The Legion of Christ has just announced on their website that a new book, Christ is My Life, which purports to be an interview with Marcial Maciel is “far and away the fastest-selling book in the Catholic market today”
This claim is based on the fact that Sophia Institute Press has reportedly sold 21,000 copies of the book in just 9 days. The number is deceiving. The truth of this matter is that, upon contacting Sophia to print this book, the Legion of Christ ordered and bought 16,000 copies for itself. If 21,000 are sold, that means that only 5,000 others have been sold through Sophia Institute Press itself. The Legion, however, asserts that: “In just nine days, Sophia Institute Press has sold 21,000 copies of Christ is My Life, its 304-page interview with 83-year-old Father Marcial Maciel, LC, the founder and director of the Legionaries of Christ.” This is a tactic widely used in the past by groups like the Scientologists, who published a book called Dianetics, bought up thousands of copies in-house, and thus boosted the groups popularity with the public through the contrived multiple printings.
The ‘interview’ itself is also a sham, since the alleged interviewer, Jesus Colina, is not an independent journalist as they claim, but a Legionary employee and RC member who heads up their news organization called Zenit. He received the material for the publication from the Legionary superiors as quotes from the letters of the Legionariesâ€™ founder, most of which are not even authored by Maciel himself. His ghost writers have included many Legionaries over the years, and most recently, priests such as Gabriel Sotres and Gonzalo Miranda.
There was no need to make such bold sales assertions, which only reveal the duplicity of the marketing techniques of this group. When will the Legion of Christ simply tell the truth about matters such as this? An answer to this question would make the publicity launch of this book in Chicago on July 17th more respectable and allow the public to engage in the real work of evangelization, rather than signing onto a public relations campaign simply for the good of the Legion.
Their credibility is very much at stake here.