|ICTOD – The International Collaboration for Truth about Opus Dei|
THE INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION FOR TRUTH ABOUT OPUS DEI (ICTOD)
Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.http://www.odan.org Dianne DiNicola, Executive Director
Opus Libroshttp://www.opuslibros.org/inicio.htm Agustina Lopez de los Mozos Munoz, founder and coordinator
Note: Regrettably, it is our understanding that the domain name www.opuslivre.org has been purchased by Opus Dei and is no longer a source for information about Opus Dei. Nevertheless, concerned individuals and former Opus Dei members remain in Brazil. Please contact ODAN if you would like to be placed in contact with others from Brazil.
Date: June 26, 2006
OpusLivre, Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. and Opus Libros have announced the formation of The International Collaboration for Truth about Opus Dei (ICTOD). The collaboration is the result of three separate groups of people who have had harmful experiences with Opus Dei in locations from all over the world wherever Opus Dei operates.
ICTOD was formed to challenge the statements made by Opus Dei in its recent media campaign to dispel the image depicted in the book and recent movie, The DaVinci Code.
ICTOD believes Opus Dei has focused on the extremes of the movie, such as bloody use of the discipline (whip) and the cilice (spiked chain) while saying nothing about how the organization takes away a person’s freedom through a subtle indoctrination process consisting of aggressive recruiting techniques, the withholding of information necessary to make an informed choice and the use of subtle pressure, fear and guilt to exact blind obedience upon its members. ICTOD will focus its resources to educating the public about the absolute control and obedience that exists in Opus Dei along with deceptive and manipulative recruiting practices.
Dianne DiNicolaodan@odan.org PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202, Telephone 413-499-7168
Agustina Lopez de los Mozos Munozoreja_de_guardia@opuslibros.org
ABOUT OPUS LIBROS
Opus Libros was formed nearly three years ago by former members of Opus Dei in Spain under the direction of Agustina López de los Mozos Muñoz. On the site there are over 500 testimonies from former members that detail many of the deceptive practices utilized by Opus Dei.
Below is a statement made by Agustina López de los Mozos Muñoz, founder of the Opus Libros web site, regarding Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code. To access her statement in Spanish: http://www.opuslibros.org/escritos/codigo_opusdei_agustina.htm
(message to the US/UK/France and Germany media follows)
“Dear Sir (or Madame),
With this letter I would like to contribute to the excellent articles you have been releasing about Opus Dei. Almost 3 years ago I conducted the creation of a new website, Opuslibros.org, aimed at collecting and making available a number of publications and secret documents from Opus Dei that show some of the evil practices of this organization from inside. The site has currently thousands of visits a day and, like the site odan.org, featured in the book The Da Vinci Code, provides help and relief to thousands of former members of Spanish speaking countries.
Along with other former Opus Dei member that, like me, felt to have an obligation of justice to restoring the truth to the general public and to other former and existing members, we have managed to gather hundreds of “internal” (i.e. secret) documents and around 10,000 testimonies and analysis from both members and ex-members.
It’s impossible to be exhaustive in a few lines. But in order to provide you with a flavor of what is available at the site, we include a few Opus Dei secret personal reports on numerary members that specify (sometimes using internal secret codes) sins, defects and wrongdoing of the member, in other words, spreading information meant to remain confidential, including information the member told an Opus Dei director or an Opus Dei priest during his “confidential” spiritual coaching (seehttp://www.opuslibros.org/html/fl.htm ); or various internal management documents and meditations that, in fact, threaten with eternal condemnation to those who dare to abandon Opus Dei after having joined (seehttp://www.opuslibros.org/libros/error_irreparable.htm ; and http://www.opuslibros.org/Meditaciones/marzo92.pdf ); or internal documents, never shown to the press, the governments or even the Church that advise members to keep apart from their real families ( cf.
http://www.opuslibros.org/html/Glosas_san_Miguel/gsm_indice.html ), not to mention documents that encourage the recruitment of teenagers as life-long celibacy members (http://www.opuslibros.org/html/charla_vocacion.htm ),
letters that try to prevent members from getting into confession with Catholic, diocesan priests that do not belong to Opus Dei, documents that determine the way numerary members are obliged to hand over all their financial income and resources to the organization, etc, etc.
Since Opus Dei is basically a Spanish/Latin American organization (up to 85% of members are Spanish-speaking people), most of the documentation we exhibit is in Spanish. Should you need more information or help, we (me or any of my colleagues) would be more than glad to provide you with translations or summaries of any document you are interested in examining.
Opus Dei is making a huge effort to counteract the current and the future impact of the Da Vinci Code -both the book and the film-. These efforts include press releases, articles, documentaries, etc., in order to reach the audience that doesn’t know the institution: the general public.
They are trying to confuse those who don’t know them by arguing that all this consists of “an attack against the Church”, so they use the Church as a shield to protect themselves. But the Church is not Opus Dei. And they care little about the attacks against the Church as long as they don’t need to defend their own “reputation”. That’s why they have undergone absolutely no campaign against books as famed and as anti-catholic as, for instance “The Gospel according to Jesus” (José Saramago), “The Gospel according to the Son” (Norman Mailer), “Three visions of Judas” (Jorge Luis Borges), “The last temptation” (Nikos Kazantzakis) or the recently released “Trilogy of Christ’s clone” (James Beau Seigneur). Along with the public campaign against the Da Vinci Code, they are also trying to repeatedly translate a wrong message to the big audience, i.e. the ones who, as said, don’t know them, the message being: “whoever criticizes Opus Dei, is also criticizing the Church”.
On top of the issue with regards the general public, which is unaware of the prelature, there are another two frontlines that Opus Dei has to take care of:
The first one is related to the prelature’s own members. The origin of all concerns here has been this website, Opuslibros. This site has been the channel to break the law of silence that embraces many aspects of Opus Dei praxis. And this channel is reaching not only the former members, but also many current members of the prelature that are accessing the website as the only place were they can be understood.
The second one is the organization of the Church itself. Many complaints about the Da Vinci Code focus on the most incredible aspects of the book, forgetting the reason why Opus Dei gets involved in the story. It is in chapter 100 where, as a fiction, the Opus Dei prelate explains how he was called to the Vatican to be informed about the new Pope’s decision of segregating Opus Dei from the Church, as a result of the difficult position Opus Dei was putting the Church into, due to:
a) Its aggressive proselytism practices
b) The use of the corporal self-punishment
c) The way women are treated in the organization
In our opinion, Opus Dei isn’t much concerned about the Da Vinci Code’s thesis on Mary Magdalene, or the cilice, or the albino Silas, or the accuracy of historical data. As long as these matters are the only ones under debate (the more unbelievable they are, the better) there is no problem. It is only one thing that’s driving the management of the prelature really nervous: the possibility that something could happen similar to what Dan Brown describes in chapter 100.
What the Church finally will decide regarding issues such as the aggressive proselytism with teenagers; the “collective” spiritual direction; the “contractual covenant” and the corresponding obligations that members don’t manage to know until years after having joined; the psychological coactions towards members that want to withdraw; the total control over the activities and all aspects, related or not with the prelature’s goals, of numerary members; the psychiatric treatments aimed at overcoming the “vocational crisis”;…, that reaction from the Church is what Opus Dei is really concerned about.
And the pacing of the Church is slow but certain. Trying to minimize the noise or the scandal, but without pause.
At the end, Opus Dei will have to face the Church and then no documentaries, image campaigns or Curial lobbying will be of any help any more. What is Opus Dei preparing to face that situation?
Thanking you in advance for your time, I remain
Agustina Lopez de los Mozos Muñoz
Coordinator and founder of Opuslibros.org”
The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) was founded in 1991 to meet the growing demand for accurate information about Opus Dei and to provide education, outreach and support to people who have been adversely affected by Opus Dei.
ODAN challenges many of Opus Dei’s Questionable Practices because of the way they affect an individual’s personal freedom, choices and family life.
Since 1991, ODAN has been in contact with countless individuals, families, the secular and religious press, clergy, religious, cult awareness organizations, campus ministers, home-schooling parents and more.
ODAN is a worldwide community of people who have had painful experiences as a result of their association with Opus Dei.
ODAN is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 4333
Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333
Executive Director: Dianne DiNicola
Posted June 25, 2006
Updated May 7, 2008