Rome, Italy, Jan 12, 2010 / 19:09 pm America/Denver (CNA).
In Italy, the pre-Christmas release of the book "The Courage to Speak Out - Stories of ex-Scientologists" was met with a promise from the National Church of Scientology of Italy to bring legal action against the author and "whomever has assisted her." A spokeswoman for the book's publisher told CNA that, as of yet, no such action has been taken against them.
"The Courage to Speak Out" includes stories from 14 ex-members of the Church of Scientology. It is the second volume from Maria Pia Gardini that relates first-hand perspectives from inside this church. The first edition, titled "My Years in Scientology," was based on her own time as a member.
Both books were co-authored by Alberto Laggia and put into print by the Italian publishing house of Pauline Publications, run by the Daughters of St. Paul. The religious order, started by James Alberione in 1915, has a worldwide presence and is dedicated to using modern communication media to spread the Gospel and promote a message of peace, solidarity and fraternity. As a part of their work they operate publishing houses and book stores across the globe.
The publication of the latest volume from Gardini was so ill-received by the National Church of Scientology of Italy that following its release, Luigi Brambani, from the organization's local public affairs office, released a statement threatening legal action against Maria Pia Gardini and "whomever has assisted her with activities that the Church considers detrimental to its image."
Brambani's Dec. 8 message also alleged that Gardini "has for years publicly spread falsehoods and libel, creating and encouraging a climate of hatred and discrimination against the Church of Scientology."