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The ''Cult'' Nonsense Allegations Against EOF Project


Response to some ridiculous allegations published on line about EOF Project. 


Usually I do not embark myself in online dramas, people's pettiness and digital stupidity, particularly because in most cases is merely a futile waste of intellectual and life energies and because any fool has today the opportunity to use the internet in order to set up pages and blogs aimed to twist facts and slander somebody else. However, considering the allegations that have been raised and claimed about me and EOF project I came to the decision to expose these things and undertake as well legal actions against the accusers.

The EOF Project is an organization entirely based on values and initiatives such as applied rationality, critical thinking, humanism, secularism, education, metaeducation, memetics and reason and consequentially it is 100% against any type of cult activity, sect, secret society, organized unsound beliefs, faiths, ideologies, mysticism, new age, spirituality, religions or whatever cult-alike practice whatsoever.
As a matter of fact a part of EOF also consists in promoting and helping with the recovery from cults, new age thinking, demi-cults, sectarian mindsets and religious / ideological thinking in any of its aspects and psycho-social manipulations. The willingness to talk about cults, to raise cult awareness and to expose the dangerousness of cult activities is sacrosanct and dutiful, however one has to be very well informed about what a cult really is and what a cult actually does. Everybody can call himself or herself a ''cult expert'' and eventually see cult activity everywhere there is a suspicious gathering of people, online groups or a group of pigeons too, but the matter and the study of cults, the solid
investigation in the psychological reasons why people get sucked into cults, the danger, insanity and cunning tricks of the cult leaders' mentality, and the rational solutions plus prevention we can provide, are all SERIOUS THINGS, not a series of confabulations thrown on some social media pages so to get some attention, to hurt somebody out of personal vendettas with bombastic but fundamentally stupid accusations or to merely invent and identify an enemy to blame instead of reasoning carefully about our own flaws and confusions. In other words: the investigation about cults requires no ignorance about such a serious matter, neither subjective positions, and must focus instead on evidence-based claims, objective allegations and indisputable presence of dangers.

Being the founder of EOF Project I found dutiful to write and publish this article out of the necessity to clarify the ridiculous allegations raised by a person called Melissa Houghton who has been a former friend, former client and former room mate of mine.
Facebook account:
I do not intend to write a book about this so I will keep it short and very clear.
I can prove each one of the points that will follow (witnesses, mails and such).
All of this material will be used in court against Melissa Houghton (US citizen) and Steve Andrews (her husband at the time of the events) (UK citizen).
Facebook account:



I came across Melissa in 2013 when she contacted us (my former partner and I) and decided to have sessions.
Soon enough she realized she was in an abusive relationship with a person who later on decided to attack EOF Project by calling it a ''cult'' as a stratagem to get Melissa back in the relationship. The person in question is a recidivist stalker and molester who has been imprisoned a few times because of his antisocial behavior: mughshot:

In 2014 Melissa went to Europe. She met Steve Andrews and after a while they decided to get married. Steve Andrews is a peaceful man but unfortunately he is also a pathological pleaser. He has been willing to live under Melissa's spell and willing to do whatever she asked him to do, including slandering me. I must say I have a sense of compassion for Steve and for the pains he had to go through because of Melissa (which I witnessed myself so many times), however Steve's choice to support Melissa's allegations, being Steve a grown up man, is not justifiable in any way.

In 2015/16 I was living with my partner relatively near by Melissa and Steve. We were in the process of changing houses. Melissa proposed to share a place together and pushed for it.
I was deeply perplexed about such a choice due to objective acknowledgement of the conflicting relationship between Melissa and Steve, however in the end we decided to give it a try for at least one year. The result has been deleterious!

Melissa is simply unable to co-exist with somebody else.
I don't want to waste my time writing down an almost never ending list regarding the irrationality involved and manifested throughout so many behavioral circumstances that Melissa engaged but just to briefly summarize the behavioral characteristics:
Melissa just cannot stand when she does not get attention, when she does not get what she wants or when one criticizes her behaviors. When any process of questioning her behavior is undertaken her approach is often if not always a ''but..''.

As an example: once I politely asked her to remember to turn off the lights in her room because I was not happy to pay for something I was not consuming. Her answer was: ''BUT... you were supposed to tell me that the bill will increase if I forget the light on''. I think this example is enough to picture the situation!!! When the ''but''/ad hominem was not the case, she reacted with yelling, screaming, breaking things and similar emotional abuses.

Melissa continued to have sessions (sessions primarily based on critical thinking and logicality) for about two years and was willing to pay for it no problem. She stopped having sessions because she was no longer able to afford them, however, since we were living together I never denied the possibility to have some patient and rational conversations about her issues and things in general. Throughout the so many (free of charge) conversations with Melissa I have been probably more patient than Gandhi, then up to the point where I realized the futility intrinsic in my patience and tolerance.

In 2017, while Melissa's husband Steve was in the UK she met a local man and soon enough she started an affair with him. Due to the new circumstances and the fact that I was living with her I felt (we all felt) incredibly uncomfortable with such an ambiguous and very tense situation of having a room mate dealing with multiple partners plus becoming more arrogant and odd. Melissa's behavior changed consistently indeed, and not for the better. After a few weeks she became willing to leave the house so to go to live together with her new partner. She was willing to stay and pay for at least 6 months before leaving (a reasonable proposal she sent via email), unfortunately that was supposed to take place under the condition of having me putting her so-called ''course'' on the platform where I have my critical thinking courses. Considering the irrational nature of the request, the inaccuracy of her material and its incompatibility with the matter of critical thinking, and considering that the platform where my courses are is owned by another person not me, and considering my responsibilities regarding such things, I obviously refused to comply to her nonsensical and spoiled requests. At that point she simply decided to leave within a week time.
Considering the ridiculousness of the situation, and considering she was not even paying rent at that time (her husband was paying for her), and considering that she didn't end up in a street (as she claimed) but she actually had a place where to go with her new boyfriend, which was a villa owned by her boyfriend's wife (the wife wasn't there and wasn't aware of the affair), she packed her things and move out of the house.

After that Steve, Melissa's husband, decided to stay with us as a room mate. Melissa, who was in the meantime living with her new boyfriend, spent her time trying to convince the gullible Steve to leave us. One day when we believed Steve was in the UK for a few days as he claimed, both Steve and Melissa showed up in the house since Steve had the keys. When Melissa entered the house she was filming with her iPad hoping to record our reactions. I asked her to stop filming and leave. The police was called and a report was made about the event, including Melissa's illegal actions (the report is available).

After about one year Melissa decided to play the ''cult card'' claiming she has been a ''victim of a cult'' and a ''cult escapee''. She managed to set up and publish a website consisting in a load of accusations and serious allegations:

The absurdity of such claims is summarized by Melissa's contradictions: she claims she is an ''escapee'', but at the same time she also claims she got kicked out, I thought cults try to hold people in and do not kick people out! :-)
She posted publicly private messages ergo committing again illegal actions, she twisted things and events. She has been harassing me and other people with stalking, defamation, slander for several months.
To highlight another aspect of Melissa's contradictions and absurdity: I've been one of the speakers at the 17 European Skeptics Congress 2017, among other speakers like hero of reason James Randi, debunker of conspiracy theories DR. Chris French and internationally recognized Professor Susan Blackmore, just to mention a few names. Melissa claimed that ''I tried to enter the skeptic movement so to look legit''.
Now ask yourself: why would a ''cult leader'' desire such a thing considering the tremendous (and stupid) risk of being exposed and therefore humiliated publicly during the attempt to look like a ''skeptic rat'' and legit? What for? Legit for what? Have we ever seen a cult leader being a live lecturer about applied critical thinking and plurilogicality at an international Skeptics Conference organized by a super legit team of scientists and psychologists? Apparently I've been the first case in history!!! :-)

Back to reality: Melissa used the unfortunate event that involved an ex partner of mine who had a temporary psychotic breakdown as an accusatory element aimed to ''prove cult activity''. Such a person had nothing whatsoever to do with the project, as well when the psychotic event happened we were already separated and never met for over 4 years. Melissa used private correspondence (of many people not just me), pictures, videos, screenshoots and other material with no permission whatsoever out of her immature and petty desire to deliberately hurt and damage people and to receive attention as a wannabe ''victim''. Melissa unfortunately IS NOT a victim, she is DE FACTO an emotional abuser!

In order to get some support, Melissa contacted some people who claim to be ''cult experts'' while in fact are more sort of ''drama making experts'' with no qualifications whatsoever about cult awareness, and on top these people were the same people who were supporting Melissa's criminal ex when he was attacking EOF Project in 2015 and claiming she was in a cult while she was trying to make him stop the harassment.
Melissa's ex's rants:
and mughshot again:

The pettiness, acidity and utterly amoral behavioral insanity Melissa manifested pushed me to write this, to make it public and to undertake dutiful legal actions.


To conclude the analysis of this buffoonery and with all due respect for those who have been for real in deranged or even dangerous cults (real victims who are actually being insulted by individuals like Melissa Houghton):

Here's two videos / evidence in regard of this person's ''integrity'', sense of ''morality'' and ''ethics'':

Here's a video Melissa Houghton made in 2016 to expose her stalker ex boyfriend Steven Sohlstrom and the wannabe ''cult experts'' (aka drama-making experts :-) ) who got in touch with him in order to slander me and EOF Project.
Listen to what she says here about EOF and her participation in its activities and services: 


Here's instead how a self-proclaimed ''cult escapee'' looks like two years later (2018):




This article involves personal events, which usually is not really something I'm happy to share, but in this case it's not only dutiful: it has also educational purposes.
My intention regarding the publication of this article is not to slander people, nor to collect support, neither to gain consensus, but rather to stick to truth and to expose the reality of things instead of remaining silent and sink into injustice.
I'm not petty enough to take pleasure out of processes of accusing people, of posting personal pictures, identity and so on: if you care about such things: investigate for yourself.
The purpose of this article is to defend my rights, my reputation and the project's reputation against online slanders and digital stupidity. This is also an invitation to find out for ourselves instead of easily believe in whatever we can see and read on line.
However there is also another purpose: any time you get targeted by virtual emotional abusers, bullies, promoters of falsehood, evidenceless allegations and personal attacks, please do not sink into non-reactive attitudes: expose such petty minds, mock them, share about their delusions, use this as a study and never let them bring you down!

Diego Fontanive