I found the ‘expose’ on Opus Dei by Andrew Bell in your most recent edition to be entertaining but fanciful.
Having spent nearly three years at the same Opus Dei schools that Mr Bell has written such a story about, I can’t say my experience was anywhere nearly as dramatic. I am genuinely disappointed, as my geography class may have been slightly more interesting had the teacher walked around with blood streaming down her body from religious corporal-mortification, while whipping her back and chanting a secret Catholic mantra.
Mr Bell’s assessment of religion being used as a precondition for socialising during his school years can be likened to the geeks joining the chess club to make friends. It is more of a reflection on your average awkward teen’s self-confidence, than the ‘luring and entrapping’ nature of a religious group or chess club.
However what highlighted the author’s apparent taste for the theatrical was when he suggested it was somehow a grave scandal that a Catholic Mass was offered as an optional activity for students at what was essentially a Catholic Independent School. Quick, someone better call ‘Today Tonight!’
I would happily acknowledge the flaws of the Opus Dei movement and schools (there are numerous), but in the shadow of such a melodramatic account my criticisms wont make nearly as thrilling a read. I know it’s sometimes hard to admit to how mediocre and undramatic our lives really are, but suggesting that secretive “cults” are invading our education system is a little far-fetched and paranoid, even for Honi Soit.
Masters Nursing II