By Miguel Martinez
Concerning an article published inCristianità, the official magazine of Alleanza Cattolica. which includes CESNUR's director Massimo Introvigne among its leaders.
The January-February 1999 issue of Cristianità has just come out. To refresh the memory of our readers: this magazine is the official organ of Alleanza Cattolica, the right-wing organization one of whose five national leaders ("consultori") is Massimo Introvigne, and to which nearly all the members of CESNUR Italy also belong.
This issue has an article by Introvigne ("Reiki: technique or religion?") and an article in defence of Introvigne (against the Fraternity of Saint Pius X). The magazine claims no fewer than twenty-six activities of CESNUR as part of the "Good battle" ("La buona battaglia") of Alleanza Cattolica.
In other words, CESNUR and Cristianità are synonyms, at least for Cristianità. (CESNUR generally seems a little more embarrassed about the link.)
The "good battles" listed in the magazine include the presentation of Reverend James Gordon Melton's book on Scientology and even a lecture by Eileen Barker of the UK organization INFORM. The latter is under a special heading, "religious freedom", a title reminiscent of Introvigne's famous appeal in favour of Scientology in Germany.
However, this is not the only kind of freedom that interests Cristianità/CESNUR. Another victim of persecution, besides Scientology, receives special attention from Cristianità. This time it is Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, the expressionless Chilean former dictator.
First comes an article on Pinochet, explicitly titled "Let Pinochet go!", by American rightist Pat Buchanan. Then comes an article (four pages long) by a gentleman described as "Senator for life and General of the Reserve, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte". In this article we learn, for example, how Senator Pinochet is "…deeply convinced that those countries which are unable to discover the historical mission they are called on to perform, do not and never will have a future".
I wish to make it clear that I do not intend to dispute the right of Introvigne's organization to campaign for the release of the tough old general.
However, I think this campaign can help readers understand more clearly what CESNUR means by "freedom."