Saturday, August 25, 2007

Maternal Alienation is Parent Alienation with a twist

I know that anyone that really knows me is positive that I believe this whole alienated parent thing is personality driven opposed to gender driven.

I do not for a min believe that Parent Alienation Syndrome is used as an excuse by abusive men!

I firmly believe that a parent or other that alienated an innocent child from someone they love has issues, big fat hairy ugly issues that may be to deep for even a psychiatrist to handle..

(Sociopaths- FYI many Dr's refuse to deal with them)

I firmly believe each case is individual and the driving force behind the need for these challenged adults ( Severe -alienators) is also different.

So in this blog only I'd like to take a min to look into Parent Alienation Syndrome from another angle. A very sick angle, an alienated child is an alienated child no matter what you chose to call it.

That said, in the instance where a true abuser is alienating for the purpose of sexually abusing the children I've found the following article..

It was very interesting reading..

What is Maternal Alienation-
Sometimes a man who is violent within his family alienated his children from their mother as part of that abuse.

He often isolates his partner from any sources of support, and is skillful at convincing her family, the neighbors, the children's school and any professionals involved with the family, that she is mad or bad. This type of abuse has been called Maternal Alienation by Ann Moris Senior Project Officer of the Maternal Alienation Project.

It generally occurs within a context of violence against women and/or children, and is a term for both.

+ The range of tactics used by men to deliberately undermine and destroy the relationship between a mother and their children to

+ The profound and often lasting alienation created in the relationships between mothers and their children by the use of those strategies.

Maternal Alienation

+ Is simultaneous abuse of women and children

+ Is a form of emotional abuse

+ Occurs within both domestic violence and child sexual abuse

Men who alienate children from their mothers usually manage to convince the children and all those involved with the family that they are blameless and misunderstood, and the mother is to blame for all the problems. In this way, maternal alienation successfully hides the man's responsibility for the violence and abuse, and directs peoples attention towards the so called bad mother. The man who uses these tactics remains "invisible".

What is the evidence for it?

...In the area of child sexual abuse

A number of researchers and practitioners in the 1990's researched the tactics used by child sex offenders to isolate and entrap the child he was abusing. They found that the offender's greatest concern was to break the child's trust in his/her mother.

"The most common tactic acknowledged by (sex offenders) was that of dividing mother and child" 9Lang, 1000, 147).

The abusive man had appeared to take over the child, drawing her into secrecy surrounding the abuse and excluding the mother" (Hooper, 1992)

"The offender's actions create a context in which the mother and child are blind to his role in creating the difficulties in their relationship"

(Lang & Kamsler, 1990, 169)

Children's descriptions of the victimization process illustrate the way in which such "special" relationships are constructed, with abusive men manipulating children's estrangement from pontential sources of support.. study of abusive men show's they are fully aware of this process" (Hooper, 1992, 38)

..In the area of Domestic Violence

Recently there has been concern about the damaging effects of domestic violence on children, and some understanding of the manipulation of the mother-child relationship by men who use violence and abuse.

"Many practitioners and women commented that the undermining of the relationship between women and their children is a common behavior perpetrated by men who are violent" (Irwin, Waugh &Wilkinson, 2002, 129)

Maternal Alienation is deliberate and intentional. This element of intention has long been recognized as an aspect of violence against women.

Gender violence is intentional and patterned, and aims at achieving certain outcomes (Dobash & Dobash 1988, 141; Ptacek, 1998, 150)

Through instilling of fear, the humiliation, the degradation, the assault on her idenitiy as a woman", (Ptacek, 1988, 147), to perpetrators of violence set out to punish, to inflict injury, to silence, to isolate and to maintain dominance against women, in a form that is directed also against her relationship with her child.

..From 1999 Research on Maternal Alienation

In 1999 a research project was carried out in notth of Adelaide to investigate what had been perceived as an aspect of violence against women and children, This phenomemon had not received adequet recognition, and during research, the term maternal alienation was coined to name it (Morris, 1999)

The research identified a number of tactics commonly used by men to destroy the mother child relationship. These were based on both<

+ Denigrating the mother as a figure to be despised

+ Elevating the father as both a victim and a hero (Morris, 1999, 1990/2000) Maternal

Alienation is a powerful strategy of abuse, Its power is drawn from the tendency in our society to trust and believe what men say over and above what women and children say. Its power is also drawn from the tendency to give more credibility to those who appear logical and calm, over those who seem distressed. People who have been traumatised usually convey their testimonies in emotional and apparently incoherent ways, and what they say isoften painful to hear (Herman).

On the other hand, those that use power and control over others often speak logically and articulately, and so many be more likely to be believed. Thus professionals and non professionals alike may take up a man's explanation that the mother is to blame for the problems in the family, while he has been misunderstood and wronged.

Indeed, the research found that, lacking an understanding of maternal alienation, service providers accross many services and sectors tended to believe the man and often acted to exacerbate the family situation (Irwin et al; Morris, 1999).

When and where does it occur?

It appears that maternal alienation is a common element of domestic violence, as well as a part of child sexual abuse.

The men who perpetrate maternal alienation may not be the fathers of the children involved, but are the perpetrators of abuse against that woman and her children.

In some families, men use maternal alienation as one of the modes of abuse that is ongoing in that family, so that children grow up continually exposed to these denigrating messages about, and behaviours to, their mother.

In other cases, maternal alienation begins when a couple separates, and a man may use maternal alienation as a strategy to gain control of the children, and to isolate and punish his ex partner.

Involvement in court processes such as those to determine contact and living arangements is one major forum for the use of these tactics.

It is also common when maternal alienation is used at these times, for a man to attempt to turn a woman's family and friends against her as well as her children, and to try to involve other services such as Child Protection against her as well.

This next part is called

"Dont Women Do It Too"

Here is a part I disagree with, like I'll say until the day I die; alienation IS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC!

So therefore I am posting this as the full article but making it clear that I FIRMLY believe a narcissist or BPD WILL ALIENATE a child for their own personal gain..

Sad part is that men and women are spending so much time arguing the validity of Parental Alienation Syndrome that our children are being destroyed.

Is it that hard to understand ALIENATION IS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC? If anyone were to combine this article with info from Parent Alienation Syndrome articles and combine them, maybe just maybe they would figure out it's BOTH!

(1) It CAN and IS being used by abusive men, who are using similar tactics for sexual abuse of the child. AS WELL AS...

(2) It CAN and IS being used by abusive women also who want the child for themselves for again personal gain, perhaps not for sexual abuse of the child, but for abusing their husband or to ensure they are the custodial parent as to not pay C.S. or simply to lock in C.S. from their husbands.

Once "they" wake up and combine Maternal Alienation and Parent Alienation Syndrome and admit that both sexes have been guilty of alienating, there will be hope.

(Men reading this keep reading- there's a but in here somewhere in RED)

That said here's the rest of the article..

which by the way can be found in its original PDF by clicking the TITLE of this blog

Dont women do it too?

Most Domestic Violence and child sexual abuse is perpetrated by men (Irwin and Thorpe).

Similarly, most "successful" perpetrators of parent-child alienaton are men. When women try to alienate their children against their father, societal structures and beliefs make this difficult for women to achieve successfully.

(Now here in the next sentance I agree) People are more ready to hear and act on negative and blaming stories about women than about men.

(Therein lies the biggest problem with children being alienated IMO- once DV is personality specific not gender specific- the next generation has a chance)

These views can be reflected by service providers that become involved with family members (Irwin et al; Edleson; Morris, 1999; Humphreys).

Below, I agree with this comment somewhat- IN MY UNPROFESSIONAL OPINION - once again it is personality specific I feel this study must have been done with truly abused women who are usually like their male alienated counterparts, doormats aka yes people aka what I want need comes after what makes YOU happy aka Co -Dependent/Co Narcissist personalitys we are/were more willing to be the nice guy, the one that does everything right- the one who only wants whats fair and just- the one who is willing to scarfice for their child- the peace maker. The one who was alienated the TARGET!

(I honestly don't feel they included any Borderlines (BPD) or female narcissists in this study.)

Important message - (Anything in RED should not be taken as medical or legal advice since it's only MY OPINION.)

Also making it less likely for women to act as alienators is their concern to support their children's relationship with their father, even at a cost to themselves.
(Irwin et al; Mullender et al)

The recent study by Mullender and colleagues reported that :

"What was remarkable ..was the extent to which mothers were willing to maintain a varity of forms of contact between the children's wishes and interests than their own saftey.

This finding is consistent with that in earlier studies..thus demonstrating a patern in women's decisions about contact that is at odds with what the courts frequently assume" (198)

My opinion on the above issue is..teach children in the JR High school years not to be "victims" of any kind. Teach assertiveness, teach personality disorders as part of the mandated cirriculum. As adults we need to make sure no child goes into H.S. not knowing what to watch out for in abusive relationships!

For those of us that are/were abused men and women, have others that have learned the difference between assertiveness, agressive behaviour, and door mats try to teach those that are comfortable in abusive/abused positions that until they change the nice guy, or the I come second attitude, things in their world will always be same ole same ole, and then they have no right to whine about it! Once someone is aware of the abusers tactics, and they themselves stand up and say OK ENOUGH, the abusers will walk all over you! Yes I learned this lesson the VERY HARD WAY!

I feel this information below is also the case in Parent Alienation when the abuser is the Female against the male..

Who is affected?

As maternal alienation is simultaneous abuse of children and women, both children and women are affected by it.

The effects can last a lifetime. Effects on the Children:

+ Children are divided from their mother, and are blocked from acccessing her as a loving nuturing parent + Children's trust in loving relationships is undermined

+ Children are affected in many ways by being used as "pawns" in the man's long campaigns against the mother and/or the child.

+ Children are trapped in a world created and controlled by the abuser + Children are often coached into perpetrating abuse and violence against their mother- and this may affect their later relationships with other women.

+ Children are punished for not participating in abuse against their mother.

+ Children often cannot heal from the effects of being subject to abuse while that are forced to adopt the "realities" of the perprtrator.

+ Children are caught up in primary relationship with a parent who is incosistent. tyrannical and puts his needs above those of his child. He may continue hsi abuse against the child.

+ Children often take up the role of the carer for their father, and subjugate their needs to his.

I feel this information below can be read as "effects on the victim" , and him and her after that can also be interchangable, but for the intention of "this article" I wont get into this part any deeper.

Effects on women:

+Women often blame themselves, and see themselves as the person others see them as-that is, as the person portrayed by the man who abuses her.

+Women are isolated and alienated from their family and community- sometimes for the rest of theier life.

+ Women feel enormous grief at "losing" their children.

+ Women find that they have little room to "move"- whatever they do, their words and actions are re-interpreted by the abuser (to children, family, community, professionals)

+ Women are traumatised by continual emotional abuse and the undermining of their relationships and attempts to communicate.

+ This constellation of effects impacts on a women's ability to represent themselves well in fourms as thej Family Court.

(My opinion once again - if the measures of assertiveness I mentioned earlier coupled with education in law- one has a better chance at defending oneself anywhere, if the card's aren't stacked against you with corruption or connections- But that stands with either sex)

I feel this can and should be used for both maternal alienation and Parent Alienation Syndrome..

What is being done about it?

Maternal alienation and it's devastating effects on children and women need to be understoof by more people. If more people and more services to families recognised it, something could be done about it.

These people and services include:

+ Families

+ Neighbors

+ Schools

+ Police

+ Community Health Workers

+ Jusges and Magistrates

+ Lawyers

+ Family Court Officials

+ Child Protection Workers

+ Child Care Workers

+ Child Health Workers

+ Domestic Violence Services

+ Religious Leaders People and services involved with the mother and/or childrencan make a positive difference if they

+ Support the mother to help her rebuild her realtionship with her children. This enables her to support and protect her children in the future, as well as helping her over come the effects of violence and abuse herself. The latest research points out that good practice for better child protection should be built on supporting the mother, (Irwin, Waugh &Wilkinson, 2003; Mullender, Hague et al 2002) not blaming or punishing her further (Edleson, 1998)

+ Understand and make visable the role of the man who uses abuse in this way. The invisablity of the perpetrator of abuse is an unhelpful, even dangerous tendency(Edleson, 1998) and is a strong factor in services not being able to address his continuing campaign against the mother and child.

A project called Maternal Alienation Project was set up in Adelaide in August 2002 to inform professional workers about maternal alienation and develop tools for addressing it's effects on children and women. This projectis set up as a partnership between Northern Metropolitan Community Health Service, Women's Health Statewide and University of Adelaide.

My last opinion on this subject is that if we can only bring this to America and incorperate it into everything I've mentioned above, Family Courts and CPS would be out of busniess and we all know that wont ever happen. But if my sharing this is able to help anyone- then it was worth all the work it involved.. in bringing it to you.

For more info on Maternal Alienation please see the link TITLE where I took all this info from to bring it to you- in hopes of saving at least one child!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mp Wants Lie Detectors in Family Court

MP wants lie detectors in Family Court and- WE AGREE

An MP has called for compulsory lie detector tests for parents facingthe Family Law Court.

Click link for more - dad4justice: Lie Detectors Needed in the Family Court

Where you will also find her saying -

"On top of the dysfunctional family law system we have a corrupted child protection agency.," she said.

"We have children being coerced in interviews to support false allegations."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Court Says: Illegal Presence in US Not a Crime

Illegal Presence in US Not a Crime,
Court SaysBy Jeff Golimowski Senior Staff WriterAugust 21, 2007

(2nd Add: Includes comments from Janine Cox of the Kansas Appellate Defender's Office.)

( - If you can get past the border guards and into the United States, you're no longer violating the law, according to a Kansas Court of Appeals decision.

The ruling comes after an illegal immigrant, Nicholas Martinez, was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine and endangering a child.

Court documents say Martinez was caught in an undercover sting by detectives in Barton County, Kansas (about 120 miles northwest of Wichita), using his young son to help sell cocaine.

Under Kansas law, the charges (and plea bargain) would have landed Martinez on probation. But the judge in the case said the defendant couldn't be put on probation because of his immigration status. "Mr. Martinez is illegally in the country and is in violation of the probation rules right from the start if I place him on probation," court documents quoted Judge Hannelore Kitts as saying. "He has to comply with all the conditions of the probation and he can't do that because he's in violation of the law not to violate any federal or state laws.

"The judge then rejected the plea agreement's sentencing recommendation and ordered Martinez to spend a year in jail. "I don't want to speak for her, but the judge obviously believed there was an inconsistency in placing him on probation when one of the first things he would have been told was to obey the law," said Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews.

But on appeal, a three-judge panel threw out the sentence, based on an apparent contradiction in U.S. law. While it is illegal to enter the country without the proper documents and permissions, it is not necessarily illegal to be in the country.

In its opinion, the court explained that Congress had implicitly created the distinction: "While Congress has criminalized the illegal entry into this country, it has not made the continued presence of an illegal alien in the United States a crime unless the illegal alien has previously been deported," said the opinion.

The court also cited previous cases, including a 1958 Supreme Court case, which found that laws regarding illegal entry into the country "are not continuing ones, as 'entry' is limited to a particular locality and hardly suggests continuity. "Because the judge hadn't determined whether Martinez had been deported previously, the appeals court ruled she had no legal basis to deny probation, since simply being in the country isn't necessarily a crime.

A pre-sentence investigation by the court did not find any evidence Martinez had been previously deported. Martinez's appellate attorney, Janine Cox of the Kansas Appellate Defender's Office, said she and her client are happy with the ruling, but she said the case is far from over. "The case is still alive. The sentence has been vacated … (prosecutors) have 30 days to make a decision" about an appeal, said Cox.

"If the Supreme Court takes it up we'll do it all over again."Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the opinion is the way the court arrived at its conclusion. Cox noted neither she nor the prosecutor had made an argument saying Martinez's presence in the country was not a crime.

"We argued that (immigration) status wasn't enough of a reason to depart from sentencing guidelines," said Cox. "The determination of status is solely a federal government determination." Cox declined to comment on the potential ramifications of the ruling on other immigration cases.

Matthews said this is one of if not the first time this issue has been brought before a Kansas court, though similar cases have been heard in Oregon and Minnesota with similar results. He said he doesn't necessarily believe the ruling will have far-reaching effects, as the language of the opinion was extremely narrow. "The Court narrowed the conditions under which (Martinez) could be imprisoned for his violation of Kansas law," said Matthews.

"The mere fact that you're in Kansas illegally does not mean, at least according to this opinion, that one of our District Court judges can impose a prison sentence as opposed to probation after you've been convicted of a felony offense."Prosecutors have 30 days to appeal the ruling to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

6.4 Million Dollar Verdict

Children and Families hit with $6.4 million verdict

A circuit court jury in Hillsborough County has awarded a $6.45 million judgment against the Florida Department of Children and Families to the families of two children who were treated by an improperly licensed counselor and convicted felon.

The verdict Tuesday found that the long-troubled department failed to properly investigate Robert Taylor, who provided substance abuse and other counseling to minors despite not having a license to treat them.

Taylor was sentenced to 130 years in prison in 2000.

One of the children, Gregory Chapman, hanged himself May 31, 1998.

"The only protection (the victims) had was DCF doing its job, and they didn't do it," said Joe Magri of the Merkle and Magri law firm, who tried the case. "The verdict hopefully sends a strong message by the jury that DCF needs to be responsible." The verdict can be appealed, but a decision has not yet been made.

DCF leadership had not seen the verdict as of Wednesday because they were attending meetings in South Florida, said Al Zimmerman, the department's spokesman. "Within the next week," he said, "they plan to sit down and discuss the verdict."

According to Magri, the two children saw Taylor in 1997 and 1998. Chapman suffered from an attention-deficit disorder, while another girl who saw him had a substance abuse problem.

A couple years before, several of Taylor's former clients had accused him of defrauding them out of money. DCF is required to investigate such claims and do background checks and fingerprint counselors who have contact with unmarried minors.

According to Magri, DCF "claimed that it did all it could do when it asked Taylor if the complaints were true and he denied them." A background check would have revealed that Taylor had several felony convictions for fraud, including a adoption scam; had outstanding arrest warrants in Chicago; and had a consent degree entered against him by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for the unauthorized practice of psychology.

DCF told Taylor that he needed to get a license to provide substance abuse treatment, and that he wouldn't need to go through a background check and fingerprinting to get a license to treat adults only.

Taylor provided the department with a fake Master's degree, which DCF failed to properly look into. Despite lacking the right license to treat minors, Taylor started seeing Chapman and the teenage girl, along with other minors.

According to the lawsuit against DCF, Taylor traumatized the children, pitting the girl against her parents while scaring minors such as Chapman into thinking they would be sent to a boot camp if they didn't "shape up" and stop causing trouble for their parents.

ACS tried to take my other kids, sez mom burying son

Hand over your children!

ACS tried to take my other kids, sez mom burying son


Thursday, August 16th 2007, 4:00 AM

A Queens mother buried her 2-year-old son yesterday - and then battled child welfare workers to prevent them from taking custody of her other kids at the cemetery.

"How are they going to come and do this while I'm burying my baby?" cried Jacqueline Lopez, a mother of six, whose son Carlos Joel died last week in a fire. "This is disgusting, this is horrible. Couldn't they have waited a couple of days?"

Carlos was burned to death last Thursday in a fire accidentally ignited by his 6-year-old brother, Isaiah, who was playing with his mother's pink cigarette lighter in their Sunnyside apartment.

Isaiah and Lopez's 1-year-old twins were rescued from the blaze by their grandmother Carmen Ospina. Lopez, 29, was not home, officials said.

Lopez said social workers from the Children's Aid Society - which had placed Lopez's oldest child, a 13-year-old girl, in foster care several years ago - told the mom yesterday that workers from the city Administration for Children's Services were coming to the funeral to take her other kids.

"She told me they're coming to the cemetery to pick them up," said Lopez after the service at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Sunnyside. "It was so disrespectful to my baby."
A friend of Lopez's called City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens), who requested that the ACS not take action on the day of the funeral.

"Unless there's imminent danger to a child's safety, disturbing a funeral is outrageous behavior," Gioia said. "It's inexplicable."

The ACS would not confirm whether or not it was investigating the Lopez family. But a pair of ACS caseworkers were seen interviewing Lopez and Ospina last night.

Lopez, who is being housed in a motel by the Red Cross, said investigators told her they got an anonymous tip citing parental negligence from someone who had attended Carlos' wake.

"I'm trying to be strong for my kids; I don't want them to see me cry," said Lopez, who wept into the shoulder of her husband, Edwin Mendez, 45. "And now they want to put us through another pain by removing my kids. How dare they do that?"

"Once they take [kids] away from you, it's so hard to get them back," she said. "I can't live without my babies. I lost Carlos Joel and now they're trying to take my other ones from me."

My reply to above author-

Dear Sirs;

Thank you for this article, it's high time the press shows how ACS operates.

This past month my lawyer filed on my behalf a lawsuit against ACS and the City for Malicious Prosecution and Negligent Misrepresentation, they destroyed my family six years ago and I have not been able to recover from it.

Unfortunately, I am not alone in my misery caused by this agency (ACS) and other child protective agencies across America. Every day they destroy numerous children's lives under the guise of "protection" when in fact it is the Title IV Federal funding they receive for legally kidnapping our children that is at the root of this "protective evil"

We the people have had enough; this weekend many victims of the system are Rallying at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. to stop government intrusion into our family’s lives.

Please see link below for more information.

Bringing Children and Families Back Together Washington DC Rally August 18th 2007


Louise Uccio

Friday, August 10, 2007

Agency Failed in Probing Child Abuse

After reading these articles I had to write to the Sun and tell them what happened in my personal dealing with these people.

Well not that I am surprised, they failed to post it so I will...
(See my reply which was rejected- at the end)

Staff Reporter of the SunAugust 10, 2007

The Administration for Children's Services will hire 100 new investigators with law enforcement backgrounds to help transform what a scathing study released yesterday by city investigators described as the agency's culture of complacency, neglect, and dishonesty.

Ms. Gill Hearn proposed 25 other recommendations, including ene 141-page report by the Department of Investigation commissioned by the mayor exhaustively details the bungled cases of 11 children who died and one who nearly drowned while their families were being monitored by the agency. Among the deaths were the high-profile murders of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown and 4-year-old Quachaun Browne

The report found a pattern of incompetence and negligence up the line from caseworkers to the agency's management, including cases closed "where unstable, potentially deadly situations remained unresolved in the homes" and caseworkers who lied to cover up their own inaction when children died.

"These 10 cases revealed a road map of problems with ACS investigations Â-- the same problems that this city has seen over and over again in the past," the commissioner of the City of New York Department of Investigation, Rose Gill Hearn, who led the 18-month study, said. "Facts were not ascertained and children were left at risk because ACS did not have all of the information."

The report detailed instances of caseworkers routinely accepting the denials of parents accused of abusing their children, without bothering to check with other witnesses.

"DOI's investigation has revealed grave problems in the quality and integrity of the investigations conducted by ACS staff," the report said. " ACS staff often conducted careless, incomplete investigations of serious abuse allegations."

Caseworkers also frequently neglected to check up on families where abuse had been found, didn't bother to obtain critical medical records or criminal background checks, and dragged their feet in seeking legal action when they were barred access to hostile homes.

In one instance, the case of Quachaun Browne, who died after he was beaten repeatedly over the course of a weekend by his mother's boyfriend, was closed even after an ACS worker found that the home was filthy and empty of food after responding to reports that the children were eating garbage and begging from neighbors.

In another, a caseworker didn't investigate discrepancies in the accounts of Nixzmary Brown's siblings about injuries she had that appeared to be the result of abuse. Instead, the caseworker accepted Nixzmary's stepfather's account that Nixzmary had fallen on a piece of wood. Her emaciated body was found a month later after her stepfather was accused of banging her head against a faucet and sexually abusing her.

Meanwhile, caseworkers were often working without cars, cell phones, or even notebooks to record interviews, and were provided only limited training in the techniques of investigation and interrogation.

Ms. Gill Hearn suggested that to fix its many failings, the agency's priority should be to "get the facts." She recommended the hiring of 100 "investigative consultants" with law enforcement experience that will cost the city about $3 million.

Twenty investigators were hired this year as a part of reforms the agency has been implementing since the uproar over the death of Nixzmary Brown, which have included the firing or discipline of 14 workers. With the additions, Ms. Gill Hearn said there would be one investigator to every 15 caseworkers.

Ms. Gill Hearn proposed 25 other recommendations, including encouraging caseworkers to travel in pairs instead of alone, and teaching them to take notes.

She also said the agency should learn from past reform efforts that led to only nominal, superficial changes.

The ACS commissioner, John Mattingly, called the study a "very tough report."
"In child protection, there is no quick fix, no silver bullet," he said. "This is not going to be a snap your fingers and put out a new policy and everything will be better."

But he also said he was appreciative of the report and planned to implement the recommendations.

He added that ACS is making progress despite challenges, including a dramatic increase in reports of child abuse since Nixzmary's case in 2006, to an estimated 61,000 this year from 48,000 in 2005.

This year, he said in 40% of cases, workers had documented evidence of abuse, up from 33% in 2005. By increasing the number of caseworkers to about 1,300 from 900, Mr. Mattingly said the average caseload has fallen to 11 this year from 20 in 2005, although some caseworkers still have up to 20 cases at a time.

"We have a ways to go," he said. "But we have seen improvements."

For the comments to this click this link -
Agency Failed in Probing Child Abuse - August 10, 2007 - The New York Sun

However MY comment was rejected so here it is-

I have personally had my family destroyed by ACS- 6 Years of fraudulently being on a state registry only to have it over turned as soon as I found out about it!

These agencies need to be dismantled not funded!

See below for the latest whistle blower on child anything but protective services-

Family Attorney Blows the Whistle on State Child Protective Services Agencies « The T.R.U.T.H. Project

Practicing family attorney Gregory Hession confirms child protective service agencies engage in abusive, deliberate and dirty tricks motivated by federal funding.

Every year thousands of families are forcibly separated from their children based on unsubstantiated or outright false allegations of child abuse. Gregory Hession, a practicing constitutional and family law attorney in Mass., says that for these families, the nightmare has only begun.

Children in child protective services (CPS) have been abused, wounded, brain washed, drugged, adopted out and some have even died. Hession has represented hundreds of these families and has dedicated himself to exposing CPS abuses and reuniting loving, deserving families. He documents CPS abuses in the July 23, 2007, issue of The New American magazine.

Hession’s articles highlight true stories of families who have been targeted by CPS agencies.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Report Blasts NYC Child Welfare Agency

Report Blasts NYC Child Welfare Agency
Thursday, August 09, 2007

By ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Writer

The city issued a damning report on its child welfare agency on
Thursday, calling for changes in the way caseworkers look into abuse
and neglect allegations after 10 children died during or after
bungled investigations.

The city's Department of Investigation said it probed the deaths of
11 children and one who nearly drowned in an eight-month stretch
beginning in October 2005. The department said that in all the
cases, the Administration for Children's Services was either
investigating the parents or had completed its findings.

"In all but one of these cases, DOI has found that the
investigations conducted by ACS were substantially inadequate and
incomplete," the 141-page report said.

The agency showed a pattern of lying, incompetence, carelessness,
ill-trained caseworkers _ and many of the children had preventable
deaths, according to the report.

The cases include the 2006 beating deaths of Nixzmary Brown, 7, and
Quachaun Brown, 4, along with 2-month-old Michael Segarra, who died
in his crib of neglect and tested positive for cocaine at birth.

"In at least one instance, an ACS manager admitted to DOI
investigators that he had falsified records after the death of a
child to make it appear as if he had been actively supervising the
investigation," the report said.

That case involved the Nov. 6, 2005, bathtub drowning of 16-month-
old Dahquay Gillians, whose mother has pleaded guilty to criminally
negligent homicide.

ACS suspended the manager in December 2005 and forwarded information
about his conduct to Brooklyn prosecutors. ACS said it had
disciplined 14 employees, including firing a caseworker in the
Nixzmary case.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the investigation in January 2006
after widespread concern about whether the agency could properly
investigate and respond to abuse allegations, the report said.

The report also said caseworkers routinely took the word of parents
who denied the allegations. At other times, managers pressured
caseworkers to "close cases within the state-mandated 60-day period
at the expense of a thorough and thoughtful investigation of the

ACS head John B. Mattingly said that it was a very tough report, but
that the agency embraced recommendations to improve. "As
commissioner, it all rests on my shoulders," he said.

The agency said it has drastically increased the number of
caseworkers and reduced each worker's caseload from 22 to 11. ACS
investigated 15,000 more reports of abuse and neglect in 2006 than
the year before, Mattingly said.

The agency also has hired 20 investigative consultants with law
enforcement experience, and plans to hire 100 more. Department of
Investigations Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said the goal is to have
one investigative consultant per 15 caseworkers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bush Wins Wiretapping Standoff

Monday, August 6, 2007


Bush Wins Wiretapping Standoff
Although President Bush is widely viewed as a lame duck, and an unpopular one at that, the Democratic-controlled Congress handed him a major legislative win over the weekend by passing revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Letters to the Editor

These are Letters a good friend of mine wrote to the Editor or the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

To the Editor,

I read with interest your July 25, 2007 article on the naming of Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger as a “Promoter of Justice” in the Brooklyn legal community.
I urge that the corruption scandals in Brooklyn which have absorbed the public’s attention in matrimonial and family law matters deserve the close study of such a figure.

I propose for his consideration the positioning of an advisory moral and ethical authority such as his Diocesan Tribunal along with similar others from other faith traditions. The goal would be to respond to litigants who say they are being unheard and unheeded by the skeleton and fragmented crew of ethics and disciplinary bodies within the Judiciary and the Attorney Grievance Committees.

I think the need is greatest at the moment in family law. Granted, the Catholic Church does not approve of divorce, but does it approve of the rough handling of the sacred relationships between parent and child by the court system. Many veterans of divorce, both male and female, say that the process left them busy and broke for years without closure or healing as they were forced to watch the slow motion train wreck of their lives and their families.

Does our court system only know how to spell retribution and not restoration? Four years ago, Kings County D.A. Joe Hynes stunned the legal community in Brooklyn with the arrests of court officers and a [state] Supreme Court judge in the midst of the Levy v. Levy child custody case. According to witnesses, on the day the sentence was read mandating jail time of three to 10 years for Judge Gerald Garson and one year for Law Guardian Paul Simonovsky, Sigal Levy’s older sons were heard to publicly rail against their mother with rage and blame-filled venom, perhaps egged on by Garson attorney Michael Washor’s stab at blame shifting one last time against the traumatized and victimized mother, Sigal Levy, as if to say to the sentencing judge — the mother was going to lose custody of the boys anyway, so what’s the big deal? The big deal, we must ask, is what role did paternal and spousal bullying play in this going-to-win-anyway zero/sum litigation behind the scenes? What is the road back to parent/child restoration of relationship now that the criminal trial is over?

We have to ask ourselves what good is the court system to the Levy family even if the culprits are finally locked up? Is our system of jurisprudence off the hook if it leaves the soul of the family as bad off or worse in its suffering than when the family tragedy of divorce began? What the Levy family really needs is something our system hasn’t yet wrapped its arms around. Families like the Levys need to emerge as whole and healed as possible in spite of divorce and scandal. That won’t happen without intentional efforts on the part of people of good will and action. The giving and receiving of love, trust and emotional stability in parent-child relationships needs to get back on track and the wounded parties need to be allowed to heal. How to do that? First, for accountability, the question needs to be asked: Does the court system in fact play a destructive role in handing out the nails to the coffin for this and other families caught up in contested litigation? Hasn’t the court system ignored and compounded the financial and emotional exploitation by virtue of its very structure and modus operandi? Is the court system teachable? Can it be schooled in the ways of restorative justice by a bonafide and respected core group of interfaith promoters of justice from wisdom and faith traditions?

Is anyone in the court system ready to take a leadership position in order to discover the far reaching and soul-searing family abuse generated by a bullying and/or criminal spouse and parent with the help of court officials? This issue of spousal and parental bullying deserves its own column and is related to the nature of abuse of power — ethical, moral and personal — within the family and the court system.

— Nora Drew Renzulli
Staten Island, NY

The following letter was written in response to the July 25 article on Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger’s designation as a “Promoter of Justice” in the Brooklyn Diocese.

‘Bullying Spouse Syndrome’

In New York State we have recognized that elder abuse deserves our special attention so that the elderly are not exploited financially by their caregivers. The NYS Penal Code now provides for prosecution and specific focus on crimes against those age 60 and over. I believe that family abuse without age limit needs to be our next category for heightened awareness. We need to protect families of all ages, particularly those with children, from exploitation and abuse. As we know, the court system operates on the premise that the generation of conflict — our adversary system — is meant to lead to legal truth. We see, of course, that it can fall woefully short when the ability to reach the truth is short-circuited by lies, intimidation, and criminal behavior by court officials and litigants.
I respectfully suggest that the various faith traditions, be they Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or others, not shy away from identifying the problem of corruption and unethical behavior in the court system itself. The self-regulation of the legal system is not working. We need respected outsiders to help establish a plumb line for measuring what is straight and what isn’t against the wall of deceit and manipulation we find ourselves confronting and recoiling from in the [trial of former Justice Gerald Garson, who was convicted on charges of bribe receiving].

Many people say that the glaring systemic corruption we were exposed to in that horrific case is only the tip of the iceberg. Interesting that they say iceberg. Ice is where in Dante’s imaginary journey to purgatory and hell he found the worst of sinners, those he recognized as traitors to family in the furthest distance of separation from God. They were not burning in the hellfires we usually picture in our minds as eternal damnation, but frozen in ice up to their necks.

The Bullying Spouse Syndrome (BSS) is my modest contribution as terminology to the naming of the problem and the search for solutions to family exploitation. I welcome readers to comment. I would like the Monsignor [Scharfenberger] to consider taking on a leadership role along with representatives of other faith traditions. I am anecdotally aware of a number of pending cases in which BSS is operating but presently under the radar screen or ken of family court and matrimonial judges in Kings County and elsewhere in the state. Obviously, the judge who took over the Levy case from Judge Garson has not been able to stop the ugliness and alienation that the children of the marriage were steeped in by a bullying spouse and father who was willing to corrupt his children by teaching them to hate their own mother and stunt them spiritually to achieve his end of “winning” custody. Avrahom Levy was the obvious catalyst and traitor to family — his children’s true interest to learn to give and receive love to both parents was obstructed and denied. This fraud on the children led to his attempted fraud on the court that ended with gaining the crucial participation of a venal judge and his favored law guardian. An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. May the wise and learned and spiritual masters in our midst help guide our way closer to human dignity and peace for bullied spouses and their children asking for justice from the court system.

— Nora Drew Renzulli
Staten Island, NY

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Patients Diagnosed Schizophrenic and Bipolar To Boost Seroquel Sales

April 11, 2007

By Evelyn Pringle

Washington, DC: For over a decade, drug makers have been influencing doctors to diagnose patients, especially those covered by public health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, with mental illnesses to justify the over-prescribing of the new class of drugs known as "atypical" antipsychotics.

For instance, Seroquel, marketed by AstraZeneca, is only FDA approved to treat acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia, and yet it is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world.

Astra reports that over 16 million patients have taken Seroquel since it came on the market in 1997, and the drug had sales of close to three and a half billion dollars in 2006, according to SEC filings.

Decision Resources, an advisory firm on health care matters, reported that in 2005, two of the top 10 selling drugs worldwide were atypicals.

A new study by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found that between 1997 and 2004, spending on antipsychotics more than tripled from $1.3 billion to $4.1 billion and the largest purchasers of atypicals are public health care programs.

The other drugs in this class include Eli Lilly's Zyprexa, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Abilify, Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal, and Pfizer's Geodon.

These drugs were promoted as working better than the old "typical" antipsychotics in addition to having fewer of the serious side effects associated with the older drugs.

Both of these claims have now been proven false, but unfortunately tens of millions of people have already taken the new drugs.

A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, entitled the "Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE)," compared the atypicals against the older medication, perphenazine and found the atypicals were no more effective than the older drug although they cost 10 to 20 times more.

By comparison, the cost of perphenazine was $50 a month, and Zyprexa was $545. But the results of this $40-odd million dollar tax payer funded study is not news.

Back in December 2000, the British Journal of Psychiatry reported a review of 52 studies involving 12,649 patients and stated: "There is no clear evidence that the atypical antipsychotics are more effective or better tolerated than conventional antipsychotics."Over the past several years, studies have linked the atypicals to a number of serious health problems including insulin resistance and diabetes.

According to an October 2006, report by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, diabetes causes tissue damage in many organs, is a major cause of vascular disease, and is the number one cause of adult blindness, end-stage kidney disease and non-traumatic amputations. Insulin resistance, the report says, is closely linked to developing metabolic syndrome, which includes hypertension, high cholesterol, increased blood clotting and eventually insulin dependent diabetes.

Astra is currently facing nearly 10,000 lawsuits in state and Federal courts over injuries and deaths caused by Seroquel, and Eli Lilly has already agreed to pay well over a $1 billion to settle cases out-of-court with approximately 26,000 Zyprexa victims.

In February 2007, the state of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca, and other atypical makers, alleging the drug giant illegally marketed Seroquel off-label for unapproved uses.

The state is demanding reimbursement for the cost of the drug and medical care provided to patients who developed serious health conditions while taking the drug. The lawsuit alleges Astra concealed the risks of Seroquel and exaggerated the benefits while persuading doctors to prescribe it for uses not FDA approved as safe and effective.

Astra, the complaint alleges, cost Pennsylvania's Medicaid and drug assistance for the elderly program millions of dollars for "reimbursing for non-medically accepted indications and non-medically necessary uses," of Seroquel, as well as "significant sums of money for the care and treatment" of patients injured by the drug.

Legal experts say millions of people have been duped into taking the atypicals with massive off-label marketing campaigns based on lies, distortions, and rigged-for-profit clinical trials.

Attorney, Derek Braslow, of the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania law firm, Pogust & Braslow, says the schemes usually follow a familiar pattern.

"First," he explains, "the drug maker promotes the drug as significantly more effective than the current standard of care when in reality, its effectiveness is questionable."

"Second," he says, "they market the drug to doctors as safer when not enough studies have been conducted to determine whether it is safe and perhaps, the studies were designed in a way that would never detect the risk in the first place."

"Third," Mr Braslow notes, "the companies promote the drug off label for all types of indications and for all age groups."

But prescribing doctors have played a major role in medicating patients for profit with the new atypicals.

Drug companies are prohibited from promoting a drug for off label uses outside of the FDA-approved indications because for conditions or patient population not listed on the label the drug has not been proven safe and effective.

However, through a major legal loophole, doctors have the authority to decide whether the risk of prescribing a drug for an unapproved use is justified by the benefits.

Which means all companies have to do is convince doctors, by whatever means, to prescribe a drug for unapproved uses and deny the drug maker's involvement in their decisions.

Unfortunately, it is the unwitting patients who will endure the stigma of a life-long label as a result of the atypical drugging for profit scheme.

When people think about schizophrenia or bipolar disorder they picture patients who hear voices, are delusional, and possibly dangerous to themselves or others.

The people misdiagnosed to boost the sale of these drugs, including scores of innocent children, will face a lifetime of suspicion and discrimination by society as a whole.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit says the drug maker influenced doctors to prescribe Seroquel off-label to children for behavior disorders like attention-deficit.

The atypicals are not approved to treat children for any condition but a review of records from HMOs and Medicaid programs by researchers at Vanderbilt University found a dramatic increase in the use of the drugs with children, particularly for behavioral disorders, according to the March/April 2006, Journal of Ambulatory Pediatrics.

The study found that between 1995 and 2002, there were 5,762,193 outpatient medical visits by children, aged 2 to 18 years old, at which an antipsychotic was prescribed. The drug companies have doctors in every field of medicine prescribing atypicals to kids, with 32% of the almost 6 million prescriptions, written by pediatricians, family physicians, emergency department doctors, or other types of providers.

The study authors specifically said that there had been no increase in mental disorders that could justify the prescribing increases "as recent studies do not suggest significant increases in the incidence of schizophrenia."According the study report, these medications have not been studied at all for behavioral disorders and yet, the most common diagnosis was attention deficit disorder or conduct disorder, accounting for 29.0% of all prescriptions.

Critics says, the logical question to ask is how would a pediatrician or family physician, whose practice does not ordinarily include diagnosing or treating mental disorders, ever come up with the idea to prescribe Seroquel to a child for any reason without the input from the drug maker.

As for the benefits of treating kids who are schizophrenic, an August 2006, study by the New York Psychiatric Institute found that the older drugs work far better. The average response rate in children among 8 studies employing the new antipsychotics was only 55.7%, compared to a 72.3% with children in 13 studies who received the older drugs.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit alleges the drug maker influenced doctors to prescribe Seroquel off-label for dementia in elderly patients. On April 11, 2005, after a study revealed that elderly patients with dementia who were taking atypicals were far more likely to die prematurely, the FDA announced the addition of black box warnings about the increased risk of death on the labels of atypicals.

A June 13, 2005, study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reviewed atypical use by approximately 2.5 million Medicaid patients in nursing homes and found that over half received medications that exceeded the highest recommended dose, received duplicate therapy, or had inappropriate indications for the drugs to begin with.

All total, the study determined that more than 200,000 nursing home residents received atypicals but had "no appropriate indications for use."

On October 12, 2006, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the atypical drugs most commonly used to treat people with Alzheimer's were no more effective than placebos for most patients, and caused serious side effects including confusion, sleepiness and Parkinson's disease like symptoms.

The FDA has acted as an accomplice in allowing atypical makers to suppress other adverse events found in their own clinical trials. According to Dr David Healy, a world-renowned expert on psychiatric drugs, a great deal of data is available on the rates of suicides and suicidal acts in clinical trials on atypicals.

He says Zyprexa probably has the highest suicide rate in clinical trial history and calls the absence of available data on suicidal acts and Zyprexa "striking."

By using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data from the FDA, award-winning journalist, Robert Whitaker, author of, Mad in America, reported that one in every 145 patients who participated in the clinical trials with the atypicals died.

On March 1, 2007, four days after the Pennsylvania lawsuit was filed, Astra became the target of another investigation, when US House of Representative, Henry Waxman (D-Cal), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to Astra, requesting information related to the exact same charges alleged in lawsuit.

The lawmaker's letter asks for a list of all Seroquel trials, studies, or reports; all presentations given to employees who promoted Seroquel; information shown to physicians; presentations related to physician prescribing patterns, continuing medical education, and off-label use; and all documents and correspondence related to funding for nonprofit professional organizations or consumer patient groups.

Critics say the culpability of the doctors in over-prescribing drugs that cause such serious diseases and adverse events cannot be ignored.

This critic says, labeling people mentally ill for profit, especially innocent children and the elderly, is an indefensible crime and that all the monsters that engaged in this 10-year off-label marketing scheme should be arrested and sent to prison, and the jailer on duty should throw away the key.

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lawmaker Calls for Registry of Drug Firms Paying Doctors

Published: August 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 — An influential Republican senator says he will propose legislation requiring drug makers to disclose the payments they make to doctors for services like consulting, lectures and attendance at seminars.

The lawmaker, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, cited as an example the case of a prominent child psychiatrist, who he said made $180,000 over just two years from the maker of an antipsychotic drug now widely prescribed for children.

Mr. Grassley is one of several lawmakers to propose a federal registry of such payments. Minnesota, Vermont and Maine already have similar registries, and other states are considering them.

The proposals are a response to growing concerns that payments from drug makers can affect doctors' prescribing habits, increase the cost of health care and, in some cases, endanger patients' health.

The drug industry opposes such registries, saying they would discourage doctors from receiving needed education. John Bentivoglio, a lawyer in Washington who represents drug makers, said the registries would be a burden for the companies and might be misinterpreted.

"One of the concerns is that these payments are seen as bribes," Mr. Bentivoglio said. "That's not the case. The vast majority are lawful payments for services."

In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Mr. Grassley said he had started an investigation into these practices. Noting that most universities require academic researchers to disclose such payments, he said, "I have sent letters to a handful of universities to understand how well such a reporting system actually works."

These letters have uncovered several problems, Mr. Grassley said. First, universities do not verify the information filed by their professors, so "the only person who knows if the reported income is accurate and complete is the doctor who is receiving the money."

Also, the universities generally keep this information secret from patients, who have no way of knowing whether their doctor is on a drug maker's payroll, he said.

"So if there is a doctor getting thousands of dollars from a drug company — payments that might be affecting his or her objectivity — the only people outside the pharmaceutical industry who will probably ever know about this are the people at that very university," he said.

Mr. Grassley said that he had asked how much the child psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa DelBello at the University of Cincinnati, made from AstraZeneca, the London-based drug giant that manufactures the antipsychotic Seroquel.

Dr. DelBello's studies of Seroquel in children have helped to fuel the widespread pediatric use of antipsychotic medicines. Those studies were inconclusive, but she has described them as demonstrating that Seroquel is effective in some children.

Asked in a past newspaper interview how much she was paid by AstraZeneca to help market Seroquel, she had said, "Trust me, I don't make very much." Mr. Grassley said this week that her disclosure forms at the University of Cincinnati show she received $100,000 from AstraZeneca in 2003 and $80,000 in 2004. Dr. DelBello consults for seven other drug makers as well. She did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Richard Puff, a university spokesman, said he did not know how much Dr. DelBello made in combined payments from all eight drug makers. Asked if the institution did anything to verify its professors' financial disclosures, he replied, "We do trust our faculty when they're making these disclosures."

Mr. Grassley said he would propose that drug makers make public any payments made to doctors who bill the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, which would include nearly all doctors.

Noting that voters can easily look up the contributions made to elected officials, he asked, "Shouldn't we hold doctors to similar standards