Updated October 5, 2010
If you Google “Monica Pignotti” — for the record I want to state that I strongly oppose the burning of the Quran (or Koran) or any other book, for that matter, religious or otherwise, contrary to the malicious lies being posted on the internet about me by anonymous people who lack the courage to put the name to their defamation of me. I stand for reason, not force and violence. The lies that are being posted by people falsely impersonating me about Quran burning are perhaps the most malicious lies yet because they do not only endanger me — they also have the potential to contribute to the danger of our troops by inciting people to violence. Whoever is doing this, shame on you.
I was in New York City on 9/11 at Saint Vincents Hospital where I worked at the time, which was only about a mile and a half from Ground Zero. I saw the twin towers burn and fall and I was part of a city that was in shock, terror and then grief. I have seen enough hatred to last me a lifetime and I have no place in my life whatsoever for book burning or any other hateful acts towards anyone.
I expose abuse in the name of therapy out of my love and concern for children, not hatred and it is because of love, not hatred that I stand by my principles. When I see that wrong is being done, I will stand up and say so, no matter how much bullies attempt to intimidate me. It is my conviction that some (not all) interventions done in the name of “attachment therapy” or whatever the therapists want to call it and however good their intentions are, are harmful, abusive and just plain wrong and I will not hesitate to continue to say so. The fact that people feel the need to spread vicious lies about me all over the internet is only further evidence that the people who are supporting these therapies are highly abusive individuals.
Anyone who knows me knows that I stand for open, intellectual, peaceful discourse in a free society where people have the right to believe whatever they wish and read whatever they wish to. I also have no intention of burning Roger Callahan’s Tapping the Healer Within or Ronald Federici’s Hope for the Helpless Child. Although I disagree with these particular licensed psychologists (Dr. Callahan and Dr. Federici), I don’t burn books. If I don’t like a particular book, I criticize it and I have plenty such books on my bookshelf, all of which remain intact. If anyone is wondering why such vicious lies would be circulated about me, here are the details.
Fomenting hatred of this kind, particularly around 9/11 is about as low as anyone can go and every little bit of it, even the lies about me, may put our troops in danger, who the folks bent on smearing my reputation don’t seem to care about.
PS: The professional community is taking note of the smear campaign against me and my colleagues and since the name of a certain person was carelessly posted on a certain smear website for a short period of time which many prominent mental health professionals saw and took note of that particular individual’s name and consequently, they have a good idea as to who is behind it. His smear tactics may be backfiring big time, if he thinks that putting up smear websites against his critics and telling all too obvious and easily refutable lies about us is going to help his reputation. The hired guns or true believers (whichever the case may be) going after us seem to have become loose cannons and kind of remind me of the character, Trashcan Man in Stephen King’s novel, The Stand. As the saying goes, with friends such as this, who needs enemies?
Taking the high road, having a dialogue with me without attacking me personally with lies and actually responding to the substance of my criticisms, might have been a better path to choose, rather than the smear campaign we are all now witnessing. Of course, in such a peaceful, intellectual dialogue of the sort that is my style, it is the person who has the most evidence who wins, not the one with the most money to hire lawyers and/or reputation management firms.
To those who seem to be bent on doing whatever they can to see that harm befalls me, I ask that you take a step back on September 11, and think through what it is that you’re doing because it is really no different from what any terrorist does — try to control people through fear tactics and intimidation.
You might be able to hide your identity from the world but you know what you are doing and you cannot hide from yourself or your conscience, if you have one. You are the one who has to face yourself at 3AM. Do you have a conscience? If so, please take some time to reflect on your actions and whether doing what you have been doing to Larry Sarner, to Jean Mercer, to Linda Rosa, to Charly Miller to me and to others makes you feel good about yourself and at peace. If you achieved the apparent goals of your lies about us and some unbalanced individual were to be incited to violence against us, would that make you feel truly joyful when you are old and look back on your life? Is inciting others to violence just because you happen to disagree with them, what you stand for? If you believe in God, will you be able to face God with a clean conscience and be accountable for your actions? If you don’t believe in God, is this really in line with however you conceive of what is good and what is right? I can and no one can take that away from me.
If you are an admirer of one of the therapists I am criticizing or if you, yourself are one of the therapists I am criticizing, is attacking my colleagues and me really something you will be able to look back on and be proud of? If I really was the quack and the kook you say I am, then I would have no power to have any impact on what you are doing. The truth stands on its own. People who have the truth have no need to engage in these kinds of tactics. Please think about it and reflect on your actions over the past year and a half. Is this really how you want to be?
If you would like to have a dialogue with me on the actual issues involved here, I am more than willing to talk. What I am not willing to do is allow your intimidation tactics to compromise my values.
P.S. Here is what Penn had to say about this whole Koran burning controversy that has people whipped up into a frenzy.
Update: Less than a month later the absurd lie has been posted that my PhD was funded by HAMAS! These liars can’t even get their stories straight. First, the lie is posting that I’m burning Qurans and then, less than a month later, I am accused of being involved with HAMAS. Obviously nothing posted about me by these anonymous individuals can be taken seriously. My PhD, as all PhDs in social work at FSU, was funded by FSU. FSU funds their own PhD social work students with full tuition reimbursement and a stipend and this is well known.