I have been putting off writing this testimonial for a long time for several reasons, one because Damanhur is a very complex phenomenon and even those inside the community have problems understanding it and two, because the experience has left me with such a profound sense of betrayal that I am still struggling with it on a daily basis.
I do not consider myself a stupid or naïve person, I have traveled the world, I am well-educated, I knew it was wise to keep away from groups like the “Moonies” and Scientology and quite honestly the idea of living in a community was my idea of hell. And yet I spent more than twelve years of my life as a devoted Damanhurian and follower of Oberto Airaudi – Falco.
Damanhurian tales of time travel intrigued me and the fantastic paintings of Atlantis by Dovilio Brero fired my imagination. It was easy to believe Falco’s accounts of his journeys through time and his dream of creating a new civilization that would bring peace and equality. I wanted to be part of it, I wanted to travel in time, I wanted to be a builder of temples, to create a new society full of art and poetry, justice and kindness one that would herald the beginning of a new and golden age. I wanted to feel I was on a special mission; I wanted to feel that in this life I had made a real contribution to creating a better world.
I was told it was not easy to become a Damanhurian and that of course made me all the more determined. I was told that Damanhur was very selective and that made my intention even stronger. I was eager to please, eager to be accepted and I completely ignored all the warning signs (that are only too clear to me now), in my desperate desire to become a member of Damanhur’s chosen elite.
The Temple of Humankind was a great fascination but it could only be accessed by resident ‘A’ citizens as is the case with many of the sacred sites such as the ‘Baita’ temple where all the magic operations are secretly carried out. I knew that only ‘A’ level citizens counted in Falco’s eyes and I was not going to settle for anything less. I so wanted to be a part of it all and I was completely taken in by the fact that everyone in Damanhur believed in everything they were told. What I considered incredible science fiction was just a part of everyday life to Damanhurians. I no longer paid attention to warning voices from outside the community, how could they know, they were not part of this fantastic world that I had discovered for myself. I felt as if I had ‘come home’ as if I had found my true destiny: my mission in life.
I now see Damanhur as a collective illusion, fired by the enthusiasm of its idealistic members and maintained through a communal form of suggestion practiced by its charismatic leader Falco. The longer I stayed the more I wanted to believe in it and the collective illusion took over my mind. Damanhur is a self-perpetuating fantasy world that preys on idealists and spiritual seekers, subtly sucking them into a psychological vortex from which it is almost impossible to escape. Once in the downward spiral, climbing out requires enormous strength and clarity of mind. Few have managed it. Most die inside, psychologically and energetically, surrendering their autonomy to the voracious and fast moving Damanhurian machine.
And Falco controls every aspect of the machine like a Wizard of Oz, regularly creating new illusions to keep his followers on the chosen path. You can take your pick from hosting aliens in your body, to controlling the demons of the underworld, from launching time satellites that prospect the future, to moving planetary masses. There is something for every taste. If you prefer manual labor there is the Temple of Humankind to build because 90% still remains to be constructed and despite the fact there is no planning permission, halls continue to be built at night in secret just as they have always been. Nowadays no one worries too much about the legal consequences because the local mayor is a Damanhurian and it’s not as if he is going to denounce his own people.
Yes, whatever your sci-fi dream or desire, Falco, it seems, can accommodate you.
Ancient languages, esoteric knowledge, ritual magic, talking with the gods, secret initiations, time travel, the Grail presence, gorilla entities from other dimensions, magic instruments, paintings with alien intelligences, alien technology, ‘cabins’ to make you younger, ‘micro-attractors’ that instruct your body to heal itself, perfumed papers that encourage new character traits, magic stones to remind you of your mission in life. All of which carry expensive price tags… of course.
And what is a Damanhurian’s real mission? Many citizens have yet to work it out. The realization can be very painful, most wobble in and out of denial for years, few are able to accept it.
A Damanhurian’s mission is not to save the planet from disaster in the year 2600 by separating the planes and maintaining a new time line as is communally thought … No, no, a Damanhurian’s mission in life is to create wealth for Falco: work seven days a week for low or no pay, support Damanhur financially by paying at least 500-600 Euro a month in taxes, donate all presently owned and inherited property to the community and give your life for Damanhur should it be required. All ‘A’ citizens swear a public oath to that effect, so there is no going back on it.
A Damanhurian’s mission is always to smile, be optimistic, write endless personal reports, be obedient at all times, never question the system, accept everything as part of your spiritual path, no matter how humiliating, degrading and dishonest it may be. Vote as instructed by Falco in Damanhurian, local and national elections and last but not least, if you are female, young and beautiful, be sexually available in case Falco needs your vital energy for his alchemical magic.
It is hard to believe that I accepted such repressive conditions for so long. But, I had become a ‘believer’, a believer in a system that no one wants to call a religion but a believer all the same. My mind, my dreams, my ideals and aspirations were all subtly and carefully manipulated. Where is the Damanhur I had imagined at the beginning? I now realize it will never exist because everything is designed to keep Damanhurians poor, in health, wealth and energy so that Falco can become richer and more powerful in every respect.
Life in Damanhur is nothing like the presentations you see in magazines, videos and on TV; it is a mind control cult, not a spiritual community. This was brought home to me when I realized that it was better to keep my doubts about the nature of the community to myself. No one around me could be trusted or confided in, any adverse comments I made always found their way to the heads of the Federation or the Meditation School. It took me a long time to really understand what I was involved in and when I did, the psychological impact was devastating. Damanhur is a clever piece of deception, a cruel sci-fi illusion that has made one person rich by manipulating and impoverishing the lives of many.
It should carry a health warning – funnily enough like the one found on cigarette packets (in Damanhur smoking is forbidden):
“This community will seriously damage your health.”
Take your ideals elsewhere – Damanhur “kills”.
Posted to the Damanhur forum of http://www.cesap.net 2008/02/15 05:16 under the title: ‘Porta i tuoi ideali altrove – Damanhur uccide‘