The Anti-cults Forum and Danilo Speranza

The case of Danilo Speranza and R.E. MAYA – who are the victims and who are the executioners? If, as recognized by the same Anti-cult Forum, our papers are true, what should we think about this umpteenth media/judicial sham?

Last 6 April, in our article “The Anti-cults Forum: Libero Credo tells the truth”, we unwillingly put our finger on a painful sore by issuing an e-amil from some Gina Benfatto, a member of the so-called Anti-cult Forum.

In that e-mail, Mrs Gina Benfatto discussed with the vice-president of ARIS Toscana about how to handle the relationship with the media through one lie after the other against Danilo Speranza of the R.E. MAYA group.

The subject of our article was completely different, it didn’t cover R.E. MAYA, but the typical dirty-maneuvering of the Anti-cult Forum and especially their recognition that the documents we have been issuing, are truthful. They didn’t know that just the day before, 5 April 2014, Danilo Speranza had been convicted to not less than 10 years of imprisonment, by the Tivoli Court.

We had already mentioned en passant, Mrs. Gina Benfatto about one year ago, in the article “Stop those voices from talking” in which we had published another e-mail of her own in which she talked about “disgracing di marzio” (just that!), but in that occasion, too, we didn’t know which was the specific role of such dame.

Before continuing our talk about this representative of the Anti-cult Forum, we will need to spend some words on the story of Danilo Speranza and R.E. MAYA.

The name R.E. MAYA was loudly blown into the trumpets of both the media and the various anti-cult groups, without really explaining what it was. Probably its name sounded good just that way as it was combined with scandal news and lousy stories.

In fact, R.E. MAYA is the acronym for Recovery, Education, Meditation, Nutrition (‘Alimentazione’ in Italian), Yoga, Arts. It was an organization established in Rome by Danilo Speranza in the now so far 1984, now it doesn’t exist any longer due to its judicial trouble. It took care of people who suffered from social distress due to drugs addiction, past imprisonment, psychic disorders, alcoholism, etc., to whom they offered a re-education path to help them overtake these troubles.

Danilo SperanzaPresident and founder of R.E. MAYA, Danilo Speranza along the years gathered some hundreds of members around him. The project then gave birth to other humanitarian activities, such as for instance the association Science for Love, which still nowadays deals with the trouble of sustainable energy and nutrition.

The whole story would be really too long for a full recount, which is not the point of this current article. We don’t know whether Danilo Speranza is a gentleman or a lowlife and if R.E. MAYA and Science for Love are deserving or buffoonery. We just recognize that Speranza dedicated over thirty years of his life to expressly humanitarian purposes, that he received recognition instances for that, and that there are some former friends of his (who supported him for decades) who now show no pity shooting at him with the help of the rumors spread by scandal press.

However the point of this article is not to say well or bad about Danilo Speranza and his organizations.

About four years ago, his projects and activities were interrupted by the intervention of judicial power. Speranza was charged with sexual abuse on two underaged, which was investigated by the Chief Public Prosecutor of Tivoli, Luigi De Ficchy, then he was charged with fraud, with 16 more people, by a Prosecutor in Rome.

Arrested on 16 March 2010 by order of the Public Prosecutor of Tivoli, Speranza underwent sixteen months of cautionary imprisonment.

As mentioned above, on last 5 April the first instance judgment was issued and in Tivoli, which brought about a 10 years imprisonment conviction. Next 29 May, the first hearing of the trial in Rome is expecting him.

Danilo Speranza pleads innocent and, as his surname would suggest, is sure that in the end he will be acquitted of all charges and affirms he trusts in the magistrates. A noble statement which sounds good and is easy to do, but equals attributing one’s faith into a national lottery.

Magistrates are men and as such may make mistakes. In accordance with the Italian law system, their decisions are based on personal belief. Which means that regardless of the guiltiness or innocence of a defendant, a magistrate could acquit or convict according to what his belief will be in the end.

What will make that magistrate believe the defendant is guilty or innocent? A honest evaluation of the evidence, the attorneys’ summations, the noise of the press, the dislike towards the defendant or the fondness of the prosecutor, the trend of his career, the last argument with his or her spouse, the fluctuation of government bonds or the enduring of Atlantic cyclones? Anything determining or influencing that, it will be the personal belief of the magistrate that eventually decides the quality of the decision.

Those who think that in Italy the decisions of criminal courts are based on evidence or on technical-jurisdictional matters, needs to get better information. Any expert in law even lowly educated, will tell you, that is not the case. Per the Italian law, a judge will decide on the basis of his own belief, the rest is not important. It is somehow like in soccer, “a penalty is when the referee whistles,” as the Yugoslav coachman Vujadin Boskov stated to a journalist.

Not to tell that the history of Italy’s so-much-blamed democratic republic, is stuffed with grotesque judicial stories, with innocent persons convicted and guilty persons acquitted, with first instance convictions and subsequent acquittals in the appeal or vice versa not to mention dismissals of cases at the Supreme Court.

However, to date, the trustful Speranza is by law to be considered innocent until a ultimate decision on him. So let’s let justice to make its way (any other choice?), but for the above reasons, in Italy a definitive decision for a conviction or acquittal, can never be hoped to be a guarantee of actual justice.

Especially when talking about cults, the investigative procedure, including an unavoidable conviction, first takes place on the press, particularly thanks to the “contribution” of anti-cult individuals and organizations who commit in spreading prejudice and alarmism. This is the way it goes, regardless the name of the defendant, be it Danilo Speranza (R.E. MAYA), Carlo Vito Moccia (Arkeon), Marco Dimitri (Bambini di Satana), Oberto Airaudi (Damanhur) and the hundred other alleged “gurus” and “cults” who from time to time found themselves in the middle of the tornado. Concerning this: “Falsifying statistics to scaremonger”, “Anonymous complaints” e “MISA Yoga, Anti-cults Forum and SAS”.

On 16 March 2010, the same scholar Mrs. Benfatto wanted to “disgrace”, Drs. Raffaella Di Marzio, wrote an article titled “The R.E. Maya Association: besides the media”. Here is an excerpt from it:

"As it always happens in these cases and as it has happened since the very beginning of its judicial matter, R.E. MAYA was the subject of a ‘media-based pillory’ which usually tends to immediately condemn those who have not yet been condemned by a court. The same happened for other movements, including (I am only mentioning the most recent): Ananda (a case finally closed), Arkeon (trial ongoing), the Sergio Minelli organization run by Tersilla Tanghetti (trial ongoing), etc.

“As it happened for the other organizations, R.E. Maya was labeled by the media a ‘cult’, the founder was defined a ‘guru’ and the members were victims of continuous attacks: car tires torn, group physical assaults, insults, spits, threats. Some of them underwent discriminations on their work, marginalization of their children at school, and even enforceable eviction.

“Very serious consequence, depicting a scenery common to those associations which are given as meal in the jaws of the media, who all but spread news of such violence and discrimination facts that have nothing to do with justice.”

The day after the conviction of Tivoli, during the TV show “Life On Air” of 23 April 2014, the Italian governmental TV (RAI 1) gave a very clear example of a media-based anti-cult court.

After an initial footage of some minutes, totally blaming, the anchorman Franco di Mare, with his mellifluous tone and a falsely guaranteeing attitude, started half an hour of senseless balderdash on the Danilo Speranza affair. Then, following the worn-out script of all the TV shows along the same line as this, it finished with the usual apocalyptic news, trite and corny, about the “danger of cults”, pulling out the now ancient (1979) tragedy of the alleged “mass suicide” of the Jim Jones “cult”, eventually reiterating the Anti-cult Forum’s lies on the “psycho-cult Arkeon”, lies now denied by a definitive decision of the Bari Court.

studio RAI e Di Mare

As covered in the already experimented script of the anti-cult format, the anchorman then gave space for a couple of “plaintiff’s witnesses” to speak out.

The first was some Antonio Del Plato called Nino (former R.E. MAYA). Del Plato spread for years his “truth” on the Internet by signing himself with the pseudonym Joshu and shooting with no pity against the man whom he had for years considered his master. Not a case that all these trials and media-based assassinations against “cults” ALWAYS stem from a bunch of former members become hostile against the group they were previously part of.

Antonio Del Pato

Then Di Mare interviewed Anna, mother of one of the two underage daughters Speranza would have abused, who, with the experimented, captivating technique of the fake name and video recording from behind, reiterated the “certain guiltiness of the convicted.”

Anna e Di MareWith “opportune” sarcastic comments, the anchorman also read a letter from the attorney of Danilo Speranza who rejected the invitation of RAI 1 saying that he would only participate to a TV show where no “instrumental debates” would take place

Triggering applauses of the audience, Del Mare trivialized, almost mocked, the statement of the attorney, saying that the only debate he was proposing was a simple confrontation with “Mrs. Anna who tells her story”. An evidently hypocrite talk, considering that the entire studio, including the guests and “witnesses,” the audience the “experts” the footage from out the studio and the journalist himself were plainly lined up against the “convicted” who refused to undergo such a media-based pillory.

And what could not be missed, were the imaginative and unreliable statistics provided by the anti-cults, represented in this case by ONAP (National Observatory against Psychological Abuses) of Drs. Patrizia Santovecchi, a former Jehovah’s Witnesses and former friend of Drs. Lorita Tinelli of the Anti-cult Forum.

To complete the inquisition work and yield authoritativeness to the charges of haereticae pravitates (“heretic nastiness”), an anti-cult psychiatrist couldn’t fail to be part of the show. This time, the role was assumed by professor Massimo di Giannantonio who, full of zeal and scorn (but was he talking about the Nuremberg defendants?) provided his enlightened opinions based on an evident ignorance and prejudice.

Massimo di Giannantonio

To finish with, an interview with Massimo Lugli, a journalist known for several articles against “sette” and for infiltrating (he even boasted this while on air) into the Moonies “cult”.

Massimo LugliHis theories on Ontopsychology of Antonio Meneghetti, shared with the deprogrammers’ attorney Michele Del Re (see “Anti-cults Forum and kidnapping - Act 2”), were included, too, in the infamous anti-cult report of the Ministry of Interiors of 1998 (see “State Alarm - The 1998 Ministerial Report on cults”).

An experienced and well-coached team – in factm it’s just the same actors: Franco di Mare, Massimo Lugli and Massimo di Giannantonio, started a very similar trial again on last 13 novembre 2013, as usual from the RAI studios in the show titled Life On Air, discussing the book Mentally Manipulated written by Claudia Vincenzi. Another fabrication which was for years the forte of Maurizio Alessandrini’s FAVIS as well as of the Anti-cult Forum.

An sort-of inquisition-type media-based court which (thanking the taxpayers funding the governmental TV) could negatively influence anybody versus anyone else, including magistrates and politicians, not to mention the average watcher.

avviso di sito sequestrato

<Court of Rome>
<Preliminary Investigations Judge>
<Public Prosecutor’s Office>
<Anti-Mafia District Office>
<This Internet site is subject to precautionary seizure>

The attitude towards Danilo Speranza and his movement, so similar to the one used towards other “gurus” and “sects”, stimulated our curiosity.

With a short research we found out that the Internet sites of Speranza or in some way traceable back to him (not less than 28) an to his group, were taken down by the prosecutors.

Sixteen months of preventive imprisonment, mandatory presence, web sites subject to precautionary seizure, a ten years conviction, assets seized, superficial media-based trials and another judiciary proceeding coming soon. Factually, a civil death. So the story warranted further examination on our part.

The first interesting fact come up from our research, has to do with an article signed by Maria Pia Gardini, issued by the web site “Il Colle Informa” on 21 March 2010, a few days after the arrest of Danilo Speranza.

Sito Il Colle Informa

<By Maria Pia Gardini>
<”Last year I was warned that here in town a Guru had come (...)>
<”(...) Then upon more warnings from friends of mine in Rome, I started to research about this ‘man’ and I found out several things I notified to those concerned.>
<”(…) it was the Re.MAYA group or sect of Danilo Speranza.”>

Maria Pia GardiniMaria Pia Gardini, deceased in September 2012, was a spokesman of ARIS Toscana for years and a key member of the Forum of organizations confederated to FECRIS, the European network of anti-cult micro-organizations funded by the French government.

Passing herself off as an “expert of cults”, but turning out to be with no exception an outright ignorant and definitely not so believable, (see “Basic Witnesses”), Gardini wrote several articles for “Il Colle Informa” encompassing Satanism or Neocatecumenals and invariably pouring out rubbish of the worst species. The blog dedicated two dozens of well-documented articles to Mrs. Gardini, pointing out her plain tendency to spread lies through books, press articles and radio/TV interviews.

Though unreliable, when a representative of the Anti-cult Forum states “I notified to those concerned” means that those news, but especially his or her biased opinions, were reported to the Anti-cult Squad (S.A.S.) of the Ministry of Interiors. The subject of their information letters, since then, will join in the squeezing machinery we described in our article “Anti-Cults Squad, groups and mental manipulation”.

The relationship between S.A.S., Anti-cult Forum and certain press, we already proved widely in various articles of ours, however it is worth to include one more document in order to eliminate any possible doubts. Here is a written statement of Gardini herself, posted on 20 November 2011 on a public Internet newsgroup named “EXSCN”, managed by herself, that now no longer exists.

Gardini-SAS su Google

<”As far as the Organizations are concerned, it is now several hundreds of us who were called to the Senate for the law on mental manipulation, us but not them, and we collaborate with the Ministry of Interiors with the S.A.S. (Anti-cult Squad), again us but not them.”>

The hundreds of members are obviously a plain bluster, but it’s almost something innocent against the statement “we collaborate with the Ministry of Interiors with the S.A.S. (Anti-cult Squad).”

The statement released by Gardini in the article “Il Colle Informa” could just be one of her boastings, but the collaboration between the Anti-cult Forum and the S.A.S. concerning the case of Danilo Speranza was also confirmed by the following e-mail that was sent several months later by Giovanni Ristuccia (from Novara, a member of the Forum and president of the organization SOS Antiplagio) to his colleagues and for a good acquaintance, to the inspector of the S.A.S. in Florence Bruno Zambon (

email Zambon

<”RE: Fwd: The trial for pedophilia to Danilo Speranza, assn. Maya>
<”(...) Inspector Bruno Zambon of SAS Firenze, entitled me to send you his personal e-mail address, because that of his office ( has receiving problems.”>

The connection with the S.A.S. officers is so strict and confidential, that the mentioned inspector, not only offered his personal e-mail, but also entitled Ristuccia to give it to the other members of the Forum, too.

As it seems, the privileged relationship between the Anti-cult Forum and such abnormal psycho-religious police force, is well known, and as we wrote in the article “The SAS representatives lie”, there is evidence and proof of the direct contacts, and collaboration, between Maurizio Alessandrini of FAVIS and the maximum executive of S.A.S. Maria Carla Bocchino.

The persecutory machinery that can be implemented by the Anti-cult Forum, the S.A.S. and their subservient media, we already described especially in the article “MISA Yoga, Anti-cults Forum and SAS”. Anonymous complaints, deployment by e-mail of information always disfavorable to the highest number of private individuals and public agencies as well as concerned Internet sites and blogs, contacts with the press to instigate and organize hostile media campaigns (such as the already described RAI show), utilization of ex members to emphasize charges and cause most damage possible to the reputation of their targeted groups, etc.

In the case of Danilo Speranza and R.E. MAYA as well, the machinery was triggered, that for instance we described in the articles “Anonymous complaints” and “More anonymous complaints and secret letters”. Here is an example of a collective e-mail the ARIS Toscana spread while Danilo Speranza was undergoing preventive imprisonment.

email ARIS

<”Do you remember Danilo Speranza of the RE.MAYA association in Rome? (...)>
<”(...) on this forum, the scorn of those who after that abandoned it (...)”>

This is only one of the many e-mails sent by the Anti-cult Forum to politicians, organizations, attorneys, local and national public agencies, magistrates, police officers, journalists, etc. Particularly this e-mail was sent to 94 recipients, but hundreds more people were reached by more similar e-mails..

In parallel to the dissemination by e-mail of disfavorable news on R.E. MAYA, meanwhile Danilo Speranza was still in jail, the Anti-cult Forum worked a lot to strengthen the media-based assassination already ongoing, by developing contacts with the media, spreading the press news and exchanging the needed information to amplify their effect. Here are some examples:

email ARIS-CeSap

<”(...) press article of Repubblica on assn Re.Maya, Danilo Speranza>
<”We bring to your attention [link]>

email Benfatto-RAI-Mengalli

<”RE: Maya ex-members on TV>
<”(...) [link]>
<”(...) maybe tomorrow but I don’t know when, 2 Maya e-members will be at Magalli’s TV show ‘Your Private Lives’ (...)>

email Benfatto-RAI-Mengalli 2

<”RE: Fwd: ex Maya at Magalli’s>
<”(...) Monday at about 12:20 PM, the interview with Massimo and Nino at Magalli’s will be aired. I’ll get the file for those who want it.”>

They also committed in making reactions vain on the part of the unlucky supporters of R.E. MAYA. Mrs. Gina Benfatto had provided the Anti-cult Forum with the addresses of all the Internet sites that could be traced back to Danilo Speranza. These addresses were then provided to the courts, which as already mentioned above, caused the precautionary seizure of not less than 28 of them.

siti Speranza

<”Here are the links to Speranza’s sites.”>

Assaulted by the press, prosecuted by the courts and also limited in their communications via the Internet, Speranza and his supporters activated blogs to make their versions of facts known. Yet – concurrently with the above activities, the members of the Anti-cult Forum also started a contamination of the news the R.E. MAYA members tried to spread around in order to somehow hinder their media-based assassination. They spotted sites and blogs concerning that talked about Danilo Speranza and R.E. MAYA and, by using false nicknames, started to comment by misleading messages.

Here you can see Benfatto having agreed with Emanuela Fontana of ARIS Toscana the text to be issued under cover on a blog that talked about R.E. MAYA e Danilo Speranza.

email Benfatto

<”RE: See if OK>
<”(...) So far, only include the following (...)>
<”Hello all, I have been reading you for a while to understand something of it. Other opinions or versions on the Internet cannot be found, except your comments. Is there anybody who has the courage to speak also in favor of those who like me is trying to make a point on the whole story? To those who are out of it, it’s hard to understand what the Remaya association was.”>

Then a few days later, Benfatto wrote to Alessandrini of the FAVIS, complaining because those from R.E. MAYA had discovered from the IP address, that the psudonym “Chiarezza” (‘Clarity’) could be traced back to ARIS Toscana.

email Benfatto-Alessandrini

Queried for clarification by Alessandrini, Fontana answered explaining what happened and factually recognizing that she had in fact written under the pseudonym “Chiarezza” to give “a little push” dare, but the “follower” Sogyal had “dared” to identify her.

email Fontana-Alessandrini

<”RE: Fwd: the blog on Danilo Speranza ReMaya>
<”Hello Maurizio, I spoke about this with Gina, too, last night... well... I don’t know... as nobody made up their minds to tell what was going on in Maya, Gina and I agreed to give a little push so I wrote with the name of Chiarezza and I gave my private e-mail, this Sogyal (still a member) has to have looked up my IP address. How we managed to find out that here there’s an organization, that I send several e-mails, I don’t know... however I am considering, too, to download a program that hides your IP, there are free ones to download, it’s also useful when we go up and down through the Web visiting certain sites... Manù>

Solution? To get a “program that hides your IP” so she could continue her work of distorting truth.

This vexatious activity of outright cyber-stalking, continued for months and months and in a sense, it never ended. Many pseudonyms utilized: “Chiarezza”, “Elena”, “Per la verità” (‘To tell the truth’), “Francesca” and many more. The comments issued on blogs frequented by the members of R.E. MAYA had the only purpose of disturbing, creating turmoil, spreading doubt, and more in general preventing them to even have any virtual location to discuss their ideas and situations.

Concurrently, the members of Anti-cult Forum, established relationships with R.E. MAYA ex-members, both in order to utilize them through the media, and to collect from them “testimonies” useful for their work of misinformation to their contacts. For instance, always thanks to Gina Benfatto, they hooked up with “Joshu”, real name Antonio Del Plato (that  of La Vita in Diretta) who at that time wrote on a blog of his own, ( hiding his real identity.

email Benfatto-Joshu

<”RE: blog again>
<”(...) Mr. Joshu already has all your emails.>
<”Later we’ll speak of it, he doesn’t know that I know who he is.>

Joshu willingly accepted and started to collaborate regularly with the Anti-cult Forum. Later on, stepping out from anonymity, he started to interact with the media.

email Joshu

<”RE: blog again>
<”Look! From the blog: [link]>
<”(...) you and all of us together in addition to more new laws, will also pull out texts and possibly videos or films.>
<”(...) I appeal to Alessandrini, true spokesman and flag for the abused, and to ‘Chiarezza’, to ‘Per la Verità’ and to that man from Novara who is so competent and so nice, whom I knew recently.>

Let’s remember that this business of the Anti-cult Forum against Danilo Speranza and R.E. MAYA didn’t start by case or as a consequence of the news on the press. Gardini herself, as mentioned above, had already stated on 21 March 2010 to “Il Colle Informa” that one year before Speranza was arrested, she had submitted a report about “the sect of R.E. MAYA and Danilo Speranza… to those concerned”.

But also Gina Benfatto, ex-R.E. MAYA, in an e-mail sento to Emanuela Fontana of ARIS Toscana (in which she proposed the draft of a text to be published) stateed on 23 February 2011 that she had known “Maurizio Alessandrini for one year”, i.e. even before Speranza was arrested.

email Benfatto

<”RE: what do you say?>
<”(...) I have known Maurizio Alessandrini for one year (...).>
<”(...) Alessandrini told me that this senator of PDL [center-right wing political party, Laura Allegrini, examined lots of documents on the matter of cults, and that the law is written well.>
<”I also spoke with the senator (...)”>

In the same e-mail, Benfatto stated she had known Senator Laura Allegrini (see “Allegrini' Allegro” and “Allegrini's Allegro - part 2”), who claimed she had “examined lots of documents on the matter of cults”. We have no doubt on the source from which the former senator obtained those documents, considering that (as Benfatto specified), Alessandrini “has bothered a number of people at the government” for 10 years.

So the learned Allegrini also mentioned R.E. MAYA and Speranza in a parliamentary interrogation in which she requested the intervention of several ministries of the government against “cults”.

interrogazione Allegrini

<”In March 2010, the ‘guru of Saint Lawrence’ was arrested, founder and president of the organization named R.E.MAYA (...)”>
<”(...) Whether it is useful and necessary, in this sense, to also iplement specific tools of information and prevention, such as the guidelines made by the French Mission (...)”>

In the same interrogation, Allegrini queried whether a utilization warranted of the “guidelines made by the French Mission”, a heap of draconian, anti-religious solutions openly non-compliant with the Italian Constitution and with the civil rights in general.

Let’s not forget that the Anti-cult Forum, not only collaborates with the  S.A.S. to perform in Italy this repression of religious groups and similar movements, but also acts as a body of organizations confederated with FECRIS – that is the European group, based in Marseille, funded by the French government to export in all member states of the Union the anti-religious paradigm of that country.

As a matter of fact, upon request of the FECRIS, the ARIS Toscana on behalf of the Anti-cult Forum, provided them with the information on the R.E. MAYA matter, as collected from Gina Benfatto.

email ARIS questionario

<”(...) I am only sending a questionnaire on the Re Maya case in Italy, written down by a former member for 20 years.”>

The same way the Anti-cult Forum does with the Italian politicians, the FECRIS utilizes those information stuffed with bias in an attempt to affect the European lawmakers. Just the same way they tried last 10 April at the Council of Europe through the French MP Rudy Salles:

Not to be too verbose, we limited our perusal to a portion of the documentation available, but we believe they are enough to understand what is happening behind the curtain of this story. A system is at work, aiming at the literal disruption of the reputation of persons and groups who are targeted by the anti-cult coalition, the media and the public agencies that let themselves be duped by them. Media-based assassinations, piloted testimonies, bring to prank trials that in their turn, are used as incidents to justify a limitation of civil rights.

We believe, no additional comment is necessary.


10 May 2014