The following emails are from people who have had personal experience with the Legionaries of Christ and/or Regnum Christi, and have not found this experience to their liking.

The first email is from a man whose family unity has been broken because of his wife's involvement in RC. A good priest (very traditional and a monsignor) also got involved because he was originally a supporter of RC. He advised the wife that her first obligation was to her husband and children and the unity that this chain of command brings to families. Her refusal to listen and the lack of intervention by Regnum Christi and the Legion to immediately unify the family bonds first made this monsignor re-think his involvement in the movement. He is now adamantly against it.

The wife has not left the movement and the children have the Legion school, but the family unity is gone. There is discord between the spouses and their unity has been destroyed to the point of a pending divorce. But even when families do not break up, this is the Modus Operandi of the Legionaries of Christ, to take over as the father and mother of the children. The word "demonic" means "to divide". What else can I say?

John Doe here, the airline pilot who spoke to you on the phone concerning my wife's joining of the Regnum Christi movement many months ago. I want to thank you for your time and for calling back, I really should have called you again so that it wasn't on your dime. As I mentioned before, my wife and I are no longer on the same sheet of music and our unity is going. I was in a unique position as an airline pilot that has allowed me to see just how far my wife has been incorporated into this movement. I had been commuting to work from Detroit, MI (where my family was to temporarily reside for one year with my in-laws) to New Jersey where I work as an airline pilot. We had this arrangement to save us money, as a pilot typically makes minimal earnings during the first year at an airline. The plan was to move to New Jersey or Pennsylvania after my 2nd year pay kicked in. We also agreed to send our two children to Everest Academy, an LC school north of Detroit.

Well, without my knowledge or any discussion with me, my wife joined the RC movement and has been on four of their retreats in the past year and a half. She decided that it was absolutely necessary that our kids continue their education at Everest Academy because of how great and holy this Legion school was. This would require that we permanently reside in Michigan. I argued that I deserved more time with the kids and that we needed to live where I worked to improve our time together. Cutting out the commute from Michigan to New Jersey would allow me a precious 4 to 6 more days home a month with my family. I also said that there were plenty of good Catholic schools in PA and NJ that the kids could attend and that Everest Academy was not justification for taking me out of the lives of my children and family more. My wife said that non-LC Catholic schools weren't good enough and that I should sacrifice my time so that the kids could be at Everest, as if the school was critical to their upbringing as Catholics. It smelled to me of serious pride. I must also add that commuting to work as an airline pilot is risky and highly stressful and that I had no plans on doing this the rest of my airline career. The rest is history, as we have argued constantly on where we should live and how we are to be a family. Her parents are RC's and were instrumental in her joining the movement. Throughout the ordeal, they did NOT tell my wife to be with her man until I threatened to divorce her. Her mother told me that I didn't need to be home to be a father. My in-laws said that it would be a wonderful sacrifice on my part to be gone more so that my children could attend Everest Academy! They also said that the RC movement and the presence of the grandparents would be a "support network" for my family while I was gone working and that me being gone more was acceptable. In other words, MY FAMILY'S TOGETHERNESS WAS SECONDARY TO THE LEGION SCHOOL AND THE "SUPPORT NETWORK"! The father(me) didn't need to be home! My in-laws see me as a macho man for demanding that my wife and kids live where I work. It's just been unbelievable. I can provide even more details of what my wife's reasoning has been to put me through this. I had to threaten divorce to get her to even go house hunting with me in NJ. At this point, our relationship has been ruined and the trust between us is totally gone. My wife is still in the movement and has NEVER offered to leave it for me. So you can see why your article really hit home with me. My wife has been hiding behind the movement to justify our separation and she has put me through an unbelievable amount of pain. We even saw three different diocesan priests to discuss our marriage on a spiritual level. She didn't like what they were saying concerning our family and what marriage was all about and has basically ignored them. Please email me back and let me know that you received this. I may be getting ready to do more battle with the movement shortly as time goes on. I fear that there are other spouses or parents that are being pushed out by this movement and you have my permission to use my email in hopes that others will learn from what has happened to me. Hope to hear from you and thanks again for your time on the phone and for your article.



My personal experience is mainly with RC. When my 20 year old daughter Mary was about 14 years old we sent her to a camp for girls in Denver sponsored by Regnum Christi. Certain girls attending the camp (including Mary) were selected by the camp personnel as having a "predisposition" for a vocation. They were given special attention. When we arrived at camp to pick Mary up the lay "sisters" talked to us about Mary's vocation. (I had always felt that Mary had a vocation.) We were seriously considering sending her to the Regnum Christi boarding school in the East. But we wanted to find out more about the order first. At the time we had several of our children enrolled with Our Lady of the Rosary School. I called up the school and asked if anyone could give me some information on the Regnum Christi organization. A nun associated with OLRS sent me a letter and a magazine article describing the RC movement as cultish. After reading the article and what the nun had to say, we decided against it. Yet, even after hearing our decision, the lay sisters kept calling Mary. They would not identify themselves on the phone. They would simply ask for Mary and encourage her to go against her parents wishes. It was beginning to bother her quite a bit. I finally intercepted a call and told them to never call again.


Dear Unity,
I was doing some research on the internet concerning the Legionaries of Christ and found your website. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is very well done. I also have a website on the net that deals with the Legionaries. Primarily my site is a compilation of the investigative reports
from the Hartford Courant. Here is a hyperlink to my site: A  HREF= Legionaries My site has been up and running for approximately 8 months. It used to contain pictures of Fr. Maciel and other Legionary priests and students until the Legionaries discovered my site and threatened to shut me down because of
copyright infringement. So I had to take all the pictures I had of Fr. Maciel off the site. Below is a copy of the email I received from the Legion's director of communications:

Dear Sir:

This e-mail is to notify you that your site at, a subsidiary of, is in violation of the host's stated policy. The site is at Dennis Sullivan of has informed us that we first must contact you directly and wait 10 days for your response; if you do not respond within that period of time then can begin to act on its own to remedy the situation.

From the home page mentioned above, one is able to choose a category entitled "The Controversy Surrounding the Legionaries of Christ," which takes one to a text and menu at

This page and others you can access from it are the ones that specifically violate RMI's stated policy for the websites it hosts; it also contains defamatory information that is certifiably false and as such has been removed from other websites, including some hosted by GeoCities.

The policy governing this site informs clients that "Your violating this policy may result in the suspension and cancellation of your services...."  We respectfully request all references to the Legionaries of Christ at this site be removed because they are riddled with falsehoods and:

1. The policy does not allow "Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including ... photographs...." The site in question uses five copyrighted photographs that are the property of the Legionaries of Christ and one copyrighted portrait that is easily mistaken for a photograph because of its high quality. The copyright for all of these images belongs solely to the Legion of Christ, Inc.

2. Your policy does not allow "The unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness." The site in question uses the name and likeness of both Father Marcial Maciel LC and Father Anthony Bannon LC, and in both cases the use is unauthorized. The site also uses the likeness of several other members of the Legionaries of Christ without their authorization.

We look forward to the swift resolution of this matter. Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely yours,
Jay Dunlap
Legion of Christ, Inc.

I responded to Mr. Dunlap and told him that I would take the pictures of Fr. Maciel and the other Legionary priest off my site, but that I would not remove the texts of Gerald Renner's articles. So I'm just waiting to see what they do next.

I have two questions for you: may I place a link on my site to yours? and do you have any pictures of Fr. Maciel that would not be considered copyrighted  to the Legionaries?

I'm glad I'm not the only one pointing out the dangers of this cult-like order on the internet. You're doing a good job, keep it up!


Jeff Whitney
Phoenix, AZ


Dear Mr. Salbato,

I read with great interest your articles on the many cults claiming to be "catholic" that are buzzing about the church today. In the article on "Catholic" cults you make a very good point in that many of them do not have church approval. However, after reading the articles on Legionnaires of Christ, we see that some of these cult groups do have church approval. After all, the church has made LC a religious order, and the Pope himself has ordained their priests.

So even a group that touts "church approval" may not be truly following the Catholic Church. These groups are so devious and manipulative that they can even fool the top leadership of the Vatican, and even place their members or people who are very supportive of them in top positions in the Vatican.

They then use the "approval" given by the church, and the fact that the Pope is personally doing things for them (ordaining priests, etc), to further make their way into unsuspecting people's souls. There are many people who will be very suspicious of a group that does not have church approval, but as soon as a group like LC points out that they are a church approved religious order with obvious support of the Pope, these people let down their guard.

What can be done about this?


I started homeschooling in the mid 80s and founded the first Catholic homeschool group in my state. By the mid 90s a two new members joined, one requested our list of members supposedly to find preteen girls in the same vicinity. During the summer months she put out a newsletter under our title describing herself as the "new editor". Everyone was sent the newsletter with exception of two other women and myself. I found out when I began to receive phone calls complaining that I gave names of families to the Legionnaires without consent. The woman responsible for the underhanded takeover belonged to Regnum Christi (female branch of Legionnaires and also had a son in the order. Terrible things were said about me like, because I was against sex ed. that meant I was against the bishops. After speaking with contacts around the country I found out what happened here was not an isolated incident and the same story was repeated in many states with other groups almost simultaneously. All of these "new" leaders seemed to use the phrase,"let's not reinvent the wheel, let's go under Torch. "They also have another thing in common. Families who use the Seton curriculum seem to be marginalized. I no longer homeschool as my youngest is in college. But now, years later, some of the old timers are calling me from my group telling me I was right and the whole Torch thing was organized for ulterior motives.


Mr. Salbato,
I read the article on Regnum Christi and am very interested in what you say. I have seen some of these things happen to some friends of mine who have recently joined the movement. My question is, how does one go about telling them about this type of deception, without putting them on the defense? I want to be able to guide them into seeing for themselves what they are into, instead of me just telling them. Because if it just comes from me then they will look at it as an attack on them. Please could you help me out with this.
Thank you

Rick Salbato wrote:

Sorry for not getting back to you but I have been working hard to make changes to my web site. There are now letters from my readers regarding Regnum Christi that might be of interest to you and many more to follow. The problem with convincing anyone who is already caught up in RC is that they are very orthodox and do not use anything that is not totally Catholic and very holy, at least in the open. What makes them a dangerous cult is not what they teach but how they control. They have one goal and that is to grow to be the biggest and the best in numbers and in money and they do not care how they do it. Many of even the promoters are innocent victims themselves. Direct attacks do not work. What is needed is diversion to other great and new movements that are not cults. The question that can be asked is "Are you free - free to come and go - to pray any way you want to - to read any approved Catholic book you want to - to visit anyone you want to - to leave for a time if you want to - to make comments that you might want to?" My opinion is that this movement will destroy all who belong to it in time. What to do about it? I do not know. I know that if you could get them away for even a short period of time, they would be able to think again and the logic would come back to their mind, but without that the steady brainwashing cannot be overcome.
Dear Rick,
Thank you so much for your reply, especially since you have been so busy. I am very happy to hear about your Godson! Don't think me cold and callous, but we also have a saint in heaven, and we KNOW from experience what everyone went through. That's another beautiful story and I will share it with you some day, but right now I'd like some suggestions on how to get my friends away from the RC activities. You mentioned getting them involved in other great and new movements that aren't cults .... do you have any suggestions as to what these great and new movements are? It seems that everyone I meet lately is in the RC movement! My sister in law just recently visited and brought with her a
boyfriend who is in the RC's. He's from a small farming town and everyone in the town is family, Catholic and part of the RC movement. They have started two schools, two of his cousins are in the women's lay Apostolate thing back east "and they love it". His other cousin is a priest or becoming one, and they all just love it. I had asked him some questions and that was his response to them. He told me what they do at their meetings, and didn't mention reading the interpretations of the Nostre Padre. Apparently no one sees anything wrong with this movement, because it is so orthodox based. I'm concerned also because my sister in law and him are considering marriage. We have been praying for her
conversion for a long time, and to come into the Church through the RC would be very difficult to explain or try to get her out of. Do you understand? If it has taken so long for her to realize the truth, and then all of a sudden for me to tell her that RC is not really part of that truth, then where's the credibility. I'm sorry if I can't explain it right, but I'm sure you know what I am talking about. That's the hard part. Why would I want to take someone away from something that seems so good!?! Is there other sources that support the accusations of the leader? Is there ex-RC members willing to communicate with me and other people? Thank you for your time. God bless you
Dear Rick

The group issue is coming to a head in my family now. My daughter is with a Regnum Christi group for girls, and they are planning a trip to Michigan this summer. Well, they expect me to put my teenager(just turned 13) on a plane by herself to be met at the airport. No mention of the possibility of parents accompanying their children. Kind of makes me nervous. (I have a real problem with putting children on an airplane by themselves....too much scary stuff going on in this world). Plus, I have started hearing some negative things about the Legionaries, so I'm thinking we may have to cut ties there. Y'all please pray for me because this is my first year of homeschooling, and my daughter is bucking authority right now, and for me to cut her out of this group (where she gets to talk to others her age) is not going to make me popular with her. I realize that it is not a popularity contest, and I guess the thing to do is to strike out and find other girls for her to interact with. And believe me, suggestions are welcome!!!!

I personally would not put any of my children within the reach of either of these organizations. I would also read "The Parent's Guide to Opus Dei".

Then, last but not least, I would call the Office of Cult Awareness, in the Archdiocese of New York, and ask for the guidelines of cult-like groups.

You will in your search, encounter marketing materials for the group, which will, no doubt have very attractive pictures of the Holy Father with the founders of these groups.

I would stay away, and keep my children away from any group, that did not meet the safety guidelines outlined in the book of the safety expert,"Protecting the Gift" by Gavin de Becker. I would keep them away from any group that did not give me unconditional, 24-hour access to my child.

If you need a Catholic group, join a local one, full of flaws and tempers, and small budgets.

Do you understand the reason for restriction of contact? (and I'm only talking about at the level of young men first becoming a part of the seminary, there is no true restriction to others, anyone that thinks or says so is lying or confused or making mountains out of molehills). In the historical sense, all, and I mean ALL Catholic orders, in the past, utilized a period of time where the candidates were "removed from the world" as it were.
NOT WHEN THEY WERE 10 or 12 years old, And if you deny that the Regnum Christi girls are restricted to 2 weeks per year with their parents, you are ignorant or deliberately misleading. I know this for a fact, having bought an airplane ticket for one to come home to her parents for that precious 2 weeks. If you were the victim of cultish tactics, by the way, I'd hardly expect you to be aware of it.
No, I am frankly angry at the audacity of these priests who roam the parishes, enticing children away from their families and subsequently brainwashing their parents into a martyr complex about having "given up their children for God" when all they've really done is shamefully given up their responsibility as parents.

It is quite disturbing to a parent to send your child off to college and to wonder what 'group' is going to recruit them. Especially when you send them to a Catholic College and thing that it is a solution to avoid any recruitment. Well it isn't anymore. How does a surprised parent say no to the prospect presented by their child to "evangelize" in another country with RC? Who ensures their safety? What kind of light does that put on the parent who says no? How much information about the group is given to the parents? My daughter attended an RC camp and believe me I left very uncertain about what was going on during the week. A foolish mistake on my part, but a learning experience nevertheless. The following year we traversed to pick up another girl who went and found they were not at the original site but had gone to hear a guest speaker some 45 minutes away. Years later I found the guest speaker was stripped of his priestly duties by his bishop because he was a pedophile. These are strange times, I repeat again and parents cannot be too careful for the safety of their children adult or underage, within and without the Church, in all parts of society. Anyone who thinks anything is totally safe better think again.
In the case of the RC's, they are attacked because they are high-handed, bullying, imperical, and they restrict contact between parents and children. Now you might deny the first three accusations, but can you POSSIBLY deny the last? Without lying, I mean. I am not now nor have I ever claimed that they are not Catholic, but the truth is that they do use cult practices to recruit. Not just occasionally, not just some of them, but the whole bunch as a matter of course. Period. No compromise.
This is a common Modus Operandi of the Legionaries. They get Catholic
homeschooling parents to start a foundation school, then when the school is in the works; they come in and take over. The Legion will NOT start a school. They insist that all the foundation and funding must be in place BEFORE they come in. Often times, the school is an expensive endeavor. Once the Legion is in, they remove all or most of the teachers in place and bring in their own from where ever, mostly Regnum Christi people from other parts of the country. They then insist that the Board of the school aggressively continue to work on funding. The money than goes to the Legion priests to run the school and the rest is forwarded to the LC North American HQ.

You don't need your children to be in these "Academies". Seton and other tried and true programs are more than adequate for all of your Catholic homeschooling needs.
If the articles in the Hartford Courant are nothing more than rumors or lies, the Legion with its immense financial resources could and would have sued the Hartford Courant out of existence. The reporters and editors of that newspaper KNEW that when they printed those articles and most certainly verified and re-verified their data prior to press time.

There doesn't seem to be a lawsuit regarding this issue. If there were, much more damaging information would be brought to bare no doubt making the Legion's damage control situation that much bigger. Is it not more prudent to feign a SIGH of persecution and merely state that the articles were false and move on from there? The same exact lines, almost to a quote, were used here in our area by the Legion lackeys, that the Legion defendants have used here on this list time and time again. A curious coincidence don't you think.

One "revised" statement, with the probability that the revision was coerced does not render the articles irrelevant, nor places them in the same racks as the tabloids. The warning is clear...Caveat Emptor...buyer beware. Remember the Pied Piper and guard your children.

I was hoping to just share *my* story of *my* experience with the RC/LC. Because they are related are they not? This does have to do more with the RC but I think they all kinda blend together as the stories go. I should first give some info, I have two dds who are/were desperately looking for other like minded *girl* friends to share their faith. So a girls club (run by the RC) was (what I thought to be) an answer to our prayers! My dds would have a chance to have a *big* sister type of friendships with other girls who are absolutely beautiful inside and out.

They were to meet twice a month plus a few extra times if needed. My oldest dd even went on a RC retreat. (Mind you this was before I *knew* what I *know* now) The retreat itself was probably *ok*. But the attitude of the girls was atrocious! My dd who only wanted to make some new friends (and where else would we expect to find good Catholic Friends then at a Catholic "mainly" homeschool group?) came home in TEARS! The girl were rude and inconsiderate, not caring to welcome a new girl, leaving her out of discussion, not listening to her when she tried to join in, really just treating her so terribly! I felt just awful for her.

So here was one bad experience with the RC. No big deal really, but.... There's more. So the group was supposed to meet. A chance for the girls to make
friends..or so I was lead to believe... but ...the RC consecrated women couldn't be there so one hour before the meeting ... a meeting my dds were really excited about .. was canceled. Now this didn't happen just once .. I'm talking about ten times or more. The girls were oh so disappointed. And every time it was the same thing .. just hours before, after much arranging for rides etc .. the meetings were canceled.

They just wanted to be with other girls .. it was just supposed to be a girls club .. you know get together to discuss the faith .. have pool parties .. say the rosary .. those types of things .. Just plain good ole' fun stuff with other good Catholic girls.

So then there was to be a reformatting of the group .. the RC women were to
schedule our group in better .. all of a sudden we were told that since we hadn't done very much that we weren't *recognized* as an official RC girls club ... but how could we -- they continually canceled the meetings?

So there was a moms only meeting to discuss the future of the group. I went and that's when my eyes finally were blinded by the truth of the group. They didn't want us to have a group to share friendships with .. they didn't care if the girls actually had time together .. they didn't want the *older girls* *with* the younger girls ... they were only interested in us *if* we wanted to be *incorporated*!!!! They only wanted to suck us into their way of life .. they wanted us to send the girls to *retreats*.. the most important one being during Holy Week ... That the girls should be experiencing the celebrations of Easter in church in another state with a bunch of other people ... they didn't care that the girls would not be home for this important celebration.

I am not so sure that "their main mission in life is to evangelize". How is it evangelizing if they don't even care when they plan retreats as to not have the children *home* during celebrations of the church?

I do hope I didn't bore you with to many details. I also hope I gave enough first hand info to the-- IMHO-- sneakiness of the RC.
God Bless,
Peace be with you,
I have just read you site on the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi I can only add my support for you work in putting the truth out about this group.

I was in Regnum Christi for 2 1/2 years and spent the whole time questioning their actions.

I have a 18 lesson plan book of their Formation Program.

They want each member to study each lesson and answer questions. Send in the papers and they would answer back with the correct information.

I only have copies of the formation program left, My Bishop has the originals and I have also sent a book to the web site of

Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi are a cult and has many of good and honest people in their grip. Many are young and have no formation in the truths of the Catholic Church.

The members are encouraged to read only the writings of Fr.. Marcial Maciel.

My last contact, they told me they are in potion to take over the church and I can assure you they will.

They also said the pope can't declare Mary as co-redemtrix because it would ruin their plans for unity with other churches

The leaders of this group are evil.

Also the Group Opus Dei is the head of the evil.


If there is any information I can help you with please let me know.

The word must get out.

My prayers for you and your loved ones.