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Flipping Cause and Effect: AFCC Rhetoric in Action: Got Custody Killings? Blame it on the Bad Language.

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This post is for a brief (ha, ha, ha, right?) teaching point. I’ve never met, heard speak, or spoken to this particular woman (mediator, custody & divorce lawyer, AFCC member) and could’ve picked another individual for an example based on their website. However, it’s not every day one sees something so “AFCC” openly suggesting that because mayhem (murder) correlates to custody battles, the real problem is the word “custody,” which should be abolished, and then goes immediately into quoting AFCC (The California Chapter)’s public declaration that the treatment of children IN the courts is a public health crisis — and therefore, the overloaded judges and courts need more resources…

I have been advising parents (in particular) to figure out WHO in the lobbying, rules-of-court-changing, profession-inventing, task-force-chairing State by State Supreme Court (or thereabouts) legal/judicial powerhouses — has AFCC affiliations, or at least has drunk that Kool-aid. As a handle, it’s definitely an indicator. Many symptoms accompany membership. When a certain panorama of symptoms show up (this particular post has most of them, like idiocy) then the diagnosis “AFCC” is probably pretty accurate, whether or not it’s on the website already as a nametag.

The same Association (loosely speaking, given how inconsistent are the incorporation records) appears to unilaterally taken credit for the basic formation of family and conciliation courts to start with, which in other places (on other website), they call positive, innovative, problem-solving, and all things healthy. Talk about flipping cause and effect, and dodging accountability!!! We’re in it deep. Taken at face value, these people (at least the rank and file) are insane, illogical, and evasive, and have a casual disregard for the truth, or even attempting (for the public at large) to connect what they say to it.

Possibly some have been hypnotized or entranced by the hypnotic allure of power, or by some of the leadership with known connections to practicing the art of confusion and hypnosis itself i.e., the Milton H. Erickson crowd. (read at least first three paragraphs of this “Cliff notes” to the topic. Here’s just one paragraph:

For hypnotic rapport to become established you must appear rational and sensible most of the time. Then when you do become confusing they will work harder at focusing because they will logically assume it’s them missing some meaning that ought to be clear, and if they focus hard enough they will get it. Confusion as a technique should be used wisely and sparingly. You wouldn’t want to become known as ’that person who just talks gibberish!’

Same idea behind “Moses and the burning bush.” First, you get their attention. It’s not a new concept…Also, like Moses, once he turned and started listening, his life went through what looks like some rapid? and radical changes. From JHOM:
Theophany at the Burning Bush (by Nahum Sarna)

While tending his flocks in the desolate wilderness, Moses arrived at Horeb, the “mountain of God.” Here he suddenly beheld an awesome spectacle that defied nature’s laws and all human experience. A bush was all aflame yet remained intact, unaffected by the fire. Given its non-material, formless, mysterious and luminous characteristics, it is understandable that fire is frequently used in descriptions of the manifestation of the Divine Presence. [1]

. . .
Overcome with irresistible fascination at the astonishing scene, yet now profoundly sensible of the divine potency with which the place is charged, Moses’ attention shifts from the visual to the aural. The sight of the Burning Bush fades away and is not mentioned again. Its place is taken by the Divine Voice. Here, too, a transformation takes place. The imperious Voice, commanding and admonishing, gives way to softer tones of pathos, concern, and tidings of liberation.

The parallel here is quite loose. What Moses saw (according to the story), and what I saw are quite different — but definitely gripping: HOW can this (level of illogic) exist?? WHY is our society putting up with so much of this influence, unnoticed, but powerful, throughout our own court system, which we pay for? Who charmed whom into insensibility? I mean, sometimes, you gotta just ask WHY.

What I’m going to show, posted (presumably written?) by an “Orange County Mediator, Divorce and Custody Lawyer” today IS gibberish if language has meaning, and if history (of the development of our conciliation and family court system) exists. However, in a cause-less and irresponsible world of the eternal “now” (except when gloriously relating a mythological past of heroic exploits) — I guess ANYthing goes. And as such, an ethereal (rarely consistently “incorporated”) Association (that calls itself “AFCC” for the most part) has a set of followers who have never seen it in the flesh, most likely, and are spreading fabulous stories of what it can do — if only more tributes would come in, and competition (such as other languages symbolizing “OLD” belief systems, like the kind that actually have a right and wrong encoded into the criminal law, with consequences attached — not just therapy, plus more therapy, plus more problem-solving courts…..)…

And it got my attention — yes, I was “caught” by the sheer audacity of the irrationality of it. Note: Abusers can do the same thing. They talk out of both sides of their mouth immediately after an incident, or when confronted on an incident, and cannot or will not be pinned down to the truth.

I am going through this process, then, either because I was myself hypnotized by the idiocy, or to demonstrate that for ANY professional to be associated with this (tax-evading, state-skipping, mutual self-interest group) AFCC — in any way, shape or form (conference, adopting the jargon, patronizing the institution, donating to, recruiting (victims or money) for, and protecting the leadership of — the elite upper echelon of decision-makers in the organization (whether patriarch, matriarch, or wealthy anonymous sponsors) — is to be an influential professional who is the member of a cult, and as such possibly a clear and present danger to a functional sane society with any possibility for the rule of law, OR economic honesty. AFCC’s underlying dissociative “(non)logic” produces a dissociative society which is going to produce an ever-widening circles of dissociation and denial of violence, throughout society — as resistance would be costly, and a serious disruption to most people’s work lives (livelihoods) which, generally speaking, require obtaining a paycheck after performing work or services for an employer. Or, running a business which requires some degree of attention to checks, balances, income and outgo.

Allowing this to accumulate momentum and influence makes about as much sense as allowing the multinational corporations with political clout in the US and Great Britain to help finance Hitler, when Hitler would’ve otherwise gone bankrupt. Bush Family Fortune,and all that. My point is, it’s just not wise to continue enabling the spreading networks and accumulating clout.

Cults are not innocuous — they are dangerous, another parallel word is “gang.”

This cult is in the courthouse — how dangerous is that? I’m not a violent person, I suggest they simply have the financial plug pulled. Do not fund, and do not fork over children to any jurisdictions which put AFCC recruits in responsible positions (espeically not in civil servant positions). If this results in a serious staff shortage, I believe we will findout there might be less mayhem — and more sanity. There might be fewer services needed. But someone has to put a stop to it.

Dissidence is not dangerous. Cults hate dissidence. Cf. “Conflict is bad” as a value system. On the other hand, one way to settle conflict is to establish the basic, underlying truths, and acknowledge them. As a society, and as expressed in the law.

I will show this by quoting. Because that’s a lot of quotes, I’ll color-code by background color: light-blue background: the Judith Kaluzny essay (on her website) I’m bringing up; light-pink: AFCC central (afccnet.org) (she’s a groupie, looks like), and either tan background or transparent.

According to this theory, sounds like altering “bad” language with concepts such as win/lose, good/bad, or concepts of responsibility (custody) between separated parents will stop bullets or other forms of “mayhem” such as [in the examples given on the website] men-in-custody-battles killing their ex-partners and/or children. Nationwide. Because CERTAIN men do indeed commit this “mayhem” (the word “crime” is anathema to AFCC, and rarely used), ALL the nation should join SOME of the states who have actually bought this theory, and abolished the word “custody,” in favor of “parenting plan.” Words that indicate right and wrong are “the old language of criminal law”

This bright idea comes from the same people who gave us “no-fault” divorce — probably not that great an idea to start with when fault (crimes) did exist. Not the first time I’ve mentioned — but here it is from AFCCnet.org’s “History” page. Five years after No-fault divorce in California became law (1970), “Meyer Elkin” is quoted as saying, or rather prophesying:

Why do we continue to use the language of criminal law in family law? Is it primarily tradition that causes us to continue to use the old words in family law? Or is it something else? Is it a reflection of the prevailing ambivalence of this society which, on the one hand, tells people that divorce is okay, but by its actions, or lack of it, shows that many still do not accept the idea of divorce in a pair-oriented society? We need to develop new words that will alleviate stress on the divorcing family rather than add to stresses already present….Family law is entering a new period. There is now present an opportunity for introducing new practices and procedures—and words that will represent the combined expertise of both law and the behavioral sciences who, after all, are equally concerned and have similar goals regarding the strengthening of the family. Lets us now start the search for the words.

That is literally an invocation, as in a religious service. Elkin calls on the gods of law and behavioral science to inspire a different vocabulary: “lets us [sic] now start the search for the words.” Notice the slick correlating “criminal law language” (which tells society right from wrong, legal, from illegal) to “old.” Notice that in the 1970s, many people (especially no doubt women: see feminism!) were opting to divorce, having been given a way out — and yet the comment is that says it’s SOCIETY (rather than, specifically — this group pushing for joint-parenting, OR, if she won’t agree, Dad gets the kids, and she can pay to visit them) which doesn’t accept the idea of divorce in a pair-oriented society?

In other words, blaming society for its ambivalence which is stressing families… If you are a religious zealot and committed fanatic, “ambivalence” is bad. Commitment to the cause at all costs is “good.” It appears, from what I can read there, that the “cause” is getting rid of the concept of CRIME as a crime, the concept of “fault” when a couple separates (done, as of 1970 in California), and now, the concept of accountability and responsibility for murder itself; nay — let there be no competition, no win/loss…. and all will be peace..

Yes, these men murdered — but the real fault is ‘Society’ because it is stuck in “old” mode, and using the word “custody,” which is the real villian. Because the family courts with their great ideas and policies are the heroes (although on the same web page), in this family-oriented, behavioral-science (with still a vestigial smattering of law) world, the “clear and present danger” becomes a lack of resources for family law to solve the influx of cases caused by the use of this bad word, “custody” which is inciting battles of possession between the parents…

Well, since when it’s a “family matter” there can be no fault, it can hardly be AFCC’s fault for a lousy idea, such as switching jursidiction of violent cases to a psychological-based venue called ‘Conciliation Court’

This has to be seen to be believed, so let me just put it out there: The person (website indicates this is a mediator and lawyer) flips right from some gruesome, horrible, ways of dying, connects it to the custody and divorce process (for the most part) and then goes right into AFCC rhetoric!

Pay attention to the gender-neutral, anthropomorphic language, absence of any links to let reader see “the evidence” (what she’s responding to) and the trite, trite phrasing further down…While dealing with a very serious topic, it is very shallow (poor) writing.


[Webpage titled:]


Feb. 09, 2011, 6:07pm by Judith Kaluzny


Four more people died in a custody battle recently in Orange County.  In October a woman was killed in a custody exchange.  A cursory review of Register articles concerning deaths related to divorce in the past year shows more  mayhem:  “Suspect in slaying testifies;” “Man gets 15 years to life in slaying;” “Man gets life term in estranged wife’s killing;” “Man accused of killing wife, burning her body;” “Man accused of killing wife to keep kids;” “Jury selection begins in boy’s drowning;” “Husband arrested in standoff after wife’s killing.”

Then there were the attempts:”Costa Mesa man gets 17 years in prison for bomb, weapons case;”  “Suspect in Wife’s beating, kidnaping surrenders;” “Man accused of threatening pair during child exchange is arrested.” 

This only in Orange County.   We have 58 counties in this state.

And the poignant article in December [[2010]]about the woman recovering still from the murder of her three children by their father six years ago [[2004?]].  We remember the horror of the boy set afire by his father in a motel in 1983, recalled last November [[must be 2010]] as one of “The 50 Most Notorious Crimes in Orange County History.”

[[I LOOKED THAT LAST ONE UP: #26 ON THIS LIST, I GUESS]] [[The father did this to get even with an ex-wife]]

There was another Orange County case in 1989 when three boys were shot by their father (one survived, crippled) that became the occasion for a major change in court mediation protocols thanks to the efforts of domestic violence expert Mildred Pagelow with the mother testifying before a state senate committee.

An international and interdisciplinary organization of judges, psychologists, lawyers and others, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, has declared the treatment of children in family courts a “public health crisis.”    Founded in California in 1963 to improve the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict,.the California chapter recently noted in a “Declaration of Public Health Crisis” that an estimated half of the state’s children, or 4,775,939, have been touched by or involved in the court system as a result of their parents’ actions–separation, divorce, guardianships, paternity actions, domestic violence, dependency actions.  One of every two children they estimate, are likely to be involved in a family court case.

Their resolution stated that “…the resources allocated to family law cases involving children do not reflect the ratio of family cases to the overall work of the court.  This is ineffective and ultimately unacceptable,” adding that 175 judges handle the half-million new filings every year, plus the older cases, and at least 459 judges are needed.

This website was so grippingly idiotic I think I’m going to have a “Flipping Cause and Effect Footnotes” post, lest the message get drowned out in my incredulous commentary.

I really want this point understood — in this group, we are dealing with a cult (some of the “Cults in the Courthouse”), and while gibberish and nonsense may seem simply harmless on the surface — coming from an association of attorneys, judges, and individuals experienced in the art of persuasion (i.e., psychologists), some of which got there from a variety of religious backgrounds (i.e., recruit, evangelize, are indoctrinated by a leading guru and well acquainted with how to bring people into the fold, proslytize, etc.) and are experienced in the art and science of CONFUSION with an end goal of Hypnosis into Suggestibility. Add this to the historic
connection of some of these fields (psychiatry //pharmaceutical corporations) psychonanalysis, psychology, sociology, etc.) to war, genocide, slavery, eugenics, and stuff no one would really want to ADMIT to endorsing — but which most of us (or our foreparents) have contributed financially anyhow (through taxes) — I think it’s not a light matter.  

It would be a laughing matter/laughable if this group didn’t take itself so seriously, weren’t a lobbying group, and didn’t have so many judges in high places which sign court orders.

I’d just like to point out that, amazingly, there are apparently people in high places (like publishing in Harvard Law Review) that actually understand that domestic violence (wife abuse) is injurious, and doesn’t make for good parenting — and that No Fault Divorce has actually placed women leaving abuse in MORE danger when “family theory” and the lack of any morality (like right/wrong as happened before no-fault divorce), among other factors, contributed to some custody decisions making it easier for batterers to get custody which also made it more dangerous for their victims. This is abstract of a 1993 paper (which I just downloaded for free) on a SSRN Social Science Research Network site. Amazing things on there:

Battered Women and Child Custody Decisionmaking
[[In case that link doesn’t work, abstract]

Douglas K. Moll
University of Houston Law Center


Harvard Law Review, Vol. 106, p. 1597, 1993


Child custody determinations attempt to create arrangements that are in the “best interest[s] of the child.” Historically, custody decisionmakers considered the morality of parental conduct in fashioning these arrangements. Courts and legislatures used cruelty, including wife abuse, as a ground for denying custody to the abuser. As a corollary to the movement towards no-fault divorce, however, modern child custody law has de-emphasized the morality of the parents in the “best interests of the child” standard. In applying this standard today, many courts refuse to examine violent conduct between the parents unless it has a direct impact on the child. As a consequence, wife abuse is no longer uniformly included as an indicator of parental unfitness.

Courts and legislatures that currently make child custody law in a wife abuse context use approaches that range from ignoring the abuse to presuming that a batterer is unfit for custody or unsupervised visitation.** To serve as a descriptive benchmark for evaluating the current state of the law, an extreme version of these possible approaches will be incorporated into two premises. First, a man who abuses his wife cannot be a fit parent because wife abuse is functionally equivalent to child abuse. Second, wife abuse does not necessarily end with divorce because further contact with the abuser through joint custody or visitation provides opportunities for continued violence.

[[**notice how “supervised visitation” as a term was slipped in there, and takenf or granted. However it was a created field. See AFCC I think it was 1993 newslettter, just posted on my links (chrono section) on right sidebar. It may have been 1997. These newsletters are a fruitful source of strategic planning by AFCC to expand services it wanted in place]]

Section B begins by discussing current legal trends in custody determinations against the background of the two above premises. The section then examines various legislative and judicial responses to these trends and analyzes the extent to which these responses are consistent with the two premises.

Section C provides statistical and anecdotal support for the two premises. Because wife abuse is a problem that affects the entire family unit, rather than just the relationship between the parents, this section argues that battering should be relevant to custody decisions made under the best interests of the child standard. Thus, those states that effectively equate wife abuse with parental unfitness should be emulated. Similarly, state laws that recognize the danger to a mother from further contact with an abuser should be used as models for reform. Section D analyzes the 1992 Louisiana domestic violence statute, hailed as “the best statute to date in protecting children from spouse abusers.” This section acknowledges that the statute significantly improves custody decisionmaking in the wife abuse context, but argues that additional protective measures are still needed. Finally, section E considers and discounts the risk that custody reforms in a battering context will allow more fraudulent allegations of wife abuse to succeed</stro.

THE POINT BEING — People know that batterers are dangerous, might kill, and that it’s not good for children.
However, the AFCC rationale is different — conflict is bad, joint-parenting, family systems theory, parental alienation, they are making up allegations of abuse, and “responsible fatherhood” (which by the way, was a workshop topic as far back as the 1993 AFCC newsletter, again, check it out to the right). In short — as Kaluzny demonstrates — despite her background in domestic violence in the early years — her sociologist friend got her involved in being trained as a mediator, and it stuck. Apparently.

Wasn’t that unbelievable, to handle that material and flip right back to AFCC (California Chapter’s) summary of it, as a “they” (actually, given Kaluzny’s apparent membership, that would be an “us” // “we” but such is typical posture of the trade — pretending objectivity and neutrality). No effort made to link to anything – not even the declaration being quoted. In short, it’s as though the person is unconscious of the audience, and that readers might have a different point of view — and this person is a professional in the fields which, per her own assessment above, might result in one or more of her own clients, and/or their children ending up dead as a direct result of a “custody battle.”

Whoever Mildred Pagelow is (the name is vaguely familiar; I see she and “Lloyd Pagelow” have a 1984 book out together, why no link to that testimonty — or some identifying detail, like a date? Why not a reference to the turning point case that resulted in a change in mediation practices in 1989 when a FATHER shot his own three boys, changing “mediation protocols,” (but apparently not turning back the concept of mediation itself, which is still mandatory in certain California counties, and probably out of state as well).

I found that Pagelow was a sociologist who interviewed 350 battered women between 1976- and 1980 (page 6, here) which paper does not, as does Kaluzny, seem to simply fail to notice who is perpetrating… (i.e., battered women, resulting problems in children who witness the violence)….Her 1982 book “Children in Violent Families: The Direct and Indirect Victims is quoted (Footnote 25) in Jack Straton’s (1992) “What’s Fair for Children of Abusive Men?” (click on my Gravatar to see this piece on what Supervised Visitation communicates to children and why he advises against it). Footnote 4 of Ronald B. Adrine and Alexandria M. Ruden, Ohio Domestic Violence Law, Chapter 14. Domestic Violence and Custody and Visitation Issues, Section 14.14 (1999) {“Cyber.law.harvard.edu” site) shows who knows that shared parenting with a batterer is a lose/lose proposition. NCJFCJ even cited Judith Wallerstein in admitting this. Moreover in Ohio (where this is from), “House Congressional Resolution 172, adopted in 1990, states that “joint custody guarantees the batterer continued access and control over the battered spouse’s life through the children. Against this background, many judicial authorities argue against shared parenting where domestic violence is an issue.”

Yet somehow this woman is almost unconscious of the situation, and doesn’t even take the few minutes I did, to educate her readers about Pagelow, the testimony, or almost anything — with a link, or a definite cite anyone could look up. Just take it on faith from the experts that the real problem is there is any fight over custody — not that there is or was domestic violence, or that some people are batterers….

I even found a 2003, DOJ-grant-supported writing (58pp), Mandatory Mediation: Empirical Evidence for Increased Risk for Domestic Violence Survivors and their Children.” On page 4, it references in a footnote Pagelow’s “Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and their Consequences for Custody and Visitation Arrangements” (1990), Mediation Quarterly 347 (1990) for a summary of the arguments AGAINST mandatory mediation for “violent couples.” The term “violent couples” is itself an evasion — of the term “domestic violence” and implies that the violence is mutual. In other words, the 2003 study citing EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that Mandatory Mediation is bad, even quotes a thirteen-year-old publication by Pagelow summarizing arguments AGAINST it. However, I notice, she was published in “Mediation Quarterly” and is possibly AFCC (definitely a psychologist), which may relate to why this Judith Kaluzny picked her name (and not, say, Phyllis Chesler!) out of a hat to represent the domestic violence factor — in a 2011 article; even though Pagelow’s main work seems to predate welfare reform!

Here’s a Mediate.com description of this author, who informs us that Sociologist Pagelow, a friend, took mediation training and encouraged Ms. Kaluzny to also take it…

Judith A. Kaluzny
Judith A. Kaluzny, Mediator & Lawyer

149 West Whiting Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832 USA

Member of AFCC, CDRC[[more, below]], SCMA

. . .
Professional Background

I have practiced family law in Fullerton, County of Orange, for over 25 years, and mediation since 1986. Now I limit my practice to guiding people through the divorce process, whether through mediation with both spouses or by consulting with one spouse. I have mediated divorces filed in the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles, as well as Orange County. My clients do not need to go to court when the legal paperwork is properly prepared and filed with the court in the appropriate county.

In 1986, a friend, Mildred Daley Pagelow, a sociologist, had taken training for divorce mediation, and she asked me to be her attorney consultant. I began learning mediation through this sort of intern-ship. I liked it, and began taking training myself. I have over 60 hours of mediation training, as well as continuing education through the Southern California Mediation Association and Center for Families, Children and the Courts**, among others. I began practicing law in 1976 when the “no fault” system was just three years old, courthouse mediation for “custody” was being developed, and an awareness of domestic violence was growing.

I was part of a consortium convened by Alice Oxman in Los Angeles in 1989-90 to develop protocols to deal with domestic violence in the court mediation departments. Recently a couple in their late 70’s started mediation in June, and by October 14, their judgment of dissolution had been filed with the court. Two years (or more) of mental agony is cruel and not necessary with mediation.

**if the one under the California Judicial Council/AOC is meant (in SF), that’s a link. Notice p.3, “Finances and Administration,” the AOC is the “designated judicial branch entity” for several federal and state government funds. CFCC administers some of these funds and has obtained other funds for local courts and court-connected services (etc.)… That particular CFCC has a heavy AFCC hand in its leadership… Access Visitation grants and others are administered through it. In recent years it has come under serious attack, along with the Judicial Council for being overbloated and overbilling. It’s an interesting history, that of the CFCC…

Similar boilerplate text (different anecdotal information) referencing Pagelow and sometimes Alice Oxman (found as I am trying to locate Oxman’s 1989-1990 consortium. Why didn’t Kaluzny just put up the reference to it for readers?

These similar bio blurbs often mention this 1989-1990 consortium, but I haven’t found it, or Alice Oxman other than the actress. There’s PLENTY on mediation itself being contra-indicated when there’s been domestic violence, but I gather it’s been ramrodded into “mandatory” anyhow.

I gather Ms. Kaluzny is probably Catholic — attended Marian (then) College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 1 yr (Wikipedia — women’s college founded by Sisters of St. Agnes, only went co-ed in 1970, “Marian became affiliated with The Catholic University of America and the National Catholic Educational Association in 1949. It became accredited with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for teacher education in 1960.” It was founded in 1936 when the nuns were told they couldn’t teach in their habits in public schools They took their “habits” elsewhere and opened Marian College, I guess…

Author then studied journalism in Marquette Univ. Milwaukee (Jesuit, well-respected as far as I can tell). “Catholic and Jesuit at Marquette,” Marquette graduates will be problem-solvers and agents for change in a complex world so in the spirit of St. Ignatius and Jacques Marquette, they are ready in every way “to go and set the world on fire.”

…And then completed her bachelors and (JD I guess) at Western State University (private, for-profit in Orange County, oldest law school in the area), Fullerton. She also mentions somewhere raising seven children, so I guess persisting to get those degrees is commendable… (or was that later? Who knows?)….She has taken training (as of 2010) from Kenneth Cloke of the “Center for Dispute Resolution

While all of this is interesting, the question is — HOW could someone come up with a web page like this? and put it under the shingle “lawyer”?

List of Logical Fallacies from Purdue Writing Lab. Or from “nobeliefs.com“, which includes the one I’m pointing out here. I’ll put the title first; but this is just part of a list:

List of common fallacies
Compiled by Jim Walker
originated: 27 July 1997
additions made: 01 Dec. 2009
You don’t need to take drugs to hallucinate; improper language can fill your world with phantoms and spooks of many kinds. Robert A. Wilson [[whoever that is…]]
. . . .
confusion of correlation and causation: (e.g., More men play chess than women, therefore, men make better chess players than women. Or: Children who watch violence on TV tend to act violently when they grow up.) But does television programming cause violence or do violence oriented children prefer to watch violent programs? Perhaps an entirely different reason creates violence not related to television at all. Stephen Jay Gould called the invalid assumption that correlation implies cause as “probably among the two or three most serious and common errors of human reasoning” (The Mismeasure of Man).

Also see:

Common Logical Fallacies (The Skeptic’s Guide)”

Confusing Association with Causation:

This is similar to the post-hoc fallacy in that it assumes cause and effect for two variables simply because they occur together. This fallacy is often used to give a statistical correlation a causal interpretation. For example, during the 1990’s both religious attendance and illegal drug use have been on the rise. It would be a fallacy to conclude that therefore, religious attendance causes illegal drug use. It is also possible that drug use leads to an increase in religious attendance, or that both drug use and religious attendance are increased by a third variable, such as an increase in societal unrest. It is also possible that both variables are independent of one another, and it is mere coincidence that they are both increasing at the same time.

This fallacy, however, has a tendency to be abused, or applied inappropriately, to deny all statistical evidence. In fact this constitutes a logical fallacy in itself, the denial of causation.

This abuse [[of logic or, if you will, ‘reason’]] takes two basic forms. The first is to deny the significance of correlations that are demonstrated with prospective controlled data, such as would be acquired during a clinical experiment. The problem with assuming cause and effect from mere correlation is not that a causal relationship is impossible, it’s just that there are other variables that must be considered and not ruled out a-priori. A controlled trial, however, by its design attempts to control for as many variables as possible in order to maximize the probability that a positive correlation is in fact due to a causation.

Therein lies a problem — because human beings are not on this earth for the purposes of “controlled experiments.” Or at least so I believe, and so the Declaration of Independence would seem to imply…. It’s not ethical to conduct (nationwide, statewide, or any other “wide”) controlled experiments on human beings to determine cause and effect of things like — as is going to come up on this same web page below — death. Imagine: “Oops, guess that DID cause death… Back to the drawing board ….”

A certain kind of mentality DOES believe it’s OK, if not a great idea, to conduct mass experimentation on the human population, often without the informed consent. Guess what kind of mentality? (Or guess where you can find its aftermath? . . . . Can you spell Nazi? Or, how about Kinsey? (see Stunning Validation post…).

Even with what I already know, I didn’t think any AFCC professional would have the chutzpah (though I should’ve known better, really) to actually REFER TO custody deaths (killings) and then attempt to blame it on a noun (“the rhetoric made me do it…” cf. “the devil made me do it..” cf. “it was a custody battle.”). (or, see William Bernet, “the warrior gene made me do it.” — good grief! And say, well, we told you so — AFCC needs more resources, and you’re STILL to “adversarial.” In OUR ideal world, there are no winners and losers, all is cooperation….


Example: AFCC professional, in an attempt to persuade the audience that “custody” should be abolished as a word, and replaced with “parenting plans,” demonstrates “How to Flip Effect with Cause” and blame it on somethng else — then the effect is prematurely dead people correlated with family court (custody) involvement!! Rather than blaming the killers, this adult, mediator, and attorney (although from Southern California or having lived there too long; perhaps that’s a mitigating factor; maybe it’s “in the air”?) blames a generic noun — a word: “custody.” “Custody” is too possessive, not cooperative enough, and in short, doesn’t equate with the ideal (though probably fictional) world as elementary school classroom utopia that WILL, I swear it WILL, exist — if only the public will pay us judges and other interdisciplinary professionals more appropriately for the hard tasks and caseloads we face.

I thought this should be witnessed in action…..

This February 2011 post from a Southern California career mediator and lawyer (looks like graduation in the 1970s), unbelievably (except I’m reading it….) claims that AFCC was (a) founded in 1963 (it wasn’t), and (b) exists to “improve the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”

Actually, for many, it appears to be shortening the lives of children, and sometimes of their families. I have witnessed this during a long stint as a California resident — in that one surefire way to INcrease the risk that someone IS going to die in a custody-related death, is to keep cases open which shouldn’t be, force victims to “mediate” and be subjected to (pay for) co-parenting with former violent partners, and to characterize criminal-level- violence as “conflict,” in short to do what this organization was set up to do: bring on the mediators, custody evaluators, counselors, (Psy.D.’s and otherwise) and set up a franchise in the courthouse to better “improve the lives of children and families.”

Unbelievably, here’s an loyal member (looks like) trying to dissociate her organization from the CAUSE of custody deaths (in the process of recommending we get rid of the concept of “custody” itself) — and then leads into rhetoric about her main-squeeae organization (apparently), AFCC: (except for headings, any font style-changes are mine within the inset box here). Her desired outcome in this piece appears to be that California, two, should abolish the word “custody.” In the interest of this outcome, even MURDER is called into the cause, in the unbelievable premise that it’s the adversarial, and ownership language of “Custody” which causes murder — not people operating with intent to harm, injure, and eliminate the other. Apparently such murderers are “under the influence” of the bad language of custody — and hence shouldn’t be fully held responsible for their killings??? Or society is responsible because it uses the word “custody” as opposed to “parenting plans” (a gender-neutral term, in a non-gender-neutral world….).

Unbelievable. Of course another “clear and present danger” in the family court arena is not, again, people who are willing to murder (and plan, and carry out murders, sometimes of kids, often of spouses, sometimes of self also, aka suicide) — are NOT the problem. No, the real problem, the real “clear and present danger” is lack of (more, obviously) resources for the overburdened court professionals.

In my opinion, thinking like that is closer to clear and present danger, as it’s going to ignore the real thing, call it something else, and persuade a person who fully knows better (like someone who has already been previously injured, or threatened) to “just get along as parents.” Anyhow — let me present the “argument” (reasoning) first:


When people with children think about divorce, what do they fear most?  Custody.
Custody.  What an ugly word.  Does it mean ownership?  Does it mean possession?  “The suspect was taken into custody.”

The courts make orders for “custody and visitation.”  They name a “custodial parent.”
“Visitation.”  How insulting can it be that you are “awarded” “visitation” with your own children?

Two words go with custody: win and lose.  No, three words: win, lose and battle.  Custody battle.
There it is, right on your petition for dissolution of marriage: custody.  You have to choose what variety of “custody” to ask for, waving that battle flag at the spouse who will be served that petition.

“Custody” doesn’t have to be “battle.” Battle is a vague term with emotional overterms. Custody is (or at least has been a legal term. They are not the same, however much they may feel the same. Ignoring that, writer goes on.

It really doesn’t have to be that way.  A number of states have abolished “custody” and replaced that word with the realistic expression, “parenting plan.”

HOW is “parenting plan” more “realistic” than “custody”? Never mind, moving on to “appealing to the majority” … everyone else is doing it…. (i.e., other states)….

Those cowboys in Montana, going through divorce, work out parenting plans.  Those effete Easterners in Massachusetts work out parenting plans.  Those ranchers in Colorado have court forms that say Parenting Plans to define “Parental Responsibilities.”  Those gazers upon Russia in Alaska, divorced, have parenting plans, you betcha   Don’t mess with Texas, ‘cuz they have parenting plans. Those rugged North Dakotans, too.  Florida.  Georgia.  New Hampshire.  New Jersey. Tennessee.  West Virginia.  California?  No.

Excuse me, what age level is this aimed at? Could there be a few more trite phrases, please?
Apart from whether or not anything that vague has any truth to it….

“Those cowboys in Montana”
— I know a woman from Montana who went homeless in another state; note, some time in a battered women’s shelter was involved before losing custody of the kids to their father. I know another woman who has fled the state; I’ve read her case. She’s female, and not a “cowboy,” among other things.

“effete Easterners in Massachusetts work out parenting plans.”
— again, I know at least one woman from Massachusetts who has no contact with her son, after child abuse (i.e., molestation) was reported. She’s also having her disability check garnished to pay the abuser. Is that “working out a parenting plan?” How insulting (to the average intelligence) is this talk?

One thing Massachusetts DOES have on its probate & family court website are DIRECT links to AFCC — there’s not even an attempt to conceal the influence. Look at the “Self-Help Section” — what’s the first and second links there (AFCC Shared Parenting— and “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (Parent education, etc.)) ? Then look to the lower right and see “Other Helpful Links” — what’s the first one on there? (“Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.”). …. Now suppose you were pro se and needing help with domestic violence, not having run across someone to help you — and look at “Domestic Violence” (middle of the page). How many links? (ONE, called “resources”) — click on it. What’s on there? (3 more links — the middle one is broken, and the top and bottom are not addressed to the lay person, and don’t lead to any help with a restraining order, or ANY affirmation that abuse is wrong, safety is important, if you are being battered, you can get help). Small wonder “effete Easterners in Massachusetts” are working out parenting plans (allegedly)….

etc. “Those ranchers in Colorado” … lady, SOME Of us are SOMEWHAT informed, and we do know that Center for Policy Research (Jessica Pearson, AFCC co-founder, looks like), or the NCADV, and a few more companies of interest to women leaving abuse, or adults in the court system– are from Colorado. We know that CPR is promoting responsiblie fatherhood, access visitation, and is very active in the child support field, etc. etc.

Colorado is also home to some pretty interesting mega-churches, some of who have involved themselves in marriage counseling, I’ll bet.

“gazers upon Russia in Alaska”??
— you mean “Alaskans”? Is this really an educated (or adult’s) person’s view of the world — or does she imagine that other adults share this infantile world view? Or is it all just a joke? Did she have to write anything to get that law degree? If so, what happened in the meantime?

An attempt was made in 1989 to eliminate those inflammatory and possessory words, custody and visitation, from the California Family Code.  There was Senate Bill 1306 and Assembly Bill 1612.  Jay Folberg, professor emeritus and former dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law, wrote SB 1306.

“Bad, Bad, inflammatory and “possessory” words, that make men kill” (tell that to the jury). They weren’t murderers, they were just inflamed. Tell that also to the grieving parents, siblings, mothers (when kids were killed), tell that to crime-scene cleanup. If only we got rid of inflammatory words, no one would hurt their own children. Give us control of language, and we will bring peace….” Perhaps we should criminalize the use of the word “custody” alongside parental alienation?

Good grief.

Also, if you’re going to cite a Senate Bill — where’s the link? It would’ve been “nice” to put in a link or reference to this quote. In looking for it on-line, I found plenty of Jay Folberg, but with this phrase, only (six months later) Judith Kaluzny commenting on “mediate.com” (A May, 2011 article on mediating custody) (of which she’s apparently a member) saying the same thing — again, and explaining her reasoning process, such as it be: Blame that mayhem (those murderers) on the bad language. Let’s be thankful she’s not a criminal prosecutor… “well, I’d try to get a conviction, but in light of the bad language this father was subject to, anyone might have picked up a weapon and used it …..” ???

 Judith ,   Fullerton CA  jak@judithkaluzny.com      06/01/11 

First, start with the language. Change the family codes to eliminate those demeaning and hostile words, “custody” and “visitation.”** Twelve or 14 states have done so, including Texas, Montana and Florida. California refused in 1989 when Jay Folberg wrote a proposed “Parenting Plan” law. Bad language breeds hostility and hostility breeds litigation; litigation breeds income for many related fields.

**The hypocrisy of this is that the same group (AFCC) has helped encourage the use of supervised visitation. Is she proposing to put colleagues out of work and shut down the industry? Doesn’t the concept of “supervised visitation” involve the word “visitation”?

Yep, a Dean of a Law School. Like I keep mentioning — how much of the system change of the family court system was a grassroots effort, or demanded by the people? As AFCC keeps taking credit for leading the crowd, and as I’ve been reading (and blogging) on this — I’d have to say, NOT MUCH. It’s not their practice to seek open input and dialogue — but rather to conference in private, and strategize how to lobby.

Gee, who was Jay Folberg? Let’s see, in a larger context (I’ll add some paragraphing).

H. Jay Folberg

Professor Emeritus

Biography Scholarship Media

Professor Emeritus H. Jay Folberg has authored many articles and books on dispute resolution, mediation, negotiation, and family law. Folberg was the dean of the USF School of Law from 1989 to 1999.

He has served as chairman of the Association of American Law Schools Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, chairman of the Oregon State Bar Family Law Section, and president of the Academy of Family Mediators.

The author has mentioned only one qualification or aspect of who is “Jay Folberg.” Again — is this website addressed to the general audience, and where’s the sense of responsibility to give readers any access to any real-time, factual information (or an avenue past anything not “hearsay”) on the subject matter. Nor was any link put up for “SB 1306” although her protest is that California rejected it.

He might as well be “Mr. Mediator, Mr. ADR, Mr. AFCC, and not to shabby an influence on Family Law (state bar section chairman in Oregon). Peter Salem of AFCC used to sport an Oregon address too, seems to me… It’s one of the key states in the origins of AFCC, per its 1980s newsletters; I have links to some of these).

In 1998, Folberg was appointed by the chief justice of the California Supreme Court as chair of a state wide task force on alternative dispute resolution and in 2001 to chair the Judicial Council’s Blue Ribbon Panel on arbitration ethics. He was honored in 2003 with the Judicial Council’s Bernard Witkin Amicus Curiae Award “for his leadership in the field of alternative dispute resolution and his outstanding contributions to the California courts.”

Folberg now serves as a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS and is executive director of the JAMS Foundation.

Let Me Explain, a little further:

JAMS promotes mediation and arbitration; many California Judges seem to be on it.
JAMS factsheet — (founded in 1979; the foundation, later) is “the largest PRIVATE alternative dispute resolution provider IN THE WORLD.”

This very (very) interesting section hereby becomes a separate post on the CDRC (which was the unified voice of the promotion of Medation, Arbitration and ADR, etc. as an industry) within California). HOW this was done gets interesting…and is an education in governmental and system change (i.e., someone has to fund those conferences which unify the voices; someone has to host them, someone writes off the expenses. How’s that done — businesswise? Whow as involved besides the professionals? Are they membership organizations for public benefit (501(c)3s, or lobbying groups, or “Mutual Benefit” organizations (501(c)4s, I believe).??? Why law school involvement?

The promotion of Mediation, Alternate Dispute Resolution, etc. — in the family court arena — was not an accident. It was an organized lobby. I talked about this in some detail, starting with the Northern California Mediation Center (Joan Kelly) — and I show corporation records and conferences; including how many copycat incorporations showed up when, in California, to take advantage of and contribute to (you decide) the momentum — Sept. 2012 post, here. While We’re There, the Northern California Mediation Center….” I wrote, underneath its website, and above its state nonprofit filing (where it’s “DELINQUENT”

Also — the topic here is citing Jay Folberg as promoting a certain bill. I am showing that he might as well be “Mr. Mediation” and “Mr. ADR,” — he’s not “just” a dean at a law school. He is highly committed to, and highly positioned in, a statewide (at least) COORDINATED effort by many related organizations to show up as a UNIFIED voice and lobby for legal changes (legislation) to their benefit. This Sept. 23, 2012 post, on this blog, explains (if you have eyes to see and are paying attention) that a central one was “California Dispute Resolution COUNCIL” (lobbying group), but there also was an “INSTITUTE” (which is a private foundation, has an EIN#, but shows no articles of incorporations, and perhaps as a PRIVATE foundation, doesn’t have to show the public where its money is coming from), CDRI.

How “nice” of the author to provide some text to it, a link to it, or in short anything about it than her protests that — guess what, folks — California didn’t vote for Folberg’s bright idea. Sorry, that’s the downside of representative government, when it actually functions; you can’t just force change on one of the largest (and a very diverse) states in the USA, because AFCC and a coordinated lobby of fees-charging ADR, ACR and mediators, want more business; and believe “custody” is a bad word.

I looked at leginfo.ca.gov — and it doesn’t go back that far (only to 1993).
Here’s a 2002 article citing a 1979 piece by Folberg on Joint Custody. (also sites Joan B. Kelly, etc.) Guess he’s been promoting it for a long time:

Continuing with Kaluzny’s Reasons why California, too, Should Abolish the word “Custody”


Four more people died in a custody battle recently in Orange County.  In October a woman was killed in a custody exchange.  A cursory review of Register articles concerning deaths related to divorce in the past year shows more  mayhem:  “Suspect in slaying testifies;” “Man gets 15 years to life in slaying;” “Man gets life term in estranged wife’s killing;” “Man accused of killing wife, burning her body;” “Man accused of killing wife to keep kids;” “Jury selection begins in boy’s drowning;” “Husband arrested in standoff after wife’s killing.”

[Looking at Orange County Register, I see a Dec. 2009 four-person died custody case: Two daughters, a mother and a grandmother — the mother was an attorney and the grandmother a retired psychologist; the father was NOT a suspect in the shooting (as of this article) and the “bitter custody battle” had to do with allegations of child sexual abuse. The mother was granted permission to move them to Texas, did so, opened a case there, abuse was (validated?), and was back in town for a hearing. So this was a Texas/California fight for jurisdiction — which also happens in custody cases. It is written as though one of the adult women was the shooter, and the girls only 2 and 4. Million-dollar-gated community. However is 2009 “recent” to 2011? The OCR as an inset then lists more cases from 2008..]]


In presenting a persuasive page — no links necessary? No dates? No geography?
However even in the non-linked information presented — notice the language: It’s passive (or at least doesn’t state Who Killed. After which, we notice which gender is headlining in the killings:

Four more people died.
A woman ‘was killed”
Suspect testifies”
“boy’s drowning”

Man gets 15 years to life in slaying [[headline doesn’t reference custody, apparently it doesn’t matter)
Man accused of killing wife, burning her body
Man accused of killing wife to keep kids (!!!)
Husband arrested in standoff after wife’s killing.”

~ ~ Interesting the author has no reaction to man accused of killing wife (the kids’ mother?) getting custody of the kids!!! (I looked for the case, but it’s two years old, didn’t find off-hand. Unfortunately, in such looks you get a lot more similar cases; the killing is still going on…)

~ ~ She correctly calls it “mayhem” — but a more accurate word, seems to me, might be “Murders.” They are not the same!!! Guess she’s gender-neutral for real, particularly when seeing male violence in the context of custody might not be in the best interest of shared-parenting for everyone…

~ ~ AFCC has been influencing the courts since 1963, per its own claims. This is 2013. In a review of 2011, from the local area (sounds like) — this woman doesn’t seem to notice that it’s men who are doing these killings — where are the references to women doing the same thing? But that fact isn’t mentioned. She just moves on (see next blue-background table).

Here’s an October 2011 mass-shooting in Seal Beach, in a “sleepy seaside town of 25,000” one of the safest in the area http://www.ocregister.com/articles/business-321651-medical-beach.html. This one was heavily reported, but the man had problems (previous restraining order for assaulting another man — in front of his own son) and the issue here was allegedly he wanted full custody (not just “56%”) and so went for the mass-shooting? Who also knows what medications he was on at the time; there definitely were some in play.

Was the cause of that a choice of language? “Parenting plan” versus “custody.”

Currently there’s a major “manhunt” going on in far Northern California, Humboldt County — for a recent shooting (wife, two daughters 8 and 5 (another source says 4) were shot in the home. This one, I”m not so sure of the context; there was little mention of prior DV, and I think this one might have a lot of “spin” added by the response to it. However, in Shingletown, California recently, three more females (mother and two daughters) were shot to death. Allegedly by the husband. Here’s another murder, no divorce mentioned (mother, in front of three children, father accused, “French Camp, California” March 19, 2013). Here (from 2010), Seattle Area — is a man (44) who shot his ex-wife (38) TO DEATH in a church counseling session two years after they divorced!! She refused to come back to him, so he finished that business with a pistol. Faith-based marriage promotion?? Women, be fore-warned: Does your pastor’s office or church have a metal detector. More to the point — do you have to actually LISTEN to those please to undergo counseling from stupid people who care more about the marriage than your life?

2012 didn’t appear to lose any ground with similar headlines (searching OC Register, as she mentioned “The Register” and is Orange County).

~ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/20/family-mourns-killing-mother-children/
This woman and two small (3yrs old, 7 month old) all died after she tried to leave, tried restraining order (then didn’t follow through). Turns out the man had a criminal past, including prior murder age 17, and had been abused as a child.
~ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/chadwick-374601-newport-prosecutors.html 48 yr old man, for financial gain, gated community.
~ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/forsberg-380208-jury-wife.html 63 yr old man accused of murdering his wife because he was “through with her” body not found (warning: gruesome).


Then there were the attempts:”Costa Mesa man gets 17 years in prison for bomb, weapons case;”  “Suspect in Wife’s beating, kidnaping surrenders;” “Man accused of threatening pair during child exchange is arrested.”  This only in Orange County.   We have 58 counties in this state.

And the poignant article in December about the woman recovering still from the murder of her three children by their father six years ago.  We remember the horror of the boy set afire by his father in a motel in 1983, recalled last November as one of “The 50 Most Notorious Crimes in Orange County History.”
There was another Orange County case in 1989 when three boys were shot by their father (one survived, crippled) that became the occasion for a major change in court mediation protocols thanks to the efforts of domestic violence expert Mildred Pagelow with the mother testifying before a state senate committee.

(I looked some of those up, above, when quoting)

Ms. Kaluzny’s name doesn’t come up that often (given how much I read), and I don’t think she’s a major player. I think she’s a loyal member (see last post). I’m going to talk, however, about this minor posting as reflecting what looks like an AFCC consensus:


An international and interdisciplinary organization of judges, psychologists, lawyers and others, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, has declared the treatment of children in family courts a “public health crisis.”    Founded in California in 1963 to improve the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict,.the California chapter recently noted in a “Declaration of Public Health Crisis” that an estimated half of  the state’s children, or 4,775,939, have been touched by or involved in the court system as a result of their parents’ actions–separation, divorce, guardianships, paternity actions, domestic violence, dependency actions.  One of every two children they estimate, are likely to be involved in a family court case.

Their resolution stated that “…the resources allocated to family law cases involving children do not reflect the ratio of family cases to the overall work of the court.  This is ineffective and ultimately unacceptable,” adding that 175 judges handle the half-million new filings every year, plus the older cases, and at least 459 judges are needed.

The board of the California chapter declared, “there is a clear and present danger to the public health of the children of this State based on our society’s failure to adequately address the impact of child custody proceedings upon children as a chronic, system-wide, statewide, public health crisis which impacts the previous, current and future generations of California’s most precious resource–its children.”

In 1996 there was an official committee, “Family Court 2000,” that was supposed to fix family law.  Now there is a task force named Elkins to try again, and Orange County member Judge Nancy Weben Stock said “the culture of divorce” will be changed.  One woman testifying last October to the task force said, “The system forces you into combat.”  One bit of culture the task force draft recommendations cite is to change the word “custody” to “parenting plans.”

Yes, I am going to talk about this response…

This individual, it should be obvious, is affiliated with AFCC. She is referring to it, and talks like it — but in the third person, as if there is no significant association (does third-person make something more official-sounding?)

In case this is in doubt, see LinkedIn listing, which shows (not that LinkedIn is an official transcript or “vitae” — she’s been several decades (or so) in the same profession, looks like possibly also in one geographic location: Southern California.

Right away — that doesn’t reflect any experiential awareness of having been psychologically and financially raped by the courts, or tossed around careerwise through them either. No mention is made (which doesn’t exclude it, but it isn’t mentioned as a point of empathy or understanding) of having experienced domestic violence (or parenthood) herself, either. and the Linked in mentions 269 contacts. This person has evidently had stable income and is networked with others.

Mediator and Lawyer
Judith A. Kaluzny
Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Legal Services industry
1986 – Present (27 years)

Judith A. Kaluzny, Mediator and Lawyer
Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Legal Services industry
December 1976 – Present (36 years 6 months) Fullerton, California

As a mediator, I guide couples through effective problem-solving to come to agreements for revised property agreements in marriage, for pre-marital agreements or to dissolve the marriage with mutual understanding of all property and support issues and parenting plans suitable for each individual family.

The Safe and Sane Divorce project; The Elkins Task Force
Groups and Associations:
Southern California Mediation Association; California Women Lawyers; Association of Family and Conciliation Courts; Orange County Bar Association and Family Law Section; The Fullerton Observer; Friends for a Livable Fullerton

  • Contemplating Divorce
  • Divorce News, If it wasn’t true you couldn’t make it up…
  • Fullerton Chamber of Commerce
  • Milestones in Leadership
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Orange County Women Lawyers
  • The Women’s Foundation of California
  • Western State University College of Law – Alumni
  • Woman’s Club of Fullerton

Just What is Being Said, here?

SENTENCE BY SENTENCE:. Blue-Background quotes are Kaluzny (AFCC member); Pink are AFCC website.

An international and interdisciplinary organization of judges, psychologists, lawyers and others,** The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, has declared the treatment of children in family courts a “public health crisis.”


**phrase almost verbatim from the top of AFCCnet.org website — except for the listings of professions, it reads instead:

SEARCH   Search
An interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.

And it I see reverses AFCC’s “interdisciplinary and international” to “international and interdisciplinary.”
These are keywords to appeal to the masses (join the crowd, we’re interNATIONAL) and of course boasting about the “interdisciplinary” nature of the professionals is also key to who is the AFCC — as the courts they have also set up deliberately hybrids between law and psychology — which in the professionals’ world view, is “good.” However, I don’t happen to agree.

In other contexts, the AFCC basically declares itself to be the hearthrob, the pulse, of the courts, and takes credits for, in essence, the essence of their qualities:

Sentence 1. Dissociation of AFCC from “The Treatment of Children IN Family Courts”

Per afccnet.org website “About” page; it again restates “interdisciplinary and international …. PROFESSIONALS … solving family conflict. Described in third person, “AFCC members are:”

AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.  AFCC members are the leading practitioners, researchers, teachers and policymakers in the family court arena.

That’s easy enough to do, as it’s an arena the same membership (associations) helped create:

So if they are the leaders, and the treatment of children IN THE FAMILY COURTS is a national disaster, then who is responsible? The followers? Or not enough followers? Are not the leadership responsible? Or are they like some parents — when the child is good, that’s MY son, MY daughter, or the child has problems “It’s Her (Mother, father) Influence.

Again, Kaluzny (2011) webpage, first statement:

An international and interdisciplinary organization of judges, psychologists, lawyers and others,** The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, has declared the treatment of children in family courts a “public health crisis.”

That’s dissociation! Whose courts are they? Who are the leading policymakers, practitioners, researchers, teachers, and policymakers? From the horse’s mouth: it’s “us” (but stated for the public in third person — another characteristic to recognize of this group. They’re dissociative when talking about their own members, they depersonalize them and give them special names. Kind of like SOME people do to certain parts of their own bodies (their “members” as it were), in calling them — because they are so very special and powerful, almost have a life of their own, and a dramatic effect upon others — for a man, “the boys” or as it were for a woman, “my girls.” Sorry to be a little prurient, or if I got the terms a little different than current use. But it IS a language habit — when times are very, very good — then AFCC is leader, practitioner, and problemsolver.

When things are very, very bad — as this website was put up to point out (i.e., when ONE parent MURDERS another, and/or children and/or suicide — around matters of who gets to win, who gets control — that’s “very, very bad,” then AFCC (members) suddenly dissociate and claim, “see, we told you so — let us have more power, more resources, and better lead, so things aren’t so bad any more. We can resolve family conflict, TRUST us.”

Do you understand this? If you are undereducated on who set up the courts, who proselytized to form conciliation courts, lobbied for conciliation code, for marriage (then later, divorce, then co-parenting)education at public expense — then you will possibly be prone to believe this rhetoric about AFCC should be given credit for trying to fix family conflict, and believe the dissociation.

Founded in California in 1963 to improve the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict,.the California chapter . . . .

Sloppy writing — and thinking. The opening phrase modifies the subject — “the California Chapter.” However, neither “the California Chapter” NOR “AFCC” were founded in California in 1963! Some other things apparently well. A Conference of Conciliation Courts publication apparently was started and calls itself something — but not AFCC. There is no corporate record, that date, tied to AFCC!

LOOK IT UP — I did, see the link, and even made a pretty, colorful chart (Red, Orange, Yellow, etc.) for readers (you will, however, have to scroll down on the post to see it):

The Corporate (California Secretary of State) Record shows:

~ In July 1969 (NOT 1963), the “Conference of Conciliation Courts” (NOT Association of Family AND Conciliation Courts,” and not “The California Chapter) — apparently was formed. But it’s status is “SUSPENDED.”

~ In October 1981 (NOT 1963), a corporation called “ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY CONCILIATION COURTS” (agent, Margaret Little) was formed. Its current status is “SURRENDERED” and there is no “AND” in the business entity’s name.


This California chapter, further study reveals, is not listed with the IRS, or anywhere else i could find, as a regular 501(c)3 nonprofit. Their website, which I did explore, is not yet complete, and they are pretty much directing traffic back to the “mother ship” (AFCC site) — although that MOTHER SHIP has not hit the planet — that any of us who are still looking can actually find — in a known US State as a “domestic” or “foreign” (out of state) CORPORATION — which is, by US law, what you have to do in order to engage in commerce in this country under a fictional name, last I heard. Engage in commerce, roughly translated as “sell things.” We were wondering about Illinois, and quite honestly, the material isn’t fresh in my (already full) mind today. However it IS on the back burner to ascertain whether this association which DOES file tax returns, claiming to be a WiSCONSIN organization (but not incorporated as itself to do business, legally that is, IN Wisconsin) — is actually doing business (which it clearly is –see conferences!) LEGALLY anywhere with in the USA. Or maybe it, too, is just a mutual benefit organization and as such exempt from scrutiny (even though the membership includes civil servants). What do you think?

I think the California chapter (lulu Wong) MAY be a 501(c)4, i.e., a self-interest mutual benefit (that’s for sure) organization.

In short, so far that statement then shows up to be simply a false hood. It’s not factual, and the fact that no one spouting this information of (website after website) about when “AFCC” started seems to give a damn about wildy inaccurate oral (or web-based) collective mythological history — how’d you like someone who didn’t care very much about details — got their years off by — oh, say seven, or maybe twenty, thirty — years at a pop, and they are dealing with important matters, like children’s lives. Yet their fact-check and in general, honesty — is in the “switched off” position regarding themselves.

Sounds like some abusers I know.


Founded in California in 1963 to improve the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict,.the California chapter recently noted in a “Declaration of Public Health Crisis” that an estimated half of  the state’s children, or 4,775,939, have been touched by or involved in the court system as a result of their parents’ actions–separation, divorce, guardianships, paternity actions, domestic violence, dependency actions.  One of every two children they estimate, are likely to be involved in a family court case.

First of all, in a group whose main focus, policy, mantra, and themes is about RELATIONSHIPS, I think that they ought to be able to (on the spur of the moment) give a reasonably truthful account of their own relationships to the group they are a “Chapter of,” although from what I understand about the meaning of the word “chapter’ of a nonexistent book, (or corporation) — I believe that a more honest website might say, “I” am a member of the AFCC, and as such, this article is a “WE” believe.

I also don’t believe (nor to some others) that the purpose of this group was indeed to “resolve family conflict.” I believe that it was set up to run money for trainings through nonexistent organizations, in short, I’m more of the Mr. Byer mentality (given the evidence I have so far). I do believe its membership is more concerned about their ‘family” collective mutual benefits than the families coming in front of them. One indicator is, when dead bodies start to pile up, there should be a little repentance, change of heart, or in general extreme distress showing up. I have read plenty of conference materials, and been stunned to see that (judging by the workshops), the fact that there ARE such deaths, doesn’t usually rate a workshop topic.

Interesting, no reference to the Public Health Crisis Declaration is even put up on the site. How hard would that be to do (no competence to put up links in the body of a simple post, or too lazy?). Here it is (took me two minutes, tops, to find):

Very pretentious. I also notice that at the TOP of the simple declaration, the group goes by one name — and by the bottom, the word “THE” has been added to its name. It’s only two pages long, full of “Whereas” and “therefore” calling upon the State, the Governor, the Legislature (yada, yada). It really bears reading to know what “pretentious” is like.

No mention of child abuse occurs. It’s essentially a complaint about the workload, a complaint about the increase in domestic violence incidents (I wonder why), and a complaint about “self-represented litigants who dono’t have access to resources” (89% of DV cases, it was alleged have at least one party in pro per. Well, how do they expect a DV victim under coercive economic control to afford an attorney?)

Conciliation Code (as I’ve shown) brings domestic violence cases into the Conciliation Courts — so quit complaining about the case load! Who lobbied for Conciliation Code if not members of the Conciliation Courts, and the Conference, thereof.

Notice that in the listing of “stakeholders” — no reference to the public, or to any parents, even makes a reference.

Here is a Winter, 2013 Newsletter of “AFCC-CA” (whoever that is), colorful enough, with the public health declaration (citing information that looks to be about six or seven years old). It simply reads “Issue #8” and has picked up the AFCC(mother ship) logo, and it also lists (at the back, blue background) its board of directors, including several judges and a retired commissioner (from San Francisco, as it happens). However — where’s the tax return? Where’s the California Charitable Filing — or if this is just a mutual self-interest (i.e., not 501(c)3) group — then why not drop the pretense of caring so much about the children and families? It’s not like most parents are ever even going to run across one of these newsletters accidentally…..

Something is up with this chapter, and I may follow up. ANYHOW, on Judith Kaluzny’s uncritically promoting this groups’ concern about the children and families of our state:

“The board of the California chapter declared, “there is a clear and present danger to the public health of the children of this State based on our society’s failure to adequately address the impact of child custody proceedings upon children as a chronic, system-wide, statewide, public health crisis which impacts the previous, current and future generations of California’s most precious resource–its children.”

Third person again — “The board of the California chapter”

Interesting, blame society. But who are the leaders of the pack? Does this piece come to any real conclusions, present any serious evidence, or even make sense?

yet the author is an AFCC member (maybe she should examine any canceled checks, get a routing number off the back of where they were deposited — if into a Wisconsin-based checking account — call up that bank, and find out who is the account owner. Or does Ms. Kaluzny pay up membership dues over at AFCC-CA (or is it “Association of Family AND Conciliation Courts, the California Chapter?”)

As I look again at the “Looking It Up” page (keep scrolling down) — I tried very hard to locate this, my state’s California Chapter (Corporation #1587819), at the IRS, along with all the other 501(c)3s that call thmselves “chapters” of the mother ship — Apparently (I learned then and see again now) it’s a 501(c)4.

[[After posting this information about the AFCC-CA group, I’ve had enough of this post, and am going to publish…I think you get the general idea — this person is not providing links, is simply spouting rhetoric (the usual) and doesn’t appear to be a serious thinker on this matter, at least as can be seen from her speech. She’s drunk the Kool-Aid, sat through the trainings, joined the networks (including CDRC) and has a personal identity and point of view. I see white hair in the photo, and if this writer has successfully raised seven children, without experiencing any of them having been kidnapped, murdered, alienated, or lost — etc. — either it’s because she’s not been subject to “bad language” — has stayed married (or is a stepmother, who knows) — and does not have a vital basis for understanding what it’s like to experience the family courts post-welfare reform, as a survivor of severe domestic violence involving death threats, kidnapping threats (carried out) and stalking — and watching the entire system say, “why can’t you just get along better?”

There’s not one day that goes by where this isn’t a major issue; it has re-introduced poverty to innocent women to get rid of “fault” when fault really did exist (in the form of crime). To me, the entire apparatus is a clear and present danger to society, and should be shut down.

Some families are supportive, and decent (as are some men, as are some marriages). Others are not, and should be dismantled — and safety granted when it’s needed.

Also, a closer look should be taken at the funding going through the trainings, and the bank accounts of the various chapters of AFCC, especially for the years when the main organization wasn’t legally incorporated anywhere.

Here’s the State-registration data:

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type

(DETAILS:Better seen on-line of course, with active links);

Type: Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1587819

Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1587819
Registration Number: 068671
Record Type: Charity Registration Type: Charity Registration
Issue Date: 12/31/1990 Renewal Due Date: 5/15/2013
Registration Status: Current Date This Status: 2/7/2011
Date of Last Renewal: 6/7/2012
Address Information
Address Line 1: 1336 N MOORPARK RD #185 Phone:
Address Line 2:
Address Line 3:
Address Line 4: THOUSAND OAKS CA 91360

Annual Renewal Information
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-04
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-04
Total Assets: $23,332.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $59,598.00
RRF Received: 01-FEB-11
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-05
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-05
Total Assets: $28,259.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $62,923.00
RRF Received: 10-FEB-09
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-06
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-06
Total Assets: $25,101.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $66,748.00
RRF Received: 10-FEB-09
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-07
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-07
Total Assets: $31,241.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $106,426.00
RRF Received: 16-MAY-08
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-08
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-08
Total Assets: $76,048.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $135,317.00
RRF Received: 13-MAY-09
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-09
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-09
Total Assets: $73,765.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $120,592.00
RRF Received: 26-FEB-10
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-10
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-10
Total Assets: $80,200.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $103,725.00
RRF Received: 11-FEB-11
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-11
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-11
Total Assets: $106,383.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $150,673.00
RRF Received: 02-APR-12
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Related Documents
00003B29 Founding Documents

Offhand, we can see that of the “RRF’s (state wide one, or two-pager report required ANNUALLY), you see “RRF Received” entries? Compare the years received with the years of Revenue to assets:

For year 2004 — RRF received 01-Feb. 2011**
For year 2005 — RRF received 10 Feb. 2009
For year 2006 — RRF received 10 Feb. 2009
For year 2007 — RRF received 16 May 2008 (a little more reasonable, eh?)
For year 2008 — RRF received 13 May 2009.
For year 2009 — RRF received 26 Feb 2010.

**File shows they received a Delinquency Notice (you’ll be fined $800 and lose your status if you don’t file, etc.) in January 2011. APparently (despite ALL the judges involved in this one, and its having been around since 1987?) no one noticed from 2004 through January 2011 that these weren’t being filed.

FOUNDING DOCUMENTS (1987) which should be read (and you can find them on-line if that link expires) show the first three incorporators were — guess who:

1. Hugh McIsaac, Conciliation Court, 111 Hill Street, LOS ANGELES (i.e., the county courthouse).One of the originals.
2. Isabella Grant, Superior Court, 317 City Hall, 400 Van Ness, San Francisco 94102
3. Murray Bloom, Family Counseling Services, 210 West Ash Stree, San Diego, California.

Hopefully you may remember that 111 Hill Street Los Angeles was also an address of a former corporation, the famous 1981 tri-state incorporation (Denver, Illinois, Los Angeles — go figure) ALSO out of the county courthouse:

Entity Number: C1091990
Date Filed: 10/01/1981
Jurisdiction: ILLINOIS
Entity Address: 1720 EMERSON ST
Entity City, State, Zip: DENVER CO 80218
Agent for Service of Process: MARGARET LITTLE
Agent Address: 111 N HILL ST
Agent City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90012

Brings a new meaning to the phrase “courthouse corporations,” perhaps?
This gets a little more into real estate, and bonds (raising capital to construct the courthouses — at one time, 111 Hill Street was definitely new and Conciliation Courts were taking hold around the same time, I think) — and then who pays the rent for use of the courthouse, to whom:

In case this website might someday become (unavailable), I’m putting the basics to be seen as “hover cursor,” at least the top part of the post. Please think about it:

August 25, 2001 – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation and others. e.g. Los Angeles County Law Enforcement-Public Facilities Corporation and (too many to name or to discover). The Crusaders think that there are over a dozen of these ‘Public Benefit’ Corporations hiding in LA County. If you are aware of any of the others, drop us a line.

These companies are established as Tax exempt ‘charitable trusts’ under the Federal Statute – 501(c)(4). They direct millions of dollars but are basically unaudited. The Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation (LACCC), for example, controls projects for $632 million, but as yet has not registered with the California Department of Corporations even though they have issued outstanding securities for this amount.

They have established trust agreements with banks, lease and leaseback agreements with developers, securities agreements with underwriters, legal assistance from high powered law firms, yet they have no employees. All work is done ‘outside’ on authorization from an officer of the Company. e.g. bills are paid, rents are collected, legal services are performed by outsiders through agreements. As an example, O’Melveny & Myers pays the fees for this Corporation.

Is this a donation? Somehow, I think O’Melveny & Myers are not providing legal services for free.

The company has offices in the LA County facilities, claims no employees, but has all of its utilities, telephone, rent, etc. paid by the County.

Who answers the phone? A county employee, doing ‘part time’ work but receiving no pay. At least the Corporation (etc.)

I’m glad they finally decided to start complying with the law and filing their RRFs (which FYI show the public IF government money was received — AND shows the Attorney General a Schedule B (names and addresses of contributors, I believe). They waited seven years to file for the year 2004. 2012 returns are not up there yet, but let’s hope they will be within a few days or weeks, as we are mid-May.


Clearly if more and more men turn murderers in order to win the custody battle, the real fault is not a murderous spirit, hate, and narcissism but the word “custody” itself. Therefore the entire CONCEPT of custody — in fact of winning and losing itself — should be abolished as a concept in ALL states, especially the recalcitrant state of California.

We should all accept this reasoning because — it comes from an attorney? It comes from an international and interdisciplinary association? Or is there some other reason we should accept this “reasoning”? Because we’re not all behavioral health experts?

Because the alternative is losing contact with one’s own children (or grandchildren) when YOUR turn comes up?

I fail to see the justification.

Apparently they (this association and its membership) will never be content until they are so done system-changing the court system until it no longer bears even a semblance of relationship to law and with that, right, wrong, or moral responsibility. In this Brave New World, there will be no conflict, no adversarial relationships. . By the way, this is also global in scope, and Canada is considering the US (and vice versa) — and AFCC is notably (has been from early on) prominently run by an international (Canada, Australia, NZ?) leadership. Pretty soon concepts like “rights” or “due process” will also (actually, already are) like the “old wineskins” which, if the newly fermented juice of psychology and sociology is poured into them, they will split. Which, in my opinion, is intentional.

Until there is world peace through family counseling and co-parenting education, and no civil disobedience or unrest anywhere, it sounds as though this AFCC ASSOCIATION (again, its articles of incorporation are definitely NOT easy to locate) and its cooperating associations (AAML, IAML, APA, ABA, NACC, etc.) are going to continue complaining about “lack of resources” for the overburdened courts, divert conversations from why cases keep coming back (like, bad decisions the first time round, or safety issues) — and proclaim this with funds already obtained to put them at an unfair advantage with ANY individual family coming before them.

This is partiuclarly understandable when both private and public funding props up the organizations, plus for some, tax-exempt status, and for others, the tax-advantages of flat-out tax-evasion, PLUS funds from private parties when a lawsuit is involved, or court-ordered therapy supported by (since 1996 welfare reform) access/visitation funding from HHS to the States to encourage MORE of their favorite programs and policies…

[[If you’ve been following this blog periodically, will realize those are not idle words…]]

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

May 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm

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  1. […] is a combination of what I took OUT of “Flipping Cause and Effect: AFCC Rhetoric” (“Got custody killings?  Blame it on the bad language”) post — when the […]

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