Monica Pignotti's Story: Part II

I first became aware of the possibility of a smear campaign when one of the survivor whistle blowers who goes by the name, Wayward Radish (WR) posted an e-mail that she said she had received from one of the therapists who was being criticized by ACT, Ronald Federici, PsyD. WR posted the letter dated March 1, 2009, on her blog. In one paragraph, it stated:
While I am a patient man, my limits are about done as you have done some egregious things on this internet. I know all of your names, and could post what I know about your personal and family issues of atheism, scientology, handicaps, depression, mental health issues, sexuality, etc.
This is very similar to the "you're going down" posting described by Sue Scheff in her book that was a prelude to what she had to endure. At the time, I had no idea what was to come, but in fact, these "real, good people", whoever they are have indeed apparently given into their urges to "write more". They been perpetrating an all-out smear campaign against a number of people in ACT. However, I am the one who has been targeted the most, perhaps because of what they found from my past involvement with Scientology (neglecting to mention that I left 33 years ago and have been an outspoken critic ever since) and also because as a newly graduated PhD, I am the most vulnerable. My co-author, Jean Mercer is a retired Professor who had tenure for 20 years prior to her retirement, so although they also have harassed her Dean, there really was nothing that could be done to her, although vicious lies have also been spread about her.

Shortly after this threatening letter appeared, blogs attacking us began appearing and all kinds of libelous and defamatory ads were placed around the internet through Craigslist, Backpage and Indymedia. Fortunately, much to the dismay of the pseudo-free speech advocates who believe the right to free speech means the right to libel and defame, I have been able to have most of these ads removed. However, they have also posted on public messageboards such as newsgroups, where it is pretty much impossible to have anything removed and such defamatory messages now come up on Google searches of my name.

Among the lies being told about me are:
  • That I invented and am selling a quack device called the Pigno-o-meter or Pignotron which is of course, entirely false.
  • That I am being sued for defamation, when I am not. There was one frivolous counter suit against me and 30 others for "racketeering" and other bogus charges that was immediately dismissed and I did not even have to hire a lawyer or appear in court to defend and I have never been sued for defamation or investigated.
  • That I was fired from FSU, which I was not. I graduated from FSU with my PhD and the only reason that I left is because I graduated and FSU Social Work does not hire their PhD grads as faculty. Here, they have managed to turn an achievement that I celebrate into a matter of shame. If anyone has any doubts about this, please contact me and if you are willing to give me your full, verifiable name and a professional affiliation, I will provide you with the names and contact info for references, faculty who I actually worked with at FSU who will vouch for the fact that I graduated and was never in any kind of trouble with them and left in good standing in every way.
  • People posing as students of mine when it is obvious from the content of the postings that they were not because they described things that were not even remotely close to anything that has ever occurred in my classrooms.
  • Lies that I said things about certain FSU faculty, that I called someone a "bag lady" and another one a "tramp" when again, I did nothing of the sort. The latest, most vicious lie in this category was that I was fired for making antisemitic comments about two faculty members when in fact, I was not fired and I nothing even remotely close to what was described ever occurred.
  • Lying that the Dean of the College of Education had called for removal, when she did nothing of the sort and does not even know me.
  • Lying that I had sex with certain prominent psychologists in return for their endorsements, which I have not. This happened after, in my defense, I posted genuine endorsements from psychologists who really do support my work.
  • Repeatedly lying that I had sex with my major professor and dissertation chair at FSU, which I did not. The individual in question is a very happily married man, who to the best of my knowledge, has never shown the slightest bit of interest in any woman other than the woman he has been married to for the past 18 years, nor have I had any interest in him in that way, although I do consider him a good, strictly Platonic friend and colleague.
The latest threat has been that they are going to contact FSU and demand information on me under the FOIA and that they will then do a mass mailing to schools of social work, publishers and anyone else who might potentially hire me. Based on the lies that are being spread about me, my guess that it would be a major smear campaign, in spite of the fact that an FOIA inquiry on me would yield nothing. Last November, an anonymous individual did a mass e-mailing to many of the FSU faculty. However, I was informed that none of them found it the least bit credible, especially since the e-mail was anonymous and written in a rather disjointed fashion that led people to conclude that it came from a highly unstable individual.

Last July, Ronald Federici sent an e-mail to my Dean at FSU, cc'ing two of Federici's colleagues, Heather Forbes and Arthur Becker-Weidman, complaining about me. The e-mail was basically a repetition of the lies that had been spread about me on the internet. My Dean informed me that he chose not to take any action on this whatsoever, as he considered the allegations completely irrelevant to my work at FSU. However, recently lies are being posted that I was fired from FSU due to these complaints, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Additionally, gratuitous negative comments essentially calling me fat, old and ugly have been made and while this does come under the heading of free speech and not as damaging as the outright lies about me, it shows the extremely malicious and highly personal nature of the attacks on me.

So that is a summary of at least some of what has been occurring. I will not post the links here because I don't want to spread this further than it already has. However, a Google search on my name reveals this and more.

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