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Egalitarian Zetetic Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:32 PM
Original message
Opus Dei Cult (members include clarence thomas and scalia)
Opus Dei headquarters
243 Lexington Av.
New York
17 story building
costs: US$ 42 million

The Unofficial Opus Dei FAQ

Pics of inside of Opus dei

Opposing views-Opus dei (really good)

Writings of Opus dei founder

The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.

Deception and Drugs in Opus Dei
by Maria, former numerary, Venezuela

Dear young man or woman who attends an Opus Dei Center:

As a former numerary of Opus Dei, I accepted the opportunity to tell you a little of my experience in "the work" for almost 5 years.

I am originally from Venezuela and joined "The Work" at age 20. I left Opus Dei right before my 25th birthday. Today I am happily married and blessed with 4 wonderful children.

I will try to be brief, even though it would take a book to express what one has lived and gone through while in this institution.

I was young, with great goals in life and a desire to change the world and bring Christ to all human beings. I first came in contact with Opus Dei, when I met a numerary at the university where I was studying "Education." She invited me to her center for a free conference on the "career of an educator." I found out later that she had planned this conference especially for me, since I seemed to her like a good candidate for "their work" from the very beginning. At the conference I met other people who were also in the field of education, most of whom where members of "the work" of course. This numerary didn't tell me at the time anything about Opus Dei. The following week I was invited to go hiking with some of the girls that lived in the center. I didn't realize then that this was part of their recruitment technique. Later as we became better friends she started telling me more about Opus Dei and the founder and invited me to my first meditation on a Saturday morning.

This is how they operate. If you consent to their friendly invitation, they will evaluate you and ask you many questions to see if you are a good prospect for them. Please beware when you enter a center for the first time. You will meet happy people with big smiles, in a casual atmosphere. They will show concern and care for you, "the new visitor," making your visit very pleasant, too pleasant at times. As time when on, I started visiting the center more frequently and spending more time with my new Opus Dei friends. About a year after my first encounter with that numerary I found myself asking to be admitted into Opus Dei as a numerary or full time member. As soon as "I whistled" or joined the work, my director instructed me to not tell my parents I had joined Opus Dei. When I disobeyed and told my mother I was reprimanded.

Not long after that I began to find out more things about the life of a numerary, such as all the corporal mortifications. We were required to wear a cilice or spiked chain tied around our upper thigh for two hours a day except on Opus Dei or church feast days. I also found out about the discipline which was a small whip used on the naked buttocks once a week, among other sacrifices we were required to make as part of our vocation. I was also informed that we mostly spent time with those friends who may have a vocation to the work. I also learned that "the work" was now my family, with stronger bonds than my blood family, and that I would never again be allowed to spend the night at my parents' home. There were other things I found out when I moved into the center.

I was happy at the very beginning of my vocation but not for long. I soon began to see many inconsistencies in my life as a numerary. The way we were required to pursue people to join the work started to seem manipulative and deceptive. I remember clearly an incident that happened, which was probably one of the first "red flags" that made me start questioning the false friendships we were required to pursue in the work in order to get girls to join as numerary members. I had a friend, Carolina, whom I had invited to the UNIV conference in Rome, since she had been on my St. Joseph list as someone who according to the directors of my center at the time, had a vocation to become a numerary. She ended up "whistling" while in Rome as the directors had planned. As soon as she wrote the letter to be admitted as a numerary, the directors immediately told me that she should no longer talk to me as a friend or share anything personal with me, since she was now a numerary. They told me there weren't any kind of "special friendships" allowed in the work and that from then on Carolina should only share her personal life with the director in charge of her fraternal chat. I found this very disturbing, since I had really become her friend and it didn't seem normal that now we could no longer be friends. This was also hard for Carolina who by the way was denied the admission as a numerary member after they found out that she suffered from asthma. She was admitted as a supernumerary, instead. The worst part of it all was that she found out about this on the very day she was supposed to do her "admission" in the work. She was planning on moving to the Center of Studies and had even bought the things required to bring when you move into the Center of Studies, such as the right number of skirts, shirts, white robes for cleaning, etc. Carolina suffered a great disappointment when they denied her admission as a numerary, and when she called to tell me about it and I listened to her I was reprimanded for disobeying the directors. They said I shouldn't have listened to her and that that was the result of having a "bad spirit." From then on, I was forbidden from talking to Carolina. It was not surprising that she was not a supernumerary for very long. She was smart enough to leave before it was too late!

Not long after that, I tried to tell the directors that I was having doubts about my vocation, but they always said it was a temptation of the devil. I felt manipulated and started doing things because the directors asked me to and because I had to obey the directors and live the "spirit of the work" even though I didn't believe it in my heart. I felt like I was living a lie, but was afraid to leave because I didn't want to be doomed to hell. They also told me that if I said "NO" to my vocation I would never be happy or be able to live in the grace of God again. There was a point in my life when I prayed to the founder more than I did to God, almost like if the founder was becoming more important to me than God himself.

Finally, a year after my Center of Studies, the person that I did my fraternal chat with told me that they had seen that I no longer had a vocation for the work. I asked them why they waited almost 5 years to tell me. I never got a good answer. The director from my center at the time, said that they wanted me to stay at the center and live my life as a numerary until March 19 and it was February 23. I refused and requested to be able to call my parents and have them pick me up that same day. They wouldn't allow that. When I tried to get out they hid the house keys. They wouldn't let me use the phone. They even had me take "Rohypnol", a very strong antidepressant that makes you very sleepy, saying that it would help me get some rest. I took it not knowing how strong that medicine really was and the fact that it made you so sedated that you couldn't even think straight. I still refused to do as they said, so finally, that night, "C.R", a numerary that had lived close to the founder for years, came to my center to tell me that I had received permission from the father (Alvaro del Portillo) to go home the next day. She said that I had never done the work's apostolate, that I always did my own and that if I ever spoke against the work she herself would make sure that my reputation would be ruined and that the doors of Opus Dei would be forever closed if I spoke negatively against them. It is now 11 years later than I am finally speaking out. I have also read the wonderful book by Maria del Carmen Tapia, Beyond the Threshold: A Life in Opus Dei, which I highly recommend.

I am sure many ex-members would agree, that once you are finally out, you are able to see things more clearly. There is no doubt that Opus Dei uses mind control to indoctrinate its members until they assimilate their doctrine through the different means of formation such as 30 minutes of prayer or meditation in the morning and evening, daily mass, praying the rosary at least once a day, 15 minutes of spiritual reading, weekly confession with the priest, fraternal chat with a director, weekly circle about a certain virtue, monthly retreats, praying the "preces" or secret Opus Dei prayer, among others. In addition, we were always required to be happy and cheerful, to obey the directors and live "the spirit of the work." By accomplishing all the requirements in our plan of life, we had very little free time to think. All these things seem like cult-like practices once you are outside opus dei.

The only good thing about that institution is the idea of sanctifying you professional work and striving to live a TRUE Christian life. It is unfortunate that in many cases this is not the reality.

This is a short summary of my experience in this institution. I am thankful that I was still young when I left and was still able to become part of the real world without any problems or traumas of any kind. Unfortunately, I know of some people who have left the work and have suffered immensely. I was so blind when I was a numerary. Everything is so clear now. There is no doubt in my heart that Opus Dei acts like a sect within the Catholic church at times. I just pray that many people will visit your website before joining. Another excellent website is

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Members

Do you have a link that points to Scalia and Thomas being members? Just curious. I'd not heard that before.

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Egalitarian Zetetic Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. There are a few
here are a few. Of course they have been on record as denying it, and i am no conspiracy theorist, but considering they are liars, and opus dei has a history of courting politicians, the evidence is just so strong.

Hanssen, who could face the death penalty for his acts of treason, is a member of Opus Dei who sends his children to Opus Dei schools. Immediately following that revelation, stories began to surface in the press claiming that FBI Director, Louis Freeh and Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are also Opus Dei members. Opus Dei denies that Freeh, Scalia and Thomas are members, though Freeh sends his son to the Opus Dei School, The Heights, and Scalias wife is reported to regularly attend Opus Dei functions. Robert Hanssen, Justice Scalia and Louis Freeh also all worship at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia, where the Tridentine Latin Mass is offered, rather than the new order of the Mass declared by Paul VI. Whats unusual in these stories is not that Opus Dei claims members in the corridors of power in this country--a rigidly class-bound organization, Opus Dei has always sought the majority of its members from the upper classes--but that the revelations were made at all, since Opus Dei has always been characterized by a secretiveness that would rival that of the CIA. And yet, the organization runs its own schools and colleges and selects and trains its priests from within its own ranks.

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nottabubba Donating Member (266 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. 2 more
Ted Olsen and John McLauglin (McLaughlin Report, not Mahavishnu John McLaughlin.

John was associated with the Nixon White House for the younger crowd here.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Found this on Wikipedia

"In the United States, former FBI Director Louis Freeh is rumored to belong to the organization, as are Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Opus Dei denies these rumors. The Boston Globe reported connections between the Opus Dei priest Father C. John McCloskey and some conservative Catholic politicians, and convicted spy Robert Hanssen was an Opus Dei supernumerary"

Here's an Opus Dei info page:

Here's the Catholic League saying they aren't members:
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Converted by Rev. McCloskey "Church's K Street Lobbyist"

Also, people linked to Opus Dei currently are:
Peggy Noonan
Robert Novak
Sen. Rick Santorum
Sen. Sam Brownback
Louis Freeh (former FBI Director)
Rovert Hansson (FBI spy)


Opus Dei members don't usually say that they are members. They usually evade the question.

My niece is an Opus Dei member (numerary) and is from Chile. She was in the US from 2001-2003 at the New York Opus Dei headquarters working on her Master's degree in Nursing (at Columbia?). We visited NY occasionally during that time and would usually try to see her. Usually she could get time to meet for lunch, but nothing else.

Anyway, she hated to go back to the Center after dark because of all the rats she would encounter when she had to enter the building. I couldn't understand that because it's major street and brightly-lit and she kept saying it was so dark and the rats were everywhere. Then I learned that numerary women could not enter throught the front door. They had to enter through the side/back door in the alley. There are other things women have to do that are different from what is expected of men, including men's rooms.

All in all, a misogynistic cult.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Interesting....
Thanks to all for the links.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't read The Da Vinci Code. Makes my mind work in strange ways.

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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't forget Hannity and O'Reilly...
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LeinesRed Donating Member (735 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. In Richard Clarke's book he
mentions that Louis Freeh is possibly a member.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
8. The abortive Venezuela coup of 2002
Supposedly all its members were Opus Dei.

Also, Robert Bork was converted under Opus Dei influence, but says he is not a member.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
10. Tom Monaghan (Domino's Pizza) is another sugar daddy to Opus Dei
Check the photo. Clarence Thomas and Tom Monaghan sitting together.

Thomas: Don't quit on values
Justice tells Ypsilanti law school graduates to forget about 'can't.'

By Maureen Feighan / The Detroit News

YPSILANTI Roughly 30 years after his own graduation from Yale Law School, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Sunday urged the graduating class of the Ave Maria School of Law to maintain their faith and take cant out of their vocabulary.

The conservative and sometimes controversial justice addressed roughly 900 people at Pease Auditorium in Ypsilanti, giving the 56 graduates and their friends and family members bits of advice he said he wished he would have received when he graduated and was anxious and worried because he couldnt find a job in his native Georgia: Treat others with respect, maintain faith, be thankful for every day and never give up.

There will be times when you dont want to face the day, when it all seems hopeless, said Thomas, 54, who at one point alluded to his troubled confirmation hearings in 1991. No matter how hard things get, you must not quit you must not quit on your faith, your values, your family.

Ian Northon, a 25-year-old graduate, who plans to start at a law firm in Detroit this summer, said he could relate to Thomas comments on persistence. He met his wife, Cindy Northon, at Ave Maria and it took a while before she agreed to date him. They later married and now are expecting their first child.

Northon also took Thomas words to heart on treating others with respect and being true to ones values. He said even in todays polarized society, you cant just turn it off when people disagree with your views, he said. You have to be courageous.

Tom Monaghan, former owner of Dominos Pizza and founder of the ultraconservative Catholic law school in 1999, called on the schools second graduating class to be spiritual warriors.

With what youve been given here at Ave Maria School of Law, youre obligated to get off the sidelines, Monaghan said.

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Egalitarian Zetetic Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-04 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. no more dominoes for me<nt>
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BabsSong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-04 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. It's been known for quite some time that they are members.
In fact, articles were posted at DU already a couple years ago that talked of their membership-------i.e, long before Brown's various books like "DaVinci Code" or "Angels and Demons", etc. started off the new fascination with this group. And, indeed, that's their address in New York.
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