CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Discussion in 'Fair Game Reports and Personal Experiences' started by Martini Italy, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Martini Italy Member

    Hi everybody.

    I’m an Italian critic.
    In 1997 with the nickname Martini I created (Allarme Scientology), a site of critical information about the church, its doctrines and its practices. It is still the only web resource of counter-information in Italian.

    In 2001 with the nickname Alessia Guidi I created the still existing, a newsgroup in Italian of free discussion about Scientology, its practices and doctrines.

    In 2006, CCDU (the Italian chapter of CCHR) presided by the IAS Gold Medal winner Roberto Cestari launched an anti-psychs campaign named “Perche’ non accada” together with three more associations not linked with the church (see HCO PL 3 feb. 1969, Public Image).

    In Oct. that year I posted this with the nick Alessia. The anti-psychs campaign website boasted they were spreading 1 million copies of an anti-psychs booklet to public schools, institutions etc. Mine was a warning to the general public: be aware that behind that campaign is CCDU/CCHR which is part of the Church of Scientology. CCDU/CCHR is directed by Dept. 20/OSA of the church and its stated purpose is “Acceptance of Scientology”.
    Through its CCDU/CCHR, the Church of Scientology is collecting money with the distribution of the campaign booklet. I based my latter statement upon an inner mail of CCDU, posted sometime before . Meanwhile, I had had the chance to crosscheck its veracity.

    A few weeks later in Milan, CCDU/CCHR and two of the 3 “lay” associations part of the campaign promoting committee filed a complaint against unknown person for libel. My phrase they deemed defamatory was: “Through its CCDU/CCHR, the Church of Scientology is collecting money with the distribution of the campaign booklet”.

    In 2007 the attorney office in Milan dismissed the case because they could not identify the sender. The plaintiffs opposed. In 2008 the attorney dismissed the case again, same reasons. The plaintiffs opposed again as meanwhile ex Flag Class 9 auditor and OT8, now supposedly critic the Italian Maria Pia Gardini had publicly attacked me and exposed my real identity in Usenet, despite the fact it was confidential data. Oct. 2009, CCDU/CCHR had Gardini deposed about my real identity. End of 2009 I was indicted for libel against CCDU/CCHR et al.

    May 2010 I went to Milan (2 hrs away) with my lawyer to be deposed myself and deposited a defence memo with attachments, among which the original CCDU/CCHR internal e-mail written in scientologese jargon where they instructed people to collect money for the booklets. I also attached the very big complete org chart (bed sheet sized) where CCHR is listed under Dept. 20/OSA.

    In 2010 the judge for preliminary hearing in Milan decided that my statement was not defamatory, it was phrased respectfully and I had the right to warn people. She pronounced a nonsuit, i.e. no trial was to be held against me and I was cleared.

    Roberto Cestari, President of CCDU/CCHR Italy and IAS Gold Medal winner for “human rights merits”, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and asked 100.000 euros damage. The other 2 plaintiffs did not appeal. They had meanwhile left the promoting committee of “Perche’ non accada”. [*]

    Mid 2011 the Supreme Court in Rome rejected CCDU/CCHR appeal. Its decision cites explicitly Art. 21 of the Italian Constitution: Freedom of Speech. It confirms the previous decision of the judge for preliminary hearing: no defamation, respectful phrasing, right to inform people, no trial was to be held against me. I did not violate the law in any form. Cleared again and for good.

    My defence fees amounted to several thousands euros.
    Whoever wished to help me with the attorneys’ bills I’m still paying can find a PayPal banner here: .
    I’m calling particularly on those ex members who donated thousands or tens thousand dollars to the IAS and its war chest, money presumably used to harass me and trying to silence me.
    If you wish to examine all the court papers (in Italian), please contact me in private.

    I asked Maria Pia Gardini to take responsibility of her actions against me and to help me somehow, i.e. launching a small fundraising among her many facebook ex scieno friends, but she publicly refused and attacked me again, instead. She was not entitled to expose my identity, which she knew confidentially as she’s part of an Italian anticult association, federated FECRIS.

    I was already harassed in 2007, you can find a report here:

    Just for your information and thank you in advance if you decided to give me your little help.

    * After the Supreme Court decision adverse to CCDU/CCHR motion, “Perche’ non accada” changed its name in “Pensare oltre” and it is now a “cultural movement to protect childhood”:
    Its promoting committee is composed by different entities, some are fronts.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Anonymous Member

    Can't you sue the cult for lawyer's fees for a frivolous suit?
  3. Random guy Member

    Damn, you were one of the early critics! Hat off!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Anonymous Member

  5. Anonymous Member

    If you won then why didn't you get your costs paid?

    According to Article 91 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure, the losing party has to reimburse the winning paty's legal costs based on a fee rating system as set out by the Italian Bar Association (plus interest) although it will not take into account any other agreement which you may have entered into with your lawyer.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Martini Italy Member

    I do not want to spend more money, time and energy for this.
  7. Martini Italy Member

    In my case there was NO trial. The Supreme Court decided that each party is paying its legal costs.
  8. jensting Member

    And thanks a lot for that :)

    That's the key thing to me. Congratulations to you and to your legal team.

    It's a bother that the criminal organisation known as the "church" <spit> of $cientology successfully caused you to have to spend money.

    Best regards

    • Like Like x 1
  9. Martini Italy Member

    I subtitled your interview to France 24
  10. jensting Member

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