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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Posts Tagged ‘Education

Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline Pre-Thanksgiving 2017, Yet I See I’d Outlined the Same Basics One Year Ago (Nov. 2016) [Published 11/21/2017].

with one comment

Title:Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline, Pre-Thanksgiving 2017 (looking back, looking forward…), Yet I See I’d Outlined Nearly the Same Basics One Year Ago (Nov. 2016) [Published 11/21/2017]. (case-sensitive short-link ends “-7ZH”).  Published initially with tags; about 9,500 words including the “navigation” section with its outline of subtitles near the top, which I felt would help process the many images and references found in the middle. And an extended section on previously-blogged JPA (multi-state, i.e., “regional” government entity) WestEd, which now has a revamped website (which still neglects to post its financials and mis-states its date of origin by 30 years…).

On the bottom of this post I’ve been updating the status of the referenced posts while publishing them, one by one over the past ten days (Nov. 22 – Dec. 1: see post archives for November 2017 for dates).  Once published each post is then re-viewed, clarified, sometimes extending it, sometimes just correcting layout.  I’m posting more frequently now, but it’s still an intense process which ALWAYS uncovers more information to blog, OFTEN further illuminates my own understanding of some situations (typically, organizations placed in the intersection between public and private — and the board members’ ownership of, or investment in, subcontracting organizations) I may have been aware of for years, which I look forward to explaining as I can. Maintaining the anchor (mental commitment) to those already in draft, shown below, sometimes provides conflicting currents as a writer.  I write best typically while most focused on the present research in the overarching context of my own learning curve and desire to communicate clearly what I am seeing and hearing, and watching continue to evolve over the years.  //LGH, Dec. 1, 2017.

Just in case, Title Terminology:  “In the Pipeline” is a common phrase (school-to-prison pipeline, cradle-to-career-pipeline), but here’s how I use it referring instead just to posts.

Posts in the pipeline or “spin-off posts” are portions of some writing in process* with a blog “street address” but still in draft status, felt to be significant enough for more attention under their own titles. *Typically they come up as I am writing some post, and are related but I feel they may seem extraneous to a reader covering the subject matter for the first time. Other times, less often, I start them from scratch on their own post when I realize the topic should be handled before it almost writes itself on some other project I want published sooner.

Sometimes these off-ramped finds, like my  more consistently noticing the presence of independent subcontractors as  major part of some charities, are a key which puts the larger picture together, i.e., opens double-wide doors to understanding.  Examples:  Bridgespan as a subcontractor (and its relationship to “Bain”); or, further back in its  corporate existence (and in my blog’s history), NCCD (National Council on Crime & Delinquency) as an Oakland, California-based subcontractor taking government grants from around the world, or I should say, around the “Commonwealth Nations” and around the USA, on a “Children’s Rights, Inc.” charity based in New York.

There is a recent example also on these blogs, too, although it’s not as a subcontractor of some charity, but a listed partner among others in on certain website offering multi-state filings for charities.  One of the listed partners was bought out within six years of its creation, leading to my better understanding of a (different) company historically significant to the practice of corporate law in the United States (!), and as we have (already) turned the century into the digital age and the professionalization of services to and “software AS a service” companies to the philanthropic / nonprofit sector.

Typically also posts in the pipeline were nearly complete before I moved them under their own titles, with “nearly” still meaning “not yet..” in blog administrator terms.  Parallels to baking bread, or, (to borrow from my more familiar, experiential points of reference), preparing and rehearsing a musical ensemble for a concert, may help explain a sense when 90% “done” isn’t good enough. It’s not about complete perfection, it’s about having enough vital components to complete the course and “deliver the goods” for better understanding of the evolving”playing field” in which this blog became necessary.

About This Post:

This post is shorter than most.  It serves a review and blog administrative function for my use, but  I’m publishing it in the belief it will also help readers see the FamilyCourtMatters blog continuity and understand that while it may seem like widely disparate groups I’m investigating and reporting on, in fact the investigations and reports together circle around some core, basic themes.  [This thought continued below the next “Navigation” section]

Navigation:  Blog sections, by Subtitle.  It seems there are six main sections.  Any section may contain text in a variety of formats, and/or images.  I only posted one table of Forms 990 (for a change!). The longer Sections 2 and 5, especially, set up the Posts in the Pipeline as being along the same concepts but just applied to different organizations.  There is overlap of type, and (future posts will show) also overlap of entities and personnel involved — hardly surprising because I’m looking at some of the more powerful foundations around, and major causes with public policy in transition…There is also some overlap of material below between some of the sections.

I don’t want us to lose sight of what some of these influential groups have themselves lost sight of — the requirement of holding to some real ethics, reason, and at least an attempt to keep their collaborating colleagues honest, instead of just “going for the jugular” on some groups which might be in competition for the same audiences.  Which I say happened in the recent prosecution of a sham (fake) cancer charities.  Not that they weren’t sham (I read — seems like they certainly were) — but they ALSO were in competition with the tobacco mega-fund money coursing triumphantly through government and the philanthropic sectors both, and often in partnership.

That last comment will make more sense in the context of reading up on “NAAG” and “NASCO” (see Outline here):

  1. About This Post (you’re in it…)
  2. Concentric Circles of Investigation, Common Themes – To Review 
    1. WestEd (MIA financials on both old and new websites; see prior posts on this).
    2. AISR at Brown and Annenberg Foundation-Related
    3. NGA
    4. NAAG, NASCO (current project and research themes)
    5. Multi-million-dollar MIA grants (overlaps with some of the above and below groups)
    6. Multi-million-dollar Grants not MIA, but it sure seems the projects are, and don’t look remotely that classy when parts of them show up, either…
    7. NCALP at Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) (transformed into) Family & Youth Law Center / and its IPV Collaborative personally assisting David Mandel’s career path through curricula marketing.
      1. Basic conclusion to the “Concentric Circles / Review” section:  “The more you look, the more of such situations surface.  How much is acceptable? It is really something which is subject to being controlled and monitored — or not?”
  3. “The Same Basics One Year Ago, ” (brief, only one image)
  4. More Recent Discoveries (contents include BizFilings, Guidestar, short section — but Guidestar info cont’d in another section)
  5. Brief Recap of the recent Nov. 18 post and Nov. 11 page significance, and more images from “Guidestar, Inc.” (formerly “Philanthropic Research, Inc.”) and a bit on (Paul) Newman’s Own Foundation, Inc. (versions 1 & 2, based in Connecticut), also referenced as involved, or to be involved, in the MRFP and Single Portal Initiative… 
    1. Contains narrative and many images, plus a Form 990 table for GuideStar USA, Inc.
    2. Summarizes the most recent post and page, obviously.
  6. IN GENERAL (barely a section, but it is a heading)
  7. Six Posts (at least) in the Pipeline, Pre-Thanksgiving 2017 (looking back, looking forward…)
    1. In image format (not interactive)
    2. In texts (bulleted, with titles, links and some surrounding descriptions from the context where they were first referenced).

As you can see above, the actual list of posts is on the bottom in two formats:  Images (from my WordPress Admin site showing titles of post started in November and still in draft) and, for later convenience, text & titles with active links.  And some surrounding abstracts or reminders of the context.  And it’s at the bottom of the post.  FYI there were nine ten (10) in all, not six (6).  One more showed up which hadn’t been imaged (on the historic basis of “Sovereignty” concept, from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).*

*That is, after all, a big question (despite it having become a “dirty word” and negative- or positive-only values-laden descriptor for certain people with certain beliefs in the USA — the question in any form of government is “Who’s the boss?” (legally, and effectively/administratively which will often show up economically).  So, national “sovereignty” as a concept has origins in contrast to, it seems the Holy Roman Empire.  Worth thinking about in the historic sense. This post just provides some resources (links) for further reading.

An image looks like this (the example only has one title showing, though).

#3 of 3 (My Blog Posts Started Nov. 2017 in Draft, by when last modified (not originated). This one more of a study project from recent headlines on Puerto Rico debt and hurricane recovery 2017, transferable info.

A title with link looks just like what you see at the top, or will see if you scroll to the bottom of this post, below the images, to see those in the pipeline listed in bullet format, with some nearby fine-print summaries for most of them.  Why?  Because with enough memory pegs for the months or even possibly years of writing ahead (further down the FamilyCourtMatters road), I expect my head may be buried either deeper into this theme, or into a related one. I sometimes even dream about material I am currently working; it gets under one’s skin…Once it’s published, a previous multi-post project is buried less deeply in my psyche (so to speak), but is better available for mental recall when there’s enough surrounding context.  As with advertising, to a degree also with teaching (and learning): repetition helps comprehension, but better that the repetition is also tied to context.

…These concentric or overlapping circles are just getting wider and further back in time, and the drill-downs on the available financials (or searches when they are not available) deeper.  I am also considering more parts of a typical Form 990 when I do look, and more internal comparisons and looking more consistently at change over time (i.e., looking for earlier filings). So while some may wonder what “Education” or “Big Tobacco” have to do, really, with “Family Courts” or “Domestic Violence Prevention,” as a whole, they are dealing with and justified on the basis of financial matters, and involve similar vehicles and organizing tactics (networking) over time in pursuit if any national or international cause.

Developing overwhelming weight and influence (to stack the odds towards success) in pursuit of a privately chosen cause (public policy, message, results or outcomes) also regularly shows ongoing symptoms, often showing up after the fact or after the infrastructure is already entrenched with matters of control, secrecy, of sequestering of total government entity (collective) AND total corporate (collective, when it comes to the networks) size of assets and investments (income producing, whether through dividends and interest as held, or when sold) from public awareness, and on this basis, demanding more and more compliance, conformity, and personal concessions from the population as a whole.

Many aspects of this resemble tactics of batterers and coercive control when at the individual level which we might now simply call “abuse” or “domestic violence.” It’s the behavior of terrorist mentality, not of a personal subjection to law, and deep respect for others of differing economic, social, racial/ethnic, citizenship OR status.  Or of a different gender. Talk to women or, I’ll bet also men, who have been held captive to this kind of intimate or family control, coercion, and long-term intimidation, not to commonly-accepted laws, standards, or with regard to rights — but to simply what the abusers want.   The difference is just of scale and primary venue, and the bystander audiences addressed.  What I’m talking about here is when the bystander audiences are the entire country not “in on it,” and international participants, too.

Concentric Circles of Investigation, Common Themes – To Review

… … …To review, remember the “where’s your tax return?” status of certain major-cause-collaborating, well-financed (and public, private, or public-private in concert) groups I’ve blogged on? such as (just a few examples…):

  • WestEd  (I notice the website has been, it seems, completely reformatted since I reported on this.  A horizontal timeline slideshow now exists.  While this probably relates to a 50th Anniversary (since 1966), I note there are STILL no Financials (CAFRs — it being a JPA, a government, not private, entity which crosses state borders, though domiciled in California), despite posting an impressive list by type of “Our Clients and Funders” (no amounts or years, and not distinguishing “clients” from “funders.”  It’s just a single page which links to nothing else).  So are the pages within the timeline, that I saw so far.
  • AISR (The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown) + CES (Coalition of Essential Schools) network, the Ted & Nancy Sizer et al.  Plenty posted before, enough said for now!
    • Except I recall some MIA grants involving a Chicago Entity, and later CPS Schools Chief being ousted for fraud in grants administration.  (See posts in below images)
    • Nearby “Broad Institute | Academy | Center | Foundation (versions 1 versions 2) possibly related.  Had to do with training for urban school system supervisors.
    • And, one post title with active link, and all those posts (in image form with dates published dates):

My Annenberg-related posts published so far; The names speak loudly. Click image to enlarge and see. Only one has tabs (and not all shown on this image)

An Annenberg-related FamilyCourtMatters post + publication date (but no tags), title also shown with link nearby (Nov. 21, 2017 new post)

Challenging the Annenbergs’ Public Education Challenge Grants, Still Searching for AISR@Brown as a Form 990 filer, Still Scrutinizing Why We Accept that Privately Controlled, Synched, Billion-Dollar, Tax-Exempt Foundations Care about the Public as Much as About Controlling Their Collective Assets (and the Public, Lest We Start Demanding a Better Look at the Books!) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6yC”

The first several paragraphs here overlap from the originating post, before I “get into it,” scrutinizing some of the Forms 990PF and relationships between various Annenberg projects and their main foundation. *** [see below next para. and link]

As previously explained (on the last post, above), this is a large family foundation (well, at least one) whose primary wealth came from ownership of publications/media field — the sale of “Triangle Publications,” by a second-generation business success, Walter H. Annenberg.

  • The NGA (National Governors’ Association) which controls its foundation (501©3) thereby allowing direct corporate “Fellows” concentration, with privileged access, to its conferences that normal citizens cannot attend (i.e., Pay-Us-To-Play in the “major leagues,” but for which no financials are shown, that I can see (view tax returns of the supporting “NGA Center for Best Practices” for more details).  The ‘NGA” is one of the “Big Seven” associations coordinating efforts before the Congress on their own behalf.  [no reminder text or images provided here; it’s more distant blog history…]
  • …and now, more recently, I see the NAAG (National Association of Attorneys General) and NASCO (National Association of State Charity Officials), the NAAG’s “Mission Foundation” (formed in 2002? with funds from MSA Tobacco Settlement), and I haven’t yet explored in depth, but there are plenty of visuals showing a “NAGTRI” (Training and Research Institute) said to have been created in 2007 (logo below, accessible through main NAAG.org website).  Then again, it’s hard to explore what one can’t even access yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Credentialing and Schooling Psychologists (speaking of MN and the Grazzini-Rucki case)

with one comment

[Section on Schools of Professional Psychology likely to be moved to a separate post.  It was added post-publication anyhow.. Until then, the post is about 11,000 words.  After it’s removed, closer to 8,000 words //LGH]

Fascinating (I think!) information on the matter of private, for-profit education as a major, flourishing form of investment, and the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University as part of this larger trend.

I have sustained an ongoing interest in the “Schools of Professional Psychology” ever since learning who was pushing for them in the late 1960s, in my state, and why.  (“Psychologists need doctorates too if they’re going to continue getting some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. — and proper income…ideally, like doctors get….” There seems to be a perpetual chip on the shoulder of too many in the field.. a professional trait…).  There seem parallels between the Argosy University situation and the Alliant International University (with California campuses, and having absorbed the California School of Professional Psychology, while also hosting a “non-entity” called “IVAT” (Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma) associated with Robert Geffner’s “FVSAI” (Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute, a small nonprofit with Texas jurisdiction & California address).


Schools of Professional Psychology tend to prepare people as marriage/family therapists and custody evaluators, among other future career paths.  This gets interesting when the schools come in different religious types.  For example, there’s the Christian/religious/theological style:

Since 1965:  Fuller Seminary: School of Psychology:

Pioneering Integration and Excellence in Teaching, Training, and Research

Since 1965, Fuller’s School of Psychology has been creating a pioneer program integrating evangelical Christian faith and psychology. By placing strong theological study in the heart of psychology, you will become clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and educators who are prepared to serve with integrated professionalism and practice.

The “History” page gives the inspiration and original financial backing information:

In 1961, psychologist John G. Finch delivered a series of lectures at Fuller Seminary on the theological and psychological dimensions of humankind. The vision he articulated, one that integrated the Christian faith with the field of psychology, sparked the idea for a School of Psychology at Fuller. With generous financial support from C. Davis and Annette Weyerhaeuser, further study and planning followed and, in 1964, the opening of the Pasadena Community Counseling Center initiated the first phase of the new program
(This being the 1960s, a class photo shows next, with rows of men in suits and ONE woman):

John G. Finch in the 1980s and again in the 1990s was accused of sexual improprieties with his clients, some of them married women.  Seattle Times (4/27/1992, “Communities”) article described in detail, including some incidents that began, it was claimed, as early as 1965 — about the time he was “inspiring” Fuller to get the School of Psychology started.  (Is this how some therapists who groom patients for sex get their stables of partners established? Is it why they went into the field? With the religious element, that’s not just professional, but professional and spiritual abuse.  “Caveat emptor.”

A (married) woman claimed to have met him at a Christian camp.  Separately (not in this article), a married man was in therapy with Finch while Finch, unknown to him, was having sex with the man’s wife, which she confessed to years later, but Finch, naturally, deflected accusations of having a romantic relationship with his patient’s wife.  The man then sued as “John Doe” for malpractice and outrage…

If the goal behind raising up more Christian psychologists and marriage therapists is indeed evangelizing and transforming the world through faith, perhaps a better means might be for the flocks of sheep to to quit the passive, “see-nothing-do-nothing” sheeplike behavior and remember they are human beings — and hold leadership accountable.  For leadership, we’d rather see a sermon than hear one,  and more might be open to the sermons if they weren’t seeing this type of behavior coming from the sermonizers.  In this case, it was primarily the women who continued reporting over the years and came forward, as I recall.

A prominent Pierce County psychologist has been charged by the state with violating his code of ethics by allegedly having sex with his clients, engaging in nude therapy and violating their confidences.

It is one of the most egregious cases ever taken to the board, say officials with the state Examining Board of Psychology, where the charges were filed last month. The board continues to receive complaints about the psychologist, who has been licensed in the state since 1965.

The charges, based on claims by six patients, say Gig Harbor therapist John Finch violated his code of ethics by having sex with clients, shared their private conversations with others and fostered their dependence on him.   Sex between patients and therapists is forbidden under state ethics law but is not a criminal offense. ….

Complaints were made against Finch 10 years ago, but were dropped by the state Department of Licensing – which at the time had jurisdiction over the licensing of psychologists – because the complainants were not deemed credible. But investigators remained suspicious.

“I believe Dr. Finch practices in a questionable and controversial manner,” said Ruth Palnick, who investigated the charges for the Department of Licensing in 1982, in documents filed at the time. “John Finch bears watching, but I really don’t feel we would get far with these witnesses.”

The psychology board has received 11 complaints against Finch, beginning in 1990, six of which are included in the statement of charges. They paint a portrait of a man who promoted himself as a Christian therapist and fostered such dependence by his patients that he persuaded them to remove their clothes and engage in sex with him.

It is only today that some of the women feel strong enough to talk about their experiences with Finch.

“The hardest thing is I’ve lived with this secret for 26 years, more than half of my life,” said Ineke Rouw, who met Finch in 1964 at a Bible conference in Bellingham. Active in a Christian church, Rouw began therapy with him soon thereafter and continued until 1987. She began to see Finch because of concerns about her inability to become pregnant.  [[And quit after confiding in another therapist….  He had sex with her while billing her for therapy, totaling from $20 – $30K over the years….Other lawsuits were filed, six women (“A through F”) came forward. At the time of “nude therapy” (sometimes involving sex with clients) he was ordained Methodist minister, founder of Fuller School of Psychology (it says) and married with children…  See rest of article.]]

 A husband even sued the man as “John Doe” for malpractice and outrage.  In this case, Finch had the man in therapy, while having sex with his wife (!!), who much later, confessed to having had sex with him during those times. Here’s part of it:

Supreme Court of Washington,En Banc.  John DOE, Respondent, v. John G. FINCH and John G. Finch, Ph.D., P.S., Petitioner.  No. 64131-5.    Decided: August 21, 1997:

Doe was in therapy with Dr. Finch from 1974 to 1980.   Much of Doe’s therapy focused on Doe’s failing marriage.  In 1976, Dr. Finch began a romantic and sexual relationship with Doe’s wife that lasted until at least 1981.   Doe felt jealousy toward Dr. Finch, and it seemed to Doe that his wife had a higher opinion of Dr. Finch than of Doe. Dr. Finch assured Doe that Dr. Finch’s relationship with Doe’s wife was strictly professional.

In December 1981, Doe wrote an angry letter to Dr. Finch, blaming Dr. Finch for the failure of Doe’s marriage, and making specific allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Dr. Finch and Doe’s wife.

What amazes me is that Fuller hasn’t meanwhile removed the reference from their school.

Another Christian School of Psychology in Southern California (Malibu) would be at Pepperdine, who also has programs (Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Boone (as in “Pat Boone”) Family Center) which graduate people who then go into the family law practice:  I have posted on it before on this blog in context of marriage/fatherhood grants promotion. Pepperdine’s  combines psychology and education.  The two fields are of course closely related:

Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology…  (School of Education founded 1971, of Psychology, 1981)

Pepperdine University is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.

Access an exceptional education at multiple campuses throughout Southern California, as well as online

Preamble    (from “Spiritual Formation and the Christian Mission” page)

The Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) at Pepperdine University fully supports the University’s Christian mission and promotes spiritual formation for the sake of serving the needs of others, and especially the needs of those Jesus called “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45).

In keeping with the holistic vision of faith/learning integration that Pepperdine has embraced for so many years – GSEP affirms all space as God’s space and all times as God’s time. For that reason, GSEP encourages its students, faculty, and staff to view their work as sacred work, regardless of where or when that work might be carried out. From a Christian perspective, a life of purpose inspires us to serve, and by serving, it shapes the way we lead.  [Diversity of religious views of students is emphasized; it’s hoped the time at Pepperdine will be “transformative”….]

24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263

(Other Factoids:  Senior Admin (4), all men, all white.  Board of Directors has more variety (men and women, businesses (Northrup Grunman, Hughes Missile Group, VP of eHarmony…) and professionals (dentist, lawyer, doctor) and even a US District Judge for DC Court of Appeals).

Then, there are the Schools of Professional Psychology whose ties are definitely more humanistic or associated with “new-age” worldviews and practices (not that sexual or other abuse is necessarily any less likely to occur within their ranks…).

The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (for example), recently renamed “William James College,”  which I’m aware of because of AFCC former President? or Board Member, Robin Deutsch’ involvement in its Center of Excellence for Families and Children (or similarly named center) there — I also noted had ties to Saybrook University.

The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, now (as of May, 2015) named William James College, maintains its focus on experiential learning, and continues to have one of its “Centers of Excellence” to be run by a well-known (if you pay attention to this organization) Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Board Member/President (former or present, I don’t keep close track), i.e., Robin Deutsch, Ph.D. a.k.a. “Dr. Robin Deutsch.”  Her bio reads like a smorgasbord of AFCC-promoted policies, positions (alienation, high-conflict) and professions (parenting coordination) and acknowledges the connection at the bottom of the bio blurb:

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, ABPP is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at William James College. Formerly an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, she practices as a custody evaluator, mediator, parent coordinator, therapist and consultant. Dr. Deutsch lectures widely throughout North America and Europe on Parenting Coordination, parenting and child development and complex issues related to family conflict, including parent-child contact problems, attachment, abuse and neglect and trauma.

(AFCC is international with known connections in — North America and Europe.  So, between private practice in several fields and her lecture circuit, when does she run this Center of Excellence?)

She has published extensively on issues related to attachment, alienation, co-parenting after divorce, high conflict divorce, parenting plans and parenting coordination. Dr. Deutsch has performed a wide variety of forensic evaluations and testified in juvenile, family, district and federal courts involving divorce and visitation disputes, relocation, domestic violence, adoption, alienation, abuse and neglect. She provides consultation and expert witness services on boundary violations, ethical issues, child and adolescent development, complex custody issues and custody and parenting evaluations. Dr. Deutsch was a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) task force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordinators (2011), the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordinators (2006), and the AFCC Task force that developed Guidelines for Court Involved Therapists (2010). She was the former President of the AFCC (2008-2009) and the former Chair of the APA Ethics Committee (2007).

Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law co-publishes “Family Court Review” with the AFCC.  They have, however, radically revised and simplified their main website so it’s pretty unlikely a person not already searching for that information would actually find it:

The Maurice A. Deane School of Law is part of Hofstra University and is fully accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association.  I also see on the site for the School of Law that Hofstra’s Barr Pass Rates (2013, 2014) ranging from around 72 to 81%, very average overall, like — about a C+ )….

http://law.hofstra.edu/currentstudents/studentactivities/journals/familycourtreview/about/ (Click to see there’s also a direct link to ‘AFCC’ as well as to the Editorial Board of the “FCR.”  (complete words I guess are going out … acronyms in….If you know what the acronym is, or to look for it, so much the better.  If not, tough luck….)

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Sponsored by AFCC – Association of Family
and Concilition## Courts
Published in cooperation with the
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Managing Editor
Ruth C. Stern
Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Hofstra University

Former Editors
Meyer Elkin (1963-1986)
Stanley Cohen (1986-1991)
Hugh McIsaac (1991-1996)
Andrew I. Schepard (1996-2015)


#The mis-spelling “Concilition” has been up there for a long time.  Wonder if anyone reads that website, or reports to the webmaster.  Anyhow, I’d make a note of the “Editorial Board” individuals.  Notably, no links to the individuals at their affiliated websites is offered (why not?).  Robin Deutsch has likewise been a William James College (formerly MSPP) Center of Excellence for Families, Children and the Law — for quite a while (a few years, I’d say), but her affiliation listed here is “Massachusetts General Hospital.”

Robin Deutsch Director, Children and the Law Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
Charlene E. Depner Assistant Director, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Judicial Council – Administrative Office of the Courts

Incidentally, another reason to keep both AFCC and Hofstra University (as a co-sponsor of its publication Family Court Review, and Hofstra also being a private university in New York State, which has a Unified Court System (partnering with the “Center for Court Innovation” — funded by the Ford Foundation originally, i.e., via “Fund for the City of New York” being the nonprofit)….

New York like California (like Texas, also I’ve notice like Illinois …. Chicago) is a large, coastal state with a huge court system — and policies are shipped cross-continentally through various centers and professionals (and the associations that go with them).  I just realized that the Chief Judge of New York State  just appointed the Hon. Gail A. Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge (of NYS) — also maintains a relationship with Hofstra, and as of last September 2015, joined one of its Centers (those centers that you do NOT see from the Law School home page….) as chair of the NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, replacing the late Hon. Judith S. Kaye (formerly Judith S. Kaye — notably AFCC program-friendly)

Hon. A. Gail Prudenti Named Chair of NY’s Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children

On Feb. 2, 2016, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced the appointment of the Honorable the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti as chair of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. Judge Prudenti succeeds the late Judith S. Kaye, New York’s longest-serving chief judge, who led the Commission with distinction from 1992 until her recent passing.

“I am both thrilled and humbled that Chief Judge DiFiore has asked me to lead this prestigious Commission, whose vital work is very close to my heart, intersecting as well as completing my objectives as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law,” said Judge Prudenti. “While I can never fill Judge Kaye’s shoes, I am deeply committed to building upon her wonderful legacy and look forward to working with the distinguished members of the Commission to that end.”

Hofstra Law and the Center for Children, Families and the Law have a history of partnering with the Commission ….

About the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children

Formed in 1988 to improve the lives and life chances of children involved with New York courts, the Commission is made up of judges, lawyers, advocates, physicians, legislators, and state and local officials. At its inception, the Commission predominantly targeted its efforts toward the youngest children before the court, including infants involved in child welfare proceedings. In 1994, the State Court of Appeals designated the Commission to implement the New York State Court Improvement Project (CIP), a federally funded project to assess and improve foster care, termination of parental rights, and adoption proceedings. Since 2006, the group has expanded its focus to include older youth involved with the courts.

Read the full official announcement (PDF).  (which mentions, in addition to a string of remarkable firsts and appointments….)

She earned her law degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, which also awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2004 and an honorary appointment as Professor in the School of Law.”   [HUH?  What was her original nationality and when did she become a US Citizen?]

“Related Posts” (on this Hofstra U site announcing the appointment): 

I’ve been saying for years that AFCC (and whoever’s been backing it) is basically running the family courts of the nation, not to mention helping create them (see Meyer Elkin article, this page).  One of these days, some people will start believing me, in reporting what I am simply seeing year after year!  Start understanding this organization better (including how its memberships networks in positions of power and what those positions are, let alone what is the agenda) and you will better understand the family courts themselves, and start talking more sense about “reforming them…”  For example, it’s up-front, in-your-face ridiculous to expect this organization to let go of “parental alienation” while its membership are constantly promoting it, or to DE-frock the centralization of the profession of psychology from the courts….  And that has ramifications….

 Saybrook University Wiki.  Started as the “Humanistic Psychology Institute” at Cal State U Sonoma (in the SF Bay Area, Northern California) in 1971 by Rollo May, 600 students in 2014, ranked in the bottom quartile and 173/185 among psychology doctoral programs not long ago.  It features low-residency masters and doctoral degrees, and professional certifications:

Saybrook University is an educational institution founded in 1971. It offers postgraduate education with a focus on humanistic psychology. It features low residency, master’s and doctoral degrees and professional certification programs. The university is accredited by the Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[2][3] As of 2014 the university served 600 students.[4]

In 1971, the American psychologist Rollo May helped to establish the Humanistic Psychology Institute at California State University, Sonoma.[4][5] Later on it was renamed the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center.[4] Author Michael Mayer recalls that the Saybrook name derives from Saybrook, Connecticut, where during a conference in 1964 several psychologists, including May, expressed a desire “to create a school that embodied the values of the ‘human growth and potential movement’ and to educate practitioner-scholars in the methods and philosophies of human-centered psychotherapy”.[6] In 2009, the school was renamed Saybrook University.[4] The university became affiliated with the shared services organization TCS Education System in 2014 to provide administrative and financial services, so that the school could focus on teaching and research.[7][8] The same year, the school moved from San Francisco to Oakland, California.[9] 

RANKINGS:   Based on a survey of academic programs, US News & World Report ranked Saybrook’s psychology program in the bottom quartile of its 2013 ranking of graduate psychology programs. The precise rankings in this quartile are not published.[14][15] The United States National Research Council rankings (NRC) ranked Saybrook 173/174 out of 185 in its 2014 rankings of 185 psychology PhD programs.[16]

Looking up that Old (1964) Saybrook conference (there was a “Saybrook II” around 1998/1999), while realizing this should be a separate post, this does summarize involved personnel and the general ideas driving it:

The Original “Old Saybrook” ConferenceIn the preface to the second edition of Toward a Psychology of Being (1968), Abraham Maslow wrote:

“Much has happened to the world of Psychology since this book was first published (1962) …I must confess, that I have come to see this humanist trend in psychology as a revolution in the truest, oldest sense in which Galileo, Darwin, Einstein, Freud and Marx made revolutions, i.e., new ways of perceiving and thinking, new images of man and society…”

Between editions of Maslow’s classic, on November 28th through 30th, 1964, the original Old Saybrook conference took place in the little New England Town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. There, as David Elkins recounts it, “at the Saybrook Inn, a resort hotel and spa, the new American Association for Humanistic Psychology was holding its ‘First Invitational Conference on Humanistic Psychology’. Abe Maslow was there. So was Carl Rogers, and Rollo May, Charlotte Buhler, Clark Moustakas, Floyd Matson, James Bugental, Miles Vich, Robert Knapp, and a host of other luminaries including Henry Murray, Gordon Allport, George Kelly, Gardner Murphy, Robert White, Rene Dubos, Norma Rosenquist, Alvin Lasko, Victor Butterfield, E.J. Shoben and Roman Tratch.”

The original Old Saybrook gathering, though but one significant event, is often credited as a landmark moment in the history of humanistic psychology. The “revolution” Maslow describes had opened doors, some then newly cracked in the field, like Creativity research; others which had been systemically shut to psychology, such as consciousness and self exploration; other doors to European existential-phenomenology, and still others to Eastern philosophical traditions

New Saybrook article (from the same site): Read David Elkins’ article, Old Saybrook I and II: The Visioning and Re-Visioning of Humanistic Psychology, from the December, 1998/January, 1999 issue of the AHP Perspective. Ironically, David Elkins was teaching (a professor) at Pepperdine at the time. I wonder if he’s any relation to the AFCC-folkloric founder, Meyer Elkin… “David N. Elkins, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and professor in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology of Pepperdine University and is president of Division 32 (Humanistic Psychology) of APA. His book, Beyond Religion: A Personal Program for Building a Spiritual Life Outside the Walls of Traditional Religion, was recently released by Quest Books.
NOTE: This is an abridged version of Dr. Elkins� text”

August 23, 2010 — Saybrook University announces “David Elkins named Director of Saybrook’s PsyD Program” says he actually helped Pepperdine get (chaired the committee that got)  its APA accreditation.  Interesting!

Saybrook’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies is pleased to announce that David Elkins has been appointed director of the PsyD program.

A licensed clinical psychologist who taught at Pepperdine University for 25 years, Elkins has worked hospital, community health, and private practice settings, and was the Director of the Humanistic Psychology Center in Tustin, California.

Elkins’ background in humanistic psychology is extensive:  he serves on the board of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and The Humanistic Psychologist;  he has served as a board member of the Association for Humanistic Psychology;  and in 1998-1999 served as president of the APA’s Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology.  While at Pepperdine he designed and taught the existential-humanistic psychology track of their PsyD program.  He also chaired the committee that achieved APA accreditation for the Pepperdine PsyD.

Elkins’ most recent book is Humanistic Psychology:  A Clinical Manifesto:  A Critique of Clinical Psychology and the Need for Progressive Alternatives

I found a book review of Elkins‘ “Beyond Religion: A Personal Pathway for Building a Spiritual Life Outside the Walls of Traditional Religion” which says he was a former minister.  Published in Wheaton, IL.:

Schouborg, Gary (2001). Paths to Spirituality: A Review Article of Beyond Religion, by David N. Elkins”. The Humanistic Psychologist, 27 n.3, 369-373.

. . .

Because Elkins views spirituality as indefinable, he approaches it from multiple angles. He characterizes it variously as a hunger for attention and care, for psychological health, for imagination, for passion and depth, for the sacred or numinous, for waking up one’s soul to the wonder of life, for “the more”. The advantage of this approach is that he increases his chances of connecting with someone for whom one phrase or another is particularly meaningful. A further advantage is that the multiple phrases express the kaleidoscopic richness of spirituality. I would be interested, however, in what he thinks might be lost by summing all of what he ascribes to spirituality in the single phrase, emotional responsiveness.

The second half of the book describes eight alternative paths to traditional religion — The Feminine, The Arts, The Body, Psychology, Mythology, Nature, Relationship, Dark Nights of the Soul — concluding with step-by-step instructions on how to walk them. All the paths share in moving us beyond our culture’s over-emphasis on masculine reason, structure, tangibility by appealing to our need for the feminine relational, intuitive, mystical. The concluding chapter is a guide to creating a four-step “Soul Journal” for oneself that helps: (1) identify what sorts of experiences nourish one’s soul; (2) design a program to engage in activities that will produce those experiences; (3) engage in those activities; (4) evaluate how well the Soul Journal is nurturing the soul. Elkins’ instructions are do-able and sensitive to the unique needs of each individual.


(Elkins =/= Elkin.  Meyer Elkin died in 1994 at age 1978; here’s his Los Angeles Times Obituary.  I am reminded that the mediation unit, called “Los Angeles Conciliation Court” which it says he founded, not in 1963 — but earlier; it says, in 1955, and that this was not the Los Angeles Superior Court itself, but a unit within it.  

Meyer Elkin:  Founder, Los Angeles County Conciliation Court (L.A. times, 4/15/1994)

Meyer Elkin, 78, founder of the Los Angeles County Conciliation Court. The unusual mediation unit, which he set up in 1955 as a part of Los Angeles County Superior Court, handles divorce and custody disputes and provides court-ordered counseling for the families involved. Elkin also founded and edited the professional journal Conciliation Courts Review and helped to found the Assn. of Family Conciliation Courts. After growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., he began his career as a parole officer in Tuscon. A social worker deeply involved in community social problems, Elkin worked throughout his life to aid families and young people. After his retirement in 1977, he devoted his attention to what is now El Nido Family Centers in Los Angeles. He served on the board, as president and as an adviser to the nonprofit family counseling agency. Elkin earned the Koshland Award, California’s top accolade for achievement in social work, and the Leadership Award of the American Assn. of Marriage and Family Counselors. On March 17 in Beverly Hills of emphysema.

You can see the same missionary zeal to transform society in this summary, and determination to “keep the vision going — only more relevant to this time.” There’s a certain disdain for “reductionistic science” and elevation for “other ways of knowing” in this language. The scientific method is actually frowned upon, it seems, in some of these circles, while the “practitioners” still enjoy the professional titles, jargon (“Forensic, clinical, scientific, evaluative, ….”) which would, in fact, be more appropriate to scientists who do practice the method as part of their normal work lives:

. . . That small conference in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, helped clarify the vision and set the course of the field in America. Within a few years this movement would become a major “third force” in American psychology. It would spawn various humanistic organizations, provide a penetrating critique of reductionistic science, create an array of new approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, and articulate new research methodologies and “ways of knowing” in the search for knowledge. Maslow would become president of the American Psychological Association; Rogers would receive two of APA’s most prestigious awards – one for his contributions to science and the other for his contributions to practice.

While humanistic psychology seemed to be making inroads into the academic and professional community, the humanistic vision was moving out into the streets of America. Its values and ideals became part of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. The human potential movement was born and spread through our society in the form of encounter groups, growth centers, body therapies, communes, alternative life styles, and new spiritualities. The humanistic voice echoed in the issues of the day women’s liberation, civil rights, the Vietnam War.

Some scholars in the movement became concerned that humanistic psychology was being preempted by the counterculture and, as a result, its message was not being heard or taken seriously in the research centers and halls of academia. Indeed, from a historical perspective it seems that mainstream american psychology, after only a brief humanistic pause in the 1960s, went merrily on its positivistic and reductionistic way.

“Positivistic and reductionistic” meaning …???

This is where Old Saybrook II comes in. First and foremost, Old Saybrook II is a scholarly endeavor to sort out the past thirty-five years of the humanistic movement in America and to rekindle the vision of psychology that was articulated in 1964. The Old Saybrook II scholars realize that the rekindled vision must reflect our times. It must address the scholarly and intellectual issues of our day, and it must have both the substance and the flavor of the twenty-first century. In short, the task of Old Saybrook II is to “re-vision” humanistic psychology for our times. As the official description of the project puts it:

The present Old Saybrook II Project is designed to ask again some of the key questions addressed at Old Saybrook in light of the great cultural transformations now upon us. In particular, it is to look again at the interface between psychology, the humanities, spirituality, and the social sciences at the beginning of what many describe as an era of postmodernity or transmodernity.

A central question is: How does the vision of psychology articulated at Old Saybrook, which boldly asserted both the plenitude and subtleties of Human Being, now reaffirm itself in an era of information and communication technology, which includes as its symptoms a globalizing economy, an acute awareness of environmental crises, managed health care, and the rampant industrialization of mental health and human services?

The Old Saybrook II Project will explore what aspects of Humanistic Psychology theory and praxis need to be deconstructed and reconstructed in the light of new social structures and cultural realities, and will ask what service a reinvigorated and reframed person-centered psychology can offer to a world the process of reinventing itself.

Here’s a profile of a Wm. James College graduate (Eric D. Willmarth) at “hypnosiscentral.com,”  active at Saybrook and in the Hypnosis fields, with two sons, one who became a psychologist and the other, already having a bachelor’s in psychology, now getting a teaching certificate.

Eric K. Willmarth, Ph.D., is a fully licensed psychologist living with his wife Carol in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has two sons, Dr. Kevin Willmarth, a psychologist in Ohio and Alex Willmarth, who has his bachelor’s degree in psychology and is now attending Oakland University seeking his teaching certificate.

Dr. Willmarth received his Bachelor’s Degree from William James College, his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Michigan University, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Fielding Graduate University. He is a past  president of both the Michigan  Society of  Behavioral  Medicine and Biofeedback and the Michigan Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is also the past president of the APA Division 30-Psychological Hypnosis and currently serves as President of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Eric is Board Certified in Pain Management by the American Academy of Pain Management, a Fellow of the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, an Approved Consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and a member of the International Society of Hypnosis. He has been an adjunct professor at the Forest School of Professional Psychology and Western Michigan University. He is currently the Director of Training for Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences where he also serves as the Director of the Integrative Mental Health Specialization.  He teaches the Advanced Hypnosis and the Advanced Biofeedback Practicum courses along with the Basic and Intermediate Hypnosis Courses at Saybrook.

Eric is the founder and president of Michigan Behavioral Consultants (www.michiganbehavioral.com), a group psychology and social work practice focused on pain management and behavioral health. The group offers multiple forms of therapy and psychological testing services at locations throughout Michigan.

A life-long musician and photographer, Eric has spent years videotaping interviews with the giants of hypnosis research and practice. “The Willmarth Interviews” will hopefully promote the appropriate use and understanding of clinical hypnosis and pay tribute to the many talented men and women who contribute to this field.

(End of post-publication insert about the Schools of Professional Psychology!  Originally, I continued as below….//LGH, 2/29/2016)


I also took a sidelong look at the credentialing college of the psychologist in the Minnesota case who was also involved with the MSPP and Argosy, which credentialing (mill) got its own separate investigation by “Pro Publica” which tells us something about the fascination with having credentialing (more letters behind the name in addition to the degrees obtained) in contrast with the behavior of the credentialing organizations themselves, and just what it takes to become a Fellow or Diplomate of the one involved.  Argosy was large enough alone, but swallowed up by something even larger, which is where it gets interesting and as a comment on the cradle-to-career pipeline, as managed by those at the corporate/investment end of the ownership of, well, that pipeline.

I wrote this post rather quickly in late January, spruced it up some here, and hope it’s if nothing else, a little entertaining – and of course, illuminating.  Not my primary focus, though, these days…

Being who I am (Ms. Look-it-up) I learned about the original investors, two men formerly investment bankers at Lazard Freres & Company, (<== read the VERY interesting history for a refresher) and their sponsorship of a disgraced (including by whistleblowers) EDMC (Education Management Corporation), and more.

Before the end of this post, we’ll get the former Governor of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander, and some Goldman-Sachs, and I even see Cincinnati, Ohio’s “KnowledgeWorks” gets in there.  I can connect that to Minneapolis’ “GenerationNext” (which I was looking at last summer, along with certain major community foundations within MN, and in California) which is modeled after “StriveTogether” which is (if one continues clicking on logos and reading fine print at the bottom of web-pages) a “subsidiary” of KnowledgeWorks.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Let's Get Honest

February 28, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland’s Family Court Expansion, AFCC Model, takes Unifying Symbols to a New Level: Paper, Cotton, Leather, Fruit, Wood, Iron…

with 3 comments

This post is PR on something I just discovered recently and, to be honest, am distressed enough about to follow up by phone with the leadership of some of the groups involved, asking they why these things should be happening statewide.  The dialogue illustrates what’s going on, but is a little complex, and unless you have an interest in monitoring the expansion and methods of expansion of the family law bureaucracy WITHIN or as an ADJUNCT to our court system, you may not want to go through it all.

I think there is some legitimacy — however widespread, commonplace, and entrenched this system currently is, and however expensive and status quo it has become — to a theory that the “Family Court Services” if not the “Family Courts” themselves (as it pertains to divorce and custody) — are illegitimate.  They are private enterprises posing as public ones, and servicing their funders, who as it happens, tend to occupy high places in (1) the Executive Branch of the United States Government (I’m talking HHS, DOJ in particular) and (2) the Corporate /tax-exempt foundation stratosphere — almost none of which is truly accessible to individuals who are coming through these courts, unless they already have prior involvement.

First of all, they are about as unbelievingly condescending and patronizing (‘move over, let us experts handle your family — give us your kid, etc.’) as it is possible for any human relationship to be, apart from some truly unhealthy (i.e., violent/abusive) ones.  They deal in force, and subterfuge when it comes to proliferating the program, and like any good, truly “disaster capitalism” enterprise, they deal with distressed populations, exploit them, and call that service.  I come from California, and preliminary expose on this was done courtesy one of the oldest and (not exactly being updated) sites around — but it still is up and still serves a purpose — Johnnypumphandle.com.

assn.gif (5213 bytes)  ”

Dedicated to Exposing Illegal and Immoral Practices in The Courts

… Particularly the Family Law System which includes the Courts, Attorneys, Family Services, Psychologists and Therapists,Visitation Monitors, Ad-Litems, Social Workers, Child Protection Agencies and all of the agencies that support these so-called professionals.

Collusion among individuals within the family law system takes place to extract assets from troubled parents. The system is designed to increase the wealth of the family law professionals at the expense and heartbreak of families. Corrupt practices abound.

For example, why does the “Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges Association” change its name to simply “Los Angeles County Superior Court” in its IRS filings? and what are they actually doing at their special events, including sporting events, and how do they manage to have (year 2010) a net loss of $10,000, being such smart judges (only revenue — membership dues, totaling $50K that year).?








Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2010 $120,654 990EO 10 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2009 $95,314 990EO 12 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court CA 2008 $102,801 990EO 11 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2007 $87,134 990EO 9 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2006 $90,509 990EO 9 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2005 $70,106 990EO 8 95-4663773
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association CA 2004 $55,818 990EO 5 95-4663773

per “Johnny”

The Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association is a good example of one of the latter Non-Profit organizations whose stated purpose is “promotion of judicial profession pursuant to section 501(c)(6)”. (see form 3500 – Exemption application). The Association boasts a budget of over $100,000 – none of which will be received from members dues {?} – and most of which will be funded by “Professional Education programs for the legal community”. Unlike most professional organizations, this organization was granted(?) the use of County premises, complete with facilities for it’s [sic] office space and management of it’s business within the County Court facilities at 111 North Hill Street.”

Copyright © Design Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Last update 01/10/2010)

Read the rest of this entry »

Yet another AFCC-style wet dream… Someone needs to mop up around here.

with one comment


From the “High Conflict Institute”


No longer are DIVORCEs or FAMILIES “high-conflict” but “People” are.  In fact, the issues are not the issues either.  When someone comes up to you with an issue — they don’t really mean what they say  and are not to be taken at face value (ask the forensic psychologists).  The REAL problem with family courts isn’t the family courts, and it isn’t even high-conflict families, or high conflict all by its rocky-mountain-high self.  The REAL problem is high-conflict people.  Buy this book to know if you’re dealing with one:

Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

This book is advertised with others on alienation at the NCRC (more, below), as they are in the same professional circles.  In fact, it appears he’s on the payroll here (or is “Senior Family Mediator”) as well as his own split-off “High conflict institute” (see last sentence at the link I just provided).

NCRC: National Conflict Resolution Center

Books by William Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy provides Divorce and Family Law Mediation at NCRC as well as training for family law attorneys and other professionals at the High Conflict Institute. Please visit HCI atwww.highconflictinstitute.com for more information on Mr. Eddy’s trainings. He has written numerous books on the subjects of families and high conflict personalities, listed below.
  • High Conflict People in Legal Disputes
  • Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist
  • Understanding & Managing High Conflict Personalities (DVD Set)
  • Don’t Alienate The Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce
  1. It’s All Your Fault!

Bill sure was ahead of his AFCC time.  While others were simply developing and lobbying for more parenting coordinator rights in Florida, Texas, and wherever — he was writing this book explaining that the Issue is not the Issue, and all the conflict in the family law venue really comes from disordered personalities in the court system.

Protect Yourself from Manipulation, False Accusations, and Abuse

Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. When your spouse has borderline personality disorder (BPD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or is manipulative, divorcing can be especially complicated. While people with these tendencies may initially appear convincing and even charming to lawyers and judges, you know better—many of these “persuasive blamers” leverage false accusations, attempt to manipulate others, launch verbal and physical attacks, and do everything they can to get their way.

Splitting is your legal and psychological guide to safely navigating a high-conflict divorce from an unpredictable spouse. Written by Bill Eddy, a family lawyer, therapist, and divorce mediator, and Randi Kreger, coauthor of the BPD classic Stop Walking on Eggshells, this book includes all of the critical information you need to work through the process of divorce in an emotionally balanced, productive way.

I find it odd that he’s working with the author of “Stop walking on Eggshells” which someone gave me about halfway through the divorce fiasco, post-restraining order.  They meant well, but like Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He DO That” — and regardless of some truths it may have held, neither one (conveniently) mentions the custody racket, financial incentive, fatherhood funding, welfare reform or in short anything which would give me a concise narrative of why the courts don’t take death threats followed by family suicide, or a stalking combined with previous death threats and violence, seriously — and insisted on psychologizing all terms.  People who have lived with this (and I acknowledge it exists) don’t need guides — they need out of the relationship.

Which is precisely what people working with the organization Mr. Eddy helps market through, are not going to let happen.  Nope.  If we wish to detach from a borderline personality, abuser, or simply an ex (and birth happened in there somewhere), we WILL be forced, most likely, to deal with an AFCC-devotee somewhere along the way — or most of the way along the way.

I have the book “Stop Walking on Eggshells” and it didn’t take to long to recognize it was an updated rebuttal of a 1970s feminist classic, (shown in 2005 version) Women and Madness

Cover of Women and Madness

It asks:

Why are so many women in therapy, on psychiatric medication, or in mental hospitals? Who decides these women are mad? Why do therapists have the power to deem a woman mentally ill when she asserts herself sexually, economically, or intellectually? Why are women pathologized, but not treated, when they exhibit a normal human response to abuse and stress – including the lifelong stress of second-class citizenship?

Phyllis Chesler confronts questions like these and persuasively argues that double standards of mental health and illness exist and that women are often punitively labeled as a function of gender, race, class, or sexual preference. Based on in-depth interviews with patients and an analysis of women’s roles in myths and history, Women and Madness is an incomparable work.

Originally published in 1972, this classic has sold over two-and-a-half million copies. Passionate and informative, with a new introduction that examines the trauma of psychiatric labeling and envisions a psychology of liberation for the ages, this special twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Women and Madness remains frighteningly up-to-date.

By now there should also be one called “Children and Madness,” for the labeling children get when they report abuse, when they are active and assertive, and when they need to be controlled after any of the above.   That’s been documented elsewhere, and comes under

Psychotropic Drug Abuse in Foster Care Costs Government Billions  :

A troubled child who had previously suffered from neglect, sexual assault and abusive parenting, Gabriel spent the previous year shuttling among several foster parents while taking a constellation of anti-psychotic medicines, including Lexapro and Vyvanse, to control his depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Like most children in Florida foster care, Medicaid paid Gabriel’s medical expenses.  Just one month before his suicide, Gabriel’s doctor prescribed him Symbyax, an anti-depressant restricted for treatment of children. The medication’s FDA-requiredlabel features a warning that use of the drug by children or teenagers can lead to suicide.

 does not meet criteria established by Congress for Medicaid reimbursement, so it is illegal for Medicaid to pay for a prescription of the drug to a child. Sohail Punjwani, the doctor who prescribed Symbyax for Gabriel, received a stern letter from the FDA about his history of over-prescribing mental health drugs.


AS QUOTED IN “SAFE RELATIONSHIPS (on-line) MAGAZINE”, which is from (inhale — it’s a long title):

The Institute for Relational Harm and Public Pathology Education

Sandra L. Brown, M.A., CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with a former specialization in personality disorders/pathology. She is a program development specialist, lecturer, community educator, and an award-winning author.

Her books, CD’s, DVD’s, and other training materials have been used as curriculum in drug rehabs, women’s organizations and shelters, women’s jail and prison programs, school and college-based programs, inner city projects, and various psychology and sociology programs and distributed in almost every country of the world.

(I notice she is on the board of EVAWINTL.org, End Violence Against Women International — which is having a San Diego Conference in 2012.  See fine print at the end, purple background) (Note:   I’m a little disturbed by not being able to find this as an EIN or as a corporation in NC (where EVAW listed her), or nationally, although there is an active speaker itinerary and clearly training for therapists at $635-$735 a pop in Hilton Head, SC this coming January.  So, is she paying taxes, and is this a fictitious name registered there — or anywhere? Just tried about 5 searches, including registered name, NC corporations, SC corporations, 990 finder, NCCSdataweb and even the IRS finder, plus USPTO (for registered mark )  I think the credentials bear checking out (and remember trying to some years ago also).  See claims on the site and this linkedin description:

Sandra Brown, M.A.

CEO at The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education

Asheville, North Carolina Area 
Professional Training & Coaching Current
  • CEO at The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education
  • Executive Director at Bridgework Counseling Center
  • Pathologist at The Manors Psychiatric Hospital Education
  • Liberty University
286 connections


  • Company Website

(the linkedIn shows her a member of almost every mental health organization around — it’s unusually long string, and yet the only education shown is “Liberty University” (no state), M.A. — which doesn’t add up.  Sorry:

Executive Director Bridgework Counseling Center

January 1987 – January 1998 (11 years 1 month)

Founder and director of a large multi-faceted mental health program focused on trauma disorders and psychopathology.

Degree — M.A. in Counseling from “Liberty University” ? ? ?

Offered outpatient services, residential treatment, program consultant to inpatient hospital programs, and clinical training to therapitss.


The Manors Psychiatric Hospital  (“the Manor” ???in Santa Monica,  here?  or idea for the name from here?  Anclote Manor/The Manors/Northpointe Behavioral Health?, which was shut down in 1997, demolished in 2001 . . or ??????)

April 1993 – August 1996 (3 years 5 months)

Inpatient unit for Women’s Trauma Disorders.

Liberty University is a Christian University with huge on-line segment, apparently.  (Houston, I think we have a problem here)

Liberty University Christian College Education


For 40 years, Liberty University has been training champions for Christ.Liberty University is now the nation’s largest, private, non-profit Christian college and…

She is among some better-documented colleagues at the Relationship Training Institute (San Diego) as “Guest Lecturer”:

Guest Faculty:

Russell Barkley, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School
Sandra L. Brown, MA, CEO, The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Psychopathy Education*

William Eddy, JD, LCSW, President of High Conflict Institute (=original topic of this post).

*I personally think anyone that can make up a corporate name that long and call herself CEO, possibly has a personality disorder…. what, actually, is the work history? Who is the EVP of the “IRHRPE” — and if it’s a nonprofit, GIVE ME AN EIN#!!!  — Should I check the Liberty University degree, too?  Particularly distressing is lack of any geographical identification on Ms. Brown’s LinkedIn profile:

I have worked in the field of mental health, relationships, psychopathology, and personality disorders for the past 20 years. I have been involved in program development, program services, publishing, Model of Care development and treatment issues in a wide range of delivery modalities.
Author of six books and many e-books, CDs, DVDs, and other products related to pathology.
Therapist trainer, program consultant, key note speaker

It does not say she was actually a therapist, which has certification requirements.  She’s definitely adept as a publicist and getting speaking engagements.

Also, what — exactly – is “Founder and director of a large multi-faceted mental health program” (Bridgework Counseling Center)??  “program” like the word “Center” like the word “Institute” could mean almost anything, and the leader is left to fill in the dots and assume a real clinic, hospital, or other situation is involved.  I find the repeated use of all of them without tangible (real-world, not just on-line), well, odd.  Were there employees that she directed after founding this wonderful place that I can’t find any on-line identity for, either?

OK, in Florida, listed under “Survivor and Victims’ Resources, by Holli Marshall, Mar 21, 2009:

Bridgework Counseling Center, Inc. & Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Group Home
1634 Nebraska
Palm Harbor, FL. 34684
Attn: Sandy Brown/ph:(813)530-4199
The Sanctuary at Bridgework is for women who have sustained multiple emotional traumas beginning in childhood and extending through adulthood. They have developed disorders requiring assisted living and rehabilitation.


( . .  rrr:    A FL group Sandra L. Brown (agent/officer) called Bridgework Ministries, Inc. — EINV 592940904 — that got itself revoked for failure to file — DID have a NC address also.  I don’t feel like tracking it further).

ANYHOW ….Her theme is the the public is scandalously undereducated about the prevelance of pathology throughout our society:

The Problem of the Unrecognized Face of Pathology

We live in an age where ‘Positive Psychology’ has ingrained a mantra into society’s psyche–that if you think it (the psychopath needs to change his behavior), then you can make it happen (our relationship will be successful when he changes). That may be true when you begin with a person who has normal psychology. But it’s a long way from being true for those who have pathology.

That’s funny — because the courts are all into interventions & educations (whether marriage, parenting, co-parenting, etc.) and sure they can change behavior permanently for the best interests of the kids, right?

Sandra Brown just happens to be making up for the gap in the public’s awareness of the psychopaths next door (although from the newspaper headlines, this ought to be clear enough), and everyone responds afterwards “what a nice family they seemed to be” “but he was so devoted to his son!”  and so on.

WELL, moving on from the pervasive but puzzling personality with associations in:

Personality Disorders Appearing in Family Court

by Bill Eddy, Esquire, L.C.S.W.

Probably the most prevalent personality disorder in family court is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) 
more commonly seen in women. BPD may be characterized by wide mood swings, intense anger even at benign events, idealization (such as of their spouse — or attorney) followed by devaluation (such as of their spouse — or attorney).

Also common is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) — more often seen in men. There is a great preoccupation with the self to the exclusion of others. This may be the vulnerable type, which can appear similar to BPD, causing distorted perceptions of victimization followed by intense anger (such as in domestic violence or murder, for example the San Diego case of Betty Broderick). Or this can be the invulnerable type, who is detached, believes he is very superior and feels automatically entitled to special treatment.

I noticed this some months back, but didn’t get around to blogging it yet.  They had apparently been running out of ways to work the words “high-conflict” into a sentence (substituting for accurate descriptions of concrete events with identifiable actors), let alone names for conferences that pair the words “high-conflict” with alienated.  For example here’s a cute one (only from 2010):

AFCC 47th Annual Conference

Traversing the Trail of Alienation: Rocky Relationships, Mountains of Emotion, Mile High Conflict 

June 2-5, 2010
Sheraton Denver Downtown
1550 Court Place
Denver, Colorado

Conference Brochure (PDF)
Verification of Attendance (PDF)
Order conference audio CD’s or MP3’s 
Plenary Sessions Audio (MP3)
AFCC members can access these sessions by logging on to the AFCC Member Center.

I suppose this was kind of cute, about as cute as running a mock coronation in the U.S. Senate Dirksen building for a would-be world Messiah (the True Parents to the world) — or like some San Francisco family law judges at play, dressing up as the kings and queens of Camelot:    But it’s not cute, really…  I believe it shows an inner desire to actually BE royalty, which could be problemmatic when legislators and/or judges don’t have good boundaries.

Here’s from 2011:

Regional Training Conference

Working with High Conflict and Violent Families: A Race with No Winners

HyattRegencyIndianapolis • October27-29,2011

Home of the Indy 500.  How cute. SOmetimes they  just HAVE to let a word about violence slip in there — but not without “high Conflict” and of course Parenting Coordination (got to remember this market niche) and more Interventions.   Sometimes, they all kind of are just patched together for effect — I guess it works to those for whom this language is normal, but to me, it sounds kind of like kids throwing oil paint around — and they aren’t Jackson Pollock,** either:

5. integrating domestic Violence interventions with Parenting coordination to Protect children in high conflict Families

(interesting title capitalization for a brochure)

Though parenting coordination is designed to implement and monitor parenting plans for high conflict families, domestic violence in the parenting dynamic necessitates deeper professional intervention and refined conflict management skills. This work-shop is designed to train parenting coordinators in domestic violence interventions appropriate for individual and couple work, to facilitate necessary parenting communication in a safe manner that will allow for successful parallel parenting and the promotion of a healthy relationship between each parent and their children.

Jackson Pollock, “Action painting.”  There seems to be a parallel, although I’d rather look at a Jackson Pollock than wade through AFCC conference verbiage:

Pollock was the first “all-over” painter, pouring paint rather than using brushes and a palette, and abandoning all conventions of a central motif. He danced in semi-ecstasy over canvases spread across the floor, lost in his patternings, dripping and dribbling with total control. He said: “The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.” He painted no image, just “action”, though “action painting” seems an inadequate term for the finished result of his creative process. Lavender Mist is 3 m long (nearly 10 ft), a vast expanse on a heroic scale. It is alive with colored scribble, spattered lines moving this way and that, now thickening, now trailing off to a slender skein. The eye is kept continually eager, not allowed to rest on any particular area.** Pollock has put his hands into paint and placed them at the top right– an instinctive gesture eerily reminiscent of cave painters who did the same. The overall tone is a pale lavender, maide airy and active. At the time Pollock was h[a]iled as the greatest American painter, but there are already those who feel his work is not holding up in every respect.

**”the eye is kept continually eager ,not allowed to rest on any particular area.” — with the AFCC rhetoric, it’s similarly for effect.  Resting — examining — the central concepts, most don’t hold water, and certainly not in the larger context of the real world to which these theories are applied.  There’s a craziness to the grammar also; words are made-up and assembled in officious-sounding terms which boil down to — “we want to do business as running your business, but have a judge approve this as somehow in the best interests of your children.”

(reread the workshop paragraph):

Excuuuuse me?  See how messy it gets when an AFCC person slips up and admits that domestic violence occurs?  They can’t speak straight.  High-Conflict is typically used to mask the word Domestic Violence, or dilute and distract from any focus on it.  The term doesn’t work so well in other applications.   For example, what is “domestic violence in the parenting dynamic” — exactly?  And when someONE perpetrates a domestically violent ACT (or series of acts) upon another or other(s), this is not “parenting dynamic” it is crime.  At that point, are or are not these professionals mandated reporters, or self-appointed euphemism devisers? And if these are reported and prosecuted properly, someone is going to be either in jail — or not “parenting.”

GRAMMAR — (this has been going on for decades in the same circles within family courts).   The phrase “domestic violence in the parenting dynamic” detaches the violence from its agent — and squarely distributes the blame on both parents, or (even more detached) on the abstract “parenting dynamic.”  Even the word “parenting” is a fairly recent piece of jargon, although widely accepted now.   People have been giving birth and living in families, or groups for millennia, but only recently was the artificial “parenting” developed to an art form and a segmented activity, opposed (I guess) to “schooling.”  The concept of warehousing people by age group is much more recent.  A person who has been targeted for abuse is NOT responsible for that abuse, yet grammatically holding them responsible justifies the “bring on the experts, the counsellors” which is what AFCC intends to do.  In this dynamic, civil & legal rights, including for the children, just walked out the front door.

How alienated that prose is.  Domestic Violence in the parenting Dynamic.”

Of course, thanks to many other “dynamics” in our society, these people often do NOT go to jail and DO end up “parenting” (samples provided below).   Part of the reason why they do relates to conferences like this by people who make decisions.  I find the passive descriptors taking the easy way out of a dilemma their (AFCC’s) forefathers committed years ago, i.e., trying transform language, stop divorce (and congratulate themselves for doing so0 and BRING ON the psychologists and counselors to make a better world.  (How’s that been going, incidentally, of late?)

What kind of thought process (“dynamic”) would lead any professional to include that he or she can truly promote a healthy relationship without stopping the domestic violence, first of all, by naming it and reporting it, then, to the extent possible, prosecuting it?  If we are still to believe it works, go ask a young woman from San Francisco, Anastasia Melitchenko.  Good luck on getting her opinon (and no children involved in this one, even….).  The workshop was in 2011 — and yet by 2005 in California, it had been repeatedly proved that domestic violence counseling (“intervention”) with habitual batterers can fool even the smartest counselors.

Perhaps they aren’t all that smart — perhaps “intervention programs” isn’t even a good idea to start with.  This idea also has an origin (can you spell D-U-L-U-T-H and “Collective Community Response”?)  Coordinating Community Response to Domestic Violence:  lessons from Duluth by Melanie Shepard, Ellen Pence (google book, see p. 42 or search DAIP)

It doesn’t seem to phase the collective organizations dealing with divorce at all when people die around this.  Just some language adjustments, that’s all.  By the way, you can’t ask Anastasia whether intervention worked for her man.  It didn’t, not even the Primary Male Center for Peaceful Living (2005).

It also didn’t work on Scott DeKraii this past fall either (although actually, after he beat up his stepfather, I don’t know whether he attended the 52-week batterers’ program, before going on to murder his wife — and 7 others .(2011)   But notice — the class was ordered.    The Huffington Post article is one of the few to actually track some history and quote his stepfather, “he’s never been held accountable; he’s always been bailed out of everything.” A restraining order meant, give up firearms — but it was only for a year.  “

When his stepfather, Leroy Hinmon, asked him for rent, Dekraai attacked him in front of his mother and 4-year-old son.

“He was beating him up, slapping him around,” Max Hinmon said. “He worked my brother over pretty good.”

The police were called and Leroy Hinmon got a temporary restraining order in August 2007.

Dekraai, who didn’t dispute the claim that he cut and bruised the older man,

Just imagine if that had been a 3-year restraining order, and some jail time.  Somehow, by Fall 2011, Scott had obtained – and used — plenty of firearms.  …. Also a little “under-reported” in the Seal Beach Shooting (which DeKraii committed), and although — to be clear — this attorney was NOT his attorney in 2011, one former attorney, Donald S. Eisenberg of Long Beach, CA — is definitely AFCC, and a supporter of Warshak, Sanford Braver, and many others who absolutely affirm equal parenting (some discussion below) and filed in 2003 to protest the “LaMusga moveaway.”:

Supreme Court Case No. S107355

Court of Appeal Case No. A096012

Contra Costa County Superior Court Case No. D95-01136

Application for Leave to File Amicus Curiae [i.e., they missed the deadline]

In re the Marriage of SUSAN POSTON NAVARRO (LAMUSGA) Appellant and GARY LAMUSGA,  Respondent

Donald S. Eisenberg (SBN 68859) 6700 E. Pacific Coast Highway Suite 220 Long Beach, CA 90803

Tel: — – – – – Fax: – – – – –

Attorney for Amici Curiae, Richard A. Warshak, Ph.D.; Sanford L. Braver, Ph.D.; Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.; James H. Bray, Ph.D.; William G. Austin, Ph.D., et al.

It reads in part (in justifying why the court should hear them):

. . . Amici believe that the participation in this brief by so many leading experts from the social and psychological sciences is a reflection of the widely-shared conviction in their respective fields that it is important this Court not be misled by opinions and conclusions that are not shared by most eminent scholars, researchers, and practitioners who have spent long years conducting, evaluating and applying the research

In other words, their most eminent selves, who’ve been around a very long time, deserve a hearing.  Mr. Eisenberg, again, was the attorney, not those seeking to write the brief.

In their proposed amici curiae brief, they present the Court with the latest research available and the consensus thinking of the majority of social scientists on the causes and effects of unhealthy parental alignment with children, the consequences for families of parental relocation, the reasons for caution in considering children’s opinions, and many other issues that are highly relevant to the issues in this case…..

A total of 28 experts, including 18 Researcher/Authors or Practitioner/Authors and 10 Practitioners who apply research in their Family Forensic Practice have asked that their names be included as signers of this brief.

WELL, 28 experts, 18 researcher or practitioner authors (i.e., the wrote & published), and 10 Family Forensic Practice practitioners can’t all be wrong.

What Eisenberg (obviously was going to be quizzed after a former client committed a beauty salon massacre, including of the mother of his son) said:

Published: Oct. 12, 2011 Updated: Oct. 14, 2011 1:59 p.m.
Text: Text: Larger Text: Smaller Text: Reset Next Article »


HUNTINGTON BEACH – Neighbors of a house searched late Wednesday in connection with the deadliest shooting in Orange County history said one thing stood out about the man who lives there: His total devotion to his son.

Police identified Scott Dekraai as their suspect in the midday shooting at a Seal Beach beauty salon that left eight people dead; he was being held on suspicion of murder. Court records show he has been fighting his ex-wife – who colleagues said worked at the salon – for custody of their son since 2007

Dekraai married the woman who is now his ex-wife in Clark County, Nev., in early 2003, records show. He filed for divorce in Los Angeles County in 2007, a month after his tugboat accident, court records show.

His attorney at the time, Don Eisenberg, said Dekraai gave him “no reason to suspect a thing.” Another attorney has since taken the case, and Eisenberg said he hasn’t heard from Dekraai since 2009.

“I know they had a difficult relationship,” he said of Dekraai and his ex-wife. “But that’s nothing that would foreshadow a tragedy life this.”

That’s kind of interesting — because in August 2007 the same man got a restraining order for beating up his stepfather in front of his son.  That also puts another viewpoint on “devoted to his son” who — 4 at the time — witnessed this.  if I may gently propose, it is habitual in some circles — in the family law system, specifically — to underplay overt violence towards other human beings, not to mention threats to kill one’s ex.

Mr. Eisenberg presenting at an AFCC conference in 2008 (at which time, Mr. DeKraii would’ve been his client, no?

The Rosetta Stone of Child Custody:

The Bar, the Bench, and Mental Health Experts Decoding

Each Other’s Philosophy and Practice

Feb 8 – 10, 2008 in Santa Monica, CA

AFCC has consisted of “The Bar, the Bench and Mental Health Experts” from the beginning — and they are still working on “Decoding” each other’s language?

Mr. Eisenberg presented alongside the Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Family Law Department in this conference.  For geographical reference, basically Long Beach is right next to Los Angeles, and Seal Beach is right nearby also:

Donald S. Eisenberg, Esq., past chair of AFCC-CA, is a certified family law specialist practicing in Long Beach California. He has 30 years experience devoted to “human issues” in divorce such as domestic violence, parent education and custody evaluations and is a frequent speaker on those issues. He extensive experience in international Child Custody Law and has published appellate decisions. He has been retained by mental health agencies to advise counselors and interns on their rights and obligations in problem custody cases.  [[he was also on this conference’s planning committee..]]

the judge involved:

Hon. Robert Schnider has been the Supervising Judge of the Family Law Department of L.A. County Superior Court since 2005. In 2000, he became the only judicial officer assigned to family law ever to receive the L.A. Bar Association Outstanding Jurist Award. He is on the Board of the AFCC California Chapter and is on the Family Court Review editorial board. He was an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School teaching Family Law, has lectured for the Continuing Judicial Studies Program to teach family law to incoming California family law judicial officers and made presentations to many other professional organizations. He has authored and co-authored articles [[supporting? about?  — a word missing here]] presumptions for custody, court-ordered counseling, and legislative issues in family law.


Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D., is on the AFCC Task Force on Model Standards for Parenting Coordinators and Special Masters and on the American Psychological Association Collaborative Working Group on Psychological and Legal Interventions with Parents, Children and Families. He practices in Santa Clara County, California, specializing in forensic psychology. He has done numerous trainings and presentations nationally and internationally to mental health, legal, and judiciary groups. His publications include, “Ethical, Legal and Professional Practice Issues involved in Acting as a Psychologist Parent Coordinator in Child Custody Cases, “ Family Court Review, Vol. 41, No. 3, July 2004; “Guidelines for Parenting Coordination,” co-authored with AFCC Task Force on Parenting Coordination, Family Court Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, January, 2006; “Family Systems,” chapter co-authored with Jamie McHale, Handbook of Clinical Psychology, Alan Gurman (Ed.) 2007.

And — at this time when one of his clients was having a “normal” divorce with “nothing to anticipate” such a tragedy — and subject to a restraining order which resulted from his having beat up his stepfather in front of a four year old boy, his son — this is what the workshop was on:

W8 You Call Yourself an Expert: Critical Evaluation of Expert Testimony in Family Law Cases

Judicial Officers and attorneys are frequently presented with testimony from expert witnesses regarding parenting issues that are before the Court. Testimony may purport to summarize the state of psychological research or clinical wisdom, or present information based on therapeutic contact with a parent or child. Such expert testimony may provide important information to the Court, or may be so incomplete or biased that the information and opinions are misleading.** Effective presentation and evaluation of expert testimony presents challenges to judicial officers, attorneys, and mental health professionals.

What guidelines exist for presentation of expert testimony to the Court? Does the expert have a responsibility to present contrary evidence? How can one differentiate between reliable and unreliable expert testimony? How can expert testimony be effectively challenged? Using commonly encountered examples, our interdisciplinary panel will address these and other cutting- edge issues regarding consideration of expert testimony.

Presenters: Donald S. Eisenberg, CFLS; Lyn R. Greenberg, Ph.D.; Honorable Robert Schnider; Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D.  (see elsewhere on my blog)

**I agree.  Of course, I don’t think that these presenters view the terms “so incomplete or biased that the information and opinions are misleading” quite from the same perspective!


California Penal Code:   (since that’s my state):

13823.4.  (a) The Legislature finds the problem of family violence
to be of serious and increasing magnitude. The Legislature also finds
that acts of family violence often result in other crimes and social

[[I'm going to follow up on this section, which seems to be emphasizing 
more and more "centers" and alleging that they prevent something....]]


3823.15.  (a) The Legislature finds the problem of domestic
violence to be of serious and increasing magnitude. The Legislature
also finds that existing domestic violence services are underfunded***
and that some areas of the state are unserved or underserved.

Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that a goal or purpose
of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) shall be to
ensure that all victims of domestic violence served by the Cal EMA
Comprehensive Statewide Domestic Violence Program receive
comprehensive, quality services.

[[** i’ll show below that DV services are actually well-funded —

but most of them are diversionary and put into education, training, and “Collective Community Responses”

which have had mixed results. Perhaps that’s why it is a problem of increasing and serious magnitude, when combined

with AFCC’s refusal to face it head on — and this is the group basically running the custody and divorce cases in the US]]

or, for example:

Family Code 3044 at least recognizes an actor in the “domestic violence” definition and doesn’t call it a “parenting dynamic”

  1. For purposes of this section, a person has “perpetrated domestic violence” when he or she is found by the court to have intentionally or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury, or sexual assault, or to have placed a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another, or to have engaged in any behavior involving, but not limited to, threatening, striking, harassing, destroying personal property or disturbing the peace of another, for which a court may issue an ex parte order pursuant to Section 6320 to protect the other party seeking custody of the child or to protect the child or the child’s siblings.
(of course it then goes on to talk about batterer’s classes and parenting classes….)





 This section talks about mandated reporting and defines ASSAULTIVE OR ABUSIVE CONDUCT.  (NOTE:  Parental alienation and having “conflict” do not make the list…)

11160. (a) Any health practitioner employed in a health facility, clinic, physician’s office, local or state public health department, or a clinic or other type of facility operated by a local or state public health department who, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects is a person described as follows, shall immediately make a report in accordance with subdivision (b): [all font changes are mine…] (1) Any person suffering from any wound or other physical injury inflicted by his or her own act or inflicted by another where the injury is by means of a firearm. (2) Any person suffering from any wound or other physical injury inflicted upon the person where the injury is the result of assaultive or abusive conduct. ..the behaviors are defined as follows:

(d) For the purposes of this section, "assaultive or abusive conduct" shall include any of the following offenses:
   (1) Murder, in violation of Section 187.
   (2) Manslaughter, in violation of Section 192 or 192.5.
   (3) Mayhem, in violation of Section 203.
   (4) Aggravated mayhem, in violation of Section 205.
   (5) Torture, in violation of Section 206.
   (6) Assault with intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral
copulation, in violation of Section 220.
   (7) Administering controlled substances or anesthetic to aid in commission of a felony, in violation of Section 222.
   (8) Battery, in violation of Section 242.
   (9) Sexual battery, in violation of Section 243.4.
   (10) Incest, in violation of Section 2...
(11) Throwing any vitriol, corrosive acid, or caustic chemical
with intent to injure or disfigure, in violation of Section 244.
   (12) Assault with a stun gun or taser, in violation of Section
   (13) Assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, assault weapon, or
machinegun, or by means likely to produce great bodily injury, in
violation of Section 245.
   (14) Rape, in violation of Section 261.
   (15) Spousal rape, in violation of Section 262.
   (16) Procuring any female to have sex with another man, in
violation of Section 266, 266a, 266b, or 266c.
 (17) Child abuse or endangerment, in violation of Section 273a or 273d. 
(18) Abuse of spouse or cohabitant, in violation of Section 273.5.

Interjection — I’m going to show “Section 273.5, at the righthand margin, which defines abuse of spouse or cohabitant. note the verbs:

(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) Holding oneself out to be the husband or wife of the person with whom one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the term is used in this section.

(c) As used in this section, “traumatic condition” means a condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force.

(d) For the purpose of this section, a person shall be considered the father or mother of another person’s child if the alleged male parent is presumed the natural father under Sections 7611 and 7612 of the Family Code.

(e) (1) Any person convicted of violating this section for acts occurring within seven years of a previous conviction under subdivision (a), or subdivision (d) of Section 243, or Section 243.4, 244, 244.5, or 245, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or five years, or by both imprisonment and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(2) Any person convicted of a violation of this section for acts occurring within seven years of a previous conviction under subdivision (e) of Section 243 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(f) If probation is granted to any person convicted under subdivision (a), the court shall impose probation consistent with the provisions of Section 1203.097.

When women, or men, who have been assaulted & injured read this in the law, if they do, they understand clearly that the law is saying;
that type of behavior is criminal and is against the State, and not just a "personal dynamic" and not just a "family matter." Groups
(including religious groups) that wish to keep it under wraps, and all-in-the-family, have a serious logic / reality gap, which results
in serious danger for . . . as it turns out not just victims, but people associated with them. While the custody evaluators may not have
figured this out yet (judging by their dialogues) the public is starting to. Failure to prosecute these crimes leaves others in danger, and 
increases the isolation of those who have already been isolated by the abuse.
That "shall be" is apparently not happening. See "District Attorney Discretion"
District Attorney Power Still Unfettered  (written 11 years ago, still true today, apparently)
A critical area for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse that has been left ignored by legislators this year and in years past is the district attorney’s absolute power to refuse to file charges no matter how solid the evidence. Even if a district attorney refuses to file charges on a whole crime category, there is no legal remedy for victims.  

For example, at this writing, we at Women’s Justice Center (Sonoma County, “wine country, in N. California) have a case of three days of spousal rape, sodomy and beatings which the district attorney has filed only as misdemeanor domestic violence. The detective in the case states there is ample evidence to file multiple felonies.  In another case of a woman beaten to the point of a fractured skull, the D. A. refused to file at all for five months until one day the perpetrator went out and committed another assault with a deadly weapon on another victim. I

© Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center

Instead, the D.A.’s seem to be going around to open expensive new “family justice centers” as I have blogged, including one in Sonoma County, “Sonoma County purchased the 20,000-square-foot building last year for $4 million. Remodeling was expected to cost another $4 million….”  This is precisely what JusticeWomen talked about in “How to Start an INDEPENDENT Advocacy center and why”  Around the country, some of these center are starting to be associated with some egregious violations of due process, both in the original San Diego one (I blogged) and a recent case from Harford County, MD (which I received an appeal on from Phyllis Chesler mailing) turns out also to have been a “Family Justice Center.”  The mother in question had a child put into foster care, where it was killed at 9 months, and she is herself in hiding after being assaulted (per the site) in the jail itself.  Meanwhile, in Ohio, they are upset (justifiably) about a supervised visitation center — turns out to be funded through a “Ohio Families & Children First” & a statewide Children’s Levy — let a little girl be raped – during a supervised visit.  “No Need for a Special Prosecutor in probe of child rape at CSB,” though…  When citizens came to the CSB board meeting to hear about the review of this incident, they were forced to sign in, apparently a violation of the Ohio Open Meetings law was violated:   “Meanwhile, an attorney for the victim’s grandmother says CSB committed a “clear violation of the Open Meetings Act” Tuesday by preventing several people from attending a board meeting. Atty. David Engler, who represents Loretta Banks of Warren, filed a civil complaint Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court seeking an injunction to prevent the agency from barring citizens from future meetings”
Continuing the list. 
(19) Sodomy, in violation of Section 286.
   (20) Lewd and lascivious acts with a child, in violation of
Section 288.
   (21) Oral copulation, in violation of Section 288a.
   (22) Sexual penetration, in violation of Section 289.
   (23) Elder abuse, in violation of Section 368.
   (24) An attempt to commit any crime specified in paragraphs (1) to (23), inclusive.

I'm sure you can get the general idea from reading the descriptions. Question is -- so why can't the AFCC? And why do they persist
in focusing on other, LESS relevant topics, and insisting (by silence and evasive language) they are somehow MORE relevant?

In a September 2011 joint conference between AFCC & AAML, held in Philadelphia, called
Advanced Issues in Child Custody:

Evaluation, Litigation and Settlement

Join AFCC and AAML for an outstanding program designed for advanced-level family lawyers, mental health professionals, judges and others who work in child custody.

• Learn the latest advanced practice skills and strategies • Earn continuing education credit • Expand your practice through unparalleled networking opportunities • An interdisciplinary faculty of leaders in the field • The latest research on children, custody, separation and divorce

Topics include:

Witness Preparation Direct and Cross Examination

Child Development and Attachment

Child Relocation Disputes

Mental Health Consultation  [end of left column]

[top of right column] Parental Alienation

Psychological Testing

Domestic Abuse

Bias and Opinion Formulation

Ethics: Best Interests or Zealous Advocacy?

(you can check the brochure), the word “alienation” occurs 7 times, “conflict” 6, “domestic abuse” 6 times — but only in one sessions and references to that session, and “domestic violence” a word that is out of favor in these circles, only once – in passing, in the opening paragraph.  Just to check, I saw if there were any words referring to what is often the reason custody conflict goes on for years — and that is issues of sexual abuse of children, or allegations (in AFCC terminology “false allegations”) of it.  the word “molestation” doesn’t occur, or “child abuse” or “sexual abuse.”  the word “sex” occurred once — in the section under “Domestic Abuse” and not particularly in regard to children.  I guess these are hard topics for divorce professionals to have to deal with — so, better let the kids just deal with it on their own.  after reunification therapy….

Sponsored by:

Sponsoring Organizations //Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers //Hofstra Law School (in NY)

No really — here’s the opening day, 2nd Pre-Conference Institute session of this Philadelphia Conference:

2. Advanced Mental Health Concepts: A Lawyers’ Guide to the DSM-IV-R and the Use and the Misuse of Psychological Evaluations in Litigation

Which sections of the DSM-IV-R are most relevant to family law cases and why? What are the pros and cons of having your client undergo a psychological evaluation? This session will provide a primer to the DSM for attorneys, highlighting those sections most applicable to a client’s parenting and co-parenting. Particular emphasis will be placed on the DSM Axis II (personality disorders) clients, who predominate high conflict custody cases. Procedural guidelines for psychological evaluation will be provided to increase its potential utility in a litigated child custody case.

Kenneth P. Altshuler, Esq., AAML President-Elect, Portland, ME

Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Palo Alto, CA  (search my site, under Parenting Coordination sections, the name comes up)

Personality disordered clients dominate “high-conflict” custody cases.  Either that, or one parent might just be fighting to protect something, which the professionals choose not to hear, as in the recent case of Scott DeKraii v. Michelle Fournier, Orange County California (home of “Orange County Healthy Marriage Coalition), which had “watch out!” written  ALL over it, including antipsychotic medications, previous assaults on stepfather in front of 4 year old son resulting in a restraining order and “batterers’ intervention” classes, a man for whom more than 50% custody was not enough, a young man who’d begun attempting to have sex at age 12, and a man who had previously come to his ex-wife’s work place and threatened to kill her, in front of witnesses — after which he did.  And the witnesses, this past October.   Dealing with Deafness regarding situations like this might GIVE someone a personality disorder, after too many years of it, just as war veterans have certain symptoms too.

Here’s one more sample, which just goes to demonstrate the concept of using a domestic violence expert as a “heat shield” in certain companies — from the same conference.  As we can see the theme of Alienation is the primary (and first up) topic.  The world is viewed from this high point, for AFCC professionals:

Plenary Session #1—Preparing the Expert Witness

Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Ken H. Lester, Esq., Lester & Hendrix, Columbia, SC 2:30pm-3:00pm Break

3:00pm-4:15pm Concurrent Sessions 1-4

1. Understanding and Responding to Parental Alienation

There is much debate and controversy over parental alienation—how to identify it and how to intervene effectively, both therapeutically and through the courts.

This debate often comes from the “floor” — from people not present at the conferences.  From people who understand the origins of the term, and the application to which Richard Gardner put it, i.e., a circuitous way to characterize a child, male or female, who doesn’t like being raped or molested.  That child is “alienated,” which  means bring on the court-referrals, and reunification camps — at least one of them run by one of the presenters here, Matthew D. Sullivan, as I recall.  An informal rate-the-courts site gives him a solid “F” as an evaluator (NOTE:  I am not in particular favor of this site, and know who’s behind it, but just making the point).  He is in the business — this is the business he is in, and AFCC is a business conference for people who have, by fortune or long-term lobbying, become entrenched in public institutions such as the courts, or for example (in California), the “Administrative Office of the Courts” — and this includes as judges.

The passive term– “there is much debate and controversy over” just goes to show that ALL PR is good PR and good for business. The controversy continues because this group continues to promote, push, and prioritize the term, while others have discredited it as lacking scientific basis, while many now-noncustodial mothers understand it as simply a legal technique to justify a custody switch when no other reason exists.   This has been known for years.  It makes no difference, however, when the conferences continue and the appointees, judges, evaluators, mediators, and other mental health professionals — continue to hold positions of authority over young children and their parents.

Children may resist or reject a parent for many reasons. In this session the presenters will summarize the consequences of alienation and discuss how to differentiate alienation from other types of parent-child contact problems, including justified rejection. Highlighting the essential role of the court, the present- ers will provide an overview of mental health interventions for mild, moderate and severe cases as well as the legal responses and remedies available.

Barbara J. Fidler, Ph.D., Co-author, Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes, Toronto, ON, Canada

Catherine H. Petersen, Esq., AAML Parliamentarian, Norman, OK4

Thursday, September 15, 2011

“justified rejection” is about as roundabout a term as one can get for child abuse, or other harmful behaviors.

2. Parenting Coordinateen 9ion

The hybrid mental health/legal role of the parenting coordinator (PC) is becoming increasingly utilized in custody cases where high conflict continues post decree, thus elevating children’s risk of stress and adjustment issues

Or, as the case may be, kidnapping, abuse, and/or murder.  Example:  Here is a man. Christopher D. Curry (and not the only Christopher D. Curry, obviously) that was arrested in Cleveland — recently — for whipping (beating) his 5 year old daughter for failure to know her alphabet well enough.  (Which brings up the question of, why didn’t the people who called 911 intervene faster?).   I have yet to find any mention in any news report (although it’s all over) of where was the mother?  Being curious, I went to the court docket (Summit County, Ohio) and found out that in 2003 she had filed a restraining order against him; someone by the same name and about the same age in the same region (although it’s a common name) did jail time for receiving stolen property, misdemeanor assault and was in a drug rehab program.

So — why was he caring for a five-year old, where was that little girl’s Mommy?  and why didn’t the new reports ask this question even once?

Police say Ohio dad beat girl over alphabet lesson.

Nov 11, 2011  (co. Associated Press 2011, posted at “abclocal.com” under National/World)

AKRON, OH — Police in Ohio have accused a man of beating his 5-year-old daughter because she was having trouble with her alphabet homework.

Akron police say the kindergartner was struggling to recognize the letter D on Tuesday when 39-year-old Christopher D. Curry became angry.

According to police, he picked the girl up by the neck and struck her in the head repeatedly.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the child was treated at a hospital for bruises and cuts, including a left eye nearly swollen shut.

Curry has been charged with felonious assault, child endangering and domestic violence. He was {{was??}}being held in the Summit County jail with bond set at $100,000.

IS this the same person (b. 1973, this is 2011 — age sounds about 39)?

Here’s the 2003 restraining order:

Filed Date Case Number Party Party Type
07/25/2003 DR-2003-07-2766 CURRY, CHRISTOPHER D

Case ID Name/Date Of Birth Party Type File Date (YYYY/MM/DD) Case Type Court
DoB: 10/4/1973     
DoB: 12/13/1993     
DoB: 10/4/1972     
DoB: 10/4/1973     
DoB: 10/4/1972     
DoB: 10/4/1972     
DoB: 10/4/1972     
DoB: 10/4/1973     
DoB: 10/4/1973     
Date 2/28/1994:
 (apparently did 135 days in county jail)

Another sample of how AFCC //AAML conferences can handle “abuse” or at least refer to it, so no one can say, they just don’t talk about domestic violence, showed up in this conference:

From Sept. 2011 AFCC/AAML conference at Philadelphia, one more workshop:

Although this brings up, “would you know if your client was being (abused)?,” it looks like the only session in the conference that comes close to bringing the topic up:

5. Domestic Abuse in Separation and Divorce: Implications for Legal and Mental Health Professionals

If your client has been coping with domestic abuse or coercive controlling behaviors,** including forced sex,(1) would you even know it? Many abuse victims intentionally mask the violence in their relationship in the hopes of reducing the potential conflict (2) during the divorce process. But unidentified domestic abuse can have significant negative implications for the litigation and evaluation process, so it is imperative that lawyers and evaluators understand these dynamics.(3)  Very recent research has led to the development of new tools for practitioners to use in screening for and assessing the impact of such abuse. (4)Participants attending this interactive workshop will learn to better screen and assess the significance of the different kinds of abuse that occur in intimate relationships (5) and develop effective strategies that will lead to safer and more effective practice.

Loretta Frederick, Esq., Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Winona, MN

John S. Slowiaczek, Esq., AAML Vice President, Omaha, NE

The numbered footnotes are mine – for comment:

(1) forced sex with whom?  In this context, adult is implied — yet historically a hot issue in child custody contexts is abuse of the CHILD during (Unsupervised) parenting time.   I supposed in this conference, a decision was made just not to deal with the topic any more, not this time.   From 1998, a family therapist in Washington discusses “The Myth of False Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Divorce Cases” and lays out how Richard Gardner and “parental alienation” theory figured into this.   Merrilyn McDonald wrote:

It is commonly believed that false allegations of sexual abuse in the context of divorce are epidemic, that most allegations made in the context of divorce are made by vindictive mothers and that these allegations are almost always false. These beliefs are not supported by scientific evidence.1

It is widely believed that at least 50 percent of all allegations of child sexual abuse are false, and that an accused person appearing in a court of law is quite likely to have been falsely accused. Those who defend accused child sexual offenders want us to believe that 50 percent of individuals brought to trial are innocent. These beliefs are not supported by scientific evidence, either.2

. . . . 

A good scientist simply cannot claim that anecdotal case descriptions tell us about the population in general. If I were a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist who had a practice devoted exclusively or almost exclusively to serving those who have been accused of child sexual abuse, and if my criteria for determining that an allegation was false was to accept the declarations of the accused, then I could quite easily arrive at findings that 50 or 75 or even 100 percent of allegations of sexual abuse were false. My findings, however, would never be accepted by good scientists as anything more than a description of the people in my own practice. No good scientist would agree that my findings could tell them anything about all people or about all contested custody cases.

To put it another way, if I were to go to a prison and interview twenty men in maximum security, I might conclude, based on that sample of men, that 50 percent of men are murderers.23

. . .  (this relates to the subject line, and bears re-hearing)…

Many times when a mother believes and defends her children, she is accused of being insane by the offender’s defense team. It seems easier to believe that a mother is insane than that a clean-cut, handsome man would sexually offend his children.

I doubt that even the PENN STATE/ Paterno / Sandusky recent scandal will change this permanently.  Not unless institutional practices are changed.  Just imaging, had these two organizations not been so determined, for so many years, to re-frame domestic violence and child abuse as “HIGH-CONFLICT’ and those trying to remove children from it as “ALIENATORS” — would there have been a culture understanding it’s both OK and important to be aware of these situations and talk about them, or notice symptoms that might indicate such abuse has taken place?

The mother may present to the court as anxious, stressed and upset about the situation, which in some minds seems to support the idea of her insanity. If she has been battered by the accused herself, she may have a number of psychological issues and may, indeed, be in need of therapy. This does not mean that the allegations are false or that any pathology in the mother negates the existence of sexual abuse to the children. If there is pathology in the woman, it is important to have a competent, neutral professional determine first, whether the pathology has been caused by domestic violence, and second, whether the pathology has any relationship to the allegations of abuse.

. . .   The field has attempted to detach and distance itself considerably from Richard Gardner, while sticking to the basic essence of his concepts.  To put the out blatantly again (this was written before Gardner’s untimely death in 2001):

The situation of mothers is made even more difficult by the existence of instruments that claim to be able to determine if a mother is falsely accusing. Richard Gardner created the “Sex Abuse Legitimacy Scale,” which he claims can ferret out falsely accusing mothers and children.38This scale is often used against mothers and children. Jon Conte, editor of the respected “Journal of Interpersonal Violence,” had this to say about the Sex Abuse Legitimacy Scale: “Probably the most unscientific piece of garbage I’ve seen in the field in all my life.39It must be noted that Gardner self-published this scale (and most of his other writings as well),40and that this scale has never been subjected to peer review or any kind of scientific scrutiny. There is no basis in published, peer-reviewed research for anything claimed in this scale. Using it, many, if not most, mothers who behaved in a very typical, normal way after hearing a disclosure of sexual abuse would fail to meet the “criteria” for a genuinely accusing mother. Some of the criteria for inclusion in the category of false accusers are initial belief of the child’s disclosure, disclosure during custody or divorce dispute, anxiety about the child being seen alone with a psychiatrist or psychologist, and anger or suspicion toward the accused.41

This author (McDonald) goes on:

I looked to Gardner’s own writings to glean a bit of insight into his ideological position regarding sexual abuse. In his book, True and False Accusations of Sexual Abuse, Gardner, who does a great deal of forensic work for the accused, nationwide, said:

My final position on this matter is this: a pedophile is the name given to a person whom the judge and/or jury decides they want to put away. … It is of interest that of all the ancient peoples it may very well be that the Jews were the only ones who were punitive toward pedophiles. … Early Christian proscriptions against pedophilia appear to have been derived from earlier teachings of the Jews, and our present overreaction to pedophilia represents an exaggeration of Judeo-Christian principles and is a significant factor operative in Western society’s atypicality with regard to such activities.42

 Well, bravo for Jews and CHristians — although nowaday, I don’t know that we have the same brand of either religion (particularly the latter) in operation when it comes to letting little girls hit at least puberty before being groomed for or used for sexual purposes by adults, and little boys being able as well to keep other adults hands off their genital AND anal regions, as well as off other adult male private parts.   This — in blunt terms — is what children dont need more of.  Now let’s review the ONE workshop in a multi-day conference last September 11 with two major organizations who affect WHERE CHILDREN LIVE after, many times, accusations of abuse come up.  This was one 45- minute breakout session of 4 (during the time slot), Friday morning of a Thurs – Sat. conference.  If professionals are dealing with clients with any of the issues, and which “Advanced” skills and knowledge, this was the closest they’d come to it in the Philadelphia conference>

5. Domestic Abuse in Separation and Divorce: Implications for Legal and Mental Health Professionals

If your client has been coping with domestic abuse or coercive controlling behaviors,** including forced sex,(1) would you even know it? Many abuse victims intentionally mask the violence in their relationship in the hopes of reducing the potential conflict (2) during the divorce process. But unidentified domestic abuse can have significant negative implications for the litigation and evaluation process, so it is imperative that lawyers and evaluators understand these dynamics.(3)  Very recent research has led to the development of new tools for practitioners to use in screening for and assessing the impact of such abuse. (4)Participants attending this interactive workshop will learn to better screen and assess the significance of the different kinds of abuse that occur in intimate relationships (5) and develop effective strategies that will lead to safer and more effective practice.

Loretta Frederick, Esq., Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Winona, MN

John S. Slowiaczek, Esq., AAML Vice President, Omaha, NE

(2).  Let’s take statement 2 — why abuse victims “intentionally mask the violence in hopes of reducing the potential conflict.

Rebuttal (mine):  the statement is overbroad and vague — which relationship?  Clients of these people are in the divorce, separation custody processes, as such their “relationship” is as required by having children in common, by court decree, and or by whether or not one of them may be a stalker, etc.   What’s more, this phrasing (Grammar) excuses professional lack of awareness that abuse has been happening on the victim, and attribute it to the victim’s hope of not creating conflict.  Talk about not stepping on people’s toes!

Also, talk about projecting motives:  “in hope of not causing conflict.”  The street reality is, separation from, independence from, demanding any sort of anything from a partner who has formerly battered (see “Battered women’s justice project” so we know Ms. Frederick must be aware this happens) — AUTOMATICALLY causes conflict. Prior to this, in for example, a live-in relationship, the woman — or man — knows what showing independence does:  it causes conflict.  For someone who has been so brave as to start standing up and expect boundaries, that person — that abuse victim — already knows that conflict exists.

On the other hand, over time in the family law system, it doesn’t take “rocket science” to realize that talking about this is counter-productive, and talking about it MAY cause retaliatory judgments, and has been.  So I find that statement odd.  I don’t think a person totally aware of how things work would’ve made it, and wonder that Ms. Fredericks (more on her co-presenter) would even say that.  I am a woman who was battered — a lot — in marriage, and speculating that “hope to avoid conflict” may cause an abuser to “mask” abuse in the relationship absolutely does not represent my truth.  In fact — as I’m demonstrating in these quotes — it is HABITUALLY the AFCC’s (and this represents a good chunk of the court’s) INTENT & HOPE TO MASK ALREADY IDENTIFIED ABUSE, WHICH ITSELF CAUSES AN INNATE CONFLICT WITH THOSE WHO HAVE REPORTED IT AND ARE ATTEMPTING TO GET IT OUT OF THEIR FAMILIES’ LIVES & THEIR KID’S “NORMAL” EXPERIENCE OF LIFE.

Women in this situation are in a fight for survival and sometimes for their children — and that survival is more important than not offending someone else or causing “conflict.”  We are not afraid of conflict, because we have already been living with it for years.  We want peace — naturally — but not at the price of slavery, or of sacrificing children (or contact with them).  We should not have to run additional guantlets in this forum, virtual tightropes, to get that safety and freedom from ongoing abuse — in different forms, post-separation. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice child support, either.

(4)  Very recent research has led to the development of new tools for practitioners to use in screening for and assessing the impact of such abuse.

First of all, Ms. Frederick’s professional background shows that she does indeed know populations that have suffered severe violence and abuse.   And as she is also an attorney, surely she must know the legal definitions of it, as does Mr. Slowiaczek (more below).   I blogged last August about the BWJP / AFCC mutual project to study the “institutional ethnography” of the family court system:


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

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

BWJP and Praxis staff  have formed a National Workgroup with representatives from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts(AFCC).  In consultation with leading researchers and practitioners, they have begun to examine the institutional processes by which family courts commonly reach and/or facilitate crucial parenting decisions, including the use of auxiliary advisors such as custody evaluators, guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates.

That’s all very nice (and professionally rewarding) — however, most parents I’ve had contact with, during the past TWELVE years my case has been IN the family court system — will agree that IN the family court system is one of the most dangerous places any parent can be when issues of violence and abuse were primary in the separation. We are on a different time frame.  ALL children, growing up, are on a different time frame.  And our needs definitely diverge from those whose livelihoods are IN the family court system.

When BWJP joined up with AFCC, I knew that it would no longer speak for such families.  As we can see, the speech has been sanitized, compartmentalized, neutralized and in fact purged of concrete terms in search of some mutually acceptable framework.  BWJP comes under DAIP, which comes under the MPDI (Minnesota Program Development Inc.) group, which — for reference — is paid this much (grants, HHS — not including any OVW/DOJ grants) to talk about frameworks and explicate what is — and is not — dangerous behavior and run (and sell) interventions for it:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards

Ms. Fredericks, according to an interview in this book, began as a legal aid lawyer in a small MN town (Winona) and quipped, how could you not become a feminist:

books.google.comBonnie WatkinsNina Rothchild – 1996 – 352 pages – Preview
Loretta Frederick Loretta Frederick is a Legal-Aid attorney in Winona, a small city along the Mississippi River She has been active in family-law issues, and in the founding of the Women’s Resource Center there. Loretta, 40, has an 

(one can search, I can’t copy & paste).  She began in 1978 right out of law school, and quipped:  “you couldn’t, not unless you were really dense, practice poverty law for more than 10 minutes and not become a feminist” I recommend reading it, because I believe (judging by the choice of companions) this person — who really knows what happens behind closed doors — is not quite the feminist any more.  If the plan is to infiltrate an organization such as AFCC and influence it towards understanding that battering and rape still occur, I would have to say, that the purpose might be amiss at this point.  Rather, the presence of this group in a conference provides public rationalization that the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts actually cares about children that end up battered and/or raped, let alone tha adults involved.   

For context, Ms. Fredericks and Ms. Denise Gamache have both published alongside, quite a bit (google the names) in various contexts.  I’d thought Loretta had spearheaded an HHS grant — but for reference, historically, here are HHS Family Violence Prevention Grants with Ms. Gamache as principle investigator.  Notice the dates, titles, and amounts:




Fiscal Year City Recovery Act Indicator Award Number Award Title Budget Year CFDA Number Award Action Type Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
1995 DULUTH 90EV0011 P.A. FV-03-93 – SIRC 03 93671 OTHER REVISION DENISE GAMACHE $ 0



(For meaning of CFDAs 936571 and 93592, look it up at TAGGS.hhs.gov)

How many resource centers and how much technical assistance does it take for a custody evaluator, attorney, mediator, or judge to recognize someone who has been abused in a court proceeding?

Are we there yet?   Have we forgotten that some abusers ARE judges and attorneys?   Or the Alanna Krause case?  Her father was a prominent civil rights attorney, and here’s part of her story.

From SF Weekly, 2002:

n many ways, Alanna’s academic and social success is unsurprising. She grew up in a well-to-do family in Marin County. Her mother, Lauren Simone-Smith, is an artist with multiple college degrees. Her father, Marshall Krause, a prominent civil liberties attorney before his third retirement in 2000, worked for the ACLU in the ’60s and has argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court six times.

Despite her pedigree, Alanna’s life before college was nothing short of hellish, fraught with physical violence, institutionalization, and running away — much of which could have been avoided. As a 10-year-old in 1993, Alanna had gotten tangled up in the crony-driven Marin family courts during a bitter child custody battle between her parents. Throughout the custody case, she begged to live with her mother, because, she claimed, her father was physically abusive and often left her at home alone.

But in the end, the system granted custody of Alanna to her dad, despite some troubling circumstances. According to a report submitted to the Los Angeles Juvenile Courts, Alanna’s therapist had had a “seemingly intimate” relationship with her father (which he denies), and both the court-appointed evaluator and her court-appointed attorney relied on questionable science in making their recommendations. Once he had custody, Marshall Krause checked Alanna into a locked residential treatment facility in Utah for five months, though she had no criminal history or evidence of mental health problems. When she returned to her father’s care at age 13, Alanna decided that she couldn’t live with what she attests were constant fights and the threat of physical confrontation, so she ran away to Los Angeles. A juvenile court there finally placed Alanna with her mother in Ojai, where she lived until she left for college last year.

Alanna believes her $135 million lawsuit will send the
message that children need a voice in family courts.

Actually — it was a very smart thing to run to another jurisdiction.  Had her case played out in L.A. with the same issues, she’d probably still have stayed with her Dad.  Another prominent case in reported (also in the SFWeekly) in 2001 involved a California/Texas custody fight, over the issue of child abuse (not Alanna’s kind, the other kind):

Law and Borders

Prosecutors, judges, governors, a sex offender, and a woman with a penchant for poor judgement entangle California and Texas in an epic child custody war with two sure losers — aged 7 and 9.

By Lisa Davis (published: November 14, 2001 — 10 years & 1 day ago EXACTLY — in SFWeekly)

Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail is among the largest county jails in the United States; it holds thousands of women, including, since her extradition in September, Debra Schmidt, mother, grandmother, minor media star, accused kidnapper, former fugitive, and subject of a war  between Texas and California.

During the last several years, Schmidt has become entangled with a host of public and private characters — including prosecutors, judges, and even a couple of governors (one of whom went on to become president) — in an epic child custody war over the meaning of the most basic aspects of family, law, and family law. At the heart of the matter is Schmidt’s belief that her two youngest daughters are not safe with their father, a convicted sex offender to whom the California courts have, sometimes in apparent violation of the law, granted a variety of supervised and unsupervised visitation and custody arrangements. Her concerns seem eminently reasonable; public records show the father has exhibited a variety of anti-social behaviors, including child molestation and alleged spousal abuse.

Through a series of strategically ridiculous moves, however, Schmidt has managed to turn the legal tables upon herself, and to at least temporarily invalidate the agreements that are the foundation of interstate law and order. After fleeing to Texas with her children, Schmidt was able to gain the backing of authorities there — but in doing so, she sparked the ire of California family courts and a prosecutor who has filed child abduction charges against her.

Way to blame the mother, in that paragraph.  What options did the legal system leave her?

Also, re:  “the agreements that are the foundation of interstate law and order,” that law and order has been made a joke of more than once in this system, including when mothers want to try & get their abducted kids back.

I’ll let Cindy Ross tell how the Beltway Sniper’s (John Muhammad) attorney described him (cf. “Eisenberg,” above) a “normal, thoughtful, reasonable guy” frustrated by the court system. Earlier, he had abducted his children out of the country & changed their names.  When the mother caught up, she fled across country, and hid in Maryland.

Another parental kidnapping scenario from same general timeframe:

Despite concerns regarding John Muhammad’s potential for violence and his violation of court orders, attorney John S. Mills of Tacoma, tried to help him find the children and regain custody after Mildred was forced to go “underground”. According to the Washington Post (see previous linked article), Mr. Mills said of Mr. Muhammad:  “He was angry at how he was treated over his kids…He was never able to locate her. That went on for two or three months. Then he vanished” . . . “For three weeks in October, the “Beltway Sniper” terrorized the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Ten people were shot to death and three seriously wounded while they were doing routine activities like shopping, mowing grass, pumping gas, or going to school. The “Sniper” left cryptic and chilling messages referring to himself as “God” and threatening that children were not safe “anywhere, at any time.

After 22 days, following leads that took them from Maryland to Alabama and New Jersey to Tacoma, Washington, authorities arrested two suspects. John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17 were found at a rest stop sleeping in their car. Rifles confiscated from Muhammad’s vehicle included an XM-15 and ballistic tests linked the rifle to the .223 caliber bullets used to shoot most of the victims.

Scared Silent

Excerpt from this book tells of the moment when (in DC area) she had to face that her ex was the Beltway Sniper.  The other people killed were a smokescreen, so when she was killed it’d be blamed on “the sniper” — yet he got caught.   She even had trouble reconciling this, but remembered his statements:   “Now I was recalling every frightening comment John had ever made to me. He once said, “When a man hits a woman, it means that he has lost all respect for her. It would be easy for him to kill her after that.”  But I did not foresee, not even in my wildest nightmare, that John would ever kill people who had nothing to do with me or our troubled marriage.”  ….”

More on this couple–he had military training, Nation of Islam, returns from Saudi Arabia war with PTSD, took the children — on a visitation.  Before they had a written custody plan, “nothing police could do to help.”

And yet to his attorney, he was just a guy frustrated over divorce.  He was also a convert to Islam, militarily trained, PTSD-exhibiting, prior death threats to wife, regular sort of man the family courts show bias against, and no real threat to her, or anyone else.  10/25/2002 extended Washington Post article shows more background, including 2 court martials, one for striking an officer.

ERGO — I say — there is no explication needed for battering, and no training interventions.  There are not 50 ways a man can repeatedly assault his wife, and some of them be simply “relationship violence” and not domestic violence, just “high conflict.”

All this was addressing the comment, “Through a series of strategically ridiculous moves, however, Schmidt has managed to turn the legal tables upon herself, and to at least temporarily invalidate the agreements that are the foundation of interstate law and order.”  I know the writer meant no harm, and probably was unaware of how often mothers in the courts, where violence was a factor, are indeed caught between a rock and a hard place.  Then again — what excuse is there for the lawyers being so unaware?

Back to the California/Texas case.

The cross-jurisdiction custody battle became so heated that one-time Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his successor, Rick Perry, refused to extradite Schmidt to stand trial in California — a transfer that is ordinarily a matter of routine legal courtesy. Eventually, a federal judge forced Texas to hand Schmidt over, and now a mother who claims her only interest is to protect her children from a sex offender waits to stand trial in Alameda County next week on a felony child abduction charge.

The fate of her children remains unclear.

A Texas court has ordered that the children not leave the Lone Star State, where they currently live. A California court is demanding the children return to the state of California. Neither state seems willing to budge, and no one seems to know the way out of a legal stalemate that better serves the needs of large legal egos than the interests of two girls, aged 7 and 9.

Even in jail and half a country away from her children, Schmidt says that she would do it all over again. “The California courts put me in the position of having to protect my children,” she says, utterly sure in her naive belief that because she is in the moral right, the legal system will eventually be on her side, too.

You can say that again, about the egos ….  (the story goes on to indicate she was raped by the husband in front of a daughter, threats to take the children out of the country, and so forth.  The court continues ordering the couple to mediation….)

In any event, the incident marked the last time Schmidt allowed Saavedra to visit their children. Between March and August 1997, the couple bounced back and forth between courts and court-ordered mediation, arguing about the custody and visitation of their children. Repeatedly, the court ordered Schmidt to allow her ex-husband to visit their children, and, repeatedly, Schmidt defied the order. At one point, the children were to meet with their father at the Walter Britten Center in Stockton, a county-operated center designed expressly for such court-ordered visits. Schmidt refused to bring her children to the center, saying that it was not supervised well enough, particularly because it included an outdoor playground that was not supervised at all.

In fact, according to Vicky Price, a counselor at the center, Walter Britten was not set up to handle visitation by sex offenders — federal guidelines require that they be seen and heard by a supervisor at all times — until at least 1999, two years after the court ordered Schmidt to take her children there.**

LGH note:  Looks like Walter Britten is one of the Access/Visitation grant recipients, in the Supervised Visitation Network; purpose:  “For Enhancing Opportunity and Responsibility for Nonresidential Parents.”  This is part of welfare reform and fatherhood promotion; Saavedra may was a sex offender, but also a Dad, and so this case very possibly had some money changing hands on it.  However clearly the mother said, “No!”

“Manuel called me the day before the second visit was supposed to happen and said, “Say goodbye to your girls,'” Schmidt says. “It scared me. I believed him [when he said he would abscond with the children], and I still do.”

This woman and Alanna Krause — and the fathers — are different generations and couldn’t be more different, but the court in both cases refused to protect children from abuse.

Here’s what AFCC was discussing in 2002, (2001 conference had to be postponed some because of 9/11 (apparently that size of disaster, they couldn’t ignore):

With AFCC staff and many members en route to New York for the 2001 Regional Conference, terrorists struck the World Trade Center on September 11.  The conference was cancelled, but the AFCC spirit was not to be daunted by these events.  With the support of AFCC New York members and Hofstra Law School, the conference was held five months later, and AFCC members worldwide contributed money and support to help the organization weather this challenge.

But in Baltimore, plans had been already laid to make sure fault was never assigned in custody cases; rather, the courts were to become “CONFLICT MANAGERS (as referenced at a Hofstra School, Selected Conference presentations by A. Schepard (AFCC):

The Transformation of the Child Custody Court: From Fault finder to Conflict Manager to Differential Diagnosis,

Second Annual Symposium on Family Law

of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Family Division, Baltimore, Maryland (November 14, 2001)

OR (2000)

Keynote Speaker on Children of High Conflict Divorce,

Wingspread Conference Sponsored by the Johnson Foundation

and the American Bar Association Family Law Section (September 2000)

(3) … unidentified domestic abuse can have significant negative implications for the litigation and evaluation process, so it is imperative that lawyers and evaluators understand these dynamics.

It is not “imperative” that lawyers and evaluators understand these dynamics to make it better for litigation and evaluation, but most of all so that one of their clients doesn’t get knocked off – or bankrupted and put homeless, in the litigation and evaluation process.   Their concern ought to be a LITTLE closer to their clients’ concern.  Which brings up another point:

A little reminder:  Who is an “officer of the court.”

**coercive controlling behaviors ARE a form of abuse, but there is always someone to shave off more situations to whittle down the definition of what is “Real” abuse a little more.  FYI, abuse happens on a continuum, and may start out with a bang, or it may be a constant paring down of options, til no options remain.  For example, it may start out economic, or in any other form — but if people cannot be together in mutually voluntary way — then coercion won’t make it better.

Now — I am going to address this workshop, some.  I didn’t know Mr. Slowiaczek, so looked him up.  Here is a Transcript of testimony — he was testifying (name shows up 3 times) apparently in support of — and Loretta Fredericks (not present, but mentioned by someone testifying against) what appears to be a bill stating joint custody as presumptive for the state of Nebraska:

Transcript Prepared By the Clerk of the Legislature Transcriber’s Office

Judiciary Committee March 25, 2009

[LB4 LB226 LB423 LB589 LB660]

The Committee on Judiciary met at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Room 1113 of the State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska, for the purpose of conducting a public hearing on LB660, LB589, LB423, LB4, and LB226. Senators present: Brad Ashford, Chairperson; Steve Lathrop, Vice Chairperson; Mark Christensen; Colby Coash; Brenda Council; Scott Lautenbaugh; Amanda McGill; and Kent Rogert. Senators absent: None. []

This attorney is prestigious  — a National Vice President  — within AAML, and sat on the 50th Anniversary National Committee (AAML)  on:

Bounds of Advocacy Revision – Special Committee
Elizabeth Lindsey, Vice Chair
John Slowiaczek, Chair

(whatever that was about). He is now concentrating on (family law / domestic relations) and per his site, Mr. Slowiaczek is an experienced trial lawyer with a broad background. Mr. Slowiaczek now concentrates his practice in the field of domestic relations and is recognized as one of the leading domestic relations lawyers in this region. He frequently lectures on various domestic law issues. He serves on the Executive Committee and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Slowiaczek is also a Diplomate of the American College of Family Law Trial Lawyers. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and is rated “AV” in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.and is named in the Great Plains Superlawyers list. :

SO here is part of his testimony, in 2009, in front of a whole lot of Senators, i.e., The Nebraska Legislature, 3/25/2009, on one of these bills:

He is opposed to the bill presumption of equal / shared custody . . on the other hand, he seems to think that mediation was working just fine.  Note this comment:

SENATOR COUNCIL: And one of the proponents alluded to the issue of child support. [LB589 LB423]


SENATOR COUNCIL: And in your experience, how often do these custody disputes boil down to the child support obligation? [LB589 LB423] 

JOHN SLOWIACZEK: I think a fair number of people want shared custody because they want to pay lower child support, but they don’t want to pay corresponding expenses associated with shared custody. I mean, the fundamental concept of shared custody is you’re going to share time and you’re going to share expenses, but they don’t do that. Too often one person will say, I’m paying child support, but I’m not going to pay any of the other expenses. And I think it’s fair to say that many people historically want shared custody because they don’t want to pay as much support. [LB589 LB423]

and this observation:

SENATOR ASHFORD: Thank you. Any questions? Thank you. Thanks for your comments. Opponents of either bill or both. [LB589 LB423]

AMIE MARTINEZ: Good afternoon. My name is Amie Martinez. I am an attorney in Lincoln. Martinez is M-a-r-t-i-n-e-z. About 90 percent of the work that I do is in the area of domestic relations, and I appear before you today as the chair of the house of delegates for the Nebraska State Bar Association. The Nebraska State Bar Association is opposed to both LB423 and LB589. We have a number of concerns specifically with regard to the presumption of joint custody. To be clear, we’re not opposed to the idea of joint custody or to orders that include joint custody, but to the presumption imposing joint custody in all situations. First of all, not all families have equal parenting time roles up until the time that they are divorced. So this would be a change many times in circumstances. The American Bar Association favors a case-by-case to determination without rigid presumptions for or against joint custody. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges instruct judges not to presume that joint custody is in the best interest of children. In January of 2009, just a few months ago, Minnesota issued a joint physical custody presumption study group report.

In Minnesota, the legislature directed the state court administrators to consider a potential impact of an adoption of a statute similar to this, to these that are being proposed with regard to a presumption for joint physical custody. With a group of lawyers, laypeople, psychologists, various groups of folks they came up with six recommendations. And the primary recommendation was that there should be no presumption for or against joint custody with the exception that in cases involving domestic violence, there should be a presumption against. Several states have in the past created presumptions of joint custody only to later change their statutes to eliminate that presumption and to allow joint custody only when parents agree to the same. One such state is California who reported that more than…according to the judges, more than two-thirds of them found that the imposition of joint custody under the operation of the presumption led to mixed or bad results. Several states have encouraged joint custody but do not impose the presumption. One of those states is Iowa. I heard one of the remarks included a quote out of Iowa. And the Supreme Court actually in 2007 interpreted the legislation to not impose that presumption. Nebraska previously had a presumption that mothers should receive custody, and we eliminated that presumption. In sum, the presumptions take the place of individualized attention to determine the best result for the child. And our concern is with regard to that presumption. [LB589 LB423]

SENATOR ASHFORD: Thank you, Amie. It’s good to see you again. Next opponent. [LB589 LB423]

JOHN SLOWIACZEK: Good afternoon, Senator Ashford, Senators. My name is John Slowiaczek, it’s S-l-o-w-i-a-c-z-e-k. I’m an attorney. I’ve been practicing law in Omaha24for 35 years. My practice is devoted entirely to domestic work and it has had…I’ve done nothing but divorce law for all practical purposes for the last 25 years. I am very much opposed to the legislation. There should be no presumption one way or the other. The law as it presently exists works and it works fine. The presumption in favor of joint custody whether it’s legal or physical would be chaos in the legal system. And as far as I’m concerned, it would do nothing but exacerbate divorces. It would make it much more expensive, and people would be fighting when they otherwise wouldn’t fight. Right now we have a mediation program that is statewide that has been passed as a legislation last year. And that is working and I think it’s working well . . .

When you look at children and you look at homes, generally speaking most parents have similar goals for their kids. But within most homes people divide their responsibilities and they divide the determination as to who’s going to be performing certain roles. And in my experience, it’s a very unusual family that has equal sharing of responsibility for children. To make a presumption that you’re going to make equal responsibility is ludicrous. One thing I ask of you is ask yourself, do you want to spend one week in a bed in one home and one week in a bed in another home and go back and forth. People who want joint custody, whether…and they want to make a presumption, as far as I’m concerned are more concerned about their own best interests than the best interests of the children.

Very interesting …  now imagine if the reason for separation literally had something to do with domestic violence or child abuse — how that might work in application.  I don’t think the parent would sleep — at all — while the child was in the other home.

JOHN SLOWIACZEK: Well, last year we…there’s new legislation that was passed and there is mediation now mandated in the state for parenting with regard to all issues that involve custody of children. So within the context of the divorce process, everybody goes to mediation sessions in an effort to resolve parenting issues. [LB589 LB423]

SENATOR COASH: With the limited time we’ve had that in place, what’s your opinion on how well that’s working for the children? [LB589 LB423]25

JOHN SLOWIACZEK: Well, I’m a product of Douglas County, so we’ve had it in place for probably I want to say ten years and I may be a little bit off on that. It has cut down custody fights and it’s working fine. And I will admit, I went into the mediation process kicking and screaming saying it shouldn’t work, and it… [LB589 LB423]

So he was a divorcing father and mediation worked for him.

SENATOR ASHFORD: I remember that (laughter). That goes back to 1991, John, and that’s a dim, dim memory for both of us. [LB589 LB423]

JOHN SLOWIACZEK: It works and it’s working fine. I think it’s really working fine

AND — here’s the reference to Loretta Frederick, in this testimony:

ROBERT SANFORD: (Exhibit 13) Senator Ashford and committee members, my name is Robert Sanford, S-a-n-f-o-r-d, and I’m the legal director for the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition. The coalition is a membership organization made up of 22 local organizations providing services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking across the state of Nebraska. I am here today to express the coalition’s opposition to both LB423 and LB589 because presumptions for joint custody can increase the risk of harm to children and victims of domestic violence. Joint custody is often seen as an ideal for both parents and children, and those who are best situated for it are going to agree to it regardless of whether the presumption exists or not. Our concern for the safety of the parent and child when there is conflict and the potential for violence as presumptions for joint custody often compromise a victim’s safety.

A presumption of joint custody requires more interaction between parents to negotiate the day-to-day life of a child, increasing the likelihood children will be exposed to high and moderate levels of conflict. Loretta Frederick of the Battered Women’s Justice Project also states that both the logistics of the child’s schedules and needs must be workable in order for joint custody to work. Why would Nebraska pass a law adopting a presumption for joint custody when states such as California, the first state to pass a presumption of joint custody, have moved away from it? While these two bills have language regarding the best interests…may I finish my sentences? [LB589 LB423]


ROBERT SANFORD: …regarding best interest of the child, best interest is clearly to be ignored if the parents are both fit. We stand in opposition to both of these bills. [LB589 LB423]

And one proponent brought up “parental alienation” — who was a father, who’d been through several divorces he said:

RUFINO VILLARREAL: Good afternoon. My name is Rufino Villarreal. It’s spelled R-u-f-i-n-o V-i-l-l-a-r-r-e-a-l. I’m a proponent, obviously, and I’m just a citizen. I’ve been involved in a few groups for equal parenting, but I’m commenting as just a citizen. {{sure…. thinking independently}}   I think we can all agree that most people believe and most psychologists believe that children need both parents. They need the role model of the father and the caring of the mother. And I think this bill is moving us into that direction. I think it’s really important. I’ve had a couple of divorces and so I’ve kind of been through the mill on this. And I think what our society is seeing as a whole is because the father is usually excluded from the family that it’s a negative impact on the child, which in turn affects our communities with more, you know, violence, drug abuse, and so forth when they don’t have the father figure or at least equal parenting for the children. {{real independent thinking:  fatherlessness is a social scourge}} Now, I was in the Fathers for a Lifetime group and there’s a lot of fathers out there that really want to get involved . . .

here was I guess it’s kind of like a power thing, but it’s not really a power thing. It’s just the kids need both parents. You know, I guess I learned about parental alienation syndrome the hard way with my divorce, my last one. And as far as the power goes, my wife has changed my son’s name, Rufino Junior, to Tony (phonetic) in her school. And I told the school, you know, his name is Rufino. They go, no it’s Tony (phonetic). And I go, why? They said because your wife has custody. You know, I don’t think that’s right. I think all we just need is some equality, you know, nothing more. And that’s about it. [LB589 LB423]

He learned the word “parental alienation” from somewhere.  Changing the son’s name — that’s tough, sure…  But now that the legislature is not listening, and AFCC is conferring, parental alienation talk is the theme…

Clearly, the language AND grammar of “high-conflict” and “alienation” is alienated from the world we live in — from reality

If AFCC wishes to sincerely help protect little children from assaults — as well as “alienation” — they had better start using real-world language, and let go of the made-up jargon, the purpose of which is to transform others’ reality in a way to keep justifying their existence in this world, and silence on situations like the one above.  It should be understand that the bulk of the AFCC conferences are hoping to pull in custody evaulators, parent coordinators, psychological testing, and a lot of other work that many individuals couldn’t even begin to afford the first time around.  For those who do go that right — they will be bled dry financially (one side, or both) which of course stacks the odds to or from one parent, and definitely compromises the well-being of the child, sometimes removing a parent entirely from his/her life by virtue of one parent can no longer afford to PAY to see his or her child (if supervised visitation is assigned).

From the “High Conflict Institute”


NO — really? ??  You’re kiddin’ me….

Veteran’s Day Youtube

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dannielle Ritacco stands among headstones during the 62nd Annual Veterans Day Memorial Celebration at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle on Friday, November 11, 2011. Photo: Associated Press, Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com

These soldiers have rest.  But while they were alive, they had conflict — it’s part of life.  There is one way to get rid of it — kill off life, or figure out common values within a group, or pick a world ruler.  Now, I”m not in favor of the first and last options, so til those become mandatory, I’m more in favor of negotiating as many common values within any group (or relationship) I’m in; and if no reasonable — or NONlethal/destructive — resolution is possible, then I choose to detach from that relationship.

And I did this as a parent, being able to negotiate a very difficult separation (involving a DV restraining order) — until I learned that certain people had an innate concept with my right to detach (in order to live) and a more serious conflict with the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights.  These were to be suspended for more and more situations — the primary excuse for suspending them being, if one was a member of a “family” (i.e., participated in normal human behavior called reproduction).

ANYHOW — Back at the Ranch, I learned:

No longer are we actually calling murderous and violent relationships “high-conflict.”  We are to call them “Potentially high-conflict” and get judges to immunize families against Potential conflict through court-ordered participation in training by this licensed counselor.  I guess he’ll have to share air time with Parent Coordinators…..

While Penn State is reeling and reconsidering ‘what happened”  AFCC professionals have not skipped a beat in developing new ways to market the same old hogwash, that everyone actually wants their skills, and that the public should be supporting their marketing plan through the family law courts.

Oh yes — and that child abuse as in child porn, molestation and trafficking does not REALLY exist, hence the only child abuse really worth talking about is alienation, meaning one parent may not have access to another child.  In results, they end up frequently making sure that parent is the mother — not the father.  And when it doesn’t go that way, somehow, no matter how many fathers feel entitled to run off with their children and do a murder/suicide event — it doesn’t phase AFCC practices a bit.   Not hardly.  They are on a course, and none dare intervene.

The real problem with AFCC members, overall (this is not to say there aren’t nice people in there or decent ones.  Not in the leadership of course — there’s no excuse for subscribing to the group’s tax evasion practices (significant of the beginnings) — or even premises, which include that the language of criminal law should be dismantled in favor of better language of their choosing. But to continue membership and participation is to engage in denial about the purposes and practices of the group.

Sometimes  I think that the trouble is, some people really LOVED elementary school — and excelled at it.  If there is a teacher at the head of the room dominating the activities, then all is well with the world.  The thing is, to get in with whoever’s in charge, and not attract negative attention.  Then someday, you, too — can play teacher, to the World.  Because the world without a headmaster, a principal, a schoolmarm that really has it under control — can be a very, very scary place.  One might have to stand on one’s own too feet.  One might have to come up with original thoughts and justify them without friends nearby.   And those thoughts might not have even a leg to stand on, exposed to clear light.

That’s at least one theory I have of why this group still is around, after all that has been exposed about it starting around mid-1990s.  The other reason is that it’s figured out how to control things, is it only takes so many affiliates in high places to start reaching critical mass.  Plus, let’s not forget, when it comes to parenting classes, supervised visitation, court-ordered counseling, and mediation — a lot of the bills are paid by the public already, whether through federal grants, or local county courthouse payrolls.

(when reading the literature and reflecting on the practices of AFCC groups — including making up new professional niches, starting national organizations to promote them, and then citing these all over their personal websites as if it evidenced something much more than group memberships, or collections of associated group memberships (AFCC, CRC, APA, AAML, etc.)

So, here we have the theory of “HIGH CONFLICT PEOPLE” and of course, along with this is needed a “HIGH CONFLICT INSTITUTE”

High Conflict People aren’t just difficult people,

they’re the MOST difficult people.

They pick a Target of Blame and assault that person verbally, physically, financially, etc.* * * They promote high conflict divorces, lawsuits, complaints against co-workers, neighbors, friends and family. They sue professionals, gather negative advocates, cost employers lots of time and money. They convince everyone that it’s all your fault!   If you’re dealing with a situation like this then you’ve come to the right place to get information, resources and tools to help you.

**”THEY?”  As if the court system itself were not incentivized to cater to this, or inciting it when sometimes even the parent didn’t care about the issues!  Talk about the “Us/Them” divide….

Now (from the same page) about the “WE” — as opposed to the big, bad enemy, ‘They” — the “high-conflict people.”

  • We provide speakers and trainers
  • We provide consultations to organizations and individuals on an hourly basis.
  • We developed this program to help potentially high-conflict families stay out of court, while learning and practicing conflict reducing skills, teaching these skills to their children, and making decisions. It is designed to save courts time and parents money and offers a significant shift in attitude toward high-conflict cases.

First of all, doesn’t sound like anything new at all.  Second — I thought it was about high-conflict people – not high-conflict cases.

SOMETIMES though, it’s just off the deep end….  I believe these are self-explanatory irrational.

Goals of New Ways for Families™

  1. To immunize families against becoming high-conflict families during the separation and the divorce process.
  2. To help parents teach their children resilience in this time of huge and rapid change in the foundation of their family life
  3. To strengthen both parent’s abilities to make parenting decisions, while relying less on experts and the courts** to make their decisions for them.
  4. To assist professionals and the courts in assessing both parent’s potential to learn new, positive ways of problem-solving and organizing their family after a separation or divorce.
  5. To give parents a chance to change poor parenting behaviors (including abuse and alienation) before long-term decisions are made. This method emphasizes learning new skills for positive future behavior.
**Pay no attention to the fact that we assume ourselves to be the experts and wish the courts to recognize that status, and the privileges attached.
**Pay also no attention to the ASSUMPTION that neither parent is competent to make a “parenting” decision.

How It Works

Step 1:   Getting Started

Parents can agree to use New Ways, or a judge can order it while also making temporary parenting orders, support orders, and restraining orders.** First, each parent selects his or her own Individual Parent Counselor from a list of counselors trained in the New Ways method. Then, each parent prepares a Behavioral Declaration and a Reply Behavioral Declaration, which are the only declarations provided to the counselors, along with any related parenting orders, two business days before the counseling begins.

**That’s the wet dream.  A world in which this group — too — can avoid the competitive marketplace entirely and simply have a judge ORDER participation.  No more actually having to produce a product someone needs, wants, and would voluntarily buy with what’s left of their money — after all, in America, chances are their mommies and/or daddies already ran the family court gauntlet.

In short it’s NEW WAY, or the HIGHWAY.    Notice the “opt-out” option isn’t mentioned.  The concept of taking New Ways For Families while throwing an abuser out of one’s immediate reach, and dealing with the extreme danger this can mean to self, children, bystanders and/or him(her) is typical.  After all, is it a New Ways Counselor going to be in the crossfire?

Here are the speaker bios, predictable background and affiliations:

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the “High Conflict Personality” theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.

He developed a theory (using THE buzz-word of the AFCC, it’s all over their material, it dribbles out every time a member opens his or her mouth, or is faced with a seriously distressing situation, like anything involving a crime, especially if towards a child) and set up an “Institute” for it.   While the word “Institute” used to — I gather — mean something significant, it has been so cheapened as to mean almost anything some people put together – in whatever meeting place (including a website, or a hotel conference room, or a series of them).  It’s a nother robe put on the emperor  to make him look larger, significant and more impressive.

As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.

He is a therapist, his professional work life prior to becoming an attorney was in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.  I can see why it’s important in such situations there not be too much conflict, particularly considering the pharmaceuticals that may be coursing through the clients’ veins.

The literature says the center started in 1983.  The State of California says it started in 1990, hardy suprising given the field:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
NATIONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION CENTER 079054 Charity Current SAN DIEGO CA Charity Registration Charity
NATIONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION CORPORATION 099851 Charity Delinquent SAN DIEGO CA Charity Registration Charity

(sorry about the paste function and extra space there…).  EIN of the top group is 330433314.  Of the bottom, EIN#  330670516 (same address)

The top one has good income:  Its founding document show it incorporated in 1990 as “San Diego Mediation Center” and in 2004 changed its name to above, National Conflict Resolution Center” with a HOST of people on the board (including at least one judge), and partially supported by:Partial Funding County of San Diego, City of San Diego

Sponsored by San Diego County Bar Association

Fiscal Begin: 01-JUL-09
Fiscal End: 30-JUN-10
Total Assets: $832,868.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $2,510,272.00
RRF Received: 09-MAY-11

The lower one (“National Conflict Resolution Corporation”) shows same incorporator (Jeffrey L. Harris), date-stamped 1995 and (unlike the other one, which simply incorporates as a charitable organization) ”

The specific purpose of this corporation is to provide dispute resolution services

and educational training in communications and dispute resolution skills.

It showed assets of $14,829.83 and income (receipts) of “0” on the 2001-02 state filing, same for the previous year.  So I presume that this organization is not just “delinquent” but that it doesn’t exist — or isn’t producing any receipts in the above line of work:

 The top one, however in (for example) 2008 — had $741K grants and $2,254K (i.e $2.254 million) program service revenue (up about $700K from the previous year).  I recommend reading a 990 or so (for example, the tax-exempt public benefit service of this was nicely profitable — about $550K was actually earned providing mediation and also in PR:  “provide ongoing information and education to the justice system officials, members of the legal community, and policy makers as to the benefits of ADR.  Developing new applications for transferability of ADR to other regions.)  THERE ARE JUST UNDER 2 DOZEN MEMBERS (UNPAID) AND DIRECTOR STEVEN P. DINKIN PULLED IN $133K, OTHER DIRECTORS (all female, I think) between $62K – $84K in service of the public here….)

Training fees + ($40K) “Credentialing” brought in about $2 million, that’s not bad.  I can see why others like the model…  Part X lists some grants receivable, including $10K from the Superior Court, $5K from a law firm, Procopio, Hargreaves & Savitch $5K; County of San Diego DCHD ($3K), and miscellaneous others.    

DOES THIS (San Diego, California PO Box address) Institute exist as a corporation?  Because these groups — with california corporations with the words “Conflict Institute” in them — do, or (for some) did:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process

Note the corporation survival rate is 50%.

Mr. Eddy has been Faculty for San Diego’s “Relationship Training Institute” — another San Diego group on my radar to also blog.  This group does business with the courts also:

4036 Third Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103

(self-proclaimed) “

“The World’s Authority on Relationship Development
and Domestic Violence Prevention, Training
and Consultation”

RTI really is a hot-shot group:   “The Relationship Training Institute is approved for Professional CE credits by the following organizations:”  (among them….)

  • Board of Registered Nursing
  • American Psychological Association
  • Certified Additions Treatment Counselor
  • Department of Consumer Affairs – Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • Judicial Council of California – Administrative Office of the Courts
  • National Board for Certified Counselors
  • NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals
  • State of Nevada Committee on Domestic Violence

GUEST FACULTY INCLUDE:  (it’s a long list — this is just a chunk of it):

Guest Faculty:

Russell Barkley, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School
Sandra L. Brown, MA, CEO, The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Psychopathy Education
Stacy W. Buhbe, Ph.D.
Constance Dalenberg, Ph.D., Core Faculty, Alliant/CSPP University
Leslie Drozd, Ph.D.**  [[SECTION ON DROZD BELOW]]
William Eddy, JD, LCSW, President of High Conflict Institute
Matt Englar-Carlson, Ph.D., CSU Fullerton
Brian Erickson, Esq., San Diego City Attorney’s Office

Terrence Real, LICSW, Family Institute of Cambridge

Gael Strack, J.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Family Justice Center Alliance


While I’m here, Leslie Drozd is very AFCC, and quite the activist/author/coacher:

She has conducted child custody evaluations for over 20 years. She works daily doing forensic work (including expert witness testimony, mainly in Family Law Court). . .She conducts post divorce work with families including reunification therapy when a child has rejected a parent. She works as a parenting coordinator and as a co-parenting therapist and she reviews the work of other colleagues and serves as a consultant to attorneys.

Dr. Drozd is a well-known expert on family violence, abuse, and alienation – especially in high conflict divorce cases. She has spoken for the Association of Family Conciliation Courts (international, national, and state conferences) as well as at conventions held by the American, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri, Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo Psychological Associations, Alliant University and California School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University, University of California, Irvine, and Harvard University doctoral program in the School of Public Health. She is the co-author (with 6 others) of a bench book for judges* in how to deal with domestic violence in child custody cases

Yes, the BENCH BOOK FOR JUDGES (or at least one of them):

First of all note the URL:   http://www.afccnet.org/pdfs/BenchGuide.pdf





{{ I keep having a nagging question —  why should parents who can’t keep their hands, threats, and abuse off another spouse (or kid) retain any parenting privileges?  Why is parenting more important than parenting WITHOUT domestic violence, and how can anyone — really — expect to STOP (let alone “prevent”) domestic violence without adequately calling it what it is?  I know what it’s like to have now over 10 years dealing fairly and equitably with an abuser in a custody situation who couldn’t accept being de-throned, and so got even in and out of court, until the children were in someone else’s care, after which he abandoned them.  The courts got their part, child support agency got ITS cut, the people who wanted my kids got them, and although this apparently meant him living off the radar — after a belated attempt to stalk (coerce) me into taking him back, when it looked like some inheritance might be involved — simply dumped them.  I saw no character change, nor did the court ever require any.  Those who took the hardest hits were my chidlren — who basically lost both parents, ALL child support, and had to deal with strangers who got them by breaking the law; who explicitly took advantage of no one around to enforce anything, and with a vengeance….  Would it be better to simply eliminate any pretense of giving a crap about domestic violence, then to drag it out like this, for fun and profit of the Ph.D.’s among us, not to mention the entrepreneurs in the welfare systems of the world?}}

**”The Family Violence Department would also like to thank the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for helping to support this important endeavor. Much of the groundwork for this tool was done through the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, a project of NCJFCJ and funded by HHS.

Quotable parts:

“Ordering an Evaluation: When Is Domestic Violence Experience Necessary?”

What If There Are No Resources for an Evaluation?

If Resources Are Available, Should I Order an Evaluation?

The Clearest Cases

In the most egregious cases, it may not even be necessary to order an evaluation in order to decide that a child’s best interests would not be served by allowing contact with a violent and abusive parent. However, even a parent who is not an appropriate candidate for custody may desire visitation; and a careful evaluation may indeed be necessary to determine (a) the motivation for that request,** (b) what impact ongoing contact will have on the children, and (c) whether and how visitation can be structured to assure the safety of the vulnerable parent and the children.

**read that parent’s intentions.  So far, we are not as a whole doing too well in this category — and historically have not.  However, as Supervised Visitation has some federal funds behind it, ….

page 11 — if there is a history of physical violence and involvement of police or criminal system, order an evaluation:”

When Victims Have a History of Physical Violence

A history of physical violence in the parents’ relationship—and especially a history of police or criminal justice system involvement—almost always warrants an evaluation, if resources are available. In such cases, it is crucial that the history be subject to careful review and to supplementation, as appropriate. In particular, concerns are frequently raised that neither the standards governing the issuance of civil restraining/protection orders, nor the standards used by prosecutors in criminal domestic assault cases, sufficiently distinguish between the primary perpetrator of violence in an abusive relationship, and a partner who may be using violence defensively

Between the lines, this benchbook for the family law judge is saying, we can’t really trust the civil or criminal sectors of out justice system to do their job right and distinguish a perpetrator from a victim.  Hence then a person who received a protective order gets a real shock when they go to the family law venue, where it’s treated with disdain, although family judges do issue them as well.

I notice how the list of suggested readings alternates between DV acknowledgement and alienation-promotion:

Navigating Custody & Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide

Reading Material


*This publication pre-dates:  No-fault divorce, the Violence Against Women act, and a good chunk of feminism.  If the date is correct here, sounds like it was written before the AFCC even got caught and forced to incorporate, which was around 1975, as I recall! !!

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, {{of course…}}} Model Standards of Practice for Child Custody Evaluations at http://www.afccnet.org/pdfs/Child_Model_Standards.pdf.


[Bancroft’s well-written book as to the dynamics says nothing at all about TANF Reform as an incentive to extended “high-conflict custody” cases.  Alas..He also tends to be a little more out of the loop, as he has identified more with the protecting mothers movement than others.]

Carol S. Bruch, Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienated Children—getting it wrong in child custody cases, 14 CHILD & FAM. L.Q. 381-400 (2002).

Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Danger Assessment (2003) at http://www.son.jhmi.edu/research/CNR/Homicide/Danger03.pdf.

Jacquelyn C. Campbell et al., Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multistate Case Control Study, 93 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 1089-97 (2003).

Judging by the headline stats (and I’m familiar with the Campbell lethality risk assessment) — most people don’t believe it anyhow.

Clare Dalton et al., High Conflict Divorce, Violence, and Abuse: Implications for Custody and Visitation Decisions, 54 JUV. & FAM. CT. J. 11 (2003).

(note:  the word “domestic violence” does not appear in the title).

A 2004 answer to this writing (which I think I blogged long ago) is here:

High Conflict Divorce or Stalking by Way of Family Court? The Empowerment of a Wealthy Abuser in Family Court Litigation: Linda v. Lyle – A Case Study” (authors from San Diego)

– – – – – – –

Massachusetts Family Law Journal, 22(1&2) 4-16.


Virtually all coverage of high-conflict divorce assumes both parents are the source of the conflict.[1]Blame is assigned solely and equally to the parents in essentially all cases without much analysis. However, if one party is abusive and sufficiently wealthy to fund on-going litigation, the Domestic Court may be ideally suited to the spurned mate’s agenda.[2] The systematic assertion of ‘dominion and control’ via Family Court litigation would superficially mimic a high-conflict divorce because there would be ongoing litigation.[3][4] The interpretation is consistently that the parties cannot get along and they are using their children as pawns.[5] A closer look shows high conflict divorce has features common to both domestic abuse relationships and the stalking behavior displayed by abandoned abusers.[6]This fascinating case study illustrates how power is transferred from the abusive mate to the professionals, who are, apparently, also at risk to lose control.

– – – – – –

(continuing list from the Benchbook for Judges)


Leslie M. Drozd & Nancy W. Olesen, Is it Abuse, Alienation, and/or Estrangement? A Decision Tree, 1 J. CHILD CUSTODY 65 (Nov. 2004).

Suggested Resources  etc.

In short, Leslie Drozd is classic AFCC, and proud of it.    If you still don’t know what I mean by “Classic AFCC” and the use of the term “HIGH-CONFLICT” – here’s a sample in fact, why not just buy the book and read Chapter 1 from Drozd and be sure to click on the last parent coordination “Sample Decision” where Daddy doesn’t have to say where, within 60 miles, he is taking 4-year old Sarah, because he’s a responsible sorta guy and doesn’t want Linda (the ex) checking up on him and intruding on his parenting time.  (In certain situations, such a stipulation would give a real headstart on a kidnapping, and has, before………)…  This book gets a whole page.

Resources for Professionals

Innovations in Interventions with High Conflict Families

Edited by Linda B. Fieldstone and Christine A. Coates

This volume presents six very distinct approaches in working with high conflict families, and provides the reader with opportunities for adoption, replication or creative expansion of the models featured.  With six chapters (225 pp.), this is a must-read for every professional who works with high conflict, alienation, domestic abuse and child custody disputes.

Click here to purchase book

Innovations in Interventions with High Conflict Families

Contents and appendices:


High Conflict, Domestic Abuse or Alienating Behavior: How do you know?
by Nancy Williams Olesen and Leslie Drozd

Appendix 1:
Domestic Violence Child Custody Protocol (PDF)

Appendix 2:
Alienation Child Custody Questionnaire (PDF)


Children and Absent Parents: A Model for Reconnection
by Rhonda Freeman

There are no appendices for this chapter.


A High Conflict Divorce Education Program: After the Storm: Surviving High Conflict Divorce
by James C. Billings, Gary L. Robbins and Donald A. Gordon

Appendix A:
After the Storm
 Intake Form (PDF)

Appendix B:
After the Storm
 Phone Screening (PDF)


Bringing Co-Parent Counseling Services to High-Conflict Low-Income Families**
by Jeffrey Zimmerman and Elizabeth S. Thayer

(a.k.a. how can we parent coordinators get in on the TANF Diversionary programs like the marriage-mongers?)

Appendices A-G (PDF):
A: Intake form
B: Appointment form
C: Client record
D: Client information, release and privacy forms
E: Fee schedule
F: Exchange of information form
G: Focus on K.I.D.S. program description forms

Appendices H-L (PDF):
H: Meeting review examples
I: Parent follow-up survey
J: PEACE Program follow-up survey
K: PEACE Program executive summary
L: Letter of understanding/agreement


Mental Health Consultation in Child Custody Cases
by Elena Hobbs-Minor and Matthew J. Sullivan

Appendix 1:
Consultant Agreement and Fee Policies Fee Policies (PDF)

Appendix 2:
Statement of Understanding and Fee Agreement (PDF)


Parenting Coordination: An Emerging Role to Assist High Conflict Families
by Robin M. Deutsch, Christine A. Coates and Linda B. Fieldstone

Appendix 1:
Parenting Coordination Brochure (PDF)

Appendix 2:
FCS PC Intake Screening Form (PDF)

Appendix 3:
FCS Order of Referral (PDF)

Appendix 4:
PC Administrative Order (PDF)

Appendix 5:
PC Motion for Discharge (PDF)

Appendix 6:
Sample Introductory Letter (PDF)

Appendix 7:
Parenting Coordinator and Decision-Maker Agreement (PDF)

Appendix 8:
Screening for Domestic Violence (PDF)

Appendix 9:
Parenting Plan Checklist (PDF)

Appendix 10:
Decision of Parenting Coordinator (PDF)

We are in calling it high-conflict country.  So, again, exactly where (and who) is the


…that is doing business in California and no doubt elsewhere.

Let me see if the County of San Diego can find this famous group; has it filed for its fictitious name in San Diego, where its mailing address is?



Any person who regularly transacts business for profit, UNDER A FICTITIOUS NAME, in the County of San Diego is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Recorder/County Clerk, within 40 days of first transacting business.

PLEASE NOTE: Although registration of a Fictitious Business Name is required, this office serves ONLY as the central depository of these names, neither approving nor disapproving a particular name and CANNOT accept any responsibility for any omissions, similarities, or duplications among the Fictitious Business Names on file. Fictitious Business Names are filed ONLY in the county where the business is located. State-wide registries do NOT exist.

(unlike in states such as Georgia, or Florida, for example)

Mr. Eddy filed for this name only last June — right after father’s day, 2011:

Select Filing Number Business Name Owner Name Document Type Filing Date
  …  Certified  Non-Certified 2011-017379 HIGH CONFLICT INSTITUTE EDDY WILILAM AI STATEMENT 6/14/2011

and the fictitious name  does exist for RTI — started in 2005, good through — well, 2010:

Select Filing Number Business Name Owner Name Document Type Filing Date
  …  Certified  Non-Certified 2005-017394 THE RELATIONSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE WEXLER DAVID STATEMENT 5/17/2005

(SITE:  San Diego Assessor-Recorder).  Another sample search — one can type a business name in the “Owner” field.  I typed the word “Marriage” which produced the alternate names for CHMC:

Select Filing Number Business Name Owner Name Document Type Filing Date


Select Filing Number Business Name Owner Name Document Type Filing Date

Background information from:”WhatIsCoParenting.com

Bill Eddy is President of High Conflict Institute based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California with fifteen years’ experience representing clients in family court, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples, and families in psychiatric hospitals and out patient clinics. He is Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego, California.

Mr. Eddy has been a speaker in over 20 states, several provinces in Canada, France and Australia.{{Which is to say, he is probably an AFCC member}}  He has become an authority and consultant on the subject of high conflict personalities for family law professionals, employee assistance and human resource professionals, ombudspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners associations, and others.

He obtained his law degree in 1992 from the University of San Diego, a Master of Social Work degree in 1981 from San Diego State University, and a Bachelors degree in Psychology in 1970 from Case Western Reserve University. He began his career as a youth social worker in a changing neighborhood in New York City and first became involved in mediation in 1975 in San Diego.

Case Western is (obviously) Ohio — and Psychology is one of the easiest bachelors on the planet to get, not that it doesn’t require work.  SOcial work in NYC, even more.  So how did he end up going to California from New York within 5 short years?  Any marriage (or divorce) in the works there?

So, if he’s been in San Diego all these years, then he lived through the “Enron by the Sea” years as well.   …Maybe it’s time to try a little variety in life.


What is the High Conflict Institute?

High Conflict Institute (HCI) was co-founded in 2007 by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., and Megan L. Hunter, MBA, to provide education and resources to professionals handling High Conflict disputes.

HCI believes that high conflict family law disputes are not driven by complex issues, but by High Conflict Personalities (HCPs)

Co-founder is form Arizona — home of “N.A.M.E.” (National Association of Marriage Educators”) and one of the few state legislators who is actually a member of the Unification Church (I don’t know if Mark Anderson is still in office, but blogged this).  It is also known for the man who shot a legislator this past year (Gabrielle Giffords) and nearly any domestic violence survivor who is fighting to retain or regain custody will also know about Arizona’s Dawn Axsom (deceased, along with her mother) because a family law judge there refused her and her infant daughter move-away privileges.  It is the state which got some serious study by some Columbia Journalism students in Battening Down Immigrants, Locking Up Profits (Corrections Corporation of America & privatizing of the prison system).  It is also — “coincidentally” — the new residence (Northern California being former) of Philip Stahl, well known AFCC person and Parental Alienation Preacher, as well as a chapter of AFCC.

Did I mention Maricopa County and Sheriff Arpaio?

If I were going to start a High Conflict Institute – and California had too many of similar organization — Arizona would be a great state to do it in, I doubt feminists have a stronghold anywhere near.  After all, Oklahoma has its statewide Marriage Initiative, and Minnesota has the Duluth Abuse Intervention Programs (not that they seem to have slowed down the “high-conflict” rhetoric much), Indiana and Ohio are as Faith-Based and Fatherhood as it’s possible to get (I hope), having a Commission of one (Ohio) and Faith-based Office (Ohio Governor’s office).

And here it is, or at least here is an LLC by the name founded in 2007:

Date of Taking Office: 10/10/2007
Last Updated: 10/12/2007

Megan Hunter’s business management background along with 8 years as a Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, including policy formation, research and program development regarding court processes, parent education and court processes, provides a vast background and broad understanding of the issues facing both families and professionals in family law.

Her linkedIn shows serious involvement at the governmental level in family law issues, including child support — plus being past President of the Arizona AFCC (one of their larger chapters).  While this is commendable and substantial — as a litigant (even in another state) I would bring up serious concerns about Conflicts — of Interest, that is — in that the “New Ways for Families” dreams, hopes, suggests, and intends — that a family law judge might order their program in association with a restraining order!  As it says on the site, even.

Megan Hunter

President at unHooked Books

Phoenix, Arizona Area 
Professional Training & Coaching
  • President at unHooked Books
  • Co-Founder and Vice President at High Conflict Institute
  • Founder and President at Family Law Solutions
  • Past President & Board Member at AzAFCC
  • Child Support Specialist at FAMILY LAW
  • Family Law Specialist at Arizona Supreme Court

see all

  • University of Phoenix
  • University of Phoenix
  • Chadron State College

see all

302 connections

High Conflict Institute

DETAILS (from Megan Hunter LinkedIn):
January 2007 – Present (4 years 11 months)

Professional training for people who handle high conflict disputes. Vice President and co-founder of High Conflict Institute. Developed the concept of the Institute after 13 years as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.

As such, I’m sure Ms. Hunter is extremely well informed in diversionary purposes to which Child Support & TANF may be directed, including counseling and parent education….

August 1999 – July 2006 (7 years)

Judicial training, lead the review and revision of Arizona’s Child Support Guidelines, staffed two policy-recommending legislative committees, liaison between the courts, the executive and legislative branches and the State Bar to analyze and develop integrated strategies for system-wide improvements, managed various programs including parent education, conciliation court, case management, integrated family court, fatherhood and mediation, wrote educational brochures for the public, bench books for judges, member of federal child support task force responsible for creating national strategic plan, collaborated with academic institutions to integrate current empirical research into family law initiatives and laws, wrote and managed grants.

The background is Business and Economics, and clearly she’s good at it.  I WONDER how good that resume would’ve looked had she been the subject herself of an extended, high-conflict, violent, and dealing with a narcssistic personality disordered (sarcasm intended) “co-parent” and WITHOUT having anyone to voluntarily inform her — as most mothers leaving violence do NOT, because their advocates have sold them out for funding — the impact of the fatherhood programs upon her chances for justice — or any job stability — throughout the process?  Or for a coherent, rational — and economic — explanation of why the existing laws don’t mean much once an psychologizing-explicating-rationalizing-minimizing abuse professional is on the scene..

And what happened to this business outfit — not much verbiage under there for ”

Family Law Solutions (2006 -present, 5 years 11 months). 

I have gotten calls from women terrified that their police abuser was let out — or one recently, that the ex-kidnapper had served time and was back on the scene locally.  I do not have the means to help them, but if I DID have the means, I sure as hell would have the will, and I ahv SOUGHT the means to stop this insanity.

As President of the Arizona AFCC, Ms. Hunter even

mentioning “Family Law Solutions, LLC” would provide a wide readership, as in this fall 2006 newsletter

I forgot to mention another wonderful Arizona nonprofit, and an influential one in the family courts (and as to child support & custody):

Fathers & Families Coalition of America, Inc.
39 East Jackson Street
Phoenix, AZ, USA 85044

WELL, I hope this post left some food for thought, but I know it brought some links for looking at.  Again, there will have to be more and more “training institutes” and harder and harder efforts, as time progresses and the truths come out — to make sure that people outside the court system do not finish connecting the dots on WHY certain groups cannot describe abuse in its proper (which includes graphic) legal terms, and in just how much we are expected to sacrifice our children to the experts (or lose contact with them) for the sake of . . . .  “the children.”

We don’t need more “high conflict institutes.”  We need more honest and intervening neighbors, who KNOW their neighbors and are no longer misled into thinking the experts they paid for are doing their own dirty and emotionally distressing work for them — which is KNOWING better than to stand by while someone else is beat up or molested, in their home.  And KNOWING what really happens to kids who report to their teachers.   We cannot turn into a nation of “educators and educatees” – no sir!

I found this quote today (while looking for Sandra Brown, M.A.’s work background, which — unlike Ms. Hunters– is a lot harder to find).

It is listed under “THE BAKER ACT CONSPIRACY

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book
will be donated to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida and Amnesty International.
Chapter 1
The Manors
When I went to medical school, sixty years ago, there were only a handful of mental diseases. I think there were no more than six or seven. Now there are more than three hundred. And new ones are, quote, “discovered” every day. Labeling a child as mentally ill is stigmatization, not diagnosis. Giving a psychiatric drug is poisoning, not treatment. I have long maintained that the child psychiatrist is one of the most dangerous enemies, not only of children, but of adults, of all of us who care for the most precious and vulnerable things in life. And those two things are children and liberty. Now I ask again, how can parents protect themselves from the therapeutic state? That is from the alliance of government and psychiatry?
 Dr. Thomas S. Szasz Dinner Speech
(Used with permission of Dr. Szasz)
If you are adult enough to understand that by quoting something mentioning “scientology” this does not mean I am a Scientologist (likely one of the worst cults around, and similar in nature to the Unification Church which is why I keep blogging the latter’s role in the marriage/fatherhood movement.  It’s a slow sell, but people are beginning to notice the data I’ve provided — such as a member of the CHMC.org being a Unification Church member, etc.  Cults tend to resemble each other, when you get down to operational practices.  Anyhow, I’m going to go back and look at this site, which begins the book (if ever finished or not), like this — and it’s talking about psychiatric labeling of people for profit.
I saw you always within my walls. I felt you as you touched me. I could read your emotions and your thoughts. I never slept. I was made of bricks and mortar. I was the floors, the ceilings, the walls, and doors. I was five stories tall. I was The Manors. I was originally a public and later a private psychiatric hospital, located in Tarpon Springs, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1920s, I was built to be a golf resort, and I was gorgeous. Al Capone, in his drunken, syphilis-filled body, once shot me.
I became a public psychiatric hospital in 1953. I always attracted scrutiny for racketeering and patient abuse, but not even a federal grand jury investigation lasting over seven years could reveal my deepest and darkest secrets. No one saw the hundreds of millions of dollars obtained by my owners and their friends through Medicare, Medicaid, and private-insurance fraud. No one understood the extent of the abuse and manipulation of patients. No one, until now, knew the full extent of the abuse.
. . . If you think of organized crime as the Mafia and the Sopranos then you still live in the I Love Lucygeneration of mentality. The sole purpose of organized crime is making money, or, more accurately, acquiring it. I had observed organized crime operating within my walls for decades. It operated under the patronage of the pharmaceutical industry and through political donations to politicians in office. Vito Genovese would have been proud. . . .
 For those born to the very rich, the Kennedy or Rockefeller types, even insurance expiration provided no exit. Their families paid the $1,000 a day to keep them within my walls. Family peace of mind: a steal at $365,000 a year. The patient’s mind was a different matter: drugged daily for years, it was obliterated by mind-altering regimens of doctor-prescribed medication. Not even those who had committed themselves were allowed to leave. In the 1970s, the Florida legislature passed a law that stopped them: The Baker Act legalized involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Once deemed a threat to themselves or others, those who sought to leave were Baker-Acted and kept within my walls against their will
(The writing is from point of view of the building and describes and undercover agent who ended up getting that building demolished.  The line, however, between psychologists (which cannot prescribe medicine) and psychiatrists and lawyers is being blurred, and the closer they begin to work together, IGNORING the cries of those abused and trafficked, the closer this entire country is to slavery — involuntary.
Stop swallowing things whole, stop ignoring who is running the “family courts” of america (let alone CPS), who is funding them, and (with me) start looking at some tax returns and corporate identities — for a change !!    ! !    ! ! ! !   New Ways for Families?
Here’s an old way:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . . . ”  

Written by Let's Get Honest

November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

1996-2010: How “Ending welfare as we know it” morphed to [so far…] Statewide Marriage and Relationship Education –for Everyone

with one comment

Some of my friends scold me for showing too much and not just telling.  They’re right.    But as I like to SHOW (and then TELL, too) — posts run to triple-length size,  then I split them up with new — and long — titles.

(Those of you who know me — this is a “Conversational Public Data Dump.”  You are forewarned!)

(see also my comment — it has a major double-pasted section in it, too.  I will printout & purge the duplicates….  The value of this post is in the narrative, plus the links).

This post began as a TANF introduction to another one on a specific Healthy Marriage Grantee.

You may not think this information relevant — but, it has already landed in your back yard; it is restructuring the United States; it is a financial issue with global ramifications.  The story of HOW this happened (and through whom) will help us pay better attention in the future, and should rule out certain distractions — such as choosing which battle to fight, and which diversionary propaganda to ignore.

However, someone has to protest the incremental removal of civil liberties going along with incremental spending down of public dollars, diverted to . . .. for lack of a better word . .. Bush appointees, and Obama cronies.  And when it comes to THIS category, I don’t hear a lot of specific protests.

Want to Occupy Something?  Occupy This — your senators and representatives voted welfare infinite expansion, for private profit actually, into being through public laws.  How could that be?

Well, we have  public school systems that still (apparently) teach U.S. Mythology, not Accounting, that are places for Values & INdoctrination Wars.  Somehow, the importance of the House Ways and Means Appropriations Committee — let alone about how corporations and government actually interact, were not considered pre-requisites for graduation. Meanwhile,  people LIVE in neighborhoods where they can observe this discrepancy, know that the common explanations do not hold water, but may not have a coherent explanation of what does, of what happened (historically).

Moreover, there is a digital divide and closed-doors deliberations.   We are not [certainly anyone ever on welfare is typically not] given or pointed to the best tools to finding out how things work. The cult is of the experts — who teach the uninstructed and presumably not smart enough to “get it.”

The tools available to the unfunded public (like TAGGS) have been also tinkered with, obfuscated and otherwise screwed with, to beyond credibility (accuracy) – although they do reveal traits and patterns to a degree.  TAGGS cannot be reconciled with USASPENDING.gov (and isn’t) even when just looking up HHS grants only on the latter.  I have not made up my mind yet which is more in error, but USASPENDING.gov already has its accuracy critics –and so few people seem to ever USE TAGGS, that leaves me.

Name me ONE other blog or public website that began posting those HHS grantee & project charts before this blog did (earliest, 2009) and recommending their use.  Yet its data goes back to 1995.

Now a point has been made, by the structure AND content of this resource — well read, clearly understood — that this information is NOT reliable; moreover that it’s not reliable — or in really useable form — is no accident.

For example — a big stink since 2001 has been made about laying down the red carpet for (and building capacity for) the faith-based organizations to go help the poor hungry, under-educated slobs get some jobs and visit their sons and daughters, and be taught how to “relate” better to the other parent.

YET — TAGGS has no designation (or classification) for  Faith-based organization.  It’s been 10 years since Bush Executive Order, and the word “faith-based” is all over government (federal state, and nonprofit groups, such as CNCS), other sites — and yet no field has been added to the database to designate “Faith-based” or NOT Faith-based.    The same goes for the fine distinction between “Marriage” grantees and “Fatherhood Grantees.”  yet there is one CFDA (93086) for both — and, moreover, marriage and fatherhood activities could be in, literally, almost any category of federal domestic assistance, such as social welfare research and demonstration, which are NOT under “93086.”  Or in Head Start.  So what’s that about, eh?

Is this really about promoting responsible  “Fatherhood”?  I don’t think so.  Responsible Fathers (note:  this does not include Glenn Sacks or Nicholas Soppa!) like some accountability here and there, and deserve resources to get it, just like others do, and can come to a debate that is not predetermined, and occasionally lose a point or two (i.e. humility).  I don’t know any decent father who’d advocate stealing from the public under false pretenses, and attempting to cover one’s tracks, yet this IS what’s happening.  Or a responsible father helping set up any systems which, after about 53 failures, are still going full force, in the same manner – which many faith-based groups are.  Or which INTENTIONALLY undermines separation of church & state, OR the separation of powers in the federal government — and does so for personal sense of power, fame (or for profit).  Responsible fathers are willing to sacrifice, not specialists in sacrificing others, or what’s right.

this entire responsible fatherhood movement is, essentially (to quote Liz Richards/National Alliance for Family Court Justice, in testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, Appropriations — in June 2010) – An Expensive Solution looking for a Legitimate Problem:

Protective Mother’s Response to Ways & Means Income Security & Family Support June 17, 2010 hearing for re- reauthorizataion of Responsible Fatherhood program funding.


The June 17th 2010 “Responsible Fatherhood” hearing testimony supporting the administration’s reauthorization request for $150,000,000 for a program which has failed to offer any verifiable data on program implementation or specific outcomes, such as the easy to verify job skill training and improved child support compliance factors. Program promoters have become defensive, or hostile, when their operations or intent is questioned. They reject complaints from protective mother advocates who describe serious systemic problems occurring with divorcing and “absent” fathers. In short – the Responsible Fatherhood program advocates have never shown any interest toward the very people who they purport to be helping- divorced or separated mothers of the fathers enrolled in their programs..

Responsible Fatherhood programs have been funded since 1996, but have yet to offer any outcome data or analysis verifying positive impact on mothers and children. Instead they rely on vague claims of involvement of domestic violence specialists to claim [their] activities are not causing mothers any problems. HHS ACF officials confirm they do no requirement for collecting or reporting program enrollment or outcome data.

{Heck, HHS/OIG/OAS can’t even keep track of millions of undistributed child support already collected at the state level, and eschews responsibility for doing so — after all, isn’t it TANF blocks to the states, for flexible use? so long as federal incentives are met for their $2 of ours for $1 of yours, and they get some back, who’s going to rock that boat?  Yet in part it’s from child support enforcement funds that Fatherhood Promotion is done!}

Why should they be getting millions more if they won’t verify the millions already spent are producing positive results, or any other performance or outcome information? Why don’t the fatherhood promoters know anything about the protective mother movement, or show any interest in the concerns of divorcing and separated mothers?

(actually, some of these DO know about this movement and viciously attack it in print and on on-line forums — see Peter Jamison, SFWeekly earlier in 2011)

We believe their data omissions are done deliberately to cover up another agenda – which our members observe and are negatively affected by – which is recruiting dead-beat and abusive men into lucrative high-conflict litigation. I alone have over 2000 victim intake contacts from nearly all US states. NAFCJ has state leaders, in over 15 states collaborate with other protective mother leaders. I have been communicating with fathers’ rights and fatherhood leaders and activist since as early as 1992, have attended their conference and have determined the two movements are one [and] the same.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

LGH Note:   Since last June 2010, I have seem more influences than just the fathers’ rights upon these grant series, but still believe it a valid factor nevertheless at the “street” and HHS etc. level)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I note that this 2010 testimony (filed on-line) also refers to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005:

The US Senator who sponsored the earlier $150,000,000 Responsible Fatherhood earmark in the 2005 deficit Reduction Act has been a fathers rights supporter since he was a state legislator and has been collaborating with the fathers right leader and founder from his state from state since the start. This fathers’ right founder also has collaborated with Dr Richard Gardner on specific case litigation. Gardner’s writings included heinous remarks – such as ( in paraphrase): “mothers who complain about father’s sex abuse of children should be told to get a vibrator and become more sexually responsive to her husband so he won’t have to seek sex from his daughter.” This and other sick and deviant opinions from Gardner and other publish pro-incest men (e.g Ralph Underwager and Warren Farrell) are the reason why Responsible Fatherhood promoters conceal their relationship with the father rights people.

In order for the Responsible Fatherhood promoter to conceal their history of collaborating with the deviant fathers rights movement, they use domestic violence counselor as a “heat shield” to make themselves look pro-woman. But our movement of litigating protective mothers, many of whom have been in domestic violence shelters, have never observed any officially designated fathers representatives collaborating with domestic violence representative or producing and positive actions or outcomes for them. What we do hear from d.v. victim mothers who have gone from her home into shelter with her children – only to be arrested and put into jail a few days later for “kidnapping” the children. Most not allowed any contact with their children, because they are then deemed to be a flight risk. An ex- parte sole custody order is establish for the father is without any notification or hearing for the mother. The d.v. shelter people refuse to support them or testify for the mother and ignore her concerned about the father’s abuse of the children. Many of these falsely arrested mothers don’t see their children again for months {{or years…}} on grounds she is a flight risk. Unfortunately our movement is very dissatisfied with the d.v. movement and believe they also need reforming. However, some of their leaders are working with us to correct this part of the system failure

If I get the rest of the follow-up post out — there is a demonstration of this “heat shield” phenomena — at the “Domestic Violence Coalition” level, typically.

and she also wrote:

All the evidence I’ve observed indicates the Responsible Fatherhood programs are merely a cover for recruiting bad dads with offers of child support abatements into high-conflict litigation, giving sole custody of the children to the father and getting the mother out of picture and forcing her to pay excessive child support obligations to him

Then there are (I learned through the Kentucky example:  “Turning It Around”) the times fathers in arrears were, literally, extorted into participating in programs such as fatherhood classes, parenting skills, self-esteem, ABSTINENCE education (for a father?), and more — which have their promoters throughout the system, usually with a for-profit organization selling the materials behind any nonprofit group.   These are not so many or varied that they are hard to locate and recognize the presence of, any more…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _OK, enough of that particular angle . . . . . . .


My interests and activism took another “sea change” after documenting (some, at least) of the Sea Changes at for example California Healthy Marriage Coalition, which boasted on outset of its programs of THE largest HHS marriage promotion grant yet ($11 million over 5 years).

Again, at the corporate level (California Secretary of State) a search of the words ‘Healthy Marriage” (singular) produces this chart:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process

and “Healthy Relationship,” this one:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process

Meanwhile — as far as the 990 finder (which uses IRS filings) is concerned, the Sacramento Group has indeed changed its name by 2010, and there IS no “California Healthy Marriage” nonprofit around.

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Dba Relationship Skills Center CA 2010 $64,938 990 31 13-4280316

Now, on TAGGS, this ONE EIN (13480316) pulls up a slightly smaller set of grants, but two different DUNS# — why? (I put these here for readers to click on)

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 147288935 $ 2,446,593
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 827612631 $ 1,148,512


Showing: 1 – 2 of 2 Recipients

Searching by Principal Investigator “Curtis” (within California) we see some — not all — of the grants:

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 1,647,768
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90IJ0205 COMPASSION CAPITAL FUND (CCF) TARGETED CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM – MARRIAGE 93009 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 50,000

and of course the last one, a new award, goes to — “CAROLYN CAROLYN” (i.e., FN FN)

Grantee Name City Recovery Act Indicator Grantee Type Award Number Award Title CFDA Number Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project SACRAMENTO NON Other Social Services Organization 90FM0059 FLOURISHING FAMILIES PROGRAM 93086 CAROLYN CAROLYN $ 798,825

SO, this $3 million plus is going to an organization in Sacramento (California State Capitol) that is not maintaining is nonprofit status with the state of California — is this affecting our budget?  Please also note that of these 5 awards, two are “Recovery” (ARRA) awards — totaling $1,647,768.  In another OMB or GAO report, we found that ARRA awards specifically have been tagged as notoriously NOT paying their still-due payroll and other taxes (even were the nonprofit legitimate):

(posted July 14, 2011 at Patton Boggs, LLP, with the alert that this is general information — and not legal advice)

Federal grant award recipients should carefully review their own federal tax compliance and use vigilance when engaging subrecipients and contractors, based on recent Senate testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

On May 24, 2011, a GAO representative testified before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that thousands of contract and grant recipients under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) owe hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid federal taxes. The testimony summarized GAO’s April 2011 report of its investigation of 15 entities that had collectively received some $35 million in ARRA funds despite federal tax delinquencies totaling roughly $40 million. GAO referred all 15 entities to the IRS for possible criminal investigation.

ARRA grant award recipients may face risks to their projects stemming from federal tax delinquencies even though, as the GAO acknowledged, federal law does not generally prohibit applicants with unpaid federal tax debts from receiving federal grant awards. With federal debt continuing to climb, and federal spending far outstripping tax revenues, Congress may at least examine changes to the law to impose new restrictions in this area. In addition, in many cases, the tax delinquencies stem from  unpaid payroll taxes, meaning that even entities exempt from federal income taxes may be affected.

The GAO accounts.  It has no teeth.  Congress has to act….  More from the GAO site indicates that groups such as these may be included, i.e., if they don’t includ amounts from groups that have not filed federal tax returns 

At least 3,700 Recovery Act contract and grant recipients–including prime recipients, subrecipients, and vendors–are estimated to owe more than $750 million in known unpaid federal taxes as of September 30, 2009, and received over $24 billion in Recovery Act funds. This represented nearly 5 percent of the approximately 80,000 contractors and grant recipients in the data from Recovery.gov as of July 2010 that we reviewed. The estimated amount of known unpaid federal taxes is likely understated because IRS databases do not include amounts owed by recipients who have not filed tax returns or understated their taxable income and for which IRS has not assessed tax amounts due. 

(Back to TAGGS and our HM grantees)

And the $15 million went to an organization incorporated by Dennis Stoica (in Leucadia) that had its corporate status suspended, as well as the OTHER two organizations he formed, around the same time.   Patty Howell’s nonprofit, who carried on the name — is still associated with the bad behavior (by association) with CHMC’s originals.

Yet the only one of the BUNCH that I can see actually filed (with California, where they are) with the OAG — as required to — was the Sacramento Healthy Marriage (Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D.)

The California Healthy Marriage (Stoica, Suspended) became, somehow “Healthy Relationships California” (Howell) — think Leucadia, San Diego Area.

Meanwhile, the SACRAMENTO HM group (Curtis) — not that its ‘charitable status is, er, current — at least created one with the OAG, which looks like this

(on the actual site, the headings background color would be BLUE).  I am coding it GREEN, to match the PATTY HOWELL group – and indeed, the letter on this site (From the OAG) saying’ hey whassup, is addressed to “Sacramento Healthy Marriage”

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA CT0149740 Charity Delinquent LEUCADIA CA Charity Registration Charity

TAGGS grant for This one, EIN# 6806790  (which I believe I’ve gone over before, at some length) shows:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 003664535 $ 7,883,475
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 361795151 $ 7,142,080

Or, in the latest ACF announcement (just to make life a little harder for the novice in all this) as:

Healthy Relationships California




Which is it not called, any more — on the TAGGS  – – – OR, on the website itself, because Patty Howell’s  actual organization “healthy Relationships” apparently subsequently bought (or, at least claimed) the registered name “California Healthy Marrriage Coalition.”

Website — not that this group is current as a charity in California any more, but at least Ms. Howell’s nonprofit founded JUST a bit earlier than Mr. Stoica’s, saved the day and kept the name — it’s still showing up as:  California Healthy Marriages Coalition and (I see) features a “Dads & Kids” relationship education initiative, …