Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ladies, want job security? Just scream 'abuse!'

Who was it that said Obama wasn't a socialist. This isn't just socialist its Marxist.MJM

February 4, 2009
Carey Roberts column

Carey Roberts
As lawmakers tediously debate the economic stimulus plan, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California is pushing for change that we can really believe in. It's called the Security and Financial Empowerment Act — SAFE for short — a bill that she and Rep. Ted Poe of Texas introduced in the Congress this past week.

The concept is so simple, it's amazing no one dreamed this up before.

Here's how it works: All you have to do is trot down to the local courthouse and convince the judge your husband or boyfriend did something that caused "substantial emotional distress or psychological trauma" — those are the words from the SAFE bill:

The bill never defines those words. So exactly what is emotional distress or trauma?

Remember during the Super Bowl when your heartthrob let loose a terrifying groan after Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner threw that boneheaded first-half interception? Or when he issued that blood-curdling whoop when the Steelers grabbed the lead in the final 35 seconds?

As we all know, watching professional football multiplies men's proclivity to domestic violence, and any strange utterance signifies he may be teetering on the brink. Of course you were frightened and traumatized, weren't you? Congratulations, you are now a victim of battering!

Don't want to be bothered with a trip to the courthouse? Then all you have to do is sign a sworn statement. Perjury is never prosecuted in these cases, so nothing to worry about here.

So you're a certified victim of domestic violence, you're coming unglued about the economic crisis, and you don't want to lose your job. Now what? Simple. Just tell the boss you were manhandled by your partner.

Now settle back and get ready for all the bennies! The list is pretty long, so you might want to take notes.

Most of all, you have lifelong job security — because the bill prohibits the employer from ever firing you! Maybe you think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Section 303 says: "An employer shall not...discharge...the individual [who is] a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking."

You don't even have to prove the domestic violence caused your job performance to lag. Just being a certified victim will do.

That's only for starters.

If passed, the bill will entitle you to take 30 days of emergency leave every year. That will allow you to obtain counseling, seek legal assistance, move to a new house, or, as explained by the bill, take "other actions to increase the safety of the employee." Obviously a little vacation jaunt to Florida can do wonders to protect you from your abuser.

And what if you simply don't want to work? Again, Rep. Roybal-Allard offers hope! Because Title II of the bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to grant you a new entitlement to unemployment compensation.

Most lawmakers won't read every word of the proposed bill, so they probably won't notice that Rep. Roybal-Allard has pulled the wool over their eyes. Because near the end of the bill, she cleverly switches from "domestic violence," which implies physical harm, to "abuse," which of course can mean anything. (You've heard about our national epidemic of plant abuse, right?)

So Roybal-Allard suitably calls Title IV of her bill the "Victims of Abuse Insurance Protection Act."

That part of the bill prohibits the insurance company from canceling the health insurance for any victim of abuse. But the guarantee doesn't just apply to persons who have already suffered abuse, the promise also extends to any person who "is, has been, or may be the subject of abuse." Of course, "may be the subject of abuse" qualifies just about every living soul in the entire U.S. of A.

So there you have it, President Obama's stealth plan for universal health coverage, neatly tucked away in Title IV of the Security and Financial Empowerment Act.

To top off the deal, any aggrieved person can sue the insurance company in state or federal court. She (or he) can be awarded compensation and punitive damages, based on the flimsiest "preponderance of evidence" standard. It doesn't get any better than that.

So c'mon girls, what are we waiting for? As they like to say in south Texas, let's git while the gitting is good!

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism.
Mr. Roberts' work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh show. Besides serving as a regular contributor to, he has published in The Washington Times,,, Men's News Daily,, The Federal Observer, Opinion Editorials, and The Right Report.
Previously, he served on active duty in the Army, was a professor of psychology, and was a citizen-lobbyist in the US Congress. In his spare time he admires Norman Rockwell paintings, collects antiques, and is an avid soccer fan. He now works as an independent researcher and consultant.

© Copyright 2009 by Carey Roberts

Newspaper reports wrong SuperHero Arrested - Looks like Bat Girl from here

1 2
'Cat Woman' arrested after publicity stunt

BY Rick Vanderlinde, Staff April 25, 2009 14:04

A woman dressed as Cat Woman climbed to the top of the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall Saturday afternoon and unfurled a banner in the name of Fathers for Justice.

Firefighters from Bradford West Gwillimbury used an aerial ladder truck to climb to an upper platform of the tower to bring the unidentified woman down.

Before the ladder was raised a lone firefighter climbed up the tower’s metal and spoke with the woman for about 10 minutes.

A large banner the woman hung from the side of the tower, which overlooks Highway 400, proclaimed the cause of Fathers for Justice, a group that has criticized Ontario’s Family Court system as being unfair to divorced fathers.

The banner read: Parental Alienation Awareness; Love is For Everyone.

The woman was escorted down the fire truck’s ladder as dozens of mostly bemused spectators looked on.

When she reached the parking lot she was immediately arrested by South Simcoe Police officers, who escorted her to a waiting cruiser.

A mall maintenance worker said it wasn’t clear how the woman managed to access the tower’s ladder to carry the large banner to the top.

The ladder is locked from the bottom and is raised six feet from the ground for safety reasons

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council Recognizes Parental Alienation

Pour diffusion immédiate Le 25 avril 2009


Avril est le Mois national de la prévention de l’abus et de la violence faite aux enfants. Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal se joint aux Canadiens d'un océan à l'autre et reconnaît que le 25 avril devient la « Journée de sensibilisation à l'aliénation parentale ».

L'aliénation parentale, la volonté délibérée d'éloignement d’un enfant en raison d'actions de l'autre parent, est un sujet de plus en plus d’actualité dans les médias qui font état de ses effets néfastes sur les enfants.

Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal est fier de compter l'un de ses directeurs comme conférencier lors du récent colloque canadien sur le syndrome d'aliénation parentale, une conférence de trois jours qui s'est tenue à Toronto, du 27 au 29 mars 2009. Me Gene Colman, avocat en droit de la famille, a présenté ses dernières recherches où la justice a reconnu l'apparition d’incidents d'aliénation parentale. Me Colman a établi que les tribunaux reconnaissent maintenant plus souvent l'aliénation d'un parent et prennent des mesures pour la corriger.

L'honorable juge John Gomery, dans un cas au Québec, a déclaré: «La haine n'est pas une émotion qui vient naturellement à un enfant. Elle lui est enseignée".

Selon le Dr. Amy Baker, l'aliénation parentale est une forme sévère de la violence psychologique faite aux enfants, eux qui ont déjà subi une perte importante à la suite de l'éclatement de la famille. L’avenir de la santé mentale des enfants exige que ceux-ci construisent et maintiennent des relations significatives avec leurs deux parents pour atténuer le traumatisme du divorce chez eux.

La prévention de l’aliénation parentale est absolument nécessaire.

Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal est un ardent défenseur de l'égalité parentale présomptive comme mesure de prévention.

Nous félicitons tous les représentants politiques municipaux et provinciaux qui ont officiellement proclamé le 25 avril la « Journée de sensibilisation à l'aliénation parentale ».

Cette journée est une étape dans la bonne direction, vers l'éducation et l'acceptation de l’égalité parentale.

CONTACT Canadian Equal Parenting Council Co-Presidents

George Piskor – gwpiskorATcanadianepcdotcom (H) 905-354-7258

Kristin Titus – (H) 905-987-5777

For immediate release April 25, 2009

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council Recognizes Parental Alienation

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Canadian Equal Parenting Council joins Canadians from coast to coast in recognizing April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

Parental Alienation, the deliberate estrangement of a child from a parent due to actions of the another parent, is a subject receiving growing attention in the media as the full weight of its detrimental effects on children become more obvious to us all.

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council was proud to have one of its Directors as a presenter at the recent Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome, a three-day Conference held in Toronto March 27 – 29, 2009. Family Law lawyer Gene Colman presented his recent research findings on the occurrences of judicial recognition and response to incidents of parental alienation and has documented that the courts are recognizing alienation of a parent more frequently and taking measures to correct it.

The Honorable Justice John Gomery in a leading case in Quebec said, “Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught.”

According to Dr. Amy Baker, parental alienation is a form of severe emotional abuse of children, who have already suffered a major loss as a result of the breakdown of the family. Children’s future mental health requires that they have strong relationships with both of their parents to mitigate the trauma of divorce on them. .

What is desperately needed is prevention.

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council is a strong advocate for a legal presumption of equal parenting as a preventative.

We applaud all the political representatives at the municipal and provincial levels who have officially proclaimed April 25th Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

It is worth noting this special day as a step in the right direction, towards education and acceptance.

CONTACT Canadian Equal Parenting Co-Presidents

George Piskor – gwpiskorATcanadianepcdotcom (H) 905-354-7258

Kristin Titus – (H) 905-987-5777

This message was sent from George Piskor to It was sent from: CEPC, 5767 Summer St., Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1M5, Canada. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

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Mid Sussex Today

SUSSEX fathers' rights campaigners have welcomed a change in the law which will see family courts opened to the media.

From Monday (April 27) family court hearings, which include divorce and custody battles, will be open to accredited reporters.

Courts will have discretion to restrict attendance, or restrict what can be reported, for child welfare reasons or to protect witnesses.

Campaign group New Fathers 4 Justice say the change is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to make the courts transparent and accountable.

A New Fathers 4 Justice Sussex spokesman commented: "We still have a long way to go.

"We do welcome the new change, but are fighting to get to fully open courts, where the judge has no option but to let in the media.

"These cases need exposing, and the injustice can stop as they will then be held accountable for their actions.

"We want to make people aware of this so they know they can now invite the media to court with them.

"Thousands of dads, grandparents etc have been stripped of their children for no reason by this system for years.

"In this supposed world of equality this needs to end now."

New Fathers 4 Justice also want the law to change so that, when parents separate, there is a presumption that they will have equal contact rights.

They say thousands of children suffer when one parent, usually the father, is cut out of their lives without good reason.

For more information on the group, visit

The full article contains 269 words and appears in Sussex Express Series newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

  • Last Updated: 24 April 2009 1:55 PM
  • Source: Sussex Express Series
  • Location: Lewes

The Times of India ~ Care to share! ~ CRISP opens another chapter

Care to share!

25 Apr 2009, 0800 hrs IST, Manigandan K R

Children from broken families in Chennai, longing for the affection of both their parents, may now have something to cheer about. The Children’sRights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), a non-governmental organisation, working for the meaningful and balanced participation of both parents in the lives of children from broken families has just opened its Chennai chapter.

“We believe that a child has every right to the affection and care of both its biological parents, even if they are separated,” says Kumar Jahgirdar, the President of CRISP and the former husband of cricketer Anil Kumble’s wife.

The NGO is working to popularise a concept called shared parenting, which, if adopted, will give the child an opportunity to spend equal amounts of time with both its biological parents, after their separation.

“We started this movement in June last year in Bangalore and already have over a thousand cases in the last six months. A vast majority (around 90 percent) of the pleas are from men seeking help,” points out Jahgirdar, who goes on to add that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had praised their efforts.

“At present, in most cases, the men don’t get custody of their children. They are granted visitation rights wherein they can visit their children for just a couple of hours at a public place in the presence of a court official once a week or a month,” says Suresh, an office-bearer of the Chennai chapter of CRISP.

Pointing out that men suffer more in such cases, Suresh claims that parental alienation was not uncommon. “Parental alienation occurs when one parent disallows the other parent from communicating with their children for personal vendetta. The dominant parent then brainwashes the child against the other parent. This brings a lot of mental distress and trauma to the child and the alienated parent,” he explains.

“We have so far received around 50 complaints from Chennai. Most of them are very genuine. We counsel and suggest solutions towards which the aggrieved party can work. However, we do not suggest any particular counsel as that is left to the discretion of the individual,” says Jahgirdar, who also adds that they are encouraging men to fight for the custody of the children.

“We are doing this because we have come across several cases where men are giving up their right to play a role in shaping the lives of their children because the odds are heavily stacked against them. With the laws favouring women, and with no organisation to back men the way women are backed by the government and several non-governmental organisations, men have no other option but to give up their right to spend time with their children,” he adds.

However, not everybody agrees with these views. To men getting a raw deal when it comes to custody cases of children, Preethi Asha, a lawyer says, “I don’t agree. There is an age-old fixation that women look after children and men are the breadwinners. This mindset has to change. However, if a man is able to prove to the judges that he has the time to bring up a child well, men too are given adequate time. Before marriage, men and the women have to first try to understand each other. They have to give up their egos. Almost eighty per cent of cases that are filed are because of ego issues,” she says.

The Next Generation of F4J Superheroes Leads Inaugural Action

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Rob Robinson
Phone: 1-778-549-7046

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009
The Next Generation of F4J Superheroes Leads Inaugural Action

At 3pm in New Westminster BC, F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada announces their first low level action led by Katy, a 16 year old girl and the next generation of F4J Fathers 4 Justice Superhero. Katy will lead a small group of demonstrators on the pedestrian overpass located kitty corner to the #22 skytrain station.

"We always think about the adults during a separation because they have a voice, but we forget about the kids. Katy has a unique story and she deserves support from someone. We understand how she feels not having her Dad and her identity and want to give her the venue to speak her mind," says Kris Titus, National Coordinator.

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada welcomes Katy as a representative of their JR Justice League, a section of the group dedicated to the efforts of great kids across Canada who have come out to try and make a difference for other kids who live the effects of broken homes. She is one of several up and coming Superheros in the organizations fight for equal parenting and truth, justice and equality in family law.

"You think we're bad, wait until you have to deal with our kids. There is a whole generation of children who will soon be adults that feel ripped off by the justice system in this country. Although it would be irresponsible for us to allow them to do real Superhero actions, we must do all we can to provide them a safe way to get their message out. Kids need two parents," says Titus.

"Katy is a very special girl. She is very intelligent and committed despite never having a proper education and she's a girl that will beat all odds, just the type of person F4J is looking for," says Rob Robinson, National Action Coordinator and mentor to Katy.

In Katy's own words, "And most importantly, it is my right to have a name, a nation and an identity. I want to help other kids so they don’t feel so alone and not to ever give up on their Fathers because as we get older we can make our own choices without the courts. Sadly we lose a lot of years this way until the courts start listening to the children, but I guess we’re just going to have to talk louder."

So how loud will Katy have to talk before the government's decide to listen?

You can read Katy's story on the groups JR Justice League page at

CONTACT: National Action Coordinator, Rob Robinson

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:


F4J - ACTION IN PROGRESS Batman atop Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria BC

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Hal Legere
Phone: 778-837-1224

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009

Batman atop Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria BC

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada, known for their high flying political actions today put Burnaby Batman atop the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria BC to declare that Liberals have been alienating families in the province since 2001 and the NDP are the No Dads Party.

The seasoned superhero veterans are pointing at the Provincial Liberals and NDP who have been more than lax on the issue of family law reform. Batman has participated in many high profile actions on behalf of Canadian children, including the commandeering of the Saskatchewan Legislature in 2008.

Halfway across the country in Alliston ON, Batgirl raises awareness for parental alienation and the need to love everyone at the Cookstown Outlet Mall.

On Parental Alienation Day we need all elected officials from every party and at every level standing up and paying attention. The situation in separated families in this country is unacceptable. The current family law regime leaves the door wide open for the manipulation of children as pawns in a battle that noone wins, least of all the children.

"When you hear the stories we hear, on a daily basis, you will understand why we must do what we do. Until there is a presumption of equal parenting in law we will be compelled to use the spotlight of the media to raise awareness. Children don't care if you're a Liberal, an NDP or a Conservative. They care that they have the full and continuous love and support of their parents as they traverse life," says Hal Legere, the groups Vice President and Legal Director.

Burnaby Batman also hangs a special flag, two simple words, "SAVE KATY". To read more about Katy and how she missed out on a Dad and an identity on our JR Justice League page.
A very recent Nanos poll supports the groups claims there is strong public support for the idea of equal parenting in law with 78% of Canadians supporting a presumption.

"We need people to write their MPs, MPPs and MLAs about the need for equal parenting today as a presumption in law." Only then will Batman be able to retire.

CONTACT: Hal Legere, Legal Director 778-837-1224

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

Toronto Star ~ Custody battle 'beyond tragic'

My comments sent to the Toronto Star in 4 packages due to the 1,000 character limit.

In any problem exercise one looks at the situation faced, makes certain assumptions does analysis and makes recommendations to resolve it. The antecedents to this dysfunctional outcome are an antiquated Family Law (FLAW) system. It is created by lawyers and passed by mostly lawyers in legislators. Advisory boards for changing laws are usually dominated by lawyers. Judges are former lawyers who have had feminist sensitivity training to ensure they make appropriate decisions. Is it any wonder why lawyers resist equal shared parenting as a presumption in law? That would reduce the adversarial relationship and potentially affect their pocket books.

In this case FLAW has reached a new low by pitting one parent against another with children and financial outcomes as the prize. Neither parent may be fit but we don’t know all the details so I’ll focus on systemic failures. If shared and equal parenting were the presumption both parents would have the children equally. The playing field is level at the start. That won’t resolve all the problems but if a parent tries to alienate children the system needs to catch it early through changes I propose.

Entitlements to female litigants under the current regime are an inducement to take unilateral action (66-70% of divorces are initiated by the female). Given there are no tests to get married society is encumbered with the aftermath of failed relationships. We need to be more proactive. These are steps required to get the job done better than now. First - compulsory counselling before lawyers are hired. All counselling would have an identifiable outcome. Reconciliation, further mitigating counselling of a more specialized nature or mediation. Counselling of children by professionals, not social workers. We currently spend $208,000,000.00 per year on women's issues alone in Ontario, none on men. Wouldn't it be useful to spend some money on "family" issues instead of one gender!

The next step would be mediation but this would be tax supported and compulsory if counselling does not get the warring parties properly focused, not including lawyers. Next if required, lawyers - if anyone can afford them. They are clearly pricing themselves out of the market and are becoming redundant for the average person. If no lawyers then the feuding couple need guidance on how to take the required steps to get to court which should be the last resort. No Fault divorce must end and all the perceived entitlements a female litigant will get including almost automatic custody and "ownership" of the children. This happens even if the female (or male as the case may be) has committed criminal acts affecting the livelihood of the other partner and ruined their career and reputation. To do this the divorce act must be changed to include a presumption of equal and shared parenting for fit parents. This gives judges no discretion which in 90% of cases they currently award or approve custody to the mother. Judges are currently part of the problem in addition to the pickpockets we call lawyers.

Dr. Jane Major presented a new paradigm at the recent Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome which is a very comprehensive look at Family Law from a veteran. It deserves a look. You can read the summary of her paper here as well as contact info.MJM


1997: Parents separate.

1999: Court grants mom custody. Dad has regular access.

January 2007: All three boys have moved in with dad after alleging abuse by mom. She claims they've been brainwashed and she's been cut out of their lives.

Nov. 6, 2008: The two youngest boys are ordered into controversial parental alienation treatment by Justice Francine Van Melle based on a social worker's comprehensive report pointing to evidence dad has alienated kids.

Nov. 12: Both boys taken to St. Joseph's Health Centre for assessment amid concerns they are refusing treatment and are a danger to themselves.

Dec. 11: St. Joseph's psychiatrist Dr. Nagi Ghabbour writes a report finding no evidence of a psychiatric disorder and expressing concerns about ongoing efforts to treat the boys for parental alienation and separate them from each other, the dad and Daniel.

Dec. 12: Justice Van Melle reconfirms need to get the boys treatment and prohibits Daniel and Dad from seeing siblings. Mom expressed concerns that Daniel had supervised visits with brothers at St. Joseph's and was acting as an "agent" of his father.

Dr. Ghabbour emails the Children's Aid Society, expressing fears for the boys' mental health if they are separated and forced to undergo parental alienation treatment. CAS puts boys in same foster home.

Dec. 19: Justice Van Melle makes clear at an emergency court hearing she is upset at the CAS action, which is in contravention of her earlier order to treat and separate the boys, but CAS intervention trumps all.

March 9, 2009: Daniel seeks standing in the case, a first step in claiming custody of brothers.

April 9: Daniel is granted standing in a written judgment by Justice Steven Clark, which his mother is now appealing.

Teen fighting for right to care for brothers speaks publicly on his family's 'warfare'
Apr 19, 2009 04:30 AM


The set of drums scattered in the back of his dad's van is a painful reminder for 18-year-old Daniel of how his family has been destroyed by divorce.

The Mississauga teen had hoped to start a band with his two younger brothers, who were both learning to play guitar. But by the time he was given the drums, his brothers had disappeared.

Jake, 12, and Max, 14, were ripped from Daniel's arms – crying for help – five months ago outside a Brampton courtroom in an alleged case of parental alienation that one veteran divorce lawyer describes as "beyond tragic."

They were committed to an adolescent psychiatric ward at St. Joseph's Health Centre for five weeks. Then they were seized by the Peel Children's Aid Society in mid-December. Since then, they have been in a Mississauga foster home, cut off from any contact with their older sibling and their battling parents. (None of the family members can be named under court order, and the boys' names have been altered for this story.)

Tomorrow, Daniel will be back in court, just short of his 19th birthday, seeking the right to see his brothers. He'll also be pushing ahead with his landmark case, seeking custody of Jake and Max in hopes of bringing an end to what he describes as family "warfare."

"I can't imagine going on in life without my brothers," says the soft-spoken Daniel, an articulate honour-roll student who works part-time at a grocery store and has put his hopes of studying visual arts on hold."We were close and I think all the going back and forth between our mom and our dad just brought us closer together. In fact, I've spent more time with them than our parents have. And I've seen and felt almost every single thing that's happened to them in their life."

This has become one of the most controversial cases of alleged parental alienation to be handled by the courts, with Daniel and his parents – along with a growing chorus of lawyers – questioning if a legal system set up to protect children in cases of high-conflict divorce has done more harm than good.

"From a children's rights perspective, it's horrific," says veteran family law lawyer Jeffery Wilson, who has now stepped in to represent Daniel. "The kids who have done nothing wrong were committed to a psychiatric ward and then to a foster home. Why? Because they loved one parent too much?"

The boys' mother alleges her sons were turned against her in a decade-long campaign by her ex-husband, with considerable help from Daniel. She describes the father as a "deadbeat" with a personality disorder who has used the boys to get social assistance and not have to work, she says.

But Daniel claims his mother was so physically and verbally abusive – investigators found her to be a good mom, but prone to yelling – that, by 2007, he and his brothers had moved in with their dad.

"How can we be close when I'm not there?" says Daniel, upset his brothers had no family at Christmas and Easter. "Obviously they can remember everything we've been through together. But they don't know that I'm trying to help them. And I doubt anyone is telling them that. They're probably losing hope, thinking that I've given up."

This is a heartbreaking tale backed up by boxes of legal documents, mental health evaluations and a comprehensive report by a social worker who interviewed the kids, the parents, teachers and many others, and recommended treatment for parental alienation.

Documents paint a picture of three lively boys who ended up in a homeless shelter for five months when their dad was evicted from his apartment, whose school work has suffered, whose friends have dwindled and who have become "flat," fearful and suspicious of the court system. That includes their mother and their government-funded counsel from the Office of the Children's Lawyer, who they maintain hasn't fought on their behalf. (That lawyer supported treatment.)

"My children need help," says their frantic mother, a community worker who lives in a pleasant bungalow, makes $80,000 a year and has spent more than $100,000 trying to get her boys back. She's "devastated" by how efforts to get the boys treatment, through a controversial U.S. program aimed at undoing parental alienation, has spiralled out of control. She says her boys need both parents but have become "the biggest victims."

While Daniel says his mother has only herself to blame for the fact the boys prefer living with their father, he's equally traumatized by what's happened to his siblings, who were taken from court Nov. 6 and driven to a hotel room for what some consider "deprogramming" by forensic psychologist Randy Rand, who runs the controversial Family Workshop for Alienated Children.

The treatment had to be abandoned after just a few hours because of the boys' fears (prompted by dad, the mother says) they would be turned into "zombies." That convinced Rand they suffered from "shared paranoid delusional disorder," making them a danger to themselves. Acting on a mental health order, police took the children to St. Joseph's a few days later, where doctors found no evidence of a psychiatric disorder but were so concerned about Rand and the mother's "rigid" and "dangerous" treatment of the boys, they contacted the CAS. On Dec. 12, Max and Jake were placed in a foster home and ordered to have no contact with family members.

The last time Daniel saw his brothers was in November at St. Joseph's when he took them their guitars, some of his paintings and "a ton of candy" during three supervised visits that clearly haunt him.

He's determined to win custody and, preferably, bring them back to live in their dad's bare-bones, $980-a-month apartment – where Daniel sleeps on a mattress on the floor. He hopes to collect welfare or sue his parents for support, although his dad hasn't worked in years.

Daniel knows his parents will never be able to spend time together, unless it's in a courtroom. But he's hoping, in time, all three boys can meet their mom for a burger, or a movie, as they did in the fall.

"Maybe it's naïve in a way, but I hope ... one day for my dad to drive my brothers to soccer and my mom to pick them up."

Letters to the Editor:

Custody system needs an overhaul
April 25, 2009

Re: Custody battle 'beyond tragic,' April 19

Your story illustrates in graphic terms how our family law encourages family warfare and hurts kids. If our courts, as is the case in Sweden, could simply presume that divorced parents are equal, there would be no prize to fight over.

Sole custody with child support, so often granted in Canada, is a great tool for revenge. Whichever parent does the best job of destroying the other's character in court, or who turns the kids against the other, wins the kids and a big chunk of the loser's salary for up to a couple of decades. How can a legal system that rewards slander and selfishness produce peace?

It would be wrong, however, to say that no one benefited from the family tragedy depicted in your story. As the article points out, the lawyer or lawyers representing the mother alone have already billed more than $100,000.

Eric T. Skelton, Barrie

Having been through an unexpected custody battle 15 years ago to defend my daughter's right and wishes to remain with me, I know the anguish felt by the teen fighting for his right to care for his brothers. I went through a fiasco created by so-called children's lawyers, unfeeling psychiatrists and a court system that has no clue how to deal with these issues. No one except one brave social worker (to whom the court refused to listen) agreed that children must have a say in determining their own future.

Robin Jones, Pickering

At what point is someone in power going to stand up and say, "Enough! Let's overhaul our very sick family court system already!"

I am a single mother of three, currently being accused of the charge-du-jour of angry ex-spouses – parental alienation. It scares me to death to watch story after story unfold, where seemingly happy and healthy kids are ripped from one parent to another because of a successful parental alienation case. Obviously some parents are alienators, but some are not, and we are not even asking what is really best for the children. Having my own kids battered around by this system, I can say with 100 per cent certainty that the phrase upon which this family court system was supposedly built is meaningless.

Politicians must overhaul this system. Some of the solutions are so obvious to those of us being bashed by it, like have one judge follow a family through an entire case. It is not brain surgery, but in the best interests of the children, someone better do something, fast.

Mara Cole, Toronto

Parental alienation is real and it is a pervasive cancer in society. If positive changes are to be made, we must first address the personality disorders and other mental health problems that are often the triggers for these high-conflict divorces.

Once a tornado hits, it's impossible to avoid its wrath. Screening for mental health issues before obtaining a marriage licence could spare thousands of families extreme custody battles that are "beyond tragic."

In reference to this particular case, nothing short of a restraining order with jail penalties could have enforced the court order against the alienating father. Who knows if that would have helped or exacerbated the situation. Those children and thousands like them will need therapy for years to come.

M.J. Marlowe, Thornhill

I just wanted to lend support to the family described in this article. We have known the family quite well, for a number of years, even before the marriage, and we would like to stress that we are very disappointed and saddened for the way this issue has been presented in the paper, but most importantly for the way this issue is being dealt with by our system. It is appalling to us that the Canadian judicial system has been working on this case for more than two years already and has been unable – for the sake of those children – to solve this tragic family problem sooner, and bring normalcy to the children's life.

In fact, it makes one wonder how those kids can adjust to a normal, loving life after such an ordeal – talks, assessments, hearings, interviews, and in November of 2008, the decision issued by the Superior Court of Justice granting, returning, the custody of the children to their mother.

Now this system is opening up this case yet again.

Ewa & George Karpowicz, Mississauga

ACTION IN PROGRESS F4J Bat Girl climbs Water tower

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Hal Legere
Phone: 778-837-1224

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009

F4J Bat Girl climbs Water tower

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada, known for their high flying political expressions today launched a new superhero high in the sky over the ever popular Cookstown Outlet Mall in Ontario at the 400 & Highway 87. She sits atop the 100' water tower ready to greet the Saturday crowds on Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

Bat Girl is the second female superhero to act on behalf of the organization in a high profile stunt that freely expresses the groups political beliefs regarding family law.
In recognition of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, she hangs a banner choosing LIFE. An acronym for Love Is For Everyone.

A mother, grandmother and second wife, Bat Girl realizes that in real life we don't have nine lives, and with our children we must get it right the first time. Parents are too important to be swept aside when parents separate.
The new heroine wants to spread the message as far and wide as possible that the alienation of children is unacceptable and that we must choose love as the first emotion not hate.

"I am fighting for truth, justice and equality alongside other everyday people who can't stand to see the destruction of children any longer," says Bat Girl.

Watch the skies, there's a report that Batman has been sited.

CONTACT: Hal Legere, Legal Director

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

F4J Canada ~ April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Kris Titus
Phone: 1-888-345-2262 ext. 703

April 24, 2009

For Immediate Release April 24, 2009
April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

This year represents the 4th annual parental alienation awareness day. A day that receives more recognition each year and deservedly so.

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada recently sent two of their Directors to attend the Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome.

The Directors of our group recognize the signs and behaviors all too well.
"We've become complacent in society. when we see a parent being belittled on the tv or in cartoons, we think it's funny. I assure you that the real life alienation of a child/parent relationship is tragic," says Kris Titus, National Coordinator for F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada.

The organization receives calls and email from parents across the country who are being alienated from their children. Denial of access is a weapon of choice in family law disputes and affords a custodial parent uninterrupted time to influence the child.

Mike Murphy, a Fathers 4 Justice Director says, "Parental Alienation is a tragic form of child abuse and can result directly from our current dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW) court system. It pits one parent against the other with the prize being the children. We need a presumption of equal parenting to help minimize the conflict and help the children. Its all about our children."
Mike runs a blog about parental alienation that is currently receiving almost 5000 hits per month.

Dr. Marty McKay said it very well at the Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation, "Anything not joint physical custody is moving towards alienation."

A warning we should all heed.

CONTACT: Nationally, Kris Titus 1-888-F4J Canada
( 1-888-345-2262 ) ext. 703

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

That toxic tug-of-war

Globe essay

In a custody battle, making peace is more important than being right. Indeed, the very notion of 'parental alienation' glosses over whose rights are at issue — namely, the child's

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Several recent court cases have focused on the serious problem of parental alienation. Although many are hearing about it for the first time, it has always been a prevalent concern in high-conflict custody litigation.

Mental-health professionals debate the definition of parental alienation, and whether it is a clinical "syndrome," but few would disagree that the problem exists. In simple terms, "parental alienation" refers to a parent's persistent campaign of denigrating the other parent to their child (sometimes called "brainwashing" or "poisoning" the child against the other parent), which causes the child to unjustifiably reject the other parent.

Alienating conduct can take many forms: badmouthing the other parent's personality and conduct; portraying the other parent as dangerous, abusive or as having abandoned or not loving the child; withdrawing love and affection from a child who expresses positive feelings about the other parent; and denying the other parent contact with the child. While some mean by "parental alienation" only the misconduct of custodial parents, we judges often see high-conflict cases where both parents badmouth each other to the children, cruelly placing them in conflicts of loyalty. Moreover, such conduct is not in the exclusive domain of mothers or fathers; both engage in it.

In my view, the term "parental alienation" incorrectly identifies the target parent as the victim. The true victims are the children, who are innocent in parental break-ups. Every child has a right to enjoy a loving relationship with both parents. Since it is the child's right that is being violated by a parent's alienating behaviour, it is the child who is being alienated from the other parent. However you name it, there is no doubt that children are at risk of emotional harm when they become weapons, pawns and spies for bitter, angry, vengeance-seeking parents who turn custody disputes into battles for power and control — battles that often focus entirely on the parents' needs and not at all on the children's.

There is widespread dissatisfaction among parents with the family justice system. Among the most angry are non-custodial parents desperately seeking to enforce access to their children. Judges hear daily from heartbroken parents who say that the legal system vigorously enforces child support but does not care about enforcing access. I see their point, but it troubles me when people liken the enforcement of a parent-child relationship to the collection of a debt. Children are not pieces of property that can be "seized" or "garnisheed"; they are vulnerable human beings. Decisions affecting a child's emotional well-being must be carefully made, always with a view to making a child's life better, not worse.

Non-custodial parents routinely allege parental alienation when access is denied. The court must first decide if the allegation is valid. Family dynamics are layered and complex, and it is no simple task to find out why a child is refusing to see a non-custodial parent. What is the child's age and stage of development? Does the child have independent reasons stemming from memories of events before the break-up, or relating to the way access is occurring? Has the child been coached, bribed, threatened or manipulated to express negative views about the access parent? Family courts often require the assistance of assessments from psychologists or social workers. This can take time, which intensifies the problem if alienation is occurring.

If the court finds that alienation is causing a denial of access, what are its options? Sometimes supervised access will take place at an access centre, where trained staff observe the quality of parent-child interactions. Or a court could order police to enforce access. While this can be effective, the police exercise discretion in enforcement, and are understandably reluctant to "arrest" children and drag them kicking and screaming to visits with parents they are adamantly refusing to see. As difficult as this may be for some parents to accept, a child's negative feelings about a parent are real and true for the child, however unjustified these feelings may be.


A second possibility is to find an alienating parent in contempt of court and impose a fine or jail sentence. This can be effective, but there is a serious risk of backfire. When a custodial parent conveys to an alienated child that the other parent has caused financial hardship because of the fine, the child's negative feelings toward the non-custodial parent can intensify. Even worse, a child whose custodial parent says, "Your mom/dad sent me to jail," may see the custodial parent as a martyr, and become even angrier at the non-custodial parent. Moreover, when a custodial parent goes to jail, the other parent does not automatically get custody; the children's aid society may have to intervene to determine a proper placement for the child during the parent's absence. Some children end up in foster care during this period, and are unforgiving toward the parent they believe put them there. I have seen more than my share of non-custodial parents who "won the battle but lost the war."

Court proceedings are not conducive to peacemaking; they tend to increase acrimony between parents, which is bad for children. Many non-custodial parents simply walk away from an impossible situation, devastated to lose contact with their children, but consoled to know that their children's exposure to a toxic tug-of-war is over. If this happens, custodial parents should know that their "victory" may be short-lived. Adult children often seek out estranged parents and assess the situation for themselves, with an independent mind and open heart. A custodial parent who has selfishly cut the other parent out of their child's life may end up being the excluded one when the child grows up and learns the truth.

Another option is to suspend or terminate child support. After all, if a non-custodial parent is being deprived of the right to see the child, why should he or she have to pay support? Proponents of this argument forget that access is the child's right, as is the right to be financially supported. If the child is being victimized by not getting to see a parent, it does not help the child to also be deprived of the right to be supported by that parent. The law must be child-focused. Children must be fed, clothed and housed even if they are being deprived of a relationship with an alienated parent. Two wrongs do not make a right. The only cases I am aware of where a court suspended or terminated child support for a minor child because of parental alienation, are cases where the custodial parent's financial circumstances guaranteed no reduction in the child's standard of living even without child support. Different considerations might apply for adult children seeking continued support from alienated and blameless parents, but for minor children it is highly unlikely that a child's financial lifeline will be compromised as a remedy for parental alienation.

In some alienation cases, the children's aid society intervenes to protect children from emotional harm. If the children are lucky, the parents may be amenable to counselling to overcome their emotional baggage, so they can reinvent themselves from ex-partners to co-parents. In some cases a relative will offer a suitable parenting plan that insulates the children from the toxic parental conflict. Sadly, in other cases, children end up in foster care, as this is the only way they can have peace and neutrality in their lives.

In severe cases, can the court simply change custody from the alienating to the alienated parent? Yes, but only if, in all the circumstances, it would be in the child's best interests. The alienated parent must establish that he or she can best meet all of the child's needs. This can be a very difficult hurdle for an alienated parent who has had little or no contact with the child for some time. If custody is to change, intensive counselling and therapy are almost always ordered. Some therapy programs are more intrusive, lengthy and costly than others — and there is no guarantee of success. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the emotional health and well-being of parents and children.


Could parental alienation be avoided by ordering joint custody with 50-50 shared parenting in every case? Should courts divide up the elements of custody to create parallel parenting regimes? Many say yes. Judges say it depends on the individual circumstances of each case. Experts tell us that many alienating parents are suffering from personality disorders, and would not be amenable to a co-parenting arrangement. After 14 years on the bench, I seriously doubt a court order can make immature non-communicative parents become child-focused and treat each other with mutual respect, for their child's sake. But I have seen it happen. Judges try their best to do what is right for children, given the often incomplete and conflicting evidence we get.

I believe that family counselling and therapy are the most important resources that separated parents need to overcome their pain and anger. Parents must carefully consider the impact of their behaviour on their children — and become aware of the potentially devastating consequences to themselves and their children of high-conflict litigation. Reaching compromise and making peace for the sake of your children are more important than being right. Having healthy, well-adjusted and happy children is more important than getting revenge. Parents can have new partners, but no child gets a second childhood. Children learn about relationships and parenting from observing their own parents. No one should forget this.

Harvey Brownstone is a family court judge in Toronto and the author of Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court.