tom9351 on Fri, 20 Mar 1998 18:46:24 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> the Blissett crackdown in Italy

There's an anti-Blissett crackdown going on in Italy. The reason is LB's
book 'Lasciate che i bimbi. "Pedofilia", un pretesto per la caccia alle
streghe' [Let The Children...: Pedophilia as A Pretext for Witch Hunt],
which Castelvecchi Edizioni published in the Autumn of 1997.

The book is the result of a two-year-long counterinvestigation on the
subject of moral panic about child abuse and ritual abuse, and was inspired
by a notorious court case which took place in Bologna, the Dimitri trial
(more or less the Italian version of the infamous 1980's McMartin trial in

During the years 1996-97 the local contingent of the Luther Blissett
Project organised a non-orthodox campaign to free the defendants, whose
body and mind were being destroyed by an unnecessarily long detention.
Those people were obviously innocent, there wasn't any evidence but the
so-called public opinion (incited by the Church and the conservative press)
had already decided that they were little more than bloodsucking monsters.

Combining media hoaxes, private investigations and a meticulous
deconstruction of the media propaganda, Luther Blissett not only managed to
change the whole situation, s/he also exploded the lies of the public
prosecutor Lucia Musti  and exposed the role played in the inquiry by a
powerful catholic lobby group. Eventually the defendants were acquitted,
and LB told the whole story in the book.

Six months after the first edition of 'Lasciate che i bimbi', Lucia Musti,
who is also vice-DA in Bologna, has sued Castelvecchi for having published
the book, as well as two Internet providers for having made the text (which
is anti-copyright) freely downloadable.
According to Musti, LB's book is based upon "character assassination" and a
"misuse of the right of critique". The book contains "slanders" and
"injuries". Musti claims "moral damages", wants the book to be banned and
all the publishers to pay 300 million lire (more or less $ 200,000).
Moreover, she asked the magistrate to sequestrate Castelvecchi's contracts
and accounts in order to find out the name(s) of the real author(s).

It cannot be a coincidence that after the notification of this libel suit
some people involved in the activities of the LBP have been harassed by the
police. For example, the apartment of the owner of the '2mila8' server
(which hosts one of the best LB websites) was searched by the cops. They
found the ashes of some innocuous substance Luther burns while practising
yoga, said that it was probably heroin and arrested Luther. It took four
fucking days to analyze the ashes, while the guy was in jail, and kept in
complete isolation to boot!

Of course Musti's move was not unpredictable: she ruinously lost the
Dimitri trial, ending up in the trashcan of history. It is only obvious
that she can't tolerate the very existence of a book which tells the story
in full details. She'd like to re-build her credibility by repressing that
section of the Luther Blissett Project which challenged the cult cops and a
contemporary version of the Holy Inquisition. This crackdown couldn't be
underestimated, we all witnessed the Bologna District Attorney's techniques
of repression and psychic warfare.
But a libel suit trial obliges to re-construct the context of the libel,
thus we've got yet another chance to re-expose Musti's shameful actions
during the Dimitri trial. There's a permanent meeting of the LBP going on
in Bologna, we're deciding how to handle this mess

We'd like to point out that Musti may have made a big mistake by taking
offence at Internet providers. We suggest you to create dozens, hundreds of
mirror sites of the text 'Lasciate che i bimbi'. Some mirrors are going to
appear on such free servers as Geocities, Tripod, etc. We must encircle the
encirclers, we're all authors and publishers of that book. We invite anyone
who runs a website to mirror (or re-design) the pages with the book on. At
the moment the book is still available at:

Thanks in advance,

Luther Blissett

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