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A critical website on
Vassula Ryden &"True Life in God"
Welcome to www.pseudomystica.info
This website is a continuation of the previously known infovassula.ch website. The dominion name infovassula.ch had to be transferred in June 2012 by the owner María Laura Pio Cafaro to the Foundation for TLIG (True Life in God), the organization which ensures the promotion and defence of Vassula Ryden's messages. Mrs Pio declared herself unable "financially as well as psychologically" to continue the fight against TLIG's legal harassment.
It is indeed well-known that many claimed seers are used to entrusting the defence of their cause to lawyers rather than to God
The GRIS (Gruppo di Ricerca e Informazione Socio-religiosa) has asked and obtained from Mrs Pio the ownership of all the contents published in the infovassula.ch website, which have been significantly renamed www.pseudomystica.info.
The new website is well within GRIS' objectives. Its Articles of association were approved in 1990 by the Italian Bishops' Conference and the association is present in more than 40 Italian dioceses through a representative named by the GRIS and approved by the local bishop. Since 1987 our association promotes the research, study and discernment of various religious phenomenologies, and provides spiritual, legal or psychological assistance to those who find themselves involved in particular situations or groups.
The scope of the current initiative is to avoid the disappearance of a very valid critical instrument as well as to avoid the further fulfilment of the principle that 'might makes right'; but most of all it wants to ensure that the new website has all the guarantees, including legal ones, needed not only for its survival, but also for a more calm, free and resolute continuation of its activities.
Father François-Marie Dermine OP
National President of GRIS
Church Position regarding TLIG: Catholic Church
F.A.Q Frequently Asked Questions
Links and information in other languages
The four testimonies hereunder are meant to help the reader understand some of the problems that are linked with the TLIG messages and how people who were profoundly convinced of their authenticity came to a radically opposite conclusion.
The testimony of the founder of the first critical website on TLIG
By Maria Laura Pio
Until 1996, I lived in Geneva (Switzerland), about 50km from the Lausanne area where Vassula lived at that time. I'm a Catholic since my birth and have always strived to live according to the Gospel. When residing in Geneva, I was very active in my parish, where I volunteered as a catechist whilst finishing my university studies.
In 1993-94, my spiritual director introduced me to Mrs G., a very active supporter of Vassula Ryden. She was the first person to speak to me about Vassula and give me Volume 1 of the "True Life in God" (TLIG) messages. She also invited me to the conference Vassula was giving at the World Council of Churches (WCC).
The TLIG messages seemed a little strange to me, but since I had never read any private revelations, I kept an open mind about them. After Vassula's talk at the WCC, I felt a lot of enthusiasm, and bought some more books. When reading the messages, for the first time, I felt that God truly loved me (the main theme in Volume 1 is God's Love).
At this stage, I prayed God to please give me a sign. Since I had gone to the conference with my mother, I prayed that if the messages were real, to have my mom confirm it to me. And she did: just after the conference, she was positively impressed by Vassula. However, after reading the books, she became skeptic. But I didn't take that change of view as a part of God's answer... (I don't ask God for signs anymore; not because God doesn't answer - He always answers prayer - but because we humans tend to see signs everywhere and interpret them the way we want...).
I quickly became addicted to the messages. What I mean by "addicted" is that I felt the need to read them every single day. I started to believe that God's will was for me to read and spread the messages. By that time, Mrs. G. had given me approximately 20 books of the french version of the messages to give to my friends. I started to spread the messages. I had never done anything like this before. The messages repeat constantly that the only thing God asks of us is to spread the TLIG messages, and by doing so the world will be saved.
At that time I was also active in an association that fought against adult and child pornography. I had always considered it a Christian task, but after reading TLIG, I started seeing it as futile, and skipped meetings in order to have more time to read and spread the TLIG messages. I also stopped reading the Gospel, since I ended up thinking that the messages were superior to the Gospel, because it was JESUS speaking NOW.
As I quickly found out, most of the people who read the messages felt the same way I did. Mrs. G. told me once that she read the messages every day, and when she had some spare time, she used it to read again the first volume.
After 3-4 months of TLIG, my behavior had changed enough for my parents to notice it. I was unable to accept the slightest criticism about Vassula and had frequent and terrible fights with my mother. I had also become very sensitive to everything and cried often. I felt terribly guilty when I didn't feel like reading the messages. I didn't watch TV anymore, I didn't read novels as I did before. When I had the opportunity to go on vacation, I always tried to go to a monastery for a retreat (with my TLIG books, of course). I only went out with friends if I thought that I would have the opportunity to spread the messages.
After 8-9 months of reading the messages, my mother challenged me to stay a whole day without reading them. I replied I could stay a whole month. And I did. I felt as if I was guilty. I seemed to hear an inner voice that told me that by doing so, I was disobeying God. But I reasoned that I was doing it not because I thought the messages were false, but because I loved my mother and this was a way of convincing her that TLIG was good.
Anyway, I felt guilty all along, but continued to pray God to please help me. I started reading St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, and their profound mysticism was surprisingly refreshing. I also felt relieved not to have to read TLIG every day (although I didn't like to admit it).
Well into the third week of "TLIG abstinence", God gave me the strength and clarity of mind to look at what had happened to me during the past year. For the first time, I TRULY doubted of the authenticity of the messages. I prayed God to please show me the Truth about TLIG.
At the end of the month, I began to read TLIG again. But this time, I was seeing the contradictions between TLIG and the Gospel. At one point, I stopped reading TLIG. Less than a year later, the Catholic Church published the Notification, a warning against the negative elements and doctrinal errors contained in the Vassula Ryden's writings.
As a consequence of my belief in the messages, I experienced guilt and anguish for almost two years, because although I did not think anymore that TLIG was authentic, I had brainwashed myself to believe otherwise. I felt I couldn't trust God, nor the Church, nor myself. I felt so deceived by the priests that had not warned me or - worse - had encouraged me to read TLIG without having read it themselves! (My spiritual director was one of those...). I kept asking God why He had let me go so much astray, when the only thing I was searching for was Him.
I was also unable to pray Jesus for a time, because the TLIG messages (as any other false revelation) subtly changes the perception one has of Jesus' Image and personality. When I thought of "Jesus", the image that came to my mind was that of the TLIG-Jesus who condemns those who do not believe in the authenticity of the messages (even if the Church teaches that one should not consider as authentic unapproved private revelations, nor read them, nor spread them). But through prayer, God-Father restored in me the Image of His Son.
I would add as a conclusion, that having experienced unconditional belief in an unapproved private revelation such as TLIG, I can testify how much it can destroy you. TLIG seems to contain no errors, no mistakes (some theologians and priests believe in it). Everything seems faithful to the Gospel, to the Church's teachings, to the Pope. I seemed to have developed a more profound faith and spirit of prayer. But it was all built on sand. If the private revelation is not authentic and you choose to believe in it anyway, it will spiritually destroy you.
This experience has showed me how important it is to listen to the warnings and recommendations of our Church. It also showed me how the chase for the supernatural, the prodigy, can endanger one's soul and become a powerful and insidious Faith-killer. It also helped me understand in a new way Jesus' words to St. Thomas: "How happy are those who will believe without seeing me" (John 20, 29).
It took me more than 6 years to recover from this experience, which had the consequences of a real trauma on me. And I had read the messages for only 8 months... However, in a certain way, I do not regret it, because this terrible disillusion and suffering was used by God to show me His true Love for us - which is unconditional - and took me spiritually to a more profound and authentic Faith, based on the simplicity of the Gospel and the trust in God and His Church.
After several years of these events, certain circumstances made me realize that I could not silence what I had experienced. This is the reason why I created a critical website on the messages, which I administered until 2012. Since the official TLIG website (www.tlig.org) is understandibly all in favor of the authenticity of the messages, my site focused on the negative elements and errors that can be found in the writings and that need to be clarified. The good elements contained in the messages are not denied.
May St Anthony of Padova intercede for us to remain faithful to God-Father and glorify Him in our lives.
Maria Laura Pio
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An impressive testimony from an active ex-member of TLIG
By Javier López
My involvement with TLIG lasted almost 5 years. As I usually do in almost everything I undertake, I got involved as thoroughly as possible, to the point of becoming the webmaster for the Spanish version of the official TLIG website. Everything started with a book a family member loaned me. It was a moment in which I was particularly sensitive, for my brother had just died. I was a lifelong Catholic, but perhaps a bit bored, and had fallen into a tedious monotony. I think that during that time I didn't even value Jesus being present in the Eucharist. I reckon that my fundamental problem was that I didn't know the love of God through other sources or through personal experience, and in the TLIG messages - the first volume in particular - one gets impregnated by it.
Whilst reading the TLIG books, I was marveled that Jesus would still speak today and in such an intimate way. I thought He had stopped speaking centuries ago. At the beginning it was impossible for me to believe that the messages could be authentic, but when I read that there had been many conversions and that famous priests backed them up, I cancelled all my prejudices and ended up completely hooked on the messages.
I started to get acquainted with many people related to the messages. At a certain moment the messages had absorbed my whole life. Even on vacation, they were the only thing I read! I stopped attending daily Mass (my wife didn't - I only went with her to Sunday Mass), but I didn't care, for I excused myself thinking that I was directly collaborating with the main work of God, and that the Good Father would certainly understand and justify me.
I think I didn't have another conversation topic. I constantly saw the work of the devil in whoever attacked Vassula. The Notifications didn't affect me, and so on. I even tried to act as a theologian to defend her! My parents seemed stupid to me because the messages left them indifferent.
Everything started changing when I met by chance a priest, who - with a lot of patience and without never disqualifying the messages - started teaching me about the Holy Spirit and got me to read great mystics, such as Saint John of the Cross and other spiritual books. Little by little I started distancing myself from the messages and became more critical, reflecting on many things, such as what it means to be obedient to the Church without putting any conditions. In the TLIG prayer groups, I observed something that I didn't like very much: the messages were given the same importance as biblical citations!
Suddenly, something I had never doubted about - Vassula's matrimonial situation - started to gnaw at me. How could someone called to such a great mission could be in such an unclear situation? I realized that during the TLIG convention that took place in the Holy Land, ecumenical celebrations and Eucharistic communions had been done without the due authorization from the Catholic Church. I had met Vassula personally and known many details of her life. I asked myself how it was possible she was so afraid of being the victim of physical aggressions during the meetings? I saw in it a lack of trust in the Lord and a contradiction with the messages. I started remembering the many other people who, with great charisma inside the Church, saw serious mistakes in Vassula's messages and to whom I had not cared to listen. I saw myself as an intrepid adventurer. The Holy Catholic Church already has it's own commissions and congregations to decide about the acceptance by the Catholic of extraordinary phenomena. What was I doing all by myself and at my own risk following something on which so many doubts existed? So, from one day to the other, I decided to get rid of all the messages and start for good an authentic True life in God inside His Church and I thank God and His Holy Spirit for guiding me. Several years have passed by since then and I do not regret my decision. I feel that I have grown spiritually, I have understood many of my shortcomings and never again have I felt the need to read those messages.
May 12, 2005
If you wish to contact Javier, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
|TESTIMONY 3 - October 2005
A testimony from a New Age expert: "Being good and well-intentioned is not good enough"
I was one of the early 'fans' of Vassula in India, and I introduced her, through video-tape recordings, to friends in Goa, Mangalore and other cities, and some of them are promoters of Vassula's mission and writings today. I had traveled halfway across the country to personally listen to her at her meetings in Cochin and in Goa, maybe around 1999.
The Church and the Charismatic Renewal in Goa had advised genuine Catholics not to attend these meetings, but yet many went, and so did I. My argument was that she was not making any doctrinal errors in her teachings, and was only increasing devotion to certain Catholic pieties, so it did not matter. I also believed that the 'ecumenism' she preached was a good thing, that all denominations should get together as Jesus prayed that 'all may be one'.
Of course I had heard that certain top Vatican officials had cast serious doubts on her, but I also noted that many reputed Catholic priests, including those connected with other visionaries, were supporting her. They couldn't be wrong, could they ? After all, the Church has always been slow and heavy-handed on visionaries and prophets, and wasn't my conversion, from a form of Hinduism in 1982, also closely connected with private revelation ?
I had used my talent in writing to defend Vassula until a few months ago. Then I was given some information, written by good Catholics, and more updated information on what the Vatican officials were saying, and asked to read it objectively.
It did not take me long to see the light. I wish to make this letter brief, so I avoid lengthy explanations and references to the Bible and Church teaching. But I would like to say that my extensive studies has shown me that, despite all its weaknesses, the Church has never erred in matters that are credal and doctrinal. And I found that Vassula was making just those errors.
It does not matter that 99.99999 % of her teachings are good, helpful, even 'faith-building'. It is that 0.00001 % error that matters.
I could see that the ecumenism that she proposes is not the one envisaged by the Church. It would in fact be detrimental to the apostolic and sacramental Church. I have a few other observations but would like to conclude here because I will only be repeating what others have also now been saying.
On a parting note, I would like to say that I am not condemning Vassula outright. I believe that she is a good and well-intentioned lady. But being good and well-intentioned is not good enough. Any Catholic or Christian, including this ministry which seeks to expose New Age errors, can err, even with the best of intentions, and needs to be subject to the teaching authority of the Church.
|TESTIMONY 4 - October 2005
A Mother's Testimony
By Maria Isabel Pérez de Pio
I believe it to be important for me to present my personal experience with Vassula in order to clarify some points. I lived in Geneva (Switzerland) for 18 years and got to know Vassula, a charismatic person, during her first years there, through my daughter who was her follower. While studying at the university, my daughter started to read the "True Life in God" books following the recommandation of her Spiritual Director who, although never having read Vassula's messages, strongly encouraged her to read them.
I have a daughter and a son, who is now a priest. Since their childhood, I had the custom of reading to them the Gospel every day and commenting it. When my daughter started reading Vassula's messages, the first thing she abandoned was our family reunion and the reading of the Gospel. She told us that reading the TLIG messages was like reading the Gospel. Vassula even said that when reading the messages, one should replace Vassula's name with one's own name, as if it were a personal revelation of Jesus to each one of us.
During the first years, those messages of "Jesus" were apocalyptical and often said that in the Catholic Church there was the "abomination of the desolation" (Mark 13;14). Later on, and possibly due to the resistance she encountered in the Catholic Church, she started to change her speech. Curiously, her "Jesus" never gave any explanation about this change.
The character of my daughter started to change. She spent more than an hour every day locked up in her room reading the messages. She started to distance herself from the family that tried to make her see that the only certainty was in the Gospel and the Church's doctrine. Those were very difficult times for all of us and for her with consequences similar to those suffered in cults.
Finally, thanks to God, she was able to see clearly and now dedicates part of her time to warn about the dangers of these messages, which are apparently good but very dangerous in the end. In these moments where there are so many false prophets and doctrines, we must remain faithful more than ever to the only Truth: the Revelation that Jesus left us.
Maria Isabel Pérez de Pio
NOTE: Maria Isabel Pérez de Pio is the mother of Maria Laura Pio. This testimony was originally published in the Catholic weekly "Cristo Hoy", distributed in most parishes of Argentina.
Testimonies on the web: