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Glenn, that is perfect. You are exactly right. I spent no time in the Legion or RC, but did grow up with a father somewhat like the Opus Dei traitor Robert Hansen, so I recognized Maciel immediately. After 2 hours in an introductory RC meeting, I turned to a friend and said, "This man is a con artist sex abuser with a personality cult and a pyramid scheme." That was around 1990. I especially like the way you nailed the way Maciel uses Catholicism. I do think, however, that he could not have hoodwinked the hierarchy if they hadn't been more interested in money and numbers (and their own proclivities, in some cases, perhaps) than in following their own rules.

I want to add that the use of Catholic doctrine as a cover, combined with the insistence for a long time on early vocations, means that the faith and the method and the personality all become entwined in the victims'natural development, which then means that it is difficult for people to break away without losing their faith. Then, of course, Legion defenders can and will point to their critics as people who have no faith or who hate the Church or whatever. It happens also that victims of sex abuse can develop emotional problems and sexual identity problems. Then, of course, the perpetrators can point to the victims and say, "That person is emotionally ill (or homosexual, or a prostitute, or whatever) and should not be believed. It is such the perfect scam when you can discredit your victim in the process, so that testimony against you is less credible. That is why many good Catholics just don't want to believe the charges of sex abuse or financial crime against Maciel or any other priest or bishop.

Good points, Mary Ann. I think that family members must keep this in mind as people try to extricate themselves (or others) from this toxic group. If it means burning one's personal faith down to stubble, then that may be necessary and there should be no horror from onlookers. The healing comes in stages, and if one can never bring himself to darken the doorstep of a church again, I think that God will understand. Indeed, that's what constitutes a scandal.

Much pray is needed, still.

Very well written and succinctly said. When I left rc 4 1/2 years ago, God gave me the insight, after much soul-searching and getting the "straight goods" from individuals who had a deep personal experience of what the legion and rc were really about, was that good was used by evil for its own purposes. In other words, as you have described, we were conned by the best.

I have family and friends still in...my prayers are with them all.

What are the characteristics of a con man or a con? If there was no spiritual motivation for the Legion, what was the motive? (I have always wondered that).
Were Maciel or the Superiors living lavishly? Is it just for power and control?
Could Glenn or someone tell us, if when in LC or RC, did it seem as if the spiritual life was just an aside or did they really try to give a good "spiritual formation"?

It really does not have to do with Maciel's sexual proclivities, but more to do with the deceit that he employed to promote his image of holiness. He was the master of disguise according to top Legion officials.
I remember being a team leader in RC and everyone being so downhearted because the members could not drum up an ounce of affection for MM or his writings. I would have to speak "enthusiastically" about "cultivating" a filial love for our founder. I even told them to pray for this. I had to work with women that were repulsed by his writings. It was a difficult job for a person that had literally convinced myslef that he was saintly, despite my own revulsion. Whenever the religious were around we all listened to their legendary stories with hands clasped and heads tilted in rapt attention. I am sorry, but no matter how duped people are there is a betrayel of ones own conscience and a self-deceit that accompanies an LC/RC vocation. Dread!

Catherine, you make such a good point. People are always asking, "so what ARE the good fruits?" and somehow an answer never comes. When I was in I always tried to be as holy as the ones who seemed so holy and in love with the movement and in awe of MM. It's such a strange feeling now to think that maybe they're faking it, too.

To all my grass root supporters,

Do you believe this! Just because I molested a few kids, conned 5 popes and didn't tell the truth a few times, people are condemning me like I am Judas. Oh how weak people become when they are challenged. I just hope this doesn't prolong my beatification, I mean come on people its not like I didn't do enough good to not be a saint!!! One time when I was going to the airport both my Mercedes and Audi were in the shop being repaired. I had to ride in a Fiat! A fifteen minute ride to the airport in a Fiat with no air conditioning. What if Carlos Slim woulda seen me in a Fiat! Oh the Lord is good, he protected my image. between the fact I was riding in a Fiat and sweating so much from lack of AC I bet I freed 300 souls from purgatory that day. How many of you people can say that!! But no... your just like the liberal media, you only see the negatives of my life. So I embezzled money, big deal! I got that money from some rich yuppy anyway. I did him a favor by taking 5million dollars off his hands. That 5 million would have put him in hell. we all no Christ said man cannot serve two masters. But of course people only see me as a child molester. We all know I am a saint I heard so many people say oh that Maciel he's such a saint.. please please everyone your making me blush.. but then again for some odd reason I like to hear people toot my horn.. wow maybe I do have physiological problems... where the hells my morphine when I need it?!?! Oh yeh I kicked that addiction back in the 60's.. that darn Pius XII was onto me. He even had the nerve to kick me out of the Church for a few years! It can't be hey maciel thanks for putting Mexico back on the map or hey Maciel thanks for fleeing to the USA when times got tough so you could start such a great movement for the Church. Of course not he only saw me as a tripped out morph addict standing in the middle of St. Peters square claiming to be Elvis. I hope God judged him accordingly. And whats the deal with my mother why isn't she beatified yet!! Come on Pope Benny, I thought you were my friend. Geez whats a saint gotta do to get people to like him these days. Saint Francis had it easy!! If he only new all the suffering I have to go through.

well I will need to cut this letter short, my limo just pulled up I got a big meeting tonight with Carlos Slim... This Limo better have air conditioning. I get moody when I'm hot. Thank God I have all these peons to take my misery out on. Just like the one time a mistress of mine in Argentina wouldn't sleep with me anymore.. Oh I was mad, so mad I had one of the Novices clean up donkey droppings in front of my house in Cotija. I simply told him it was God's will and the poor SOB was on his hands and knees with a toothbrush cleaning donkey crap from between each brick. Oh the superiors told me all about it, I just wish I could have been there to laugh! But of course I wouldn't laugh at him I'd laugh with him. You know my Legionaries always smile. Those cute little boys there all just so happy doing God's will, it drives me wild!!. I did the kid a favor I let him make a sacrifice for Christ. Me being the initiator of the sacrifice gets me double the grace of the one doing task. Wow sometimes its tough being a living Saint all these graces I am receiving from my little upstarts doing all the work really makes me feel great. Maybe that's why my darn sex drive is so outta control. I just wish I knew my sexuality. That's why I keep my peon girls and boys separated. I know I can't keep it in my pants and I'm a living saint!! How is some average Joe from Kentucky not going to try and hook up with every girl he see's. So once again I am just doing my people a favor by separating the sexes... Damn, sometimes I hate being so smart. Well I must leave you know I got one of my mistresses here now complaining about child support and I need to jump in the limo to Go meet Mr Slim. Wow I am really suffering right now. This lady wants ten thousand dollars! I hope Slim will reimburse me! Remember, just because I am an oversexed pimp with my mind on my money and my money on my mind doesnt give you any reason to criticize me. If 5 popes supported me, all you no names better be bowing to me!

God Bless,

Saint MM, LC

PS: I live off donations so don't get stingy with God. Not giving a saint money is like 5 lashes added to Christ suffering.

I always wondered what the charism of the Legion was, that is besides recruiting people for LC or RC. Back when I was in the seminary, I would receive all of these things from the Legion begging me, a diocesan seminarian on a stipend of $300 a month for money.

The appeals publications all talked about forming priests for the church. But there was little about what they actually DO!

Yes, Maciel was a fraud and a con man, and it's sad that he fooled so many people.

One of the reasons for his success, I think, is that there are so few places for Orthodox, serious Catholics to go. You get happy clappy silly Catholicism in the parishes. Maciel was able to latch on to people who were disaffected with the miserable state of the Catholic Church.

But I think there's another important aspect of the Maciel story, and that's what it says about our reliance on testimony.

Think about it. Fr. Neuhaus believed in Maciel because JPII and other good men believed in him.

What we need to learn from the Maciel story is that such testimony doesn't mean dirt.

More here ...

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddf7ktxn_132cfng5wc4

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