Marcial Maciel founded the order with 13 boys at the age of 20, while still a seminarian himself in 1941. Pope Pius XII gave canonical approval for a Congregation when he was still a deacon. In 1965 Pope Paul VI recognized them as a religious Congregation. Pope John Paul II ordained 60 or their men on their 50th anniversary.
They have had a miraculous growth. They have spread from Mexico to 15 countries. They have over 10,000 in the lay movement called "Regnum Christi". There are over 300 priests with thousands of seminarians. Soon to be built is the largest seminary in the United States - Legionaries of course.
The Legionaries work in the mass-media, TV, radio, Internet, etc. They just bought out the National Catholic Register. They have a radio program in Los Angeles called "Hombre Nuevo". They work in every level of education, primary, secondary, higher, and University levels. They are fast taking over many Catholic Schools that were once run by Catholic parents, not diocesan.
They work at every level of the Church and its members. And they do work, without question as to what they are asked to do. There education at the seminarian level is amongst the best in the Church. There teaching at all levels is orthodox.
One must go all the way back to the time when St. Dominic and St. Francis met in St. Peters for the first time, to find an order of priests that has grown so fast in the entire history of the Church. One Legionaries priest said to us in reference to the heretic liberal movements in the Church, "Dont worry about it. We are taking over." That may very well be true. At the present decline in all other orders in the Church, and the fast growth of the Legionaries, they will outnumber all the rest of the priests in the world combined in only a few more years.
It is not unusual that a new order grow fast while the founder is still living. This was true with the Dominicans and the Franciscans. It has been true recently with the Daughters of St. Paul, and Opus Dei.
What is different about this new Movement is that (without a doubt) the founder is no saint. There are no miracles in his life like Dominic and Francis. There is no sense of the Holy Spirit in his talks and writings like Mother Therese of Calcutta. An overflowing of love is not seen. An exceptional level of knowledge like St. Thomas? No! Why then?
It could be that since there is a great heresy that has corrupted seminaries across the world [Christ in the people instead of Christ in the Eucharist - Karl Rahner, Ed Schillebeeckx, Hans Kung, Monika Hellwig, Anthony Wilhelm, Call To Action, homosexuals, pedophiles, etc.], any orthodox order would attract all good Catholics. The Legionaries simply supply the need that has been waiting to be filled.
We hope all of this is true, since never in the history of the Church has She needed true orthodox teaching and action without compromise more than now. Without any question the Legionaries supply that need. They are uncompromisingly true to the faith of the Church. They reach out to all aspects of communication, (something the bishops have failed to do). Parents do not have to worry about the Legionaries schools teaching the true Catholic Faith, as they do in regular Catholic Schools.
We hope with all our hearts that the spirit of this Movement is the Holy Spirit. Like anything else, though, it too must be tested. We cannot just assume everything is from God by the outward signs of good fruits. The fruits of Bayside, Necedah, Medjugorje and even Jonestown all appeared good before they were shown to be false. So we must always test the spirit regarding any movement or private revelation.
There has been a barrage of complaints coming into this office about "The Movement" called the Legionaries of Christ. We have read the secrete documents that only members in good standing are supposed to read. We know about the sex allegations against the founder. We think the response to these allegations was poor and smells of cover-up. But that is not the important thing. What worries us the most is the remote possibility of "Cult" activity, whether deliberate or as an accidental result of a tight grip on all activities in the movement.
We, at Unity Publishing, have been receiving complaints for over five years about this Movement simply for the fact that we investigate cults. We have not asked for this information. In fact, we continue to receive these complaints from very orthodox people, who have their children in the seminaries or the schools run by the Legionaries. There are also complaints from ex-members that cannot be easily dismissed as just personal resentment.
We have been asked by many people to have a very careful look into this new movement. This will be very hard since we want, and the Church needs, what the Legionaries are doing. It will be very hard also because our best friends are supporters of the movement. Patrick Madrid has many of his children in the movement, and he is the best of the new Catholics. Joe OConnor, a lawyer in San Diego and a long supporter of Unity, is also a supporter of the Legionaries. These friends will not be happy with our report.
If the movement is all that it seems to be, our investigation will only help it, because we will eliminate any doubts. If, however, it is a cult, it is taking the very best of our Catholic youth away from other good orders. There are over 600 new religious orders in the Church since Vatican II and all of them are traditional and orthodox and deserve our support. There are old orders in the Church who have shed blood to keep themselves alive and are now dying out for lack of media exposure, something we hope to do something about by giving some examples at the end of this document.
What we ask is that if anyone has any information (pro or con) regarding the founder or activity that seems to be cult like, send it to us in writing. Phone calls do us no good. We must have everything documented. No names will be revealed during or after this investigation accept by written permission. We also ask that members of the Legionaries or Regnum Christi come and talk to us "one on one" and not in groups of two or more. One thing we have learned is that members have to go everywhere in groups of at least two. No one is allowed to travel by themselves. Then - they are encouraged to tell the leaders anything that is done or said against the "spirit" of the movement. This is why we will not talk to groups of members, only one on one and even with the leaders or the founder himself. Even the members will be kept in confidence as we do not wish to cause problems for anyone as we seek information.
What do we mean by "cult activity"? 1. Blind obedience to the movement 2. Excessive loyalty to founder 3. Lack of trust for outsiders 4. Secretes - even from parents 5. Attacks against anyone who questions 6. Unjust financial negotiations 7. Attacks against anyone who leaves 8. Any form of brain-washing
The Hartford Courant News took notice of the Legionaries of Christ in 1996 as they established a large American base in Hartford, Connecticut. We have taken many articles from this newspapers investigations and have summarized them below for the sake of brevity. We also spoke at length with the reporters who were responsible for writing these articles in order to verify the reporters sources of information.
The writers were GERALD RENNER, and JASON BERRY. Jason Berry is author of "Lead Us Not into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children,'' (Doubleday, 1992; Image paperback, 1994). Berry received a first-place book award in 1993 from the Catholic Press Association for this book.
The language of the articles prompted families of the members who were Legionaries to seek out the Hartford Courant newspaper report their own experiences with the Legionaries. The pertinent information from these articles and family experiences are given below from much longer articles. All sentences found in italics below are from Unity Publishings own investigations and comments. Any words highlighted are also done by Unity Publishing.
CATHOLIC LEGIONARIES EXPAND BASE IN STATE
Published on 03/24/96,
An order of priests styled after the military shuns publicity, but is quietly prospering in the state and is growing in influence in the Catholic Church. Tightly disciplined and traditional, the Mexican-founded Legionaries of Christ appeal to Catholics who yearn for the ways of the church before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
[Styled after the military means that they are trained to eliminate all individuality for the sake of the movement in the same way boot-camp does for the sake of the army. They are blocked out from all contact with the outside world in these first two years, especially from their parents and family. We not only have testimonials but we have actual documents from the founder to verify this.]
NOVICES ACCUSE CATHOLIC ORDER OF INTIMIDATION, PRESSURE
Published on 06/10/96,
The Legionaries of Christ, a militaristically styled order of Roman Catholic priests based in Connecticut, calls recruiting candidates for the priesthood "capturing vocations.'' The language is more than figurative, say several men who accepted invitations last year to join the Legionaries' novice training program.
[Many who we have talked to about the first two years in the "movement" say that the recruiting is done in a way that you cannot turn down. "We just want you to come and take a look at what we do, and we will take care of all your needs while you do this. You dont know if God wants you to work with us until you come and look and see." This is not the way of other orders who may advertise but do not go out seeking vocations. They simply set a good example that draws people to them, and even then they do not accept but only a few of those who ask to become novices. In these recruiting sessions they are bombarded with smiling, happy faces who tell them how much they need them and how much God needs them to save the Church. If they then accept this invitation, they go through a military boot-camp designed to eliminate the individual and create another cell in the movement.
If a recruit decides that the Legionaries are not for them, and they ask to leave. The formers will tell them to wait a few days and to pray on it. They will then find that their room was searched, and that their roommate has grown cold. They will then be told that their salvation lies with the Legionaries, and that they should stick it out. When they insist again, they are told that they must wait until transportation can be arranged and paid for, since novices are not allowed to have any money. Eventually the recruit will have to sneak away and even hitchhike home.]
ORDER'S LEADER WITHHOLDS COMMENT ON ALLEGATIONS
Published on 06/11/96,
The national director of the Legionaries of Christ said Monday that he cannot respond publicly to allegations made by disgruntled former seminarians, as reported in a story in The Courant Monday.
The Rev. Anthony Bannon was responding to a written inquiry from The Courant about complaints made by former novices. They said the order would not release them when they decided that priesthood in the rigid Roman Catholic religious order was not for them.
[Is it charitable ??? to call someone who did not want to be in your order or did not feel called to that order "disgruntled" which to most people means disturbed or grumpy? Instead of the cover-up, why not say to the reporter, "Come and see what we are doing. Talk to our people one on one. We have nothing to hide." But that is not what the Legionaries do. They cover-up and attack those who do not agree with them. There are hundreds of people who do not agree with what Unity Publishing does, but we do not attack them. We know they are sincere Catholics who only want to protect the Church and Our Lady and think that they are doing so by disagreeing with us. It is through dialogue that we try to convince them otherwise, and we hide nothing.]
LEGION CALLS MACIEL'S ACCUSERS DISGRUNTLED CONSPIRATORS
Published on 02/23/97,
The Legionaries of Christ say that the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado is the victim of a plot by disgruntled former members of the religious order. Those alleging a conspiracy include four former seminarians. Two are laymen who worked for the Legion in Mexico City, Armando Arias Sanchez and Jorge Luis Gonzalez Limon, and one is a man who had worked for Maciel's brother, Javier, in the clothing business, Valente Velazquez Camarena of Guadalajara. The fourth man was Juan Manuel Correa Cuellar, of Mexico City.
[Again by attacking the people instead of answering the charges, the Legionaries do not give out the spirit of love that flows from the saints of the Church in the past.]
HEAD OF WORLDWIDE CATHOLIC ORDER
ACCUSED OF HISTORY OF ABUSE
Published on 02/23/97,
After decades of silence, nine men have come forward to accuse the head of an international Roman Catholic order of sexually abusing them when they were boys and young men training to be priests. The men, in interviews in the United States and Mexico, said the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, molested them in Spain and Italy during the 1940s, '50s and '60s.
[This is a very serious accusation and needs to be addressed as such since there ends up nine boys, who say there are hundreds more. These men have nothing to gain as they are not suing for money or anything other than to stop the abuse. Instead of answering these accusations the Legionaries compare these charges to the charges made against the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of homosexual activity. An interesting comparison since we not have proof that these charges against Bernardin were not only true but there are many more and in fact, that Bernardin was the top dog, in the good-old-boys club of not only protecting homosexuals but in promoting them, appointing them to high positions, and in corrupting the seminaries to the point that if you are not a homosexual you will never become a priest, all of the homosexual priests and bishops of the United States can be traced back to Bernardin. An interesting comparison to say the least. The founder answered these charges but the leaders in the United States Legionaries did not like his wording so they changed it. There were also charges that Father Marcial had a drug problem in the 1950s but the Legionaries said that the Vatican had investigated these charges and found that they were not true. We will look closer into this investigation.]
ACCUSED PRIEST IS SYNOD DELEGATE
Published on 10/23/97,
Pope John Paul II has appointed an influential priest in Rome who has been accused of child sexual abuse as a special delegate to a major church conference next month. The priest, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and head of the Legionaries of Christ, is one of 21 people the pope chose to attend the Synod for America to be held in Rome from November 16 to December.
[Obviously Father Marcial has the support of Rome - so far.]
The truth about Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado is that he was kicked out of two seminaries before he was 20 years of age - in Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1938 and a Jesuit-run seminary in Montezuma, New Mexico, in 1940. Maciel's uncle, Bishop Francesco Gonzalez Arias of Cuernavaca, Mexico ordained him in 1944 at the age of 24. Four of Maciels uncles were bishops and one a general. Maciel attracted wealthy donors in Mexico and in Spain because of his four uncle bishops. . He raised 200,000 pesos, to begin his religious order, called the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the Legionaries of the Pope, and then the Legionaries of Christ. When he was ordained by his own uncle, he started what he calls "the movement" with 13 to 20 of his closest followers. He never suffered the grace of being obedient to any other superior. What his motives were we cannot know. They may be good. Motives are for God to judge, but his methods we can judge. He demands (or at least accepts) to be called "Our Father" Nuestra Padre, and signs his letters this way. In the seminaries and schools his picture is in almost every room, except when important visitors come and then they are taken down and pictures of saints and the Holy Father are temporarily put up. He writes volumes of letters to his associates and these are collected into books for the new recruits to read. In these letters he stresses over and over again on each and every page blind obedience to the movement. In letters to the recruits he stresses obedience to their superiors is if they were other Christs and to never question their methods. He states that they must love the movement more than anything in their lives, even life itself, and sacrifice anything for the movement, which includes everything they do or think. "A life of surrender to the mission is the greatest recompense and act of gratitude that we can offer to our formers." Nuestra Padre.
A former (one who forms new recruits or whatever they do) writes: "I invite you, therefore, to contemplate the ideal of the Regnum Christi woman according to the mind of Nuestro Padre. See it from his perspective, as something inspired by God to him for each one of you. It needs to be embodied from the general guidelines down to the smallest details. Let yourselves be conquered by this ideal. And dedicate all of you talent and efforts towards it." What are these guidelines????
The Vatican investigated accusations that he abused drugs, misused money and engaged in other improprieties and between 1956 and 1958 he was suspended from his duties as head of the Legion. The facts are that in Rome Jurado (one of the men now speaking out) was dispatched to Salvator Mundi hospital on a dozen occasions to obtain morphine. Under orders from Maciel, Jurado said, ``I gave him injections many times in the forearm.'' Barrales (another victim) said that he was dispatched, usually by car, to Isola Tiberina, a hospital on a small isle in the Tiber River, to obtain drugs. If refused there, Barrales said, the driver would head to another hospital.
"We were living in a world with a lack of knowledge. I would go to drugstores to ask for the drugs but they wouldn't give them to me because they were forbidden. When I went to hospitals run by nuns, some of them would give me the drugs to take to Maciel,'' said Barrales.
The former Legionaries insist that Maciel was, indeed, addicted to painkilling drugs, despite what the doctors wrote. Ironically, it was the realization of his addiction that softened their attitudes toward his sexual abuse of them, they said. Jurado, the Defense Department language instructor, said that the seminary headmaster in Rome told the seminarians the Vatican investigators were ``evil people, of bad intentions,'' and that the boys did not have to tell the truth. When asked by an investigator what he thought of Maciel, Barba recalls replying, "He is a saint" -- as the seminarians had been told for years. The priest asked why. Barba referred to Maciel's suffering in the infirmary. Under more pointed questioning, said Barba: "I retreated, I was scared. . . . I didn't tell him about my experiences." The pressure on the apostolic schoolboys was enormous. To those nearing ordination, admitting sexual activity could wreck the priestly life they had pursued through the years from Mexico to Spain, and now Rome. Blowing the whistle on Maciel could bring down others before their ordinations. Vaca said, "We were told there are these enemies of God who were out to get Maciel. I denied drug abuse and I made a big defense and praise of Father Maciel." He said he was asked no further questions.
Jose Antonio Perez, today a lawyer, said that an investigator asked him "At any point did Father Maciel do anything improper to you and ask you not to tell anyone, not even under confession?" My response was a firm "No." I was very proud of my fidelity to Father Maciel.'' When he put his hand on the Bible and lied, Perez continued, "I sacrificed myself for him. Internally I feel I was excommunicated."
In 1957, with the Vatican investigation in high gear, Barrales said that Maciel sent him to the Canary Islands so that he could not give testimony to the Vatican investigators. Nine months later, Maciel expelled him from the order, just short of ordination. Barrales said he was depressed for a year and could not admit to his parents what he had endured in the Legion.
The Vatican has not investigated the allegations made by nine former seminarians of homosexual abuse by the founder. In their response to the accusations they said that this was a conspiracy to discredit the founder by disgruntled former members. They site the case of one of these men who withdrew his allegation and they claim that he proves it was a conspiracy but this was not the truth, and they know it. This man did not withdraw his statements but only said that he decided that he did not want anything to do with a Church trial against the founder. He also did not prove a conspiracy - only men who were seeking out other victims to add to their claims. These men are not seeking any money as in the hundreds of other Church cases against priests and bishops totaling in the billions. They have nothing to gain except embarrassment in their own lives and pain and suffering. Their only motives are to protect future children. Since these so-called victims have been treated as anti-Catholics and conspirators, why would any other potential victim come forward?
THE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
The Rev. Felix Alarcon, 63, of Venice, Fla., who opened the Legion's first U.S. base in the Woodmont section of Milford, Conn., in 1965.
Professor Jose de J. Barba Martin, 57, a Harvard-educated literary scholar who teaches at the Instituto Tecnological Autonomo de Mexico, Mexico City.
Saul Barrales Arellano, 62, Catholic school teacher, Mexico City.
Alejandro Espinosa Alcala, 59, rancher, rural Mexico.
Juan Manuel Fernandez Amenabar, left statement before he died Feb. 7, 1995; former Legionary priest and president of the Northern Anahuac University in Mexico City.
Arturo Jurado Guzman, 58, instructor, U.S. Defense Department School of Linguistics, Monterey, Calif.
Fernando Perez Olvera, 62, engineer, Monterey, Mexico.
Jose Antonio Perez Olvera, 59, lawyer, Mexico City.
Juan Vaca, 59, of Holbrook, N.Y., college guidance counselor, president of the Legionaries in the United States from 1971 to 1976. (The Courant)
The accusers said that Maciel molested more than 30 boys from the 1940s through at least the early 1960s. Several said he maintained a long-term sexual relationship with them. There is no reason to believe that this has stopped. Pedophiles do not quit and/or are not easily cured. Maciel seems to have a split personality and justifies his actions in his own mind as you will see by what is to come. (The Courant)
The way Maciel accomplished this sex with the boys differs in each case but some of these cases go like this: "Maciel would summon a boy to his room at night and be in his bed, writhing in apparent pain, and ask the boy to rub his stomach. The session would typically end in mutual masturbation." (The Courant)
Vaca, the former president of the Legionaries in the United States, entered the order at Maciel's invitation when he was 10 years old in Mexico. He said the superior general began molesting him two years later when he was taken to a seminary in Spain. He said he endured a psychosexual relationship for a dozen years, into adulthood, that he is still struggling to understand. "He said my brother masturbated frequently and it was urgent to take him away from this sin," said Jose Antonio Perez, 59, who is now a lawyer in Mexico City. "I didn't know what to think. I had not spoken of this with my brother," he said. Maciel, Jose Antonio continued, told him that he needed a sample of his semen to send to a famous doctor in Madrid, whose analysis would help remedy his brother's problem. The former seminarian said he was bewildered, but submitted as Maciel fondled him to orgasm, put the semen in a flask and said soothingly, ``The purpose was right.'' Then, he said, Maciel told him to receive Holy Communion and "never tell anyone of this heroic act." "The details of my violation could prove to be funny if they had not been derived from the tremendous tragedy to me," Jose Antonio said. (The Courant)
Having entered the Legion at 10, he believed "chastity was the No. 1 virtue." He likened the experience with Maciel to "being deflowered" and said it made him feel he was "an accomplice." Suffering from insomnia and anxiety, he kept his distance from Maciel until he left the order at age 25. (The Courant)
Arturo Jurado Guzman, 58, who teaches at the U.S. Defense Department School of Linguistics in Monterey, Calif., entered the Legion at 11. He says he was 16 when Maciel summoned him to his bedside. In a darkened room, he said, Maciel was moaning with pain he attributed to abdominal problems. ``He told me to put my hand on his stomach and start massaging,'' Jurado said with a sigh. Maciel told him ``to go lower and lower,'' coaxing the teenager to masturbate him, while the priest began fondling Jurado. "He said that he had a personal dispensation from Pope Pius XII to do these sexual acts because of his pain," Jurado said. He submitted to Maciel's designs about 40 times, Jurado said, and when he resisted Maciel's attempts at anal penetration, Maciel summoned another boy. (The Courant)
Vaca, who would rise to be head of the order in the United States, said that his first sexual encounter was under similar circumstances. Afterward, he said, "I told him I didn't feel right. I wanted to go to confession. He said, "There is nothing wrong. You don't have to go to confession." Vaca recalls that when his dismay did not melt away, Maciel said, "Here, I will give you absolution" -- and made the sign of the cross. (The Courant)
Alejandro Espinosa Alcala, 59, a Legion seminarian in the early 1950s who today is a rancher in rural Mexico, said Maciel would sometimes bring him and another boy together in bed for mutual masturbation. "I could not fight my natural repugnancies," Espinosa reflected. Maciel assured him that the activity was "morally correct," he said, because he was only acting as a "technical nurse" and that the priest had received special papal permission to use boys, not women, in that role. (The Courant)
One who said he resisted Maciel's sexual advances was Saul Barrales Arellano, 62, who has taught in Catholic schools in Mexico for many years since leaving the Legion. As a seminarian, he was known as "the charitable one" by his peers, who thought his kindness would make him a natural priest. Barrales said that Maciel "asked me to manipulate him sexually five or 10 times and I refused." Barrales said he would lie across the doorway of the bedroom when Maciel drifted off to sleep, to keep out others who he feared might be more willing to do Maciel's bidding. (The Courant)
The former Legionaries said that Maciel seemed to dissociate himself from the sexual acts, separating the bedroom encounters from his priestly activities. To some he never acknowledged that anything unusual had happened. Barba, the literary scholar, said that after a sexual encounter with Maciel, the priest calmly dressed and walked with the youth to bless an outdoor lunch under blue skies. "Fundamentally, Maciel's case is one of a divided personality," said Miguel Diaz, in his initial statements. (The Courant)
Maciel claimed to be "suffering from a disease," Diaz had said before his retraction, "that caused him to retain sperm in his testicles, causing him insufferable pain that could only be relieved with a specific drug . . . or through masturbation, which he asked me to perform on several occasions and which I obviously did." (The Courant)
MOST IMPORTANT PROOF OF PEDOPHILIA
Perhaps the most poignant account of Maciel's critics is that of Juan Manuel Fernandez Amenabar, a Legion priest who in the early 1980s served as president of the Legionaries' Northern Anahuac University in Mexico City. In 1984 Fernandez left his position and quit the priesthood. A Spaniard by birth, he spent time in San Diego and headed back to Mexico. One day in May 1991, he hobbled into the Spanish Hospital in Mexico City, dazed from a stroke, his speech impeded. As Fernandez began rehabilitation, a young physician in her residency, Dr. Gabriela Quintero Calleja, became a friend in the course of treating him. Sometimes, after making her rounds, she sat by his bed and read poetry to him. Quintero said that for the last three years of Fernandez's life, she was closer to him than anyone else. He confided his life story to her, she said, including how Maciel "on three occasions sexually abused Juan Manuel [Fernandez], the first two occasions at the age of 16 years of age and the third at 17 years." On Jan. 6, 1995, his health failing, Fernandez dictated a statement about his experiences, with several former Legionaries as witnesses. He attested that Maciel "tried to justify this use of drugs and the above-mentioned sexual abuse to me, and as I learned later, to other religious men and novitiates who were his victims, by saying that he had a disease and that he had direct permission from His Holiness Pope Pius XII. . . ." (The Courant)
In a written statement Quintero gave The Courant, she said it was her "desire to reveal the truth that has been kept hidden for so many years, since so many members of the Catholic Church as well as the society as a whole seem ignorant of the moral character of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado." (The Courant)
All cults, like Jim Jones and/or the Moonies, use love bombing as a first method of capturing recruits. Love bombing is having all those around them seem so happy and so loving and so caring about the recruit. Attention, love, kindness, family, all the things everyone is seeking in other people. They also seek out to find out what weaknesses the recruit has and then use this weakness to capture them into the movement, but claiming that only the movement can overcome that weakness. It is the weakness, no mater what it is, that gives a brainwasher an open door to capture. If, however, a man or woman has no major weakness, and is not caught up in love bombing, attention, love, kindness and the rest, but thinks with the higher nature - logic, he or she has no place in the Legionaries. They appeal to the lower nature, the feelings and not to the higher nature - logic; and therefore, they will tell this person with the perfect gift of the Holy Spirit, control of the higher nature over the lower nature that he or she has no vocation and should go away and get married. Proof of this not only comes from former members but from the actual words of the founder "the our father" himself, as follows in an actual quote:
"Actually, a good former (one who forms seminarians or third order lay-people) is not worried by the fact that a subject (seminarian or layman) has problems, that after all is normal. It turns bad when subjects present themselves with the face of an angel, without problems in humility, or laziness, without temptations against chastity, without tensions between companions. I usually tell the superiors that when they run into one of these "angels", they should send him home because we do not know how to form or direct angels. Here we deal with men who have passions, defects, problems and struggles, desiring to work in order to overcome them with the help of God, and their formers. They should known that their sanctification will consist of this daily effort." (Taken from Marcials writings)
We know people who we know for sure have a vocation to the priesthood, who have left the Legionaries and now think they have no vocation, simply because the formers told them so. In fact they are lost, since God chose them for a vocation, and as long as you do not answer that call, you will always feel lost. So, the Legionaries not only could not keep the man or woman with control over the lower nature, but they destroyed them for possible vocations in other orders. Those with weaknesses and less control over the lower nature can be controlled and made into obedient soldiers.
THE FORTH COMMANDMENT
A man complained to me that he has lost his child and will never see her again. I asked if he had given his permission for her to join. "No! In fact, I was very against it. I wanted her to join any other order, even the Carmelites, where at least I could write to her, or talk to her through a screen, but not this order."
Another parent wrote, "My first daughters seduction and recruitment came at the University of Dallas. The happy gatherings, the "encounter groups weekly indoctrination into the letters of "Nuestra Padre (Our Father) and his writings were destructive to her personal freedom. After two isolated, controlled, restrictive years of indoctrination at the "Regnum Christi" formation house, my daughter returned as a completely depersonalized, ritualistic, irrational being, fearful of the movement to the point of hysteria. Her personal journal was filled with interior desolation, fear and subjection to the movement. She has lost her self identity." She went on to say that the movement violates the 1st and 4th Commandments, idolizing others, the Nuestra Padre, the movement, and dishonoring parental concern about the movement."
A letter complained, "In the real Catholic Church only special priests are allowed to direct the souls of people. Abusive discipleship on the other hand, are well documented in many cults and control groups." Since when to lay-men and lay-women become spiritual directors? Spiritual Direction requires confession and obedience in that confession.
Another letter complained that her daughter had her mail read, was indoctrinated and was "a lost soul, without identity, without critical reasoning, needy, flat, dependent, sad young lady with surface rituals and forced euphoric of the movement. She has lost herself, her free will and thinking process because of their methodology. They are very secretive and evasive. You cannot dialogue with any of the members."
In an e-mail we received the following: "There have been a handful of Home School parents who shared their OWN experiences with Legionaries of Christ camps. Because they told the truth (even if carefully worded), an LC member here and there actually had a fit and began the "calumny and detraction" business. I already have the unearned rep of "bashing" the LC's only because I will not endorse the removal of children from their parent's homes to camps where they hardly ever see their families. I know the other stories that go with it, believe me, and so I will, if asked, say "NO" - don't send your kids anywhere unless YOU are with them at all times."
"The LC's appear wherever there are homeschool conventions. I myself don't appreciate that because I know of too many families with children who have been damaged, one way or the other, at their summer camps and schools." Said another letter in our files.
We have a letter written by a daughter who has cut off all relations with her parents and has hired a lawyer to keep them away. I should say that the Legionaries have furnished the lawyer, since the novices have no money. In any other order, everything would be done to unify the family even sending the novice home until this has been done.
In the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the movements members it states, "I will keep those few [friends] that I have only unsafe as they help me to complete this total surrender of myself and what is mine to you. I make this surrender to you of my family and all that belongs to me. I will be consumed to establish your kingdom." Would Christ surrender his family, and does not the doctrine of the Church teach that the Kingdom of Christ is the Church?
The work demonic means "to divide". The holy Family taught obedience to Father and Mother. The Ten Commandments taught obedience to Father and Mother. The word "Honor" in the Forth Commandment means the same as to have "reverence for". As an example to us Christ said to his mother at the age of 12, "Do you not know that I must be about my Fathers business?" And yet, He did not go about His Fathers business for 18 more years because He had to obey His own Commandment, Honor your father and mother. At the marriage feast of Cana, his mother said to Him, "They have no wine." Christ looked at his mother and said, "What is that between you and I. [What is that between our agreement?]" (The actual Greek) With tears in her eyes She knew that She must now give him permission to go about His Fathers work, and so She said, "Do whatsoever He tells you." From that moment on Christ went about His Fathers work, but not without His Mothers permission. Think about it!
An angel told Don Bosco regarding his children: "Keep telling them that by obeying God, their parents and their superiors, even in little things, they will be saved."
How is it then that this movement has no concern whatsoever about the father and mothers feelings? Yes! There are cases of children going against their fathers, like St. Thomas and St. Francis, but these were not loyal Catholic parents with legitimate concerns and in both cases they obeyed the higher authorities, the bishops and the pope. I would have no complaint if these children who disobey their parents, if they appealed to their local Bishop or the Pope and received signed documents saying that they could disobey their parents because we always obey the highest authority. But the local bishop of the recruit and/or the Pope are the only higher authorities of anyone over their parents.
A very well known Catholic defender wrote of the Legionaries: "There are investigative writers of my acquaintance who have had their files, hundreds and hundreds of them, disappear without a trace. Their storage places were broken into and their files wheeled out."
The Legionaries take the normal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and then also take a forth vow of "never to speak ill of the Legion, Maciel or their superiors -- and to inform on anyone who did."
"One's every moment was to be accounted for, not just in seminary but throughout their lives as priests -- a system of total control. Incoming and outgoing mail was monitored and they had no access to telephones. The oath to inform on anyone speaking ill of Nuestro Padre or his Legion meant they were expected to spy on one another", said a former member. (The Courant)
Contact with their families was severely curtailed. Juan Vaca said that for "12 years I was kept in Europe away from my parents and family. I was not allowed to see them or keep close contact with them.'' (The Courant)
Maciel "locked me in a room with one bed and a night table, and one window that had to remain closed. . . . It was very hard in that jail.'' The solitary confinement lasted a month, he recalled. ``If I had been there for a longer time, I would have lost my mind.'' said a former seminarian. Another time, he said, Maciel told him to pack, and ordered him to walk to the railroad station miles away. He left in midmorning and arrived there at 7 p.m., tired and hungry. He had no money and by 11 p.m. felt desperate and alone when Maciel arrived in a car and took him back to the seminary. Shortly thereafter he was expelled and returned to Mexico by ship. (The Courant)
The boys were told that if they left the Legion, their souls would literally go to hell: "Lost vocation, sure damnation'' was the phrase that moved many of them to remain, years after wanting to leave. Eventually, some of those who said they had been abused sought out therapists to cope with traumatic memories. (The Courant)
After informing a friend that I was ready to write a report on the Legionaries, I received this reply: "Be careful. I don't know what God is calling you to do. I am not going to say "be prudent" and really mean be a coward. I know of those techniques they were tried on me. I am only asking you to carefully, carefully pray, and pray again, and pray again, and ask God every single day to guide you and to watch over you, to warn you when to stop for a time, and when to go on. It's a war, as you know, and when in the jungles, you must step carefully and slowly. These things did not happen overnight, they will not be eradicated overnight.
May God be with you every minute of the day,"
A woman wrote: "Be careful, I have had people tell me they were afraid to tell me what they know about LC because of reprisals. Some of the information I have came without a name because they were afraid. Be careful. I'll say it again. Be careful. As my grandmother used to say, "Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut." (obviously, I'm not very good at that last piece of advice - but I'm learning!). Again - and again....be careful."
"I was approached by two different acquaintances (one out of state) to join the RC's. I declined only because I had a sense (now I would recognize it as "sensus Catholicus") that something was wrong. This sense was heightened after I was told I was only receiving a personal invitation because it seems I had the right spirituality - aha! an appeal to my pride! After I declined, the relationship went downhill and the accusations about "lack of humility" and "pride" started coming. Since then, I have heard of the same technique used over and over again." A good friend wrote.
After sending out an e-mail stating that Unity Publishing was going to write about the Legionaries, a friend wrote, "I'm sure you know you need to be careful of almost everyone - even some who appear as the good guys. Some of them are playing a double blind game, or another way of phrasing it -- they are members of a "fifth column." Some just don't have the moral courage to do what must be done, even when they see it clearly. I'm sure you already know that. They try to influence the little, no-money apostolates and get the dirty work done by them. I myself am a prime example, and so I'm doubly cautious that I am not being used by others to secure their own ends. I always hope that God leads me to the right path and helps me avoid the landmines. From my own experience, I have found, Regnum Christi people are directed to come out and harass people if there is the slightest hint made toward them. The biggest problem, as I also see it, is that they have another technique of asking "pointed" questions so they know how to answer such questions if they become public. They run "test drives," so to speak, on the laity and some priests. Many priests see a problem with the LC's but don't want to come right out and say it. They're afraid, so they leave it to the lay people to find out for themselves, causing long term damage to innocent souls."
"I don't know if this is of any help to you except to show you I have had a few first hand (and run-ons) with people of this ilk. As for you and me, I suppose we could be called 'watch dogs.' After all, "it behooves watchdogs to bark." But how far can a watch dog go - do we just bark - or do we bite?" wrote a friend who loves the Church.
One man sent me the books of the founder but would not give me his name because he said he would be ostracized, attacked and maybe worse. He was actually afraid of the Legionaries. Can you imagine people being afraid of the Apostles or Mother Theresa or Padre Pio?
All the new and the old orders that are enjoying a great growth in new vocations are those that are strict and have very difficult rules and regulations. The strict rules and orthodoxy is what attracts people to these orders. They want to do something special for God and to become saints. They hope the vocation will help the Church and make them a saint. The less strict orders attract people who want to get something from God. Difficult rules and regulations are good, not bad. But how these are applied and why they are applied is what we need to look at.
In most orders that have these qualities the hardest thing for novices is understanding "familiarity". The superiors do not say anything but they teach novices through example to not place any love or faith or friendship in people. They go out of their way to have no favorites, pay no compliments, pay no special attention to anyone. They discourage close relationships with any one person. The reason for this is to teach people to place their trust and love in God alone and not in people. Another reason for this is to avoid the "ego-support" that a close friendship often brings, which weakens the soul seeking a relationship with God alone. Friendships in an order must be equal to all, and not in little clicks that also breads resentment. In a cult, however, friendships are forced through love-bombing in order to hook the recruit on the group instead of on God. Familiarity is not proper formation of novices, but this is what we are hearing regarding the Legionaries and Regnum Christi. Familiarity, especially with the leaders is encouraged in order to develop relationships to replace the relationships lost by becoming a member of the movement. This familiarity is also used to find out all that needs to be known about the past, the assets, and the weakness of the novice. In a truly Catholic order, a novice forgets the past entirely and is never asked about it, nor does anyone want to know. They only see what you are, not what you were.
A MILITARY ORDER
There is nothing wrong with a religious order using some military methods where the ego is suppressed and the group goals are brought forward. This is also needed to overcome weaknesses as soon as possible to bring the novice to perfection. In a true order the reasons for this are first to create a saint of the novice and second to create a useful tool for the Lord to use as He sees fit. But when all the reasons are for the movement and not the soul, that movement has become a cult. Why do we think this movement is a cult? Because when anyone leaves the order they are attacked. This does not show concern for the development of saints even in those who have left. This shows that what is not useful to the movement is not useful to anyone. When has this order ever said to a novice, "If you do not think this is for you, you might consider some other order, or go home and pray about it, until you know what you want to do." No! That is not what they say. Ask anyone who has left or has been kicked out. It is always a dishonorable discharge. "You have no vocation." "You lack charity." "You will not get to heaven with this kind of attitude." "Go get married. You do not have the courage to be one of us."
SAVING THE CHURCH OR A CULT?
A cult controls every aspect of ones live: what they eat, drink, think, where they go, what they do, who they work with, who they play with, who they marry, what they have, and what they dont have. The leader is the last word in everything and can never make mistakes because he or she gets direct knowledge from God. The leader becomes the Father instead of God, the Father, since he gets his orders from God for everyone else. More time is spent on the writings and tapes and talks of the "Father" than on the teachings of the Church and on normal studies. The "Fathers" interpretation of the teachings of the Church are more important than the teachings themselves.
LOST VOCATIONS OF THE BEST CATHOLICS
Why would anyone join Regnum Christi, when they could become a Daughters of Charity with Mother Theresa of Calcutta? They are saving the Church, but we are not sure about Regnum Christi. Why would a young man become a Legionaries priest, when they could become a Capuchin? This we would like to know. Because we think it is because of the recruiting methods and not the grace of the movement. There are orders in the Church that have lasted for hundreds of years and have many martyrs and saints, that are now falling into oblivion because of lack of new novices, only because they are not getting the proper coverage in the news, which has been taken over by cults and false apparitions. One such order is the Benedictine nuns at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester, England.
THE STANBROOK ABBEY COMMUNITY
In 1624 nine young Englishwomen crossed the sea to Flanders where they founded a Benedictine monastery at Cambrai. Among then was Helen More, a great great-granddaughter of St. Thomas More. During the French Revolution the community was ejected from its home and narrowly escaped the guillotine. They returned to England and founded another Benedictine monastery at Stanbrook, where they founded the oldest private printing press in the world. Stanbrook has become well known for its contribution to music and liturgy, for arts and crafts including vestment making and printing. However, people seek the monastery to find God, and prayer is the prime order of everyday, whether in song or word. Most of the Benedictine nuns in South America owe there existence to the Stanbrook Abbey in England. More on this Abbey to come in future Newsletters.
The order of St. Brigid nuns are a great order growing all the time and a great example that the Church is alive and well.
Father Aloysius Ellacuria, a true saint who performed many miracles founded a new order of Priests in honor of Fatima.
I mention these three orders because I believe that most of you have never heard of them, and ask "Why have you not heard of them?" Maybe if these orders spent less time praying and becoming saints, and more time recruiting and collecting money, they would be growing as fast as the Legionaries.
Looking forward to the Legionaries and Regnum Christi responding to this Newsletter so that the truth will be known once and for all. As with the other people who wrote against the Legionaries, I expect them to attack me instead of answering the things I have wrote.
To read the entire News Articles by The Hartford Courant News and other News Articles on cults click on this outstanding web page, the owner of which I know personally, and she has been fighting cults for many years.
http://home.earthlink.net/~origins Or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org