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 done. 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 Church. 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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