Introduction Page

Short, but very useful, text that explains who Ontopsychologist are and how they act.

    Antonio - "Tonino" - Meneghetti was born in Avezzano, a village in the mountains of central Italy, in 1936. At a very young age, he became a Franciscan friar. He was ordained a priest. 
    After having been sent as assistant parish priest to a parish in the province of Terni, he fell in love with Loretta Lorenzini, abandoned the priesthood and, together with her, set up the foundations of his supposed scientific revelation: ontopsychology. Leaving a mark in the meantime of his exit from the Church, since he was accused in court of stealing works of art from his own church. 


Meneghetti performing in a convention 

    The first official School of Ontopsychology was set up in 1972. Six years later, the Italian Association of Ontopsychology (AIO) was established. 
    The countless and confused writings of the founder fail to give a clear picture of the association; and the official purposes laid down in the articles of association, with various Chambers of Commerce, are extremely vague. 
    It is also entirely useless to try to make out what Ontopsychology is by looking at their web sites or their publications: the former especially change all the time. 
    However, Ontopsychologists present themselves as an alternative, holistic school of psychology, which tries to find its way into every possible milieu, using credentials which nearly always turn out to be false. 
    Meneghetti considers himself an expert on everything. From psychology to philosophy, from theology to epistemology, from cooking to painting, from music to architecture, from fashion to literature, from "leaderistic" training to interior decoration, plus a lot more... he calls himself, and demands that others always call him, a great genius, indeed "the only living genius on our planet". 

    He also established a publishing house, called "Ontopsicologica". After meeting with a few problems, this changed its name to the more neutral "Psicologica Editrice" which almost exclusively prints works by Tonino, in various tongues. 
    The group settled down in a picturesque village in Umbria, Pissignano di Campello on the Clitunno river, which they restored and set up the first residential community of Ontopsychology. Besides Campello, Ontopsychology opened offices in various countries (some of these attempts failed) including Brazil, Russia, Slovenia, Uruguay, China and Greece, as well as various towns in Italy, such as Milan, Rome and Bologna. New followers were recruited by the tireless work of the members, ready to face financial ruin in order to promote the myth of the great scientist Meneghetti and the rich lifestyle of his wife, Loretta Lorenzini. Funds are raised by promoting "psychology residences" and training sessions, psychological advisory services, the sale of book and works of "ontoart", extremely expensive exhibitions and conferences. 

    The followers are generally forced to abandon all family ties (parents, relatives, spouses, children, friends) and to be involved with the cult alone, in order to achieve what is called their total emancipation. 
    They are told that their loved ones are vampires who steal their life energy. 
    The ideology combines Biblical motifs with ufology, psychology and occultism, in an ably brewed blend. 
    All the income and assets of the followers are taken over by the organization, and those who intend to leave the group are threatened and blackmailed, and live in a state of terror. 
    Some people who lived for years inside the organization have had to undergo psychiatric treatment, and others have lost their lives by obstinately entrusting themselves to the "holistic" and imaginative health remedies of the scientist Meneghetti and his wife Lorenzini. 
    Meneghetti has often been indicted for various crimes, but he has always managed to slip through legal loopholes. In 1981, the Rome daily "Paese sera" published a large scale investigation into Meneghetti and his organization, after various legal complaints and appeals by parents desperate because of losing their children to the cult. The investigation led to the arrest of Meneghetti, his wife Loretta and other leaders who, however, were all released a month later. 
    The association took on a new dynamism, and began to expand almost irresistibly, since nobody took the time to carry out a thorough investigation on the activities of the group or on the criminal record of 
its leaders. 
    In October 1991, the cult again made the headlines Meneghetti was accused and later condemned for killing a young follower of his, Marina Furlan, along the coast of Sardinia. Many other accusations were submitted before various courts in Italy, but the proceedings were never taken up, both because nobody paid enough attention, and especially because many people were terrified at the thought of appearing as witnesses in court against the group. 

    In 1998 the Ministry of the Interior Prevention Police listed Ontopsychology among the dangerous cults of our country in a public report. 
    The cult always counter-attacked in the same way, immediately suing anybody who mentioned the association without being a member, in order to create an atmosphere of fear among people who were not willing to run risks for so little. 
 In Brazil, Ontopsychology is considered to be a cult, and its practice is forbidden by the official organizations of psychologists: anyone calling himself an ontopsychologist is held to breach the professional ethics. 
    Several legal proceedings against the organization are underway in Brazil. 
    The cult opens and closes its offices in an incredibly fast way, changing names, theories and official purposes, in order to escape surveillance by the law and criticism. 



© Copyright Joseph Inca - 2002-2003