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Archive for January, 2010

Like the average Joe unfamiliar with the law, I thought that the cardinal qualities of a judge in the search for justice would be reason, equity and impartiality. Wrong! In family courts, creativity comes first. Everyday family courts judges unleashed treasures of imagination to protect the best interests of the child.

Check that one: in Illinois, Judge Edward Jordan single handedly invented a new type of restraining order at the request of a mother: barring a divorced father – Joseph Reyes- to expose his baby girl to any other religion but judaism. I guess the model that Judge Jordan was trying to emulate was Afghanistan, where there is a general restraining order on exposing children to any other religion but Islam. Joseph Reyes, a catholic, took her daughter to church.  He wants his daughter to be exposed to his faith and that of his ex-wife. He might face prison charges for violating a court order.

One can only wish that Illinois voters will be wise enough not to reelect this pioneer of the dialogue between religions, and help him refresh his knowledge on human rights.

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Courbet)

There is one disturbing side to the fight of some women denying parental alienation syndrome. The rights to be protected against domestic violence and to protect their kids from child abuse are theirs. They consider it as their property, and as Proudhon would say in “Qu’est -ce que la propriété? (What Is Property?), property is more the right to exclude someone else from the enjoyment of a good than that to derive enjoyment from it. The women rights movement, which succeeded in making domestic violence and child abuse against the law, has fought for them and them only. Those fathers and mothers who claim the rights to be protected against parental alienation are just bums and usurpers that have to remain disenfranchised. Domestic violence is about a man beating up his wife and his kids, end of the story. The work of Gardner and others is phony and their authors’ agenda is to help fathers abusing their kids with legal protection.

For these women too, family courts have been converted  to the parental alienation syndrome doctrine and are massively granting fathers custody of their kids (I guess, lucky me, I have missed Manhattan family court’s conversion). Hence mothers filing for divorce need to be coached to face the courts’ new biased scrutiny. That’s what RightsforMothers.com is doing in a recent posting, and its advice to mothers is quite telling. Among others: don’t refer to your children as “my” children;  don’t badmouth the father of your kids; keep pictures of your children with their dad; allow contacts between your kid and your ex’s extended family… In other terms, don’t alienate your children from your ex. That’s a start.

How great the world would be if these folks were to understand that mothers’ rights shall not be exclusive of fathers’ rights and the other way around!

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Patricia Joly’s article in the January 8 2010 issue of the French newspaper “Le Monde” is not primarily about parental alienation.

(Copyright Didier Erwoine)

It is about a woman in her fifties, Chantal Clos, and her eighteen-year old daughter Anouk, being suspected of having abducted, while pretending to be two Belgian journalists,  the lawyer Pascaline Saint Arroman Petroff. Saint Arroman Petroff was tied to a tree in the forest of the Parisian suburb. The kidnappers were hoping that the cold would kill their victim, who succeeded after a few hours to free herself. During her ordeal, the lawyer identified her two executioners as being the wife and daughter of one of her client, Yves Phélut.  In the 1990’s, Clos asked for divorce on the ground that Yves Phélut had incestuous relationship with his daughter. Three times she pressed charges against Phélut at no avail. Saint Arroman Petroff was Phélut’s lawyer.

The article stresses Clos neighbors’ relief after her arrest. Clos was certainly a disturbing element of the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Yet what is of interest to me in Joly’s article, is parental alienation. Clos is of Natalia Borukhova‘s type. She led her daughter Anouk to embrace her plan to destroy her father, harassed the French justice system, kidnapped one of its representative – the lawyer of her former husband. Clos also threatened a physician who did not want to sign a medical certificate testifying that  Anouk had been sexually abused. Among Clos’ achievements, her role in the creation of an obscure committee of mothers (comité des mères). Every time she pressed charge against her ex-husband, Clos benefited from legal aid.

Her husband, Yves Phélut, is part of the vast international club of fathers accused of child abuse, cleared of this accusation and who does not see their children (he has not seen Anouk in thirteen years). I do not see much hope on the front of fathers’ rights on the other side of the Atlantic.

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