Anti-cult Forum and kidnapping – Act 1

A past to forget

The members of the Anti-Cult Forum lying, deny ties with their founders engaged in violent and illegal practices. They deny having to do with kidnapping aimed to achieve abjuration with violence. But they justify them by saying that the judges have acquitted them.

Let’s do a quick recap: the associations forming the Anti-Cult Forum are the FAVIS of Maurizio Alessandrini, the ARIS Toscana of Mario Pierotti and Emanuela Fontana, the ARIS Veneto of Milena Bolgan, the CeSAP of Lorita Tinelli and Giù le mani dai bambini of Aldo Verdecchia.

Five associations, but in reality about ten individuals in all, even less.

As we have seen in the previous articles, the representatives of these associations do not have special qualifications, skills or merits. Some of them appeared on the media stirring up an endless anti-cult alarming campaign based on almost always inflated incidents, to which they owe their modest visibility.

Despite their blatant unreliability, these so-called “experts” have been accepted as informants and representatives by the S.A.S., the Anti-Cult Squad of the Ministry of Interior, along with their colleague Don Aldo Bonaiuto of the Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII°.

Recently the activity of the Anti-Cult Forum and its strange combination with the S.A.S. were called into question by two Radical Senators, Marco Perduca and Donatella Poretti, who filed a parlamentary interrogation, later on reported upon by Agenzia Radicale.

We have extensively covered the issue in the articles Are S.A.S. representatives lying? and There is not much to be Allegrini – Part 2 and, in that contest, we announced that we would have dealt with the issue again to provide some information, opportunely unsaid by the Anti-Cult Forum.

As you can read in the interrogation for which the link has been above provided, Senators Perduca and Poretti, among other things, have written the following:

“… whether [the Ministers addressed] consider that the presence among the experts consulted by the S.A.S. of associations such as ARIS, protagonist of the severe case of “deprogramming” of 1988, might rather represent a threat to religious freedom.”

Maurizio AlessandriniApparently these few lines irritated the Anti-Cult Forum, since their main representative, Maurizio Alessandrini, on December 26, 2012, reacted and published on his blog a long letter entitled TO MAKE A CLARIFICATION ON A CASE OF DEPROGRAMMING IN ITALY.

In his letter, Alessandrini first took the distance from the association that had organized and carried out the kidnapping mentioned by Perduca and Poretti, stating that:

“… With regards to the facts ascribed to ARIS, the mentioned associations ARIS TOSCANA and ARIS VENETO, at the time of the facts (1988) had not yet been established.”

In practice he meant to say that the two ARIS associations, current members of the Anti-Cult Forum, have nothing to do with the ARIS association founded in Villasanta (Monza) in the 80ies by Ennio Malatesta, later on involved in the kidnapping for deprogramming purpose of an Alessandra. Alessandrini pointed out that the current associations were not even born at the time of the kidnapping.

It is obvious that Alessandrini and his associates do not want to have anything to do with the kidnappers and are taking the distance from them. Would they admit to be the direct heirs of that ARIS, i.e. a group that violates the law to counter the “cults”, they would find themselves with a serious problem of public image: a serious conflict of interests for the “S.A.S. representatives”.

How could the Anti-Cult Forum’s members explain that in their curriculum and history there are violent and illegal practices? How could they combine a similar background with the image they would like to have today of associations that cooperate with the police to combat the alleged illegal activities of cults? And how could S.A.S. and the Ministry of Interior explain to taxpayers that their “experts” and informants have a history of kidnapping, violence and abuses?

It was necessary therefore to deny that the current Anti-Cult Forum’s members had anything to do with the ARIS association founded by Ennio Malatesta and that, more precisely, the associations ARIS TOSCANA and ARIS VENETO, at the time of the facts (1988), had not yet been formed”.

At this point, it is vital to make a clarification on what Alessandrini called “the time of the facts”. The time span is not, in fact, only 1988, but it covers more than four years – from 1988 to late 1992.

Let’s take a brief look at the story of the kidnapping organized and carried out by ARIS.

Ennio MalatestaIn the first months of 1988, Ennio Malatesta, founder and president of ARIS association, convinced the parents of Alessandra, from Brescia, that it was necessary to kidnap her, keep her in an isolated place and forcedly convince her to abjure her faith in Scientology, which the daughter, major in age, had embraced since some years. He convinced them telling them about his story of “father abandoned by his wife and his six children”, some of whom had joined Scientology, and about other stories of children “disappeared forever in America”.

Malatesta had already made arrangements with a “deprogrammer” by the name of Theodore Roosevelt Patrick, author of several deprogrammings and some convicted for some kidnappings perpetrated in the United States. In that first part of 1988, Patrick had another deprogramming in progress in Italy, again organized by ARIS, to the detriment of a Jehovah’s Witness or a Hare Krishna.

Ted PatrickMore information about Patrick and deprogramming can be found on Wikipedia. The story of a woman who underwent two kidnappings and two deprogrammings by Patrick can be read on the web site

Once established the fee for the “services” of the deprogrammers (Patrick had assistants), an isolated farmhouse in the Chianti hills was rented and Alessandra was kidnapped on 24th April 1988 and subjected for a week to the deprogramming “procedure” which consisted of psychological pressures, repetition of alarming stories about “cults”, an almost total exclusion of privacy, limitation of sleep and food and physical constraints.

During a scuffle with one of her warders (Sergio Mandelli, ARIS secretary) who was holding her by force in a locked room, Alessandra suffered a suspected fracture or dislocation of a bone in the ankle that required medical intervention.

During the unavoidable visit to the first aid station, Alessandra succeeded with a stratagem to escape the control of her kidnappers. Sought and obtained the protection of the Carabineers, Alessandra was again free and, on 10th May 1988, she formalized the complaint that gave the start to the investigation of the Prosecutor of Brescia.

The investigation lasted almost three years, and eventually the Prosecutor Antonio Chiappani requested to dismiss the case, request that the Judge for the Preliminary Investigations Sergio Spanò, confirmed on 19th March 1991.

Brescia OggiAlessandra appealed against the dismissal of the investigation before the Supreme Court, but the Court rejected the appeal for inadmissibility of the procedure.

Alessandra’s legal counsel tried in vain to ask the Attorney General for the reopening of the investigation. To this end, in July 1992, Alessandra underwent a psychiatric examination conducted by Professor Augusto Ermentini.

The story would be much more complex and lengthy to explain, but this digression is enough to show that “the time of the facts” which Alessandrini refers to in his letter, is not limited to 1988, but it covers a time span of more than four years, starting from April 1988 to more than half of 1992.

In light of these facts, it is not correct to say that the ARIS association “at the time of the facts (1988) had not yet been formed”. At least, it is not correct to say it with regards to ARIS Veneto. The document that follows is enough to demonstrate this.

documento CeSap

It is the extract of a page appearing on the site of CeSAP, the anti-cult association based in Bari presided by doctor Lorita Tinelli, prominent member of the even modest Anti-Cult Forum.

ARIS NazionaleMrs. Tinelli, publishing a press review dating back a few years ago, said: ARIS, National Association for the Research and Information on Cults, is a secular group born in Milano in January 1987 […]. In Veneto, ARIS was established in 1990.

Tinelli and Alessandrini added to the name a not needed “national”, but they were certainly referring to the ARIS founded by Malatesta, the one that rears the symbol of St. George slaying the dragon. The same symbol, as shown below, was later on adopted by the two ARIS, Veneto and Toscana.
The first one born while the kidnapping of Alessandra was still sub judice and the second one later, but, as will see, undoubtedly closely knit to the original ARIS that organized the kidnapping of “cults” followers.

logo ARIS ToscanaThe similarities between these three ARIS associations are not limited to the symbol and the name or, contrarily to what Alessandrini writes, to the concurrent existence of the original ARIS and of ARIS Veneto. In fact, although not yet officially incorporated, ARIS Veneto was active and represented since 1987, before the kidnapping of Alessandra.  Some of its members were Dino Michieletto, Luciano Faraon, Giorgio Antonucci, Milena Bolgan, Arturo Vascon, Maurizio Antonello and others.

As highlighted by Alessandra in her lawsuit and in other documents of the case, some representatives of the so-called “national” ARIS (Mandelli and Malatesta) had organized and participated in her kidnapping, but also Dino Michieletto and Giorgio Antonucci of ARIS Veneto, were present on scene of the kidnapping.

The concurrent activism and cooperation between National ARIS and ARIS Venetoat the time of the facts” was confirmed by Milena Bolgan, founding member of ARIS Veneto and current spokesperson of this association. Here is what she said in recent times (English translation right below):

arisvenet email text

arisvenet email english text

It follows, therefore, that “with regards to the allegations made against ARIS" (the kidnapping of Alessandra), not only “the mentioned associations were established and operational (at least ARIS Veneto) “at the time of the facts (1988)”, but, according to Milena Bolgan, in 1990, while the investigation for the kidnapping was still in progress, “NATIONAL ARIS BECOMES ARIS VENETO”.

In the letter of clarification that Alessandrini wrote on behalf of the Anti-Cult Forum, he also stated that:

“What’s more, the association ARIS Italia founded by Mr. Ennio Malatesta and dissolved in the 90ies, has never joined the Forum, which was established only in 2010”.

With this lapidary statement Alessandrini tried to take even more distance from National ARIS and, of course, from its violent and illegal practices. But stating that the ARIS of Malatesta was “dissolved in the 90ies” does not eliminate the fact that ARIS Veneto represented by Milena Bolgan was already operational at the time of Alessandra’s kidnapping and of the investigation that followed.

Among other things, as we have seen, Bolgan herself clearly stated that the association of Malatesta’s association was not dissolved, but that “IN 1990 IT BECOMES ARIS VENETO”.

How this public effort of recanting any relationship between the Anti-Cult Forum and the ARIS association founded by Malatesta should be considered, if not as a condemnation of the methods and choices of that association? Disapproval, then, for choosing to hire deprogrammers to seize followers of “cults” and force them to abjure their beliefs.

Why then to affirm, even against the evidence that the two ARIS forming the current Anti-Cult Forum (along with FAVIS and CeSAP) were not even born when the legal proceeding for Alessandra’s kidnapping was still ongoing?

In response to these considerations, Alessandrini could still claim that only ARIS Veneto existed “at the time of the facts”, but not the ARIS Toscana, the FAVIS or the CeSAP. In fact, ignoring Bolgan’s statement about the fact that the National ARIS later on became the ARIS Veneto, one could argue that none of the current members of the Anti-Cult Forum was involved in the physical act of seizing and tormenting Alessandra.

In fact, as seen, in order to get rid of any doubt, in his letter Alessandrini wrote that the association ARIS of Malatesta, investigated for kidnapping, “has never been part of the Forum, which was established only in January 2010”.

But writing this sentence, Alessandrini exaggerated, going beyond the limits where lies are no longer defensible. Those who choose to lie must have a good memory and must not leave compromising traces.

He forgot that, on 27th October 2006, he wrote a long letter to the newly elected President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano [1]. In the subject of the letter Alessandrini “opportunely” cited the infamous report of 1998 on "Religious cults and new magic movements in Italy" produced by Napolitano himself when he was the Minister of Interior [2], he then described the usual apocalyptic scene about “cults” supported only by his unbridled imagination, confirming that the absence of an ad hoc law was preventing the resolution of the problem, to eventually complain about the fact that his predecessor, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi "could not find the time to meet with” the Anti-Cult Forum”.

But the interesting part is after Alessandrini’s signature as spokesperson of the “FORUM of the Associations and Committees” (that which supposedly was established “only in January 2010”), where he lists among the various members [3], also the "ARIS National association of Milano” and its President – Ennio Malatesta”. Here’s an excerpt (Italian translation right below):

letter to Napolitano

letter to Napolitano english excerpt

It is clear that, despite Alessandrini’s efforts to take the distance from the association accused of kidnapping, the current associations ARIS Veneto and ARIS Toscana, as well as the Anti-Cult Forum itself, had and have to do with the ARIS founded by Malatesta.

It is not an opinion: it is what emerges from their own words. It is a fact that these guys are lying, proving once again that they are nor reliable or credible, much the less as advisors of a police body who should investigate on very delicate issues concerning freedom of thought and expression and, in turn, express their view.

In the second part of this article we will see the defence of Alessandrini – speaking on behalf of the Anti-Cult Forum – of he president of ARIS Italia, Ennio Malatesta, so as to clarify once and for all this deprogramming case, where he pointed out that gthe defendants in this trial of Brescia, were all acquitted from the charges of kidnapping, domestic violence and intentional injuries, after a detailed psychiatric expertise that lead the prosecutor to ask for their acquittal.

Interesting, and at the time grotesque, the fact that Alessandrini has highlighted how the request of acquittal was motivated by a “detailed psychiatric expertise”. We’ll talk about it.



1) Giorgio Napolitano has been elected President of the Republic on May 15, 2006. Alessandrini wrote his letter on October 27, 2007.The decree with which S.A.S. was established, signed by De Gennaro is dated November 2, 2006 (see Anti-Cult Squad).

2) Between 17th May 1996 and 21st October 1998, Napolitano was the Minister of Interior of the First Government of Prodi. The report “Religious cults and new magic movements in Italy” was dated February 1998.

3) In his letter to Napolitano, Alessandrini lists several associations and committees, many of them inexistent, in addition to names of magistrate and scholars that, per what the author says, would have complained about the absence of a law against the mental manipulation. The integral version of the letter can be read and downloaded here.

March 9, 2013