Los Angeles Help For Those Who Have Left Cults

Do you live the in Los Angeles Area?
Do you or does someone you know need help with?

  • Getting more education
  • Finding a good job
  • Finding a doctor, dentist or therapist
  • Finding housing
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Just organizing life after leaving a cult or other high demand group?

If so, check out the ICSA-sponsored pilot program at Venice Family Clinic. A case worker will help with all these and other issues clients may have.

The service is free and open to anyone with low income who has left a cult or other high-demand group, no matter how long ago. Call 310-664-7522 for more information or to make an appointment.


ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association)
[Formerly AFF (American Family Foundation)]
P.O. Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 34133
Phone: 239-514-3081 (new area code)
fax: 305-393-8193

The Legion’s Guide to Life after Legion of Christ

Leaving the LC required a very special effort to rebuild our relationships with our family,? writes G., a former legionary, in an online forum. We were never allowed to reveal to them any of our spiritual difficulties at any time, so our leaving the Legion always came as a shock to them. They always though that we were so happy. So many times I hear families say that their son seems so happy in the Legion. There is no way that the family could know anything different, since there is not communication of anything negative in this regard. We were trained in the phrases to use and themes to comment on in letters and phone calls.

For insight into the sorts of issues faced by legionaries who suddenly find themselves out of the legion and back in the real world, the Legion has created a website of what it considers to be helpful tips: http://formerlegionaries.org/ or http://www.formerlegionaries.net/ Its content is written by Joe S., who has served as a spokesperson for the legion. It shows just how inadequately the legion prepares its candidates for adulthood.

Since the Legion recruits very young people into its ranks, some as young as twelve, many former members have never had a checking account. Therefore, the site must explain that cash paper or coin money is useful, but in today’s world, a majority of purchases of over $50 is made by check or credit card. It adds, You’ll also need a bank account in order to deposit your job payments or to cash checks.? It notes that parents will naturally be extremely helpful? in setting up such accounts.

It must point out that “a debit card is essentially a card used to retrieve cash from your checking (or savings) account� as well as explain the importance of producing a credit history and what credit cards are and how to use them: “Credit cards are essentially short term and high interest loans made to private individuals for private purchases. They are useful in helping you cover high upfront costs such as buying a used car, a major appliance or some other major expense for which your current checking account simply could not cover.? According to this site ex-legionaries are not aware that employers pay their workers every two weeks,? so credit cards might be necessary to cover any financial shortfall.

Ex-legionaries must be told that they will be expected to work at least 40 hours a week at a job unless of course your parents are willing to put you through a graduate degree program. Apparently they do not know that there are many types of jobs in the American economy: those you can walk into immediately and those that need a more formal interview process to begin with. But for either type, they are told, you will want to make a good first impression on potential employers as well as learn as much about them as possible.?

They are given advice on how to train professionally: If you want to be a waiter, spend time watching waiters, if you spot a really good one analyze his style and how he does his job. If you want to be a salesman, go shopping and ask a lot of questions and then watch how good salesmen act.

They must be told of the importance of physical exercise: Having just left the Legion you’ll probably be in good physical condition. . . but if you don’t find or make the time to continue to exercise, within a year or two, you’ll begin to fill out and fall apart.

They must be told of the importance of proper diet: In general, Legionaries have few cavities but a year or two in the world, eating foods rich in sugar and calories has led not a few former legionaries to extended visits to the dentist’s chair.

They must be given advice on how to conduct their social lives: What you do with your free time is completely up to you to work out.

They must be warned that dating is a prelude to engagement and marriage, so it can be both expensive (flowers, candy, cards, teddy bears, dinners out, etc.) and time consuming (late night phone calls, constant emails, weekend walks in the park, etc.).

And of course they must be warned of the dangers women pose: Girls date in order to find husbands who will then take care of them for the rest of their lives. They are warned to avoid those girls who are physically attractive but morally weak. (Remember, if she is going to be the mother of your children, her moral virtue is a big deal.)

They must be told where to go to find out about the birds and the bees: If you want to understand women and learn useful anatomical details read serious books such as ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

They must also be lectured on the responsible use of time: Laziness is the devil’s workshop. . . You’ll probably pray a lot less than before, and time for reading or reflection will also diminish, but just be careful to not vegetate as your new mission awaits you: finishing an education, finding a career, discovering a mission, a wife, and becoming the man God wants you to be.

No preparation for adulthood

Most people will not disagree with most of the advice given by the legion in the above excerpts. What is telling, however, is that it more resembles the sort of advice one would give a child rather than a man in his twenties, thirties or even forties. For example, what does it say that the legion feels the need to tell exiting members that eating sugary foods leads to tooth decay?

Here is an organization, fabulously wealthy by all accounts with an annual budget rivaling that of the Holy See, yet many former members complain they receive little help, financial or otherwise, when they transition to the outside world .

This is an organization which counts among its benefactors not only some of the most powerful people in the Roman Curia, but powerful political and business leaders in Spain and Mexico as well. They have tremendous resources of financial knowledge upon which to draw, but do not tell their recruits what a checking account is. This is an organization that operates schools all over the world, including numerous universities in Spain, Mexico and Italy, but has failed to explain to its members how a credit card works.

One may ask, is this is deliberate? Is the legion purposely keeping its members in the dark? The legion generally only accepts adolescents or very young men as seminarians. Education is supposed to be the Legion’s primary mission, yet its own website suggests that it fails to educate its own members about some very basic aspects of modern life. One may ask, does the legion want them to be so naive about the world so they will never have the confidence to leave? The legion knows that most of the its candidates for the priesthood never make it to ordination. According to former members, of those who are ordained, many if not most leave after ordination. One may also ask, should the legion not be able to provide some sort of preparation that takes this fact into account?

Legionaries are kept in something resembling indentured servitude. They work night and day for years without receiving a salary or a stipend. They are not allowed to receive even small financial gifts from family members. If such gifts are given, they are turned over to their superiors. They relinquish every aspect of their personal lives to the legion with the assumption that they are making a lifetime commitment and that they will be financially taken care of. If the legion is not going to provide for individuals’ financial needs when they are dismissed abruptly without warning, as many are, why does the legion not at least provide them with some rudimentary knowledge of the more mundane aspects of life?

Perhaps the answer is because they know that, for those Legionaries who leave, the burden for supporting them will fall upon their parents. feeling I have lingers on.?

To all concerned parents and friends of women living as consecrated members of Regnum Christi…

Proposal for those interested in the women of 3GF:

Consider the following:

  • Women who have been consecrated as third degree members of Regnum Christi consider themselves brides of Christ;
  • These women have left everything behind to follow Christ completely;
  • They embraced the evangelical counsels in good faith and have inspired many with their sincerity of heart;
  • Their lives are spent praying and working for the Kingdom of Christ in various apostolates;
  • Whether or not their families understand their dedication, they will not turn their backs on their promises to God and want to continue to serve Him where He calls;
  • These women exude joy, peace, and zeal for souls – and must be given an opportunity to continue in their excellent work.

The Church has brought certain concerns to light:

  • There have been enduring concerns about the founder of Regnum Christi;
  • These concerns have been investigated to the degree that the Pope has restricted his public activity and called him to a life of penance;
  • Enough doubt exists as to his sanctity and motivations that many are gravely concerned;
  • The person of the founder, Marcial Maciel, is the model of sanctity for members of Regnum Christi;
  • Consecrated women are limited in their meditations to the Gospels and the writings of the founder;
  • Any criticism of the founder within 3GF is forbidden, on pain of penance or discipline;
  • The disciplinary action towards the founder is understood by members as an unjust cross requiring heroic forbearance – no other interpretation is allowed;
  • Thus the 3GF find that their generous and complete gift of self to the Church must be refracted through the person of Maciel in order to continue and bear fruit.

ReGAIN proposes the following:

  • Since many parents, family members, and friends love these women and want to support their vocation; and
  • Since these consecrated women know in their hearts that to leave the Movement and come home is to deny Christ and to betray a vocation; and
  • Since their fidelity to the Church is paramount and the driving force in their good work; and
  • Since the Vatican communiqué itself noted: Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association ‘Regnum Christi’ is gratefully recognized,

ReGAIN hereby asks all concerned to prayerfully consider petitioning Rome to create an institute of consecrated life particularly dedicated to allowing the 3GF’s to continue their spousal service of Christ the King in an atmosphere that respects and supports the most excellent service they offer to God and the Church while allowing them to focus more completely on Christ, the sacred traditions of the Church, and the canonical boundaries that the Church offers for the good of all.

Please send comments, suggestions, and feedback to gisellestemarie@yahoo.com

Help Available For Parents

Preventing Uninformed Recruitment to LC and RC
By Regain Staff


With the arrival of the summer months, the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi begin various recruitment programs including candidacies, summer camps at apostolic schools and pre candidacies. We even urge parents of those close to ordination to contact us. All is not lost for them, nor is all hope lost for any LC religious or priest or consecrated member of the Regnum Chrisit. You can help. Your efforts can make a difference.

The members of the ReGAIN Network encourage anyone in need of information or assistance, including parents and relatives, to contact us as soon as possible to protect your loved ones.

Use contact function on blue menu on home page.

For personal contacts in English see Help Available on the main page

For Spanish Speakers
Paul Lennon, MA

Glenn Favreau
202 276 9404

Juan Jose Vaca

For French Speakers
(en franÇais)
Annick Stevenson


WE SUGGEST YOU STUDY Coping with Cult Involvement, A Handbook for Families and Friends

Students have the right to inspect, review and receive copies of college transcripts

Students have the right to inspect, review and receive copies of college transcripts

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In light of the many complaints received from ex members who experience long delays, errors, false promises, and mistaken information when requesting college and university transcripts from the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi and their associated colleges and universities, ReGAIN offers the following US Federal Law in this matter:

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are eligible students.

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, directory information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Or you may contact us at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202:5920