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flash fire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2758
Posted:I'm reading The Da Vinci Code at the moment (am fashionably late) and gotta say I am a bit freaked out, and am only in Chapter 5.

The reason for this uncharacteristic freakedness from me is due to the Opus Dei component. I went to an Opus Dei school for 5 years (from year 4 to year 8) and blame much of my prior spiritual retardation on the teachings and cult-ish concepts the school propogated. It was really, really full on and after leaving the school I turned my back on all things (dogmatically) religious for several years. It has only been in the recent past that I have been able to accept the concept of god in conversations with others and have finally come to peace with the fact that I am not damning my soul to hell by not adhering to Christian law.

Whilst at the school, I was taught some bizarre social values by female numeries. These women all lived together in a commune type situation and had vowed celibacy and a life in service to their god. Which is all well and good. However, I had heard rumours about barbed belts worn under clothes and other disciplinary actions undertaken by the teachers, which, as a 12 year old, I didnt really understand. A link is noted in the book The Da Vinci Code www.odan.org is a watchdog of sorts on the Opus Dei community and has information that backs up claims of corporal mortification, handing over of all income and requiring permission to do virtually anything. Their list of banned books is 297 pages long!

I dont really know why I am posting about this. I guess I am just curious if any other Hoppers have had direct contact with Opus Dei. Their teachings really screwed me up and I guess Id like to share some of my experiences with people who can relate.

For staters, I was told by my school principal that it was up to me, with gods help, to stop my parents from getting divorced. I was 12 years old. She told me that if my parents did get a divorce that they would be going to hell and that I was helping their damnation by allowing them to go through with it.

My parents got divorced and we were asked to leave the school, as the offspring of people eternally cut off from god could not be a good influence on other children, could they?

My experiences are numerous and I guess reading this book has brought a lot of things to the surface which I had forgotten about.

Anyone else?


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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:Wow Flash, thats incredible.

I did a lot of reading on ODAN after i finished reading the DaVinci code. The reading there - especially the personal testimonies of many people - is very compelling and more than a little scary.

The corporal mortification has been widely publicised as one of the more horrific acts of opus Dei. I think its deeper than that though. These are acts of self punishment resulting from years of indoctrination. Its this process that I find more disturbing than anything.

From what I've read the investment in an opus dei member (especially prospective numerary members) runs into years.

This is a faith that requires you to sign a legally binding contract....

A lot if the things I have read about them are not in and of themselves that unusual. There is no shortage of Christian faiths out there willing to tell you that your going to burn in hell and that you should and will suffer just for being alive. Even ritual self punishment is not uncommon. Many ascetic Buddhist and Hindi religions practice this also (though I suspect with a radically different and more conscious approach).

There are a lot many other things that just seem right out there on the edge of madness though.

Their treatment of women is one that stands out more than anything. No contact between numerary members of opposite sexes!!! A separate entrance for the women around the back!!! The women clean up the mens dorms!!!

This is all word of mouth stuff from ODAN so it would be great to hear more about your personal experience with this faith Flash. Were there positive aspects that you were able to take away?

What I found very interesting is that on the Opus Dei homepage one of the main links is to a refutation of the DaVinci code. It isnt very convincing, mostly testimony from other probable members and supporters which is hardly objective. If they really had nothing to hide from this exposure, would they really need to defend themselves in this way?

How did his sect become a prelature of the Vatican?


Love is the law.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13921
Posted:I Still haven't read this book. But I remember one morning on my surgery rotation we noted that of our 15 patients, 7 had this book in their rooms.

I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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duballstar
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

duballstar

slack rating - 9.5
Location: Suburbiton, Yoo-Kay, United Ki...

Total posts: 2216
Posted:eek wow flash, although i knew that such cults existed i never really thought the opus dei really existed like it does in the book! (exaggerations aside) i suppose that it's plausability is one of the reasons it's been so popular....

i'm sorry to hear you were subjected to such religious b*llshit so young. that's really messed up. fundamentalist or corrupt religious organisations seem to be at the root of a lot of bad stuff around the world, they really wind me up sometimes. angry even people i know who went to some normal religious schools had a real tough time. glad to see you've turned out alright tho! smile


It is our fantasies that make us real. Without our fantasies we're just a blank monkey' - Terry Pratchett

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Wow. Glad you got out of there, Flash. hug



Never heard of Opus Dei, but I remember having a close shave with another cult, who ran 2 schools in the UK. My dad used to work for Humana who collect clothes to be recycled for charity. My dad was good friends with the directors, a husband and wife team. They visited my family's home, exchanged gifts with us, accompanied us for Sunday dinner, etc.



One day, my dad returned home from work and mentioned he'd been interviewed by a national newspaper journalist, who was investigating the possibility that Humana was a branch of a cult. He was a HGV driver and hadn't encountered anything cultish at work (but my dear old dad is so dippy I wouldn't have been able to tell whether he did or not. biggrin )



Shortly afterwards, the Charity Commission closed them down in the UK because the proceeds were not going to charity, but to the "Teachers Group", the core of a cult called Tvind. The directors who I'd met are current members of that group.



Their assets were given to Traid, a new charity completely independent of Tvind and my dad continued to work with them for a while. The husband of the team now manages Green World Recycling and the wife manages Planet Aid UK: both of which are Tvind "charities".



Like you, I don't really know why I'm posting about this, other than to say that your post reminded me to read updates on it, so thanks. Lots more has been discovered about Tvind since I last looked and it's only now that I really realise how very dodgy it all was! eek


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:Da Vinci code is out in paper back. I got it from Asda.

I'd never heard of Opus Dei before I read the book. They sound pretty hardcore. Possibly you were lucky that your parents split. At least it got you away from it all.
My parents were religious maniacs. They spoke in tongues at breakfast, and if I was ill they would do 'laying on of hands'. It made my skin crawl then and the thought of it still does. They filled our house up with 'lodgers' who were all church people, it was weird and a little culty. Maybe my dad was having group sex with them all, who knows.
The one thing that sticks in my mind was that every conversation/argument/discussion with him had to have god in it. What would god think, what would he want etc. ad infinitum. Made me puke.
I still can't hear the word God without my hackles rising.
Mind you, the old man's mellowed with age.
It could have been worse, it could have been opus dei!


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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Zim
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Zim

Former Raver Invader... Not sure what i am now...
Location: Southern California, USA

Total posts: 284
Posted:I've never been for religion, at all. This may be because of the corrupted backround of most religious organizations... well corrupted to my standards. Even some very popular religions, back when the pope was selling "indulgences." Where you pay money to have your sins evaporated. It may just be me, but that seems kiiiiiinda off. .. paying money to have your sins erased from the god of your religion's records and all that. Sure it was a long time ago, but even today you hear the stories of priests raping children and they get away with it, i just don't swing with that kinda thing.

A good friend of mine that i'm not really allowed to see/talk to anymore has a dad who is very very into scientology, and apparently that's the reason we can't chill anymore(he didn't like scientology and his dad believed that it was his friends that were distracting him from... "the truth" ?)... every time i see the kid in public or in class he just talks about how he hates his dad and how he's a f#*kin culty.

Even the basic prayers every night seem just... mreh to me. My dad is waaay hardcore catholic, it took him years to finally be at peace with the fact that i'm not catholic, or any religion. When i first started getting old enough to really understand what everything meant and told him i didn't want to be a part of it, he told me i was baptized catholic and trying to deny that would result in damnation.

A girl i met in the building where my mom works was one of 17 children, to that day, 30+ years after she was being raped by her father and the other "elders" of whatever religious cult it was(my mom and co-workers refused to say when i mentioned how f*cked up i thought it was), she still can't maintain a boyfriend for more than one date because the thought of sex makes her remember what happened and she has a nervous breakdown.

In NO way am i directly linking the pope selling indulgences(Christian) and 17 children + often rape(Cults), i'm just making seperate points. I also would like you to know i don't mean to offend anyone, and if i do i apologize ahead of time. I'm not saying every part of every religion is bad, it just seems to me that a lot of them want their people to be ignorant to certain things in a way that benefits the church. In cults/cultish religions they seem to brainwash/train kids from a young age so that they believe in whatever perverted beliefs that belong to the cult throughout their life and will never open their eyes because in the back of their mind that is the one and only truth.

In the end i feel really sorry for all the people who are stuck in a cultish type setting at an early age and are told that that's what there is, there's nothing better outside those walls, and the only truth is here. aaaand whatever other perverse things they say.

Very much props to you for getting the f*ck out of there! biggrin
*high five!*

(at this time i would like to restate i did not mean to offend anyone with anything i was saying, any offense taken was not intentional and i apologize. Even if noone finds it offensive i always like to state that i don't intend to offend when it comes to things like religion.)


Clean for 6 months and counting... ah yeah, that's nice.

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Aleks


Aleks

journeyman
Location: West Midlands, UK

Total posts: 64
Posted:I'm sick of hearing about opus dei... I'm Catholic but those guys are just wy to weird for me... they're stuck in the dark ages!

Look at me twirl my pretty rainbow poi in my rainbowhat with my rainbow earings and my rainbow top etc.....

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Written by: Zim

A good friend of mine that i'm not really allowed to see/talk to anymore has a dad who is very very into scientology, and apparently that's the reason we can't chill anymore(he didn't like scientology and his dad believed that it was his friends that were distracting him from... "the truth" ?)



I've posted about Scientology here before, so I won't repeat myself, but some Scientologists tried to recruit myself and other patients at my former dentist's surgery, of all places, under the pretence of helping me overcome fear of dentistry, needles in particular.

I still believe that the main reason I wasn't persuaded to is that I cannot be hypnotised. Out of the group I attended one session with, I was the only one who walked away after less than an hour without having handed over any money.


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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=Flashpoint=
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs..., United Ki...

Total posts: 2722
Posted:Im ok with cults trying to recruit me.... I never part with my cash! Im tighter than a wasps ar*ehole!

Saying that, i did buy the scientology book, seems like some good ideas in there, but thats it, IDEAS, not a belief structure

As for spirituality side of things, I am NOT a christian, as I dont believe that Christ was in any way the son of God, but I do believe that he had some great ideas, and I try to follow them in the hope of being a good person to my fellow humans...

Who needs ritualistic stuff anyway, I have stated before that I am practically a Jedi, but I still cant build my own lightsaber, damn it!

I believe in God, but I dont believe in giving someone money to worship Him, unless its a modest amount so's that they can keep a roof on the church... Im just awed that some of the best architecture in the world is religious: Amritsar, Sagrada Familia, York Minster, St Pauls, Westminster etc etc etc


ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Ive heard of the Opus Dei movement, but only know them as an extreme sect. Though, being sent to a Catholic boarding school at an early age I can well appreciate the struggle to overcome the conditioning that makes us think our souls will be dammed in hell, if we dont follow the priests rules.



Ive never understood how people could associate corporal mortification with Christs teachings or why the church treats women so badly. To me self flagellation and the patriarchal churches are an anathema to Christs teachings.



Apparently, much of the history about self flagellation in the church comes from repression of sexuality, and purity somehow making a person more holey.



For the early Christian monks, the concept of pilgrimage was closely tied with the Christian notion of penance. Monks would often embark on pilgrimages as a way of seeking out a place which would reveal God to them. These early hermits were the ones who went to great extremes to avoid sexual feeling, like one even nailed his penis to the floor to avoid impure thoughts.



IMO corporal mortification in the churches led to the sexual repression and sexual abuse that has only become public in recent times.






EDITED_BY: Stone (1098074864)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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bairie fen


lord high king of swingers *(now defunct)**(but will rise again ! !)*
Location: wild wiltshire

Total posts: 165
Posted:says : bow to rah god of the sun ! surely you can't go wrong ! xxx

fly fairies, fly high, fly wide and take no prisoners !!!!!!

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MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

Total posts: 3415
Posted:what is it with religion and really big words? never use a large word when a diminutive one will suffice.

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:You mean words like ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM?

Love is the law.

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MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

Total posts: 3415
Posted:yeah, but that doesnt really have a shorter word. unlike flagellation, patriarchal and a.

ok, being serious now, why is it that the church, and, indeed, many other religions, most of which are all for helping the poor, have absolutely massive, extravagant places of prayer? especially christianity, and especially when the bible says something along the lines of 'its better to pray and not tell the world you are praying than to pray and tell all'


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Official line: because the Church of God should be greater than the buildings around it to remind the faithful of God's greatness and to focus people's attention on House of God.

Unofficial line: because the Church likes money.

That Biblical passage referred more to fact that it is better to be humble than to be boastful... I think.

However, I agree with your point. In places like SE Asia, where many missionaries are dispatched to do their 'good deeds', you travel through a village and amid the run down wooden shacks with collapsing walls you see a well-built hall normally marked out as a Christian church.

This says two things to me: Firstly that the people of the village must associate wealth with this new Christian church and be attracted to it (by stealth, if you like).
Secondly, that instead of building an attractive building among the rubble, they should instead be focusing their wealth and attentions on the people of the village.


Getting to the other side smile

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:(Proverbs 15:16) Better is a little in the fear of Jehovah than an abundant supply and confusion along with it.

words which would guide men from darkness, if only they were followed.


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:What does that mean?

A little of what?
An abundant supply of what?

confused


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I dont think large elaborate places of worship are the sole domain of Christians.

Many other religions also have large ornate temples, like mosques, synagogues and Buddhist temples (wats?).


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:Lillie Frog:

(Proverbs 15:16) Better is a little in the fear of [disapointing God] Jehovah than an abundant supply [of that fear] and confusion along with it.

it means, it's better to have understanding than simple adherance. it is better to know why you do something, than to simply know it must be done.


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Of course, but that is basic common sense for anyone who has a belief (and can apply to whatever religion you choose)... and common sense does form the lion's share of many religious texts.



Stone, I realise all religions have large, ornate meeting places - I should have pointed that out, sorry. But I used the example of the Church in this context because the quote came from the Bible.


Getting to the other side smile

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:Firepoise:

common sense isn't so common ;]


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:So it means that if you don't have a little fear of god then he will make sure you get a lot and someconfussion thrown in for good measure?

So, be scared or I'll make you scared?
I don't want to sound flippant but if it were a person saying that then the least of what they would be called is a bully.

Why does the bible have to be so bloody obscure?

I already have an abundant supply of confusion, as can be clearly seen.


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Lillie Frog, you may be interested in this thread, on page two of which I brought up the matter of refering to God as 'He', and why I thought that there were issues with this-



http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...ll/fpart/2/vc/1
br>


I like your bullying observation/analogy.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Zim
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Zim

Former Raver Invader... Not sure what i am now...
Location: Southern California, USA

Total posts: 284
Posted:"The cheesey goodness of life is found within one's self and one's own beliefs, not within others and their beliefs... The cheesey goodness can be yours only when you are yours, and yours alone."
-Esteban Rodriguez

I think what our good friend Esteban was trying to say here is that the "cheesey goodness" of life can be found only within yourself and with acceptance of everything around you... basically not being stressed out about sh*t that doesn't matter. Unfortunately Mr. Rodriguez forgot to mention anything for the people who don't like cheese. That being said, people who don't like cheese, use the following quote as a guide:

"The creamy ice cream of life is found within one's self and one's own beliefs, not within others and their beliefs... The creamy ice cream can be yours only when you are yours, and yours alone."
-Originally: Esteban Rodriguez
-Edited: Zim

reading it again it seems to me like Esteban was saying be independent... n stuff. Dude i don't know i'm just really sleep deprived, and if you don't like cheese or ice cream, then all i have to say to you... is "oh balls"


Clean for 6 months and counting... ah yeah, that's nice.

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:lillie frog:

no...

the `fear of god` is a centeral teaching of christianity. it's not like a fear of heights, or a fear of spiders, it's a fear of dissapointing someone you love.

God dosen't want us to be confused, that's not what the scripture i cited means. it means that loving and respecting God - even just a little - for the right reasons is better than being terrified of not living up to his standards.

and it dosen't mean God will bully you into believing in him, one way or another... that's what catholics are for. God dosen't make us all believe the same way. He made us with enough free will that we could defy him, serve him, ignore him, or call him 'her' (owd ;]), but he has yet to strike any of us down for our ignorance (see? i'm still here). maybe that's why in the same collection of scriptures, it defines God as love, 'God is love'.

and if God is love, he couldn't bully anyone, he couldn't pain them eternally for ignorance (purgatory and hellfire are both unscriptural teachings) and he couldn't by any means frighten them into doing what he wants. that's not what fear of God means.

btw, sorry for taking this OT, but it does seem to contradict some of the Opus Dei actions described in earlier posts as unloving, thus ungodly.


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:Lets not go catholic bashing eh thor...

im inclined to disagree with your fear of god ideas also, this may be true for your own faith but the wrath of god is hardly a misconception.

sodom, babylon etc etc

To get back on topic.....

I thought some of you folks might like to read the teachings of the founder of Opus Dei

The Way by Josemaria Escriva


Love is the law.

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:Well, thanks for enlightening me. I often find he bible obscure and open to many different interpretations.
To be honest, if I remember right, God did strike people down for all sorts of things.
Like I said before the mere mention of god tends to get my hackles raised so I'll keep outof this one now.
I respect other peoples rights to believe in whatever their religion might be, but, because of my upbringing christianity always manages to regress me to a stroppy teenager.
It's my problem and I should shut up now.


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:The bible was written by men, not God. And as such, it has been used to manipulate people since forever.

thor, I was led to believe that it was the fear of damnation in hell, that was centeral to Christian teaching (manipulation).

Opus Dei are a catholic sect?


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:Written by: Stone

The bible was written by men, not God. And as such, it has been used to manipulate people since forever.




i would agree with you, but some people wouldn't, it's a matter of opinion.

just pointing this out cos it's caused a lot of arguments in the past.


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I agree Tao Star, but the people that disagree would have to concur that God did not physically write the bible.



Ive always been told that if God wrote the bible, then it was through the prophets, which is not quite the same thing.



Perhaps a better way to put it would be inspired by God, scribed by man.



smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Page: 12

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