Beware of Cultic Leaders and Groups which pose as Religious, even Catholic: La Croix, leading French Catholic publication

Cult specialist Livia Bardin's helpful classic; Heralds of the Gospel, censured by Vatican but not suppressed. Saint Pope John Paul II blesses Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC, pedophile, psychopath and founder of the Legionaries of Christ now morphed into Regnum Christi Federation;  Father Fernando Martínez LC abused prominent Mexican TV personality  Analu Salazar and seven other girls at Cancun school when she was eight years old; Fr. Maciel embraces Paul Lennon after his priestly ordination; Fr. Urrutigoity, abuser, and founder of the Society of Saint John in the USA 1997, now suppressed.

<Beware of cultic leaders and groups

Often the line between a cult and conventional religion is blurred; and some cults even claim to be Christian while bear no resemblance to authentic Christianity.

By John Alonso Dick | Belgium

LA CROIX, France’s leading Catholic Newpaper

November 7, 2023

According to Hebrew tradition, when Moses went up into Mount Sinai in the 13th century BCE to receive the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:12-18), he left the Israelites for forty days and forty nights. The Israelites became restless and fearful in his absence. Turning away from God, and led by Moses’ brother Aaron, they directed their devotion to worshiping the Golden Calf. It was immediate, provided simple answers, and required no thinking. An early cult.

There are of course more contemporary examples, where people become fearful, want immediate and simple answers to life’s big issues and problems. They stop thinking. Their critical faculties decline and they surrender to the simple but phony propaganda of cultic leaders. And they are usually supported by far-right movements with strong racial supremacy.

Turning fantasy and fiction into accepted truths

Quite often the line between conventional religion and a cult is not so clearly defined. Cults are exclusive, highly secretive, and authoritarian. Some cults even proclaim Christianity but bear no resemblance to anything truly and authentically Christian. There are also political cults, which attract and control because they act like captivating religions, whose only demands are obedience and unquestioned loyalty.

A typical cult has a somewhat theatrical and unaccountable leader, who persuades by coercion and exploits the cult’s members economically, sexually, or in some other way. Cult leaders shun and ostracize people who don’t accept the cult’s exclusive claims to truth. When it comes to truth, cult leaders gradually turn fantasy and fiction into accepted truths by continually repeating false statements in rhetoric, propaganda, and the media. Cult leaders are false prophets.

The features and signs cultic development

The American psychiatrist, Robert Jay Lifton (b. 1926), known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of political violence, delineates these three common features of destructive cults:

(1) A living leader, who has no meaningful accountability and who becomes the single most defining element of the group and its source of power and authority.

(2) A process of indoctrination, persuasion or thought reform, commonly called “brainwashing.” In this process, members of the group often do things that are not in their own best interest, but in the best interest of the group and its leader.

(3) Economic, sexual, social, and political exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

The warning signs of cultic development are clear:

  • It advocates authoritarianism without meaningful accountability. Leaders, if not downright evil are self-centered, mediocre, crass, and juvenile.
  • No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. Dissent and criticism are not permitted. Those who dissent are marginalized, excluded from decision-making, and labeled “troublemakers” or “dangerous,” or even demonic.
  • The leader promotes exaggerated and misguided fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophes, evil conspiracies, and persecutions.
  • Members of the cult believe their leader was sent by God to change the world; and all must therefore be obedient and loyal to the leader.

We all need to be alert to cultic leaders and groups. They are unhealthy and pernicious. We need to have the courage to speak out. They thrive on fear and fear of social change; and they take advantage of people by controlling information and promoting fear. In the process, they support a very unhealthy kind of religion.

John Alonso Dick is an historical theologian and former academic dean at the American College, KU Leuven (Belgium) and professor at the KU Leuven and the University of Ghent. His latest book is Jean Jadot: Paul’s Man in Washington (Another Voice Publications, 2021).

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of La Croix International)


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Propuesta de Comunicaciones: CONGRESO INTERNACIONAL ICSA 2024, JULIO 3-6 , ESPAÑA
Wed, Oct 25 at 1:00 AM

Undiscerned Sexuality and Vocation in the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi: Recent Testimony

Boys being recruited into the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation 2023.
Kevin O’Sullivan spent seven years inside the most secretive Catholic organisation in living memory – The Legionaries of Christ. He thought he was going to spread love and compassion: he ended up among disinformation and lies. He fled to save his sanity.


Note that they are receiving their “uniform” which they will wear during 4 years, even when they visit their homes; they are being set aside to “discern” (cultivate)  their religious and priestly vocation” beginning at age 11.




If you do not want to know your true self, by all means join the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Federation.

They’ll just tell you you have a vocation and “carry on until we tell you otherwise.” But if you want to be brave, the Spirit will take you in another directions and tear down your sandcastles in the sun.

Here is a very well written and very insightful testimony for those you want to be honest with themselves. It takes a lot of guts to write this; but it is worth the pain and the effort to find you true self, the self that God created, the self the Legion of Christ does not want you to discover – because you will no longer be useful to it.

From Amazon:

<Kevin O’Sullivan spent seven years inside the most secretive Catholic organisation in living memory – The Legionaries of Christ. He thought he was going to spread love and compassion: he ended up among disinformation and lies. He fled to save his sanity.

This is the story of how Kevin found, and then lost, his religion, and how he lost, and then found, his sexuality. On the way, the young teenager clings to what his mother has taught him: to be a good boy. The journey brings him face to face with difficult truths, and ultimately to a far deeper knowledge of himself, as he finds out who he doesn’t want to be.

It’s a story full of hope about discovering what matters to each of us, even if we don’t like some of what we find.>

Abusos en el Movimiento Regnum Christi, Sept 2023


Querido(a)s Lectores,

Les saludamos como siempre en plan de Verdad,

Muy recientemente ha llegado a nuestras manos el siguiente documento, firmado por un buen número de exmiembros consagradas del Movimiento Católico REGNUM CHRISTI donde se denuncian varios abusos.

(Como saben,  el Movimiento Seglar Regnum Christi fue fundado por el Padre Marcial Maciel fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo hacia el 1960. Debido a los escándalos del pedófilo psicópata Maciel que salieron a luz en 1990-2000 , los Legionarios han querido distanciarse de su fundador y aplicaron el nombre Regnum Christi a toda la obra de Maciel, a modo de camaleón.)

Encontrarán los nombres de varias mujeres muy honorables y conocidas que avalan lo dicho en esta CARTA ABIERTA.



<Santiago, (Chile) septiembre de 2023

Carta abierta de un grupo de ex consagradas

A raíz de la demanda filtrada en agosto en contra de los Legionarios de Cristo y
Consagradas del movimiento Regnum Christi, queremos levantar la voz y aportar información
que contribuya a comprender dicha demanda a la luz del conocimiento, circunstancias y
situaciones vividas por nosotras mientras fuimos consagradas o integrantes del centro
estudiantil. En nuestra experiencia dentro de esas comunidades, el relato sobre el “contexto
de la congregación Legionarios de Cristo y las consagradas del Regnum Christi”, no sólo es
verosímil, sino además, propicio a generar las condiciones para un entorno en donde
pudiesen suceder actos atentatorios, incluso aquellos de la más alta gravedad, en contra de
las personas. Fuimos sometidas a un ambiente en el que el abuso de poder y conciencia eran
lo común, y en donde las agresiones sexuales, que se describen en la demanda, sí se
pudieron haber dado.

Entendemos que es difícil, para quienes no han vivido una realidad como ésta,
dimensionar el efecto que este modo de vida tiene en el pensamiento, el sentir y en la
conducta de una persona. Para nosotras, que lo vivimos desde dentro, aún hay aspectos
difíciles de interpretar de nuestra propia historia.

Todas las normas, que hoy cualquiera es capaz de entender como inhumanas y dañinas,
las cumplimos en la creencia y confianza de que buscábamos vivir en lealtad y amor a Dios,
sin cuestionarlas, convencidas por nuestros superiores, de que procedían del mismísimo

Por tanto, compartimos con la opinión pública, algunos antecedentes que aportarán
claridad sobre el contexto que se relata en la demanda. Antecedentes que han sido parte de
los cimientos de la vida en comunidad de las consagradas del Regnum Christi, tanto en Chile
como en otros países:

1. El fundador fue un líder venerado e incuestionable. Cualidades que se les atribuían a
todos los superiores y directoras.
2. Las consagradas debían ceder “el propio juicio en favor de ellos (autoridades y
superiores), como holocausto agradable a Dios”, es decir, como un acto de
abnegación total llevado a cabo por amor, según señalaban los Estatutos.
3. Control exigente del uso del tiempo, monitoreado al detalle y de forma rigurosa por
parte de los superiores, lo que le daba al director el dominio absoluto de la ubicación
y actividad de cada miembro de su comunidad.
4. Prohibición de cuestionar cualquier mandato o requerimiento de los superiores.
5. Prohibición de develar pensamientos, emociones y vivencias personales, ya sea al
interior de las comunidades como hacia afuera de ellas. Esto quiere decir que no
podíamos compartir nuestro fuero interno con nadie –ni con compañeras, ni con
familiares, ni amigos previos al ingreso-, salvo con nuestros directores. El tener
amistades, era considerado “ser infiel a Dios”. De esta manera nos mantenían aisladas
unas de otras, y en muchos casos, muy dependientes afectivamente de los directores.
6. Falta de acceso a prensa, medios de comunicación y publicaciones, salvo noticias
previamente seleccionadas.
7. Retención de nuestros documentos personales.

Y podríamos seguir enumerando.

Entregamos muchos años de nuestras vidas para servir en un movimiento fundado
por un sacerdote que, bajo apariencia de líder carismático, fue un reconocido pederasta y
drogadicto, que hacía uso de múltiples identidades mediante documentos falsos; con varias
mujeres e hijos, contrario a toda norma civil de cualquier país, y peor aún, contrario a la figura
sacerdotal profesada por la Iglesia Católica.

Este modo de vivir es conocido sólo por quienes han pertenecido a comunidades de
consagradas de este movimiento. Nadie fuera de las mismas tendría cómo saberlos y son
cruciales para entender por qué el contexto relatado en la denuncia nos parece verosímil.

Como ex consagradas e integrantes del centro estudiantil, esperamos que se haga
justicia, respetando la presunción de inocencia y los debidos procesos. Pero también,
esperamos que el poder no corrompa la justicia, y que la verdad – y sólo la verdad -, salga a
la luz.



María Eliana Espinosa Méndez, 9 años consagrada, chilena.

Susana Barroilhet Costabal, 19 años consagrada, chilena.

Macarena Vargas Larraín, 9 años consagrada, 1 año y medio en centro estudiantil, chilena.

Francisca Ruiz Moreno Navarro, 18 años y medio consagrada, chilena.

Daniela Muñoz Hinrichsen, 12 años consagrada, chilena.

Rosario Correa, 14 años consagrada, chilena.

Lucía Ruiz Moreno Navarro, 20 años consagrada, chilena.

María José Portales Donoso, 6 años consagrada, 2 años en el centro estudiantil, chilena.

Aura Escudero, 20 años consagrada, chilena.

María José Peña, 2 años en el centro estudiantil, chilena.

Delfina Trossero, 9 años consagrada, argentina.

Lucía Huvelle, 7 años consagrada, 1 en el centro estudiantil, argentina.

Guadalupe Poitevin, 8 años consagrada, argentina.

Alison Benson, 10 años consagrada, canadiense.

Marta Halvová, 19 años consagrada, checa.

Fernanda Sarmet da Silva, 11 años consagrada, brasileña.

Cris Rosá, 19 años consagrada, brasileña.

Marcia Elisa Ameriot, 13 años consagrada, brasileña.

Mariana Lamberti, 10 años consagrada, venezolana.

Cristina Gaber, 18 años consagrada, mexicana.

Adriana Lozano González, 21 años consagrada, mexicana.

Marcela Rodríguez Anser, 16 años consagrada, mexicana.

Elena Sada Sada, 18 años consagrada, mexicana-estadounidense.

Lorena Sada, 10 años consagrada, mexicana.

Verónica Menéndez Preciat, 18 años consagrada, mexicana.

María José Martínez González, 10 años consagrada, mexicana.

Paulina Maria Mitrani Junco, 7 años consagrada, mexicana.

Susana Flores Verlon, 10 años consagrada, mexicana.

María Monroy Olea, 9 años consagrada, mexicana.

Brenda Elizalde, 1 año consagrada, 2 años en el centro estudiantil, mexicana.

Daniela Orozco Loza, 11 años consagrada, 4 años en el centro estudiantil, mexicana.

Luisa Ileana Estrada Loría, 13 años consagrada, mexicana.>


J, Paul Lennon, former LC (1961-84), LPC Counseling


Me, the dissident; one of many, so I am not totally alone.

But as I see the Legion of Christ grow

Legionaries of Christ 29 Legionaries of Christ to be Ordained to the Priesthood in Rome by Cardinal Fernando Vérgez, LC – Legionaries of Christ

-if not progress- I now have some serious soul searching to do.

What to make of my thirty-year crusade on ReGAIN to reveal what I believe to be the true nature of the Legion of Christ? A prodigious business venture disguised as a religious order.

Have I been wrong to preach the spurious nature of the Legion of Christ Catholic Religious Order approved by popes and Vatican authorities?

Have all my efforts been  in vain?

Has my unstinting support of Maciel’s sexually abused seminarians -now in their eighties- and their humiliation and abandonment been worth nothing, as the Legion juggernaut goes triumphantly trundling along?

Have the successors/accomplices of Pedophile Founder, conman, manipulator and consummate liar, Fr. Marcial Maciel, aided and abetted by unwitting  popes and corrupt Vatican authorities – notice I do not say “The Catholic Church” of which I am a faithful member- ultimately prevailed..

What to make of the 5,000 dissident former members on Facebook’s Spanish language “Legioleaks” page? Are they just more disgruntled old men like me?

What about the many counter testimonies and studies regarding the Legionaries of Christ, in Spanish, French and English, that have been written over recent decades?

(See appendix in:  A Naïve and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ: )

There are thousands more like me, throw-aways and walk-aways of the Legionaries of Christ since the foundation in 1941. Many with broken faith, shipwrecked in the spirit, who do not know what to make of God, Jesus, Church after our harrowing experiences. Would that Holy Mother the Church caste an understanding  glance in our direction. But, no matter,  I believe Jesus does. The Carpenter’s son from Nazareth, the Rabbi who sang the Beatitudes, who eschewed the path to success, prosperity, and triumph, and doggedly stuck to His thankless mission, knowing that in the long run…

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