Monday, June 1, 2009

A Testimony from Life-After-RC

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.


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with the sentiments stated in this post. I have an identical history, and only after February feel like things are adding up. I would like to know if it takes everyone three years to leave the Legion. I was there for ten years, and when I came to the realization that it probably wasn't for me, I was told that accepting those thoughts was tantamount to dancing with the devil. It was three years of internal torture until I finally left.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky-- it only took me a year and a half after being in for 12.

Anonymous said...

I was in for eight, 'danced with the devil'/heard the voice of God for about half a year before I left.

Anonymous said...

Do you folks have any suggestions as to how to get my friends out of RC? They are very holy people yet they are towing the party line or should I say, falling for it hook, line and sinker. I would love any suggestions you may have to help my friends get out of RC and into a more healthy place.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous June 2 3:06 PM
I have a friend that's behaving exactly as yours. There's nothing you can do, or I should say, nothing that I've found so far -- except pray. God knows what level of devastation they can handle & God knows the stubbornness of their hearts. He'll take care of them, even in their denial.

These RC members are extremely defensive. The only thing you can do is tell them that you'll be there no matter what. Because when everything hits the fan for them, I think it will be more devastating than it was for those who were in RC and left when we heard AND LISTENED to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.

Pray, pray, pray. Fasting may work... I might try that for my friend.

Gringostar said...

I agree with the above comments of having the LC cool aid shoved down the throat and up the arse. For this reason, when presented by my novitiate superior the opportunity of going the Prelature of Cancun as opposed to leaving; I accepted with great curiosity (best thing I ever did besides looking after my ma' until she passed on).
I admit that I was in the "C" class in terms of popularity with my formation superiors. I have zero grudges for their idiosyncratic moods. Why? I learned things from them things that I appreciated or hated. They were rude and condescending in cutting me off in mid speech. Many times. I learned from that experience to have a "poker face" when dealing with superiors or companions. It all paid off when I was asked to take care of injured priest in Mexico D.F.
I kept straight face when in community. I would stories about my so called "sacrifice" of how I was willing to take time out of formation to help out a fellow priest (I really was "willing" deep down).
The fun really started at the hospital. Safe to say the LC's in Mexico grossly underestimate the intelligence, beauty, and sense of wit of Mexican women whether they were suffering because of a loved one or just havin a hard time, they "always" approached me all hours of the day "SWAGGIN" with their regalia- um um Poetry In Motion. Oh yeah, through the Legionary formation and my spirit, I was born ready. I didn't mind it one DAMN' bit, the experience gave me a very positive view of the world/GOD in the face these effimenate maciel sychophant phony cronie superiors. My assimulation of Legionary formation with the grace of God and the protection of His Mother enabled me not only to have a good HELL RAISIN time in raising people's spirits at a hospital but I also learned a deeper appreciation for the "woman" who allowed me to go the apostalic school at 14 years old. So when she fell ill and needed care, I didn't think twice about leaving the Legion with a "poka face". That's my ex Legionary co-founder moment.

Anonymous said...

Gringo, you're a strange cat, and I can't understand what you are trying to say, but I dig ya.

Gringostar said...

Anon,
This is blog for people who have in the Legion so you might not understand-I'll elaborate a little. Some of the Legion life was good and some it really bad. Over half my superiors left the Legion being sex fiends eeeeeh eeeeeh! Given that I never dated before entering LC seminary, I knew I was "saved" when there was 2 for 1 Corona beer specials in the downtown Cancun sidewalk bars and these cute little things from the D.F. in a bikini top and blue jeans asking me for directions over beer - very very very nice experience indeed! There were none these "drinking in public" laws. My kind of place.
Have you heard of the T.V. Show "Who wants to be a Millionare?" Life in Legion is like being a contestant on this show. I am well aware that the Legionaries are called the "millionares of Christ". There is no pun intendend. In alot of ways they are millionares, I mean the formation one recieves in the Legion with a sun tan from beaches of Cancun allowed me to go places I could of only dreamed of at while being nineteen years old armed with a "authentic" Mexican drivers license thanks in large part to a gift bottle of "Irish Mist" to a politician. The politician told me you can go anywhere just don't drive in my neighborhood. Oh yeah, I had a Mexican drivers license in 15 minutes! Not bad for someone who never driven a vehicle before. So yes, I am a strange cat but keep in mind that this "cat" gets what it wants.
I'm on cruise control in the parish in Cancun. I get this request for my services in Mexico City to take care of this badly car crashed injured Legionary. Fine, I had met the man before, seemed like nice guy. His care required somtimes required hospital stay overs.
At a hospital for extended periods, you really see how people respond to inevitability of mortality on a daily basis. It was not uncommon some gal dressed in Escada with Chanel #5 visiting her man then come slinkin' up casually to me askin' "Hey Padrecito, how are doin?" I thought it I was in "beatific vision". Of course, it was more than that. It was mothers of families or girlfriends asking for prayers in precarious times, etc. I discovered in those situations what was real or phony in life. Well the Padre and myself left the hospital and went our seperate ways. My father died. Nobody in my family wanted to help Ma'.
As in the "millionare show" each level you attain the questions increase in difficulty. Not to be dramatic, the beautiful memory of those women looking after their sons, husbands, lovers made it easy for me the question of what is most important in life - looking after the one who gave my body to experience all these beautiful moments. To me the possibility of a priest in Mexico was like being a millionare. Though I left the Legion in the face this personal perdicament, I realized, I was always a millionare having great people around me.
Did I hear a yawn?

THE_Br_Dan said...

Fortunately I figured out the Legion before the novitiate.....I had a "little" help from God though, a very abrupt understanding of the evil that was revealed. Posted about it on the old blog before it was shut down by the LC lawyer goons....sure wish someone would resurrected it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/168725.html

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.21rs.es/trastevere/2009/06/07/%c2%bfpor-que-mienten-tanto-los-legionarios-de-cristo/

Anonymous said...

Great story buddy- so many of us share it. I was in for 9 years and am sure we crossed paths.

You still have the nightmares? About once a month- especially if I am drunk- I have the most vivid nightmares about the bell ringing and I am late and can't find my prayer book... I now wake up and laugh.

Donal Clancy is a bad bad man. Scott Reilly is a colossal moron. The LCs hated Americans except when it came time to work and build things.

The Legion is a fucked up place and I hope it burns. If only I could make a bonfire with Cartas de NP and Salterios de mis dias.... and that damn Normas de Urbanidad.

I'd love to go back one day and fuck with their minds the way they fucked with mine. And evil place. Shame on them all.

Burn baby burn.