|Spanish Priest Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) founded Opus Dei (The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei) in 1928. Opus Dei membership reached over 90,000 in 2009. Members include many government officials and clergy from Spain and throughout the world.
Opus Dei has been criticized for the extreme right-wing political agenda of its members, and also for its practices of corporal mortification—self-inflicted pain—which is described in TIME magazine:
But numeraries are expected, although not compelled, to wear a cilice, a small chain with inward-pointing spikes, around the upper thigh for two hours each day, and to flail themselves briefly weekly, with a small rope whip called a discipline.
Philosopher, historian, and Knight of Malta Avro Manhattan reminds us that Opus Dei is also under the control of the Jesuits and the Papacy:
The Opus Dei is a semi-secret religious lay order whose paramount objective is total support of the papacy and of the most conservative principals of the Catholic Church [the Council of Trent]...its members have dedicated themselves, with their personal and corporate wealth, to the blind instrument of the church [the Jesuit general].
All of these organizations can be traced back to the Jesuits and the Papacy.