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Since its inception in 1991, ODAN has heard from countless people who have been victimized by Opus Dei's aggressive recruitment, secretiveness and deception. The result for many is devastation and disillusionment. Opus Dei's victims often feel isolated, alone, even abandoned by God.

ODAN provides support, understanding and a sympathetic ear to these individuals and gives them the information they need to make informed choices.

ODAN is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We depend solely on your donations in order to continue our goals of education, outreach and support. ODAN is staffed entirely by volunteers who work many hours without salaries.

Please support us today. Your donation is vital!

Donations to ODAN are fully tax-deductible. Receipts are issued for all donations. Please send a check, money order or cash in U.S. funds to:

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN)
P.O. Box 4333
Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333

Telephone: 413-499-7168

Email: odan@odan.org

Please print and enclose the following with your donation:
 _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.

FUNDING APPEAL

 (   )  Yes!  I want to support ODAN.

Realizing ODAN depends upon charitable funding, I am enclosing a donation of 

  $500 (   )     $250   (   )     $100 (   )   $50  (   )   $25   (   )    Other__________

I/We realize ODAN needs regular supporters and so would like to contribute $________per month/per quarter.
                                                                                                                                                                                           
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Name____________________________________________________________________ ID#_________________

Address__________________________________________________________________AMT._______________

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Phone(        )____________________Email_______________________________________CkNo._______________

 Thank you for your support and generosity.

"ODAN:  Challenging the Questionable Practices of Opus Dei."

Please make your tax-deductible contribution payable to ODAN, PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA.  01202-4333

ODAN Funding Letter 2014

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)

PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,

Tel: (413) 499-7168

Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

December 1, 2014

Dear Friends of ODAN,

Due to your generous contributions to ODAN, we have renewed our trademark for the next ten years.  It means we will be able to use our name ODAN without fear of Opus Dei taking it over and shutting us down as they did to Opus Livres, a website critical of Opus Dei written in Portuguese that originated in Brazil.   

Twenty three years ago ODAN formed to publically question Opus Dei.   We developed a list of the things that were most troublesome about Opus Dei.  We called them Questionable Practices.  

We wanted to know why our loved ones were systematically alienated from their families and told not to trust the very people who were their first teachers of faith. We questioned Opus Dei’s highly structured apostolate and its intense recruitment.  ODAN could not see how the use of a cilice and discipline (whip), corporal mortification could increase one’s spirituality.  In recent times, the Catholic Church has frowned upon such activity because it promoted pride and a larger sense of oneself.  In Opus Dei the wearing of a cilice and the use of the discipline is mandatory for at least a great number of people. 

The highly graphic Hollywood style depiction of corporal mortification in the DaVinci Code movie did not resemble Opus Dei mortification.  It gave Opus Dei an opportunity to deny such activity.  If you did not ask the exact right question, the answer given by Opus Dei, as described by a campus minister priest years ago, was like peeling an onion.  It depended which layer you were at as to what answer you received.    

The most worrisome Questionable Practice of Opus Dei is the lack of informed consent and controlled environment.  Opus Dei is not a fringe group but a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church.  Yes, a group that still receives praises in many quarters of the Catholic Church.  The process by which Opus Dei received this Personal Prelature designation was a well thought out plan and systematically implemented by Opus Dei.  There is a whole different story from the one Opus Dei tells about itself that explains why they are considered the most influential and wealthiest group within the Catholic community.  It is a story that needs to be told to the best of our ability and preserved for future generations.  ODAN will attempt to tell that story.

ODAN will begin the revamping of the ODAN website and record all the information ODAN has accumulated over more than a quarter of a century in a form yet to be determined.  This endeavor will take at least two years and will need funding. 

Personal stories will not be shared unless specific permission is given.

A process will be developed and shared as to how we will proceed.  ODAN would like your opinions and thoughts. 

Our budget is a lean one and very carefully scrutinized.  ODAN cannot exist without your prayers and support.  Please consider praying for ODAN and sending a tax deductible donation to help us continue our work.

Sincerely,

Dianne R. DiNicola
Executive Director

 

ODAN Funding Letter 2013

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)

PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,

Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax:  (413) 499-7860

Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

December 2013

Dear Friends of ODAN,

This year ODAN will need to renew our Trademark at a cost of $500.  It will cover ten years and will assure that Opus Dei will not be able to buy our trademark.  If we do not renew, the mark becomes available to anyone who pays the fee.  Last year I talked about the demise of Opus Livres, a website written in Portuguese that originated in Brazil.  It was highly critical of Opus Dei’s questionable practices and featured testimonies as well as editorials about their experiences with Opus Dei.  Because Opus Livres forgot to renew its domain name, Opus Dei bought it and shut the website down.   It makes one wonder why an organization would act like a censor.  Opus Dei’s actions speak volumes about what is at the core of the organization.

Opus Dei is also not truthful about what one must do to become a member.   One of my own personal experiences of the secrecy that exists in Opus Dei occurred when my daughter was still a numerary member of Opus Dei.   My husband and I had gone to visit her with several relatives where she was residing.  We were not seeing much of her because she was being counseled to keep contact to a minimum.  We were visiting in a front parlor that was tastefully decorated with fine furniture.  Everything seemed like a mystery regarding what her life entailed.  One of the things Opus Dei stressed was poverty of its numerary members, yet we were sitting in a historical building filled with high end furnishings in a very exclusive neighborhood near Boston.  Opus Dei houses are located all over the world and mostly seem to be in toney neighborhoods of the wealthy.  The explanation we were given was foundations were the owners, separate from Opus Dei. We sensed we were not getting straight answers.  Since we were not seeing much of her, we expressed an interest in all aspects of what her life entailed.  We requested seeing the rest of the house, particularly her bedroom.  Despite the objections of our daughter and others, we approached the stairs that we assumed led to her bedroom.  There was a burst of frantic activity with several young ladies quickly going up the stairs ahead of us.  They passed us and we followed them to a bedroom, which was locked for several minutes.  When we were finally allowed to enter, there were several beds in the room and we later found out they were removing wooden boards that the numeraries slept on as part of their mandated activity as female members.  They clearly did not want us to know of the boards.  We knew nothing of this requirement until much later and neither did our daughter before joining Opus Dei.  One of our relatives managed to sit on one of the beds before they had time to remove all the boards (there were several beds in the room) with the remark of “Is this some kind of a new orthopedic mattress?”    Today we can see the humor of that remark, while never forgetting the difference between what Opus Dei says and what it does.  

ODAN is still contacted by people from around the world who tell us Opus Dei is doing the same things today as 24 years ago when the board on the bed story occurred.  We need to protect our website so it will be there for years to come.  Given the history of how Opus Dei reacts to its critics, there is little hope they will change.   A large part of the money donated to ODAN goes towards maintaining our website.   No salaries are drawn.  We are strictly a volunteer organization.

By having a website and means to connect with others who have been harmed by Opus Dei’s questionable practice , ODAN gives viable information to those who need it.  ODAN was the first to translate Opus Dei’s Constitution and Statutes to English.  http://www.odan.org/statutes_1982.htm  and http://www.odan.org/statutes_1950.htm   These documents were written in Church Latin and not easily translated.  Up to that point, Opus Dei was not willing to make those documents public information.

ODAN appreciates all of our supporters who have generously supported ODAN over the last 22 years.  I don’t know if you realize how far your donations go to inform people about what Opus Dei does behind closed doors.  Through the ODAN website we are able to provide information to people who seek it.  A donation to ODAN is tax deductible and will help to provide and protect the vital information its website contains.  Please keep ODAN in your prayers.  Thank you in advance.

Sincerely yours,

 

Dianne R. DiNicola
Executive  Director

Funding Letter 2012

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)

PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,

Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax:  (413) 499-7860

Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

 

December 2012 

Dear Friends of ODAN,

Recently Opus Dei, Spain, sued a Danish game maker Demi Games, over the card game ‘Opus Dei: Existence After Religion.’  Dema Games copyrighted the game under Danish copyright laws in 2009.  “The game has no right to use the name,” according to the Opus Dei’s spokesperson Joanna Engstedt.  The group has demanded that Danish officials remove the disputed game from copyright records, and is seeking some 300,000kr  (€40,000) in damages (approximately $52,000.)  However, Dema Games has stated via its Facebook page, ‘No one entity can claim sole rights to religious concepts of any kind.’  The company’s lawyer, James Glaese, told the Associated Press, ‘These are far-reaching demands.  In our view, you cannot get the right to a common concept like Opus Dei, which can be equated with…other religious concepts like hallelujah.’” [1]

In 1997 ODAN pursued trademarking Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. and contacted several professionals in the field.   Each one of them was amazed that the name Opus Dei (Work of God in Latin) could be trademarked.  How did Opus Dei manage to trademark God for itself?  Does God only belong to Opus Dei?

ODAN was also advised that if we tried to trademark any name with Opus Dei in it, we should be prepared for an expensive legal fight with Opus Dei.  After much prayer and contemplation, ODAN decided to trademark the name ODAN, a much safer domain name.  Our organization would be protected under the name ODAN. It is a name recognized as questioning Opus Dei’s practices.  ODAN is often quoted by print and internet media as well as in books about Opus Dei.  ODAN’s scholarly pieces describing our serious concerns about Opus Dei are well regarded.  Our organization is as well known as ODAN as Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.  Protecting the name ODAN prevents an Opus Dei takeover of our organization and allows us to use our funding source, you, in the best way possible.  We did not want ODAN to be taken over by Opus Dei the way our sister organization, Opus Livre was taken over.

When ODAN learned of Opus Livre, our sister organization located in Brazil, we were thankful another organization told the same stories about Opus Dei that we were telling.  This website was written in Portuguese and had testimonies from former members and books written about the negative aspects of Opus Dei.  ODAN had been in touch with the founders and was both saddened and dismayed when due to their failure to continue to purchase their domain name, Opus Dei was able to buy the domain name Opus Livre and shut them down.  It reminded us when Scientology shut down Cult Awareness Network in 1997.   Scientology managed to accomplish shutting down this important cult awareness organization with lots of money to sue CAN numerous times until they succeeded.   CAN went bankrupt and Scientology took over their phone lines and office in Chicago. 

Why am I talking about Scientology/CAN in the ODAN funding letter?  Because when Opus Dei bought the domain name to one of their critics’ websites and shut them down, they were doing the same thing that Scientology did to CAN.    Instead of shutting Opus Livre down, why didn’t Opus Dei take the time to review their practices and change which ones were questionable?

Opus Dei’s actions speak volumes about its true motives – why would a group that states it is only interested in the “spiritual welfare” of its members attempt to limit the flow of information by purchasing the domain name of Opus Livre?  Such actions have been the hallmark of oppressive and totalistic regimes and groups throughout history, and raises important questions:  What does Opus Dei have to hide?  Why does it fear the free flow of information?

Our outreach to inform the world about Opus Dei’s questionable practices relies on your generosity.  Please consider praying for ODAN and sending a tax deductible donation to help us continue our work.

Sincerely, 

Dianne R. DiNicola
Executive Director


[1] “Danish game maker amid legal battle with Catholic Group” Ice News, December 3,2012, http:/www.icenews

     

 

Funding Letter 2011

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)

PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,

Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax:  (413) 499-7860

Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

 

 

December 9, 2011

 

 

Dear Friends of ODAN,

 

A little over 20 years ago on a sunny September weekend in 1991, fifty plus people came together to discuss Opus Dei.  We were a group of people who had loved ones who had joined Opus Dei.  We were all practicing Catholics and were greatly concerned by the alienation and change in personality of our loved ones.  It was no small miracle that each of us became aware of one another.  The internet was not widely used for information and Opus Dei was telling each one of us that we were the only ones with a problem, that we were too controlling.  Besides, Opus Dei continued, no one else had complained, and they were a bona fide Vatican approved organization of the Catholic Church.  Yet with the lack of information, each one of us, on our own, could not shake the feeling that something was not right.  All of the things Opus Dei were telling us turned out to be untrue.  As time went on and some of those loved ones left Opus Dei, they began to report on Opus Dei’s hidden agenda.  The extent of the manipulation and deception was staggering.  The rate that members left Opus Dei was very high for an organization that claimed around 80,000 members world-wide.  It was an organization that told its members that if they did not accept a vocation in Opus Dei, they would live a life completely void of God’s grace and blessing.    

 

ODAN eventually became aware of a lot of people who had experienced Opus Dei’s questionable practices.  The decision to form Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) and its web site opened up a stream of information that encompassed not just the United States, but the whole world.  ODAN became a source of information about Opus Dei’s underside, the side not readily seen and known.  It was not the glossy picture Opus Dei puts out about itself.   

 

One of the first documents created by former numerary members was “Opus Dei’s Questionable Practices”.  http://www.odan.org/questionable_practices.htm.  Among the things it describes are corporal mortification, aggressive recruitment, undue pressure to join, lack of informed consent and control of environment and alienation of family that exists within Opus Dei.  The document was written eighteen years ago and still applies today.   Opus Dei has not changed.

 

A recent example is the court case of a French woman who joined Opus Dei as an assistant numerary who sued Opus Dei for enslavement.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8782610/French-woman-sues-Opus-Dei-for-enslavement.html It was alleged during the trial that Opus Dei’s practices were “physically and psychologically damaging.   Defense lawyers for Opus Dei claimed the case was a simple labor dispute, when in reality it was about Opus Dei’s questionable practices, exactly the ones outlined in ODAN’s Questionable Practices document.  Unfortunately, the French court sided with Opus Dei stating that there was no evidence that the defendant had been trapped without remuneration.

 

Last month, Opus Libros, our Spanish sister organization, was denounced by Opus Dei for publication of internal documents.  Opus Dei filed a complaint citing violation of intellectual property rights by using unseen writings of its founder.  Opus Libros argued it is a “fight against censorship and secrecy”.  A Spanish judge ordered Opus Libros to remove ‘private’ documents revealing the inner workings of the Catholic organization Opus Dei from its website.  This leads one to wonder why an organization that claims its only interest is the spiritual well-being of its members would want to block anything their founder would have to say.  What do they have to hide?   

 

Over the last twenty years ODAN has dedicated itself to its mission statement. 

 

The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) was founded in 1991 to meet the growing demand for accurate information about Opus Dei and to provide education, outreach and support to people who have been adversely affected by Opus Dei. ODAN challenges many of Opus Dei's Questionable Practices because of the way they affect an individual's personal freedom, choices and family life.” 

 

The past several years have been hard to maintain since ODAN, like many other non-profits, has experienced a decrease in funding.  We have tightened our budget and have maintained the bare essentials to keep us functioning.  No one receives a salary at ODAN.  Our website is constantly active at distributing information.  Please consider praying for ODAN and sending a tax deductible donation to help us continue our mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Dianne R. DiNicola

Executive Director

       

 

Funding Letter 2010

 

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)
PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,
Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax:  (413) 499-7860
Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

 December 2010 Funding Letter

 

Dear Friends of ODAN,

 

On April 9, 2010, the Catholic News Service announced the appointment of Opus Dei member Archbishop Jose H. Gomez to be the coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the world.   In this CNS story it stated,  “Archbishop Gomez is one of 24 Opus Dei Bishops around the world, although like any priest, once a member becomes a bishop, he answers directly to the pope and no longer to his bishop or religious superior.”[1]  The important question being asked is how much influence will Opus Dei have with Gomez in this powerful position?   “Will he be accountable to Los Angeles first and to Opus Dei second?” Archbishop Gomez says he is no longer a member of Opus Dei but are his loyalties going to cease to an organization that he has been associated with since his college days?  “Anyone who has read the governing documents or is familiar with Opus Dei, knows that his loyalties are going to be with Opus Dei.  He will be required to have a spiritual director, who is going to be a member of Opus Dei, and he will have an obligation of obedience to his spiritual director, with all of the fine shades of meaning that would accompany his official statements about his loyalty.[2]

 

ODAN was the first to post the Opus Dei Constitution and its Statutes to its website in English.  Without these translations, who would know many of the inconsistencies that exist between what Opus Dei says is its Church-approved mode of operation and what it actually does in practice?  When ODAN released those secret documents to the public, it forced Opus Dei to reveal more of itself than it had ever done before.    For years, the Opus Dei Constitution/Statutes were only written in Church Latin, a hard translation to accomplish. 

 

Recently a former member of Opus Dei told of how the Constitutions of Opus Dei (10 S1) say the priests will not accept stipends for saying Mass, but when the former member’s mother, some years ago, offered a priest of the Work a stipend to say a Mass for the Dead, he said the price had gone up.  It leads to having secret documents that tell the Church their priesthood is doing something more noble than is required of priests, but then it is not lived in practice. 

 

Another important and troubling discrepancy is Opus Dei’s “contract” or ‘agreement’ pertaining to its membership.  What is the nature of membership in Opus Dei? Why is it not defined?  It seems as if the cart came before the horse.  Dennis Dubro, former numerary member of Opus Dei, writes:

The same old tricks

 

Opus Dei continues to put forward its same old message of being fully approved by the Church without any secrecy.  In the leaked 1982 Statutes on ODAN's website the closing paragraphs say that "All of the members are bound by the same obligations and conserve the same rights which they had in the preceding juridical government (secret 1950 Constitutions), unless the prescriptions of this Code expressly establish something else."  That says quite explicitly that the 1950 Constitutions remain in effect except for the changes approved in the 1982 Statutes.  Members continually try to deny this, saying the Statutes replace the Constitutions.  This is not even logical since Constitutions establish the basic operating rules for an organization and then Statutes are the laws that are made, based upon those Constitutions.  The Constitutions of Opus Dei explicitly foresee and make way for any future Statutes that may be approved in Paragraph 89.

 

In John Allen's book on Opus Dei (Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church), John asked Opus Dei why the governing documents were kept secret. The answer, quoting his book on Page 153, is "The deeper logic, according to Opus Dei insiders, is that some essential terminological questions have not yet been settled in canon law.  For example, is the relation between a member and Opus Dei best described in terms of a 'contract' or an 'agreement'? ... and many canonists feel it's inappropriate for describing the nature of a bond in the Church".  This raises a clear question how the Vatican can have approved an organization when such critical things as membership are not acceptably defined in the Law of the Church?

 

Anyone familiar with the operation of Opus Dei knows that Opus Dei says everyone is free to leave at any time.  Yet Paragraphs 102 and 103 of the Constitutions say that anyone who leaves his assigned Center can be declared a fugitive and an apostate.  Why would anyone incur such penalties if they were truly free to leave?

 

If you have donated to ODAN in the past and continue to do so, thank you for your years of support.  If you have donated in the past, but not recently, please consider supporting ODAN again this year.  If you have never donated to ODAN before, please consider a donation this year.  ODAN runs solely on your generosity.  Since the economic crisis, ODAN, like all non-profits, has experienced a downturn in our donations.  This year your donation is critically important to continue our important work.  There is no other source in the United States where a person can find factual, truthful commentary about Opus Dei’s questionable practices.   

 

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN) is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and all donations may be taken as a charitable deduction.  Please keep ODAN in your prayers and consider a generous donation to keep the ODAN website online and functioning.  Go to the ODAN website to keep informed!

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Dianne R. DiNicola

Executive Director

[1] Catholic News Service, http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/100142`.htm  Apr-9-2010
[2] Dennis Dubro, former numerary Opus Dei member Dec-10-2010

 

Funding Letter December 2009

Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. (ODAN™)
PO Box 4333, Pittsfield, MA 01202-4333,
Tel: (413) 499-7168; Fax:  (413) 499-7860
Web:  www.odan.org, e-mail: odan@odan.org

December 8, 2009

Dear Friends of ODAN,

A day does not go by that someone does not praise and speak about their good experiences in Opus Dei.  Testimonials are all over the internet, in the media and the press.  Opus Dei has adopted a different plan to project a positive image.  Those of us who remember Opus Dei’s reaction to outside queries years ago remember an organization that put its foot in its mouth and shied away from the media.  Today Opus Dei has adopted a far different way to deal with the public.  It is the same Opus Dei who is now waging an offensive rather than a defensive plan of action.   I am sure there are some people who do have good experiences.  However one cannot ignore those who have had devastating experiences.  There are too many of us who know better.  They are good people who were just trying to get closer to God when they experienced Opus Dei’s questionable practices.

Earlier this year, a book “Women of Opus Dei:  In Their Own Words” was published by Crossroad.  The review of the book was released by the Opus Dei Information Office saying the book “is an in-depth look at the experience of women in the Prelature of Opus Dei.”   These interviews are glowing accounts of various women’s experiences in Opus Dei.  On the ODAN website there are two vastly different experiences of life in Opus Dei.  If you do not have access to the ODAN website and want a copy just contact ODAN and we will mail copies to you.  Both stories are compelling; one is of a former numerary assistant “My Basic Human Rights Were Violated” http://www.odan.org/tw_basic_human_rights_were_violated.htm and the other of a Supernumerary’s daughter, “This Apple Guiltlessly Falls Far From the Tree:  Recollections of a Supernumerary’s Daughter” http://www.odan.org/tw_apple.htm .  The assistant numerary testimony is a story of servitude and the underlying attitude that exists in Opus Dei about social class and women.  The supernumerary daughter’s testimony tells of life in Opus Dei from a woman’s perspective.  The differences in the examples of life in Opus Dei women put out by Opus Dei and ODAN is startling.  It is almost hard to believe both organizations are speaking of Opus Dei.   

A feature film about the life of Josemaria Escriva, “There Be Dragons,” is scheduled to be released next year.  The film shot in Argentina has been reported to be funded by Opus Dei members.  However, Opus Dei has stated in their own statement, “The film team asked us for help in gathering information and we gave them access to the documentations.  That’s the beginning and end of our collaboration with this film.”  An anti-Opus Dei blog of former members states it fears “this is a propaganda film written and supervised by members of Opus Dei in a desperate attempt to clean up its battered image in the eyes of public opinion.  The film focuses on the early years of Escriva’s life during the 1930’s prompting concern that his rise during the Franco years may be brushed over.”  The former members claim they were mentally and spiritually diminished by the organization.  The film cost an estimated 20 million (~$30 million.)

ODAN does not have access to the millions of dollars available to Opus Dei, but still manages to expose the underside of Opus Dei.  Times are tough financially for many people but ODAN’s work is not done.  Please pray for ODAN and consider supporting us financially this year.  We will continue to be the voice for all the people who have been harmed by Opus Dei.   

Sincerely,

Dianne DiNicola 
Executive Director

 

 

Revised August 5, 2015