The Truth About Opus Dei – An Extremely Dangerous Sect

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This page is made by the Maria Auxiliadora Prayer Group, whose aim is to make known Opus Dei characteristics. For this purpose we have used serious and documented sources. This idea started on seeing that deceit is a common practice in Opus Dei. This sect works indeed as a secret lodge. Good-willed persons were attracted, and suffered undesirable experiences. Christ is truth and not manipulating secret lodges. So, we start to write about the Opus Dei’s dark sides.

About The Founder

Here we talk, among other things, about evidence of mental illness of the founder and scandalous aspects of his life and background.

The founder of Opus Dei was José María Escrivá de Balaguer, born in Spain in 1902 in a very poor family. He started his studies for priesthood when in Spain priesthood was the only possibility for professional studies in less important towns or cities like his. People that knew him during his life remember him as a not talented person. One of them, Manuel Mindán, described him as "an obscure man, introvert and with a very serious lack of keenness... I do not understand how a man with so short an intelligence could go so far". Well, who made him go so far is Franco’s dictatorship. History shows that dictatorships have promoted the mad and the criminals, as long as they work under their objectives; at the same time dictatorships have persecuted the most clever minds, if they did not accepted their abuse. Escrivá was known by his irascible and vulgar personality. Being already a priest, his pathologic personality is evidenced with phrases like: "I would hang the last bishop with his own guts", this is common in psychopaths. Another trait: falsehood or myth-maniac and fraud. His family was very poor, and he supported them with his salary in a modest apartment. When it was destroyed during the civil war, he concocted the story that he lived in a "noble palace". His feeling of being an outcast led him far beyond, and, in spite of being a priest, he bought in 1968 the nobility title of Marquis of Peralta. This is an evidence of his megalomania. This would be ridiculous in a common person but is unforgivable in a religious one. Although, this coarse person used to try to impress people by using a spiked belt, tightened until blood showed through. This denotes another trait of abnormality. During his life he supported Franco’s dictatorship and admired Hitler. One phrase of him: "Hitler against Jews, Hitler against Slavonic, this means Hitler against communism". Escrivá loved the violence of war, and said: "War! War has a supernatural object... But at last, we must love it, the way a religious must love his disciplines" (The Way, maxim 311). The Way is his work; his written production is a mixture of copies of different trends, like Jesuit and Masonry, with no original contribution, except for it’s vileness. Escrivá had an ill mind and a covetous, vulgar, arrogant and perverse personality. Incredibly, because of Opus Dei’s influence in Vatican, he was beatified. Being requirements for beatification an exemplary life, virtues, etc., it is obvious that his beatification was the result of a fraud of Opus Dei. There are many files of beatification of really exemplary and honorably persons that are not yet beatified since several centuries ago, e.g. María de Jesús Agreda (XVIth century), Hildegard von Bingen (XIIIth century), both religious, that lived in holiness; they were devoted to their ministries for almost all of their lives, and wrote beautiful and spiritual works; Bingen had the gifts of prophecy and healing (she healed even blind people). In Agreda’s process there was an objection, because she said that it would be a sin to oppose her book La Ciudad Mística de Dios (God’s Mystical City). However, it is true that is a sin to oppose or hinder the dissemination of spiritual books. So, there would not be objections against the outrageous nonsense uttered by Escrivá? The cost of those processes are high, but it was not a problem for Opus Dei, because they have a lot of money. The alleged healing miracle (in the process) of Escrivá after his death is another fraud, understandable because of the poor qualification of some doctors in Spain. No reasonably Catholic can believe that such a monster can bring about miracles. These are the next frauds they are preparing: the beatification of Montse Gratses, Miguel Díaz del Corral and Isidoro Zorzano Ledesma, they were just common Catholic people. Look out! Opus Dei has already cornered the canonization office in The Vatican! They need desperately to manufacture a saint.

According to a biography written by Peter Beglar (it has an Imprimatur and a Nihil Obstat, of the Archbishop of N. York), Escrivá stayed for five months as a mental patient in a psychiatric clinic in order to escape from persecution during the civil war. In the meantime his five disciples remained hidden in several places, they all risked to be jailed. Being Opus Dei (OD) a sham-oriented sect, we can asume that they explain things this way because [Escrivá's] madness is ashaming for them. It is perfectly logic that Escrivá needed that stay in the hospital to treat his mental illness. If what biographers said were true, we could ask ourselves: 1) How could his disciples survive the persecution in other places, that is, they did not need to hide in a psychiatric clinic? 2) If Escrivá used to say that he was like a father for his disciples, why he did not asked his friend, the purported friend (the director of the clinic), for refuge for his disciples? Being liars the heads of OD, we should also have doubts about that story. On the other hand, his writings, words and behaviour are evidence that the treatment of Escrivá's mental condition was not fully succesful, they just managed to somehow alleviate his madness that was completely out of control during his stay in the psychiatric clinic, but he continued with his unbalanced mental condition up to the day he died. About his madness, we can remember some things, according to his official biographers:

  • In 1928 he said that 'God digned to illuminate him and that he had had a mystic vision about OD and what the Lord wanted with 'the work' through the centuries, until the end of times' (in reality he had hallucinations, or he created a fantasy to appear great). It is common in mad people to believe that they have a worldwide salvific mission.
  • Escrivá always said that the real founder of Opus Dei was God himself, and that it has a universal character...
  • Max. 863 '...children, when you are sincere... you will be omnipotent...'
  • In a paper he said that, as he was in a bus: '...I felt the work of God in me, in my heart and in my lips and with an overwhelming force it developed the soft cry 'Abba Father...' This is common in schizofrenic, they feel a sudden strength ...

About Opus Dei

This part talks about methods, history, corruption, their nature: a politic and economic mafia, main representatives in Peru, their fascist nature, their linking with dictatorships in the world and Unidad Nacional in Peru (political group headed by right wing leader Lourdes Flores). Opus Dei predisposes people to mental perturbations. Their activity downgrades education.

During their first years they worked in a judicial fraud, in conspiracy with Franco’s dictatorship. They were strengthened because of their adulation and the juncture of the age: Opus Dei was searching to staff positions in the main universities of Spain. Many of the professors were executed during the civil war, others departed to exile. The situation was so serious that these universities could no longer work. This situation was exploited by Escrivá, who had already recruited for Opus Dei mediocre or incompetent province professors, with whom he filled vacancies in Spain’s big universities. Afterwards, he obtained from Franco a privileged budget for the education institutions controlled by Opus Dei, and for all the education, and, because of his powerful influence, he did with it as he pleased. Instead of selecting the best professors, he hired Opus Dei members. It was a disgrace for science in Spain, it is plain to see that in the second half of the XXth century there were not important scientists in Spain, despite the fact that all their efforts were for the education of bourgeoisie. However, Opus Dei was always manufacturing phony fame for middling individuals. Even now, incompetent people can obtain a Ph. D.! Opus Dei also let the needy in the ignorance or semi-ignorance, because they feared that they would become a thinking and vocal rights-claiming class. When students composed verses to protest against favoritism to Opus Dei members, this sect used to respond with violence and destruction. In addition of education, Opus Dei infiltrated into all the immense beaurocracy of the Spanish state, in key posts. They built an economic empire due to the favors received during the long decades of the Franco’s dictatorship, where they parasitized and became a cyst in power and had even whole minister staffs of Opus Dei members or sympathizers. The latter promulgated laws to support the economical interests of their members, through a technocratic mafia that held Spain’s best paying jobs, and created other new unnecessary and very well paid jobs for their members. The members were involved in corruption and immoral practices.

Escrivá made the Opus Dei’s structure copying Jesuits in their organization, but adding the character of secret lodge of masons and a totalitarian quality. As for its nature, it’s Catholic fundamentalist; unfortunately they took the darkest of Catholicism and a fascist political character. This is why they throve during the Franco, Pinochet and Videla dictatorships; and in Peru they had a great influence under the Fujimori-Montesinos dictatorship, headed by cardinal Cipriani. Their secret nature makes them deny to others their totalitarian ideology. This is only revealed as the recruit goes up in the lodge’s ranking. Opus Dei is characterized by:

  • Dishonesty of their high commands. Nowadays Opus Dei manage giant economic capital. Their see in N. York worths $42 millions.
  • In their early years, their bases served for recruitment of the fascist organization Young Europe, headed by nazi militants, and linked to Italian and Spanish fascism.
  • The dishonest and surreptitious recruitment. They do not tell the prospective member that they are Opus Dei, until they believe he is convinced. This is not practiced by any Catholic order, who have neat and clear rules. Look out fathers!: those who are under age are induced to sign a allegiance document and are told to hide it from their parents! This sect breaks the link of confidence and communication between parents and children. Our society should be on the alert about this serious fact. Of course, they do not leave written evidence of this procedure; for this they use their lodge secret procedures, to avoid problems.
  • Their contempt for women or misogyny. Women are inferior and contemptible for Escrivá, he said about them "You should be like a carpet where people can step onto". Woman is considered a being that must not become enlightened: " is not necessary that they be learned: it is enough for them to be discreet..." (maxim 946).
  • (Look out handicapped people!) For Opus Dei people with any physical imperfection are inferior and will never be full members (numeray members). Echevarría, Escrivá’s successor, said that handicapped children are born due to some sinful sexual practices of their parents!
  • Brain washing practiced in such a way that the member does not know the border between crime, ethics and moral. Example of Opus Dei’s most outstanding members in Peru: Rafael Rey, even being a congressman, said that he did not repent for having met with Montesinos, in order to free his Opus Dei friend, jailed for kidnapping psychiatrist Mariano Querol. Martha Chávez, congresswoman, said that Cuatro Suyos protesters (against dictatorship) should be shot at. Rafael Rey is member of the political group Unidad Nacional, leaded by Lourdes Flores. Opus Dei says that it does not support any political group, but Rey is head of the support of Opus Dei to this group (Unidad Nacional). Francisco Tudela, another congressman, created a law to acquit Fujimori’s ‘Grupo Colina’ death squad. Fernando de Trazegnies (former foreign relations minister) is accused of defending the usurpation of an important mine; Luisa M. Cuculiza, Fujimori’s most coarse former minister is accused for several charges; Blanca Nélida Colán, former General Attorney, obeyed Montesinos blindly; Enrique Chirinos, Domingo Palermo, Fernando Dianderas, Juan Hermoza Moya, Federico Salas, who made a mockery of the aspirations of Huancavelican peasants, and tried to stick to the Ministry of Education, to manipulate the minds the way Opus Dei did in Spain. During the dictatorship, Opus Dei members were known for defending openly or covertly the régime and the electoral fraud, of which all citizens were aware. Now Tudela needs psychiatric treatment. Other Opus Dei members are important entrepreneurs, like Dionisio Romero, a banker that obtained huge profits from many Fujimori-Montesinos laws (the way Opus Dei used to do in Spain). Until the end he cooperated with the government mafia, giving his airplane to help Montesinos in his escape. We were about to repeat the Spanish history in our country. But we must remain watchful, because they are always waiting an opportunity to strike again, in the same manner they are now trying to do in Spain with Aznar, whose wife is an Opus Dei militant.
  • Their irrational reaction against modern world values. Normally, Opus Dei stigmatizes as being a Marxist anybody who talks about human rights and social justice (poor Saint Martin of Porres, patron of social justice in Peru!).
  • Blind intolerance towards other beliefs. Queen Elizabeth (head of the Anglican church) is stigmatized as being a "demon". They despise other Catholic groups and trample them in a very crude way.
  • Abuse of information. Recruiters are compelled to write individual reports about each member, that passed on to their superiors (a full intelligence work). In each country there are always members belonging to intelligence services, such as SIN in Peru, and CIA in USA, ready to perform hideous jobs, according to Escrivá teachings.
  • Dehumanization, that makes them see as ‘the enemy’ any person who opposes their ideas, and consider them inferior beings or a subhuman force. This can be a justification to their eradication. This is the way Hitler and nazis used to think. Escrivá teaches to take away oneself’s heart, senses and emotions (maxims 166, 181, 188); this proves that Escrivá was a psychopath, because psychopaths despise all feelings in order to satisfy their desires. These teachings can produce people so cruel as nazis. Escrivá’s maxim N.o 367 teaches the members that they are beautiful and intelligent people, and must consider others inferior or animals. They are taught to work secretly behind people’s back (Max. 643). Their objective is to hog public posts and become a group having world supremacy.
  • To teach that priests are superior beings. They practice the irrational cult to Escrivá.
  • To mutilate the value of fraternity. They maintain fraternity is possible only between Opus Dei members. These ideas are extremely dangerous, they kill the love to fellow men. Other people are seen only as potential members, enemies or even demons.
  • To practice fraud, they manufacture false fame for their members. Their propaganda machine receives instructions for promoting their members. Escrivá teaches them to fight for a direction post, even if they are silly (Max. 352): "Please reform yourself. Even being silly you can reach senior positions..." They become shameless persons who stick to high posts until they must be sacked because they are not decent enough to admit their limitations.
  • Once the member reaches a level, he signs a document, in which he/she accepts that Opus Dei will be heir to his properties.
  • To practice the offence of violation of correspondence, penalized by the law. In groups living in community, members do not have the right of privacy, the director can read all letters, sent or received.
  • To practice class division, in Indian style, where poor are contemptible and stinking, and the contact of poor people with wealthy members is avoided. When they recruit poor women, they use them as maids.
  • Opus Dei members learn few about ethics and moral, but they put emphasis on external signs, such as physical punishment: scourging in the buttocks is compulsory (each time they must finish saying Escrivá’s words: "Your greatest enemy are yourself, blessed be pain!), spiked belt, fasting and, at times, sleeping on the floor. There are saints that practiced physical penance, but, if there is no ethics nor moral, which is the use of scourging or any other external sign? Could Hitler or Montesinos spiritually impress anybody by scourging themselves?
  • Members are recommended not to talk with their families about their intent of joining Opus Dei for life. At certain level, it is even recommended not to have pictures of their loved ones.
  • In their initiation rite their vows are before a cross without Christ, this way they insult our Lord’s Passion. (They say that this performed that way because it is the cross is of the initiated.)
  • Their greediness. Wealthy members are more valuable, because Opus Dei will obtain more profit from them. They hide to beginners the fact that after the vows, and from certain moment, their salary will not belong to them, but to Opus Dei.
  • Members are controlled even in what they can read. It causes a mind deterioration, because of the narrowness of ideas in which they act or think. However, they make them believe that they are a superior elite! They often become people having problems with their social relationships.
  • Members are told that if they leave Opus Dei, they will be damned. Such a lie! Catholics can leave an order and enter another. Example: Saint Anthony of Padua, who was first Augustinian, and after Franciscan.
  • The theologian Urs von Balthazar said: "No doubt Opus Dei is the stronger power sign of fundamentalism in the Church... they hold high posts in government, banks, publishing houses, magazines, newspapers... It is undeniable that the fact of the foundation of Opus Dei is marked by franquism: this is the law in which it has been formed." The Church asks forgiveness for having being silent in cases of human rights violations, but does not talk expressly about her silence during the bloody Franco’s régime, nor about the connivance between Escrivá or Opus Dei and Franco.
  • Another strange event is pope John Paul the 2th’s kneeling by the grave of Escrivá. Why did he do that?, is that the result of the consistent lobbying of Opus Dei? According to protocol, a Pope can only kneel by the grave of a cardinal! It is worrying to see that now important departments of The Vatican are hogged by Opus Dei (in addition of the canonization office), for example communications and finance.
  • This sect is *speaking from the psychological point of view* extremely dangerous, there are many cases of psychiatric perturbation. Personality is deformed because they live under rules produced by the insane mind of Escrivá(1). The Opus Dei bishop Xavier Laurizaca, who prologued Escrivá’s The Way, ended in a mental hospital. Father Arrupe thought that the case of Escrivá is inside the psychoanalysis, because Escriva’s sexual obsessions emerged often. Carmen Tapia, former Opus Dei member and authoress of Behind the Treshold-A Life in Opus Dei, relates what Escrivá spoke about a member girl that had brought correspondence to her secretly: "And she has to be spanked throughout. Draw up her skirts, tear down her panties and give it to her in the ass!! In the Ass!!! Until she talks! Make her talk!!!" Another trait of megalomania is that he compared himself to Christ when he recruited 12 cooperators *like the 12 apostles of our Lord* to start his "work of God" (Opus Dei), which he regarded as divine. This is blasphemy, he talks about the product of his depraved mind as if it were work of God. It must be taken into account that Escrivá de Balaguer was mentally sick man, whose deranged "doctrine" has sent people to the mental hospitals or to the psychiatric examination (like the well known case of Tudela, Peru’s former Foreign Minister).

Briefly, they obtained recognition from the Vatican because they wrote only the most acceptable in their constitutions. Their sinister side is handled in the shadow of secrecy.

In Peru, the most conspicuous member is cardinal Cipriani, shameless supporter and accomplice of the Fujimori-Montesinos dictatorship, because Opus Dei received many favors from them, and because of the fascist nature of Opus Dei. About Cipriani, it is important to know (these things are well known in Peru through the media):

  • That he said that "Human rights are bullshit".
  • He opposed the work of charity of cardinal Vargas Alzamora in Hogar de Cristo (an institution working for poor children and old people), using his influence with the dictatorship. The brother of the late cardinal Vargas has accused Cipriani of trying to seize the funds of that institution. Cipriani also opposed the Carmelite nuns of Cajamarca, and closed their charity restaurant. And this happened in an extremely poor place! Whoever opposes charity opposes God!
  • His speech is impudent, a shallow one, according to what we could prove in a ‘vladivideo’ (one of Montesinos’s many corruption-tinted videos). Cipriani utters tremendous swearwords.
  • He was supporter of death penalty.
  • He blasphemed by saying that Channel 4 "has a light like the light of God". (Channel 4 is a supporter of the dictatorship controlled by Montesinos, the greatest murderer in Peruvian history, involved too in torture, corruption, drugs and weapons dealing. This TV channel broadcasts immoral television programmes. )
  • The British journalist Sally Bowen reports that Cipriani smuggled in microphones concealed in a crucifix, into the Japanese embassy, which ended up in the massacre of MRTA guerrillas that had already surrendered, as is confirmed by the Japanese diplomat Hidataka Ogura.
  • A letter of late cardinal Vargas Alzamora is a proof to know that Cipriani is a liar.
  • Cipriani violates the eighth Commandment with his lies; he violates the first one defying God, being a bad example and blaspheming. He violates the second Command of Jesus, despising his fellow neighbors.
  • In order to defend Montesinos, he asked for "restraint" when the drug trafficker Vaticano unmasked the corrupt advisor as a godfather in that dirty business.
  • He incited the government to quell the freedom of the press by suggesting a "quality control".
  • In order to defend the Fujimori electoral fraud in the year 2000, he offended the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights by saying: ‘I hope you are not coming to raise fantasies, but to verify that there is liberty and respect". He said this when it was very clear for everyone that the Fujimori-Montesinos dictatorship did not respected any institution.
  • He opposed the mediation of the Church during the serious crisis produced by the electoral fraud (because he knew that the Peruvian Chruch would have help in order to know the truth). Talking like ignorant people, he and father Mc Gregor said that the Church must not participate in politics. But history shows that the Church did partipate in critical cases to avoid violence, for example the Chile-Argentina crisis; Saint Vincent Ferrer was one of the mediators in the crisis of the crown of Aragon. However, Cipriani contradicts himself, and he really did participate scandalously and widely in politics defending the fujimorist regimen, when his duty was to protest against crimes and tortures. After the fall of the dictatorship he called on the nation to forgiveness and reconciliation, instead of asking the judgement of the Fujimori mafia for their murders, drugs and weapons traficking, terrorism and widespread corruption, so that this would serve as an example for the youth. If Peru performs a right trial, this foremost ideologist of the regime should be condemned, the way Germany did judging the nazis.
  • He used the pulpit to attack whoever he has a grudge against. In Ayacucho he used to attack from the pulpit all government officials who were not appointed by him! (With Fujimori he really had political power.) This is an evidence of his immoral thirst for power, learnt from Escrivá.
  • He annoys homosexuals condemning them, maintaining that they are not in the plan of God, instead of calling them to convert or repent, according to the Holy See.
  • Despite his grotesque behaviour, he does not stand any criticism. He responds to critics with pride and cynicism, without recognizing his aberration or repentance, saying that this criticism is an attack on the Church. Being an Opus Dei member, he responds this way because in the eyes of Opus Dei members whoever opposes their ideas is considered a marxist or inferior people. Brain washing has obstructed Cipriani’s ability for analysis. He has not ethics, moral nor respect for himself and others. No wonder if he will end up in psychiatrist's consulting rooms.

WHERE CAN OPUS DEI RECRUIT YOUR SON, YOUR BROTHER OR FRIEND? Among common Catholic parish groups, retreats, schools, universities, working places, etc. (In Peru the educational institutions controlled by Opus Dei are: schools Alpamayo, Salkantay and Santa Margarita, Universidad de Piura, Escuela Montemar, Santa María high school is too an important place for recruitment). At the start they do not reveal they are Opus Dei members. They just say that they are Catholic, until "the prey falls into the trap".

WHICH IS THE BETTER WAY OF GETTING RID OF THEM? You have to be on the lookout, you have to tell them that you have read these things, and that you know that Opus Dei is harmful and that you will never believe their lies mixed with truths.

CAUTION. It is good to talk with your children and ask them what the teachings of the persons that talk them about religion are. Specially if your children are under age, they should learn not to hide what they do from their parents. If children learn to hide their behaviour from their parents, the way Opus Dei persuades them, you run the risk that they can hide any serious or depraved fact that an adult person my be planning against them. The percentage of religious people in this sect is very short; most of them perform any job or study in the same way as another person. So, they go unnoticed, and it makes recruitment easier.



(2) Another evidence of the violence and mental illness of Escrivá is this paragraph taken from the book of Carmen Tapia: "Then, monsignor Escrivá began to walk up and down, very anxious, very angry, he was red, furious, while he was saying: "And do not talk about the Work nor aboout Rome with anybody. Do not set us against your parents, because if I get to know that you say something pejorative about the Work to somebody, I, José María Escrivá de Balaguer, me, who has the world press in my hands *and he was saying this while with a gesture he confirmed with his hands this idea* I will dishonour you publicly, and your name would appear on the first pages of all the newspapers, because I will personally take charge of that, and this will be your dishonour before men and before your own family!!! (...) -And looking directly to me with a scary anger, moving his arms towards me, as if he was about to strike at me, he added shouting: You are a bad woman. A perfidious woman! Mary Magdalene was a sinner!, but you? You are a corrupter. You are a corrupter with your immoralities and indecencies!!! You are a corrupter!!! I know everything¡¡¡ EVERYTHING!!! EVEN THAT MATTER OF THE BLACK VENEZUELAN!!! You are terrible! YOU TAKE THE BLACK MEN INTO YOUR HEAD!!!"

BIBLIOGRAPHY (read this and much more in these sources, that present serious investigation works):

Magno Sosa: Cipriani, el Teólogo de Fujimori, Lima, 2000.

Carmen Tapia: Tras el Umbral, una Vida en el Opus Dei, Madrid, 1994, Ediciones España.

Jesús Ynfante: La prodigiosa aventura del Opus Dei-Génesis y desarrollo de la Santa Mafia, París, 1996, Ediciones Ruedo Ibérico.


La República, Lima, several issues, 2000-2001.

Liberación, Lima, several issues, 2000-2001.

(The most important newspaper in Peru, El Comercio, avoids to talk against Opus Dei, because this sect placed a religious member as part of the staff for religion news)