Sentient Christian

AV_1611 Bible Only. Exposing The Whore of Babylon. Revelation 17 KJV



The following sites are provided for information purposes only. External sites are not endorsed by the Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN), nor are the views expressed necessarily those of ODAN, Inc.

Web Sites about Opus Dei

BEWARE THE CULT OF OPUS DEI – from, Traditional Roman Catholic Network.  Scroll down to “June 22″ to read this account of the cult-like tendencies in Opus Dei, including blind obedience to superiors, the belief that the group is entirely perfect as it was established by the Founder, and fascist tendencies turned to religious purposes.  On the same website, there are further comments about Opus Dei at the following link (scroll down to “Opus Dei” in the alphabetical listing: )

Excellent website about Opus Dei in Spanish! Opus Libros was created by former numeraries of Opus Dei. Opus Libros has over 500 testimonies and other writings underTus Escritos (Your Writings), and entire books written by former numerary members about their experiences in Opus Dei under Libros Silenciados or (Silenced Books).

Website about Opus Dei in Portuguese! Opus Livre based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has testimonies from former members, books written about the negative aspects of Opus Dei and links in Portuguese.

Note:  Regrettably, it is our understanding that the domain name www.opuslivre.orghas 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.

Reflecting on this action by Opus Dei, the question to ask is this:  What does Opus Dei fear about the free flow of information that it would pursue shutting down those who have experienced firsthand Opus Dei’s deception and manipulation?  This is the type of action employed by extremist regimes, whether fascist or communist, where information is routinely stifled through control of all forms of media.

ODAN supporters and those familiar with cult information may remember the similar demise of the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) which was completely taken over by Scientology in 1997.  Opus Dei’s actions speak louder than its words..

The Unofficial Homepage of Opus Dei – Based in Austria, this site has an article called“Frequently Asked Questions about Opus Dei”, by Franz Schaefer, and a response pagefrom people who have been adversely affected by Opus Dei., the open directory project, is a search engine with many links to information about Opus Dei.

Origins website Includes various Opus Dei-related articles.

Opus Dei’s Official Homepage. This is where you can find Opus Dei’s point of view.

Cult Information and Support

Based in Massachusetts, Steve Hassan’s Freedom of Mind website provides resources, news and information about destructive cults and mind control techniques, as well as nformation in order to help oneself or others.

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments. Founded in 1979 as AFF (American Family Foundation), ICSA took on its current name in late 2004 to better reflect the organization’s focus and increasingly international and scholarly dimensions.

Part of the United Campus Ministry at Colorado State University and Interfaith of Fort Collins, the Religious Movement Resource Center provides information on destructive cults and provides services including counseling, legal referrals, an extensive library, workshops, and more.

The Religious Groups Awareness International Network (REGAIN) is a not-for-profit organization, stemming from the negative and abusive experiences caused by the Legionaries of Christ and their counterpart, Regnum Christi. Based in Illinois, REGAIN’s goal is to provide counseling and support to individuals and their families, while helping them to deal with the guilt and shame associated with abuse, understanding the experience and regaining a healthy balance for the rest of their lives.

News Item:  Before his death, Legionaries of Christ Founder Father Marcial Maciel Degollado was forbidden by the Vatican to engage in any public ministry in the wake of allegations made by several individuals that Maciel had sexually molested them over a period of time that encompasses decades.   For more information:  Legion of Christ

Based in London, the Family Action Information and Resource (FAIR) offers support to families and individuals who have been adversely affected by cult involvement.

Based in London, The Cult Information Center, (CIC) is an educational charity providing advice and information for victims of cults, their families and friends, researchers and the media.

Based in Spain, Asesoramiento e Información sobre Sectas (AIS) is located at Diagonal 430, 1º 1ª, 08003 Barcelona, SPAIN. Tel. 93 301 30 24; Fax 93 301 87 44. Their e-mail address is This website is in Spanish.

Based in Australia, the Cult Information and Family Support Incorporated (CIFS) has the following address: P.O. Box 385, West Ryde NSW 1685 AUSTRALIA. The fax number is 02-9868-7245. The e-mail is CIFS publishes the Cult Watcher, a quarterly Australian Review of articles relating to cultism and unethical social influence.

Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center provides a program of counseling and instruction to individuals who have suffered psychological and spiritual distress resulting from trauma due to destructive cults or cult-like organizations/relationships.


Opus Dei’s Questionable Practices

The following practices of Opus Dei are not common knowledge and need to be examined and questioned. The serious issues ODAN raises are based on a collection of first-hand personal experiences.

  • Corporal mortification
  • Aggressive recruitment / undue pressure to join
  • Lack of informed consent and control of environment
  • Alienation from families

Corporal Mortification

Corporal mortification (self-inflicted pain and deprivation) is perhaps the most shocking practice. See the corporal mortification web page for more details.

Aggressive Recruitment

 “University residences, universities, publishing houses. . . are these ends? No, and what is the end? . . . to promote in the world the greatest possible number of souls dedicated to God in Opus Dei…”(Founder of Opus Dei, Cronica, v, 1963)

Within Opus Dei, a heavy emphasis is placed on getting individuals to commit their lives to Opus Dei. Members’ pursuit of potential members is aggressive and similar to the tactics used by totalistic groups. Because of this, ODAN believes the group violates the personal freedom of individuals.

  • Opus Dei has a highly structured apostolate. Opus Dei members form “teams” and develop strategies to attract new members. For example, if the potential recruit is an avid skiier, then the numeraries may plan a weekend ski trip, when the “numerary friend” is pressured to tell the recruit that she may have a vocation, after which the numerary must report back to the Director. If the recruit is receptive, then the Director may talk more in depth about the vocation. They discuss “promising recruits” at their daily get-togethers (for members only) and during spiritual direction with Opus Dei priests and lay members. Opus Dei members often know which recruits are closest to joining, even if the person is hundreds of miles away.  
  • Opus Dei members are typically taught to always have twelve to fifteen “friends,” with at least three or four who are very close to joining. This leads to the utilization of friendship as “bait.” Far too often, Opus Dei members drop friendships with those who are unlikely to join Opus Dei.
  • Opus Dei members are required to report regularly to their lay Spiritual Directors on the progress of their personal recruiting. They also fill out statistics on their “friends,” which may include the following: number of apostolic visits made; Opus Dei meditations attended; Opus Dei retreats made; confessions with an Opus Dei priest, etc. How does Opus Dei use this information? Why is it necessary? The recruits do not know they are being discussed and targeted in this way, a violation of their freedom and privacy.
  • Opus Dei members befriend and cultivate young idealistic individuals through front groups at universities and schools and/or through affiliation with groups like Right to Life, young adult Catholic groups and St. Thomas More Societies. Some groups are completely Opus Dei-run and exist primarily for the purpose of attracting potential Opus Dei members. The groups’ affiliation with Opus Dei is typically not immediately recognizable nor initially disclosed. An example of an Opus Dei “front group” is UNIV, an international convention of college students that is used by Opus Dei to attract “select” individuals who could potentially become members, particularly by participating in a yearly trip to Rome during Easter week when unsuspecting participants are aggressively pursued to make a commitment to Opus Dei while in Rome at the Opus Dei headquarters. These statements are based on the personal testimonies of former members, who also witnessed first hand the targeting of potential Opus Dei members while participating in groups not necessarily run by Opus Dei. The Opus Dei members joined these groups in order to find and befriend individuals who would more likely join Opus Dei.In addition to groups targeting young people, Opus Dei also attempts to attract potential “supernumerary” members by infiltrating parishes throughout the world. It is often very difficult to determine the extent of Opus Dei’s influence in a given parish. Opus Dei members very often conceal their identity to “outsiders.”

Undue Pressure to Join

Selected individuals are relentlessly pursued to consider a vocation or calling to Opus Dei.

  • Opus Dei members carefully stage “vocational crises” at vulnerable moments in recruits’ lives. The recruits are often told that God calls people at certain times in their lives, and if they say “no” they will never receive God’s grace in their lives because they are “on the wrong track.”
  • Opus Dei members often tell their “friends” that failure to follow a calling to Opus Dei will lead not only to a life of misery and discontent, but possibly to eternal damnation.

Lack of Informed Consent and Control of Environment

When recruits decide to join Opus Dei, they vaguely commit themselves to live “the spirit of Opus Dei” without knowing the details of that commitment. The initial commitment, called “whistling,” involves the writing of a letter to the prelate of Opus Dei asking to become an Opus Dei member. From that moment, new members are greeted with exuberance and welcomed into the fold. Eventually, the details of new memberships are revealed, and the new members are expected to comply, even if they object or have reservations. A great psychological burden is placed on the new members: they must be faithful to the commitment they have made by obeying all that their directors tell them is “the spirit of Opus Dei;” otherwise, they are turning their back on God. If they decide to leave Opus Dei, they have often already heard that they will surely live a life without God’s grace, and may even be damned.

Opus Dei tightly controls the lives of its members, especially the numerary members who pledge celibacy and typically live in Opus Dei residences. The following are some examples of the controls placed on Opus Dei numeraries, which are part of the “spirit of Opus Dei:”

  • Opus Dei numeraries are expected to hand over their entire salaries to Opus Dei, and generally may not hold their own bank accounts.  The numeraries are told to use money as if they were the mother in charge of a large and poor family.  They ask for the money they need each week and are then required to report how it was spent to the penny.  Opus Dei does not provide any financial report that indicates how the members’ money is spent.
  • Both incoming and outgoing personal mail is generally read by the Directors of each Opus Dei residence, without the knowledge or consent of family and friends.
  • Reading material is strictly controlled, as are television viewing, listening to the radio, and other forms of recreation and entertainment.
  • Opus Dei numeraries notify their Directors of (and secure permission for) their comings and goings.
  • Opus Dei numeraries are required to practice corporal mortification such as the use of a cilice (a spiked chain worn around the thigh), flagellation, and sleeping on the floor or on boards.
  • Opus Dei numeraries are required to confess weekly and are strongly discouraged from confessing to a non-Opus Dei priest.
  • Opus Dei numeraries typically may not attend events which are not conducive to proselytizing, such as athletic games, theater, concerts, movies, etc.  In the rare instances when they may attend these events, permission must be secured from the Opus Dei directors.
  • Opus Dei members are enjoined to confess even their slightest doubts to Opus Dei priests and/or Spiritual Directors; otherwise, “the mute devil takes over in the soul.”

Alienation From Families

Communication to family about involvement with Opus Dei is limited and even discouraged.

  • Opus Dei teaches individuals (despite their ages) that it is acceptable and even advantageous to leave parents and loved ones out of the decision-making process because “they will not understand.”  Most parents learn of their child’s lifetime commitment to Opus Dei months and even years later.  Many times, parents do not realize their children have  joined because the numeraries are told to remain in university residences and do not move into centers designated exclusively for numeraries, so as not to raise any suspicions.  Gradually, the bond of trust between child and parent is broken.
  • Display of pictures of loved ones is discouraged, not by rule, but by subtle example.

Revised November 16, 2003

Index of Forbidden Books


Opus Dei controls the information that members of the organization have access to. For example, members must ask permission of their spiritual directors before reading any book, even if it is required reading for a university course. The director checks the title against a list which is usually kept under lock and key in the Director’s office.

This list is based on one that was used by the Roman Catholic Church until 1948 (see link below for the 276-page list). Though the Catholic Church has abolished the list, Opus Dei still uses it and has added even more books to it.

Some of the authors on the original list include Victor Hugo, Immanuel Kant, Honoré de Balzac, John Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire and Emile Zola.

ODAN has heard many stories from former members about the Index of Forbidden Books, including the addition of new authors to this list; for example:

  • In an interview with Paul Moses in “Fact, Fiction And Opus Dei,” Fr. Alvaro de Silva said “that despite his advanced degree in theology, he had to ask permission to read leading Catholic scholars whose works were on Opus Dei’s list of forbidden books…he was forbidden to read the work of the Rev. Raymond Brown, who served on a papal commission and was widely considered the leading Catholic Bible scholar in the United States until his death in 1998.”Image
  • In The Vocation Trap, former numerary Joseph Gonzales says, “During my stint as a numerary, I witnessed the numeraries, including the directors, intermittently burning books in the garden at the back of the center. Usually, Protestant Bibles and books on the theory of evolution.”
  • In “Princeton Catholics divided,” by Deborah Kovach, The Trenton Times, October 22, 1989, History professor Michael Jimenez, a Catholic who has opposed Opus Dei because of its ideology and tactics, is among those who contend that McCloskey [Opus Dei priest] told students not to take courses with certain professors because they were “dangerous,” and told professors he would advise students not to read philosophers such as Nietzsche and Hume because they were also “dangerous” to young minds.
  • In Catholic Sects: Opus Dei, Alberto Moncada says, “Members are practically forbidden to read anything but specialized professional literature without the superiors’ permission, and even professional matters are ideologically tinted. Recently a numerary who had to read the Communist Manifesto because of his studies, was provided with an expurgated version. The organization’s Index of Forbidden Books is longer than the Church’s abolished version.”
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KJV / AV 1611- Proverbs 10:19 " In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. " KJV / AV 1611

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