Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pullin' yer leg for Christmas [at Clontarf Castle, Dublin]

      Together against the wind at Clontarf Castle, Dublin, Ireland

Now this auld castle was probably an English castle -it even has the bloody British lions beside the main entrance...But let us not forget that centuries before, in 1014, Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, and his army drove the Vikings out of Ireland at the Battle of Contarf, a stone's throw away. Poor Brian was killed by Vikings [Danes?] fleeing the battle. Dublin "slaggers" have it that he was kneeling down praying the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament when they fell upon him in his tent and dispatched him to the Happy Hunting Ground.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spanish Steps, Trinita dei Monti, Rome, Italy

                                       The Spanish Steps never ceases to please and to enchant the visitor

Friday, November 13, 2009

is the Legion/Regnum Christi in danger of crumbling?

Overlooking the ruins of Imperial Rome

Is the Legion/Regnum - the Empire that Maciel built -  in Danger of Crumbling?

That, my dear Horatio, is the question

Monday, November 2, 2009

At the Pantheon

The House Agrippa built

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Got my big mug in front of the St. Peter's Basilica, with that exotic woman again

Hey, but exiting Legionaries, I just didn't jump into the sack with this lady the day after I left! Or the day before I left!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dr Barba and Aura hid me at the Castel Sant'Angelo on the Tiber

there is always that lingering fear of being sued again by the Legion...when the ferret is cornered it might attack

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Colliseum was an Alexandria City civil court where I was thrown to Legion Lawyers

Every time I pass by that courthouse, there I am, like a Ist Century Christian, passing by the scene of my martydom

[maybe that is a bit melodramatic]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Benvenuto Cellini, Pontevecchio, Florence

[edit] Youth
Benvenuto Cellini was born in Florence, Italy, where his family had been landowners in the Val d'Ambra for three generations. His parents were Giovanni Cellini, a musician and builder of musical instruments, and Maria Lisabetta Granacci. They were married for eighteen years before the birth of their first child. Benvenuto was the second child of the family[1]

Giovanni initially wished Benvenuto to join him in instrument making, and endeavoured to thwart his inclination for metalwork. When he was fifteen, his father reluctantly agreed to apprentice him to a goldsmith, Antonio di Sandro, nicknamed Marcone. At the age of sixteen, Benvenuto had already attracted attention in Florence by taking part in an affray with youthful companions. He escaped punishment by fleeing for six months to Siena, where he worked for a goldsmith named Fracastoro (unrelated to the Veronese polymath). From Siena he moved to Bologna, where he became a more accomplished flute-player and made progress as a goldsmith. After a visit to Pisa and two periods of living in Florence (where he was visited by the sculptor Torrigiano), he moved to Rome, age nineteen[2].


Monday, August 3, 2009

"Disgruntled old men" Enjoying Geneva, Early July 2009, with the International Cultic Studies Association

[Aura and Paul, Jose Barba & friend, aboard cruise on Lake Leman, Sunday, July 5, 2009. Both Jose Barba, a professor at the ITAM in Mexico City, and Paul, a psychotherapist in Virginia, USA, were among those critics labelled "disgruntled & bitter old men" by Legionary spokespersons]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ICSA fellowship Cruise, Geneva, 5 July 2009


[Some ICSA members from Spain, Mexico, US and Guatemala; Arthur Buchman, American in Denmark, with Aura Lennon; Mike Kropfeld, Canada cooordinator, ICSA]

Networking in Geneva, July 4, 2009

Paul & Aura Lennon [Wash DC area], Carmen Almendros, Psychologist and Spain ICSA Coordinator [Madrid], Jose Barba, PhD,[Mexico City], spearheaded Maciel's survivors' complaint against Fr. Maciel lodged at Vatican, 1998-2008

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cultic Studies Conference, Day 3, Geneva

Comenting on Saturday, July 4th,
must say I did not have time to remembers much our national independence, but I suppose I can be excused for devoting my energies to those who have been and are still enslaved and subservient to cults and their leaders.

At dinner with my wife, Aura, Jose Barba -Maciel's accuser, a psychologist friend and her husband, after a long ranging conversation about our Legionary of Christ experience, I was moved almost to tears when remembering my encounter with Felix Alarcon in Galicia, a few years ago. He also had signed the petition requesting the Vatican take action against Fr Maciel for his abuse of seminarians. In a private moment Fr. Felix confided: "If it had not been for Jose Barba asking me about the abuse, that is something I would have carried to the grave!"

So we must always be sensitive and aware of the presence of sexual abuse; with our sensitivity, acceptance, understanding and tact we can free others from their chains

The same skills are needed for dialog with past and present members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi members.


Cultic Studies Conference, Day 2, Geneva

Commenting on Friday July 3rd,
We were joined by more local people, "walk-ins" and session got underway from 9am covering the areas the ICSA considers important in its information, healing, study of cult like groups:
Workshops for exmembers and family members
Exmembers divided into two categories; those not born in cults, and those born in cults, called Second Generation Adults, SGAs
Psychological and sociological studies on High Demand Groups
Therapy with exmembers of both categories
Reviewing last years work and planning for the future.
Next International Conference to be in the NY, USA area

Personally, I was lamenting the absence of one of the most knowledgeable and healing presences in the area of RECOVERY, Carol Giambalvo, who was home taking care of her husband Noel

Another person sadly missed was Paul X, the director of the only residential treatment center in the USA for transitioning former members.

Friday, July 3, 2009

From Geneva avec amour, International Cultic Studies Association Conference

Thurday July 2, 2009 [Pre-Conference Day]

Not that the Genevans[?] would be so effusive; but they are kind and efficient. We arrived without luggage due to a lock down at National Airport on June 30 that delayed our flight out of DCA about 6 hours; the reason given was that there were storm over Newark. We, Aura and I, lost our connections there and they sent us through Madrid; there was made a long trip from terminal A to D or whatever; it seemed like we were going to Santiago...

Once safely in Geneva 8 hours behind schedule, we could not find our bags and went to the complaints office. The lady person behind the desk took painstaking notes and sent us on our way with "Sorry for your trouble; usually the luggage arrives a day later and we deliver it to you." What a relief as we made our way out of the airport to be greeted by Gustavo our Mexican [Jalapa] friend who came to pick us up and bring us to his home and get us installd before taking off for the night shift at WHO. By this time we had been on our feet 24 hours and were feeling jet lagged. That was Wednesday, July 1.

On Thursday we made our way to the Uni-Mail, one of the campuses of the Universite de Geneve, where I was glad to start seening familiar faces such as that of Michael Langone, Arthur, Patrick Ryan -who told us about his recent trip to County Tipperary to find his ancestors' place and his humble origins. They all gave Aura a warm welcome. It was good to be back with this "support group" which has been part of REGAIN's and my personal story for about a decade. Today, the focus was on support for exmembers, research and information on cultlike groups all over the world. Conferences were in English, French and Italian reflecting on the diversity of presenters.

Kudos to the Maciel survivors who first put us in touch with this organization. I can't remember right now the story of our alliance with them. Juan Jose Vaca has been an important liaison through the last several years until family obligations took him away. I remember the Conference in Enfield CT where the Legion came and tried to prevent him and me from presenting our testimonies as ex Legionaries for the firt time at ICSA. This time I was looking for Jose Barba, Maciel's nemesis, who was arriving from Mexico City via Paris. Saw Jose after the first session and we continued our networking. Jose had not missed the opportunity to tell of REGAIN's legal battle with the Legion. To people here, familiar with cult tactics and Modus Operandi this sounds like more the same, very Scientology like.
Au Revoir,
Paul and Aura from Geneva.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Gastro PUB

[Written May 29th, Dublin, 5th day of Paul's visit to Ireland]

Today Friday, my sister Carmel took the day off work at the nearby court offices to spend it with me; we have had a late and leisurely breakfast and getting ready to go out. Today I plan to visit my god daughter, niece Noelle, and her new baby, Louis, which is pronounce Louie, because the new bus system is called Luas, a Gaelic word meaning 'fast' which sounds just like Louis...
Lastnight had dinner with Carmel's daughter, Ruth, and her English boyfriend, Pete, at the Bull & Castle restaurant pub near Christchurch; the waitresses were from Spain and Poland and sitting next to us was an large Italian family. The weather was sunny all day and people were out in their summer clothes making the most of it. Pete came over from Rugby, England, to look for a job here. Not easy as the economic downturn hit here very hard too.
I am trying to promote my book with an Dublin journalist who also wrote a memoir about growing up in my old neighborhood and he is will to take a look at the book.
Take care,

On the banks of the River Liffey, Dublin

[photo of the Legendary Brendan Behan, rebellious and ground breaking inner city Dublin playright, 1940-60s]
Dublin, Thursday, May 28, 2009

thanks for that message from a couple weeks ago; all is speculation re Vat
just a greeting from the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin city centre, from my sister's little pad over-looking the river, a landmark and a heartmark for all Dubliners. Here a few days to check up on another sister, Patty, who lives an hour north of here. Sunny and breezy, around 60, people are saying summer is here. It is relaxing to be away from work, away from REGAIN, away from routine...
I'm a tourist in my own land for a couple of days, and then back home
Dear Jose,
saludos desde la orilla del Rio Liffey en el corazon de Dublin; mi hermana, Patty, esta mas o menos bien, y me alegro que haya hecho este viaje relampago a visitarla. Aqui descansando de turista en mi propia ciudad y disfrutando de la amabilidad y carinio de mis 4 hermanas y numerosa prole

Thursday, May 28, 2009

From Usher's Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

Painting of the River Liffey, Dublin, view of the quays with Queen's Street Bridge -where my sister's apartment is-

Writing from Usher's Quay, Dublin, my sister Carmel's pad, 3rd floor apartment overlooking the brown River Liffey, a great sensation, as this murky river has been the life blood of the city forever, since before the Viking incursions in the 6th century or whenever, but that was centuries after it had been Christianized

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ancient Irish Legend, the 'Tain...

As my brother in law, Tommy, stood chatting with neighbors near the bridge at Annagassen, County Louth, on Sunday evening last, a road sign behind him caught my attention and I took a photo; it held the Gaelic word "Tain" which I connected to the Cooley Mountains in the background, fantasy flashing to the legend of The Cattle Raid of Cooley, featuring Queen Maeve of Connaught [Province] and the Ulster [Province] hero, Cuchulainn -koo kulling- in an epic battle that arose over a prize bull. A tale about a tail?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Balbriggan, County Dublin, Ireland

Although Americans keep insisting in, or on, "Dublin County" and upsetting us native born.
This is where my sister, Mary, lives and it is around this East Coast where most of my relatives live, in towns like Rush, Co.Dublin, and further north around Drogheda [accent on the first syllable, please! it is from the Gaelic meaning 'bridge'; the river Boyne, I think is nearby, history 'Battle of the Boyne' way back in 1590? where William III -of Orange- defeated English Catholic King James II and thus ushered in Protestant Rule to the North of Ireland; well, history, recent and remote, peeps out at you from every corner!]

Internet access courtesy of Balbriggan Public Library, Fingal, Ireland

Friday, May 22, 2009

Introducing Peter Stanford, British writer


Peter Stanford is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. His books include biographies of the Labour Cabinet minister, Lord Longford; the Poet Laureate, C Day-Lewis; Bronwen Astor; and Cardinal Basil Hume. His writings on religion range from The Devil: A Biography, Heaven: A Traveller’s Guide, The She-Pope: The Legend of Pope Joan to Catholics and Sex. His books have been translated into ten languages.

A former editor of the Catholic Herald (1988-1992), he writes for papers including The Independent on Sunday, Observer and Daily Telegraph. He presents television and radio documentaries including the award-winning Channel 4 series, Catholics and Sex, BBC 1’s The She Pope, Channel 5’s The Mission and has appeared as a regular panelist on the BBC's The Moral Maze, Vice or Virtue? and FutureWatch. His biography of Lord Longford was the basis for Channel 4's 2006 multi-award winning drama, Longford.

Born in 1961 and raised in Birkenhead, he is chairman of the spinal injuries charity, Aspire, and director of the Longford Trust for penal reform. He lives in London with his wife, Siobhan Cross, and their two children. He is currently working on an illustrated Life of Jesus and a book about Britain's sacred places.

He writes a monthly column in the Tablet, the Catholic weekly, about home life which is reproduced here on the website.

April 25, 2009

The school curriculum is packed full of excursions and trips that take children, as the phrase goes, out of their comfort zone. Whether it be nine-year-old Orla going off, next month, on a week-long school visit to York – she’s packing and unpacking her suitcase already - or her older brother, booked in for a trip to Prague with the school choir and unlikely to think about what to take with him until five minutes before, they have opportunities a-plenty to experience other places without parents guiding them and telling them what to think. Which is, of course, an important part of growing up and walking away.

What about seeing another side of religion, though? Where are the opportunities to develop their own independent view of faith, points of contrast to their daily diet of bedtime prayers, Sunday mass in the parish, RE lessons and the regular visits of the school chaplain? As I list them, they sound enough in themselves. As I had assumed they were until – for the entirely practical reason of a clash of school holiday dates and a consequent childcare crisis – I took my 12-year-old son with me on a work trip to Holy Island.

I’m halfway through researching and writing a book on sacred places in Britain. The idea is to visit these holy sites when others are there so as to see what sort of spiritual exploration is going on today. I had therefore timed my visit to Lindisfarne to coincide with the annual pilgrimage by the ecumenical Northern Cross organisation. Five separate groups walk, carrying a cross, from various points in the north of England and southern Scotland and congregate on Beal Sands, on the mainland, facing Holy Island, on the morning of Good Friday. Together they then wait until low tide allows them all to set out across exposed mud flats to Lindisfarne, following the wooden poles that have for centuries marked the safe route across quick sands for pilgrims on their way to the island of Saint Cuthbert.

My son and I were allowed to join Northern Cross for this last leg. It felt a bit like coming on as substitutes and not really deserving our cup winner’s medal. We really ought to have done the whole of the previous week’s walking to get the true flavour of the pilgrimage, as more than one of the group pointed out. They said it, I should add, not in the spirit that we were shirkers – though seven days of sleeping on the floor of church halls and washing in cold water is certainly well outside my personal comfort zone – but rather from concern that we were short-changing ourselves of a unique and sustaining spiritual experience. The pilgrimage is about putting worldly concerns to one side and, because we all seem nowadays to carry so many worries and responsibilities about family, home and finance, it requires a good few days walking to banish them from our thoughts.

The other thing this particular pilgrimage is about, of course, is witness. People carrying a cross through the English and Scottish countryside is not an everyday sight. Those who do it are marking themselves out in a society that treats people of faith, in Tony Blair’s phrase, as ‘nutters’.

Joining the party of around 75, young and old, Anglican, Catholic, and even one Moslem from Turkey - ‘I have been in England for two years,’ she explained, ‘and I haven’t seen any sign of your faith until now’ - to walk the three or so miles across the sands that morning was a new experience of public witness for my son – and a long overdue refresher for me.

There were a few people gathered at Beal Sands to watch us set off, barefooted and singing hymns, in what was still hazy light, but most were photographers who managed to get a suitably moody pictures of the five crosses and their bearers into the next day’s national newspapers. Once we arrived in Lindisfarne, though, the day-trippers, who come there via a road which takes a different route across the sands and is only open at low tide, stood around and stared unabashed. One or two of the teenagers looking on even sniggered. I remembered at that moment the 50 plus per cent in a recent poll who had no idea of the Easter story. In their shoes, at their age, I could imagine sniggering at the sight of hymn-singing, bare-footed adults carrying crosses whose significance was utterly lost on me. It only made me feel more certain that this was something worth doing – a sign of contradiction, as John Paul II was fond of remarking.

But what of my son? 12-year-olds are particularly prone to peer-group judgements. Was he feeling okay, I asked as casually as I could as we walked up the main street of Holy Island. ‘Fine,’ he replied, breaking off from a chat with some of the teenage children of parents who had been doing Northern Cross for years. I mentioned the odd looks we were getting. ‘But did you see that woman at the hotel?” he asked. As we had passed a small B and B on the island, he’d seen a cleaner hurry out and stand as we passed, hands joined in prayer, lips moving with the hymns we were singing. We had touched her, and she in her turn had touched my son.


© Peter Stanford 2007. All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Family Leave

Off to Ireland, Co. Louth, Annagassen
to visit with my sister who has not been well
Employer obliged with sick leave and Continental with frequent flyer miles. I continue to practice my vow of poverty...more so than I ever did when I was a religious with the Legion of Christ. But they did not let me go home for family gatherings, much less "compassionate leave". Glad I can be a bit pro-active about this visit.
The plane trip is like a curtain closing on a life stage, a letting go of heavy luggage - image of heavy luggage falling into the a
Atlantic, pleasant instead of dreadful- , and a new beginning.
I hope to read on the flight, relax with family and friends, and enjoy the places and the people

Monday, May 11, 2009

Healing the Past in the Present


Dear AML,
as heavy raindrops beat noisily against the large office windows on this Monday evening, I finish my "progress notes" to meet "performance measurements'.
I open the attachment of the wonderful audio visual of the Vatican Museums [not available here unfortunately], see the beautiful images and hear gentle music creating a long interlude of relaxation and comtemplation. I have been at the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel during my Roman sojourn - 1963-70 -, and only God knows how much or how little I enjoyed those visits in my former life: surrounded by a large "community", closely supervised by superiors, and enlightened by Brother 'Cicerone'. But now, from this vantage point of mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, I revisit and recover those previous visits and savor them richly in the present moment.
Hopefully I will return to Rome after almost 40 years with my dear friend, Jose Barba, during the 2nd week of July, 2009. This time I plan to relax among the wonderful fountains and the piazze and practice my Romanaccio as I mingle with the locals, admire their cultural treasures, and partake of their food and wine.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lennon Book Presentation May 7 in Kensington, MD

J. Paul Lennon author of
Our Father Maciel, Who Art in Bed
A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ


Thursday, May 7

The author was one of the first Irish recruits of the Legion of Christ, a very successful religious order founded by Father Maciel and approved by the Vatican.

What Paul observed as he struggled with an austere and rigorous training system was the lavish life-style Fr Maciel, “Nuestro Padre”, enjoyed, justified apparently by his multiple illnesses. Years after leaving, the author learned about credible accusations of Maciel sexually abusing his seminarians, from bed; thence the title.

Fr. Maciel and the order’s leaders vigorously denied those allegations up to the founder’s death in January 2008. Mr. Lennon was sued by the Legion in August 2007 for “scurrilously criticizing” the Legion and “stealing personal and proprietary material”; subsequently Legion lawyers made him take down a discussion board where ex-members aired the order’s dirty laundry. Now, two years later, Legion leaders have revealed that Fr. Maciel fathered a now twenty-year-old daughter. The public is demanding more information and reform from the Legion, while the order and its lay branch, Regnum Christi (Kingdom of Christ) maintain they are, nevertheless, divinely inspired.

This honest testimony of one who has been on the inside pretends to shed some light on the controversial phenomenon of the Legion of Christ religious order and its lay branch, Regnum Christi. The intimate narrative is enlivened with quotes from Siddhartha and with the lyrics of songs that accompanied the author growing up in Dublin, traveling to Spain and Italy, working in Mexico, and finally "landing" on the shores of the Potomac in 1985 to recover from his ordeal.

Though a cautionary tale, the story exudes healing and hope as the author comes to terms with himself, God and the Catholic Church.

Monday, May 4, 2009

They tried to stop her at the Border

They tried to stop her at the border

by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés on Apr. 28, 2009 El Rio Debajo Del Rio


They tried to stop her at the border
No visa for her kind, you know...
undocumented, some were certain.
Border guards, La migra, didn’t like the looks of
her. No one cared that
her many, many relatives were waiting for her
back home in Santa Fe USA, and
in surrounding little villages with names like
La Cienega, over near Chupadero, and Española.

Her so many relatives, holding babies in their arms,
were praying daily, nightly, for her safe travel and especially
for her clear passage at the border.

Her familia already had all their kisses ready on their lips,
just to give to her.
They had prepared the special water to ritually cleanse her
for having made the perilous journey successfully.

But fate would not have it, their prayers were not answered.
Stopped at the border; the frontier guards swarmed the truck,
their reasons now seeming so clear,
for her girth alone, was so great...
a peasant woman, not a svelte city woman,
she was just a campesina girl grown up ...
and now pregnant, so far bigger than usual.

And just trying to make her way over the border...
carrying, as las parteras, the midwives, say, ‘way out front.’
She could hardly be expected, being with child and all,
To fold herself into a woman
The size of a gnat.

So, no, she stood out, that belly in certain lights, you know,
looking quite suspicious and all.
Clearly she was from one of the oldest villages.
One could tell by her odd clothes and bare feet.
Why would such as she be wanting to come to the US?

So Immigration and Customs nabbed her.
And the truck driver who was bringing her,
slipped away.
And Customs interrogated, wanting to see papers:
Papers and papers and more papers yet. And money too.
But she was not carrying even la retícula, a small purse,
and did not have even coinage, so she could only answer
with the priceless look in her beautiful eyes.

They took her then, to where all suspicious people are taken,
to warehouse in holding cells; and there alone on the cold floor
she laid her head.
And they put their hands inside her maternity clothes,
certain she was carrying contraband.
‘What about that belly, real or fake?
Maybe filled with cocaine probably...
Ah these people will try any trick to bring in drugs.’
And so they forced her to be x-rayed, just to make sure.

And after, she just looked through the fence of the cage
they’d put her in.
Would someone, anyone, come
and free her?

No one came.

The next day.

No one came.

The next day.

She was lost.

But not forgotten.

Despair back in the villages in the USA.
How lonesome they all were for their jailed relative, for since forever in what was once Mexico, now the US, la familia had grown to thousands -- blood, not blood -- thousands of aunts, uncles, comadres, compadres, cousins -- especially cousins -- mamis, papis, aubuelos, abuelitas, neighbors, everyone who traded tomato plants with each other, friends, everyone who cultivated gardens amidst the chamisa and scrub piñon across the Santa Fe hills, all had become family by virtue of food and Faith.

Now this huge group of “families within a Family,” prayed and prayed hoping to hear word of her whereabouts, praying to see maybe even an old Mexican truck with the little religious flags and red chenille berries waving across the truck’s headliner ... how such would come chugging across the border, tilting sideways with the effort, carrying her home to her people up north....

Everyone there waited.
Many wept for her being lost.

And the pregnant mother waited in jail.
And waited...
having committed the crime of trying to come
across a line
that someone claimed was holy ...
a line drawn in the sand
along the banks of the Rio Grande
by less than ten men, long ago.

The pregnant mother waited in her jail.
And waited.

Meanwhile, at the border, men and women swarmed, waved papers around, phone calls flew through the magic wires. A holy man was called in to do the things holy men do, to negotiate the young mother’s release from the holding tank. To bring her home to her people.

And it was done. Somehow the grim blood and the prayer sent out over the Sangre de Cristo and the Sandia mountains, the appearance of gentle yet fierce souls at the border, led to her release.

And now, allowed to go free, she was brought the rest of the way, in a big red truck from the US, fittingly called by its manufacturer, El ariete, The Ram. And you have rarely seen such rejoicing, teenagers holding camera phones high, elders weeping, those scarred by life, weeping and laughing, children bedecking with flowers...

As she came from the truck, she was gentled and soothed and
Kissed and touched as though souls had at last met Soulmate; singing broke out, the old hymns...

as la familia extraordinaire, were reunited once again...
From dream to reality, she had made it across the border...
on the same trail that all ancestors journeyed upon long ago...
La Nuestra Señora Guadalupe, with our Cristocito in her belly,
Had made it to her people, to all souls who hold a place for her

And her little Son, “the radiant contraband Baby” that is invisible only to those who have not yet the eyes to see,
the ears to hear ... invisible even to x-ray machines ... at last He and she were here, safe in the arms and eyes and hearts who love, those who have always loved La Conquista, Mother of the Conquered, Mother of the Americas who ever comes bearing her Precious Cargo.

And to at least one old pilgrim in Santa Fe who could hear La Señora Guadalupe’s words without her saying them aloud, she whispered that she was touched by the people’s fears and their great love, but she was never really lost. Just had work to do ... at the border ... in the warehouse

... maybe with one of the poor old men who swept the floors, maybe with one of the young who came to graffiti a wall, maybe with an official who remembered the generous heart again, maybe with a young mother who didn’t know if she could make it, but seeing our Lady behind the fence, felt filled with bold grace and knew she could make it after all. A momentary pause. Not a lifetime peril. Our Lady, on the way home, stopped for a bit, for she had business at the border.

Several years ago, the padrecito of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish [Shrine] in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, Father Tien-Tri Nguyen, along with deacons, parishioners and many people on both sides of the border, began seeking an artist to fulfill a vision... to create a living statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The comadres and compadres were literally overjoyed to find the sculptor La Señora Georgina Farias in Mexico, a tiny woman about five feet tall, and in her 60s, who would create the heroic-sized statue of bronze. The beautiful statue is twelve feet tall and weighs about two tons.

The statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was indeed confiscated at the border on its way from Mexico to the US, but not allowed the usual Customs detainment of a day or two, but rather she, seeming suspicious somehow -- at least to authorities -- was carried off the truck, all 4000+/- pounds of her, and taken to a warehouse, and her whereabouts were unknown for many days. She was indeed x-rayed to make sure she was not carrying contraband.

For several days, the people of faith waiting for her in the US, having already rented buses to drive to the border to greet her, to stay with her, and to bring her home in triumphant procession, were so frightened that they had ‘lost’ her for good... like many other families on both sides of the border who do not know where their loved ones are, they kept a heart-rending vigil.

Yet, no authority seemed to know where she was. The “right hand at U.S. Customs” said one thing, and the “left hand at U.S. Customs” said something different ... as though she had become desaparecido, a missing person.

Yet, anyone knowing the border as we do, knows it sometimes seems the Tower of Babel must have been built right on the banks of the Rio Grande, and it seems to come startlingly alive again with disinformation, misinterpretation and downright lack of conveying facts that ought normally be available to any rational being.

So, in order to find Our Lady of Guadalupe and free her, along with his posse of devotees to Our Lady, Fr. Tri, as he is called by his parishioners, journeyed from Santa Fe to the border.

There he and the determined posse (In Latin, posse, means to ‘be able’) found persons in Customs who helped, a warehouse door-opener rather than a foot-dragger, and no doubt by the padrecito’s purity of purpose that was poured into him by all the longing and gentleness and fierceness of the parishioners, deacons, candidate deacons, old people, young hearts, middle-aged soulful people, and others who loved Our Lady, they were able to secure her release.

Thus, she was lifted to a great flatbed trailer, secured safely and with the red Ram truck pulling with its strong engine, she came finally along the ancient road into Santa Fe -- literally with police motorcycle escort, and horns blaring from the long lines of cars and trucks in the processional that had formed to bring her home to Agua Fria Street, at last.

And too, just as I said, the people literally wept in joy and gratitude, and most of all, in love, in immaculate love for her, as they touched her, kissed her, sang to her and for her, as the blessed workmen raised her up to her perfect outdoor room they’d prepared for her.... one that lets the clouds, the sun, the moon, and the stars peek in cycles through her open rayos, those rays around her body. This last, a nightly and daily shower of her esteemed symbols over and through her bronze body.

To bring her home...
Let this be the prayer, then, in every heart this May,
the month of La Nuestra Madre, Our Mother.
And let there be a little procession to crown Our Mother,
as in times of eld, let that processioncito be in our hearts
as we celebrate the time of all mothers,
no matter what appearance they take, no matter what form...
let us honor all who carry in their own hearts that which,
no matter whatever else,
remains immaculate in Love for all.

Let her, let us, let all of us be found,
Be freed to be brought home
to a place of Love for one another,
on all sides of every kind of border, at last.

“They Tried To Stop Her At the Border” ©2009, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, director of La Sociedad de Guadalupe, for works in her name. All Rights Reserved. permissions:

Special gratitude to heart of Miss Deanne Newman, for calling my attention to Our Lady of Guadalupe parish and statue, where I went to Mass last Sunday late... a place of true refugio, refuge, after having driven four-hundred miles, and in 4-wheel drive through two snowstorms and over a high mountain pass, to fulfill a teaching commitment in Santa Fe. Y mil gracias to mi Estimada Delores Romero at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine for so generously speaking to me, a stranger, as though I were family tambien.

Too, I hope you will click here to see the photos of Guadalupe’s journey from Mexico to Santa Fe, U.S.A., especially the faces of those who came to accompany her, bless and be blessed by her.... both in Mexico and the US. There were many stops at villages and churches along the way. The photos were taken by Joshua Trujillo, son of the deacon at the parish in Santa Fe. Joshua is a fine photographer. You will also see there’s a book, Our Lady of Guadalupe, A Journey.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Voyage to Joy!

"It all began in 1985", or so goes the story, fully developed in my memoir "Our Father" (Maciel), who art in bed, a Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ. The memoir helps to bring the reader up to date on some aspects of my life. In the book I speak of my support network, former Legionaries and "new" friends made in the Washington DC area.

Previously appeared on How to get a Loved one Out of the Legion of Christ

[from the sister blog, How to get a Loved one Out, which was previously called Third Journey; sufficiently complicated? these old posts give you some background]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said Wednesday it hoped President-elect Barack Obama will work to promote peace and justice in the world.

"All of us are hoping that Obama will be able to meet the expectations and hopes directed at him," said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who is chief spokesman for the Vatican and for Pope Benedict XVI.

Lombardi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the Vatican hoped the man elected to be the United States' first black president would work for the cause of rights and justice, "finding suitable ways to promote peace in the world, fostering people's development and dignity while respecting essential human and spiritual values."

"Faithful are praying so that God may enlighten him and give him a hand in his huge responsibility, so that he will govern well," Lombardi said.

The pope will likely issue a statement wishing Obama well when he is sworn into office in January, Lombardi indicated.

Posted by Paul at 8:13 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Post Legion & Regnum Trauma

Post-Cult Trauma Syndrome*

After exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the group's stated ideals or mission.

The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by "POST-CULT TRAUMA SYMDROME":

-spontaneous crying
-sense of loss
-depression & suicidal thoughts
-fear that not obeying the cult's wishes will result in God's wrath or loss of salvation
-alienation from family, friends
-sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
-fear of evil spirits taking over one's life outside the cult
-scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
-panic disproportionate to one's circumstances
-fear of going insane
-confusion about right and wrong
-sexual conflicts
-unwarranted guilt

The period of exiting from a cult is usually a traumatic experience and, like any great change in a person's life, involves passing through stages of accommodation to the change:

=Disbelief/denial: "This can't be happening. It couldn't have been that bad."
=Anger/hostility: "How could they/I be so wrong?" (hate feelings)
=Self-pity/depression: "Why me? I can't do this."
=Fear/bargaining: "I don't know if I can live without my group. Maybe I can still associate with it on a limited basis, if I do what they want."
=Reassessment: "Maybe I was wrong about the group's being so wonderful."
=Accommodation/acceptance: "I can move beyond this experience and choose new directions for my life" or...
=Re-involvement: "I think I will rejoin the group."

Passing through these stages is seldom a smooth progression. It is fairly typical to bounce back and forth between different stages. Not everyone achieves the stage of accommodation / acceptance. Some return to cult life. But for those who do not, the following may be experienced for a period of several months:

/flashbacks to cult life
/simplistic black-white thinking
/sense of unreality
/suggestibility, ie. automatic obedience responses to trigger-terms of the cult's loaded language or to innocent suggestions
/disassociation (spacing out)
/feeling "out of it"
/"Stockholm Syndrome": knee-jerk impulses to defend the cult when it is criticized, even if the cult hurt the person
/difficulty concentrating
/incapacity to make decisions
/hostility reactions, either toward anyone who criticizes the cult or toward the cult itself
/mental confusion
/low self-esteem
/dread of running into a current cult-member by mistake
/loss of a sense of how to carry out simple tasks
/dread of being cursed or condemned by the cult
/hang-overs of habitual cult behaviors like chanting
/difficulty managing time
/trouble holding down a job

Most of these symptoms subside as the victim mainstreams into everyday routines of normal life. In a small number of cases, the symptoms continue.

* This information is a composite list from the following sources: "Coming Out of Cults", by Margaret Thaler Singer, Psychology Today, Jan. 1979, P. 75; "Destructive Cults, Mind Control and Psychological Coercion","Fact Sheet", Cult Hot-Line and Clinic, New York City.
Posted by Paul at 11:50 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cult Expert Reviews "Our Father,..."

Link to bestseller


By Joe P. Szimhart (Douglassville, PA USA)

Would you, as a loving parent, send your seventeen year old son to dedicate his life to a highly manipulative organization controlled by a sexual predator? Of course, you would not and neither did the loving parents of John Paul Lennon did happen. As told in this book, what happened was a culturally motivated, naive young man from Ireland accepted the glowing promise of Catholic recruiters to help form a new religious movement in Mexico in 1961. Lennon felt drawn to the adventure with holy men who would guide and protect his journey. What could be better? Despite lingering doubts about everything from his sexual expression to the existence of God Lennon signed on and served eventually as an ordained priest in the Legion of Christ for 23 years. He formally left the "congregation" in 1984. This book answers the question, why?

The Legion was founded by a young Father Marcial Maciel in 1941. In many respects, the Legion of Christ and its lay subsidiary Regnum Christi closely resembles Opus Dei, the Catholic organization maligned in The Da Vinci Code. Both are controversial, conservative, hierarchical Catholic groups formed ostensibly to provide members with rules for a saintly life and a way to serve others. Both groups target wealthy donors and aggressively seek favor from the Vatican. Indeed, Opus Dei's founder was a canonized recently. The same beatific fate may not befall Father Maciel as long as strong evidence continues to appear regarding his mismanagement of the Legion and his decades' long legacy of sexual abuse of young men.

J. Paul Lennon's self-published autobiography is the second significant exposé in English of the Legion and Fr. Maciel, the first being Vows of Silence (2004). There are many exposés in Spanish. Lennon's story brings the Legion experience into intimate focus through the lens of his life, his dreams, his sins, and his struggles. Lennon broke with the Legion after confronting the leader publicly about mistreatment of relocated members. He was also fed up with the double standards regarding vows of poverty while the leaders basked in favors and food from wealthy donors. Though Lennon never encountered sexual abuse personally while a Legion member, he documents what he learned after he left the group. Be prepared for specificity regarding Maciel's controversial behavior toward the end of the book. (The title refers to Fr. Maciel's dubious illnesses that required frequent time-outs for days in bed complete with injections of Demerol and erotic massages from boys).

'Our Father, who art in bed' reads well enough as a self-published effort by a first-time book writer. I enjoyed Lennon's anecdotes about his life in Ireland and Mexico. The reader finds a sense of place and culture as Lennon reflects on his struggles to make sense of his psychological isolation while serving others. The Legion restricted every aspect of a member's life including friends. "What friends" asks Lennon on page 111? "I had to have a motive and objective to contact outsiders; all activities not sanctioned by the very detailed rule had to be approved by my superior." He was able to visit his family only five years after he joined. Lennon would not know the songs of Bob Dylan or the other John Paul Lennon and The Beatles until after 1984. Lennon served as a priest in the Washington, DC area for 5 years after he broke away. He applauds the open kindness of Catholic clerics there who restored his faith in the Church. Nevertheless, Lennon requested and was granted a release from Holy Orders in 1989.

Lennon eventually recognized that his Legion experience matched many stories of ex-cult members from any number of other controversial groups. He and other ex-Legionites eventually formed a helping network called REGAIN that has a website. As his book documents, Lennon and REGAIN were sued last year by the Legion of Christ over violation of allegedly confidential information. This book is in part an appeal to the Church, the Legion and the public to recognize the truth of the matter. If nothing else, Lennon's legacy is set as one brave former priest that took on a festering cult that the Catholic Church has yet to adequately lance and to heal from. As a Catholic myself, and a professional consultant about cults, I can sympathize with Lennon's account thoroughly.
Posted by Paul at 1:45 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, October 16, 2008

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER reviews "Our Father who art in bed"


By Joseph C. Rigert

In my new book **

I noted how Pope John Paul II looked to Ireland to help maintain a strict morality in his church, but at the same time protected Macial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a notorious sex abuser. The pope did so even though Maciel was accused of sexually abusing more than 20 young seminarians and priests in his religious order. Why? I contended that John Paul didn't want to challenge the man who was churning out many, many priests who shared the pope's conservative beliefs.

But I didn't know why these priests remained so loyal to their corrupted leader. Now I know. As one of those priests, Paul Lennon explains in this book how the "great leader" brainwashed his followers, enforcing silence, isolation and blind obedience. Paul joined the order as an idealistic Irish youth of 17, and remained in it for 23 years, until he could no longer tolerate the repressive culture of the cult and left to rejoin the real world. Rather than describe Paul's experiences--like eight years separated from his family--I urge readers to obtain his book and get an unprecedented look inside the pope's legion.

--Joe Rigert, investigative journalist and author.

Posted by Paul at 1:15 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In order to be able to answer that question we must, as Thomas Aquinas states, define the terms. What is a cult? What is the Legion of Christ? To help with the first definition we have this article of two authorities in the field


This article describes the goals and activities of International Cultic Studies Association and Info-Cult/Info-Secte. It also discusses definitional issues, the limitations of the term “cult,” and individual variations within cultic groups. This paper served as an introduction to ICSA’s 2007 annual conference in Brussels, Belgium.

About the International Cultic Studies Association and Info-Cult
Founded in 1979, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a network of people concerned about cultic, manipulative, and abusive groups. As the leading professional organization in the field, ICSA strives to increase understanding and awareness of such groups and to help people that they harm.

ICSA seeks to apply academic and professional research and analyses to the practical problems of families and individuals harmed by cultic experiences and to the professionals who seek to help them and/or forewarn those who might become involved in harmful group situations. ICSA is funded by individuals and foundations.

Founded in 1980, Info-Cult is a non-profit charitable organization whose objectives are to:

· Promote the study of cultic phenomena;

· Inform, raise awareness and educate the public about these phenomena;

· Help people with problems related to these phenomena.

Info-Cult is funded in part by the Quebec Provincial Ministry of Health and Social Services and operates in both English and French. It houses one of the most unique collections of materials on "cults", "new religious movements" and related groups and subjects.

Definitional Issues
A central component of ICSA’s mission is to study psychological manipulation and abuse, especially as it manifests in cultic and other groups.

Different people, attach different and usually imprecise meanings to the term “cult.” Those who have sought information from ICSA and Info-Cult have – properly or improperly –used “cult” to refer to a wide variety of phenomena.

· Groups – religious, political, psychological, commercial – in which the leader(s) appear(s) to exert undue influence over followers, usually to the leader’s(s’) benefit.

· Fanatical religious and political groups, regardless of whether or not leaders exert a high level of psychological control.

· Terrorist organizations, such as Bin Laden’s group, which induce some members to commit horrific acts of violence.

· Religious groups deemed heretical or socially deviant by the person attaching the “cult” label.

· Any unorthodox religious group – benign or destructive.

· Covert hypnotic inductions.

· Communes that may be physically isolated and socially unorthodox.

· Groups (religious, New Age, psychotherapeutic, “healing,”) that advocate beliefs in a transcendent order or actions that may occur through mechanisms inconsistent with the laws of physics.

· Any group embraced by a family member whose parents, spouses, or other relatives conclude – correctly or incorrectly – that the group is destructive to the involved family member.

· Organizations that employ high-pressure sales and/or recruitment tactics.

· Authoritarian social groups in which members exhibit a high level of conformity and compliance to the expectations and demands of leaders.

· Extremist organizations that advocate violence, racial separation, bigotry, or overthrow of the government.

· Familial or dyadic relationships in which one member exerts an unusually high and apparently harmful influence over the other member(s), e.g., certain forms of dysfunctional families or battered women’s syndrome.

Generally speaking (though certainly not always), the phenomena to which they attach the term “cult” constitute a “conceptual family.” The members of this family are distinct, and it is inappropriate to give all of them the same “name,” e.g., “cult.” Yet they do have a family resemblance resting on the inquirer’s perception that the group exhibits one or more of these characteristics:

1. It treats people as objects to be manipulated for the benefit of the leader(s).

2. It believes that and behaves as though the group’s supposedly noble ends justify means that most people deem unethical.

3. It harms some persons involved with or affected by the group.

Although some individuals may associate any one of these characteristics with the concept “cult,” frequently other terms may be more appropriate descriptors.

Combined ICSA and Info-Cult have information in their files on thousands of groups and over the years have received inquiries on over 5,000 groups and subjects. However, the percentage of these groups that could be categorized as "cults" is unknown. Moreover, as explained above, the definitional ambiguity of the term "cult" limits the utility of labeling. Given the wide range of phenomena that we study and the wide range of individuals and organizations we try to assist, we emphasize that our having information on or researching a particular group does NOT imply that it is a “cult” or even that it is harmful. We do NOT maintain a list of “cults” or “bad groups,” and we have no intention of compiling such a list. Also, having no information on a group does not mean that it is benign. We do, however, provide information on and conceptual tools for analyzing diverse groups that inquirers may – correctly or incorrectly – associate with cults and other groups within its conceptual family.

ICSA's research indicates that cultic and other high control groups vary enormously in their potential for harm. Harm may be physical, psychological, economic, social, and/or spiritual. Different people will respond in varied ways to the same intense group environment, some remaining unscathed, while others are devastated. Although scholars may dispute the level, causes, and effects of harmful practices in particular groups, a common-sense assumption underlies our work: "Some groups may harm some people sometimes, and some groups may be more likely to harm people than other groups" (Langone, 2001, p. 3). Whether or not harm results depends upon the interactions among the members of the group, including leadership. These interactions can be complex. Indeed, some persons may experience harm in what might generally be considered a benign group, while others might report a positive experience in what might generally be considered a destructive group.

We are interested in the causes, nature, prevalence, and remediation of such group-related harm.

What ICSA Offers
· Websites with thousands of pages visited by more than 1,000,000 persons a year:

· An information service that annually responds to more than 2,500 inquirers.

· An E-Library with more than 11,000 news and scholarly articles and E-books, with thousands of items to be added in the future.

· E-Newsletter, which enables you to keep abreast of events of note, new publications, news, popular articles, and research and educational activities of ICSA's volunteers and other experts and activists.

· A Web-based scholarly journal (with an abridged print edition), Cultic Studies Review, which will keep you abreast of the latest advances in the field, including newspaper accounts and academic and professional reports

· An annual conference where you can learn about new research and other developments, meet experts and others interested in the field, and attend practical sessions for families, former group members, and professionals.

· Workshops and mini-conferences for former group members, families, and mental health professionals.

· Volunteer professional committees addressing issues of mental health, research, personal accounts, the Web, and other subjects.

What Info-Cult Offers
An information, assistance and support service that annually responds to more then 1,500 inquiries.

A Website in English and French that provides a unique collection of information such as legal decisions, government reports and studies and an extensive bibliography.

A Documentation Centre that houses one of North America’s largest collections of books, journals, video and audio cassettes and other materials from around the world.

Educational services, such as videos, our online book, conferences and workshops, and regular meetings with students at Info-Cult’s offices.

Important Points to Keep in Mind
Your knowledge of the cultic studies field will expand considerably as you listen to those who will present during the next few days. We believe, however, that it will be helpful for us to draw your attention to certain propositions that some students of this field tend to overlook.

The Label "Cult" is Descriptive not Classificatory
Those who work in this field are often asked, "Is such-and-such group a cult?" The inquirers often imply that if we tell them it is a cult, they will then know a lot about the group, while if we tell them it is not a cult, they won't have to worry. The fact is, however, that, as noted above, the term "cult" is vague and does not transmit a lot of reliable information. It is not a diagnostic or classificatory category, such as "pneumonia," which functions as a short-hand description for a specific medical disorder with known characteristics (symptoms), etiology, and treatment.

In many ways, the label "cult" is similar to personality labels, rather than medical diagnoses. Suppose, for example, I said, using the personality classification system of the Middle Ages (i.e., the "four humors"): "All phlegmatic people sit in the back left corner, all choleric people sit in the front left corner, all sanguine people sit in the back right corner, and all melancholy people sit in the front right corner." You probably wouldn't know where to go. We've all experienced at some point in our lives all four of these moods, but few of us would feel comfortable being classified by any one of these labels. Nonetheless, each of these adjectives remains active in common usage. They have, however, descriptive, not classificatory, meaning.

A particular group, which some may call a "cult," may vary across time and, especially if it is a large group with centers in different geographic locations, on each of the variables used to define the term. Hence, some variables may apply to some controversial groups and not others. For example: some groups may actively recruit members, while others may not; some groups may routinely lie, while others don't; some groups may be obsessed with collecting money, while others aren't; some groups may insist that members break all family ties, while others don't.

Individual Variations Exist Even in High-Control Environments
At ICSA's 2004 conference in Edmonton Canada, Maureen Griffo talked about individual variations in the small Bible group to which she once belonged. She obtained narrative responses to an open-ended survey from 16 former members (a sample probably biased in favor of critical perspectives of the group). Based on her experience and research, one could reasonably infer that this group was indeed a high-control, cultic group. Yet even within this powerful environment, there was a surprising degree of individuality among members. Although about three-fourths described themselves as seekers prior to joining, one-fourth did not. Although about three-fourths were recruited through the group's preferred street-proselytizing, one-fourth were recruited in other ways. One ex-member still considered the experience to have been positive, while others described it as a "nightmare."

The subtleties of interaction between leader and member are illustrated in the case of a woman who was effective in the leader's business and brought in a substantial amount of money. She was also more assertive than other members. As a result, she was able, for example, to get away with an action that other members deemed unimaginably rebellious: She told the leader's wife to tell her husband to stop listening in on her [the member's] phone conversations! Had her work not been so profitable, she might very well have been kicked out of the group for insubordination. Hence, Ms. Griffo says it is vital to look upon and treat cultic group members as individuals, not as "clones" based on somebody's written or spoken stereotype.

Groups vary significantly on each of a multitude of dimensions, and individuals respond differently over time to each dimension within each group.

The table below illustrates, in an admittedly simplified way, how different people can honestly describe a group or group leader in contradictory ways. The table, for purposes of explanation, looks at two hypothetical people, one generally high in self-esteem and assertive, one generally low in self-esteem and unassertive. The table speculates about how these two people might react to two different shepherds (immediate superior in some Bible groups), one who is respectful and one who is exploitatively manipulative. As the table shows, depending upon the interaction, one may get false and true positive reports as well as false and true negative reports.

Why Conflicting Reports Concerning Cults May Sometimes Be True: One Example

Member is high in self-esteem and assertive
Member is low in self-esteem and unassertive

Shepherd is exploitatively manipulative
Member may successfully resist some of the shepherd's manipulations and resent others

Mixed Reports (e.g., "I've learned a lot from Pastor Bob, but he is too pushy.")
Member may stifle resentment about manipulations

Positive Reports when in the group

Negative and/or positive when out

Shepherd is respectful
Member is likely to have positive experiences.

Positive Reports
Member may stifle resentment about having a "boss."

Positive Reports while in the group

Negative and/or Positive Reports when out

Concluding Comment
As we have tried to show, this field is not as simple as some accounts portray it to be. That is why research and dialogue are important—as means to increase understanding and as means to increase one's effectiveness in helping or educating others. The sessions and informal as well as formal discussions in this conference provide a broad range of subjects and perspectives that should contribute significantly towards a deeper understanding of this field.

Recent Developments: Highlights
Cultic Studies Review—Articles (Vol. 5, 2006)
Burke, John. Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders and Induction of Dependent Personality Disorder in Cult Members (5.3)

Dole, Arthur A. Are Terrorists Cultists? (5.2)

Goldberg, Lorna. Raised in Cultic Groups: The Impact on the Development of Certain Aspects of Character (5.1)

Gomez, Jaime. Terrorist Motivations, Extreme Violence, and the Pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) (5.2)

Langone, Michael D. Responding to Jihadism: A Cultic Studies Perspective (5.2)

Micewski, Edwin R. Terror and Terrorism: A History of Ideas and Philosophical-Ethical Reflections (5.2)

Mutch, Stephen. Cultism, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (5.2)

Raine, Susan. The Children of God/The Family: A Discussion of Recent Research (1998–2005) (5.1)

Shaffer, John, & Navarro, Joe. The Seven-Stage Hate Model: The Psychopathology of Hate Groups (5.1)

Thiessen, Elmer J. The Problems and Possibilities of Defining Precise Criteria to Distinguish Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizing/Evangelism (5.3)

Tourish, Dennis, & Vatcha, Naheed. Charismatic Leadership and Corporate Cultism at Enron: the Elimination of Dissent, the Promotion of Conformity, and Organizational Collapse (5.1)

Whitsett, Doni. The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (5.3)

Cultic Studies Review—Book Reviews (Vol. 5, 2006)

Eichel, Steve K. D. Help At Any Cost (by Maia Szalavitz) (No. 1)

Robbins, Thomas. All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India (by Rachel Manija Brown) (No. 1)

Shaw, Daniel. Madness and Evil—A Review of The Sullivanian Institute/Fourth Wall Community: The Relationship of Radical Individualism and Authoritarianism (by Amy B. Siskind) (No. 2)

Stahelski, Anthony. Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (by Jessica Sterns) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. Imaginary Friends (by Alison Lurie) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. ocCULT: They Didn't Think It Could Happen in Their Church (June Summers) (No. 2)

Szimhart, Joseph. Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church (by John L. Allen, Jr.) (No. 1)

Szimhart, Joseph. Theosophy and Culture: Nicholas Roerich (by Anita Stasulane) (No. 1)

Whitsett, Doni. Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (by Janja Lalich & Madeleine Tobias) (No. 1)

ICSA e-Newsletter—Articles (2006)

de Cordes, Henri. Preventing Cultic/Sectarian Deviations in Europe: Policies That Differ (No. 1)

de Cordes, Henri. Preventing Cultic Deviations in Europe: Reply to Singelenberg’s Comment (No. 1)

Kropveld, Michael, & Langone, Michael. “Lost Love” in the Controversy Surrounding “Big Love” (No. 2)

Langone, Michael D. Editor’s Comment on “Opus Dei Over Time” (No. 2)

Langone, Michael D. Psychological Abuse: Theoretical and Measurement Issues (No. 1)

Langone, Michael D. Reflections on the Legion of Christ: 2003-2006 (No. 2)

Lennon, J. Paul. Aspects of Concern Regarding Legion of Christ Mind Control Reflected in Its Rules, Norms, and Ex-Member Testimonies (No. 2)

Moncada, Alberto. Opus Dei Over Time (No. 2)

Muster, Nori J. Myth and Themes of Ex-Membership (No. 1)

Petukhov, Vladimir. The Cult Movement and Religious Situation in Ukraine (No. 1)

Singelenberg, Richard. Divergent European Cult Policies: A Reply to Henri de Cordes (No. 1)

2006 Annual Conference
The 2006 ICSA Annual Conference took place in Denver, Colorado from June 22 to June 24. The Conference Handbook containing abstracts and speaker bios is here: infoserv_conferences/2006Denver/2006_conference_handbook.htm

A highlight of the 2006 conference was the “Phoenix Project: Ex-Member Art and Literary Works,” organized by Diana Pletts. The Phoenix Project provides a place for ex-cult members to present their cult and recovery related artwork in a variety of artistic media and genres. The 2006 Arts Exhibit shed light on the experience of life in a high-demand organization, and its effects on individuals. It also provided an empowering experience for participating artists, giving them an opportunity to tell their own stories in their own ways. This year’s presentation will include both a new collection of artwork by former members, and a separate slideshow of the 2006 works, along with biographical information and artistic statements by the original presenters.

Ex-Member Workshops
Once again ICSA conducted its July “After the Cult” workshop for former group members high in the Rocky Mountains at the St. Malo Conference Center in Estes Park, Colorado.

In April of 2006 (and again in April of 2007) ICSA conducted a workshop for SGAs (Second-Generation Adults – people born or raised in cultic groups) at the Trinity Conference Center in the Berkshire Hills of Connecticut.

Info-Cult Book
The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function, an updated English translation of the French book, Le phénomène des sectes.

Expansion of Info-Cult Documentation Center
Info-Cult has continued to expand its documentation center, which houses more then 3,000 books, 1200 programs on video cassettes, newsletters, journals, legal decisions, and government reports from around the world.

Info-Cult has also expanded the legal and governmental document sections of its website.

Langone, Michael D. (2001). Cults, psychological manipulation, and society: International perspectives – an overview. Cultic Studies Journal, 18, 1-12.

Langone, Michael D. The Definitional Ambiguity of “Cult” and ICSA’s Mission.

Rosedale, Herbert L. & Langone, Michael D. On Using the Term "Cult."
Posted by Paul at 11:17 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Monday, October 6, 2008

Dr. Jose Barba [Maciel's accuser], Jason Berry [director], Paul Lennon [supporter], Jose de Cordoba [Walls Street Journal]

Dr. Barba interviewed by reporters after screening Sat 29th September at Cinemax Plaza Insurgentes, Mexico City.

Paul and fiance, Jose Barba standing, Saul Barrales, another accuser of Maciel

VOWS OF SILENCE, the documentary for TV, based on the Berry-Renner books of the same name won first prize at Mexico City's International Documentary Festival held during the last week of September this year.

There were several screenings of the documentary directed by Jason Berry. The main theme was the struggle of Maciel's sexual abuse victims to get the attention of the Vatican and the pope. The saga concluded in May of 2007 when the Vatican finally silenced Maciel but for the victims and those with a sense of justice and juridical procedure it was too little too late; but whatever was gained was due to the perseverance of the victims and of men like Berry with a strong sense of what is right and wrong and who are willing to swim up-river

Posted by Paul at 9:08 PM 0 comments Links to this post
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Good Auld Dublin!

Archbishop Collins of Toronto voices concern re Legion & Regnum
"Our Father" Maciel, who art in bed, Memoir
Maciel Pedophile/Vows of Silence video
Archbishop O'Brien's Concern re Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi
Van Hove Blog
It's All Over Now, Baby Marcial
Miles Jesu, the Truth about
How can a poor boy deliver the message
Bilingue Book Presentation You Tube
Regnum Christi official page
Life after Regnum Christi Blog
Re-FOCUS: Recovering Former Cultists' Support Network
Female ex-Consecrated Regnum Christi Directory
Catholic Online
Lotus Point Literary Blog
ex-Legionary of Christ Blog
Learn about Cults and High Demand Groups, ICSA
Discussion Forum: Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi former members
Former members of the Legion of Christ exclusive Directory
Opus Dei Awareness Network
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Legion Strong Arms Member! # 7 in series How to g...
"We are fully approved by the Pope" ? #6 in the ...
Vatican orders apostolic visitation of Legionaries...
► 03/22 - 03/29 (3)
The Cult Phenomenon, HOW GROUPS OPERATE # 5 How...
# 4 How to get my Loved One Out of the Legion of ...
#3 -How to get my loved one out of the Legion of ...
► 03/15 - 03/22 (1)
Legion Statement?
► 03/08 - 03/15 (3)
Cardinal to take over Legion of Christ?
Are some of our children Second Generation Adults ...
Is the Legion/Regnum a Cult? 1- How to get my love...
► 03/01 - 03/08 (2)
Brutal Deceit by Legion of Christ Continues
Get my loved one out of the Legion/Regnum: THE WHY...
► 02/22 - 03/01 (1)
Orchestrated Answers from Legionaries: Legion/Regn...
► 02/15 - 02/22 (1)
Fr Maciel's Epitaph: "like a puff'd and reckless l...
► 02/08 - 02/15 (3)
Open Letter to the Legionaries of Christ
No separating Legion from Founder
Separating Legion from the founder, Fr. Maciel
► 02/01 - 02/08 (2)
"Our Father", who art in bed
"Our Father" Maciel had women in bed
► 01/25 - 02/01 (1)
► 01/11 - 01/18 (1)
Fr. Maciel makes Newsweek!
► 01/04 - 01/11 (2)
New Oxford Review of "Our Father" Maciel
Clergy Abuse Documentary in DC, Sunday 9 at AU
► 2008 (29)
► 12/21 - 12/28 (1)
► 12/14 - 12/21 (1)
Saul Survives Again!
► 12/07 - 12/14 (1)
► 11/30 - 12/07 (2)
Scientology takes over Cult Awareness Network; Leg...
First Legal Defeat for the Legionaries ಆಫ್ Christ ...
► 11/02 - 11/09 (2)
Barack O'Bama is Irish!
► 10/26 - 11/02 (2)
Post Legion & Regnum Trauma
Cult Expert Reviews "Our Father,..."
► 10/12 - 10/19 (2)
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER reviews "Our Father who art...
► 10/05 - 10/12 (1)
► 08/10 - 08/17 (1)
Memoir, Me and [Fr.] Maciel, Founder Legion of Chr...
► 07/27 - 08/03 (1)
Arturo and me in San Miguel
► 07/13 - 07/20 (1)
Mormon-like Pure Fashion from Regnum Christi
► 07/06 - 07/13 (1)
Cults in our (Catholic) Midst
► 06/29 - 07/06 (1)
International Cultic Studies Conference in Philade...
► 06/22 - 06/29 (1)
What the Bishop of Baltimore really wanted to say ...
► 06/15 - 06/22 (3)
Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abu...
The Serenity Prayer
AA and Recovering from a Bad Relationship, a Cult,...
► 06/08 - 06/15 (1)
The Archbishop is on the side of Legion of Christ ...
► 06/01 - 06/08 (3)
One of the Bachs
A little bit of Music and Lightheartedness
Music Soothes the Savage बरे
► 05/18 - 05/25 (1)
Reflections on the Legion of Christ: 2003-2006 by ...
► 05/11 - 05/18 (1)
First Journey
► 04/13 - 04/20 (2)
About Me
Irishborn, Spain, Italy, Mexico, now USA, English/Spanish speaker, healer, family in Ireland, lover of Spanish language and culture; anti-cult activist; Mindfully in the Present, Peace
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