The Rule of Law? I

By M.K. Styllinski

“We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.”

Andrew Łobaczewski, “Political Ponerology


In the family courts of the US and Europe, fathers and mothers are routinely set against each other with children crushed in the ensuing fight. As always, there appear to be valid cases on both sides of the male-female divide, though judging from the carnage left after the numerous battle, you would never know it.

There legions of cases where families have been torn apart due to corruption, ineptitude and ignorance of psycho-social dynamics. For example, we have mothers who have discovered that their spouse has been molesting their child and have taken the appropriate action through the courts to grant them sole legal and physical custody, yet the child somehow happens to end up with the abuser. Similarly, we have individuals within the feminist movement and its breeding ground for covert narcissism and parental alienation syndrome victimising fathers and turning them against their children. The courts have turned justice into a tragi-farce with the alleged abusers  – male or female –  either getting unsupervised visitation rights and more frequently, full custody. In some countries fathers are also being denied access to their children based on out-of-date and unfair bureaucratic laws regardless of whether they have committed a crime. In effect, the laws are biased towards the mother in some courts and biased towards the father in others, according to the specifics of national law, cultural influences and widespread corruption. Indeed, family courts seem to be presenting the worst kinds of injustices in cases which are both complex and multifaceted.

In the US, by far the most reliable source of litigation is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, in Denver. A recent study surveyed 9000 custody disputes in 12 family courts across the country. Only two percent involved child-sex-abuse charges. Although this is certainly small it is known that the psychological footprint is very large indeed from those that do. Domestic physical abuse is highly likely to involve a percentage of sexual sadism which is often mistaken for a purely violent and aggressive display of anger. While physical abuse is still being reported in a greater number of cases, the sexual abuse taboo naturally restricts the number of cases that see the light of day. Even before they get to the courts they must be taken seriously by doctors or paediatricians, notwithstanding the likelihood of such charges sticking. Increasingly, many health professionals fear child abuse cases due to the complex nature of the claims and the potential labyrinth of litigation.

In the UK, former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Sir David Hall, told the Royal Society of Medicine that “recent high-profile cases in which doctors had been censured had undermined confidence in the regulatory authorities.” He believed that signs of abuse might go unreported until the indications were ‘all too obvious.’ Careers are apparently coming first. [1] Allegations of sexual abuse, paedophilia and child violence are more commonly made by mothers and can be voiced without challenge or a burden of proof. During the interim, access is denied and courts appear to accept accusations regardless of the possibility that this could be the product of hate and acrimony from an embattled relationship. If the father is innocent and when the claim is finally dropped, there is no penalty for making such a vindictive claim. By then the damage is done, which may partially account for the rise in father suicides relating to unfair agency payments and the ensuing custody battles. Unsurprisingly, a divorced father is ten times more likely to commit suicide than a divorced mother and three times more likely to commit suicide than a married father. [2] As one divorce consultant mentions: “It’s a little known fact that in the United States men initiate only a small number of the divorces involving children. Most of the men I deal with never saw their divorces coming, and they are often treated very unfairly by the family courts.” [3]

vintage-man-woman-couple-conflict-black-and-white-photography

Back in the UK, each year, some 85,000 families with children younger than 16 undergo divorce. The standard aftermath includes disputes over how much the “non-resident parent” should see his children, which is generally the father. Though the cases are compelling, a range of societal factors could be involved, as the broader statistical picture suggests. America is not Britain (not quite yet anyway). In 1998, a Children First Government paper, indicated that 40 percent of separated mothers admit to thwarting contact, leaving fathers losing all contact with their children within two years of separation or divorce.[4] In 2015, nothing much has changed. According to one English solicitor I spoke to: “Some 80,000 parents issue proceedings a year, many of them fathers seeking reasonable contact with their children. A common outcome is permanent severance.”  With family Court welfare services providing under-trained personnel to evaluate and report on the welfare of children “Normal family men are routinely assessed as unfit to have significant contact with their children; normal children are routinely sentenced to years of ‘relationship-building programme[s]’ to condition them to withstand visits from ordinary Dads.” [5]

The patterns of bias vary from country to country with a trail of injustice due to poor judges, out-dated court procedures and corrupt agencies. Many fathers rightly cry foul and highlight the shared parenting concept that is constantly under attack by the blight of many in the feminist movement who consider fathers secondary to the mothering principle and inherently untrustworthy. At the same time, the shared parenting concept as well as parental alienation is of little value if one of those parents – male or female – is a closet molester or covert narcissist. The systems are not only ill-equipped to deal with the subtleties and nuances of lengthy custody battles and child abuse cases but bureaucratic delays mean that judges are often forced to speed up the process rather than let the case proceed in a measured way. In the words of one Colorado attorney: “If we ever sat down to design the worst possible system that protects the smallest number of children, it would look a lot like the family courts look today.” [6] However, there is much more to this than just a back-log of paper work. Fathers, mothers and children’s misery is being used as a means to make a lot of money. Breaking up families was never more lucractive.

In Kristen Lombardi’s award-winning article “Custodians of Abuse” she researched the background behind family court custody battles, interviewing almost 25 experts in custody litigation. Lombardi offered some enlightening reasons as to why these courts are failing children and parents, contributing to a further layer of what amounts to long-term, state-sponsored emotional abuse. [7] She found that family courts: “… do not rely on criminal investigators to examine child-abuse claims, but family advocates called guardians Ad Litem (GALs), whose charge is to investigate allegations of abuse, abandonment, and neglect and to represent the best interests of the children in disputed custody cases. More often than not, they are licensed psychologists or social workers. Sometimes, they are attorneys.” [8]

Ad items they have their own individual areas of expertise which do not however, qualify them to act as evaluators of the highly sensitive problem of child abuse. With the spread of Kinseyian sexology and psychoanalysis as the platform for most evaluations, the interviews, assessments and judgments are routinely carried out without the necessary qualifications. What is more, cultural bias is frequently operating where the gender of the alleged victim – parent and/or child – is crucial to the final judgement.

public domain-girl-railroadtracks-walking-1Family courts are now a law unto themselves. Judges can operate as mini-dictators where their opinions, beliefs, and gender bias (towards male or female) take precedent over the evidence. This has shown to be true in case after case, including “judges…hold [ing] hearings in which important rulings are made with only one party present (called ex parte hearings); such hearings violate basic constitutional rights of due process.” [9]  The courts do not have juries nor a mandated legal representation, so that the law for the rich imposes another law for the poor, reinforced by the inner circle of Establishment opinion that is intentionally set up to serve itself.

The American Judges Association confirmed findings from its 1996 report:  “Domestic Violence and the Courtroom,” which showed that “wife batterers and child molesters convince family-court officials that their ex-wives are ‘unfit’ or ‘undeserving’ of sole custody in roughly 70 percent of contested custody battles.” [10] What is seldom mentioned is the fact that when there was a fight over the children, “…fathers won primary or joint custody more than 70 percent of the time — whether or not there was a history of spousal or child abuse…” [11]

However, the data is sparse indeed on the presence of pathological narcissism and Munchausen By Proxy which is very much the province of the female. We can see how variable the data really is from country to country – even state to state. Statistics change for domestic violence as opposed to straight divorce cases.

Another study by respected social scientist Murray A. Straus, appears to show that “Family conflict studies, without exception, show about equal rates of assault by men and women.” (Keep in mind that there is considerable discrepancy as to what constitutes “violence.”) Straus mentions that though women score highly on physical violence: “Crime studies, without exception, show much higher rates of assault by men, often 90 percent by men.”[12] This may account for the quote that “every 15 seconds a woman is battered by their [intimate] partner in the United States.”[13] The latter conclusion needs to be kept in mind that the crime of assault against women is overwhelmingly the province of the male.

Conversely, the extent of husband battery is thought to be hugely underestimated. Men do not usually report their violent wives to police; similarly, children do not report their violent mothers to police. Meantime, women are far more likely to report men to relevant authorities. Straus believes that: “…neither side can give up their position because it would be tantamount to giving up deeply held moral commitments and professional roles. I conclude that society needs both perspectives. Neither side should give up their perspective. Rather they should recognize the circumstances to which each applies.”[14]

Easy to say but how to apply?

predatorclouds2

The Predator’s System

A “medicalisation” of the law can also be personified in the form of “interactional assessment” which uses intense observation by experts who are trained to look for signs of abuse. While working well in a classroom for a variety of different criteria, it is still an entirely unproven method of evaluation. Despite this, it is still widely used in the courts.

Advocates of this method believe: “validation of the abuse does not depend on the verbal disclosure of the child, confession of the perpetrator, or the conviction of the other parent that abuse has occurred. It depends on gathering and sifting through information from multiple sources.” [15] This represents a massive oversimplification and assumption regarding assessments of this kind. There is no evidence either way that behaviour cues can be used to determine whether abuse happened. Subtle signs of anxiety can be attributed to a host of different reasons, not least being present at the interview itself and most certainly being present in a courtroom.

The existence of such psychiatric and legalistic onslaughts has caused countless children to become easy targets for further manipulations leading to another layer of emotional trauma. Why would the child molester – male or female – worry about going to court when s/he has so much confusion circulating? In his domain, he is the master actor and manipulator, leading a double life and relying on the trauma-induced child he abused to complete the proceedings. After all, if he can be in the same courtroom as the victim – all the better. He can intimidate the child further and induce yet more trauma, causing the testimony to be less than believable. This is the psychological legacy of the last 50 years – which children are simply fabricating, that they should indeed be “seen but not heard.”

One specific book singing the praises of interactional assessment illustrates techniques including anatomical dolls and drawings to use as useful tools with no data or evidence to suggest that these techniques are even helpful. There are several drawings which the authors interpret as “signs,” of abuse such as missing ears, the absence of feet, and phallic shapes. References are sparse. Case histories can be interpreted a multitude of ways serving as a perfect example of how easily evaluations, with no proven record of efficacy, can lead to catastrophe despite the best of intentions. Meanwhile, the abuser – along with his lawyer – is laughing all the way to the bank. With naive theories and Faustian bargains made by lawyers who routinely pimp their principles for whoever pays the most, the attorney client privilege takes up the slack and banishes any other compelling evidence that may be offered.

At the same time, psychotherapy as a once useful tool in the hands of responsible professionals is under attack from the US government. A colleague of psychiatrist Corey Hammond and co-author of Memory, Trauma Treatment and the Law, Professor Alan Scheflin of Santa Clara University Law School is an expert on clinical and experimental research on hypnosis, memory and trauma treatment and their applications to the law system. In a recent interview he talked about the changing climate of psychotherapy and trauma assessment, where therapists are clearly being used in ways that undermine children’s’ best interests.  Third party liability suits brought against therapists and the invasion of privacy and the autonomy of the therapist-patient relationship are some of the changes imposed by business and government.

Scheflin explains:

A scheme in which physicians exercise principal control over decisions about the use of facilities, choice of treatment and determining what information should be disseminated to patients, has given way to a system in which competition and cost containment have become dividing forces, driving forces. Insurers and other large business entities exert great impact over treatment choices and hospitalization as well as selection of providers. […]

Unfortunately other professions and the uninformed have now stepped in to determine the standard of care. The standard of care being a legal standard is informed by good medical practice, but by being a legal standard, it can be manipulated by lawyers and propagandists and other people, and that is what has happened.

Therefore it is necessary for the mental health profession to wrest back control of the standard of care from the avaricious lawyers that are in the process of changing it. [16]

Psychotherapy is either co-opted or the therapists themselves are seduced by payments and propaganda. The law was never about who is innocent or guilty but the profits that can be extracted from the bloody battles that follow. On many occasions the “discourse of disbelief” and from psychologists with poorly applied evaluation techniques or False Memory Syndrome advocates of psychiatry are enough to allow children to go home with their abuser. The following case study illustrates this point.

Picture a wealthy businessman, accused by his wife of committing sexual abuse against his four year old daughter. These become the grounds for a lengthy custody battle. Psychological evaluations of the man’s relationship towards his daughter show: “…a very happy, spontaneous and positive relationship.” A history of sexual abuse is known by the psychologist but dismissed as irrelevant in court due to the man’s obvious disposition; his charm, amiability and more importantly – his status.

predatorbuys

Power buys influence – truth is secondary | © infrakshun

While the court case is proceeding, the polygrapher with an excellent record enters the picture and is requested by the attorney defending the man, convinced as he is that his client is innocent. This highly professional and experienced polygrapher describes the details of the accuser’s confessions during the test:

She grabs his penis while he washes her in the shower and he has explained to her what a man does with it. When questioned further about how often this happens, he said about three or four times a week. When asked to give a high figure regarding the number of times that Julie has touched his penis he said about twenty times… […] He also acknowledges erections and masturbations in the showers while Julie is in the shower with him….Her father stated that he sleeps nude and stated that Julie likes to cuddle. He stated he likes to run her foot up and down his penis until he gets an erection and sometimes ‘things happen.’ […] He stated that she ‘loves’ to orgasm. ‘I’ll get her a vibrator. She’ll hold the handle against her peepee and giggle until she climaxes.’ [17]

Remember, this is a four year old girl.

The report by the polygrapher continues to relay the man’s inability to contain his excitement to the extent that he finally admits to severe child abuse. In fact, he can’t stop relating his exploits, confirming the pattern of the psychopath’s need for self-aggrandizement through communicating his “successes.” He knows his money and influence will protect him and that his self-assurance regarding the mechanisms of the law will allow him to get away with such audacious confessions such as the following: “She has licked and sucked his penis no more than five times, has given him two full ‘blow jobs.’ He has ‘69ed’ her. He has licked her vagina and has performed oral sex on her not more than ten times.” [18]

The polygrapher faxes the report to the attorney acting for the father but to no avail. The attorney-client privilege is enacted and the report suppressed.  The “audacity” is actually an utter self-confidence in the duplicity of the system. The custody battle ends in the man’s favour and an admitted child molester is recommended for full custody.

How could such a travesty take place?

The man was a wealthy businessman who used the exact same skills of manipulation and ruthlessness which allowed him to gain a substantial footing in the commercial world. A personification of our economic and corporate model. This afforded him the best attorney in town, supplanting the mother’s meagre attempts to find a similar worthy opponent to defend her child’s interests. Coupled with biased psychological evaluations and the ignorance of the nature of the psychopath, the child never had a chance. The spellbinding techniques of the man were so effective that the whole courtroom was captured in his thrall. This man could never have abused the child! The attorney reminded the judge and jury that there was a man of standing and impeccable character before them, and psychiatrists provided the pseudo-psychology for him to get away with it.

Now reverse the scenario with a feminine vampire/narcissist using the cultural advantage and female pity-me ploy which also works wonders with a jury. Both occur and the courts facilitate these manipulations. The possibilities for pathological narcissists, child rapists and paedophiles from each gender to pull the wool over the eyes of those with conscience has never been easier in a legal system that is loaded towards the desires of the psychopath.

The late psychiatrist Ralph Underwager was likely the leading US scholar on child sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990’s. He wrote extensively about the over protection issue and anti-sexuality climate in the States. The essence of Underwager’s argument was however undermined by his actions. He represented an expensive resource for often high-level predators seeking to buy their way out of abuse, though courts have rejected his testimony on more than one occasion. This has been on the basis of the doctor’s unsubstantiated and clinically unproven sources and methods (such as learned memory) that serve to underline his belief that “90 percent of accusations against child molesters are wrong.”

While Underwager’s writings do have much validity in addressing the anti-sexuality present in Christian America, his defence of paedophiles undoubtedly acted against children. As discussed, there are plenty of psychiatrists and psychologists present who continue to blur the lines. Jim Peters, a senior attorney for the National Centre for the Prosecution of Child Abuse who investigated Underwager in the late 1980s believes that such psychiatrists present themselves as scientific observers, when more often than they are advocates for abuse inside and outside the courtroom. [19]

In 2005, an appellate level court in New York was the first to recognize the debate within the mental health community over whether “it is ethically proper” to give opinions on the best interests of the child when there is no empirical base to support them.” So said Matrimonial attorney and Albany Law School professor, Timothy Tippins. The article continued:

 “Psychologists and psychiatrists are unable to scientifically measure and predict the effects of different factors on the future well-being of a child. There is no way to ethically study, for example, the effect it would have on a child to place him in a home with schizophrenic parents. Therefore, after a mental health expert offers opinions regarding the effects of, for instance, depression or spousal abuse, the judge should be the one to opine as to the child’s best interest.” [20]

Psychopaths can attune to everyone’s ideal hero. The pervasive adulation which is afforded to the charismatic spellbinder in our societies allows the predator to slip between our shadows unnoticed. Children disappear in plain sight in exactly this way. There, behind closed doors they are abused and scarred for life with the blessing of family courts.

 


Notes

[1] ‘Doctors ‘fear child abuse cases’ BBC News, 5 January 2006.
[2] National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – males actually commit suicide four times as often as females do, and have higher suicide rates in every age group, yet the statistics suggest that losing a job and divorce are the most frequent cause.
[3] Quoted from ‘Distraught Father’s Courthouse Suicide Highlights America’s Male Suicide Epidemic.’ By Glenn Sacks, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 January, 2002.
[4] Children First Dept. Of Social Security, UK Government, 1998.
[5] Public Eye.Website of Political Research Associates, June 1989.
[6] ‘Deadbeat parents, system fail children’ Lansing State Journal, Michigan, April 13, 2003.
[7] ‘Custodians of Abuse’ by Kristen Lombardi’s The Boston Phoenix, Jan.9-16, 2003. This is required reading for anyone wishing to gain an insight into the nature of abuse, in this case from women’s perspective in the courts.
[8]  Ibid.
[9]  Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] ‘The Controversy Over Domestic Violence by Women: A Methodological Theoretical and Sociology of Science Analysis’ by Murray A. Straus. Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 1998.
[13] United Nations State of the World Report, 2000.
[14] op. cit. Straus.
[15] Children Speak for Themselves: Using the Kempe Interactional Assessment to Evaluate Allegations of Parent-Child Sexual Abuse by Clare Haynes-Seman and David Baumgarten Published by Brunner/Mazel, Inc., 1994 (pp. 33-34) ISBN: 0876307454.
[16] From the Presentation entitled: Risk Management in Dissociative Disorder and Trauma Therapy by Professor Alan Scheflin given at the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD) and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) conferences at a joint session in Montreal on November 9, 1997.
[17] op. cit. Salter (p. 18-19)
[18] Ibid.
[19] ‘Witness for Mr. Bubbles’ Transcribed from “Australia 60 Minutes,” Channel Nine Network (Aired on August 5, 1990 in Australia) produced by Anthony McClellan; Reported by Mike Munro.
[20] ‘Custody Ruling Addresses Reliance on Expert Opinions’ By Mark Fass, New York Law Journal, 2005.

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