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The state-of-the-art in what is best for children of divorce. Every parent, judge and family law attorney must view this video to save their children from the ravages of divorce.
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PBS Smears Fathers Who Contest Child Custody

Beginning this coming Thursday, PBS stations around the country are planning to air a film entitled "Breaking the Silence, Children's Stories". This film denigrates divorcing fathers with it's bald-faced assertion that in "75% of cases in which fathers contest custody, fathers have history of being batterers".

The flaws in this film are as numerous as they are flagrant:

  1. The film paints a false picture of a world in which the only abusive parents are fathers, ignoring the fact that far more children are abused and killed by their mothers than by their fathers (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services http://faq.acf.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/acfrightnow.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=70&p_created=1001611491 and http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm03/figure4_2.htm)

  2. The film misleads the viewer by failing to explain that psychiatrists who've called Parental Alienation Syndrome "junk science" don't mean that parental alienation doesn't happen, but rather that it's not an officially recognized mental illness. (http://www.mediaradar.org/mr_breaking_the_science.php#pas)

  3. The program makes a number of very serious accusations against fathers without allowing the accused to defend themselves.

A detailed analysis of the flawed logic and biased "research" this PBS program is based on can be found at http://www.mediaradar.org/mr_breaking_the_science.php.

Public Broadcasting Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are funded out of your tax dollars, and have a responsibility not to disseminate bias. The CPB's own Code of Ethics (http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/cpbethicsguide.pdf) requires employees to "avoid any conduct that might result in the loss of public confidence in CPB’s programs and activities ... or might reasonably give the appearance of ... the compromise or loss of complete impartiality of judgment and action."

This week, we're asking you to contact the officials at PBS and CPB listed below to cancel the show as currently edited, and revise it so it reflects commonly-accepted journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy, and balance.

The revised program should interview adult children of abusive mothers, as well as fathers who've been forced to stand helplessly by, unable to protect their children, due to decisions by biased court officials.

The most important point of contact is your local PBS station:

  1. Go to the website of your local PBS station. To find that website, go to http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html and enter your zip code.

  2. Each PBS station's website is laid out differently, but somewhere on the website will be a link labeled something like "Contact Us". If this takes you to a webform, enter your comments. If it shows a list of contact names, identify the station manager. If there's no email address listed, call the station and ask to speak with the station manager.

As always, remember to courteous and respectful in your communications with them.

If you’re still bothered about PBS’ unfair depiction of fathers, there are a number of other people you can contact. If you don't have time to contact all of them, contact as many or as few as you have time for.

CPB national headquarters:

Mr. Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Chairman of the Board
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
401 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2129


Webform at http://www.cpb.org/ombudsmen


U.S. mail to:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting
401 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

PBS national headquarters:

U.S. Mail:

Pat Mitchell, President & Chief Executive Officer
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314

Michael Getler, Ombudsman
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314

Connecticut Public Broadcasting (co-producer of the film):

U.S. Mail:
Connecticut Public Broadcasting Inc.
1049 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-2411

Phone: 860/278-5310

Jerry Franklin, President and Chief Executive Officer
Email: <jfranklin@cptv.org>

Larry Rifkin, Head of National Programming
Email: <lrifkin@cptv.org>

Lee Newton, CPTV "Breaking the Silence" contact person
Email: <lnewton@cptv.org>
Phone: 860-275-7285

Date of RADAR Release: October 17, 2005

Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) is a coalition of men and women working to assure balance in the domestic violence issue: http://www.mediaradar.org.

------------------  LETTER FROM CONCERN PBS MEMBER ---------------------------
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 12:27:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: Cindy Gerace

Subject: Protest to airing of "Breaking the Silence"

To: Feedback@wgbh.org

As a long-term supporter of WGBH, I'm appalled that the station would
broadcast such a biased program as "Breaking the Silence". The
producers of this program have twisted the facts to their advantage.
Parental alienation does exist. I have personally observed mothers
use alienation tactics to ruin the relationship between their
children and their ex-husbands. The mothers concoct lies telling the
children their father abandoned them, their father yells at them,
their father won't support them. In the meanwhile, the fathers are
wasting tens of thousands of dollars in court fighting an unfair
system in an attempt to maintain a presence in their children's
lives. The result of all this turmoil is children who become
emotional wrecks. They lose their capacity to trust, they don't
understand what a normal relationship is, they become troubled teens
and struggling adults. I have a relative whose mother was an
alienator and his is now struggling to make his third marriage work.
He did learn the truth about his childhood and eventually had a good
relationship with his father. He has not spoken to his mother in
years. Sad isn't it?

I do agree that child abuse is a major societal issue, but abuse is
not only physical, it comes in many forms. Attempting to turn a
child against his/her own parent is one of the cruelest forms of
abuse. Unless WGBH can produce a program that presents both sides of
a story in an unbiased format, we are better off without any
program. If programs with such obvious prejudice continue to be
aired by WGBH, I will be forced to withold my support for the


Cindy Gerace
Member #684560

------------------------------ LETTERS FROM PREVIOUS PBS SUPPORTERS  ---------------

Dear Producers and Senior Management of WGBH & PBS,


I recently supported PBS's campaign to stop the cutting of government funding by writing a letter to my state representative. So I am shocked to find that PBS is supporting what is essentially a biased propaganda program created by seemingly militant feminists who have little regard for the truth and telling a balanced story.


Although I have not seen this program yet, the volume of negative comments on the Internet about PBS attacking fathers is already large and growing.

I am told that this program, as is typical of many feminist sponsored stories, not only distorts the facts, but is in fact filled with blatantly inaccurate and unsubstantiated data and statistics.

Your responsibility to do fact checking on any program that you air that is "documentary" is undeniable. Basic ethics require this, otherwise you are a propaganda machine for the producers and sponsors of the program.


The level of bias against fathers in family courts today is beyond belief and description. I could tell you stories you would literally not believe that are 100% true. After many months of study I know the courts are very broken and are making criminals out of normal loving dads who are just trying to maintain contact with their children.  Due to the abuse of domestic violence laws that throw fathers out on the street and force them to continue paying for the home, plus child support, men are routinely forced to live on only 10% of their income. This is barely enough to eat, never mind have a car to work and a roof over their heads.  If they do not meet these impossible orders they are labeled and jailed as "deadbeat dads". Hundreds of fathers are committing suicide weekly. Thousands are fleeing the country because of these ridiculous orders that are bogus, and often a function of false accusations for financial benefit. THIS IS THE STORY THAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD!


Recently eighty-five percent of voters in a Massachusetts referendum voted for shared parenting, giving parents equal rights in divorce. This is news and worthy of your attention.  The courts act unconstitutionally by denying fathers these rights every day, literally in most cases from what I have seen. They totally ignore the constitution, supreme court and state appellate court case law and even their oath of office to respect these above all others. They essentially run on traditions from the 1950s which assume women are not capable of earning a living. This should be insulting to any woman, but few people have the integrity to look a gift horse in the mouth, even when it is tragic for their children and ex-husband.


I have started posting emails and letters about this on the web and they will remain there until PBS makes amends by stopping this show or providing equal time to balance out the outrageous claims in it. Acting as a propaganda machine for radical feminists with an agenda to take all rights of fathers away, by taking the exceptional cases and pretending that this is an average case, is standard operating procedure for these near militant groups. PBS should know better and be serving a public trust. PBS is violating this trust and doing permanent damage to its integrity with this program.


I have personally heard these people quote statistics that are exaggerated by a factor of over 100 times to promote their cause and agenda. They even quote each other (not real independent sources) by claiming things like "37% of emergency room accidents are the result of domestic violence", when the actual statistic is 0.3%.Many of these claims are so exaggerated that are insulting to anyone with common sense, yet they are aired by credible media organizations and as such are often believed.  Airing this program is a disservice to the public and protests are now forming to picket PBS and/or boycott contributions to your station. Hundreds of groups all over the country are outraged at this and offended by what they have heard. Once it is aired it will be too late. Each time will do further damage.


Your senior management really needs to take a very close look at this situation, verify facts, and the impression they given when they are designed to intentionally mislead people.

Anyone who checks the facts will immediately find that more women than men harm and kill their children and that fathers win more when they contest custody because in those cases the mother in those situations is dangerous or unfit. Unfortunately the opposite also happens where bias puts the children in the hands of an unfit parent.  Men contesting custody are either just fighting for  EQUAL RIGHTS and/or trying to protect their children from a potentially dangerous parent.  Some further information on reputable sources, including government statistics, is pasted below.


This program should be canceled, reviewed for accuracy, or at a minimum delayed to allow time for this process. Your organization has been hoodwinked by some very savvy and unethical people who wish to further slant public opinion against men. The fact is that restraining orders are more often used as offensive weapons in divorce to gain control of children and property than they are to protect women who have been harmed or threatened physically in any way. The fact is that women perform domestic violence against their husbands in near equal percentages of the opposite. The fact is more mothers harm their children (by far) than fathers.  It would take little research to verify these claims (see below). Even the one book by Dr. Warren Farrell, a former member of the board of directors of The National Organization for Women, entitled Father and Family Reunion could provide nearly all the needed data and statistics you need with complete footnoted references to all the most recent scientific studies. This situation is now totally out of control and even lawyers (who make LOTS of money on this situation) admit the majority, and some say as high as 95% of these restraining orders should not be granted. Judges are actually so fearful of the press due to the exceptional incident that they strip fathers of all their constitutional rights without even thinking twice when no violence of any kind has ever occurred.  This is fertile ground for a documentary that would do a public service.  Various organizations are forming to fight this abuse of the law, which will ultimately harm children and endanger the women who really need protection.


I hope you will at least delay any further airing of this program until you can perform the proper due diligence that was obviously skipped during the making of this.



Robert A concerned father whose children have been kidnapped by the state

ParentsAgainstParentalAlienation@yahoogroups.com wrote:

Date: 18 Oct 2005 09:45:41 -0000
From: ParentsAgainstParentalAlienation@yahoogroups.com
To: ParentsAgainstParentalAlienation@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ParentsAgainstParentalAlienation] Digest Number 14

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
Help save the life of a child. Support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. CRITICAL MEETING! Thursday, 10.20.05,7:30 PM, Framingham
From: Jefparks@aol.com


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 11:42:57

From: Jefparks@aol.com
Subject: CRITICAL MEETING! Thursday, 10.20.05,7:30 PM, Framingham

CRITICAL MEETING! Thursday, 10.20.05,7:30 PM, Framingham
Location: 40 Speen St., Suite 205, (Lupus Foundation of New England)
Framingham, MA 01701
Cost: $20. or what you can afford.
Facilitator: Jeffrey Parks, LMFT. 508 877 3660 x 5, email:
_jefparks@aol.com_ (mailto:jefparks@aol.com)

A nationally televised PBS special ("Breaking the Silence), scheduled to be
shown the week of October 20, will be claiming that parental alienation does
not exist! Over 100 people who have attended PAPA meetings in the past six
months have said that it does! They know because they live it! Come join
others as we discuss what we can do to respond to the claim that it is always the
parent's fault who suffers the loss of his child.

Standing up to hate has been the theme of the often painful stories told by
the participants in the open group. Our strategies are shared as parents
support each other's reaching out to their children, in contrast to the TV
show's misstatement that "All over America battered women (1/3) are losing the
custody of their children." In fact, many in our Group have told of being
victims in abusive relationships, and how they had to go to court (sometimes
successfully) in protecting their children.

Courageously voicing love despite the stigma that many child-absent mothers
and fathers face unites us. The group last month encouraged each other to do
whatever we can despite financial hardships, being excluded by schools,
judged by medical professionals, and the vagaries of court rulings. The many
adult children from alienated families that have attended our Group bear witness
to the tragic results of parental alienation.

The TV show promoted the upside down beliefs that make the need for our
Group even more evident. The Group validates the reality of our members lives,
as those around us, even closest friends, cannot understand, or do not know
what to say. So many of us have been told to give up, and we understand why so
many parents do. Yet we continue to fight for the right of our children to
know how much they are loved.

What can you do? Speak your truth and tell your story and together we will
find new sources of strength. Educating yourself and others will lead to
individual and collective action. This will result in creative and powerful
healing responses to hate. Remember, knowing the truth does set people free, and
that we will win because:

1. Our Group focuses on healing the wounds and mending the rifts, and not on
keeping the wounds painfully open, and unattended to, fixed in the belief
people cannot change.

2. Our Group teaches us to take responsibility and practice forgiveness.
While we advocate establishing a dialog, the other side closes off

3. Our Group promotes inclusion, not exclusion.

4. Our Group believes in people helping themselves, and each other, and not
on being solely reliant on professional experts. We are the experts of our

5. Our Group teaches us to prevent alienation by standing up to using kids
as battering rams or for emotional validation like "bad-mouthing," changes in
schedule, barrier placement, etc. We are committed to not responding in kind,
but "taking the higher road" in positive, healthy, and loving ways.

6. Our Group reminds us that we are not victims, despite the outcomes and
losses that have been beyond our control. We have learned to not act like
"victims," while the other side shouts about being "victims" who require others to
save them.

7. Our Group has cheered our members desire to reclaim what once was a
loving relationship. For some, reunification has been achieved after many years of
cut-off loss. We have found that reaching out does work and some discover
courage they never knew they had.
Please join us on Thursday night and see how you can make a difference!



I have heard that a PBS special, "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories," will air on October 20. From the press release I read, this film presents a view of child abuse that is the opposite of the truth. 


In "Breaking the Silence," men are portrayed as monsters and child abusers. Yet most studies that I've read indicates mothers are the perpetrators of child abuse in more than 60 percent of the cases.


Natural birth-fathers are protectors of their children - contrary to the message in "Breaking the Silence." Yet men are often hindered in protecting their children because the media like to portray them as evil - and they are pushed away from the families they love. 


"Breaking the Silence" will contribute towards the problem of violence toward children, of fatherlessness, of judicial abuse; not the solution.


Please take a minute to read the poem below. "Monster Mommies," by Kristiana Colegrove, addresses the tragedy of the true perpetrators of child abuse.


I ask that you please not air "Breaking the Silence." If you feel you must air this program, please include a period of time at the end to broadcast opposing viewpoints such as mine.


Thank you.


Don Mathis


Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 15:49:24 -0400
From: Barbara C. Johnson <barbaracjohnson@worldnet.att.net>
To: pmitchell@pbs.org

 DO NOT BROADCAST  "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories"
It does not represent the truth of what is going on in the courts.
Neither does it represent the truth of what is going on in life.
The DV laws are being horribly abused.
Incredible injustices are occuring.

Parental alienation is real, very real.
In my practice, I see the syndrome all the time.
In some cases, I have seen the kids before and after.
I've deposed the mothers.
I've deposed the so-called guardians ad litem.
I've read the reports which say that Child A does not want to see dad.
I've questioned the GAL who has admitted that Child A told her that Mom told me to say that.
I've seen the process notes of the GAL in which Child A said, "I miss my Dad.  I love my Dad."
Then I've cross-examined the GAL who has no answer for why she did not include what Child A told her.
Sometimes the GAL is biased in favor of Moms in general.
Sometimes the GAL is paid for the result.
Sometimes the GAL is not paid her fees and will change her report accordingly.
Child A is typical for Children B through ZZZZZ.
This is not a one-time occurence.
This is typical.
I can supply copies of documentary evidence.
I can supply taped evidence.
I can supply audiovideographed evidence.
I can supply copies of cancelled checks, accountings from the payors and from the payees, and they do not agree when they should.
By broadcasting Breaking the Silence, you are perpetuating what has already become the Holocaust of the American Family.
You are naively helping multibillion dollar corrupt industry, the DV industry.
Take some responsibility.
At least do not broadcase the show until you understand what it is you are doing.
I suspect you have no clue as to what you are doing.
Do not broadcast the show.
Do not broadcast the show.
Do not broadcast the show.

Barbara Johnson


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Re: Breaking The Silence:Children's Stories
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 21:14:07 -0400
From: Barbara C. Johnson <barbaracjohnson@worldnet.att.net>
To: viewer@pbs.org <viewer@pbs.org>
References: <200510060026.j960QbnI031949@http16.pbs.org> <>

Dear PBS Org:

That Dominique Lasseur and Catherine Tatge spent "countless hours" doing "extensive research and interviews" is only Pablum.  The problem, I suspect, is that they used a limited database suggested by those on the women's side of the Gender War, which is polarizing our society.
I would like Lasseur and Tatge to reveal diverse details regarding that research.  Without a control mechanism, their study is invalid. 

Having worked for many years in the "divorce industry," my extensive research and interviews show the opposite to be true, to wit, that women regularly alienate their children from their fathers.  Money and control are the motivators.  Pro-women organizations use false statistics to promote their interests and get annual bonuses and grants from the federal government.  As a result, children are parentectomized -- the parent being cut out is the father.  By so doing, the children lose their self-confidence and identity, particularly if they have been led to believe they "are like their father."  In the extreme, we see self-mutiliation, drugs, criminality, runaways, teenage pregnancy. 

Cited below are current statistics from the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the Census Bureau and private studies, which clearly reflect the level of damage that is occurring as a result of Anti-Family Law in America:

Children that grow-up without a father's influence:

  • are 33 times more likely to be seriously abused (so that they will require medical attention) 

  • account for 71% of teenage pregnancies (Costing the US Taxpayers $40B per year)

  • are 73 times more likely to be killed as a result of abuse

  • daughters are 2.1 times more likely to have children during there teenage years than are children from intact families

  • are 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide

  • are 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers

  • are 24.3 times more likely to run away

  • are 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders

  • are 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institution

  • are 10.8 times more likely to commit rape

  • are 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school

  • are 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager

  • account for 90% of all homeless and runaway children

  • account for 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions

  • account for 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers

  • account for 85% of prison youths

  • account for 63% of youth suicides

  • account for 85% of all children the exhibit behavioral disorders

  • account for 80% of rapists motivated by displaced anger disorder

  • 70% of confirmed cases of child abuse are committed by mothers <><>

  • 65% of parental murders of children are committed by mothers. Police investigators and academics believe that 15% of the roughly 7,000 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases reported each year in the United States are really cases of suffocation, primarily committed by the mother. This alone accounts for at least 1,000 homicides a year.

Criminologists point out that many, if not most, cases of SIDS are not reported.  (Autopsies are rarely able to distinguish between suffocation and SIDS).  Therefore, the actual number of murdered infants is probably much higher.

  • 37.9% of fathers have no access/visitation rights

    40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the non-custodial father's visitation on at least one occasion, to punish the ex-spouse

  • 50% of mothers see no value in the father`s continued contact with his children

  • 11% of mothers value their husband's input when it comes to handling problems with their kids. Teachers & doctors rated 45%, and close friends & relatives rated 16%

  • The former spouse (mother) was the greatest obstacle to having more frequent contact with the children

  • 70% of fathers felt that they had too little time with their children

  • Very few children are satisfied with the amount of contact with their fathers after divorce

Mothers prevent visits to retaliate against fathers for problems in their marital or post-marital relationship:

  • 77% of non-custodial fathers are NOT able to "visit" their children, as ordered by the court, as a result of "visitation interference" perpetuated by the custodial parent

Non-compliance with court-ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court-ordered child support and impacts the children of divorce even more:

  • only 10% of all non-custodial fathers fit the "deadbeat dad" category and 99%  of those are "dead broke"

  • 90% of the fathers with joint custody paid the support due

  • Fathers with visitation rights pay 79.1%

  • 44.5% of those with NO visitation rights still financially support their children

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive child-support award

  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award

  • 46.9% of Non-custodial mothers totally default on child support

  • 26.9% of Non-custodial fathers totally default on child support

The ONLY viable solution to this societal crisis is an immediate end to the "Failed Social Experiment" and the enforcement of

the fundamental liberty right to parent one's children absolutely free from unnecessary governmental interference -- unless/until it is

clearly established that a parent is unfit to parent. Divorce does not make a parent a bad parent, and this must not be allowed to

continue to be the sole-basis upon which governmental entities forcibly remove Fathers from the lives of their children.

Barbara C. Johnson

Catalog Name : Barbara C. Johnson, Attorney at Law
Catalog Street Address : 6 Appletree Lane
Catalog City : Andover,
Catalog State : MA
Catalog Zip Code : 01810-4102

Albany Times Union - Albany,NY,USA

Film gives distorted view of family law

First published: Thursday, October 20, 2005

The controversial documentary ''Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories" airs tonight on WMHT, Channel 17 in the Capital Region and on Public Broadcasting Service stations across the country. In the film, co-producers Catherine Tatge and Dominique Lasseur sound the alarm over an alleged crisis of fit mothers losing custody of their children to abusive husbands.

The documentary centers around Karen, who lost custody of her three children to her husband after a court-appointed evaluator found that she had falsely accused him of sexually abusing them. As the film notes, mothers like Karen are increasingly vocal and visible. Their cause celebre is Manhattan ex-model Bridget Marks, who appeared on Dr. Phil, Larry King Live, and The O'Reilly Factor after she briefly lost custody of her twin 4-year-old girls under similar circumstances last year.

Despite the film's claims, such custody transfers are very rare, and usually happen for a good reason. In Marks' case, for example, the trial court judge who heard the case concluded that Marks had coached her girls to believe they had been sexually molested by their father. An appeals court panel accepted that finding, but awarded the mother custody anyway.

"Breaking the Silence" ignores a far more common phenomenon -- divorcing mothers' tactical use of false allegations of sexual abuse. When a father who has daughters seeks joint custody over the objections of a recalcitrant mother, it is standard legal practice to advise the father that a charge of sexual abuse may be coming. According to a study published in Social Science and Modern Society, the vast majority of accusations of child sexual abuse made during custody battles are false, unfounded or unsubstantiated.

False domestic violence allegations are an even greater problem. The filmmakers portray abused women as the victims of sexist judges who refuse to believe them, and who punish them for claiming abuse. In reality, courts are often very tolerant toward false allegations of domestic violence, and divorcing mothers frequently use domestic violence restraining orders as tactical weapons to secure custody.

Many courts grant restraining orders to practically any woman who applies, and research shows these orders often do not even involve an allegation of violence. Once the order is issued, the father is booted out of his marital home and can even be jailed if he tries to contact his children.

By the time the court decides custody, a firm precedent has already been set that mom is the primary caretaker, and she will likely get sole (or de facto sole) custody.

The father is pushed to the margins of his own children's lives even though he has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing or criminal offense. Nevertheless, the filmmakers advocate that domestic violence policies be made even more draconian. This amounts to a doctrine of "moms never lie," giving mothers veto power over fathers' fatherhood.

The filmmakers also contend that abusive fathers use claims of Parental Alienation Syndrome -- the phenomenon of a custodial parent turning his or her children against the non-custodial parent after divorce or separation -- to get courts to secure them sole custody of their children.

To be fair, there are fathers who have alienated their own children through their abuse or personality defects, and who unfairly blame their children's mothers by claiming parental alienation. Yet, parental alienation syndrome is a common, well-documented phenomenon. For example, a longitudinal study published by the American Bar Association in 2003 followed 700 "high conflict" divorce cases over a 12-year period, and found that elements of PAS were present in the vast majority of them.

The cruelty PAS visits upon children and the fathers they love and need would be hard to overstate. One prominent example is the LaMusga case decided by the California Supreme Court last year. (The issue of alienation was relevant, but not central to the court's ruling in favor of the father.) In that case, Gary LaMusga's son's kindergarten teacher testified that LaMusga's ex-wife asked her to keep track of the time Gary spent volunteering in his son's kindergarten classroom, so it could be deducted from his visitation time.

According to the teacher, the kindergarten boy told her "my dad lies in court," and said that his mom had told him this. The teacher testified:

"I finally sat down with him and told him that it was OK for him to love his daddy. I basically gave him permission to love his father. And he seemed brightened by that -- I'm not sure that he was aware that he could do that."

While one can always find an unusual case or ruling, as Tatge and Lasseur have, fit mothers rarely lose custody of their children. The view of family law propounded in "Breaking the Silence" is not accurate, but is instead reflective of the grave distortions put forth by misguided women's advocates. It is family law in the fun house mirror.

Jeffery M. Leving of Chicago is a family law attorney and author of "Fathers' Rights: Hard-hitting and Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute." His Web site is http://www.dadsrights.com.

Glenn Sacks writes from Los Angeles about men's and fathers' issues. His Web site is http://www.GlennSacks.com.


CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition

“Breaking the Silence”– A grotesque misrepresentation of domestic violence and child custody cases

Re: PBS documentary “Breaking the Silence: Children’s voices”:

October 24, 2005

To whom it may concern:

Whether it is science education in programs like NOVA or serving the public interest by informing them on vital matters of state such as in the excellent recent Frontline episode, “The Torture Question,” PBS should be viewed as a national treasure.

But its sycophantic allegiance to left wing identity politics on matters of social interest has put it squarely on the dark side of the Culture Wars, and in increasing numbers responsible Americans have no choice but to join the chorus calling for the end of all government support for PBS.

I have been active in the Fathers Rights movement for over a decade. I am one of the founders, and the Spokesman for, CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition. Like most advocates and activists in the movement, my involvement in the issue arose from my own family breakdown that began in 1991. 

As you know, the Fathers Rights community is up in arms over this documentary.  Over the past several days hundreds of correspondences from the FR community to PBS, as well as your responses, have been widely circulated over the internet.  I am not going to repeat the various arguments that you have now doubtless been made aware of concerning the statistics and reality of domestic violence and abuse allegations as they impact child custody adjudications. Suffice it to say, there exists one overarching truth regarding divorce, domestic violence, and child custody:

Divorce has become a process of criminalization for fathers fighting to maintain their relationships with their children.

Not just the family courts, but our entire culture, has been waging a War on Fatherhood for 30 years and counting.  Good, loving, law-abiding fathers are routinely criminalized by the divorce process, losing not only their children, but their wealth, their careers and reputations, their health, their sanity, their freedom, and in some cases their very lives.  It is an undisputed fact that divorcing mothers can and do destroy their ex-husbands—not vice-versa—with the aid and abetment of a legal system that has been poisoned by victim-feminist ideology.  It is no surprise that we now hear of women throwing parties to celebrate their divorces.  Undoubtedly, a feature of such celebrations is the gloating over how much punishment, legal, financial and emotional, the woman has inflicted on her ex-husband. There are no divorced fathers throwing parties.

The notion that it is mothers who are discriminated against by an uninformed, under-educated, and sexist judicial system that actually rewards fathers who beat their children by giving custody of the children to them is simply grotesque. I hesitate to make a comparison that may appear to trivialize the enormity of the Holocaust, but this twisted perspective is like claiming that Nazis in Germany were victimized by Jews.

Allow me to point you to an article that describes in detail some of the ways invidious male hatred is promoted in the public sphere and inculcated into college students. In the standard college textbook used in introductory sociology courses in many if not most colleges (Essentials of Sociology, James Henslin), students are instructed in the very first section of the book, where it describes the do’s and don’ts of doing research, that researchers should not bother to investigate the gender breakdown of battery in marriages because it is already known that the problem of domestic violence is overwhelmingly one of men battering women.

Amazingly, this instruction comes on the very next page following a call-out box that warns students about making assumptions based on common sense by listing several coincidentally politically incorrect notions that are deemed to be false. For more information on the corruption of the behavioral sciences vis-ŕ-vis feminist indoctrinated male hatred, please refer to my article, “Junk science proliferates in domestic violence research,” For The Record, Feb. 2003, which can be found online at: www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/Newsletter/Record0302.pdf .

Rather than setting out a point-by-point rebuttal of claims made by the makers of the documentary, I wish here going to make you aware of some facts concerning Mr. Lundy Bancroft, who from several accounts appears to be the motivating force behind this documentary. Being a Massachusetts-based organization, we are familiar with Bancroft, who is a Massachusetts resident.

Bancroft has been active in vilifying fathers and males in general for many years. The thesis of this documentary—that fathers (i.e., “batterers”) are being rewarded by the Massachusetts family court system with custody of their children because of the ignorance or gullibility of sexist judges—is his latest campaign.  Prior to this, among other like endeavors, he has sold himself as an expert on “dating violence,” gaining him access to impressionable teenagers. A few years ago he collaborated with some Wellesley academics and one from the Harvard School of Health with a couple of “studies” to prove the same thesis on “battered mothers.”

The science behind these “studies” is non-existent.  Fatherhood Coalition research director Steve Basile’s attempt to gain access to the study data were eventually squelched by a threatening letter from the legal counsel of Harvard’s President Larry Summers. For a blow-by-blow rundown on his attempt to gain access to the study, read “Harvard researcher hides study data behind university lawyers,” For The Record, July 2004, found online at www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/Newsletter/Record0407.pdf .

Basile’s own groundbreaking research study on the adjudication of domestic violence restraining orders in a Massachusetts court (Gardner District Court) has been published in two separate articles in the Journal of Family Violence.  Please go to www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/Gardner_209A_study_index.htm to find links to the study and all articles we have compiled that pertain to it.

Getting back to Lundy Bancroft, he is a known quantity to us on a more direct and personal level. I personally had the misfortune of having him assigned as a GAL in my case.  At the time I had no idea who he was. This was before he was “canned” by the Hampshire County Probate & Family Court because he was, by his own admission at a seminar he conducted on this same subject in June, 2003 in Northampton, MA., so “far out of bounds” (as related by a Fatherhood Coalition member who attended the event).

In my case, two interviews were conducted, and so I had the opportunity to interact with Bancroft directly over several hours.  I am not going to discuss the issues of my case here, though I will be happy to do so privately with anyone who is interested. Nor am I going to give voice to my opinions and impressions of him as a person from these two meetings. Lundy’s own work speaks for him well enough.

Suffice it to say, I was flabbergasted with his report, though I fully understand that my experience with him as a GAL was not in any way unusual. In Massachusetts, the job of the GAL is to provide the path of least resistance for the judge to make the standard, predetermined, custody judgment: physical custody of the children to the mother, with the new “family” financed wholly by the “throwaway dad.”

The Fatherhood Coalition hear on a daily basis from dozens of divorced dads, mostly via our public email list-server (electronic bulletin board).  This is a very active board, and much information is shared. Not surprisingly, several fathers and second wives have shared their experiences with having Bancroft for their GAL. Again not surprisingly, he is universally detested.  But after all, according to Bancroft, these men are all batterers, and so their antipathy towards him would be expected…

But besides these accounts, I am privy to information about Bancroft of a much more personal nature. I know someone for whom Lundy Bancroft was not an appointed GAL, but a party to a child custody/divorce action. This person will remain nameless here because there are children involved, but they are willing to speak to interested parties about Bancroft. This party has also told me that they would consider going “on the record” depending on the situation. If you wish to speak with this person, please let me know and I will arrange the interview.

In this case of which Bancroft was a party, the four principals involved were all ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluations. This divorce docket is in Dedham Probate & Family Court, and dates from the late nineties. The records, including Bancroft’s psychiatric evaluation, are sealed.

The evaluation was done by a licensed PhD psychologist affiliated with the Mass. General Hospital Children and the Law program. Following is a paraphrasing of what is in the evaluation, as this document was available to the principals in the action as it formed part of the case, and was read by them. They do not have a printed copy of the exact report.

According to my source, the evaluation states: It is no surprise that Mr. Bancroft is in the field he is in because it empowers and enables him to exert an enormous amount of control and feed his hunger for controlling behavior.

Furthermore, in the evaluator’s opinion, he has borderline rage and significant issues with rage control.  His belief in his own expertise and professional standing is described as being “based more in fantasy than reality.”

My source claims that Bancroft used his intimate knowledge of the domestic violence and child abuse regimes to engineer the termination of a father’s relationship with his daughter. Bancroft is married to the mother of this child. He employed the services of kindred spirit and witch-hunter Dr. Eli Newberger, the highly criticized former head of the child sexual abuse unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. It is widely known—and even reported in the pages of the Boston Globe—that Newberger’s unit always found for sexual abuse when investigating allegations.

Regardless of what credence is given to Bancroft’s psychological evaluation, his life’s work betrays a person obsessed with hatred of men.  He is what we in the Fathers Rights community refer to as a classic “victim-feminist.”  His life’s work revolves around the demonization of men.

Several years ago I found an article written by Bancroft in 1992 that displays a disturbing worldview. The link to this article was: http://garnet.berkeley.edu:3333/.cco/.infusion/.wris/.pack5/lundy.html.  I don’t know if it can still be found on the internet.

“Male Violence and Imperialism,” appeared in a university journal, the War Research Info Service, described as a “quarterly newsletter for campus peace activists (since renamed Study War No More).”  The theme of the issue was “Masculinity and War/ Feminism and Non-Violence.” In the article, Bancroft posits a link between American imperialism and violence against women. Here are some excerpts from the ~2500-word article:

“Male battering and U.S. intervention are often viewed, even by political conscious people, as irrational or as aberations (sic) from the norm. … In order to stop battering and war, we must recognize their true causes.  State violence and domestic violence occur because they serve a purpose in creating and enforcing abusive relationships, either between two countries or between a man and a woman.  Battering and war play a critical role in keeping sexism and imperialism alive.

“Sexism is about exploitation.  It is about male domination and control very specifically over women, and for specific purposes. … And it's about exploitation of women's giving of nurturing:  requiring women to give love, support and understanding to men and children, while men give only minimal emotional nurturing in return.

“Imperialism is also about exploitation.  It is about domination and control by large and powerful militarized countries over much less powerful, less militarized countries. … It's about exploitation of a country's labor by forcing people to work at slave wages, to the benefit of those in the dominant country. … So like sexism (male domination of women), imperialism is about setting up systems of unequal exchange, where the dominant force is able to dictate the terms of exchange.

“Systems of exploitation, of unequal exchange, require violence. They can't stay in place without it because people resist oppression, courageously and creatively, all the time... To keep sexism operating, there must be violence against women. … Similarly, imperialism requires war.  It requires bombing, defoliation, economic blockades, and other violent ways of keeping countries from developing such as by blocking their access to technology and capital through the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“First of all there is the myth that both battering and imperialism are irrational.  There is the notion that men batter women because they don't know what they are doing.  Because they are tortured inside, and in tremendous pain, they lash out against those they love the most.  They lose control of themselves.  What we have learned in working with men who batter is that they know precisely what they are doing.  They choose the amount of violence they use. They set limits for themselves that they don't cross, and use violence in particular ways in order to get the control they want in that relationship.  What batterers have in common is the expectation that they will be able to enforce their will.       

“There's a similar mythology around imperialism, that the US doesn't know what it's doing abroad, that in misguided attempts to help out in other parts of the world, it stumbles into doing a lot of damage.  Many liberal opponents of the Vietnam War made this argument, and we lived with it in the 1980s around Nicaragua.”

What is evident from this article is that Bancroft is not just the typical zealot who views male-female relations through the victim-feminist prism of men’s control of and violence toward women, but has gone further and sees this as the answer to... life, the universe, and everything.  Like Karl Marx, Bancroft believes he has found the animating force behind all of human history. For him, imperialism and war is just a macrocosmic reflection of men’s violence against women.

To hold such a distorted worldview, he must have deep-rooted personal ‘issues.’ His fixation on domestic violence and his attitudes about men (the entire article must be read to fully appreciate this) can only be described as an obsession.

Bancroft has also been involved in various and sundry pop psychology trends, such as “co-counseling” and “re-evaluative” therapy. He authored a book dealing with these treatment methods, Humanity Unbound. According to a review of the book, he had been involved in these therapies, but “due to abuses of both authority and sexual exploitation at the highest levels of the RC organization, and after failed attempts to bring needed reforms to the movement, he departed.”

In closing, please do not mistake this message as a personal vendetta by an embittered man who lost his children through divorce. Quite the contrary. Despite the best efforts of Lundy Bancroft and the judges whom I faced, I now enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful and loving relationship with my children, who now live with me. I am one of the lucky ones who survived Massachusetts family court.

Lundy Bancroft is not the source of this problem; he is but a particularly virulent symptom of it.  Every day, new Lundy Bancrofts are being created in our colleges, universities, and even primary and secondary schools that have been poisoned by male-hating, feminist infiltration to one degree or another of practically all school curricula, with the possible exception of math, engineering and the natural sciences.

The fact of the matter is that Bancroft, Eli Newberger, and people like them have caused an incalculable amount of harm in many, many people’s lives—not just fathers, but also their children and other family members. We in the Fathers Rights community are facing a propaganda and disinformation juggernaut from these zealots and all those, like you, that have been misled by them. PBS still has time to correct this gross miscalculation by imposing a moratorium on future showings and by actively pursuing the real issue from a responsible viewpoint in future programming.

Please give us reason to not now lobby for the termination of government subsidies for public television.

Mark Charalambous,

Spokesman, CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition

32 Pearl St.

Leominster, MA 01453