On September 28, 2010, an article appeared on an adoption website [article has since been deleted] announcing a conference on adoption, a cruise that is scheduled for late September/early October of 2011. What is key to recognize is that I had absolutely no knowledge of this discussion that occurred on that article until after the comments had been closed, nor did anyone else involved with Advocates for Children in Therapy (ACT). In other words, that entire discussion took place without my participation or the participation of anyone from ACT. It is also a lie that I wanted to stop or in any way sabotage this cruise. I have no intention of doing so and I wish the organizers of this event well and hope it is a successful event. I am not opposed to all adoption. What I am opposed to is abuses of the system and interventions that target adoptees which may cause harm.
Both relevant articles have been deleted. To provide a summary of what transpired, the article announced that Ronald Federici was scheduled as one of the keynote speakers. The first person to respond was someone using the name, Linda. Clicking on Linda’s name in her posting, readily identifies her as a blogger who writes about being an adoptee. Linda was critical of Ronald Federici and soon after someone named Daniel Ibn Zayd responded with a critical comment about Dr. Federici. At that point, someone identifying himself as Dr. Federici posted a comment that the critical comments were coming from Linda Rosa and Larry Sarner. It appears that Federici mistook Linda, the adoptee blogger for Linda Rosa. Dr. Federici accused them of making libelous and ridiculous statements and requested that they not be allowed to post further and that the postings currently up be removed. This request for removal of the negative comments (that were not even made by Linda Rosa and Larry Sarner) elicited even more negative comments from people upset with the attempt being made to suppress criticism. The moderator of the board allowed the critical discussion to continue and the comments remained up for several months, although more recently, they appear to have been deleted.
The discussion continued until 7:37AM on September 29, when someone using the name DCParent posted, for the first time bringing my name into the discussion with the usual denigrations of my “background” that I have gotten used to by now from Federici supporters (for example, associating my name with Scientology, neglecting to mention that I left and completely repudiated Scientology in 1976 and associating my name with “energy therapy” neglecting to mention that I left and completely repudiated such therapy over 7 years ago and am now a well known, published critic of it). In any case, after that posting, the thread was closed. Remember, at this point in time, I knew absolutely nothing of this discussion.
I did not learn of the discussion until a rather creepy posting appeared about me entitled Monica Pignotti at the Center of Adoption Controversy! several hours later on alt.religion.scientology that provided the link to the adoption cruise discussion. I was hardly “at the center”. I wasn’t even involved in the aforementioned discussion and my name was only mentioned once, at the very end. The posting lied that I had “teamed up with” Daniel Ibn Zayd who they called a HAMAS supporter to “attack an adoption cruise ship” which clearly is a malicious lie. In the first place, up to that point, I had never even heard of Ibn Zayd so I certainly was and am not involved in any sort of conspiracy with him. In the second place, Ibn Zayd later set the record straight that he is not connected with HAMAS and a joking remark he had made had been taken out of context. However, to this date, I have never met or even directly corresponded with Ibn Zayd although I did later make a comment on his blog, ironically correcting him on something he said about Dr. Federici, letting him know that Federici does not practice rebirthing, which he then thanked me for and corrected. This demonstrates intention on my part and on his to present only accurate information and Ibn Zayd removed the statement that was not correct and thanked me. Federici should also be thanking me, since I actually helped correct and remove a negative comment about Dr. Federici! I did this because I care about truth and accuracy for all concerned, even the people I criticize.
At any rate, to get back to the alt.religion.scientology posting, made hours after the discussion had been closed that I even learned about this “controversy”. I went over to the website to check it out but was unable to add my comment because the discussion was closed. To sum it up, a number of people were opposed to Dr. Federici being a keynote speaker who had no relationship whatsoever with me or with ACT. Nevertheless, for the past 10 days, ridiculous postings have been appearing about me all over the internet, saying I have terrorist connections, one posting even saying that I have been reported to the FBI’s terrorist hotline. Presumably that FBI hotline had a reliable way to deal with crank complaints, but what this shows is how far some people are willing to go to attempt to discredit me, by telling bald faced, crazy lies such as this. Ironically, less than a month prior to that, Larry Sarner and I had been falsely accused of being Quran burners and if the FBI were to decide to check me out, they would immediately find out about this glaring contradiction, along with notice the vicious internet smear campaign I have been subjected to, for the past year and a half.
Following the initial thread about the adoption cruise, the people who run the website posted another article, explaining why they had chosen Dr. Federici as keynote speaker and stating that they stood by that. However, later, after a number of additional negative comments, by people I did not know, they decided to cancel Dr. Federici. It appears that I, along with other people involved with ACT are being blamed for this when we had nothing to do with it and were not even aware of the initial discussion where so many people had protested and clashed with other people who were posting who supported Dr. Federici.
Since the comments on that article were open, for the purposes of clearing up the misinformation that had been posted about me, I sent a comment, clarifying what my position actually was on Federici and letting people know I had no involvement in the original thread, even though I had been accused of trying to sink the ship. I received a number of very supportive comments from people, although those comments also ended and were closed after a posting from a Federici supporter who did not provide a name, trashing me, denigrating any of the posters who had been critical of Dr. Federici and suggesting that people who were critical of Federici not be allowed to post.
The person asked “Can you say you actually helped?” My answer is yes, I can say I have helped. My MSW internship was working with inner city children and I believe I helped several of those children and I loved working with them using play therapy. I also believe I helped several children with serious behavior problems, some of whom were adopted, when for nearly 5 years I worked for a neuropsychologist and 90% of that work had absolutely nothing to do with TFT, to refute the way this has been misportrayed.
I also am currently providing help. Educating the public about novel unsupported treatments, especially those that may be potentially harmful and are untested for safety and efficacy and working to disseminate evidence based approaches does ultimately help children. So my answer to that question, to paraphrase Obama, is yes I can.
The smear campaign against me continues, with anonymous lies being posted that I am a terrorist and have connections to HAMAS. One anonymous posting even stated that my PhD was funded by HAMAS. If that isn’t libel and defamation of me, I don’t know what is! This is especially ridiculous, since it is well known that FSU funds its own PhD students with full tuition reimbursement and a stipend and I covered any additional expenses I had with student loans that I am currently paying off.
The accusations that I am in this for financial gain are the most ludicrous of all, since I have not made any money from any of this, nor have I ever attempted to. The anonymous postings claiming to be me offering adoption services are forgeries, posted through anonymous remailers. I never post through anonymous remailers, so anyone seeing such postings can be 100% certain they did not come from me. This appears to be yet another attempt to make me look like a business competitor when I am far from being one. I am a scholar and my interest is in facts and evidence regarding therapies that are being offered to people.
What all this demonstrates is the lengths that some people will go to, in order to discredit anyone who is critical of their favored therapies. Someone is obviously going to great lengths to attempt to silence me.
This is the truth about what occurred, which hopefully will set the record straight about all the lies and false innuendo that have been posted about me being a terrorist and trying to sink a ship.