The Lunatics Are Taking Over the Asylum

Williamsburg, VA–Not enough sane people are joining, uniting, supporting and giving to the family court reform movement. As a result, the lunatics are slowly gaining control of the asylum. When you finish reading this blogpost, please 1) recruit your friends and family to join this elist, and 2) make a gift to support our work.

Caren Taylor Brown may be one of the lunatics. A non-custodial parent, she is currently being held without bond in Williamsburg, VA after paying $2,000 to an undercover policeman to kill her ex-partner and his wife. Brown”s attorney told me, “This lady has felt for a long time that this child is a victim of child abuse by the father.’ The attorney acknowledges that the child abuse charges have never been substantiated by any authority. Brown remains in jail pending trial, and the child remains in dad”s custody.

Taken by itself, this is just another ho-hum story of a deranged and vindictive person. Of greater interest is that Brown is an advocate for so-called “protective mothers.’ These are people who believe that the family courts are awarding custody to large numbers of secret batterers who manage to fool the court.

Brown is just the latest in a string of “protective mothers’ to be revealed as dangerous, violent, or just plain loony. Others include Genia Shockome, Sadia Loeliger, Bridget Marks, and Amy Neustein, all of whom have been discredited. (Despite their lurid and discredited accusations against the fathers, Marks and Loeliger have managed to end up with custody of their children.)

Brown”s website, Children Without A Voice, was taken down shortly after her arrest on August 1, 2008.

The central claim of these advocates is that 75 percent of fathers who seek shared or sole custody of their children are secret batterers, and that they succeed in getting custody over half the time. Their “Truth Commission’ claims that the courts “are frequently biased, particularly, gender-biased, misogynistic…’ The “Truth Commission’ also claims, “Judges who preside over custody cases exhibit clear bias against women.’

Do I really have to divert from the main point of this story to prove how ridiculous these claims are? Of course the courts occasionally give custody to a secret batterer by mistake, but the sweeping claims of the “protective mothers’ come straight from fantasy land.

Here”s the real point of this story: there is a growing drumbeat around the country by these wing-nuts, and they are getting extraordinary respect and airtime by the mainstream. As a movement, we have to get bigger and stronger before all dads seeking custody are automatically considered suspect batterers.

Here is one way to gauge what I am talking about. Many of the loonies gather annually at the so-called “Battered Mothers Custody Conference,’ held in January in Albany, NY.  Look at the list of presenters at the conference.

There is Toby Kleinman, Esq. She is associate editor of the Journal of Child Custody, and she teaches a course at the Harvard School of Public Health.

There is Wendy Murphy, Esq, a Boston attorney who is a frequent guest on CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC and the Tom Finneran Radio Show.

There is Joan Meier, a professor of law at George Washington University, and a featured “expert’ in “Breaking the Silence,’ a “documentary’ broadcast nationally on PBS a few years ago.

There is Garland Waller, a professor at the Boston University College of Communications, (whose supportive husband, Barry Nolan, is a well known television journalist), and Joan Zorza, Esq. who claims to be a co-author of the Violence Against Women Act  (sponsored by vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden).

The real question to be asked is: why is so much deference paid to an obviously nutty movement by the likes of the Harvard School of Public Health, major broadcast networks, the George Washington University School of Law, PBS, Boston University, the Journal of Child Custody, legislators such as Biden, and other respected opinion-makers?

The growing clamor over the delusional beliefs of the “protective mothers’ is manifested in special study commissions, university courses, allegedly scholarly articles, legislative hearings, earnest television reports, newspaper articles, philanthropic newsletters, websites, etc.

Not only are these beliefs delusional, but they border on hate speech. When you take a large class of people, such as fathers in custody contests, and brand them criminals, you better have some strong evidence. If you don”t, you”re doing pretty much the same thing as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation when they rail against African-American, Jews and Catholics. The “protective mothers’ have no legitimate research to back up their nutty, hateful claims.

To stop the lunatics from taking over the asylum, the sane people need to unite and support. I ask you to do two things: 1) recruit your friends and relatives onto this email list;  2) make a gift now to support our work.

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