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Scientology Prevents an Ex-Scientologist from Speaking on Italian TV

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Reports from Newspapers, Blogs, and ' started by mnql1, Aug 27, 2011.

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  1. mnql1

    mnql1 Patron Meritorious

    The August 26, 2011 edition of the 2-hour Italian TV program Cominciamo bene estate (RAI 3) was devoted to the subject of cults in Italy. Scientology prevented the broadcast of a segment about a person's experience in Scientology because of an ongoing lawsuit by Scientology against that person.

    The YouTube clip below shows one of the program's hosts explaining why the person's story cannot be aired:

    Scientology Prevents an Ex-Scientologist from Speaking on Italian TV
    Scientology Prevents an Ex-Scientologist from Speaking on Italian TV
  2. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    Can you say who the person is?
  3. mnql1

    mnql1 Patron Meritorious

    The person was not named.
  4. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    So there is no press on someone involved in a court case with Scientology in Italy, such as that elderly rich Italian woman who's name eludes me right now, Giardini or some such?
  5. MrNobody

    MrNobody Who needs merits?

    Maria Pia Gardini? The lady who once was rich and [STRIKE]lost[/STRIKE] gave it all to the cult? Her story must be somewhere here on ESMB, and there's a video IIRC
  6. Operating DB

    Operating DB Truman Show Dropout

    try googling her name. I'm sure something will come up. I think she has a video on Operation Clambake.
  7. Karen#1

    Karen#1 Gold Meritorious Patron

    Maria Pia Gardini's Story

    In answer to above queries ~~

    Maria explains how Scientology used high pressure
    tactics to defraud her out of $2 million.

    Declaration #2
    Declaration: Maria Pia Gardini

    I, Maria Pia Gardini declare as follows:

    1. I am over the age of 18 years.

    2. The statements herein are of my own personal knowledge
    and if called upon as a witness, I can testify competently

    3. My name is Maria Pia Gardini. I am an Italian citizen. The
    Flag Service Organization defrauded me of $1,000,000
    while I was working on their staff as a highly trained Class
    IX auditor.

    4. On the 21st of December, 1991, Tito Mazza, who was the
    Flag Service I/C [in charge] in Italy, and Marco Puggelli,
    who was a Flag FSM [field staff member], came to my home
    in Italy seeking a donation for a Class VIII project at Flag.
    Shortly after they arrived, Debbie Cook, the Commanding
    Officer for the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater,
    Florida, called on the telephone concerning this same project.
    She told me the cost of executing the program was 2 million
    dollars U.S. and she wanted me to finance the entire project.
    I told her I would never give them 2 million dollars whereupon
    she said she knew I would inherit a large sum of money from
    my mother's death just 10 days before and felt I should give
    them the money. I continued to say no and asked them to
    leave. They would not but stayed and continued badgering
    me. Finally, one of them took me into a side room and told
    me if I just gave them a check to prove to the Captain of Flag
    that I was a good scientologist they would leave. They
    repeatedly told me I should be a good scientologist and give
    them the money. I was also at this time very vulnerable. My
    daughter had died one year before and my mother had now
    died 10 days before. I was alone in the world. I finally gave
    them a check for $30,000 and they left. At that point I told
    them not to return asking me for money.

    5. The morning after, my maid came into my bedroom and
    told me there were two people sleeping in a car in my
    garden. I got dressed and went to see who it was. There I
    found two sea org members whom I recognized as working
    for Flag and the Flag Ship Service Org. When I approached
    the car to tell them they could not come into my garden in
    the middle of the night, they got out of the car and asked
    me for coffee. I took them into the house and gave them
    coffee. They then fell asleep in my home. Around ten o'clock,
    I received a phone call from Debbie Cook, who told me I
    had not given enough money and I needed to give more to
    the two staff members at my home. She went on and on
    about the project needing my help, that Italy was really
    down and it could be the first Clear country etc. Finally, I
    gave another $50,000.

    6. In Spring of 1992, I returned to Flag. The day after I
    arrived, I went back to work as an auditor in the Sand
    Castle hotel. That afternoon, at 2:00 p.m., I was called by
    Captain Debbie Cook to go to the registrar area in the Fort
    Harrison hotel. I am sure this day was Wednesday. When I
    arrived Captain Cook was sitting in a small, back room
    accompanied by Piers Almquist and a CMO messenger. I was
    directed to go into the room and the door was closed behind

    7. After the door was closed, Debbie Cook said to me "We
    want to know how we can help you in your inheritance cycle."
    This was to speed up my receiving the inheritance. I told her
    I had my family lawyer and other professionals taking care of
    things and that I needed Italian professionals taking care of
    it, not Americans. She said they knew I had a beautiful villa
    and other nice things and that I really needed to help with the
    Italian Class VIIII project. I told her I could not give any
    more money; my money was in Italy and my banker would
    need my signature. She told me they would arrange for
    scientologists in America and Italy to loan me money, then I
    could return to Italy later and get the money to pay them
    back. She also wanted me to call my banker right then and
    find out how much money I could take out of Italy at that

    8. At this point, I didn't know what to do. I told her it was too
    late in Italy for me to call the bank and I would call in the
    morning and talk to my banker to see how much money I
    had in my accounts. Upon this promise of mine to call my
    banker in Italy, they let me leave the room. I then returned
    to work.

    9. The next morning at 8:00 a.m. I was preparing for work
    when I was told not to start working but to return to the Fort
    Harrison. I did this, and when I arrived at the Fort Harrison
    I was directed to the same little room. Inside waiting for me
    were the following people:

    Debbie Cook -- Captain FSO
    Piers Almquist - a registrar
    David Foster - a registrar
    Pilar Saldiariagga - Commodores Messenger
    John Lundeen -- Supervisor of the registrars
    Chiara Staples - my FSM

    10. Chiara had been called in and asked to lend me money.
    She had $50,000 in cash in a bag and told me she would
    loan me the money if I promised to pay her back as soon as
    I returned to Italy and received my inheritance. Under
    pressure, I agreed to do this. Almost immediately, Dave
    Foster told me that this amount was not enough.

    11. Debbie Cook then had an idea. She suggested that
    "Teresa", the wife of Gerald Bloom, who was a Class V C/S,
    could also lend me money. Teresa was called in and asked
    to loan me money. She also said she did not have money
    in the USA. Teresa was asked to call her mother in
    Switzerland to arrange to loan me $100,000. The money was
    eventually transferred from Switzerland to the Flag Accounts.
    I was praised and told to go back to work, which I did.

    12. On the following Thursday morning, I was again called by
    Captain Cook and told to go to her office in the Coachman
    building. When I arrived she and John Lundeen and another
    staff member who was an MAA and was also Italian were
    waiting for me. It was before 9:00 a.m. and they wanted
    more money. They pushed and pushed me saying I must
    help Italy get the LRH materials. They asked me to call my
    bank in Italy and talk to the director to see how much money
    was available to me. I could not lie to him because they put
    the phone call on speakerphone and of course the other
    Italian staff member could understand what was being said.
    The bank director told me that I had just received money
    into my account from selling a large piece of real estate. I
    tried to tell the director that I needed that money for
    inheritance tax, but he told me I had more than enough to
    cover it. So they now knew I had money in my account. The
    Captain told me to ask how much I could have sent to the
    United States without my signature. He said if I faxed him
    my signature and a copy of my ID, I could have all the
    money I wanted. I wanted to kill this bank director, but of
    course he didn't know what was going on.

    13. At this point, I ended up transferring $300,000 to the Flag
    Land Base. I was very upset by this transaction and by the
    fact that I was then highly commended at the staff meeting
    for having donated so much. The whole staff clapped for me,
    however I felt terrible and promised myself that this was it.
    I would give no more money. I was also given other benefits
    due to this contribution. For example I had been asking for
    a lighter schedule for months due to a heart condition. Regular
    Flag staff hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. It was not
    until after I had made this contribution that a lighter schedule
    was finally approved for me.

    14. I then asked to return to Italy in order to see my attorneys
    and finalize my inheritance and to visit my granddaughter. I
    requested a leave of absence. I was told that it was okay to
    leave, but before I left they wanted me to make my total
    donation one million dollars and asked for the balance to
    add to the previous donations. This was all for the Italian
    Class VIII translation of materials and to pay for people to
    come from Italy to Flag to train. Throughout the day I spoke
    with my seniors in the organization and begged to go back
    to Italy. I tried very hard to avoid the issue of money. This
    was in September.

    15. One Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m., High Levy showed
    up at my home. He told me that I had to come right away
    to the Fort Harrison because they needed me. I arrived at
    the Fort Harrison and was taken downstairs. In a room
    awaiting me were Captain Cook and Dave Foster.

    16. They told me that Tito Mazza (who was one of the first
    two men who came to my home in Italy) was on the phone
    from Italy. Tito told me that the Italian statistics were down
    and they really needed my money. He told me he had found
    someone who could lend me $200,000. He said he would go
    to the person in Italy and the two of them would call me back
    in America and we would do a conference call. He did this,
    going to the house of Franco Baggio, who happened to be
    one of my pcs. Mr. Baggio told me he could loan the $200,000,
    however, he needed to get it from the bank. He also told me
    he needed the loan paid off in one month. I did not agree to
    do this and the Captain and Dave Foster badgered and
    harassed me until I finally just hung up the phone.

    17. At this point, somebody called the Captain out of the
    room, leaving just Dave Foster and me in the room. Mr.
    Foster started yelling at me, becoming as red as a lobster
    and getting so upset I thought he was going to have a heart
    attack. He wanted me to give the money. He told me I was
    not a good Scientologist; that my money was Wog money
    and needed to go to scientology; and that I was unethical.
    I kept refusing to give any more money. Finally, Dave Foster
    slapped me in the face. I began to cry.

    18. The Captain FSO then returned to the room. I told her
    Dave Foster had slapped me. Dave Foster denied it. Captain
    FSO then immediately began asking me again for more
    money. They kept badgering me, insinuating that if I wanted
    to go home to Italy, I had better give the money. Soon, I was
    an emotional mess. I wanted out of that room and to go home
    to Italy. It was apparent to me that neither would happen if I
    did not agree: so, I finally agreed to give them whatever money
    they wanted. At that point they again called Franco Baggio and
    I told him to give the money. Franco then wrote a check and gave
    it to Tito Mazza, who took the check to Luxembourg and put it
    into a Flag account there. Only after this did they let me out of
    the room. I then returned to work.

    19. I now wanted to leave for Italy, but OSA was holding my
    passport and though I had asked for its return every night for
    twenty days, they would not give it to me. I finally went to the
    Captain FSO at the end of October. I begged to be able to
    return to Italy so I could get the money to pay everybody
    back. Also during this time I was sick with worry because they
    had told me they wanted one million dollars and they hadn't
    yet gotten that out of me. So every Thursday I was terrified
    that I would again be called in and forced to give more money.

    20. The Captain finally ok'd the return of my passport. Soon
    after getting it, I was again called into a meeting in the
    Captain's Office in the Coachman building. The Captain told
    me to write a CSW to go to Italy and get it signed by all of my
    seniors and bring it back to Snr. Staff HCO and then to her.
    This was the end of October. At this time she asked me if I
    had any more money in the bank. I admitted that I did (lying
    to the Captain is an overt). She told me the stats were down
    and I needed to again contribute money. I was so anxious to
    get my CSW signed so I could leave, I again wrote a check for
    Flag. This was for $25,000 written on my account at 1st
    National Bank (Amsouth) in Clearwater.

    21. After this, I tried and tried to get everyone to approve
    my CSW to go home to Italy. Towards the end of November,
    I received all necessary approvals. I finally left for Italy in
    early December.

    22. When I arrived in Italy, my attorney told me that before
    the 12th of December I had to pay the inheritance taxes.
    I paid the taxes and then found that nothing was left in the
    bank. I decided I had to sell some property, as I was now
    virtually penniless.

    23. I then called Mr. Baggio and told him that I was not able
    to repay his loan immediately. He was furious. I explained
    that I had given all of my money to Flag. He didn't care.

    24. In January of 1993, I called Flag and told them that I
    couldn't return as I was broke and was trying to sell property.
    I spoke with Debbie Cook. Her suggestion was that I put the
    property in the name of Scientology America, and they would
    sell the property and pay back all of the loans I had taken to
    pay FSO. I told her this was not possible as the property was
    not fully in my name, but also in the name of my
    granddaughter, who was a minor, and another relative.
    Because my granddaughter was a minor, the court would
    represent her in any sale and put the money aside for her use.

    25. Debbie then directed me to stay in Italy to sell the property,
    and while I was there to continue working for Flag as a
    "missionaire." She said I should audit people from my home.
    She would send the clients to me. She said there were a lot
    of Italian people in disagreement with Scientology who would
    not go into an org but would come to my home or I could go
    to theirs. So the people would pay Flag and I would audit
    them in Italy. Of course, I got paid nothing to do this work.

    26. I now began to sell my art and antiques just to survive
    until I finally sold the property. I was then able to repay all
    the money borrowed on my behalf. Franco Baggio charged
    me 22% interest on the money. This had never been
    discussed or agreed to between us.

    27. As soon as I paid Mr. Baggio, I received a call from
    Captain FSO. She said she knew I had sold my property.
    She called me directly because I had previously screamed
    into the phone at another staff member, saying I was sick
    of getting calls from Flag and to leave me alone. Debbie
    Cook asked me at this time to pay the balance of the $1
    million she wanted. I refused. She then told me I had to
    return to Flag. I said I could not. I reminded her I was doing
    all sorts of auditing in Italy. She insisted I return to Flag. I
    still refused.

    28. About two weeks later I was in Milano to audit some OT
    VII's. At this time I was mentally a mess. My mother had
    died, my daughter had died, my cousin had committed suicide,
    I had given all of my money to Flag and my families business
    had lost all of its assets. While I was in Milano, Tito Mazza
    and John Lundeen bothered me about making further
    donations. I finally broke down and wrote a check for the
    balance to make up $1 million. At this point, I had paid a
    total of one million dollars to Flag and $40,000 to Franco
    Baggio for interest.

    29. Debbie Cook then called again to tell me I had not yet
    made one million dollars. Per their account it was only
    $960,000. I told her by my count it was one million forty
    thousand. That was it. I refused to give any more.

    30. At this time, my family began expressing concern for
    my mental state, saying they believed I was crazy for
    throwing away all of my money to Scientology. One relative
    was trying to convince my attorneys that I was completely
    insane. This created a great deal of difficulty for me. At this
    time I decided to never return to work at Flag. My life was
    a living hell.

    31. I called Debbie Cook and told her I was not coming
    back to work. Three days later, John Lundeen arrived at
    my home with Chiara. These two insisted I pay the remainder
    of money to make my donation for one million. This was
    insane. I could stand it no more. I told them to take any
    money they wanted, I didn't care. My nerves were gone at
    this point. I was totally broken. I gave them another $50,000.

    32. As far as leaving staff, I wanted to do it properly per the
    policies of the FSO. So I returned in January or February of
    1994 to route out. I expected this to take about one week.
    It took two months. This organization did a Board of
    Investigation on me because I wanted to leave staff. The
    result of this action was that I was not qualified for the
    Sea Org. Therefore, they now kicked me out. After all
    of the money I had given them and all of the auditing I had
    done and my high training, I was found not qualified.

    33. Also, while I was doing this routing out, I noticed that
    there was not one Italian in the Class VIII classroom
    studying. This is what I had paid the one million for. I had
    been told that my donations were for Italians, yet in the
    course room were all kinds of people but Italians. I went to
    Debbie Cook and told her she had lied to me. I said right
    then that I wanted all of my money back. Debbie responded
    that they were at that point in time translating the material
    into Italian so my money could be used to "free Italians."
    Two years later, materials were still not translated into Italian.

    34. When I finally returned to Italy, I found my situation
    was terrible. My attorney told me to sell the family villa.
    All the money was gone and I could no longer afford it. I
    sold the villa and gave some of this money to my
    granddaughter and about half a million to my son-in-law.

    35. At the end of 1994, I returned to Clearwater to sell a
    condo I owned in Island Estates. At that time I went to the
    Fort Harrison to visit Chiara. When I walked in, a registrar
    for the Super Power project, Charmaigne, and another
    registrar for special properties grabbed me and sat me
    down. They asked me for money. I said no…but they would
    not let me leave. I was at this point completely unable to
    deal with these demands for money, even though I knew it
    was harming me. I gave $20,000 to Charmaigne for super
    power project. I then went to Chiara's house and hid out.

    36. After I sold my condo, I went to Amsouth bank to get
    some money. When I came out of the bank two officers from
    Scientology Special Properties in Los Angeles were waiting
    for me. They wanted money to help put LRH materials into
    titanium so it could be preserved for eternity. They asked
    me to come to the top floor of the Fort Harrison to see the
    new special properties. I just wanted to go to Italy, now. I
    had my ticket in my pocket. I still had to empty my condo
    and get out. I asked them to leave me be. I told them to
    leave me alone or I would die here in America. But they
    said, "Let's go" and escorted me to the Fort Harrison where
    they badgered me for the money. Again, I lost my will and
    just wrote them a check. I gave them $25,000 from the
    condo sale.

    37. After this, I went to the bank, emptied the account and
    I left for home. While I was at the airport in Miami awaiting
    my connecting flight to Milan, I sat in the VIP waiting room
    having a coffee. I received a call. I was told there was
    someone crying on the phone. Immediately I worried that
    it was my granddaughter and something was wrong at home.

    38. The person crying on the phone was Chiara at Flag.
    She told me that Charmaigne had her locked in a room
    and was badgering her, telling her she had to give them
    $100,000 in my name for the superpower project. They
    wouldn't believe Chiara when she told them I was already
    gone. They told her to prove it, and thus Chiara was
    calling me. I then had to verify for Charmaigne over the
    phone that I was indeed in Miami.

    39. Charmaigne at once told me to return to Flag. I told
    her no. Finally, I was yelling into the phone. I told her I
    could give her not one penny more and that if Chiara gave
    her the $100,000 I would not pay it back, but Charmaigne
    would have to repay it herself.

    40. I returned to Italy. My life was very difficult now. I had
    little money and again had to sell property to pay my
    daily expenses.

    41. In early 1995, I called Debbie Cook. I told her that now
    I needed help from her. I was an OT VIII class IX auditor
    who had given over one million dollars to Scientology. I
    never spoke to Debbie. Never once would she come on the
    phone to speak to me.

    42. Now, I started to write to her. I also started writing
    CLO and phoning OSA in Italy and asking for my money
    back. I wrote and called many times saying I wanted all
    one million. I was ignored. I then decided to go to court.

    43. My family attorney wrote to the CLO Italy. The response
    was for Flag to send Ellen Almquist to me in Italy to audit
    me. I refused to be audited. For three days she stayed at
    my home and tried to get me into session. I would not go.
    She finally went away. Shortly thereafter, they sent another
    auditor, one whom I was very fond of and with whom I had
    previously worked. I still refused. In fact, when he prepared
    a room to audit me, I took a bottle of whisky in with me and
    said, "Ok. I am ready to audit." He soon left.

    44. In 1994 Debbie Cook bought a new, $40,000 car. She
    told me it was her FSM commission as she was the FSM on
    my cycle. This is against the policies of Scientology as far as
    I know. In fact, everyone who worked on this gathering of
    the $1 million took commissions from this.

    45. During this time, I started drinking too much, just to
    forget all that I had been through. Now, the CLO wrote to my
    attorney and said I had to get my money back from Flag,
    not them. My attorney then told me I could sue them from
    Italy. When Flag found out that I was suing, they started
    looking into my financial situation. At this point, I wanted
    ALL money I had given to Flag. So, I called their attorney in
    Rome. They proposed a meeting with my attorney to come
    to some form of agreement.

    46. Their attorney set the time of the meeting one day before
    a sale at my home to raise money. They had gone to a public
    registry and obtained information on my financial situation.

    47. At this meeting in Rome in their attorney's office was
    myself, a person from CLO Italy, my attorney, the daughter
    of their attorney, a woman from OSA Flag and a staff member
    from Roma Org. For the whole afternoon we discussed the
    situation. In the end, the woman from OSA told me they knew
    I was in a terrible financial bind and she offered me a check
    for 250 million lira ($180,000). She said either I agree or I will
    get nothing. She spoke in English and my attorney could not
    understand this. I was really at the point of losing the last of
    what I had. I asked the woman if I took the money, would I
    still be in good standing with the church. She said yes. I didn't
    want to go back, but I also didn't want them all against me.
    I felt they were dangerous people. I also told her I still had
    $29,000 in my account at Flag and I wanted that returned.
    She said I would still be able to get that returned per the
    church policy.

    48. I then accepted the check. We agreed that I would then
    receive two more checks in the same amount. I signed an
    agreement, which was in English. I asked for a copy. They
    said it had to go to Flag and they would send my copy with
    the second payment. They never sent it and I have still
    never received a copy.

    49. When the third payment arrived, it was for 240 million,
    not 250. I asked where are the other ten million liras. Their
    attorney said it had been given to my attorney.

    50. Now, after I had received this money for repayment of
    half of what I had given for the Class VIII Italian project, I
    decided to get the money left on account at Flag. I called FSO
    and asked to come back. I was told that I could not return to
    Flag. I was not in good standing with the church. I soon also
    received a letter from the Ship saying I was a "refund."
    I have never yet received a refund from the Ship Org.

    51. I have been cheated by this organization. I want my
    money on accounts refunded; I want my money donated
    to the Super Power project returned to me. I want the
    other $500,000 returned to me. I have written them and
    they are not willing to help me. They in fact have told me
    that am trying to extort money from them. My attorney in
    Italy did say that the agreement had no legal standing in Italy.

    I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United
    States of America and the state of Florida that the foregoing
    is true and correct.

    Executed in Clearwater, Florida this 19th day of January 2001.

    Maria Pia Gardini
  8. Karen#1

    Karen#1 Gold Meritorious Patron

    And here are the videos and images of her.
    Her Publishing company on her books (whistle blowing on ABUSE were Published by a Vatican connected Publisher called

    The Daughters of St. Paul’s publishing house.

    I do not know the updated legal status.


    If the "Church" of Scientology is in litigation with her and thinks that it will win a Jury decision in their favor against on Vatican soil ~~ well I think that is arrogance !
  9. mnql1

    mnql1 Patron Meritorious

    Posted by Maria Pia Gardini on Aug. 27, 2011 on the Italian EXSCN forum (translation):
    Occulto Italia by Gianni Del Vecchio and Stefano Pitrelli is a recent book about cults in Italy. Stefano Pitrelli appeared on the program.

    Arkeon is a controversial Italian personal growth movement.
  10. secretiveoldfag

    secretiveoldfag Silver Meritorious Patron

    More power to her! With enemies like Maria Pia Gardini the Scientology cult needs all the lies it can muster.