Anonymous – A Catholic Father’s Lament For His Regnum Christi Daughter

July 2008

 

I remember one of the first things that I noted on the Regain website when I discovered it several years ago was the checklist for cults provided by Father Cronin. I had taken several courses previously about cults (never thinking that there would be any in the Catholic Church). As I went through the check list it helped me to confirm that our daughter (a 3gf Regnum Christi member since 1988) was in a cult.

She had gone on a trip to find herself and we were expecting her to come home eventually. She was a bright light in our family – a sharp mind and a wonderful joyful sense of humor. Our family always gathers for special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, special birthdays, picnics, camping expeditions, family holidays as well as for special spiritual events such as baptisms, first communions and, of course, for marriages. Our daughter never returned from that trip. We grieve continually in a similar way to families who have someone missing. She is alive but has been taken from us for no reason. Whenever we meet together for any occasion, we know that one of us is no longer available to us, except for two days a year.

There is no great joy when the 2 days come because she is different and cannot really enter into the spirit of things with the rest of us. It is NOT because she is holier than us. It is not because she is serving God in some special way. If she were working for Mother Theresa’s order of nuns in Calcutta, we would have some sense of there being a purpose for her absence from our family. Is she an evangelizer as she thinks or a brainwasher as some of us believe? Is she a teacher or is she becoming a manipulator?

We concluded some time ago that there is no question that Regnum Christi is a CULT that serves an elite group of people to achieve power and money for them. I believe that they operate as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Just as the sexual abuse committed against the original children who had put their trust in MM was about power and not sex, there continue to be new victims who lose their free will and their ability to live normal lives and have friends and live in a loving family environment so that the heads of RC can have more power politically and in a spiritual environment. They say Catholic things and associate with Catholic leaders and they profess Roman Catholicism to give them respectability. The brainwashed members sometimes achieve things that serve the Church and give them some legitimacy. But underneath, I feel that there is no real difference between what RC does and what Scientology or the Moonies do. They promote elitism, they isolate, they are manipulated into idolization of the phony image of a false megalomaniac pedophile saint, they don’t have health insurance, they use a buddy system, they use spiritual direction as a weapon of control, they deceive, they control behavior (through rules), information, thoughts and emotions the same way other cults do.

Most unfortunately, I feel that the Roman Catholic Church, which proclaims itself to be the one and only true apostolic Church that provides justice internally has some rotten apples in the barrel that have been successful in sustaining this life destroying cult as an integral part of the Church. To me it is like a festering gangrene on the Body of Christ that must eventually be cut off if the Church is to remain healthy. The current reform by the Church including elimination of the secret vows, reducing their targeting of younger teenagers, etc., will not make a significant difference. I think this would be like the government going to the Mafia and getting them to stop selling drugs to 12 to 14 year olds. If they comply, they would still be the Mafia. A total reorganization of RC including replacement of the entire leadership and a new spirit – a new mission (no longer parallel to but in harmony with the Church) and run by truly dedicated experienced people with some limitations on their personal power and money they could extract from it. In the meantime, our grieving for our lost daughter goes on as key leaders in the Church continue to turn a blind eye.

 

More Legion of Christ woes in Atlanta

Holy Spirit fans, foes show their colors

 

By Gerhard Schneibel

 

 

Parents, grandparents and Holy Spirit Preparatory School students clashed with residents of the area of Long Island Drive, Hammond Drive and I-285 during a Planning Commission meeting July 17 that ended with no board action.

Supporters of Holy Spirit’s plan to build a sports complex on a vacant, 8-acre tract with an entrance on Long Island Drive wore green. Opponents wore red. After all the seats in the City Council chambers were filled, a security guard directed people into an adjacent room to wait. Hecklers interrupted the meeting several times.

Den Webb, a Smith, Gambrell & Russell attorney for the school, was the first to speak.

I want to emphasize that the supporters of this application live in the neighborhood next door to this property. They live in the immediate area of this property. They live in the district in which this property is going to be located, and they live all over Sandy Springs. And some of them have kids at Holy Spirit Prep, and some of them don’t, he said.

The school hopes to build a regulation-size football and soccer field with lights, a speaker system and bleachers for 400 people. The facility would include tennis courts, 150 parking spaces and a lap pool.

Original plans included a field house and an administrative building. Faced with opposition, the Catholic school combined the two into a single, 15,000-square-foot building with 12 offices for school staff.

Webb argued that the lot has been on the market for 22 years, is unsuitable for housing because of its proximity to I-285 and is adjacent to two nonresidential sites. There are some folks living there, however. I think the council has probably heard, back in January, the Sandy Springs Police Department swept that site and arrested a number of folks who were living in tents thereon. They were growing marijuana, and there was a marijuana package for sale.
He added that two squatters moved back to the site this month.

Webb praised the school’s efforts to address neighbor concerns and downplayed the possible noise.

The football program is small in scale, he said.

While the planning staff has said the Holy Spirit proposal doesn’t fit the city’s comprehensive plan, we simply disagree with that, Webb said. “Schools are allowed in every residential district of the city of Sandy Springs, period.”

Brad Skidmore, who lives on Long Island Drive, spoke against the school’s plan on behalf of seven homeowner associations.

We oppose this application and Holy Spirit’s plans to invade an area we call home with a lighted stadium and a sports complex that not only violates the quiet and pastoral nature of the area we call home, but also the comprehensive land-use plan so painstakingly adopted by the city, he said.

Insisting the site could be used for a residential development, Skidmore noted a number of houses abutting I-285 that have sold. Is this site any different? Absolutely not. It has its challenges just like any other location next to a highway but it can be residential.

Josh Tolchin, the chairman of the First Montessori School board of trustees, spoke on behalf of the neighborhood organizations. He said he is concerned about increased traffic on Long Island Drive, particularly inexperienced high school drivers.

These neighbors and these neighborhoods have been represented as uncooperative and unsupportive of school development, Tolchin said. Nothing could be further from the truth. These neighborhoods have a history of supporting Sandy Springs children and First Montessori.

“I’m having trouble with your even being here, Planning Commission Vice Chairman Wayne Thatcher told Tolchin.

I’m really wrestling with this because you folks that stand up here and say schools shouldn’t be in a neighborhood where are you coming from? Thatcher said. We sit here month after month after month, and we are your fellow citizens. We’re up here trying to do the best job that we can do. I’m concerned that the neighborhoods come every time in opposition to development.

He said neighbors should ask themselves whether they would rather have 35 town houses on the site.

Still, Thatcher was not entirely supportive of the Holy Spirit plan. He said administrative offices are “totally inappropriate for the site. This is an athletic complex that does not need an administrative building.

Thatcher introduced a motion to recommend that the City Council approve the school’s plan with conditions, including a maximum of 400 bleacher seats, office space for athletic staff only, a 40-foot height restriction on the field house, and a limit of eight uses of the light and sound systems and band performances per year.

Donald Boyken seconded the motion, but Susan Mayzar voted against it, tipping the balance of favor against Holy Spirit’s plan and preventing the motion from passing.

Legion of Christ withdraws New Castle Seminary Plan

By Elizabeth Ganga
The Journal News July 13, 2008

 

NEW CASTLE – The Legionaries of Christ, a conservative Roman Catholic order with a worldwide network of schools and universities, has withdrawn an application dating to 1995 for a seminary for 465 students, faculty and staff on Armonk Road.

The letter to the town of New Castle announcing the withdrawal of the special permit application did not state the reason for abandoning the long-standing plans but said the order reserves the right to submit a new application in the future. In the meantime the Legion of Christ, as it is also known, is pressing ahead with an application filed last year to expand the activities permitted on its property, which hosts retreats and marriage preparation classes.

Jay Dunlap, a spokesman for the Legion, also did not give a detailed reason for the withdrawal of the seminary application. He said the order wanted to focus on the retreat center. The property was developed for that use and is well suited to it, he said.

It seems, at this point, more practical to be focusing on the retreat center uses, Dunlap said. He said he was not aware of any longer-term plans.

The Zoning Board of Appeals, which had jurisdiction over the special permit, had given the Legion a July 1 deadline to begin moving the seminary application along or abandon it because the approval process had been suspended since April 2006.

The application had, we thought, become very stale, said David Levine, the former chairman of the Zoning Board.

Neighbors, who have long opposed the seminary plans and complained in the past that the retreat center was used more than the current permit allows, said they were thrilled the seminary application was withdrawn.

From the start, we thought this was an untenable proposal, said Sharon Greene, a neighbor who has long followed its twists through the town approval process.

Steve Krongard, another neighbor on Tripp Street, said he was concerned the expansion would have dramatically changed the neighborhood.

It’s a very quiet street, he said. It’s a very dark street. At night you can see the stars.

But even with the withdrawal of the larger proposal, the town still needs to look hard at the application for expanded events to understand exactly how the property will be used, Greene said.

I just think it needs to be brought out in the open what they’re doing there, she said.

The Legion bought the property at 773 Armonk Road in 1994 from the Unification Church. It was previously owned by the Sisters of the Cenacle and before that by theater producer and songwriter Billy Rose.

A permit for a seminary for up to 100 students was granted in 1994 and the next year the Legion applied for the expanded seminary for 465 students and staff on the 98-acre property.

In 1998, the Legion was granted a permit for retreats limiting the number of visitors and events, intended to be in place until the seminary was up and running. But for years the Legion has only intermittently pursued the seminary application, at one point substituting a plan for a center to train missionary women that was later withdrawn.

The existing buildings – the old mansion, living quarters built by the sisters and a chapel – total about 70,000 square feet of space. The seminary plan would have added about 315,000 square feet in a dormitory, recreation building, classrooms and other buildings.

Next door in Mount Pleasant, the Legion has plans to build a university for 2,000 students and faculty on 165 acres that is moving through approvals after hearings earlier this year on its environmental impact.

Reach Elizabeth Ganga at eganga@lohud.com or 914-666-6482.