Spiritual and Psychological Abuse at Legionaries of Christ Girls’ Residential High School
consecrationto Jesus Christ in the Regnum Christi Movement upon graduation at age 17-18. Some of them felt a religious calling at a young age and others were pressured by their parents, who believed that it was worth the costly tuition fees to have the consecrated Regnum Christi women guide their daughters’ character development and Catholic faith life.
Nicole Winfield of Associated Press has written an article
Click Here For AP Article by Nicole Winfield that provides heart wrenching testimonies of abuse the women endured when their parents sent them to the Wakefield school.
Recently, several of the former students from Wakefield have created a blog, called 49weeks.blog Click Here for 49weeks.blog
The women share their stories of what it was like when they were in their teens, being manipulated into living under a militaristic system of rules. They speak of the emotional and spiritual damage they endured and warn parents to avoid handing over their daughters to this
One shares how they were kept busy from 6:00 A.M. until lights out at 9:30 P.M. They spent most of their
free timein enforced silence and sadly they were not allowed to have particular friends, i.e. they would be discouraged from forming any deep or meaningful relationships with each other.
Their free expression was stifled to the point where they could never express any negative thoughts to anyone except their spiritual director (to whom they were required to reveal all).
The reason for the blog name
49weeksis that during their high school years they were isolated from their families and outsiders for 49 weeks.
Sarita tells her story and it is disturbing to hear how at such a young age she was manipulated into idolizing Father Marcial Maciel as a living saint,
His image was all over the school, he was quoted in homilies, talks, and casual conversations. We had prayer cards with his face on them and his quotes plastered on the back and we memorized his poems (the plagiarized El Salterio de mis dias) and letters. His letters were read aloud in spiritual reading and during dinner and lunch. When we did our weekly Encounters with Christ (similar to a bible study) we would offer .
casesthat were relevant to the bible verse were studying and 9 times out of 10 these cases were about
Nuestro Padre(Spanish for Our Father) and looking back they were outlandish and definitely untrue
The structure and methodology that the women were exposed to (including idolization of the LC / RC founder) when they were teenagers is typical of the mind control techniques used by well known cult groups. Further information regarding mind control is provided by cult expert Steve Hassan using his
BITE model Click Here for BITE Model that explains how cults control peoples? behavior, information, thoughts and emotions. ReGAIN also has information that connects the dots between the Legion, Regnum Christi and typical cult groups at Click Here
The 49weeks blog mirrors the articles and testimonies that are provided on ReGAIN and other websites. It seems more horrendous hearing how teenage children were subjected to such destructive authoritarian rule in an atmosphere of deceitfulness.
It is inspiring to see such courageous and caring example set by the women who have told their stories and have asked the Vatican to act in a responsible manner and have asked parents to do their due diligence before sending their daughters off to a place that looks so good on the surface.
It is particularly moving that these women, some of who are still healing from their experience have reached out to offer help to those on the inside who need help. They have offered to provide assistance to those who are still trapped inside the Legion or Regnum Christi.
We hope that their message reaches the right people in the Vatican and that parents will avoid sending their children in a bad situation unknowingly.