Tuesday, August 30, 2011

John Knapp Blames the Victim (Part 3)

Update (01/26/2012). Currently, Knapp's website does not work. So, all the links to his website are not working.

Update. Knapp made some changes on his website. So, it is currently not accessible at its usual URL http://thechsca.org/. However, it is accessible at So, I added the working links to his website in parentheses in bold.

Knapp posted a new article regarding Monica on the CHSCA website: http://thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/145-monica-pignotti-bfw-120-days-same-subject-and-counting ( This article is actually their private correspondence that took place on May 2, 2011. As usual, his comments are filled with disinformation.

More stomach-churning drama, going on for the last 22 months!!! The same accusations, threats, and tortored logic—nearly verbatim.

All the emails below his statement were sent on May 2, 2011. The next set of their private correspondence posted by Knapp began on August 25 ( Nothing before May 2 and nothing between May 2 and August 25. Where is "drama, going on for the last 22 months"? No evidences. Just empty, groundless, and false accusations.

Carol did not report to me. When I set it up, I gave each of us one vote. The two of them had the power to overrule me at any point. So, in some senses, I was responsible to her just as much as she was responsible to either me or Lema.

Probably, first, I need to explain what he probably means here. In January 2010, he set a forum for anti-cult activists on his Knapp Family Counseling website. He invited some people to join this forum, including Carol and me. In March 2010, Carol and I became co-moderators of this forum and in April or May 2010 we became co-administrators. The three of us discussed together many things related to the forum and we voted for the decisions regarding the forum. However, Carol's and my position as co-administrators was not equal to Knapp's because of many reasons. The last word on any decisions was always up to him. Sometimes he was not available for a long time and we waited for him without carrying out our decisions. In order to join the forum, new members had to send him their personal information and this information was available only to him. The forum was located at his website, not on a service like Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups or another public service. The software used for his forum was phpBB3. Unlike, for example, Yahoo! Groups, phpBB3 has special privileges for the forum creator. Forum creator cannot be banned by other administrators and only forum creator is able to delete the forum. Eventually, Knapp did delete his forum. I could not do that and I could not remove him from the forum, although I had access to all the administrative options that may be available for a person who is not a forum creator. Carol did not have access to all those options. On the other hand, he could remove us from the forum at any time.

In May or June 2010, he began to share with Carol and me about his plans to create a non-profit which is now known as the CHSCA. Its name that he used in communications with us was the Knapp Center. Although Knapp wanted me as well as Carol to join it, I have never gave my agreement to join it. The reason for this was that I was not clear about Knapp's plans regarding this organization at all. The only thing he actually said was that he had a "clear vision" of what should be done in the anti-cult community that nobody has ever seen. This is why he was planning to create a non-profit. However, I had no idea what this "clear vision" was about. This is why I had never agreed to join his non-profit. I agreed only to listen about his plans about it, but he never actually revealed them, keeping saying that he would send us business plan which he never did.

According to Knapp's words, there was some connection between Knapp's forum and his non-profit that he was going to create. I was never quite sure about it. It seemed that he considered his forum for anti-cult activists as a part of his non-profit. Moreover, he somehow implied that since Carol and I were co-administrators of his forum, we were also a part of his non-profit. However, as for me, I gave my agreement to be a co-moderator and co-administrator of his forum, but I never gave my agreement to be a part of his non-profit. It seems that Knapp did his best to get me involved into his non-profit without my understanding of what he would be and even without my desire. This actually quite bothered me and it was at this point that I began to reconsider what kind of person he is.

So, although Knapp may claim that he gave Carol and me a vote and equal position in his then future-to-be non-profit (as he kept telling us at that time), it does not make sense since I did not give my agreement to join that project. Also, Knapp told us that he wanted to create his non-profit in order to carry out his "clear vision" of what should be done in the anti-cult field. He never shared its vision with us and I do not know what it is about. So, due to this reason, Carol's and my position in his non-profit could not be equal to his.

Although he kept saying to Carol and me that he gave us the same position as his, in his last email to both of us (sent on August 1, 2011), he made it clear that we did not have the same position. We never had the same authority as he did.

So, his statement that we "had the power to overrule" him "at any point" is simply not true.

Friday, August 26, 2011

John Knapp Blames the Victim (Part 2)

Update (01/26/2012). Currently, Knapp's website does not work. So, all the links to his website are not working.

Update. Knapp made some changes on his website. So, it is currently not accessible at its usual URL http://thechsca.org/. However, it is accessible at So, I added the working links to his website in parentheses in bold. In addition, he removed his posts from Facebook. However, they are still available at his website.

Knapp posted the same article about Carol Welch on Facebook: Carol Welch—Cyberstalker. One of his favorite manipulative technique is to play victim games and now he is doing this, trying to gain people's support. Here is a quote from one of his comments:

As you know, along with many, many others, including Carol Welch, I was permanently changed by my 23 years in the Transcendental Meditation organization.

I'll never be the man I was born to be.

I suffer from intermittent depression, moderate-to-severe dissociation, and although only hospitalized once for suicidality 10 years ago, the Abyss is no stranger even today.

First of all, who is the therapist and who is the client? A client hires a therapist in order to get help for his or her (client's) problems, not in order to cure the therapist from his/her problems. From NASW Code of Ethics (which Knapp is supposed to abide by):

4.05 Impairment

(a) Social workers should not allow their own personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties to interfere with their professional judgment and performance or to jeopardize the best interests of people for whom they have a professional responsibility.

(b) Social workers whose personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties interfere with their professional judgment and performance should immediately seek consultation and take appropriate remedial action by seeking professional help, making adjustments in workload, terminating practice, or taking any other steps necessary to protect clients and others.

So, if Knapp has mental health problems, he has to seek professional help and take the necessary steps to protect his clients instead of trying to use his clients to help him to heal or trying to make them responsible for his mental health condition. This is an ethical violation on his side.

By the way, attacking Carol Welch who is his former client, he made, at least, two more ethical violation. From NASW Code of Ethics:

1.12 Derogatory Language

Social workers should not use derogatory language in their written or verbal communications to or about clients. Social workers should use accurate and respectful language in all communications to and about clients.

4.04 Dishonesty, Fraud, and Deception

Social workers should not participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud, or deception.

He did write many lies about Carol in his article and comments.

As for his legal threatenings, they are completely empty and I do not think they deserve any attention.

After his attacks on Carol Welch, he went on attacking Monica Pignotti, MSW, PhD (for her supporting Carol) and me:
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/139-monica-pignotti-phd-is-this-cyberharrassment?? (
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/140-more-carol-welch-cyberstalker-crap%E2%80%94featuring-monica-pignotti-phd (
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/141-more-carol-welch-fan-mail-from-flounders-monica-pignotti-phfuckingd (
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/142-more-carol-welch-private-fluff-and-bluster-from-monica-pignotti-phfuckingunemployedd (
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/143-desperate-for-attention-as-ever-lema-nal-rejoins-the-attack (
http://www.thechsca.org/blogs/reckless-speculation/item/144-monica-pignotti-bfw-can-not-stop-herself-so-i-blocked-her (

He actually posted the private correspondence between Monica and him and added his comments. Well, I think that anyone who reads what he wrote about Monica, will come to conclusion that he does have serious mental problems.

I noticed that, although he got a number of supporting comments under his Facebook post on Carol Welch, there are no comments from his supporters under his Facebook post on Monica. This probably means that he is losing supporters because they see that he has serious mental problems.

Also, his attacks on Monica who is a social worker are another ethical violation. From NASW Code of Ethics:

2.01 Respect

(a) Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views, and obligations of colleagues.
(b) Social workers should avoid unwarranted negative criticism of colleagues in communications with clients or with other professionals. Unwarranted negative criticism may include demeaning comments that refer to colleagues’ level of competence or to individuals’ attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.
(c) Social workers should cooperate with social work colleagues and with colleagues of other professions when such cooperation serves the well­being of clients.

Although Knapp publicly announced that he is going to leave his profession, he is still listed in NYS board database as a registered LMSW:

License Information


Address : BURKE NY
License No: 071643
Date of Licensure : 12/01/05
Additional Qualification : Not applicable in this profession
Registered through last day of : 05/14

I do not know when he is going to leave his profession and whether he is going to do that at all. Until now, he is under the obligation to keep NASW Code of Ethics. However, he violated it many times.

Regarding his post about me (, I really do not have much to say. Many people use various pseudonyms and nicknames in Internet, including many people in the anti-cult community. I have never stated that I live in Chechnya, but if he thinks this way, I do not care. Only blog owners, website owners, and webmasters know how many people visit their blogs or websites, unless they make this statistics public which I did not. I already replied him that his accusation of Carol in "sexual harassment" is a defamation and I have nothing to add to this. When we talked on Skype, he said that he had studied NLP because cults use it, but did not use it himself. Now he denies his own words and changes them. Well, it is a very usual behavior for him, by the way.

Update. Carol posted an excellent response on Knapp's accusations: My statements addressing John M. Knapp's allegations & accusations.

John Knapp Blames the Victim

Update (01/26/2012). Currently, Knapp's website does not work. So, all the links to his website are not working.

. Knapp made some changes on his website. So, it is currently not accessible at its usual URL http://thechsca.org/. However, it is accessible at So, I added the working links to his website in parentheses in bold.

John Knapp has a habit of blaming other people for his own wrongdoings and of completely twisting the situation. However, even knowing that, I did not expect that he would attack his former client Carol Welch whose "fault" was that she filed a complaint at him to the New York State Office of Professions and wrote about her personal experience with him on her blog. Instead of admitting his wrongdoings, feeling sorry for what happened or apologizing to Carol, he prefers to attack her in his new article entitled Beware Carol Welch—Cyberstalker ( This article is just full of lies and twisting the situation.

Unfortunately, these two [Carol Welch and me] have launched an incredible campaign to discredit me and to apparently have my license to practice therapy taken away. Carol Welch lodged a complaint with my licensing board last Septmember and has made false and defamatory statements in many places on the Internet, calling those clients of mine she knows at home and making false claims, and also calling colleagues, friends, and board members. <...>

I have sufficient credentials to practice counseling and therapy. Although, because I have no intention of defending against Carol's complaint to my Board, I'm likely to lose the licensure soon. Since Carol, to my knowledge, has never presented evidence of criminal behavior or ethical breaches, I feel the Office of Professions should never have entertained the complaint in the first place. <...>

Briefly, here are the false claims I know of: <...>

I have practiced unethically and traumatized a client. (Carol Welch, ad nauseum) This is the most damaging allegation, I feel. Carol Welch has submitted a complaint to my governing licensing board. I learned of this in April. The investigator from the office of the professions would not discuss the specifics of the allegations with me. So I’m not sure what to think. This investigator could hardly contain her scorn and disdain for me, whom she obviously believed had traumatized Carol intentionally. She made flat out false assertions to me regarding Carol being my client when we worked together, the illegality of practicing therapy over the Internet, and numerous other “facts” about which she could have determined the falsity for herself. Investigators are not credentialed therapists. They are clerks. They are rarely schooled in the law. Their job is simply to gather facts. Some clerks come to believe they have power—and therefore wisdom. These are very dangerous people.

Well, if, as Knapp states, Carol's accusations against him in her complaint were wrong, why did Knapp preferred not to defend himself? Why did he prefer not to present his side to the investigator?

Instead of defending himself, first, he missed the time of renewal of his registration. His registration expired on May 31, 2011, but he renewed it only in the beginning of August. Now, he states that he is going to leave the social work field because, according to his words, he is "ashamed to be associated with the field" and because of "the horrific state of the mental healing profession."

If, as he states, Carol's accusations were wrong, why did not he try to defend himself to the NYS Board, preferring to attack her from his website? Well, the reason is very simple. Her accusations are not wrong and she did present evidences of his ethical violations to the NYS Board. He is unable to refute these things. This is why he decided not to defend himself. It is much easier to attack Carol, posting lies about her on his website, because, of course, not all the readers of his website know what really happened. And it it much easier to use his website in order to accuse the investigator of believing Carol's "wrong accusations" instead of having the direct and open dialog with the investigator regarding the complaint.

Knapp's article is just full of his lies about Carol and other people. I think this is one of the worst one:

Finally, Carol’s attacks on my character started shortly after I made it clear to her that I would not engage in a sexual relationship of any kind with her, despite her oft-repeated requests after our therapeutic relationship ended.

Well, according to my understanding, Knapp and Carol never met in person. Knapp lives in New York State. Carol lives in North Caroline. Although it may be possible to practice psychotherapy through Internet, it is definitely impossible to have sexual relationship through Internet.

In addition, there is an obvious problem of timing here. Knapp indicates it as the time "after our therapeutic relationship ended." What was this time? Knapp convinced Carol that their therapeutic relationship ended before she joined his forum and became a co-moderator and co-administrator. However, their therapy sessions continued after that, though he called them "life coaching." She continued to pay him. So, in fact their therapeutic relationship ended only with the conflict. Now, could Carol possibly "make requests for sexual relationship" with Knapp after the conflict when she was seriously wounded by him and when he cut all the contacts with her? Of course, not. Could she possibly make such requests before she joined his forum or became a co-moderator and co-administrator? Of course, she could not either. Otherwise, Knapp would not have invited her to the forum and would not have asked her to be a co-moderator and co-administrator of the forum.

So, Knapp's accusation toward Carol is not only completely false, but also completely illogical. The same is with his other accusations.

Knapp accuses Carol of defamation:

I find her tactics, as I discuss below, terroristic, defamatory, and sadistically cruel. <...>

Carol has loudly proclaimed that she does not care if she is breaking defamation or slander laws saying, “I will not be silenced!” <...>

I have waited patiently for over a year for Carol to work through this, allowing defamatory, damaging, and personally devastating statement after statement go by unchecked. I thought I owed her some time to come to grips with her pain on her own.

Today, because Carol’s cyberattacks, bullying, and defamation have not stopped—for over one year, mind you—I have reported the situation to the authorities and am seeking legal recourse for relief in the irreperable damage to my emotional well-being, family life, and professional career.

However, it is Knapp who makes defamatory statements regarding Carol, not vice versa.

By the way, since he could not "prove" to the investigator that Carol's accusations of him in her complaint were "wrong," I do not think he is really able to "prove" this in the court of the law. So, his threatens are empty. In fact, he made similar legal threatens toward me over a year ago when I posted a question regarding the point we had disagreement (it was the term "spiritual trauma") in two online groups. Although I did not mention his name there and even did not imply that I had a disagreement over this point with somebody, he accused me that I was going to defame him and damage his reputations and threatened me with legal actions against me. This was another example of his empty legal threatens.

Now, here are my responses to some of "the false claims" he listed:

The CHSCA is not incorporated or is operating illegally. (Lema Nal) Our website displays verifiable information that we are a charitable nonprofit corporation in Delaware. More US companies incorporate there than any other state. It turns out the service we used to incorporate did not register us as a foreign corporation in New York. This mistake isn’t uncommon. We are applying now.

What I actually stated was that the CHSCA is not incorporated in New York State where it is apparently located. I did not check the databases of each of 50 US states to see if it was incorporated in another state. I did not make statements that it was not incorporated anywhere in the USA.

There are no people involved in the Center other than me. (Lema Nal) The staff are listed prominently on the website. Our 15-member advisory board includes nationally and internationally known figures. (There are a number of bios yet to be added.)

I never made statements that no other people, except Knapp, are involved in CHSCA. In fact, I even mentioned some of those people on my blog.

I practice NeuroLinguistic Programing or Ericksonian hypnosis unethically. (Lema Nal) I never studied NLP, don’t know how to practice it. I’ve read academic articles on hypnotism. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know why this individual claims I used NLP on him. My former supervisor is trained in NLP. Once or twice she invited me to a training. I politely declined. It’s not unusual that a practitioner supervises someone with a different theoretical perspective. I also have Republican friends. I wouldn’t vote for them.

Knapp himself admitted that he studied NLP in our last Skype conversation in the end of July, 2010. He now denies his own words.

Practicing counseling over the Internet is unethical. (Lema Nal, Carol Welch via New York State Office of the Professions investigator) Practicing distance counseling or psychiatry has been common for over a decade. I belong to the International Society for Mental Health Online, a professional organization and subscribe to their suggested ethical guidelines. I am a member of the NASW and abide by their ethical code.

It was not my idea. However, as a comment, I can say that one of the problems with the Internet therapy is that the software used for it (such as Skype) does not guarantee the confidentiality while it is obligatory that therapeutic sessions should be completely confidential. There are other problems with using Internet for psychotherapy as well. In fact, Knapp does not abide by NASW ethical code. For example, he made several ethical violations toward Carol which she reported in her complaint.

Well, I really do not have time and desire to get into the detailed refutation of all the Knapp's lies and misrepresentations. I think what I have written so far is sufficient.

My Personal Experience with John Knapp

Some time ago, somebody asked me what had happened between Knapp and me. I think that some other people may have the same question. So, here I post my answer to this person:

Well, I and another person (who was Knapp's client at that time) were moderators and administrators of his forum. He began to share with us that he was going to create a non-profit anti-cult organization and wanted us to join it. He never answered my questions regarding this organization, keeping saying that he would send us a business plan (which he never did). On the other hand, he kept trying to involve us into it and even acted as if we already joined it (although I never gave my agreement to join it). I did not like this. In addition, I remembered that in the past somebody accused him of using manipulations. I knew that this person was knowledgeable about NLP. So, I suspected that Knapp used NLP (now I am quite sure that he does). I asked him about his attitude to NLP. He replied only when I asked him the third time. He admitted that he studied it, but denied that he used it.

Very soon after he eventually answered this question, he and I got a serious conflict over a small matter (the other moderator and administrator tried to keep neutral position). We discussed such things before many times and did not have any problems. This time he behaved as a different person: he kept writing offenses, threatens, manipulations. I did not expect such behavior from him. Actually, he misunderstood my position regarding the matter we were arguing about. When I explained my position again, he agreed with me and it seemed that the conflict would be solved. However, unexpectedly, he changed his behavior again. He sent me and the other moderator and administrator an ultimatum email. The main idea was: "either you agree to submit to me in everything or you have to resign within 24 hours." I did not reply him at all (and never contacted him again). He deleted his forum in about 11 hours after he sent us that email. The other person tried to contact him, but he replied that he did not want to continue their contacts.

Well, this is what happened between us. I think that Knapp intentionally created this conflict because I began to suspect that he used NLP and other manipulative techniques. I think he also used them before, when he involved us as moderators and administrators of his forum and when we were helping him with his forum. However, I was not aware of it at that time.

The opinion of the other co-moderator and co-administrator of Knapp's forum who was involved into this conflict can be read here.

Regarding the question whether Knapp practices NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), I am sure he does. By the way, since he is LMSW, he is required to have a supervisor who is LCSW. His supervisor and her husband are certified NLP trainers. Knapp and his supervisor even had offices in the same building. Well, there is nothing illegal with having a supervisor who is a certified NLP trainer. However, this is a perfect situation for the deep and thorough study of NLP. So, to me, it indicates that Knapp seriously studied NLP. People usually study NLP in order to use it, not just to have information about it. And I am sure that he did use NLP toward me and other people.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Megan C. Singer, ASW and John M. Knapp, LMSW (Part 2)

John Knapp published a post on CHSCA website entitled The Mental Health Field.

In this post, he states that he is going to leave his profession:

As I'll be announcing very shortly, I'm stepping totally out of the social work and psychotherapeutic world after 11 years. I’m ashamed to be associated with the field.

Well, whatever he may say about his reasons, I do believe that if he is really going to leave his profession, it is because one of his former client's complaint at him. She posted the text of the complaint on her blog: Complaint Overview.

Knapp has a habit of blaming other people for everything. Now, he accuses the whole mental health community. I understand that there may be problems in this field as well as in any other field. However, this does not vindicate Knapp's personal behavior toward other people, including his clients. His ethical violations and abuses toward his clients have nothing to do with "the horrific state of the mental healing profession" (a quote from his post).

On the other hand, in his post, Knapp highly praises Megan Singer and anyone who reads this post will have an impression that they have very good relationships. Here are some quotes from his post:

Dear Megan,

Not like you need this, but I have been proud to know you for a very, very, very long time. You’re generous, caring, thoughtful, creative, and altruistic.

What’s not to love?

You’ve been an extraordinary help to me personally whenever I’ve asked you. <...> You’re a hell of a human being. <...>

Next time you have a mo for a phone chat or FB note, I’d love to talk about the horrific state of the mental healing profession. I’m moved to tell you this because of what you are going through:

As I’ll be announcing very shortly, I’m stepping totally out of the social work and psychotherapeutic world after 11 years. I’m ashamed to be associated with the field. For many of the reasons you so eloquently demonstrate in your brave post here. <...>

Megan, back to you, because this screed really is about my admiration and respect for you:

Fuck the credentials, girl. YOU are a HEALER. Trust your gut and follow your heart. Everything else is just details.

And fire every flaming asshole who doesn’t measure up to your standards.

Because you are RIGHT.

I’m not a believer, but I pray you find the healer you deserve and who is worth a tenth of what you are.


In another post, I wrote that she banned me from her Facebook group at the request of "one of the leading cult experts of the country" (her words). I identified this "expert" as John Knapp who is actually not a "cult expert." She denied it and wrote me about Knapp:

I'm on your side regarding John Knapp. I'm aware of the duplicity going on with him; and wish I was not associated with him even on a collegiate level.

In addition, she was very angry that I wrote about this situation on my blog and even tried to threaten me.

Well, I think anyone who compares Megan's statement about Knapp with Knapp's statements about Megan and her comment under his post, will come to conclusion that Megan lied me.

Since Megan is an active Catholic, I think she may be interested to read what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV):

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Megan's current behavior is similar to Knapp's. Both of them lied to me and both of them threatened me. And, of course, I do not believe Megan's words that it was not Knapp who asked her to ban me. By the way, some of the Knapp's words in his post may imply this: "You’ve been an extraordinary help to me personally whenever I’ve asked you."

It is sad to say, but Megan as a social worker might end up in the same way as Knapp - abusing her clients and having her clients complain at her - if she does not stop admiring him and imitating him.