Introvigne replies to our critique of his "anti-terrorism" study 

 By Miguel Martinez 

On August 5th, 1999, Massimo Introvigne presented a paper at the conference of the Association for Sociology of Religion in which he claimed that all his critics were "terrorists."  
On September 8th, 1999, we replied by publishing a text titled "CESNUR uses public funds for a study labelling all its critics as 'extreme terrorists'".  
Dr Introvigne's lawyer then wrote us a letter protesting against the title of our reply.  
As we have always promised Dr Introvigne unlimited space to reply, we answered that we would gladly publish her letter, and suggested his lawyer send us an English language translation.  
We also publish our reply to her letter. Our statement that CESNUR's studies receive public funds was based on repeated boasts made by Dr Introvigne himself; now Dr Introvigne's claims are apparently being denied by his own lawyer. When Dr Introvigne and his lawyer have figured this matter out, we shall be glad to discuss the title of our article. Until then, it stays.  

Avv. Loredana Gagliasso  
Avv. Benilde Balzi  
Avv. Simonetta Fiore Marochetti  
Avv. Marco Yeuillaz  
Avv. Catia Luciano  
Avv. Luigia Di Giovine  
Avbv. Bruna Meloni  
Dott. Luigi de Nucci  

Torino, September 9, 1999  

Dr Miguel Martinez  
Va Di Vittorio n. 1  
40026 - IMOLA (BO)  


Dear Dr Martinez:  
Unfortunately, I should write to you again on behalf of my clients CESNUR and Dr Massimo Introvigne, in connection with the article "Il CESNUR usa fondi pubblici...", posted at and corresponding translations in other languages.  
Starting from the title itself, and for three times in the text, the article accuses CESNUR and Dr Introvigne of a specific felony i.e. the use of funds from the Region of Piedmont for aims other than those these funds were intended for. Funds received by CESNUR from the Region of Piedmont, in facts, are intended for the management of the library and the organization of CESNUR conferences. Any other use of these funds would amount of a criminal offense. The paper Anti-Cult Terrorism via the Internet' red by Dr Introvigne at the ASR conference in Chicago (not, obviously, a CESNUR conference) was not in any way funded or financed from money received from the Region of Piedmont, nor from public funds in general. Its financial cost was, or the other hand, minimal, since the students who cooperated to a part of the research as mentioned in the paper were unpaid volunteers. Should you wish to argue that at least they used the computers at the library, thus adding to the electric company and phone bills of CESNUR - apart from the very small amount involved, while you imply that a great deal of public funds were spent - I should emphasize that CESNUR electric and phone bills are not paid nor reimbursed by the Region of Piedmont (in fact, these and other small expenses are paid by members, or from royalties on CESNUR's books).  
As a consequence, I should ask you to include immediately this correction in all the languages and to change your titles and subtitles by avoiding any reference to "public funds" or "public money." It is imperative that titles and subtitles be changed, since they appear in the results offered by the search engines, and a reader may read only these without opening the relevant links (even when the content of the latter will include the correction).  

Yours faithfully.  

10122 Torino - Via Garibaldi, 59 - Tel. 011/544178 ra. - Fax 011/5618943 
Partita IVA 07135940018 

Dr. Miguel Martinez  
International Communications and Interpreting Services  
Via Di Vittorio 1 - 40026 IMOLA (BO) - ITALIA  
Tel.: 0039/0542/642587  

Imola, 16.9.99  

To Dr.  
Benilde Balzi  
Studio Avvocati Associati  
Via Garibaldi 59  
10122 Torino  


Further to your letter, I first wish to thank you for your courteous tone and the interesting information. If you had used the same tone some months ago, when I repeatedly asked you some questions you preferred not to answer [see here], would certainly have made for better relations between us.  
As you know, we have offered Dr Introvigne unlimited space to reply, and we are happy to hear he wants to make use of our offer, even if through a third party. We shall therefore be glad to publish the full text of your letter on our webspace.  
Due to lack of time, and also to avoid any misunderstandings, we cannot translate your letter into English. However, should you wish to provide us with an English language version of your letter, we shall be glad to publish it.  

Best regards,  
(Dr Miguel Martinez)