Lorita Tinelli

President of CeSAP[1]

 

ARKEON

a perfect example of “psycho-sect” in Italy.

 

As an expert in the field of the sectarian phenomenon it was already in 1996, through a number of requests for help, that I came across the Arkeon movement. During that period, the group had a different name and its modus operandi was substantially different from the one which has been adopted lately.

 

At that time the group followed the Reiki’s philosophy; a form of “intelligent energy” of divine origin which, through the initiations performed by the Master during the meetings, would start flowing freely in the hands of the initiated adepts. Such energy was supposed to possess the gift of healing both the physical body and the emotional sphere, bringing the emotions responsible for causing the disease to the surface. The group’s leader claimed his origins were those of the monk called USUI, the discoverer of the methodology.

 

Until 2000, the Masters initiated by the leader were all called “Reiki Masters”, without distinction; it was only later that, with the establishment of the association called “The Sacred Path”, two different levels were introduced: the first level included the “Arkido Masters” while to the second belonged the “Arkeon Masters”.

 

In the meantime, the founder, Vito Carlo Moccia, had elaborated a complex theory, trying to lend his own group an air of scientific value. The theory was mainly based on a dynamic “corpus” which changes over the years by drawing inspiration from various, more or less recognised, philosophical and psychological schools of thought.

The work of the group is mainly focused on the parental figures or on long repressed emotions (anger, but also fear and emotional pain) which one may feel towards one’s parents.

Through the application of various techniques, during the workshops organised by the group, the people were brought to a state of high emotional excitability and, at that point (generally during the first day of the 1st level workshop) they were asked to form circles, usually including from 20 to 60 people, in which the participants, who had to keep their eyes shut during the exercise, were invited by the Master’s words to go back to the times of their childhood and picture themselves as little children between 3 and 6 years of age, standing in front of their parents.

At that point the Master asked them to “check” who was standing beside them and observe how they were feeling standing before that person. Some recognised their fathers, others saw their mothers, and also some visualised nobody and, according to the specific attitude and the personal history, these people started to cry in pain or scream in rage in front of those parents whom they had felt as distant, or who, in their eyes, had not given them the necessary protection, etc. according to the direction in which the voice and the commands of the Master were leading them.

 

The people who escaped from the group describe that as a “striking experience” for both those who found themselves there for the first time and those who regularly attended the workshops. Simmering homosexuality is also one of the favourite theories inside the group. It is induced by an experience with a “perverted” mother venting her erotic charge on her child and, at the same time, refusing the baby the satisfaction of basic needs. Besides that of the perverted mother there is also the theory of the “paedophile” father. The paedophile is a tool in the hands of the mother, who uses him to achieve her aim which is that of keeping the children bound to her, preventing them from becoming adults.

Most of the times, the paedophile entering the children’s lives is brought there by the mother (who is The One “giving her offspring to the Paedophile”), but can also be introduced by grandmothers, aunts, offering themselves to replace the mother in this function, but always in agreement with her.

 

Without going into the details of such vast and complex theories, I will only summarise the results deriving from these experiences, on the basis of the case study carried out with the above mentioned group.

 

The first requests I received came from parents who saw their offspring reject them accusing them of being perverse. Many sons and daughters, before leaving home, had thrown all their anguish at their parents claiming they had discovered the sexual urge of the parents themselves towards them.

 

Obviously such memories did not match the actual reality.

Later on, the requests for help I received, focused on what was taking place within the group itself. Through a series of exercises carried out during the workshops (“no limits”, the chair exercise ...), many people reported they had experienced physical and psychological abuse.  

As the Arkeon group is currently under criminal investigation I cannot go into further details, so I will restrict my narration to the events having as protagonists the members of the CeSAP.

 

In 2005, following a complaint lodged by an ex follower of the Arkeon group to the Italian Questura (Police department), the DIGOS - the General Investigative and Special Operations Division of the Italian police expressly asked me for a detailed study on the Arkeon group, containing the data I had gathered since 1996.

 

In January 2006, together with two former Arkeon’s followers, I was invited to a TV show, broadcast at national level, which was to dedicate three episodes to this subject.

Following my appearance on television, the group’s leader sued[2] us for aggravated libel, claiming for over 4 million Euros as compensation.

In the meantime, in the FORUM section of our website, many former followers of Arkeon started to tell about their experiences of many years inside the group, confirming what had already emerged during the TV programme.

 

Meanwhile, Arkeon had asked for an urgent provision for the closure first of the CeSAP’s website and then eventually of the FORUM itself. Such requests had reached the CeSAP already in February 2006.

At the same time, according to many former adepts, in April 2006, the leader gave his followers a kit to lodge a penal complaint for aggravated libel against two former adepts who had appeared on television during the first TV show in January 2006 and once again against me.

Over 70 complaints were lodged against us through different Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Italy.

In July 2006, the judge in charge of the civil proceedings dismissed the urgent request for the closure of the website, not only on the grounds of freedom of expression but also producing a declaration of praise for the activity carried out by the CeSAP in protecting victims from “false psychotherapies”.

 

In October 2006, another TV show (Mi Manda Rai 3) of the National Broadcasting Service RAI, addressed the Arkeon case, reserving room for both, the victims and some representatives of the Arkeon group, including its leader. During the show it emerged that neither the leader nor his adepts possessed the necessary qualifications to perform the activities they kept on presenting during the workshops and the leader himself admitted to have experienced the abuses reported by the victims to the Police.

 

Following the TV show, 9 requests for remittal of complaint arrived but, at the same time, many group’s supporters started an internet smear campaign against me and the victims who had reported the group to the authorities.

Contemporaneously a criminal inquiry was started, which ended in October 2007 with a seizure order for Arkeon’s sites and activities and an accuse of criminal conspiracy for the purpose of fraud, sexual harassment, private violence, abuse of minors, misuse of the psychological and medical profession, and smear for 6 members of the Arkeon group, including its leader.

 

Meanwhile, the civil proceedings against the CeSAP continued, until the commencement of a criminal action against Arkeon determined its suspension.

During the proceedings, the CeSAP has benefited from the effective support by the Order of Psychologists and the Codacons (the Association for the Protection of Consumers) which both instituted a civil action supporting the CeSAP itself.

Such experience of collaboration has allowed us to understand the usefulness of a network made of subjects approaching the same issues, as point of strength in the protection against illegitimate attacks by sectarian organisations.

 

My proposal today is right that of making FECRIS not only a network for the exchange of information among its member associations but also a POINT OF STRENGTH for all those associations which find themselves confronted with experiences like the one we went through as single subjects. These are experiences which, if faced by each on their own, tend to stop the activities performed and to weaken the association itself from both the point of view of internal strength and the economic one.

 

Working together with large institutions during the various proceedings can lead to sure victories, while awaiting more appropriate laws and, at the same time, collaboration demonstrates a strength proportional to that of the sectarian organisations which base all their actions on the knowledge that they only have to “fight” against voluntary associations.

 



[1] FECRIS correspondent

[2] 5th Nov., 2008Ancona - Dismissal of the charge of slander: the fact in question does not constitute a crime. The same had already occurred in Rome. Further attacks have already given rise to results, in Lorita Tinelli’s favour, here and there in Italy and at different levels of judgement.