Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Peace, prosperity, recovery, Joy that all began when a little baby was born to an unwed mother in Palestine 2000 years ago.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saul Survives Again!

Saul Barrales,
a Fr Maciel sexual abuse survivor,
has survived a surgical intervention in Mexico City and is recovering at a local hospital. We wish him Health and continued Happiness for the Christmas Season together with his dear wife, Teresa, family members, and the former-Legionary of Christ community in Mexico.

Saturday, December 13, 2008



Dear all,

Our very dear Saul Barrales, a former legionary ('Brother Charity') and a
close friend of ours for over half a century, is very ill at the Main
Cancer Hospital in Mexico City. As we have seen lately, he is doing
his best to keep himself in good spirits; but his health is rather poor at
the present moment. His companions in Mexico ask for your prayers
especially for this coming Monday morning when he will undergo a
difficult medical intervention.

Jose Barba

Friday, December 5, 2008

Scientology takes over Cult Awareness Network; Legion of Christ takes out LENNON & REGAIN

Scientology takes over Cult Awareness Network; Legion of Christ takes out LENNON & REGAIN


Legion of Christ also tries to sue out, buy out or take out opponents when they can.

They were successful in LEGION OF CHRIST VS LENNON AND REGAIN,INC, in Alexandria City, Virginia, August 2007

In Mexico City they could not silence their victims. See below.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Legal Defeat for the Legionaries ಆಫ್ Christ : Judge orders the Colegio Oxford to pay damages to a child assaulted by his teacher.

By Sanjuana Martínez

Decision in child sex abuse case in Mexico.
"La Jornada"

After two years of litigation a civil court judge, Maricela Cruz Sánchez, has found the Colegio Oxford, located in Mexico City, liable for monetary damages due to the moral hazard caused to a boy who was sexually abuse at age three by his physical education teacher, Joaquín Francisco Mondragón Rebollo, who remains at-large.

"This amounts to the first successful lawsuit against the Legionaries of Christ," says attorney José Bonilla Sada in an interview with La Jornada. "With this verdict people who commit crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors within the Legion, founded by Marcial Maciel, are at last beginning to be punished."

The verdict is based on an employer/employee relationship linking the sexual perpetrator and the Centro de Educación y Cultura Ajusco, SC, controlling arm of the Colegio Oxford, whose director, María del Pilar Adelina Soto Maza, was found to be "guilty and negligent" due to the boy being sexually abused on the grounds of an educational institution operated by the Legionaries of Christ.

Judge Maricela Cruz Sánchez stated in her opinion that the school had "the moral obligation to educate, a duty to protect and care for those for whom they are responsible, given that parents place in educational institutions all the confidence that their children will develop physically, mentally and spiritually."

The 34 page document does not specify the amount of damages the legionary school must pay to the victim and his parents, but Bonilla Sada has stated no amount of money can make up for the immense harm caused to the boy and his family. "We have not even considered the amount of money. Our objective was not to get a lot of money. We never even thought about it. The important thing is that they be punished for causing moral harm, something which we have always alleged."

The verdict also states that "having committed an assault and sexual abuse against a minor, it remains manifestly clear that the responsible parties failed to do their job, and have not submitted any evidence that would justify, explain or exempt them from a failure to fulfill their obligation, and by extension their responsibility."

Bonilla Sada began the search for justice in his son's case more than two years ago. But he soon became an attorney for other victims of sexual abuse. "The verdict is a setback for the Legionaries of Christ because it exposes them to Mexican society as people who act unscrupulously in defense of criminals who commit sexual assault against minors, against those who were abused in their schools," he says.

In reference to the verdict against the director, María del Pilar Adelina Soto Maza, he stated that he felt it was a very serious matter that from the beginning she provided protection to the perpetrator rather than the victim. "It's awful that a woman of her status would be involved in these sorts of allegations. It's impossible to imagine that, instead of protecting the children at her school, she has set about to protect the perpetrating teacher and the supposed good name of the Legionaries of Christ and the Colegio Oxford. This goes against any educational principle or human virtue."

The attorney maintains that the Mondragón Rebollo, currently still at-large due to aggravated assault and sexual abuse charges, was and is still being harbored by the Legionaries of Christ. "We have shown all the evidence of the protections they have provided him. This the way the Legionaries have of blocking out the light with one hand in order to prevent the truth from coming out. But in this case they failed. Now the public knows how the Legionaries of Christ are institutionally linked to pedophilia."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said Wednesday it hoped President-elect Barack Obama will work to promote peace and justice in the world.

"All of us are hoping that Obama will be able to meet the expectations and hopes directed at him," said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who is chief spokesman for the Vatican and for Pope Benedict XVI.

Lombardi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the Vatican hoped the man elected to be the United States' first black president would work for the cause of rights and justice, "finding suitable ways to promote peace in the world, fostering people's development and dignity while respecting essential human and spiritual values."

"Faithful are praying so that God may enlighten him and give him a hand in his huge responsibility, so that he will govern well," Lombardi said.

The pope will likely issue a statement wishing Obama well when he is sworn into office in January, Lombardi indicated.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post Legion & Regnum Trauma

Post-Cult Trauma Syndrome*

After exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the group's stated ideals or mission.

The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by "POST-CULT TRAUMA SYMDROME":

-spontaneous crying
-sense of loss
-depression & suicidal thoughts
-fear that not obeying the cult's wishes will result in God's wrath or loss of salvation
-alienation from family, friends
-sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
-fear of evil spirits taking over one's life outside the cult
-scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
-panic disproportionate to one's circumstances
-fear of going insane
-confusion about right and wrong
-sexual conflicts
-unwarranted guilt

The period of exiting from a cult is usually a traumatic experience and, like any great change in a person's life, involves passing through stages of accommodation to the change:

=Disbelief/denial: "This can't be happening. It couldn't have been that bad."
=Anger/hostility: "How could they/I be so wrong?" (hate feelings)
=Self-pity/depression: "Why me? I can't do this."
=Fear/bargaining: "I don't know if I can live without my group. Maybe I can still associate with it on a limited basis, if I do what they want."
=Reassessment: "Maybe I was wrong about the group's being so wonderful."
=Accommodation/acceptance: "I can move beyond this experience and choose new directions for my life" or...
=Re-involvement: "I think I will rejoin the group."

Passing through these stages is seldom a smooth progression. It is fairly typical to bounce back and forth between different stages. Not everyone achieves the stage of accommodation / acceptance. Some return to cult life. But for those who do not, the following may be experienced for a period of several months:

/flashbacks to cult life
/simplistic black-white thinking
/sense of unreality
/suggestibility, ie. automatic obedience responses to trigger-terms of the cult's loaded language or to innocent suggestions
/disassociation (spacing out)
/feeling "out of it"
/"Stockholm Syndrome": knee-jerk impulses to defend the cult when it is criticized, even if the cult hurt the person
/difficulty concentrating
/incapacity to make decisions
/hostility reactions, either toward anyone who criticizes the cult or toward the cult itself
/mental confusion
/low self-esteem
/dread of running into a current cult-member by mistake
/loss of a sense of how to carry out simple tasks
/dread of being cursed or condemned by the cult
/hang-overs of habitual cult behaviors like chanting
/difficulty managing time
/trouble holding down a job

Most of these symptoms subside as the victim mainstreams into everyday routines of normal life. In a small number of cases, the symptoms continue.

* This information is a composite list from the following sources: "Coming Out of Cults", by Margaret Thaler Singer, Psychology Today, Jan. 1979, P. 75; "Destructive Cults, Mind Control and Psychological Coercion","Fact Sheet", Cult Hot-Line and Clinic, New York City.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cult Expert Reviews "Our Father,..."

Link to bestseller


By Joe P. Szimhart (Douglassville, PA USA)

Would you, as a loving parent, send your seventeen year old son to dedicate his life to a highly manipulative organization controlled by a sexual predator? Of course, you would not and neither did the loving parents of John Paul Lennon did happen. As told in this book, what happened was a culturally motivated, naive young man from Ireland accepted the glowing promise of Catholic recruiters to help form a new religious movement in Mexico in 1961. Lennon felt drawn to the adventure with holy men who would guide and protect his journey. What could be better? Despite lingering doubts about everything from his sexual expression to the existence of God Lennon signed on and served eventually as an ordained priest in the Legion of Christ for 23 years. He formally left the "congregation" in 1984. This book answers the question, why?

The Legion was founded by a young Father Marcial Maciel in 1941. In many respects, the Legion of Christ and its lay subsidiary Regnum Christi closely resembles Opus Dei, the Catholic organization maligned in The Da Vinci Code. Both are controversial, conservative, hierarchical Catholic groups formed ostensibly to provide members with rules for a saintly life and a way to serve others. Both groups target wealthy donors and aggressively seek favor from the Vatican. Indeed, Opus Dei's founder was a canonized recently. The same beatific fate may not befall Father Maciel as long as strong evidence continues to appear regarding his mismanagement of the Legion and his decades' long legacy of sexual abuse of young men.

J. Paul Lennon's self-published autobiography is the second significant exposé in English of the Legion and Fr. Maciel, the first being Vows of Silence (2004). There are many exposés in Spanish. Lennon's story brings the Legion experience into intimate focus through the lens of his life, his dreams, his sins, and his struggles. Lennon broke with the Legion after confronting the leader publicly about mistreatment of relocated members. He was also fed up with the double standards regarding vows of poverty while the leaders basked in favors and food from wealthy donors. Though Lennon never encountered sexual abuse personally while a Legion member, he documents what he learned after he left the group. Be prepared for specificity regarding Maciel's controversial behavior toward the end of the book. (The title refers to Fr. Maciel's dubious illnesses that required frequent time-outs for days in bed complete with injections of Demerol and erotic massages from boys).

'Our Father, who art in bed' reads well enough as a self-published effort by a first-time book writer. I enjoyed Lennon's anecdotes about his life in Ireland and Mexico. The reader finds a sense of place and culture as Lennon reflects on his struggles to make sense of his psychological isolation while serving others. The Legion restricted every aspect of a member's life including friends. "What friends" asks Lennon on page 111? "I had to have a motive and objective to contact outsiders; all activities not sanctioned by the very detailed rule had to be approved by my superior." He was able to visit his family only five years after he joined. Lennon would not know the songs of Bob Dylan or the other John Paul Lennon and The Beatles until after 1984. Lennon served as a priest in the Washington, DC area for 5 years after he broke away. He applauds the open kindness of Catholic clerics there who restored his faith in the Church. Nevertheless, Lennon requested and was granted a release from Holy Orders in 1989.

Lennon eventually recognized that his Legion experience matched many stories of ex-cult members from any number of other controversial groups. He and other ex-Legionites eventually formed a helping network called REGAIN that has a website. As his book documents, Lennon and REGAIN were sued last year by the Legion of Christ over violation of allegedly confidential information. This book is in part an appeal to the Church, the Legion and the public to recognize the truth of the matter. If nothing else, Lennon's legacy is set as one brave former priest that took on a festering cult that the Catholic Church has yet to adequately lance and to heal from. As a Catholic myself, and a professional consultant about cults, I can sympathize with Lennon's account thoroughly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER reviews "Our Father who art in bed"


By Joseph C. Rigert

In my new book **

I noted how Pope John Paul II looked to Ireland to help maintain a strict morality in his church, but at the same time protected Macial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a notorious sex abuser. The pope did so even though Maciel was accused of sexually abusing more than 20 young seminarians and priests in his religious order. Why? I contended that John Paul didn't want to challenge the man who was churning out many, many priests who shared the pope's conservative beliefs.

But I didn't know why these priests remained so loyal to their corrupted leader. Now I know. As one of those priests, Paul Lennon explains in this book how the "great leader" brainwashed his followers, enforcing silence, isolation and blind obedience. Paul joined the order as an idealistic Irish youth of 17, and remained in it for 23 years, until he could no longer tolerate the repressive culture of the cult and left to rejoin the real world. Rather than describe Paul's experiences--like eight years separated from his family--I urge readers to obtain his book and get an unprecedented look inside the pope's legion.

--Joe Rigert, investigative journalist and author.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008



In order to be able to answer that question we must, as Thomas Aquinas states, define the terms. What is a cult? What is the Legion of Christ? To help with the first definition we have this article of two authorities in the field


This article describes the goals and activities of International Cultic Studies Association and Info-Cult/Info-Secte. It also discusses definitional issues, the limitations of the term “cult,” and individual variations within cultic groups. This paper served as an introduction to ICSA’s 2007 annual conference in Brussels, Belgium.

About the International Cultic Studies Association and Info-Cult
Founded in 1979, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a network of people concerned about cultic, manipulative, and abusive groups. As the leading professional organization in the field, ICSA strives to increase understanding and awareness of such groups and to help people that they harm.

ICSA seeks to apply academic and professional research and analyses to the practical problems of families and individuals harmed by cultic experiences and to the professionals who seek to help them and/or forewarn those who might become involved in harmful group situations. ICSA is funded by individuals and foundations.

Founded in 1980, Info-Cult is a non-profit charitable organization whose objectives are to:

· Promote the study of cultic phenomena;

· Inform, raise awareness and educate the public about these phenomena;

· Help people with problems related to these phenomena.

Info-Cult is funded in part by the Quebec Provincial Ministry of Health and Social Services and operates in both English and French. It houses one of the most unique collections of materials on "cults", "new religious movements" and related groups and subjects.

Definitional Issues
A central component of ICSA’s mission is to study psychological manipulation and abuse, especially as it manifests in cultic and other groups.

Different people, attach different and usually imprecise meanings to the term “cult.” Those who have sought information from ICSA and Info-Cult have – properly or improperly –used “cult” to refer to a wide variety of phenomena.

· Groups – religious, political, psychological, commercial – in which the leader(s) appear(s) to exert undue influence over followers, usually to the leader’s(s’) benefit.

· Fanatical religious and political groups, regardless of whether or not leaders exert a high level of psychological control.

· Terrorist organizations, such as Bin Laden’s group, which induce some members to commit horrific acts of violence.

· Religious groups deemed heretical or socially deviant by the person attaching the “cult” label.

· Any unorthodox religious group – benign or destructive.

· Covert hypnotic inductions.

· Communes that may be physically isolated and socially unorthodox.

· Groups (religious, New Age, psychotherapeutic, “healing,”) that advocate beliefs in a transcendent order or actions that may occur through mechanisms inconsistent with the laws of physics.

· Any group embraced by a family member whose parents, spouses, or other relatives conclude – correctly or incorrectly – that the group is destructive to the involved family member.

· Organizations that employ high-pressure sales and/or recruitment tactics.

· Authoritarian social groups in which members exhibit a high level of conformity and compliance to the expectations and demands of leaders.

· Extremist organizations that advocate violence, racial separation, bigotry, or overthrow of the government.

· Familial or dyadic relationships in which one member exerts an unusually high and apparently harmful influence over the other member(s), e.g., certain forms of dysfunctional families or battered women’s syndrome.

Generally speaking (though certainly not always), the phenomena to which they attach the term “cult” constitute a “conceptual family.” The members of this family are distinct, and it is inappropriate to give all of them the same “name,” e.g., “cult.” Yet they do have a family resemblance resting on the inquirer’s perception that the group exhibits one or more of these characteristics:

1. It treats people as objects to be manipulated for the benefit of the leader(s).

2. It believes that and behaves as though the group’s supposedly noble ends justify means that most people deem unethical.

3. It harms some persons involved with or affected by the group.

Although some individuals may associate any one of these characteristics with the concept “cult,” frequently other terms may be more appropriate descriptors.

Combined ICSA and Info-Cult have information in their files on thousands of groups and over the years have received inquiries on over 5,000 groups and subjects. However, the percentage of these groups that could be categorized as "cults" is unknown. Moreover, as explained above, the definitional ambiguity of the term "cult" limits the utility of labeling. Given the wide range of phenomena that we study and the wide range of individuals and organizations we try to assist, we emphasize that our having information on or researching a particular group does NOT imply that it is a “cult” or even that it is harmful. We do NOT maintain a list of “cults” or “bad groups,” and we have no intention of compiling such a list. Also, having no information on a group does not mean that it is benign. We do, however, provide information on and conceptual tools for analyzing diverse groups that inquirers may – correctly or incorrectly – associate with cults and other groups within its conceptual family.

ICSA's research indicates that cultic and other high control groups vary enormously in their potential for harm. Harm may be physical, psychological, economic, social, and/or spiritual. Different people will respond in varied ways to the same intense group environment, some remaining unscathed, while others are devastated. Although scholars may dispute the level, causes, and effects of harmful practices in particular groups, a common-sense assumption underlies our work: "Some groups may harm some people sometimes, and some groups may be more likely to harm people than other groups" (Langone, 2001, p. 3). Whether or not harm results depends upon the interactions among the members of the group, including leadership. These interactions can be complex. Indeed, some persons may experience harm in what might generally be considered a benign group, while others might report a positive experience in what might generally be considered a destructive group.

We are interested in the causes, nature, prevalence, and remediation of such group-related harm.

What ICSA Offers
· Websites with thousands of pages visited by more than 1,000,000 persons a year:

· An information service that annually responds to more than 2,500 inquirers.

· An E-Library with more than 11,000 news and scholarly articles and E-books, with thousands of items to be added in the future.

· E-Newsletter, which enables you to keep abreast of events of note, new publications, news, popular articles, and research and educational activities of ICSA's volunteers and other experts and activists.

· A Web-based scholarly journal (with an abridged print edition), Cultic Studies Review, which will keep you abreast of the latest advances in the field, including newspaper accounts and academic and professional reports

· An annual conference where you can learn about new research and other developments, meet experts and others interested in the field, and attend practical sessions for families, former group members, and professionals.

· Workshops and mini-conferences for former group members, families, and mental health professionals.

· Volunteer professional committees addressing issues of mental health, research, personal accounts, the Web, and other subjects.

What Info-Cult Offers
An information, assistance and support service that annually responds to more then 1,500 inquiries.

A Website in English and French that provides a unique collection of information such as legal decisions, government reports and studies and an extensive bibliography.

A Documentation Centre that houses one of North America’s largest collections of books, journals, video and audio cassettes and other materials from around the world.

Educational services, such as videos, our online book, conferences and workshops, and regular meetings with students at Info-Cult’s offices.

Important Points to Keep in Mind
Your knowledge of the cultic studies field will expand considerably as you listen to those who will present during the next few days. We believe, however, that it will be helpful for us to draw your attention to certain propositions that some students of this field tend to overlook.

The Label "Cult" is Descriptive not Classificatory
Those who work in this field are often asked, "Is such-and-such group a cult?" The inquirers often imply that if we tell them it is a cult, they will then know a lot about the group, while if we tell them it is not a cult, they won't have to worry. The fact is, however, that, as noted above, the term "cult" is vague and does not transmit a lot of reliable information. It is not a diagnostic or classificatory category, such as "pneumonia," which functions as a short-hand description for a specific medical disorder with known characteristics (symptoms), etiology, and treatment.

In many ways, the label "cult" is similar to personality labels, rather than medical diagnoses. Suppose, for example, I said, using the personality classification system of the Middle Ages (i.e., the "four humors"): "All phlegmatic people sit in the back left corner, all choleric people sit in the front left corner, all sanguine people sit in the back right corner, and all melancholy people sit in the front right corner." You probably wouldn't know where to go. We've all experienced at some point in our lives all four of these moods, but few of us would feel comfortable being classified by any one of these labels. Nonetheless, each of these adjectives remains active in common usage. They have, however, descriptive, not classificatory, meaning.

A particular group, which some may call a "cult," may vary across time and, especially if it is a large group with centers in different geographic locations, on each of the variables used to define the term. Hence, some variables may apply to some controversial groups and not others. For example: some groups may actively recruit members, while others may not; some groups may routinely lie, while others don't; some groups may be obsessed with collecting money, while others aren't; some groups may insist that members break all family ties, while others don't.

Individual Variations Exist Even in High-Control Environments
At ICSA's 2004 conference in Edmonton Canada, Maureen Griffo talked about individual variations in the small Bible group to which she once belonged. She obtained narrative responses to an open-ended survey from 16 former members (a sample probably biased in favor of critical perspectives of the group). Based on her experience and research, one could reasonably infer that this group was indeed a high-control, cultic group. Yet even within this powerful environment, there was a surprising degree of individuality among members. Although about three-fourths described themselves as seekers prior to joining, one-fourth did not. Although about three-fourths were recruited through the group's preferred street-proselytizing, one-fourth were recruited in other ways. One ex-member still considered the experience to have been positive, while others described it as a "nightmare."

The subtleties of interaction between leader and member are illustrated in the case of a woman who was effective in the leader's business and brought in a substantial amount of money. She was also more assertive than other members. As a result, she was able, for example, to get away with an action that other members deemed unimaginably rebellious: She told the leader's wife to tell her husband to stop listening in on her [the member's] phone conversations! Had her work not been so profitable, she might very well have been kicked out of the group for insubordination. Hence, Ms. Griffo says it is vital to look upon and treat cultic group members as individuals, not as "clones" based on somebody's written or spoken stereotype.

Groups vary significantly on each of a multitude of dimensions, and individuals respond differently over time to each dimension within each group.

The table below illustrates, in an admittedly simplified way, how different people can honestly describe a group or group leader in contradictory ways. The table, for purposes of explanation, looks at two hypothetical people, one generally high in self-esteem and assertive, one generally low in self-esteem and unassertive. The table speculates about how these two people might react to two different shepherds (immediate superior in some Bible groups), one who is respectful and one who is exploitatively manipulative. As the table shows, depending upon the interaction, one may get false and true positive reports as well as false and true negative reports.

Why Conflicting Reports Concerning Cults May Sometimes Be True: One Example

Member is high in self-esteem and assertive
Member is low in self-esteem and unassertive

Shepherd is exploitatively manipulative
Member may successfully resist some of the shepherd's manipulations and resent others

Mixed Reports (e.g., "I've learned a lot from Pastor Bob, but he is too pushy.")
Member may stifle resentment about manipulations

Positive Reports when in the group

Negative and/or positive when out

Shepherd is respectful
Member is likely to have positive experiences.

Positive Reports
Member may stifle resentment about having a "boss."

Positive Reports while in the group

Negative and/or Positive Reports when out

Concluding Comment
As we have tried to show, this field is not as simple as some accounts portray it to be. That is why research and dialogue are important—as means to increase understanding and as means to increase one's effectiveness in helping or educating others. The sessions and informal as well as formal discussions in this conference provide a broad range of subjects and perspectives that should contribute significantly towards a deeper understanding of this field.

Recent Developments: Highlights
Cultic Studies Review—Articles (Vol. 5, 2006)
Burke, John. Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders and Induction of Dependent Personality Disorder in Cult Members (5.3)

Dole, Arthur A. Are Terrorists Cultists? (5.2)

Goldberg, Lorna. Raised in Cultic Groups: The Impact on the Development of Certain Aspects of Character (5.1)

Gomez, Jaime. Terrorist Motivations, Extreme Violence, and the Pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) (5.2)

Langone, Michael D. Responding to Jihadism: A Cultic Studies Perspective (5.2)

Micewski, Edwin R. Terror and Terrorism: A History of Ideas and Philosophical-Ethical Reflections (5.2)

Mutch, Stephen. Cultism, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (5.2)

Raine, Susan. The Children of God/The Family: A Discussion of Recent Research (1998–2005) (5.1)

Shaffer, John, & Navarro, Joe. The Seven-Stage Hate Model: The Psychopathology of Hate Groups (5.1)

Thiessen, Elmer J. The Problems and Possibilities of Defining Precise Criteria to Distinguish Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizing/Evangelism (5.3)

Tourish, Dennis, & Vatcha, Naheed. Charismatic Leadership and Corporate Cultism at Enron: the Elimination of Dissent, the Promotion of Conformity, and Organizational Collapse (5.1)

Whitsett, Doni. The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (5.3)

Cultic Studies Review—Book Reviews (Vol. 5, 2006)

Eichel, Steve K. D. Help At Any Cost (by Maia Szalavitz) (No. 1)

Robbins, Thomas. All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India (by Rachel Manija Brown) (No. 1)

Shaw, Daniel. Madness and Evil—A Review of The Sullivanian Institute/Fourth Wall Community: The Relationship of Radical Individualism and Authoritarianism (by Amy B. Siskind) (No. 2)

Stahelski, Anthony. Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (by Jessica Sterns) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. Imaginary Friends (by Alison Lurie) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. ocCULT: They Didn't Think It Could Happen in Their Church (June Summers) (No. 2)

Szimhart, Joseph. Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church (by John L. Allen, Jr.) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. Theosophy and Culture: Nicholas Roerich (by Anita Stasulane) (No. 1)

Whitsett, Doni. Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (by Janja Lalich & Madeleine Tobias) (No. 1)

ICSA e-Newsletter—Articles (2006)

de Cordes, Henri. Preventing Cultic/Sectarian Deviations in Europe: Policies That Differ (No. 1)

de Cordes, Henri. Preventing Cultic Deviations in Europe: Reply to Singelenberg’s Comment (No. 1)

Kropveld, Michael, & Langone, Michael. “Lost Love” in the Controversy Surrounding “Big Love” (No. 2)

Langone, Michael D. Editor’s Comment on “Opus Dei Over Time” (No. 2)

Langone, Michael D. Psychological Abuse: Theoretical and Measurement Issues (No. 1)

Langone, Michael D. Reflections on the Legion of Christ: 2003-2006 (No. 2)

Lennon, J. Paul. Aspects of Concern Regarding Legion of Christ Mind Control Reflected in Its Rules, Norms, and Ex-Member Testimonies (No. 2)

Moncada, Alberto. Opus Dei Over Time (No. 2)

Muster, Nori J. Myth and Themes of Ex-Membership (No. 1)

Petukhov, Vladimir. The Cult Movement and Religious Situation in Ukraine (No. 1)

Singelenberg, Richard. Divergent European Cult Policies: A Reply to Henri de Cordes (No. 1)

2006 Annual Conference
The 2006 ICSA Annual Conference took place in Denver, Colorado from June 22 to June 24. The Conference Handbook containing abstracts and speaker bios is here: infoserv_conferences/2006Denver/2006_conference_handbook.htm

A highlight of the 2006 conference was the “Phoenix Project: Ex-Member Art and Literary Works,” organized by Diana Pletts. The Phoenix Project provides a place for ex-cult members to present their cult and recovery related artwork in a variety of artistic media and genres. The 2006 Arts Exhibit shed light on the experience of life in a high-demand organization, and its effects on individuals. It also provided an empowering experience for participating artists, giving them an opportunity to tell their own stories in their own ways. This year’s presentation will include both a new collection of artwork by former members, and a separate slideshow of the 2006 works, along with biographical information and artistic statements by the original presenters.

Ex-Member Workshops
Once again ICSA conducted its July “After the Cult” workshop for former group members high in the Rocky Mountains at the St. Malo Conference Center in Estes Park, Colorado.

In April of 2006 (and again in April of 2007) ICSA conducted a workshop for SGAs (Second-Generation Adults – people born or raised in cultic groups) at the Trinity Conference Center in the Berkshire Hills of Connecticut.

Info-Cult Book
The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function, an updated English translation of the French book, Le phénomène des sectes.

Expansion of Info-Cult Documentation Center
Info-Cult has continued to expand its documentation center, which houses more then 3,000 books, 1200 programs on video cassettes, newsletters, journals, legal decisions, and government reports from around the world.

Info-Cult has also expanded the legal and governmental document sections of its website.

Langone, Michael D. (2001). Cults, psychological manipulation, and society: International perspectives – an overview. Cultic Studies Journal, 18, 1-12.

Langone, Michael D. The Definitional Ambiguity of “Cult” and ICSA’s Mission.

Rosedale, Herbert L. & Langone, Michael D. On Using the Term "Cult."

Monday, October 6, 2008


Dr. Jose Barba [Maciel's accuser], Jason Berry [director], Paul Lennon [supporter], Jose de Cordoba [Walls Street Journal]

Dr. Barba interviewed by reporters after screening Sat 29th September at Cinemax Plaza Insurgentes, Mexico City.

Paul and fiance, Jose Barba standing, Saul Barrales, another accuser of Maciel

VOWS OF SILENCE, the documentary for TV, based on the Berry-Renner books of the same name won first prize at Mexico City's International Documentary Festival held during the last week of September this year.

There were several screenings of the documentary directed by Jason Berry. The main theme was the struggle of Maciel's sexual abuse victims to get the attention of the Vatican and the pope. The saga concluded in May of 2007 when the Vatican finally silenced Maciel but for the victims and those with a sense of justice and juridical procedure it was too little too late; but whatever was gained was due to the perseverance of the victims and of men like Berry with a strong sense of what is right and wrong and who are willing to swim up-river

Friday, August 15, 2008

Memoir, Me and [Fr.] Maciel, Founder Legion of Christ





I want to thank everyone for their generous praise and encouragement re the book. Some of the feedback prompted me to write the following tonight:

I wanted the story to be readable, straightforward to some degreee, but to have different themes and facets: me, vocation, Legion, its training system and methodology, the superiors' inadequacy, Maciel, Ireland, Mexico, conflict, suffering, recovery... Although the story is my story and written for myself and my own wellbeing/catharsis , some of its importance comes from Paul being one of the very first Irish-born cofounding legionaries, of being a contemporary of the founder, of interacting with him and finding him to be an absolute scoundrel. I believe that the critique of Maciel must go way beyond his pedophilia to his total sickness as a human being and his lack of moral, ethical, spiritual and religious values; and, of course, to his being the creator of one very sick and destructive 'formation' system and an order equivalent to a cult within the confines of the official Catholic Church.


THE COVER: Fr. Maciel and me

portrays me as a very young seminarian receiving a 'holy picture' from Fr. Marcial Maciel [deceased Jan 2008] in the Novitiate in Salamanca, Spain, circa 1962. He was the founder of this new [1941] Mexican religious order and I was one of the first Irish recruits. It turns out that -unbeknown to me during my Legion tenure- Fr M was also a rampant pedophile. What I did personally experience was his Narcissism and despotism as a superior/leader/ guru. I found him totally lacking in human compassion and therefore could never buy into him being a "saint" no matter how much the whole atmosphere fed into this. So i tell my story against that backdrop and centering the book on my critique of this organization as a cult. The latter paradigm I owe to Michael Langone and others at ICSA; it helped me to understand my overall experience in the group -big picture and context.

TITLE: "Our Father who art in bed"

Fr Maciel had himself called "Our Father" by the members and followers -although in Spanish it does not have the same blasphemous connotation it has for English speaking Christians, being as it is the first phrase of The Lord's Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven...; it is, nevertheless, a lofty name to give oneself -in this he is guru-like-. Besides being a pedophile, Maciel was was a hypochondriac and did spend a lot of time "ill" and in bed where he had to be tended to hand and foot -mixing my metaphors? So he was not a father in heaven, or a loving father as fathers should be -and as my own father was!- but a selfish, loathsome and abusive father who does not deserve the name of such.

See YouTube**

Monday, July 28, 2008

Arturo and me in San Miguel

Yours truly took a little trip down Mexico way at the end of July, 2008.
One of the friends I spent 'quality time' with was Arturo Jurado [on the left of the photo], an early Legionary of Christ who filed charges against the founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, which eventually led to the Vatican 'silencing' this sexually abusing charlatan.
Arturo is as good-natured as they come and I was pleased to spend time with him in San Miguel de Allende where he is now retired and involved in volunteer activities to benefit the local populace.

PS we are sitting in the main square, Plaza de la Conspiracion, -we continue to conspire and plot against that holy man and his holy -and rich!- followers!

Gracias, Arturo, for your hospitality and company!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mormon-like Pure Fashion from Regnum Christi

"Accordingly, the clothing guidelines for the fashion shows are strict: Shirt necklines should be no lower than four fingers below the collarbone, no thin or sheer material, no strappy backs or halters, and no tank tops without overlaid shirt or jacket; pants should not be too tight, and the appropriate length for shorts is determined by putting arms straight at the side and measuring no higher than your longest finger; skirts should be no shorter than four fingers above the kneecap; and no exposed bra straps."

Reading the PURE FASHION RULES for this new generation of Chaste Catholic Virgins reminds one of the ritual purity rules of the Book of Leviticus and Christ's remonstration with the Pharisees in Matthew 23;
the writers of FASHION RULES must never have read the Letters of St Paul either, as these celebrate the Christian's freedom from the nit-picking Old Law...


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cults in our (Catholic) Midst

Oh, yes, those poor misguided cults out there! All those New Age Cults and those strange "Oriental" and Indian cults! But that could never happen to us Catholics because we have the true faith and the right doctrine, and we are with the Pope and approved by Rome!

But, what about the Opus Dei and its METHODS, and the LEGION OF CHRIST and its REGNUM CHRISTI MOVEMENT?

And Love Holy Trinity Mission?, another doctrinally Orthodox Catholic group **

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

International Cultic Studies Conference in Philadelphia, end June, 2008

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The FLDS temple at the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, Texas

Formation 1930
Purpose/focus Church
Headquarters Hildale, Utah
Membership 10,000

JUST got back from the Conference on Cults here

Catholics think they are free of these because of Catholic groups' doctrinal orthodoxy; they forget a cult is a cult because of its METHODS: how it RECRUITS, RETAINS AND RELEASES -OR NOT!- MEMBERS; it is characterized by CHARISMATIC LEADER weilding limitless power over the members and absorbing more and more of their energies, devotion, love and life.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What the Bishop of Baltimore really wanted to say to the Legion of Christ & John Allen needles them

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.
All your reindeer armies, are all going home.
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor.
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Allen rubs it in ***

"Three Things to Understand about the Legion of Christ"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (Paperback)
by Janja Lalich (Author) "If you are a former cult member and want to come to terms with your experience, it is important to understand what a cult is..." (more)

Paul say: some relationships with individuals or groups are toxic, so this book may be applicable to your case.

Parents and Friends of those in such a relationship/group can learn a lot from this "cult" expert.

In the case of parents of LC or RC children the concept can pull a lot of pieces together and help make sense of the nonsensical parts.
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The Serenity Prayer

Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change about my "ex", my boss, my work environment, my spouse, my kids, the Catholic Church, [my experience with the Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi]...

AA and Recovering from a Bad Relationship, a Cult, the Legion of Christ or Regnum Christ

adapting the AA Preamble

“We [REGAIN] are a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from... a bad relationship, unhealthy work environmente, a high control group, [the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi]... The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop involvement and take back your life. Our group [REGAIN] is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay healthy and help others to achieve recovery."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Archbishop is on the side of Legion of Christ critics

There’s a lack of transparency, as I’ve called it. I’ve met some extraordinarily fine members of Regnum Christi. They’ll talk about what had happened before they met Regnum Christi. Every priest they went to, they got a different story about what the church taught, and then finally they got it [from the Legionaries]. What they’re hearing usually is right. But it’s the tactics that get you. The question is, will some of these very good people be disenchanted someday? For that matter, should they be disenchanted now? Do they know all the facts? I don’t know. I’m not in there to break up Regnum Christi, I’m in there just to see that Regnum Christi is as accountable as every other group should be to the ordinary of the diocese.

The Archbishop of Baltimore in a letter to the superior general of the Legion of Christ Religious Order and its Regnum Christi lay Movement has ordered them to be more transparent re their activities in the diocese and to report to him like all the other groups operating under his authority.***

This letter, together with a scathing interview with National Catholic Reporter, John Allen, confirms what REGAIN and other groups have been saying for some time: the Legion and Regnum have been operating under the radar in parishes and diocese. Under the flag of ignorance and "we are Orthodox and friends of the pope" they have been winning over the richest benefactors and skimming off the cream of the vocation crop. Pope Benedict, who censored the controversial pedophile founder, Mexican Maciel Maciel in 2006, is wise to them and now American bishops are waking up and getting the message

Friday, June 6, 2008

One of the Bachs

This is Bach music though not exactly the piece I was looking for ***

A little bit of Music and Lightheartedness

Anonymous suggested that I may have been listening to the following piece of music the day I had my musical revelation:

and s/he was very close

Psych 101: Have you noticed how Narcissists take themselves too seriously, cannot laugh at their own foibles, and will not allow themselves to made fun of?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Music Soothes the Savage बरे

Music Soothes the Savage Breast

It’s been a long day at the office
I have tried to help a family see there is a better way to live than to be constantly fighting and blowing up and giving each other the silent treatment…after over an hour I am becoming resigned to the fact that Dad is not going to get beyond “He has to respect me and if he doesn’t I will make him!” and the teenager's ‘They don’t understand!’

As I get in the car and pull out of the garage at almost 9pm I am tired. The classical radio station has some flute music and I begin to be captivated by it. I am with the music, in the music; thinking is that James G. or Jean-Pierre R.? It’s a concerto of some kind and I am enjoying it already; I am enthralled, casting off my shoulders hours of work and weariness. It’s rapturous…and it takes me all the way home. As I reach home it finishes and the announcer says “Flute Concerto by Bach in E flat”… It wasn’t my favorite flutists but that one was good too…

As I drive I acknowledge I received my introduction to classical music in the Legion of Christ. It was on Sunday mornings in Rome, the instructor was a priest ‘from outside’ doing his doctorate at Santa Cecilia…a Spanish fellow called Pablo Colina, great teacher…Yes, Thank you to the Legion. But let’s not get carried away. The Legion did not give me the innate sensitivity; that was there in me, already, in the son of the blue-collar printer’s assistant, in the heart that was sensitive from suffering and by the same token so capable of wonderful healing. Some of my detractors call me bitter and angry. If you only knew! You poor ignorant souls! It’s not anger; its sadness, hurt, disappointment. And hurt can be healed.

While we have life, there is so much healing in God’s wonderful world. Because, in retrospect, one can experience the Goodness of God –that is the Grace!—despite the stupidity of human malice and cruelty, despite evildoers supposed to be His ministers. And one can relate to the words of the Psalm which tells us that He was always there, even in that nightmare, at the moment of abuse that was utter hell to the victim, God was somehow there, or at least wanted to be there, despite that devilish act…And you experience the truth: It is better to fall into the hands of God than the hands of the enemy; because even when God wounds He then heals the wound.

And thank you JS Bach; James and Jean-Pierre, merry flutists, good night.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reflections on the Legion of Christ: 2003-2006 by Michael Langone, Ph.D.

"It appears to me that the abuse allegations leveled against the Legion fall into three categories:

1. sexual abuse [charges against the founder]

2. psychologically abusive manipulation of prospects, recruits, and members

3. Psychological, social, and economic manipulation of organizations and leaders in organizations (e.g., to take over schools; to protect the Legion's reputation)"

Comments by a very competent and measured man who is the executive director of a very prestigious organization and who does not lightly mention the Legion of Christ in the context of cult-like organizations.

The rest of the article can be found here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Journey

Would have been from birth in Dublin in the 40s until my recruitment into the fledling Mexican religious order Legion of Christ on July 1, 1961 at the age of 17

This first journey, growing up in Dublin, will be described -together with the second journey - in my soon to be released Memoir, Our Father who art in...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Second Journey

The Second Journey
by O'Collins, Gerald, a book
given to me by Dec in December 1984 helped me through the crisis of leaving Fr. Maciel and the Legion of Christ, leaving that second -oppressive- womb, and transitioning out of my prolonged youth into manhood. It was a bumpy trip. But no regrets. I did it my way!

My Third Journey

The Third Journey would be from my arrival in Washington DC in February 1985 to the present moment: recovery, wellness, building a new life, a new career, biting off more than I can chew, eating and digesting it somehow.

Reaching a certain plateau of wellbeing. Emotionally and spiritually better than ever before, and with the Grace of Life and Health. At that stage where I don't need to prove anything to myself or others. I already slew the dragon.

Pretty Amazing Grace sung by Neil Diamond here

Where will the Fourth Journey take me/us?