Category Archives: Critique of LC/RC

Legion of Christ Appeal Stereotypes Mexican Novices!

 

Francis with Legionaries

 

The writer was absolutely appalled a couple of days ago when coming across an appeal for winter heating oil for the Cheshire novitiate in an amateur video posted on YouTube


YouTube

In the video the tall, white, well-informed American brother is introducing the little dark ignorant, naive Mexican brothers to the Holy Novitiate and warning them about the cold winters; cold winters which will require a large amount of heating oil to prevent them from suffering from that cold Connecticut winter….think of chilblains for the poor tropical dark-skinned and diminutive Mexicans.

Sounds and looks to me like a total lack of cultural sensitivity, task and basic respect.

And this is posted just as news breaks of the Legion of Christ´s off-shore holdings of millions of  dollars

Dear Lord, how long is the innocent and naive Catholic community going to take this and continue to contribute to an order whose yearly budget is on equal standing with the Vatican´s budget for the whole Church. Correct me if I am wrong.

Feel free to comment and discuss; with numbers, if you so wish

 

 

 

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Sex abuse Victim Sues Legión of Christ in Cutanda case in Connecticut Federal court

Legionary of Christ Multiple Abuser of Minors sued by Victim

(Reader can find Legion’s initial response, on Regnum Christi official web page below)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CONNECTICUT LAW TRIBUNE

“Article 7 of 10150

Alleged Catholic School Sex Abuse Victim Sues Legion of Christ

ROBERT STORAGE

08/17/2017

 

A 48-year-old California man allegedly raped as a teenager by an employee at the Connecticut-based Legion of Christ has filed a federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims the victim identified only as John Doe was first sexually assaulted at the now-defunct Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in New Hampshire when he was 13 years old. The teenager was allegedly raped every two to three weeks for about three and half years at the Roman Catholic boarding school for boys grades 7-12.

Cheshire-based Legion of Christ oversaw the school.
It’s alleged that a man known as Brother Fernando Cutanda abused John Doe and another boy at the school, and that officials did nothing to stop it, according to the lawsuit. John Doe claims he told Father Patrick O’Carroll about the alleged abuse during confession, he was told to pray “five rosaries for his sins, gave him penance and said ‘God will take care of things.'”
Jeffrey Herman, one of John Doe’s three attorneys, said his client “is strong, but deeply damaged. He thought it was time to come forward.”

Herman said Cutanda allegedly “groomed” the boy for sex. Herman said he does not know where Cutanda is today.
“Most kids are abused by someone they know,” said Herman, founding partner of Herman Law in Florida. “They are groomed and coerced and become compliant victims.”

Herman, who has represented numerous child abuse victims, said his client “feels so much inner rage. He feels betrayed by the Catholic Church and, as he finds out that he is not the only victim of this order, he finds it deeply disturbing.”
According to the National Catholic Register, 35 priests with the religious Legionaries of Christ have been accused of sexually abusing children since the order was formed in the early 1940s.
Nine of those priests, including the order’s founder, Marcial Maciel, have been found guilty and punished canonically. Fourteen of the priests were acquitted and most of the remaining cases are under review, according to the register.
Herman said another child also reported abuse while at the school.
“In addition to being religious instruction, it was a residential facility,” Herman said. “And, to allow a pedophile to stay and to not protect the kids is a definition of negligence.”
The lawsuit includes counts for negligence, recklessness, breach of fiduciary duties and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
No one from the Legion of Christ was available for comment Thursday.
Daniel Ellis, an associate with Herman Law, and Frank Bartlett Jr., managing partner of the Bartlett Legal Group in Cheshire, are also involved in the litigation.
The case is scheduled to be heard by U.S. District Judge Janet Hall in New Haven.

.~~~~~~~~~~

18 AUG 2017NEWS ARTICLE
Communication Regarding an Article in The Connecticut Law Tribune

The territorial director asked us to share with you the below communication that was sent to the Legionaries earlier today.

Thy Kingdom Come!

Dear fathers and brothers in Christ,

Yesterday an article was published in The Connecticut Law Tribune saying a federal lawsuit has been filed against the Legion of Christ, Inc., in association with then-Brother Fernando Cutanda. The territorial director made a statement regarding Mr. Cutanda two years ago. The Legion of Christ, Inc., has not yet been served with the lawsuit but understands that it involves alleged conduct from the 1980s in New Hampshire. The Legion of Christ will investigate the allegations made in the lawsuit and respond to them accordingly.

PSYCHOLOGICAL NOTES FOR TREATING A MEMBER OF THE LEGION OF CHRIST OR REGNUM CHRIST, with input from Marigold

                              Resultado de imagen de the legion of christ

 

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL NOTES FOR TREATING A MEMBER OF THE LEGION OF CHRIST OR REGNUM CHRISTI

J.Paul Lennon, MA Ph., Th., Counseling, LPC

updated June 1, 2017

With spiritual and theological notes by former RC, Marigold

 

Dear Colleague,

Your client Robert(a) has written me to say s/he is under your therapeutic care but that you have no idea what the Legion of Christ is and how his/her involvement with them may have affected them. I have known the client for a while, and the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi for a long time, and would be glad to provide you with some pointers.

 

Perfect Little Catholic Toy Soldiers:

  • The Legion of Christ is a Catholic religious order, of about 800 priests and 2,000 religious men with vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in training for the priesthood. It also controls several thousand non-clerical members who live out the Legion’s ideals in their daily lives in the Regnum Christi Movement, somewhat similar to the better-known Opus Dei.
  • The Legion’s founder, a Mexican serial-pedophile priest, Marcial Maciel, believed in converting the powerful in society so that these elites would influence and trickle down to the masses and thus imbue society with his version of Christian values.
  • To achieve its goals, the Legion/Regnum recruit good, solid, conservative Catholic youth from the middle-through-wealthy classes. In Spain and Latin American countries, the LC/RC has thrived on recruiting children -as young as 10 or 11- into its ranks. Surprisingly, it has even had success with such “Apostolic Schools” in the USA and Canada.
  • Thanks to the founder’s wiles, the Legion/Regnum is approved by the Vatican, favored by recent popes, efficiently attracts young men and women, produces good-looking priests and has strong financial resources. In the USA it has appealed, for the most part, to conservative, traditional families who bring up their children to be obedient, with strong Catholic faith, strict sexual morals, and who are for the most part innocent, naive, generous and idealistic.
  • Underneath the veneer of piety and holiness the Legion leadership is a ruthless control machine, gradually taking over the members’ lives. It employs coercive persuasion methods to turn out a finished product, the Man of the Kingdom: pliable in the superiors’ hands and attractive to the Catholic public that hungers for clean-cut priests who preach Traditional Doctrine and “follow the pope”.
  • Over the past decades, keener-minded critics have been zeroing in on the Legion which was then observed and studied by some of the most respected “cult watch groups”: The International Cultic Studies Association, Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind, Rick Ross Cult Education et al. Because Legion “formators” operate in a subtle and deceptive way, recruits don’t realize that their Behavior, Ideas, Thoughts and Emotions are gradually being controlled. Before they know it, they been turned into perfect little Catholic toy soldiers.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marigold”s reflections:

 The other thing that I’d add is that

  • the LC seminarians are taught to recruit and raise money.
  • They are never given any pastoral training; most could not administer the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage or Last Rites.
  • Confessional seal is regularly broken.
  • The “Front Organizations’ of the LC/RC juggernaut continue and are rebuilding the base and donors; but under many new organizations that do not appear at first glance to be connected with the Legion.
  • Finally, I’ve found very useful the examination of the LC’s activities and influence on people in terms of “Motivation” — what is the motive and intention for doing something or going after someone? It is important that this is included because the LC/RC is such a hall of mirrors; they reflect both the bad and good of the institution of Church Temporal.
  •  I have become more Christ-centered, thanks to the Legion, even as I’ve become less Church-centered, but continue to go, out of the need for communion with others and the Sacraments.  
  • How many lives have been broken and misled, how many good families ruined — because of the evil of this criminal outfit?
  • Thanks, ReGAIN!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beyond the Façade: Sex and Submission

  • The Mexican founder, Fr. Maciel, was a serial pedophile, specializing in sexually initiating his pubertal seminarians. With his favorites, he carried on an increasingly explicit relationship into their early adulthood. Some of these early victims claim that he only wanted to create his own personal harem. In a word, Maciel was an amoral person, without scruples.
  • As a psychopathic conman he projected an aura of holiness, love of the Catholic Church, of the Pope and of Jesus Christ while living a double/triple life.
  • His charismatic leadership created a very efficient system for recruiting, training (controlling, brainwashing) the members
  • With his business acumen he successfully fund-raised, built many apparently successful, schools and universities in Mexico, the USA and over twenty countries in Europe and Latin America.
  • Astutely, he rode out two separate Vatican investigations into sex abuse, misuse of money, abuse of authority and drug abuse.
  • To achieve his goals, Maciel also used secrecy, deceit and manipulation. After the first Vatican investigation (1956-59), he implemented a special vow that made it impossible for the members to talk among themselves, exchange personal concerns and experiences or criticize their superiors.
  • Whenever his authority was challenged or his methods were questioned, Maciel would implement more stringent measures of internal and external control over the members, often instilling fear of divine retribution for not following “The Founder” chosen by God.
  • Not until after his death in 2008 did further crimes become known. Despite an investigation that revealed further aberrations, the Legion and the Vatican found a solution to the funder’s sinful life by separating the Founder from the Foundation: Maciel bad; Legion good. Some scandalized and frustrated members left the priesthood, the religious and consacrated life around 2010 and donations were affected; stalwarts and supporters dug in their heels and still believe in “The Movement” which, for its part, changed cosmetically under Vatican surveillance.
  • If we combine sexual abuse with secrecy, we can imply the order has been continuously contaminated since the beginning. The Founder’s Modus Operandi still lives on:
    • The Legion does/did not carefully psychologically evaluate candidates by indepependently trained therapists,
    • Or provide any serious sex education to its trainees
    • Their “formators” and educators are in-home trained
    • The general policy is/was silence and secrecy
    • Sexual challenges are spiritualized and sublimated prematurely.
    • From here, many members’ sexuality remains latent, un-examined, repressed or devious.
    • Some of Maciel’s victims became perpetrators; because of secrecy, the extent is still unknown:
    • Strict obedience is observed, giving the superiors much power in the day to day operations; some superiors have used this to indulge their pedophile and/or homosexual proclivities. There is some evidence of intergenerational sexual abuse of the young members by superiors.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me through ReGAIN,

Yours sincerely

 

 

Internacional Cultic Studies Annual Conference in Bordeaux, France, June 29…

Join former Legionaries of Christ, Xavier Leger,  Paul Lennon and other former members of Catholic  and Christian high demand   groups and learn how European and other countries deal with questionable groups and communities, enjoy comeraderie and support of people who know where you are or have been…

See ad

http://www.icsahome.com/events/conferenceannuayl

SAMPLE PAPERw:

Addict, Idol and Cult Member: Reflections on the Loss of Self: A Phenomenological Examination of Destructive Cult groups

Tate Wood, Allen

My paper and talk are a phenomenological morphology of religious and political extremism. In the presentation, I give a detailed exposition of seven key elements that are present in the mind of the successfully indoctrinated group member. These seven elements include: absolute leader, absolute teaching, hierarchical social structure, the psychology of the adversary, the ends justify the means as a modus operandi, crisis psychology and the inner circle. The second part of my presentation includes an examination of the variables at play during the process of recruitment and indoctrination: milieu control, communication web/the manipulation of intimacy, peak experiences and planned spontaneity, the splitting phenomenon: the experience of evil, metaphor and ritual: the binding chains, the repudiation of the conscience, the rejection of the critical faculties and the colonization of the imagination understood as an experience of god. My remarks will be punctuated by anecdotal material from my life in the Unification Church including my direct contact with Sun Myung Moon. In addition, I shall be drawing on my 27 years as an addiction counselor working with alcoholics and addicts in county jails and state prisons.

 

 

 

Effects of Involvement with Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi on Cradle Faith: Questions for Pope Francis, LC Leadership and Catholic Bishops

             Shipwrecked

Effects of Involvement with Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi on Cradle Faith: Questions for Pope Francis, LC Leadership and Catholic Bishops

Presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association Annual International Conference, Stockholm, July 2015

 

By John Paul Lennon, MA, STL & Aura Bethancourt-Lennon

 

The author’s experience[i], plus contacts with hundreds of other former members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi by email, phone and/or in person, led him to believe that involvement with this Movement affected one’s cradle faith. “Cradle faith” being simply defined as the faith one is born into and raised in. It is now common knowledge that former members of this group, erstwhile devout Catholics, on leaving the LC/RC no longer considered themselves Catholics, or even Christians. Some even consider themselves agnostics and atheists. How did involvement with this bona fide Catholic Movement have such a deleterious defect? Further reflection modified that initial a priori hypothesis.  There appeared to be a need to find facts and explore this area with the help of a survey.

The experiment would be based on the following rationale: on entering the organization all candidates are devout Catholics. After “walking away” or been “thrown away not all are devout Catholics. How would they describe themselves today?  The experiment was designed to solicit feedback from former members visiting a webpage, http://www.regainnetwork.org, for former members and their families.

 

DESIGN

A member is recruited and belongs to the group for x number of years. He may leave after a certain amount of time, either as a throw-away or as a walk away. Each member experiences his recruitment/joining, belonging as a member and leaving in a personal way. The stages could be hypothesized as follows:

Pre-entry into the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi, it is assumed that the member is in full “communion” with the Catholic Church. Firm and unshaken belief in the Catholic Church as a divinely inspired religious institution; veneration and trust in the clergy (priests, bishops, pope)

  • Involvement as a fully observant lay member, abiding by marriage and birth control laws, etc.
  • A regular Mass goer who receives Communion (Sacrament of the Eucharist), “goes to confession” (Sacrament of Penance) at least once a year and “contributes to the support of his/her pastors.”

 

Membership in LC/RC

  • All of the above, plus
  • Involvement in the Church as a minister, religious or committed lay member of RC

 

Post exit from the LC/RC Movement some members are unscathed, “keeping their faith intact” while others have left or renounced full communion with the Catholic Church in varying degrees

  • Full communion with institutional Catholic Church as in Pre-Entry and good relationship with LC/RC
  • Full Communion with Catholic Church but lost faith in the LC/RC organization with an attitude of
    • Indifference
    • Criticism
    • Opposition

 

  • Partial communion with the Catholic Church
  • Leaves the ministry and/or religious life.
  • No longer fully observant lay member.
  • No longer a “practicing Catholic” but does not reject the notion that the Catholic Church is divinely inspired.
    • Occasional Mass goer; rarely, if ever “goes to confession”; contributes little, if any, to the support of the ministers, the institution and its works (Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, etc.)
    • May not be “married by the Church,” nor heed Church birth control laws
    • May not baptize his/her children ‘in the faith.’

 

  • Lost faith in the Catholic Church as a divinely inspired religious institution; lost veneration for and trust in the clergy (priests, bishops, pope)
    • Retains partial communion with the Church (some residual attraction to Church such as family tradition, liturgy, sacred music, etc.)
    • Joins other Christian community
    • Joins other major religion
    • Declares him/herself agnostic or atheist

 

The medium to be used would be the ReGAIN webpage which has a steady stream of former members. The author assumed -not a very scientific attitude but common sense- that some or many of the visitors to the site -which constantly questions the official version of the Legion and the Regnum- would be among the more “disenchanted” Catholics, that their responses could tend to be
“negative” and that some kind of a balancing measure might need to be applied.

 RESULTS:

A total of 78 valid responses were delivered. Of these only 41 had been former members of the LC/RC; and of these 4 were currently active members.  Responses described visitors’ current relationship with the LC/RC in the following way:

Relationship with the LC/RC:

  • Average/Non important 13/41
  • Poor/Negative 21/41
  • Angry/they hurt me 1
  • I hate them 2
  • Positive 3
  • As good as could be             1

Relationship with the Catholic Church:

  • Fully Practicing 24/41
  • Partially Practicing 8
  • No longer a Catholic 8
  • * Incomplete response 1

 

 INTERPRETATION

Relationship with the LC/RC: “Average/Non important” answers indicate that a significant number of respondents have “taken the experience in their stride.” This could also indicate that former members have chosen not to dwell on their experience and have chosen to “get on with their lives.” But it is significant that 21 state unambiguously that they have a negative relationship/attitude toward the group they initially joined so enthusiastically and generously.

Recently a Spanish language blog called Legioleaks [ii] was launched on Facebook in which many of the contributing 120 disaffected former members vent their frustration, criticism and anger at their alma mater. While one might wonder “Why are you so angry?”, this begs the flip question “What has the institute done to make these young men so angry?”

In fact, only 3 respondents on the ReGAIN survey described his/her attitude as angry or hating. Therefore, criticisms on the blog may help interpret the finds of our survey and discover some of the flaws in the Movement’s system.

Results of “Relationship with the Catholic Church” could be considered surprising; in the sense that 24 of 41 described themselves as fully practicing Catholics, thus indicating that the respondents cannot be dismissed as “disgruntled ex-members”. Real cause for concern stems from 8/41 considering themselves partially practicing Catholics and another 8/41 saying they are no longer Catholic; in common parlance this means that one out of four “have left the Church.”

Catholic bishops may want to consider this result when they allow the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi to recruit in their dioceses.

 

Questions for LC/RC leadership

A study of the results prompts the author to raise some questions for consideration by the LC/RC Movement’s leadership:

  • Whether there exist elements in the Movement’s training (formation) that tend to alienate or otherwise hurt the members, producing in them feelings of rejection, anger and resentment toward their alma mater upon leaving.
  • Whether such flaws in the Movement’s training system are serious enough to cause exiting members to alienate not only from the Movement but also from the Catholic Church.
  • Whether the Movement needs to refine its screening process for recruits and its evaluation of new candidates.
  • Posters in Legioleaks point out the need for a deeper process of discernment of the religious vocation. The writer presented a pater at the I.C.S.A annual conference in Stockholm, 2015, warning about the dangers of undue influence and foreclosure, i.e. premature commitment to the religious calling[iii].
  • Posters in Legioleaks return time and again to the fact that their religious vocation appeared to be a forgone conclusion once they entered the group, prompting the question: Whether the Movement prepares the members for the possibility/option of exiting the organization.
  • Whether the members are given the necessary instruments for handling departure and transitioning to a new life outside the Movement.
  • Whether departing members have access to their legal documents, academic degrees and a minimum of job training.
  • And if the member decides to leave, whether the Movement has -and implements- concrete guidelines to help the departing member leave in a healthy, positive and constructive way.

 

 

These results beg comparative studies regarding how other religious orders fare with former members.

 

Instrument limitations:

on reflection, it would appear that one important factor which was not taken into account in the survey was “for how long” the person had been a member of the group. A priori, this would seem an important element as, if it were assumed that the effects were negative, the damaging effects would possibly grow and worsen over time. Related to this factor would be “at what age did you join”, again with the assumption that earlier exposure could cause more deleterious effects.

 

&&&&&

Historical note:

Fr. Maciel’s sexual abuse victims:

When cultic abuse is compounded by sexual abuse, the impact on the faith of the victim would appear to increase exponentially. The eight Maciel former seminarians who brought their case to the media and to Vatican authorities feel alienated from Catholic authorities.  The spectrum of the survivors’ “faith” –or lack thereof- is very wide and in general terms goes from atheism, through total alienation from the Catholic Church, to minimal participation in the Church. With the exception of Fr. Alarcon, a retired priest, none of Fr. Maciel’s Legion of Christ seminary victims, Senores Barba, Vaca, Jurado, Barrales, the brothers Olvera, Espinosa would consider himself a “fully practicing Catholic.”

 

[i] Described in detail in Our Father Maciel who art in bed, a Naïve and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ, the exiting was long and tortuous. Each one ‘struggles’ with is religious question, and with the whole recovery task, in his own individual way.

[ii] https://www.facebook.com/groups/623513181133578/  Currently with over 1,000 members.

[iii] https://regainnetwork.org/2015/07/25/do-the-legion-of-christ-and-regnum-christi-exert-undue-influence-by-recruiting-children-and-minors/