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OVW + BWJP-FVPF + PRAXIS + NCADV(s) + AFCC = same old, same old (with new names on the grant systems) Here’s why: [Publ. July 6, 2011]

with 3 comments

Post Title with shortlink and enclosed comments added June, 2019. Post written eight years earlier.

(This post came up in a search and I needed to add a “Read-More” link anyway).

OVW + BWJP-FVPF + PRAXIS + NCADV(s) + AFCC = same old, same old (with new names on the grant systems) Here’s why: [Publ. July 6, 2011]  [WordPress-generated, case-sensitive short-link here ends in just two characters, probably because it’s so early in this blog:  “-K7”].  As first published, about 10,800 words, incl. any & all quotes, image captions, tables, etc. //LGH June 23, 2019

On review of this post, I see that perhaps the final ⅓ is quoting (at length) three sources on Irish Slavery, including “Tangled Roots’ “Barbadosed: Africans and Irish in Barbados” from GLC.Yale.Edu, a center originally inspired when businessmen/history buffs G&L heard lectures by a Yale history professor David Brion Davis, who I now see just died this past April after a long, productive life:”Prizewinning Historian of Slavery Dies at 92” NYT April, 2019.

Professor Davis wrote or edited 16 books, but paramount were the three that examined the moral challenges and contradictions of slavery and their centrality in American and Atlantic history. ~~|~~The first, “The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture” (1966), won a Pulitzer Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. The second, “The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823” (1975), won the National Book Award as well as the Bancroft Prize, one of the most prestigious in the study of American history. ~~|~~The last book of the trilogy, “The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation,” was published in 2014 as Professor Davis approached 90. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award…~~|~~President Barack Obama presented Professor Davis with a National Humanities Medal in 2014 for “reshaping our understanding of history,” as the citation said. ~~|~~The fundamental problem of slavery, Professor Davis wrote, “lay not in its cruelty or exploitation, but in the underlying conception of man as a conveyable possession with no more autonomy of will and consciousness than a domestic animal.”                                                          [ “~~|~~” = para. break omitted]

I was (and still am) pretty irritated at the exclusionary practices of the above-named groups in deciding how to solve “family” problems involving abuse; see concluding paragraph.  And there are many parallels between abuse and slavery.

Understandably, this torrent of text with missing paragraph breaks can be very irritating to read.  But for those who do read, or skim, I believe I have made the point that AFCC members flock together, consult together, and set policy together.  Generally speaking any policy that comes out will  somehow, somewhere, contain the words “Parental Alienation” “High-Conflict” and  usually to go with it, “treatment” or “solutions” etc.

The solution is generally going to require counseling or the services of a psychologist, counselor, mediator, psychiatrist, therapist or other mental health expert.

  • First, positioning member (this is long done, and ongoing) high in government, particularly in the court system.
  • Programs are pretty much pushed from the Top Down while proclaiming they are actually grassroots demand . . . .
  • Running conferences — all over the place, but noticeably in real nice places that most of the people they are talking about (in the conferences, i.e., parents) have little chance of reaching (or affording hotel & airfare for)– such as Honolulu, with an after-trip to Cuba, or other cool places.  As well as the Contiguous US conference circuit, ongoing.
  • Pushing the services of psychologists and psychiatrists, including Ph.D.s in the same to remedy the majority of life’s problems.
  • This of course is easier to push when you also have judges in the mix willing to sign a few court orders forcing treatment.
PsyD Ph.D.+ JD = AFCC tactical lobbying unit.  
  • Taking advantage of Federal Grants and teaching membership how to do the same, whether from HHS or DOJ.
  • Strategically forming nonprofit corporations to contract, or subcontract with whatever the grants are for.
  • Skillful involvement of Child Support Service (OCSE) weaponry** to target participants in certain programs, like parental education, in particular.
  • Co-opting the Battered Women’s Movement and diluting it through “collaboration.”  (HHS grants system helps motivate this behavior).  For example, when Battered Women’s Justice Project combines with Association of Family & Conciliation Courts to study the problems with Custody.
(I have to pause to post this one, just for the sheer joy of the language and the confidence it inspires in me, personally, to know that it’s a Canadian sociologist ethnographer who is going to be heavily involved in a projected funded by US Taxpayers about significant problems they have encountered with criminal behavior (battering) and the failure of the LEGAL system to address this.  When in doubt, call in a sociologist, right?):


Development of a Framework for Identifying and Explicating the Context of Domestic Violence in Custody Cases and its Implications for Custody Determinations

BWJP and its project partner, Praxis International, are expanding recent multidisciplinary efforts to more effectively protect the safety and wellbeing of children and their parents in the family court system by crafting a more practical framework for identifying, understanding and accounting for the contexts and implications of domestic violence in custody arrangements and parenting plans.

Read that one aloud nonstop, three times (one quick breath only per time) and try to deduce the meaning.   Separate and examine each phrase and try to locate in time & space, and clearly label what they are referring to.

BWJP and Praxis staff  have formed a National Workgroup with representatives from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and theAssociation of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).  In consultation with leading researchers and practitioners, they have begun to examine the institutional processes by which family courts commonly reach and/or facilitate crucial parenting decisions, including the use of auxiliary advisors such as custody evaluators, guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates.  The intent is to identify the ways in which current institutional practices produce both problematic and helpful results for children and their parents. 

The goal of this analysis, which draws heavily from the Praxis Audit Process of institutional ethnography, is to develop concrete recommendations for producing safer, healthier outcomes for children and their battered and battering parents.**


Yes — rather than, say, accountability, let’s go for making sure the battering parents as well as the parents and children battered are safe.   This is equally important, right?, to protecting both perpetrators and their victims, whether the other parent, or children.

Since when did the safety of a person who beats on or abuses another person rise in equality to the safety of the person attacked?  Does this happen throughout the criminal law system as well?  Is battering no longer a criminal matter, but a “family” matter?  After all, the name of BWJP is “Battered Womens Justice Project.”

Any project to “produce an outcome” should be most concerned about the processes involved to get there — which is where the “Justice” part supposedly enters in!

TO figure out how to do this, assemble experts from BWJP — a group that has so far not reported (at all) on the AFCC– and the AFCC, and another family court oriented group, NCJFCJ.

AFCC judicial members and others are notorious for switching custody to batterers on the basis of parental alienation, a theory derivative of some incest-friendly psychologists (Gardner et al.) and promoted by an organization founded by them.  This sad/bad custody-switching habit spawned by AFCC (it wasn’t battering; it was parental alienation, and your mind needs adjustment, Mom; GREAT idea. . . .) has itself spawned another set of nonprofit groups who like to complain about it (but not address AFCC’s role or the fatherhood grants system’s role, or for that matter, the role of the child support system in funding the operation).

There already IS a framework — and these organizations are IT!  So the same organizations are going to “frame” (or rather REframe) the problems they have helped create?  — AFCC, as a primary agent, and BWJP at this point, I’ll have to call a decoy.   Who, really is being “framed” here?

The first meeting of the National Workgroup was held in November 2009 to lay the groundwork for this two-year, OVW-funded project.**  The National Workgroup met again in May 2010 to begin exploring the role of auxiliary advisors, the mechanics of the work that they perform, the reports that they produce, the ways in which the institution receives, interprets and acts on those reports, and the safety implications that flow from those complex institutional processes.  Canadian sociologist, Dr. Dorothy Smith, a world renowned expert in institutional ethnography, facilitated the May meeting.

**How appropriate this is OVW funded.  Susan Carbon of OVW was formerly involved with the NAFCJ. {{update 2019: I think I meant there, “NCJFCJ.”}}

OVW head is Obama Appointee:

Photo of Susan B. Carbon

Meet the Directors

Susan B. Carbon is the Director of the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Ms. Carbon was nominated to this position by President Barack Obama on October 1, 2009 and confirmed by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010.

Her bio indicates prior work in Family Law, NH, and — well here it is:

Director Carbon also served as President of NCJFCJ [A FAMLY LAW NONPROFIT ASSOCIATION] from 2007 to 2008, and was President of the New Hampshire State Bar Association in 1993-94.

Comment:  The egregious custody-switch on the basis of mother alienated the children was a New Hampshire case.  Looking into this case was what led me to the Parenting Coordination Group of NH (because personnel in that case, besides being AFCC, one was also a co-founder of the PCANH.org group.  I found out about the group by simply googling the person’s name:  Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D.  The handbook of this group illustrated hostility towards mothers and the nuts and bolts of HOW to introduce parental alienation into a report and recommend punitive action (such as removing the children from the mother; in the sample report, the mother involved was a nurse, an RN — and the thesis was that she was incapable of assessing input around her! )  This doesn’t reflect on all of New Hampshire, but it sure does catch my attention that the head of the OVW was President of the NH State Bar long ago.  Well, I guess, very long ago….

Director Carbon has also worked with the (1) Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) on two of their major initiatives conducted at the Wingspread Conference Center, the Family Law Reform Education Project (FLER Project), and Domestic Violence and Family Courts, dealing with differentiation of domestic violence in cases of child custody  . . . . Director Carbon served as faculty for the (2) National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence—a partnership of (3) OVW, (4) Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, and (5) NCJFCJ.

These groups are already overlapping and somewhat inbred.  To call it a partnership as if there were different viewpoints involved is inaccurate.

This is the relationship:

  • OVW is part of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Gov’t, Dept. of Justice:  it distributes and allots grants.
  • Futures Without Violence (formerly FVPF) and NCJFCJ are both nonprofits with board of directors that receive grants.
  • Susan Carbon in 2007-2008 was President of NCJFCJ; now she is heading up the OVW, appointed by Obama.
ONE thing they have in common, that I noticed by looking at the grants system, is that FVPF and NCJFCJ were among the largest recipients of TAGGS grants around; plus also DOJ grants.  Look ’em up yourself; they are (with the Minnesota Program Development Inc., under which BWJP & Praxis seem to fall) head and shoulders above the others in grants receipts.  They consider themselves the leaders and resource centers in these fields, and have been.  I don’t agree with the direction they have led, but as to influence, it’s true — they are leading.  Thanks to a whole lotta funding and connections.
  • AFCC doesn’t need so many grants because it gets its business directly from the courts; its membership include many highly-placed judges and other professionals in the family law system.  Also, these judges can by court order (and they do) direct business to other members who run nonprofits, i.e., the Kids’ Turns (the whole gang — see my posts) and Hannah’s Houses (Susan Griffin) & Little Angels (Viola Stroud) of the family law system.  So they are less in need of direct grants to exist and do business.  HOWEVER, they do get grants, including from family foundations.
  • Almost anything, these days, can be an “INSTITUTE.”  It could be a set of hyperlinks to (new or old) information on a web-page already hosted by a nonprofit.  It could be any entity that repeatedly hosts or sponsors a series of seminars, including webinars, sold — or run for OVW grantees.  It could be from a University, or it could be electronically organized.  It’s JUST a term to lend it more authority and solemnity, but until one actually examines what happened, what is involved that solemnity and authority shouldn’t be granted simply because of the word “institute.’

AFCC are not themselves “courts” — but an association — a private, nonprofit (which means tax-exempt; it doesn’t mean, no profits!) organization attempting, successfully, it seems — to change the “old” language of criminal law (i.e., crime = wrong, stop it, there are deterrents, such as sentencing and possible incarceration and fines for violations of the  state Penal Codes, including the parts of the penal code that call domestic violence a misdemeanor or felony; or that call assault & battery, child-rape, kidnapping and contempt of court orders — wrong) into, there ARE no individual rights — parents do not exist AS individuals except as we evaluate and analyze (and/or therapize) them.  What the law calls “crimes” the AFCC calls and treats as a family squabble, and criminalizes BOTH participants if one cannot get along with the other.  AFCC EXISTS to change the legal standards, and along with the law.  As an organization WHAT IT DOES is “reframe” issues according to its agenda.

And no fool who actually consistently reads some of the conference material can ignore that the “discredited psychological theory” called “Parental Alienation” is central to AFCC philosophy.  Also central are elements such as constantly mentioning “parental alienation and domestic violence” in the same breath as though they were equal, and as though both were as real as each other, rather than one being a criminal act (habit) and the other being a “thought-crime.” (actually, it’s a projected upon the perpetrator “attitude-crime.”)

Precisely my point.  “FVPF” (major player as far as grants recipient s ) got a facelift, but as I have blogged it gets substantial fatherhood-type funding, which is reflected in their concept that fatherhood is somehow a “tool” with which to stop domestic violence, and should have an institute on how to do this.  THis is why I look at WHO is running what, and WHO is paying for it.
Praxis International Duluth MN $500,000.00
Praxis International Duluth MN $3,500,000.00

Family Violence Prevention Fund (Now “Futures without Violence”) is definitely on good terms with the OVW:

Family Violence Prevention Fund San Francisco CA $1,500,000.00
Family Violence Prevention Fund San Francisco CA $125,000.00
Family Violence Prevention Fund San Francisco CA $900,000.00
Family Violence Prevention Fund San Francisco CA $916,000.00

(link simply leads to the organization’s website)

I searched “AFCC” on this site and came up with:

 and Efficient Resolution of Family Cases,” 44th Annual Conference of the
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Washington DC, May 30 
http://www.adr.gov/events/resume-nancy-welsh.pdf-2010-08-25- Text Version

Among this woman’s, a Law Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson (PA) credentials is:

Presenter, “Mediating with High Conflict Families,” ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ Symposium on Family, Family- Business and Intergenerational Disputes, Philadelphia, PA, February 1, 2002.


Presenter and moderator, “Balancing Client Self-Determination and Efficient Resolution of Family Cases,” 44th Annual Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Washington D.C., May 30 – June 2, 2007.

USDOJ: Office on Violence Against Women: Meet the Director

 Director Carbon has also worked with the Association of Family and Conciliation
Courts on two of their major initiatives conducted at the 
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/ovwdirector.htm-28k- Cached

Judge Susan B Carbon Official Bio
 Ms. Carbon has also worked with the Association of Family and Conciliation
Courts on two of their major initiatives conducted at the Wingspread 
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/susan-carbon-bio.pdf-2010-09-16- Text Version


HERE is a report summary (dated April 2008) from the Wingspread Conference.  Note, the Johnson Foundation funded it and “Wingspread” refers to the conference site in Racine Wisconsin (Wisconsin is home of main? AFCC nonprofit, although it has chapters in other states).

Report from the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts

by Clare Dalton, Nancy Ver SteeghThanks to the Association of Conciliation Courts (www.afccnet.org) for permission to republish this important report.April 2008

Although domestic violence is commonly recognized as a serious and widespread problem, there is a surprising lack of agreement about its nature, causes, frequency, and appropriate legal treatment. Researchers and practitioners who work in the field come from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds and have historically viewed domestic violence from different and sometimes competing perspectives. These differences have historically been fueled rather than resolved by research, which has employed a variety of definitions and methodologies, and, unsurprisingly, generated a variety of findings, some flatly contradictory. Acrimonious exchanges among both researchers and practitioners has tended to focus attention on contentious issues and left little room for cooperation.

Given this history, the convening of the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts is a remarkable accomplishment in itself. Recognizing that the membership of their respective organizations represented some of the contrasting perspectives described above, leaders from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) began meeting in 2004 with the hope of opening a productive dialogue about domestic violence for the ultimate benefit of children and families.

As discussion progressed the two groups sought an invitation from the Johnson Foundation to hold a jointly sponsored working conference on child custody and domestic violence at the Foundation’s Wingspread facility.

The Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts took place in February of 2007. It brought together a working group of thirty-seven experienced practitioners and researchers** {{not listed — anyone specifically representing the parents -fathers & mothers — or children’s points of view, for example, adult children who had experienced the family court system and aged out of it}} to discuss ways to meet more effectively the needs of families experiencing domestic violence.


This agenda is already framed in AFCC terms, not “battered women’s justice” terms.  It is talking FAMILIES and NOT the rights of man (and woman).

The topic of conversation should be fairly enforcing the laws (this is what judges are to do).

How appropriate it is to discuss “meeting families’ needs” when the voices of the families involved are not even invited to (or alerted about) the conference — except in that most practitioners and researchers have SOME family experiences of their own.

When the DV advocates sought to compromise and collaborate with the AFCC, which runs the family law system (and the NCJFCJ being a significant influence on it, and a conference of judges in the system themselves, we are talking about self-evaluation and self-monitoring, which rarely works.

To the extent the DV movement held this conference, without addressing information that has been out since 1993 (NAFCJ.net and elsewhere) and 1999 (Marv Byer plus Richard Fine caught the AFCC with its pants down), repeated and published in 2002 (California Now Family Court Report traces the origins of the family law system and the AFCC to a Los Angeles Judges in effect, slush fund!) – – – the DV movement is playing deaf, blind, and dumb to some serious infractions on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and any concept of equality under the law.  Of course it has been doing this through the Duluth group for years before.

Family law litigants should not have to go years of trauma and custody-switches based on unproved allegations; lose contact with their own children through attrition, trauma, and handing the kids over toe people who have proven unable to comply with court orders . . . . .   and then years later discover that this was because in 1994 or thereabouts, Congress decided that the nation was experiencing a fatherlessness crisis and had dedicated grants to correct it, enabled through the child support and TANF systems!

The participants included members of the domestic violence advocacy community;** family court judges and administrators; lawyers, mental health, dispute resolution, and other professionals working in the family court system; and academics from the fields of law and social science. Recognizing that much can be accomplished when professional groups communicate effectively and work in concert, the conference organizers planned for a frank and wide-ranging discussion of issues related to current practice, policy, and research. At the most fundamental level, communication about domestic violence has been hindered by the fact that different professional constituencies use that term somewhat differently, and use different language to identify and analyze the range of behaviors encompassed by their particular definitions. As a result people who work in the field receive different and sometimes inconsistent messages about how to help families. Therefore, a major goal for the conference was to begin to develop a common vocabulary for, and a shared understanding of, the ways in which domestic violence manifests, and its implications for families. Other goals for the working conference included an examination of the capacity of the court system to support family safety and wellbeing; identification of ways to improve the case handling process; and consideration of how limited resources might be allocated to and among cases in which domestic violence has been identified or alleged. Given the complex and challenging nature of these aspirations, a final goal was to generate, and seek commitment from conference attendees to support, specific ongoing projects growing out of the conference agenda.

Such as more conferences and projects.

Yeah, right — the prevalence of the word “families” and the absence of ANY word referring to individuals – and as citizens of any state and the U.S., people as INDIVIDUALS have legal rights under those constitutions.  if a family member or members choose to consistently break those laws and impinge upon those rights, then there are consequences.  One of the worst infractions of any law I can think of is to take a committed marital relationship (forgive me for focusing on this one, but marriage is a legal contract; it has some legally binding factors) which also constitutes a fiduciary relationship  — and begin to assault, undermine, steal from, and deprive of basic conditions for life — within the family.  Or, to USE one of the minor children for personal sexual or other gratification.  These are EXACTLY the kinds of cases where, if anything, criminal law should take precedence above family law, when they are in conflict.

And these are exactly the kinds of cases that AFCC — as an organization — and the family law system — as a system — seeks to reframe, from the viewpoint of social science and personal relationships, not individual rights.  The origins of this system incorporate mental health professionals, counseling and a stated attempt to prevent divorce, when people come to the court in order to get divorced, and/or separated without ending up on the street.

ver Steegh and Dalton are AFCC leaders.  AFCC  = PAS promoter. PAS-promoter = reframing domestic violence, shifting the language to “allegations” and characterizing the parental alienation (when it comes to reporting parent, or custodial parent of a self-reporting child) as worse than the domestic violence.

Parental Alienation - Keeping Families Connected Logo

Parental Alienation – Keeping Families Connected

Resources to identify, battle and recover from the devastating affects 

Resources to Help Your Children Recover From
Parental Alienation and High Conflict Divorce


AFCC is also a book-selling enterprise from its founders; newcomers can jump on board because the network is so widespread:

This site (mediate.com, another AFCC theme) is every other word is “parental alienation.”  That’s called PR — marketing — vocabulary saturation.  Occasionally a “high-conflict” (another favorite vocabulary word) is on there.  These words function as road-signs.  For example, “high-conflict” derails the conversation about who has conflict with what.   The same rationale was used about 500 years ago by a British (Catholic) Monarch to justify the “divine right of kings” — because struggle for dominance disturbs the realm.  WARSHAK markets forced reunification packages and the theory that if a mother won’t share, sole custody should go to the father.  he also markets materials to help a father’s attorney convince the MOTHER’s attorney to persuade her to back down, under threat of losing the children!

THat’s your basic AFCC.  It IS “parental alienation” and parental alienation does NOT go two ways.  it does NOT, allegedly, apply, if the perpetrating father then takes the children to punish someone for “outing” the violence, or other lawless behavior — and gets sole legal and physical custody.  BECAUSE of this and because of who invented it (and why — Gardner!) I have to reject “parental alienation” wholesale.  Because of what it represents in the courts.

Unexpected Legacy of DivorceWelcome Back PlutoI don't want to choose

AFCC has many mediators in their constituency.  mediation is a key theme.  Mediation (including mandatory) is ALSO an identified means to get more noncustodial parenting time, per the access/visitation grants as practiced in California (home of AFCC, originally).  These grants systems are part of the marriage and FATHERHOOD movement.  Battered Women’s advocates used to strongly protest the use of mediation in domestic violence cases because it severely compromised the victim parent; it was forcing her to negotiate with someone who had committed serious crimes against her, and possibly even threatened to kill, or tried to.

AFCC = pushing mediation as a solution to “HIGH-CONFLICT” etc.

Here’s Nancy Ver Steegh, who helped write this review, above:

Nancy Ver Steegh

Nancy Ver SteeghNancy Ver Steegh is a professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, where she teaches family law, domestic violence law and policy, and alternative dispute resolution. Her publications include articles about child custody and domestic violence, mediation and domestic violence, children and domestic violence, and mandatory divorce education. She is the coauthor of two family law books, Work of the Family Lawyer and Family Law: Examples & Explanations. She is a frequent presenter at national conferences and is a member of the board of editors of the Family Law Quarterly and the Family Court Review, as well as serving on the board of directors of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She has prior experience working as a legal aid lawyer representing victims of domestic violence and she has trained police, prosecutors, and judges nationwide. Professor Ver Steegh earned her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her M.S.W. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.
For such a person to be teaching so much domestic violence, working legal aid for women expecting HELP to get separate from it, and for her to be training police, prosecutors and judges on this — and also being a director of AFCC — is a conflict of interest. Notice the “mandatory divorce education.”  The AFCC membership write the divorce education books, design the curricula, open nonprofit groups to receive business from the “mandated divorce education” and these groups funds are NOT properly accounted for.  She has a J.D. but she IS a social worker at heart, apparently.
In a search for “ver Steegh parental alienation” (this site quotes her, too), here’s an interesting quote apparently from the Dalton, above — citing NCJFCJ.  The cite from Ms. ver Steegh shows that as far back as 2005 she was already “differentiating” types of domestic violence (you can search at the link):


The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges bench book also notes that there is no scientific or legal basis for admission of parental alienation. Further, it cautions:

“The discredited ‘diagnosis’ of ‘PAS’ (or allegation of ‘parental alienation’), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be ‘alienated’ have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.”
For Ms. Dalton to actually believe that PAS is indeed a discredited diagnosis and simultaneously be among the leadership of the largest PAS-promoter association around — is a conflict of terms and it seems to me, inherently dishonest.  let’s practice what we preach, OK?
In the same place (this appears to be a slideshow, part of a course) another learned person considers HOW PAS gained credibility when it has none:

Professor Carol Bruch, in her thorough essay, Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children: Getting it Wrong in Child Custody Cases, considers how the “syndrome” has gained currency in the courts, despite the absence of scientific validity, and provides useful perspective on the issues (Bruch,Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children (278KB), 2002).

She is a learned person (Professor) so I clicked to see if she mentioned AFCC, at all.  She did — ONCE — in a fineprint, footnote 67, which is here:

In May 2001, for example, a national conference on Conflict Resolution, Children and the Courts included both a half-day institute titled ‘The ABC’s of High Conflict Families and Alienated Children’ and a panel devoted to ‘Restoring Relationships Between Alienated Children and their Parents.’ AFCC 38th Annual Conference, 9-12 May 2001. The July 2001 issue of Family Court Review contains a symposium on AC. As described by the editors, the purpose is ‘to review the psychological and legal difficulties with Parental Alienation Syndrome … and to develop a more complex and useful understanding of situations in which children strongly and unexpectedly reject a parent during or after divorce.’ Janet R. Johnston and Joan B. Kelly, Guest Editorial Notes, 39 FAM CT REV 246, at p 246 (2001) [hereafter Johnston and Kelly, Ed Notes]. In their joint article for the issue, Johnston and Kelly argue for a new formulation that would distinguish alienated children ‘from other children who also resist contact with a parent after separation but for a variety of normal developmentally expectable reasons (including realistic estrangement from violent, neglectful, or abusive parents).’ Ibid, summarising Joan B. Kelly and Janet R. Johnston, The Alienated Child: A Reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome, 39 FAM CT REV 249 (2001) [hereafter Kelly and Johnston, The Alienated Child].

I can’t keep up with all the AFCC Board members, by memory (easy enough to check), but I will that Janet Johnston has been one of them.  Joan Kelly is one of the originals in promoting the mediation solution.   Obviously, they conference and publish together.
The key in that situation (in blue) is that it’s going to be an AFCC member, or member of one of the professions they promote, that will be ordered and paid for the privilege of assessing whether the child is alienated because, for example, he/she doesn’t like being molested or degraded/mistreated — or whether there was no such mistreatment (and a PSYCHOLOGICAL evaluation is going to detect this?), meaning, the child’s distaste for the other parent was brainwashing (alienation) by the parent.
The article starts thus:

Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children – getting it wrong in child custody cases􏰀

Carol S. Bruch􏰀􏰀

This article examines mental health and legal responses when children resist visits with noncustodial parents. In Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children, it finds a lack of rigorous analysis that endangers children. The author concludes by suggesting better ways to evaluate new theories from the social sciences. Citation conventions are based in part on The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Harvard Law Review Assoc, 17th ed 2001).


As courts and legislatures continue their enthusiastic ventures into family law reform, they make frequent use of theories and research from the social sciences.

What fueled that enthusiasm, I wonder?  And what is social science THEORY doing in the courts?

This essay focuses on developments in child custody law stemming from Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a theory propounded in 1985 that became widely used (sometimes in a form called Parental Alienation) despite its lack of scientific foundations. The discussion highlights theoretical and practical problems with PAS, provides a similar discussion of more recent proposals concerning Alienated Children (AC), and concludes with recommendations for lawyers and judges who must evaluate these and similar developments.

In about 20 fine-print pages in a scholarly publication (Child and Family Law Quarterly) — that the average court litigant will NEVER see (unless like me, they catch wind of what’s up, and research it as they can, on-line) — this author does not ONCE mention the AFCC organization as a causative factor to acceptance of PAS in the body of the paper.
Which is why “SCHOLARS” are not going to change this system, which is not based on reason, but on common practices and common conferences deciding what the best practice should be.
That was 2002. This is 2011.  In San Francisco Weekly, March 24, 2011, “the Snitch” reported on PAS.   The reports didn’t mention AFCC either.  No one seems interested in HOW these things happen, and in who is promoting them.
(I could say more, but not today, on the NCJFCJ).  This conference shows me that the language has already been changed.  As the word “DV professional” can now include anyone associated with this organization, including someone on its Board — It would seem that in this matter, the AFCC language won out, and it did so the minute the conference was called in an attempt to reconcile their languages — what about the language that the REST of us read, when we are engaging in court or custody actions?
If it is to be changed by practice, we are to be informed.  THAT — and not meeting in Racine, Honolulu, Orlando, and all over the map to get the game plan together which then will be enforced without proper notice upon parents — is how to protect entire FAMILIES from abuse by the head of the household.
(This post is an earlier draft, partially completed.  A more complete presentation would show more about the relationship of NCJFCJ to the OVW, and mention a NCJFCJ Board of Directors or prior board of directors who also heads up a major health provider in Arizona.  I have some of this material in my email and will attempt to post in a bit).
For example (I lifted this from one of my own comments on an SFWeekly article on parental alienation, which also failed to note the AFCC factor.  This comment spoke about Dr. Philip Stahl, and calls attention to the positions from which he speaks.  I have a post in draft on this person; we might as well know:
Article — 9 years after Carol Bruch’s speculations, SFWeekly has made little progress in identifying the who’s who of PAS promotion:

California Family Courts Helping Pedophiles, Batterers Get Child Custody
By Peter Jamison Wednesday, Mar 2 2011

(this is a comment.  There were over 1,700 comments on this site!)

The PAS is the wallpaper — it is not the scaffolding. I blog on the scaffolding and the foundation at familycourtmatters wordpress com, FYI. So do several others, who are not on the federal grants stream, the referral business from the courts stream, or the “I have a Dream” book-marketing teams appealing to parents (mostly moms) who have lost their kids through having PAS thrown at them, and many times, the children became “alienated” because of this — but no $$ benefit attached, so THAT “alienation” is not addressed in the court.Such as Dr Stahl:
(from ‘parenting after divorce (com)’):
“Take Dr. Stahl’s online CE courses at the Steve Frankel Group.”Philip Stahl, Ph.D., ABPP (Forensic) is a psychologist licensed in California (#PSY 10272), Michigan (#6301001615), and Arizona (#3843). Dr. Stahl lives in Maricopa County Arizona, though his work takes him all over the country. Dr. Stahl is a practitioner, author, and teacher, specializing in HIGH CONFLICT** families of divorce. He has served on numerous committees and task forces designed to improve the quality of work in his field. He teaches judges, attorneys, psychologists and other mental health professionals about issues affecting families and children. His expertise is accepted in courts across the country.”{{**….Bio page makes it clear, this includes parental alienation. “High-conflict” is code for AFCC. It’s like their battle cry…. BIO page, bottom, reads like this: “His articles have been on parental alienation, ethics, child custody evaluations, psychological testing, and high conflict.” Notice that “parental alienation” comes before ethics, and of course wrapping it up with high conflict, which is always bad, even if it’s one parents conflict with criminal behavior, or court order violations, by the other……}}”If you are a professional, you will probably be interested in his training, either at conferences or for ongoing continuing education. Dr. Stahl specializes in training judges, presenting workshops to judges in Arizona, California, Virginia, Utah, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, and other states.{{He is on the faculty of National Judicial College and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. (“NCJFCJ”). If he’s on the faculty of a national council of judges (major player in custody court system) and he teaches PAS, are we still puzzled why it is frequently named in custody hearings?}}Most recently, Dr. Stahl, along with several co-faculty, has developed and begun to teach a course titled Modern Divorce Advocacy through the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. As an approved provider of continuing education for the American Psychological Association and an approved provider of legal specialist education (family law) for the California Bar Association, Dr. Stahl also provides ongoing training and continuing education workshops for psychologists and attorneys. See the links to training for more information on past and future trainings.”Good work, if you have the connections.
“Both Days of Workshop – Registration faxed or postmarked before 7/17 $340.00Friday Workshop Only – Registration faxed or postmarked before 7/17 $250.00Saturday Workshop Only – Registration faxed or postmarked before 7/17 $120.00”
He teaches PAS.
It is my intent that organization which are still showing up confused and puzzled as to how & why PAS continues to be promoted and used as an excuse to order a custody-switch in the family law system will have no place to hide while they continue their high-profile posturing and speculation on this.
NCJFCJ and AFCC, I can understand.  BWJP is, however, portraying itself as helping “Battered Women” get “Justice.”   Perhaps BWJP should review what the process of justice is, at its core level.  And that does NOT include setting policy and making decisions, selling out women in order to get what IT determines are good results.  That behavior is no different than the AFCC behavior.   They wish to be policy-setters, and have become this simply because they control the flow of information among those who control the courts.
While Dr. Stahl appears to have gone straight from his college education(s), just about, into AFCC, and not had a career interruption since — note the price of the workshops — and has been publishing on PAS for over a decade — what about the many parents who have lost work, and contact with their children wrongfully, through his and his friend’s policies and re-definition of standards?  This is NOT the legislative process, the judicial process, or the enforcement process envisioned by the people who wrote our Constitution.  They sought OPPOSED the divine right of kings and SUPPORTED the “rights of man.”  To support the rights of man means, this government belongs to the people, and those people are not to be treated as troubled children needing help, therapy, and sage advice.  They are to be basically left alone in their homes and businesses unless they are a public menace and have committed IDENTIFIABLE IN LAW crimes against society (and divorcing is NOT a crime against society, nor is arguing with one’s spouse.  Nor is LEAVING one’s spouse, with children, when there has been a serious danger and injury to onesself and/or the children a crime against society!).
The Wingspread Conference had, it said, only 37 people, and it had the support of a wealthy foundation.
Many policies — such as the “Fragile i” concept –have wealthy supporters:  Here’s just a sample:

Just Get Me to the Church…”: Assessing Policies to Promote Marriage among Fragile Families


Ronald B. Mincy

Columbia University

Chien-Chung Huang

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey November 16, 2001

Prepared for the MacArthur Network Meeting, Evanston, Illinois, November 30, 2001

We are grateful to Marah Curtis for computational assistance. Support for this research was provided by the Ford Foundation . The Fragile Families Study is supported by grants from NICHD, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the California HealthCare Foundation, the Hogg Foundation, the St.David’s Hospital Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Fund for New Jersey, the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, the Foundation for Child Development, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services in Indianapolis, and the Bendheim Thoman Center for Research on Child Well-being.

Almost everyone is in on the game; and the game is — the families themselves are the pawns on the chessboard.  The study is a coalition of chess-players debating about the next move.  Foundations are tax-exempt organizations…  Pawns are expendable….(Chess it seems being taken from medieval/feudal symbolism:  King, Queen, Rook, Knight, BISHOP — all have more freedom of movement except the King.   Anything can be expended to protect the king, and who “checks” or captures him, wins the game.  The Queen is the most powerful mover on the chessboard, but the game is about the king.
From the position of a veteran of the family courts (and a domestic violence survivor — we survived, no one was killed although the weapons were in place to do it, and that was the direction the “marriage” was headed til I stopped it, temporarily, with the restraining order, forcing the abuser to figure out another way to exercise abusive and destructive control, which was found in this venue…..)
Sample from abstract (this is a draft, and this is all I’m going to mention — it’s typical):


This article examines alternative approaches to encourage family formation among fragile families, including higher cash benefits, more liberal acceptance of welfare applications, more effective child support enforcement, and efforts to increase education and employment of low-income parents. We examine these approaches by refining and expanding previous work on a generalized logit model of the mothers’ actual family formation outcomes, in a hierarchy that includes father absence, father involvement, cohabitation, and marriage. Refinements involve measurements of family formation that make our results more comparable to other studies and new controls for previous fertility with the father of the focal child and with another partner (multiple partner fertility).

The comment to yesterday’s (huge) post mentioned the Irish Slave trade, and Cromwell’s unbelievable pillaging of the Irish; they were cheaper (free) at the time than African slaves.  Eventually, some of the masters got “smart” and started breeding the irish women slaves with the male African slaves.  They are able to do that because the situation was, indeed, slavery.
This type of “fragile families” talk has the same mentality!  They might as well be breeding and farming people, as “encouraging family formation” here.  The only obstacle to this — currently — is the 15th amendment to the United States Constitution.  Slavery is not legal; and one class of people are NOT breeding material to produce workers, or for that matter, ANYTHING, for another class.   But that is exactly the concept here.     The people they wish to “form families” did not create the institutions they were raised in — more likely, the types of people and mentalities of these same chess players, policymakers — were of the same class that created the failed and demoralizing institutions that produced “fragile families.”
Here’s another sample:

Multipartnered Fertility and Depression among Fragile Families*

Kristin Turney Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar University of Michigan

Marcia J. Carlson Associate Professor of Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison

November 12, 2010

*Direct all correspondence to Kristin Turney, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 Observatory, 3642 SPH Tower, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Turney’s work on this project was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program. Carlson’s work was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) through grant R01HD57894 and through core funding to the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (R24HD047873). Funding for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study was provided by NICHD through grants R01HD36916, R01HD39135, and R01HD40421, as well as a consortium of private foundations (see http://www.fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/funders.asp for the complete list).

What is the purpose of these studies, really?
When they start talking “multiple-partner fertility,” you know someone has truly gone off the deep end. Is there not some other occupation for these scholars?  How would these scholars (both women, this time) like to be grouped with a mass of people and characterized by THEIR fertility output and studied as to what emotions it engendered in them?  What’s more depressing is to learn of these debates.
Compare:   (follow up to the Irish ethnic cleansing of the 1600s….)  I’m including because the discussion above is talking about people as though they were cattle.  It reminded me of what happened to the Irish and African slaves in the West Indies during the reign of Cromwell.
This quote appears to be from a descendant of some of those slaves, a Cavanaugh that traced his forebears back to Barbados, and asked, what were they doing there?  It’s fairly detailed; skim for content, and at the bottom, it talks about the breeding program, based on differential between irish slaves (cheaper) and African (had to be bought and adapted easier to the climate).
Let us ask some SERIOUS questions about what kind of business these foundations and the US government helping finance them, are in — when they talk about fragile families, promoting healthy marriage and fatherhood, and why its best for the country to tweak the legal system with the child support (& tax) systems so as to produce the desired outcome of a low-income father IN every child’s home, or at least in a job financing that child’s home.
Race and HistoryNews and Views

Irish Slavery

Posted By: Jim Cavanaugh
Date: 28, May 05, at 9:50 p.m.

Irish Slavery
James F. Cavanaugh

There are a great many K/Cavanaughs in North America who trace their ancestry back to a Charles Cavanaugh, who arrived in Virginia, with a brother or cousin named Philemon Cavanagh (Felim or Phelim), on or about 1700.

what were the Cavanaughs doing in Barbados in the first place? The answer takes us down a revolting path wandering through one of the most insensitive and savage episodes in history, where the greed and avarice of the English monarchy systematically planned the genocide of the Irish, for commercial profit, and executed a continuing campaign to destroy all traces of Irish social, cultural and religious being. As the topic was politically sensitive, little has been written about this attempted genocide of the Irish, and what has been written has been camouflaged because it is an ugly and painfully brutal story. But the story should be told.

Transportation and Banishment

If Queen Elizabeth I had lived in the 20th Century. she would have been viewed with the same horror as Hitler and Stalin. Her policy of Irish genocide was pursued with such evil zest it boggles the mind of modern men. But Elizabeth was only setting the stage for the even more savage program that was to follow her, directed specifically to exterminate the Irish. James II and Charles I continued Elizabeth’s campaign, but Cromwell almost perfected it. Few people in modern so-called “civilized history” can match the horrors of Cromwell in Ireland. It is amazing what one man can do to his fellow man under the banner that God sanctions his actions!

During the reign of Elizabeth I, English privateers captured 300 African Negroes, sold them as slaves, and initiated the English slave trade. Slavery was, of course, an old established commerce dating back into earliest history. Julius Caesar brought over a million slaves from defeated armies back to Rome. By the 16th century, the Arabs were the most active, generally capturing native peoples, not just Africans, marching them to a seaport and selling them to ship owners. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships were originally the most active, supplying slaves to the Spanish colonies in America. It was not a big business in the beginning, but a very profitable one, and ship owners were primarily interested only in profits. The morality of selling human beings was never a factor to them.

After the Battle of Kinsale at the beginning of the 17th century, the English were faced with a problem of some 30,000 military prisoners, which they solved by creating an official policy of banishment. Other Irish leaders had voluntarily exiled to the continent, in fact, the Battle of Kinsale marked the beginning of the so-called “Wild Geese”, those Irish banished from their homeland. Banishment, however, did not solve the problem entirely, so James II encouraged selling the Irish as slaves to planters and settlers in the New World colonies. The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River In South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first “recorded” sale of Irish slaves was in 1612, because the English, who were noted for their meticulous record keeping, simply did not keep track of things Irish, whether it be goods or people, unless such was being shipped to England. The disappearance of a few hundred or a few thousand Irish was not a cause for alarm, but rather for rejoicing. Who cared what their names were anyway, they were gone.

Almost as soon as settlers landed in America, English privateers showed up with a good load of slaves to sell. The first load of African slaves brought to Virginia arrived at Jamestown in 1619. English shippers, with royal encouragement, partnered with the Dutch to try and corner the slave market to the exclusion of the Spanish and Portuguese. The demand was greatest in the Spanish occupied areas of Central and South America, but the settlement of North America moved steadily ahead, and the demand for slave labor grew.

The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as laborers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

The Confederation War broke out in Kilkenny in 1641, as the Irish attempted to throw out the English yet again, something that seem to happen at least once every generation. Sir Morgan Cavanaugh of Clonmullen, one of the leaders, was killed during a battle in 1646, and his two sons, Daniel and Charles (later Colonel Charles) continued with the struggle until the uprising was crushed by Cromwell in 1649. It is recorded that Daniel and other Carlow Kavanaghs exiled themselves to Spain, where their descendants are still found today, concentrated in the northwestern corner of that country. Young Charles, who married Mary Kavanagh, daughter of Brian Kavanagh of Borris, was either exiled to Nantes, France, or transported to Barbados… or both. Although we haven’t found a record of him in a military life in France, it is known that the crown of Leinster and other regal paraphernalia associated with the Kingship of Leinster was brought to France, where it was on display in Bordeaux, just south of Nantes, until the French Revolution in 1794. As Daniel and Charles were the heirs to the Leinster kingship, one of them undoubtedly brought these royal artifacts to Bordeaux.

In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: “I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados.” A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!

But all did not go smoothly with Cromwell’s extermination plan, as Irish slaves revolted in Barbados in 1649. They were hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads were put on pikes, prominently displayed around Bridgetown as a warning to others. Cromwell then fought two quick wars against the Dutch in 1651, and thereafter monopolized the slave trade. Four years later he seized Jamaica from
Spain, which then became the center of the English slave trade in the Caribbean.

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous “Connaught or Hell” proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies. Those who have been to County Clare, a land of barren rock will understand what an impossible position such an order placed the Irish.

. . .

With no place to go and stay alive, the Irish were slow to respond. This was an embarrassing problem as Cromwell had financed his Irish expeditions through business investors, who were promised Irish estates as dividends, and his soldiers were promised freehold land in exchange for their services.

Typical despot — selling things that don’t belong to him, resulting in death to others.

To speed up the relocation process, a reinforcing law was passed on 26 June 1657 stating: “Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught or Co Clare within six months… Shall be attained of high treason… are to be sent into America or some other parts beyond the seas… those banished who return are to suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.”

Remind us of anything that happened in the New World, to date?

Although it was not a crime to kill any Irish, and soldiers were encouraged to do so, the slave trade proved too profitable to kill off the source of the product. Privateers and chartered shippers sent gangs out with quotas to fill, and in their zest as they scoured the countryside, they inadvertently kidnapped a number of English too. On March 25, 1659, a petition of 72 Englishmen was received in London, claiming they were illegally “now in slavery in the Barbados”’ . The petition also claimed that “7,000-8,000 Scots taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester in 1651 were sold to the British plantations in the New World,” and that “200 Frenchmen had been kidnapped, concealed and sold in Barbados for 900 pounds of cotton each.”

Subsequently some 52,000 Irish, mostly women and sturdy boys and girls, were sold to Barbados and Virginia alone. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were taken prisoners and ordered transported and sold as slaves. In 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered that 1000 Irish girls and 1000 Irish boys be rounded up and taken to Jamaica to be sold as slaves to English planters. As horrendous as these numbers sound, it only reflects a small part of the evil program, as most of the slaving activity was not recorded. There were no tears shed amongst the Irish when Cromwell died in 1660.

…Cromwell representing the Puritan mentality; some representative!

Slaves or Indentured Servants

There has been a lot of whitewashing of the Irish slave trade, partly by not mentioning it, and partly by labeling slaves as indentured servants. There were indeed indentureds, including English, French, Spanish and even a few Irish. But there is a great difference between the two. Indentures bind two or more parties in mutual obligations. Servant indentures were agreements between an individual and a shipper in which the individual agreed to sell his services for a period of time in exchange for passage, and during his service, he would receive proper housing, food, clothing, and usually a piece of land at the end of the term of service. It is believed that some of the Irish that went to the Amazon settlement after the Battle of Kinsale and up to 1612 were exiled military who went voluntarily, probably as indentureds to Spanish or Portuguese shippers.

However, from 1625 onward the Irish were sold, pure and simple as slaves. There were no indenture agreements, no protection, no choice. They were captured and originally turned over to shippers to be sold for their profit. Because the profits were so great, generally 900 pounds of cotton for a slave, the Irish slave trade became an industry in which everyone involved (except the Irish) had a share of the profits.

Now, while the degree (I think….) of abuse and slavery doesn’t compare, how about the practices and mentality.  WHO is profiting from these Fragile Families Studies the most?  Certainly not the “fragile family” members…… It’s those doing and commissioning the studies.  The question should be asked, WHY — (see list of foundations) — do these foundations need to keep up with the supply of cheap labor for the corporations and companies that produced the wealth to start the foundations to start with?
Breeding more slaves — were these “fragile families?”

The planters quickly began breeding the comely Irish women, not just because they were attractive, but because it was profitable,,, as well as pleasurable. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, and although an Irish woman may become free, her children were not. Naturally, most Irish mothers remained with their children after earning their freedom. Planters then began to breed Irish women with African men to produce more slaves who had lighter skin and brought a higher price. The practice became so widespread that in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” This legislation was not the result of any moral or racial consideration, but rather because the practice was interfering with the profits of the Royal African Company! It is interesting to note that from 1680 to 1688, the Royal African Company sent 249 shiploads of slaves to the Indies and American Colonies, with a cargo of 60,000 Irish and Africans. More than 14,000 died during passage.

Following the Battle of the Boyne and the defeat of King James in 1691, the Irish slave trade had an overloaded inventory, and the slavers were making great profits. The Spanish slavers were a competition nuisance, so in 1713, the Treaty of Assiento was signed in which Spain granted England exclusive rights to the slave trade, and England agreed to supply Spanish colonies 4800 slaves a year for 30 years. England shipped tens of thousands of Irish prisoners after the 1798 Irish Rebellion to be sold as slaves in the Colonies and Australia.

There were horrendous abuses by the slavers, both to Africans and Irish. The records show that the British ship Zong was delayed by storms, and as their food was running low, they decided to dump 132 slaves overboard to drownso the crew would have plenty to eat. If the slaves died due to “accident”, the loss was covered by insurance, but not if they starved to death. Another British ship, the Hercules averaged a 37% death rate on passages. The Atlas II landed with 65 of the 181 slaves found dead in their chains. But that is another story.

The economics of slavery permeated all levels of English life. When the Bishop of Exeter learned that there was a movement afoot to ban the slave trade, he reluctantly agreed to sell his 655 slaves, provided he was properly compensated for the loss. Finally, in 1839, a bill was passed in England forbidding the slave trade, bringing an end to Irish misery.

From another source called “Tangled Roots” with a yale.edu address:
{{June 23, 2019 update: That center is now GLC.Yale.EDU where “GLC stands for “Gilder Lehman Center” representing two businessmen (and history buffs) who’d heard David Brion Davis speak and were so impressed, they helped establish (as I’m picking it up) two centers, one in NY and later one at Yale.  Naturally, I looked up David Brion Davis (who is white) and saw in the NYTimes obituaries that he has recently (April, 2019) died, at age 92. It’s a little hard to tell how active the GLC.YALE.EDU website is — it has contents linked, some descriptives pages, and a list of many documents including one that I’d like to see:  “Dooley, Brian, Excerpts from Black and Green. The Fight for Civil Rights in Northern Ireland and Black America. Pluto Press: London, 1998.” but many links are broken.
This being a July 2011 blog post, I”m not going to say much more here!}}


Africans and Irish in Barbados

During the 1600’s, African slaves and Irish natives shared a common fate on the island of Barbados. Slaves first arrived on the island in the 1620’s with the first white settlers and continued to be brought there as the need for labor created a new market for the international slave trade. By 1645, the black population on the island was 5680, and by 1667, there were over 40,000 slaves on the island. In the early years of the colony’s growth, Barbados also became a destination for military prisoners and Irish natives. Oliver Cromwell “barbadosed” Irish who refused to clear off their land and allowed other Irish to be kidnaped from the streets of Ireland and transported to Barbados. Those who were barbadosed were sold as slaves or indentured servants, to British planters. They lived in slave conditions and had no control over the number of years they had to serve. The number of Barbadosed Irish in not known and estimates very widely, from a high of 60,000 to a low of 12,000.

Both groups suffered in harsh conditions and joined together to revolt against British settlers.

{{6/23/2019 update:  That domain name is for sale, so I went to “WayBackMachine.org, found a site active about 2018 – (recently), and that Rhetta Akamatsu is an author interested in the paranormal, from Marietta Georgia, as follows:}}

Paranormal specialist and Marietta resident Rhetta Akamatsu combines her research with a passion for history to deliver a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the area’s rich and, in some cases, undying spirit.  Hear the whispers of Confederate generals still echoing in the Kolb farmhouse; cozy up with the unsettled spirits of the 1848 House; meet the phantoms lurking throughout Marietta Square; and brush up on your local history if you dare summon the ghosts of Marietta. “

“OK….,” well,  somehow it came across my attention in 2011…. and I’d quoted it…

Richard Ligon, who witnessed these things first-hand and recorded them in a history of Barbados he published in 1657, stated:“Truly, I have seen cruelty there done to servants as I did not think one Christian could have done to another.”(5) 

According to Sean O’Callahan, in To Hell or Barbados, Irish men and women were inspected like cattle there, just as the Africans were. In addition, Irish slaves, who were harder to distinguish from their owners since they shared the same skin color, were branded with the owner’s initials, the women on the forearm and the men on the buttocks. O’Callahan goes on to say that the women were not only sold to the planters as sexual slaves but were often sold to local brothels as well. He states that the black or mulatto overseers also often forced the women to strip while working in the fields and often used them sexually as well.(6)

The one advantage the Irish slaves had over the African slaves was that since they were literate and they did not survive well in the fields, they were generally used as house servants, accountants, and teachers. But the gentility of the service did not correlate to the punishment for infractions. Flogging was common, and most slave owners did not really care if they killed an easily replaceable, cheap Irish slave.

While most of these slaves who survived were eventually freed after their time of service was completed, many leaving the islands for the American colonies, many were not, and the planters found another way to insure a free supply of valuable slaves. They were quick to “find solace” and start breeding with the Irish slave women. Many of them were very pretty, but more than that, while most of the Irish were sold for only a period of service, usually about 10 years assuming they survived, their children were born slaves for life. The planters knew that most of the mothers would remain in servitude to remain with their children even after their service was technically up.

WHY did the English do this?  Well, you tell me.  Perhaps this is why:


At the beginning of the 17th Century (1600s), in the reign of James I of England, England faced a problem: what to do with the Irish. They had been practicing genocide against the Irish since the reign of Elizabeth, but they couldn’t kill them all. Some had been banished, and some had gone into voluntary exile, but there were still just too many of them.

So James I encouraged the sale of the Irish as slaves to the New World colonies, not only America but Barbados and South America. The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement along the Amazon in South America in 1612. However, before that there were probably many unofficial arrangements, since the Irish were of no importance and details of how they were dealt with were not deemed necessary. 

In 1625, the King issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be transported to the West Indies and sold as slave labor to the planters there.

Kings could and did do that.  This is why we need FUNCTIONAL constitutions and rule of law.

In 1637, a census showed that 69% of the inhabitants of Monsarrat in the West Indies were Irish slaves. The Irish had a tendency to die in the heat, and were not as well suited to the work as African slaves, but African slaves had to be bought. Irish slaves could be kidnapped if there weren’t enough prisoners, and of course, it was easy enough to make Irish prisoners by manufacturing some petty crime or other. This made the Irish the preferred “livestock” for English slave traders for 200 years.In 1641, one of the periodic wars in which the Irish tried to overthrow the English misrule  in their land took place. As always, this rebellion eventually failed. As a result, in the 12 years following the revolt, known as the Confederation War, the Irish population fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Over 550,000 Irishmen were killed, and 300,000 were sold as slaves. The women and children who were left homeless and destitute had to be dealt with , so they were rounded up and sold, too.

But even though it did not seem that things could get worse, with the advent of Oliver Cromwell, they did

(Closing comments sounds like my writing back in 2011, so I’m going to claim it as my voice):

So we see that in both this century and previous centuries, religion mixed with leadership and law-making to produce ongoing profits, including the slave trade, by categorizing ALL humans as equal, but SOME humans more equal that the rest.  What to do with these sub-human humans of course had to be discussed separately by the super-human humans, and as ever, economics plays a serious factor.

But instead, when confronting this, people are trained and coached not to “cause conflict” and of course do NOT look at the profits motive as to why the injuries, mistreatments, and mayhem (I’m referring to domestic violence issues treated in the family law system) still prevails.  And do not question the religion of one’s superiors, even when it’s questionable.


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  1. Susan Carbon was involved with “NCJFCJ” not “NAFCJ”– a slip of the fingers, above.

    I will be moving the blogging to another blog (if not platform) soon; the purpose of my writing has changed in the past two years, and the next one will be more practical, less discursive.

    Also, I’m getting tired of looking at the same format; the background color, and of why, almost every post, WYSInWYG — meaning What one sees (in edit) is NOT what one gets — and paragraph breaks keep disappearing. I am not willing to write in HTML view and haven’t solved what’s causing that.

    Will post an announcement when I do. MOST of the information is on here, but in the prose, and what I would tag has changed. (FYI, I rarely do all the tags, and if you are searching for something on my site, a search is the better way to find it, not looking for the tag label.)


    July 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  2. […] surely she must know the legal definitions of it, as does Mr. Slowiaczek (more below).   I blogged last August about the BWJP / AFCC mutual project to study the “institutional ethnography” of the family court system: […]

  3. […] OVW + BWJP-FVPF + PRAXIS + NCADV(s) + AFCC = same old, same old (with new names on the grant systems…: (= title of that post, and a link to it). […]

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