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Archive for October 10th, 2012

What These Words Really Mean: “National” “Responsible” “Fatherhood” “Clearinghouse” [Published Oct. 10, 2012, with some updates]

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Post title (with date published added to the title only in 2019, a standard I now use in the blog):
What These Words Really Mean: “National” “Responsible” “Fatherhood” “Clearinghouse” [Published Oct. 10, 2012, with some updates], short-link ends “-1aN” and OmiGod, why was it 17.7K words long!

LGH|FCM Archives Oct 2012 (image of a very active posting month) ~~Screen Shot 2019June22

In hindsight (see nearby image, taken just now but with Archives set to October, 2012) of how many posts published that month) it was a busy season; I remember also as a personally intense season in my life, and got moreso in the ensuing few months.  I also see that the post contains both long quotes (some about the father of American Psychology William James — and his interest in things “psychic,” including psychics) and has some tables of fatherhood grantees, as well as exploring what, in fact, does that four-word phrase represent.  AFTER ALL, when the USA sees fit to post a website of resource materials labeled “Fatherhood.gov” (which that clearing house is), it bears looking at — closely! Still up and still funded today, last I looked, and more like it….//LGH June 22, 2019.


PS. I see below I also took on issues and specific entities like new age cults in prison ministries (sic), Santa Monica University + MSIA (Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness) + Huffington Post (Arianna Huffington got involve in it), John-Roger (The Hulnicks seem to be channeling him…) and so forth. Cult Awareness Network reporting — there’s a lot in this post!

It’s a live issue, has come up in my current posting again, this time in connection with funders of an Early Childhood Development Center at Harvard.


[Posted October 10, 2012; Intro with hindsight added Summer, 2013; Expect two (or more) posts to review and re-state this post and these vital issues as of late October, 2014. See recent comments. ]:


Those words may sound good, but should be interpreted according to usage, and who’s sponsoring the phrase. Questions should be asked: Who and what is the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse [website: fatherhood.gov]? What has it and corporations using such terms (this language) been doing? how about these corporations’ founders, followers and associates?

Is the marriage/fatherhood movement as seen in its media and programming, financing and expansion itself an expression of a religious cult, or taken as a whole and considering how it’s supported from public funds, a new blend of several old religions packaged as for the public good, when in fact the good (profits) end up in private hands?

How cult-connected are some of the key founders. If leadership does have outside connections with known cults, what about the programs created under such leadership?

And, what’s more, if the answers are yes, what does that say about the federal grants involved? Where is the line between cult influence in grant-making agencies, and those agencies themselves?
[Light-blue background text above added October, 2014.]


There is a close connection with the behavior of cults, i.e., such things as Charlatanism, Intimidation, Coercion, Retaliation for Reporting, and other things which will come up. There are also direct connections with some providers to organizations which are skin-deep cult-connected, outrageously so.

The “Saybrook” background mentioned in this post is also shared, to my understanding, with the institution from which a prime AFCC leader (Board Member, publisher, etc.) Robin Deutsch, Ph.D. of the “Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.”

The hyper-professionalization of the field of psychology in the United States through through establishing independent professional schools of psychology to escalate pay grades and earn more respect by turning out more Psy.D’s and Ph.D’s, has a history entwined with the emergence of the fatherhood movement in the 1980s, at first as an antidote to the feminism of the 1980s. Bio at that site, at least several lines of it.

For early origins in the United States, see biography of William James, 1842-1910 and acknowledged as the father of American psychology and influential on Freud’s “psychodynamic theories.”    (Psyography by Bekah Dillon).

James father’s restlessness and mysticism plus intense attempt to manage and control his sons’ (plural) education, with considerable wealth and mobility seems to be reflected in the field (my opinion) in the field still.  He married a wife chosen by his father.  William James was “often haunted by an assortment of ailments, accompanied by depression and suicidal thoughts.”

William James was born the eldest of five children to Henry James Sr. and Mary James in New York City on January 11, 1842.  Henry James Sr. was an Irish immigrant who was studying theology, philosophy, and mysticism and was well connected with many literary and philosophical celebrities of the time (Pajares, 2002).  He devoted himself to his children, especially their education and in 1843, Henry Jr. (Harry) was born in NYC.

The affluent and deeply religious family was headed by a man who often became troubled and sought refuge in different environments.  Henry frequently found himself displeased with numerous aspects of life and in the summer of 1843, he moved the family to England (Pajares, 2002).  Shortly thereafter, he decided to return to New York City (Pajares, 2002).

The wealth and affluence of the Jameses not only afforded Henry the pleasure of exposing the children to many parts of Western Europe, but also enrolling them in the best schools.  In 1852, he enrolled the boys in the Institution Vergnes.  Henry, dissatisfied with the school, moved the boys to the Pulling Jenks School.  Inspired by the drawing teacher, Mr. Coe, young William developed a deep love for drawing at age eleven (Pajares, 2002).  Eventually, Henry removed the boys from Pulling Jenks; it has been speculated that he withdrew the students for fear that Coe would reinforce young William’s talents and destroy Henry’s impact on his son.

Soon enough, Henry became antsy and shifted the family back to Europe.   Despite young James’s dismay the family left in the summer of 1855.  Until 1858, the children received lessons through private tutors in England and France (Pajares, 2002).

In June of 1858, the family relocated to Newport, Rhode Island and by September, Henry had changed his mind.  The family then settled in Geneva.  As well as studying with the tutors, the children attended schools in Switzerland and Germany.  William James attended the Academy, the precursor to the University of Geneva (Pajares, 2002).

By age 18, James attended schools in five different countries, became familiar with numerous museums and galleries, frequently entertained the guests of his father, including Thoreau, Emerson, Greeley, and Hawthorne, and developed fluency in five different languages (Pajares, 2002). …..[wrote Principles of Psychology, teaching at Harvard] He encouraged various psychological methods, including comparative psychology and the use of various populations as research participants, such as animals, infants, or mentally disabled persons (Schultz and Schultz, 2004)

[I added bold and underline. quote added 10/2014].


Psychology branching out from physiology and philosophy, labs established in 1875 by Wilhelm Wundt (in Germany) and William James (at Harvard).   Brief comparison of the two men.

In 1875, a room was set aside for Wundt for demonstrations in what we now call sensation and perception.  This is the same year that William James would set up a similar lab at Harvard.  We can celebrate that year as the founding of experimental psychology!

In 1879, Wundt assisted his first graduate student at true psychological research — another milestone.  In 1881, he started the journal Philosophische Studien.  In 1883, he began the first course to be titled experimental psychology.  And in 1894, his efforts were rewarded with the official establishment of an “Institute for Experimental Psychology” at Leipzig — the first such in the world. . . .

Among his better known students were Oswald Külpe and Hugo Munsterberg (whom James invited to teach at Harvard), the Russian behaviorists Bekhterev and Pavlov, as well as American students such as Hall (“father” of developmental psychology in America), James McKeen Cattell, Lightner Witmer (founder of the first psychological clinic in the US, at U of Penn), and Wundt’s main interpreter to the English speaking world, E. B. Titchener.  Titchener is particularly responsible for interpreting Wundt badly!

Later in his career, Wundt became interested in social or cultural psychology.  Contrary to what many believe, Wundt did not think that the experimental study of sensations was the be all and end all of psychology!  In fact, he felt that that was only the surface, and additionally that most of psychology was not as amenable to experimental methods.

Instead, he felt that we had to approach cultural psychology through the products it produced — mythology, for example, cultural practices and rituals, literature and art…. He wrote a ten volume Völkerpsychologie, published between 1900 and 1920, which included the idea of stages of cultural development, from the primitive, to the totemic, through the age of heroes and gods, to the age of modern man.


[From the same article, but more on William James, which sheds some light on where we are today]:

James had always shared his father’s interest in mysticism, even in psychic phenomena. This has dampened his reputation among hard-core scientists in the psychological community, but it only endeared him more to the public. In 1897, he published The Will to Believe, and in 1902, Varieties of Religious Experience.

But James was never completely comfortable with being a psychologist, and preferred to think of himself as a philosopher. He is, in fact, considered America’s greatest philosopher, in addition to being the “father” of American psychology!

He was profoundly influenced by an earlier American philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce, who founded the philosophy of Pragmatism. Pragmatism says that ideas can never be completely proven true or false. Rather, we should be looking to how useful an idea is — how practical, how productive. James called it the “cash value” of an idea! James popularized Pragmatism in books like Pragmatism in 1907 and The Meaning of Truth in 1909. In 1909, he also wrote A Pluralistic Universe, which was part Pragmatism and part an expression of his own beliefs in something not unlike Spinoza’s pantheism.

He had retired from teaching in 1907 because his heart was not was it used to be, not since a mild attack in 1898 when climbing in upstate New York. He did meet Freud when he came to visit Boston in 1909, and was very much impressed. The next year, he went to Europe for his health and to visit his brother Henry, but soon returned to his home in New Hampshire. Two days later, on August 26, 1910, he died in his wife Alice’s arms.

Several of his works were published posthumously, including Some Problems in Philosophy in 1911 and the magnificent Essays in Radical Empiricism in 1912. James’ most famous students included John Dewey, the philosopher often considered the father of modern American education, and Edward Thorndike, whose work with cats opened the door to the Behaviorists.

[I added bold and underline. quote added 10/2014]


Radical Pragmatist by Linda Simon (biography of William James) emphasizes his unstable childhood with a controlling, affluent but discontent country-hopping father, and his fascination with spiritualism. He envied the literary success of his brother, the author Henry James. He used mescal, hashish and opium on himself to better understand altered mental states. He hoped to communicate with the dead from beyond the grave:

March 15, 1998
Radical Pragmatist
A new biography portrays William James as a man who subjected his own experiences to his philosophy.

Read the First Chapter
By DAVID S. REYNOLDS


William James, America’s most famous philosopher, brother of the novelist Henry James, has never seemed so vulnerably human as in Linda Simon’s biography ”Genuine Reality.” Drawing innovatively from the vast correspondence of the James family, Simon portrays a troubled, gritty man whose philosophical vision grew directly from private travail.

Many of James’s psychological problems, as Simon shows, stemmed from his vexed relationship with his aloof yet controlling father, Henry James Sr., a writer and lecturer who failed to gain the prominence enjoyed by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson among American thinkers. When he was 33 years old, he suffered the first of several mental breakdowns that sent him searching for relief to such optimistic theories as Fourierism, Transcendentalism and, ultimately, Swedenborgianism. Financially secure through family money, he and his wife divided their time between Manhattan and Newport, R.I., exposing their five children to American high culture. But dissatisfaction with the United States impelled them repeatedly to take the family for long stays in Europe. For two of their children, William and Henry, this peripatetic life style bred cosmopolitanism and expansive creativity. For the others — Alice, Robertson and Wilkinson — it fostered rootlessness and confusion. For all of them, it set the stage for periods of emotional instability in adulthood.

. . .

His father’s nervous shuttling between the United States and Europe was duplicated in his own equally frenetic country-hopping. His father’s embrace of supposed cure-alls was repeated in his anxious groping for spiritual and physical rescue among the offbeat fads of the day.

One of the delights of ”Genuine Reality” {{the book}} is its dogged pursuit of James while he rummaged among would-be panaceas. Surprisingly, in light of his reputation as an empirically scientific philosopher, James was deeply fascinated by spiritualism. Although he disdained the transparent theatrics of run-of-the-mill mediums, he harbored a faith that the dead could contact the living. When his friend Frederic Myers was about to die, James asked him to send messages from beyond the grave. To his disappointment, no messages ever came.

If Myers failed him, the psychic Leonora Piper did not. James and his wife first sought out Piper for spiritual consolation shortly after the death of their second child, Herman. Stunned by her apparently otherworldly powers, James made her a special object of study, consulting her regularly and reporting on her to the Society for Psychic Research, an organization for paranormal studies. Even when Piper, tired of being analyzed, publicly denied having spiritual gifts, James did not lose faith in her, as did many of his colleagues.

Spiritualism was merely one of many current phenomena that fascinated him. When bothered by heart trouble, he took doses of a new compound extracted from the lymph glands and testicles of goats. When struck by back pain, he applied a galvanic battery to his spine. To combat depression and insomnia, he consulted mind-cure therapists and faith healers. To gain insight into abnormal mental states, he tried mind-expanding drugs like hashish, mescal and opium.

Simon recounts such wide-ranging experimentation on James’s part without ever giving the impression that he was loony or irresponsible.


David S. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. His books include ”Walt Whitman’s America” and ”Beneath the American Renaissance.”

This William James was the grandson of a “captain of industry” who’d come from Ireland to the US in 1789, as described (from first chapter of the Linda Simon book, link from the book review above).

IN THE LATE 1800s, the trip from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Syracuse, New York, was long, convoluted, and uncomfortable. But it was a trip that William James {{the father of American Psychology discussed above}} undertook regularly in his role as overseer of the James family property. He traveled to Syracuse at least once a year, often more; and whenever he went, he had money on his mind. For himself and his siblings, a few stores on Salina Street, owned by the family since the eighteenth century, meant mortgages and repairs, bankers and agents, and most of all, rent. The Syracuse property supplemented James’s income, subsidized his travels, had helped pay for the publication of his first book, and always served as a reminder of his origins.

He was descended from one of America’s richest men, a captain of industry so wealthy that, rumor had it, only John Jacob Astor exceeded his fortune. Then as now, wealth meant power, and the first William James, grandfather of our philosopher, was a powerful man: restless, decisive, fiercely willful. He believed, with unwavering certainty, that money and power reflected a man’s ultimate achievement. . . .

Yet James’s private and public writings are peppered with metaphors drawn from the world of business, and he strived, with no apology, to shape his publications for the marketplace. His philosophical works, focused as they are on questions of free will and human potential; his personal struggles with power and authority; and his anxiety about his self-worth suggest his affinity, by more than blood, with his grand and looming patriarch. The first William James, of course, did not consider philosophy a suitable occupation for any of his descendants. Family legend has it that he was known as “the Patroon.”

WILLIAM WAS EIGHTEEN when he emigrated from Ireland to America in 1789, twenty-two when he arrived in Albany, where he would make his fortune, take three wives, and sire thirteen children. His career as a businessman began when, with a partner, he opened a small store that sold tobacco and cigars. The shop soon expanded to include dry goods and groceries, but James was not satisfied with being a modest merchant. Shrewd, sharp, ambitious, he built a tobacco factory, leased and operated the saltworks of Syracuse, and, among many civic roles, served as first vice president of the Albany Savings Bank, director of the New York State Bank of Albany, and trustee of Union College. He was a significant force in the decision to build the Erie Canal, which established Albany as a major center of trade.


© 1998 Linda Simon All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-15-193098-8

 

The establishment of  independent (freestanding, as opposed to departments within universities) Schools of Professional Psychology leading to advanced degrees may have begun in 1969 with Nicholas J. Cummings‘ establishment of the California School of Professional Psychology (now absorbed into Alliant International University),   He certainly takes claim for it here, and in a 2008 interview with psychotherapy.net, and with this claim to have educated half the psychologists in California.

Catch the lingo:

Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D.is a psychologist and the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). She is the former director of Forensic Services of the Children and the Law Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital where she remains a consultant. She is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Deutsch is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from which she also received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology.** As a therapist, consultant, custody evaluator, mediator, and parenting coordinator, her work has focused on the application of child development research to children’s adjustment to divorce and parenting issues, the evaluation of families involved in family change and management of high conflict divorce. Dr. Deutsch frequently speaks to interdisciplinary groups on complex issues in child custody disputes. She has provided training for Parenting Coordination throughout the country, Canada and Sweden, including the first Massachusetts training. Dr. Deutsch has published articles on the effects of high conflict divorce, the evaluation of domestic violence, Parenting Coordination,

**(Madison is also where AFCC claims its headquarters, currently, although it is not registered to do business as itself in the state, last I looked (2013) “high-conflict” and pushing parent coordination are AFCC “tells.” the former is to minimize the latter (notice “evaluation of DV” — usually to minimize or dismiss it) and as to parenting coordination, parents have begun to sue over it, and the Supreme Court of PA (as I’m recalling it) recently, and suddenly, eliminated the field by simply changing the administrative rules. See right side-bar)).

it is just a few clicks from the President of MSPP (Nicholas Corvino, Psy.D.) through his bio, hearing that he was “past-President” of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, clicking on that, and looking at its Leadership, to seeing that the FOCUS (newsletter?) editor is hailing from Saybrook (Eric Willmarth, Ph.D.). This is a certain set of cultural values (including Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis itself, which has religious overtones and in some religions is contraindicated, i.e., don’t do it..Practitioners often go into counseling or behavioral health and have a sense of “calling” about how to heal others..)….

So, this article is going to look at both incorporation and (as it’s also where I discovered some of the connections) the tendency for people susceptible to joining cults themselves to go into fields where they can access more vulnerable, traumatized, in-pain, or troubled individuals to help them, as they were themselves indoctrinated to do. This goes both ways (short-hand, “new age” and “Evangelical and/or Conservative Christian Fundie” and to me says — when zealous people looking to recruit others into a changed worldview are flooding into a field, we should reconsider whether that’s a good idea, or a bad idea.


However, I have to question why the timing of “corporation status revoked” with the timing of receiving more HHS funds to promote fatherhood, which comes up repeatedly, below.


(UPDATE from 2013) I found this individual cited as a lead presenter in “Disconnected Dads, Strategies for Promoting Responsible Fatherhood” courtesy “Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars” (FIS) and a few other funders and panelists on the (long) publication… This 70pg document is highlights from a Washington D.C. conference hosted by then-Vice President Al Gore, and on page 1 cites the Charles Ballard organization.

Buckle your seatbelts, this is one of those rollercoaster posts, somewhere between thrilling, comical, and “we are not amused.” [End, 2013 intro…]


Remember the nonprofit from my last post, the one in Washington D.C. which got a bunch of grants (over $2 million) only has one public displayed tax return (that I can see), never got a DUNS# for its HHS grants, and eventually got its nonprofit revoked or failure to file? — this one?

TAGGS.hhs.gov on this group (I searched by its EIN# — which is below).

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
INST FOR RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD & FAM. REVITALIZATION  WASHINGTON DC 20019 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA $ 2,549,350

 

One of whose Principal Investigators ended up on THIS one, which I’ve profiled before (herein):

 “Women in Fatherhood Inc”  which is ….

an organized voice of women with diverse perspectives and experiences. We are a national 501c3 comprised of women with direct or indirect professional involvement in the responsible fatherhood field. The mission of Women In Fatherhood is to contribute to and advocate for family and community well-being through the support of positive father involvement and healthy family relationships.

and on THAT board of directors, is:

>Frances Ballard:

Petrice Sams-Abiodun

“Frances Ballard is the Executive Director for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC). In her role she is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership for activities regarding the NRFC, including the coordination of the media campaign, clearinghouse and Web site, Training and Technical Assistance (T & TA) to responsible fatherhood demonstration sites, and building relationships and partnerships for NRFC. {{*1}} She has over 20 years experience working with fathers, families and healthcare. Her previous positions include 12 years serving as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Revitalization (see below); Consultant to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Program; Director of Corporate Development and Clinical Manager-Ambulatory Care, Grace Hospital; and Nurse Consultant/Program Developer, The Institute For Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development.** She holds a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing Administration, a B.A. in Social Work, an A.S. in Nursing, and numerous executive management certifications. She is married to Dr. Charles A. Ballard, “pioneer” of the Fatherhood Movement and the mother of their three children, Jonathan, Lydia and Christopher.”

 

**”The Institute For Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development” is an organization  which got over $2 million of grants over several years, but then intentionally? let its corporate registration go unfiled and eventually was revoked by the IRS; Dr. & Mrs. Ballard were both “Principal Investigators” on HHS (grants) to this group, while the single tax return I found shows them on the board of Directors.  This irresponsible behavior, as to filing, was then further rewarded by promotion — to the WIFI group, and from there to the HHS outfit mentioned above.  This is apparently what HHS is doing in the marriage/fatherhood field.  

My problem, you see, is that I actually read this stuff, look at it, say “HUH? What’s THAT?” and go find out.

I might have a much more peaceful life — and a lot less to think about — without going down that Rabbit Hole, but today I did.  I do this because ignorance of what the US Government & certain large family foundations (i.e., private money – such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation) is supporting, and what it’s attacking, in short, what it’s DOING, is not bliss — not in the long term.

And I hate to say this, but it led to the something we have to discuss sooner or later, which is:

 

CULTS, and their CHARACTERISTICS

 

specifically, how did the USA, Inc. (and specifically here, HHS) — become one?  Because — honest! — all I did is look things up.  I look at organizations, and the people running them, and I read what they say.  And before the end of this post, sorry to bring this up, but it leads right to:

 

[Broken link to image; blank space removed]

And I’m not talking, in general, vague principles of comparison.  I’m talking personnel and graduate degrees.  I already talked ultra-conservative Christian  Pepperdine University CDRC centralized push through Mediation as the Norm in California (at public expense) and connect with Marriage/Fatherhood funding (right on the website).

I’m talking “Spiritual Psychology” Marriage and Family Therapists and the (then, very young) man who decided to expose one of these ex-Eckankar, ex-Scientology (or maybe not, depending on who you believe) and ended up dealing with not just a smear campaigns, but death threads, having his house ransacked, and now the guy doesn’t even keep a phone.  But inbetween he was in Geraldo, you name it, and the question I have is — why are we paying, and tax-exempting — this stuff?  Because, when you get right down to it — whether it’s Neopagan New Age (hypnosis, belly-dancing and Mind-Body Ph.D.s (distance learning, on-line) followed by Ph.D.’s in psychology, etc.– or Right-wing Reich (do away with no-fault divorce, exterminate the gays and especially hang the feminists)

It’s going to (I say) end up just about the same place:  It’s going to end up in bed with you — or your kids (regardless of your age, gender, or marital status), demanding absolute loyalty, embezzling, and trying to sound very wise and spiritual.

And if it sounds much more dignified and organized (as the National Clearinghouse for Responsible Fatherhood does – most of the websites I’ve seen, for that matter, look Grrrr–eat) — it may be organized, but it’s going to boil down to about the same thing as any run of the mill cult.  Only some are larger.

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