Refutation of the disinformation about Monica Pignotti

Posts tagged ‘internet smear campaigns’

Two Propaganda Tactics: Repetition of Lies and Context Dropping

A well-known propaganda tactic is to repeat lies. However, not all the repetitions in the world will change the facts of reality. A lie is still a lie, no matter how often it is repeated.  The anonymous smear campaigners have given us repeated examples of this.

Another propaganda tactic is to selectively report events from a person’s distant past. Dr. Ronald Federici has done us the honor of providing an example of this tactic in action, now repeated on blogs, when he attempts to resurrect ancient history by launching ad hominem attacks on critics rather than responding to the substance of their concerns (e.g. questioning the highly controversial recommendation of prone restraint on children and asking where and when he trained in the use of such procedures, for example). Long-ago dismissed voting machine cases I had zero involvement in and practices I have long ago left, repudiated and now am a known critic of, are irrelevant. Thank you, Dr. Federici.

Of course, the fallacy in this is that first all, I have never expected or encouraged people to believe something simply because I say so. What I have done is presented a number of references of research-based opinions from organizations such as SAMHSA and white papers on prone restraint (written by people who have never had anything whatsoever to do with voting machine cases or Scientology) that people can read and form their own opinions.  Federici’s response appears to be, in essence, the ad hominem, who would believe a former Scientologist? That’s no problem because I am not asking people to believe anything just because I said so. Moreover, the expressions of my views have nothing to do with being a former Scientologist (in fact I left and fully repudiated Scientology over 35 years ag0). My education, including my PhD, my training in evidence-based practice and 20 peer reviewed publications are evidence that I am qualified to evaluate the evidence behind claims, but even so, I would never expect anyone to simply believe something because I said so. I invite people to look at the references and links to articles in my postings which contain evidence to back my opinions up and make their own decisions.

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Raising the Anonymous Posters’ Consciousness on Rape: 60% of Rapes are Never Reported to Police

Well, actually what I wrote in the title is not possible since these are malicious smear campaigners who appear to lack any kind of conscience whatsoever when it comes to posting fabrications about me, but the purpose of this posting is to set the record straight and provide any readers who are unaware, with the facts about how often rape is not reported to police. The anonymous smear posters are now demanding documents including a police report for an incident that occurred nearly 40 years ago where I was raped while I was in Scientology. At first they were ignorantly misportraying this as a new revelation on my part. When I proved them wrong and pointed out I had written about this in 1989, they just brazenly moved on to more smears, which has been their usual and all too predictable practice. When I expose the lies or their ignorance, they just move on to something else hoping people will forget they have been exposed, typical behavior for a pathological liar.

Most shamefully, the smear campaigners are now misportraying my sexual victimization that I had therapy 22 years ago to address, as “sexual escapades”. No, rape is not a “sexual escapade” and their attempts to portray it as such only demonstrates how low the smear campaigners have sunk, accompanied by their disgusting fabrications about me. I was in therapy 22 years ago to deal with a rape, not “sexual escapades”.

Additionally, the reason I didn’t report it was not, contrary to the ignorant postings of the smear campaigners, because I had some kind of “OT” Scientology beliefs. At the time this occurred, I had not reached any advanced Scientology levels and even if I had, Scientologists do not believe they can literally turn back time and make things not happen. The term “erasure” refers to removal of the emotional charge from traumatic events, not literally wiping out the event itself and as for OT superpowers, that is only claimed for the ultimate OT level, which at the time I was in Scientology no one had reached. So no, I never had any beliefs that I held such superpowers. The claimed end phenomenon for the level I did reach was simply, “return of full self-determinism”, not any supernatural powers but at that time, I hadn’t even reached that yet. The reasons I did not report the rape to police were much more mundane and rather common for women in those days who were raped by someone they voluntarily went with.

These latest smear postings demanding proof for a rape that occurred nearly 40 years ago that I shared in a personal account of my experience, indicate a very antiquated awareness of the statistics on rape victims, especially those that occurred that long ago. The fact is that the vast majority of rapes are never reported to the police. Even today, 60% of rapes are not reported to police. This was especially so in the early 1970s when it wasn’t even considered rape if the woman voluntarily went into a room with a man. Actually that kind of rape was very common in those days. Thankfully nowadays for most people, consciousness on this topic has been raised and rape is rape, regardless of whether the woman initially went voluntarily somewhere with a man, although it seems that even in this day and age, some people have yet to learn this.

In my case, I did not report the rape because in those days, my report probably would have been dismissed. He could have claimed it was consensual and it would have been my word against his and in fact, for years I blamed myself for this until in the late 1980s, I had therapy and my therapist helped me to understand that this incident did, indeed qualify as rape. When I finally told my therapist about this during the late 1980s, I saw tears come to her eyes and she said, “You were an innocent. This was not your fault”. That was so true. I was a sheltered, very naive 19 year old who actually believed the guy was going to help get me a legitimate acting job in the movies and I went with him, believing the myth that people could get “discovered” in that way. One of the nasty postings called me a “professional victim”. No, disclosing this does not make me a “professional victim”. For one thing, I have never been paid for having been a victim of rape. I have noticed, however, that “professional victim” is a phrase that people who wish to intimidate victims from speaking out and blame victims, just love to use. Rest assured, it will not have that impact on me. Calling me by that name will only make my voice grow louder to demonstrate that I will not be shouted down on this or on any other topic I feel it is important to speak out on.

So no, I did not report the incident when it happened because like many woman in those days, at the time, I blamed myself for going with him in the first place and did not view it as a rape at the time. I actually shared this with a few other Scientologists at the time and they too blamed me, the victim, for falling for the scam (quite ironic, since we had all fallen for Scientology). It was my therapist, years later after I had been out of Scientology for 13 years, who made me aware that this was rape.  It was then, that I chose to write about it in that affidavit of 1989 and until now, no one has had the indecency to attempt to shame me for this in any way. Therapy taught me not to blame myself and not all the internet smear campaigns in the world are going to shame me or break me.

Another statistic to be aware of is that about 50% of rape victims experience PTSD. That is a higher rate than veterans of war. However, I am in the fortunate 50% that did not develop PTSD. My therapy was mainly cognitive restructuring, meaning the therapist challenging my erroneous beliefs about the experience, such as blaming myself and this approach worked well for me. Even though I did not have PTSD, I did have residual feelings of self-blame and that is what therapy helped me to overcome. In the cases of people who are suffering from PTSD, however, they may need to have a therapy known as prolonged exposure therapy, which is a very well-supported therapy for PTSD, shown to be highly effective for people who have been traumatized by rape. Fortunately, there is help available and there are many compassionate, competent, caring and ethical therapists who can offer such help for PTSD or any other residual effects of trauma.

Every time I think the anonymous cyber smear campaigners cannot sink lower, they do. This attacking me for a rape that I wrote about that occurred nearly 40 years ago is indeed a new low, even for them.

So no, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone and anonymous cyber smear campaigners have no right to demand such proof. Their using this incident that I wrote about 22 years ago, to smear me makes them, not me, look very bad and a number of people have their own opinions as to who the circumstantial evidence indicates is behind all this. In any case, their ignorance on this topic is beyond belief.

Go here for some education on the topic.

60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical average of the past 5 years.2 Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

Convictions

And this is 2011. In 1972, things were far worse.

Apparently the anonymous cyber smear campaigners are incapable of distinguishing what requires proof and what does not. Contrary to the recent straw man arguments being put forth by the anonymous smear campaigners, I have never, ever claimed that my PhD makes me immune to needing to prove things. If I was delivering interventions to children, I would indeed need to produce evidence to support what I was doing. However, they fail to make the distinction between what kinds of claims require proof and which do not. My claims about my own experiences in the distant past, are not provable and my inability to produce “documents” does not harm anyone.  No decent person would ever expect or demand proof of this.

This is very different from people such as Ronald Federici who are recommending interventions for internationally adopted children that recommend the use of prone restraint, which have no randomized controlled clinical trials to demonstrate their safety and efficacy. This is not a double standard. If Ronald Federici had chosen to write about personal experiences he had in the 1970s, I would not demand proof. If some associate of Federici’s was involved in a court case in the 1990s, I would not demand that he prove anything about it. What I do demand proof for is the claims he makes about his interventions for children.If I were delivering such interventions, I would also be obligated to provide evidence for them.

The anonymous posters attempt to equate apples and oranges. Needless to say, making unsupported claims about interventions being used on children is very different from making a claim about a personal experience that occurred nearly 40 years ago.  I am also not responsible to produce “evidence” for the postings of anonymous survivors of holding therapy, as that was never my blog, nor am I responsible to produce evidence involving long ago concluded voting machine cases that I had no involvement in whatsoever. Their attempt to equate these things fools no one but the true believers who attack me.

Moreover, anonymous cowards who use their anonymity to post malicious lies, have no right to make any demands of someone such as myself, who has always posted using my real name. If the anonymous cyber smear campaigners want to ask me something, let them reveal their identity first. I don’t respond to anonymous abusers, who have no intention other than twisting my words to attack me further, nor do I have anything to prove to them.

I will, however, continue to demand proof from mental health professionals who are offering interventions for their clients that appear to be lacking in evidence and I would hold myself to that same standard, for any interventions I recommend to others. If the anonymous smear campaigners think my social work colleagues would in any way be sympathetic to their disgusting behavior of attacking someone who shared a highly personal experience of having been raped at the age of 19, they really don’t know the social work profession, as any decent social worker will be appalled at such postings attacking me for sharing an experience about having been raped. Actually, one Dean of a prominent school of social work, when I told her about some of the earlier postings, attempting to reassure me, let me know that no rational person would believe a word these anonymous smear campaigners wrote about me.

So keep it up, cyber smear campaigners. You only make yourselves and your gurus look very, very bad when you attack someone for sharing a personal experience of a rape, very different from making a claim about an intervention.

To the cyber smear campaigners: If you think you are going to break me down in any way emotionally by posting about this, think again. I had therapy for this issue more than 20 years ago and since that time have become a highly empowered survivor who will not be broken, nor will I back down in my activism against harmful practices with children. Attacks such as this only show your appalling ignorance on the topic.

Now, back to the topic at hand, where is the evidence that the interventions that Ronald Federici promotes for children, are safe and effective? No matter how many lies his followers post about me and no matter how hard they try to deflect from this topic by posting lies about me and irrelevant nonsense about voting machine cases I had no involvement in whatsoever, I will continue to ask that question, as I will continue to ask for evidence to support the claims of a number of other mental health professionals who are making claims on the internet and else where that lack proper evidence (i.e. studies published in peer reviewed journals) to support them. Every time lies and ugly smears are posted about me, I will bring the discussion back to the topic at hand, which is the reason why I am currently the target of this smear campaign. I have challenged therapy gurus who have followers who obviously do not like to have their unsupported claims challenged.

Monica Pignotti and Florida State University: Setting the Record Straight

As detailed in the lead article on this blog, I have been the target of an ongoing internet smear campaign for the past two and a half years, which has included the posting of highly defamatory fabrications about my life and career by individuals who are upset by my expression of concern and criticisms of the claims being made by proponents of certain mental health interventions.  The purpose of this posting is to set the record straight regarding my relationship with Florida State University (FSU). Here are the facts:

  • I attended FSU from 2006 to 2009 as a PhD Student/PhD Candidate..
  • I graduated from FSU with a PhD in 2009.
  • While I was a PhD candidate I was a teaching assistant and also independently taught courses at the College of Social Work to undergraduates.
  • All PhD Social Work Students and Candidates at FSU are paid a set amount every year for their first three years (at the time I was there, it was $12,000 per year, although it may be more currently). In exchange, the student is a research assistant for the first two years and teaches during the third year and in some cases later years for as long as they are a student/candidate.
  • All of my teaching at FSU was done under the above arrangement. I only taught as a PhD Candidate.
  • FSU Social Work has a policy against hiring their own PhD students as tenure track faculty and since priority for non-tenure track is given to existing students, once someone graduates, they do not teach at FSU, not because they were ‘fired’ but because that is the arrangement.
  • I have not been “fired” from FSU.
  • No student ever complained about my teaching. Since FSU is very diligent about giving their instructors feedback, they definitely would have let me know if anyone had.
  • I received acceptable teaching evaluations. Several students commented that they found me highly approachable, easy to talk to, kind, tolerant and open minded. One of the questions on the evaluation asked if the instructor was arrogant and 0% (none) of my students agreed with that statement (I mention this because the lie has repeatedly been posted that my students found me arrogant and dogmatic when precisely the opposite was the case).
  • I never, at any time, was involved in any kind of sexual misconduct whatsoever.
  • I never, at any time made any derogatory remarks about faculty, students or anyone else at FSU.
  • I left FSU in good standing in every way.
  • Since graduating from FSU, I have delivered a number of guest lectures to both Graduate and Undergraduate social work students at FSU, the most recent being two in October 2011. These were lectures that I was invited to give, something that obviously would not have been possible, had I been “fired”.
  • To anyone with a legitimate reason, I can provide references of people I actually worked with at FSU who can verify all of the above.

The following falsehoods have been posted about me and FSU:

  • The lie that I flunked out of FSU. Click here for proof that I graduated.
  • After I presented irrefutable proof from the FSU website that I did, in fact, graduate, the lie was posted that I was allowed to graduate only because FSU was afraid I would sue them. This is ludicrous defamation, not only against me, but also FSU. FSU would never allow someone to graduate out of fear of lawsuit. In fact, PhD students and candidates are evaluated on a yearly basis and FSU has not hesitated to dismiss PhD students or candidates who were not performing up to par. I passed all my evaluations, fulfilled all the requirements ahead of schedule and was the first in my particular cohort to graduate. My transcript, which I will provide to anyone with a legitimate reason for needing to see it, demonstrates that I fully and honestly met all the requirements, including a 3.9 GPA and passing my preliminary examination and dissertation.
  • The additional lie was posted that I graduated and then was “fired”. Again, this is false. All of the teaching I did at FSU was as a PhD candidate. I held no other position at FSU because, as I mentioned above, they have a policy against hiring their own graduates in tenure track positions and give priority to their candidates for all the others, so there are no open slots for graduates to teach there. The fact, verifiable via my references, is that I left FSU in good standing in every way.

The following absurd fabrications were posted about me and FSU. Although absurd and unlikely to be believed, I want to state them here, for the record, just to demonstrate how sick and ugly this smear campaign has gotten. I am not mentioning the names of the faculty members because I do not want to add to the way in which their names have already been denigrated.

  • The lie that I called a faculty member a “bag lady”. I would never call anyone by such a derogatory name.
  • The lie that I denigrated a faculty member for wearing sexy clothing and called her a “tramp”. Again, an absurd lie.
  • The lie that I propositioned two faculty members who are a married couple and that they reported me and had me fired for “voyeurism”. I was not fired and this is a complete fabrication.
  • The lie that I called for the end to the College of Education and that their dean asked to have me “fired”. On the contrary, I hold a certificate in statistics and measurement from the FSU College of Education and have never said anything negative about them.
  • The lie that I “wasted class time” talking about my experiences in Scientology and “time travel”. I have never discussed my experiences in Scientology with any of my classes, nor have I discussed “time travel”.  The only time I have discussed Scientology at all is when I presented some scholarly qualitative research that was done on it, which was a relevant topic of the course being taught.
  • I have also been denigrated by smear campaigners for talking about Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Since I have published research and other peer reviewed articles on TFT, this is a legitimate topic and in fact, I have been invited by faculty members to guest lecture to their classes on TFT and present the research I published in a peer reviewed journal, a controlled study showing no difference between TFT Voice Technology (VT) and a sham VT control group. I also was a guest lecturer, by invitation, to a group of PhD psychology students at SUNY Binghamton. Again, this was all by invitation by people who obviously found my work in that area of enough value to their students to want me to speak to them on that topic and I obliged them. The feedback I received on my presentations was very positive.
  • That I “wasted class time” talking about “being single”. Although I have done no such thing, what I have done is spent time presenting on discrimination and stigmatization against people who are single. Again, I have published research on this topic in a top ranked social work journal. This is a legitimate topic, given that diversity is part of the social work curriculum and in fact, I was invited by one of the FSU faculty members to speak to his diversity class on this topic.

These are the facts about my relationship with FSU. If anyone has further questions, I will be glad to address them.

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.

More searches in the wee hours of the morning

Again, this morning there were more searches on my name connected with obscenities that I won’t mention, but are similar in nature to what I mentioned in my previous posting. Someone appears to be spending an inordinate amount of time doing these searches from either the other side of the world or is staying up very late at night/in the morning to do them.

Why the need to spend so much time doing senseless searches and putting up blogs that appear to be solely devoted to lame attacks on me? It goes with the territory. Apparently there are mental health professionals and their followers who are not willing to tolerate any challenges or expressions of concern about their work and will stop at nothing, including postings that would constitute defamation per se, not understanding that this only makes their therapy gurus look all the worse.

Denigrating internet critics as having an “internet obsession” is quite ironic, when the people in question stay up all night doing the kind of searches that have been done on me. Now come again, who is obsessed? Heal thyself, indeed. Apparently they think they will be able to manipulate critics into saying — oh no! I don’t want people to think I have an internet obsession, so I’d better stop posting. Not a chance. Just look at the voluminous postings of David Gorski on his blogs who posts much more on his blogs than I do, and he does this while holding down a full time tenure track faculty position and hospital job as a surgeon, in spite of efforts of anti vax quacks to get him removed, which failed miserably and a Google search on his name reveals a smear campaign at least as ugly as the one against me.

It is beginning to become a compliment in skeptical and scientific circles to become the target of an internet smear campaign. If the targets weren’t being effective, why would so much effort be put into smear campaigns?

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.]

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