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.
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.
<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.>
it is the conviction of ReGAIN that all the ills caused by the Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi Federation can be attributed to its nature as a harmful coercive groupfounded by a deluded psychopath who thought he was founding a religious order.
The conference will bring you testimonies and studies of former members, psychologists and sociologists who can explain what happened to you and the steps you can take to be whole again,ReGAIN your true self, and live a fulfilling and happy life.
Fr. Maciel embraces Paul Lennon on November 26, 1969, just after Paul was ordained at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rome
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!
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.
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.
Dutch cult expert Frances Peters gave this masterly power point presentation at the International Cultic Association’s International Conference in Bordeaux, July 2017.
ReGAIN believes it is of great value to members, parents, friends, helpers and professionals involved with controlling, coercive, harmful groups.
ReGAIN wants to remind the public that such harmful groups can exist even in the heart of mainstream – including Christian and Catholic – churches and communities. We will post upcoming articles re questionable Catholic Communities and Movements.
Spiritual Abuse Resources, a branch of prestigious International Cultic Studies Association is offering a conference in Hartford CT, in October. Avail yourself of this opportunity!
We know that Hartford is a Catholic and Christian area and houses the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement among other controversial groups. The conference hopes to attract attendees from the Northeast and Canada and all over the USA. I.C.S.A often attracts international audiences from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and as far away as Australia.
Some Religious groups and Movements, including from the Great Religions, Christian and Catholic traditions, can be harmful to some of the members some of the time -and to their family, friends and loved ones.
Spiritual Abuse has been flying under the radar for decades, but thanks to victims and concerned parents, therapists, researchers and communities it has been revealed and forced to emerge from the shadows.
And now we can go beyond passiveness and find information, answers and healing, to help ourselves, our families and others.