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Sunday readings: 22 June 2008

22 June 2008

CascadeBob, Adventure Tourist (on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree):

Since we were guests of one of the more influencial Tarahuamara, we had been accepted into the group, but now it was dark, Francisco wasn’t around, folks were getting drunk, some were armed with pistols and knives, and eyes were turning towards our gringa companions (the women).

Duke1676 (MigraMatters) tells “A Tale of Two Borders“:

“I’ve said from the beginning that we can’t reform immigration laws until we control immigration, and we can’t control immigration unless we control our borders and our ports.”Lou Dobbs

We’ve heard that statement in various forms a millions times, repeated ad infinitum by various politicians and talking heads since Frank Luntz first advised anti-immigrant Republicans to stress that ““A country that can’t control its own borders can’t control its own destiny” to sell an anti-immigrant agenda to the American public.

But it has always gone without saying that the border that needed to be controlled has been the one to the south. Rarely, if ever, has the northern border been mentioned in most border security screeds.

Want to be one of the gang?

Carlos Castenda believed that if you didn’t like your history or that it was holding you back then you should change it and make up one that would create the kind of person you want to be. This philosophy a been incorporated in San Miguel by Gangs as one of the requirements for Gang membership. Who doesn’t want to be in a gang made up of former chefs, artists and tycoons. “I was in retail” won’t get many people to join a gang but “I was a buyer” will.

Speaking of gangs …

Pederast prelate (and founder of the fascist-inspired Legionaries of Christ) is the subject of a new 90-minute documentary, “Vows of Silence” produced by U.S. journalist Jason Berry. Berry and Hartford Courant reporter Gerald Renner’s were the co-authors of a 2004 book by the same name on sexual abuse by Catholic clergymen in the U.S. and Mexico, and on the coverup of the Marcial and the Legionary scandals.

In a review for, Gail Hudson said of Marcial, :

[He is] more like the antichrist: Father Marcial Maciel, who was the influential founder of the cult-like order of Legionaries of Christ and accused of being a particularly cruel and long-term sexual predator.

… the militaristic Legionaries of Christ [is] an extremely powerful and conservative order of priests and laymen that are affiliated with a worldwide web of prep schools and universities. Berry and Renner offer a fascinating conspiracy theory about how this international legion managed to protect its abusers and contribute to the long-term secrecy and cover-up. The bold accusations eventually land in the lap of Pope John Paul II, who seemed more invested in protecting the legion and the vow of silence than addressing the abuse.

Most reviewers thought the weakness of the book was it’s attempts to cover too much territory — both the Marcial/Legionary story and the coverup of other clerical pedophilia cases unrelated to Marcial.

The new film focuses squarely on the Legionaries and Marciel. It has been shown in New Orleans and Madrid, and will be playing in Mexico City (at the III Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de la Ciudad de México, DocsDF) running 25 September to 4 October.

Besides being a Mexican, and having founded the order in Mexico (in 1941, at the height of the Synarchist movement (Synarchism, as an ideology, was rooted in both Franscisco Franco’s Falangism and reactionary Catholicism. Its adherents were active in founding PAN), Marciel and his movement are important to Mexico in other ways.

Jose de Cordoba of The Wall Street Journal reported in early 2006:

The order concentrates on ministering to the wealthy and powerful in the belief that by evangelizing society’s leaders, the beneficial impact on society is multiplied. Like the Jesuits who centuries ago whispered in the ear of Europe’s princes, the Legion’s priests today are the confessors and chaplains to some of the most powerful businessmen in Latin America.

“The soul of a trash collector is as important as the soul of Carlos Slim, but if Slim is converted, think of the influence and power for good he would wield,” says Luanne Zurlo, a former Goldman Sachs securities analyst who organized the benefit. Mr. Slim, Latin America’s richest man with a fortune estimated at $24 billion, says he’s not a highly devout Catholic but is helping the Legion …

The Legion operates in some 20 countries, including the U.S., Chile, Spain, Brazil and Ireland, but its influence is greatest in Mexico.

De Cordoba goes on to report on not only Marcial’s ties to then first-lady Martha Sahugen de Fox, but to the Monterrey elite and other political and business leaders tied to what some critics dub the “Millionaires of Christ.”

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