"Medjugorje," said the priest, "is the devil's plan for the pious."
It wasn't surprising to hear a priest talk about Medjugorje this way. But it was surprising to hear a Franciscan talk this way, especially at Medjugorje itself. It just shows how things have changed over the years. This man had been there for over ten years and in that period of time had gone from believing that Medjugorje was a visitation of the Mother of God to where he now believed that it was a demonic hoax, and I was listening to the story of his spiritual odyssey.
"The whole point of this," he said gesturing toward St. James Church in one direction and all of the buildings, drug centers, souvenir shops, "orphanages" in the other, "is to take a human oracle and promote it to the status of something divine, and then to excommunicate everyone who doesn't believe it. This is another Jesus."
In early 1997 Network 5 began an investigation that culminated in Visions on Demand, the first TV documentary that deals honestly with the financial and spiritual manipulation behind what promises to be one of the greatest spiritual hoaxes of the 20th century. Network 5 later joined forces with E. Michael Jones, an American journalist who has investigated Medjugorje for the last 10 years. What they came up with is the definitive explanation of how Medjugorje got started and the damage it has caused, based on footage which has never been seen before. The uproar has already started in England and now it's on its way over here.
Before one more family gets destroyed; before one more widow gets bilked; before someone else gets killed...