To be aired this weekend in Ireland. Will post whole show link when available.
FWIW, I was deeply impressed with the integrity and sincerity of Mick Peelo (and his assistant, Birthe) who asked the difficult questions about how this entity could flourish in the Church in which he was raised. I hope the discussion over the cultishness of the Legion will be included in the show, because it's still the "elephant in the living room" that will not be discussed.
To clarify, the word "cult" is at the root of both cultivate and culture -- two very good things. The perniciousness of a cult within the legitimate cult of Catholicism (yes, "cult" is a healthy word in that sense: the cult of saints, the cult of Mary, etc.) is likened to a poisonous plant that attaches itself to a good plant: think kudzu in the American south.
Kudzu's environmental and ecological damage results from acting through "interference competition", meaning it out-competes other species for a resource. Kudzu competes with native flora for light, and acts to block their access to this vital resource by growing over them and shading them with their leaves. Plants may then die as a result, from being suffocated.
Don't let people throw your argument off-track because of the various uses of the word. We're speaking of the diagnostic manual's definition of high demand groups, which use psychological manipulation to draw and retain members. God willing, the RTE piece will touch on this dimension.
More details here.
UPDATE: Show link here (this is now on youtube with no expiration date)
UPDATE II: From the link provided in the combox, we find these 2011 words by Fr Kearns:
I felt no need to know all the details [about the congregation] beforehand, much less to review them and see if I agreed with them. I trusted the thing, the core, and I trusted the people, because I trusted the Lord and his calling me to them. I trusted the Legion and I trusted the Legionaries with a total, absolute trust, with no conditions or limitations. It never occurred to me to have one trust for Christ and a different, more cautious, less naïve and less total trust for the Legion and the Legionaries. The way I looked at it was: I’m giving my life to these people. Whatever they’re going to do with me is going to be fine with me.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
Jesus called me. I cannot doubt that. He was more powerful and I had to yield.
He called me to trust him, to let him dictate my future and its circumstance.
He called me to reserve myself for him. No doubt there.
He called me to priesthood. No doubt there.
He called me to the Legion of Christ. No doubt there...
THE CALL IS ETERNAL AND THEREFORE NOW
Since the call is from the Risen Christ, it is therefore a call from his eternity. We know that eternity has no beginning and no end, and so it’s often described as stretching back into an endless past and forward into an endless future. If the material universe were eternal, that’s the kind of eternity it would have. God’s eternity is the opposite of that: It’s like past and future are so collapsed and compressed and intensified into an endless now that there is no past and no future, only now...
I loved and trusted the people I met from the Legion, but it wasn’t just those particular individuals I was drawn to. I knew I would trust and love whoever was in the Legion, because we would be the people the Lord had drawn to this great enterprise, and so their heart and mind and spirit would have been formed, as mine had been, to undertake together such a glorious thing.
This is exactly the part of the methodology that was so confusing to recruits: you are here at this retreat; therefore God saw you from all eternity as a Legionary. To walk away (or question our authority) is to question God's providence -- and to reject his will for your life.
This is utter nonsense. I understand religious obedience and the need to submit one's will, but it is exactly this blind refusal to think, to process, to question, or to legitimately discern that is so deadly to the vocational process. Moreover, the conflation of Legion and Church (and superior with Christ) is precisely the problem that brought us to this point: 60 years of mistaken trust, and unquestioning support for a group that waved the papal flag.
Wrong and bad, still.
UPDATE III: Just a word about the last word. Obviously I didn't know they'd use that little clip as the final thought, and I'd like to elaborate the tiniest bit. As it stands, I said, "That's not how the Holy Spirit works."
To be clear, I understand that we're all sinners and that God uses us in our fallen state to be channels of grace. Think about the specifics of MM, though. It's not just that he was a inpenitent sinner, or a paederast, or a womaniser, or a liar, or a scammer, or a charlatan, or a cult leader. Think of Juan Vaca's story in which he reminds us that MM absolved him after participating in that grave sin, just before saying Holy Mass. That is not only sacrilege, but the abuse of the sacrament in that way makes him ipso facto excommunicated. He may have been an excommunicate most of his priestly life.
Thus, if I could amplify my closing comment, I would add: "The Holy Spirit doesn't use excommunicated members of the Church to build her Religious congregations." Is that clearer?