Jan 152013
 

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Jan. 15, 2013 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Daniele Passerini, a clerk for a local municipality in Italy who published the 22 Passi d’Amore blog (22 Steps of Love) in his spare time, has stopped blogging.

Passerini was the driving force in Italy that promoted Andrea Rossi and his Energy Catalyzer hoax. Worldwide, Passerini’s promotion of Rossi, a convicted white-collar criminal with a string of failed energy ventures, was second only to that of Mats Lewan of the Swedish technology magazine Ny Teknik.

Yesterday, Passerini posted a notice titled “Ad Maiora” (“on to greater things”). He wrote that he needed to devote more time to his family and thus would be stopping his blogging, at least for the foreseeable future.

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English Translation:
I’ve done all I could for months to be able to manage my blog, only to finally find myself in the typical situation where nobody is happy – both here on the web as much as in real life – as always happens when one tries to mediate between evidently incompatible parties. I’m not able to commit time and energy to [my] blog anymore, if at the same time I’m not able anymore to support my partner and her son, [and] if at the same time I’m not able to give due care to my daughter and my parents anymore. When it rains, it pours: because a few years ago I wanted to lend a hand to a friend in a difficult situation (read: bank guaranty) I ended up finding myself in a difficult situation, at the worst moment it could have happened (read: Murphy’s law).

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His announcement comes exactly two years after Rossi’s first press conference, which Passerini reported in real-time through text updates on his blog. Yesterday, Passerini wrote that he still believes in Rossi.

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Excerpt in Italian:
Scrissi tempo fa che allo scadere di due anni dal 14 gennaio 2011, avrei comunque tirato i remi in barca in mancanza di annunci ufficiali e indubitabili sulla realtà dell’E-Cat, di cui – per inciso – continuo a non avere dubbi, non sulla base dei miei desideri (come gli scettici vogliono credere), ma in base a quanto mi viene riferito da più persone assolutamente degne di stima e fiducia a diretto contatto con il nostro ingegnere. Aspetto pazientemente che i dubbi possano essere fugati anche al mondo intero e tornerò a issare le vele di un nuovo post quando saranno giunte le novità che attendiamo da due anni. Per il resto non spenderò più un solo minuto del mio tempo.

Excerpt translated into English:
Some time ago, I wrote that, at the end of two years from January 14, 2011, I would have rested on my laurels in the absence of official and indisputable announcements on the reality of the E-Cat, which ­ by the way ­ I still don’t doubt. [My confidence is] not based on my hopes (as skeptics want to believe) but based on what I am told by several people absolutely worthy of respect and trust who are in direct contact with our engineer [Rossi]. I’m waiting patiently for the time when doubts will be dispelled to the entire world, too, and I’ll come back to hoist the sails of a new [blog] post when the news that we have been waiting two years for finally arrives. Besides this, I will not spend one more minute of my time [doing this].

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On Feb. 3, 2010, Passerini was the first person to publish a news story on Rossi. Passerini was tipped off by his childhood friend, Giuseppe Levi, professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna. I was surprised when I eventually learned of this relationship and of Passerini’s personal conflict of interest with such a key player in this story.

In one of my conversations with Passerini in 2011, I expressed concern about his journalistic practices. He responded that he never claimed to be a professional journalist and therefore should not be held accountable to journalistic ethics and standards. Regardless, he was well-known and active as a news source in Italy on the Rossi story. He also began reporting on other low-energy nuclear reaction research.

I interviewed Passerini in the evening of June 14, 2011, when I was in Bologna, Italy. It was just a few hours after Rossi demonstrated his E-Cat to me. In this demonstration, I saw the steam that was coming out of his device. Moments later, Rossi showed me the calculations on which he based his extraordinary claim of kilowatts of excess heat. As I later learned, his calculations did not come close to the observable steam output.

Passerini is also a poet and a writer: He has three books to his credit. In our interview, he did not claim to have competency in science, and therefore he was not able to evaluate Rossi’s claims scientifically. Instead, his based his evaluations on the confidence he had in people. He explained his situation with the Rossi story.

“I am a very curious person who has, by chance, found himself in something very interesting,” Passerini said.

In our interview, he said he believed that people outside of Italy think Italians sometimes behave “stupidly.” He said he wanted to help dispell this impression.

I asked Passerini how he felt about his role in communicating the story.

“As long as Rossi is happy with people like me, who think they have something to write, something interesting to say, and I’m getting information, I’m very happy to spread that information because it’s important and it’s important that it be known,” Passerini said.

In related news, Paul Burns, of “eCatNews,” who writes under the pen name Paul Story, ended his promotion of Rossi on Nov. 26, 2012. On Nov. 2, 2012, Burns concluded that the E-Cat was a lie and he cited many of the same factual inconsistencies we had reported a year earlier. In his final blog post, Burns wrote that he was motivated to pursue the truth and to encourage progress in LENR. However, he did not perform his own independent investigation of Rossi; therefore, he was unable to come to a determination earlier. Here is an excerpt from his final post.

“At one point, in sight of a million visits a month, it was easy [for me] to see how money can be made from the dreams and wishes of good people,” Burns wrote. “I now fear that underlying the smiles of a few key players, a dark heart beats, and I refuse to follow popularity at the expense of truth. … Now, with scant hope of Rossi delivering on his promises, I find myself wondering why I would waste any more time on him. If he is committing fraud, he should be pursued by the police.”

[This article was updated on Feb. 15 to include the translation of the paragraph where Passerini explained that he was not able to commit time and energy to his blog anymore.]

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