ReGAIN MANIFESTO

                     Fr. Maciel embraces Paul Lennon on November 26, 1969, just                               after Paul was ordained at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe,                         Rome

Dear Reporter:

  • The American press sometimes refers to the Legionnaires of Christ, perhaps in an allusion to the French Foreign Legion, or American Legion, and maybe because it sounds better to U.S. ears.… I believe the official name is Legion of Christ and Legionaries of Christ. The order/group, founded by Mexican Catholic seminarian  Marcial Maciel in Mexico City in 1941, sprouted a lay movement in the 1960s called Regnum Christi -along the lines of the Opus Dei movement- and, together they morphed into Regnum Christi Federation a few years ago.
  • I joined at the age of 17 in Dublin in 1961. I could be considered an Irish co-founder of the order, “cofounder” being a coveted title at the time. I became bilingual and bi cultural Spanish during my 23 years in the Legion, leaving in 1984 after an  altercation with then superior general Fr. Maciel. I have the honor of being one of the few members who ever dared to confront the untouchable founder in front of other members.
  • Maciel garnered the admiration of popes, especially Pope JP II, until his pedophilia and philandering were finally acknowledged by Church Hierarchy and Legion around 2005 -by which time Maciel was 85! Just imagine the decades of silence, avoidance, minimization and coverup!
  • I  have been monitoring the order since 1985, founding regainnetwork.org in the 1990s and writing the first version of my memoir in 2008 which was released more recently as A Naïve and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ.
  • ReGAIN sprung from the concern of parents, friends and former members in the late 1980s seeking to help active, exiting and former members to recover from their traumatic experience.
  • ReGAIN has published extensively about the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation since the 1990s where you will find an abundance of info/critique, perhaps the largest in the English language. Presently there are other blogs in Spanish and French that carry out the same mission: facebook’s Legioleaks, La Verdad os hará Libres, and l’énvers du décor
  • U.S. Catholic investigative reporters, Jason Berry and  Gerald Renner, were instrumental in bringing the story of Maciel, the sexual abuse of his seminarians, the secretive nature of the order,  and the founder’s  love of money and luxury to the world beyond Mexico and Spanish speaking countries to world-wide attention in the Hartford Courant in 1997, and later publishing their critique of Maciel and the Legion with  Vows of Silence (2004).
  • Don’t forget the Legion was founded by Mexican priest, Fr. Marcial Maciel, and most of the literature about it is in the Spanish language. Fr. Maciel saw the Irish as the Legion’s gateway into the USA and other English-speaking countries. Although the Legion would like to cast itself as an international organization – it is present in many countries- there has always been a strong Mexican element: most major superiors are Mexicans, followed by Spaniards, Irish and U.S., with an occasional German or Italian thrown in for good PR. Unfortunately, Legion and Regnum Christi leadership has consistently been tainted by the leaven of founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, arch abuser, conman, manipulator of conservative Catholics and popes, and a bare-faced liar.
  • ReGAIN, in principle, avoids criticizing “The Church” as we believe that the Catholic Church consists in the union of all baptized catholics, irrespective of their rank (dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, chapter 2, The People of Gd. We, thus  distinguish between the Catholic Church and the Catholic Hierarchy (LC chapter 3). In general, we also avoid criticizing “the pope”, as if he were solely responsible for every sin that every one of the billion members of the Catholic Church commits.
  • On the other hand, we hold pope, hierarchy , clergy and religious responsible for their actions and omissions, especially when it comes to grevious offenses against children and the vulnerable.
  • Together with many other Catholics, Christians, believers, and people of good will, we complain about the way the Catholic Hierarchy has failed to punish Fr. Maciel, and to investigate and censure several cult-like or coercive religious orders and movements approved by and operating freely within its boundaries.
  • ReGAIN has consistently  defended and supported all those abused  in any way by Legion founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel and Legion and Regnum Christi superiors and directors.
  • Together with many other Catholics and Christians we are becoming more aware of other forms of abuse beyond sexual and physical abuse, such as moral, psychological, spiritual and conscience abuse  which have been rampant in churches and religious groups.

APPENDIX: incomplete list of books about Maciel, Legion, Regnum in English,  Spanish, and French.

Aristegui, C. (2010). Marcial Maciel, Historia de un Criminal. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Athié, A., Barba, J., González, F.M, (2012). La Voluntad de no saber: lo que sí se conocía sobre Maciel en los archivos del Vaticano desde 1944. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Barranco, B., coordinador (2021). Depredadores Sagrados: Pederastia clerical en México. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Berry, J. & Renner, G. (2004). Vows of Silence. New York: Free Press;

—– (2006). El Legionario de Cristo. Mexico City: Random House Mondadori.

—– (2011). Render unto Rome, The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. New York: Crown Publishers. Fr. Maciel, Lord of Prosperity, pp.156-196

Erdely, J., Escalante, P., González, F., Guerrero-Chiprés, S., Mascareñas, C. & Masferrer, E. (2004). El Círculo del Poder y la Espiral del Silencio [The Circle of Power and the Spiral of Silence], La Historia Oculta del Padre Marcial Maciel y Los Legionarios de Cristo. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

Espinosa, A. (2003). El Legionario [The Legionary]. Mexico City: Grijalbo.

—–    (2014, 2nd Edit.). El Ilusionista, Marcial Maciel (The Illusionist, Marcial Maciel). Charleston, SC: Createspace

González, F. (2006). Marcial Maciel. Los Legionarios de Cristo: testimonios y documentos inéditos [Marcial Maciel, The Legion of Christ: New testimonies and documents]. Mexico: Tusquets Editores,

González Parga, F. (2012). Yo acuso al Padre Maciel y a la Legión de Cristo. Charleston, SC: Createspace. (Maciel victim; early Legionary).

Keogh, J. (20100. Driving Straight on Crooked Lines, How and Irishman found his heart and nearly lost his mind. Iveagh Lodge Press. (A well-written testimony by one of the first Irish-born LC members).

Léger, X & Nicolas, B (2013). Moi, ancien légionnaire du Christ, 7 ans dans une secte au cœur de l’Église. Paris : Flammarion. (Testimony of French LC)

Lennon, J.P. (2012, 2nd Edit). Fr. Marcial Maciel Pedophile, Psychopath and Legion of Christ Founder, From Fr. Richard John Neuhaus to Pope Benedict XVI. Charleston, SC: Createspace. (LC 1961-84)

Martínez de Velasco, J. (2002). Los Legionarios de Cristo, el nuevo ejército del Papa [The Legionaries of the Christ, the Pope’s New Army]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.

—– (2004). Los Documentos Secretos de los Legionarios de Cristo [The Secret Documents of the Legion of Christ]. Barcelona: Ediciones B.

Sada, E. (2018) Blackbird – A Memoir; The Story of a Woman Who Submitted to Marcial Maciel, Became Free, and Found Happiness Again. Amazon Digital Services. (Prominent recruiter of Regnum Christi ‘consecrated’ women.)

Ramírez Mota Velasco (2013). El Reino de Marcial Maciel, La Vida Oculta de la Legión y el Regnum Christi. Mexico City: Temas de Hoy. (Prominent superior of RC women)

Ruiz-Marcos, José Manuel. (2006). La orden maldita. La historia oculta de los Legionarios de Cristo [The Accursed Order, the Secret History of the Legion of Christ]. Mexico City: Editorial Planeta.

 Torres, A. (2002). La Prodigiosa Aventura de la Legión de Cristo [The Marvelous Adventure of the Legion of Christ]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.

—– (2004). No nos dejes caer en la Tentación, Escándalos, dinero y guerras de poder en la Iglesia española [Let us not Fall into Temptation]. Madrid: La Esfera de los libros.

 

Paul Lennon, MA, aka J.Paul Lennon, author

 

Legion of Christ & Pandora Papers: make Money and evict the Poor

As Catholic order fought sex abuse claims, secret trusts devoted to it poured millions into American rental properties

Leaked files reveal nearly $300 million stashed overseas for the Legion of Christ in wake of Vatican investigation. Millions were invested with a corporate landlord that evicted struggling U.S. tenants during pandemic.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

Legion of Christ part of Pandora:

make money, evict the poor

So much for the their recently found Charity Charism

 

Names of Non-Compensated Sexual Abuse Victims of Fr. Marcial Maciel, Founder and Superior General of the Legion(aries) of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation

Fr. Maciel (1920-2008) began abusing his adolescent seminarians soon after the foundation in Mexico City 1941. He was investigated twice by the Vatican, never went to trial in canon or civil law, and lived out his days in luxury and pleasure, unrepentent.

 

Names of Not Compensated Sexual Abuse Victims of Fr. Maciel, Founder and Superior General of the Legion(aries) of Christ -now morphed into Regnum Christi Federation

 

Recently deceased while the Legion/Regnum Superiors played cat and mouse, waiting for them to die off:

Saúl Barrales Arellano    (maternal surname goes last in Spanish; although people can be named by their maternal surname in certain cases, as in the case of Francisco González, called Parga )

Félix Alarcón Hoyos

Fernando Pérez Olvera

 

Living Survivors in their 80s,

two of whom are living in abject poverty and illness

José de Jesús Barba Martín

Alejandro Espinosa Alcalá

Francisco González Parga – together  with  Alarcón, the only other victim                                    ordained to priesthood-  went public in 2005 when  victims                                    were  interviewed by then Vatican Prosecutor, Mons. Charles                                Scicluna, in Mexico City)

Arturo Jurado Guzmán

José Antonio Pérez Olvera

MACIEL VICTIMS HELP EACH OTHER! – WHILE LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST RELAX IN LUXURY, THEIR VICTIMS LANGUISH IN POVERTY FOLLOW UP

 

José Antonio Pérez Olvera, José Barba Martín, and Chilean clergy sex abuse victim

(Note Legionaries/Regnum Christi tried to hack this site in July 2019 -shame on them, supposedly operating under the name of Christ!)

MACIEL SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS HELP EACH OTHER – WHILE LEGIONARIES OF CHIST RELAX IN LUXURY, THEIR VICTIMS LANGUISH IN POVERTY FOLLOW UP

UPDATE  August 25, 2021   LATEST REPORT FROM VICTIMS

WHILE LEGIONARY OF CHRIST LEADERS FRS. CONNOR, SCHOGGL, ETC., PLAY HIDE AND SEEK WITH THEIR FOUNDER’S SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS

José Antonio had to move out of L.A.B.’s home recently because José Antonio caught the COVID-19 virus, and had to retreat to his previous cubby hole… Legion/Regnum of Christ leaders continued to wrangle with Maciel victims over compensation for their sexual abuse, Legion denial and denigration, calumnies and abandonment.

While deliberations continue with Legion/Regnum leadership about the where, the what and the when of compensation (it is believed a total of ten thousand dollars may have been given to José Antonio up to now – while promises are in the hundreds of thousands!), at least one of the surviving Maciel victims has made sure JA has power and phone in his basement. Two kind women have also contributed to the rescue operation in the past few days. 

It appears that Legion/Regnum rescue operations are CONDITIONED BY THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE CONTROL AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES THEIR INTERVENTION MAY AFFORD THEM!

===========

Original posting below:

José-Antonio Pérez Olvera, now 84, and suffering from numerous illnesses, is about to be evicted. His compensation from the Legion of Christ, led by LC (Director) Superior General, Fr. John Connor, USA, amounts to a $5,000.00 US he received last April as an “Easter Gift”.

“Promises, promises, promises”, resound in his aged ears.

Pepe Toño is one of the few remaining victims of Fr. Maciel’s -founder of the Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi 60 million dollar budget Movement.

  • The first to die, many years ago was Fr. Juan Manuel Amenábar, a Spanish LC priest who had been close to Maciel all his life until revealing his abuse on his deathbed to then Father Alberto Athié from the Mexico City diocese.
  • The last to die was former seminarian Saúl Barrales, Brother Charity, earlier this year, R.I.P.
  • Just before that Fernando Pérez Olvera passed away.
  • Fr. Félix Alarcón, a Spanish LC priest has also passed away.

LEGION COMPENSATION IN ALL THESE CASES HAS BEEN FROM ZERO TO PALTRY.  “Better for these old men to die off than for the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation have to disburse money in compensation” (bottom line of Pontifical Delegate, Mons. Velasio de Paolis’,  policy during his visitation 2010. May God have mercy on his soul!  See Velasio de Paolis, WIKIPEDIA, “Pontifical Delegate to the Legion of Christ.”)

A week ago, Pepe Toño wrote to some friends: “What really bothers me is that they are literally evicting me in three days’ time.”

Pepe’s friends are screaming at Fr. Connor to do something. ReGAIN has the awful feeling this will be another case of “Too little, too late.”

And I think of how his perpetrator, Fr. Marcial Maciel, lived out his last days in luxury and pleasure, accompanied by his female lover and daughter traveling freely in the USA and Mexico, despite that slap on the hand from the Vatican in 2006.

August 1-15, most Legionaries are on their “major vacations” which means relaxing at the beach houses of millionaire benefactors in Mexico, Spain, Italy and the USA. I spent mine years ago in Mazatlán; the family left their house to our “community”; this included a captain for the yacht to go marlin fishing, waiters to serve us our drinks at the pool, a cook to prepare our meals and maids to take care of housekeeping…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Pepe Toño sweats it out, as he waits for the crumbs to fall from the rich man Dives Connor’s table.

 

How Coercive Groups Work

 

ICSA E-Newsletter

15 May 2021

 

ICSA E-Newsletters share articles or other information of interest or importance to ICSA members . Content of e-newsletters is not necessarily endorsed by ICSA, its directors, staff, volunteers, or members.  ICSA provides information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue among interested parties.      E-Newsletter Archive

 

Deception, Dependency, and Dread in the Conversion Process

 

Michael D. Langone, PhD

 

Farber, Harlow, & West (1957) coined the term “DDD syndrome” to describe the essence of Korean war thought reform with prisoners of war: debility, dependency, and dread. Lifton (1961), who also studied thought reform employed in Chinese universities, demonstrated that the process did not require physical debilitation. Contemporary cultic groups, which do not have the power of the state at their disposal, have more in common with this brand of thought reform than with the POW variety in that they rarely employ physical coercion. In order to control targets, they must rely on subterfuge and natural areas of overlap between themselves and prospects. As with all Korean era thought reform programs (those directed at civilians and at prisoners), however, contemporary cultic groups induce dependent states to gain control over recruits and employ psychological (sometimes physical) punishment (“dread”) to maintain control. The process, in my view, can be briefly described by a modified “DDD syndrome”: deception, dependency, and dread.

 

Although the process here described is complex and varied, the following appears to occur in the prototypical cult conversion:

  • A vulnerable prospect encounters a cultic group.
  • The group (leader[s]) deceptively presents itself as a benevolent authority that can improve the prospect’s well-being.
  • The prospect responds positively, experiencing an increase in self-esteem and security, at least some of which is in response to what could be considered “placebo” The prospect can now be considered a “recruit”.
  • Through the use of “sharing” exercises, “confessions,” and skillful individualized probing, the group [leader(s)] assesses the recruit’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Through testimonies of group members, the denigration of the group’s “competitors” (e.g., other religious groups, other therapists), the tactful accentuation of the recruit’s shameful memories and other weaknesses, and the gradual indoctrination of the recruit into a closed, nonfalsifiable belief system, the group’s superiority is affirmed as a fundamental assumption.
  • Members’ testimonies, positive reinforcement of the recruit’s expressions of trust in the group, discrete reminders about the recruit’s weaknesses, and various forms of group pressure induce the recruit to acknowledge that his/her future well-being depends upon adherence to the group’s belief system, more specifically its “change program.”
  • These same influence techniques are joined by a subtle undermining of the recruit’s self-esteem (e.g., by exaggerating the “sinfulness” of experiences the recruit is encouraged to “confess”), the suppression or weakening of critical thinking through fatiguing activity, near-total control of the recruit’s time, trance-induction exercises (e.g., chanting), and the repetitive message that only disaster results from not following the group’s “change program.” These manipulations induce the recruit to declare allegiance to the group and to commit to change him/herself as directed by the group. He or she can now be considered a convert embarking on a path of “purification”, “enlightenment”, “self-actualization”, “higher consciousness,” or whatever. The recruit’s dependency on the group is established and implicitly, if not explicitly, acknowledged. Moreover, he/she has accepted the group’s authority in defining what is true and good, within the convert’s heart and mind as well as in the world.
  • The convert is next fully subjected to the unrealistically high expectations of the group. The recruit’s “potential” is “lovingly” affirmed, while members testify to the great heights they and “heroic” models have scaled. The group’s all-important mission, e.g., save the world, justifies its all-consuming expectations.
  • Because by definition the group is always right and “negative” thinking is unacceptable, the convert’s failures become totally his or her responsibility, while his or her doubts and criticisms are suppressed (often with the aid of trance-inducing exercises such as meditation, speaking in tongues, or chanting) or redefined as personal failures. The convert thus experiences increasing self-alienation. The “pre-cult self” is rejected; doubts about the group are pushed out of consciousness; the sense of failure generated by not measuring up to the group’s expectations is bottled up inside. The only possible adaptation is fragmentation and compartmentalization. It is not surprising, then, that many clinicians consider dissociation to lie at the heart of cult-related distress and dysfunction (Ash, 1985).
  • The convert’s self-alienation will tend to demand further psychological, if not physical, alienation from the non-group world (especially family), information from which can threaten to upset whatever dissociative equilibrium the convert establishes in an attempt to adjust to the consuming and conflicting demands of the group. This alienation accentuates the convert’s dependency on the group.
  • The group supports the convert’s dissociative equilibrium by actively encouraging escalating dependency, e.g., by exaggerating the convert’s past “sins” and conflicts with family, by denigrating outsiders, by positively reinforcing chanting or other “thought-stopping” activities, and by providing and positively reinforcing ways in which the convert can find a valued role within the group (e.g., work for a group-owned business, sell magazines on the street).
  • The group strengthens the convert’s growing dependency by threatening or inflicting punishment whenever the convert or an outside force (e.g., a visit by a family member) disturbs the dissociative equilibrium that enables him or her to function in a closed, nonfalsifiable system (the “dread” of DDD). Punishment may sometimes by physical. Usually, however, the punishment is psychological, sometimes even metaphysical. Certain fringe Christian groups, for example, can, at the command of the leadership, immediately begin shunning someone singled out as “factious” or possessed of a “rebellious spirit.” Many groups also threaten wavering converts with punishments in the hereafter, for example, being “doomed to Hell.” It should be remembered that these threats and punishments occur within a context of induced dependency and psychological alienation from the person’s former support network. This fact makes them much more potent than the garden-variety admonitions of traditional religious, such as “you will go to hell if you die with mortal sin.”

The result of this process, when carried to its consummation, is a person who proclaims great happiness but hides great suffering. I have talked to many former cultists who, when they left their groups and talked to other former members, were surprised to discover that many of their fellow members were also smilingly unhappy, all thinking they were the only ones who felt miserable inside.

 

References

 

Ash, S. (1985). Cult-induced psychopathology, part 1: Clinical picture. Cultic Studies Journal, 2(1), 31-91.

Farber, I. E., Harlow, H. F., & West, L. J. (1956). Brainwashing, conditioning, and DDD (debility, dependency, and dread). Sociometry, 20, 271-285.

Lifton, R. J. (1961). Thought reform and the psychology of totalism. New York: W. W. Norton.

 

International Cultic Studies Association, Inc.

PO Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 34133

http://www.icsahome.com

mail@icsamail.com

 

Email not displaying correctly?

View it in your browser

Unsubscribe

 

Translate »
%%footer%%