the Archbishop’s letter dated May 20, 1998, inviting all members of GOAL and every other dissident, to participate in an open dialogue on the designated date of June 1, 1998, "to work as a family and to understand each other". I have also read your most recent reply to the Archdiocese dated May 31, 1998, in which you declined the Archbishop’s invitation, with the unsupported excuse that it was "para-ecclesiastical".

In reconsidering your uncouth justification for abstaining from the dialogue, in addition to your instructions to his Eminence to seek "another forum most suitable for the dialogue", I have decided to reply unreservedly on behalf of every Greek Orthodox, whose intelligence has been insulted, and from my own initiative of course, to characterize your poor excuse as an uncalled for remark. Gentlemen of GOAL, although you may be enthusiastic with the initials of the organization your represent, such word is no different than any other hollow word lacking its true meaning. The reason being that human ego and archomania have no place in a religion like ours, based upon inspired god-like philosophers like Plato, Isocrates and others.

Your nerveless attitude reminds me of a similar incident with an "aficionado" team of physicists somewhere in Utah in 1989 who alleged that they had succeeded in "cold fission" in a home made device. Their revolutionary discovery woke up every other aficionado’s search for glory, and it quickly spread worldwide, as others reported similar accomplishments, each one of them claiming the Nobel Prize of their own idiocy. The balloon finally burst when renowned physicists invited these "genius" teams to reproduce their success and none of the aspiring nobelists accepted the invitation, fearing the unavoidable worldwide embarrassment. The only difference between their attitude and yours lies in the fact that you voiced your abstinence in a humiliating way to our spiritual Hierarchy, while they abstained silently.

Another main difference between Archbishop Spyridon and your executive committee lies in the entirely different fact that while he has been legally elected to the highest position of the archdiocese, your profound representation has been self-appointed.

Honorable executive members of GOAL, our religion does not constitute a "questionable cult" with hermetically kept secrets under oath, and high punishment for disobedience. Shouldn’t you be more explicit in your accusations against the Archbishop, rather than exchanging conspiratory letters to one another, yet still failing to state specific complaints or other serious misdeeds? As to how right his Eminence Spyridon may be, a few perhaps know, but as to how wrong you are, every one knows. Τo believe otherwise would be to underestimate people’s intelligence.

I myself wonder whether the members of the executive committee are aware of the difference between the use of unverified information and slander itself: there is no difference. Did you also know that Herodotus, the father of our history, characterized misleading information as no different from slander, which may cause irreparable damage to a respectable person with its shameful deceit? I am confident that every one of us is educated enough historically to know the unforgettable answer that Herodotus gave to Mardonius (Book VII, Ch. 5) before his 480 B.C. campaign against Greece in the naval battle at Salamis: "calumny (slander) creates two guilty parties, and one who is wronged." Calumny was also of great concern to Isocrates, the great philosopher, when around 380 B.C., he wrote his famous advice to the young Nicocleas, King of Salamis in Cyprus. Isocrates was extremely worried about the danger of slander born of envy and advised the king to "fear vilification, even when it is groundless".

Sincerely yours,
G. Haralombopoulos
Nuclear Physicist (UCLA; 1961)/Author

[ EKKLISIA |  -  June 22, 1998 ]