So as not to miss any episode of Frenchie's serial expose of Kiko and Carmen's personal history, I will publish the most recent episodes as individual posts as well as copy them to the post which compiles all the episodes. Below are the episodes received today thus far (2), and here is the link to the full version.
As we mentioned earlier, most information regarding Kiko and Carmen is very scripted, from almost the beginning. Wikipedia for instance, is obviously an advertising page, straight out of the NCW webpage.
Before we move on to the Italian part of what we could call "the Carmen and Kiko incredible adventures", I will develop a little more on the origins of these two fascinating but very controversial individuals.
When you research most writers, regarding the NCW , you find basically two camps: the pros, which consist for the most part of glowing personal experiences from actual members and Catholic officials acquired to their cause.
The anti, who have cataloged an exhaustive list of abuses, digressions and heretical positions, usually coming from former members, families of current members, observers of the Catholic Church.
The documents available are usually very short in the analysis of Carmen and Kiko, that give almost no indication of what their past has been.
It fits a well rehearsed image, of service to the poor, and a new form of Evangelisation supposed to be novel and refreshing.
Kiko Arguello's full name is : Francisco Jose Gomez de Arguello y Wirtz.
Like all spaniards he has a first and middle name that comes with last name of his mother and of his father.
According to his Bio, he was born on January 9 1939 in the province of Leon.
He also tells us that he was born in a wealthy family (adinerada or acomadada).
He found out about poverty, while visiting the house of his family's cook's house. Which means that most likely, his family had several servants, beside the cook.
Otherwise nothing on his mother or his father, except that he was not on good terms with them.
We know that he became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts of San Fernando, and that while there he received the annual National Award for painting in 1959 at the age of 20. (actually the national award for young painters, a slight but important difference).
We have already established that for somebody to enter this type of school, in that period of the Franco Regime, you had to be part of the elite, which means the Arguello y Wirtz were well connected.
Then there is a 5 years gap in the storyline provided to us, before he and Carmen started ministering to the poor in the Puente de Vallecas.
We can safely assume that Francisco had to achieve his military service like most able bodied males of that period, which means he was gone for 18 to 24 months.
This leaves us with a period of 3 to 3 1/2 years to either travel outside of Spain to embrace Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre as he claims (highly unlikely), before he discovered God through the writings of "St Charles de Foucauld" (he is only a blessed martyr).
A short book on his life was published in Spain in the early 60's, but it was a translation of an Italian author on de Foucauld.
In fact Kiko might have use de Foucauld's life as a storyline for his own script at a later date. It is highly unlikely that a confessed Atheist would read a bio of a Monk murdered at the beginning of the century.
Most likely he was coached by somebody with strong personality who could influence such a rebel.
There are very few Wirtz family name in Spain.
The earliest Wirtz of note in Spain are in the early 1800s during the Napoleonic War.
Several of them were in the Military as officer hailing from Great Britain that stayed afterwards.
This Branch is linked with a Protestant missionary experience, which saw a Protestant marrying a local Catholic lady.
The other Branch was Sephardic Jews from Bulgaria speaking Ladino ( a mix of Spanish and Hebrew) that had returned to Spain through Austria in the late 1800s.
While the Protestant Branch is mostly settled in the Bilbao area, the Jewish Branch is settled in the Segovia area in the Province of Leon, not far from Olvega.
We found that Kiko might have had a relative since a person in his 40's exploits a successful business in El Carmen( Leon) under the Name of Manuel Alberto Guerrero y Wortz...
Continued: Maria Carmen Hernandez Barrera.
Watching the duo Carmen/Kiko, Kiko is the focal point of the NCW enterprise. We have seen that despite this it is Carmen that had and still does possess the most religious and business acumen.
She is older, better educated, more astute and more importantly she is the one with the real political connections.
Early on, in their relationship, she took control of it. She educated, coached and propped up Francisco. She recognized his talents as a firebrand which mixed with his "artistic" side, will develop in the successful brand we know as the NCW.
The Hernandez Barrera family was a landowner family with conservative connections, allowing them to become an important economic power in the Leon province during the first 20 years after the end of the civil war.
In the early 1960s the Hernandez Barrera brothers: Antonio, Felix, Telesforo and Elias decided to grow their enterprises. They ventured into Andalucia, thanks to some government help and started purchasing large swaths of land to become the largest rice producer in Spain.
They diversified their business, and created banking and investment firms. In 1989 they became the largest shareholders of Grupo Ebro, soon becoming the 2nd largest manufacturer of Pasta in the world. (Brillante, La Cigala, Panzani)
In the last 20 years, they diversified their holdings, with ventures in olive oil, ecological tourism, banking, bonds. (they are the largest holders of Spanish Bonds)
Antonio died in 2011, Elias (the eldest) owns 90% of Royal Golf Club of Sevilla, Felix is an Aficionado of Bullfighting. He owns two large and well regarded Bull ranches.
In 2014, Forbes Magazine listed Elias Hernandez Barrera worth at 850 millions Euros (more than 1 billion $)
Their sister (Carmen) is a shareholder of several of their ventures, through a system of trusts and funds.