Exactly one month ago, Megan Carmel Singer, a former member of the Local Church of Witness Lee and Associate Social Worker (ASW) in California banned me from her then Cults group at Facebook which she just renamed to Cult Awareness & Recovery and unfriended me at Facebook. She did not inform me about banning me and did not explain her reasons for banning me. I never violated any group rules. In addition, since May 2008 until April 2011 when Megan banned me, I was a co-administrator of this group. I emailed her and asked why she did so. The only thing she let me know was that "one of the leading cult experts of the country" complained at me and this was why she immediately banned me, although she was still "exploring the issue." After I emailed her again, she replied that I should "sit tight" and "be patient." I asked her again what were the accusations against me. She did not reply. The day before yesterday, I emailed her again and asked what was the conclusion of her "investigation." She did not reply me. However, she changed the settings of her group after my email.
Well, I never saw such hostility as Megan has showed toward me. As far as I know, moderators and administrators usually let people know why they ban them and people who were banned have a right to know why they were banned. However, until now, Megan refused to let me know why she banned me. I did not expect such hostility from Megan because she and I cyber-met 4 years ago and, to my understanding, we never had any problems before she banned me.
Since Megan has not been very active in the anti-cult field, she probably does not know that there is no such an official title as "cult expert" because there is no organization that certifies people as cult experts. This title is usually self-assumed. Consequently, there are no "leading cult experts of the country."
Although Megan did not want to reveal me the name of this "cult expert," it was very easy for me to understand who this person is. His name is John M. Knapp. Of course, he is not a "leading cult expert of the country" and even not a leading professional in the anti-cult field in the USA, though he does have such ambitions and I think he may present himself as such.
Knapp has been a member of Megan's group for almost two years. He did not often post there. However, as soon as Megan banned me, he and another member began to promote his CHSCA. So, I think one of the reasons he had Megan ban me was to have a freedom to promote his non-profit there. Before Megan banned me, I was a co-administrator and could easily delete his posts.
Well, Knapp has quite a remarkable trait. When he has problems with people, he does not deal with them directly. Instead, he spreads various slanders about them. I know of some of his slanders regarding me and other people. However, he speaks them behind their backs. At the same time, he may try to have good relationships with these people. Ironically, just after Megan banned me, Knapp sent me two invitations to connect with him at LinkedIn, though he did not try to contact me since August 1, 2010 when we had a split. Also, I am well aware of Knapp's ability to separate people and break their friendships. In addition, I understand that he is unhappy at my blog posts about him. So, his behavior does not surprise me at all.
However, Knapp's behavior does not vindicate Megan's behavior toward me. I was a moderator and administrator of Knapp's forum for 5 months. I heard what he said about some people and organizations. However, I also used my mind and critically evaluated what he said. I also considered my own experience with these people. I have never behaved in such a hostile way toward people even when I believed Knapp.
Megan refused to let me know the accusations against me and did not want to name the person who accused me. She refused to let me an opportunity to speak in my defense. I never violated the rules of her group. The conflict between Knapp and me had to do with his forum and non-profit and had nothing to do with Megan's group. All this is unfair. In addition, her two replies were full of arrogance. BTW, Megan has been a member of my groups as well. Although she banned me, I did not ban her because she did not violate the group rules. I decided to be fair to her even though she is unfair to me.
In this situation, I can no longer endorse Megan's group which is currently called Cult Awareness & Recovery and which may soon become a branch of Knapp's CHSCA which I cannot endorse either.
Update. After I published this post and let Megan know about it, she emailed me. She wrote that I may rejoin her group and apologized to me. However, until now, she did not let me know what happened: she did not give me any names, any accusations against me, and so on. So, this situation still looks quite odd to me.
Update (08/18/2012). Since I had written this post, Megan left the Facebook group Cult Awareness & Recovery. Currently, its admins are other people. Knapp is no longer a member of this group either. Somebody added me to that group, so I am a member of this group now.