Here is the entire text from the website lcrchealing.com
Where to begin with the healing process?
How Maciel’s pederastic and narcissistic influence is embedded in the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi today
I. Maciel established structures, policies, traditions, mindsets, and practices resulting in a pervasive culture that not only safeguarded him from those he abused and their criticism but also perpetuated an abusive environment in the movement that continues today. Each of the following aspects of LC/RC culture pertain to Maciel’s need to protect himself from those he abused. They all involve abuses of power and control characteristic of sexual predators and some reflect narcissistic personality traits that result in the narcissistic person or group feeling that they are special and above the law. “Nuestro Padre’s” depravity is found in character traits that live on in the institutions that idolized him. They are not isolated sins. Most of the abuses listed below are still going on in the LC/RC today.
II. Abuses of power and control characteristic of pedophiles
. Pedophiles always coerce their victims into silence. Maciel is accused of abusing his victims’ faith in the power of absolution, the authority of the Pope, and of their assurance of salvation in his efforts to coerce them into silence.
i. Maciel required a vow of secrecy relative to one’s opinions about one’s superiors and a vow to report any violations of this vow of secrecy. Maciel made secrecy the “modus operandi” of the Legion. He compartmentalized all operational knowledge on a strict need to know basis. He kept his own actions over long periods of time a secret.
Pedophiles seek to control the actions and thoughts of the abused to the point of isolating them from others.
i. Maciel violated the formation of conscience by requiring confession and spiritual direction by one’s superior, by opening everyone’s mail, by listening in to phone calls, by not allowing access to information coming from outside the Legion, by not providing the information to others that they need to inform their conscience or make a decision.
ii. Maciel put in place rules that severely restricted visits or communication with families.
iii. Maciel forbade friendships with other Legionaries and practically with anyone. All conversations were to be done in groups of at least three. Social time was greatly limited.
iv. Maciel established an absolute and blind obedience to superiors, not only as to actions but also as to thoughts and feelings such that the superior must be believed even if telling an obvious falsity. Superiors used a test of obedience in which a false statement made by the superior must be believed.
v. Maciel and superiors discouraged critical thinking, meaning the open-minded and independent assessment of the truth based on the totality of evidence. Those with proclivities to critical thinking were eventually weeded out.
vi. Maciel diminished or in some cases removed discernment from the process of “integration” into the movement. Discernment in the yearly “Spiritual Exercises” retreats is downplayed or skipped over. Members at every stage are impeded from exercising a proper assessment of their vocation, instead are told what to do by their superiors. Most everyone is invited into candidacy and most accepted into novitiate, resulting in between 10 and 40 times the number of those who leave or are dismissed from formation as those who stay Legionaries for 20 years.
Pedophiles instill in their victims a sense of complicity and shame resulting in confusion and self-doubt. Maciel’s alleged sexual abuse victims report a profound sense of confusion over being specially favored by Maciel and wanting to love him in return while also feeling dirty or guilty for what they have done.
i. Most of those who leave the Legion feel a sense of confusion and loss at not being one of those who can pursue what they have learned to feel experientially as the only true vocation. The result for the movement member is shame and self-depreciation at thought of leaving the movement or even if faced with doubts about their vocation.
III. Abuses resulting from the following narcissistic personality traits (as listed in #301.81 of the DSM IV TR)
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance and requires excessive admiration
i. Maciel created a cult of his own personality so that a member’s thoughts, mannerisms, feelings, and beliefs are based on those of Maciel. Maciel cultivated a “groupthink” mentality that exerts pressure to conform to his norms.
1. Being called “Nuestro Padre”
2. Adopting the same dress code as Maciel
3. Adopting the same arm positions as Maciel in pictures and even in casual life
4. The kind of forced laughter at his jokes that comes from undue adulation
5. Writing and reading his letters
6. Singing songs he likes, celebrating Christmas like he does, maintaining a band at each house to play for him
2. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance
i. Maciel felt entitled to many personal expenditures. Maciel saw himself as being above the law.
1. allegedly including large sums of money from the treasurer that was never accounted for
2. flying first class in airlines or in helicopters
3. staying at the best hotels even when visiting Legionary houses
4. Drinking designer water at meals
ii. The movement has felt entitled to special treatment of their founder regarding allegations against him.
3. Believes that he is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
i. Maciel used his familial connections with bishops to get started in religious life. He cultivated relationships with wealthy people and those with power in the Church. He felt misunderstood and persecuted by the Jesuit superiors who didn’t acknowledge his special calling to recruit his fellow seminarians. His institutions catered to the wealthy.
ii. Maciel had his order serve for the Pope and the bishops in Rome, gaining their approval through familiarity.
4. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
i. These fantasies resulted in an elitism in the movement where many members shared their founders sense that they have an unlimited capacity for success that set so many up for failure or denial of their inabilities.
ii. The unique and strategic apostolates are seen so highly as to promise almost unlimited success.
5. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
i. Maciel took advantage of rich widows who wanted to believe in the idealism of the cause of this good looking young priest. Allegedly it is reported that when their funds dried up, the acquaintance did as well.
ii. Maciel instilled in LC/RC an ethic of a supposedly good end justifying unjust means. Examples are:
1. Deceit committed in service of a good means- money is donating in exchange for Masses said when the donors are not prayed for by name in a Mass,
2. Spinning the facts with deceptive and fallacious arguments
6. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him
i. Maciel’s sense of persecution by the Jesuits relates to the idea that he was taking priests away from them and creating an order that the Jesuits would be jealous of. He saw himself as persecuted for his holiness.
7. Arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
i. Allegedly instructing others to wait 30 years before canonization procedures for him begin and beginning the process while still alive to canonize his mother.
8. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
i. Accepting vocations without proper discernment or regard for how a vast majority with feel about leaving.
ii. Lack of empathy for the victims of sexual abuse who never received an apology from anybody in the Legion.
IV. Implications for past and present members of LC/RC
1. We have all been abused by Maciel. Many of us don’t want to acknowledge the full extent of the abuse. But until we do, we won’t find help for ourselves or prevent others from being abused. By taking action on behalf of ourselves and others and receiving love from the true God who is not formed in Maciel’s image, we will find healing and wholeness- holiness.