A so-called Benedictine monastery accepted a gift from a postulant and refuses to give it back... "When Eric E. Hoyle entered a monastery in Allegany County in 2005 expecting to become a Benedictine monk, he turned over just about everything he had to the monastery. Operators of Most Holy Family Monastery in the rural Town of Fillmore accepted about $1.6 million from the former Maryland schoolteacher, who was 25 years old at the time. But a disenchanted Hoyle ended up leaving the monastery after a couple of years, and soon after, he sued in federal court to get the money back. - The rest of the story here.
First of all, I'm fairly certain a postulant or novice is not expected to give up their wealth until final profession, and then it is not advisable or acceptable to 'donate' it to the congregation one is entering. The 'donation' could become a source of pride and/or control on the part of the donor, having before his mind the knowledge that he contributed such wealth to the community. I didn't check to see what canon law has to say on these matters, but common sense should suffice here.
That said, in this particular situation, the monastic community is not even in union with the Roman Catholic Church, much less any Benedictine Federation - they are sedevacantist nuts. Hence the novice has no recourse to canon law or the jurisdiction of the Benedictine Order. Stupid is as stupid does, but hopefully he can win his money back in civil court.
People - you gotta watch your wallets with individuals or groups who profess to be religious - whether they are clerics, religious, or lay persons; trad, sede, or liberal. There is great gain in religion and that is exactly why a few turn it into a career.
Photo: One of the monks of Most Holy Family Monastery. Story here.