NY prosecutor: Scammers fleeced wealthy musician, Schlumberger heir for $20 million

Vickram Bedi A wealthy musician lost $20 million over six years to scammers who persuaded him of threats against him coming out of Central America, the conservative Catholic movement Opus Dei and the CIA, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Vikram Bedi’s co-defendant, Helga Invarsdottir, pleaded guilty last year to grand larceny and is awaiting sentencing.

French woman loses Opus Dei enslavement case

Opus Dei A French woman has lost her “enslavement” court case against two followers of Opus Dei and an association closely linked to the powerful conservative Catholic group.

Opus Dei members in French court on abuse charges

Opus Dei Two members of the secretive Roman Catholic society Opus Dei were due in a Paris court Thursday accused of subjecting a disciple to years of abuse.

Catherine Tissier says she was forced to work 14-hour days and brainwashed, resulting in charges of “undignified punishment” and illegal employment.

Virus Leads to $20 Million Scam

A noted music composer and oil-family heir was fleeced out of as much as $20 million over a six-year period by a Westchester computer repairman and his girlfriend, authorities said Monday.

The saga began in August 2004 when Roger Davidson, 58 years old, a pianist and jazz composer who once won a Latin Grammy, took his computer to Datalink Computer Services in Mount Kisco, saying the machine had been infested with a virus.

The owners of the company, Vickram Bedi, 36, and his girlfriend, Helga Invarsdottir, 39, became aware of Mr. Davidson’s high profile and allegedly proceeded to convince him that he was the target of an assassination plot ordered by Polish priests affiliated with Opus Dei, a conservative Roman Catholic organization, authorities said.

Opus Dei lets film director in on some of its secrets

Opus Dei British film-maker Roland Joffe is to recreate the life and miracles of Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, the Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei, one of the most influential and secretive organisations within the Catholic Church.

The film seems set to stir up more controversy, following in the wake of several screen hits tapping into public fascination with tales of Opus-inspired crimes and conspiracies, which have set Vatican chasubles aflap.

Book lifts cowl on ‘misogynist’ Opus Dei

An Opus Dei defector tells of threats and humiliation she suffered during 13 years in the secret sect.

Opus Dei accuses BBC of defamation

The controversial religious sect, Opus Dei has accused the BBC of portraying its members as murderers, thieves and adulterers in a furious row over a popular fictional drama.

Ruth Kelly’s Opus Dei beliefs ‘incompatible’ with gay rights, say Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have launched a fierce attack on Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly – insisting her personal beliefs were incompatible with defending gay rights. Equality spokeswoman Lorely Burt called on Ms Kelly – a practising member of the Opus Dei branch of the Catholic church – to stand down immediately.

Secretive Opus Dei honours banker who was cut up with a chainsaw

Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic organisation, has paid a rare and fulsome tribute to Gianmario Roveraro, an Italian banker who was found murdered last week, chopped into pieces beneath a motorway bridge. The statement is as close as the group’s secretive policy allows to admitting that the pious financier was a member of the movement. […]

Opus Dei financier is found dismembered under bridge

The badly beaten and mutilated corpse of Gianmario Roveraro, one of Italy’s reputedly most pious financiers, was discovered “cut to pieces” under a motorway overpass near Parma yesterday, some two weeks after he was kidnapped while returning home from a meeting of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei. Three people were arrested on suspicion […]

Focus: Meet the real Opus Dei

Each Saturday evening, in the privacy of his modest bedroom in north London, he removes his shirt and reaches for a five-tailed whip. Quietly intoning a recitation, he starts to scourge his back. The cords bite painfully into his flesh, but again and again the erect figure lashes himself. A devout Shíite? A sado-masochist? No, […]

Opus Dei out to correct bad rap it gets in book

The most potentially damaging portrayal in “The Da Vinci Code” is of Opus Dei, the pious religious movement founded by St. Josemaria Escriva in 1928 as a way of bringing ordinary people closer to God in their everyday work and life. At the group’s New York headquarters, a box has been installed to offer literature […]

Opus Dei members: Da Vinci distorted

Conservative Catholic group defending itself as controversy swirls They get together once a week in a large South Orange house where members say they talk about religion and the virtues of obedience, chastity and compassion. They say there is nothing mysterious about their organization. They say their main mission is to live a religious life, […]

Opus Dei popularity surging thanks to The Da Vinci Code

Blockbuster bonus: Despite the rigors of belonging the secretive sect, the group finds itself enjoying unprecedented levels of public interest It takes three years of devout learning before you can become a member and, once in, you’ll be encouraged to wear a spiked metal wire around your thigh and pray for hours a day. On […]

The People Of Opus Dei

April 15, 2006(CBS) No matter how hectic Elizabeth Heil’s day gets, the graduate student sets one priority above all others. “My vocation in life is to be a good roman catholic – my specific vocation given to me within the Catholic Church is to be a good supernumerary of Opus Dei,” says Heil. Only three […]

Opus Dei Asks for Da Vinci Disclaimer

ROME, Italy (AP) — The conservative religious group Opus Dei has asked for a disclaimer on the upcoming film based on the best-selling novel “The Da Vinci Code.” Opus Dei, portrayed as a murderous, power-hungry sect in the novel by Dan Brown, wrote in an April 6 letter to Sony Corp. that a disclaimer would […]

Opus Dei Holds Out for ‘Da Vinci’ Changes

ROME, Italy (AP) — The conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei said Tuesday it had no intention of calling for a boycott of the upcoming film “The Da Vinci Code,” but said it hopes the much-awaited film could still be changed so that “there aren’t references that would hurt Catholics.” In a statement released in […]

Opus Dei tackles image problem

NEW YORK: Portrayed in the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code as a secretive cult willing to murder to defend a fictional 2000-year-old Catholic cover-up, Opus Dei is promoting its softer side before the movie of the book arrives in May. Published in March 2003, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is one of the […]

Opus Dei seeks adult rating for Da Vinci Code

The Catholic organisation Opus Dei is asking censors to give the Hollywood version of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code an adult rating because of the “hateful image” of the group it portrays. Opus Dei, which is often criticised as ultra-conservative and secretive, is particularly angry that a key figure in the story, […]
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