The Lunatic Voltairians


Introvigne then moves over to the most unhappy part of all his study: a rehash of his previous one on "anti-cult terrorism". First, he lists the main actors of the supposed "anti-cult conspiracy": 

  • the "lunatic fringe" of the French "secular humanist movement";
  • a "left-wing anti-globalization discourse";
  • a supposed "European Identity Movement" of the far right which similarly attacks globalization;
  • some Islamic fundamentalist movements.
Except for the unlikely lunatic admirers of Voltaire, these probably sound a bit frightening to readers of Terrorism and Political Violence: Pol Pot, skinheads and Algerian throat-cutters all rolled into one.  

The Muslim Plot: "You step in the stream…" 

Introvigne starts by showing how the  Muslim prong of the plot is supposed to work: "An example is the anti-cult activity of", the domain of the Islamic Gateway World Wide Media Network. He says that "anti-cultism" is encouraged and then shows  the alleged motive by taking a quote from a page hosted on the site: 

"the agents of Shaytan (Satan) are many. Many efforts are made to mislead masses into darkness via Satanic philosophies, ideologies and schisms brought forth to divide and keep humanity divided." 
He says that the quote comes from 
Introvigne tells readers that one can download from the same URL the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, supposedly by clicking on a lower level page entitled "zionism.html". 

I checked this one out. First, I found that Ummah Net hosts over one hundred very different sites. 

The "conspiracies" page does exist, although I was unable to open the higher level of "moa-on-line" to find out how it fits into Ummah Net: the general index has no page called "moa." 

It is however hard to establish any connection between the "Satanic philosophies" this rather peculiar site is worried about, and the cults mentioned in the French parliament report. There is Zionism, Hinduism, Gay Rights, "Freudism", Darwinism, something called The Tabernacle Ministries, the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, Shi'ites in general, The Nation of Islam and three minor Islamic groups. Though vaguely reminiscent of Introvigne's own conspiracy joining Muslims, atheists, right and left wing extremists, there seems to be no reference to the issue of cults.  

I tried clicking on the page which is supposed to allow you to download the Protocols. I got this answer: 

"404: You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. The page is not here."
So I don't know whether it is true or not that one of the hundred plus websites hosted on Ummah Net has a page on the Protocols. Where I was able to check the facts, Introvigne turned out not to be telling the truth: Ummah Net has nothing to do with "anti-cult activity" and the quote about "Satanic philosophies" is deliberately misleading. But wait, Ummah Net does have something to do indirectly with the issue of cults. Introvigne hides the fact away in a footnote: 
" also mirrors one of the extreme anti-cult sites, the Italian, mostly devoted to personally assault scholars labeled as 'cult apologists', yet another form of anti-cult violence via the Internet."

A Very Personal Problem of Dr Introvigne 

"" of course is the website you are reading now. A few comments: 

  • An "extreme" anti-cultist presumably is somebody who wants to fight cults even more than "moderate" anti-cultists do. Now, Introvigne knows that I agree with him on some matters, with the French parliament report on others, which should make me a very moderate anti-cultist indeed. I already corrected this factual mistake of Introvigne's five or six times in the past, but apparently to no avail.
  • I leave it up to the reader to decide whether providing the public with documents on CESNUR, an organization which claims to receive public funding, is "personal assault".
  • It is also interesting to note how Introvigne constructs an atmosphere out of nothing: the documents provided on my website about CESNUR are "yet another form of anti-cult violence via the Internet": actually he has not mentioned any case of "anti-cult violence via the Internet", true or alleged, so far in his text.
  • Finally, the most obvious point: Kelebek does not speak of "cult apologists" in general, but of Massimo Introvigne.
A curious fact is that my site is mentioned only in a footnote. The original study not only gave it a far more prominent position: Introvigne himself claimed that the campaign of personal insults against me actually was the study. Quite probably, he preferred to make the "inflatable doll" campaign, and the very existence of a site with critical information on him, less visible to his peer reviewers in Terrorism and Political Violence. 

I think any reader will agree that the evidence Introvigne brings to prove the involvement of "Muslim fundamentalists" in the alleged anti-cult conspiracy is non-existent. Ummah Net however does have one fault: it hosted material critical, not of cults, but of Massimo Introvigne.  

By the way, the reader may be curious to know why Ummah Net hosted our site. Kelebek had come to the attention of some Muslims for having rebutted a vicious anti-Islamic tract by a Catholic extremist. When Introvigne terrorized my provider into closing the website, I sent out an appeal for help to dozens of people, and the first to provide a mirror was Ummah Net; a few days later, three or four other providers from very different backgrounds joined in.