Refutation of the disinformation about Monica Pignotti

Posts tagged ‘Cyber Stalking’

Exposing the Plagiarized and Fabricated “Cheaters” Posting

The purpose of this posting is to state, for the record, what happened. People might wonder why I am bothering to repost this. The reason is that I want to expose the utter depravity of the abuse that has been occurring with regard to this smear campaign. Here is the timeline

On March 4, 2011, Federici v Pignotti et al. was dismissed by a Federal judge.

Within a few days of this dismissal, the anonymous and pseudonymous smear campaign against me, which, with the exception of a few mild postings had been fairly quiet for the duration of this case, resumed in full force. During March, some of the ugliest anonymous postings ever about me appeared on the internet. I am not saying that Federici himself was responsible because I have no direct evidence of any kind linking him to this “cheaters” posting. I am merely stating what occurred. Whether this is a coincidence or not is for the readers to judge. Federici has quite correctly stated that I have angered other people unrelated to him. Although this appears to be the case, such people would not have a reason to stop the blatantly false postings about me during the case and then immediately resume them after its dismissal. Additionally, some of the other internet postings that have smeared me, have at the same time mentioned being upset with my criticisms of Federici. For example, here is a posting that falsely states I was fired from FSU (As my references who have worked with me there will attest, I was not fired, have acceptable teaching evaluations and I left only because I graduated and they don’t hire their own PhD grads in tenure track positions). Note that posting also alleges “She makes irrational statements, including defamatory attacks on the likes of Ronald Federici.”  There are several others like this. Additionally, other people who are angered by my criticisms (e.g. John Knapp) would have no reason to go after people like Jean Mercer, Linda Rosa, Larry Sarner, Charly Miller, etc. who have also been targeted by this internet smear campaign nor praise Federici — Knapp recently stated he has no idea who Federici is.) To me, given the frequent mention of Federici in smear postings against me and others, this would indicate that  via good circumstantial evidence some of the posters are at least supporters of Federici who are angered by my criticisms. Whether Federici himself was involved or encouraged it is unknown, although we can see similarities between the smear campaign and postings in his own name from his own websites, here and here. My opinion.

Getting back to the “cheaters” posting, on March 8, 2011, the following completely fabricated posting about me appeared on a “liars and cheaters” website under the pseudonym, “Steff”.

I’ll try to make a long story about Monica Pignotti as short as possible.

I invited Monica Pignotti, a former friend/coworker to my son’s birthday party at my home. My husband realizes he was unhappy in his marriage to me as well, and they start talking. 3 days later, I find out, get upset, because he wants a divorce out of the blue. He leaves me and moves into a motel, all the while talking to her, Monica Pignotti. They have an affair and then she bails after a little while. He has a nervous breakdown and spills everything to me. I stand by him, I have forgiven him, but we are still getting a divorce. All of this thanks toMonica Pignotti! We are friends because of the kids, and we honestly like, even love each other but we know it won’t work out again.

I am a social worker and so is Monica Pignotti. She is well liked and associates with people outside of work. I mostly stick close to my family. Word has started getting around that Monica Pignotti is a home wrecker, and her friends started confronting me about it, telling me I need to shut my mouth, I’m just causing problems, no good comes out of it, etc. Now I am afraid that I will get into trouble because people will think that I am lying and spreading rumors about Monica Pignotti! Any advice? I dont feel like I should lie for her.

This post was submitted by Steff.

I immediately attempted to have this completely false posting removed, but at the time got no response. It was ludicrous. Not only have I never slept with anyone else’s husband, but the location was said to be New York and I hadn’t even lived in NY for 10+ years and even when I did, never even knew any other social workers with young children who invited me to any child’s birthday parties. The whole thing was a complete fabrication. The comments were the usual nasty ones, typical of the smear campaign and the link to this posting was used as a Google bomb, being posted on numerous postings to the point where it was coming up on the first page of Google searches on my name, for months. Multiple postings occurred falsely stating I was a “home wrecker” “social work sex toy” and all kinds of other completely fabricated nonsense. Some of the postings even stated I was involved in divorce and custody cases, when I have never in my life been involved in any such thing and they also mentioned the defamation case and all the legal bills they speculated I had from it, neglecting to mention it was dismissed. Again, I am merely stating what occurred and it is for the readers to draw their own conclusions about what it means.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I would be the last person in the world to ever be involved with anyone else’s husband, I have only had relationships with single men and having been a victim of rape in the past (and no, contrary to the lies that are being posted about me, this is not a new claim on my part, I wrote about this in a 1989 affidavit which was written about a year after My Nine Lives in Scientology. I hadn’t mentioned it in the earlier report because during that year that elapsed between the two reports, I had been in therapy and was coming to terms with this trauma for the first time — before that I was too ashamed and not psychologically ready to write about it because I had blamed myself, but in therapy I learned not to blame myself, hence I mentioned it in the 1989 report and not the 1988 report). In any case, due to this experience, I am extremely selective about who I get involved with and for the past several years have chosen not to be involved with anyone. I am very happily single and not currently in any kind of sexual/romantic relationship, nor am I actively seeking one.

Contrary to the defamatory smear postings, I did not disclose having been the victim of a rape to “deflect” anything, since the lies about my sex life  are complete ludicrous fabrications. How low can they go? Stay tuned. Just as there is no evidence to support the safety and efficacy of the interventions that they are so upset that I have criticized that they have gone on an obsessive two plus year smear campaign against me, there has never been any evidence whatsoever to support the fabrications about my life and profession. In truth, my sex life has been, by my own choice, virtually nonexistent for the past decade and I have never worked in the adult entertainment industry, hence nothing to deflect. Newsflash to the cyber defamers: Repeating lies does not make them true. The lies about my so-called “promiscuity” can be repeated hundreds of times, but they are still lies.

A few days ago, it occurred to me to do a Google search on some of the key phrases of that offending posting from the “cheaters” website. What immediately came up was another posting, clearly not about me made to a site for moms, entitled “I have to work with a woman who slept with my husband“. Sentences that were quite unique were directly copied from that posting by the cyber smear campaigners and put into the fabricated posting that targeted me on the “cheaters” website.  In the original posting, the alleged other woman was not referred to by name and the people in question were nurses. In the copy posted to the “Cheaters” website, my name was added, the posting was shortened and the profession was changed from “nurse” to “social worker”. Just so people can see the similarities, here is the original posting:

I’ll try to make a long story as short as possible.

I invited a friend/coworker to my son’s birthday party at my home, lets calls her “s”.  S is talking about how she is getting divorced and so on.  My husband realizes he was unhappy in his marriage to me as well, and they start talking.  3 days later, I find out, get upset, because stbx wants a divorce out of the blue. He leaves me and moves into a motel, all the while talking to her.   They have an affair and then she bails after a little while.  (he left 12/13, she left shortly after new years)  He has a nervous breakdown and spills everything to me.  I stand by him, I have forvgiven him, but we are still getting a divorce.  We are friends because of the kids, and we honestly like, even love each other but we know it won’t work out again.

I am a nurse, so is S.  We work on the same floor of the same hospital.  She is well liked and accociates with people outside of work.   I mostly stick close to my family.  I’m friendly at work, but don’t belong in the clique, and that’s how I want to keep it.  I talk to people at work, and they know about my problems, because S ran her mouth about them at work.  People started asking me questions, and seemed generally concerned, so when I started telling them he cheated, they didn’t need me to tell them who with….but they did, and to some, I told.   Word started getting around that S is a home wrecking bitch, and her friends started confronting me about it, telling me I need to shut my mouth, I’m just causing problems, no good comes out of it, etc.    Mind you, I wasn’t holding up a sign or volunteering my story, and it was mostly answering questions when people asked.  I was confronted by her friend who said she doesn’t want to get involved with it.  Then, my good friend at work walked into her running her mouth about it to four other nurses about how I am so terrible for putting S down.  I’m sure S lied about the whole affair to her, and thinks I am just trying to make her look bad, but my stbx husband told me himself, and then I confronted her and she admitted it too!   Now I am afraid that I will get into trouble because people will think that I am lying and spreading rumors!

Any advice?  I dont feel like I should lie for her when people ask me point blank, did S sleep with your hubby?  I guess maybe I’ll just say “Go ask S”, but that probably wouldn’t end well either.

After I presented this evidence to the  “Cheaters” website personnel and asked that the posting be removed since it was obviously copied and false, thankfully, they did remove the posting. I let them know that I realized that legally I could not hold them responsible for the posting, but asked them to remove it, in the name of human decency and I will acknowledge that they displayed such decency and removed the posting. Sometimes asking nicely for postings to be removed does work.

This is yet another demonstration of how far the smear campaigners will go to target me with completely fabricated stories.  I predict there will be much “shouting” about “censorship” now that the offending, highly defamatory posting has been removed. As I mentioned in the previous posting, in Florida, in addition to defamation, such postings may still be considered a crime. Free speech does have its legitimate limits and false postings of this sort definitely do not fall under the domain of free speech. In contrast, what is considered free speech is my right to criticize and express my concerns about certain therapies and therapists. Obviously some people are incapable of telling the difference.

Florida Criminal Libel Statutes

In most states, libel is a civil, not a criminal offense. However, I have just learned that in the State of Florida some forms of libel are considered a criminal offense. Giving all the lies that have been posted online about me, I found this one particularly interesting.

836.04  Defamation.–Whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

I don’t know if this has recently been enforced, but nevertheless, it is still on the books in Florida.

Note that I am not saying that I believe defamation should be criminalized, I am only noting that this is a law that is still on the books, which could leave the door open to criminal prosecution of the smear campaigners who are posting malicious lies about me. I had thought that any person with at least a minimal amount of intelligence could figure that out and it goes without saying, but apparently not, given a recent posting by those other WordPress bloggers on their smear blogs that appear to be devoted to distorting my views. Apparently they are either incapable of telling the difference between is and should or they are deliberately attempting to mislead others.

Searches that brought people to this blog this AM

Sometime in the wee hours of this morning, my blog stats indicate the following creepy searches were done in my name, that brought people to this blog, most likely because there are lies regarding these topics that I have posted about here. My comments are in brackets and should help whoever did this search to find what he/she is looking for. In order to keep the content of this blog clean, I have deleted parts of some words that I am sure people can figure out.

monica pignotti s__x life [nobody’s business, but many lies posted on this topic] 1
monica pignotti faculty evaluations[I provide references from faculty who have actually worked with me, to people with a legitimate reason to request them. Go here to read a statement of support from 47 mental health professionals, many quite prominent faculty members] 1
monica pignotti teaching evaluations [again, these were good and I make them available to prospective employers who request to see them.] 1
where is monica pignotti offering s_x [Easily answered in one word: Nowhere] 1
monica pignotti defamation case [This is Ronald S. Federici v Pignotti et al, dismissed by a Federal judge in March 2011 for both failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and jurisdiction. Go here to read documents. Following the dismissal of this case, the smear campaign against me escalated. Contrary to the lies that have been posted, I have not “denounced” my lawyers and in fact, have praised them for their excellent job in successfully defending me.] 1
monica pignotti adoption clinic [I do not, nor have I ever, been involved in any adoption clinic, nor do I plan to. This is a lie that has been posted about me, perhaps to attempt to misportray me as a business competitor when the fact is I have not made any money from my critiques of adoption “experts”] 1
monica pignotti pr__stitute in florida [This is a fabrication by anonymous posters. I have never been a pr_stitute, anywhere, ever. Clearly, I am the one here who is being defamed on the internet and in many states, lies about serious sexual misconduct are considered libel or defamation per se, meaning it is considered so bad, that it would not even be necessary for the plaintiff to prove damages to win a case, were the anonymous posters to be identified and sued. For example, in Virginia, “attributes to the plaintiff the commission of some criminal offense involving moral turpitude, for which the party, if the charge is true, may be indicted and punished” constitutes defamation per se.]

Forgery Alert: Forged posting to alt.religion.scientology that I did not post

Since I stopped responding to postings on newsgroups such as alt.religion.scientology, postings are now being forged with my name on them by the internet smear campaigners in an all too obvious effort to get me to respond. This one, signed Monica Pignotti, Doctor of Philosophy, has lies about me in relation to Larry Sarner. Please be advised that if anyone sees postings with my name on them, it is very easy to forge postings to Google groups and that is what is occurring now. Unlike most postings to such newsgroups that stay up forever, this posting is set to expire in three days, an option that is available to those who post to such newsgroups.

Earlier, during the time that Ronald Federici’s case was being prepared against me (which was ultimately fully dismissed) postings were forged in my name that I was offering adoption services when I have never offered any such services, although these postings were not mentioned in his complaint. These too were anonymous and I cannot prove who was behind them, but it appears that someone was making an attempt to make it appear that I was a competitor when in fact I am not and have never had any financial profit from my criticisms of Federici or any of the others. When we pointed out that none of the defendants made any money from our criticism of him, Federici, in his memorandum of opposition to my motion to dismiss also tried to name a psychologist with whom I have no connections whatsoever as a direct competitor of his, even though she lives and works in a different state from Federici and from me and was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. He tried to claim that we had a connection, simply because I mentioned her more than once on my blog. No, praising someone’s work on a blog and linking to a podcast does not constitute conspiracy, but at that point he appeared to have been grasping at straws. Ultimately all this failed and the case was fully dismissed.

One way to tell a posting is forged is if you click on my name, you will see that instead of my e-mail address coming up, the e-mail address of an anonymous remailer comes up instead. Regular e-mail addresses can be identified through their IP addresses. Anonymous remailers are e-mail addresses people can be used that cannot be traced via IP addresses and thus the poster cannot be identified. I never use anonymous remailers so if a posting comes up with my name on it that has such a remailer, you can be certain it did not come from me. Some common names for anonymous remailers are Nomen Nescio, George Orwell, Kulin remailer and the one that the posting in question was posted under, reece.net.au which indicates an Australian remailer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the poster is in the country listed.

Once again, this shows how low the smear campaigners are willing to go.

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.

Targets of Cyber Abuse Who Fight Back

Like a typical abuser, cyber abusers expect the victim to remain a victim, quietly slink away and not assert themselves. What happens when the victim defies convention and chooses to assert herself, as I have? The result is similar to the way a typical real life abuser responds. He/she attempts to reframe things with the following types of responses, characterizing the victim’s fighting back as:

  • Shrill (commonly used by sexists against females who dare to assert themselves — rarely are males ever described as “shrill”)
  • Mentally unbalanced
  • Making unreasonable “demands”
  • Being a “conspiracy” theorist
  • Being narcissistic
  • Being a drama queen
  • Being selfish
  • Being an attention whore (internet jargon for someone who needs attention, which is the equivalent of saying a rape victim was asking for it]
  • Use sock puppets to make it appear that the victim is being ganged up on when really it is only a few people who are running the smear campaign.
  • Attempt to portray the victim as an “internet addict,” say that the person has a lot of time on her hands (ironic, given the amount of time and effort the cyber abuser is going to, to smear the person) or showing how many postings the person made, neglecting to mention they were responses to the equally many posts the cyber abuser has made.
  • Attempt to reframe any support the person gets as being done in exchange for sexual favors (in my case this has gotten to be absurd, as a statement of support from many prominent mental health professionals I will soon be posting, which includes heterosexual females, will indicate).
  • If all else fails, sue the victim with a SLAPP lawsuit
  • Or if there was a sexual relationship between the abuser and victim and worse, if they had a child together, suing the woman for custody and use the child as a weapon (although this obviously does not apply in my case I have counseled women in the past who have been through that kind of situation).

These are just a few ways cyber abusers and cyber stalkers attempt to rip away from the victim the right to defend him or herself. All of these things could discourage the victim from taking a proactive stand against the abuser and defend herself. See it and call it what it is. Don’t fall for it.

Monica Pignotti and NYU: What Really Happened

For more than a year now, the malicious lie has been posted that I was “fired” from Florida State University and declared “unfit to teach”, along with all kinds of other nonsense. As stated previously, this is entirely false and I have references and positive teaching evaluations that prove otherwise. It has become very obvious that someone is very hard at and spending an inordinate amount of time posting falsehoods about me on a regular basis, to try and make sure I do not get a faculty position by posting such lies and hoping the people doing the hiring believe them or perhaps wrongfully blame me as the victim that I must have done something to deserve this. What I did was expose what I consider to be abuse in the name of “therapy” (for example, using outdated prone restraint methods on children with behavior problems rather than empirically supported methods). This is why I am being targeted although 47 of my colleagues have been courageous enough to take a stand with me.

Now, in five separate postings, this lie is being extended to New York University (NYU) [Update May 20: there have now been a number of additional postings falsely asserting that NYU has made a statement that they have not and other false statements about this matter). For example, one posting claims that I was denied a position at NYU because of information that came up on an FOIA request on me for FSU. This is utterly absurd, since the only teaching I did at FSU was as a doctoral student and I only left because I graduated and left in good standing in every way. I was never faculty at FSU in the first place. My teaching was done as a PhD candidate under a stipend that all PHD students/candidates get and do teaching or research in exchange. I graduated and left in good standing and have the references to prove it. Another posting lied that NYU discovered I had a criminal record when the truth, which can be easily verified by a background check is that I have no criminal record whatsoever for anyone to discover, not even so much as a traffic ticket.

Before I go any further, let there be no misunderstanding. Please note that I am in no way intending to blame NYU for what I am about to describe happened nor am I accusing any of their faculty or personnel of anything. The person posting these malicious lies, whoever it is, appears to not have a conscience when it comes to lying and may well be a sociopath. Sociopaths can be very clever and even though I am sure the people at NYU did everything possible to protect the information I sent them, such people can find ways to get around these kinds of setups through no fault of the people concerned. It could have happened to virtually anyone.

Already my cyber stalker is frantically trying to misportray me as spinning conspiracy theories. No, I am not. The fact is that when a person applies for a job, their application is supposed to be kept confidential and in my case, the confidentiality of my application was breached. Postings were made that I had applied for this job when I had not publicly revealed that anywhere. Postings were made saying that I did not get the position before I was notified. How this happened is unknown and that is what I am requesting be investigated. This is a reasonable request because if there is a leak somewhere — whether that leak be due to computer hacking, someone snooping or someone violating the confidentiality of job applications, someone gossiping to friends about who applied or something else — it needs to be fixed so future applicants won’t have this happen to them. I am not blaming anyone, but I do have the right to know what happened. The fact is that the confidentiality of my application was violated, someone, somehow through some unknown means gained access to information they should not have had and a matter I chose to keep private was posted on the internet. That is an issue that needs to be taken very seriously.

Here is what actually happened with NYU. It is interesting and telling to note that until today (April 18, 2011) I have not discussed nor even mentioned anything about this matter. I have not discussed it on the Internet or even on Facebook. I make it a point never to discuss by name any faculty positions I apply for before a final decision has been made, for obvious reasons. Yet although it is a bald-faced lie that I was declared “unfit” for the position (in fact, I was declared by the search committee head “a qualified applicant”), someone seems to have gained inside information that I had applied for a faculty position at NYU’s school of social work and that I did not get it. How this information was obtained remains a mystery, since I am sure that the people on the search committee are completely ethical and would never have leaked it. It appears that someone snooped or someone snooped and then told someone else who posted this.

The anonymous poster, whoever it was, was apparently aware that I had not gotten the position before I received my rejection letter and announced the fact that I did not get the job in a very nasty way, accompanied by lies about the reasons why. The posting was made shortly before I got my formal rejection letter (via e-mail).

I notified the search committee chair about this to apprise him of the situation and he expressed serious concern and expressed his sincere compassion about what I was having to endure with regard to the internet smear campaign (I sent the head of the search committee links to all the postings so he could see the outrageous lies in them). While it is true I did not get the position, it is completely false that I didn’t get it because they considered me unfit to teach or that it had anything to do with any of the lies that were posted about me such as the lie that I have a criminal record, which of course I do not. The head of the search committee has now given me permission to make it publicly known that he and the other search committee members considered me one of a number of strong, qualified applicants who applied for the position and their decision was in no way meant to reflect poorly on me.

The NYU faculty position I applied for was an administrative program coordinator position for an MSW program at a campus outside of New York City. When I applied, I fully realized that this was a long shot for me and my chances of getting this were slim, simply because I have no administrative program coordinator experience in a university setting. I have such experience in a hospital setting, but I am well aware they must have had plenty of applicants who did have such experience in a university setting and understandably they would be a better fit for the position than I was. My main strengths and the bulk of my experiences are in research, clinical and teaching, not administration but I was willing to accept such a position, given the desirable location, high quality of the university and the fact that I did at least have some experience in a hospital, although not a university setting.

The job market this year is especially competitive, tough and challenging and for a school as popular as NYU is, I am sure they are being completely truthful that they did have many qualified applicants and I am honored that they considered me among their pool of qualified applicants even though I ultimately was not selected for the position. I completely accept that that’s the way things are on the job market. Hundreds can apply for a given position, but only one person can get the job. It doesn’t mean that the applicants not selected were “unfit” or even that they were in any way inferior to the one chosen. It only means that the person selected was considered a better fit for that particular job.

Just to give people an idea of how tough this job market is, someone I know who teaches at Rutgers mentioned to me that about 120 people applied for one social work faculty position on their Newark campus. I would imagine that a comparable number would apply for an NYU position, as jobs in the NYC area are very popular and desirable.

What is disturbing is that the information that I applied and did not get the position was somehow discovered by someone who was apparently snooping where he/she did not belong. The matter was investigated but unfortunately it looks like at least for now, whoever did these postings has gotten away with it. Maybe next time whoever this is, won’t be so lucky. At some point the person will go too far and get caught, just as most overconfident sociopaths do.

Also note that this does not have to do with a breach in internet security on my end, because whoever did the postings knew that I did not get the position before I was notified, hence that information was not on my computer. Moreover, if someone had actually gained access to my private e-mails, there is much more information about my job search for jobs I actually had a much better chance of getting where I was on short lists that they could have sabotaged that could have been far more damaging to my job search, but were not discovered. The only place that was found out about was NYU and since I haven’t posted publicly about this until now, this leads me to believe that the breach occurred somewhere at NYU where someone gained illegal access to my application material, either by hacking into their computers or somehow gained access to my materials by snooping where they were physically located or some other way that I can’t even conceive of because I have to confess I have no experience or expertise in criminal activity such as that.

I predict that now postings will appear saying I “admitted” that NYU declared me unfit to teach or some other malicious lie. If this happens, fair warning to my cyber stalker, I will post a link to this blog article exposing the lies and distortions about what really happened.

This is yet another example of how malicious this smear campaign has gotten and how it appears to have extended beyond the internet. However, sometimes people get overconfident and do eventually get caught. At this time, I do not know the identity of the individual(s) doing this. However, it is interesting to note that at least some of the therapists whom I have criticized, by their own admission, had serious behavior problems themselves as youths and so with such a history, I have to wonder if perhaps such problems carried over into adulthood, but at this point I do not know if that is the case.

Part of the reason that I am posting this is that some people have laughed this whole smear campaign against me off as a trivial prank by some internet troll. The fact that inside information about my job search that was not available anywhere on the internet was obtained is one more piece of evidence that it is far more serious than that and that someone is also doing snooping off the internet.  This is very serious business and in some states, such cyber stalking especially when it involves illegally gaining access to information, may be considered a crime. It is certainly nothing to laugh off and blame the victim for. For people who are tempted to laugh this off and think it is nothing, first walk a mile in my shoes.

Update: A recent posting hinted that a “vigilant” group of unidentified individuals wrote a letter to NYU. This appears to be similar to what happened at FSU when a number of faculty members received a rather rambling, disjointed e-mail that smeared me and made accusations that I made postings on a blog that was not my blog that I had no responsibility for. Fortunately, they were not taken seriously and several of the faculty members forwarded the e-mails to me in order to make me aware of what was going on. All were sympathetic to me and opined that these anonymous e-mails had no credibility and appeared to be coming from an unstable individual and they expressed their condolences to me for having to deal with this. Apparently these individual who is writing these anonymous letters has no self-awareness as to how he/she comes across to others.

A few months before that Ronald Federici wrote a letter of “complaint” to the Dean of the College of Social work at FSU. I do not know if he was involved in the contacts that were allegedly made with NYU. Fortunately, the Dean at FSU chose not to take an action with regard to that letter and let me know that he considered it irrelevant to my work at FSU. To add insult to injury Federici also attempted to sue me for the commentary I wrote about his complain to my dean (Exhibit H). However, in the dismissal hearing, the Federal judge ruled that my comments did not constitute defamation and were opinion. Yes, I do indeed have the right to defend myself.

Monica Pignotti: Another Typical Sunday of Internet Smear Campaign

I am continuing to expose the anonymous smear campaign against me. As noted previously, this smear campaign has escalated considerably following the dismissal of Federici v Pignotti. Coincidence? You be the judge. Note that I am not accusing anyone in particular of being the anonymous poster. Given the vast differences in writing styles, it is likely there are more than one. Some are fairly literate whereas others seem to have difficulty even putting simple sentences together. I’m just pointing a few things out and people can make their own guesses, which are as good as mine.

That being said, Ronald Federici has responded to his critics, in a posting that he has linked to his own website. In case anyone is wondering why I am linking to it and thus aiding in its promotion, read it and you’ll understand.

Now, back to the posters who appear to have less courage and choose to post anonymous lies about me.

Please note that I have chosen an unorthodox way to deal with this by responding to these postings. I am well aware that conventional wisdom is against this. However, I have tried not responding at all for months at a time and the postings did not stop. Also notice that Larry Sarner has chosen not to respond to any of the smear postings about him and yet the unrelenting smear campaign against him has also continued. I need to remind people who believe they know all about this, that this is a very new area and just as conventional wisdom about the need of rape victims to remain silent and just submit proved to be wrong, conventional wisdom about victims of cyber abuse remaining silent may also prove to be wrong.

Last Sunday I exposed the postings that were made against me on that day. Today I am doing the same. It isn’t even 3PM yet and here are the ones that have appeared so far.

On alt.religion.scientology

Monica Pignotti: Professional Cultist

Yet another repetition of malicious lies and outright fabrications including:

  • The lie that I was “expelled” from Advocates for Children in Therapy for failing to pay “my share” of the legal bills

This one is false on a number of counts. First of all, I was not “expelled”. I have not been involved with ACT since December 2010 before any legal bills ever even existed. There was never any issue over legal bills with ACT because I had a different lawyer from an entirely different law firm from ACT/Sarner/Rosa. Again, this is all a verifiable matter of public record from the now-dismissed case of Ronald Federici v Monica Pignotti et al. Although I am no longer part of ACT, my departure was my own choice. I have nothing critical to say about them and still support their mission. You see, in the non-cultic world, people come and go from organizations all the time for benign reasons that have nothing to do with being “expelled’ or with abandonment.

  • The lie that the “remainder” of my work is in “cultic studies”

In fact, very little of my professional work has anything whatsoever to do with “cultic studies” as my CV demonstrates. However, the fact that I do have some knowledge of cults and their dynamics appear to be a big threat to some people who are exhibiting very cultic behaviors of launching smear campaigns against their critics. In Scientology this is called fair game.

  • The lie that I am hoping to make money doing adoption therapy with a certain licensed psychologist.

This is completely false. I have never made any money doing adoption therapy, nor do I ever intend to. This made the now-dismissed charges of “tortious interference” very difficult to make stick, given that I have never made any money from my advocacy work. I have never met the psychologist in question, nor have I ever had any kind of business relationship with her, nor do I plan to.

  • The lie that I was fired from FSU due to “immorality”

I was not fired from FSU at all. In fact, I only left because I graduated with my PhD and I have the references to prove it that I can and have supplied to any legitimate organization requesting them. The nonsense about sexual misconduct and “immorality” is a complete fabrication.

  • The lie that I have a criminal conviction for “witness tampering” that has ended my ability to land a tenure-track position.

I have no criminal record whatsoever. I invite anyone with any doubts to run a background check on me, which will come up squeaky clean, not even traffic violations. Whether the internet smear campaign has ended my ability to land a tenure track position remains to be seen. If it has (and note I say if), that is more of an indictment of the profession then it is of me, that I would be penalized for my advocacy work by a profession that professes to value advocacy.  I truly hope this is not the case.

  • The fabrication that my “sexual openness” has landed me in court for divorce, custody and alimony cases.

This is a complete fabrication. I have never had anything whatsoever to do with any such cases and I am about as far as one could get from the description “sexually promiscuous”.

  • The fabrication that my behavior at “academic events” has given me the title “social work sex toy”

Another complete fabrication. The only one who has used that “title” to describe me have been these anonymous cyber stalkers.

Just how desperate can these people be to grasp at these kind of straws to attack me?

But wait, there’s more:

Also from alt.religion.scientology:

Monica Pignotti: The Academic Failure

This is basically a repetition of the same lies that were in the posting described above. It looks like here, my cyberstalker got lazy and just cut and pasted the same malicious, defamatory material.

Monica Pignotti and Pavlov’s Dog

This one is an attempt to blame me, the victim of cyber abuse.

First, it castigates me for having a “Google Alert” on myself. Setting up a “Google Alert” is pretty standard advice to someone in my position who is being cyber stalked and there is nothing wrong with doing so.

It also excoriates me for responding to posting and says I am “talking to myself”. No, responding to postings is not talking to ones self. It is responding to a posting. Responding more than once to a posting is also not talking to oneself. Sometimes a thoughtful person will post something and after sending it have some more thoughts to add to it, hence a second posting. This has nothing to do with mental illness. In fact, this kind of behavior pattern was illustrated by the fictional character, Colombo who was known for coming back and saying “one more thing”. For those of you old enough to remember:

Was Colombo’s character supposed to be mentally ill? I don’t think so. He was an eccentric but brilliant detective whose mind was always running full speed ahead to solve the mystery at hand. I consider myself to be a philosophical and psychological detective. It is a hallmark indicator of a mental health quack to pathologize (label as mentally ill) behavior that is merely different.

I wasn’t talking to myself but I might as well also point out that the notion that talking to oneself is a sign of mental illness is a common myth believed by amateurs and some ignorant therapists who endorse quack DID therapies. No, it is not. Here is a website that cites research to debunk that myth (and it’s also fine for children):

For adults who do so, don’t worry. Scientists advocate talking to yourself, believing it to be perfectly normal as well as having phenomenal emotional benefits. According to a recent poll conducted by Nottingham Trent University, passengers on a bus or train are able to release their inner stress by quietly humming a tune or simply whispering to themselves.  However, they try to do this as inaudibly as possible, feeling “it’s legitimate to communicate to others, but not with themselves” as cited from leading researcher Dr. Glenn Williams.

Furthermore, children also stand to gain by speaking to themselves. A study conducted by Dr. Adam Winsler of George Mason University deduced that kindergarten kids who talk to themselves are more confident, participating actively during class compared to their more introverted peers. By chatting with themselves, they are able to put their problems into perspective and reflect upon their past actions. Dr. Adam says “private speech” was essential in childhood development and should not be censured, but rather heartily embraced and encouraged.

So much for that myth.

Moving on to the Cooking Junkies Newsgroup (who knows why they selected cooking):

Monica Pignotti: Immoral and Detested

Well okay, there is a grain of truth to this one. I am indeed “detested” by people who are followers of certain therapy gurus I have criticized.  My rebuttal to that one is:

Monica Pignotti: Moral and Detested by Quacks

The rest is just a cut and paste of the postings I described above. Guess my anonymous stalker is having a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Will update this as more will inevitably come in.

Oh, and one more thing I would like to ask the people who are participating in this smear campaign:

What, exactly do you say to yourself to make what you are doing, in your own mind, okay?

How are you rationalizing posting these malicious lies about me?

Or am I giving you too much credit in asking this question? After all, sociopaths have no need to rationalize anything to themselves.

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?


Defamatory Internet Postings about Monica Pignotti: A Typical Day

Here is a typical day of defamatory internet postings about me just to give people an idea of how outrageous this smear campaign has become.

Today, March 27, 2011, following the appearance of Daniel Ibn Zayd’s commentary on the dismissal of Federici v Pignotti et al and Federici’s “response” to critics and my subsequent commentary on this blog about it, anonymous postings were made about me to the following newsgroups by someone who was obviously very upset about this:

http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.lebanon/topics

Monica Pignotti and the Black Hand of Jhadist Terror:

Makes completely false and obviously malicious defamatory statements about me with regard to terrorist activities that are not even remotely true.

Daniel Ibn Zayd and Monica Pignotti:

Falsely states that I am appearing in court on charges of association with a terrorist and that I worked for a flight school in Florida prior to 9/11. Again, both malicious lies that can be completely refuted with a search on PACER that shows the only court case I have been involved in is Federici v Pignotti et al which is now dismissed and has nothing to do with terrorism. The only other lawsuit I was even named in was a very short-lived counter suit by Hulda Clark’s organization 10 years ago, but I was never served with papers for that one so I was never actually sued and the suit was withdrawn. This one is especially ugly since in fact, I was living in New York City at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and watched the towers collapse which I could see from the hospital where I was working at the time. I had lived there for 21 years prior to that and did not move to Florida until the summer of 2006.

Monica Pignotti and Ibn Zayd: Mass Murder Plot:

Again, obviously false and defamatory. Qualifies as libel per se if the anonymous coward who posted this can be identified.

alt.religion.scientology:

Monica Pignotti: Personality Disorder?

Falsely states that I have a personality disorder and “abandoned” Advocates for Children in Therapy when I have done nothing of the kind and obviously online diagnosis by an anonymous coward is not valid. Newsflash: In non-cultic organizations, people are free to come and go as they so choose for reasons that have nothing to do with abandonment.

Additionally, whoever wrote this (I hope not a licensed mental health professional!) appears to have a misunderstanding of how abandonment relates to borderline personality disorder. The issue with people with BPD is that they feel they have been abandoned and fear being abandoned, not that they abandoned others although they do tend to have ambivalent relationships with others. This does not mean, however that anyone who leaves an organization or severs ties with people has BPD. That’s the kind of assumption an amateur would make.

http://groups.google.com/group/misc.legal/topics

Inside the Monica Pignotti — ACT Split

More lies by an anonymous coward who knows nothing about this matter, which had nothing to do with legal fees or voting machine cases that have no relevance whatsoever to my life. The public records show that I had a completely different law firm represent me from AC T so that completely refutes the lie that there was a dispute over legal fees.  I recommend that the anonymous coward, if he has any ability to read, look at the legal documents and which law firms were representing each of us. Obviously someone is fishing for info that they are not going to get.

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.shortwave/topics

Yet another posting lying that I was fired from FSU when I was not (a lie about me that has been repeated endlessly for over a year, although the postings abated during the 3-month period of Federici v Pignotti et al.) I graduated from FSU and left in good standing in every way and have references to prove it that I supply to legitimate people requesting them.

That posting linked to another posting two days earlier on the same newsgroup that made defamatory statements about me with regard to FSU and divorce cases when I have never been involved in any divorce cases, ever in my life.

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.cooking/

Monica Pignotti is a TRAITOR

More lies about my relationship with ACT saying I abandon things and “write sensational articles”. I have written no such articles about ACT nor do I have any intention of doing so and the statement I am “known” as a “social work sex toy” is patently absurd.  Actually the only ones to use this term to describe me as this are the anonymous cowards who have been endlessly repeating that phrase. Anyone who knows me would be rolling on the floor laughing, as anyone who knows me knows how not like me that description is.

Monica Pignotti: Domestic Violence

Also from rec.food.cooking, lies that I was fired from FSU and have convictions for witness tampering and fraud. In fact, I have never been fired from any professional job I have ever held and a search of any criminal database or court database such as PACER will show that they will come up squeaky clean — no criminal convictions or charges of any kind, ever.

http://groups.google.com/group/sci.skeptic/browse_thread/thread/a3e0f8707aeb769c#

Monica Pignotti: Be Afraid, Very Afraid

In addition to the usual defamation and misleading portrayals (e.g. Bruce Thyer although like many people has in the past been divorced, he has not divorced recently and has been happily married for 20 years). The subject header of this posting is bordering on crossing the line into a threat.

Also from Sci.Skptic:

Monica Pignotti: Hot for Teacher

More of the usual obscene defamatation.

I post these just to reveal to readers what a typical day defamatory internet postings about me has been like, ever since the dismissal of Federici v Pignotti et al and I’m not even sure that I have listed all the postings that have appeared about me today. Coincidence? You be the judge.

And again, for people who think I should just ignore these and they will go away, they won’t. I have tried that and it didn’t work. The only thing that made the postings mostly go away was the existence of legal action — they greatly decreased with no overtly libelous postings during the period Federici v Pignotti was active. Following its dismissal, the smear campaign resumed in full force. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Please keep in mind that cyber abuse is a relatively new phenomenon and so don’t be so certain that the prevailing wisdom to ignore cyber abusers is correct. Remember when the common wisdom for rape victims was not to fight back and just go along with it so they wouldn’t get killed? Well, that one turned out to be very wrong and the current advice is for rape victims to scream as loudly as they can and fight back. In my opinion, the same goes for victims of cyber abuse and I refuse to stand silently by while my reputation is being trashed by malicious liars.

I just noticed in my site stats for this blog (which gives terms people searched on to get here) that someone searched on the question “what kind of information do i need on a poster for a smear campaign?”

To respond to that question, if the smear campaign against me is any indication, my answer would be no information whatsoever. Entire smear campaigns can be based upon nothing more than fabrications, especially if the people posting are able to remain anonymous and not accountable for their actions.

The Blind Stupidity of Google Search Engines and The National Enquirer

Come on people, it’s just a computer program and in my opinion, not such a good one at that because Google searches all too often, produce unreliable information. No offense intended personally to any of the individuals who are programmers for Google  — I have known a few and they are very bright individuals — but something really needs to be done because all too often, a Google search on a person’s name is not an accurate representation of who they are (which also points to the flaws in critical thinking of people who make such an assumption that it is). More and more people who have even minimal critical thinking skills are coming to understand that Google is not a reliable source for information and to really find out information about someone, sources of whatever comes up, need to be carefully and critically examined. Anyone can post anything on the internet about anyone and if they have a bit of technical knowledge and know how to Google bomb or if someone is a critic of certain pseudoscientific practices, the blind stupidity of the Google search engine will make these ads for practices come up with the person’s name. Anti-cult activists have been aware of this for quite awhile now. The reason these ads come up and not ads for more credible sources is that often, these pseudoscientific practices aggressively advertise on the internet whereas the more credible sources most often do not buy so many Google ads, if any. Academics and  clinicians who already have busy, successful practices often see no need for aggressive ad campaigns because they have busy practices with long waiting lists simply through word of mouth and do minimal to no advertising.

Perhaps this is why attorney John Dozier, co-author (with Sue Scheff) of the book, The Google Bomb has compared Google to The National Enquirer. Virtually anyone can post anything about someone and Google does not discriminate as to whether it is backed up by any evidence. Dozier stated:

I can see the day when Google will be the National Enquirer of the online world. And ironically, it will be by the vote of each of you. The online society will have voted to leave for greener pastures, tired of the trash Google presents as authoritative (p. 221).

Dozier went on to explain that better search programs will be developed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been victimized by an online smear campaign.

Ironically, what’s happening lately is that people, to defend themselves from the libel and defamation that comes up on Google searches that Google will not remove without a court order and since most people cannot afford to hire teams of lawyers to deal with this, is that people are getting Google alerts on their names and doing their own searches in order to defend themselves and this gives even more hits and business to Google. I would bet this is temporary, though, until a competitor steps in and creates a better, more reliable search engine.

So Google, get with it and fix your search program so it does not misrepresent people, or your competitors will do it for you and Dozier’s prediction will come true. In my opinion and experience, for critical thinkers, it already has. In the meantime, smart people or perhaps I should say people that have at least minimum levels of intelligence and critical thinking skills, do not jump to unwarranted conclusions about a person based upon Google ads or what comes up on Google searches.

Until this search engine reliability problem gets corrected, which could be years, I highly recommend people read books like The Google Bomb for things they can do to minimize the damage.

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