it would seem that Tammy DiNicola is hardly an unbiased and qualified
source of information. Her accusation that Opus Dei is "cultlike"
is a direct consequence of what she herself refers to as "an
I am personally acquainted with
the process by which young people meet and join Opus Dei since my
youngest son, John, joined when he was a junior in high school.
He went on to study at Harvard, and is presently a professor of
communications at the Opus Dei-run Pontifical University of the
Holy Cross in Rome. He will be ordained a priest for Opus Dei in
September. His decision to join Opus Dei in his teens was free;
his continued membership is the result of a free choice.
As a practicing psychologist, I
can say that what DiNicola calls "an intervention" is
in fact a traumatic psychological experience. At the instigation
of disgruntled parents, a member of a group is sequestered by deception
with the intent of forcibly extracting the person from the group.
A team of self-proclaimed "experts" submits the person
to an intense barrage of psychologically intimidating, highly distorted
information, without the ability to communicate with the outside
This is followed by several weeks
of continued so-called deprogramming. The process costs thousands
of dollars and leaves the person with permanent psychological scars.
One of the psychological techniques used to keep the "cured"
person from going back to the group from which they were forcibly
removed is to reprogram them to attack what they formerly found
attractive. This is the origin of the Opus Dei Awareness Network."
Leroy A. Wauck, professor emeritus
of clinical psychology
University, Park Ridge