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Forgery Alert! Therapist, heal thyself

September 23, 2010

FORGERY ALERT! The latest dirty trick being pulled on me is that someone is posting in my name, Monica Pignotti and misrepresenting that I am offering various adoption and counseling services that I am not, in fact offering. The postings are all done through anonymous remailers that I had nothing to do with. If you see a posting with my name on it that is from “Anne Onime” “George Orwell” or “Nomen Nescio” or “Anonymous” or any other anonymous remailer, you can be sure that they did not come from me because these are all the names of anonymous remailers and I never post under anonymous remailers.

These postings are being done to various public internet groups and are impossible to have removed. Although they can be reported as spam, removal rarely happens.

Another recent lame attempt at forgery is that someone bought the dot com domain of Larry Sarner and put up a website that is continuously being changed. It started off as a highly obscene, ugly website full of hateful language against religion. Then it morphed into a website that made the threat that if they didn’t take down their ACT website against Federici, they would leave the fake Larry Sarner website up. Then it morphed into a website that just had foul language and a rant against Larry Sarner (obviously this wouldn’t be Larry’s website). Postings were put up with the ridiculous allegation that this was my website — as if I would be attacking someone who is the ED of ACT when I am on its advisory board. Not too bright. Now, it seems to have morphed into a website that has a link to the dot com domain of childrenintherapy (ACT’s address is childrenintherapy.org). The dot com link, links directly to Ronald Federici’s website. The ISP for the fake Larry Sarner website appears to be connected with a reputation management company. If this is reputation management, I have to wonder who they’re working for since it doesn’t seem to me as if something like this would be helpful to Federici, having his name linked with these kinds of sleazy, rather childish, dirty tricks, presented in a rather semi-literate manner. It certainly exceeds the bounds of professional behavior. We don’t have direct proof that Federici is behind all this, so I’m not alleging that [UPDATE: later versions of the website in question and a new website lindarosa dot net, state that Federici retained their services in reputation management so now we do have evidence that at the very least, that is what is being alleged], but at the very least it is from a supporter since the page is linking to his website, heralding him as the real advocate for children in therapy. Of course, none of this addressed the main issue at hand, which is our questioning of the safety and efficacy of the intervention that he has promoted through the media, the internet and his self-published book. That isn’t libel, defamation or slander to question this because it is a fact that this intervention has not been scientifically tested with randomized clinical trials to determine its safety and efficacy.

What is clearly libel and defamation are the lies that are being posted about me by anonymous individuals on the internet. For example, saying that I was fired from FSU when I was not, is libel. Saying that I propositioned two faculty members for sex when I did not, is also libel. Saying that all my achievements were obtained through sexual favors is libel, not only of me, but also of those who have given me recommendations. Publication is done through blind peer review, which means that the reviewers who approved publication of my work did not even know who I was, much less did they have sex with me. Saying that I was arrested when I have never been arrested is libel. Saying that I am in jail when I am not is libel. The list of blatant lies about me goes on and on and the only barrier to a lawsuit is the fact they are being posted by anonymous individuals who have so far escaped identification. However, criticizing a person’s self-published book for having no randomized controlled studies to back it up and citing literature demonstrating the dangers of face-down prone restraints and expressing concerns about a book that recommends them is not libel because 1) I have a right to my opinion and 2) the facts I have stated are documented truths. There are, in fact, no RCTs to support the safety and efficacy of that intervention. In contrast, I have not been fired from FSU, arrested or anything else. See the difference? I’m sure in the sick mind of whoever is doing this, that person thinks he is playing tit for tat, but he isn’t because I am not spreading lies and this anonymous individual(s) is.

I also need to note that this is not the first time such a blatantly dishonest, dirty trick has been played on me. A few months back, someone sent me an e-mail falsely claiming to be Eileen Gambrill chastising me for my criticism of certain therapists/therapies. When I wrote to the real Eileen Gambrill inquiring whether she actually sent the e-mail, she responded absolutely not and confirmed that the e-mail was indeed a forgery and she has complimented me on my work and encouraged me not to give up or allow myself to be silenced because exposing therapies that do harm is a crucial and important task for the social work profession to encourage and be engaged in, in order to truly help people. Obviously she would be the last person in the world to chastise me for criticism.

All this shows the level certain mental professionals and/or their supporters will stoop to, rather than engaging in a meaningful discussion with critics and addressing the serious issues raised.

The postings were anonymous so I am not pointing the finger at anyone in particular and I will leave it to the readers to make their own educated guesses as to who could be behind this, but one thing is clear from their content, that whoever is doing this is someone who is upset with my criticisms about certain “experts” in the area of adoption.What I find especially ironic about this is that some of the people I am criticizing are using their heavy-handed treatments because they say they are necessary to prevent the children from growing up to be sociopaths. Parents agree to use them because they are terrified that their children will end up being sociopaths and are being told, without sound scientific basis, that this will happen unless they agree to the aggressive, heavy handed interventions proposed. Yet when such people get upset with me for criticizing their methods, what to they do?   They behave as a sociopath would [this is intended as a behavioral observation, not a diagnosis on my part], telling bald faced lies about me and forging postings in my name and sending phony e-mails. What’s wrong with this picture? How can you possibly prevent children from growing up to be sociopaths when you behave like one yourselves as therapists and/or as parents who defer to such therapists as authorities? What kind of role model are you that this is how you deal with people who say things you do not like? As the saying goes, physician (or in this case, therapist), heal thyself.

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4 Comments
  1. Now that is a dirty trick!

    The posts can be reported as spam (if on a Google Group/Usenet).

    If there is a moderator, then they could be removed.

  2. Yes, they can be reported as spam but the groups they post to are not moderated and Google Groups rarely, if ever, removes any of the postings reported.

    • There is another reporting action that anyone can take which requires stronger action from Google.

      For instance, if the posts were full of hate, or were destroying someone’s reputation.

      If Google wants to know about it, they write to the person who reported it.

      And then there’s the whole IP-trace gambit. One writes to the abuse@isp.com or preferably the old-fashioned way.

  3. I’ve searched Google Group’s Terms of Service and the only mechanism for reporting I have been able to find is to select “report this message”. Then another menu comes up that gives various choices:
    Type of Abuse:*
    This message is spam
    This appears to be hateful or violent content
    This appears to be illegal pornography
    I’ve found personal or private information
    According to the laws of my country, this post is illegal.
    Other
    So yes, messages can be reported for spam, hateful or violent content, etc. although there is nothing about libelous or defamatory messages and there is no space on the reporting form to type in the specific nature of the complaint, so I have no way to convey to them that a particular posting is false. The problem is that if Google sees a reported posting that has a false, libelous statement about me, it doesn’t fit into any of the above categories and Google, reading the complaint, and Google would have no way of knowing it is a false statement. They really should have a space where people can type in details, but they don’t, so I guess really the only way to get through to them would be via a court order.

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