Friday 12 January 2007

Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei by: Robert Hutchison

Their Kingdom Come:
Inside The Secret World of Opus Dei

Robert Hutchison
Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN 0312357605

Seldom do I come across a book that turns me off so quickly, and so completely, as this book did. For a little over a year I have been researching Opus Dei with the goal of doing my Thesis on the organization. If even a tenth of what this book claims is true, then this group is the best in the world at keeping secrets, and the people I have known who are members are great deceivers, better than what the devil himself is given credit for being.

The cover of the book claims: "A responsible piece of investigative reporting … packed with meticulous detail." from Publishers Weekly. Yet I find none of that in this book in comparison with other books on the same subject. Both this author, and Michael Walsh in his book The Secret World of Opus Dei, claim to have access to secret documents that are not reproduced or evidenced other than their claims given to their existence.

Hutchison claims that Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was not really interested in the spiritual life of his followers. He states: "Escriva was interested in power. He was a schemer. God's schemer. And he wanted to control higher education, and later government ministries." p.87 This book makes such wide and varied accusations against Opus Dei that it is hard to believe the author has not been charged with libel and slander. Hutchison claims that Opus Dei has overturned governments, controlled the FBI and the CIA, bankrupted the Vatican so that Opus Dei could bail them out, and orchestrated assassination attempts including the one against Pope Paul VI. He even went so far as to claim that Opus Dei controls the majority of the Clergy and Laity in the Roman Curia and that they even actively recruit in the Pentagon and other government organizations around the world to achieve the power and control they want. Hutchison even alludes to the fact that Pope John Paul II was really just a puppet for Opus Dei; he calls JPII Opus Dei's Pope.

How this book is published as Non-Fiction and not Fiction I will never know. Of the 30 odd books I have read, both for and against Opus Dei in the last year, this book is definitely the worst and thus deserves a 'Hate It' book review. If you want to read something unbiased and informative, I would start with John Allen Jr.'s book Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. It is worth the read. But this book by Hutchison is trash and does not deserve your time, effort or hard-earned money.

(First Published in Imprint 2007.01.12 as 'Hate it' part of the 'Love it/ Hate it' book review column.)

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