I was a Legionary for 10 years. I joined in the mid 90's after a few years of university studies. I never questioned the LC/RC's methods, practices, or norms whatsoever, even during the 4 years after I had left the Legion. The only reason I had the intellectual breakthrough was because of the news of Maciel's daughter in Feb 2009. Without that news, I would still be drinking the Kool-aid today and following the party line. The 2006 communique didn't even faze me, in fact it just strengthened my intellectual adherence to the LC/RC, as if tempered by fire. Interestingly enough, in Feb 2009, it didn't take long to break through 14 years of mental shackles once the conerstone of the entire institution, Maciel, was shown to be rotten to the core. I couldn't sleep the night I found out the news, so I hit the internet and starting reading up on the websites which I formerly refused to even look at because the Legion had warned me that they contained nothing but lies. Turns out, those websites struck so many chords with my personal experience that I was finally able to take a step back and look at the institution from the outside and realize it's true manipulative and self-serving nature. So many of us are expressing similar concerns about the LC/RC even though we were members of the movement in completely different places around the globe.
I was a very good student in school growing up (co-valedictorian in high school) and, after I left the Legion and saw my grades, I had done pretty well during my Legionary studies also. I say this because people think you must be stupid to accept "thought reform" which occurs in cults such as the Legion of Christ. I accepted the Legionary thought reform because I believed it was God's will to submit my mind, personality, will, desires, emotions, everything to the directives of the Legion who was my mother and path to salvation. This is all clearly spelled out in the constitutions and norms. The Legion of Christ works systematically to mold you into the person they want you to be. Whatever doesn't fit inside the cookie cutter, is to be eradicated through gradual formation and personal direction given by your superiors. The Legion told you what to think on every issue and topic that you might encounter in your religious life. They told you how you should feel about things, what your innermost desires should be, what facial expressions you should show or hide. They even told you when you can go to the bathroom and how you should urinate (LC's are forbidden from using urinals). There isn't enough room here to explain all of the violations of one's personal dignity and autonomy. Archbishop O'Brien summarized it very succinctly and accurately.