Friday, August 26, 2011

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 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.


John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Lema Nal,

I'm sorry it is really hard to take anything seriously written my a man who won't even identify himself.

I never met Carol, no. Well after she ceased being my client, however, she propositioned me repeatedly over the phone, requesting that I meet her in a motel room when she visited New York, stating that she had an "open marriage" with her husband and it would be "okay."

After turning her down gently several times, I simply stated that, as I was married and it would NOT be "okay" with my wife, I would NEVER be having an affair with her.

She coyly replied, "Never?"

I replied that, as I have control over my own actions, I could assure her that we would never be having an affair.

Shortly after that Carol began attacking my character.

I draw no definitive conclusions.

I wonder what your thoughts are, "Lema"?


Borz Lom (Löma) Nal said...

Well, my thoughts are that your words are a pure defamation and Carol will be right if she sues you. BTW, I do not have any desire to discuss this subject with you or to have any contacts with you at all.

oneperson said...

Thanks Lom...

For the record, I address the sexual propositioning and some of the other allegations against me here:
My statements addressing John M. Knapp's allegations & accusations