By: Randy Engel
“The things of Opus Dei – Where is the power of Opus today,
how does it exercise it, who is channeling it, in what media does
it influence or where does its pressure flow, how does it regulate
the credits and to whom does it grant, if it does or can it do so?”
Quote from Jordi Garcia
Dear Friend and Foe alike – Welcome to the second issue of OD WATCH which features an important Opuslibros commentary on Opus Dei and the deformation of the Catholic conscience of its members, and a second shorter article on Opus Dei and its resemblance to the” “Ministry of Truth” found in Orwell’s 1984.
From my first introduction to Opuslibros, one of the things that immediately impressed me about the commentaries posted on this website is the obvious love and genuine concern, unmarred by bitterness and hatred, that former members of the Prelature have for their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and relatives who remain in the sect or have exited from it and are attempting to recover, to the degree possible, from their Opus Dei experience.
The first lengthy article, AD MENTEM PATRIS (According to the Father’s Mind) by “Heraldo,” appeared on Opuslibrus on March 3, 2013. I have made only minor edits to the English translation in order not to disturb the moving spirit and simple rhythm of the article. There is one shocking use of profanity. I left it in because it expresses the horror that we should all feel after reading this account of Opus Dei’s seduction of a young boy whose father had died, and whose mother was unable to conquer her own fears and defend her son against the powerful sect.
In this major work on the mind of Escriva, the author tackles many universal issues surrounding the Work including the deification of the founder and the institution, and the irreformability of the Work due to the lack of will on the part of its supreme councils to reform, or even worse, the lack of recognition that the Work is even in need of reform.
The second, much shorter commentary by “Salypimienta,” was posted in Spanish on November 22, 2017. In the introduction to “From Orwell’s 1984 The Ministry of Truth,” the author asks herself if the demise of Opus Dei may be imminent given the perversity of the Prelature. One of the responses to her question came from a friend, a former numerary, who convinced the author that Opus Dei is destined to remain for the simple reason that the work was protected by the devil. Otherwise, how else is it possible that an institution can have sinister practices and continue to crush people without anyone moving a finger?
This appears to be a pressing question which the Holy See and the Pope have yet to acknowledge much less answer!
A Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.
AD MENTEM PATRIS (According to the Father’s Mind)
By Heraldo, 03/20/2013
The Impersonation of Conscience by the “Escrivariana”
On the occasion of the ten years of my dies natalis I wish to celebrate with my Opuslibros friends some of my reflections. The first one is precisely that these last ten years have been wonderful and I consider them my true life. I thank God that I had the opportunity to live them and not have been trapped in Opus Dei during my entire earthly existence. As is well known, something that identifies and constitutes us as human beings is the moral conscience, the sense of duty, the inner judgment that discerns what I should do and what I should avoid at every moment of my life. That inner judgment accompanies every human being throughout his conscious existence. The inner dialogue described by Gollum, the curious little man of the Lord of the Rings, who speaks to himself as if there are two Gollums, one good and one bad, one who bases his thoughts on on greed, envy and grudges, and the other who thinks and acts from the simplicity of a noble and good spontaneous nature.
With the passing of these last years, I realized that when I was in the Work, the place of the good Gollum had been completely replaced by an institutional consciousness. This consciousness can be called the “Escrivariana consciousness” according to its creator and origin. Instead of reasoning, measuring and valuing my actions from the spontaneity of a proper and original moral conscience, I did it from my character as a member of Opus. I am not saying anything with which the members of the Work do not agree, because, in fact, we were urged to reason and to conform our acts ad mentem patris, that is to say, according to the mind and the criterion of actuation of Escrivá, putting aside our own criterion. We were not told to think how Jesus Christ would act, but how Escriva would act.
This observation is important because the two criteria point in divergent directions. Whoever knows the Gospels, even minimally, knows that Jesus Christ was guided first of all by the love of the person before him, while the Escrivarian conscience leads us to act always for the benefit of the Work, even at the expense of the person.
For some Christian authors, the voice of conscience is equivalent to God himself within the human heart. But in our numerary existence, that voice of conscience was replaced or identified with the institutional spirit of Opus. So it was that my conscience was invaded by Opus Dei.At that moment, I stopped living my own life and started living the life of a Transcendental Being (here we call it the Thing, the Dark Side, etc.) whose only real correlate is an institution. So it is not that Opus Dei helped me in my life as a human being and as a Christian, offering me a formation that enables the authenticity and the rectitude of my conscience. No. The spirit of Opus Dei is so possessive of conscience that it constitutes the only criterion of moral rectitude. Opus Dei becomes, in the minds of all its members, especially its numeraries, the measure of all things. The deification of the Work is evident.
Opuslibros frequently examines the many perverted acts of the Work and its members.
Take, for instance, the recruitment of new vocations.
Now, we former members take our hands to our head when considering such a felony. However, when we belonged to the Work we devoted ourselves with a passion to the most ferocious proselytism, with the consciousness of doing good. I dedicated myself to the work of St. Raphael for many years and I was passionate about getting new vocations. How is it possible that I did not realize what is now so obvious to me? Simply because my moral conscience was then identified with what I have called “Escrivarian consciousness.”
Now, I see very clearly that the life I was living then was not mine. My former life in Opus lacked authenticity. My consciousness was swollen by the omnipresent outer influence of what Opus Dei called the “means of formation.” The Escrivarian consciousness is continuously nourished by countless daily readings, talks, circles, meditations, retreats, fraternal talks, notes, day after day, tirelessly. In the Work, the person, especially the numerary, is subject to a permanent bombardment that prevents the appearance of the slightest authenticity, or at least keeps it completely dormant.
On the other hand, after ten years away from the Work, I have had the wonderful experience of being reunited with myself. I have experienced a reunion with the moral life in its most original and authentic sense, in the simplicity of what I truly believe without the omnipresent and suffocating artifice of the “means of formation” and “spiritual direction.” Yet, even months after leaving the Work, I continued to experience feelings of servitude. Thus, my release was a slow and ongoing process, but at the same time, a completely natural one so that the persistent external influence of Opus upon me gradually disappeared.
Now I must raise one question. Is that Escrivarian consciousness really a spirit? An inspiration? No way. In practice, our conduct was governed not by the inspiration of charity or the sanctification of ordinary life, or by putting Christ at the summit of all human activities, but by other particular criteria.
Here we are faced with a very convoluted and permanent contradiction that has been denounced repeatedly in Opuslibros as the contradiction between theory and praxis.
For example, we had theoretically been informed of the immense human value of friendship. It was explained in classes and talks that when you really like a person you want what is best for him. Then there is the apostolate to help another person to approach God that arises in a natural way, without the need for purpose or following slogans. In addition, we were told that affection could not be conditioned by the person’s response to apostolic action. In fact, true love has an absolute value, like that of the mother who loves her child and accepts him unconditionally, even if the child is not a well behaved son.
However, at the time of the exercise of the apostolate, and when we talked about it in the fraternal talk, we did not respect “friends,” and if one of those “friends” gave no hope of vocation, we ceased being interested in him and we stopped cultivating his friendship. What we called “treating a friend” represented the total violence and perversion of the deep reality of friendship. Each day that passed we mediated the friendship only in terms of proselytism, and we did it with total peace of mind. At least that was the way it was for many years, until authentic consciousness began to break through.
About 20 years ago, I began to wake up from the lethargy of my conscience, a lethargy to which I had been subjected by the violence of the formation of the Work. After many years of surrender one begins to discover these things, and it took me many more years to accept the fact that there was no possibility of reform from the inside. In the Work, as soon as you begin to have some idea of your own that does not coincide with orthodoxy, you are being considered being “in bad spirit.” It is evident that our true consciousness had been buried under the omnipresent influence of the Escrivarian consciousness. But as the contradiction between spirit and praxis became evident, my conscience reached a crisis, and thus began the start of my liberation.
And is not that Escrivariana conscience the way that is interpreted as “to do Opus Dei being yourself Opus Dei?” Is not this the particular reading of dying to itself that is made in the Work? There is nothing strange about what I say here. When we awaken from their consciousness, Opus calls it pride, but I call it authenticity. I believe it is that the truth can not remain forever hidden, however much it is concealed under what is called “supernatural vision.” For a member of the Work, the goal is to stop being ourselves in order to be another Christ, but in Opus, that “other Christ” really amounts to subjection to the Escrivarian conscience. This last reflection opens the way to the next topic.
The Production of a Vocation
We read a few days ago in the internal document against this website (Opuslibros) what we have always known about Opus’ reaction to criticism. Former members are accused of being people without rectitude. We are accused of being twisted people leading a life that is far from exemplary. It is a euphemistic way of suggesting that we are sexual perverts, which is almost the only moral aspect that interests them. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to respond to our Opus accusers who are themselves, hypocrites and whitened sepulchers…
Opus has perverted the true meaning of friendship by its fierce proselytizing practices. It has perverted the true meaning of family, pretending to be its friend. It has betrayed its members who decide to leave Opus after giving decades of their life to the service of the Work, without any social security. They have perverted the most elemental sense of charity when they try violently to force a nonexistent vocation upon any poor, naive and good-hearted boy. They have perverted Christianity, turning service to God and the Church into service to a perverse institution dedicated to destroying human lives.
Let us examine how Opus “produces” vocations.
As has been discussed here extensively, Opus Dei can recruit anyone as a celibate numerary as revealed by “Castalio” on July 10, 2009 in How We Made Numeraries in Mexico.
To the young man who is ensnared by the transnational Opus Dei, he is told that he has a vocation and that he will be a wretched man if he does not respond affirmatively to the call.
The poor innocent man has to believe this because he knows that the Catholic Church approves of the Work. The young man is defenseless. He begins a long process of training, mentalization and alienation in the most rigorous sense of the term. He is made to feel happy and privileged for having been chosen. He does not seem to realize the most complete artificiality of the mentioned procedure: rules, means of formation, fraternal talks, retreats, circles … an artificial device with which even a brain-dead patient could be sustained in life. By means of this procedure it is possible to artificially produce a vocation – to feed it, to maintain it and even to reproduce it. But this is very far from a true vocation which is something that emerges from the center of the soul with natural spontaneity. Not surprisingly, the poor boy, in a very few years begins to show symptoms of internal breakage.
I entered Opus Dei at age 14. At age 24 I was subjected to psychiatric care and pharmacological treatment. I remained so throughout my life in the Work, up to a year after I left. For more than 30 years I have been the recipient of many generations of antidepressants and anxiolytics. I have consulted with several “psychiatrists,” most of whom were, in fact, doctors from other specialties who occasionally went to the University of Navarre to take a short course on how to “attend” people from home.
That is the way Opus Dei holds on to a “vocation” A vocation they say they have clearly seen in prayer. They support it by blocking distress (benzodiazepines) and injecting supplementary energies (antidepressants that recapture serotonin) in order for the young man to achieve fidelity in the ascetic struggle in his Work of God. A pharmacological procedure, strictly chemical, is put at the service of a spirituality.
Is not this procedure something completely artificial, which has nothing to do with the naturalness of an authentic vocation? Is it not altogether inhumane? Is not a definitive traumatic breakup being prepared? Is not the seed of hatred being sown?
But we are told they do it for God, for His Work, and that justifies everything. If the boy has no vocation they say, God would grant it immediately, there is no doubt, for God can not leave in the void the desire for surrender…
It is evident that what I describe here is a colossal injustice? Is it not an obvious violation of the dignity of the person, of the respect with which each human being should be treated, to take possession of a human being when the latter is just emerging into the autonomous life from adolescence, to arbitrarily attribute to him from the outside, as a violation, a meaning to his life, subjecting him to an omnipresent process of indoctrination? This is an injustice and an act of arbitrariness of incredible dimensions. I believe it is a sin comparable to of the sins which Scripture says cries out to heaven. So cries my spirit at this moment.
Between the ages of 25 and 30, Opus Dei sent me to “rest.” I was still drugged for periods of weeks on end at “a retirement home” so that I might recover from “wear” and “fatigue.” Why was a 27-year-old young man, who should be courting girls and who had reached the the ápex of his professional career be taking anxiolytics and antidepressants?
Is this the way an ordinary Christian sanctifies his ordinary life! As natural and logical as an octopus in a garage.I see it now with a clear mind, and I react furiously to those who dared to take over my life and manipulated it that way. And I hope someday to be heard and these raptors punished.
Opus Dei, from the candor of its charity, says that we are “wounded people,” but they have fallen short in their description of former members. I am a maimed man because Opus stole my life!!! Don’t you think so, mother*******?
Hopefully, God does exist and will punish the perverse system that calls itself Opus Dei and which boasts that its founder is a “canonized saint.”
Opus Dei says that it is not responsible for the mistakes that its members make. But this statement is radically false. Quite the opposite is true. Among the people of the Work are the most noble and innocent of human beings. They are so noble and innocent that they are easily ensnared. So noble and innocent that, like me, they remained for decades, believing like imbeciles that God was there in Opus Dei. So noble and innocent that, like me, they continued to believe for years in “the truth of the Work” even when they were confronted by profound contradictions which were readily evident to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.
Each of us who has abandoned the Work has followed a different path, although there are close parallels which come to light in various biographies.
In my case, the human and spiritual wear and tear reached its maximum with the passage of time. How can one endure, without a vocation, such an artificial and intense situation?
The departure from the Work is usually a painful process because it means not only breaking away from the Work, but also a break with oneself since our authentic identity has been lost. Confusion, sometimes explosive, naturally ensues. Then, in an instant, everything changes.
In an instant, the Work which once constituted the very meaning of life for me ceased to be important. Thus, after 30 years of never doubting it, I decided to leave the Work.
In some cases faith falters or is lost when one leaves Opus Dei. The moral life may follow uncertain directions as the liberation leads to a blind search for the meaning of one’s existence? The reunion with oneself is carried out under precarious conditions and it takes a long time… Remember that I held internal positions in the Prelature for more than 20 years so I know what I’m talking about.
I Blame the Work
I blame the Work for those who have lost faith after their passage through the Work; I blame the Work for those who have lost their faith in the Church; I blame the Work for those who have abandoned the practice of the Sacraments; I blame the Work for those who have abandoned the morals of Jesus Christ. I am shouting to the four winds, for someone from the Vatican to listen to me. For bishops around the world, and good priests and all men of good will to listen to me!!!
Opus Dei began to take over my life when I was just 13 years old. My father had recently died and could not defend me. My mother did not defend me because she was afraid, because she was told that the Catholic Church supports Opus Dei. My brothers tried to defend me, but they were too young and could not do anything effective.
On the other hand, Opus Dei was very effective. It indoctrinated me in its own way with lies until it made me invulnerable to any external aid. What I could not foresee was that my conscience would break through after more than 30 years of Escrivarian consciousness, and that one day I would have the strength to free myself from its chains. So it was, and I am filled with joy for it, and now I celebrate it with all my friends of Opuslibros, at the end of the ten years of my liberation, the ten years of my dies natalis.
Still I regret the loss of my youth to Opus. It makes me angry to know that I shall never get those years back. I see Opus as a thief who stole the most beautiful of my days. My youth might have been happy or miserable, but at least it would have been MINE – the life that God gave me. But no. They snatched my life with their tricks. They had no right to do what they did to me and I had nobody in this world to protect me. I am hurt, very hurt. And I also understand the hurt and pain of others who have suffered as I did, especially when I remember that I myself was instrumental in inflicting that same hurt on others in the Work when I was a member.
This is the story of my life in Opus Dei and I assume full responsibility for it. I do not renounce it nor do I despise myself for belonging to Opus Dei. On the other hand, it would be absolutely unjust for me to be silent in the face of the many abuses of Opus which are disguised as a service to God. I say it from the bottom of my conscience, fully assuming that God will judge me for it. I’m not afraid or hesitant to scream it out loud. Perhaps I am not “exemplary” as Opus understand the word. But I know with a certain awareness that God does not give a damn about the exemplarity that they preach, which is a charity without love and without soul. Its own founder declared in a moment of strange lucidity: “without charity, purity is fruitless and its sterile waters turn the soul into a swamp, a stagnant marsh, from which rises the stench of pride.” (Camino, 119).
It has been ten years since leaving Opus Dei, and I am so glad for it. These years have been wonderful. I do not say it out of spite. Nor do I think I have finished my recomposition process. I have decades to go to rectify my condition. I may never get all the way there. However, I see the hand of God in so many things. It seems that He feels obliged to give me special protection for the years that I dedicated to Him in the Work with rectitude of intention.
The Voluntarism of the Work
An important aspect of Opus is the radical voluntarism it professes. I use the term in a philosophical sense. Voluntarism means the absolute predominance of the will over the intellect to the point that truth can be transformed and even produced by simply willing it.
I remember very well, Carlos Llano, an Opus numerary and philosopher who I greatly admired. While I was enrolled at the University, I made it my business to attended all his philosophy courses, even if they did not correspond to my regular study schedule. But there came a time when I realized with amazement that he did not care for the truth, and that he did not really believe in it or in philosophy. The reality was that he used philosophy to advance himself in the Work. I say this because he expressly confessed it to me in a private conversation. He told me that he did not really believe in philosophy and that he did not take it seriously, but that it had been very useful to him. That confession made me very disappointed and I walked away from him. I would have wanted him to be my mentor, but then I realized that I could not expect anything good from him.
The allusion to Carlos Llano is important because he was a mentor for many numeraries of the Work in Mexico. He was a bright and intelligent man, who had to abdicate his intelligence in order to be able to remain faithful to the Work. He and I agreed to occupy positions in the region, although, of course, he was much more important than me. However, I refer to this because in our conversations I could clearly see that he stopped believing in truth and intelligence in order to continue affirming the validity of the project of the Work…
In the Work, many study philosophy as a professional career, but in reality neither philosophy nor philosophers have any place in Opus. Instead of contributing to the development of the Work, as was once believed, we philosophers have become an albatros around the neck of Opus because we realized that there was something very wrong in the Work. Someone has said that the Work is more a creature of architects and engineers than philosophers (please understand that there is nothing pejorative in these allusions). The main reason for this truism is that philosophy is an intellectual discipline and the Work is a radically voluntarist institution. In the Work the least important thing is to understand. The decisive thing is obedience, which begins with the submission of the intellect. In the Work the word understand is used a lot, but it is stripped of its most obvious meaning…
Voluntarism is concretized in the end in that everything that serves the Work is good, and if it is not it should be so, and it will be by the grace of God. It is evident that in the Work much is done with very little thought. Intellectuals hinder the Work because they question what is done. Carlos Llano told me that when one did not understand something that was commanded in the Work, one had to formulate the theory that was necessary to support the mandate. That is voluntarism, the subjugation of truth to the will…
In the Work, the truth can be constructed, produced, done. The truth is at the service of a project. The truth is not discovered and respected as such… Escriva was a great volunteer as was Portillo and Echevarria. In the Work, what is important is “to do” and the rest are stories. Effectiveness is a primordial value. But it is clear that this can not have a happy ending. If the truth of things is not respected, the truth will be imposed, and the bill will have to be paid, sooner or later.
The Use of Double Truth in the Work
It is clear from the internal document of Opus Dei on Opuslibros cited above, that the Work uses the Catholic Church to defend its legitimacy. Opus Dei says that like Christ and the Pope, it is also under attack and that the good has always been attacked, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It says there is nothing strange and nothing to fear from Opus because it has been approved by the Church. It proclaims that it serves the Church from its trenches, with its own spirituality…
How beautiful! How tender these words of Opus sound. But there is an essential trap, that of the double face – the double life. It is a fundamental hypocrisy that corrupts everything.
In his many postings on Opuslibrus, Otaluto has demonstrated this feature of Opus very well. In Opus Dei it is possible that the same discourse means very different things depending on the context, according to the audience, or according to the interlocutor. There are not two speeches, but the same speech with several different meanings.
For example, the founder of Opus Dei writes that “God inspired the spirit of Opus Dei,” and the Church repeats this claim. Opus says that the Church cannot put forward any objection to Opus Dei because everything in the Work is of God.
Now there is no doubt that promoting sanctification in the midst of the world and the sanctification of work are very good things. It is something that must be accepted in strict Catholic thought… But that very word to “inspire” means something very different within the Work. Here it means that the Work is of God and God determined that His Work will is done. Here it means that the will of God manifests itself supreme in the will of the Father, that is, the founder and the current prelate. Here it means that the will of God is manifested through the directors, who represent the Father. Here it means that if you do not persevere in your vocation to Opus Dei your life is not worth a cent. And so we could go on and on, with expressions of double meaning.
One of my first encounters with the double truth was when they explained to me that the special steps of admission and oblation and fidelity taken by a candidate were often accompanied by a period of trials and doubts for him, but these feelings of doubt and questioning should be of no concern to the interested party. They told me that the interested person should assume his vocation in fullness from the beginning, rejecting any thoughts of doubts as coming from the devil. I was told that the times of trial were only the concern of the directors, who had to ascertain whether or not the subject had justifiable doubts. Actually, that was not true either. We know that successive incorporations are commonplace in the institutions of the Church, a logical consequence of the candidate having to ratify or rectify his election. So Opus Dei found it necessary to give a different meaning to the same. One explanation to the candidates. One for the directors. And one for the ecclesiastical hierarchy. So now we have not one or two but three different truths. It is the skill of these holy men.
At this point, I simply want to say that under no circumstances would the Church approve of the following aspects of Opus Dei’s internal doctrine:
- The Church would never accept the precept that Escriva’s “inspiration” is the equivalent of the Divine Revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Apostles. Neither would the Church extend the mantel of infallibility to everything said by the founder or his successors, much less to the governing councils of Opus.
- The Church would never accept the precept that one’s vocation in Opus is immutable and changeless and that to question one’s vocation or to leave the Work exposes the member to the danger of eternal damnation.
- The Church would never accept the proposition that to persevere in the Work and to fulfill all the norms of the Work is a guarantee of eternal salvation.
- The Church would never accept the proposition that a member is a disobedient scoundrel or a worthless wretch if he confesses to a priest outside of Opus Dei.
- The Church would never accept the proposition that if you hide some thoughts from your director you have made a pact with the devil.
- The Church would never accept the proposition that through prayer, a director can, with absolute certainty, discern that another person has a divine vocation, or that directors meeting in councils can determine with infallibility who and who has not a vocation to the Work.
- The Church would never accept the precept that apart from making a sacramental confession to a priest, one is also obliged to confess his sins to a lay director or another appointed person in the fraternal talk or chat.
- The Church would never accept the proposition that all those who are in authority have the right to know all about the intimate inner life of Opus members.
- The Church would never accept that all the prescriptions that are not contained in the Statutes are equally obligatory…
None of these precepts or rules or propositions have been approved by the Church, but Opus has imposed them secretly on its members as doctrines revealed by God to its founder. Yet, the founder has insisted that these rules are not imposed but freely assumed by the members.
I still recall that when I was fully secured for Opus Dei at the age of 14, the first thing they taught me was that the founder had received a revelation – an express and explicit mandate from God. They based the authenticity of such a revelation on the founder’s holiness. They dedicated hundreds of hours to me alone, telling me all kinds of supernatural events in the life of Escriva. However, none of those who helped in my early formation, except the priest, continued in the Work. In contrast to these supernatural stories, it was made clear to me that the life and spirit of Opus members was the life and spirit of the ordinary… In later years, many of these same supernatural events were related in the founder’s biographies, but with so many modifications and attenuating circumstances that the miracles seem to have disappeared.
No matter, as far as I was concerned, Opus achieved its goal with me. I swear by my life, that in my later youth, when I was 16 or 17, I already valued the Father more than the Pope. I thought of the Father as another St. Paul…
Later, I came to know that many of these stories about the founder were blatant lies, but by then the Escrivariana conscience had completely taken possession of me. The image of the founder I had formed in my young mind was reinforced down to the smallest detail in photographs, writings, and films of Escriva. Everything that was negative or could be misinterpreted was destroyed. Thus a false and non-existent unreal image of the founder was sustained and promoted and he was canonized on October 6, 2002.
When the Work was in its infancy, a great faith was needed concerning the holiness of the founder. These false stories served to sustain that faith. Later, when the Work achieved signs of a positive presence in the world and in the Church, and after the founder’s canonization these are no longer necessary. It was a perfect strategy. And the worse part was that the Catholic Church put itself in the service of that lie. It is true that the Church was deceived, but the reprehensible thing is that she continues to be deceived. I underline this statement on purpose and I urge the Church to do her duty in this matter.
The doctrines and actions of Opus have destroyed the lives of many of its members, yet the Church has failed to acknowledge much less demand that Opus correct these abuses. The problem faced by Opus is that it needs these lies and abuses to be effective, so the question of an internal reformation is not possible.
The Work is Mortally Wounded
… Opus is a wounded, weakened, almost moribund giant, although it still continues to hold on to its erratic existence. Opus’ internal documents on how to deal with critical websites like Opuslibrus try to hide the fact Opus is suffering in many ways. Indeed Opuslibrus has struck the Prelature a mortal blow.
For me, however, Opus Dei is already dead… And it is dead because we live in the Information Age which acts as a counterforce to the Great Lie… The Information Age is finally suppressing and preventing the vocations of many numeraries. It is also leading many who are still trapped in Opus to find a solution to their captivity. Without the vocations of numeraries from whom candidates to the Opus priesthood are selected, Opus Dei is nothing. I know very well. Wow, how I know! Corporate works will become white elephants, soap bubbles, machines without soul, without effectiveness, when the number of numeraries diminish. Supernumeraries alone are nothing without numeraries. The principals of Opus will become administrators of educational works, but that is not what they really want to do. Yet somehow the search for numeraries must go on.
Unfortunately for the Work, today one must be an imbecile or underage to ask for admission to Opus. And as soon as these minors come of age, they too will leave. What took members like me 20 or 30 years to discover, anyone can discover it today with a computer with internet access. Nothing will be as before. Javier Echevarría will go to the grave with the bitter conscience that the Opus fell into his hands.
– Heraldo, 03/20/2013
From Orwell’s 1984 The Ministry of Truth
By Salypimienta, 11/22/2017
It is impressive that every day more information comes out about the shameful attitudes and actions within Opus Dei. When you think you have seen and heard everything, you come upon more and more new testimonies which leave you more perplexed than ever.
I recently spoke with a friend, a former numerary. I told him that I believe that Opus Dei was so perverted that its disappearance was imminent. He, to the contrary, convinced me that Opus Dei is destined to remain for the simple reason that the Work was protected by the devil. Otherwise, how is it possible that an institution can have such sinister practices and continue to crush people without anyone moving a finger?
I have long since hoped that everything published in Opuslibros will come sooner rather than later to the attention of those who are in a position of authority to stop the abuses and immoralities of Opus Dei which acts like a Mafia family rather than an institution in the service of God and of souls – a family which acts more like delinquents than children of God.
I will now borrow the words of Émile Zola. I ACCUSE Opus Dei:
- … Of systematically violating the universal human rights of its members including the right to freedom of assembly; the right to private property; the right to freedom of expression,; the right to privacy; the right to physical, psychological moral integrity; the right to personal freedom; the right to freedom of conscience; the right not to be discriminated against; the right to work freely; the right to culture; the right to the protection of one’s health, security and economic interests; the right to live in peace; and all other rights that Opus tramples upon without the slightest scruple.
- …Of manipulating all the information that the institution gives to the Catholic hierarchy, to the Catholic laity, to its own members and to the general public. This information is falsified to such a degree that it is almost impossible to distinguish between truth and lies.
- Of Of Of fanaticizing its members to such a degree that it becomes impossible for them to discern with any sense of objectivity and sanity even the most ordinary things of life. Members are made to believe that everything that occurs to them is by “divine inspiration.”
- …Of demeaning human sexuality to such a degree that many of its members end up with great traumas, deformations and misinformation that bring them serious problems in life.
- …Of being preoccupied with obtaining material goods no matter what the costs to its members.
- …Of raising false testimony, and shamelessly slandering its critics to avoid facing its own failings.
- …Of idealizing Opus’ founder to the extent that his teachings are put above those of Jesus Christ.
- …Of mercilessly trampling on the souls in your care under the guise of teaching and guiding them to the path of holiness.
I had already written about the absence of charity in the Work. Every day I am aware of more abuses committed by some directors covered by “the beautiful mother,” and my stomach churns, especially because these directors are convinced that the harm they are inflicting on others is prompted by an act of “divine inspiration.” I know from what Solitudine has told us, that these are not isolated cases.
I personally know of numeraries who have been “punished” by the director for minor faults by forbidding them to eat their dinner or in other cases tell them they cannot eat or live at their Opus residence until they have carried out everything their manager has told them to do.
Apparently, there are very few good and decent directors left in the Work. Those that remain think they are omnipotent and they act in full Escrivarian style, that is, they act like tyrants.
Meanwhile, most of the good souls who are still inside are living in a state of absolute denial. Others spend their days trying to kill the melancholy of their existence with drugs capable of killing a horse.
But at least, I pray, we shall have the consolation of knowing that God in His infinite mercy will compensate us for all the sufferings that we have endured under the Work when we reach Him.
The Divination of anything or anyone is dangerous. In today’s church, it is commonly “the poor” who are divinized .
Escriva’s theology of work divinizes ordinary work and is essentially Lutheran.
Luther’s idea was that works are not pleasing to God on their own account, but on account of faith. This eventually leads to a rejection of the distinction between the clergy and the laity, by rejecting the superiority of the “works” of the clergy (the Sacraments, the Mass) and giving more weight to “the priesthood of believers” whose work is “just as good” as the clergy’s.
“The Word of God hallows and makes divine everything to which it is applied. Therefore those estates that are appointed by God’s Word are all holy, divine estates, even though the persons in them are not. Thus father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, servant, maid, preacher, pastor, etc., all these are holy and divine positions in life even though the persons in these positions may be knaves and rascals.”
Martin Luther , Exposition of Psalm 82
Just take this quote from the article and replace Opus Dei/the Work with the Novus Ordo Church and it all makes sense:
“Opus Dei says that it is not responsible for the mistakes that its members make. But this statement is radically false. Quite the opposite is true. Among the people of the Work are the most noble and innocent of human beings. They are so noble and innocent that they are easily ensnared. So noble and innocent that, like me, they remained for decades, believing like imbeciles that God was there in Opus Dei. So noble and innocent that, like me, they continued to believe for years in “the truth of the Work” even when they were confronted by profound contradictions which were readily evident to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.”
It would be interesting to compare the Opus Dei with the Jesuits as religious institutes which have stressed the importance of religious obedience. I am not speaking of the notorious modern Jesuit, but the early and golden ages of the Society of Jesus under St. Ignatius and his immediate successors. There have always been critics of St. Ignatius’ definition of perfect obedience given in his “Letter on Obedience”, but it eventually gained wide acceptance in the Church as the fullest and best explanation of the virtue of Christian obedience. Now it would be good to see how the Jesuit & Opus Dei understandings differ from one another.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think the Jesuits generally have had this stifling cult mentality that the Opus Dei have had: their members always maintained some sense of individuality and individual responsibility, despite the enormous emphasis they placed on obedience.
If I’m not mistaken, the Jesuit is also supposed to take the command of his superior as the will of God; but he does not understand this duty to obey as an obedience to divine inspiration as such, but as a kind of analogy: one owes obedience to God, but God has placed the superior over oneself, therefore one owes obedience to one’s superior as to God. So one sees God’s will “in the superior”, but this is an obscure spiritual insight where one discerns that God is using the superior for His own ends. This is a subtle but very different kind of obedience to a superior who is the recipient of “divine inspiration”, and who is therefore to be immediately obeyed as one speaking directly and immediately for God. At least in the Jesuit understanding, there is the possibility of the superior abusing his authority by commanding something contrary to God’s law, and therefore the possibility of lawful disobedience; but if the superior is seen as always acting under “divine inspiration”, then there can never be a question of disobeying his command.
Also, the Jesuits always placed emphasis on one’s own private examination of conscience and private mental prayer, so that the Jesuit always maintained some degree of spontaneous and individual moral life and relationship to God independent of (even if linked to) the Society itself; whereas in the Opus Dei, the corporate mentality seems to be emphasised so completely that any kind of private life is either highly diminished or denied altogether.
Dear Randy (or anyone else who would like to comment):
Are there any Truly Catholic organizations out there that are “safe” to join? Thank you for any and all responses.
My question above refers to the laity, not priestly orders or societies.
Dear 2 Cents ,
My comment above is awaiting the Moderator’s approval. Most likely because I included hyperlinks to Fr rippenger’s teaching videos as a contrast and comparison to Escriva’s.
But I can tell you Randy recommended I read Maria del Tapia’s book , which I finished right before Christmas. In conclusion ,Carmen del Tapia states she learned to NOT join any Groups and remained a Faithful Catholic despite even amazed priests asking her how she did not lose her Faith in God after what Escriva and Opus Dei put her through.
Her answer ,”God has nothing to do with Opus Dei.”
I highly recommend you read her book ,either ‘Inside Opus Dei : The True Unfinished Story’ or ‘Beyond the Threshold’ .The latter btw ,was published a year before ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’ ,which was alleged to have been written by PJP2 ,but was essentially a question and answer session by an Opus Dei writer. The original copies were all quickly purchased in the country it first appeared. (Spain or Portugal. I would have to look it up again)
Carmen herself claimed Opus Dei wanted it off the shelves. She spent eighteen years of her life in the Movement .Half of them as one of Escriva’s personal secretaries.
It is the same as the commandment to “Honour your mother and your father.”
Thus children also must be obedient to their parents.
This is understood as observance of hierarchy, and therefore an act done out of obedience and love for God first and foremost, with maintaining order and its observance secondary as type to divine Truth and the Heavenly order.
Of course one cannot obey a parent, nor a superior who themselves is in violation to God and God’s Law, or in the context of some greater good that would be harmed or violated.
And likewise, when refusing to obey a certain order, it is permissible so long as the fact that one such as a parent or superior is still acknowledged as one with authority over you so long as what they command is in line with what is Good and first and foremost that is God.
Opus Dei seems to gain obedience through exploitation of the above, by making themselves like unto the voice of God directly, whereas no parent or even a Jesuit superior would claim to be God, but only naturally that obedience to ones superior is a discipline, much like fasting is a discipline. But you do need to eat to live, and thus fasting may be impermissable and to be avoided if there is a danger to health, and so too if an instruction puts the soul or life at direct risk in a manner that is immoral, then that instruction from a superior can also be challenged.
Thus Vows of Obedience should be treated in the same manner as vows for fasting and poverty etc. Good and worthy within the confines of proper moderation. The fasting do not starve. The poor life still has meagre possessions of necessity, and so too obedience has occasions where it is not owed.
Opus Dei offers people help in living out their religious faith more intensely and to be more successful at it. The growth in virtue that comes with spiritual success often translates into enhanced material success and a relatively wholesome family life, which most people find attractive… kind of like the Mormons. Nonetheless, people with neurotic tendencies can also be drawn to such structures, motivated by deep-seated insecurities or a will to dominate others. The cult-like manifestations that arise within the organization might be due more to these individual pathologies rather than anything intrinsic to the organization itself.
When I think of the contrast between two prominent bishops from Opus Dei that have been in the news, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano and José Horacio Gómez, they don’t seem to have acted in lock-step, taking orders from some Opus Dei puppet master.
Sweep–Thank you for this information. I will research Maria del Tapia’s books.
Crawler–People with neurotic tendencies are more likely to be drawn to organizations like Opus Dei. That is why it is so dangerous when those in authority are put into positions where their control will be mistaken as spiritual leadership regardless of its intensity or intent. It is safer and makes more sense to live out your religious life more intensely by praying the rosary and receiving the sacraments from a validly ordained priest with absolutely no connection to the Modernist new religion. In my opinion, the intrinsic nature of Opus Dei is a magnet for vulnerable souls. It is a form of brainwashing. Once the door is open, it is difficult to escape. Stay at home and pray, pray, pray!!
I can’t speak for anyone else reading this, but I’m convinced. Thank you Randy Engel for the information, and surely many people are now properly informed about Opus Dei, and the ripple effect will cause it to be spread outward. What a heartbreaking experience, and it makes me ponder how it is often the case, even though one were not involved in something like Opus Dei, how once we get to a certain point in life we look back and see what unprofitable servants we were and are, and feel pain at the loss of time. This is the human experience, and don’t we all understand that feeling of regret? Yet to be involved in something that seemed to be dedicated to God, must have it’s merits to God Himself. Sometimes, to mean well is worth something. You were fooled, as many would be.
The little I know about this organization tells me it is very bad, and only makes me think of Scientology and it’s tentacle-like control of the victim’s lives. From the outside it looks very bad, but what is shameful about OD is that the Church knows about it! There is no such oversight for Scientology, but there is no excuse for our church continuing to support this order, or whatever it is considered by the Church. To me it is just another sign that Satan is having his way with our world and our church, that this is allowed to continue unaddressed.
I am not sure if Randy Engel is the person who experienced this, or if this experience was reported, but to whoever it was, I am sincerely sorry for your pain and your experience. It shouldn’t happen to anyone, and I’m sorry it happened to you.
May God reveal to anyone caught in this web of lies the Truth so they may be set free.
Both books are basically the same . The second book , published in 2006 is a recap of the first which more pictures included.
It is tedious reading three quarters of the way through. She details everything, work assignments, names of people places and conversations. Informative, but when she is called back from her assignment in Venezuela in starting the Women’s Branch there the real personality of Escriva shows itself.
Carmen is kept a prisoner for eight months and friends and family who wonder why she hasn’t been seen or heard from, begin to get very suspicious. We then see the true nature of Escriva and the Movement in all it’s infamy through her awakening and personal torture endured. Her hair went completely white during time spent as a prisoner inside the House in Rome.
when she finally gets the strength to leave with help from a friend on the outside , members are assigned to follow her back to Spain and watch her every move. I had a family recount a similar who experience and quite frankly at first I thought they were paranoid, but when the story repeats itself over and over by so many people i.e. Opus Libros , ODAN etc. , you have to assent to the reality there is something very grave happening to personal freedom and basic human rights within this cult.
Super numeraries ( married couples or individuals who donate and go to retreats) and cooperators , (basically just donors) , all believe they are privileged Catholics as if they are affiliated with a religious order , but the people who live in the Houses ( recruited from naive youth) live a very different reality.
Thank you, Sweep. I’ve heard it said that there is more intrigue inside the Vatican than any where else on earth. Do you doubt it? Do perverted Vatican deviants make Scientology look like childish bullies in the playground?
Bottom line, OD is a NO sect organization. They are corrupt for this matter alone and should be avoided as all things NO should be avoided.
Tom A–Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest solutions. Borrowing a phrase from Nancy Reagan — When it comes to the N.O.–“Just say NO!” If you can’t kill it, starve it to death.
I highly recommend Fr Rippergers youtube videos 1,2,3 and 4
on Our Times. EXCELLENT.
Vat City is not where I want to go, nor is it a place I would want to see my son go to study for the priesthood.a friends Godson went there a few years ago to study for his second PhD. He is a priest.
He returned to tell his mother it is worse “politically” than any Diocese here. “Politically” was a nice way to put it.
Crawler: You do well to compare Opus Dei to Mormons, and that also would extend to moslems. However, those who commend or admire mindless submission are disordered and there are no exceptions to the rule that such disciplines are used to do evil and harm souls. Secret societies, as many popes have observed, also require an inordinate allegiance which compromises a soul’s honesty and relationships with God and others. No matter how much material advantage they may offer to their devotees, these are all Satan’s deceptions.
Dear Randy Engel,
You are amazing! Thank you for this article and for all you have done and continue to do to fight for Holy Mother Church.
I just last night listened to this talk by Randy Engel. It is fantastic.
Sweep, you are so right to recommend the book by Maria de Carmen Tapia. I’ve have read it three times, and its value transcends its commentary on Opus Dei. There are many other cultish movements on the Church today, more or less blessed by authority, but equally as dangerous as Opus Dei.