A Trap on the Web

Miguel Martinez

March 17, 2001

The Italian language website Freelosofia officially appeared on September 30, 2000. It is not easy to figure out exactly what it is - an excess of technology, with unrequested programmes floating into your computer, blank pages, frames which refuse to open and passwords demanded in a haphazard fashion certainly do not help to make things any easier to understand.


The site has cleary ransacked a good deal of material from Wiccan witchcraft sites. The verbose and ungrammatical texts however tell us that the site is run by a lady called Valentina, a Catholic who believes in dialogue and is happy to host statements and opinions of "neo-pagans" in the widest sense of the word, plus material taken from various sources (especially those close to CESNUR) on Islam, Freemasonry, the Jubilee and many other topics.

Valentina has tried to involve a large number of people, both "cult critics" and members of Wiccan groups. And this has brought up a curious fact. On her site, Silvana Radoani, a researcher on Satanism, tells how Valentina invited her to write on the Freelosofia "forum". Valentina introduced herself as "Valentina Leonardi Senni, age 31, a university degree in languages and employed by an airline".

Valentina also boasted of working with several people:

"We are proud to have a column on our site written by a priest (Father Francesco Parini, former co-ordinator in Liguria of an office of G.r.i.s. [Catholic cult-monitoring association]) so we can also count on his experience to identify certain people more easily".

Valentina then claims to work together with CESNUR, Alleanza Cattolica, GRIS, the charismatic movement Rinnovamento nello Spirito and Catholic Action.

So, on a first level we have something that looks like a Wiccan site. Nothing wrong about that - I personally have nothing against Wiccans and their milieux.

On a second level, we find a Catholic site seeking "dialogue" with the world of neo-Witchcraft. Nothing wrong about that either, except that the graphics tend to mask this aspect of the site.

On a third level, we have a person who confides to cult critics that she is interested in "identifying certain people", to evangelize them or perhaps more simply to get hold of their names. And this is definitely unacceptable.

However, there is also a fourth level.

First of all, no 31-year-old by the name of Valentina Leonardi Senni exists anywhere in Italy. So it is a fact that the nice lady is lying.

Second, no such priest as Father Francesco Parini former co-ordinator in Liguria of a branch of GRIS exists. And this confirms that the nice lady is lying.

Other information comes from the newsgroup it.cultura.religioni. In the past, Valentina's forum used to be open to the public. And every now and then, it housed posts by a certain "Raf", whom the reader was led to believe was none other than Raffaella Di Marzio, director of the Rome branch of GRIS.

A well-known representative of the Wiccan area took the trouble of comparing the headers, discovering that Raf's messages came from the same computer as Valentina's; Valentina apparently justified herself by saying that the two ladies lived together.

It is hard to imagine Ms Di Marzio, her husband and three children, Mrs Leonardi and her husband Mr Senni (and their children?) all jammed together into one small house with one computerů it is more likely that Valentina was trying to use Dr Di Marzio's name for some reason.

Freelosofia is very obviously a trap. The only doubt is, a trap set by whom and against whom?

I do not think it is very important to know the answer. "Kelebek" has been labelled in the past as an "anti-cult" website. Actually, however, so-called "cults" are not what this site was set up to oppose: the real enemy is manipulation and falsification, wherever and whenever it may take place. And the only weapon in this struggle is clarity.

Miguel Martínez

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