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I certainly hope the powers-that-be are observing how well the Legion continues to demonstrate classical cult behavior.

Well, they've clearly given up on the idea that they have a charism... (maybe because Benedict keeps talking about how a charism is based in the holy life of a founder?)

But yeah....mystique.... the Manicheans had mystique.... guru cults have mystique. Religious orders? Not really.

Of course, I guess (based on the comment below about bowing to the picture of the still living founder) they COULD try to transition into an Eastern-style guru cult......Some of the control mechanisms do seem similar... (I highly reccomend the book 'Cartwheels in a Sari' for an account of growing up in a cult, and eventually breaking free. There is one sex scene though, fyi)

Mystique? Hooked on a feeling? It reminds me of Timothy Leary: "Turn on, tune in, drop out" of reality.

At what point are LC/RC'ers tempting God? The time to exit is now, before the kool-aid comes.

Our Lady will help you. Consecrate yourself to her. Hang onto your Rosary - I mean literally. If you become a slave to the Queen, the old demons can't have you anymore. It is a sure and simple way to freedom and light.

I checked my dictionary--it defines 'mystique' as something incommunicable and secret.

How can a religious order's defining characteristic be something incommunicable? Isn't part of the point of religious orders that they can share their unique gifts with the rest of the church?

One doesn't need to be a Benedictine to understand Benedictine spirituality, or a Franciscan to incorporate aspects of Franciscan teaching into daily life.

And, other than the Carthusians, most religious orders are really upfront about their spirituality and approach--no secrets, just pick up a few books or check out the new web page Sister Vincentia designed!

Are people on the inside realizing how insane the spin is? Or are they just going along with it?

For 'mystique' you could substitute 'elitism' or 'arrogance.'

And thus history continues to repeat itself:

"Mystique" sounds like a marketing brand known sexual predators might want to stay away from.

Sounds like "seduction" or "allure" but with a religious twist.

Care to be known for embracing the "Maciel Mystique" anyone?

I predict it will backfire, big time.

As one who incorporated to RC in Mexico back in the day, I can say that the word "mística" is not new in LC/RC-speak.

There were/are FIVE aspects in the LIFE of an RC member - and which we reviewed weekly at our commitment review in the Encounter with Christ.

These FIVE ASPECTS included, if I remember correctly (please feel free to correct me):

1. INTEGRATION: Life of prayer: morning prayers, meditation, daily mass, sacraments, rosary, etc.)

2. MYSTIFICATION: Attendance to Encounters with Christ, Study Circles, monthly retreat, apostolic dialogue, spiritual direction, etc. IN OTHER WORDS: Participation in all those RC-specific activities where they provide the Kool-Aid.

3. CAPTATION (RECRUITMENT): Identifying, befriending and eventually convincing select leaders (read, wealthy people) to join RC. Following those beloved five steps (in Spanish, for your benefit): "simpatía, amistad, conocimiento, convencimiento, entrega."

4. APOSTOLATE: Personal involvement in a particular apostolate (back then we started many, since there were just a few). Apostolates, by the way, had to have one or both of these goals: raising money and/or recruitment.

5.ECONOMY: Giving your monthly "quota" or donation, and participating/organizing activities to raise funds.

Our lives as RC members revolved around these five points.

So MYSTIQUE is not a new thing. It's been an essential aspect of LC/RC "formation" since its inception. And, yes, it's what makes LC/RC members unique.

But, dear Fr. Evaristo, my friend, LA MÍSTICA comes straight from Marcial Maciel. So please, stop trying to make it sound like it's a brand new thing that has nothing to do with the pseudo-founder. It's got MACIEL written all over it!

Fascinating, mExRC, but you've just dated yourself. By the time I incorporated in the early 1990's, that format had evolved into the AFIRE method: Apostolate, Formation, Integration, Recruitment, and Economy (at least in the US).

While it's possible that it shows a Mexican-US divide, I think it may also show a shift in marketing, since those terms you used never would have flown north of the Rio Grande.

Thus, rather than the appeal of the Legion "charism" being universal and from the Holy Spirit, it was more niche marketing from Madison Avenue. (Good to know, though, that they're only dusting off old playbooks, rather than reinventing themselves. Just more of the same.)

The woman who recruited me in 2004 constantly used the word mystique. I remember because I could never remember the meaning & had to always look it up. It was shameful that I didn't notice that as my first red flag.

The mystique was part of how we were to behave as to attract others to the movement... sucker them in by making them WANT what we had. Sick, sick, sick.

Speaking of mystique, check out the Legion's latest news release:

"Regnum Christi, with more than 70,000 members worldwide, is the lay movement of the Legionaries of Christ."

Um, I'd double check that number, Jim. For too many decades, the Legion has been allowed to toss around its statistics (with remarkably round numbers) unchallenged. At least the AV's might get an accurate head count, if the LC's would just sit still for a minute.

I was in during the last six years and I heard that word thrown around and even asked, what the h*&^ are you talking about, what is mystique. I specifically remember being told that there would be mystique talks at a particular conference.

"Mystique" is the name of a comic book character in the X-Men universe.

Here's a portion of the Wikipedia entry devoted to her:

"Throughout most of her history, Mystique has been a supervillain, founding her own Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and assassinating several important people involved in mutant affairs. Mystique herself is a mutant, a shapeshifter whose natural appearance includes her blue skin and yellow eyes. At one point, she mentioned she is over 100 years old.[4] Mystique is the mother of the villain Graydon Creed, the X-Men hero Nightcrawler,[5] and foster mother of the hero Rogue.[2] She was forced to abandon Nightcrawler, but raised Rogue for a number of years and the two women have mixed feelings towards one another."

Mystique has been in the LC/RC lexicon for years and years now. I think they are emphasizing it now in order to avoid using "charism" anymore. As an LC for 10 years, I was never shown or explained exactly what "mystique/ mistica" really meant. After a while, it seemed to me that it meant all of those aspects about LC/RC that you can't explain in clear writing. It ran along the lines of shrewdness, sagacity, discretion, reserve, circumspection, unity, and apostolic zeal. It's about as clear as that. It basically meant the spirit of the LC/RC.

The term "mystique/mistica" is clearly a Maciel brainchild and is just as linked to his person as the terms "charism" and "founder" are. Maciel coined the LC/RC meaning of "mystique/mistica" just like he coined countless other terms that have a particular meaning within the LC/RC.

(A bit of information, Giselle: I checked into your website about 5 minutes ago and the whole format of your website was altered. The neat design of the red and white on gold was gone, font changed and it read right across the page.
I do not consider myself paranoid but the first thing I thought of was in lieu of the litigation and shutting down, effectively of Regain, was "Oh-oh. THEY are running interference again!).
When I checkd in a few minutes later, everything back to normal.)

Although I was never in RC or the Legion, in my experience with members of RC, beginning at the turn of the century (ha, I love being able to use that turn of phrase), the term "mystique" popped up from time to time.

It seemed to be a by-word for some "something" that one just "couldn't explain" about the Legion and RC--something that you "just had to experience" (by joining, it was always implied).

I found it silly and an obviously (weirdly) rehearsed bit of verbiage that some RC members seemed to think ought to be used when some "trigger" (i.e., negative response) was uttered by someone they were trying to captate.

Because I experinced this more than once, I concluded that RC members are furnished with scripts . . .


TECHNICAL NOTE: What you experience is a common glitch when downloading websites: the so-called style sheet sometimes doesn't download along with the other files. The style sheet is the one that contains all the formatting info.

Thankfully, Fr. Luis Garza and his minions have so far been unable to hack into this website.


When the original 5 aspects of RC life were being translated from Spanish to English, there were two terms that were deemed problematic by Fr. Bannon and fellow translators:

1. CAPTACIÓN. In Spanish, it has the multiple-meaning of "attracting/captivating/recruiting/grasping". The latter of these meanings implies that when a member is properly "mystified", s/he GETS IT; s/he understands and grasps the full meaning of being in LC/RC.

The first term used for a short while (in the 80s) was "CAPTIVATION/CAPTIVATING". But native Americans didn't like it and suggested "RECRUITMENT" instead. Fr. Bannon (then Territorial Director for all the US) didn't love the term "recruitment," but it was eventually adopted because it was universally understood, and it carried no hidden meanings that could raise red flags.

2. MYSTIFICATION. The Spanish term "Mistificación", still used to this day as far as I know, included all the LC/RC activities specific to the Movement. Members would brag about being "mistificados" (mystified), and the most "mystified" would adopt ways of standing, sitting, talking and folding arms emulating those of Fr. Maciel.

When the time came to translate it, Fr. Bannon didn't like "mystification" and "mystique" because it sounded too foreign (and weird, too), so he decided on the seemingly benign term "FORMATION," also widely used in LC/RC. Fr. Bannon wanted some kind of memorable acronym, and that's how AFIRE was born.

To this day, I have many "mystified" friends who "made their own" Maciel's way of talking and folding arms.

I always found it absurd and artificial, but my friends wanted to imitate Maciel on everything!

Of course, these are the people who to this day are in absolute denial of everything, and still consider him a saint martyr for the faith.

By the way, the five points that constitute AFIRE, are called the Five Means of Perseverance.

Thanks for the de-mystification, mExRC. I appreciate it and I think others will as well.

I am mystified as to why any RC member would even consider persevering.

This thing is crumbling like the Warsaw Pact, circa 1988.

YCMTSU (you can't make this s*** up---motto of several friends of mine who work in the ER--They wear the acronym on their fanny packs.) What's that website where you can make your own t-shirt and sell it? I might just have to design a Legionaries of Christ T-shirt with a photo of Maciel and YCMTSU.

cafe press. I'm not sure what the address is--but google "cafe press" and you'll find a place where you can open a free business and design your own stuff. Good luck.

Good ole' "Mystique" pops it's head up again.

Formators conferences that I've attended in past years would have "mystique" talks centering on some aspect of RC - mostly "Nuestro Padre". Here is but a sampling of what I wrote down at some of these, along with the person who gave the conference:

"My vocation is linked with NP. I understand a lot about the founding of the Movement as NP understands it because I am a co-founder. There will be a huge difference betw. me and others who incorporate after the founder dies because I am a co-founder. We are founding the Movement shoulder to shoulder with the founder." (Monica Trevino)

"Know what means we need to achieve the ideal in our life. The "how" of trying to reach the ideal. NP had the ideal of the priest he wanted to produce. The means was to take them to Europe. Impossible to do - but he did it." (Fr. James Larsen)

We are here in the beginning. If you are faithful you will pass on the real charism." (Maricarmen Perochena)

Others will recall the "Jubilee Study Circle" AKA "Mystique (or Mistica) Study Circle" which consisted entirely of questions based on the writings of MM.

So you see, "mystique" was really all about getting into the founder's mind, heart and thinking - seeing the movement the way he wanted to create it and the way he wanted us to live it. It was really all about imitating the founder.

Now I understand that Fr. Evaristo Sada has come up with a DIFFERENT definition, separate from the founder? I wish him luck trying to pass off that one to anyone, including the "docile" and "obedient" membership (or those who are left of it). There are just too many years of equating formation in "mystique" to formation about the founder.

Like the word "integration" - which used to mean "understanding the heart of the founder" but now has to be redefined, according to one RC'er who works for the US territory - they are coming up with a new definition for "mystique".

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