It is a standard view that Legionaries are "victims." They always meant well, their intentions were pure, they meant to build up the Kingdom of Christ, etc. (This goes for members of Regnum Christi as well.) Since Legionaries, though, have a much more intentse means of formation, not to mention the vow of obedience that directs their every action, kindly consider these thoughts from a reader:
@Aaron: "The Legion made us delegate our conscience into the hands of the superior and the fulfillment of norms. Our sense of conscience was removed from us and placed into another authority."
This may be how one experienced it but the this is not actually what happens.
Your conscience is yours to give away- it cannot be taken from you or delegated to another. It can be deformed, or un-informed or ignored but not taken away.
However if we launch into all the nuances of conscience and will, this discussion would never end. And we have as well individual consciences entering with different degrees of maturity into the Legion; then we have the direct influences of the Holy Spirit which is always rained down on both the good and the bad. That means in my opinion that one absolute formula universally applicable cannot be offered, but we can look for trends, especially among those who have left along with those who have stayed.
It is clear in certain cases individual carried out manifest evil acts in the name of authority. I would however speculate that the lion share of manipulation of conscience was carried out by using the principle of authority to HIDE vital matter of conscience on which a moral judgement needed to be made by subjects in question. So in this sense, the superiors did not take away the conscience, they rather prevented it from acting.
Respecting authority, obedience is a normal moral good of a good conscience kept within limits. So the second most common practice was to reduce the principles of action to only one- obedience- to rules 1000s of them and/or superior; rather than discerning the virtue in the moral matter itself- i.e. real poverty, chastity and spirituality for its own sake and desire. This reductionism does not eliminate conscience rather it impoverishes it, and for the ones who enter very young can leave them quite immature when outside the rule machine, and undiscerning when inside of it.
Now my point is two grand erosions have taken place in this time that will make the conscience digest things differently than before:
1) The demystification of opaque authority: I think at the base, most LCs know that some level of authority in a critical and crucial moment of their history grievously lied and withheld critical information... that is there, in their conscience, it will not go away. Just because they have not acted on it, does not mean it is not flammable material. The spark just has to hit the right place. Overtime more matter get in there as well as the years have passed facts have become gradually clearer.
2) The demystification of specialness of charism and place in the Church: Now do you think the LC conscience was never at a boiling point here? The Holy See did, and what was Totus Tuus all about? We now know from DePaolis' own actions and the latest of the Holy See that the whole plan of the 'renewal' was not to truly reform anything but to keep as many as possible from leaving the order. Why was Arrieta and Sabadell put in by the Holy See- as stated by DePaolis: to prevent more from leaving. Apparently the powder keg was there, and it had a fuse, and it was lit.
By overwhelming the LCs with affirmation and authoritative action the fuse was lengthened only, and more powder was put into the Keg. That is what unreconciled deceit does, that is what denial of the genuine ideals of religious life will do-- such that this last bucket of water needed to put out the fuse was simply poured out onto open ground.
The Pope had no picture taken with them... seemingly an insignificant point, but left in the shadows is the most devastating place for any entity with a narcissistic past to be.