Our Betters

Our Betters is a 1933 American satirical comedy, directed by George Cukor, about the British upper class who thought they were our betters in society.  But they weren’t our betters and, perhaps, not even our equals.

It’s hard to believe that this sort of snobbery still exists today, let alone in the Church.  But what’s more shocking is that there are people out there who think they can reimagine the Church.     

We’ve attached a short, very entertaining video by one of our newer contributors who goes by the name Painted Tree.  We know you will enjoy it.  


About GShep


  1. BlueHorseshoe says

    I couldn’t get past the 12 minute mark tonight. I hate to see how many brush fires are burning into Orthodoxy. Like many a powerful fortress, the surest way of breaking it is either to undermine its foundations or place traitors inside it.
    We’ve read that God will not allow the Church to fail, but how many clergy and laity will be left standing at the end? By the tone of the breezy arrogance of that ” nun (?) “, I find little hope that she will ever walk back her attitude towards us lessers. What do we make of it when people who dress as examples are the ones leading us into a pit? Yeah, some of us know that there are wolves out there dressed as sheep but the sense I get is the lukewarm-ness has defeated us in general. Which is why we have certain hierarchs ruling over us ( though one in particular maybe not for long ).

    end of shrug-rant 🙂

  2. This was very good. The Giovanni Giorgio parts were my favorites, because everything else made me angry. I hate these church-wreckers.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Mine, too! I love that big (whatever it was) dropped by that big ship on the little tugboat. The tugboat just righted itself. That reminds me of us!

  3. To any Orthodox content creators reading this please take the time and effort to close caption your videos. The Left is very, very, very good at making their content accessible. This is a large reason for why those who feel disenfranchised from society (including those with disabilities) are attracted to and fall victim to the propaganda of the Left. If you want to defeat the Left, one very important way to do that is to make your content accessible. I see that the vast majority of Orthodox content is simply inaccessible. This does not violate any precepts or ideas of Conservatism.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The left didn’t make THIS content accessible. If they had, the sneer on Larin’s face would have translated well to all audiences and they’d see her as she is.

      This isn’t our video. We gave it to you as we received it.

      • I was making a general suggestion to any Orthodox content creators reading this tread. It was not addressed to you Gail, hence “To any Orthodox content creators reading this” not “To Gail Sheppard”. You are taking this way to personally. My suggestion is valid and needed. Please check the attitude, and that Gail, is directed at you!

        • Gail Sheppard says

          After 13 years George and I don’t take anything personally! It requires a VERY THICK skin to do this day in and day out. I was just offering you an explanation that the video isn’t ours to change.

          I suspect you’re new, so I need to tell you that in the future, remarks like you just made to me, are against our rules. We do not allow people to have opinions on other commenters, including us, because Constantine, no one cares what an anonymous person thinks of someone else. It just takes up space.

          Not upset or anything. Just want you to know.

          With regard to the video, I kind of feel bad for Painted Tree because instead of people saying how good it was, there are suggestions on what he needs to do better. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to post anything here again! No one likes to come under that kind of scrutiny. I hope he doesn’t feel that way. We get over a thousand readers on a slow day; these are people who never comment unless it’s behind the scenes. I’m guessing they REALLY enjoyed it because it caused just the right kind of stir. It was fresh and unique and I hope Painted Tree will continue to post here.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        Now, Gail, I’m disappointed in you. I’ve been Orthodox since, well, a few years away from the last century and this is one of my irritants since due to being born deaf, I’ve had to put up with having contents inaccessible, ESPECIALLY Orthodox Christian contents. Constantine is right; his comments wasn’t aimed at you specifically, but at any and all content creators. Those of you that take their time to enable auto captioning on YouTube (it’s not hard to do so), thank you so much. Those that don’t know how, I encourage you to reach out to me (I’m VERY accessible and easy to find on the Internet) or to Constantine.

        And if you have content on sites like, oh, Rumble, I very strongly encourage you all to do what you can and reach out to the decision makers there about adding captioning features there.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I know, Lola. I actually thought of you when I posted it! But the video isn’t mine to change.

          But perhaps if we asked Painted Tree, he will do that and if he sends me a new link, I will replace the one that I posted.

          You would love the video, too!

          • My comment was not directed AT YOU!!

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            I took another look … I’m not sure why the auto captions did not kick in for this particular video; I do see the CC is available for previous videos on Painted Tree channel.

            There are many reasons why the YouTube captioning algorithm might not get triggered – discordant noise at the beginning, a mixture of different languages being used, etc. Sometimes one has to go in and manually set the language to English in order to trigger the algorithm. YouTube help is very informative in this aspect. Here’s the relevant section to get one started –

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I would love that link that apparently got cut off, Lola. I have no idea how to do it and now that these podcasts are coming out, I’m going to have to learn.

    • Painted Tree says

      My apologies. I hear your concern. The main issue is the amount of time and work required for such a production.

      Pray for me.

  4. Ella Marie says

    Sista Whacka

  5. Ella Marie says

    Bringing her Bryn Mawr philosophy to a church near you

  6. Ella Marie says

    Promoting population control under the guise of lifestyle choices…reduce everyone’s carbon footprint to zero.

    And this. These poor ppls’ brains and hearts and souls are severely scrambled…won’t they be surprised when they’ll be thrown from the highest buildings…

  7. Ella Marie says


    Sorry about the language

    This guy’s spot on

  8. George Michalopulos says

    Good news! The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece sent two letters of condemnation: one to Elpi the other to Bart:


    As always, if you want to know what’s (really) going on, just click on any of the tabs above.

    • Good to see this from the CoG!

      I know someone in Greece and this apparently has caused quite the uproar within the Church there.

      On a separate note, the OCA AAC is meeting this week, would be curious to know if this topic will be talked about, whether officially or unofficially.

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        Doubtful. If I were in the OCA, I would consider it beneath an American church to be fixated on a Greek drama. Let the Greek world take out their own trash, and the Church of Greece already seems to be running interference. The OCA should talk about what the OCA wants to talk about, “becoming vessels of grace,” and not dignify Orthodox tabloid fodder with its attention.

        • I partially agree.


          As the only officially autocephalous Church in America the OCA, and all jurisdictions really, should be concerned with what happens in the GOA and who is elected as their Archbishop.

          We’re seeing this currently with what has been going on with the various bishops, including Metropolitan Tikhon, on the AoB and their letters (and private conversations) with Elpidophoros.

          Addressing his errors are not just “Orthodox tabloid fodder,” it has to do with perversions of the Orthodox Faith that must be addressed, critiqued and corrected. This isn’t just a Greek problem, at least here in America, this is now an American Orthodox problem given how interconnected we all are and seeing how though we are various jurisdictions we are all one Church.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Indeed. In America, we’re all connected at the hip.

            • I can’t see how it’s even remotely possible, or appropriate, that Elpi could in any way remain “head” of the AoB. I’m not sure how it works but I’m assuming he will be removed as head even if he’s not removed as Archbishop of GOARCH

          • Mark E. Fisus says

            And it might be that Metropolitan Tikhon’s signature on those letters is deemed sufficient say on behalf of the OCA, with thanks to him for dealing with the filth so that their national congress can focus on “becoming vessels of grace.”

      • I am in the OCA. Whether the CP issues a rebuke to Elpidophoros or not makes less difference from the standpoint of what the OCA should do than the practical issue of what the OCA should do if:
        1) ___ Belya is made a bishop in GOARCH and the Assembly of Bishops, and if
        2) A situation arises where the OCA would be asked to intercommune with OCU clergy. For example, what happens if OCU clergy are transferred to the UOC-USA or to GOARCH parishes? Would situations of intercommunion arise?

        The OCA wants good relations with Constantinople, and I want them to have good relations, but there is a bit of a sticky situation when Constantinople asserts its supremacy powers over all EOs and then takes measures to excercize those asserted powers. Even if Abp. Elpidophoros is replaced, his successor could still continue down the same path, and I see these issues as even higher in importance than the Abp.’s position as primate over GOARCH.

        • I take the recent statement from the OCA on sexuality was the rebuke, plus what you mentioned with his signature

          • I don’t recall what you mean about the signature.

          • I guess by the thing with his signature you mean Met Tikhon’s and Met Joseph’s (AOCNA’s) letter about ___ Belya to Abp. Elpidophoros.

  9. Johnny Pargas says

    They even have a magazine https://www.neomagazine.com/

  10. Mark E. Fisus says

    Papanikolaou says:

    The critique of hyper-individualism … could imagine supporting the political legalization of gay unions as a way of affirming that committed long-term relationships, that even involve sex, no matter who the persons are, manifest the very virtues that St. Maximos identifies as the presence of God, and thus stop the very cruel and untheoslike, and in that sense heretical, identification of being gay with prostitution, perversity, and pedophilia, which is fueled by a Nestorian logic.

    Up is down and down is up. Those who ascribe perversity to homosexuality are Nestorians. Wow.

    They used to be more obfuscatory in language but Papanikolaou doesn’t even try to obscure his position with renovationist jargon anymore. He’s not a stupid man, he must perceive a shift in the Orthodox environment in his favor.

  11. Heartbreaking Moment When Kids Learn About White Privilege
    The School That Tried to End Racism


    [Video – 04:08]

    How ‘teachers’ divide children…

  12. Painted Tree says

    Thank you Constantine for pointing out that the close captions were not enabled. My guess is that either the multiple languages or the music someone caused the captions to not be automatic. I have tried to fix this issue through the settings. It says that it may take some time, but captions should be coming.

    I am curious about substantive comments. Michelle and others made significant comments on the previous entry, for which I am grateful. Thank you all for your comments. I look forward to hearing from others too! Making these videos took quite awhile.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Would you give us links to the other things you did?

    • Christine says

      This may not be a substantive comment, but gosh, I loved your video very much. Everything about it was just spot on! Your clips highlighted the difference between downright bizarre “academics” with outstanding Orthodox clergy, and then peppered with laugh out loud Giovanni Giorgio clips to highlight the utter absurdity of it all! I forwarded it to the ROCOR Hierarch responsible for Nun Vassa, along with some questions that I’m hoping he can answer.

  13. More from “The Painted Tree:”





    Could anyone inform us who is the priest whose “let’s all be reasonable and tolerant” presentation begins at 24:20 of the fourth of these four links?


    • Painted Tree says

      Fr Josiah Trenham of St Andrew’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Riverside, CA

      • I have a question for you Painted Tree.
        Regarding the 4th link above, and the part of the video that goes from 24:20 to 32:20, what exactly are you implying and what was the point of including that section in your video?

        William: Seriously? You didn’t know who that is??? Serious questions for you: Are you Orthodox and do you live in the US?

        • William Tighe says

          I am not Orthodox. I had heard of Fr. Josiah quite some time ago, and from my Orthodox friends I gathered that he is “one of the good guys,” but his inclusion in the context of that particular linked film made me wonder if I was mistaken in that impression. A close friend, a convert to Orthodoxy of over twenty-years standing, a known historian, has assured me that my first impression was correct.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            How was he included? I would recommend that instead of talking about what is and what was and what was not discussed in this video, you should watch it, in its entirety, and not try to understand it from another viewer’s POV.

            If Fr. Josiah had been portrayed negatively in this, I wouldn’t have posted it.

            I didn’t go back to look at the precise location, but if anyone was complaining about him, it was the self-proclaimed theologians. When people of no credibility complain about someone else, then one can conclude the one whom they are complaining about is a rock star!

            • Hi Gail,
              I’m bothered that Fr. Josiah was included in that video. I don’t understand why, with the title of the video, and all the other content, he was included. As you can see, a few comments above, I specifically asked Painted Tree why that clip was included, but never got a response.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Father Josiah is saying that there is room for dialog and opinion on things that don’t detract from the Faith like how often one should shower, is it OK to wear jewelry, a nose ring, or have a tattoo, what type of school or combination thereof should we send our kids to . . .

                In other words, NOT the things Sr. Vassa and her friends think are open for discussion; like the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

              • Painted Tree says


                I can assure you that I meant no criticism of Fr Josiah Trenham. Gail’s comments should suffice, but let me add a few.

                Fr Josiah is often criticized by liberal/progressives for being too rigorist and other more negative criticisms — all of which are intended to suggest that he is close-minded (i.e. “fundamentalist”). Yet, here in Fr Josiah’s own words, he says that we should “agree to disagree” on various non-essential issues. This ironically is the origin, though, of the term “fundamentalist”. Dr Edith Humphrey’s correctly distinguishes between rigorist and “fundamentalist”, which more commonly used as a pejorative rather than a term with a technical meaning.

                Please, do not be offended, but watch Fr Josiah in conversation with Fr John Jillians, who only embarrassed himself by giving this lecture.

                As for subtitles, they won’t activate, I believe, because the video has a variety of languages.

                Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments.

                • Painted Tree says

                  One other thing to add:

                  The inclusion of Fr Josiah’s irenic video contrasts with Sister Vassa literally stating that anyone who disagrees with her and her ilk are “mentally ill.”

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    I’ve got to admit until I saw your video had never watched Sr. Vassa. I did last night, though, and it appears she is also an aspiring comedian! That was a shock! Do you think she was trying to be funny when she said those things?

                    • Painted Tree says

                      Yes, she intends to be funny. Much of what she says is meant to mock, be ironical, or otherwise comedic. But she means what she says, albeit in an exaggerated form. She is trying for a laugh but also means the insult when she says that all those that disagree with her academic elite clique are “mentally ill.” Note also that her videos are heavily edited. She doesn’t just roll the camera and then post; she cuts out pieces and leaves others in. For example, she is going for a laugh when she says that one post is her “gay pride” edition. But then again she has the (toy) elephant in the room. So she intends to be funny but she means all of the cuts and mockery and put downs too.

          • Thanks William,
            Yes, I absolutely assure you that Fr. JT is one of the good guys.

            Which is why I’m very bothered that he was included in this video.

    • Fr. Josiah Trenham. Look up Patristic Nectar on YouTube for more.

    • That’s the legendary Fr. Josiah Trenham.

  14. Mark E. Fisus says

    It saddens me that Sr. Vassa has been taken by the renovationist zeitgeist. Squandered intellectual gifts.

    The Wheel appears to be a renovationist rag operating on a subscription model. Who pays for that filth?

  15. Anonymous II says

    Meanwhile, Pope Francis Calls on Humanity to ‘Repent’ for Abuse of Mother Earth

    ROME — We humans “must repent and modify our lifestyles” because of our abuse of Mother Earth, Pope Francis states in a message released Thursday.

    In his Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pontiff decries the “mistreatment” of our common home stemming from “our consumerist excesses,” “tyrannical anthropocentrism,” “predatory economic interests,” and “short sighted and selfish actions” leading to “the collapse of our planet’s ecosystems.”

    “In the first place, it is our sister, mother earth, who cries out. Prey to our consumerist excesses, she weeps and implores us to put an end to our abuses and to her destruction,” Francis declares in his Message.

    Because of human irresponsibility “countless species are dying out and their hymns of praise silenced,” the pope laments, while the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples “are being invaded and devastated on all sides, ‘provoking a cry that rises up to heaven.’”

    Because of the “climate crisis,” the poor disproportionately suffer the impact of “the drought, flooding, hurricanes and heat waves that are becoming ever more intense and frequent,” the pope asserts.

    “Listening to these anguished cries, we must repent and modify our lifestyles and destructive systems,” Francis proposes, since the “present state of decay of our common home merits the same attention as other global challenges such as grave health crises and wars.”

    The ecological conversion needed to bring about lasting change cannot simply take place at the individual level, the pope insists, but must be “also a community conversion” embracing multilateral solutions, “especially in the meetings of the United Nations devoted to the environmental question.”

    In his Message, Francis also plugs the COP27 conference on climate change, to be held in Egypt in November 2022, which “represents the next opportunity for all to join in promoting the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

    The Holy See subscribes to the Paris goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, Francis states, which “calls for responsible cooperation between all nations in presenting climate plans or more ambitious nationally determined contributions in order to reduce to zero, as quickly as possible, net greenhouse gas emissions.”

    “This means ‘converting’ models of consumption and production, as well as lifestyles, in a way more respectful of creation and the integral human development of all peoples, present and future,” he adds. “The transition brought about by this conversion cannot neglect the demands of justice, especially for those workers who are most affected by the impact of climate change.”

    Along with the UN climate conference, Francis underscores the importance of a UN summit on biodiversity, to be held in Canada in December, as a way to address “the double crisis of climate change and the reduction of biodiversity.”

    The summit “will offer to the goodwill of governments a significant opportunity to adopt a new multilateral agreement to halt the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of species,” he states.

    The pontiff goes on to insist that wealthy nations have an “ecological debt” to poorer nations and must subsidize their transition to sustainable energy in reparation for their excesses.

    “How can we fail to acknowledge the existence of an ‘ecological debt’ incurred by the economically richer countries, who have polluted most in the last two centuries; this demands that they take more ambitious steps at COP27 and at COP15,” he declares.

    This debt also means “keeping their promises of financial and technical support for the economically poorer nations, which are already experiencing most of the burden of the climate crisis,” he proposes.

    “In the name of God, I ask the great extractive industries – mining, oil, forestry, real estate, agribusiness – to stop destroying forests, wetlands, and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people.”

    “It is necessary for all of us to act decisively. For we are reaching ‘a breaking point,’” he states.


  16. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    All the male advocates for inclusivity (by which they mean the normalisation of sodomy) are effeminate, not gay necessarily (although some are) but certainly effeminate. Papanicolau doesn’t soften his voice but whenever some real assertion is required he has to read from the script and flies off into abstract academic cliches. None of these men have real kahounas.

    They are not masculine. They are not confident men. This can be defeated.

  17. Luz Farkind says

    With the pivot to Asia, Ibrahimic sects which believe in reincarnation
    (gilgul, purgatory, toll houses, “spiritual not religious”) are
    growing. While I loathe the idea of endorsing Hegel, circular eschatology
    makes people more docile and pliant but while linear eschatology promotes
    social and scientific progress but more militant because they only get one
    shot. Castes are resilient because they are seen as a just purgatorial penal
    system. Linear exchatology promotes human progress aginst the natural order
    of the circular eschatology, because, well, you could come back as a worm.

  18. Mamma mia says

    Vassa demands steep speaking fees in addition to her travel expenses And some churches are only too happy to pay them.

  19. George Carasakis says

    Don’t you love it how Jimmy Robotis finally confirms New Orleans Greeks were slave traders: Government records show an unofficial memorandum mentioning a “Greek Company A” being formed within the Louisiana Militia, 1861. The company included a captain, three lieutenants, eight noncommissioned officers and 20 privates. . . 1861 issue of the Daily True Delta, a New Orleans newspaper: “Our Greek fellow citizens are emulating the public spirit of other nationalities, and are organising a company. The old blood which animated the heart of heroic Greece will be found yet strong in the veins of her children resident among us.”


  20. Macbeth Act IV Scene 1
    Second Witch:

    “By the pricking of my thumbs
    something wicked this way comes…”

    1) Compulsory moral bioenhancement should be covert

    ‘ … In particular, a covert compulsory program promotes values such as liberty, utility, equality, and autonomy better than an overt program does.

    Thus, a covert compulsory moral bioenhancement program is morally preferable to an overt moral bioenhancement program. ‘

    That the argument is about moral bioenhancement suggests that
    physical bioenhancement is not to be questioneed eg: mRNA “vaccines”)
    and, on grounds of liberty and autonomy, free informed consent is a dead-letter.

    But, heigh-ho, on we go…

    2) Engendering moral post-persons: A novel self-help strategy

    ‘ … I address in this paper the idea that moral enhancement
    could give rise to moral transhumans, or moral post-persons.

    Contrary to recent arguments that we shouldn’t
    engender moral post-persons, I argue that we should.

    Roughly, the reasons for this conclusion are that we can expect moral
    post-persons to resemble the morally best of us, our moral exemplars.

    Since moral exemplars promote their interests by promoting the interests
    of others (or they promote others’ interests at the expense of their own)
    we can expect moral post-persons to pursue our interests.

    Since we should also pursue our own interests, we should bring about moral post-persons.’

    So, we are to have menschen and uber-menschen (sorry: persons and post-persons)
    and the uber-menschen (sorry: post-persons) are to protect the interests of the menschen (sorry: persons)…

    Now, where have we heard that before? And how did it all work out?
    Well, here’s a hint as to how it will work out if we let it…

    3) We must create beings with moral standing superior to our own


    ‘ … if morally enhanced postpersons decide to annihilate mere persons,
    we can conclude, deductively, that such a decision is by necessity
    a morally superior stance to the wish of mere persons
    (i.e., morally unenhanced persons) to continue to exist.’

    Of such is the Empire of the Daleks…

    • Gail Sheppard says

      These people are terrifying.

      • Indeed. And they are so sure of themselves
        they are writing it down, telling us what they intend to do before they do it.

        The last person to do that was Herr Hitler – and nobody believed him.
        Well, not at first…