Anti-cult Forum and kidnapping – Act 3 and conclusion

Anti-cult lobbyism

They carry out media campaigns creating a social alarm against religious minorities. They cause incidents to justify the reintroduction of the Fascist crime of plagiarism. They manipulate legal cases causing devastating patrimonial damages and enormous human sufferings, destroying the lives of thousands of people. They are the anti-cult world’s lobbyists.

In this series of articles we mainly deal with a kidnapping committed by the members of an “anti-cult” association called ARIS (Association for the Research and Information on Cults) and by a convicted American citizen, Ted Patrick. Purpose of the kidnapping was to force the kidnapped woman – a 23 years old girl called Alessandra – to abjure her religious choice through a method called “deprogramming”. The method, obviously an unlawful one, foresees kidnapping, segregation, physical and psychological violence, deprivation of sleep and nourishment so as to bring about a sagging and a psychological breakdown. The procedure is described in the previous article “Anti-Cult Forum and kidnapping – Act 2”.

Alessandra managed to escape from her jailers with a stratagem and sued them. The investigation that followed, conducted by the Deputy Prosecutor of Brescia doctor Antonio Chiappani, instead of being directed against those who committed the crimes, was carried out on the victim and her religious choice.

Alessandra’s parents had been convinced to get their daughter “deprogrammed” by alarming and disturbing information fed to them by the president of ARIS Ennio Malatesta. The same misleading information has been fed also to the prosecutor who considered it reliable and decided to shelve the investigation instead of prosecuting the culprits. This epilogue is described in the previous article “Anti-Cult Forum and kidnapping – Act 2”.

The current members of ARIS – now evolved in two different associations – are part of an Anti-Cult Forum that forwards the work of the original members, which consists of spreading a warily and hostile culture toward what they call “cults”, through the dissemination of alarming and misleading news.

Following a parliamentary interrogation filed by Radical Senators Perduca and Poretti on November 5, 2012 (see article “Not much to be Allegrini - Part 2”), the coordinator and spokesperson Maurizio Alessandrini of the Anti-Cult Forum, took the distance from the kidnappers with a letter published on his blog on december 26, 2012.

In the first article of this series, we documented that, in reality, today’s “anti-cult” associations are not at all unrelated to the activities of Malatesta and the survived ARIS members, on the contrary, they are still working together.

In the already mentioned letter, Alessandrini wrote that the defendants of the Brescia trial, were all acquitted from the charge of kidnapping, domestic violence and intentional injuries, on the basis of a detailed psychiatric expertise that led the prosecutor to ask for the acquittal.

In the second article above mentioned, we highlighted that such an expertise was anything but “detailed” and was mostly written by Professor Mario Di Fiorino, who had relationships and shared private interests with the defendants, well before the Prosecutor appointed him to write the expertise.

Let’s begin again the story from here, from that September 1989 in Forte dei Marmi, when Professor Di Fiorino chaired a congress on “Socially accepted persuasion, plagiarism and brainwashing” organized also with the support of various representatives of ARIS.

Less than ten months after, doctor Chiappani convened Di Fiorino and gave him a mandate to write the expertise (see excerpt below).

lettera incarico

Replying to the question of the prosecutor (last box of the document) about their fitness to carry out this task, because none of the “conditions foreseen at article 222 of the code of criminal procedure” existed, both Professor Di Fiorino and professor Scarpellini, declared being fit.

Perhaps Professor Scarpellini met those conditions, but with regards to Di Fiorino, his fitness was at least doubtful, seen his relationships with the ARIS members involved in the legal proceedings.

Based on article 222, there was not an unfitness condition, but certainly, based on articles 223 and 36 of the criminal procedure code, Professor Di Fiorino was unfit to carry out a mandate as a Court expert and he would have been obliged to declare such an unfitness and to abtain himself.

artt. 223 e 36 ccp

In fact, Professor Di Fiorino extensively and repeatedly “expressed his opinion on the subject-matter of the proceedings out of the performance of the judicial functions”, seen that the subject of his expertise was, since years, that of all his lectures, books, essays and articles.

With his expertise, blatantly partisan and vitiated by prejudices that would have obliged him to abstain himself, Professor Di Fiorino markedly contributed to the formation of the convincement of prosecutor Chiappani, who eventually decided not to proceed against the kidnappers.

The prosecutor did not investigate the offense of kidnapping, because he convinced himself that such a kidnapping and the consequent physical and psychological violence were the lesser evil for the kidnapped person.

This convincement was formed on the basis of information and literature that the “anti-cult” associations – represented by the defendants themselves (Malatesta, Mandelli, Michieletto, Antonucci and Del Re) – had developed over the years and later on provided to the magistrates.

Technical expert Di Fiorino, who did not abstain himself from the mandate despite the obvious conflict of interests, was and is a colleague of the defendants in his capacity of representative of the “anti-cult” world, as well as one of the major Italian sources of the culture of hostility toward the so called “cults”; providing his advice he did nothing but confirming the literature on the subject he himself produced.

Doctor Chiappani accepted the thesis of the “anti-cults” and Professor Di Fiorino so thoroughly that he even acquired their jargon, using it in his investigation acts. For example, in the request for dismissal of the case, he wrote (in order to exculpate him) about the “scientific aims” which would have prompted professor Del Re to visit the place where Alessandra was imprisoned and under physical harassment, talking about a “socially accepted persuasion” (“persuasione socialmente accettata” in Italian).

persuasione socialmente accettata

A terminology that, especially at that time, was not in use in the judiciary world, in fact, even inside the restricted “anti-cult” world only Professor Di Fiorino and few others were talking about “socially accepted persuasion”.

The outcome of this legal farce has been a further injustice committed toward an adult woman who, victim of a criminal act, instead of receiving a redress of a wrong, suffered another psychological and moral violence from a justice system that preferred to see her kidnapped rather than free to choose and profess her belief.

As briefly mentioned in the first article of this series, Alessandra’s vicissitude, however, did not end with the decree of dismissal of judge Spanò dated 19 March 1991. Alessandra filed appeal before the Supreme Court of Cassation against the decree of dismissal of judge Spanò, insisting on getting justice (see newspaper article below and English translation at the bottom).

La Gazzetta di Brescia

Supreme Court appeal newspaper article

To further motivate this appeal, Alessandra underwent a psychiatric expertise. Professor Augusto Ermentini, university teacher at the Università degli Studi di Brescia, differently from prosecutor Chiappani’s experts, carried out all assessments and clinical examinations meeting Alessandra in person and submitting her to all needed tests.


On the basis of these elements, surely more sound and pertinent than those of the Court’s experts, the conclusion of the Professor Ermentini’s medical-forensic report reached a totally opposite conclusion: Alessandra was not “a personality of strong lability and, therefore, at risk” (English translation at the bottom)


english translation

In that period of judicial confusion, caused by the change of the code of criminal procedure during  which the application of new rules overlapped old ones, Alessandra’s appeal was not accepted by the Supreme Court and the proceeding finally shelved in Summer 1992.

The fact remains that the legal proceedings were still in progress when Professor Mario Di Fiorino, the Prosecutor’s expert, and Ennio Malatesta, charged for kidnapping, on June 1, 1991, attended a meeting of ARIS that took place in the province of Verona (San Zeno in Montagna), also attended by Giorgio Antonucci, Dino Michieletto, Andreotti Loria (attorney of Faraon and member of ARIS Veneto) and several others.

Malatesta - Di Fiorino

This was a private and closed-doors meeting, in a quiet touristic place not distant from the lake of Garda, at the foot of Monte Baldo, not certainly a public event such as a congress or a lecture. It is not hazardous to state that the relationships between these characters were, actually, private relationships with a common membership in the “anti-cult” movement; not certainly the tertiary relationship that an advisor of the Prosecutor’s Office is obliged to keep toward private citizens under investigation for serious crimes from that same Prosecutor’s Office.

Unfortunately, Alessandra’s story is not an isolated one. In those years several people, belonging to minority religious groups suffered the repeated violence of intolerance, ostracism, deprogramming and eventually of a denied justice.

Ted Patrick and his pupil Martin Faiers, also a previous offender and wanted by the police, hired by possessive parents alarmed by “anti-cult” groups, raged for some years in Italy and neighboring countries, like in the case of Hare Krishna’s followers Luigi Giacomin [1] and Laura Tedeschi. See the parliamentary enquiry and a newspaper article on the kidnappings of Giacomin and Tedeschi here below and following English translations.

Atti Parlamentari

english translation

Lettere all'Unità

english translation

It is not credible that some foreign previous offenders, wanted by the police in several countries, have had the possibility of roaming all over Italy for at least three years kidnapping people, without the police and magistracy stopping, interrogating and arresting them. They were easily traceable, as demonstrated by the fact that various members of ARIS contacted and meet with them without any difficulty.

It is not assumable that each policeman or magistrate who received complaints on the activities of the deprogrammers had been influenced by Malatesta, Di Fiorino, Del Re or others involved “anti-cultists” In fact there is another detail that might explain this kind of “immunity”.

There is one thing associating various representatives of the “anti-cult” groups: several of them were advisors for S.I.S.De. (Service for the Information and Democracy Security), the secret service that depended from the Ministry of interior. The SISDe was abolished with the reform of 2007, after having been hit by various scandals, first of which was that of the secret lodge P2, the Masonic lodge of which also attorney Michele Del Re was a member, with card # 661.

SISDE - Del Re

Before being run over by a series of political scandals (black money, Bruno Contrada case, P2 Lodge, just to name the most famous ones) and being dissolved, SISDe was, among other issues, dealing with “cults”. It therefore performed the functions that S.A.S. (Anti-Cult Squad of the Ministry of Interior) performs today and of which Maurizio Alessandrini asserts being a representative and spokesperson on behalf of the Anti-cult Forum.

The cooperation and “advisory functions” of the “anti-cults” with the law enforcement bodies – SISDe before and currently the S.A.S. – is just one of the activities that associates the current members of the Forum (FAVIS, CeSAP, ARIS Veneto and ARIS Toscana) to those involved in the kidnapping of Alessandra of original ARIS.

In the first article of this series we wrote about how, the day after the parliamentary interrogation filed by Radicals Perduca and Poretti, Alessandrini tried to take the distance from those who had organized and executed Alessandra’s kidnapping, saying that: … with regards to the facts ascribed to AIRS, the mentioned associations ARIS Toscana and ARIS Veneto, at the time of the facts (1988) had not yet been established”.

This declaration has been disproved by their own documents, like for example the letter of the Forum signed by Alessandrini and addressed to President Napolitano dated 27 October 2006, that lists among the signatories also Ennio Malatesta of National ARIS.

But there have been many other types of cooperation and activities that demonstrate the continuity of the relationships between the members of ARIS that kidnapped for deprogramming purpose in the 80s (along with the scholars and experts supporting them) and the members of the current Anti-Cult Forum.

Here is, for example, a curriculum taken from the site of ARIS Toscana listing their “anti-cult” activities, displaying the names of the members of the Forum and of Professor Di Fiorino (English Translation at the bottom)

Alessandrini - Di Fiorino - ARIS

Moreover, Alessandrini was one of the speakers with Professor Di Fiorino at the conference of ARIS Toscana in Forte dei Marmi of 24 June 2005.

Alessandrini - Di Fiorino - ARIS

And Doctor Lorita Tinelli – key member of the anti-cults Forum – availed herself of the works of attorney Michele Del Re for a mini-thesis she published on the website of CeSAP in 2011.


Then, the “untouchable” Don Aldo Bonaiuti [2], main representative of S.A.S., that in 2006 attended, along with attorney Luciano Faraon of ARIS Veneto, a “day of study on cults” organized by the Catholic “anti-cult” group GRIS.

Bonaiuti - Faraon

And, again, Professor Di Fiorino, who still today is an advisor for GRIS, as evidenced by the web site of this “anti-cult” group that is co-operating with ARIS since the 80s.

Di Fiorino consulente GRIS

In conclusion, despite Alessandrini’s denials, it is evident that the “anti-cults” that committed kidnapping and physical violence in the 80s belong to the same breed of the current members of the Anti-Cults Forum and that several protagonists of that era are still in full activity.

Still today they are carrying out media campaigns of social alarm against religious minorities. They are still stirring up incidents to justify the reintroduction of the Fascist crime of plagiarism. Before they were cooperating with SISDe, now they cooperate with S.A.S., always with the Ministry of Interior. As it happened for the complaints of Alessandra and Giacomin, they implement the same strategies to obstruct the due course of justice, exactly how they did with the judicial-media-farce of Arkeon [3].

Maurizio AlessandriniWhen Alessandrini, on behalf of the Anti-cult Forum, wrote in his letter of clarification that “all defendants of the Brescia trial were acquitted by the charges of kidnapping, domestic violence and intentional injuries, based on a detailed psychiatric expertise that led the prosecutor to ask for the acquittal”, he knew what mechanism made the acquittal possible.

Doctor Tinelli as well knew why Prosecutor Bretone of Bari was piloting the investigation on Arkeon in a certain direction and why he was just interrogating hostile witnesses, the same ones that CeSAP was stirring up against the defendants.

Another common practice of these characters is to silence dissenters using anonimous complaints. We will talk about this issue again later.

Aprile 17, 2013



1) Like in the case of Alessandra, also Luigi Giacomin filed a complaint against his kidnappers, but the matter ended up with the acquittal of the kidnappers who, also in that occasion, used Giacomin’s parents as a protective shield.

2) Don Aldo Bonaiuto has been appointed as representative of the S.A.S. in 2006 by the Chief of the Police Gianni De Gennaro (see “Anti-cult Squad and plagio”). This official appointment of a private citizen, indeed, of a Catholic priest with a circular letter of the Ministry of Interior, gives us the parameter of the power that the “anti-cults” – acting as official advisors of the State – may have when intervening with lobbyism actions on peripheral authorities and media.

3) The First Instance trial against Arkeon was recently concluded with the acquittal of the executives of Arkeon group from the charges that depicted them as a dangerous “psycho-cult”. The vicissitude was stirred up by the alarming activism of the CeSAP of Lorita Tinelli. The Prosecutor’s Office did not appeal against this decision, the counsel of defense, instead, appealed it for the part in which there have been convictions. Therefore there is a pending appeal for the associative crime against some of the promoters of the group, but only for having allegedly abused the psycho-therapist profession, not certainly for fraud, circumvention, violence or anything else. The theory of the “destructive cult” advocated by Tinelli turned out to be completely ungrounded. In the meantime, the financial consequences and human sufferings it created have been humongous and tens of people, if not hundreds, saw their life destroyed by this umpteenth judicial farce. More details on this incident are published here. It is worthwhile to point out that, on the basis of the constitutionally guaranteed right of presumption of innocence until final judgment is reached, the leaders of Arkeon are not guilty of the crimes ruled upon by the judge of First Instance, because the ruling is not a final one and they are not certainly guilty of the crimes from which they have been acquitted, because this ruling in the merits is now final.