LA VERITA’ SU ARKEON - Sentenza (definitiva) “arkeon” di primo grado a Bari: nessuna “psicosetta”

Nelle Motivazioni della Sentenza, alle pagine 896 e 897 si legge:
“l’esito di questo giudizio ha sconfessato la sussistenza della principale e più grave delle accuse, costituita dall’essere Arkeon una “psico-setta”, ha portato ad escludere la sussistenza di uno stato di incapacità di intendere e volere per i partecipanti a qualsiasi tipo di seminario e di tecniche manipolatorie della mente, nonché di violenze di ogni genere poste in essere nei confronti di minori. In questo giudizio non vi è stata contestazione di reati fiscali ed è emerso che i costi dei seminari erano fissi e noti ai partecipanti. Il processo ha portato ad escludere la sussistenza dell’aggravante dell’aver indotto nei partecipanti il timore di un pericolo immaginario, come cagione giustificativa degli esborsi economici, nonché di quella del danno di rilevante entità e da questo è conseguita la ritenuta improcedibilità dei reati di truffa, con riferimento ai quali non era stata sporta alcuna querela da parte delle vittime…”

Registrazione audio integrale della Relazione di Raffaella Di Marzio: ORGANIZZAZIONI SETTARIE E ANTISETTARIE: STRUTTURE E DINAMICHE SIMILARI IN CONTESTI ANTAGONISTI - 12° Congresso Internazionale della Società Italiana di Psicologia della Religione (SIPR): "L'IO, L'ALTRO, DIO: Religiosità e Narcisismo" - Testo registrazione

Le Confessioni del "mostro nello specchio". Arkeon, Le Associazioni Anti-sette e l'Ordine degli Psicologi: Un'esperienza personale

The Confessions of "the monster in the mirror". Arkeon, the Anti-cult Associations and the Order of Psychologists: a personal experience

Movimenti Antisette e Neutralità dello Stato - Un caso di studio: la FECRIS

Nella sua conclusione Willy Fautrè mette in evidenza come associazioni membri della FECRIS, nelle nazioni prese in considerazione dalla ricerca, mettano in atto azioni discutibili

Sette, antisette, "setta degli antisette", aiuto e altre riflessioni - Simonetta Po

Persecuzione e campagne anti-sette: intervista a Raffaella Di Marzio - di Camillo Maffia

venerdì 27 febbraio 2009

The censorship against Arkeon goes on

On 21th February 2008 in her article “To be or not to be a cult: THIS is the question. When information becomes a dogma, the commettees become tribunals, the experts guru and people remain anyway victims”, Raffaella Di Marzio wrote: “…In the last two years anybody who came in contact with Arkeon, hosted (bifore their suspension in october 2007) people attending its seminars, started studies on Arkeon (not aimed to criticize it), spoke publicly in positive terms of this path etc etc. suffered intimidations and threats of different kind …”.

One month later, Dott.ssa Di Marzio was inquired by the Prosecutor of Bari and her site was obscured by the Police of Bari.
This simple fact, which scandalized the scientific community dealing with these issues, would be sufficient to confirm the statement cited in that article.

But obviously the censorship has not ended.
At mid October 2008, indeed, the voice “Arkeon” was cancelled from a well known site with specious justifications.
This further demonstrates that in this case the freedom of voice and opinion itself is being censored since near three years.

I attach the voice as it was in its last version.
Personally I don’t agree with some of its parts, but being the fruit of the work of months of different persons, I want to respect this work and I report it integrally.


Arkeon is a controversial path of personal growth founded by
Vito Carlo Moccia. From October 2007 to September 2008, the founder and some members have been inquired by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bari.


According to the founder, the word Arkeon is a neologism unifying two
greek words, arketipon, recalling the concepts of "archetype, original shape", and eon, referring to "what is, the being"[1].


In one interview
[1], Vito Carlo Moccia described the Arkeon method as "a path for personal development and self knowledge". This path should pass through an introspective work on the origins, the behaviours and the experiences which would influence the life of men. The path refers to such values as the belonging, the spirit of fatherhood[2], the rites of passagge, the cult of the ancestors and the strength of authenticity and courage. These values would be "the values of the archaic model of farmer civilization", which gradually went lost in the modern society.
Arkeon neither wants nor generally is considered a
religious or spiritual movement[3].
Even if is an non religious path, much of those attending its seminars, as Vito Carlo Moccia himself, declares to be
catholic; many persons returned to Catholicism after attending Arkeon [4].
There’s no clear description of Arkeon, also due to the forced interruption of the study of Raffaella Di Marzio, even if it’s believed to have complex contents
[5]. According to the author, the statement of Arkeon that homosexuality is indeed for some persons a transitory condition caused protests in the circles of the homosexual movement [5]. Pietro Bono, one former master of Arkeon, in a private letter sent to FECRIS (the European organization of the anti-cults movements), made public during October 2008, judges as unjustified the hostility of the homosexual movement. [6]


The method, defined as experiential, consists of meetings of the participants (so called circles). In these circles there is the sharing of people’s experience and the master gives to the participants (students) instruments for their inner search.
The seminars, suspended since October 2007, were open to anyone interested and they articulated in:
1st level seminars (Saturday and Sunday, following a for free presentation on Friday evening)
2nd level seminars (Monday and Tuesday)
residential intensive seminars on specific themes (The Spirit of the Earth, I am living Honouring My Death, On the Path of Mastery, Loving Relationship Training, Ai Ko Riu, The Business of You).
The seminars were to be paid. In the case o 1st and 2nd levels, the fee was different for the first participation (260 € for the 1st level; 750 € for the 2nd level) and for further participations (130 € in both cases). The fee for the residential seminars was about 1100 €, board and lodging included for five days.


In the 2000, Vito Carlo Moccia decided, together with a small group of Reiki masters, to formalize a path that was taking shape in years of Reiki practice and teaching[7]. Vito Carlo Moccia’s work with Reiki gradually had grown profoundly different from that of his master, Phyllis Lei Furumoto[8].


Arkeon is formally only a registered trademark owned by Vito Carlo Moccia. It’s neither an association, nor a firm. Some masters "initiated" in the Reiki lineage by Vito Carlo Moccia had already founded an association, The Sacred Path, on 1995. In 2007, an association of students was founded, named Association of Students of Arkeon; given the impossibility to meet, the association was closed through e-mail on June 2008. The participation to the Association was not a requisite to attend the seminars, it was on a voluntary basis.
So before 2007, and apart from the masters, those attending the seminars were not members of any association. The overall number of people attending at least one seminar of Arkeon between 2000 and 2007 was estimated in several thousands. Those usually attending seminars would have been few hundreds.
There is no formal Arkeon community, anyway the name "Arkeon’s people" was created to indicate those persons who, due to their personal history, are strongly connected to the history of Arkeon.

Recent facts

On June 2004, the bimonthly publication of St.Paul Catechistic Reviews "Way, Truth and Life"
[9] publishes an article on Arkeon. Following this article, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pope’s House, runs a telecast with Vito Carlo Moccia on the father-son relationship during the programme “A Sua Immagine[10], on 11th September 2004.
On January 2006, Maurizio Costanzo during the telecast "Tutte le Mattine" hosts Lorita Tinelli, psychologist and anti-cult activist president of the Centre for Studies on Psychological Abuses (Ce.S.A.P.), together with other people. Lorita Tinelli defines Arkeon a "
cult"[11][4], while the other hosts tell about violence and abuses in the Arkeon path. In the following telecasts, these concepts are stressed, while a couple of masters of Arkeon defend the path. Following these telecasts on the website of Ce.S.A.P a forum is opened, and it still is, critical on Arkeon. Judging both the website and the telecasts calumnious, near eighty of the "Arkeon’s people" lodged a complaint against Lorita Tinelli and two other persons. Meanwhile a refund of four million euros was asked for, together with the closing of the forum. This last was denied from the magistrate, while the other prosecutions have been closed in November 2008 [12].
On October 2006, Andrea Vianello makes a telecast of "Mi Manda Rai Tre" partly dedicated to Arkeon, with the title "Spiritual Path or abusive therapy?"
[13]. Again there is the participation of Lorita Tinelli, one of the persons already interviewed by Costanzo and two other persons telling the negative experiences they lived in Arkeon. Vito Carlo Moccia participates, together with other three persons of Arkeon.
In December 2006, during the telecasts "A Sua Immagine" there is an interview, commented by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, to a young man with his family telling his painful experience of a condition of homosexuality which, thanks to a group of help (Arkeon is never named), brought him to a happy marriage with a woman.
In October 2007, Vito Carlo Moccia, together with other five masters of Arkeon, are inquired for several crimes (abusive exercise of profession, swindle, sexual violence, private
violence and slander, according to the press which does not indicates who is alleged for what). The inquiries are performed by Digos in the name of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bari. All the websites linked to Arkeon are cautionary closed. After a press conference, the news is repeated by the newscasts and by some newspapers, mainly online. After the opening of the inquiries, Arkeon’s activity would seem to be interrupted.
In the following days, “Terra!”
[14] telecasts a broad service to Arkeon, commenting a film clip realized by Arkeon. In the video the faces of many persons of the "Arkeon’s people" are visible, included some children. Some people are interviewed, further than the Vito Carlo Moccia’s lawyer, with negative experiences about Arkeon, included the one already present in "Tutte le mattine" and "Mi manda Rai Tre" who repeat the same violence experienced. A police official too is interviewed and again Lorita Tinelli in the role of the expert. Arkeon is defined a "psycho-cult".
On 30th and 31st October 2007 "Striscia la notizia"
[15] talks about Arkeon, with interviews to victims of abuses and a short meeting with Vito Carlo Moccia. In the second telecast, Father Raniero Cantalamessa is approached to highlight his presumed proximity to Arkeon and the telecast of December 2006. Lorita Tinelli is interviewed. Further on, Father Raniero Cantalamessa will answer during a telecast and with a letter [16] to this event, treated also in one article on “Avvenire” (a catholic journal, note of the drafter).
At the end of November 2007,
Raffaella Di Marzio, export of cult phenomena, is contacted by Pietro Bono, one Arkeon master searching for help in front of a "media campaign " which would seem to threat the professional and social lives of the "Arkeon’s people"[4].
In February 2008 Di Marzio participates to an informative meeting in Rome with near eighty people of Arkeon at the presence of Vito Carlo Moccia. During the meeting the Police steps in identifying the participants, questioning some of them and distraining some materials (a candle, the posters of Arkeon and informational material about the website, the videotapes of the meeting and other things
[4]). Allowed by the Police, the meeting continues until the end; it would not have been a seminar (as alleged) [17], but a simple meeting [18][4].
Always on February 2008, on her website
[19], known for years as a reference for the scholars of cults, Di Marzio opens as moderator a forum on Arkeon. Some supporters of Arkeon tell about problems at work and threats received by mail. In his letter to FECRIS Pietro Bono, a master of Arkeon, will talk of a true persecution [6].
At the end of March 2008, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bari orders the preventive distraint of the whole website Meanwhile, Raffaella Di Marzio is inquired for serious crimes and receives supporting messages from both scholars and anticult activists
[17][17]. Among the reasons of the decision, the hypothesis that her scientific research on Arkeon, suspected of alleged illegal activities, could have been a complicity with this movement – an hypothesis that Massimo Introvigne, president of Cesnur, defined "absurd"[5]. The Italian Society of Religion’s Psychology too testified its solidarity towards Di Marzio[20].
On April 2008 the website was released from attachment.
On June 2008 Lorita Tinelli has been accused from one of her former colleague, anti-cults activist, of using speciously the accuse of professional abuse, of strongly wrong behaviours towards her clients and unfit conduct also in the case of Arkeon
On September 2008, the inquiry on Arkeon ended; 11 members of the organization came out to be inquired
[23]. On November 2008, The Magistrate of Ancona decided that there was no reason to proceed against Lorita Tinelli and two former participants of Arkeon inquired for the alleged crime of slander. This sentence adds to those of the Tribunals of Monza and Rome [12].

Controversial features

The first criticisms to Arkeon concern the separation from Reiki, which was not accepted by everybody. Many Reiki masters "initiated" by Vito Carlo Moccia continue to teach Reiki in the traditional way.
Some maintain that Arkeon was a form of
psychotherapy and that near every master had not the professional titles to practice it. Vito Carlo Moccia himself does not belong to National Psychologists’ Order and his degrees would not be recognized in Italy [24][25].
On the accuse of being a form of psychotherapy is based the hypothesis of swindle to the good faith of the participants
[23] .
Referring to the theories of
Margaret Singer[26] and Steven Hassan[27], another accuse would be that in Arkeon they practiced a form of brainwashing or at least of mental conditioning: as a consequence, people would not have chosen freely to follow the Arkeon path, rather they would have been induce to it gradually against their will; the beneficial results that the "Arkeon’s people" believe to have reached in their life would than be fruit of suggestion; Vito Carlo Moccia and some other masters would have plagiarized the participants to the seminars.
One accuse moved from the inquirers is that Arkeon practiced abusively
medicine [28][23].
In the "people of Arkeon" there would be the theorized practice to take the distance from the
family of origin, particularly from the mothers, if they don’t follow the path [13]. The participants to the seminars of Arkeon would have been pushed to leave features considered as typically teenage, to dedicate only to their new founded family and to their work. Some families of the "Arkeon’s people" would prevent their grandmothers from seeing the nephews. In other cases, the consequence of attending the Arkeon’s seminars would have been the separation of couples [13].
In Arkeon there would be a uniformity of
language and of thinking [23]. The personal initiatives and also the telling of the experiences would not be true, but coordinated by the "leaders of the organization" [23] [13]. The stories of benefits told by the "people of Arkeon", often based on dramatic difficulties before Arkeon followed by a real happiness (stories defined by critics as "White Mill", the brand of a sweets producers whose spots are based on happy families) would not be spontaneous but in some way shared and uniforms in their meanings and contents.
Some features of the Arkeon’s path would be dangerous. Someone referred
violences [29].
The events told in the circles would be very serious and sometimes some under age would have listened to them
[23]. The strong emotionality present in the circles would be very negative in general and could shock the under age.

Replies to criticisms

The supporters of Arkeon reject the accuse of that being a psychotherapy. Among the reasons, the fact that those attending the seminars would have been psychologically sane and not in search of a therapy. The presentation of the seminars, open to the public, could not have tricked them in this respect. It’s also maintained that the inner search of Arkeon would belong to human search for yourself, which does not to psychology. The hypothesis of swindle is opposed to the satisfaction, according to the supporters, of the great majority of those attending the seminars.
The concept of
brainwashing, already criticized by the scholars [30][31], could not be applied to Arkeon. Infact, Arkeon would not be a "cult" at all in the meaning gave by Singer and Hassan. The group has always been open to the attenting of scholars and also searched for independent studies on itself [3]. Finally Arkeon would have never dealt with medicine.
The Arkeon’s method would have rejoined, not divided, the families, and in deeper way. The distances between parents and sons would be extreme cases and they would anyway apply to temporary situations. The case of more than thirty years old men leaving teenage behaviours to dedicate to their families and work is positively considered. The relationships between grandparents and nephews would not be discouraged and they anyway belong to the parental discretionality . The separation of couples would be a rare event happened in already compromised situations simply accelerated by the Arkeon’s path. The stories scornfully named by critics as "White Mill style" would be real and sometimes dramatic tales of lived life.

Opinions about Arkeon

Actually there are no public comprehensive studies on Arkeon.
The study of Di Marzio was interrupted by the inquiry of the magistrates which involved her as inquired;
Cesnur expected with interest this study to understand the complex ideas of Arkeon[5]. According to Silvana Radoani there would be a reserved file on "Vito Carlo Moccia" circulated by Lorita Tinelli in 2005 [22][32].
As far as Arkeon is regarded, Di Marzio, based on her preliminary researches, reported an "'impression-sensation" that Arkeon would not have the typical features of what is generally considered a
sectarian group [4]. The scholar wrote on how the request from a group accused of being a cult to be studied and searched by scholars would suggest that Arkeon is not a cult. Cults, indeed, according to Di Marzio, generally would have a completely opposite approach, closet towards external threats [4]. In the past Arkeon had already asked to GRIS to be specifically studied[3]. Di Marzio also underlined the attitude to self criticism present in Arkeon and, on the other side, the lacking among the supporters of any disparaging intention towards the critics [4]. The Arkeon people’s attitude towards Vito Carlo Moccia seemed grateful, but also strongly critical [4].
As far as the media are regarded, their interest in the facts was defined sensation-mongering
[5]. According to Di Marzio, the telecasts would have been a process in which the guilty was already known. She describes the pain caused to Arkeon’s members [4].
From the inquiry and judicial point of view, the attitude of the police and the magistrates, even if largely exceptional in the national context, has been considered as moved by an anti-cult prejudice and by the acceptance of an acritical anti-cult rhetoric
According to Introvigne
[5], the Arkeon case would be "very sad" and would have marked a stop in the dialogue and cooperation between those studying the new religious movements and the anti-cult movements. The most radical members of the anti-cult movement would have used this occasion against a dialogue that they would try in any way to oppose (Raffaella Di Marzio would have been described as an "apostate" in the context of the anti-cult circles, to be punished with no mercy [5]).
The Arkeon case, his consequences on the media , the involvement of Dott.ssa Di Marzio in the inquiries have prompted several reflections on the anti-cult movements, so to talk of anti-cult cults
[4][22] [30].


a b Giovanna Caldara. Migliorare le relazioni con l'Arkeon
^ This subject is briefly introduced, from Arkeon’s perspective, also in: Rolf Holm. Alla ricerca del padre. Reiki Magazine Italia. April-May 2003 L'indice del numero con l'articolo.
a b c The question of a user (Good morning, I’d like toh ave some information on the Arkeon movement cited in the review of march-april 2005 “Via Verità e Vita anno LIV n.202”, what is it?), was answered by the president of GRIS as follows: "Apart from the consideration that Arkeon in itslef is neither a New Religious Movement nor an Alternative Religious Movement, GRIS had an unsearched contact with many of its adepts on June 2006 during the National Meeting in Gubbio where I personally declared that their presence meant no judgment from us, neither positive nor negative. GRIS is thinking to create an inquiriy commission. But, given the complexity of the case, this will have no easy and short life.Antonio Contri. Un movimento in Italia di nome Arkeon. 27 luglio 2007
a b c d e f g h i j k Raffaella Di Marzio. Essere o non essere setta: QUESTO è il problema. 22 febbraio 2008
a b c d e f g h Massimo Introvigne. Twenty Years of Studies of New Religious Movements: Autohagiography or Post-Mortem? 16 aprile 2008
a b Pietro Bono. Comunicazione al FECRIS. 7 ottobre 2008
^ About Reiki in the perspective of The Sacred Path, vedi AAVV. Reiki. Riza Scienze. November 1996
^ About Phyllis and Paul
^ Arkeon un percorso di crescita nel nome del Padre. Via Verità e Vita, anno LIV n.202 marzo-aprile 2004
^ A Sua Immagine
^ about the use of this word Raffaella Di Marzio negatively expressed, vedi Di Marzio, 2008
a b Cesap. No case to proceed. Press Release. 5 november 2008
a b c d Andrea Vianello. Percorso spirituale o terapia abusiva?. Ottobre 2006
^ Terra!. 14 ottobre 2007
^ Striscia la notizia. Psico-setta. 30 e 31 ottobre 2007
^ Raniero Cantalamessa. Nota su P. Raniero Cantalamessa e l’associazione Arkeon a seguito delle trasmissioni di “Striscia la notizia”. 1º novembre 2007
a b c Solidarietà per Raffaella Di Marzio. 28 marzo 2008 a cura di Simonetta Po
^ In Rome there was a simple meeting. La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno. Edizione Bari città. 12 febbraio 2008
^ Solidarietà. Estratto del verbale della riunione del Consiglio Direttivo Nazionale della Società Italiana di Psicologia della Religione, tenutosi a Milano il 22 giugno 2008. Notiziario della Società Italiana di Psicologia della Religione, Anno 13, n. 1- 2, gennaio - agosto 2008, p.6
^ Raffaella Di Marzio. SrS online; 30 aprile 2008
a b c Silvana Radoani, Vittime di Culti o di Anticult? 9 giugno 2008
^ a b c d e f Prove no limits e soldi estorti agli adepti salgono a 11 gli indagati della psico-setta. La Repubblica Ed. Bari. 10 settembre 2008
^ The statement was made by Andrea Vianello during a telecast of Mi manda rai 3, Ottobre 2006
^ The statement is opposed by Vito Carlo Moccia through his lawyer durino the telecast “Terra!”. 14 october 2007 [1]
^ Margaret Singer. Le sette tra noi. Pubblicato nel 1995 da Jossey-Bass Publishers, ISBN 0-7879-0266-7, prefazione di Robert Jay Lifton. Translation of Martini
^ Steven Hassan. Mentalmente liberi: come uscire da una setta. Edizione italiana di: Combatting Cult Mind Control (1991), 300 pagine, Tradotto e pubblicato Avverbi, 1999
^ La gazzetta del mezzogiorno
^ Articolo del Messaggero sul sito del Ce.S.A.P.
a b Mario Aletti. Psicologia della religione e psicosette. Notiziario della Società Italiana di Psicologia della Religione, Anno 13, n. 1- 2, gennaio - agosto 2008.
^ Massimo Introvigne. FAQ sul lavaggio del cervello e la manipolazione mentale. 2005
^ The file would contain personal data of citizens who had called Ce.S.A.P. According to Radoani, this would violate the professional deontology of psychologists and the privacy of the clients.

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