Refutation of the disinformation about Monica Pignotti

Posts tagged ‘Bryan Post’

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.

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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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