Let the Children Play 1

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From: tom9351@iperbole.bologna.it
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 17:15:28 +0100 (MET) X-Sender: tom9351@pop.iperbole.bologna.it (Unverified) Mime-Version: 1.0
To: nettime-l@Desk.nl
Subject: 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 California).

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 offense 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: http://www.ecn.org/deviazioni/
http://www.2mila8.com/luther
http://www.http://www.sexonline.cybercore.com/tortuga/

Thanks in advance,

Luther Blissett

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