Thought Reform
Thought Reform


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    I'm sending you this e-mail to tell you about my experience with Opus Dei 
which I suppose could have been a disaster, but which turned out not to be 
too serious after I figured out what was going on before any real damage was 

    My husband and I are not Catholic and do not adhere to any organized 
religion, although I have a Protestant background.  I knew little about 
Catholicism and nothing about Opus Dei until our daughter's teacher at the 
public school she attended told me about a wonderful summer camp that she 
highly recommended.  I was very pleased with this teacher who seemed to be 
fond of my daughter and often singled her out for special attention.  Since I 
had a great deal of respect for her judgment, I agreed to send my daughter to 
the camp.  The teacher told me that she helped out at the camp every summer 
when school was out, so I wouldn't have to worry about my daughter being away 
from home for a week with strangers because she'd take good care of her.  She 
asked me not to talk to any of the other parents about the camp.

    I attended an orientation meeting for the camp at a large house near a 
major university where the teacher supposedly had a second job as a house 
mother for a student dormitory.  The place and the people and the things they 
were discussing struck me as odd.  I became curious to find out what was 
going on here and decided to do some research on the camp which, according to 
a brochure and a flyer that I had been given, was sponsored by a Catholic 
organization called Opus Dei.

    It took me a while to get any information at all on Opus Dei and I 
couldn't seem to find anyone who had even heard of the group.  However, I 
finally started to locate various resources.  I was absolutely fascinated by 
what I learned and in the end, I think that I probably gathered enough 
materials in the form of books and articles and personal contacts to write a 
doctoral dissertation on the subject.  I obtained a copy of "The Way" and 
read it through several times.  It seems to me that this book contains just 
about everything that one needs to know about Opus Dei.

    Needless to say, I did not allow my daughter to attend the camp.  I made 
a complaint to the principal of the school who in turn went to the 
administration of the school district.  I was told that the teacher was 
ordered not to make contact with the students outside of the classroom, 
although I doubt that she will comply with this if she really thinks she's on 
a mission from God.  

    Afterward, I had one rather uncomfortable telephone conversation with the 
teacher when she confronted me over what I had done.  I told her that what 
she did with her own life was her business, but I was extremely opposed to 
the idea of proselytizing children and especially behind their parents' 
backs.  She assured me that she wouldn't have put any pressure on my daughter 
and wouldn't have let any of her colleagues do it either. However, I told her 
that no matter what she said, at the very least, Opus Dei was highly 
controversial, and she and her camp were simply not a reasonable risk to take 
with my child. 

    I shared all of this information with my daughter who is very mature for 
her age and understood remarkably well.  The teacher continued to make 
contact with her for a while, but I haven't heard from her for the past year. 
 There were two other girls that I believe that the teacher was also pursuing 
who attended the school.  

    What really motivated me to send you this e-mail were your comments on 
thought reform which I had not noticed on your web site until just recently.  
I was really interested in your remarks under the heading, "Loading the 
Language," in which you drew an analogy to George Orwell's "new-speak."  My 
initial reading of "The Way," immediately brought to mind Orwell's "1984."  I 
dug up my ancient copy of the book and re-read it.  I was struck my the 
similarities between the thought control concepts in "1984" and the methods 
employed by Opus Dei.

    I think that we Americans are very naive and trusting in a number of 
ways.  It never would have occurred to me that my child's teacher could 
belong to a secret fanatical religious organization or that she could pose a 
danger to my daughter or any of the other children.  Things like this just 
don't happen in the United States - or so we think. Based on everything I 
read, I have no doubt but that this teacher was planning on trying to recruit 
my daughter into Opus Dei.  I do think that it's a tremendous breach of 
ethics for a public school teacher to target a child right out of her class 
to be involved in something that I would describe as a cult, without any 
disclosure to the unsuspecting parents.  It just goes to show how far these 
basically good people have sunk in their moral development as a result of the 
Opus Dei formation AKA thought control. 

    Perhaps it would be different if they were out there doing good works for 
the poor and downtrodden, but in accordance with their "apostolate of not 
giving," apparently they're not.  As far as I can see, what these people are 
really interested in is power, elitism, and the goal of turning back the 
clock to the 15th century to restore the Catholic Church to a position of 
absolute authority with, of course, the Opus Dei controlling the Catholic 

    Anyway, keep up the good work with your web site.  It helped me immensely 
in my efforts to educate myself about Opus Dei.  I should also say that the 
information on your web site was entirely consistent with my limited personal 
experience with Opus Dei, as well as with all of the other Opus Dei resources 
that I found.

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