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Another, I think that this IS the only place to vent about LC/RC when one has the urge. Thank goodness! Who else could even begin to understand the craziness of it all but others who have gone through the same experiences. I strongly doubt that most ex-members vent all day every day. Perhaps you are drawing the conclusion that those who vent here are simply bitter, angry and resentful on a full time basis. I would wager bets that most people have a rich life outside of this blog and have moved on returning mostly to keep up on current events and share in the misery for a moment or two. It's good therapy. You will get there with time.

Another-ex: we are at the same place. I think that too much of anything is bad, yes, even religion. Leading a balanced life and letting go of the negatives in my past have helped me tremendously. I've also realized that everyone has problems in their lives, some worse than mine! I have learned, thanks to real friends, that life is good, but only I can make things better. Although my RC experience was a setback, I, like you, had some good memories too. Take only the good and forget the negatives by finding positive things to do. One positive event (eg. volunteering in a VA hospital or taking a class) could lead to another positive action. If you'd like to discuss more, Giselle can give you my email address. I'd be happy to help a fellow ex-member!

It has been a long journey. Just realizing what it was we were in and accepting the whole gamut of good and bad is a process which takes time.

Even though I totally agree that the LC was set up as a front for Marcial, I don't believe that it was a waste of my life. I met some good people, went to places I never would have been, and learned languages I never would have. On the other hand, I have had to learn in humility that my relationship with God needed to be restructured, my concept of vocation was screwed up, and friendship is an invaluable gift.

Give yourself time, God does. Revisit the basics of your faith as if it was the first time you considered them. God is God - he fashioned our universe from nothing, and can also mold a beautiful life out from a murky history.

Is there any way we can set up some support system for guys who are getting out? This past year I found jobs for two ex-lcs in different parts of the US. Please feel fee to contact the administrator of this blog for my email. We are your brothers out here, hang in there!

The people on this site have been a tremendous source of healing of healing for me. I also didn't start truly healing and moving on until I was able to talk to my Pastor, who was not fully aware of the scandal. He listened and was very pastoral in his response. He prayed a prayer of deliverance and healing over me and I felt at peace. I still have triggers, and it has taken me a long time to be able to pray some prayers again, but healing takes time. Don't rush yourself. You are not a victim just because you still need to heal. Anytime I feel myself starting to get overwhelmed with anger about LC/RC and the injustice I tell myself I can't let the feelings control me or they win. I will not let them win.

I think part of the pain ex-members suffer (at least for me) is the feeling of not committing to something. When I first joined, I felt like at last, I met some people who have a purpose in life, but the more I learned about them and their methodologies, the more I realized how cultish they were. We should be glad we're out and glad we had the smarts to say NO. No more indoctrination, no more abuse. What we have in common is human decency. We are all honest. While in the movement, I witnessed people hurting each other based on allegiance. In the real world, it's ok to inquire without becoming a target and sent to the inquisition. What a group of insecure weenie men. It takes a real man to leave the Legion, not a suck up.

And don't ever doubt yourself! Never doubt your instincts. They're usually correct. It is possible that because they had so many immoral and unGodly acts, that Jesus is teaching his apostles a lesson in humility. They need to relearn their faith, but above all, learn what it means to love and be kind. Efficiency doesn't cut it, unless you're a business.

I have agonized daily for years because some of the shepherds of the Holy Church that is such an important part of my life encouraging the sheep such as my daughter and her "consecrated" companions to believe that the ravenous wolves are like their loving mother and encouraging more sheep to trust these wolves who are using them for their own purposes.

What works best for me is to focus on the Shepherd (with a capital "S") and the gift of salvation that He offers. The bad shepherds of His Church will have to account for themselves eventually.

Don't be continually seduced by the "good parts" is what I'd add. The "good parts" were precisely those used by the Legion to reel you in. They were recognized and targeted. The Legion had (or has) been good at recognizing that people's strengths ARE their weaknesses. So, don't beat yourself up over being stolen from when what was stolen was precisely the gifts you offered freely to Christ. That's what the Legion looked for, that's what you offered, that's what they took. Your "good times" were suffered (by the Legion) in an effort to entice you to commit more deeply--in an attempt to steal even more. Don't rationalize that crime. Come to grips with your weakness in recognizing that the Legion preys upon that most basic of human weaknesses: vanity. Let that go and don't credit the Legion with "giving" you anything. It didn't give anything. It took what it took (which is not everything). What you gave, you gave in good conscience--mostly freely. But in giving credit to the Devil you validate him in a way that he craves. Resist.

Thanks for all the ideas and advice. Some of it I've already been putting into practice.
When I first left, I was determined to not be resentful the the wrongs I suffered, but with time the gravity of it all just sank deeper in. I think now it is a matter of trying to regain that earlier attitude, but with more awareness of the evil.
Then again as No Longer Brainwashed pointed out, plenty of people suffer worse things. Just paying attention to what my siblings go through with their marriages helps keep things in perspective. If on my deathbed I can look back and say the worst thing I ever suffered was the Legion, I will have lived a lucky, lucky life.
@ Melissa: I've always had the impression that the situation of the 3GFs was worse than ours. Thanks for the advice and keep up what your are doing.
@ Dilbert: I still believe in the last judgement. Some injustices only God can make right.
@ Gregorbo: Thanks for the observation that the years and effort I gave were given to Christ, not the Legion which abused them.

Another-ex LC: I have been meeting such genuinely lovely people in my everyday walks of life. They are kind and vibrant and they are people who really care. They are authentic. They aren't looking for connections or money. Seek those who share commonalities with you. They will be your friends for life. Above all, believe in yourself and be kind to yourself. I was a bit cynical for awhile, but realized that the Legion is just a small and unknown entity in reality. We forget that they really don't matter much. Just forget them and remember life before the Legion. Do the things that you enjoy the most and be open to meeting new people through clubs and other organizations. I am finally coming out of my comfort zone and living the way I used to, with joy. I wish you all the goodness that you deserve. I'm sure you have tremendous gifts.

Through these blogs, I am just now finding out about the LC/RC. I am aghast and appalled at the same time. Incredible! I am only recently, about six years, returned to my Catholic faith. It has been a good journey. What I have learned is that the priests are mere men. Those that espouse more conservative concepts of Catholic traditions...those men in skirts...seem to be the most fraught with human frailty...vanity, greed and hubris. All apparent characteristics of Founder Marcial Maciel. I see some of those same characteristics in our diocesan priests and in our bishop. Scary. However, I recognize their frailties and would never look to them for spiritual direction. Some of our priests live faith-filled lives and make no pretense about their weaknesses. I appreciate them and would turn to them for spiritual guidance first.

I am so confused right now. My faith is growing stronger, but I am becoming more and more suspicious of the church. I have believed for many years that Macial was a sick man who founded an order which glorified him. I thought this to be the embodiment of evil....something separate from the church.
Tonight I watched the documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" and I feel sick and sad. I don't know what to believe.....I know priests are human, but this level of deception and the quest for power and control is disgusting. The lies and the silence in the hierarchy of our church while the weakest souls were being preyed upon?
I love my parish and my community. I love the mysteries of our faith. However, I am feeling so lost and sad when it comes to our church.

It is disheartening to discover that the Church we love is filled with criminals and perverts and some of them are our leaders. But they are also not God. Jesus is our example, not the men in skirts or white collars. Look to Him when you question the Church. Prayers for you.

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