Refutation of the disinformation about Monica Pignotti

Archive for May, 2011

Why Monica Pignotti Still Cares About Helping Others who are Still in Scientology

The anonymous WordPress bloggers are at it again, attempting to slam me simply because I chose to sometimes participate in discussions with Scientologists, attempting to imply that this means I have not “abandoned” Scientology. It is obvious from reading the discussions that precisely the opposite is true. I left and fully repudiated Scientology 35 years ago. However I have not stopped caring about helping people who are still trapped in Scientology. Hence, the discussions to see if I can show them other perspectives. I spend only a very small portion of my time doing this.

Additionally I have a strong interest in studying and investigating how it is that people come to adopt belief systems that most people would consider strange and improbable. Contrary to popular myth that I have discussed elsewhere, evidence shows that most people who get involved are not mentally ill or misfits. On the contrary, cults target people to recruit who are stable and who will represent the group well and thus be able to attract more new members. This is especially relevant to my interest in criticizing pseudoscientific mental health practices. Having discussions directly with people who hold such beliefs is helpful to me in better understanding what is going on and may be helpful to me in generating new hypotheses that could be used in future research I may conduct.

Ironically, in recent years participants on the discussion group alt.religion.scientology (which is a discussion board consisting mainly of critics of Scientology) have complained about most of my postings being “off topic” due to the fact that the smear campaigners have been posting lies about me to that group on a regular basis for the past two years that have nothing to do with Scientology and everything to do with the criticism I have been involved in with regard to attachment therapy, coercive restraints and other similar therapies. Had I not been spending so much time criticizing that and had it been true that I was “fixated” on Scientology, these attacks on me would never have occurred.

What we have here is another rather lame attempt on the part of the smear campaigners to trash me for wanting to help others through rational dialogue. What the person decides to do as a result, is up to that person but there are people such as Tory “Magoo” Christman who had been in Scientology for 30 years and actually feels she was helped by some of the discussions she had with people she met through alt.religion.scientology such as Scientology critic Andreas Heldal-Lund, who she considered to be instrumental in her ultimately deciding to leave in 2000 because he cared enough about her to have discussions with her. Previously, she had been conditioned to believe that people like Andreas were evil incarnate, but through the discussions she had, she found out otherwise. This isn’t all that different from the followers of certain therapy gurus who have been conditioned to believe that I am evil incarnate. Having reasonable discussions can sometimes help people to see otherwise.

The most absurd part of the posting is that I am having a debate with someone on topics that are “far removed from the field of social work”. So what? I have studied and am interested in a number of subjects. Where is it written that I should only discuss social work topics just because that’s what my PhD is in? Newsflash: It isn’t written anywhere.

Also, the lie is being repeated that I was involved in a sexual relationship with Quentin Hubbard. Although there would be nothing wrong with it if I had been (he was nothing like his father), this is false. Quentin and I were never anything more than friends, as I clearly stated in my written account of my experiences. I also, contrary to the false propaganda, have not subscribed to any conspiracy theories about his death and continue to believe that, as reported, he committed suicide. This is yet another example of how low the smear campaigners would sink, that they would use the death of a dear friend to attack me.

It seems the anonymous smear campaigners are really having trouble to come up with material on me. Thus, they either fabricate lies or choose to slam me for having a dialogue with someone and make out as if it is some kind of huge violation that I have to answer for. The absurdity of that speaks for itself.

What is a Cult Intervention Specialist?

The anonymous smear campaign is now attempting to malign me for stating, in a paper I wrote 15 years ago on the use of mind control in Scientology, that I was a “cult intervention specialist”. At that time, that was the way I described myself although I have not done any interventions since 2002. The cyber smear campaigners are attempting to distort this and maligning me as a “professional cultist” when that is not what is meant by the term at all. They think they are making some astonishing revelation in posting a copy of this paper when in fact, I am the one who made this paper available for anyone to read. When I said I do not consider myself a cult intervention specialist that is accurate because I no longer do these interventions, due to the demands of my new career direction.

A cult intervention specialist, also sometimes referred to as a cult exit counselor, is someone who works with families who have a loved on involved in a destructive cult and arranges for an intervention. This is not forcible deprogramming. No force whatsoever is involved and the cult-involved person is free to leave at any time.

These interventions are in some ways very similar to those done on people with drug and alcohol abuse problems. What typically happens is that family and friends of the cult involved person arrange for a meeting with the cult-involved loved one and the cult intervention specialist. In that meeting, the family and friends express their love and concern regarding changes they have noticed in the person since becoming involved in the group. Where it differs from drug and alcohol interventions is that instead of asking the person to go to a drug treatment center, a request is made that the person sit down with their family, friends and the counselor and examine some information that they may not been exposed to. The intervention usually lasts for around three days. Participation is never forced and entirely voluntary, meaning that the person is free to walk out of the intervention and return to their group at any time they decide to. What typically happens is that informational video tapes and documents are shown and discussions about the group occur. At the end of the intervention, the person either decides to leave the group, return to the group, or take some additional time to think about whether they want to stay or leave.

I have never tried to hide the fact that I did this nor am I in any way ashamed that I did this, as I did help a number of people who have thanked me for helping them break free from a destructive cult. What I objected to is the misportrayal of a 15 year old paper as if it were a correct label for what I actually do now when it is not, since I have not done such interventions since 2002. I did only one such intervention in 2002 and one in 2001, but most of the interventions I did were in the 1990s and late 80s. My career took a different turn and when I decided to focus more of my attention on my practice and later my education, scholarly work and teaching. My schedule no longer allowed me the flexibility to be able to take off to do these interventions, as I have moved onto other things in my career.

It is also worth noting that these days, this kind of intervention is being done less and less, as internet usage has become more common and widespread and many recent defectors from cults have reported that they accessed information about their group on the internet. They managed to do this, even when they were involved in the cult. Even though some cults try to block this information from their members, most people find it possible to get away for a few hours and go to a public library or some other location with free internet access. The information that used to be available only via exit counselors is now widely available online and although the dynamics of the family interaction, of course, are not involved this has still been enough to get many people to leave. This is the case, in spite of all the efforts many of the cults have gone to, to attempt to smear critics, threaten them with lawsuits and even in some cases sue critics in an attempt to silence them. Ultimately, however, it is very difficult to silence any particular message on the internet because even if one critic is silenced, if the information is true, others come forward who may be in other countries out of the jurisdiction of the cult. For example, with Scientology, the early critics had a very hard time, but ultimately the information got onto the internet and has remained accessible.

Sometimes, of course, the more traditional family-style intervention is still done, but I don’t do those any longer for the reasons I stated.

My Position on WordPress

The Anonymous WordPress bloggers are at it again. Their postings are taking a more hysterical than ever tone, denouncing me as a “hypocrite” because two years ago I criticized WordPress for suspending a blog, even though a year later I began blogging on WordPress. No, that does not make me a hypocrite because they ignore the fact that things have changed on WordPress over the last few years and they now take a much more pro free speech position than they previously did, in my opinion.

The implication, which provides us with an interesting window into the way these folks (the anonymous folks who trash me, that is) think, seems to be that if someone belongs to an organization or even accepts a certain blog host, they need to be completely positive and never question or criticize anything about it. They imply that if someone criticizes something, they should not be a part of it. That is very cult-like thinking. Non-cultic organizations as well as blog hosts welcome criticism from their own members and do not oust or exclude critics from being part of the organization or in this case, the blog host.

I stand by my criticism that the suspension of Wayward Radish’s Search for Survivors blog was unjust because they gave into the demands of people who wanted to silence a whistleblower. This, however, does not mean that I shouldn’t blog on WordPress myself. In fact, sometimes the best way to counteract such a smear campaign is to set up a blog that counters the smear campaign which is something WordPress recommends people do if they have a disagreement with what another blogger has written and that is what I have done.

In fact, there seem to have been some changes in WordPress policy over the last year or so that are encouraging. Currently, according to what Mark wrote me back in November 2010, their policy is that they will not remove blogs that are complained about as “defamatory” without a court order. That policy was apparently not in place when Wayward Radish’s blog was suspended as it was removed in response to threats but as far as I know, there was no court order to have it removed. Later, in November, 2010 Ronald Federici named the Search For Survivors blog which was suspended by WordPress but now hosted by Project DoD,  in a lawsuit. However, there were never any court orders to have it removed and in March 2011, the suit was dismissed, the case never even went into depositions or a trial and no connection between the Search for Survivors blog and any of the defendants he named was ever demonstrated.

The fact is that like most blog hosts, WordPress is not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also have positives, especially now that they have changed their policy to be more pro free speech. Of course, that kind of nuanced thinking and flexibility is foreign the black and white cultic thinkers who denounce me and believe that everything has to be all good or all bad and that people should rigidly and inflexibly hold to one position or else they are a “hypocrite”. No, there is a difference between being a hypocrite and being open and flexible to changes.

It is most interesting that they denounce my change of mind about TFT, which occurred more than seven years ago, but not so surprising since these are the same people who defend therapy gurus I have criticized and no amount of evidence I present to the contrary will change their minds. It is not hypocritical for me to criticize TFT at all. Apparently someone seems to have a confusion about a legitimate and thoughtful change of mind about a practice, which is what occurred with me, and hypocrisy. According to such people, anything less than slavish, inflexible, unquestioning devotion, ignoring of any evidence that comes to light and continuing to stay with something in spite of the evidence against it, is “hypocrisy” — a very strange definition but one that one might expect from cult like mentalities. Apparently they have not read Robert Cialdini’s work on how people are manipulated to stay in highly damaging situations and relationships by appeals to commitment and consistency, ignoring the fact that changing ones mind about something can sometimes be the wisest thing to do.

And no, the academic community has not had a bad reaction to my change of mind about TFT and other things at all. On the contrary, every time I have been asked about it by faculty, they have applauded my actions, openness to actual evidence and changes I have made and if anything, it has helped, not harmed me.

Therapy or Legally Sanctioned Abuse? You Decide

When Ronald Federici sued me in the now-dismissed Federici v Pignotti et al., one of the claims he attempted to make was that the defendants were in a conspiracy and that we were responsible for a blog entitled A Search For Survivors, a blog authored by someone who goes by the name of Wayward Radish (WR). I am not Wayward Radish and I swore in an affidavit that I was not responsible for any of the anonymous postings Federici had complained about, nor, to the best of my knowledge, were any of the other defendants. Fortunately, I  have never been a patient of any of the therapists mentioned on that blog.

A Search for Survivors is the blog of a person who has stated that she is a survivor of attachment and holding therapy, which, as a child, she was subjected to (with another therapist, not Federici)This blog was formerly on WordPress, but reportedly, it is my understanding that Ronald Federici and others filed a DMCA complaint (even though from what I can tell, copyrights were not violated. They did the same for the Advocates for Children in Therapy (ACT) website, which, contrary to misinformation,  is not associated with Wayward Radish or A Search for Survivors.  Due to the fact that their hosts at the time were not willing to stand up to those who tried to have the websites removed, both WR and ACT found a host that did have the courage to do so, Project DoD and as a result the websites remain up to this day. Details of what transpired with regard to the DMCA complaints can be found in a paper presented at a conference by Christopher Mooney and Tiffany Rad of Project DoD entitled:

The DMCA & ACTA vs. Academic & Professional Research: How Misuse of this
Intellectual Property Legislation Chills Research, Disclosure and Innovation

Here is a link to WR’s account of what happened with WordPress. However, I am not responsible for the content of A Search for Survivors nor the ACT website.

My position on A Search for Survivors has been that these are accounts of survivors, who were subjected to “attachment therapy” as children (not with Federici, with other therapists). The “therapy” was so traumatic for them that some have been under treatment for PTSD that arose from the trauma of having to undergo such “therapy” and I use that word with caution. Recent research reported by SAMHSA has shown that a high percentage of people who experienced being restrained, experienced the event as traumatic. People can view videos of holding therapy and decide for themselves whether this is therapy or legally sanctioned abuse in the name of therapy.

Based on what he attempted to claim in his lawsuit, Federici and his supporters appear to be associating the word “abuse” with illegality. Federici seems to think that because he does not have a criminal record, this makes the use of the word, “abuse” defamatory. However, calling something abusive does not necessarily mean it is illegal. Just to give an unrelated example to clarify this point, many people are opposed to all forms of spanking children and consider it abuse. Yet spanking that does not injure a child is completely legal. Does that mean that anti-spanking proponents are libeling parents who spank children? Of course not and it would be absurd to allege as much. Or consider the recent controversy over hot saucing children (I’m not saying any of the therapists are doing this, just giving this as an example to illustrate my point). Abusive? Many of us definitely think so, but illegal? Probably not, unfortunately.

The so-called “therapies” discussed in WR’s blog are not illegal, yet many are of the opinion that they are abusive. Although they are not currently illegal, some are of the opinion that they should not be legal. Note that the opinion that those therapies should be illegal is not a statement that can be proven true of false. It is a “should” statement which indicates a value judgment, and thus is not subject to legal action.

Some of the videos of holding therapists are available online, so people can watch them and decide whether this is therapy or legally-sanctioned abuse.

Videos of the holds Ronald Federici recommends in his book, Help for the Hopeless Child are not available online. At one time, a segment demonstrating the hold from a Dateline episode was on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet, but they were removed. People who would like to view the prone hold he recommends in his book and on Dateline can, however, purchase a copy of his book from Amazon. Yes, that’s right, I am actually recommending that interested people purchase his book (as I have) because it is important that people obtain accurate information about what his therapy consists of. The holding diagram can also be viewed on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Help-Hopeless-Child-Discussion-Post-Institutionalized/dp/0966710118/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277928109&sr=8-2#reader_0966710118

Search in the book for “SEQUENCE ONE HOLDING” and go to where this phrase appears on page 111.

Anyone can also purchase a DVD copy of the Dateline episode from NBC at 866-622-8273. Additionally, a transcript of a BBC program entitled Taming the Problem Child that featured his work is available online and presents Federici’s views as well as the views of critics such as Peter Fonagy.

I would urge anyone who cares about this issue to order the above materials and form their own opinion of whether they want to consider this therapy or something else and yes, people do have the Constitutional right to hold opinions on these matters and that include the right to criticize and advocate for changes in the existing law. In several states, prone holds or restraints are illegal in residential facilities and/or schools. However, to date, there is no existing law that forbids their use in private therapy practice or use in a client’s home. Does this makes sense, that procedures that are forbidden under highly supervised conditions such as state mental hospitals and schools in some states, ought to be legal for use in settings that are not as highly supervised, if at all? Again, this is something for each person to decide.

As for the accounts on WR’s website, although I cannot necessarily vouch for every statement made on that website, nor do I necessarily agree with every statement that was made, the reported experiences are highly consistent with what has been shown on a number of videos that are available of such interventions, where the therapists in question have demonstrated what they do for all to see. Thus, it is not surprising to me that at least some of the survivors of these treatments, now adults, would come forward and blow the whistle on their therapists and I find many of the accounts to be credible but again, I am not making any claims other than to suggest that readers watch the videotapes themselves and read the testimonials and decide for themselves, whether they find them credible.

Anonymous Poster Responds to Monica Pignotti Statement of Support with More Lies

The anonymous poster has now responded to the Statement of Support for Monica Pignotti.

In this statement, thus far as of May 17, 2011, signed by 47 psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals, reasonable requests were made, that:

We, the undersigned, unequivocally oppose the cowardly and unethical behaviors of the internet posters, and strongly affirm Dr. Pignotti’s right to raise legitimate criticisms of their therapeutic practices without fear of false and defamatory attacks. Criticism of therapeutic practices that lack empirical support and may be harmful is vital for the profession and we are deeply concerned that smear campaigns could discourage others from engaging in public scrutiny of these and other practices. We call on the internet posters to stop such practices immediately. We further call on the posters to publicly identify themselves and to voice their criticisms in the form of clear descriptions of their concerns, using recognized venues such as peer-reviewed articles rather than in the form of baseless personal attacks.  Additionally, we ask that any prospective employers of Dr. Pignotti not allow the actions of these posters and the fact she has chosen not to remain silent, to impact their hiring decisions.

The response was all too predictable, although it will be interesting to see whether the individual, if he does decide to harass the universities of the people who signed, will have the courage to put his own name to this or will try to do the harassment anonymously.

[Update: Since this response was received and I passed it along to those who already signed and those who I asked to sign since then, my support is only growing stronger and some of the new signers have provided me with the complete contact info for their affiliation and no one has withdrawn their support, in spite of the fact I fully informed them of this threatening response. Obviously these are people who are not going to allow bullies to intimidate them by threats to tattle to their institutions when they have done nothing wrong.]

I post the response, in full, to demonstrate how malicious this smear campaign has become [my responses are noted in blue].  Nomen Nescio, Latin for “name unknown” is a generic name of an e-mail address that renders the sender anonymous. It hides their IP address, making such e-mails or postings very difficult to trace. Other common generic names under which the smear campaigners have posted include George Orwell and Anne Onime.

From: Nomen Nescio <nob…@dizum.com>
Date: May 8, 11:01 am
Subject: Monica Pignotti: EPIC FAIL
To: alt.religion.scientology

Monica Pignotti has sealed her fate.

There will be NO compliance with the “demands” in the statement on her website.

[Interesting, since what was called for (the word “demand” was not used in the statement) was quite reasonable: For the anonymous posters to identify themselves and rather than attack me, clearly state their actual concerns in recognized venues. Instead, they choose to continue their current smear campaign consisting of red herrings, personal attacks and outright fabrications. The response is that there will be “NO compliance” with our request that they conduct themselves as decent human beings. This says more about them than it does about me or those who signed.]

Many of the signatories to her strident manifesto, such as Bruce Thyer, have vested interests in concealing the truth about her. Efforts to disseminate the TRUTH about her will continue, unabated.

[No “TRUTH” has been concealed about me. I have been more than open about my past, far more than most people are about their activities of their youth and most of what has been posted about me are lies that, if the poster put his name to them (e.g. saying I was fired from FSU when I was not), would likely be actionable in a court of law.]

In addition, the institutions whose faculty members have been foolish enough to sign this document will be contacted and retractions will be demanded. If these people wish to speak out, let them speak on their own.

[It will be interesting to see if this harassment is also conducted anonymously and if so, how universities would respond to “demands” and threats anonymous individuals who are upset because they are being asked to conduct themselves as decent, honest human beings. Whether or not the complainers identify themselves, they are in no position to “demand” anything.]

Some facts about Monica Pignotti:

1) She dropped out of college to join Scientology. She spent years in this crazy cult, and rose to the highest levels, containing scientifically unsound beliefs about alien warlords and the atom bombing of volcanos. While in Scientology, Monica Pignotti became romantically involved with Quentin Hubbard, one of the children of Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

[It is no secret that I was involved in Scientology, although I was never “romantically involved” with Quentin although he was an adult when I knew him. What this neglects to mention is that this is ancient history. I left and repudiated Scientology in 1976, 35 years ago, returned to and completed college and eventually went to graduate school and got an MSW and an PhD]

[2) After leaving Scientology, Monica Pignotti became a devotee of Roger Callahan and his bizarre therapies, Thought Field Therapy and Energy Therapy. These systems claim to heal by tapping the body and at the most advanced levels, diagnosis is performed over the phone. Pignotti stopped practicing energy therapy and used her inside knowledge to criticize it.

[That was 20 years after leaving Scientology. Again, this is no secret that I practiced TFT, although the “diagnosis” is not mental health or medical diagnosis. TFT is simply tapping on acupressure points on the body (like acupuncture without the needles — hardly considered “bizarre” and actually acupuncture is accepted in many mainstream hospitals although I have my own criticisms of it). I did not practice “Energy Therapy” and have no idea what it is, nor does Callahan have any therapy by that name. Perhaps the misinformed person is thinking of Energy Psychology, also not Callahan’s but an offshoot of TFT that I never practiced). As for TFT, I stopped practicing it over 7 years ago and many of the people who signed this statement have been aware of this since I left and have given me great support. This will hardly come as news to them.]

3) Pignotti entered academia. She was dismissed from a teaching position at Florida State University (FSU) for several reasons. First, she made obscene sexual propositions to faculty members. Second, many students complained that she wasted classroom time with anecdotes about time travel, Scientology, Roger Callahan, being single, and her dislike of geology.

[This is a libelous statement. If the poster put his name to it, this would be actionable in a court of law, possibly even as libel per se. I was not fired from FSU, nor did I engage in any of the activities mentioned, although I have on a number of occasions been invited to guest lecture classes on the topic of  Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy and pseudoscience and also on discrimination against single people. Those lectures, where I presented my research on TFT and reviewed research on single people, were well received and legitimate and no complaints were made about them and lecturing on those topics certainly would not be grounds for dismissal. I have no idea where the reference to “geology” came from since this is not my area of expertise and have never said I “disliked” it. Anecdotes to illustrate a point are an acceptable and highly encouraged aspect of good teaching. I obtained my PhD from FSU and left only because I graduated and FSU does not hire their own graduates in tenure-track positions. My teaching at FSU was not as a faculty member, but as a PhD candidate to fulfill a yearly stipend I and all PhD students and candidates received the first three years in the program and possibly beyond, but cease upon graduation.]

[4) Monica Pignotti spent several years aligned with a fringe medical group. The head of this group, Larry W. Sarner of Loveland, CO, has bachelor’s degrees in political science and mathematics, and is unqualified to evaluate psychological interventions. Sarner bilked lenders and investors out of several million dollars on a scheme to develop and deploy voting machines. Even though Pignotti, for whatever reason, has parted company with Sarner, she continues to insist that his voting machines worked.

Red herring alert!

[This is a huge distortion and the voting machine part is a red herring. Larry Sarner is Executive Director of a non-profit advocacy organization I was involved with called Advocates for Children in Therapy. I served on their informal professional advisory board for four years. It is not a “medical group” and it would seem that the only people who have taunted the word “fringe” to describe it are proponents of the practices it has exposed (on the contrary the APA-endorsed APSAC Task Force Report cited publications from people in ACT while they advised against the practices ACT criticizes). The impetus for this smear campaign against several people involved in ACT is because we dared to criticize and expose potentially harmful “attachment”, coercive restraint and other similar therapies for children. I have “continued to insist” nothing about voting machines (I made one statement two years ago on a Randi forum which is taken out of context, where I also called them on this red herring, irrelevant to the practices of the therapist we were criticizing). I couldn’t care less about whether they worked or not and I had no involvement in the Sarner voting machine case whatsoever (it was concluded a decade before I even met Mr. Sarner), although based on court documents and docket sheets I have examined, these statements are false, as the cases were all civil, not criminal cases and he was never charged with fraud. The “voting machine” matter is a huge red herring.]

5) Pignotti applied for a position at New York University (NYU). She did not get it. She concocted a fantastic story about how her personal information was compromised, and she demanded that NYU conduct a full investigation.

[I did not “concoct” any fantastic stories. The fact is that although I did not discuss publicly my application for a faculty position, someone, somehow, by some unknown means found out about what should have been kept confidential and posted several times that I applied and then, that I did not get the position, before I received such notification. Lies have been posted about this matter when, in fact, I was considered a qualified applicant and simply did not get it because they decided someone else was a better fit for the position than I was. I have never challenged their decision, which I completely accept,  nor do I intend to. My concerns of how information was leaked, resulting in the obscene postings is a legitimate concern. It is reasonable that applications for faculty positions ought to expect that they will not have the information of their having applied, be publicly posted accompanied by lies about the reasons they did not get the position.]

NYU refused, and has stated, publicly, that they are glad they did not hire her.

[NYU has made no such public statements that I am aware of. If NYU had made any public statements about me of that nature, surely the anonymous posters would have been delighted to link to them or produced documentation, which they have failed to do. Instead, as usual, what we have are unsubstantiated, bald assertions.]

6) Pignotti considered applying for a position at Brigham Young University (BYU) which would have required adherence to the BYU honor code. Pignotti wrote a scathing blog post denouncing the Mormon faith.

[I have not “denounced the Mormon faith”. In fact, since the age of 14, I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I have consistently defended the Mormon faith, even while inactive. Some cult experts such as Steven Hassan consider it a cult and I have defended it as not being a cult and have praised them for their open disclosure of their Honor Code.]

7) Pignotti associates with violent criminals. As an example, Robert Clark, who uses the pseudonym “henri” who has been convicted of making bomb threats against both churches and weather stations.

[I have no association with “violent criminals”. This statement is false on two counts 1) Rob Clark has never been charged with or convicted of any such criminal activity. If he had been, surely the Scientologists would have included documents on their Religious Freedom watch but not even the Scientologists make that claim about him. As I understand it, Clark has since become an attorney and 2) I have no association with Rob Clark whatsoever. The fact that he has been involved in some internet discussions on a public forum I was also on, does not mean I am associated with him. In fact, although he has at times defended me, on several occasions he attacked me.]

So there you have it, folks. The response is brazen as ever. Since no names were even mentioned other than mine in the statement of support and it clearly stated that the posters were unknown, it will be interesting to see what kind of threats the anonymous individuals will make if they do decide to harass those who signed. Will “Nomen Nescio” threaten to sue us all? That would be an interesting case. While “John Does” have been named as defendants, it is difficult to imagine how a “John Doe” or a “Nomen Nescio” could be a plaintiff in a defamation case, which would likely be laughed out of the courtroom.

The anonymous cyber smearers can repeat the lies about me until they are blue in the face but they will still remain lies, no matter how often they are repeated.

Altered Posting from a Private Yahoo Group Adoption List Serv

How many times have I written that the anonymous posters have sunk to a new low, or words to that effect? Now I am saying it again.

Observe how once again, my cyberstalker tries to flip things and make me out to be someone with “bizarre” delusions. What I am giving here is a factual, provable account of the bizarre actions of my cyberstalker. Big difference. Since already, misportrayals of this are being posted, I want to make it crystal clear that I am not making any claims that I know how the following incident happened. I only know that it did happen because I saw both the original and the altered posting and have retained copies of both as evidence.

A few days ago, one of the usual defamatory smear postings about me appeared on alt.religion.scientology. This one named a man I had never even heard of, claiming that he and I were lovers and the usual obscene lies that are posted about me that are characteristic of the anonymous posters conducting this smear campaign. I don’t usually post these links, but in this case I choose to, so it can go on the record how ugly this smear campaign has become:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/browse_thread/thread/85d\
a4ef078ed3d04

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/browse_thread/thread/f01\
67b21ea6c0fa9

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/browse_thread/thread/e68\
677a532aa4f05

The claim was made that this person had made a posting to a Yahoo “chat room” (late I found out it was a Yahoo group list serv on Russian Adoption) and the posting said that I was being funded by a foundation for my critical work and for the (now-dismissed) lawsuit against me. This, of course is absolutely false. The posting also claimed that I had called an adoptive mother a “crack whore” which of course is another absurd lie. I challenged the anonymous poster to show me proof of what had been posted.

Shortly thereafter, another anonymous posting was made to alt.religion.scientology with a posting said to be from the Russian Adoption Yahoo list serv and also gave the name and e-mail address of the individual who they claimed posted it. I contacted that individual. He responded that he had no idea who I was (not surprising as I had no idea who he was either). I saw his actual posting and found that the anonymous posters had substantially altered it with their own bizarre fabrications including the “crack whore” statement which the individual in question did not make, nor did he make any statement about me, since he doesn’t even know me and has never heard of me.

Another interesting difference is that the actual, original postings were highly critical of Heather Forbes and also indirectly mentioned Ronald Federici (reference to Angelina Jolie adoption), but in the altered version, Forbes name was removed and the name of another therapist, Bryan Post, was substituted. It looks to me as if whoever the anonymous poster is,  wanted to make sure to leave Federici and Forbes’ names out of it and wanted me to believe that Bryan Post was responsible. Sorry, I’m not buying that. Although I am obviously no fan of Brian Post’s work, I do not believe Bryan Post is responsible because he was barely even mentioned in the actual posting, which focused on Heather Forbes. It looks to me like a posting from a private Yahoo Group list serv somehow got into the hands of the people conducting the smear campaign against me and the list serv has some passionate supporters of none other than Ronald Federici and Heather Forbes. Since the list serv is not public and cannot be viewed by non-members online, someone from the list serv obviously had to have forwarded the posting to someone else and at some point, it must have fallen into the hands of the anonymous cyber stalker who has been posting malicious lies about me. People can draw their own conclusions as to who the top suspects are. I’m not accusing any of the adoptive parents of this. Quite possibly they innocently forwarded this to someone who then got it into the hands of the anonymous posters, but there parents might want to take note of what is being done with those postings.

This is a new low and it once again, makes me ask how it is that such malicious lies are rationalized by these people. If the therapists they are defending are so wonderful, why the need to stoop so low and attack critics in this way? People who have valid arguments have no need to lie about people with whom they disagree.

It is also interesting that the posting once again implies that I am in a conspiracy with any critic of Federici or Forbes when in fact, as happened previously with Daniel Ibn Zayd (who I also had never heard of before we were accused of working together). What is really happening is that people who have never even met or heard of one another are coming to their own independent conclusions about the work of Ronald Federici, Heather Forbes, Bryan Post and certain other therapists. There is no conspiracy.

Ronald Federici attempted to sue five individuals and an organization for conspiracy, but the case was dismissed by a Virginia Federal judge on March 4, 2011 and the time to appeal has now passed, so the case is now closed.  The case was dismissed, for me, for jurisdiction and also, more importantly, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. One of the Exhibits was a blog by Daniel Ibn Zayd, someone who none of the defendants had any ties to. Thankfully, the right to free speech has prevailed. It is also interesting to note that the smear campaign quieted down considerably for the duration of the lawsuit and within days of its dismissal, the smear campaign on the internet resumed in full force and even escalated during the month of March. There were postings on an almost daily basis with all kinds of defamatory lies about me including a complete fabrication about me on a “cheaters” website claiming I broke up a marriage in New York and then the link was posted repeatedly, so this complete fabrication was Google bombed to come up on the first page of a Google search in my name.

So to state the obvious, for the record, I have never called anyone a “crack whore” and I certainly do not receive any funding for my critical work exposing what I consider to be potentially harmful and bogus therapies and no foundation funded my defense in Federici v Pignotti.

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