Italy: Boorish and clumsy approach of the secret service… (February 2020)
Every Wednesday, for the past few months, I have been working in Florence, in various clinics scattered throughout the city. When I started, as I didn’t have a website yet, people came to me for information so I hardly saw anyone; one day a man, in his sixties, with a strong Roman accent, contacted me by phone and said he found me on the internet. This seemed strange to me, since I had no facebook, no website, no linkedin, or anything else, but he kept claiming that his wife had a screen on facebook where my name was on it.
During the second session he showed me this printed sheet where my name was actually on it. One of the places where I work, sponsoring his facebook activities, also had my name on it. So, once the mystery was cleared up, the suspicion subsided and the guy started trying to get loved, bringing me cookies, artifacts from his wife and complimenting me on my skills as a therapist; he posed as a human resources officer, then as a skillful interpreter of body language and psychological tricks, and even asked me if I wanted help to sponsor myself on the internet, so I could reach more people, because he said it was a shame that no one knew me; he also advised me not to have attitudes of hostility towards technological innovations, for my own good, and lent me a book of neurolinguistic programming that I accepted so as not to be rude, placing the booklet for two weeks in a drawer and returned it intact to the kindly adviser.
In the following sessions, although he was cured, he said he wanted to continue to come; I advised him to do regular physical activity because I didn’t think he had big physical problems, maybe a yoga class to be able to calm his depressed mood which, given the familiar situation he told me, was more than understandable; He also told me that he felt guilty for the work he was doing, he couldn’t bear to refuse to hire intelligent people, and then having to hire only malleable and servile people, he superficially criticized society with all sorts of obvious, cliché after cliché. I would like to point out that it is very frequent that patients want to tell me personal things and express opinions about anything.
Christmas comes, and he decides to suspend the therapeutic sessions, contrary to what he said, that is, he wants to continue coming. Towards the end of January, he contacts me again, saying that he has back pain. He only has two sessions, the first where he says he has found great relief, and the second, the last, where he arrives with the usual homemade cookies, then he starts to answer my question about his state of health saying: «Eh… how’s it going? Bad. I don’t know who you are». I sit at his invitation, on the other side of the desk, I look at him doubtful, he continues: «Eh Ila’, you know… I have friends at the Ministry of the Interior, I’m from Rome and with my job… I told you about my friend, that I wanted to send to you, I always talk to everyone about you, you cured me… in short, without going around too much, these guys from the Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Interna [AISI, “Internal Security and Information Agency”], they are good guys, I can assure you, believe me… they would like to talk to you, what should I tell them?». I answer with the coldness that I am allowed, little, asking to explain myself better, and I ask him what he said about me, continuing to pretend not to understand why these “good guys” want to talk to me. He continues: «See, I told him that you’re an internal, very catch down, you’re someone who doesn’t miss anything, if you know how to do things…». I insist asking what it means to be an internal or a catch down person, he replies that they are languages for experts, he continues with a series of adjectives such as introspective, closed, difficult to understand, cryptic, and other words I don’t remember… I continue saying that this doesn’t seem to be a reason to bring someone of AISI from Rome to Florence to talk to me. He continues: «Ila’ you know me, you’ve even seen me in my underwear, you know I’m sincere, I advise you to talk to them, for your own good…». I thought that if I could still remain calm, without responding to such provocation, it would be, as Calvino says, to demand to make the sea go through a funnel, so I bill him for the sessions and get him out and tell him that I never want to see him again, the guy tells me that he doesn’t want to give up my treatment, that I misunderstood, that he has nothing to do with it and blah blah blah… I close the door behind him, I hope for good.
This report wants to be as precise as possible, I don’t think it’s useful to add any further comments, I think it’s useful instead that the comrades are aware of what happened. For anarchy always.
Ilaria from Florence[Translated text received via e-mail].