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

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

About Holidays, Speaking Personally (Personal Backdrop to Post-PRWORA Social Policy towards Women Who ~Just Say No!~ to Abuse and Proceed in Misplaced Belief They can actually Exit it) [started Sept. 18, Publ. Oct. 9, 2017, see also Collaborative Justice post/page].

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I might as well get this over with, and am taking the opportunity at the same time to say I finally published a related PAGE, How and When Problem-Solving (make that ‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts were Institutionalized and other Consolidate/Coordinate/Standardize/ PRIVATIZE Stories at Courts.CA.Gov  (Page started 8/29/2017, published Mon 9/18 evening. With case-sensitive shortlink ending “-7w9″).

Together, that page, another post introducing that page (full title soon, just below) and this post About Holidays, Speaking Personally (Personal Backdrop to Post-PRWORA Social Policy towards Women Who ~Just Say No!~ to Abuse and Proceed in Misplaced Belief They can actually Exit it) [started Sept. 18, Publ. Oct. 9, 2017, see also Collaborative Justice post/page](case-sensitive shortlink ends “-7AD“) are “good stuff” and history on some major program-propagation vehicles in New York and in California, with more in their middles on Minnesota-related events, people, and even a few nonprofits.

What’s here below was originally an insert or aside.  At the bottom here, I again provide the link to both the page and my post introducing the page.  I hope readers will go back and read both if they haven’t yet.

There are reasons we are continuing to have “family court fiascoes” and destructions of household wealth generation after generation by way of prolonged litigation IN these courts.

Why not take a closer look at how they were assembled, systematically, in recent decades (generation or so) and the pieces from which the parts comprise the whole, or the engine, chassis, fuel, guidance system, [I’m no auto mechanic, but consider the essential parts — and the roads as part of the infrastructure too] and ensuring a constant stream of passengers, with “no stone left unturned” and no child, or life, left unscathed….?]   That’s what I tend to do, when not speaking personally..take closer looks.  Lots of them.


About Holidays, Speaking Personally (Personal Backdrop to Post-PRWORA Social Policy towards Women who Say No! to Abuse and Proceed to Exit it) (WordPress-generated, case-sensitive shortlink ends “-7AD.”)

This post, while written (except this foreword) around Sept. 4, Labor Day Weekend 2017, was taken from another post then still waiting publication; its full title (and basic background-color) is “Introducing A New Page, How and When Problem-Solving (make that ‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts were Institutionalized and other Consolidate/Coordinate/Standardize/PRIVATIZE Stories at Courts.CA.Gov. AND Some of the Backdrop (Personal Experience of Turn-of-Century Social Policy towards Women Reporting Abuse and Their Efforts to Exit It… ).”(case-sensitive short-link ends “-7xs“)

Exactly one week later, in fact another historic (but not “holy”!) day in recent history, I was still working on both post and page, as I was over Labor Day weekend, a major US holiday from September 2, 3, and (Monday) Sept. 4, 2017,* through to that day, Sept. 11, 2017

{*The aside added for  international visitors to the blog.  I don’t know all their national holidays, and they might not know all ours, either. While this blog covers some international issues because it covers private associations dealing with US courts — many of which make sure to advertise that they have an international membership— FamilyCourtMatters still primarily addressed to people dealing with Life In The USA… because the courts here are tax-supported and public institutions in every state, and in territories, of the USA.  We pay plenty for them, while we also through our system here (as to the income tax, corporate taxes, and tax-exemptions) sponsor, incubate, and overall, encourage the formation of tax-exempt corporations to fix whatever national, state, or local governments omit, forgot, or “got wrong..”}

BELOW HERE (within this blue box) is “Soap Box” talk on public vs. private.  If you “get this,” skip it this time. If you don’t, please consider the stakes are high in blurring one with another, which is a known practice and agenda now commonplace in the country (and not USA only).

These tax-exempt and other corporations can legally register as domiciled in one place, but operate and influence operations across state and national lines.  But the family courts regulating life within the states are subject to state legislatures for individuals once they obtain jurisdiction over a case — and through that, the family members involved — do not have innate jurisdiction over people outside the state except as related to something anchored in it. There’s a division, in other words, between jurisdictions within states, and federal. What I’m saying here – it seems to take corporations to overcome legal boundaries to representative government at the state level — and that seems to be the intent and purpose of a variety of such corporations who would rather “legislate” or at least influence, rule, and have power, over whole regions, or nations, at a time, and the streamlined ability to also influence legislation in multiple jurisdictions without having to fight it locally, place by place — and deal “face to face” with those who might, were they aware of the purposes — have cause to oppose them.  (See “Big Seven Associations” and/or the variety of “Do You Know Your NGA, NCSC” etc. posts I’ve written within the last year, or maybe two.. for how this seems to work when those on the private corporations ALSO hold public office, either concurrently, or in revolving-door fashion, recently…

{{As I understand it, there ARE no “regional governments” under the US Constitution, that I’m aware of. Some people have a problem with that (search “functionalism” on this blog for more info), and want it changed. The more and more functions that can be “outsourced” to regionally organized private-sector organizations (or JPA’s — Joint Powers Authorities) — the less and less individually responsive less-than-regional governments become.  They feel the pressure and appreciate the prestige of “belonging” as evidence of good governmental behavior.   

Sure, federal government’s Executive Branch Departments (like HHS, which was formerly — taken together with the part that split off, the Dept. of Education and any other — “HEW”) organize operationally by regions (cross-state lines), as do Districts of the Federal Court system yes — but even those are not independent government entities.

To organize legally cross-jurisdiction WITHIN government here, one must either be anchored in some part which IS either federal  OR state, i.e. be state government or something underneath it– or simply be a corporation, including tax-exempt ones.  Joint Power Authorities such as I’ve been blogging, like WestED, SWRL, or FWL (Far West Labs, South West Regional Labs — subject matter, education) still must anchor with a state domicile.  WestED’s state domicile, so far as I know, is in California, although other states are spanned in its OPERATIONS (shared programming).}}

That’s why, at a time when “Public/Private Partnerships” (or, strategic operating relationships in the forms of Memos of Understanding — one shown below here as to CENIC and California’s HighSpeedRail Authority) are MOST popular with those already in power — we really should be able to tell the difference between that which is public — and its LEGAL power over individuals, including the power to tax, incarcerate, seize assets, seize children, etc. — and that which is NOT public, over which when we are not consumers of the product or entering into conscious contracts with the corporations, we don’t have many real rights.  So government uses corporate to cross jurisdictions, and to (as privatized) avoid full responsibility for its actions, and streamline (efficiency) and corporate uses government to encourage conditions it finds conducive to operations and bottom-line profits.  This may or may not include the public interest or health; it depends on the situation.   [[end of “SoapBox” commentary.]]

Personal timing & publication dates:

The weeks between Sept. 11 and now (early October, 2017), I was working again on some personal writing for an ongoing situation, which was because of its nature and, shall I say, “tenacity,” triggering PTSD and some deep, deep considerations about how far I should or dare take the push for justice in that situation and with these particular individuals who have gained a legal inroad into my life recently, caused damages, and then inflicted further distress through minimizing/dismissing the same.  Classic gaslighting and strategy for controlling personalities and/or abusers.

In “About Holidays,”  I also speak about some of the long-term tenacity of the prior personal situations, without naming names — because the names aren’t the point.  The patterns are.  I realize this type of communication is anecdotal, and speaking about it here is for general info.; expressive, not presented as a basis for policy.

When that communication (or at least the initial stage of it) Sept.11 / end of Sept. was handled (or, at least, delivered) I worked again diligently to update this post’s Table of Contents page, a project I am finally, for the most part, satisfied with (for now) and which led to more fascinating subject matter to research, involving consolidation of telecommunications (broad-band-providing) companies servicing government entities (like schools, public and private universities and research institutes), and such.**

**[Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, “CENIC.org”; its network “CalREN,” and as it’s a membership association, one of its Auxiliary Associate members (in fact the only one currently) “City of Hope” (hospital, institute, development corporation, foundation all inter-related) and dark-fiber network subcontractor, “Level 3 Communications” with its own fascinating history, intersecting with some of the giant telecommunications providers (esp. broadband) mergers of the turn of the century — and its predecessor entity “Kiewit Diversified Group,” which came out of Peter Kiewit & Sons (or similar name), the construction industry.  This is basic communications history in the US, and fascinating.  It also speaks to the access to high-quality internet capacity and speed of higher education institutions (membership to CENIC or groups like it) vs. the average person, who is the subject matter of so many of the programs, including the social science R&D, federal designer family, poverty research, behavioral mod etc. — while when working as employees, contributing to support the same infrastructure financially based on the trickle-down premise.

Californians are aware of longstanding plans, highly political in nature, for a high-speed physical, commuter (to carry human beings!) rail system connecting Northern Cal. to SoCal (take another look at the map of the USA and see — that’s a good distance!).

So, it looks like CalREN’s (CENIC’s network name) involvement with this high-speed rail project may result in communities along the intended route getting an upgrade to their free? Broadband service.  Amazingly, the researchers figured out that poorer, less-educated people living in rural areas are less likely to have internet connections –aren’t they smart?  Courtesy “California Emerging Technologies Fund” field research poll, I see.  

CENIC article referencing Calif. HighSpeed Rail Authority (a gov’t entity) plans to make broadband communities. CENIC is private nonprofit, so that’s another Public/private partnership, assuming it goes through.


“SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) and the Corporation for Education Networking Initiatives in California (CENIC) announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that will foster initiatives to expand the availability and accessibility of high-capacity broadband to communities and institutions throughout California.

“As a part of the high-speed rail system corridor, the Authority and CENIC will create an ultra-fast broadband network, connecting into CENIC’s statewide research and education network, as well as to other public and private sector broadband networks.

This new network will provide needed connectivity for communities located near the high-speed rail system starting in the Central Valley,” said Authority Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales.  “This partnership and new network will advance economic development and public benefit while generating ancillary revenue for the high-speed rail program,” said Morales.

According to a recent Field Research Corporation Poll, conducted for the California Emerging Technology Fund, the lowest income, least educated, and most rural Californians are living without this reliable internet access. {{Theoretically, and probably…}} This investment in broadband connectivity will allow these communities access the educational, employment, healthcare, and civic engagement opportunities that lead to greater economic opportunities and to a better quality of life.”

In general, the HSR will connect Los Angeles to San Francisco at 200mph or in about 3 hours by (2025?  see info).  Another phrase that comes up is “Silicon Valley to Central Valley” with Central Valley being an area where unemployment (and poverty) are high.  I see from HSR website that ARRA funds were involved:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –The California High-Speed Rail Authority today announced it has met federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 requirements by fully investing the more than $2.55 billion granted to the State since 2009 to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system. These funds have helped to create thousands of new jobs and generated approximately $4 billion in economic activity in the Central Valley and across California. Read our News Release to see what Board Chair Dan Richard is saying about meeting the ARRA deadline. For more information, read the full Investing in California’s Future through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 report.

Wow.  I remember where I was in high-employment area SF Bay Area in 2009, after child-stealing events, retroactive reduction of child support arrears owed, dramatic curtailment of my own work as I went repeatedly to court in an attempt to resolve the household who stole the kids’ reluctance to comply with court orders granting me:  visitation, or even at its lowest point, weekly phone calls placed by the children (after my attempts to reach them weekly went unanswered time after time), and by 2009 I had not one job in the profession left.  No one in the agencies or law enforcement seemed to care about enforcing any court orders which would mitigate the situation, and I was running out of the wherewithal to keep coming back to court (let alone even get TO the courthouse) time and again.  During that time I had not yet “figured out” what I have since (on this blog) regarding potential financial DISincentives for continuing any government OR nonprofit advocacy group, i.e., the whole systems, to protecting maternal parenting time once it’d been eradicated without legal cause stated on the record, let alone proved on any record…

In other words, those “access and visitation” grants aimed at increasing non-custodial parenting time, apparently lost their motivational impact when that non-custodial FATHER time had been increased to 100% and mother’s to “0%.” I had never been offered or encouraged to do supervised visitation to prevent the stealing in the first place, and when it was brought up, a commissioner said “there’s no money for it here..” — AFTER which I realized, well, yes there was, in the form of those grants to the state of California for such supervised visitation and exchange — to protect the children from being stolen, and myself from injury or repeated forced dealings with traumatic situations absent support for them, in the context of known prior domestic violence…

That fall 2009, I also had learned my children had been abandoned by their father (physically and it appears financially) and was dealing with both stalking while attempting to extract information from ANYONE involved on WHEN this occurred (including what month/year) or in what manner (two conflicting versions were presented by the ex-girlfriend and my ex-batterer (husband) and father of two children by then both almost adults, with me.    Abandonment is also a felony, so I was working through both shock and again attempting to speak with law enforcement on this (district attorney’s office, as I had when they were stolen the first time three years earlier).  This went nowhere — other than that in my need to speak to their father for this information, he somehow decided again to claim me “before God” as his wife, resulting in the need to at this low point now deal (again) with the stalking issue — which was terrifying… especially without funds to leave the area even temporarily which was a need.

But that commentary is getting ahead of the subject matter of this section…. Just correlating the State-level developments with my personal timeline developments.  Back to “HighSpeedRail”….

Read it from the HSR.CA.GOV (HSR=”High Speed Rail”) point of view — this is their MOU (Memo of Understanding) which, actually, clarifies that one is a 501©3 and the other a state agency, and that a partnership, this absolutely does not make!.  The signatures of each party are shown — but not dated (so this is probably not an executed copy of any MOU, despite its title page):

MOU as shown (Nov. 2016) header.


REGARDING OTHER CENIC or “NATIONAL LAMBDARAIL, LLC” referring to a different kind of “rail” with different kind of cargo (the optic fiber kind) images I may include below — these are obviously another story waiting to be posted (here — it’s already posted elsewhere!), consider these footprints and reminders for now.//LGH 10/9/2017

This excerpt of a Form 990 shows Nat’l LambdaRail as a related entity of CENIC, though not the largest one… || … “NLR” has a major, and dramatic though short history, and was purchased in 2011 by a billionaire from its university (public/private) membership. Won’t fit in a single caption. Stay tuned (or look up yourself!)It is a 12,000 mile optic network and the first one to go transcontinental (See Wiki or Bloomberg.com for more; also IO.com)

just web page header.

CENIC corporation, California Registry of Charitable Trust (search results page)

These sprang from an unusually-named corporate (nonprofit) visitor to the blog, but in general reflect major themes and turning points in U.S. history, i.e., control of access to the internet, and characteristics of the organizations controlling this access.  For the general outline, see my 2017 Table of Contents page, about half-way down, and the bottom section, and the second section of my Oct. 9, 2017 post talking about SIZE STILL MATTERS.  …..

WOW:  See that image on National LambdaRail, LLC, above?  Well: from Wikipedia:

…National LambdaRail was founded in 2003 and in 2004 its national, advanced fiber optic network was completed. In addition to being the first transcontinental, production 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, National LambdaRail was also the first intelligently managed, nationwide peering and transit program focused on research applications.

In 2008, a company named Darkstrand purchased capacity on NLR for commercial use.[1] By the end of the year the Chicago-based company was having trouble raising funding due to the Great Recession.[2] On May 24, 2012 the NLR network operations center services were transferred to the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California.[3] In October 2009 Glenn Ricart was named president and CEO.[4] On September 7, 2010 Ricart announced his resignation.[5]

In November 2011 the control of NLR was purchased from its university membership by a billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for $100M, who indicated his intention to upgrade NLR infrastructure and repurpose portions of it to support an ambitious healthcare project through NantHealth.[6] The upgrade never took place. NLR ceased operations in March 2014.[7][8][9][10]


Bloomberg.com on National Lambda Rail. Bloomberg.com gets its data from S&P Global Marketing, part of S&P Global Group (S&P = Standard & Poors, probably)

http://internet2.edu/news/detail/3695. Not shown — this is a 2003 article. See Wiki for follow up info on NLR.

Please click link (or image to enlarge) and read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_LambdaRail#cite_note-5

At Bloomberg.com, but can’t read more w/o subscription to “Professional Services.”See more at NLR “Wiki” page.


Internet2® started in 1996 and has a timeline. See website for more info.

Internet2® doesn’t post its financials With offices in these states, perhaps they could be found. If “internet2” isn’t an entity, then some membership organization ENTITY does have financials somewhere…

Found at Internet2.edu home page, blog article Sept. 17, 2017.









Separately, which I know from email news alerts and family court reform advocacy groups’ social media sites, there are also pending “current events” in local (California) “family court reform” news making the rounds which I feel urgent to address in new posts.  I have an idea of a better way to present the situation to people new to it (those familiar with it are welcome to watch from the sidelines, or inbetween rallies, re-blogging, or complaints about the overall injustices in the system, judge by judge or jurisdiction by jurisdiction, something I can’t remember the last time I EVER signed onto that approach as halfway sane, or effective, given the disparate resources….).  Some of that way is blended into this otherwise more anecdotal, expressive post about the personal backdrop to our so-called problem-solving courts.

I keep hoping to squeeze enough blogging and activism in between my own ongoing, though more periodic, life events which have been incited by the systematic disruption of my household, work and relationships through the family court and now, probate court, systems and self-important, self-congratulating, and overlapping circles of well-endowed and court-AND social-service-systems-connected “fauna and flora.”

That is, just as in any domestically violent relationship, while there may be at times a “plateau” between incidents (events), during which not a whole lot can be done to push them forward (whether through availability, regulations, or simply personal stamina), and then, responding to moves the individual (here, me) might make to change the status quo or resolve the conflict — there’s an escalation, or other way in which “power-over” is communicated.  This communication may be first made in private, but sooner or later can be gestured towards (by the abuser) should it go public, “we attempted to communicate with [____].”  Communicate in that context is a euphemism.  Something WAS communicated — message of intent to continue the dynamic was sent-and-received — but it’s not what witnesses or outsiders are, for lack of tangible substance, or facts in context, unable to do anything other than assume might be meant were both parties above-board and honest.   [I don’t know how that last sentence in green may read to others, but I do know what I meant.  There are just multiple layers of meaning, and a style of speaking — which I hate! in trying to actually get down to the facts and resolve the situations — which is more theatre than written communication of important truths.  It’s for show, but only those closest to the situation and “in the know” about the overall pattern of the relationship in question, realize how fake it is.

So, again, stamina, or consequences, etc. I don’t know how much longer this can be kept up, either the personal fight, or the writing.  It worries me, and may be prompting to get what’s done already in order, backed up, and on-line.  And it’s no way to live… with constant risk management while resources are drained, year after year.

Moving on….

Blogging Context/Sequence:

Introducing A New Page… Problem-Solving (‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts…,” (for short) has a case-sensitive short-link ending “-7xs” and is now published.

 See next inset block:

[That] page (#28901)  I have named:  How and When Problem-Solving (make that ‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts were Institutionalized and other Consolidate/Coordinate/Standardize/ PRIVATIZE Stories at Courts.CA.Gov 

I was talking on [the] post  —  NAATPN, Inc (2000ff, Total Current Assets, $0) and Caffee, Caffee and Associates PHF, Inc. (Hattiesburg MS, 2003ff, Total Assets $0, Tax Filings Questionable), and others trying to squeeze a California Race-Based Stop-Smoking Network (AATEN) into that recipe. ..  [Published 8/28/2017 evening and as usual may be updated for clarity, basic copyediting, or length (splitting)//LGH]  —— about how the 1996ff (PRWORA-related) events overlapped with my current blogging interest, the 1998 (Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement) events, and similarities (not to mention overlap) of involved networking nonprofits, along with the stories told the public omitting the details of Who’s Who and the gradual, (dare I say “progressive” in today’s political climate, but referencing the generic, not political, meaning of the word?) incremental erosion of local or even state-level accountability to citizens living within those state, as opposed to privatized special-interest nonprofits continually telling us all that the same are protecting against other privatized special-interest FOR profits as though these two were unrelated….

Again, the genealogy (so to speak) of that page, includes ITS originating post, on the NAATPN. So, the sequence is from NAAPTN {already published} ==> Page “How and When Problem-Solving..” ==>Post “Introducing New Page+ ===> before I publish either that Page (or the post introducing it), I sequestered my expressive/reflective section “About Holidays” which you are now reading.

The originating post (“Introducing a New Page…”) will contain some lead-in and concluding material from below for a “footprint,” as is my writing style.

Impediments / Other reasons for the delays:

I was really divided in opinion whether or not to include this personal backdrop narrative, which dilemma accounts in part for the weeks-long delay in publishing. The current life events triggered PTSD even as I’d been getting ready to divulge more of my feelings and more specific events, anecdotal.  That concern/fear about exposing again so much of my own personal experiences (most of which were traumatic and progressively destructive in character over time) this time, I see in hindsight (although knew at the time in my gut) I handled by researching and writing on something else instead (though still relevant in the larger scope), so that now I have at least two more decent posts ready to go… the other part of this concern/fea being, the ongoing issues which remain still unresolved affecting my short- and long-term future both (and, I’m in my sixties…).

The inner dilemma was my instinct was saying, it’s time to speak out again, and then, having to evaluate and assess a related, also instinctual and legitimate but also gut-level fear (or let’s downsize that to “concern”) about what those individuals reported on, some of who are within driving distance, and others of which who are still positioned to do further damage through control of my housing options… While they are not named, reading this blog I’m sure they’ll know they are being referred to (and I’m not 100% anonymous anymore on Family Court Matters). Over time one gets used to both emotions, instincts, and associated mental deliberations on what to do, or not to do, and develops a sense of when to say -“that’s just INORDINATE fear talking” or “that’s your survival instinct talking — put a lid on it!”

The problem with putting a lid on it is, that rarely is a long-term solution for ANY kind of chronic abuse. Certainly not for publicizing it with intent to stop it, which would require help and coordination/ cooperation with others — the one things most abusers want to make SURE their targets cannot do.

What’s more (reason to talk, versus not talk) my personal experience really did occur in the backdrop of development of “collaborative justice / problem-solving courts,” a situation I am hardly alone in.  Telling that story may still help others understand they are not alone in it either. So since I felt another part of the “originating post” may have been more constructive in its review/summary, but this one really should be juxtaposed, I linked them in these painfully explicit page and post previews.  Oh well!


There is a section non-anecdotal, I do show some tax returns, and I do again reference some history on family court reform advocacy groups. Color-coding (Background-colors) help differentiate.

While most of this is anecdotal, experiential, i.e., personal, I do get in a few images (see their captions) and a section in this background-color with messages about the lack of support for continuous reporting on the truth of the federal grants incentives and the private-sector trade associations. It’s marked clearly enough:

[change in background color to light pink signifies a change in subject matter from personal to general…] These incentives, and the prioritizing of fathers over mothers with associated difficulty in defense against post-separation abuse, was felt, sensed, and witnessed as symptoms of the conflict — but the financial incentives behind it weren’t really reported, except in on isolated websites by isolated individuals, I call them “lone wolf bloggers

So, by “lack of support” I’m talking among those who self-report as advocacy groups concerned about the destructive nature of family court proceedings vis a vis (primarily, but not only) child abuse, including but not limited to the kind which involves sexual relations with family members, i.e., incest.

This post belongs in that context, but removes about 5,000 words from it to better highlight a review of certain public agency factors and private nonprofit updates which I feel summarize the situation well.

That said, I still believe that only such a system of justice calling itself “problem-solving” and “collaborative” designed, promoted, and implemented like this one (so to speak) could’ve set in motion, while talking about “practices” and models, an effective MODEL for the PRACTICE of personally destroying individual family members, or sometimes, lines, with the innate capacity to target one or both sides at will, over so many years and under such false premises as intending to REDUCE conflict.  Such as I and many others like me have already experienced and know intimately.


Just an example or so – I decided to look up the Association for Conflict Resolution (for a change) rather than the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“AFCC” for short, not its legal name), which motto still reads, “modestly,” “Improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.”

Actually, there’s some on each:  AFCC and ACR.

Going back to check AFCC’s wording, I see they final updated their website appearance, first time in many years for any significant change and abandoned the false modesty (see page footer — they are now  the “premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict”.  It now looks like this (bigger pictures, less text information available up front on the home page).  So, I’ll post some images and say a few things about both of them, starting with:

New website noticed Sept. 12, 2017, after many years of posting excerpts from the older one…

ACRAnnual Conference.org Does it post ACR financials, home page, or legal domicile, or in any way reference itself as a nonprofit under the IRS code? Of course not.

Bottom description now adds the words “premier” and “the leading” to the self-description: 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, educators and policymakers in the family court arena. Copyright (c) 2017 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Reduce conflict?  Get real!

The system is at conflict with fairness and representative government itself and has already resulting in multi-million-dollar federal grants to (I show in that page again), multi-million-dollar for-profit technical assistance, consulting, evaluation, and other-company-gobbling for-profit groups such as ICF and/or Public Strategies Inc in particular exemplify.

I just quickly reviewed the (originally Washington D.C., now Georgia-based) ACR (Association for Conflict Resolution) tax returns and found discrepancies in: self-descriptions of date founded, handling of membership fees (i.e., categorization of revenues) and as of 2002 tax return, on the portion “Reconciliation of Revenues” a failure to reconcile a significant (over ½-million-dollar) difference in revenues between the audited financial statements and the Form 990. The audited FS was higher.

(Click to read more below)

ACF FY2002 states they were just initializing chapters, regional and external affairs. (See Sched A showing funds date back at least to 1998).

See annotations (click to enlarge): Filename: “ACR (EIN#237251385) FY2002~Pg4 Pt IVA Reconciliatn w Audited FS***~ conflicts (origin date) w FY2015 (see SchedA of Suppt w $2M rec’d in 2000) Excerpts, Patterns (SShot 2017Sep11 TUE)

This Sched A of support for ACR FY2002 implies existence back to at least 1998, but as of FY2015 (latest return found, showing Georgia address and NY legal domicile) they said, founded only in 2001. Same return absent any bona fide website to check current claims of how old the association is.

Between these anomalies and the historic anomalies of the separate entity AFCC with its own dates of origin and implied (but not actual) historic continuity as a bona fide, legitimate, corporate entity and its odd presentation of “Chapters” — mixing a Canadian Province with a foreign Country (Australia) presented in three columns of 7 names each, the rest of which are state names as in, part of the United States of America — which is at conflict with the record provided by the IRS filings — I think updates on both ACR and AFCC @2017 should also be a separate, and I guarantee it will be interesting, post.  FYI, I also noticed that the FY2002 return of ACR showed Arnold Shienvold (of PA) as “immediate past president” yet I couldn’t locate that FY2001 return, although it claimed a 2001 date of origin as late as 2015 (but had received funds as far back as 1998 according to its 2002 filing).  ACR also now checks “yes” on “is this a group return for subordinates?” in 2015, but doesn’t acknowledge any website, where as a dozen years earlier, it had one. Arnold Shienvold is established as an activist AFCC professional (home state Pennsylvania) also and was AFCC President in 2012-2013 , per its current website.

AFCC CHAPTER LIST (viewed 2017) — Their website vs. IRS Database records:

AFCC only claims chapters in 18 states within the USA — less than half. Of those claims probably a far lower percentage are properly registered as nonprofit associations within their states. Heck, AFCC (‘the mother ship” entity) itself isn’t (last I looked) even registered in its “home” state of Wisconsin as the Illinois legal domicile it actually is, and has been for decades… See next two “Form 990” images (one searches on the entity name written out, the other on the acronym “AFCC”)

WI entity is of modest size (repeat search and click org. name to view any return shown, tweak URL to read earlier years’ returns where available). NJ hasn’t filed since 2002 under this name (repeat search by EIN# advised for all entities shown).

I see from a search of just the letters “AFCC” on the same website that Connecticut (not shown as a chapter, above) is nevertheless since 2013 filing (called “initial year”) as a 990PF, one other as a Form 990O, and all the others shown (noticeably less than the chapters referenced above on the home website, referring of course only to those calling the USA home — perhaps they are avoiding use of the name AFCC or written out?)

Five AFCC-named chapters (CT FL MA NY TX) SShot 2017Sep12 @1.43PM

CT AFCC initial Form 990PF with my annotations (2 images):

New EIN#? 462716503 and Entity for CT chapter of AFCC in 2013? SShot 2017-09-12 at 1.46PM

CT AFCC Form 990PF Initial (Mar27 – Dec 31 2013) acknowledges parent org AFCC though it’s a private foundatn at this point ~ SShot 2017-09-12 at 1.47PM

I’m sure I must have posted this information before — CT AFCC is officially (that is, per C.O.N.C.O.R.D. record — not certified record, but as shown there) status DISSOLVED. It reserved the name Feb. 2013, filed March 2013, skipped sending in its annual report for 2014 until May 2015, and then a week later dissolved itself. Meanwhile, the other resource (990finder) I showed says it didn’t even bother to become a PUBLIC charity, but instituted as a private foundation…).

MA AFCC Forms 990EZ 2011 (several images, incl. from IRS Exempt Org. Select Check showing when it filed Form 990-N electronic postcards). (Access MA Corporate Search Database here):

It’s original (2002) articles of incorporation (image shows p1 only, pdf has all 8 pages including how many professionals signed on back then) clearly reflect the AFCC philosophy.  Entity name also has the word “The” in it:

Face page from Commonwealth of Mass. shows The MA chapter of AFCC was formed in 2002. (Where are its earlier Forms 990, or were they all, as they’ve been since 2007 (except a lone double-filing in 2011, see below) simply declarations of no revenues above $25,000, while a board of directors encompassing lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals all likely active in the courts, at the same time? NOTE: the “ID# for this state (sometimes) matches the EIN# 2236882533.”

The Mass Chapter of AFCC Inc Articles of Org (2002 filing, 8pages, viewed from state website 2017Sep12)

Featured conferences that year — what else? about High Conflict Divorce and Parental Alienation, the latter conducted at a Catholic College in Boston area, which didn’t offer (I checked) graduate degrees until the 1970s (when men’s Catholic college were starting to go co-ed; along with of course other Ivy League universities, belatedly) — and didn’t go co-ed (admit men as undergraduates) until 2007 (!!)…

MA AFCC, Form 990EZ FY2011 Program Service Activities reported, predictable topics..

MA AFCC FY2011, Bd of Directors, Image #1 of 2, although the form doesn’t exactly make that clear…

MA AFCC FY2011 Bd of Directors (Image #2 of 2) gives indiv. addresses but deletes titles and academic suffixes, thus concealing who’s a judge, a lawyer, or a “mental health professional.”

From an IRS website, search by this EIN# of which years MA AFCC opted to file only Form 990-Ns (i.e., keep a low profile fiscally).

About Regis College, where MA AFCC chose to run a Parental Alienation conference in 2011 (see above Form 990 image):  it had the capacity to offer graduate degrees (legally, per its charter), being originally, all-women, since 1927, but didn’t get around to it until 1970 when other colleges finally beginning to admit women might (obviously) draw away or deflect future enrollments of women who were not thought to need them:

During the 1970s, when Catholic men’s colleges in the region became co-educational, Regis began re-positioning itself under the leadership of its president, Sister Therese Higgins, ’47, CSJ, PhD, in the higher education rich environment of greater Boston by offering graduate degrees.

[and] … in addition to traditional graduate and undergraduate programs had begun cultivating an intergenerational campus through the Heritage Program continuing education for returning adult students, the Children’s Center, the Academy at Regis, a kindergarten, and the Lifelong Learning Program at Regis College (LLARC) for retired seniors.

Eighty years of a strong tradition brought the College to an historical moment in August 2006 as the Regis Board affirmed a “case for growth” that established a two-school model (School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and School of Nursing, Science, and Health Professions), developed co-education at the undergraduate level, expanded and emphasized the College’s graduate programs and their health care orientation, and promoted curricula to serve the needs of different populations of students of the 21st century.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Regis College has walked a path of transformation. In January 2007, Regis began offering its first doctoral program (the DNP or Doctorate of Nursing Practice), complementing a panoply of master’s programs. In September 2007, Regis College officially and seamlessly made the co-ed transition and opened its doors to men as well as women undergraduates. In 2008, the Regis faculty strengthened the core curriculum at Regis through a major revamping. … [[i.e., it wasn’t that strong to start with???]]

That last phrase seems to be an oblique reference to diversity.  Oddly, RegisCollege.edu (“About/ History” page quoted above) doesn’t say when it began admitting men to, presumably, doctorate degree programs, probably sometimes between 1970 and 2006.

Older versions of the AFCC website (may be available via Internet Archive, and I know I certainly have seen, screen-printed, and probably posted some of this) show chosen “Innovation and Leadership Collaborations” (if I have the subtitle correct — it used to be near the bottom of the History or About page) — reveals a particular interest in collaborating with Jesuit colleges in urban centers, for “dispute resolution centers..” (Marquette University in Milwaukee, Creighton University in Omaha among others).  This section seems to have evaporated in the “revised version” of the home page.  One similarity — no 990s are posted, for the main organization or its chapters.  The page for chapters gives current leadership, and not even a link to chapter websites, or whether their descriptors represent their full legal names as nonprofit associations…    Anyhow….

FOR MORE SIMILAR INFO.  on AFCC Chapters, PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON FAMILY COURT MATTERS (I found this by an EIN# search on the Massachusetts chapter of AFCC.  It shows some of the other nonprofits run by some of its board of directors (including the “overcoming barriers” I referenced on one annotated image above).  My post dates back to Sept. 2, 2011 (i.e., was almost exactly six years ago) and covers other chapters of AFCC to a degree. It may be helpful.. though realize my blogging technical skills back then were, well, less developed (!!).  The Table of Contents currently does NOT go back to 2011, so this might be worth a bookmark:

A BIT about how it’s done — Corporations, Associations, and Changing the Courts through AFCC-based liaisons…. (first published 9/2*/2011*, somewhat reformatted 9/12**/2017**) with case-sensitive, word-press-generated post ending “-QJ”

and/or (See archives for 8/31/2011, and that one I didn/t bother to reformat.  Its title starts “Chasing down charitable registrations” and contains (but not well presented, compared to current blogging) information on KidsTurn San Diego and other registrations.  This represents part of my learning curve where I’d begun to focus more closely on family court scenarios in Pennsylvania, and posting on them while active on a forum there which had at least some initial evidence that another person had been noticing some of the same private organizations operating out of county courthouses.

<> <> <> <> <> Back to my original post topic “ABOUT HOLIDAYS… <> <> <>

The originating post will contain some lead-in and concluding material from below for a “footprint,” as is my writing style.  This one, I was really divided in opinion whether or not to include, which indecision accounts in part for the week-long delay in publishing. That and that I handled my personal dilemma by researching something else (near at hand and still relevant in the larger scope) instead, so that now I have at least two more decent posts ready to go…

While most of this is anecdotal, experiential, i.e., personal, I do get in a few images (see their captions) and a section in this background-color with messages about the lack of support for continuous reporting on the truth of the federal grants incentives and the private-sector trade associations. It’s marked clearly enough:

[change in background color to light pink signifies a change in subject matter from personal to general…] These incentives, and the prioritizing of fathers over mothers with associated difficulty in defense against post-separation abuse, was felt, sensed, and witnessed as symptoms of the conflict — but the financial incentives behind it weren’t really reported, except in on isolated websites by isolated individuals, I call them “lone wolf bloggers

So, by “lack of support” I’m talking among those who self-report as advocacy groups concerned about the destructive nature of family court proceedings as regards (primarily, but not only) child abuse, including but not limited to the kind which involves sexual relations with family members, i.e., incest, and to a degree, battering and domestic violence towards adult partners also.

There was documented AND prosecuted incest — not before we married — on my “ex’s” family line (his younger brother did jail time for it), and I’ve been told from three different sources, in the background of the woman (referenced below) he hooked up with (apparently at a Christian-style twelve-step “Celebrate Recovery!” (in context, an oxymoron) group or perhaps just at a church he was visiting: towards her by adult male relatives (father or uncle) while she was a minor.

And that’s who the family court decision-makers felt it appropriate for my stolen (offspring) to be raised by, although the act of stealing them as it happened itself, was illegal and classified in any other situation, as a felony, that is, criminal, matter — one for lesser violations of, mothers have gone to jail.  These rarely seem to come one event or crime at a time, nor did they in our case history.  To my knowledge, NO one has been prosecuted for any of it, or even fined — but I have been all but personally destroyed for speaking up about it over time.

One real recipe for ongoing conflict is the ongoing attempts to persuade battered women, particularly battered mothers (whether wives or partners) whose attackers were the fathers of the children forced to stand by, to (a) shut up, permanently, about it, and (b) pretend alongside those who originally pretended they didn’t witness what they did, that all’s well in the world — and do this under threat of multiple kinds of extortion — just like the dynamics we’d reported, left, and intended NOT to have dominating, or even participating in the planning of, our future lives, ever again.. In other words, “Do this OR ELSE…”

The “or else” being “we’ll just take (and through continued isolation/prohibition of contact, try to make sure they’re estranged, or at least get the message to shut up, permanently, about the truth of their own past) the your children if you don’t submit more, inappropriately, and for-ever..”



Incidental, personal comments on the passing of one holiday after another in this context):

While I notice them in passing, or use them to make or mark progress on certain personal goals; while they are common ways in our national culture of marking time, organizing people’s, schools’, and businesses’ social, economic (incl. specialty marketing) and work lives, I don’t do “holidays” and haven’t for years.  There was a period after my children were abruptly removed (overnight) from my life — and basically NO more holidays possible with them (although this was progressively made known over the course of a year and multiple court hearings) — during major holidays I would celebrate with others, including remaining work contacts, or sometimes helping or eating meals with the homeless at respite centers, or a near-casual relationships (neighbors, a client) which might classify as “sympathy invitations,” at some point, I just stopped pretending there was some substitute.

One of these “Thanksgivings” I was en route to sharing a holiday dinner in Oakland, California, and ran smack into a row of police vans and at least one TV van with that elevated camera.  It turns out to have been a triple-homicide involving — guess what — family matters, as I recall an Ethiopian family line.  It’s not uncommon knowledge that holidays can be dangerous when there’s DV in the area, or on the periphery.   Might be good to keep in mind as the federal government social science research continues to claim that the building blocks and foundation of our society is “family.”  Speak for yourselves — not always!

Holidays + Domestic Violence: While married, and while our children were still minors after I separated, most holidays were occasions for incidents, threatened incidents, or recovering from actual incidents, sometimes with police involved.  Some of this seems to have been because holidays can be public occasions with other family or people who allegedly knew us; it was “performance time” and any real or even perceived flaw on my part could, and at key times did, lead to physical assault, starting with a key incident I still remember when I was mid-trimester pregnant with our second child. No negative consequences (arrest, report, police called) this time seemed to have sent a message this was now “permissible behavior”; another one within about a MONTH, almost identical in what was done to me — I reported to oby/gyn doctor and a pastor, and later my (by then getting elderly) mother who’d been visiting from out of state in support of my mid-pregnancy surgery, which was to preclude lifting, including during recovery, of the other toddler in the home.

Within a half year, this TYPE of assaults had become routine.  I did not know the law, or my options, or see an option at this time, and was dealing with the shock of it, and ongoing daily maintenance, survival issues. It took FAR too long for anyone to clue me in that domestic violence support groups or advocacy existed, although I was living and working in a progressive, urban area, and frequently on public transportation, or dealing with other parents of small children along with my own.

Before marriage (as an adult), in general as a professional and single (no children yet) classical musician, holidays were marked by positive, creative, and often financially rewarding (connecting, relationship and resume-building, etc.) engagement with, taken as a whole, a socioeconomically and religiously and professionally diverse (from beginners up through professional level) group of people, for fun, for work, for building my resume and a base of referrals for future work — also my way of contributing positively to others’ lives as well.   Unlike my ex, these individuals seemed to understand that such endeavors were good for the soul, and beneficial for growing children, including children who like ours were, were expected one day to have an extremely competitive college competition process, and, given our household income levels, would be needing scholarships to attend.

Not long after separation years later by way of DV protective order with kickout, as before, I was because of this separation, allowed to re-engage in positive relationships, and earn money from many of them, without fear of immediate, or delayed for later punishment retaliation, sabotage, for doing so.  I also regained control of my own finances (bank account) and had the privilege of exercising responsibility to balance income earned with household bills with children’s needs.  During this time, the father was regularly contributing his initial level (set belatedly) of court-ordered child support to just below welfare level.  In other words, had we continued on welfare, it would’ve been about the same.  I had utilized welfare, including food stamps, briefly only (just a few months!) in order to make the transition.  Not knowing that this would trigger the system to come after us, or the impact of this having happened shortly after radical shift in practices involving that system and the related child support system.

So this process of my again working fluently in the profession and supporting them around their school/arts activities also allowed them to see their mother interacting positively with people who showed respect and appreciation for her personally, and for work, which for any children who have witnessed violence towards a parent in the home, is a very big deal  and a change from the humiliation, degradation that goes along with the violence, and it part of the overall intent to control, intimidate, and harm another human being. In other words, dealing daily with domestic violence and its collateral effects (including poverty and unstable work life) was no longer “front and center stage” in my life, and by association, theirs.  HOPE CAME BACK.


During holidays, before marriage, like others I might travel to see one or another family member.  In other words, holidays were fairly normal, and with positive anticipation, preparation, enjoyment and afterwards, dishes and cleanup, and if it was outside the home, travel back home, with those memories.  There was a sense of belonging to the general flow and rhythms of life.

While some of this holiday activity, including SOME music involvement or (my side, who were local) of family involvement initially continued while married and involving our children, my, or at a certain point, even our children’s, music involvement involved significant risk and, eventually, personal danger (especially involvement in the profession. Involvement in a profession = my positive contacts outside the home, and possible income = possible exposure of the violence AT home, and my possible independence, i.e., ability to “leave his behind.”) For abuse to continue, isolation and financial coercion seem (in my experience) to have been required strategy or at least practices. So I, and at times they, our children, were “allowed” to start, then forced to drop out, of involvement once it became clear the situation was working well… whether it was art, gymnastics, dance, or music — the routine repeated.

Or, their and/or my involvement was allowed up to about “performance” time at which point, there would be argument, incident, or more direct sabotage.  It was a constant fight, unless I backed off or quit, or tried a different line of work, arrangement of work schedule, something which (at first I naively thought) wouldn’t trigger such violent retaliation.  However, it didn’t that take long to realize it wasn’t just music itself, but also my working for pay itself that apparently threatened my ex (as much as he wanted the money from it).  

Practically, however, there were the ongoing maintenance of life efforts with our children to work in around the incidents and chaos that came with them.  I had not been raised “welfare” and didn’t consider “single mother on welfare” an option, let alone at the time know about the laws against domestic violence and options under them.

So during these times, and when it came to “holiday participation” — we were mostly living double lives. Even though I was telling all kinds of people (incl. my own family) about the abuse — most of these people didn’t seem to know any more than I did about my legal rights, or about the possibility of getting the guy arrested and see if this might produce a change of attitude about the habit. Police that were called by others, like neighbors who overheard, to our home at times, didn’t arrest either.

When I finally filed for legal intervention, i.e., got out, I re-engaged in work and a  new, nearby community, diligently and was happy to be expanding opportunities for our children as well to be involved (often negotiating work for their tuition or opportunities, etc.).  I felt like and was functioning initially like a normal human being and parent again, although obviously a single parent at the time.


For a while I really believed there had been a community consensus on the positive role of these activities in children’s lives, my role in actually bringing in sustainable income as well, and at least a minimum recognition that ongoing engagement with a human being who was opposed to all the same, and had engaged in patterns of violent (assault and battery) abuse, injury, work interference, and more than a few times, threats to kill, weapons accumulation and “in-your-face” demonstration to me meanwhile, and so forth, should be protected, and at a safe distance while (as I then believed — in hindsight, I’m no longer so sure) some continued visitation (but not to the point of endangerment) with our children should continue.

I also, as it turned out, naively believed that a general consensus regarding this situation** would exist at least in my own family line (which includes more than one lawyer, and all of us and both our parents too, college graduates) that respect for court orders at this time was priority, and that demonstrating respect for them in front of growing children was a healthy and at this time, vital family value of which they would naturally approve. Why would I believe anything different, having had no basis so far not to?

  • **The situation of my having filed for domestic violence restraining order with kick-out, and the court regulating by court order, matters of visitation and exchange AND conditions of communication between parents under the restraining order.


The civil, not criminal (a mistake, in hindsight) protective order originally started out weak, not clear enough, and as written basically unenforceable until I moved out of the original rental home:  he was granted permission to keep access to garage and driveway, and back yard, under the premise that he was throughout the primary breadwinner.  ONLY after we did finally move a moderate distance (less than 20 miles) away, continuing the court-ordered visitation, did I have a sense of enough safety, privacy and  breathing space to focus on accelerate the healing/rebuilding (work especially) process. That move didn’t happen for a full year and a half, effectively shorting the time of protection by about half.

Through networking and reading on-line, I’ve heard over the years of women whose protection was even less than mine originally, or whose orders were stripped off even faster.  This communicates to all involved, especially those subject to them, often but no longer always men and fathers, they weren’t that important to start with, with negative consequences for the law-abiding, the protected parties, and for society.  


When the protective court order then came off, not long afterward (on my first attempt to renew at the time), it immediately had negative impact on my work and the (then still young) children’s education and engagement with other professionals in the arts or enrichment activities common in the area, and essential to distinguishing themselves from other academically advanced college applicants (a category they were already in), the aggression and harassments resumed, just about on a weekly basis (as often as the children visited their father — each exchange became another potential opportunity, with buildup, incident, and aftermath just as when we were living together — only without the direct physical assaults which (by now had been figured out) might get him arrested.

Others, apparently starting with and including but not limited to adult, married siblings from my side of the family, were encouraged to and did participate in ongoing harassments if not in person, through written and electronic (telephone/email) communications, so that now instead of facing ONE personal and physically dangerous, armed terrorist in the home while raising children and, periodically, maintaining employment outside or extremely part-time, inside the home, as to communications and during visitation exchanges,, I was instead facing essentially a growing “gang” of people, all with apparently time on their hands (i.e., like my ex, not full-time employed) when I had less and less time on my own as a result of dealing with the same.

Timeframe I’m referring to: during the first decade of the 21st century.  Meanwhile, in our area and others across the country under President George W. Bush, concepts like “Family Court Justice Centers” were being sponsored and promoted as the “One-Stop-Justice-Shop” model, but still failing to deliver the goods when “the goods” were already involved in family — or was it “conciliation?” — court litigation and the protective order had already been retracted after three short years.

During this time frame (post-restraining order, pre-abduction), repeated police/law enforcement involvement became necessary around the simple act of forcibly retrieving children from an overnight visitation — and the trauma associated with not only the incidents, but also awareness of their acceleration and escalation (in type and frequency) increased.

As when I’d been married with very young children, I witnessed the “economic footprint” it was so important for me to re-establish being erased before my eyes, progressively — and all this was occurring, BEFORE people and groups empathizing with this on-line (I.e., “protective parent” organizations in my state) had grudgingly revealed that such things called “marriage/fatherhood promotion” and federal incentives to tweak the custody court OUTCOMES using alternate programming these grants supported, existed.

[change in background color to light pink signifies a change in subject matter from personal to general…]
These incentives, and the prioritizing of fathers over mothers with associated difficulty in defense against post-separation abuse, was felt, sensed, and witnessed as symptoms of the conflict — but the financial incentives behind it weren’t really reported, except in on isolated websites by isolated individuals, I call them “lone wolf bloggers”  such as (Liz Richards NAFCJ.net in Anandale, Virginia; a Northern California woman who reported the existence of an alternate section of family “conciliation” law (Cindy Ross, California Director of “National Association for Family Court Justice,” see next two images and link) around 2002/2003…And other individuals, men and women both in Los Angeles area; and at least as to the child support portion, John Silva w/ then-anti-trust attorney Richard Fine, in the Los Angeles area).
Karen Anderson (involved with “CPPA,” California Protective Parents Association)  but as to her 1999 letter to the California Judicial Council, which I have posted under (as I recall) “A Different Kind of Attention” or other “sticky” post on this blog) reported on the access and visitation grants — but continued working alongside as presenter and collaborator with CPPA in the “BMCC” conferences which said nothing much about it, at least until around 2011, 2012, by which time I’d been blogging on this for two years, and also to my awareness in 2011/2012 Anne Stevenson (see Vital Links on sidebar, and some of my Spring 2011 posts also, featuring Connecticut) working out of, I believe at the time, Massachusetts or at least the NorthEastern part of the country, was getting some articles on these matters published in MSM on-line places such as The Washington Times, or Huffington Post, and generating with others significant parent protests of judicial corruption in Connecticut — featuring at least one high-profile case involving a young boy and a mother extorted through supervised visitation; the GAL involved later was confirmed as a judge over protests.  Ms. Stevenson has investigative journalist “chops” and was going after contracts and incorporation filings (or lack thereof) and posting this; for a while I felt I finally had some company in this type of ongoing exposure.

Another woman in Pennsylvania (Doreen Ludwig) for years also had a website up acknowledging the federal grants — but apparently continuing to work alongside those who refused to discuss it, including those at BMCC, i.e., tolerating the collective censorship in exchange for, possibly social moral support (or reasons I do not personally know).  Now, I learned within the last year or so, two of the same (Leonore Rosenberg, representing the DV field, and Kathleen Russell of Center for Judicial Excellence representing — people who may know her will probably validate — Kathleen Russell’s interests — are said to be feeding Doreen information on the grants for publication in a (self-published?) book on the same.Parallel and simultaneous with these were on-line presence (and actively seeking distressed mothers through group email forums) and word of mouth, were the “Broken Courts Crowd” of people and organizations unified around, in part, NOT telling all they knew about the federal grants’ and private trade association involvements in the problems mothers were having post-domestic violence in the family courts.  Their collective censorship and (recently) partial, belated, and I have to say, reluctant disgorgement of some of the truth on these issues compounds the confusion where exposing the grants stream and social policy rhetoric would clarify.

[NOTE:  This information is searchable using the above information on-line, it’s something I’ve tracked with interest as puzzling, both earlier and since I became aware in fall 2015 that CPPA had circulated through the periodic newsletters a “white paper” on fatherhood funding… and asking people to send it to their Congresspeople.  I went through it with a “fine-toothed comb” (complicated because it was so poorly organized…) and communicated some privately on the situation, but have not (yet) posted any write-up.  At the time, in my defense for not doing so, I was being forced out of my own home and stable rental…]

As testimony of previous exposure of this TYPE of information: Two images upcoming are from an April 2011 reposting at “ABatteredMother.WordPress.com” of Part 2 of a 2003 article by Cindy Ross (then director of NAFCJ California), out-ing the grants, and AFCC, and truthfully describing what mothers and their children were going through even just within the first decade of passing of 1996 PRWORA, in retaliation for attempts to separate from abuse WITH their children and lives intact, and attempting to even move forward to “restored…”  It’s called “Family Court Corruption: Federally Funded Misogyny and Pedophile Protection.”

Several of these “lone wolf” bloggers (I include myself) “nailed” (accurately identified) major elements to institutionalized corruption, including getting the public to fund the bribes, altering the impact of existing criminal laws through diversion, privatization of government, and in particular rolling back the perceived dangers of feminism and women’s rights.  AND overall, they were met with a resounding, enthusiastic DISMISSAL by others with financial backing to talk about correct vs. incorrect psychological theories instead, and recommend to solve the problem, similar solutions — assign technical assistance and trainer consultants, but better ones.  Meanwhile, another generation grew up “retarded” on critical information while the infrastructures were further established and solidified into practice, and eventually entire professions.   With the return to previous background-color (light blue) I am returning to personal, anecdotal (my experience) expressive narrative, not the larger situation.  The context is still at least as prompted to write about it today, experience of holidays…

Look at the two different dates: Posted April 2011, written Feb. 2003!! I am reposting it (again) now in Sept. 2017 If you only read the first sentence of each paragraph, that’s an improvement upon the general information on-line about custody issues these days, STILL (well over a dozen years later…)

AFCC was originally established in California to enact Conciliation Court Law…” (I’d agree with this, although not the only purpose behind AFCC). Initially in California (and outside it) AFCC pushed for court-ordered mediation…Decades later, a chapter was established in Florida to get “Parenting Coordination” passed into law. At another time, it seems that in Connecticut, AFCC chapter presence (though not legitimate as a corporation, as was exposed in 2011 and publicized) played a part probably in getting a statewide “high-conflict court” established. Overall, the infrastructure and LACK of financial accountability of the organization helped facilitate the ABILITY to push whatever was wanted, including “problem-solving courts” and prioritizing behavioral modification programming over prosecuting criminal activity by at least male parents. The pattern includes public/private partnerships + public funds AND private funds to both partners.













{{Continuing the context from this sentence, above…”

During this time frame (post-restraining order, pre-abduction), repeated police/law enforcement involvement became necessary around the simple act of forcibly retrieving children from an overnight visitation — and the trauma associated with not only the incidents, but also awareness of their acceleration and escalation (in type and frequency) increased.”}}

I.e., if I couldn’t get the children back on a given weekend, yet they still had to attend school in my neighborhood the next morning — I would have to call police.

At times  this included particularly holiday weekends, sometimes involving concert participation on my part, which was part of my work life, including networking for additional work after satisfactory performance at existing jobs, gigs, performances, or with clients (such as students or ensemble work).  My ex through ongoing contact (encouraged by the original protective order and family courts in general) was aware of my music work, and despite attempts to keep this private, often concert dates.  For a while I was actually a church musician, so it wasn’t too hard to realize that these coincided with the major holidays. In other words, through logic or at times it seemed an uncanny awareness (or perhaps this was just elicited from our children on visitation) of when I was most vulnerable to interference — and those times were targeted for disruptions, arguments, etc.

Eventually, the word got out post-separation as it had become known in the same circles during the abusive marriage, that, my qualifications aside, and willingness on both my part and the client / employer / often parents of children taking music lessons’ parts that I should indeed work for them, for agreed upon fees, that I could not be relied on to show up in one piece emotionally, immediately after a major incident involving (a) the drop-off or pickup of our children on court-ordered visitation days AND (b) because of the resistance to simply complying with this routine, involvement of law enforcement.  In addition, with no more restraining order in place, my under-employed (and it doesn’t appear, looking very hard for work) ex would be showing up, with or without new girlfriend, on the premises, or parked a half block away staking out the house.

Eventually (after two years of this) I managed to get another temporary restraining order and a hearing was set for it.

At that hearing, NO legal assistance was available from any advocacy group (including the same group which had helped me file the original order).  Allegedly they didn’t have the staff. I since then looked up the history of the nonprofit, its incorporation into the family justice center, and various mergers, as well as the pattern of involvements with father-friendly programming, and realize this likely wasn’t true.  It simply wasn’t policy after the first “triage” to deal with what was going on in the family courts post-retraining order expiration.

To this day, I believe that if the original years had been FIVE, not THREE, I might have made it fully to financial independence from any need for child support, which (as it turns out, socially) provided leverage for him — not me — to get pro bono help in filing for something he didn’t even really want — (a) divorce and (b) full physical and legal custody of the children in the first place, and from there, responsibility for them.
After their father with help from his girlfriend and “aiding and abetting” by the local law enforcement whom I’d had to resort to AFTER his (not my!) threats to kidnap had been documented (repeatedly, to me, and on the record at least a few times) our (sic) children, stole the children, holding them truant illegally from school and in blatant violation of an existing court order, without any proof of the allegations he filed at the time as justification, the school year (it happened at another major life transition, the beginning or end of another school year for our children) continued — only me with an empty house, having been hauled back into court simply in an effort to regain contact with the daughters who, days previously, had lived with me, and my work life was supposed to magically re-arrange itself around the same.

As the weeks stretched into months, and to years, another “theme” which emerged was that — unlike my practice while the children lived with me, as their mother with full physical custody — those involved in the parental interference / pre-emptive kidnapping, and holding children truant for weeks from school on the (known by ALL adults involved, and our now adolescent children, to be false) allegation that they weren’t enrolled in school at the time,  i.e., that I was the criminal and endangering parent in that mix — with each and nearly EVERY subsequent holiday, I at first hoped for some court-order compliance, and a chance to see my children, then gradually realized this was not going to happen.

On at least a few extended Winter (“Christmas/New Year’s/Kwanzaa, whatever you wish to call it) and Spring school breaks They were “MIA,” and several times, belatedly, I discovered (not through being informed by that household, but other sources) that they had been driven and/or flown out of the state, and more than a few times, out of the country rather than be allowed to see their mother as per existing court order (which clearly stated alternation of major holidays, and a few other times, such as Mothers’ Day on my part, Fathers’ Day on  his) I might continue having some relationship with the children I’d, up to that day, been raising, with hopes and plans for their eventual access to college scholarships, as both were academically and with other identified long-suits in non-academic areas, more than qualified for and which we, due to our income levels, also both qualified for them to receive.

I also learned, being their biological mother and entitled to through court orders that law enforcement deliberately refused (when the custody switched) to enforce, and piecemeal, that for some of those times, there was NEITHER father nor girlfriend involved in the transportation, but instead one of my own family members (!), another time, it was a church trip.  Naturally, churches “didn’t want to get involved” in custody matters — but they were clearly not above helping one side violate existing court orders involving their attending “members,” as happened here.

I also learned, belatedly, but had it in writing and later confirmed from different individuals, that not that long after obtaining full control of both our children, and bringing his current (as small as they were — set below welfare level) child support payments to an IMMEDIATE stop, and obligation on the about $15,000 arrears to a complete, retroactive one year to time of abduction, that “Dad” had been outed or otherwise abandoned the household, and ALL involved reasonably aware of this** had kept it from me, and apparently, the courts (if not also their school), and we are talking a religious household, so add to that, the local church and pastors.  They knew that this non-relative, ex-girlfriend was hauling around, not being a legal guardian, another woman’s children, and did not report it, or get involved in attempting to contact me.

(**ex-girlfriend, who finally admitted in writing to me, he’d abandoned them the year before; on being confronted with this, he said she threw him out — and then attempted to resume OUR relationship, claiming me as his “wife” a.k.a. stalking…), father, and from all I can tell, my late-middle-aged adult sibling and spouse, who had collectively made this cause their by then post-retirement (?) life purpose, to ensure my functionality as a mother, working professional with a base of clients, or as adult daughter to our (at that point still alive) elderly mother, was compromised, if not simply cut off…with such parental abandonment (let alone child-stealing/kidnapping, stalking, terroristic threats to kill and injure previously, and injury resulting in serious physical damage reflected in our marriage itself) was also classified as a felony under California law.  

In this case, it left our children (one of them still a minor) then in high school having apparently gone through most of high school in the care of a non-relative, non-guardian, disgruntled ex-girlfriend of their father.  What’s the “LOVE and CONCERN” for our children got to do with any of that? 

Likewise, what’s ANY PUBLIC BENEFIT got to do with the influences and forces that facilitated this worldview and events, that promoted such a gender-preferential for “evening out” the alleged maternal preference social policy while targeting the application of this world view onto the family court (ruling on custody, divorce, visitation/parenting, child support) arena under state jurisdiction, but as influenced by federal grants under the Social Security Act of 1934 (radically revised in 1996 under PRWORA, and repeatedly in differing versions since then)??

From this perspective, it more closely resembles government-legitimized RICO and facilitation of money-laundering through conveniently losing track of the money trail as it diverges into rivulets of nonprofits, and as promoted, some or several of them, from university centers named after the great causes.  Which may be where my personal anecdotal account, which I fully realize readers (mostly, not including those directly involved) are not in a position to discredit or believe, leads me to focus on the things we CAN examine more directly as indicators of which underlying values are held dear, and which NOT-so dear, to those involved.

Please return to either the post, or the page it’s introducing to better understand how “BS” like this was built into a system designed to allow it to happen, generation after generation……

Introducing A New Page, How and When Problem-Solving (make that ‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts were Institutionalized and other Consolidate/Coordinate/Standardize/PRIVATIZE Stories at Courts.CA.Gov. AND Some of the Backdrop (Personal Experience of Turn-of-Century Social Policy towards Women Reporting Abuse and Their Efforts to Exit It… ).”

OR, this is the page itself. I consider both hard work, and good work, on the theme and organizations involved. I also don’t know who else is doing this kind of reporting on such organizations and the potential downsides of their constant presence in our national culture, a sort of “out-in-the-open IF you know where to look” scaffolding which is purported to support — and not support workers who can dismantle — existing law, jurisdiction (substantive or geographic), principles and the rule of law.

This page (#28901)  I have named:  How and When Problem-Solving (make that ‘Collaborative Justice’) Courts were Institutionalized and other Consolidate/Coordinate/Standardize/ PRIVATIZE Stories at Courts.CA.Gov  (Case-sensitive short-link ends “-7w9”; page was started 8/29/2017, published 9/18).  The post introducing it is already published (mid-September) and has been post-publication updated  and expanded…)

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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

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