Monday, August 24, 2009

Follow the Freaking Money!

From an email sent to this blog by an ex legionary:

I was thinking about my time in the [a certain central office of the Legion]. I remembered some things there that seemed kind of strange; then I had remembered that someone told me that 3 priests who were General Administrators left the Legion. The reason why I thought of the General Administrators is because not too long before I left the Legion, I remember 4 guards in yellow shirts with shotguns come up to the office and deliver two big bricks of $100 bills- I distinctly remember it because I had never seen that many $100 bills together in one place. When I am talking a brick, it was at least 24" in width and about half that in height. That was a lot of money, a lot of cash- why not put it in the bank, wouldn't it be safer in the bank? The Legion is more like a mafia.
Also, when I was working on their filing system, I saw a lot of satellite images of properties etc....Why would they need so many satellite photos? Perhaps to purchase property etc....


Anonymous said...

I don't know much about this story, but it does look interesting and certainly worth further investigation:

When I first glanced at your blog entry title, I thought it said, "Follow the Freaking Monkey!" and thought, did Maciel recruit poor Bubbles??!!!

Anonymous said...

Cash, tax evasion, bribes and safeboxes are common in the Legion." Everything counts in our way to heaven".
Hey, you want to follow the money? The Legion is the largest stakeholder of Banco Compartamos(largest microfinance bank in latin america) and Grupo Integer (Universities and schools holding). Also they have a mailing system for donations generating over 40 million dollars every year( at least until last february).
Thats where the real money is. Those must be the primary targets if we want them to fall down.


Anonymous said...

I know that all the administrators of the formation center in Rhode Island have since left. I know two still work for the Legion, and one woke up and discovered them for what they are. I don't know about the rest. I always thought it was b/c working for administration is a tough job -- you have to do ALL the little, day-to-day things for all of the other consecrated members -- but it might be that they knew too much. So they were overworked for 10 years, then thrown out b/f they could connect the dots. Typical.

Anonymous said...

In mafia investigation, the main task is following the money. Money leads to discover real extension of criminal net and surprising connections among beyond suspicion men, crime, politics and corporations.
But is it a task of this Apostolic Visitation?

Anonymous said...

I believe the thousands upon thousands of dollars in cash were used precisely so that the money trail could not be followed. Unless you know the numbers on the bills, there's no way you could trace where they went to. Banking transactions leave money trails, but cash leaves a very light footprint, if any. Makes sense to me, and I was never deemed "worthy" enough to work in the DG. Got stuck in the CES mailroom instead.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that following the money trail is something the Vatican very much does NOT want to pursue. Such a thing is not under the purvey of a Visitation, is it? Has anybody heard anything coming out of the Vatican to suggest there is any acknowledged suspicion of financial wrongdoing or any plan to look into that in the works?

I get the feeling that the finances are something the Vatican would much prefer to leave safely in the dark. I wouldn't expect any kind of investigation into the Legion's dealings whatsoever. Most likely, only if civil authorities get involved will the Vatican start going through the motions of an investigation themselves.

Does the Vatican even have any kind of investigative team in charge of monitoring the finances of religious orders? Who would even be in charge of such a thing?

If it's Sodano, Rode, and Co, the ledgers have probably already been burned.

John said...

I had someone from the Vatican question me about my name appearing in some reports from a US house of formation showing $5000 withdrawals in my name and in the name of several other brothers studying with me at the same time. The official thinks that this is a "slush fund" for off the books activities.

A likely outcome of the Church's investigation into the Legion will be stricter financial reporting standards for religious orders.

I feel that if the Legion's properties go into foreclosure, it would not take the Banking industry long to go after them for bank fraud because their financial statements were often misleading. For example non-profits must disclose the intention of a donation and reflect it as such on their financial statements. I raised several hundred thousand dollars of seminarian scholarship money while in philosophy and those scholarships paid for a bus.

Especially considering the fact the Maciel had property vested in his own name laundered by the congregation. The Vatican's hand is forced to step in. Maciel committed embezzlement.

Minstel for the Kingdom said...


And the money kept rolling in from all directions

“To build the Kingdom up we must have cash injections”

So what if our enemies now insist
That a lot of it has gone astray?

Well that’s not the point my friends!

‘Cause when the money keeps rolling in you don’t take measure

You plunk your suitcase down and fill it up with all that treasure

Accountants only slow Christ’s Kingdom down

Accountability gets in the way:

There’s never been another founder quite like Nuestro Padre!

- with apologies to EVITA (and Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Anonymous said...

John's comment is very interesting.

I am sure the Visitators are highly concerned about the Legion's financial improprieties. At the same time, it's unlikely that the Vatican has personnel trained and able to thorougly investigate money laundering or embezzlement the way a major law enforcement agency would do (and in this case even law enforcement agencies would require extensive cooperation from their foreign counterparts).

Don't count on a detailed forensic audit identifying what was paid where, when, and how. Having said that, I'll bet the Visitation WILL learn enough to recognize that serious financial irregularities are endemic in the LC/RC, which should be sufficient for disciplinary/corrective action.

Anonymous said...

My directress was Garza's sister. She had been consecrated since she was 16, and she was in her forties twenty years ago. Anyway when I gave a year she went to Houston to do some business with her properties. I was too embarrassed to ask how she owned properties in Houston if she took promises of poverty. I assumed even at the time there was some kind of fraud.

Still RC - For Now, Anyway said...


Probably not canonical fraud (though Pete Vere can confirm that) as the consecrated don't make any real religious vows but rather "personal promises" to God which are probably flexible w/r/t personal circumstances.

Probably not legal fraud either - in the sense that it's not illegal to own property.

But boy, does it show up the consecrated for what they are. No more high road - they have the same double standards and fakes in their leadership as does the LC. Moral fraud, plain and simple.

And this really does make that "Count the Stars" message rather disingenuous, doesn't it. After all, you're hardly "giving it all up for Christ" if you are retaining rights to property. Of course, I'm sure these rules don't apply to your average consecrated (unless, of course he/she is coming in with mega material goods).

Anonymous said...

Fr. Luis Garza Medina and his sister are heirs to one of the wealthiest industrial empires in the world with annual earnings of 10.637 billion dollars and 51,000 employees(Grupo Alfa

MM chose Luis and his sister (I don't know her first name) and groomed them since both were kids in Monterrey, Mexico. MM knew that a "blood marriage" between the Garza family and the Legion would guarantee the Legion's financial future.

Fr. Luis was MM's shadow for decades, learning from the master as MM mentored him and groomed him to become the "efficacious" Vicar General he is today.

I heard many times from people very close to them that MM had forbid them to donate their money to the Legion until after many years passed, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
My understanding was that Fr. Luis's estate (or the eventual claim to his family's estate) was placed in a trust that the Legion couldn't touch for I don't know how many years.

What the state of things is right now, I don't know. But we do know that Fr. Luis is now the one pulling all the strings in the Legion, including Fr. Alvaro's.

Anonymous said...

Alvaro is just too stupid, so it's quite possible that the scant 'brains' behind the outfit are, yes, Luis Garza's.

Anonymous said...

"Alvaro is just too stupid, so it's quite possible that the scant 'brains' behind the outfit are, yes, Luis Garza's.". He is not only stupid but infantile and totally incapable of running the show. This was one of Maciel's strategies: "The one who makes the decisions doen't appear publicly", or in literal translation doesn't "show his face". I remember how Maciel when he travelled on the Papal plane on JP II's trips to Mexico used to take great care of not being photographed. For good reason. To think that JP II appointed him a consultor of the Dicastery for the Clergy and mamber of several Synods of Bishops. An Argentine bishop who particpated in a group session with Maciel at one of those Synods asked me what theological formation Maciel had, to which I answered none. The bishop had noticed that he didn't open his mouth at the meetings. If he ahd to say anything, he would have one of the Legion's theology profs draft something. Doesn't this show the lack of discernment of JP II, as well as the two priceless letters he wrote praising Maciel to the skies.