CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

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Martini
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:09 pm

CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by Martini » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Hi everybody.

I’m an Italian critic.
In 1997 with the nickname Martini I created http://www.allarmescientology.it (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 free.it.religioni.scientology, 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 http://tinyurl.com/3xo548w 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 http://tinyurl.com/378yq5q . 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: http://www.allarmescientology.it .
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:
http://xenu.com-it.net/txt/simonetta_po_e.htm

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


* 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”: http://www.pensareoltre.org/
Its promoting committee is composed by different entities, some are fronts.

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Sponge
Posts: 14692
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:23 am
Location: U.K.

Re: CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by Sponge » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:48 pm

Self Edited:

I'm going to replace my previous abrubt suggestion of "Do not donate a cent to this person" with: I wouldn't donate to this person. Of course everyone else has the freedom to do whatever they want.
I think it is great that you won against the cult of scientology but what I do not think is great is that you made a 3-sided issue out of it in a setting of soliticting for donations.

I'll say again though, Maria Pia Gardini, who I believe still has ongoing legal issues with the cult, is not here to defend herself against claims of what may or may not have happened on usenet newsgroups or wherever else outside this messageboard.

Martini
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by Martini » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:48 am

Sponge wrote:^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Do not donate a cent to this person.

Maria pia Gardini is not here to defend herself against the allegations you are making and with which you are using to garner sympathy in an attempt to collect compensatory donations.
I'm not here to garner your simpathy, just to inform.
Any help is up to you.

I'm not making any allegation about anybody. I'm talking of facts and you can check them.
S.

Martini
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by Martini » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:33 am

Self Edited:

I'm going to replace my previous abrubt suggestion of "Do not donate a cent to this person" with: I wouldn't donate to this person. Of course everyone else has the freedom to do whatever they want.
I think it is great that you won against the cult of scientology but what I do not think is great is that you made a 3-sided issue out of it in a setting of soliticting for donations.

I'll say again though, Maria Pia Gardini, who I believe still has ongoing legal issues with the cult, is not here to defend herself against claims of what may or may not have happened on usenet newsgroups or wherever else outside this messageboard.
I’m grateful you edited your previous abrupt comment.
As I told you before, I wished to inform you about my vicissitude. Do not forget that Italy is one of the few countries in the Western world where CoS is still powerful somehow, they planned to open an AO here as a bridgehead to UE and its common legislation and to gain recognition (then exendable to UE). Moreover, CCDU/CCHR is gaining popular consent as they sided the battles of divorced parents separated from their children and the battles of those parents the court had separated from their children. I’ve been running my website for 15 years now and I’m getting almost daily mails about that.

I’m used to talk of FACTS and a FACT is that my identity was exposed by Maria Pia Gardini in Usenet, and that she was deposed out of that precise usenet posting. Everything is filed in the court papers, both the plaintiffs’ two different requests and Gardini’s deposal. I call it a FACT because everybody can check it.
She had the duty of truth in front of the police deposing her, but she had also the moral duty to not exposing people’s identity in Usenet, particularly because she’s a prominent representative of an anticult association federated FECRIS. If you can see the implications. I’m not discussing her motives here, I’m exposing facts.

Another FACT is that the DA ruled twice for a case dismissal because they could not identify the sender of my post at stake. The DA indicted me after and only because of Gardini’s deposal. I knew my post was not libellous and I was finally cleared all the way up to Supreme Court, but when it comes to judges, you never now. Especially in my country. Infact the DA indicted me while the judge for preliminary hearing ruled for a nonsuit that was then appealed.
The Supreme Court cleared me for good and ruled that CCDU/CCHR pay the court expenses, while the parts pay for their own legal fees.

If Gardini had kept to her moral duty of confidentiality my case would have been dismissed in 2008 and I would have saved some thousands euros in legal fees, let alone energy, personal stress, 2 trips to Milan and one to Rome (6 hrs away), transport, food and lodging for me and my lawyer. This is another fact.

Gardini has ongoing legal issues, as the church sued her for 2 million euros a couple of years ago. Hers is a civil case.
a) In Italy the average time for a civil case to come to an end is 15-18 years. Gardini is 75 now.
b) In her many press and media interviews, as well as in her book, Gardini claims to be penniless and living out of a small seniority pension. Destitute people are entitled to pro-bono. I am not.
c) Even if her civil case would come to an end, CoS won and she survived it, you can not extract 2 million euros from a destitute elderly woman. Civil cases are about money, your criminal record is clean.

My case was a criminal (penal) case. I own the house where I live and I risked to lose it, had the CoS won. They asked 100.000 euros damage. If you can see the difference and the implications. Let alone my criminal record.
Your help for my legal fees is very much welcome, but I can survive without.
Ciao.
S.

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I'mglib
Posts: 5745
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:17 pm

Re: CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by I'mglib » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:10 pm

Hi, Martini, and welcome to the board.

Let me get this straight, as it is a very long story.

1. You anonymously posted something on usenet about the CCDU (the Italian CCHR).

2. The church figured out your identity, because it was revealed by Gardini.

3. They sued you and lost in a lower court.

4. They took it to the supreme court and lost there, too.

If this is pretty much correct, congratulations.

I haven't heard about this case...probably because of the language barrier and the distance, but can you say what it was that the church objected to in your post? Since it's in Italian, it's not evident. Also, aren't you entitled to any compensation from the church for your legal fees since they lost?

Again, welcome to the board.
"A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it." -William Ralph Inge

Watch the Los Angeles press conference here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScilonTV#p/

Martini
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: CCHR vs a critical voice – legal harassment in Italy

Post by Martini » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi, Martini, and welcome to the board.

Let me get this straight, as it is a very long story.

1. You anonymously posted something on usenet about the CCDU (the Italian CCHR).

2. The church figured out your identity, because it was revealed by Gardini.
The DA dismissed the case twice because they could not identify the sender “Alessia Guidi”. The second time the plaintiffs opposed as meanwhile Gardini had revealed publicly the identity of poster “Alessia Guidi”. They had Gardini deposed. They had now the sender’s identity. Correct.

3. They sued you and lost in a lower court.

4. They took it to the supreme court and lost there, too.

If this is pretty much correct, congratulations.
This is correct.

I haven't heard about this case...probably because of the language barrier and the distance, but can you say what it was that the church objected to in your post? Since it's in Italian, it's not evident.
I posted here http://xenu.com-it.net/MILAN_GIP.pdf the lower court ruling with a quick translation of the relevant parts. The Supreme Court confirmed it.

The sentence the plaintiffs deemed libellous was: “The Church of Scientology,
through its CCDU, is collecting funds with the distribution of the campaign booklets


“The campaign” was an anti-psychs campaign named “Perchè non accada…”, see below.
Also, aren't you entitled to any compensation from the church for your legal fees since they lost?
No. My lawyer asked it but the Supreme Court rejected the request I don’t know why, legalese stuff.
It stated that the Court costs had to be charged to the plaintiff but each part paid for their lawyer fees. I'm paying mine.

About the campaign “Perchè non accada…”.
The supposedly “lay” campaign was launched in 2006. Its promoting committee was CCDU/CCHR plus 3 more organizations not linked with the church and as far as I know, not aware that CCDU/CCHR was actually THE church.

The President of one of those non scieno co-promoters (also plaintiff against me) told the press in 2006 that “CCDU is a non profit, it is not part of Scientology from which it doesn’t receive money nor give money”. The president of another non scieno co-promoter and plaintiff told to the same reporter that “CCDU is an independent non profit, it is external both to Scientology and to CCHR with which it has only ideological links but no connections”.
(see: http://xenu.com-it.net/txt/perchenonaccada.htm)

In 2003, CCDU/CCHR alone tried to launch a similar campaign, SAME NAME (see here http://xenu.com-it.net/PNA.pdf ) to no avail. In 2006 and following HCOPL 3 feb. 1969, Public Image, they involved “real humanitarian and civil rights groups” and tried again. Then they involved them in their case against me.

All plaintiffs against me were represented by Pilerio Plastina, a top barrister whose firm had already represented the 3 French scientologist citizens involved in the imprisonment of the French woman in Sardinia, in 2008, see

http://www.xenu-directory.net/victims/boublil1.html

http://tinyurl.com/7f3n56y

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24915&start=0

That same law firm also represented the Church of Scientology in the longest trial 1989-2000 in Milan.
( see http://xenu.com-it-net/txt/milano/index.htm )

The firm top associate at the time (now retired) was congressman and then Vice-President of Italian Parliament Alfredo Biondi
http://xenu.com-it.net/txt/biondi.htm

Best
Simonetta

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