Category Archives: Flawed order

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.

 

 

 

Scandal at the Vatican (New Video on the Legion of Christ)

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Thanks to the initiative of the former Legionary, Xavier Leger, the Irish, RTE, English language dubbing of the original French documentary, is now available.

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The Apology of a Legionary of Christ Leader

Clergy collar

 

The Apology of a Legionary of Christ Leader

 

By Offended “Disgruntled Old Former Member”

Feast of the Assumption, 2016

 

In the aftermath of the 2009 revelations regarding the double, triple or quadruple, deceitful and disgraceful life of the Founder, Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, Legion superiors, writers and publishers, who had excoriated their critics for decades, suddenly waxed apologetic. Strategy dictated that was the best policy: to show repentance, to say the right thing, to do what was expected and… to get it over with. Such apologies, naturally, for the most part, smacked of knee-jerk reactions, jaded routine, or crocodile tears that left many victims unaffected, indignant, further offended or re-traumatized. During that crocodile feeding frenzy the writer received the below apology from a prominent Irish-born American Legion superior who had strenuously defended Fr. Maciel and attacked the victims in The Catholic Register and through other media.

The writer was astonished by the brevity, quasi anonymity and coldness of the apology. Recently reading Pope Francis’ homily on forgiveness he was reminded of the inadequacy of that Legionary of Christ’s note.

It was sent to the private address of the receiver; no letterhead or any other official or identifying Legion of Christ information on the envelope or letter-size page; “LC” is written after name.

Click to open

Letter of Apology LC

                                                             

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Pope Francis teaches:

Pope’s Morning Homily: God’s Forgiveness is given to those with A Cleansed Heart

Reflects on the Nature of True Conversion and Hypocrisy during Mass at Casa Santa Marta

 

ROME, March 03, 2015 (Zenit.org)

(…)

According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father told those present that the reading (from the day’s Mass) is an invitation from God to conversion by learning to do right.

“You cannot remove the filth of the heart as you would remove a stain: we go to the dry cleaner and leave cleansed,” he said. “This filth is removed by ‘doing’: taking a different path, a different path from that of evil. Learn to do right! That is, the path of doing good.”

(…)

“If you do this, if you take this path to which I invite you – the Lord tells us – ‘though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’. It is an exaggeration; the Lord exaggerates: but it is the truth!” he exclaimed. “The Lord gives us the gift of His forgiveness. The Lord forgives generously. ‘I forgive you this much, then we’ll see about the rest….’ No, no! The Lord always forgives everything! Everything! But if you want to be forgiven, you must set out on the path of doing good. This is the gift!'”

The 78-year-old Pontiff went on to reflect on today’s Gospel in which Christ denounces the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who like many today “say all the right things, but do the exact opposite.”

“They pretend to convert, but their heart is a lie: they are liars! It ‘a lie … Their heart does not belong to the Lord; their heart belongs to the father of all lies, Satan. And this is fake holiness,” he said.

“Jesus preferred sinners a thousand times to these. Why? Because sinners told the truth about themselves. ‘Get away from me, Lord, I am a sinner!’: Peter once said. One of those [the hypocrites] never says that! ‘Thank you Lord, that I am not a sinner, that I am righteous.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to reflect during this time of Lent on conversion, forgiveness and to beware of “pretending to convert, while choosing the path of hypocrisy.”

(Courtesy of Zenith.org)

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I, Disgruntled Old Former Legionary forgive you, Legion of Christ leader who does not know how to apologize:

If you are referring to having branded Maciel’s sexual abuse victims – and the few of us who from day one believed and staunchly supported them- as resentful and envious liars,

I forgive you.

If you are referring to the time you, accompanied by a lawyer and LC spokesperson, tried to intimidate and prevent Juan Jose Vaca and me from delivering papers at the 2002 International Cultic Studies Association’s conference in Enfield, CT,

I forgive you.

If you are referring to your part in the Legion threatening to close down our discussion board -an attack against freedom of expression- and bringing a civil law suit against me and ReGAIN in August 2007, and putting me through hell, appearing in court, and raising funds to defend ourselves for almost nine months against trumped-up charges,

I forgive you.

If you and your fellow Legion die-hards continue to harass me in various ways until my dying day because I have vowed to expose the true nature of the Legion of Christ,

I forgive you

 But don’t forget your catechism, the one you studied for your First Holy Communion: To receive Almighty God’s pardon you must be truly sorry, promise never to commit those sins again and make reparation -which at the moment would be to the tune of $40,000.00 US dollars for legal and $60,000.00 US dollars for personal damages. To quote the immortal words of Maciel survivor, Juan Manuel Amenabar, on his death-bed: “I forgive, but I want justice.”

I am waiting

 

Vatican Intervention of a Catholic Sect, a True Story

VATICAN INTERVENTION

Andy Sullivan,

The Church’s worst nightmare. Love never fails.

 

https://vimeo.com/165480216

The Book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vatican-Intervention-Andrew-Lee-Sullivan/dp/1530876443

 

Amazon description:

The author exposes the hidden and outrageous world of a budding Catholic institute. A discarded insider and captive in an apartment near Rome, the once broken priest with suicidal tendencies survives. He shares his ordeal and bares his soul with raw sincerity.

In 1979, an idealistic and naïve Sullivan leaves California and joins a wannabe religious order named Miles Jesu. Two tragic but unclear realities threaten his future. The young man has a condition that retards the proper development of his emotional life. The eighteen-year-old unwittingly joins a cult. These two menaces trigger gradual human destruction. Life deteriorates into a victim’s futile attempts to endure a virtual sociopath.

Then a miracle of overwhelming love bursts in the soul of Father Sullivan. Secrets of the power of love, Jesus’ love transform him. All hell breaks loose. Breakneck emotional development surges. His only path to human salvation is to escape into the Vatican and face his worst fears. He must risk his future and unmask the cult to seize his freedom. Sullivan must face the consequences of feeling divine and human love for the first time.

Vatican Intervention advances fresh outlooks on universal themes: love, prayer, risk taking. This incredible love story of Church tragedy and hope underlines the existential nature of receiving love. It reveals the surprising impact therapeutic meditation can have on human emotions and their growth.

Superbly written, the story reflects Capote’s feel of real and Grisham’s page-turning narrative. While documenting a true testimony, it reads like compelling fiction.

This testimony is an ideal follow up story to Spotlight: The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Yet, Vatican Intervention shows blinding light at the end of the tunnel.

This book is especially suited for Christians and Catholics. It offers insight about church scandals and shares an epiphany of hope for anyone harmed by them. Bishops, priests, ministers, religious, seminarians, students, and church worshipers can discover enlightenment, healing, and the transforming power of love within its pages. Above all else, this is a book for anyone who has hit rock bottom in life.

Vatican Intervention is being adapted into a major motion picture by producer, Mario Domina of ThunderBall Films, Ltd. The original screenplay adaptation will be written by Brian L. Porter, author, screenwriter, and co-producer. Andrew Lee Sullivan will contribute as the co-writer and associate producer for the project.

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Miles Jesu, Opus Dei, Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi…

Miles Jesu and Legion of Christ

 

Review by J. Paul Lennon on June 15, 2016

Andy Sullivan’s story is gripping, illustrative, harrowing and hopeful. He was an American founding member of Miles Jesu, another one of the “New Religious Movements” that blossomed in the Catholic Church in the 1960’s around the time of the II Vatican Council. Some of these were decidedly maverick.
Very well written, entertaining, a real love story, a tale of abuse, survival and vindication. It contains one bad guy and many good guys, innocent recruits that the charismatic “Fr. Duran” hauled in his wake as he created a (another) movement to save the Catholic Church from itself.
Sullivan’s survival tale is remarkable because it describes being drawn into an abusive group, coping with that, falling into despair, struggling with celibacy, reporting the group to the dioceses of Rome, getting free and finally being able to marry the love of his life. When Sullivan, who had been one of the order’s chief fundraisers, became disenchanted and began questioning he was punished in several ways, including being placed under “house arrest” in Ostia, Italy.
Very insightful is Sullivan’s discovery of his Affective Deprivation Disorder. What is really surprising is how Sullivan finds a spiritual path to recovery in the midst of mental and emotional chaos. The book is worth the price for this element alone. Find out for yourself.
As a former Legionary of Christ who lived during the Maciel era, there were hundreds of “ah-ha” moments for the reviewer. Incredible how all these “gurus” have the same modus operandi in winning over followers and getting them to do their bidding, imposing iron-fisted discipline on their followers while they “the primrose path to dalliance tread.”
Another unique feature is Sullivan’s detailed description of his complicated dealings with authorities in the diocese of Rome (Vicariate) and at the Vatican (Congregation for Religious and Lay Institutes, Congregation for the Clergy) as he reports the chaotic environment he has been living in and then tries to get free from Miles Jesu and, after psychotherapy and much soul searching, seeks a dispensation from priestly celibacy. He describes the steps Roman authorities took to rein in the maverick institution. Steps and interventions similar to the Vatican intervention of the Legion of Christ 2010-2014; the Vicariate appears to have been more effective but ultimately the measures peter out in the same way as with the Legion when high Vatican powers decide to “save” the institution instead of going deeper with the surgical knife or abolishing it outright.
Fortunately, at the end of the story the lovers are reunited, get married in the Ukraine, have children, return to the USA and live happily -if modestly- ever after.

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