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Cults, Cons, Apparitions, Allegations

By Matt Abbott
Op/Ed

Phillip J. Kronzer is the controversial founder of the Phillip J. Kronzer Foundation for Religious Research (www.kronzer.org). For a background of Kronzer and his activities, see the following links:

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/09.15.04/kronzer-0438.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/caritas/caritas14.html

On a July 1, 2005 radio program hosted by Michael Corbin (www.4acloserlook.com), Kronzer, a regular guest on the program, talked about various alleged Marian apparitions, seers and locutionists (a person who claims to "hear" the voice of Jesus and/or Mary), one of whom was Cyndi Cain. Cyndi is married to Catholic writer Michael Cain, and both maintain the DailyCatholic.org website, which caters to radical traditionalist Catholics.

Kronzer also read from a 1996 book titled Dear Marian Movement: Let God be God - which I, too, have a copy of -- authored by the late William A. Reck of the now-defunct Riehle Foundation.

In the book, the following passage deals with Cyndi Cain (excerpted, pp. 200-202):

"Cyndi's ministry suddenly came upon the Arkansas scene after a sojourn on the West Coast. The new location was apparently the result of a direct request from Our Lady. Cyndi and her husband, Michael, are both writers. That is evidenced by the appeal of their Call to Peace publication and the depth of the articles. The initial area of discernment regarding Cyndi's ministry would be the messages themselves. Since there were often four or more messages per week, going back to 1990, there is a mammoth amount of words from Jesus and Mary to read....

"Cyndi also announced specific messages had been received for the instigation of a special refuge center and a new order of nuns. It would seem there is a need for the laity to be able to better identify these kinds of messages--preferably by having the Church issue some sort of statement relating thereto--before we get too excited and donate money, or even move our families. Such seems to be the case here. Messages in 1992 confirmed Cyndi and Michael were to travel to Rome for a special audience with the Pope confirming the new order to be established in Arkansas, who was to run it, that the Pope would personally endorse it, that it would be a 'Eucharistic Community' (the Blessed Sacrament always available--but not approved by the local bishop), that the Pope would be martyred in Denver in 1993, the realization of the location for the new refuge and holy Monastery; the appointment (by Our Lady) of special hand picked sons and daughters to administer these operations. Donations were to be solicited for the refuge center and a call for people to come there, through the publication, A Call to Peace.

"...[A]lmost all of the predictions turned out to be wrong and by 1994, many Marian organizations around the country were receiving letters from residents of the Bella Vista Refuge indicating major problems, a lack of confidence in Cyndi, and suggesting people not come. Messages from Our Lady (or Jesus) were provided for every situation, problem, or decision to be made, including identifying the property to be purchased (it was the wrong one); a religious to be the head of the new order (as it turned out she evidently wasn't a nun); a Brother Anthony, picked by Our Lady to then head up the order (turned out he really wasn't a Brother....

"The refuge failed, money was lost, a spiritual director left, an investigation was initiated by the Chancery, litigation was threatened, families left the center, and the Cains left the state. The Call to Peace newspaper deftly reported the entire array of difficulties and pointed out the reality of Satan in the process, and how it was he who had infiltrated and destroyed this otherwise good work....

"Several years ago, I had received a letter from Cyndi inviting us to publish a book for her, stating this request was given directly by the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have received quite a few such requests, and once, when I refused, I was told I now had 'blood on my hands.' I don't think so."

As of the time this column was submitted for posting, Cyndi Cain had not responded to my e-mail inquiry about Reck and Kronzer. If she does respond, I will print her response in a future column.

Also of note is UnityPublishing.com, a website maintained by Richard Salbato, a former associate of Kronzer. Salbato still focuses on very similar material, but he and Kronzer went their separate ways after a falling out several years ago.

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