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Mile-High Emotions, Abysmal Logic in (and around) Jamison’s SFWeekly articles

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With graphics like  THESE (gaggged and bound woman in a chair drawing, by Fred Noland)and the Broken-child’s arm graphics on earlier article, backlash is guaranteed, even though gag orders have become part of the Family Law weaponry against exposure.  But the article is not talking about Gag orders, although the ACLU has gotten some of them off in family law cases…

(Source:  Article “Family Courts Need Reform, say Judges, Legislators

By Peter Jamison Wednesday, Mar 23 2011

Our March 2 cover story, “Illegal Guardians,” detailed problems in the state family courts’ procedures for investigating allegations of child abuse and spousal battery in divorce proceedings — and four cases in which custody decisions led to children being placed with physically or sexually abusive parents. In one, a 9-month-old boy was murdered by his father after a judge refused the mother’s request for a protective order.

Since then, SF Weekly has spoken with two state officials who have been at the forefront of family court reform. They agreed that the problems need to be addressed, but had different ideas about where to start.

Note:  The title says “Judges and Legislators” and mentions one judge (who is not ‘reforming” but business as usual — as I’ll show — and one legislator, only).

The original one, March 2nd, had this graphic, hardly about to win friends, or encourage rational debate, seen at

California Family Courts Helping Pedophiles, Batterers Get Child Custody

I tried (you can see, on there….)…

Attempt to Trash a person after attempt to demolish reasoning failed:

Even got a piece of hate-mail on here, by someone I deduce came in the door “hating” and with a specific comment on the brain.  It being an open forum, I engaged.  Disengaging might be a little harder — but this does qualify some of the behavior on the anti-Mom side of the debate, at its most vicious when another female is doing the dirty work, posting under “Female with a Brain.”  I questioned, based on the dialogue, what she was doing with hers.  Here’s a sample — posted yesterday evening on this blog:

from “BRAIN supporters.”

You’re identity is being passed around. You thought you were careful, good for you. More than one brain able to post. You are sucm bitch who lost her kids, hate men and spend a very lonely life online. I’ll take an educated guess that you weigh around 240, dye your hair and generally live in sweats – basic trailer trash. I have your address, shall we have coffee? Its not a threat, not anything but confronting and discussing YOU who confronts everyone else seemingly anonymously.

See ya around. I heard pitbulls can bite, careful

I could, generally speaking that as, trailer-talk, designed to cut through — well, I post a lot of prose, and links, surely it can be annoying.  Same poster was mixing up identities of several others on-line, libeled one, and was warned by her about it, etc.  So, that’s why fewer posts recently – I was on the high-traffic California blog getting some information out.  Generally speaking, neutral readers will learn more from the comments (pro, con, and threatening) than the articles themselves.

(note — posted here only for an example of the level of “discourse” at street level around court decisions made in high places)

FamilyCourtMatters gest few commens, but for reference, the SFWeekly terms of use will apply, and any more talk like that of course will not be approved.  Keep your hate to yourself. I’ve already experienced stalking — this woulnd’t be the first threat either, and my appearance, gender, color (or hair color), height, weight, dress, and marital status are not relevant to whether or not someone is paying off one of your legislators, judges, or federal grants to the states program administrators.

Speaking of which….

This is my comment that may or may not be approved at the SFWeekly FOLLOWup article to the March 2nd, 2011 “California Family Courts” one that now has 1,700 comments.

The follow-up article is, essentially, another PR piece, I believe, dodging the primary issues.  However, it’s HERE:

Parental Alienation Syndrome — The Judge Just Isn’t Buying It

The Judge in question was head of the Elkins Family Law Task Force.  And (incidentally) on the Board of Directors of AFCC, an organization which absolutely has bought — or, rather, is selling — “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”  What appears to have brought it is the investigation behind investigative reporting (either that, or someone “bought” the article — a professional favor, or what?  Or is this level of denial FREE, being so common….)

In one California case we examined, the theory was successfully invoked by a pedophile father to get custody of his daughter.

Some fathers’ rights advocates and psychologists defend the legitimacy of PAS, and argue it should be included in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersSF Weekly recently interviewed Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jerilyn Borack, who served on a statewide task force that studied family-court reform, and asked whether she believed PAS should be admissible in court.

Her answer: Nope.

“I don’t think that it is” admissible, she said. “I don’t think that the psychological community will allow their people anymore to use it as a syndrome.

Should I write the Judge and ask her to verify that quote (and say, when it happened, in what context?)

Who do they think she — or for that matter, the Elkins Family Law Task force IS?  Guess no one looked to close:

I just Submitted – will it be posted?:

Mr. Jamison, have you read any of the 1600+ comment son the last post and thought about their contents?  Because most readers seem highly involved in the courts, and many have probably been thinking about this field (and studying it, and it’s various nonprofits and professionals, pro & con PAS) than you have, apparently.

Or has the entire series of articles, PR work for one theme, already been structured, and will go ahead as planned?  This article mentions a Judge Jerilyn Borack, lightly, and Mark Leno.  I spent time last night looking up Leno’s funding at maplight.org, and found out that Judge Borack is on the Board of Directors of one of THE premier PAS-promoters around, the AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) who are, virtually, the heart-throb of the family law system, and have been identified as very likely proceeding from a Los Angeles County Judges’ (slush fund) decades ago.  So at what point can “investigative reporting” protesting “PAS” be labeled, correctly, plain old “negligent”?  If you’re concerned about PAS, then find out WHO is promoting it.

Here is a link to the 2009 AFCC conference brochure, co-sponsored by the Santa Clara County Superior Court (do you think this might relate to a Santa Clara County case reporting in the last article?)

The California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Invites You to Attend

AFCC – CA ANNUAL CONFERENCE February 6 – 8, 2009 Co-Sponsored by Santa Clara County Superior Court

Bridge Over TrOuBled WaTers

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Above the Turmoil

Addressing Conflicts Between Parties, Professionals and Paradigms”

And this is what the organization’s purpose is (self-described):”$205 single/double  (may explain why low-incomie parents, or parents devastated through years of family court litigation, perhaps, didn’t attend.

The other reason – so few advocates told them about this organization!Professionals dedicated to improving lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”{{Note — this doens’t exactly highlight the due process and legal functions….}}

Who is AFCC?  Well, brochure describes the organization:

AFCC California Chapter

Although AFCC is a truly international organization, it began in California in 1963. Its original purpose was to provide continuing, specialized education for judicial officers, attorneys, and mental health professionals working with family court issues. Now there are over 3,600 members of AFCC in approximately 24 countries, and its headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin. Indeed, most AFCC activity takes place at national and international levels. California, with nearly 400 members, is one of ten U.S. states with a local chapter. The California Chapter has served an important role in the state’s training of family-law judicial officers, mediators, evaluators, counselors, and attorneys.”

 

Oh, not worth mentioning in a press release about poor custody decisions or what might have led to them …..

.ANd here’s (on this brochure) is Judge Borack, mentioned in your article:”

AFCC-CA Board of DirectorsSherrie Kibler-Sanchez, LCSW – President Diane E. Wasznicky, J.D. – President-Elect Honorable Thomas Trent Lewis – Vice President Susan Ratzkin, J.D. – TreasurerCarl F. Hoppe, Ph.D. – Secretary ***Honorable Jerilyn Borack – Past President Jeanne Ames, LMFT – Historian”


Here’s you (the article), quoting her opinion on PAS:

“asked whether she believed PAS should be admissible in court.Her answer: Nope.”I don’t think that it is” admissible,** she said. “I don’t think that the psychological community will allow their people anymore to use it as a syndrome.”

**why isn’t the word “admissible” in quotes also?  Has our Judge been misquoted, or said “I don’t think it is” in answer to some other question?

By Contrast, here’s some of the conference material — and this is typical:(I searched “alienation” on this conference agenda (it’s on most of them.  It occurred 10 times.  For example, here’s an upcoming workshop:)

“W12 Interventions with Alienated Children and their Parents: Evolution and Innovation”

This workshop will present an overview of recent research on alienation and the range of interventions being used with families with alienated children. Included is an update on the family-focused model of therapy often ordered by the Court and frequently implemented in cases of alienation. The ways in which the evolving understanding of alienation and its various components has shaped the interventions and necessitated the development of innovative interventions will be described. The factors contributing to choosing the intervention that best matches the family’s needs, and the factors associated with better outcomes will be outlined.Presenters: Steven Friedlander, Ph.D.; Marjorie Gans Walters Ph.D.; Karen Horwitz, M.A., MFT,

I can’t bold words on-line, but do you notice a certain recurring theme, and attitude there?

So, assuming you have quoted this highly-positioned judge correctly, she is talking out of both sides of her mouth.  OR, knows that –whether or not it’s admissible in a courtroom is irrelevant.  Because the intent of this organization is to run “interventions,” where possible, for “alienation.”  So what if it’s junk science, or inadmissible?  With the amount of excess characters around the courtroom (and expensive conferences where they can get together the next set of policy for each other), who cares?

NB:  California Judicial Council / AOC /CFCC also boasts a few AFCC members of this group.  They are not a neutral, “best interests of the children” organization.  They are a self-service, business-propagating trade organization that has a captive clientele, and gets government funding to add to the business they drum up.

In 2010, the conference (then only $165) was in Denver, and even bore the title of “alienation”!”

47th Annual Conference Denver, ColoradoTraversing the Trail of AlienationRocky RelationshipsMountains of EmotionMile High Conflict”

Denver is a significant locale for groups helping run the courts.  Time you found out about them (email me, I’ll send a list).  It’s becoming clear to mothers, not just fathers (who should stop complaining — they have AFCC and Fathers Rights orgs in their camp, or so they assume, already) — that these are simply PR pieces in an alternative newspaper calling attention to the organizations behind them.

ANOTHER POINT:  The graphics in both articles are going to naturally draw fire from opposing viewpoints.  I want you to be alert to the factor that this is going to HURT some mothers, individually, in a backlash which may hit home personally — or, may hurt their children in custody of someone who is tired of this type of reporting.

The gray adult hand BREAKING a child’s arm on a purple background, and this one (though I agree, gag orders happen, and as a mother, I felt gagged in my own court case– no one cares about evidence in there) — are violent, emotional, and will drag down the conversations.This is a lose/lose situation for the litigants with minor children still and open court cases — and a “win/win” for both sets of advocating nonprofits and professionals.

What was your real intent in this?  Please have a heart-to-heart somewhere.  We are blogging, and eventually, these blogs are going to make articles like this look as foolish as they are.It’s not about PAS.  That’s the excuse.  It’s also not primarily about domestic violence (sorry, but there is an overriding theme).  It’s about business for those in the business of failing to fix the family court system.  These already have been times that tried OUR souls.  Until you get to that point, I doubt anything I wrote will sink in.I’m not going to continue posting on this article as on the last one.  I will blog, though.  This tunnel vision is outrageous.

Even a site “In the Best Interests of the Child” (local, I believe, to Bay Area, and run by professionals) took the time to rehash someone else’s work on this AFCC organization:This is a good primer.  Take a look:

http://www.stopcourtorderedchildabuse.org/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/scoca/newpage.pl?h=7&p=1&v=off&l=English

Time to start asking why no one, almost, even bothers to report on this organization!

Note.  This blog (though not well-formatted) is a gold-mine of references, and points of reference for those willing to look.  I may not be investing a lot more time in it from here on, have other ideas of how to effect some court reforms, and leave it up as an FYI site (as well as record of my opinions on these things). I’ve heard that it has some judges running a little scared (I don’t see that all the Crisis in the Courts movement really has) — which tells me, it’s a little closer to the mark than some.

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

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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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