Breaking the silence!

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This website will discuss, more specifically, the "Apostles of Infinite Love" also known as "Apôtres de l'Amour Infini" as it is in this Québec mouvement that I lived my 7 years. Nevertheless, I believe that many aspects of this cult are also relevant to other organisations, be they religious or not. In my experience, techniques of persuasion and manipulation are also used in the political, business and social institutions. The materials on these pages are not meant to cause malicious acts towards the "Apostles of Infinite Love", nor any other "religious group". What I do hope to accomplish, is to provide information that might be useful to anyone considering adherence with any "religious mouvement". My journey has taught me, that parents, we should never relinquish the care of their offsprings to anyone else. While looking for spiritual answers, it is very important to remain vigilant, especially if it involves children.

Through my trek with the "Apôtres de l'Amour Infini", I believe there are important early patterns that can be established between within extreme religious groups as well as fanatical cults. These followers didn't become diehard zealots overnight. It's a slow, undetected process. As the great guru "Father John" had answered my father: "You start by giving the child milk to drink, afterwards, you give him the meat to chew."

It seems to me that as a society, we need to become more aware of the factors that permitted such extremes as "Jonestown" , "Waco's Branch Davadian" , and "Heaven's Gate" Through repeated teachings of religious doctrines, prinicipals and beliefs, the followers become indoctrinated, no longer able to critically think for themselves. This is especially true for us children, as we did not have the chance to learn anything else while we were in the mouvement. I remember the posters plastered every where: "Ne demande pas pourquoi, fait des actes de foi." (Don't ask why, just have faith). Just as God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, we should simply obey and not to ask "Why?". God knows what's best for us and why it is so. It's not up to us to question God's will; it might be for us to understand later, if God chooses to let us know. In the same fashion, each day was regimented, all planned out for you. When I got out, it was difficult to learn to make decision and sometimes still is.

In my opinion, when it comes to rehabilitation into the world at large, I think we can also draw parallels between the cases of "Ferral Children" and those raised within these types of religious societies. Without the so called 'normal influences' during our formative years, many of us children have gone through great difficulties in trying to learn, on our own, how to fonction in mainstream life.

One example of this might be a "Superior Court Document" which cites a young adult, born and raised with the "Apostles of Infinite Love", having sued the cult. The court report talks about his difficulties adjusting to life, to form relationships and his "absence of credibility". One of the factors mentionned in the dismissal of the case was "his criminal past". How much of those troubles stem from spending at least 16 years in the sequestered environment of this group? What about the many psychological and emotional damages that these children must overcome? How do they get access to help for their rehabilitation?

While writing up these pages, I discovered that "Freedom of Speech" is definitely not what I thought it was. I am trying to be very careful since I am fearful of the legal ramifications of this website's compilations.

I hope the scope of what I am writing falls under the exception:

As an average citizen, I may have misunderstood all this legal mumbo jumbo. If in anyway, I have violated the criminal code or other ethics, please let me know what the problem is so that I may rectify the situation.
Many ex-members chose to ignore and/or forget about their time within the "Apostles of Infinite Love" cult. In order to move on, in our new lives, it seems best to pretend we never knew any "Apôtres de l'amour infini". At least, that was the case with my family and I. We had deliberately set aside that chapter of our lives, thinking it was permanently closed.

It was a great surprise when, in 1996, 20 years after our apostacy, the Québec police contacted my family. We were informed of a new investigation on the "Apostles of Infinite Love" and were asked for our cooperation.

My Family 1970 At first, I thought it would be fairly easy to look back in time and mentally review that closed chapter of my life. However, a few days later, I realized how little I remembered without the assistance of some kind of props - pictures, books, discussions with other family members, etc... With the added benefit of those devices, the flood gates were opened. Memories, long gone or incomplete, were suddenly being played back like little movie clips. I found myself crying, going around in circles and even pulling at my hair at the frustrations of having to relive it all.

With emotions at an all time high, I needed a release outlet so I began to write. What I discovered was that the wounds, I'd thought healed, were in fact still there. Like an internal festering cancer, the damages - psychological and emotional - were simply invisible as they were ignored through the day to day bustles of living. I was shocked to discover that those damages were, obviously, much more long term than I'd thought. The "Beware Brethern" poem is a result of that venting.

Since I was having to revisit my past, I decided to do a search on the internet in order to see if I could find out what our dear "Apostles of Infinite Love" were up to. What was happening out there? Where there any news headlines that might explain who was laying charges?

"Systematic Abuse Alleged".
(You may need to scroll to the very bottom of the page to see the article.)

What I discovered was that the "Apostles of Infinite Love" had moved up in the material world and were also using the internet. It scared me that through this electronic medium, they could recruit many more unsuspecting victims worldwide. Their main page is now available in 5 languages! In addition, when you go to their store, and click the "publications" button, you see that they have begun to publish in German.

       - English "The Apostles of Infinite Love of the Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God"
       - French "Les Apôtres de l'Amour Infini de l’Ordre du Magnificat de la Mère de Dieu"
       - Spanish "Los Apóstoles del Amor Infinito de la Orden del Magníficat de la Madre de Dios"
       - Italien "Gli Apostoli dell’Amore Infinito L’Ordine del Magnificat della Madre di Dio"
       - Polish "Apostołowie Nieskończonej Miłości
Zakon Magnificat Matki Bożej"

Finally, I also discovered that there wasn't much information that could forewarn potential new recruits about the dangers they might face if they joined the mouvement. Through my research on the internet, I only discovered the "Broken Cross" story where another ex-member spoke out about her childhood experiences with the "Apôtres de l'Amour Infini".

Furthermore, in 2001, my father who corresponds with some traditionalist believers - through newsgroups - came across someone asking for more information on the "Apostles of Infinite Love" as a family was planning on joining the mouvement. For me, this confirmed the need to speak out. I decided that it was time, for me too, to break the silence and try to warn the world.

As time permitted, I persued my research, continued writing and completed my poem "Beware Brethern". I also began to try to learn some basic HTML in order to create and publish a personal webpage. However, once again, the day to day family care took priority and my project eventually sat dormant until 2008.

At that time, the news headlined "alleged abuse" at the "YZF Ranch" , a compound run by the "Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" . So many aspects of the earlier history of this latter mouvement reminded me again of my stay at the "Apostles of Infinite Love's" monastery.

With renewed resolve, I started my"Ex apostles" group and published my poem on the internet. I was hoping to be able to find other ex-members with whom I might be able to discuss the similarities of these two cases and how I thought the officials were committing errors while trying to deal with the children they had removed from the YFZ, just as they had with the other "Apostles of Infinite Love" incidents.

From my experience, I believe that the social workers and police don't seem to fully comprehend the extent of the brainwashing that goes on in these type of religious cult mouvements. Of course the children aren't going to tell you what really goes on! We have been conditionned; we are afraid. We have been taught that the wordly officials, (law and government) are evil people doing Satan's work. Lucifer wants his adepts to take us of out the safe compound, into his play world and eventually to hell! In order to be prepared, for the possible police searches, we had a variety of coaching, and practices: rehearsed sitting during 30-60 minutes periods, without moving a muscle.

Anyway, my facebook group sat inactive and eventually forgotten until a year later, when the first of many ex-members contacted me. With time, other comrades were found. It was a great relief for me to find out that so many of us had been able to break away from the "Apôtres de l'Amour Infini" mouvement, without God chastising us for doing so. It was also reassuring to know that my family was not an exception to the rule because of my parents' ongoing belief and prayers to God. Or.... Is it the fact that my family still has an uncle in there that is sparing us from God's wrath? After all, we were repeatedly told that as long as one family member remained faithful to the "Order of the Mother of God" - another name the "Apostles of Infinite Love" use to describe their religious mouvement - God would find it in his heart to ensure the eventual salvation of the remaining faithful's other family members! Furthermore, when my parents first took us out, I did my year of daily reciting of "Ste. Brigitte's 15 prayer novena" as I needed to know that I'd still have a chance of making it to heaven since my parents were putting me back into the devil's playground.

Finally, this spring (2010), an ex-member’s wife informed us that she was writing a book about how the "Apostles of Infinite Love" mouvement had affected her husband's childhood and the difficulties it was causing in their relationship. I was happy to hear that someone was speaking out again. This summer when she announced that she was abandoning the project, I was disappointed. I could not just let things come to a dead stop again. It was my cue to get started again and pick up where I had left off 10 years ago. 

This website is dedicated to all children living in these circumstances as well as those who have gotten out and are trying to relearn what should have been a normal life. Maybe someday, the individual cries of all these children will become a loud scream. Maybe then, society will take a good look at the long terms effects of being raised in a cult. Maybe in the futur, we will see new legislation that will ensure the rights of these children as well. In the meantime, we can also hope that the children coming out of these cults will be entitled to free counselling. They need to learn to live before they can afford this kind of help.

There are many reasons that many ex-members prefer not to go public about their lives in the monastery:

        - They still have parents and/or siblings there. I for one, still have an uncle in there. Many ex-members still want to be able to have some kind of relationship with their family still caught in there. If they were speaking out and causing trouble, they may never see, nor hear of those family members again. 

       - As escapees who have withdrawn from the mouvement, most of us are very familiar with the mental strong hold that is exerciced on the adepts; we understand that many of theses people are good hearted souls who have simply been blinded by faith and the constant thought manipulation or as some say: "brainwashing".

        - They were sexually abused.  Dredging up that past is too painful. 

        - They now have children. Can you imagine how it might affect their children to have their parents featured on the news?  

        - They now have careers and fear the professional ramifications.  What would their employers think?  The past could color the employer's perception of the employee's capacities, possibly even leading to discreditation.   

In the end, the easiest and safest scenario is to forget about the past and move on rather than cause more upsets in our lives.

        - After charges were laid, the cases got thrown out: "Pope freed of all charges".

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 | 3:57 PM ET CBC News The Crown has dropped all charges against a self-styled pope and three of his followers. The four had been accused of physically and sexually abusing children. Gaston Tremblay is considered by the community of the Apostles of Infinite Love to be Pope Gregory the 17th. He was facing almost two dozen charges involving seven boys and a girl, dating back to the late 1960s. Lawyers for Tremblay and the two of the so called nuns argued successfully there are too many problems with the evidence for the case to proceed. The allegations date back to the 1970s and 80's and some of the evidence in the case has been lost. Here's one small example of the difficulties encountered: The news talked about the sexual abuse but there were other forms as well. I was willing to testify that sister "Soandso" had dragged my little sister by the hair and locked her in the hot room where someone hid behind the coats and rattled the "chains of hell". These little children (under 6 yrs old) were told that it was the devil coming to get them. Unfortunately, I learned that my testimony for this event would be useless as charges cannot be laid on aliases. We have to know the offender's civil name. As a nun or monk, giving up your civil name is part of renouncing the materialistic world. Obviously, it also makes it difficult to have the charges and guilty verdicts carried through.

Again, I'd like to remind readers that the purpose of this website is intended as knowledge to use when analyzing any religious movements. As I said in my personal poem:

If, by telling my truths, I can help save, even just one child, I will feel as though this website served it's purpose. I also hope that by hearing more stories about children raised in religious cult mouvements, the law makers and law enforcers will find better methods of dealing with the current "freedom of religion" legislation. As a society, we need to protect the right to religious belief but we must also find ways to ensure better protection for the youth who are being raised in these types of segregated mouvements.

In closing, I also hope that my website will encourage other ex-members -- from around the world -- to break their silence as well. In a way, it's almost comical as I can now joke that my having to write 10 000 times: "I will not speak in the dormitory" must have taught my subconscious mind the patience required to write this page. They may have curbed my speaking but not my writing!

Other pages:

My personal poem: " Beware Brethren ".

Another ex-member tells her story: "Broken Cross".

Watch the Fifth Estate documentary "In the hands of Strangers" where the rest of the "Broken Cross" author's family also speaks out. Unfortunately, this version has been dubbed over in French and I have not found an English copy.

Descriptions of some of the abuse : "Charges laid" from news article in 2001. Being worked on: Learn more on the "Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God" , their beliefs, their works.

View aerial shots of the "mother house" at St. Jovite, Québec. According to the dates on the discussions at this website, it would seem that these photos would have been taken in 2007.

In a couple of documents that I found on line, it seems - to me, at least - that this is a big mansion for the number of people actually living there? Furthermore, the article "4 Apostles jailed for refusing to give evidence" we learn that - in 1978 - the Apostles of Infinite Love had 24 propreties in Québec worth 600 000$. Is there really a need for such a big monastery? Oh ya! I almost forgot... God was going to send us thousands of children to raise in his grace. You have to forsee for those needs! Let us not forget that they have many other propreties and homes, throughout Canada and even in international countries. The following google map link gives an idea of the different regions and properties. Some may have been sold and the money reinvested elsewhere? I don't have the means to stay on top of all of this. At the bottom of this page, I am also adding a link to 9 years of financial reports on the "Charitable" division of their business.  

In the news:

October 2010: "Mon père, le Roi"
A documentary about a child saved from the cult who, as an adult, returns to the monastery to try to see his father, who had kidnapped him, in the 60's. His father had been proclaimed by the Apostles, as the "Great Monarch" or "King" of France, prophesied by Holzhauser (1613-58). January 2011 "Richard Ayoade Prepping “The Apostles Of Infinite Love”".
Will this movie be about the "Apostles Of Infinite Love" that I knew? I don't think so. It seems to be based on a little bits of truths from different cult stories. The blurb announces that the movie will center on an upper class dysfunctional New York family who learns that their youngest daughter has joined a suicide cult in the Midwest. The family recruits a cult deprogrammer and go on the road to save her while both parents and siblings confront their issues with one another. It centers on the three siblings who get in over their heads when they attempt to save the fourth from the cult. Ben Stiller will be acting as producer for this story written by Victoria Strouse.

February 2011: "A Brooklyn nun has confessed to an unholy lie".
New York - After a police search for a hulking black man was launched, the 26-year-old white woman from the Apostles of Infinite Love convent in East Flatbush recanted, the sources said.

"Bizarre history, mysterious members".
An ex-member, like others who spoke with the Daily News, demanded anonymity out of fear she would be cut off from relatives still in the sect.

Through this website, someone from Ecuador send me an email requesting information. He wants to know more on "Los Apóstoles del Amor Infinito".
I am trying to communicate through google translator as he only speaks Spanish while I only speak French and English. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

March 2011: "Ex-religieux est accusé d’agressions sexuelles".
St. Jérome, QC - More charges of sexual abuse are heard in court. What was the end result? Still have not been able to find any futher information.

Brébeuf, QC: The Apostles of Infinite Love demand nearly 2 millions dollars for the "old Coupal mill"at Brébeuf, QC.
Brébeuf was offering 61 400$ for the land and outdated building. We can also read in a "Court document":

I find it difficult to understand how a an organisation, devoted to charity and poverty wouldn't sell the land in order to be able to put that money towards helping the poor. As for me, it is even more difficult to understand when considering the legal expenses incurred to fight the compulsory purchase. Where is the hospital they were supposed to build, over 40 years ago? Where is the orphanage? What has become of the money collected for those projects? I believe that it is simply being reinvested into new propreties as well as travelling across Canada, the US, France, Italy and possibly still in Belgium. Of course, that also includes the Dominican Republic, Porto Rico, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, and Guatemala.

August 2011: Found a book: " 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life".
Published April 15th 2010 - The author cites past incidents that may have had a psychological affect on her eating. When the author is nine, her mother decides to relocate her family to les "Apôtres de l'Amour Infini", a religious sect in Quebec.

MassachusettsNovember 2011:
Purchase of a "new proprety: in Massachusetts, USA. I believe the 300 000$ could have better served in feeding and clothing the poor in those older countries rather than in purchasing another proprety in the US!

December 2011: Found a digital version of a "Christmas LP record."
In late 1975, as children, we spent so many hours practicing for this recording. I do not know when the LP was actually released but I do remember that it was out in time to use as a fundraiser after the fire of summer 1976. In the winter of 1977, as a teenagers, some of us girls went door to door with the nuns and gave the record out in exchange for donations of 5$ or more. If the donation was less then 5$, the donor got a yearly calendar.

Most recent news articles

December 31, 2011: Death of the leader: " Le "pape"est mort". As the year 2011's reign was coming to an end, so did that of two promiment leaders of the Apostles of Infinite love. According to some personal contacts, on November 14, 2011, Mère Germaine (1921 - 2011), longtime mother superior, also took her last breath.

In the news article above, we learn that Jean Gaston Trembly (1928 - 2011) - AKA "Pope" Gregory XVII of the Apostles of Infinite Love - met his maker, on Dec 31, 2011 while at the Ste. Agathe des Monts hospital. This death is particularly bittersweet for many of us ex-members. I understand that these leaders had families and friends who had hoped that their loved ones would get out of this religious mouvement while still alive but there are also victims who had hoped that someday, the guru would be punished for his crimes. Père Jean's reign may have come to an end but the damages and suffering by our families will continue. His death does not mean the end of his empire. His succession will be assured by the youth who have been conditionned into a blind faith, the "End of the world" and above all, the fear of the flames of an eternal hell. Finally, there is also the hope that the death of the top brass might bring about a schism amoungst the remaining members as some may question the prophecies of the old "pope" and therefore, the authority of a new leader. Maybe the departure of the top veterans and their influences can bring about some questionning on the validity and authenticity of their order? One can only hope and pray.

January 2012: Follow ups on the death of the founder.
" Death of abusive cult leader".
" Alain Prokin - Nouvelles religions - 4 janvier 2011 ".
"CBC Radio one News and interview with Mike Kropveld of Infocult".
" Ancienne membre dévoile son histoire".
The above article has a few erreurs.
1 - My family lived at the monastery between 1970 to 1977, returning to Alberta in 1979.
2 - "La tonsure" should have been mentionned with the monks. We, as teenage girls, suffered worst as along with the nuns, we had been shaved, totally bald, not a hair left on our heads!
3 - My mistake - It was in 1996 and not 1999 that the Québec police came to question my family.
4 - My facebook page is in fact active. It is a place to reconnect and find old friends who may have also escaped.

" Living in cult can leave lasting scars".

April 2012:


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