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Inside Opus Dei: The True, Unfinished Story Paperback – January 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0826419309 ISBN-10: 0826419305

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (January 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826419305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826419309
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"'A fascinating and disturbing book... a literary grenade seeking to blow apart Opus Dei's benign and exalted image... a picture of an obsessively secretive, manipulative and sexist organization with a virtual cultlike veneration of its founder.' Boston Globe 'Tapia's book is a comprehensive account of the inner workings of the women's branch of Opus Dei. It should fascinate sociologists and feminist and contribute to needed self-criticism in the Roman Catholic Church... A best seller in Spain, and a success in Germany, Portugal and Italy, Tapia's book has important lessons not only for John Paul II and other Catholics, but for all who wish to see religion freed from the tyranny of self-proclaimed saints.' Christian Century 'The little I knew about Opus Dei before reading this book was enough to make me feel uneasy about the increasing strength and visibility of the organization in the Catholic Church. Tapia's book deepened my wariness into something akin to dread. Her book, however, is not a cheap or sensational expose. It is the chronicle of an intelligent and sensitive woman who served the organization in responsible positions during her 18 year sojourn as a full member.' National Catholic Reporter"

About the Author

Maria del Carmen Tapia was born in Spain in 1925 and joined Opus Dei in 1948. She works in the systemwide office of the Education Abroad Program of the University of California in Santa Barbara.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on May 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
INSIDE OPUS DEI from someone who knew the characters and circumstances that created such a unhealthy, even destructive 'way' of spiritual life, reveals clearly the rot at its core. One wonders how long it will take the Church to live down the beatification of such a nefarious charlatan as its founder. This work seems to be a sincere, first hand account from someone high in the organization- until they realized the mistake they'd made.
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By Mario Cuervo on October 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, scary..
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tom Holzel on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Maria del Carmen Tapia's touching story of her 18-year membership in Opus Dei and rapid ascension to secretary of its leader--followed by her "escape" and subsequent hounding by the organization--illustrates once again that dictatorships have no place in modern society--regardless of their self-serving claims of specialness.

Opus Dei is a secretive cult run like a fanatical military organization with unconditional loyalty-up demanded, but little evidence of loyalty-down from the leadership. Dissent is harshly punished. A life spent serving the organization results in a penurious wage and accrues zero social benefits (e.g., unemployment or social security benefits). Leave after 20 years of service, if you can, and you are tossed into the street with nothing to show for it except calluses and the scars of instruments of self-inflicted torture. Oh, but you've done God's work.

It is really quite remarkable what still goes on in the world--the so-called 'modern world'--that is nothing less than the most primative throwback to the dark ages. And so much of it in the name of God. I guess Ms Tapia has painfully learned what Christopher Hitchens writes about (and equally elegantly): "Religion poisons everything."

Fortunately, the plucky Ms Tapia has escaped, and has apparantly become the stronger for it. But she is clearly the exception. This is sorry but exceptionally well-told tale by a remarkable, graceful woman.
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