Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

More on “Veni, Vidi, Vomiti” at BMCC [published Jan. 18, 2011]

with one comment


(“Vomite” would be an imperative in Latin, if it were a real verb, so I adjusted the ending).

This post’s title and a case-sensitive short link to it: More on “Veni, Vidi, Vomiti” at BMCC [published Jan. 18, 2011].  The short-link ends “-Cy” and I added the “published” phrase later.  “BMCC” in this context stands for Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference.” Minimal updating has kept this post at under 3,000 words, best read in conjunction with the one published the day before in 2011 where (alas?) it had more than minimal updating on one organization I was flagging at the time (which later went “underground” letting its IRS exemption file, while continuing “honorable mention” from some of the largest, mutually-coordinated networks around, Community and otherwise.  Both these post made it into my 2017 “retrospective” as significant.  This one I like because of its simplicity and empathy for the absurdity of the programming but for many years, the other one (“Happy New Year: What Rhetoric Are You?”) had been a favorite.//LGH @ 2-20-2017.

 

Read my most recent post for some background

That would be: Happy New Year: What Rhetoric Are You? Father, Mother, or Mediator <=Title, post published 1/17/2011 with its case-sensitive, WordPress-generated short-link ending “-Cc”  This post has some updates but it still only 6,050 words.  “BMCC” in this context stands for Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference.”

This morning, I noticed visitors from three universities (New York, Princeton & Berkeley) had been on my site very recently.  The Berkeley visitor was viewing a site featuring some work by Lundy Bancroft, a well-known author books such as “Why does he DO that?” or “The Batterer as Parent.”

I would like to comment upon “Why he (Bancroft, et al.) DOES that” and the concept of “The Batterer as Parent” in a wider perspective of this field of the family law system.

For the former perspective, the short answer is, a combination of from (I’ll still presume) residual good will towards suffering females and their children and, more to the point, for a living.

To recap that, the reasons appear to be:

  • He’s probably basically a good guy, which probably put him outside the mainstream (meaning, funding flow) of the family law court professionals, and
  • For a living.

See my post “Moms are Parents Too” and read the comment at the bottom, which is an update.

Now, as to the concept “The Batterer As Parent.”

Although assault and battery is a crime (or either one alone) as I understand it, either misdemeanor or felony level, in practice, the family law system acts as an opaque umbrella under which this terminology is really not taken seriously. Not really.

So mothers who take Bancroft & batterer language into a court hearing may be in for a real rude awakening — it’s not welcome overall.  Hence, a living has to be made elsewhere, and a name, as I mentioned.  Although Mr. Bancroft has in the past presented alongside what I’d call overt “fatherhood” presenters (yeah, I looked that up), I’d say he’s not on the same page, or in the forefront of THAT movement. He and this rhetoric is more like a gnat in its side — definitely not so much as a “thorn in the flesh.”

Obviously, it lands with something of a thud.  to solve this, we are encouraged to watch our demeanor more carefully, strategize just so, and not step on too many toes.  Don’t pick unnecessary battles, don’t rock the boat, etc.

I believe that anyone telling a mother who has been ass-whupped (or anything approaching it, including emotionally, financially, etc.) in front of her own kids, to advise, do it some more, and all will be well, or this is the ONLY way all will be better than it is now, has a lot of nerve. 

It very well, from what I’ve learned since, may not make a whit of difference, seeing as there is a custody-switching scam in the courts, which has a procedure, and relentless predictability — IT is almost down to a formula, and now we are to walk into the same arenas and try other formulas?  What about walking OUT of those arenas, and staying out?

Many cases came into the courtroom to start with without due process, by having a protective order (or its renewal), or a seeking of child support from a person who really doesn’t want to pay it, responded to with a divorce action.  The resonance is set, and the dynamics also, not locally but from far away.

We tend to have, in our minds, an archaic view of what courts are, how they work and why they exist.  As to family law, that doesn’t apply.  The alternate is a hostile view, the other I would call, “basic stupid,” which means, humble yourself and go in there and ask for something.  I did that initially.

There’s a machinery, and there’s a process. What people haven’t looked closely enough at is the gas tank. The process takes money to run!  Where is it going and who are the gatekeepers? Only the judge, the professionals (if any) in the case, and the litigants and their attorneys?  WRONG.  The process was set in place years earlier, and that’s primarily what I (nowadays) blog on, and mentioned, again, yesterday.

I, and my face, etc., know what a “batterer” is — it’s someone with a certain habit.  They have other characteristics, but as far as who ever’s on the receiving, witnessing, (and Medical Repair) end — that’s clearly a primary characteristic.  Hence there are “Batterer’s Intervention Programs” (BIP, for short) supposedly to work with him to change his mind, or her.  The concept of baseball bat I think conveys the analogy.

But, on the upside, I have learned to look a little farther afield, and as I can, farther ahead, for explanations of why, when one walks through ONE set of doors, the word disappears, virtually, and anyone who brings it up will be punished.  No, in here, we do “familyspeak.”  You are BOTH bad for failing to get along, you have “conflict” with each other, that’s not good for your kids (and failing to label physical violence as “battering” is now BAD for my kids, when they’ve witnesed it?”

There is no end to the amount of foolish discussions one will be told to engage in, which would affect anyone’s “parenting” ability, which is a coined word of recent use in this system.  cf.  “parenting education.”

No more PSYCHO-TECHNOLGY-JARGON!

It’s better to understand the larger system, and where the family law lies in side of it.  This experience has made me more interested in local activism, local government, and matters that didn’t even raise an eyebrow in any K-12th scenario, were off-topic during college, and not relevant until I needed them, and they weren’t anywhere to be seen — because of gender, in this case.

The jargon of the individual psychology or pathology IS the language of human behavioral control.  It has its roots in the military, and at several levels is a form of warfare against certain classes of individuals, or populations, with the clear intent to render them unable to function outside planned parameters.

The language to understand the systems surrounding the courts (they are only part of the larger system) are primarily of the assembly line manufacture of human psyches to produce a compliant centralized (and well-organized, it’s said) workforce who cannot resist their assigned places in society.

Technology changes institutions, and the internet has changed the U.S. government, and undermined as it is currently being used, the constitution, and of course the federal/states balance.

Money is a technology.  I don’t see, particularly what’s so hard to grasp about it, but perhaps that’s because I’ve lived so long with what some call a “batterer,” and others now (new market niche) have repackaged as “coercive control.”  Thanks, tell me something I didn’t know.  But at the same time “conflict” is bad, including with professionals who choose to label our lives a certain way.

If the center of power is controlled, then the laws become moot.

Laws have no more force than mutual respect for them, or consistent application of punishment for breaking them.

Recently, in Los Angeles, two police were involved in  a struggle with a naked man who was indeed attacking them, and probably was quite a sight (especially around 3am).  One? of them shot him — to death — and two others rushing to the scene were injured when their car crashed (guess the autopilot wasn’t working, because they didn’t crash the car, according to the article — it crashed, somehow).

A naked man is per se unarmed, except his arms.  This would seem obvious.  Where was the taser then?  (or, see Oscar Mehrsle, BART, last year as I recall).

~ ~ ~

But Jessica Gonzales’, seeking police to go after a man with her three children, was not heard, until they all died, after which she continued to be not heard, til this day.  Perhaps she should’ve showed up naked and struggled with some officer, created a scene, attempted to get to their guns (allegedly) and got herself shot instead, not being drunk, only disorderly.

I learned — not through Bancroft et al. — that she had no right to enforcement, and there was nothing different, really, she could’ve done to save her kids’ lives (see my Pennsylvania posts, I believe “what decade were these stories?”)

Now, I HAVE seen women who were totally besides themselves with the knowledge of who had their kids, what was imminent (and have been such a woman at time, especially right after they disappeared on a court-ordered visitation: that’s how I was rewarded for complying with court orders — I lost contact with my daughters, while demonstrating and teaching them it’s important to comply with these, these are the way we settle differences between Dad and me — by submitting ourselves to the court orders, end of debates). …….

But that (compliance with court orders) takes [at least] two to do.

So, these women/mothers who are sometimes besides themselves for loss of what’s precious to them, and just as much as any father would be considered to have children as part of his own identity, women/mothers moreso — because we carried children nine months and labored to bring them out — we are asked to become suddenly “orderly” and “submissive” and not show any signs of “conflict” or “aggression” anywhere — outside the court, in the court.  “Or else…”

We can indeed do it, and have; we have submitted, and been orderly IN the court and OUTSIDE Of it, and this disorderly court has taken our kids and dumped them off with people motivated by money, hatred, or lust for little boys and girls.

And we are being trained by the U.S. Govt. HHS/ACF/OCSE that the most important thing for children is to have well-behaved Moms (no “conflict.”)  This is rarely applied in equal place to men.

The rhetoric of the “fatherhood practitioners” RARELY uses the word ‘mother.” It’s unbelievable.

[[Reviewing this in 2017, in preparing to cite it in a blog retrospective: WOW, was that ever an understatement.  I now have the ability to show annotated screenprints of (for example, HHS.gov, or ‘Childwelfare.gov,” as in “Child Welfare Information Gateway,” specifically) websites and document the word usage.  Anyone with a computer (or cell phone, etc.) with a “find” function can do the same for any web page, if it occurs to them to do so.]]

And once a woman is past her child-bearing years, or approaching some good maturity and wisdom, she is not welcome in her kids’ lives if she has not managed to stay with that man, or win in court if she didn’t.  It’s just about that simple.  So the collective “wisdom” coming down to the next generation, and they are GOOD learners while young is — masculine is best, or someone who gets along with that particular guy and these particular institutions.  I’m referring to, after a custody battle (I don’t use the word “custody dispute” which is found too often with a headline attached)

 

Any dominator society knows this — to take out the strength of the nation and tell the mothers which kids they can keep, and which they must toss away or give up to the state.  (I’m thinking of the Book of Exodus). Keep the populace in constant motion, and under constant tension, relocating, changing, etc.  Hanging their whole hope on who’s in power next!  ??

I believe if more women had structured this (government), it would be less punitive and less hierarchical overall. There would be smaller groupings of functional decisionmakers THROUGHOUT society, not just in  a few places.  And we wouldn’t be starting wars all the time, creating orphans and institutions to house (and study) them in.  I may be wrong, but that’s my concern about the elimination of the word “motherhood” while deifying “family.”  That’s not good for anyone.

 

If we stay and submit (Ayaan Hirsi Ali did not — it is possible some of us just are born with more “spirit” than others, I don’t truly know) — we take violence, and if we submit repeatedly in court knowing we are standing in front of crooks, we have to find some self-justication, self-rationalization for doing so — like a possible benefit to it (and, I haven’t seen it anywhere around), and even then, will do violence to our souls in silence, many times.

Don’t rock the boat, or else. Or, Rock the boat, there are no laws.

 

The fact that women also are enforcers of sexist rules on women doesn’t mean it’s not sexist (gender-based).   A population of very, very traumatized children and adults is not good for any country, but it’s definitely good for several types of business.  Most of the types of business that are profiting from this are national, and some international, in scope.

Again, it’s not about “The Batterer As Parent” or anything close to it.  It’s much larger in scope.  I hope some people will see ,and become creatively VERY discontent with their assigned roles as wage-earners to the world to produce goods many don’t need to keep the IMF fed, etc., etc.


I need help, smart people, willing to do some legwork on the access-visitation grants and the “demonstration and research” projects being run on people through the courts, reported in a real odd manner (certain characteristics only) and in some cases, ahve been tied to steering cases towards particular judges, particular evaluators, particular mediators, particular parenting programs, and etc. until the job is done.

Then they also need to look at the funds / nuts and bolts technical vendor payments over a period of time — to the nonprofits getting referral business from the courts, as they are nationwide (“for everyone’s good because the courts are overloaded.”) (Sure, yeah) — and question what good it’s doing anyone.  And define good as something other than “people served,” i.e., warm bodies.

Foundations, Social service (or other governmental) Agencies (especially child support collection — see last post), University, even hospitals, Head Start get in on this, Thinktank  = policies.

Once set in motion, these have a certain forward inertia, like a gas-guzzling car.  Anyone who is employed by them or whose profession is based upon work in them, has a VESTED interest in continuance, or going to the next similar organization, build the resume, etc.

What happens, by contrast, with humans run through the courts, is that they are building their court docket, sometimes criminal docket (including moms incarcerated for saying NO, somehow, or fleeing) — and whatever personal resumes they maybe once had, are now systematically shredded, and disassembled.  This — and not dealing with an individual batterer — is the CYCLE of abuse, and it’s the terminology to look at.

I can’t fault cobblers for seeing shoes, and expert witnesses and custody evaluators for wishing to improve the process IN their field.  I think it requires a different perspective — which I have, by now — to question what right does this field have to exist, at all?  How would individuals not propped up by affiliations with the courts (referrals), or catching the court’s refuse (such as BMCC sought to do, at least this year I can testify), not being sponsored by some major foundations grant (such as Fragile Families, etc.) — how would they do in a more open market?

Or for that matter, even living in some of our neighborhoods.  While this doesn’t apply to me now, it has before.  I did fine.  I got smart.  Until I was married, I was not getting mugged regularly.  Imagine if some of those female smarts were acceptable in this society to restructure it?

Social change starts with thinking change.  Leaders know this, some are just not upfront about the intent, or a little shifty in voicing it.  When you hear one account in one venue and another in another, then you have a person whose real commitment is subterranean.

I think one of the first things we need to do is reject and protest ALL “psychobabble” and even well-thought through, consistent “psychological terminology.”  What about SPIRIT, which is where the soul, the intent, the purpose and the strongest part of humans resides. Some may call it will, some say it’s separate.  Proverbs says, “a wounded spirit, who can bear?” — and these systems are repeatedly battering and lowering the function of the human spirit throughout society.

I’m going to say this again, briefly:

  • Any system that can take someone OFF welfare, and put them back ON it, should be treated skeptically, or simply have to stop its practice.

and . . . .

The most valuable information on this system, apart from firsthand and networked info (from a variety of sources, and not just mothers’ cases) is generally on OFF-central databases, and NOT on the federally-supported resource centers.  I say this having called plenty of those 800 numbers.

 

One Response

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  1. (this post has the phrase “Oscar Mehrsle” on it. Locals, or those who followed this, know I have combined the names of victim and shooter; Mehrsle was the BART official who shot Oscar Grant).

    MY blog is going to have slip-ups of this sort, when I am speaking about situations and pulling together different strands of information, sometimes I will reverse a word. I don’t know if this is also PTSD related. For example, today, I wrote “put on the breaks.” (not “brakes”). And I used to be a very good copyeditor and proofreader, technical and other fields. Cannot do this any longer.

    Please bear with this and understand the purpose is to get the themes, data, and ideas up in a public forum — not to fine-tune the presentation. Hopefully this will change soon, and as readers may know, a lot of this blog was written in hour-segments on the fly at libraries or other places that took a while to get to and from, as had no other internet access for a long time.

    Some of the people who are tweaking the details miss the overall picture. This cannot be said of the founding groups of the court, including AFCC/CRC and the clear understanding that the child support system was leverage to drive business to them.
    It’s clear they thought conceptually, strategically, and long-term as any good marketing and business professional will.

    LetsGetHonest

    March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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